Monday, August 18, 2014

Review and Swatches: Wet n Wild Comfort Zone

738 Comfort Zone is a Wet n Wild 8 color palette ($4.99 at drugstores) that I find myself reaching for often since it contains a great mix of neutrals and greens. As someone with green eyes, it's a particular favorite, but I think it would really suit anyone. On the left, you have great neutrals including a satin gold-toned cream, shimmery peach, metallic bronze, and deep warm brown with red glitter. On the right are green shades, with a light olive-toned taupe shimmer, shimmery sage, blackened forest green with gold shimmer, and a red-brown/teal duochrome.

Below are photos in natural light showing the shadows from different angles, displaying the dimension in some of the shimmers and particularly the duochrome.

The cream is somewhat sheer and the gold tones come out more at certain angles. Although I would like a little more opacity, it's still a pretty highlight shade, especially over a light colored base, and it has a nice smooth texture.

The peach has beautiful pigmentation and finish and a smooth silky texture. This is one of my favorites in the palette for the high quality and the uniqueness of the shade. It has a nice contrast when used with some of the green shades on the right side of the palette, and I think it would look particularly great with blue eyes because of the orange tones.

The bronze also has lovely pigmentation, texture, and shimmer with a lot of dimension. It's not a particularly unique shade but it's very usable and would go with a lot of looks. While I like the peach for standing out against the greens, this one would blend in nicely and create a very cohesive look.

The brown is the same one as the crease shade in the Wet n Wild I'm Getting Sunburned palette, but I think it has been reformulated because this one is smoother but stains the skin. Other than the staining, it's very nice to define the eye or use in the crease for a smoky look. It's slightly warm toned but not too much so it could be used with pretty much any color family. The red glitter is not too apparent on the eye, but adds a nice unique aspect.

The taupe has a very dimensional satin/shimmer finish that makes it look light a light champagne at certain angles, whereas from other angles it looks darker and more true to pan. I find that it tends to look darker on the eye. This is a little sheer, but easily buildable and has a nice silky texture.

The sage green is smooth and has great pigmentation. It can be slapped on for a bolder, colorful look, or blended out for a more subtle effect. This color really brings out green eyes.

The dark green can be a little patchy but overall has nice pigmentation. I find that the glitter can disappear if you blend it out too much. I like to add this shade just in the outer half of the crease when I'm using the sage green on the lid so that it's not overwhelming. I'll use the bronze in the crease, or a matte brown if I don't want too much shimmer.

The duochrome is really lovely, with a fantastic silky texture and great pigmentation. I've found that if you don't put it on in one swipe, the duochrome finish can get messed up, but it works great if you put it just in the outer corners or sweep it lightly over the lid for a cool effect when you blink. My favorite way to use it is to swipe it just under the outer half of the lower lashline- it creates a really striking effect that can add interest to a dramatic look or spice up some otherwise neutral eye makeup.

I haven't experience any major problems in terms of longevity or creasing, though the cream shade can fade after about 6 hours if not used over a primer or base. The sage and forest greens can also fade a bit after 8 hours without primer.

Dupe alert! The duochrome is an exact color match for Mac club, and I'd actually say that the texture and pigmentation of this shadow are better. This is pretty well known, so I wanted to see if there are any other dupes in this palette, and I found one!

The bronze shade is an exact color and finish match for Urban Decay Smog, though I have to say I prefer the texture of Smog, which is just a little smoother. They look exactly the same though!

Overall, this palette has some great neutrals, a couple of really unique colors (namely the peach and sage), and two dupes for higher end shadows. I would definitely recommend picking this up since it allows you to create an endless array of neutral looks, and it gives you the opportunity to work in some color.

