Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Ardell DuraLash Starter Kit

I'm pretty sure every girl would love to wake up with long, beautiful, thick lashes. Professional eyelash extensions is probably the best option to get for this, but it is expensive. Roughly $200+ for a full set. The lashes last for a few months, but typically needs to be refilled every 2-5 weeks. So if you have the money, and are willing to go into the salon for maintenance every few weeks ago, then this is something you can look into.

BUT, for most people who don't have that kind of money, people like me, we have to look into other options. Two two most common alternatives are: Mascara and False Lashes.

False lashes are good, but they are a hassle to put on every morning and remove at night. Sometimes they become loose throughout the day and might need some adjusting, but overall its a pretty good alternative. Just be careful not to remove any of your real lashes when taking them off!! The price ranges from $3 up and will probably last about a week (considering daily use). I don't exactly have a preferred brand of falsies, but look for ones that isn't too synthetic. The most important thing for false lashes is... the eyelash GLUE. I like DUO and LashGrip.

Mascara is something that most people use for longer and thicker lashes. It is probably the simplest solution as well, however, it is not always the best. Yes, it will make your lashes look longer and thicker, however, it cannot mimic what false lashes and lash extensions do! There are a large varieties of mascara out in the market today, and they can only come CLOSE to what falsies can do (like the mascaras with synthetic fiber). The price range is anywhere around $7+ and will probably last about 5 months. Mascara is, however, less of a hassle to apply than false lashes. Yes you might have to reapply/fix it throughout the day, and wash it off at night, but it take less time to apply than falsies. BUT, like the falsies, you can't just simply wake up in the morning and already have gorgeous lashes.

There is one other option: Semi-permanent Eyelash Extensions.
Specifically, I will be reviewing Ardell DuraLash Eyelash Extensions.

Above is the starter kit. It comes with one strop of short lashes, two medium, one long, one tweaser, one eyelash glue, and one eyelash glue remover. I brought two of these. They cost roughly $11 and supposedly should last weeks.

The application process (for a full set) is about... eh... an hour? Depending on how skilled you are, I guess. It took me an hour, and I'm pretty much a beginner (and I messed up a lot starting off). I used the short and medium lashes, but more of the short ones. If you think false lashes are hard to apply, these are even harder! I messed up several times and had to throw some of the lashes away (got too messy-- too much glue). But you'll eventually get used to it. Be careful though! The glue stings the eyes~!

After applying the lashes, I let them sit for about 2 hours (just to make sure the glue has dried sufficiently). It kinds feels heavy... and a little bit uncomfortable at first, but you'll eventually get used to it. The one thing you wont get use to is rubbing your eyes-- don't do it! It does itch sometimes. Also taking a shower with them on (the eyelashes tend to retain the water) and washing your eye makeup off can be a little bit tricky. Sleeping with them on is...well not the most comfortable thing. I mean, you aren't bothered by it TOO much, but its there nonetheless. Whenever I sleep with them, I worry about messing up the lashes. But the next day they aren't messed up too much.

As far as how long they last, unfortunately they don't last very long. Maybe I applied them wrong or something, but the lashes starts falling out after a day or two and taking with it, some of my natural lashes :/. They fall off more easily around the inner and outer corners of the eye. I had to reapply some lashes. I think the application really matters a lot.

If you go to a salon to get them done (the semi-perms) it will last a bit longer. I got mine done once, and only the inner corners of one eye (about maybe 2 strands or so) fell off after 3 days. But the others are pretty much still attached. I think they should last about a week or two. Maybe two. It isn't that expensive either-- maybe around $20+. The salon that I went to use Ardell lashes BUT they used a different glue, so that might be the reason why it last longer... they (the lashes) are still uncomfortable tho. Whether its done by your own hands or at a salon, you can still feel them.

The one thing I REALLY dislike about these semi-permanent lash extensions is the removal process. Its really hard to remove... and if you do eventually get them to come off, they usually take some of your natural lashes with it =/.

Overall Rating: 2/5
Price: 4/5
Length of Wear: 2.5/5
Comfort: 2/5
Application: 2.5/5
Removal: 0/5

Overall, the semi-permanent eyelash extensions aren't a bad substitute for real eyelash extensions, but I think I will stick to my false lashes and mascara.

