Showing posts with label eyeliner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eyeliner. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Quick Pick: Kiko Cosmetics Liquid Intense Eyeliner in Brown

I try a lot of liquid eyeliners, and most of them are black.  Black, or turquoise for some reason.  So when this rather glorious brown liquid eyeliner popped through my door, I was curious to see how it looked, and I found that it's actually a pretty perfect companion to a neutral eye.

This particular eyeliner is Kiko's Liquid Intense Eyeliner - part of a recent limited edition collection, it comes in prettily sparkly packaging with some fetching art deco style lettering.  Score one for style.  It also has a very interesting nib - it's not a brush, it's not a felt tip, it's not foam - it's a soft, flexible plastic which makes drawing smooth lines as easy as stroking it along the lashline.  It does have a downside - because the shape is solid, you'll struggle to vary the thickness of the line without going over certain parts of it twice.

Not only is this eyeliner brown, but it also has a rather lovely depth and sheen to it - it's not sparkly, but it's definitely not flat.  It's more like a soft leather effect, and it's rather unusual, adding a bit of depth to the eye without looking odd from afar.

Of course, this being a Kiko product, it's also a mere £6.90.  If you're after a non-matte, easy to apply eyeliner, Kiko are selling Liquid Intense Eyeliner in brown, purple, a rather pretty sapphire blue, and if you absolutely insist, black.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Hard not yielding: Clarins Crayon Khol in Carbon Black & True Violet

True Violet
True Violet
Playing in the richly pigmented, blendably smudgy eyeliner market is a big bet - Urban Decay pretty much own it with their very comprehensive 24/7 liner range, with GOSH offering more reasonably priced versions.  Clarins are doing just that with their Crayon Khol, particularly given the addition of a rich jewel tone in True Violet, which has a slight purple shimmer to it as well as a pigmented blue-purple base.

Strangely, Crayon Khol is positioned as a product for intensifying the eyes, and the use of the word khol makes me think about deep pigmentation and smudgy colour - and yet, the Crayon Khol is rather hard and unyielding on first application.  After a while it does soften up, but still has more in common with a hard brow pencil than with a smudgy eyeliner - I've yet to be able to stroke'n'blend a line onto my eyelid without going over it a couple of times to up the intensity.  Which is a shame, as the presence of a built-in short bristled brush would be wonderfully convenient for a smudgy eye on the go.  Even atop the rather hard and waxy liner as is, the brush does a great job of diffusing the line for a softer effect.

Unfortunately, then, I have to advise you go elsewhere if you're looking for a truly khol like pencil.  If you like your liners a bit harder, you might like this, but for me, it's a let down, particularly at a cost of £17.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Clinique Pretty Easy Eyelining Pen

This new eyeliner from Clinique does exactly what it says on the packaging:  it makes liquid eyeliner pretty easy.  Not completely, foolproof-ly easy, but pretty damn easy.

The genius thing about it is the nib of the pen.  Whilst it looks like a felt tip, it's actually a very fine brush, with hairs which provide plenty of flex without wiggling all over the place.  You just place the tip on the lashline and paint a line smoothly - the brush glides over the lashline, leaving a deep, black, fine line.  You can also press a little harder to get the brush to fan out a little for a thicker line.

If you're a little underconfident with felt tip or truly bendy brush liners, then Pretty Easy Eyelining Pen is a good product to try.  Mine has become a core part of my makeup bag since it arrived a month ago, and I'm particularly impressed by how smooth the liner remains inside the brush tip after a month of use - there's no evidence of drying up or clogging, and the brush itself remains just the right level of flexible.  Pretty good, for £19.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Makeup Forever Aqua Liner in Diamond Turquoise Blue

Makeup Forever are known for their waterproof products - so I was a bit surprised to find that one of their Aqua products is a little lackluster.  Aqua Liner, £16, is a liquid liner with waterproof properties - it has a firm, pointed flocked applicator which allows you to follow the lashline closely to apply a smooth line of colour.

But the line of colour, at least with the Diamond Turquoise Blue variety, is disappointingly sheer.  It's not patchy - a problem often found in this format - but rather just a bit wishy washy.  Layering it up gives it more opacity and a bolder look, but for a brand so known for the quality of their waterproof products, I can't help but be a little disappointed.

