Battle of the Lip Butters – Which Product Will Emerge Victorious?

 

With the new wave of moisturizing, highly pigmented “Lip Butters” that each brand is releasing, which one reigns supreme? Well that’s what we’re going to explore!  In comparing products from the different drugstore brands, I hope to help you choose the best “Lip Butter” that is suited for your needs~!

 

Up for your consideration are Revlon Lip Butters, Wet n Wild Megashield Lip Colors, Wet n Wild Wild Shine Lip Lacquers, Loreal Color Riche Balm, Covergirl Lip Perfection and Maybelline Baby Lips. When doing this comparison I had to add the Wet n Wild  Lip Lacquers – they totally fall into this category, as well as the Covergirl Lip Perfection~! (By the way – a little sidenote – to make the color swatches stand out on my hand more – I added more light in photoshop.  As a result, my hands showed up looking ghostly white… they are normally an olive skin tone. My hubby came into the room while I was adding pictures to my post and asked “What’s with the ghostly white hands?” haha)

 

THE CONTENDERS

Revlon “Lip Butter”

 
http://www.revlon.com/Revlon-Home/Products/Lips/Lipcolor/Revlon-ColorBurst-Lip-Butter.aspx

Revlon says: Buttery balm with beautiful shiny color to give you baby soft, healthy glowing lips 94% of women felt lips were softer, smoother, and instantly hydrated.

On the left we have #045 Cotton Candy, a beautiful soft and light pink. Cotton Candy was definitely on the lighter side when it comes to pigment – a more sheer pink. On the right is #010 Raspberry Pie, a gorgeous hot pink! I have to say, I was shocked with how highly pigmented this one is – definitely don’t need to apply much to get a nice raspberry shade! Both went on smoothly, with a subtle hint of shimmer, and were very moisturizing. These are little tubes of heaven!

 

Wet n Wild “Megashield Lip Color”

 
http://wnwbeauty.com/product.php?cid=16&pid=913&subid=28

Wet n Wild says: Color, comfort, and care! Luxurious color delivers hours of sheer-to-moderate coverage that glides on buttery-soft for a smooth, moist-looking pout. Lips are pampered with Vitamin E, Amino Acids, Avocado Oil, and Rice Bran Oil that moisturize and condition for silky, soft comfort. And with SPF 15, lips are cared for and protected from harmful UVB rays.

On the left we have #361S Peachy Keen, a peachy nude color. Peachy Keen was very high in pigment, and leaning more towards the matte side with little, to no shimmer. On the right we have #373S Pink Champagne, a peachy light pink. Pink Champagne was also very highly pigmented, and although this one had more shimmer than Peachy Keen – it was still a very subtle shimmer. These were smooth, moisturizing colors but felt more like a moisturizing matte lipstick.

 

Wet n Wild “Wild Shine Lip Lacquer”

 
http://wnwbeauty.com/product.php?cid=16&pid=63&subid=28

Wet n Wild says: Two-in-one lipstick provides full-coverage color and a brilliant glossy shine. Creamy color moisturizes lips while light-reflecting particles give a luminous sheen.

On the left we have #922 Enamoured, a pretty cotton candy pink. On the right we have #920 Fling, the quintessential peachy color. With the Lip Lacquers, I found both to be highly pigmented, moderately shimmery, beautifully smooth and very moisturizing! One thing that set these apart, was that both colors were equally pigmented and equally shimmery. With other brands I find sometimes the pinks and peaches can be so lightly pigmented, while the reds/browns hold more pigment. I guess you could say I’m “passionate about pigment” – I feel every color should be equally pigmented! So if you want a beautiful cotton candy pink – you shouldn’t have to apply 2 or 3 times more to get the color you see in the tube. Although if a lip product is created to be more sheer, that’s great – just keep the pigments equal across the board.

 

Loreal Color Riche “Balm”

 
http://www.lorealparisusa.com/_us/_en/default.aspx#/?page=top{userdata//d+d//|diagnostic|main:beautyfilter//category+F1_Cosmetics_Lips_LipCare//|media:_blank|nav|overlay:_blank}

Loreal says: This tinted SPF 15 Lip Balm provides a hint of luscious, kissable color, smoothing lips instantly and for a full 8 hours of continuous hydration.  Lips are soft and supple all day long – and keeps conditioning after its been removed.

Here we have #219 in Plush Plum, a very soft mauvey plum. Loreal “Color Riche Balm” kind of surprised me – with the name “Color Riche” I was expecting a great deal more pigment than what was delivered. Having said that, it is still a beautiful, soft, and moisturizing mauve lip color.

