Apr 29, 2013

Wet N' Wild Color Icon Palette in Nude Awakening

I went crazy looking for this palette! I hunted from drugstore to drugstore with my mom for days on end to find it! I'm a huge Wet N' Wild shadow enthusiast, and neutral shadows are my absolute favorite.. basically Nude Awakening was (and now is) a must have for me! 

Nude Awakening is one of two limited edition palettes that were released for Spring 2013. As you can see, the packaging is different than the usual black! This palette is white plastic decorated with flowers, so cute! 

There are eight shades total in Nude Awakening. It reminds me a lot of the Urban Decay Naked palette! 

The first four swatches are the left side of the palette, and the other four are the right side of the palette. The left browbone shade and the left crease shade have a matte finish. The rest of the shadows have a satin finish. Each shadow is silky smooth and very pigmented. I only needed one swipe to get full color. The first swatch looks unnoticeable, but that is because the color is such a close match to my skintone. It's a perfect brow bone shade for me!
 All swatches are without primer.

Claims: "Eight dynamic, perfectly color-coordinated shades with high pigment and pearl for ultra-impact color."
Pigmentation: The pigmentation on each shadow is excellent! The quality is amazing.
Finish/Texture: There are two finishes in this palette, matte and satin. The texture of each shadow is silky smooth. The softness is comparable to Lorac and Urban Decay shadows.
Lasting Power: These shadows last all day on me without primer, but if you have oily lids I suggest using a primer as needed.
Packaging: I love the cute design on the palette. However, the thin plastic isn't strong enough to protect the shadows if you were to travel or accidentally drop the palette. 
Price/Availability: I paid $5 at CVS, this is limited edition! 

  • Inexpensive, only $5 
  • Silky, smooth texture
  • Excellent pigmentation
  • Cute packaging
  • Great selection of nudes/different finishes
  • This palette is limited edition and hard to find
  • These shadows are very soft, may break easily
Nude Awakening is the best neutral palette I have ever seen at the drugstore! The pigmentation and silky texture is nothing short of high end. The price is unbeatable, it's only five dollars for eight great quality shadows. The packaging is really cute, but it's not durable enough for travel. I really wish that Wet N' Wild would make this palette permanent, because I'm loving it so much that I almost don't want to use it! If you wand to get your hands on the beautiful Nude Awakening palette, I suggest finding it quickly! On top of being difficult to find, these are sold out almost everywhere. 

I found my palette by using Nouveau Cheap's interactive sightings map, which you can find here. Thank goodness for her maps, they are such a big help! 

Have you tried Nude Awakening yet?

Apr 24, 2013

Milani Runway Eyes in Naturally Chic

Milani Runway Eyes palettes are something that I've always wanted to try! I have never been interested in the color selections available, until now. When I spotted this limited edition palette at Walgreens, I thought it was going to be another great addition to my neutral shadow collection. The colors look gorgeous in the palette, but they look completely different when swatched! Oh the frustration.. 

The palette contains six individual eyeshadow strips and a double ended sponge tip applicator. These shadows are baked, so they can be used wet or dry.

Each shadow has a pearl finish. Some shades are a bit less shimmery than others.

I swatched each shadow in the order they appear in the palette. 

These are dry swatches, I also tried swatching the shadows wet, but they crumbled and the pigmentation looked the same. I was disappointed in the overall sheerness of the shadows. The only impressive shade was the last one. I needed tons of product just to get these swatches, and they still are barely noticeable! 

Claims: "Six intense eye color bars in one luxury compact with a double ended sponge applicator. This luxurious formula glides on effortlessly. Use WET for more color impact or DRY for a shimmer effect." (Read more here).
Pigmentation: As you can see, the pigmentation is poor. However, the last shade is decent.
Finish/Texture: Each shadow has a pearl finish, some more noticeable than others. The texture is very chalky when dry, and crumbly when wet. 
Lasting Power: There was no lasting power at all! 
Shade Selection:Naturally Chic contains all neutral shades.
Packaging: I'm not a fan of the strips, because they are too narrow for a brush or finger to fit on. Also, the shadow flakes get everywhere.
Price/Availability: I paid $9 at Walgreens

