Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 90.0 – Liquid Assets: a Peek at Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliners

Years ago, when 16-year-old-Luna bought her first Urban Decay Shadows–Oil Slick, Last Dance, and Uzi–there was absolutely no way to know that we would be sitting down together to discuss some of their latest releases over dinner. I received an invite from Beautylish some time last week for a surprise launch party on Thursday. I wasn’t told what brand was launching what, but any time Beautylish is involved, it’s always a blast. (Seriously, if you haven’t all ready signed up there, I don’t know what you’re waiting for–they’re the nicest people, and you can sign up to be notified when they’re throwing an event near you.) Imagine my surprise when I see my blackberry notifier blinking at me to say the brand I was on my way to meet was Urban Decay!

UD Gals Tammy and Kat came all the way from LA to meet with Beautylish Beauty Director Ning Chao and a handful of bloggers, youtubers, and Beautylish members–needless to say, I was absolutely honored to have been invited. It was an absolutely lovely night full of makeup, girl-talk, and artichokes. And thanks to Urban Decay’s amazing generosity, I can now bring you guys a peek at what’s coming up in the brand’s Fall line!

I’m going to be breaking these products into groups and spreading the entries throughout my posting week.

Urban Decay has a few products that have managed to attain cult status: I think it’s safe to say that everyone has owned at least one 24/7 eyeliner pencil in their lives, if they don’t have a steady group of them knocking around their makeup drawers. Of course I was an avid Zero user in my day, but I’ve come to realize liquid liner is where it’s at. Urban Decay previously had a line of liquid liners, packaged in genie-like bottles with pointed handles and very long, moderately thicker brushes that required a bit of getting used to. I was shocked to see them on the discontinued section of the website recently–here’s why:

New liners, you guys! To be honest, I wasn’t exactly shocked to see these: it seems as if every brand and it’s mother has put out a line of long-wear liquids in slim-line tubes these days. (See here, and here, and here, and here…) What I was surprised to see was the applicator itself: most of the aforementioned liners rely on felt-tip or sponge-like “brushes” to apply, which causes me the pain and heartache of dragging, pulling, and uneven line weights while I attempt to apply them like every other liquid liner I’ve ever used. Is it wrong to feel that I shouldn’t have to re-learn liquid liner execution? I spent the better part of my makeup-wearing life perfecting that technique, so I’m sorry if I feel a little bitter about starting from square one with an all-together different applicator. I think Urban Decay must have felt the same way–I present to you, brushes!

These babies are made with ultra-fine, super-flexible brushes made of 100% cruelty-free synthetic fibers for ultimate control. Better yet, they come in eleven different super-pigmented, smoothly-formulated shades in finishes that vary from matte to gloss to shimmer.

From left to right top line: Perversion (carbon black), Revolver (sparkly, dark grey), Demolition (deep, matte brown), Smog (sparkly, golden medium brown), Radium (bright, sparkly blue), Sabbath (deep, matte navy blue)

Left to right bottom line: Retrograde (glittery, deep purple), Siren (sparkly, mermaid-tail blue/green), Woodstock (sparkly hot pink), Bobby Dazzle (sparkly, bright pearl), El Dorado (sparkly, canary gold)

The following are comparison shots between Urban Decay’s Woodstock and Make Up Forever’s Iridescent Fuchsia.

UD’s Woodstock on top, MUFE’s Iridescent Fuchsia on bottom

MUFE on the left, UD on the right: you can see the single-weight line from MUFE, regardless of how much pressure I used, versus the varied-weight line from UD. I know which I’d rather use for a cat-eye.

Urban Decay suggests leaning an elbow on your mirror or vanity while applying in order to keep a steadier hand: if your elbow is secure, your wrist is free to create the perfect line. I usually do a combination elbow-on-mirror, wrist-against-cheek maneuver to keep myself secure.

These wear all day without rubbing off, transferring, or looking any less stellar than it did when you put it on. Even better, you can use these to create a wide variety of shapes, from thin, subtle lines along the lashes to big, bold cat-eyes that wing out to there.

These will be available at Sephora, ULTA, and select Macy’s locations, or online at Sephora.com, Ulta.com, Macys.com, Beauty.com, and of course UrbanDecay.com for $18.00 a piece. (Compare that with the prices of other long-wearing liquids: you’re going to want to check these out for that reason alone!)

