Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in HD Addiction Review

This lip product was one of the many items in my Winter 2016 BeautyCon BFF Box, which you can find a video of my unboxing HERE. It's kind of been rolling around in my "to review" bag for a while so I decided to pull it for y'all. The Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor is a fairly new product on the market since I noticed it popping up not long after I moved down to SoCal. I never really went for it because I don't find myself that drawn to Revlon products... plus it's also $10 and brands like L'Oreal, Revlon, and even Covergirl are slowly inching their affordability out of the drugstore. No me gusta. There are a few things other than the high price point that I don't like, but we'll get on to those later. 

The packaging is actually pretty swanky looking considering that Revlon tends to keep things very plain jane. It's still incredibly simplistic, but the frosted tube, ellipsoidal shape , silver (plastic) lid, and minimal lettering is very modern and sleek. The formula has a lovely watermelon candy scent and taste and the payoff isn't half bad either! It has rich, uniform pigmentation and a creamy finish. For something called an "Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor", it sure isn't very matte - it's more of a super pigmented gloss that eventually wears down, not dries down, into a satin finish. It also takes forever to "dry", never truly sets which leads to transfer, and feels a bit cakey on the lips. That being said, it does last on the lips for several hours through light drinking and snacking, but it won't survive a full on meal.
Top is built up, bottom is one swipe sheered out.

TL;DR section:

Price: $10 depending on where you find it

Size: 0.2 fl oz/5.9 mL

Availability: CVS, Ulta, drugstores, Walmart, Target

  • Rich, uniform pigmentation
  • Pleasant watermelon scent and flavor
  • Long wear time for a non-matte product
  • Never sets/dries down
  • Isn't matte
  • Transfers
  • Feels a bit goopy

Cruelty free: Nope. Sells in China, ergo undergoes third party animal testing as per request by the country.

Final Verdict: I mean, I like this product... but I don't love it and I certainly don't think Revlon should be asking $10 for a product that doesn't do what it claims. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Absolute New York Velvet Lippie in "Wicked" Review

Prior to getting this in my ipsy Generation Beauty cocktail swag bag (yes, it's a press sample), I had never heard of the brand. At first glance it looks like it would be very similar to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, which it is, and a black one to boot, which it's not. Since I don't feel like beating around the bush today since I'm on the better half of dying from a head cold, I'm just gonna come out and say that I'm very neutral bordering negative about this product. It's not awesome, but it's also not the worst lip product I've ever used.

The tube is much longer and thinner than a NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream, but the matte rubberized top and the colored tube are very reminiscent of one. I do like the design aesthetic of the label and think it look more high end than it's actual accessible price point at $5.99 - yet another similarity to NYX.

The product is actually an eggplant shade instead of the black that I was expecting - not gonna lie, that made me a little sad. However it's kind of a gamble of what it'll actually end up looking like on the lip because it applied rather patchy and needed several go-overs to reach uniform pigmentation. The scent is a sweet, buttercream-esque deal (yet another similarity to NYX), and the product doesn't feel too stifling or uncomfortable on the lips. It pretty much feels like a NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. Ooh, fun game idea: take a shot for each time I compare this product to a Soft Matte Lip Cream. I believe we're up to 5 now, or 6 depending if you're counting the rules).

What isn't similar to a Soft Matte Lip Cream (7) is that it does wear very patchily and I only got about 1 hour of good wear. The company claims that you'll "discover a matte that won't crack"... it's just patch and pill wherever there is moisture like a cheap sweater though. Absolute did get the whole schtick about it being a "plush, matte finish" because it is a pretty perfect way to describe it due to it being non-drying and comfortable... but I can't look past the fact that I have to take off and reapply it every hour because of the moisture problem and the fact that it doesn't apply well over a dry layer.

That being said, I can't definitively say that my experience with this specific shade is the experience that I, or you, will have with the rest of the line. I am incredibly impressed because the line has an amazing array of everyday and unusual colors for a cent under $6. I may check a few of these oddballs out in the future because not everyday do you come across metallic gold, sky blue, and mint green lip products for lass than $10.

TL;DR section:

Price: $5.99

Size: 0.2 fl. oz/6 g

Availability: Absolute New York, Amazon

  • Accessible price point
  • Wide variety of colors 
  • Pleasant scent
  • Comfortable
  • Patchy application
  • Patchy wear - it pills where there is moisture
  • Requires removal to reapply
  • Only about 1 hour of good wear

Cruelty free: The brand claims to not test on animals or use ingredients that also were not tested on animals, however there is no leaping bunny so I'll leave that one up to you.