  • Love the idea of a neutral palette (Milani previously never had one)
  • Last shade is decently pigmented
  • Poor pigmentation (when used dry and wet)
  • Low quality
  • Shadows are very flaky/messy
  • Strips are hard to use
  • Expensive (for drugstore and the quality)
  • Doesn't live up to any claims

I was expecting much higher quality from Milani. I love their single eyeshadows, but these Runway Eyes are nothing like them! The eyeshadow strips are very difficult to use because they are too narrow to swipe a brush or a finger across. The texture is so flaky that even if you barely touch the shadow it breaks off everywhere, and it also crumbles when used wet. The pigmentation is what most disappointed me, it's barely there! I had to use so many layers to even get the swatches to show up. I suggest to skip the Runway Eyes palettes all together. 

Apr 15, 2013

Flower Beauty Shine On Lip Gloss

My experiences with Flower Beauty have currently left me unimpressed with the brand in general. When the line debuted in the beginning of the year, I bought quite a few products all at once out of sheer excitement. I always enjoy trying new beauty products, but Flower Beauty keeps disappointing me with mediocre formulas and average quality. Usually a lip gloss is a product that I feel is a "safe bet" when trying new brands, but not this time!

 Iris I Could Fly Shine On Lip Gloss

Iris I Could Fly is a bright, cool-toned medium pink. This gloss is very pigmented, a little goes a long way. It can be worn sheer, or opaque depending on how much is applied. The applicator is a classic doe-foot. 

Claims: "Creamy, rich, and smooth gloss. Pillow-like softness on lips. Medium buildable coverage"
Finish/Texture: The finish is shiny and glossy, as expected. The texture is smooth, but it's also thick and sticky. My lips felt uncomfortable and almost as if the moisture is being taken away when I wore this gloss throughout the day.
Lasting Power: I only had about two hours of wear before the color started to fade.
Scent: There is a overpowering soapy/chemical scent that I find unbearable.
Packaging: The packaging is a sturdy plastic. I like that the tube is clear, that way you see what you get! The doe foot applicator is easy to use (also my favorite type of applicator).
Price/Availability: I paid $7 at Walmart


  • Beautiful color
  • Doefoot applicator 


  • Thick, sticky texture
  • Awful scent 
  • Feels uncomfortable to wear throught the day
  • Draws out moisture from the lips
  • Only lasts 2 hours
  • $7 is too high for the low quality 

Unfortunately, this lip gloss gave a mediocre performance, leaving me with low expectations on Flower Beauty lip products as a whole. I enjoyed the color of Iris I Could Fly, but the texture and scent was dreadful. The texture was so thick and sticky that I felt like it actually took moisture out of my lips the longer I wore it. I found the overwhelmingly soapy scent unbearable, to the point where I didn't even want to wear the gloss. Overall, nothing stood out to me about the performance of this gloss, it actually disappointed me! I honestly wasn't expecting it to perform as badly as it did.

I've also tested Flower Beauty Foundation  and Velvet Lipstick if you are interested in reading my detailed reviews on those items! Have you tried anything from Flower Beauty? Do you think it performs like high quality makeup as it claims?

Apr 10, 2013

Rimmel Scandaleyes Eyeshadow Sticks

Eyeshadow sticks are becoming increasing popular with drugstore makeup brands, which I'm really excited about! After seeing rave reviews on these new Rimmel Scandaleyes sticks, I had to get a few and try them out for myself. Personally, I don't understand the hype.  

 Out of the nine shades available, I chose Bad Girl Bronze (left) and Bulletproof Beige (right).

Wrist swatches of Bad Girl Bronze (bottom) Bulletproof Beige (top) and eye swatch Bad Girl Bronze (on lid) and Bulletproof Beige (in crease and browbone).

My main reason for disliking these is that they tug on the eyes, which irritated the delicate skin around my eye area. In my wrist swatches I used two swipes, and the color payoff looks great. On my eye I did the same, but the payoff isn't as intense and looks rather patchy. Bulletproof Beige looks almost nonexistent, which disappointed me!

