Weekly Cheap Find:

I am a fan of lip and cheek stains. In the summer these are my beauty “secrets”. I apply the same stain to both cheeks and lips and sometimes I’ll even wear mascara. It’s perfect for those icky summer days. I was skeptical of these Covergirl lip stains at first. I don’t know why. I think in my mind I thought they were too expensive for a drugstore product, about $8. This is funny. If NARS offered an $8 lip stain, I would think it was a deal. Anyways, I must confess that I am completely in love with this product despite the really poor reviews elsewhere. I love its range, application, and lasting power. And the price is right, even for a drugstore item.

First off, I have been a vandal since day one. Keep Sharpies out of sight. So, I love this marker like application. It really defines the lip line plus it is so fun. It’s like I am drawing on my lips. Avon mark made one of these lip stains years ago. It was awesome and like so many of their products discontinued in like 2 months.  Second, it comes in a wide range of colors. At first I did not get this. Well, these babies aren’t so sheer. They are sheer but they do pack more pigment than what I am used to from a lip stain. This is good, I guess. I have many friends with dark complexions that don’t do many lip stains because they don’t show. This line has a color for everyone. I just wish they would offer testers at the store (that’s the problem with all drugstore cosmetics). Third, it wears for hours and hours! I’m talking like 6 hours with no touch-ups. But, you must let it set first, just like any lip stain. The fragrance/flavor isn’t bad. It’s faintly “fruity”. And the price isn’t bad. I still haven’t been lucky enough to get them on BOGO.

I have three but my goal is to have them all because I am a lip stain freak. The first two I did not try. I was looking for a red and plum lipstain, something that looked berry kissed. I bought 425 Plum Pout. To my surprise this had lots of pigment. It looks very sheer when blotted. However, I am used to a bold lip. I like it’s reddish plum stain. It seriously looks like the inside of a plum. The other is 440 Wild Berry Wink. This is a pretty bold pure cherry red. It is sexy. I don’t mean to sound gross but it is a bloodstain red. So, it’s a “fresh” goth and vampire look. Both colors are pretty bold in comparison to my skin tone. I like them but they are a bit bright. I love the application and formula but wanted something a bit “my lips but better”. I purchased 420 Sassy Mauve. This is it. It’s a perfect mauve lipstain. It’s a perfect blend of pink and brown. It’s super natural flush of the lips. Well, at least for me.

OK, so to the complaints. Many people say that the results are not consistent with this product. I agree. It does fade with time. It’s the applicator. To be honest, there is not much product in the pen. If you want a lip stain for a bargain, you should probably purchase something larger and more liquidy. It will be from the department store but you should consider the cost per use. This Covergirl product is “portable” unlike Benetint so you are getting less product to fit into the portable pen. People do not like the finish. This is a stain. It will not provide shine or moisture. This being said lips must be healthy and not chapped. I really think Covergirl should put that as a “warning”. This product will clump on flakey lips and look awful like that makeup on that chick in Sweeny Todd. Any lip stain will do this on battered lips. Even that Avon mark one had a warning on it. I don’t remember the verbiage exactly but it was like “product will bleed if applied to chapped lips. Do not apply to peeling lips.” I have not tried this product with gloss because I find the purpose of lip stain is to look “natural” and I love its matte finish. I’m sure gloss could be added but from my makeup artist experience with lip stain, just try a balm. If you want shine, wear lip gloss and not lip stain. You can’t have it all.Words like long-wearing, moisturizing, and glossy do not go together. It is an unspoken rule.

I say this is a product to love or to hate. It all depends on expectations. If you are a lip stain fan, you may like this but these carry more pigment than what you may be used to so go a shade lighter than what you desire. If you like hyper-glossy lips then stay away from this. If you want a “base” to wear under your retro gal red lipsticks, then this stuff is perfect. It “holds” matte lipsticks. Anyways, I like it and I’m going to have to pick a few more up before this product gets discontinued. I predict it won’t be around too much longer because of the awful reviews and it’s an expensive product for Covergirl.

