Monday, April 30, 2012

Jessica Bliss is This Bridal Collection for Spring/Summer 2012 Swatches and Review

Check out this little three-shade bridal collection from Jessica. Very different from the usual pale, washed-out pinks and sheer whites that usually make up bridal nail polish collections. The shades in Jessica's 2012 bridal collection, Bliss is This, are:

Jessica Desire. An odd light wine shade with a creme finish.

Jessica Flirtation. A medium dusty tea rose color with a creme finish.

Jessica Love Story. A light cantaloupe orange with a creamy jelly finish.

Formula on all was good. Slightly thick in texture, but easy application. Just be careful about applying thin coats and the formula shouldn't give you any trouble. Perfect brushes. I did three coats of each and all were completely opaque in three. Somewhat long dry time.

It's cool that they chose three very non-traditional colors for their 2012 bridal collection, but I can't say I really like any of them. Not much else to say about it!

Chanel Le Vernis in April, June, May

EDIT:  Apparently these three Jessica shades are dupes of Chanel's Spring 2012 Le Vernis collection!  I hadn't seen the Chanel collection, so thank you everyone for pointing it out! 

The Jessica Bliss is This collection is available in both regular polish and in GELeration Soak-Off Gel polish and can be purchased directly from Jessica Cosmetics.

(This was sent for review.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Additions to the Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism Collection Spring/Summer 2012

Illamasqua has just introduced phase two of their Spring/Summer 2012 Human Fundamentalism collection. The new additions to the line include two new lipsticks (Eurydice and Liable) and four new powder eyeshadows (Hype, Inception, Fledgling, Vapour). You can see the entire Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism lineup here, and I have a few swatches to post below.

New Illamasqua shades: Lipstick in Eurydice, Powder Eyeshadow in Inception and Hype.

Illamasqua Lipstick in Eurydice

Eurydice is a bright matte fuchsia. It looks nearly neon in the tube, but it tones down a little once it's on the lips. It's not completely full coverage, but does provide a ton of color. It is a matte formula with no shine or shimmer and the texture is very dry.

Illamasqua Powder Eyeshadow in Inception (left) and Hype (right).

Illamasqua Inception

Inception is a sheer matte purple. It leans toward the blue side of purple. It appears more clean and bright in the pan, but on the skin it has a very dusty/dirty/faded look.

Illamasqua Hype

Hype is a sheer medium yellow matte. Like Inception, it seems rather bright and clean in the pan, but on the skin it take on a muted/faded/dusty looking finish.

Powder Eyeshadow ingredients
(click to enlarge)

Lipstick ingredients
(click to enlarge)

What I liked:
  • I always love Illamasqua's packaging. It looks sleek and elegant with a hint of Gothic edge.
  • Love the bright color of the lipstick.
  • Lipstick is long-wearing.
What I didn't like:
  • The two eyeshadows were disappointingly sheer and chalky. I was never able to make them fully opaque on their own (over my usual eyeshadow base) and they did not blend well. Both colors also fade rather quickly after they're applied, which is not something I normally experience with powder eyeshadows.
  • The lipstick is extremely dry and feels uncomfortable on the lips. The dryness of the matte formula accentuates flaky skin on the lips, so it's best to exfoliate before applying and then wear a balm on top.
The eyeshadows were, sadly, quite problematic for me, but that's usually the case with matte purples and yellows so it wasn't entirely unexpected. Hype and Inception might perform better when applied over an opaque white base (such as NYX White Eyeshadow Base), but I was not able to get them to work for me on their own over my usual eye primers (Too Faced Shadow Insurance and Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion). If you're looking for an easier to use matte purple or yellow eyeshadow, you may have better luck with MAC Chrome Yellow and Make Up For Ever #92.

The color of the lipstick was bright and gorgeous, but the dry formula was uncomfortable to apply and wear. This is eliminated by using lip balm before or after application, but the balm takes away the nice matte finish of the lipstick and also reduces wear time.

Also, on an Illamasqua-related note, how would you like to star in Illamasqua's next ad campaign? I love the concept, as it's something I strongly believe in. Take a look:

As I'm sure you know... we like to break rules, which is why are now breaking the unspoken prejudice of age with a revolutionary casting call!

We are looking for beauty without limits – age limits, beauty has no sell-by date. That’s why our new campaign will feature people of all ages... Our professional products and brand ethos are transcendent of age; anyone can self-express, be empowered and feel beautiful with bold make-up, so if you’re someone who never lets age define you, or you know someone who fits that description we want to encourage you to nominate your mothers, aunts, grandmothers or any strong person in your life to be part of our next campaign in a glamorous beauty shoot celebrating all ages and diversities.

As well as individuals, we are looking for pairs – from mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, nieces, nephews, aunties, uncles, grandmothers and grandsons. The combinations are endless!

Nominate yourself or someone else at before May 15th 2012, and if chosen you and/or that person would need to be available to attend an open casting mid-May 2012 and be part of the shoot taking place in London on Wednesday May 23rd and Thursday May 24th 2012 - competition is open internationally!

In return, all those featured in the campaign receive £500 cash, a new Illamasqua make-up kit worth £500 and a framed photo of yourself like you've never looked before! Ready to stand up for beauty that defies age limits?