 

Covergirl “Lip Perfection”

 
http://www.covergirl.com/lipperfectionlipcolor

CoverGirl says: Bright, gorgeous color that can transform your day and your lips. Enriched with a silk moisturizing complex, our formula helps sustain moisture levels and helps create soft, smooth, beautiful lips in just 7 days. Also a 2011 Cosmopolitan Beauty Award Winner!

Here we have #390 in Sweetheart, a bright, frosty, light pink. I was really happy with how highly pigmented it is, while still going on smoothly and staying moisturizing! With Covergirl’s “Lip Perfection” you really DO get the color in the tube, on your lips without having to apply much at all!

 

Maybelline “Baby Lips”

 
http://www.maybelline.com/products/154

Maybelline says: SPF 20 Moisturizing Balm. No more basic lip balm Lip renew formula and 8-hr hydration for visibly renewed lips in 4 weeks. Clinical care for baby-soft lips.

Here we have#25 in Pink Punch, a bright, vibrant bubblegum pink. I was shocked how much I loved this line! These little tubes come deliciously scented, with a moderate amount of pigment, some shimmer and lots of shine! I can definitely see myself getting more of these~!

 

 

POINTS TO CONSIDER

Most Moisturizing (Ranked in order)

1. Maybelline Baby Lips (Felt very glossy)
2. Revlon Lip Butter (Glossy and rich – no stickiness)
3. Loreal Color Riche Balm (Glossy without being sticky)
4. Wet n Wild Lip Lacquer
5. Wet n Wild Megashield Lip Color
6. Covergirl Lip Perfection

Having said this – each one of these was highly moisturizing and not one of them was even close to dry! So even at the bottom – Cover Girl still felt amazingly good!

 

Highest Pigment (Ranked in Order)

1. Wet n Wild Lip Lacquer
2. Wet n Wild Megashield Lip Color
3. Cover Girl Lip Perfection
4. Revlon Lip Butter
5. Loreal Color Riche Balm
6. Maybelline Baby Lips

I just want to point out that I was impressed with all of the pigments in every one of these! The drugstore cosmetic brands have really stepped up their game and could EASILY compete with, if not beat out, any department store brand!

 

Best “Luxe” Packaging (Ranked in Order)

1. Revlon Lip Butter (No brainer – gorgeous case!)
2. Loreal Color Riche Balm (Beautiful!)
3. Covergirl Lip Perfection
4. Wet n Wild Lip Lacquer
5. Maybelline Baby Lips
6. Wet n Wild Megashield Lip Color (Although I DO adore Wet n Wild, these tubes felt and look kinda cheap)

While coming in very close in the pigment and moisturizing categories, the best packaging category was another verdict entirely. They were all so different – from Fun, Youthful, Sporty packaging (Baby Lips), to Luxe (Revlon, Loreal and Covergirl), to kind of non-descript (Wet n Wild). Having said that, I don’t purchase products based on this category – this is just an “icing” on the cake kind of thing. At the end of the day – the best “performing” product will ALWAYS win out for me~!

 

 

A WINNER EMERGES….

I honestly love ALL of these products for different reasons, so they are all winners in my book~! So this will definitely be a personal preference, that’s why I broke it down above into different categories. But for me, the winner is definitely the REVLON LIP BUTTERS! Super duper moisturizing, moderately pigmented and gorgeous “luxe” packaging~!  As moisturizing as Maybelline was, I couldn’t choose the Baby Lips because I was looking for much more pigment. And as much as I LOVED both of Wet n Wild’s products and Covergirl’s, theirs came in higher in pigment and lower in moisturizing – which for me likened them more to a lipstick. Way to go Revlon, this product could definitely hold its own against its more expensive department store counterparts!!!

I hope you feel more “informed” the next time you hit your local beauty counter – so you are able to buy the right lip product that will suit your needs~! Till next time my beauties- keep those lips glam while ALSO keeping them moisturized~! ;)

Top 10 Splurge and Steal Eyeshadow Palettes

Featured-ImageEyeshadowPalettes

 

After just finishing my Sequence of a Smokey Eye Post,  I thought it would be fitting to do a top 10 Eyeshadow Palette Review~! I should first let you know that I am a former “eyeshadow snob”. I never used to buy eyeshadow in the drugstore, because of the lack of pigment and color selection. But a couple of years ago, after trying a couple of brands at the drugstore I felt like I’d discovered treasure ~! Yes, I was shocked! Highly pigmented, unique colors at a bargain price??? Who knew???