Claims: "High impact colour Precision tip applicator Ultra soft formula glides on smoothly High-shine and luminous finish."
Pigmentation: The pigmentation isn't the best. The wrist swatches look amazing, but once applied on the eye they look patchy.
Finish/Texture: The finish of these two shades is metallic. The texture of the stick itself was a bit hard, to the point where it tugged on the eyes. I didn't find the formula very creamy or smooth. It was rather average, I was expecting silky smoothness! 
Lasting Power: About an hour after after I applied the sticks the color started fading even more so than it looks in my photo. However, I didn't experience any creasing.
Packaging: These eyeshadow sticks have to be manually sharpened, which ends up wasting product. I prefer the twist up packaging like NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils.
Price/Availability: I paid $5 each at Walgreens

  • Variety of shades 
  • Can be used as a base for eyeshadow
  • inexpensive
  • Color fades quickly
  • Pigmentation is lacking
  • Formula isn't creamy
  • Tugs during application
  • Must be sharpened which wastes product
  • Doesn't live up to any of the claims
I wasn't impressed with these eyeshadow pencils. They aren't as pigmented on the eyes as they appear when swatched. I tried to build up the color, but the finished look turned out patchy every time. My main issue with these is that they are a bit drying and they tug during application. I would never wear these eyeshadow sticks alone, but they can be useful as a base. I however, feel that these tug too much and irritate the delicate skin around the eyes. Another problem is that they have to be manually sharpened, which wastes product.

I know that these pencils are being raved about almost everywhere, but I honestly don't believe they are anything special. There are other drugstore eyeshadow pencils out there that perform excellently compared to the Rimmel Scandaleyes sticks! 

Apr 2, 2013

Milani Grandissimo Lashes Mascara

Milani is probably the only drugstore brand that I haven't tried a mascara from! I suppose that I was always drawn to their other products first, and never thought about the mascaras they offered. The huge orange wand stood out to me at the store, and it was on sale. Plus, it's always fun to explore brands that you enjoy! Who doesn't like getting a new mascara? 

I love it when mascara wands are displayed like this in the packaging! That way there's no guessing at what's inside! 

Grandissimo claims to provide incredible volume with its 'mega volume brush'.

On the left without mascara, and on the right with Grandissimo Lashes mascara.

I wasn't too thrilled with my results after using Grandissimo. I didn't get much volume, which is what I expected to see with this mascara. It made my lashes stick together into little clusters, causing them to look spiky. I had a ton of little clumps towards the tips of the lashes. The overall look Grandissimmo gave me was undefined and messy. Yikes!

Claims: "The mega volume brush creates a false lash effect. Dramatically enhances and thickens even the littlest lashes. Long-lasting, smear-proof, and non-clumping formula."
Formula: This formula is definitely on the dry side. It was also a bit thick, gooey, and hard to coat the lashes with. The dryness makes coating the lashes evenly difficult.
Wand Type: Being precise is nearly impossible with this wand, because it's HUGE.  The bristles are packed closely together in a spiral pattern. 
Price/Availability: I paid $5.50 plus tax at CVS

  • Inexpensive
  • Grandissimo is just a cool name!

  • Didn't provide volume (which was the main claim)
  • Formula is way to dry/thick
  • Gave me clumps
  • Caused lashes to stick together
  • Wand is too big/difficult to coat lashes with
  • Gives an overall messy look
No false lash effect here! I tried working with this mascara in different ways (using only one coat, multiple coats, waiting for coats to dry in between, etc). No matter what I tried, my results were still undefined, clumpy lashes. This formula is so dry, that it started to flake off right after application! The gigantic wand made coating all of my lashes evenly a daunting task. I have big eyes, and it was difficult for me to coat my lashes evenly. I couldn't imagine the struggle somebody who has small eyes would have with this mascara. 

Although Grandissimo lashes sounds like it's something grand, it really isn't. This is one of the most disappointing mascaras I've tried in a while from the drugstore. In the meantime, I'll be shying away from Milani mascaras and jumbo wands! 

Have you tried Grandissmo Lashes, or another Milani mascara?