Why should it be the case that you hit 40 and morph into a dull, boring version of your original self? Bombarded by products to hide your age rather than celebrate your experience and vitality." - Joseph CorrÄ— –Illamasqua Joint MD

From day one we said that Illamasqua could never be defined by social demographics, age or sex, but simply by a mindset. Our customers come to us to seek out permission or gain confidence to wear make-up louder and prouder.-Julian Kynaston - Illamasqua Founder and Joint MD

Lauren Bacall said ‘think your whole life shows in your face and you should be proud of that’ I agree. What makes one person unique from another is in their soul and what is projected through their eyes, their wisdom, life story, experience, individuality and presence.” - Alex Box - Illamasqua Creative Director

For full details on the Human Fundamentalism Collection or the Beauty Before Age competition, visit

(This was sent for review.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Milani Shadow Eyez 12 Hour Wear Eyeshadow Pencils Swatches and Review

Yet another new release from Milani this year: a line of long-wearing eyeshadow pencils in vibrant colors. They're called Shadow Eyez and the promise a creamy formula with crease-proof, water-resistant all day wear.

Ingredients and instructions
(click to enlarge)

Left to right:
Winter White, Brown Deluxe, Champagne Toast, Green Safari, Aquatic Style, Royal Purple

Milani Shadow Eyez Eyeshadow Pencil in 01 Winter White

Winter white is a sheer, bright white shimmer. It's a little chunkier shimmer-wise and a little more sheer than the other shades in the collection.

Milani Shadow Eyez Eyeshadow Pencil in 02 Brown Deluxe

Brown Deluxe is a gorgeous sparkling brown. It has a bronze-brown metallic base with a good amount of gold and copper shimmer on top.

Milani Shadow Eyez Eyeshadow Pencil on 03 Champagne Toast

Champagne Toast is a medium peach metallic base with heavy silvery-champagne shimmer. It can appear darker or lighter at different angles due to the way the reflective metallic shimmer sits on top of the base color.

Milani Shadow Eyez Eyeshadow Pencil in 04 Green Safari

Green Safari is the green I've been wishing for forever. It's a true green- not teal, not sea green, not aqua. It has a more yellow-toned base than any green shadow or liner pencil I own. It has a metallic finish that adds a nice reflective glow to the already bright color.

Milani Shadow Eyez Eyeshadow Pencil in 05 Aquatic Style

Aquatic Style is an aqua blue metallic. It has a darker blue base with a bit of green and the metallic shimmer is lighter and more cool toned.

Milani Shadow Eyez Eyeshadow Pencil in 06 Royal Purple

Another impressive color. It's a bold purple and the only matte shade in the collection. There is some blue shimmer in the color but it doesn't appear shimmery on the lids.

What I really like about these pencils is that you don't have to use them as eyeshadow, you can use them as eyeliner just as easily. I'm not much of a fan of cream shadows, but I do love a good waterproof liner...

Milani Shadow Eyez in Green Safari used as eyeliner

What I liked:
  • I don't think I could have asked for a better color selection. The colors are bold, vibrant and shiny, there's a good mix of brights and neutrals, and every single one is gorgeous. The only thing this collection is missing is a grey or taupe smoky eye color and maybe a good orange, gold or red.
  • Smooth, easy application. The pencil is soft and glides on without any skipping or tugging whether you're applying it to your entire eyelid or just using it as liner.
  • Most of the colors are opaque in one coat.
  • When I wore these as a lid color, I didn't experience any fading, creasing or flaking. They really do last all day.
  • They make a good sticky base for sparkly pressed or loose eyeshadows. Good at holding shimmer and glitter in place.
  • Cheap! MSRP is $5.99.
  • Easy to remove. It recommends dual-phase eye makeup remover but they came off just fine with plain facial cleanser for me.
  • They are water resistant, they won't run if they get wet. They're not completely waterproof, though, and will start to come off if you rub your eyes a lot.
  • The packaging is attractive and I love the way the color of the pencil matches the product inside.
What I didn't like:
  • The lids don't fit very well. They tend to fall off even when I thought I'd capped them tightly. You have to really jam them down onto the pencil, but I can see that leading to the cap splitting eventually. Be careful carrying them in your purse or makeup bag because they will come open at some point.
  • Shadow Eyez? Really? That's the best name they could come up with? Eyezzzzzz. Urgh.
  • They take a little longer to set than I'd like and they're kinda sticky, which could cause the shadow to come off in some spots if you blink too much while waiting for them to dry.
  • Winter White and Royal Purple are the two sheerest colors. They will become opaque if you apply two coats, but it can be hard to apply a second coat without smudging or removing the first coat.
  • Can look chunky and thick if you apply too much product/too many layers.
  • They interfere with shadow blending too much for me to use them in the crease with a powder shadow on top. They really grab onto powder shadow, which makes them great as a base for other shadows on the lid, but create harsh lines if you try to blend them out. They're lid and liner only colors for me.
  • You need a large-barrel sharpener for these. I'd prefer if they were twist-up pencils, that way they waste less product and are more convenient.

I like these a lot. I am not really into cream shadow, so I can't see myself using them for that purpose very often, but they rock as eyeliner. You wouldn't think that such a chubby/wide pencil would make a thin enough line for eyeliner, but they actually do! The bright color combined with the shiny metallic finish makes them really eye-catching. They're just as nice as the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils, but about a quarter of the price. Better/brighter color selection and slightly smoother application, too. These are really similar to the Milani Liquif'Eye eyeliner pencils I love, just a lot bigger.

Milani Shadow Eyez 12 Hour Wear Eyeshadow Pencils are a CVS exclusive and retail at $5.99 for each 0.1 oz / 2.8 g pencil.

(This was sent for review.)