Thursday, November 22, 2012

MAC Viva Glam Nicki Minaj - Review & Swatches

I'm not even gonna try and build up the suspense here guys - I am IN LOVE with this lipstick! If I were designing a shade of lipstick it would be exactly this color, and as soon as I saw pictures online I knew I had to have it. And there's also the fact that I love Nicki Minaj...

This lipstick is $14.50 from MAC, and 100% of the proceeds go to the company's AIDS fund - so you can buy makeup and feel good about raising HIV/AIDS awareness, too! Plus, how awesome is it that MAC actually donates 100% of the sales to charity - so often you see brands donating 5% or 10% from the sale of a certain item to charity, and while a donation is always good, no matter the amount, it's nice to see brands donating more...I mean, they definitely can afford it!

Viva Glam Nicki

Viva Glam Nicki
Anyway, Nicki's lipstick shade is a bright pink with a slight yellow undertone - it's definitely a warmer-toned pink, which is part of the reason I love it. It's a satin finish and feels really smooth and creamy on the lips; the only issue I can think of with this lipstick is that you made need several layers if you have very pigmented lips, but that's probably the case with most lipsticks (I have pretty pigmented natural lips, so I always have to be careful with my lipstick application)!

Viva Glam Nicki

This shade is definitely a hit for me, and the fact that I'm contributing to a good cause by buying it basically makes it irresistible!

Rating: 10/10 - yup, I adore this lipstick!

XOXO, Ally

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review & Swatches - New CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 4 Kit Shadows

Hello hello again! Have you guys seen these new quads from CoverGirl? The packaging has been totally revamped, and I think the new gray packaging looks so much sleeker than the old blue packaging. I only have one CoverGirl quad in the old packaging, and I've had it for ages - I bought it back in high school when I first started wearing makeup and as obsessed with bright shadows. I like it, but I never felt like the pigmentation or texture was anything impressive.

Super old and super dirty!
 CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 4 Kit Shadows in Tropical Fusion - old packaging

Shiny and new!
CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 4 Kit Shadows in Sugar Coated - cool new packaging!

I saw this quad in Sugar Coated and the deep, peacocky colors just called to me! I like the combination of neutral and more colorful shades, and I like that you get a quad that consists of mostly darker shades - it seems that palettes these days seem to lean towards the "full eye look," where you get a lid, crease, and brow shade, but I actually like palettes with shades that don't always work together. I feel like it forces me to be more creative with my makeup. Anyway...

Shiny and new!

CoverGirl Eye Enhancers 4 Kit Shadows in Prima Donna

This quad has some gorgeous neutral colors in it, and I think you could definitely use all four shades to do a complete look. Prima Donna is probably a little more "wearable," if you will, than Sugar Coated, although personally I'd use both these quads in an everyday look.

Sugar Coated

Prima Donna

I swatched these shadows on bare skin without primer, and I wasn't necessarily blown away. I never actually wear shadows without primer but in order for me to consider an eye shadow outstanding, I think it does need to be able to perform spectacularly on its own, and these just don't. They're not bad shadows by any means, especially in terms of pigmentation, and considering the fact that they're at a drugstore price, there's no reason not to pick up one or two if you happen to fall in love with certain shades. But I wouldn't say that the gold is the best gold I've ever used, or that the blue is the best blue I've ever used.

I think these shadows would work best as a wash of color over the whole lid - some of the shades are actually pretty shimmery and mulch-dimensional, so they give you a nice look without needing to use a ton of different colors. When I blended these shadows out with other shades they lost a little bit of their pigmentation and became a little too blended, to the point where it was hard to distinguish individual shades. So keep in mind that you'll need to pack on a lot of color with these, or you'll risk blending them away completely.

My consensus on these is that they're nice, but nothing spectacular. The new packaging is probably the most exciting part of these new CoverGirl quads, the rest of the quality is just average.

Rating: 7/10 - pretty average all around.

Until next time!

XOXO, Ally