Pigmentation: 10/10 (The cream could be a little more opaque, but overall I'm extremely impressed)
Texture: 10/10 (The dark green is a little dry but most of them are silky and lovely to work with)
Longevity: 9/10 (There was some fading when they were used without primer)
Price: 10/10 ($4.99 is an amazing value for 8 nice eyeshadows- I think it's worth it even if you only use the neutrals on the left)

Overall: 9.75/10

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review and Swatches: Wet n Wild Petal Pusher

While it has some gorgeous colors, Wet n Wild's 8 color palette in 736 Petal Pusher was a bit of a disappointment due to poor pigmentation. It contains a white that flashes pink/lavender/light blue at certain angles, a matte lilac with gold shimmer, a violet satin, a blue-violet with silver glitter, a light pink frost, a matte rust with rose gold glitter, a matte blackened purple packed with pink/red glitter, and a matte charcoal grey with silver glitter.

Below are swatches of the colors without flash.

Here you can better see the glitter in the second, third, and fourth shades in the right column.
The first color is beautiful in the pan, but hard to swatch and harder to capture. It creates a sheer white that flashes with iridescent pink, lavender, and light blue shimmer. It's a gorgeous color but absolutely requires a base.

The second color is very unique in my experience- it's a matte lilac with gold shimmer, which creates a lovely contrast, but it's not very pigmented and is a bit dry, so it would also require a base.

Next is a beautiful satin purple that also has a slightly dry texture and has better pigmentation than the first two but is still not as good as I've come to expect from Wet n Wild.

The last color in this column is a violet with silver glitter, also very unique, and also very dry and not well pigmented. I really built it  up for this swatch so you could see what a beautiful color it is, but it's pretty sheer and hard to work with. It's definitely worth it for such a beautiful color, though.

The top color on the right is a lovely break from the dryness and iffy pigmentation of the left column. It's a silky smooth frosty light pink with amazing pigmentation and a nice silvery sheen.

The second color is a bit dry and patchy but not as bad as the left column. It has a reddish-burgundy matte base with rose gold glitter. This is another unique shade that could create some really beautiful looks, and would definitely benefit from a base.

The third color is still a little dry but has nice pigmentation and goes on smooth, despite the somewhat chunky glitter. The base is a blackened violet with reddish pink glitter. Yet another unique and lovely color- this could create a nice smoky eye.

The last color is a matte charcoal grey with silver glitter that is -what a surprise- a bit dry, although it has good pigmentation. This is not a particularly unique color.

I haven't had any problems with creasing, but there is fading after just a couple of hours without primer, and even with primer the purples start fading around 6 or 7 hours. A cream base such as Mac Paint Pot or Maybelline Color Tattoo can help with longevity.

Though many of these colors are very unique, a few of them are dupes of higher end shadows.

On the top left, I'm comparing the top right shadow in the palette to the browbone shade in the Wet n Wild trio in 334 I'm Getting Sunburned. They have a similar frosty finish but the color from this palette is a bit lighter, not as vibrant of a pink, and has some more silver flash.

On the top right, I'm comparing the charcoal shade to Urban Decay Creep. Creep is a bit darker with slightly finer glitter, but I'm satisfied with these as dupes, and if you build up the Wet n Wild a bit more you could definitely get the same look on the eye with both. I'm sure there are other dupes for this shade as well, but one off the top of my head is Mac's Black Tied.

The third shade in the right column of the palette is slightly darker than Mac's Beauty Marked but on the eye they are pretty much interchangeable.

I really admire Wet n Wild's attempt to create some more unique shades with this palette, but I'm disappointed with the dry texture and sub-par pigmentation of most of the shadows. I don't find myself reaching for this often because even though many of the colors are gorgeous, I really have to work with them and the purples fade even with primer. If you really love some of these colors, the palette's not going to break the bank at $4.99, but otherwise you can find some nicer purple shadows, for example the Maybelline Eyestudio Color Explosion Eyeshadow Palette in 10 Amethyst Ablaze, although I think that one is a bit overpriced.

