Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils & Eyeliner Pencil: Review & Swatches

It seems likely that by now, everyone has heard of the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils, and for good reason - they come in a massive range of colors, and work wonderfully as eyeshadow bases or liners. The set that I picked up on HauteLook came with 601 Black Bean, 608 Cottage Cheese, 606 Baby Blue, 618 Purple, 612 Gold, and 613 Lime. Another set also came with one of their Slim Eyeliner Pencils in 903 Dark Brown, which I'm including in this post since after all, it is a pencil.

All of the colors are pretty shimmery, even when they don't look like they should be, although colors like Cottage Cheese and Gold are particularly shiny. Black Bean is fairly matte, and only gives off a tiny bit of sheen in the pictures because of its creamy consistency. But even the shades that are very shimmery can be used underneath matte shadows, because it is possible to cover up the shimmer with a few layers of a matte shadow. The formula on these is great, and they smooth onto the eyes very easily. They do crease so I don't wear them without using a primer first. But the primer is worth it, because layered underneath a similar color of eyeshadow, they make your entire look pop.

The slim eyeliner pencil is just as creamy as the jumbo ones, which means it does move around during the day if you don't set it with a primer underneath or a shadow on top. The color is very pretty and I love it as an alternative to black eyeliner, and the staying power is not bad by any means. But if you're someone like me, who has to be at class by 9 AM and then doesn't take her makeup off until 11 PM or later, you're going to need some touch-ups. For me, this tends to be the case with all of the pencil liners that I use, so the NYX one definitely doesn't under-perform compared to other liners. And like I said, all it needs is a bit of primer or shadow to hold it in place. The application is pretty effortless because it is so creamy, and all you need are one or two swipes to get a nice opaque line.

Jumbo Eye Pencils: 4.5/5
Slim Eye Pencil: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don't already love the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils, give them a try - the only real negative is that they crease, but with a primer that's hardly an issue. And the Eyeliner Pencils are great quality and come in 31 different colors; for just $3.50, a fraction of the price of an eyeliner from Mac or Urban Decay, you get a smooth, pigmented liner with only a few drawbacks. Both products live up to their descriptions without a doubt.

XOXO, Ally

Friday, April 1, 2011

NYX Glitter Gel in Silver Lake: Review & Swatches

I'll admit it, I am absolutely in love with glitter. That's just one of the many reasons I was drooling all over the makeup in the movie Sucker Punch - so many of the girls had gorgeous, glitter-encrusted eyes. Thus it should come at no surprise that whenever I see a glittery new product, I snatch it up as fast as possible.

The NYX Glitter Gel comes in twelve shades of glitter, ranging from your basic whites and silvers to lime green and bright pinks. Personally I think NYX packaging is adorable, and I love that it's simple and looks effortless, but still comes off as cute. The color I have is Silver Lake, which is an iridescent transparent glitter with pink, blue, and green shimmer. It seems to be one of their more versatile shades, because the glitter itself is hard to see unless the light is reflecting off of it, whereas with a blue or green glitter you would see the specks of glitter on your face even without the light shining on it. It smells vaguely like very sweet cereal to me, but more "chemical-y" if that makes sense - but unless you were applying the gel very close to your nose the smell is not very apparent and fades quickly.

One layer of this product gives a subtle sparkle (the picture above is way more than you would ever need to use at once) - this is not something designed to be used for a heavy layer of glitter, like in an eye makeup look (that should be fairly obvious from the packaging, which states it is for face, body, and hair). I have worn it a few times by dabbing just a small amount over my cheek highlight, and I've gotten lots of compliments on how "sparkly" I look. You can also layer the gel to get a more intense glittery look, if you so desire, although I definitely would not recommend using too much glitter on the face.

Once dry, the glitter adheres to the skin fairly well, and unless you're constantly rubbing at the area where you applied it, it should stay for quite some time. I haven't actually used it on my hair because I don't typically wear glitter gels or temporary colors or things like that in my hair, and I would probably mess it up somehow. (Plus, my scalp gets dry in the winter and I don't want it to look any flakier than it probably already does.) But the gel isn't too thick, so it seems like it would apply to the hair nicely.

Rating: 5/5
I deliberated this rating for a while - I wasn't sure if I should lower the score and reserve a perfect score for truly exceptional products, or leave it at a 5/5 because there weren't any real negatives for me to deduct points because of. In the end, I left it as is, because while it's not the single best product in the world, it still performs exactly as it is intended to.

Recommendation: The NYX Glitter Gel does everything it promises to do - not much more, but nothing less, either. I wouldn't say it's a must buy, but if you want something to add subtle sparkle to your everyday (or nighttime) makeup, this is a fabulous deal for $6. I would definitely recommend the Silver Lake color, since it is subtle, yet buildable.

XOXO, Ally