Final thoughts: Since I can't vouch for the rest of the line performing better than this one, I'd say skip this specific shade and try a Soft Matte Lip Cream (8). It is really comfortable, but the application and low wear time makes it a bit of a hassle.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Pür Lip Lure "Mystic" Review

Disclaimer time! I received this as a freebie in my Generation Beauty cocktail swag bag. All opinions expressed here are my own.

I'm gonna level with you guys... this is my first time using a PÜR product. I don't know... maybe it's the fact that it's always towards the back of every Ulta that I go to or that I had this misconception that they were strictly a skincare brand, but here we are. Let's talk about the PÜR Lip Lure Hydrating Lip Lacquer in Mystic.

Since my expectations going into this was basically a blank slate, I had a lot of fun figuring out this product. What first got me was how weighty the metal tube was... and the fact that I tried for a good half minute trying to open the twisty end which I thought was going to be a lip brush of some sort. I'm overall pretty impressed with the packaging because it's so sturdy and the writing seems to be part of the metal so no faded labels!

This product is a twist up pen with a fuzzy, flocked, "showerhead" applicator. I've had my experience with these in the past and I was never that impressed with them. This one is a whole other deal though. Yeah, it still takes a few minutes of twisting up the product, but the applicator has some kind of super soft voodoo magic that applies perfect, uniform pigment and kept within the lip lines very easily.

The color is a lovely raspberry plum shade, kind of similar to MAC Rebel, but more raspberryish. It has a cream finish with no shimmer. The formula is very comfortable and feels lightweight on the lips. It's also exceptionally opaque, and also prone to staining. PÜR claims that it takes one swipe for full pigment and they're not lying. As for longevity, it made it through a hearty turkey reuben with only fading in the center of the lips. It makes it about three hours with eating and drinking before reapplication really needs to happen and reapplying over the top is no problem whatsoever. It isn't, however, transferproof. BUT you will get about three smooch tests into this before the color starts to dull. The only claim that this doesn't fully meet is the hydrating factor since I did find myself mightily needing some chapstick by the end of the day, but it's probably one of the more hydrating liquid lip colors I've tried.

Just to drive to drive the pigmentation point home, these two nearly identical swatches are one swipe (bottom), and multiple (top). One swipe is definitely enough, but if you want to build up the sheen factor you can swipe it on a few more times. Oh, and as for scent and taste, there isn't much to report.

TL;DR section:

Price: $22

Size: 0.05 oz/1.4 g

Availability: Ulta, and PÜR

  • Exceptional pigmentation
  • Smooth and comfortable on the lips
  • Easy to apply
  • Wears a long time considering it's a cream product
  • Only 5 shades
  • Stains a bit
  • Transfers

Cruelty free: Indeed it is!

Final thoughts: Mystic is definitely one of the more comfortable liquid lipsticks I've ever worn. It has nice, full, and even pigmentation and wears for a decent amount of time despite never "drying down" and being a cream product - overall I'm really impressed. It's a bit pricey at $22 and the shade selection is limited, but it's worth a looksee. If $22 still seems a bit unmanageable, Ebates always offers some form of cash back on their site as well as Ulta's. You can sign up for Ebates here to get cash back on online purchases.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Benefit Hoola Bronzer Review + Giveaway

Hi! The giveaway at the bottom is using the Benefit Hoola Bronzer that I got for free at the ipsy Generation Beauty Cocktail Party. I already have one and decided to pass this one on to one lucky reader! Just wanted to disclaim that. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own, as per usual.

Ok, so here't the deal. I've had a Hoola Bronzer in my makeup arsenal in some form or another for, no joke, years. I'm honestly surprised that I haven't reviewed this before, but since it's a cult classic and a general favorite of mine it's high time that I do!

Benefit packaging, as a general rule of thumb, is absolutely adorable and Hoola is no exception. Although the cardboard box packaging isn't very sleek, I think that it's worth the bulk because it's do darned cute. The top swings up to reveal a small mirror and a plastic tray protecting the pan from the included flat topped brush which I highly recommend keeping since it does a great job or sculpting in a pinch.

The matte powder is very finely milled, meaning that the oh-so-soft pigment wafts gently on to your skin and silkily blends out to a very attractive and very convincing tanned appearance. I know that a lot of people like to use this for contouring, but I find it to be too warm and I'm pretty damned yellow toned, but to each their own. The shade can be used sparingly on fair skin or more heavily on medium skin, but unfortunately due to it's single shade option Hoola is not for everyone and we're left at the far too common conundrum of deeper skinned POC being left out of product ranges.

Depending on your financial situation (mine is dire tbh) $29 can feel like a lot to shell out for a bronzer, but I personally think it's worth the investment at some point because it's a great matte bronzer that doesn't require a ton of product and it legit lasts for EVER... ok, maybe not forever, but I know people that have the plastic clamshell sample and got upwards of a year of use out of it or more. 

