Friday, February 28, 2014

theBalm Cosmetics: Smoke Balm Smokey Eye Palette

Swatches & Review

After seeing theBalm's new eyeshadow palettes on Kohls online, I waited for them to show up at the retail locations so that I can see them in person. My local Kohls was able to get them in this week so I went to Kohls as soon as I could. I do not know when the official release of these are supposed to be or if it is exclusive to Kohls because I have not seen it on theBalm's website. The Smoke Balm has two separate palettes, but they are only named by "Set One" & "Set Two". The one with the grey packaging is Set One, and the one with the green is Set Two. Each palette has three eyeshadow shades.

As always, the packaging for theBalm is super cute. In Set One, it says, "Warning: Men may stop drop and roll" & in Set Two, it says, "Warning: May cause shortness of breath in men." Totally theBalm-like. This is also packaged in cardboard packaging with the design on the sleeve exactly like the design on the product itself.

Set One: These were swatched with my fingers, but I will also have swatches with a brush later on as well.
Blaze: Black with silver glitter
Spark: Matte grey-taupe
Flame: Shimmery pearl

Set Two: These were also swatched with my fingers.
Kindle: Shimmery blackened-green
Glow: Matte light brown
Combust: Shimmery beige

Set One & Set Two applied with a brush with two swipes, except Flame & Combust, which only required one swipe.

When swatched using my fingers, both of the first two shades in each palette apply a bit patchy. The third shade in both palettes, the shimmery pearl & beige were very pigmented and a little goes a long way. However, the eyeshadows itself felt like most of theBalm's eyeshadows I have tried, which are smooth and buttery.

When swatched using a brush, the eyeshadows applied better, which was not as patchy as when I applied it with my fingers. The eyeshadows are very smooth, so it did kick up a bit of powder, which may lead to some fall-out, so tapping the brushes used with these are definitely recommended.

Overall, I feel like both of these are pretty similar to actually purchase both. These are perfect for a simple little palette for a smokey eye and each eyeshadow contains 0.12 oz of product, which is like twice the size of a full-size Urban Decay eyeshadow. I also like how it has different finishes in the three eyeshadows provided in each palette because there's a glittery one, a matte one, and a shimmery one. These retail for $12 and can be purchased online at Kohls(link)--non-affiliated & at Kohls with an extended beauty department.

What do you think about these Smoke Balm palettes? Do you prefer Set One, or Set Two?

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Milani Cosmetics Power Lip Gloss Stain

Swatches & Review

For Spring 2014, Milani has released a while bunch of lip colors, as well as other products as well. A few months ago when they posted a sneak peek of the Power Lips, I originally thought they would be like lip crayons, but these are gloss stains with a brush attached to the tube to apply. Although they were not what I expected, I still wanted to try these so I was excited when I finally found them after a display reset at a few CVS locations. Milani claims that the Power Lips have a long lasting shine, stain, and color coverage. Milani also states that these have a cushion feel on the lips for a comfortable wear. There are a total a eight shades in the Power Lip line, but I have only purchased five of the eight.

All of the Power Lip products are packed individually, which is nice since it discourages people to open these to try in store.

Each shade is packaged in a plastic tube that is supposed to be the shade. Personally, I don't like this too much because I am unable to see how much product is inside so I wouldn't know how much I have used and if I am running out.

The brushes are attached to the tube.

To get the product out, you would have to twist the tube. I didn't like that because I did not know when to expect product and it takes quite a lot of twists before the product comes out. After about ten twists, I recommend twisting them slowly or a bunch of product would just ooze right out of the brush. The brush itself is firm and not too soft to use, so it is nice to be used to apply the product. I prefer the brush of these over the Stila glosses that have similar packaging.

These swatches were taken outside in direct sunlight. The amount of product that was shown above from the brush was the amount I used in all of my swatches because a little goes a long way.

Mango Tango: Orange coral. This was pigmented and applied evenly. The stain it left behind was a slight orange-red stain.
Cabaret Blend: Deep berry. Although this is the only one with the tube that has shimmer on it, I did not notice much shimmer from the gloss itself when applied to the lips. This was very pigmented and applied evenly and smooth. The stain was a medium berry on the lips.
Red Control: Classic red. For me, Red Control was a bit hard to get it to be even on the lips. This was also the only shade that feathered around the lips after only an hour of wear, so a lip pencil is definitely recommended for this. This stained my lips a bit more pink than red.
Raspberry Tart: Medium mauve. This applied evenly & smoothly. I feel like this is one of the neutrals, but not neutral. Definitely very wearable as an everyday lip. This left a slight berry stain, which I liked.
Pink Lemonade: Pink-red. I feel like out of all the shades I have tried, this is the only shade that made my teeth look very yellow. Although I do not really like how it makes my teeth look, the formula on this was good. This left a bright pink stain after wearing it for a while.

The swatches for this set of collage was taken in the shade so you can have an idea of how it would look like in different lighting. The colors are in the same order as the collage above.

Overall, I feel that these are all very pigmented and a little goes a long way. These applied smoothly and does feel comfortable on the lips the first hour, but after about an hour, I feel like these feel a bit sticky and tacky on the lips, which I do not like. The shine does go away quickly so I would not say that the shine is long lasting, but the stain that it leaves behind does last until you remove the product. The color of the product wore off evenly, which is also good because it means that there's no patches on your lips where one part has more color than the others. These did not feel drying, but not moisturizing either, so I would not say these made my lips more smooth. There was only feathering when I tried Red Control, but all of these do transfer since they are glossy to start with. Although I do not like the packaging too much, I do think that the formula on these are nice since they are very pigmented and most applied smoothly and evenly without settling in my lip lines. The shades I would recommend, which are my favorites are Raspberry Tart & Cabaret Blend.

These are supposed to be available this month at locations such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Milani Cosmetics online. These retail for $6.49, however, it does depend on your location depending where you buy these so it could range from $6.49 to $7.49.

What do you think about these new lip products added into Milani Cosmetics line? Have you seen the displays yet?

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