That said, once it's on, it's not going anywhere - this swatch took rather a lot of cleansing oil to remove.  I also like that the texture is lighter and less plastic-y than other waterproof liners - it doesn't sit on the skin or peel off in one go.  I've heard that the Diamond shades, which have a slight sparkle to them, are a little less intense than the others, so perhaps this lack of oomph is only a problem for them - but either way, if you're looking for intense colour, go elsewhere.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 13 July 2015

OMG, I finished an eyeliner

Dearly beloved, we are gathered today to mourn the passing of this Urban Decay All Nighter eyeliner.  For one short year, it held my heart, being the darkest, inkiest, smudgiest liner in a pretty large collection.  And now it's time is done.  It has smoked out my lashline for the last time.  Never again will it darken my ring finger from smudging, remaining true and black on my eyes regardless.

Shortly it will be replaced with a clone of itself, and never will be forgotten as the longest lasting, blackest, smudgiest liner in history.  No flowers.

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Kiko Cosmetics Dusk til Dawn Volume Mascara and Graphic Ritual Kajal Eyeliner in Talisman Gold

I've long been impressed by Kiko's lipsticks and eye shadow products, and long been a bit disappointed in their mascaras - a recent try led me to write my shortest ever review.  So when I received the new Dusk til Dawn Volume Mascara from the brand, part of their Modern Tribes summer collection, I was prepared for it to be a bit rubbish.  Actually, its quite nice - it promises volume, and it gives a sort of medium- volume fluttery look, which isn't the most voluminous thing I've ever seen, but is pretty for daytime, and easily buildable for night.  It's also a mere £8.90, making it a bit of an everyday bargain.

With it, I'm wearing Graphic Ritual Kajal Eyeliner in Talisman Gold, which can be used on the inner rims of the eyes as well as on the lashline.  I've applied it along the upper and lower lashlines for a bright, wide eyed look.  The texture is very creamy and soft, applying with decent pigmentation and smudging easily.  Wear time is impressive too - I found it didn't migrate into my undereye bags during the day as some liners can do.  Not bad for just £5.90!

Disclosure: PR samples

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Bourjois Colorband 2-in-1 Eyeshadow & Liner

I've been using these Bourjois Colorband sticks for a couple of weeks new and I just can't make my mind up about them.  The have reasonable colour payoff, are good and smudgy, and set down to an unbudgable finish - even on my oily eyelids they remain true for six hours without primer, which is pretty damn impressive.  With primer, they hold all day without fading a bit.

I think the thing I'm less fond of is how they look and feel on the eye - finish and skin texture wise, rather than colour payoff.  The 24 hour hold claim is made possible by a finish which is pretty dry and almost a bit solid - once set, my eyelid feels a bit tight and very much like it has product all over it.  Add my hooded lids into the mix and the result is a little bit uncomfortable.

Luckily, this is pretty easily avoided by not using the sticks as eyeshadow, but as mega-chunky liners instead.  The black is fabulous for this - if you like a smudgy, smoky rock chick eye, this is an easy way of getting that look, and having it last.  The silver is also tremendously flattering and a little less intense all around the eye.

Overall, then, I think these sticks lose a little in terms of comfortable wear thanks to their supreme wear time - fine if you're using it as a liner, less so if you're using it as a shadow.  I can only imagine that that discomfort is more noticeable on drier eyelids, too.  For an easy, chunky and cheap eyeliner though, the silver and black shades are brilliant.  Find them now at Boots, where the cost a thoroughly reasonable £5.99.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

BUY THIS NOW: GOSH Xtreme Liquid Gel Eye Liner

These are the best coloured liquid eyeliners I've tried in a long time!  Meet GOSH's latest eyeliner addition, Xtreme Liquid Gel Eye Liner.  Boasting intense pigmentation, a shiny/metallic finish, and a super-smooth application, they perform way beyond their £5.99 pricetag.

Left to right, the shades are Black, Black Night, Gun Metal, Silver, Bronze, Plum, Lavender, Royal Blue and Turquoise.  I can't tell the difference between Black and Black Night by eye, and I've found that both Royal Blue and Turquoise are slightly less pigmented and intense than the other shades.  Gun Metal, Bronze and Plum are my favourites - intensely pigmented and almost metallic in their finish, they're absolutely beautiful.

