Saturday, February 25, 2012

A-England Dragon~ Review & Swatch

Here is the last of my A-England The Legend collection order. You can see Ascalon and Saint George the other two as well. This is Dragon, a fantastic medium grass green with gold holographic and a very slight copper/gold duochrome. It very much is a dragon colour, the gold in it reminiscent of sunlight and fire. 
Most of time for this shade the gold doesn't show up which is sad and it is actually very close to Nubar Reclaim if that is a colour you already own. Dragon is about a half-shade darker than Reclaim though Reclaim lacks the very slight copper sheen that Dragon sometimes shows. If you have one I don't think you need the other, though both are lovely.

I found this one pretty good to work with and like Ascalon needed 2-3 coats to cover. I did have some early tip wear but other than that it seems to be lasting fairly well on. 

 The holo part of this polish doesn't really show up unless in direct sunlight and it was super difficult to capture the copper flash in this (though I think the picture above does a pretty good job). I was kind of hoping for a bit more as the bottle shows the effect much better than the nail.

Close-up of the thumb nail in sunlight 

 Overall, Dragon is a lovely shade that really suits the theme of this collection. It was slightly difficult to work with in that it was a little thick and it chipped sooner than the other two shades I tried. I was also hoping for a bit more duochrome and holographicness but it does have an awesome combination of colours.

Sprite Rating: 8/10, I was hoping for just a little more out of this polish in most ways so I had to lower the score a bit.

Would I buy this again? Yes, I would but I'd have to get through my bottles of this and Nubar reclaim first!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner in Black Diamond~ Swatch & Review

 Normally, I'm not a big fan of either liquid liners or black liners and yet this Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner is both black and a liquid liner product. Most surprising is that I actually really love it as it's neither traditional liquid nor traditional black.
The shade is Diamond Black, number 14, and it's a black with a bucket-load of multi-colour super fine shimmer in it. 
The formula on this is a little strange too. It's an almost runny liquid that needs to be shaken very well before use. If it isn't shaken enough it goes on really sheer and sad looking. It also needs to be applied to one eye and then re-dipped before the next, even if it seems to have enough product on the wand. The thing about it though is after it dries (which it does fairly quickly thank goodness as it transfers really easy when wet) it stays put really really well. It's fairly easy to apply a thin line with the felt tip applicator though it takes a little bit of practice as the felt is quite stiff.
Though my shots are a bit blurry, I wanted you to be able to see the fantastic shimmer throughout these and blurry makes the colours show up the best. 

 Removal is very easy, all you need is hot water. This is great because I use blinc mascara which removes with hot water too so I can get both at once. It comes off similarily as well as it comes off in bits, here's a pic of it half-off to give you a better an idea of what I mean.
 What I was really worried about when purchasing this was wether the liner would actually show the shimmer when on my eye. If I wasn't getting the sparkly effect I wasn't going to keep this. Luckily it has a wonderful golden sheen when it's on. It looks nice and dark still but no matter what angle you look at it there is always a lovely gold flash. Here is some pictures of it on the eye.

Finally, the packaging itself. Honestly, for the amount of money this liner costs they give you hardly any product at all. The handle itself is larger than the vial of liner which bothers me and feels like they're ripping me off. It does make it easy to hold though I suppose. I do like how they show the colour of the liner on the end of the cap however.
 The price of this liner is a cringe-worthy $26 CND, and only 0.058 oz. It is definitely an indulgence item, but I do love the uniqueness and versatility of this shade.

If you click above, the picture will take you to the Sephora page where it's for sale and the official description of the make Up For Ever Aqua Liner.

Overall, this is a good product for the most part. The colour is unique and still highly wearable with pretty much every make-up look. However, it is very expensive (with tax about $30 CND) and you don't get very much at all.

Sprite Rating: 7/10, because it's a lovely product but they really are ripping us off for the price of it.

Would I buy it again? As an indulgence every once in a while? Yes. As an everyday staple, no. It's just too expensive for everyday use although it is a beautiful shade. So eventually I may buy it again as it is a unique shade, but I won't get some of the shades that are common on the market like the plain dark black or plain dark brown.