I don’t usually do light blue shadows. They are too Sarah Michelle Geller as Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets horrible big hair 80s makeup. Plus, I feel it washes out my complexion. I realized that I needed a warm light blue. I’ve found the perfect shade with Scott Barnes Eye Ice in Blue Angel. The color is a lovely light sea blue with tons and tons of gold shimmer. It really warms it up and creates a gilded blue. I have never seen a color like it and this is coming from somebody that has steamer chests full of shadows. This colors really works with my complexion and makes my blue eyes pop. The pigment is very rich and one wash of color does the trick. It is a loose shadow formula in a glass cube container. It is a bit hard to get out without wasting a ton of product. The opening is not large enough to get a brush into. I am not wild about the packaging even if it is pretty. I’m trying to find something else to put it in so I won’t waste so much of this precious pigment. I’ve tried a few of the other colors and I love them too. They are kind of pricey at $25 but I think I am going to buy the purple, Glenda, because it is a dusty lilac that is packed with gold shimmer too.

I love this stuff. It wears for a long time and it doesn’t crease! You can’t say that about every cream shadow on the market. This stuff comes in a cool glass pot and a little goes a long way. It is a creamy super shimmery formula that once applied to the lid turns more powdery and budge proof. It looks wonderful with powder shadows layered over and it makes a great shadow base. They do not make the lids feel oily. There are alot of colors to choose from. I have a few. I really like Goldlights which is a super shimmery Gold Finger worthy gold and my favorite. It looks great with my blue eyes and with a tan (which I don’t have). I like Aqua Shimmer which is a medium super shimmery aqua. It looks wonderful alone or used with a liner brush as a fun liner. I have Whitelights which is a silvery shimmery white. It makes a great eyeshadow base and it looks great alone with bold lipsticks. Violet Visions is another nice one that is a medium purple. This one makes a great liner too especially when worn with bright magenta lips. They retail for $23. Keep the lid on them tight so that they don’t dry out. So far all of mine are just as nice as the day I got them, no drying or anything. But, I am a weirdo about keeping them sealed!

I’ve been using Clinique Water-Resistant Eyeliner for years. It has that certain understated old school glamour that I dig. It is a water-resistant cake eyeliner that wears strongly all day without flaking or fading; however, it is easy to remove at night with any eye makeup remover. It comes in two shades: Muted Brown which is a matte warm brown and Neutral Black which is a matte blackboard shade. It comes in a cake powder form and just needs water to create a long wearing formula. I like it because well, it wears all day and I can use any brush that I like to create a sexy cat eye. I’m not wild about the brush that is included with the liner. I find it too “wide” so I use a liner brush that I bought at an art store. It’s really thin and I like the control that I have with the long handle. I use it for all of my “retro” looks. I just wet my liner brush and run it across the cake and line. It is really simple. The liner dries in a short time and won’t budge all day. It is great for those with sensitive eyes or those that are sick of running liner. I’ve went through a ton of these over the years. I really like Lancome’s Artliner liquid eyeliner but I use it for more dramatic looks because the colors are deeper and “crisper”. I use Clinique’s for most everyday wear because I’m so used to it I can apply it very quickly. It retails for $14.50 which is a great deal because this stuff lasts a long while.

Great for creating Bardot-ish eyes.

Great for creating Bardot-ish eyes.

I love lip stains. They look fresh natural and just like you’ve had a glass wine sans the headache. I like to wear them alone or with gloss or under my deeper lipstick shades to make them last longer. They are very easy to wear. You just fill in your lips and go. They are meant to be you lip shade but better. Just remember to wash your fingers if you use them with finger tips. You don’t want those berry stained. There are a ton on the market and I am going to review a few that I have used or use.

Benefit Benetint: This is the rose scented and rose colored liquid that I use on my cheeks frequently. I have used it as a lip stain many times before. Let me just say I do not love it as a lip stain. It is too liquidy and will run into fine lines around the lips. I am 24 years old and this should be the least of my worries when applying makeup. I can’t get this stain to apply evenly and it will appear darker in lines on the lips. Plus it is too rosy tasting for my liking. The Benetint Lip Balm is not much better. It is a balm/gloss infused with Benetint. I find it messy and runny too. Benetint sells for $28.