So I’ll just let you know, when I’m reviewing these palettes, I look for a couple of things. First and foremost – how pigmented is the palette? I’m not interested in eyeshadows that you have to apply so much to your lids to get the color shown in the palette. Or the shadows that never really look as bright on your lids as they do in the palette, no matter how much you apply.

Secondly, I look for range and unique colors. You want them to stand up to your department store counterparts – not produce the same colors every line comes out with. When you go to the MAC counter at Nordstrom – you see every color of the rainbow times 100!!! And although, you won’t find as many colors in the drugstore – you should still be able to pick up some fun and unique colors that emphasize your eyes~!

And they are ranked in order from 1st to 5th for both Drugstore and Department store. So here ya go, fellow beauty junkies ~ read on…..

 

STEAL:

 

  

1. Wet and Wild ColorIcon Palettes: I know, shocker right? (haha, not~!) Yup, these are number one for a reason – amazing colors and highly pigmented! One of the few undiscovered treasures at the drugstore. And add to it, that these are the palettes that converted this former department store snob into a drugstore glamourista~!

 

2. NYX Palettes: These little beauties come packaged in a sleek “professional” looking black case. Each one comes with beautiful, highly pigmented colors. They have everything from natural looking to vibrant ones~! Gorgeous~!

 

 

3. Maybelline Eye Studio Palettes: These quads have amazing texture and pigment. And with the clear lids – makes it easy to find the colors you want when you’re getting all “glammed up”.

 

4. Ulta Eye Shadow Palettes: Ulta has come out with a great range of colors, pigments and textures for their eyeshadows.

 

5. Revlon Eye Shadow Palettes: Revlon has a nice selection and wide variety of eye shadow palettes. I haven’t tried the new Colorstay 16 hour eye shadow quads yet, but those look amazing. Hopefully will have to try them soon and review them~!

 

 

SPLURGE

 

   

1. Too Faced Eye Shadow Palettes: Can’t say enough amazing things about these little palettes. Not only do they come with beautifully pigmented eyeshadows in a great selection of colors; BUT they also come with 3 handy dandy cards that show you different looks and just how to apply them! These palettes are a “no-fail” guide to amazing eyes~!

 

 

2. Urban Decay Naked Palette: Of course, right??? This palette probably made famous last year by its extreme popularity, and how fast it sold out of all stores and online – and took quite a few months before stores saw their stock replenished! The colors are amazing~! A definite must have~! They have since come out with the Naked Palette 2 – which looks like another winner~!

 

 

 

3. Lorac Palettes: Lorac produces amazing colors that are rich with pigment. The above two are the Private Affair Palette and one of their Croc Palettes. You definitely can’t go wrong with Lorac~!

 

 

4. Mac Palettes: Mac comes out with several different palettes throughout the year and still continues to be at the top of the industry for their wide variety of colors and textures. They truly DO have something for everyone~!

 

 

5. TIE~~!!! Between Stila (the two palettes on the left) and SEPHORA (the two palettes on the right) : Stila is, and always have been, amazing with colors and pigments. And Sephora has produced some amazing eyeshadow palettes as well~! Beautiful~!

 

I hope you enjoyed this Eyeshadow Edition of Splurge and Steal Beauty! I love palettes, because aside from being extremely economical – you get beautiful and complimentary colors with no effort on your part. Several times I’ve discovered new and unique shades I would have never purchased individually – but given the chance, they’ve quickly become some of my fave colors~! Palettes seem to INSPIRE experimentation with color – which I love to do~! Well my beauties, that’s it for me! Remember keep it glam, keep it colorful, and never stop experimenting~!

Wham Bam, INSTANT Glam~!

In a world of drive thru coffees, drive thru dry-cleaners, drive thru pharmacies, and drive thru fast food ; why not a product that makes for an instant manicure? Well the convenience generation has finally invented a beauty product that IS a convenient manicure which not only delivers easy application – but staying power of 10-14 days on your natural nails! I have to say, at first I was more than a little skeptical, when most nail polishes chip within a couple days of application. But after going to my local drugstore and finding them on an amazing sale (plus I had some manufacturer coupons), and seeing that the patterns available could never be acheived by mere mortals; I thought I’ll give these little beauties a whirl~!