Scaredy Cat Cosmetics~ Review and Swatches

A little while ago Scaredy Cat Cosmetics (a company I had been interested in trying for a couple of months) was having a 20% off sale so I snagged an order. I originally fell in love with their awesome artwork and had actually discovered them when they released a pressed eyeshadow palette- the first indie company I know of to do so. Looking through the etsy site the colours are really unique and the packaging is adorable so I got a sample set of five shades (your choice) for $5 USD and two full size shades also $5 USD each. Shipping was really inexpensive too!


I absolutely adore the little triangle jars for the full size shadows. The artwork is just so cute and fun, and I like you can still see the colour of the shadow inside. There were a couple bubbles in the stickers which made me sad but the designs are well done. The first time to open the little jars is a bit difficult, they are well sealed. I found if you start twisting in the opposite direction and then the correct direction they open up better. Also the shaker/sifter top is a bit strange, be careful if you try to pry it out as it's very well in there and the jars are full right to the top with pigment so you need to have a firm grip on the entire thing to prevent spillage.

Arctic Royal

Arctic Royal

Arctic Royal

L-R: Metamorphosis, Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Foo Foo, Nevermore
Metamorphosis, Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Foo Foo, Nevermore
The little sample vials are super cute too with quite a bit of product to them. They have rubber stoppers that cap them off. I find that the stoppers are the easiest thing to work off of because the top of the vials aren't very wide so you can't get a brush in them. I'll likely press the samples into pans so they're easier to use.
T-B: Hedgerow, Arctic Royal, Metamorphosis, Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Foo Foo, Nevermore
The shades I purchased are:
Hedgerow: A duochrome light purple/blue shade with a cute hedgehog design. 
Arctic Royal: A light greyed periwinkle shade with Narwhals swimming around.
Metamorphosis: Very light metallic pink with slight violet reflect and butterfly artwork.
Phoenix Tears: Coral pink-orange shade with an almost pink-gold reflect. Really beautiful (and unlike anything else I own!) Like the name has a fire and phoenix motif.
Fomhar: A spice inspired shade this is a lovely medium orange-brown, perfect for fall. The little dragon on the jar is so freakin' adorable I almost got the full size just for his picture. 
Foo Foo: My favourite of the samples I picked up, Foo Foo is a subtle yet distinctive light yellow with slight green duochrome. It also has a cute rabbit and flower design.
Nevermore: Blue-black base with light blue shimmer. I like how the Scaredy cat description likens the shade to a star filled sky. Shown off with ravens and hearts.
T-B: Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Foo Foo, Nevermore
T-B: Metamorphosis, Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Foo Foo
T-B: Hedgerow, Arctic Royal, Metamorphosis, Phoenix Tears
T-B: Metamorphosis, Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Foo Foo
T-B: Phoenix Tears, Fomhar, Foo Foo, Nevermore
I do like how on the site she had three pictures for each shadow one of the pigment spilling out of the jar, one of the jar from all three sides, and one used as an eyeshadow on an eyelid. It really allows you to get an idea of what the shade looks like. That said, I wish the main pages showed just one type of those photos so it's easier to navigate (i.e. only the jar design or only the pigment shot so they are all the same type of image). I'd also like the names to be on the main pages instead of some names and some descriptions of the shades just so everything is easier to find. 
I do like how clearly the vegan shades are stated from the non-vegan shades and how now you can order all the vegan shades as samples separately.
L-R: Phoenix Tears, Metamorphosis, Arctic Royal, Hedgerow
L-R: Foo Foo, Fomhar, Phoenix Tears, Metamorphosis
L-R: Nevermore, Foo Foo, Fomhar
The shadow swatches are all done over Darling Girl's glitter glue so they're a bit more opaque than with just a primer base. They're very nicely pigmented on their own though and the variety and uniqueness of the shades is wonderful. I love how each shade has so much thought put into it, you can really feel the dedication I think in each one.
The eyeshadows go on smoothly and wear well. Foo Foo makes a stunning highlight, especially for spring as it goes on semi-opaque as does metamorphosis and Hedgerow.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend checking Scaredy Cat Cosmetics out. The shades are fantastic, the packaging adorable and the prices are low. I also think there are shades for everyone available from neutrals to bolds.

Sprite Rating: 8.5/10 Lost a little bit for slightly difficult to use packaging, but otherwise an excellent product. And the designs are to die for adorable.

