Review: Boots No. 7 Stay Perfect Eye Shadow Duo

This is one of the items I bought a while back at beauty.com  I had been curious about the Boots No. 7 products, but hadn’t really had a good reason to buy them.  In this case, I needed to add a couple inexpensive things to my cart to get free shipping (since I’d rather pay for stuff than shipping), so this was one of the things I added…

Pros:  Inexpensive.  Not made in China. Hypo-allergenic. Nice container.  Paraben-free.

Cons:  Packaging doesn’t have any sort of “safety seal”.  I’m a little germaphobic and this kind of bothers me.  Inconsistent texture – the “sparkly” shadow was much grittier and “chalky” feeling than the more matte shadow. No applicator included (if you care – I use brushes, so I don’t, but it would be nice to have one for travel/purse/emergency use…)

In Summary:  This is decent eye shadow, but could be best described as far-from-amazing.  It’s better than CoverGirl eye shadow (what isn’t?), but it’s not quite as good as Revlon – and nowhere near the quality of prestige brands like Urban Decay.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars  3-stars

Price:  approx. $6.50 (USD)

Available at: beauty.com, Target.com, Walgreens.com

Made in:  Germany

boots no 7 stay perfect eye shadow duo

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Review: Revlon ColorStay ShadowLinks Eye Shadow

I have to start off by saying that I’m generally willing to try anything made by Revlon.  I think it’s the most consistently-good-quality line of drugstore brand products.  When I saw these tiny eye shadows at a buy one, get one half off sale (and I had a coupon!) I couldn’t resist trying them…

Pros:  Available in 30 shades.  Individual shadows have a little piece on the side that allows you to connect them, so you can build your own palette.  Come in a variety of finishes – matte to sparkle.  Paraben and sulfate-free.  Inexpensive.

Cons:  You have to read the product names to be able to tell what kind of finish the eye shadow has.  It’s a little hard to tell in the packaging.  I normally avoid “metallic” colors because I think they look too heavy on my no-longer-in-my-20s eyelids, but I accidentally bought one of the metallic shades.  If I had read the back, I would have known. (oops!)

In Summary:  I think the idea of making eye shadows that can be attached to others is genius.  I wish all beauty product manufacturers would consider doing it.  I often end up “settling” for an eye shadow kit because I like most of the colors, and there’s usually one color I never use.  Aside from the clever packaging, the eye shadows are decent quality.  They’re not Urban Decay, but they’re better than the Cover Girl and Maybelline equivalents.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars  4-stars

Price: Approx. $3 (USD)

Available at:  drug stores, mass merchandisers, Ulta

Made in:  USA (of U.S. and non-U.S. components)

Revlon Colorstay Shadowlinks2

Review: L’Oreal Studio Secrets (Wear Infinite) Eye Shadow Single

L’Oreal is a brand that has been hit-and-miss for me.  When I bought this, I totally forgot that I gave the Studio Secrets Eye Shadow Quad a “Thumbs-Down” review.  Other L’Oreal products have been just so-so for me, while there are some I adore.  So, there was about a 50/50 chance I was going to like this.  50/50 was good enough for me, since I basically got it for free because of a sale that was going on…

Pros:  Inexpensive. Goes on more smoothly than some drugstore brands.

Cons:  No ingredients list on the package.  Contains parabens.  Not a huge range of shades available.  Not deeply-pigmented, so the color you see in the container is much darker than what you get when you put it on.  When you put on enough to get a good amount of color, it creases within a few hours.

In Summary:  While this isn’t a horrible eye shadow product, it’s not even close to being one of my favorites.  If it were pigmented more deeply (like the L’Oreal H.I.P. line was!), it would be better.  I guess the only L’Oreal products I can rely on are the ones in their hair care line.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars   3-stars

Price:  Approx $5 (USD)

Available at: drugstore.com, drug stores, mass merchandisers

Made in:  USA

loreal studio secrets single

Shown in “Deep Mocha”

Other L’Oreal Product Reviews:

EverStyle Dry Shampoo

EverCreme Intense Nourishing Conditioner

EverCreme Nourishing Shampoo

EverSleek Finishing Crème

Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base

Studio Secrets Eye Shadow Quad

Magic Lumi Primer

Telescopic Explosion Mascara

Sublime Bronze Self Tanner

Review: Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Eye Shadow Palette

I used a little of my Christmas gift money to order this item, since Sephora was doing a promotion where sale items were an extra 20% off.  It’s my first-ever Make Up For Ever purchase (oddly, I ordered MUFE “Aqua Seal” at the same time – been wanting to try that – review coming soon!). 

