ZMask: Anti-Wrinkle Face and Eye Masks

Occasionally, I get opportunities to review items that I think my readers would enjoy and would like to learn about. I have been focusing quite a bit on skin care in my own, personal life over the past year as I’m wanting to do what I can to keep my lovely, smooth complexion. Even though that’s said wryly, I am having a birthday this month and truthfully, my peak has already past. Now I’m just holding back the signs of time as best as I can afford.

Over the past 6 weeks, I have been testing out ZMask. I had never heard of this product before but with buzz phrases like:

  • Made with natural seaweed extracts
  • Paraben-, fragrance-, and mineral oil-free
  • Clinically proven to reduce wrinkles,  smooth skin, and improve skin elasticity

I was very interested…

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The box has a lot of info on it itself…

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I couldn’t find a number at to a total number of people that gave these percentages however, it’s a starting place for me to look for those results, hopefully, myself.

This is the Complete ZMask System…

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This has 12 full face masks, 12 under eye masks and a bottle of the Instant Youth Potion.

The brochure that came in the kit had lots of information about the ingredients of the products but, it didn’t have any info on how or when to wear the Instant Youth Potion. I’ll speak more on that in a moment.

Even though the instructions state that the masks can be used up to 3 times a week, I did one mask per week along with using the eye masks later on that same week. Don’t be scared, it’s just me working on my wrinkles!…

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I have used paper masks in the past and I think they are really neat. They are not messy like liquid masks. One week I did this while I was in the middle of experiencing a migraine. I don’t know what possessed me to do this with a headache but the cooling sensation of the mask felt really good! I will have to remember this!

Each mask has instructions on it on how to use it but really, it’s a no-brainer. Here’s for the full mask…

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And, for the eye masks…

 

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The masks do not become dry. They stay moist during the time you have them on. Once the time is up, you just peel off the paper mask, throw it away and gently rub in the residue. Here’s what I thought about the residue; it was cooling, as I mentioned. Once I rubbed it in and it dried, my skin was so smooth. It did feel a bit tight which was more of a plumped up feeling rather than a dried skin tight feeling. I did follow up a few times with the Instant Youth Potion…

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The potion didn’t lessen the tight sensation. It didn’t really add to it but I figured out, on my own, that the potion is meant to plump up the skin as well. So, in retrospect, I would use the potion as part of my morning skin ritual. I did this for 4 days straight and I found that I didn’t care for that tightening sensation. Mostly, I believe that I am not accustomed to that sensation.

I will say that even with the skin-tightening, I visibly saw that my skin was smoother. After each type of mask, my crow’s feet wrinkles around my eyes was lessened. I didn’t notice any changes with the wrinkles I have on my forehead.

My box of masks doesn’t look like the box advertised on the ZMask website. I notice from the copyright date, 2010, that maybe I received an older product. Also, my box calls the product ‘Zephyranthe’. I suspect they renamed it ZMask just because it’s easier to remember and customers relate better to brands they can pronounce.

Overall, I found the masks to be soothing to my psyche as well as to my skin. There wasn’t a detectable odor, I didn’t get any irritation and my skin did feel hydrated and nourished.

Have you heard of ZMask before? Do you prefer paper masks over liquids?

 

Disney’s ‘Ocean Mist’ for a Splendid St. Patrick’s Day Nail Polish

Did you know that Disney has its own polish line? Yes! And who else could make such magical shades as this one?…

DSCF0400This is ‘Ocean Mist’. Isn’t it a great, sparkly green for the advent of Spring, fanciful leprechauns and St. Patrick’s Day?…

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Sadly, photos do not even begin to show the almost holographic sparkles in this polish. The various colors are so tiny that you have to stare super hard to see them individually…

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I don’t know if this is a shade that Ariel would wear as much as I imagine Ursula sporting it. In person, it is not subdue. I had more people ask me if I was wearing green for St. Patrick’s Day. Yea, well, that too. But I received this find bottle of polish in a Secret Santa gift exchange…

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And it is special just because of that. I will mention, however, that this polish glided on like a fine Disney on ice skier. I have on just two coats and the leveling ability is star quality. Just remember when you take it off, you are going to be left with some of these teeny bits of glitter as a souvenir of your Disney polish, like a fine ‘Ocean Mist’. The wear was average for me, 4 days with a Color Club Eco Top Coat. Even though ‘Ocean Mist’ didn’t need a top coat to add any shine, I do it to get extended wear.