Purples are a difficult category of color, so if you really want purple eyeshadows and will use them a lot, I would recommend a medium-priced brand such as Inglot or Makeup Geek where you will pay more than drugstore but will get great quality.

Pigmentation: 6/10 (I had problems with 4 of the 8 shades, but was somewhat appeased by the lovely pink and nice darker shades on the right)
Texture: 5/10 (All of these except for the pink were dry, and the glittery violet was gritty)
Longevity: 5/10 (Quick fading without primer, and even some fading with primer)
Price: 10/10 (Even with the problems this palette has, I don't regret spending $4.99 and I think it's worth it just for the blackened violet shade)

Overall: 6.5/10

Friday, November 29, 2013

Review and Swatches: Wet n Wild Knock on Wood

After being extremely impressed by my other Wet n Wild eyeshadows, this trio in 383B Knock on Wood ($2.99 at the drugstore) was a little bit of a letdown in terms of pigmentation. The trio consists of a satin finish peachy pink, slightly shimmery medium-dark brown with neutral undertones, and a shimmery cranberry.

Below are swatches with flash.

The light pink is definitely the weakest link in this trio. It is chalky, powdery, and poorly pigmented, not to mention it's definitely not a browbone shade as the palette suggests. I might use it to blend out the crease or perhaps on the lid for a subtle look.

The brown is also not super pigmented, but is workable and is great for the outer corners, crease, or outer half of the crease depending on how dramatic you want your look to be. Despite the slight shimmer, this color works great in the crease for a natural look, in the outer corners for definition in a very light look, or to blend out a darker crease color in a darker look.

The cranberry color is my favorite of the bunch. The pigmentation is better than the other two colors, though still not quite up to par with what I've come to expect from Wet n Wild. The color is very versatile, mostly because you can actually blend out the shimmer. If I'm using the color on the lid and I want to keep the shimmer, I pack it on with my finger. However, if I'm using it in my crease, I lightly buff it in with a stiff blending brush and it creates a matte look. The latter is definitely my favorite way to use it, because it warms up any look, adds an interesting bit of color that isn't too bright, and brings out my green eyes.

Longevity is slightly less than other Wet n Wild eyeshadows I've used, with fading occurring after about 6 hours without primer and 10 hours with primer. I wouldn't use these if you have a long day ahead of you or are going to a special event. The upside of the slightly dry texture is that even though it decreases longevity, I've had absolutely no creasing. However, I think this palette is worth it for the cranberry shade alone, especially if you have green or blue eyes because it will really make your eye color pop and can liven up a neutral eye look.

In terms of dupes, the cranberry color is a little darker and more brown than Mac Cranberry, but they create a similar effect on the eye.

Pigmentation: 7/10 (Pink shade was not good, brown and cranberry were ok)
Texture: 8/10 (Pink shade is powdery, other two are nice but don't have the same almost creamy texture as some WNW shades)
Longevity: 8/10 (Primer is pretty much required to get through the day)
Price: 10/10 ($2.99 is a great deal even if you're never going to use the pink color. The brown shade is a nice reliable neutral and the cranberry shade is a staple in my collection)

Overall: 8.25/10

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review and Swatches: Wet n Wild Walking on Eggshells

This Wet n Wild trio in 380B Walking on Eggshells ($2.99 at drugstores) has been my go to recently for an easy and pretty day look. This trio consists of a satin light cream with gold undertones, a satin medium brown with very warm, orangey-gold undertones, and a shimmery peachy-pink champagne.

Below are swatches with and without flash, swatched in the order of the shadows in the packaging.

Swatches with flash

Swatches without flash

You can probably see that the cream is not as opaque as the brown and champagne. You can use it as a nice sheer highlight, or build it up or use it over a base if you want more opaque color.

The brown shade has fair color payoff with a nice texture- not too hard or soft, not too powdery or crumbly- but requires a little bit of building up if you want full coverage color. This color is great in the crease for a lighter look when you want something defined but not too smoky. It looks almost matte when blended out so the satin finish isn't a problem.

