Saturday, February 13, 2010

Do you really want to try that?

If you have ever been into a cosmetics store or to a counter, you know that a myriad of tools are provided so that customers can sample products in a sanitary way. Sponge tips for eyeshadows, spatulas for lipsticks, etc. And we like to assume that everyone is aware of the dangers of germs and knows how to use those disposable tools, blah blah blah.

But to be honest, I have never sampled a lipstick or mascara on my lips or lashes because there will always be that one customer who doesn't know what she (or he) is doing, and slap that thing directly onto themselves. This way, regardless of whether I use those tools or not, the other person's germs are on the product.

Today, while perusing at Ulta, I saw yet another specimen of why I feel this way. At a counter in plain sight of the checkout, a girl was peering intently into one of the mirrors, carefully applying a bright red lipstick from a sample tube. Oh no, I thought - another one. She looked young to me and had on bright blue shadow that was not well applied (a bit tacky, too). This made me think that she probably was young and new to makeup - surely a sales associate would come and correct her and she would become another good makeup shopper who knew the rules of sanitary testing.

Imagine my surprise when I go to check out a few minutes later, and the girl with the blue shadow IS an associate! I was honestly in absolute shock.
How can we expect customers to know and use proper sampling methods if it's not even something that all associates do? While I am quite aware that there are probably very few people who work around makeup who would do this, the fact that there are any is disgusting.

I've never worked in makeup, but I hope that part of the training process involves demonstrating proper sanitation practices.

After this, I'm sure I will continue to only feel safe testing products on my hand.

Happy sampling, everyone!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Review: Maybelline Stylish Smokes in Amethyst Smokes

I've been seduced... I am a lover of both purple and smokey eyes, so put the two together, and I am sold. Maybelline did just that.

This ad had me thinking that I would soon have all the colors necessary to create this gorgeous (in my opinion) purple, smokey eye in one convenient quad. Well, as often happens with seductions, I am left heartbroken. Firstly, let's take a look at the colors themselves.

While they do look lovely in the pans, a closer inspection will show you that the look in the ad is not even achievable using these colors - namely because of the 'lid' shade. The ad look would require a light lilac color, but you are given a deeper purple with a subtle blue sheen in the quad. I am actually kicking myself for not noticing this in the store before I purchased it. While you may be able to create a similar color by mixing the 'lid' with the 'brown bone' shade (the white one), who wants to do that? When a look is advertised with a specific collection of colors, I believe those colors should create said look.


But you can still use the colors for other looks, yeah? Sortof...

I've watched a few video reviews on this quad, and the girls would show fingertip swatches which looked really good. I could give you these swatches, too, and tell you that the shadows are excellent.

Exhibit A.


However, I think the true test of a shadow's pigmentation is in the finger-to-hand-swatch. Even some of the worst quality shadows can come up well on a finger swatch and not perform well beyond that...

Exhibit B.


Not terrible, but nothing close to what those finger swatches would have you believe you're getting. You can still fight good color out of these shadows, but it requires a good sticky base and a lot of layering. Not really worth it in my opinion. While I am generally a fan of Maybelline products and believe they offer some quality items at a good price, I am left extremely disappointed with this. I had even been considering purchasing other quads from the Smokes collection before I got this one, but there is no way after this.

Skip out on this one.
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