Note:  This review is provided for reference only – the product is no longer available to buy at Sephora.com.  I’m reviewing it as a first-time Make Up For Ever purchaser and in case someone ends up finding it at a discount store, eBay, etc. 

Pros:  Paraben-free.  Cute, convenient packaging with a magnetic closure and large mirror.  No cheap eye shadow applicators wasting up space.  Quality is better than the average “drugstore brand”.  Eyeliner is deeply pigmented and stays in place.

Cons: The colors look a lot more “neutral” in the product image than they do “in real life”.  (Two of the colors are actually shades of green/olive I was expecting to be more brown.)  Eye shadow colors aren’t as deeply pigmented as other prestige brands, like Urban Decay.

MUFE wild & chic palette swatch2

Colors – left to right: 184, 123, 152, 17, 122, 126, eyeliner (black)

Random Info:  For some odd reason, the eye shadows aren’t in the same order in the kit as they are in the product image.

In Summary: While I may not love all the colors in this kit, it’s worth the $16 (after discounts and sales tax) I spent on it.  However, I don’t think it would have been a good buy at the $39 price point.  It’s a good kit for travel or throwing into a purse on the go.  At any rate, maybe I’ll experiment with some of the colors I don’t normally use/buy.

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars   4-stars

Price:  originally $39 (USD), was on sale for $19 (USD

Available at:  ???

Made in:  France (shadows) &  Germany (pencil)

MUFE wild & chic palette

Lesson Learned: Read the Fine Print

I recently got a 20% off code for beauty.com – one of my preferred online retailers.  So, I went to order some Christmas gifts for my daughter.  Being a fan of Urban Decay cosmetics, I immediately noticed this “palette” and added it to my basket (I was in a bit of a hurry, and was kind of exhausted after going through item after item for my daughter, trying to make sure they didn’t contain parabens, weren’t made in China, etc.)  Knowing that Urban Decay palettes usually come with one eye shadow, I assumed the product image with this item was accurate.  I also assumed that “Rebound” was the color of the eye shadow provided.  Yeah, let’s just say that the old saying about the spelling of “assumed” is appropriate for this situation…

Product image:

actual image from beauty.com website

actual image from beauty.com website

 

Beauty.com Product Description Excerpt (which I clearly didn’t read, expecting the image to be enough information for my purchase decision):

Rebound- a pink, peach, green and blue flower design.

Pop your four favorite UD shadows out of their cases and into this collectible (and completely customizable) palette!

Urban Decay usually sells their buildable palettes with one neutral shadow, but this time around they’re letting you unleash your inner type A and call all the shots. With four empty spaces and a massive selection of shades, the options are limitless. (Plus, you can swap out shades whenever you get a craving for more.)…

Important Note:  This item is also sold at Ulta.com, UrbanDecay.com, and Sephora.com, but with a more accurate product image:

urban decay rebound ulta

actual ulta.com product image

actual Sephora.com product image

actual Sephora.com product image

However:   Other sites are showing the inaccurate product image, including Macy’s and BeautyBay.com.  Additionally, regular purchasers of Urban Decay cosmetics are accustomed to getting an eye shadow single with the palette, so there’s that.

It’s a Mystery:  Perhaps when Urban Decay started marketing the product, they sent out 2 different versions of the product images and retailers chose the product image they wanted to use.  It’s hard to know the reason for the issue.

Good News:  I contacted beauty.com about the inaccurate product image and they gave me a refund for the item.

Bad News:  They haven’t changed the product image.  Hopefully, my “review” on the product will serve as a warning to people, but if someone is in a hurry like I was, they probably won’t read the review, either.

Bottom Line:  Product images should match the actual product.  Yes, we should all be good consumers and read the fine print.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect the product shown to be the one that arrives in the mail (or comes in the box, if you’re buying at a store).  It would be very easy to include a “eye shadow shown not included” statement at the bottom of the photo.

FYI:  If you’re looking for an Urban Decay palette at a great price, check out “Melt” , which DOES come with an eye shadow, and costs $18 – the same price as an eye shadow single.  In the UrbanDecay.com sale section, there’s a great deal on the “Glinda” palette, which is a super-great bargain at $24 for 6 eye shadows – 2 of which are actually split into 2 colors, so you really get 8.