The champagne color is beautiful and insanely pigmented, which is in part due to a somewhat crumbly texture. It's easy to pick up too much, which can lead to fallout, but in my opinion the slight trouble is worth it for the gorgeous shimmery effect- I love the peachy undertones, which I find to be flattering on all eye colors and especially bring out green or blue eyes. It can also help cancel out any blue or purple hues in the inner corners and really wake up your eyes!

In terms of longevity, at first I experienced a little creasing with the champagne shade if I packed it on too much, but now that I've got the hang of it I haven't had any problems. With a primer, these shadows have lasted me about 14 hours. Without a primer, they start to fade around 7 or 8 hours but this fading is not noticeable from more than a foot away. Overall I'm very impressed with their performance.

Now for dupes! This palette is well-known for containing three Mac dupes- Shroom, Cork, and Naked Lunch. I decided to look beyond these known dupes and look for some more. Here's what I found:

Comparison swatches with flash
Comparison swatches without flash
Comparison swatches without flash

The closest dupe I found was Urban Decay Sin and the champagne "eyelid" shade. They are almost identical in color, with Sin looking a tiny bit darker in certain lights. Sin doesn't have the same crumbly-ness and is slightly less reflective on the eyes, but overall they are practically interchangeable.

For the medium brown shade, I found that it was close to Urban Decay's Buck, but Buck is completely matte, a little darker, and slightly less warm toned. They create the exact same effect on the eyes, though.

Finally, the cream shade was lighter than either Urban Decay Virgin or Urban Decay Bootycall, and had slight yellow undertones as opposed to the peachy undertones of Bootycall and cool pink undertones of Virgin. Bootycall is closer in color but Virgin creates a more similar effect on the eyes, with a slightly shimmery satin finish.

Overall, this is a great drugstore product with great pigmentation, workable textures, and good blendability. While these certainly aren't the most unique colors out there, this is a great staple in anyone's collection, and as described above, each shade can be substituted for certain Mac and Urban Decay shades, which are many times more expensive. Considering the low price and relatively high quality, I would definitely recommend picking this up.

Pigmentation: 9/10 (I wish the cream shade was a little more opaque)
Texture: 9/10 (As mentioned above, the champagne shade can be crumbly if you're not careful)
Longevity: 10/10 (Comparable to any high-end eyeshadow; last all day with primer)
Price: 10/10 (Great value at only $2.99)

Overall: 9.5/10

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review and Swatches: Wet n Wild I'm Getting Sunburned

The 334 I'm Getting Sunburned trio from Wet n Wild ($2.99 at drugstores) immediately makes me think of summer, but you could definitely use it all year round. The trio consists of a gorgeous frosty blue-toned pink, a matte deep brown with red glitter, and a golden bronze shimmery shade.

Here are swatches without flash; it's slightly out of focus so you can see the glitter in the middle shade and the frosty finish of the top shade.

The pink shade is perfect. It is smooth and silky with excellent pigmentation and it just glides on. It's legitimately pink, as opposed to some shades such as Urban Decay Sin, which are pink-toned champagnes. This makes is unique and fun but a little more difficult to wear- it's less of a neutral, and can be used more as a pop of color. The frosty finish makes it really brighten up the eyes. If you are familiar with color theory for eye makeup, you know that you should wear the same color as your eyes or the opposite color on the color wheel to make your eyes pop, so I've found that this pink is great for green eyes, but I think this could be flattering on anyone. Personally, I would not use this as a browbone shade as the palette suggests (I would use it on my lid) but someone with darker skin might be able to pull that off.

The brown shade is also very pigmented, but is a little drier and can go on patchy if you don't blend it well. If you blend it too much, you can lose the glitter, which could be good or bad depending on how you look at it. The glitter doesn't detract from its function as a crease or definer shade. This is the exact same shade as the left definer shade in the Comfort Zone palette by Wet n Wild, but I think they reformulated it because that one is a little less dry and stains the skin slightly.