Are you sporting your green for March? Have you tried any of Disney’s polishes.

 

Facial Wipe Wednesday: Beauty Concepts’ Tickled Pink Detoxifying Wipes

I have never heard of the department store Gordman’s until I moved to Denver. This store is like a more organized Marshall’s. Or, similar to Steinmart’s but trendier. I’m glad I stopped in because I found some makeup, scarves, purses, jewelry and purchased a swingy cardigan while shopping there.

It was time to pick up a new facial wipe and I was open to try something new. When I saw the pretty pink packaging of this one by Beauty Concepts, I was ready to start…

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This package of 30 wipes cost $4. I was eager to see if they smelled like grapefruit but sadly, I was disappointed. It did smell OK but it didn’t remind me of anything grapefruit. Here’s the list of ingredients…

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And the second part of the backside…

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I like that it hasn’t been tested on any beasties. I wonder who is checking to make sure only those that are over 18 use these, though???

The total size of the wipe is standard…

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And, the texture is run of the mill…

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Here’s my thoughts on ‘Tickled Pink’: these made me pink because I had to really scrub my face to get my eye makeup off. It was a combination of the ingredients not being potent enough to dissolve my makeup and, the wipes were not moist enough to emulsify. The top tab that opened and closed was solid enough however, I wonder how old these wipes could be that they could have, possibly, dried up some? There’s no way to tell. I do know that my eyeballs weren’t too happy with how hard I had to press to remove my makeup. Too hard for me to feel OK about it. The wipes did alright with removing my foundation but, I still felt like I was scrubbing rather than wiping. I would rather wipe!

Despite the vibrant pink packaging and listing some natural ingredients, I don’t feel my skin was detoxified. These wipes just didn’t cut the muster for eye makeup.

Have you heard of Beauty Concepts before? Have you shopped at Gordman’s?

Two 32 Piece Eye Palettes By ELF

I don’t stop by Big Lots as often as I did when I first started blogging. Some of it has to do with just not finding anything I really want there. However, right before Christmas, there was a Big Lots that was relocating and everything was 25% off. I got some Christmas wrapping and these…

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Even if I ended up with some duplicate elf shades, THE PRICE!!!…

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They do look similar however, these are two different palettes…

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And, as you know, elf has the good symbols on them…

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The Classics is a must have. Maybe I should say it as ‘must have one’. But, no makeup lover can say one neutral palette is enough!…

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Both palettes has an assortment of shimmers and mattes. And, they had them in just the right balance, in my opinion.

Most of the time, elf brushes are awesome. This one seems reluctant to cooperate…

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Actually, I wouldn’t have named this palette a Bright. These are just purple and browns. But, whatever. I’m still lovin’ them…

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Oops-a-daisy…

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And, the Brights palette has a mixture of mattes and shimmers…

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I did a few test swatches. I swatched, from the Brights,  the four shades in the third row down…

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The black isn’t chalky at all!

And swatches from the Classics; four shades from the third row down…

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Yes, the bottom swatch is shimmery and creamy and really rich!

By purchasing just these two palettes by elf, I no long need to purchase any more elf shades. I have covered all the basic and necessary shadow colors.

Oh, who am I kidding????? Do you have these? What’s been your latest score from Big Lots?

 

NYX’s HD Studio Primer Base

NYX cosmetics released quiet a few new items in December. Good timing as I was shopping for gifts and it was easy for me to buy these for ME! Hee hee! Out of the many items I did pick up, here is one that I’m still amazed at…

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NYX’s HD Studio line hasn’t done me wrong yet. And their Primer Base is not an exception. In fact, it is THE reason I’m hooked on HD-type of makeup!!! It really is magic! Even the box tries to explain it…

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Put the primer on your skin and when the light hits it, it glows!!!!!!….

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But, if your skin is bumpy, NYX primer will make it even so the sunlight still reflects evenly…

DSCF0189And since sunlight isn’t always gentle on the skin, the primer has protective and nurturing ingredients in it. How’s that for explaining its magic? If that isn’t enough, there’s like an entire novel of info on the box!…

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NYX always has the ‘good’ symbols on it…

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But, enough about words, I bet you want to know how this product performs!!!! In one word: MAGICALLY!…

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It seems unassuming at first but, you will notice the stark whiteness of the lotion. Then when I started to blend it out, what it left behind was a noticeable ‘gleam’. But, the camera barely shows it…

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As I was using strong side-lighting, when you look at my skin that is closest to the light source, you can see the gleam. Don’t worry that the primer base is going to make your face all shiny; it doesn’t. And, for the record, that little dollop I put on the back of my hand is enough to cover your entire face so, you are seeing a very concentrated amount in a smaller area. This primer is going to seriously give you that ‘glow within’ look.