Next up, Urban Brow and Lush Lash Mascara!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

*Please note, the products featured in this post were given to me by PR for the purpose of review. This has not affected my honest review in any way.

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Cosmetics, Reviews

Metamorphosis 87.0 – Never Ask a Lady: a review of Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara

I’ll admit it: mascara really was never something that excited me. For the most part, I thought it a little boring–after all, how different can one black paste be from another? While I wouldn’t dream of leaving my house without it now, there were years where I “forgot” mascara even existed. My lashes are naturally pretty thick and rather long, so aside from darkening them mascara really never did it for me.

Oh, how that has changed!

When I heard that Benefit was putting out their new They’re Real! Mascara, I was unenthused. I was happy with my Clinique High Lengths mascara, and while I knew Benefit put out some quality products and had a cult following, I really didn’t care to experiment. Why spend almost twice the money of my current mascara when I wasn’t even sure I’d be happy with it? As is always my luck, reality always works contrarily. Look what arrived on my doorstep*:

Most mascaras I get end up tossed into my eye drawer, waiting for my current mascara to expire before seeing the light of day. This wasn’t exactly the case with this baby. With all the hype surrounding this product, I simply had to try it immediately.

The tube itself is remarkably different from most mascaras I’ve seen. As opposed to the plain tube, this is a sort of angled, squared-off shape in a metallic pewter. Super snazzy. But it’s what’s inside that counts. The packaging claims:

94% saw dramatic length & volume
90% saw base-to-tip curl

94% saw visible lift
100% saw long-wearing results

Those are mighty-big claims for a mascara to make! I’ve read things like this a million times and am usually disappointed, so I went into this with absolutely no expectations. Honestly, I could not imagine it being any better than my Clinique High Lengths.

You’ve probably heard me go on and on about mascara wands. I get sort of picky when it comes to my wands–you probably couldn’t pay me to use the typical spoolie brush that comes with most of them. Clinique’s High Lengths comes with my favourite: it’s like a comb, with teeth only on one end, allowing you to get right at the lash line and coat from the base up. Benefit’s They’re Rea! comes with a fat, rubberized brush with countless little spiky teeth to really pack in the formula.

I feel like the brush is a little difficult to get near to the roots, but I have very sensitive eyes so others might not have this problem. Given that I can’t get right down in there I do feel this takes a bit more time and care to apply. The inner pamphlet says:

To use: Position wand horizontally & wiggle from side to side, base to tip, to achieve maximum volume, length & lift. Hold wand vertically & stroke upward to curl & separate. Layer generously as desired.

Even Benefit seems to acknowledge that this product takes a bit of “work” to achieve the false-lash look women will want from this product. Honestly, I’m not going to hold a wand vertically at any point–I know myself too well to think I won’t sneeze or blink on it and end up permanently blinded by teeth. Regardless, I was surprised by the results.

This may be the only mascara that has ever “curled” my lashes. I normally don’t curl my lashes–in fact, I haven’t touched an eyelash curler since highschool. I just don’t see the point. My lashes have enough natural lift that I don’t need to “open up my eyes” by curling. Frankly, I’ve always hated the feeling of my lashes touching my eyelids, making me look like a startled animal in the crosshairs. Not a good look for me. They’re Real! doesn’t deliver quite that drama, but curls lashes well enough that they look fuller, longer, and more dramatic. It lengthens and creates fullness as well, though I find it takes a few swipes both on top and bottom of lashes to get the length I’m used to.

Below are side-by-side comparison shots of They’re Real! and High Lengths. Benefit is on the left, where Clinique is on the right.

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

Benefit’s They’re Real! (left) vs. Clinique’s High Lengths (right)

I don’t think I need to tell you who the winner is.

My biggest criticism at this point is ease of removal: it takes me several swipes of the makeup remover to get this baby off, and even afterward I feel like it clings to the lashes. Even so, it doesn’t create the dreaded raccoon effect in the morning but I like to be squeaky-clean before bed.

Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara will retail for $22. I really do like the formula, and I will probably buy it again when this tube expires. If you’re looking for a super-black, super-performing mascara that promises (and delivers!) curl, length, and fullness, it’s well worth the price tag!

Love you to the Moon and Back,

Luna Valentine

* This product was provided as a promotional sample for my honest review. This has not affected my opinion at all.

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