If the colours weren't enough reason to purchase a few, the finish is long wearing, fast drying, and waterproof.  When you remove them, they flake off rather than dissolving, and they only remove with a bit of scrubbing.  The applicator is bendy and flexible, and hugs the lashline to give a thin or thick line of gloriously rich colour.

All in all, xtremely impressive (see what I did there?) for a £5.99 liner.  Find them at your local Superdrug store - they're not quite online yet.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

BUY THIS NOW: Kiko Cosmetics Ultimate Pen Long Lasting Eyeliner in Teal

Some felt-pen eyeliners struggle to give a solid line of colour, but not this one - I was so amazed by the opacity of the colour I had to draw three lines to make sure it wasn't a fluke!  It's unusual enough to find a felt pen eyeliner in bright colours, let alone one which combines a precise tip, smooth application, and a really intense pigmentation too.

Wear wise, this Ultimate Pen liner lives up to it's claims, lasting a whole day on my lashline without smudging or fading.  Oh, and it only costs £6.90.  This is a prime example of the stuff Kiko excels at - colourful, high performance products at a very, very reasonable price.  If you love a coloured liner, this is definitely, definitely worth trying out.  If you don't, they do it in black and brown too.  Find it now at the Kiko website.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Monday, 29 December 2014

A year in review: 2014's Killer Products

2014 has been a great year for beauty.  We've seen millions of variations on tubby pencils, micellar waters continue to be a big thing on the high street as well as from high end brands, and cleansing conditioners became king.

Over the year, I've declared a few truly excellent products BUY THIS NOW items, which conveniently makes it much easier for me to compile a review of them, and to reflect on whether they're still favourites.

The first stand out of the year, and the only nail polish to truly knock my socks off, was the rather beautiful Into the Night by Girlie Bits, an indie brand which makes the most stunning holographic and duochrome polishes.  I still wear it, and I still stare at my nails when I do.

On the hair side, I fell firmly in love with L'Oreal Elvive's Fibrology hair care, which promises and delivers thicker feeling hair.  I don't use the shampoo (it contains the dreaded colour-dulling sulphates) but the conditioner, serum and mask have all earned permanent places in my bathroom.  Perhaps the highest praise is that my husband uses them too, and chooses to repurchase the shampoo every time he runs out.

More recently, I tried out Bumble and Bumble's Blow Dry creams, and found that they really do help you get a smooth blow dry with minimal effort.  You only need a little bit, they make the hair super shiny, and they smell neutral to boot.  I'll be repurchasing the original Straight version when my sample is finished.

Macadamia's Flawless Cleansing Conditioner was one of the first widely available cleansing conditioners, and it's lightweight yet still nourishing formula cleans the hair beautifully, reduces blow dry time, and leaves the hair smooth and shiny.  Lovely it is, but it's perhaps telling that I've not repurchased it.

One product I completely failed to write about, but absolutely adore, is the Babyliss Big Hair.  The first couple of times I used it I managed to tangle my hair up rather impressively, but with a little practice this rotating brush has become my favourite way to style my hair.  Used on damp hair, it gives a shiny, bouncy blow dry which almost looks like a professional has done it.

These recently released Bourjois Mega Liner and Volume 1 Seconde mascara are still getting used virtually every day.  Intense black pigment, easy to use packaging and very reasonable pricing make this eye pairing a winner.

On the other end of the price scale, I found my Holy Grail waterproof mascara.  Clarins Truly Waterproof mascara stays put, wears like iron, and gives a very defined, voluminous look.  I've been through three repurchases since my sample ran out earlier this year.

Eyeshadow wise, there have been a lot of beautiful palettes I've fallen in love with this year, but this small, super-cheap palette from Makeup Revolution combines flattering shades, good pigmentation and excellent blendability with a teeny tiny price.

I'd heard of Amazing Concealer before, but hadn't quite appreciated the power of the tiny tube until I tried it.  The pigmentation is intense, and you only need the tiniest bit to erase dark circles and blemishes.  It's economical too - my tiny sample tube is still going strong.

Unsurprisingly, I found a handful of really good lip products this year.  My absolute favourite is this Sephora Give Me More Lip sampler, which contains seventeen products in mini sizes and a variety of shades and formats.  I still carry around a number of products from it at all times, and I really love the cute little lipsticks as well as the huge variety I got to try out from a single set.

