Tag Archives: dull

June: Sparkle or Dull?

When it comes to the beauty items I review, I always try my best to not just review the higher end brands but also the cheaper items that can easily be found at your local drug store. Some of the cheaper products I have reviewed have become staples in my makeup collection, beating out those that are more expensive by a long shot….and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t excite me! It’s always a great thing to save money!

Last July I reviewed a waterproof eyeliner by Stila (read that review here) after having a disastrous time with the cheapo eyeliner I had been using for awhile. I loved it…it was essentially an easy to use magic marker for my eye, and it stayed on like a champ. However, one negative thing about it…..well, about me….is that I use A LOT of eyeliner, and I felt I was going through this pen like crazy. At a little over $20 per eyeliner, I wanted to see if I could find a more cost effective product.

Product #1: Nyx Super Skinny Eye Marker

Whenever I am trying to find a more cost effective beauty product, one of my go to brands is always Nyx. Nyx can be found at Ulta, but also Target, Walmart, and various drug stores. Ulta often has buy one Nyx item, get one half off, so I timed this purchase up with another Nyx purchase (Im a huge fan of their HD powder), making it about $5.

As I mentioned, I loved that the Stila pen was like a large marker…that helps with precision when drawing on your eyeliner and also draws on a cleaner line in my opinion. Since this item had “marker” in the title, I figured it would be a great one to try.

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 4.43.12 PM.jpg
For starters, I wanted to share with you the two side by side. Not only is the Nyx product cheaper, but it is larger. I like that. I like that a lot. Once you remove the lid, the items look basically identical. Like Stila, the Nyx liner comes in a variety of colors for those of you not into jet black liner like I am.

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 4.43.01 PM.jpg
I was really impressed by this product. Everything I loved about the Stila liner I loved with this one as well. The only negative: the color wasn’t as bold as the Stila, but it was still enough for me to be satisfied…I think I’m just used to that super black in your face color.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle! Use the money you save by buying this product and hook yourself up with something else fun!

Product #2: Elf Makeup Remover Pen

Elf is a lower cost brand that is right up there with Nyx. I’ve reviewed their products many times before and am always pleased. They are extremely affordable, great quality, and can be found in most stores, including Target and Walmart.

A while back I was watching a youtube tutorial when the girl in it mentioned she always carried an Elf makeup remover pen with her. Surprisingly, I had never heard of or tried this item, and immediately went to Target to snag one. At $2.99, I hoped this product was as good as she claimed.

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 4.42.47 PM

Here’s the thing with me: I know I know what’s going on with makeup application, and during the application process I rarely make a mistake. Buuuutttt……I always seem to sneeze right after I put on my mascara and/or lashes, so I am constantly ending up with black dots or lines that aren’t attractive. Sometimes this means having to redo the entire eye, which is such a pain in the ass. I hoped this product would be a little lifesaver. Fortunately for me the day I wanted to try this product I went on a sneezing binge.

Screen Shot 2017-07-09 at 4.42.40 PM.jpg
See those cute black dots? Thanks mascara/liner/whatever. Instead of freaking out, I opened up my makeup remover pen and simply ran it over the mess. It immediately was gone. There was a very small area that needed touched up….easy with a little concealer…..but other than that my eyes were safe from destruction.

The only negative thing I see with some Elf products: they don’t last nearly as long as others. I’ve only used this pen a handful of times and am wondering how much life it has left…I’m guessing I’ll know the answer this week when I take it to New Orleans and will be using it for photo shoots and other fun things.

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle. It’s definitely something you want to have on hand for emergencies and can save you a lot of makeup aggravation.

I always love 2/2 months! If you try these items, let me know….I always love hearing from you guys!

Hope your day (and beauty routine) is full of sparkle!

sparkleon

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

January: Sparkle or Dull?

Back at it with some makeup reviews, friends! Sidetone: Sparkle or Dull has officially turned ONE year old! Yay! I’m so glad you guys like the reviews of various beauty products and enjoy all of your feedback! I hope this segment on my blog has helped you in some way!

Let’s chat products!

PRODUCT #1: Too Faced White Chocolate Chip Palette

If you’ve been around the makeup block for awhile, you know that Too Faced is my main eyeshadow brand.I’ve always loved the pigment of the palettes, the way they smell, and I just think the overall quality is great. As someone who owns literally EVERY palette they have ever made, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about their products.