The true test for foundation primers, in my mind, is how it works around my nose and plays nicely with any type of foundation that I might use. More magic because I can use NYX Primer Base alone or with powder or liquid foundation, alike.

The only downside I see is that the product does feel heavy regardless of how light I try to apply it. But, I’m too busy being mesmerized by that glow that after I apply my foundation, I have already forgotten about it and don’t even notice the weight anymore.

If the weight of the primer bothered a user, I would recommend just applying it on the apples of your cheeks, down the length of your nose and just at the tip of your chin for a bit of highlight and High Definition effect.

I am quite fascinated by this primer. None of the other liquid primers I have give off this glow. I do have a powder primer that behaves this way but I’m still working on trying to apply it without any heavy spots. I’m not having that issue with NYX’s primer.

Have you tried this out yet?

 

Freeman Skin Care: Dead Sea Minerals Mask and Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask

As part of a regular skin care ritual, you should do a deep cleaning mask and scrubs. It really depends on what type of skin you have as to how often you do a mask and use scrubs, though. There are plenty of how-tos in beauty blog land, so that’s a good place to start and then tweek it as you see fit for your skin.

My skin has become drier over the past 5 years but it has become very dry since moving from humid Florida to arid Colorado. So, the skin care routine I had just 2 years ago isn’t moisturizing enough for my skin. Also, I find that I need to use a scrub more often to keep my pores clean and my skin from being flakey. Masks are done less often but, I follow up with lots of moisturizing because they will dry my skin out too much.

Here are a couple of new products I have added to my twice a month mask and twice a week scrub routine…

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Both products are made by Freeman, which make lots of different skin care masks, scrubs, foot scrubs, foot lotions and more. I got these two at Albertsons grocery but they are sold at Walgreens, CVS, Big Lots, and many other mass, grocery and drug stores.

If you don’t know it, your skin is your largest organ. It protects your insides, regulates your temperature, is waterproof so we don’t get too soggy or too dry and, is a protective barrier against harmful pathogens.  Your skin tries to be self-managing but, it doesn’t always do a good enough job. Putting on makeup, our hormones and the aging process can put skin into a tailspin. Thus, the creation of an entire giant industry of taking care of this organ called our skin.

Most facial masks are drying. They are meant to soak up the excess oil and whisk away the environmental toxins that your skin protects your insides from. If you are like me, I still want to remove the old oil and dirt from my face but, have to keep it all in balance with moisturizers because my skin doesn’t make enough.

Freeman’s ‘Anti-Stress Dead Sea Minerals Mask’ works at absorbing oils and removing grime from my face …

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As we get older, most of us find that our pores get larger. Since they are larger, we should be more conscious of cleaning those crevices out! Dead Sea minerals are very good at sucking up the excess oil and grabbing ahold of toxins so we can wash them away. At the same time, the Dead Sea minerals can soothe and nourish the skin…

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This mask is thick and it works hard! I just smear some on my face and neck, wait about 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it away. This mask is a very pretty color…

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After washing off the mask, I put on my night time moisturizer and enjoy soft, silky skin. As I mentioned, I do a mask such as this only twice a month. Anything more than that and I end up way too dry.

But with scrubs, I will use them about twice a week. Anything more and I will aggravate my face and end up with contact dermatitis which hurts! Freeman has a scrub that is a mask as well…

 

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The ‘Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask’ doesn’t dry up hard like the Dead Sea Minerals mask does. The Polishing Mask stays soft. Per the instructions, you leave it on your face for 7 minutes and then gently scrub to remove dirt and dead skin cells…

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This scrub has a more moisturizing feel to it but it is not short on making my skin feel smooth as silk. Nevertheless, I still follow up with a moisturizer after a scrub.

