Monday, August 25, 2014

Studio Gear's Invincible Gel/Cream Eyeliner is Actually Pretty Invincible

In a recent haul, I picked up this eyeliner from Studio Gear, and I've been using it pretty frequently ever since. I tend to cycle through my eyeliner formulas, so it's been a while since I've used a good gel. I've also been on a neutral kick recently, so this blue color was a nice and well-needed change (that I think would look gorgeous with any eye color). The formula is super smooth and creamy, and glides easily onto the lids. The pigmentation is out-of-this-world, and it can be used as a liner or base/shadow for a smokey look. (Hint: This is a perfect match for the color "Slate" in the Lorac Pro Palette.)  

But my favorite part of this liner? The staying power. My eyelids will make an oil-slick out of the best-claimed products. Maybelline 24hr Color Tattoos? More like 2-4 hours on these lids. But this product does not smudge, budge, or transfer once it sets. The swatches below actually needed makeup-remover at the end of the day. All the hand-washing I did between applying the liner in the morning until the time I went to bed did nothing to disrupt that gorgeous color (and I wash my hands a lot). Overall, this product is a total winner. It retails for $16 at studiogearcosmetics.com

Top: Applied with Sonia Kashuk Bent Liner Brush; Bottom: Applied with finger


That's MAC's Expensive Pink on my lids and Creme d'Nude on my lips.

What are your favorite eyeliner formulas? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, August 18, 2014

NC and Tokyo do NYC

My cousin came to visit from Japan (yes, I'm half Japanese) last week, and we had a little rendezvous in good ole NYC. She's a super-awesome fashion designer, so between the two of us, we had a very fashion&beauty-filled weekend. Here are some highlights of our trip, and let me go ahead and apologize for the photo quality (I only took pics on my phone).  
It does exist! I saw this little beauty in the airport and just had to snap a pic. I mean, a Benefit vending machine? Why are these not everywhere? 

Of course we had to stop by a MAC and get our makeups did. Shout out to our artist, Julie, who was the sh*t. 
...And a Sephora. I'd never been to a free-standing one before. Swoon 
We also hit the FIT Museum and saw a gorgeous exhibition on lingerie. I really wish we were allowed to take pics in the exhibit because there were some stunning pieces. 
Zach Braff on Broadway? What? This show is awesome. Highly recommend. 
Yeah, yeah we had to do a tourist-y pic. But it was right outside our hotel so it would've been silly not to, right? 

Anyway, New York was a trip. I'll probably have a couple haul posts coming soon as a result. Have you done any traveling this summer? Let me know below!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Benefit Gimme Brow Gives As Long As I Provide

I should come clean. I get lazy in the summer. Like really lazy. On the days I even do my makeup, it's usually just lashes, brows, and lips. And as much as I love my brow powders and pencils, they take just enough work that my laziness can't deal. 

Enter Benefit's Gimme Brow. This is a tinted, fiber gel that is supposed to add color, fullness, and keep brows in place. It comes in two colors: Light/Medium and Medium/Deep, and retails for $22. And although I probably wouldn't use this product when I want defined brows, it is perfect for lazy days.



Left: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette, Right: Benefit Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep

It might be a little hard to tell from the picture, but Gimme Brow in Medium/Deep is actually about a shade darker and slightly cooler in tone compared to Brunette. Brunette is a good match for me, but Medium/Deep can be slightly too dark in certain lighting. So for you ladies (or gents) with eyebrow colors that aren't particularly light or dark, you might not find that either of the two color options fit perfectly. 

Before & After








Although the color is ever-so-slightly dark for me, Gimme Brow does fill my brows in nicely and quickly while also holding them in place. However, I do have somewhat thick and long brows, so I'm wondering how effective this product is on shorter, sparser brows. 

As you can see in the picture below, the front end of my left brow (right side in the picture) is relatively sparse. However, Gimme Brow doesn't do much to fill that in. It seems to work its magic only on the denser parts of my brows. 

Of course, there's the option of filling in brows with a pencil/powder first and then setting with Gimme Brow. I like the sound of this option, but I think it comes with guidelines. The first is the color of your brows/hair. Since my brows are significantly darker than my hair, I think opaquely filling them in with two products will just make them look too bold/harsh. The second is the thickness of your brows. The thicker your brows are, the more Gimme Brow will adhere. So basically, if you have more natural thickness, you'll have a higher potential for getting bushy brows than those with sparser brows. But of course, if these looks are what you're going for, then Gimme Brow would be a great product to use.


Gimme Brow on both brows

Even after a week of using Gimme Brow, though, I had a little trouble determining my feelings toward this product. So, I had to break out the pro/con list: 

Pros

  • Adds color
  • Adds fullness where there is enough brow for the product to cling to
  • Keeps brows in place all day
  • Easy & quick application

Cons

  • Only 2 color options
  • Doesn't fully fill in sparse areas
  • Cannot easily make clean lines or provide definition 
  • Might be too much layered over a brow pencil

For me, this product seems to just be a lazy-girl staple. When I want my brows to be defined and a little more even, I will definitely still reach for my Brow Wiz first. But on the days when I just can't be bothered, I will always reach for Gimme Brow.