When the White Chocolate Chip palette was released, naturally it went out of stock almost immediately. Usually I grab these items asap, but for some reason I was slacking around the time it was released and wasn’t able to get it until it was restocked after Christmas….perfect timing since I had a ton of Sephora gift cards (people know what makes me tick).
Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 6.25.30 AM.pngLately I have been gravitating toward more pink hues for my eyes, a color I typically don’t do. I was excited about the colors in this palette because the majority were ones I didn’t really own in addition to the fact that the colors fell into the pink trend I was loving.

Sephora was out of stock in the store with the palette, so they ordered it online so it could be delivered to me. Oh, the anticipation!

And then I got the palette…..and my excitement somewhat diminished.

Here’s the thing about Too Faced products….as I mentioned, the quality is great, but one downfall is that they aren’t cheap. Since I own so many of their items, I know what to expect when it comes to the size of the palettes.

This thing….yeah, no where near their normal palette size.

I opened the box to find an item literally the size of a credit card. WHAT????!!!!!! Besides that fact, it was exponentially thinner . Too Faced, what is happening here?

 

FINAL VERDICT: DULL-ISH
Overall, the colors are great…..the smell of the palette is nice….but I don’t feel like it is a good value. When I can buy one of the Chocolate Bar palettes that feature way more shadows for about $15 more, why would I want to buy something this size? If you don’t care about cost then this would probably be a sparkle in your world….so really this product could go either way for me.

Product #2 Precisely, My Brow Pencil by Benefit

I know, I know….you may be asking yourself “Why is she reviewing ANOTHER brow product”…….

Well, I had to, my friends.

October’s S or D featured a random find from Target, a brow pencil from Elf. I loved loved LOVED this product…even after I realized it didn’t last long (about 7-10 uses). For a few bucks and the great color I was okay with it though…until I went to Target and they stopped carrying my color!

If you are someone who uses the lightest shade, you are still in luck. I’ve been creeping various Targets and stores that carry the Elf brand, and the color I use seems to have magically vanished. Whatever.

I needed a brow product replacement and decided it was finally time to give Benefit a chance. I’ve been hearing about their brow line for awhile but didn’t know if it would be worth a try….which is usually my hang up with a product. And, like many items, I was expecting a disappointment.

WRONG.

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!!!!

Let’s cover everything I like about this product:

-The color is spot on….and, unlike many brow products, there is a wider variety of colors to choose from.

-There’s a lot of product in here….I’ve been using this for well over a month, and we are still rocking it out.

-The precision of the pencil is great for shaping your brows with smooth lines.

-The spoolie is fantastic.

100% worth it.
screen-shot-2017-02-06-at-6-38-58-am
Have you tried either product? Tell me your thoughts!

sparkleon

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

November : Sparkle or Dull?

Guys!

This Sparkle or Dull blog….what a headache it has been! The month is nearly over!

I had gotten quite a few requests to review a certain product, and it took me nearly 8 weeks to receive it! Apparently my package got lost in the mail not once, but TWICE, but it finally arrived two days ago, so I jumped right to the review. I was assured that is not the norm with the company’s shipping….so if you order from the same site I share below, don’t fret! Since I was hell bent on reviewing the item AND I don’t do a December Sparkle or Dull (I do a wrap up of some of my favorite finds instead), I had to wait to try the product out before posting!

Product #1: Pantene Pro-V Root Reboot Dry Shampoo

First of all, this isn’t the item I was waiting on…..this you can find at any drugstore, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.

I recently was reading a Cosmopolitan magazine (Yes, I still like to read them) and stumbled across a list of their best beauty finds of the year. I disagreed with most of them (shocker), but I was intrigued when they named this Pantene product as the best dry shampoo.

Screen Shot 2016-12-19 at 11.46.22 AM.jpg
You guys all know how I feel about dry shampoo….I wash my hair about once every two weeks so I rely on a quality dry shampoo to save me the other days. I have been having a love affair with Batiste dry shampoo for quite some time and did not have any desire to cheat on it….but thought just trying out this product would be ok. Who knows, I may love it more!

For starters, they aren’t far off in price. The Pantene product was about $6 at CVS when I snagged it, and Batiste is usually about $8. I always take advantage of the Buy 1, Get one 1/2 off sale on that, and when you pair with a coupon at Ulta it actually ends up being cheaper.