Review: Pixi Bittersweet Cacao Palette

Every time I shop at Target, I ALWAYS visit the beauty section. I love how Target have both common drug store cosmetics and some "higher end" cosmetics (such as sonia kashuk).
Pixi (by petra) is one of the "higher end" cosmetics (which range somewhere between drug store cosmetics and cosmetics is department stores) held by Target. I was always intrigued by the smallness of the palette packagings (very travel friendly), as well as the quality, so I decided to pick one up. It was $28 (yikes!)

I purchased the No. 14 Bittersweet Cacao Palette.

Please excuse the horrible camera quality.
Here is what the back of the packaging says:

Eye Beauty Kit
palette yeur lumiere
No. 14 Bittersweet Cacao
Eight of our favourite beautifying eye colors. Siky and sheer in texture, you can use wet for a party
perfect look or dry for daytime dream eyes. Infused with soothing Aloe Vera & anti-aging VItamin E.
Included is a mini version of our "can't live without" eye brush - one end for easy lining and one for
application and blending. All you need to enhance and energize your eyes!

[picture of palette]

[picture of woman
The most common question I get is: how do i do my eyes to make them stand out? My
reply is always the same, use glowing shades in colours you are naturally drawn to.
I do love a great all-in-one palette of coordinated colours to line, shade, and highlight
the eyes. Pick your favourite palette for endless options of eye-enhancing hues
Love Petra
Mum &
Makeup Artist

Above is a picture of the palette out of its packaging. See? Its super thin!! *loves*

And the back of the palette

The eye shadows!

Lately, I haven't been using colorful eye shadows. I kinda feel that I have grown out of them... not saying that colorful eye shadows is immature, mind you! I love colorful eye shadows, and I think they expresses personality, style, and enhances a person's look beautifully! However, lately, I find it a hassle to fuss over how to wear it, and wondering if it matches my outfit or not.
Neutrals match with almost everything, and it takes a lot of work out of makeup application (XD). Applying makeup IS fun, and when I want to apply makeup for fun, I would definitely use colorful eyeshadows, BUT if I am getting ready for school, I don't really want to spend so much time on how I look (especially if your room mate is still asleep. Don't want to disturb her!).

So anyhow, that is why I have been really into neutrals (and probably will be for a long time XD).

The colors in the palette is quite nice, but I personally would like it better if more of the colors were matte.
Not sure if you can tell from the picture, but column 1 (from the left of the picture) is matte, and the upper most eyeshadow in column 3 is matte. Everything else is shimmery.
I would LOVE it if the darkest most color (column 4, top shadow) were matte. (I prefer my darks to be matte, and my lights to be shimmery XD)

Also the browns were a little bit TOO brown for me. I wish there was a more mutted brown (like brown with hints of grey). Something similar to MAC's omega.

Here are some swatches:
I swatched it from horizontal top row to bottom row
(left to right from the top to the bottom)

Here is the swatches again in a darker lighting

From the picture, it seems like the column 1 bottom shadow blends and the column 2 top shadow seem to blend into my skin, however, in reality it doesn't! The nude color, believe it or not, is actually LIGHTER than my skin tone. The peach shade comes out the same color as you see in the picture of the palette. (again, sorry for the horrible camera quality)

The shadows are very pigmented (the camera didn't do the colors justice) and the texture is silky smooth. The shadows also blend very easily together. As for longevitiy of wear (alone), I can't really say since I have oily lids (and oily lids hate makeup), BUT the colors do last quite long when I wear the shadows with primer. =D

The brush that comes with the palette isn't bad. I do like the liner brush, but I am not a huge fan of the blending/eyeshadow brush. The fluffier brush (which I call the blending/eyeshadow brush) doesn't apply the shadows very well. The $1 ELF brushes works better! (But then again, I really love the ELF brushes, great quality for the price!

Pigmentation: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Length of Wear: 3.8/5
Texture: 4/5
Price: 4/5
Colors: 4/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

I have to say that this palette is very comparable to some products you'll find in Sephora! And I simply love the compact design.