My preference is to do masks at night after I wash my face. My night time moisturizer is much heavier than my daytime one so, it feels better for my skin to do the mask at that time. Plus, I’m not rushing around like I do in the morning, getting ready for work; I can enjoy the process. With most scrubs, however, I do them in the morning when I am in the shower. With Freeman’s ‘Charcoal and Black Sugar Scrub’, I slather it one right before I brush my teeth, then when I’m done, I run the shower and by the time I get in, the 7 minutes have passed and I can scrub away on my face. Oh, and I use my skin care products all the way down my neck too. If you do this, you will THANK me when you get into your late 40′s and into the 50′s!!!!

Albertson’s had these on sale 2 for $7. That’s what prompted me to give them a try. Neither one of them have a remarkable scent. They both work exactly as stated on their tubes. The Vanity recommends these both for our beautiful skin care needs and, the price is right!

Have you tried any Freeman products before? I know I have a couple of beauty blogger friends that love Freeman products.

ELF’s Blush In Coy: A Functional Multi-Tasker

Many Walmart stores in the Denver area have been setting up elf ‘tree’ displays. I already own a lot of elf products but, as I read more blogs posting about other elf items, I’m adding to my collection. Here’s my newest one, a powder blush…

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This one is called ‘Coy’…

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And here are the good symbols I like to see on health and beauty packages…

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As much as I think ‘Coy’ is a great color for contouring, it’s just too shimmery for my taste. ‘Coy’ is a light peach shade that has flecks of pink and peach shimmers. Therefore, I am using this, mostly, as a cheek highlighter…

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And, I have experimented with it as an eye shadow too. That made for a pretty look and this powder is creamy enough that once it is patted on, it does have some good stay-put to it…

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For a mere $2, this elf blush is a workhorse. It can be used as a blush (as elf intends it to be), a shadow (which I liked very much) and a face highlighter (what is very trendy right now). When I used my more densely-packed shadow brush, the blush was more crumbly than when I swiped it with a big, fluffy highlighter brush. You can see from the photo previously how crumbly just a finger swipe back and forth made it. But, the feel of this blush is very creamy once on the skin. I could definitely control how light or, how heavy I wanted to apply it.

In this photo, I used ‘Coy’ as a cheek contour only…

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It’s a bit to shimmery for me and doesn’t give me enough depth at the cheek bone. Nor does it give me a ‘flushed’ look. However, in this photo, I used an old Avon matte bronzer as contour, an old (and favorite) Color Workshop blush, and ‘Coy’ on the very apples of my cheeks…

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For the complete look, I have Southern Magnolia Minerals foundation, Chinovi’s ‘Gaga’ and ‘New Year’s’ shadow, ‘Gaga’ foiled as an eyeliner, elf brow pencil and Maybelline’s The Falsies Volum Express mascara…

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It is hard to find a completely full tree elf display at Walmarts because the products are very popular. If you get a chance to find elf’s blushes, you might like to try ‘Coy’. It seems it would be not only be useful for several different jobs but also, it could work for many different skin tones.

Have you tried out elf’s blushes yet? How easy is it for you to find elf products?

A Very Cheap Clearance Eye Shadow Purchase Turns Out Well

Not all of the after-Christmas clearance beauty items I purchased were terrible. Here’s one that was 50 cents and it is awesome….

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This would be a deal even for the full $1 price. I got this at Walgreens. Simply called ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, the five colors look playful and fun. The big squares look to be very pigmented and, they actually were!…

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I was holding myself back on getting too hopeful about the color payoff until I swatched. Here’s what I got…

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This palette was best used with a shadow primer for longevity. The first time I did an eye look, I didn’t use a primer. I got giddy when that yellow swatched so boldly and I was raring to try it out. There was some fall-out with the yellow and the baby blue shade but not so much that it was a deal-breaker. The second time I did an eye-look for the day, I used NYX’s HD Eye Primer and these shadows came on bold with lots of staying power.

Not bad at all for 50 cents! There were, originally, 3 other palettes but this was the only one I found left on clearance. Would you have gambled a mere 50 cents on it?

Facial Wipe Wednesday: Olay’s Fresh Effects

So….it’s already Thursday but…..here’s a facial wipe review anyway.

The Olay brand has never appealed to me. Maybe it’s because it jumped into popularity when I was in my 20′s and anti-aging products didn’t speak to me at that time. Maybe part of it is that I don’t associate myself with the ‘Oil of Olay’ crowd. I don’t think I’m the only one because Olay has rebranded themselves by dropping the ‘Oil of’ monogram.  I just can’t, completely, put my finger on why I don’t gravitate to this brand so, I was truly thinking outside my comfort zone to try Olay’s facial wipes.