 

 

 

 

Review: Lorac Eye Shadow (single)

Some of my all-time favorite eye shadows were in a LORAC set I got as a gift years ago.  Admittedly, I held onto that set for WAY longer than I should have, just because I loved the eye shadows so very much.  (It was almost physically painful to throw it out!)  So, when I saw this lonely eye shadow in my recent raid of the clearance section of a Sephora-inside-JCPenney store, I couldn’t resist – especially since it was in a nice golden color I like to use to “highlight” the area under my brows…

Pros:  Contains botanical ingredients (cornflower, calendula, and cucumber).  Can be used wet or dry.  Texture is very smooth, soft, and light-weight.  Shimmery, but not sparkly.

Cons:  Contains parabens (high in ingredients list, indicating a larger percentage of them than some eye shadows).   Expensive – if not on sale.

In Summary:  Considering the (regular) price, I feel like this item should be paraben-free, cruelty-free, etc.  I would never pay $19 for a single eye shadow that contains parabens.  Quality means a lot to me, but if two items are equal in quality, I will always choose the one that speaks to my conscience, even if it costs a little more.  If I were in the market for a $19 single eye shadow, I would buy one from Urban Decay instead. (Read my review of the one I recently purchased here:  http://wp.me/p1Z8Rq-EM)

Note: If you love Lorac eye shadows, check out the new “Dazzling Dozen” set at Ulta for $35.  The shadows contain parabens, but the price is reasonable.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars   3-stars

Price:  $19 (when not on sale)

Available at:  beautybar.com, loraccosmetics.com*,  zappos.com, beauty.com 

* currently on sale here for $6

LORAC eye shadow single

Shown in the color I bought: “Serenity”.

Love This! Urban Decay “Fun” Palette

I am a sucker for a cute palette.  I’m simply unable to resist a collection of beauty products in pretty packaging.  When it’s a great deal I’m absolutely defenseless.  So, when I saw this set at UrbanDecay.com for only $16 (and I was ordering some gifts anyway) I added one to my cart.  Despite my love of all three versions of the palette (also available:  “Dangerous” and “Feminine”), I chose the one I thought would have the most colors that would work for me…

Contents:  6 eye shadows and a mini “Lip Junkie” lip gloss in a pretty zipper bag.  The contents can be removed so the case can be used again.  Here’s a photo of the eye shadows on my arm.  (awkward photo – had to use my phone and it has a “flip case” getting in the way!)

Urban Decay Fun Palette

Shown left to right: Maui Wowie, Deep End, Sellout, Fishnet, Stray Dog, Freakshow

 

 

Pros:  Paraben-free.  Cruelty-free, like all Urban Decay cosmetics. (Leaping Bunny & PETA approved)  Deeply-pigmented eye colors that go on smoothly and stay in place.  Lip gloss is in a thin plastic tube, so you can squeeze it to get more of the contents out.  Lip gloss has a pleasant “sweet mint” flavor. Large mirror.

Cons:  The reusable bag contains a magnet to hold the contents, so you can’t put your credit cards or cell phone into it.  The eye shadows very greatly in their “finish”.  Some are shimmery (almost metallic) and others are glittery.  If you only like a certain kind of eye shadow, this may not be a good choice for you.  Lip gloss is a little on the “sticky”/”heavy” side and is very small.  (The packaging had enough room for a bigger lip gloss.)  No applicators, making it a little inconvenient for “to go” use.

In Summary:  Love this.  One of the colors is a little too “sparkly” for everyday use (Maui Wowie) and another is just a color that doesn’t look good on me (Deep End).  However, I adore the palette overall.  The eye shadows are smaller than standard Urban Decay eye shadow pots, but that’s OK with me.  I don’t like keeping makeup too long (OK, sometimes I do it – guilty!) so at least I might come closer to using it all up before I have to throw it out.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars  4.5-stars

Note: Since these are on sale, they probably won’t be available for very long.  Shipping for most orders is $8.  If you have a login for the site, it’s free if you spend $35.