Kiko's Unlimited Stylo lipsticks were a revelation in long-lasting matte at a budget price - at least 8 hours of wear combined with intense pigmentation made these gorgeous lipsticks an absolute winner for me.  Hibiscus Red, a pink-toned red, still lives in my makeup bag, and I get it out every time I want a power matte red which will last with no maintenance.

At the other end of the price scale, there's no doubt that Estee Lauder's Pure Color Sculpting Lipsticks are expensive at £24 a pop, but they're so beautiful.  Creamy in texture and with incredible pigmentation and impressive wear, they're luxurious, functional, and come in a very wide array of colours.

When Bourjois entered the fray with a matte liquid lipstick, the world sat up and took notice.  Rouge Edition Velvet are a range of easy to apply, beautifully soft matte liquid lipsticks which last well and are very easy on the wallet.  My favourite shade, Frambourjoise, has earned me many a compliment this year.

So that's it!  The cream of the products I've tried this year.  What have been your favourites?  Let me know in the comments!

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

BUY THIS NOW: Bourjois Ultra Black Volume 1 Seconde Mascara and Mega Liner

One last post about the latest from Bourjois, and then I'll stop, I promise.  After the mildly exciting new(ish) lip colours and the pretty exciting new cream eyeshadow colours comes the very exciting ultra-black editions of Bourjois' existing Volume 1 Second mascara and Mega Liner.  First off, a note on Ultra Black editions - I'm not entirely sure why so many brands release their mascara and eyeliner products in 'black' and then follow up a new months later with 'ultra black'.  Sure, there's a difference, but how many people are really going to choose black over ultra black?

Pondering aside, the reason I'm so excited by these two products is perhaps partially because this is the first time I've tried either, so I'm definitely excited by the ultra-dark colour, but also excited because they perform so damn well.

1 Seconde Mascara claims to build volume super-fast - and whilst it's definitely not possible to get voluminous lashes in a single stroke (a single second), a single coat of well applied, root-to-tip-wiggled mascara gives excellent volume with decent definition, all in a rich, smoky black shade.  If you want to really up the ante, you can try layering, although after the first coat you'll need to be careful of clumps.  For a mere £9.99, this is one of the best speedy-volume mascaras I've tried in quite some time.

The Mega Liner, £7.49, is a slightly more daunting prospect - it's chiseled, fat nib allows you to apply a fine line or a really thick graphic one.  I've been using it for a finer line - my eyes are too hooded to manage graphic eyeliner particularly well - and I've found that I need to be careful not to let the nib to rotate whilst stroking along the lashline - if it does, the result is a variably thick line which is then a bugger to replicate on the other eye.

With a steady hand, though, the result is a smooth, even, perfectly opaque line which stays on remarkably well.  It performs just as well as Urban Decay's Ink for Eyes, which is double the price at £15.  Paired with the Volume 1 Seconde mascara, you get a wide eyed, polished and defined look, perfect for early winter mornings and late Christmas party nights.  It's rare for samples to immediately become every day essentials, but since I received this perfect eye pairing, I've been using them more or less every day.

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Quick Pick: Revlon ColorStay Eyeliner in Topaz

I'd not tried Revlon's long wearing, smudgy soft ColorStay eyeliners before one of the newest shades, Topaz, dropped through my letterbox, but now I have, I'm thoroughly impressed.  The formula is well pigmented with a lovely metallic sheen, and whilst it's soft, it's not so soft that trying to smudge it blends it out of existence.

The twist-up formula means that you don't need a sharpener - a small point, but being the proud owner of a set of Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliners, I often discount them in the morning because I know I'll have to sharpen them, and I barely have enough patience to choose a colour.

My favourite thing about it, though, is the wear time.  I always wear eyeshadow primer, as I have very oily eyelids, but even then some supposed long wearing eyeliners end up smudging under my eyes, usually around the outer corner.  This one absolutely doesn't - once it's in place and set, it's not budging at all.

Oh, and my other favourite thing is the colour - Topaz is a lovely warming metallic copper shade which isn't too in your face, but adds a nice pop of colour, and makes my hazel eyes look very, very green.

Strangely I can't find this shade online, despite it having launched with the rest of the Revlon Autumn/Winter collection - hopefully it's more readily available in store, where it will cost a very reasonable £6.49.

Disclosure: PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.
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