The point of dry shampoo is obviously to suck up the grease or nastiness hanging out in your hair, and Batiste does that incredibly well. When I tried this Root Reboot…..I did not think the same. At first it felt similar to the Batiste, but after I used my token hairdryer trick, I realized my hair still looked greasy and gross. The only benefit to it: It smelled nice, but then again, so does Batiste, and I have options for scents with that one.

This may be a better product for baby fine hair? I’m not sure, but to be named Best Dry Shampoo of the year by Cosmo SOMEONE had to like it…just not sure what hair type that person had. I let one of my pals with finer hair take it and am waiting back for a report from her.

Final Verdict: DULL.

Product #2: Max Makeup Cherimoya Lip Tattoo

Ok….this is the item I waited and waited and waited for!

screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-12-19-51-pm
Couple of things to talk about first…..I’ve been completely skeptical of these kinds of products since they hit the market. I mean….you put something on your lips, let it harden, peel it off, and the color stays? Yeah right. There are so many different kinds of lip tattoos out there (the one I got was temporarily sold out when I visited the site to link it for this blog) that I had a difficult time narrowing down what one to try. Honestly, I just went with the first one that popped up, and I have tried Cherimoya items before with success, so I figured it was a good option.

This definitely deserved a full video review so this blog is turning into a mini vlog.

My pieces of advice just to recap some of the things in the video:

1. Always look at the before and AFTER color swatches before purchasing…they will be different.

2. Use a lip brush to apply product evenly.

3. Make sure it is completely dried before peeling.

4. Be careful…it will dye your hands, clothes, etc.

5. I recommend exfoliating before use!

Definitely glad I gave this a chance and am excited to try more colors!

Final Verdict: SPARKLE!!!!

If you try a different brand, share your experience with me! I want to know what everyone likes when it comes to similar products!

sparkleon

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

April Beauty Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

Ok, first of all……I know…I know. It is mid May, and I am just now posting my two product reviews for the month of April. Cut me some slack though….these first two weeks of May have been crazy busy since my husband and I closed on our house and started the moving in process (don’t worry, I’ll share more on that later).

I am fortunate to have a lot of really talented friends in the makeup industry, so I always enjoy chatting about new products with them. The two I am reviewing today are two that have come up quite frequently  in conversation lately and both have  been presented with mixed reviews. Some people love them, some hate them….it was time for me to see for myself.

Product #1: Elf Makeup Mist

For a long time I questioned whether or not I really needed a setting spray to hold my makeup in place. Honestly, I thought it would do absolutely nothing for my face and possibly ruin my makeup, so I avoided using it.

During one of my photo shoots the makeup artist I was using misted my makeup with a setting spray from Urban Decay and my eyes lit up…..we all know that Urban Decay is my #1. I loved how it helped my makeup stay in place longer and, in my opinion, really helped cut down on that shine that happens sometimes if you have a cute T-zone like I do. At $21.00 a bottle was this really worth it? In my opinion, no, so I skipped it. When it comes to spending money on makeup, I believe some items are worth the higher price tag; a setting spray is not one of them.

I am a huge lover of the brand ELF, which is sold at Target and Walmart stores, for many reasons. Not only is it affordable (products range from $1-$10 or so), but their products are pretty darn awesome for the price tag. The majority of my makeup brushes are from their black collection, and while I was at Target to grab a few new ones I happened to notice their makeup mist, an item that I had chatted with some friends about not long before. It was time to give this little $3 bottle a try to see how she stood up to that $21 Urban Decay spray I had fallen in love with.

It. Is. Fabulous.

For a misting spray, it is light and doesn’t knock me out when I spray. It dries pretty much immediately and I felt held my makeup just as well as the Urban Decay item did. The good thing about mists? You don’t need much, so for $3, this bottle can last you a long time, giving you many many days of long lasting flawless makeup. I also noticed that my T zone shine didn’t show up as soon either! Score!

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!!!!!
Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.43.28 PMProduct #2: Kat Von D’s Shade + Light Eye Palette

Kat Von D won me over around the time of my wedding when I finally realized that her Lock It Foundation was the best thing around in the world of foundations. Prior to that I had not given her makeup a chance for reasons unknown.

I’m always a little worried about giving a new eye shadow palette a try because I rely so heavily on my loves from Urban Decay and Too Faced. This palette was one that some of my pals loved and some hated. I knew one thing: I was the first completely matte palette that I had stumbled across and considered, so what the heck…..let’s give it a shot.