Price: $16 (on sale)

Available at:  urbandecay.com, beauty.com (“Feminine” only)

84710_funpalette

Love This! Urban Decay Eyeshadow (in “Blackout”)

I have needed to get out and buy a new black eye shadow for a while now.  You see, I’m eyeliner-challenged.  I cannot “get the hang” of using an eyeliner pencil to save my life.  So, my solution is to use an angled eyeliner brush and black eye shadow to create a “liner”.  A recent rash of what I call “eye allergy attacks” (intensely painful, burning sensation that occurs suddenly – sometimes while I’m driving!) has motivated me to take the leap and spend a little money on a good eye shadow.  (The one I’ve been using is good, but very old.)  Also, I got a $10 Sephora gift card for $5, which I used to justify spending the money on this product…

Pros:  Vegan. Cruelty-free. Paraben-free.  Not made in China. Deeply pigmented. Matte finish makes it versatile for use as an eyeliner, or as a way of “darkening” lighter colors. (Note: Also available in not-matte black shades.)

Cons:  Expensive.  Container is a little difficult to open.  (I have long fingernails and am always worried about damaging them – or my nail polish…)

In Summary:  This eye shadow works perfectly for what I need.  Although I haven’t used it as an actual eye shadow (only liner), its deep, dark color is impressive.  It goes on smoothly and stays in place.  I may even invest in some more colors in the near future – if I can get a good deal on them!

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars  5-stars

Note:  Normally, I would only give it 4.5 stars, because of the price.  However, since it’s a great product AND it’s cruelty and paraben-free, I think it’s worth the extra money.

Price:  $18

Available at:  UrbanDecay.com, Sephora.com, Ulta.com, beauty.com

urban decay blackout eye shadow

 

Review: Rimmel Glam’Eyes HD Eye Shadow

On a recent trip to CVS, I had a coupon for a Rimmel product, and this one happened to be on sale.  Since I haven’t tried Rimmel eye shadows but have been happy with their other products, I thought I’d give it a try…

Pros: Good variety of colors available.  Applicator isn’t as cheaply-made as some others in this price range.  Shadows go on smoothly.  Nice shimmer without too much “sparkle”.  Good coverage.  Lasts longer than some other inexpensive shadows.

Cons: Made in China.  Ingredients not listed on packaging (not even under a label – and I couldn’t find them anywhere online, either. Not cool, Rimmel.).  Ridiculous packaging.  Some of the shadows are so small they’re almost impossible to use.

In Summary:  I would love this eye shadow if not for all of the “cons” listed above.  I can deal with the tiny eye shadow portions, but not being able to find out what ingredients are in the product is pretty much a deal-breaker for me.  “Made in China” is also usually on my “do not buy” list, but I forgot to check this particular item before I bought it.  (Glad I only spent $1.50…)  So, if you aren’t as picky as me, these would probably be good eye shadows for you!  If you want something that’s the same quality but without all the “cons”, try Almay’s Intense i-Color shadows, available in a variety of colors and sheens. (Read my review of them here.)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars (only because of the unavailable ingredients list and made-in-China thing!)  2.5-stars

Note: I think this particular version of the Glam’Eyes eye shadows is being discontinued in favor of a some with more practical packaging.

Price:  approx $5.50

Available at: Drug stores, mass merchandisers, Ulta

rimmel glam eyes

Thumbs-Down: Ulta Extreme Wear Whipped Eye Shadow

Ulta had a Buy One, Get One Free sale on their products last week (as well as a coupon and a “free item with purchase” deal).  I haven’t been impressed with the few Ulta brand products I’ve tried, but I wanted to try this eye shadow, since I’ve liked the cream eye shadows I’ve tried in the past (Revlon).  So, I picked it up in “Strawberry Cream”.  I should have found a different product instead…

Pros:  Inexpensive(ish).  Good variety of colors.  Made in USA (at least this color is). Paraben-free.  “Not animal tested”, according to the Ulta website.

Cons:  No ingredients list on the package. Color not very vibrant (doesn’t match up to color it looks like in the container). Apply too little and you can barely see it, apply too much and it looks really bad.  It’s a little bit too creamy – it’s more like a lotion than an eye shadow.

In Summary:  I really, really don’t like this stuff.  I doesn’t go on very well.  I believe the “extreme wear” claim, but who cares how long it stays on if it looks horrible while you’re wearing it?  I ended up removing it and applying another product.  I didn’t like how chalky it looked on my eyelids.  Since the color is so light, it made it look like I had flaky, dry skin on my eye area.  It got good reviews on Ulta.com, so maybe there’s some trick to applying it that I don’t know about.  I guess I’ll keep it around in case I find a use for it, but I suspect it will get tossed out in my next “bathroom purge”…

Rating: 1 out of  stars  1-star

Price: $8

Available at: Ulta

ulta extreme wear whipped eye shadow