TL;DR section:

Price: $29

Size: 8.0 g/0.28 oz

Availability: Ulta, Sephora, Benefit Boutiques, and benefitcosmetics.com

  • Easily blendable
  • Finely milled
  • Excellent color payoff
  • Creates a very convincing MATTE suntanned glow
  • Very limited (read ONE) shade selection for an entire brand's bronzers
  • Packaging is bulky, but cute

Cruelty free: Yep yep!

Final thoughts: This bronzer is a cult favorite for a reason. It's definitely worth the price point whenever you've got a spare $29 lying around, but I would skip this if you're past the deeper side of medium or so since it won't give the same effect. 

More information about this product HERE.

And now for the giveaway! U.s. only, guys. Sorry! I'm hella broke.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Timeless Beauty Palette by City Color Cosmetics + Get 15% Off Your Order

Oh look! Another item I recieved at the ipsyOS Generation Beauty cocktail party. Is this post sponsored? No. Do I have to post about it? No. Do I get any monetary compensation for you using my 15% off coupon code at the bottom of this post? Nope. Are all opinions my own? Absolutely. On to the review!

This product is not set to launch until March, but I thought I'd let y'all into the loop. This palette is supposedly an all in one cheek palette and contains 4 blushes and 3 highlighters/bronzers. I spoke to a member of City Color's affiliate team and the blushes are basically the coveted Be Matte Blushes, but with a very light hint of shimmer and the highlighters can suit a variety of skin tones and apparently the darker shades can be used as bronzers (not so sure about that one thought). This palette will also retail for $25, which sounds a little much for a drugstore level makeup line, but the pan sizes, color payoff, and gigantor mirror makes it a little easier to shell out for in my opinion.

Let's start out with the packaging. It isn't the highest quality plastic and the surface, including the metallic decal, are already showing surface scratches, but it's surprisingly sturdy and the mirror is massive - an impressive feature for a lower cost brand.

The palette has seven products; four blushes and three massive pans of super shimmery highlighters. The shades look like they can suit skin tones from fair to medium/deep. Six of the seven shades have mind-blowing pigmentation, but the far right blush underperforms when compared to the rest. That being said, it's still a perfectly usable blush and probably my favorite shade.

The blushes are pretty much matte. There is a tiny smattering of shimmer mixed in with the matte base, but I don't find that it shows up obviously on the cheeks. All four shades do have a fair amount of powder kick up, however I'm willing to look past that because of the awesome pigmentation. These do need a little extra blending time when compared to, say, my current favorite Benefit Rockateur Blush, but I'm comparing a nearly $30 blush to something that normally retails for $6.

The far left blush is a vibrant, earthy orange shade. I can see this looking absolutely beautiful on deeper skin tones.

The left blush is a warm mid-tone pink. On lighter skin like mine, it can pull a little ruddy looking so a lighter touch is needed.

The right blush is definitely on the cooler end of the spectrum. It's kind of the midway point between bubblegum pink and a light orchid shade. This one personally isn't for me, but eh. It still has great pay off.

The far right blush is the least pigmented of the lot, but that's ok because it's more of a warm nude-ish blush for light complexions. I'm a bit of a minimal blush person so I actually ended up favoring this one the most.

I personally find the highlights to be a little too shimmery, but that's more of a personal preference since I prefer glow over shimmer. The brand rep mentioned that the darker shades can be used as bronzer, but I really don't think so. They're far too shimmery to be used as a bronzer, and I can't really see the purple-y one translating well as a sunkissed glow. The texture of these is similar to the Becca Pressed Highlights, but there is definitely more traction against your fingertip as if there was much more binder in this product, however the level of color payoff is nearly identical to Becca.

The left highlighter is a gorgeous amber glow. This will work really well as a summer highlight, or on medium to dark skin.

The center highlight is a pretty standard champagne with some gold thrown in there. It's similar-ish to Becca Opal, but with less peach.

The left initially gave me pause because, hello... that's purple! But after playing around with it, it does translate well on skin... just not my light skin. It can tend to look a bit murky or dirty on fair to light skin, but it would look bangin' on the deepest of deep skin tones. Also, don't worry about having a purple streak - it totally blends out differently than what you see in the pan.

Now let's talk turkey... would I recommend this for the average beauty enthusiast? Well, that depends on your skin tone and the level of intensity you like your blush and highlight. This can be pretty overwhelming for very fair people and light people with a soft spot for more subtle cheeks probably won't reach for it much, but I think it'll ideally work for light/medium and on. I'd also suggest picking this up if you want some more variety without having to pay a huge sum of money, or if you're trying to grow your beginning freelance kit because there are quite a few products complementary to a variety of skin tones.

If you'd like to get 15% off your order at City Color Cosmetics use my code "SCIENCEOFCHIC". expires 4/30/16