Monday, July 14, 2014

Review: Stila Convertible Colors in Peony, Lillium, Petunia, Poppy, and Orchid

The Purchase

I bought all of these except for Orchid from Birchbox, because of their great points system. Orchid doesn't seem to be currently available, but I got it from eBay. These retail for $25.00, and you can get them from the Stila website (which frequently has sales), Ulta, Sephora, or, as previously mentioned, Birchbox.  Unfortunately, though, Birchbox has limited options, so I'll have to spend real money and not points to get the other colors I want! (Rose, sweet pea, and fuschia are next on my list.) The Stila website, Ulta, and Sephora all offer cash back through eBates (referral link), usually between 4% and 8%. Ulta is currently offering a free deluxe sample of Stila Convertible Color in Peony with any $25 purchase, and since these are $25, that means you can try two colors for the price of one!

The Packaging

These come in cute, sturdy plastic compacts. The outer color more or less reflects the color of the product (some are not too accurate, but it's easy to tell the colors apart at a glance, and I guess that's what's important), and each one has a mirror inside the lid. The packaging is both cute and functional - nothing special, but it works!

Left to right, these are Peony, Lillium, Petunia, Poppy, and Orchid.

The Performance

I love these for both their intended purposes, as a cream blush and as a lip product. As a blush, I apply them with a stippling brush (I like the elf small stipple brush or the Real Techniques stippling brush) and they have a nice dewy finish, but if I want them to be more matte and last longer, I set them with a translucent powder. They last a pretty long time for a cream blush -- usually at the end of my work day I can still see some color. The colors are pretty and they are easy to blend. 

As a lip product, they are really lightweight and give moderately opaque color coverage. I apply them either with a finger or with a lip brush; both ways work fine. They are neither particularly moisturizing or particularly drying, but if I want more moisture I top them with a lip gloss or mix in a balm. (Lately I've been mixing them with Egyptian Magic on my lips when I wear them, and that's a really moisturizing combination that still has really good color payoff.) They don't emphasize dry patches at all, and the finish is a nice creamy look. They last about as long as an average lipstick on me; nothing special, but it works. 

Peony is a really good neutral color and subtle contour on me. Lillium is similar, but with more pink, and it's a good neutral blush. Petunia is a nice bright pink, very summery. Of Poppy and Orchid, the first is more red and the second is more berry-colored. I think these are best for fall and winter, and I really like Orchid as a lip color.

Now, the swatches. First is one swipe, then one swipe blended out with a finger. 

L-R Peony, Lillium, and Petunia. First is with a flash, second is natural light. I think the first picture is a little more accurate color-wise.

L-R Poppy and Orchid. First is with flash, second is natural light.

The Verdict

These are some of my favorite cream blushes, and while they're not my all-time favorite lip products, they work much better in that capacity than a lot of multitasking products do, and they work perfectly well on my lips. The real benefits to this are that you can pack one product to do two jobs, and that you can coordinate your lip and cheek color if you want. My one complaint is the color range - I wish there was a purple one available. Warning: once you start collecting these, you want want to stop until you have them all!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Review: City Color Be Matte Blush

The Purchase

These cost $3.99 each at the City Color website. I know! So cheap! So of course I had to get three. I got these during a free shipping sale for $2.99 each awhile back, but even at the regular price, they're a steal. I'm not sure if you can get these anywhere else. The colors I got were Fresh Melon, Pink Grapefruit, and Dragonfruit.  There are a total of 8 shades.

The Packaging

These come in a sleek black compact with a clear top. They look very nice, and are quite sturdy. While I do wish they included a mirror, well, it's $3.99, so I really can't complain.

The Performance

WOW do these ever pack a punch. So. Much. Pigment. Seriously, you could wear one of these every day and not hit pan for YEARS. Sometimes, super pigmented blush can be difficult to work with, but I find these to be really smooth and easy to blend, too. So soft, and so matte! Matte powders can be chalky sometimes, but these blushes do not have that problem at all.