The golden bronze shade has the same silky texture as the pink but is not quite as pigmented. It still has good pigmentation and just crosses the line between satin and shimmer. I wanted to see how this color compared to Half Baked by Urban Decay, so I pulled out my Naked palette and made some comparisons.

Comparison swatches with flash

Comparison swatches without flash

I compared the dark brown to Darkhorse by Urban Decay and found that Darkhorse was a bit lighter and had gold glitter rather than red glitter, but blended out I think the Wet n Wild shade could create the same effect on the eyes.

As you can see, Half Baked is lighter and more of a true yellow gold compared the orange undertones of the WNW shade. Half Baked also has that famous ultra-metallic finish. Urban Decay Smog has a more similar finish and undertones, but is a couple of shades too dark. I found that if you blend two parts Half Baked with one part Smog, you can create a shade that is identical to the WNW color in some lights, but at other angles the metallic finish of Half Baked comes out too much.

While the WNW palette doesn't have any exact dupes that I could find, it does allow you to create a somewhat similar look to the Naked palette that would be great for a summery, bronzy smoky eye.

In terms of longevity, I found that these shadows were the perfect mix of silky and slightly dry so that they avoided the creasing seen with overly "creamy" powder eyeshadows, while escaping the fading that can be caused by shadows that are too dry, even without primer.

With a variety of finishes, a couple of near-dupes for Urban Decay classics, and a lovely unique frosty pink, I definitely recommend picking up this trio for summer and transitioning into fall!

Pigmentation: 9/10 (The pink is great, the brown can be a little patchy, and the golden-bronze is fine but I wish it were just a little more pigmented)
Texture: 9/10 (The pink and gold are lovely, the brown is a little dry)
Longevity: 10/10 (Fantastic even without primer)
Price: 10/10 (For $2.99, this is a great deal- you get three nice, usable colors, two of which are near-dupes for Urban Decay shadows)

Overall: 9.5/10

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review and Swatches: Wet n Wild Blue Had Me At Hello

Wet n Wild's 8-color palette in 737 Blue Had Me At Hello reminds me of mermaids in the best possible way. It contains a slightly shimmery white, satin silvery baby blue, matte blackened navy packed with dark blue glitter, deep matte black, shimmery robin's egg blue, turquoise shimmer, royal blue satin, and black with medium sized silver glitter.

Below are swatches, with and without flash.

Swatches with flash

Swatches without flash

The white shade is somewhat sheer with a slightly dry texture. Ok for highlighting the inner corner but not something I reach for unless I already have this palette out.

The color below it is a very cool toned, almost silver blue that also has sub-par pigmentation, although the texture is nice and smooth. I find this color difficult to wear because it's so cool toned, so I rarely use it.

The next color is very interesting and unique in my experience- it has a very blackened, almost black navy base with blue glitter. Lovely for a unique smoky look. Beautiful when the glitter catches the light.

Last in this column is a standard matte black (it looks like it has some glitter in the upper picture but that's just from a not-quite-clean swatching finger.

The top shade in the right column is also not too pigmented but has a nice silky texture. It's not quite as cool toned as the second color in the left column, and is a bit easier to wear, though I wouldn't use it on the browbone. Maybe on the inner corner, and certainly on the inner half of the lid for a nice pop of color.

Speaking of pops of color, the turquoise is perfect for that purpose. It has a lovely smooth texture and great pigmentation. It can be a bit much all over the lid, so I stick to using it on the inner half, in the crease with a matte cream on the lid for a cool summery look, or, my favorite, running it all the way under the lower lashline for a daring bright daytime look (using nude liner underneath makes the color pop and last all day). I also like using it to set a nude or blue liner on the lower waterline for a more nighttime look.