I’m talking about the new stick-on nail enamel strips. You can find them at your local drugstores and big beauty chains like Sephora. And yes, they are beauty tested – and I definitely approve! Speaking as a busy Mom, one who gets her hands dirty cleaning the house and dealing with the kids – these little inventions DO hold up better than most nail enamel (on natural nails). And anything that can keep my nails looking glam for up to 10-14 days with only one application – is a a little nail miracle in a box. I’ve tried so many brands (even salon brands) of nail polish and they all take only a couple days to start chipping pretty badly. And when this happens, after you’ve spent so long making them look so nice – it’s almost like why bother? Who has time to do their nails every other day? Most of us don’t – so these products are amazing for us with natural nails. (Although I’m sure they’d work just as well on fake nails)

 

       

They come in many different brands – the ones I’ve seen are Sally Hansen Salon Effects, Kiss Nail Dress, and Sephora has their own brand of these as well. (I’ve also seen them at Sally Beauty Supply) I’ve tried Sally Hansen and Kiss so far, I have some Sephora beauties in my stash I have yet to try. Sally Hansen comes with 16 self adhesive nail strips in each package, while Kiss Nail Dress comes with 28 nail strips in each package. For my money – you get a better value with the Kiss Strips simply because they come with more per package – but Sally Hansen has a MUCH wider variety of patterns etc. Either way, when your nails are done – they look like they’ve been done at a salon – so when you look at it that way – both brands offer amazing value compared with getting your nails done at the salon. And that’s how you should compare it – these aren’t as cheap as nail polish, but they last longer, there’s no drying time or foul smell,  and the designs are so intricate – its a much higher quality product overall.

What I found was, since I don’t have very long nails, with both Sally Hansen and with Kiss – to do all my 10 nails I only used 5 strips! So talk about adding extra bang for your buck~! Think about how many manicures you can get out of each box – now the price is looking even better. Especially when these often go on sale at Rite Aid and Walgreens, and there is frequently manufacturer coupons on both. If you don’t have any manufacturer coupons, don’t hesistate to ask your local drugstore’s beauty counter to see if they have any for you! They have saved me several times with coupons I didn’t have!

They way I apply them is:

 

1. First apply a good quality base coat. If you have natural nails like mine, make sure you invest in a good quality base coat, it really WILL extend the life of any manicure you do. Personally I got a huge bottle of Nail Life Gripper from Sally Beauty Supply for less than $5, and it will last for SO long!

 

2. Second, match up the right size strips to the corresponding nails before you unpeel them. I usually start with matching up a strip with a nail on my right hand (since I am right handed, my nail beds are slightly larger on the right hand) After I find the right size – I’ll turn it around and see which nail it will work with on my left hand. Now that you know which fingers to use first, unpeel the strip and apply it to the larger nail bed. Press down and smooth out very well. Then get a sharp pair of small scissors and cut the excess off right above your nail (being very careful not to cut yourself or your nail). Then take the other half and turn it around so that the smooth edge borders the cuticle, and apply it to your other nail. After this, use your nail file and smooth the edges so they are seemless at the end. I like to use the less rough side, so you don’t take off to much of the nail enamel.  Repeat this smoothing and filing process and do this for all of your nails after you’ve applied strips to both hands.

 

3. Apply a good quality top coat. I’m a fan of Seche Vite, and although it is pricey – ULTA or Sally Beauty will often have it on sale, so keep your eyes peeled for that! In addition Ulta will also have their coupons you can use on top of the sale prices – making it as cheap as any drugstore brand, but its much better!

 

 

 

Here you see, I just added a Sally Hansen Zebra nail strip to my ring finger on each hand to jazz up an otherwise boring manicure~! So if you aren’t ready to bling-up every finger on your hands, you can just add one or two strips to each hand, and it makes for a fun and very glam manicure.

Remember Chicas, you can keep it glam on a budget and even as a busy Mom, just pick up a package of these little beauties the next time you are at the drugstore beauty counter and treat yourself to a “salon-inspired” manicure. Its  “Wham Bam, Instant Glam” for YOUR nails~!

Beauty VIP Product List – Best in Beauty for your Buck!

Beauty

So anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve been a beauty junkie since I was 8 years old and applying it like a clown. ;) …..I’ll never forget as a kid (probably only 9 years old) my Grandma took me to a department store for a beauty lesson, after which she purchased a couple things for me to re-create the look the makeup artist had given me. She probably saw how I was doing my makeup and was thinking – uh – she needs some help! (haha) But turned it into a fun Grandma/Grandaughter experience! And I LOVED it – loved getting pampered, loved how glam I felt wearing the makeup, and loved learning about how to apply it. …..Aaaaand thus a beauty junkie was born~!