I was pleasantly surprised! The colors in the palette are great basic shades, and if you are someone who loves a matte finish, this is the palette you want. The quality of the shadows is great, too….rich pigments that stay on and are great to blend.

For me, I don’t usually do all matte. I know someone out there in the makeup world will tell me that you shouldn’t do a shimmery eye after 30, but whatever. I make my own rules and love shimmer/glitter/sparkle……and I will for-ev-er (in a Sandlot voice). Lately I have been using this palette for the bulk of my eye, and then I add a little pop of shimmer from another palette depending on the look I am going for that day.

Here’s a quick tutorial on the colors I love best and how I use this palette for a fun low key look! Overall, I think this is a great palette to add to your collection. Check it out!

FINAL VERDICT: Sparkle!!!!

I love when products go two for two in the sparkle category!

sparkleon

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

March Finds: Sparkle or Dull?

March was the month that I was determined to try one of the products I have been hearing about by Tony Moly, a brand I that I love and have written about before.I am constantly hearing about products that help get rid of dark eye circles, and after our cruise I was in need of something to help me with mine. Let’s be honest…I didn’t exactly sleep much and had some serious raccoon eyes going on.

Product #1: Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Eye Patch

I’ve always wondered if these kinds of products work, and to be honest, I really haven’t needed to try them in the past. Sleep is something that is very important to me, and I’ve always used an eye cream that I believe helped if I had a night where I didn’t get as much sleep (my favorite is Benefit’s It’s Potent Eye Cream). Of course I forgot my eye cream on the cruise……it was the only thing I forgot! Pair the missing eye cream with all of those late nights/early mornings on the ship…..and you get these lovely sight. Hello, bags! And these bags sure as hell aren’t designer.

2016-03-18 15.31.18

The day we got home from the cruise I decided to enjoy a bubble bath and try these panda things. One pair comes in this cute little packaging, and when I opened the package up I have to be honest….I was already not interested. The eye patches felt like slimy seaweed, and I didn’t like that I had to wear them for fifteen minutes. Without cutouts for my eyeballs these instantly made me want to fall asleep….and in a Lush bath bomb bubble bath, that is already pretty easy to do.

After fifteen minutes (I set my phone alarm to make sure I followed the directions perfectly), I ripped the panda patches off of my eyes and hopped out of the tub with the hopes to see absolutely no remnants of my sleepless cruise.

Not the case.

Below is the Before and After photos. Can you tell the difference? Yeah, I can’t either.
FINAL VERDICT: DULL

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 9.44.07 PM

Product #2: Gwen Stefani Blush Palette

We all know I love Urban Decay, so when they introduced the limited edition Gwen Stefani Blush Palette, I was pumped! I’m a HUGE Gwen fan! However, it has been my experience that product collaborations with celebrities are terrible, and I was worried that this would be the case again, thus causing a ripple effect where my obsession with Gwen would change.

Since my go to blush was already an Urban Decay product I figured that this palette was worth a shot. And then I received the email that sealed the deal: for one day only Ulta was selling the Gwen palette 50% off! Don’t you just love when they have one day deals??!?!?!? I sure do.

This palette does not disappoint one bit! Here’s what’s in it:

4 blush colors: Cherry, Angel, Hush, and Easy
1 bronzer: LoFi
1 highligher: OC

I’ve been using the color Easy (the one in the middle, top row) and LOVE it, but I have to admit…all of the colors are great. I’ve tried each on their own as well as used the highlighter and bronzer to contour with the color Easy. The colors stay put (Urban Decay is known for 8 hour+ wear with their blush colors), and they are light and sheer. Plus they are packaged into a cute little black/white/gold case that Gwen designed herself. Score!

FINAL VERDICT: SPARKLE!

2016-04-04 15.39.44

Moral of the story: Gwen rules at everything she does and Pandas should stay away from face products.

sparkleon

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February: Sparkle or Dull?

I think I could literally test out makeup and beauty products all day, everyday and never get sick of it. It is so fun to me to try things out and just share an honest opinion on what I like/dislike about them!

This month I decided to try out two products that I’ve had friends chirping about more than usual, and I’m excited to share with you my findings! Before I go any further, I must reminder you that my Sparkle or Dull opinions are strictly my own, no one else’s. I don’t get paid by any of the companies for the products I review. With that being said, you may love/hate products that I feel the opposite about, and that is okay! I do these segments to hopefully help people learn more about a product before buying them. After all, no one likes wasting money on a product they will use once or twice.