The next color has nice pigmentation and texture and changes a bit depending on the angle, but isn't quite a duochrome- more of a dimensional shimmer. It can look navy, cobalt, or royal blue and is quite pretty but can be difficult to use because it's a bit dark for the lid and loses some of its beauty when blended into the crease. A nice compromise is using it on the outer half of the lid or under the lower lashline.

The last color is a deep matte black (even darker than the one on the left) with silver glitter. You can get rid of the glitter if you blend it out, but then you also lose a bit of the intensity. It's kind of a shame that the glittery black has a deeper base than the matte one, but the glitter isn't super noticeable, although it's larger than most of the glitters used in Wet n Wild eyeshadows. It can add a nice bit of dimension.

All of the colors fade a bit if not used over a primer or base, but I haven't had any issues with creasing.

The matte black isn't quite as intense as Urban Decay Blackout, and is slightly more blue-toned, but it's a nice dupe, especially for the price.

I think it would be worth it to buy the palette for the black alone, seeing as it's more intense than Mac Carbon and almost as dark as UD Blackout, for just $4.99, and you also get 7 other shadows. The white and two light blues have some pigmentation issues, but are fine over a base, and the turquoise is one of my all time favorite shadows. I love using the turquoise and dark blue to create fun looks in the summer, and the blackened navy and black with glitter create smoky looks with a fun twist. For someone who wants to step away from neutrals and try something fun and new, I would recommend this palette.

Pigmentation: 8/10 (Not impressed with the white and light blues but the great payoff of the turquoise and blacks makes it worth it)
Texture: 8/10 (The blacks, blackened navy, and white are just a little dry while the other four have an amazing silky texture)
Longevity: 8/10 (Not great without primer, but perfect with primer and absolutely no creasing)
Price: 10/10 ($4.99 is a great value for a standard black and some fun shades)

Overall: 8.5/10

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Top 3 Workwear Tips

It can be hard to express yourself and feel fashionable while staying within your employer's dress code, especially when it's as restrictive and casual as mine- jeans and sneakers required. But hopefully these tips will help you out. No heels? No skirts? No problem!

1. Work within the guidelines. Remember how I mentioned sneakers are mandatory here? Well, while everyone else is running around in tennis shoes, I prefer to interpret the rules in my own way.
My favorite Rocketdog "sneakers"
Sinfully comfortable, thankfully free of that squeaking noise sneakers can make against a linoleum floor, and far more expressive of my personal style than exercise sneakers. I'm so obsessed with these that I even got my gym teacher to accept them as sneakers, and I wear them so often that they are literally falling apart- the canvas is worn thin, the edges are fraying, and the red thread at the toe has unraveled. This beat up effect, along with the model of the shoe, adds a rocker/grunge vibe to any outfit. My style changes from preppy to boho to edgy depending on the day, so having these shoes is great for instantly changing the feel of an outfit while sticking to my dress code!

2. Use colors, cuts, and textures to your advantage. Although I love jeans, somehow being told I can't wear any other pants makes me resent them a bit. When I really think about it, though, the category of jeans is so expansive, I know I can't get bored! Especially with the trends this summer, it's so easy to incorporate jeans into your wardrobe. For a girly, flirty look try floral jeans, which have been everywhere this season!
Try these adorable jeans from Wet Seal!
Not into patterns? Bright solids are also huge right now.
These awesome jeggings from Delia's come in a bunch of pretty shades!
3. Use makeup to express yourself! First check what other people are wearing- if absolutely no one else puts on any makeup, you might feel awkward. But otherwise, it's a great outlet! Try a bold winged or cat-eye liner for an edgy look.

For a flirtier vibe, go with a fun lip color- as I said above with the jeggings, brights are all the rage this summer!
This bright pink is super daring and sure to make you stand out!
Hope these tips help you keep sight of your style within the restrictions placed upon you at work, and have a great rest of the summer! Back-to-school posts will be coming your way soon :)