Would I buy them again? Yes, I totally would. In fact I'm highly considering a full size of Foo Foo and their pressed palette Family Jewels looks phenomenal.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mosha Katani Sormeh~ Review & Swatches

A little while ago I took the plunge and ordered Mosha Katani's loose Kohl or Sormeh. I had read some good reviews on it and heard that it was supposed to stain and last all day even on the waterline. I kinda should have realized this was too good to be true. *sigh* 
I mean it's alright. The two shades I got were smoke (a charcoal-grey shade) and Nude (a... light tan nude). The smoke shade works fine for the top lashes and alright for tightlining but I've used better. The nude shade nor the smoke shade either last long on my waterline. Plus it's not great for fallout. Its better than some but not especially good either for that- honestly I've tried better.

I got the what I believed to be "full" size (I'll get to that in a minute), and a travel size. Both sizes come with a brush and a case as well as a slightly strange "evil-eye" dangly. The case on the "full" size is beautiful. A red gem-like bottle with a good stopper. The travel size is slightly easier to work with though as you can actually see the brush as you dip it in the powder and easily tap off excess.

The reason I'm going on about the travel size versus the full size is that the travel size is significantly cheaper ($16 USD for the travel size versus $28 USD for the full size); AND the travel size has TWO TIMES the amount of product in it. At first I didn't realize this fact. Then I thought it was obviously a mistake. It's not. Though the brush with the larger version is obviously more expensive to create (and if I'm not mistaken real animal hair- which I don't like and again didn't realize until I received it) I found the smaller brush with the travel size actually worked better. One of the bristles on the large version brush was doubled over or looped which was weird to work with too.
The travel size cap is difficult to get on securely as well, especially if you try to leave the "evil eye" bead on.

Another slight issue I had was that the grey in the powder form gets a good two shades darker when you apply it. I was hoping for a distinctly grey shade, not a charcoal, unfortunately especially when I use it for tight-lining or on the waterline it gets slightly wet and isn't what I hoped at all.

The full-size bottle case and brush
Into the full bottle
Travel size set (Is that animal a shrimp/crab or an elephant?)
I tried to use the grey as an eyeshadow and that didn't work either. It doesn't blend AT ALL, which is expected I guess since as a liner you wouldn't want it to smudge. The only way I haven't tried it is wet, which I suppose I should, but that takes much more time and I'd prefer to just use gel or liquid liner at that point. They also don't "stain" which I was actually hoping for as it would make it easier to do my eye-look the next morning or at least so it would last all day. If I tightline it does a little bit but again I've used better (Urban Decay's perversion eyeshadow a matte black to be exact). 

The nude shade is alright but it isn't as opaque as I thought it was going to be and it doesn't last on my waterline at all really. Mac's chromographic pencil in NC15/NW20 stays longer and isn't as irritating to apply as this is. I may work to set the pencil with, I've yet to try this method yet though.

The shades themselves are completely matte, and do seem to "dissolve" or clear away quickly if you get them in your eye (which I've done every time I've attempted this). This is good as shimmer or sparkle would irritate your eyes and is never recommended for use in the waterline or tight-line.
L-R: Smoke, Nude
L-R: Nude, Smoke (Super bright light)
L-R: Smoke, Nude (Super Bright Light)
Good things now. Mosha Katani (the woman who sells them on etsy) is very friendly, fairly quick in responding to questions on her facebook and is constantly posting pictures of fashion looks done with kohl. Shipping was also crazy fast, like a couple days which was great. Shipping was expensive though.

I purchased my two shades during a 20% off sale and everything was still a stretch for my budget, so you can see why I'm not thrilled with my purchase overall. I certainly wouldn't have paid full price, ESPECIALLY internationally. International shipping is $12-$15 dollars (more if you order more than one item). That's crazy high in my opinion and I'm glad I have an address in the US I can send to, and it was still $7.50 USD. Just ouch.

Overall, I'm just kinda disappointed. The full bottle does look lovely but is kinda difficult to work with and the travel version has a fiddly cap to deal with. The shades aren't what I was hoping for and they don't last on me. I was hoping for more from the product, what the claims were and the high praise they received. I'm starting to think powdered kohl may just not be for me.

Sprite Rating: 4/10- points for lovely bottle and very fast shipping. Lost points for not living up to all the claims.

Would I buy it again? No I would not. The price was too high for the type of product I received, plus the fact the more expensive version has half the amount of product really bothers me.