Product #1Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

I certainly hope by now you have realized that I love lashes….like really, really, really love lashes. Even though I rock falsies most days, there are still days where I opt for good ol’ mascara. I won’t pretend that I have one mascara that I am committed to; there are so many great ones out there! My top two favorites have been Too Faced Better Than Sex Masacara and Urban Decay Perversion, but I am always open to trying others just in case one strikes my fancy.

A couple of my friends kept mentioning this mascara by Smashbox, so I finally figured it was time to give it a try. I’ll be honest: of all of the makeup brands that trend, Smashbox is probably the one that I have tried the least. I love their Photo Finish Primer, but that’s about as deep as my investigation in their products goes.

When it comes to mascara, I look for how easily it goes on (aka the clump test in my world), how it lengthens/volumizes, and overall quality. I’m not one who wants a natural look with lashes…..ever…but I’m not one who wants to look like I am wearing tarantulas on my eyes either. Immediately upon applying my first coat of the Smashbox mascara, I already knew how I felt about it: I was not a fan. In my opinion the brush didn’t provide the volume I like to see in a mascara, and after a second, then third, then fourth coat I didn’t see the look I like. Honestly, I would’ve picked Maybelline’s Great Lash mascara over this and saved myself the money. For the price I thought the quality was terrible and it did absolutely nothing to my eyelashes. I took one picture because I was so annoyed by it and had to move on to one of my go to mascaras.

Final Vote: DULL

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 1.52.04 AM

Product #2Younique’s Splurge Cream Shadow

Anything that has to do with eyeshadow, and I’m down. I’m serious. Eye shadow is like paint for your eyes, and every day you can create a new painting. I love the freedom and creativity it brings into my life!

One of my online pals, Kim, suggested that I give the cream eyeshadows a try. She had mentioned that she was obsessed with them and that they had great staying power…..and sold me when she told me that they stayed on without an issue when she taught her spinning classes. Spinning is no joke, so I figured it was time for this splurge stuff to try out an Insanity Live class!

I did have some concerns initially when I received the shadow in the mail. I’ve never been one that liked cream eye shadows….mostly because the ones I tried in the past did not stay on my lids, even with primer. There is nothing worse than creating a beautiful masterpiece on my eye, then having it vanish into nowhere within hours. However, I was open to trying it. Since Kim sells Younique, I’ve seen her makeup looks and knew she wouldn’t steer me in the wrong direction.

She didn’t.

I tried the Splurge Cream Shadow by itself first, using only a basic liner and some lashes for a low key day look (yes, I do participate in low key every now and then). One thing I noticed immediately was the quality of this product. For a cream shadow, it felt like I was putting something rich and decadent on my eyes, and I liked the silky feeling it had when it hit my eyelids. The color I am wearing below is Elegant, which I figured would be a great neutral option. I loved that it had some shimmer to it; that gave it enough pizazz to wear on its own. I put this shadow on around 9am and wore it all day long, which included an Insanity Live workout (if you have done one of these, you know you sweat like a beast). When I returned home I was pleasantly surprised to see that my shadow was still in tact and looking as great as it did earlier in the day. Previous cream shadows often had noticeable creases after some wear, but not this Splurge shadow.

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 2.09.13 AM

The nice thing about this shadow is that you can wear it by itself or you can jazz it up and do a more dramatic eye, using this as the base shadow. Earlier in the week I had to record some training videos for my team of rockstars, so I decided to do a smokier eye. I used Elegant as the base shadow to provide the shimmer I wanted, and used some of my other eye shadow palettes for the rest. I loved the final look. The cream shadow held the other pigments well, showed no creasing, and provided a dressier look. When I reviewed the footage I had shot, I couldn’t help but notice the subtle sparkles that would hit the light as I moved my head. When you serve as the leader of The Sparkle Squad, those are the little details you fall in love with…gotta have a sparkle! I actually love this product so much I am going to purchase it in another color. Thank you so much, Kim, for insisting I try it!

Final Vote: SPARKLE!

I’ve got a whole bevy of products in the hopper for March…it’s going to be hard to narrow them down! I may have not to a few more than two……we’ll see.

sparkleon

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,