Pink Grapefruit and Dragonfruit are both very cool-toned pinks, with Dragonfruit being the brighter of the two (but they are both very intense!). Fresh Melon is a peachy color. It is quite orange. I probably wouldn't have bought it if I knew how orange, because orangey blush does not suit my complexion particularly well, but it is a pretty color, and someone who enjoys orange toned blush would love this.

Swatches are one swipe, indoors with a flash. L-R: Fresh Melon, Pink Grapefruit, and Dragonfruit.

The Verdict

I want more!  I really want to try the shade Blackberry. These are really nice blushes, and at an amazing price! Honestly, though, I have blushes that cost 10x this amount, and they are comparable in quality. So pigmented, so smooth- these are some of my favorite blushes. They are really impressive, and I want to try more from City Color. Highly recommended!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review: Pixi by Petra Endless Silky Eye Pen Eyeliners

First off, I'm sorry for neglecting this blog! I was moving and starting a new job and just really didn't have time. But I want to get back into it, so here I am!

The Purchase

Personally, I have found Pixi products to be hit (love the shea butter lip balm and the eyeshadow crayons) and miss (hate the mascara), but since I really like the hits, I'm always up for trying out something new, especially if it's on sale! Pixi products are available at Target, but they're kinda pricey - I'd say they're a mid-range brand. This eyeliner set with 5 mini eyeliners and a sharpener was originally $25 (and they claim it has a $53 value) but I got it on clearance for $9. Even if you can't find this set, though, presumably the actual full size liners would be the same.

The colors in this set are BlackNoir, SageGold, DeepPlum, BlackCocoa, and OysterGlow. (Not sure what's up with writing the names like that, but it's how they're written on the box. I also don't know why they are called "eye pens" when they are clearly pencils.) For some reason, the Target website is acting strangely for me right now, but it looks like the full size eyeliners are currently $9.99-$12.19 depending on color, but I think that's a sale price considering the regular price of the eyeshadow crayon is $18. I'm not sure, though. Maybe they're discontinuing these eyeliners? I hope not! Anyway, on to...

The Packaging

These are wooden pencils that you sharpen. The ends of the pencils are capped with the same color as the product so you can more easily identify them. The main color of the packaging is the same pale green color as all Pixi products, which I don't really like; it reminds me of a hospital or something. However, the packaging is perfectly adequate, and with eyeliner that's really all you need.

The Performance

One word: amazing! These are super pigmented, waterproof, long lasting, soft-but-not-too-soft, smooth, and very easy to apply. You don't have to press down at all, because just the lightest touch will give you full-on color in one swipe. In fact, I sometimes have a little trouble using as light a hand as I need to for this, but that's not really a problem when compared to the tugging and other difficulties that can be had with other products. These are somehow drier than the creamy formulas we love in pencils like Urban Decay's, but they don't lose any ease of application or pigmentation. I used to have a Clinique Quickliner for Eyes, and while I don't have it anymore so I can't check, I seem to remember the formula being similar to this - slightly dry but incredibly pigmented and needing a light touch. In fact, the drier formula is probably what makes these so long lasting. They do not budge! I mean, sobbing or hardcore eye rubbing might do it, but they don't migrate like a lot of eyeliners do on me. Well, they don't last forever in my waterline, but I have never encountered a pencil that would last all day there, and these are better than most, by a lot.

I like all of the colors and they all perform equally well. SageGold has glitters in it, DeepPlum and OysterGlow are a shimmery/satiny finish, and BlackCocoa and BlackNoir are both quite matte. SageGlow is different from anything else I own but in a good way! OysterGlow reminds me of the Silkissme liner from L'Oreal in the Highlight shade, which I don't own but they do look similar.

Now, what you've all been waiting for: swatches! First no flash, indirect light, and then flash. Top to bottom they are BlackNoir, SageGold, DeepPlum, BlackCocoa, and OysterGlow.

The Verdict

In case you couldn't already tell, I love these! They are a good deal (and go get them now in case they're discontinued!), seem to have a pretty good shade range (I think there are about 10 colors), super long lasting, very pigmented, and really easy to apply. I really don't have anything negative to say about them! I actually prefer this formula to creamier pencils, and these are some of my new favorite eyeliners.