Vincent Longo Lip & Cheek Gel Stain: This stuff comes in a lip gloss like container with a sponge doe foot applicator making it easier to apply to the lips. It has a thicker texture (gel) and doesn’t run like Benetint. It stays put and comes in numerous shades from deep burgundy to brown. Personally, I like Apollonia which is a deep plum that really adds a wonderful berry stain and I like My Sunshine which is  a deep warm red. I find that this stuff works great as a lip and cheek stain. Sells for $22.50.

NARS Lip Stain Gloss: I love the shades in these because they are more red and more my speed. This has a sponge tip applicator and looks like the other tubes of NARS lip gloss. Some of these have shimmer. These are pretty moisturizing and take a bit longer to dry but they are easy to use. I love the shades Indian Red (bright classic red), Daredevil ( a deeper classic red) and Victoire ( a plum brown). These sell for $24. There are also duo sets available where one end is the stain and the other is a gloss.

Urban Decay Lip Envy: This stuff comes in a cute container with a sponge applicator. It has a vanilla scent which is yummy and dries fairly quickly which I think is a plus in this case. I like Greedy the best which is a deep wine stained merlot.These sell for $17.

LORAC Sheer Wash Travel Size Sheer Wash: This formula comes in a gloss container with a roller ball tip. It is very liquidy and I think hard to use on the lips. Plus, I remember it smelling metallic or perfumey or something that I didn’t like. I could be wrong. It was a while back. Since it is so liquidy it has all the problems of the Benetint that I described above. These go for $19.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Lip Stain Duo: This is a duo lip stain where one end is a stain and the other is a clear gloss. I like the fragrance and the texture of these. Cherry Stain is a bright sheer red that looks really fresh. It sells for $20.

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Makeup Lip Stain: OK I hate Victoria’s Secret for a multitude of reasons. Mainly because one of their bras was so poorly constructed that on the initial wear the underwire poked through and stabbed my boob viciously, but anyways… This stuff comes in a felt tip marker package like the Stila and the shades range from brown to red, all with names that are trying to be sexy but come across as cheap. The formula is pretty nice and wears a long time. The packaging is portable and easy to use. I like the shades Unzipped which is a berry plum and Muse which is a soft rose. Retails for $12 and may or may not stab your boob viciously.

I’ve tried a few more and I don’t think they exist anymore. I had one from L’Oreal, Lancôme, and Borghese and those were nice. And Avon had one that was tasted like metal. I know they are plenty more on the market to try: ModelCo, TheBalm, Sephora Brand, Revlon, heck even American Eagle have one. Definitely try one but if you plan on using them on the lips I’d stick to a gel or a formula that is in a “pen”.

Diorshow Eye Show are great little pots of no-budge cream eyeshadow. The texture is soft and blendable. Once they dry they don’t budge and are said to be waterproof. I’ve never went swimming or was shipwrecked while wearing these, so I can’t comment on that factor. It comes in 6 shimmery shades. This formula wears nicely alone or as a base for powder formulas. White Light Disco is a shimmery white that makes a great base and highlighter. Undressed Beige is another great base because it is a light beige with shimmer. It is less dramatic than the other colors. It also makes a great face highlighter. The two fun shades are Pink Wannabe which is a medium pink shimmer and Pop Aquadelic (pictured above) which is a bright aqua with lots of silver shimmer. There are two shades that make great waterproof, stay-put liners and are great for a smudge-less smoky eye. I love Queen of Green which is a deep “forest” green shimmer. It looks awesome as a smoky eye, it is deep like black but less boring. The other shade is Glam & Glitz Black which is a pure black with silver shimmer. Looks great as a liner or for a fun smoky eye. I find this formula very easy to work with. I use my fingertips when blending all over the eye and a fine liner brush when using as a liner. Each come in a clear pot with a silver “CD” logo top. They retail for $30.