Fast forward (a couple of years later~or so) ;) and I’m still as in love with it as I was when I was a kid. Its one of the many fun parts about being a girl~! And yes, I know, I’m probably pretty high in the estrogen department – I’m as girly-girly as they come…But I wouldn’t have it any other way! Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about not only makeup application, but also which brands work the best for your money. We’ve definitely been blessed here in the USA with coupons and MAJOR sales – so I get to try new products usually for free – or next to nothing. So the fact that I’ve tried a lot (read A MAJOR AMOUNT) of different cosmetic brands, had my makeup done at the beauty counter/and by makeup artists several times – you definitely pick up a lot of tricks. And I’m going to share as many of them as possible with you~!

First off though, I’ll share with you my own personal list of VIP products. Beauty products that help accentuate our “natural” beauty – not cover it up. Ones that you don’t need a lot of to acheive a desired affect.  I subscribe to several beauty magazines so I’m always trying to keep abreast of the new products, trends and looks. And some of you are going to be surprised at my choices – because I’ve dabbled not just in drugstore brands – but also the department stores as well… And my list is devised to give you the best look for your buck. Of course you are always going to be able to find a $50 eyeshadow that performs amazingly well – but my list will help you navigate both department and drugstore beauty, so you’ll know where and on which products to splurge on. And where you can save your $$$ by getting a product of equal value at your local drugstore! And who doesn’t LOVE saving money, right?? So without further adieu, here they are: (in no particular order)

 

Foundation:


Steal:
Revlon Colorstay (the original) And still as amazing as ever – this is what I use and have used for years! I always go back to this one!

Splurge: Makeup Forever HD Foundation ( A makeup artist applied this on my face at 7am before a wedding I was in – and it was still on and looking amazing when we were dancing and having fun till 3:30am~!!!)
(I personally stick with using the Revlon Colorstay on a regular basis)

 

Powder:

Steal: Revlon Colorstay Photoready

Splurge: Makeup Forever
(I use Revlon Colorstay Photoready daily)

 

Eyeshadow:


Steal:
Wet and Wild (Their eyeshadow palettes are AMAZING – great colors, amazing pigments, and at under $5 a palette, you can’t go wrong!)

Splurge: Mac  (I go back and forth between both of my stashes, but actually get MORE compliments when I’m wearing my Wet and Wild shadows!)

 

Mascara:

Steal: Cover Girl Last Blast Volume
Splurge: Honestly – don’t bother – stick with the Cover Girl – its AMAZING~! And because you should be replacing your Mascara often, here is one of those places you’re going to want to save.

 

Blush:

Steal: Wet and Wild

Splurge: Nars
(I personally stick with the Wet and Wild on a daily basis – great array of colors and great pigment! Oh and at under $3 dollars a piece – can’t complain!)

 

Lipstick:

Steal: Maybelline Superstay (this stuff truly does what it advertises, stays on ALL day – as long as you are applying lip gloss after each meal)

Splurge: Yves Saint Laurent Lipstick (this one is rich in pigment and extremely moisturizing – and a multiple award winner too)
(I use the Maybelline everyday – love its staying power and the price can’t be beat either)

 

Lip Gloss:

Steal: Ulta Super Shiny, Bonne Bell Lip Lites, Wet and Wild Glassy Gloss, Maybelline Shine Sensational (ok – so it isn’t just one – but all of these are amazing and extremely well priced!)
Splurge: Honestly after trying several department store brands – and them being the same as (or subpar) to the drugstore brands, stick with the drugstore here!

 

Best Lip Plumper:

Steal: Honestly haven’t found one in the drugstore that actually does what its supposed too! LOL
Splurge: (TIE) between Too Faced Lip Injection and LipFusion …..these DO actually plump up your KISSER ;)
(This is a fun thing here and there – but I definitely don’t use these very often. And don’t try putting it on top of your lipstick – it will just dissolve your lipstick and won’t have the full plumping effect! That’s why I don’t wear this often – I prefer lipstick to lip plumping. haha)

 

Best Nail Polish:

Steal: Sally Hanson Complete Salon Manicure (Amazing for natural nails!)

Splurge: China Glaze 
I mostly use Sally Hansen – and if done properly you can stretch a “homemade” manicure to last 7-10 days lasting quite well! Which is quite the achievement for natural nails. I find OPI is made more for Artificial nails and chips quite a bit on natural nails.

 

So that’s an abbreviated list for now. I may add some more in the future – and feel free to post any comments with recommendations of products you love/can’t live without! I’d love to hear your feedback and maybe discover some new products I haven’t tried~! And by the way, look for a follow up article in the future to this one, on just how to score these products for rock-bottom prices!  Take care and keep it “GLAM” girls~!