First, I will say that I do find the packaging appealing…

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And, they have priced their package of 25 wipes for about $5, which is in line with other facial wipes I would get at a mass merchandiser…

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Here’s what is in them…

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And, the copy on the package is cute…

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What I think about them is this: they are just not for me. But, what I did like is that they did smell good. They have the fresh and clean smell that I like and it wasn’t over-powering at all. The only negative I have is that I don’t feel that there was enough cleansing power behind it. And, that is a huge road block for me: they didn’t live up to the ‘Everything Off!’ tag line.

I test out the wipes for at least 7 days in a row. I wear a variety of types of makeup so I can get a fairly well-rounded feel for how well the wipes do remove everything. I like to wait about 5 to 10 minutes after using the facial wipe to see if my skin feels clean and, if I feel my skin is too dry, just right or if I feel any type of residue left behind. Then, I use Kiehl’s facial toner. That’s been my measuring stick to see just how clean my skin is after using the facial wipe.

Here’s where I feel that Olay Fresh Effects let me down. My cotton pads with the toner were dirty after using them. Night after night, it was the same thing. Naturally, after a couple of nights of this, I think that I’m not doing a good enough job of wiping my face so I will try harder. But, it didn’t matter because I was still getting a lot of makeup coming off after using the toner. It wasn’t even, mostly, my foundation, which would be close to my flesh color. The cotton pads were black so, I think it was mascara and it was getting smeared all over my face.

After approximately 5 days, I started using the wipe just on my face, avoiding my eye makeup entirely. I used my Kiehl’s toner and was still getting the same result but, it was much lighter. Then, I would finish up with removing my eye makeup.

Before I continue, here’s an idea of the size of the facial wipe; it’s standard size…

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And, the wipe isn’t smooth. It has a texture to it which, is still very gentle to the skin…

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I’m going to conclude that the facial wipe doesn’t HOLD all the dirt but, spreads it around my skin. I can’t tell you, honestly, if it is just because I wasn’t getting all the makeup off with the wipe alone but, my skin didn’t feel freshly cleaned. I didn’t feel my skin becoming dry and tight immediately after using the wipe but, it did take using the toner before I felt comfortable that my skin was completely clean.

This is one of those times when I will flat out admit that preconceived notions could influence my thoughts on Olay’s Fresh Effects facial wipes. Their subline is ‘Everything Off!’ but, I didn’t feel that to be true.

Have you tried Olay’s facial wipes? How about any of the products from the Fresh Effects line? I’d love to find out if anyone else has a different turn out.

L A Colors: GRAFIXeyeliner

During the Winter Holiday season, Walgreens had a $1 to $3 beauty product grab and go display. These are usually marketed to be stocking stuffers for the beauty queen. I granted myself a couple of liners…

DSCF0354 DSCF0356These L A Colors liquid liners were actually 50% off of the regular $1 price as it was after Christmas. And before you say that I got a good deal, keep reading.

L A Colors has it in the pocket for the edgy packaging and name, GRAFixeyeliner. There were only two shades left to choose from and for $1 total, I went for both…

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Both are dark shades. The applicator is semi-flexible. Just the very tip has some ply. Here’s a close-up of ‘Plum’…

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So far, so good. But, we’ll have to stop right there if you don’t want to be disappointed. Alas…here, it is true that you get what you pay for. This is what my swatches looked like…

 

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I couldn’t get a solid stroke for NOTHING! You can see the swipes I made in attempt to make a solid line. I couldn’t do it. The same happened on my eye; no go. Because the product is so watery, I knew it wasn’t going to be the least bit water-resistant. So, in an effort to make some salvation, I put another brand of eyeliner over GRAFIX and went on with my day. Had I not swatched and photographed these two eyeliners before using them on my eyelid, I might have tried harder to make it work. But, I didn’t want to waste my time, as I had already wasted a buck tried to make a silk purse out of this sow’s ear. (Isn’t that just the nastiest cliche???)

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I am thankful that I didn’t purchase these as gifts. But with L A Colors, it can be iffy on the quality and usually, the quality isn’t there. The Vanity wouldn’t like to risk her reputation on shoddy products in any stocking that needs stuffed. A lump of coal might have made a better kohl stick than these.

You didn’t get one of these in your stocking, did you? I got a box of Lifesaver candies, which is a life-long family tradition. I made out way better!