25 Sep 2014

Kmart Brand Polishes and Lipstick: Review and Swatches

Kmart Brand Chrome Polishes:

1-2 coats for blue and green, 2-3 for the others, but they are nice and subtle.

I stocked up on some of these, mostly because they have been on sale for a dollar (instead of the usual $2) which is so cheap for Australia. But the question is, are they any good?

First up, the polishes. Aren't the bottles cute?

I love the chrome polishes. They are so pretty and shiny, and not a lot of brands stock chrome type polishes in stores in Australia, at least as far as I know.

Natural light, in the shade.

 Firstly, I appologise for not cleaning up my nails first, and for being impatient and screwing them up a bit by not waiting for them to dry completely before taking photos.

Direct sunlight

 The blue and green chromes - Jaded and Blue Steel - took 1-2 coats for full opacity, while the others - Twilight, Hazelnut and Gatsby - took 2-3. I actually like that the gold, pink and bronze colours are more subtle, I think they look nice that way, and remind me of nice jewelery. I think they would be lovely for a fancier event - subtle and classy. Also, I just have to say that I love the name Gatsby for a pretty metallic gold polish!

Colour: They fulfill their promise of being a chrome coat, and look great. Gatsby, Hazelnut and Twilight are a nice subtle but pretty look (at least with my skin tone) while Jaded and Blue Steel are brighter and fun metallic colours. I'm completely satisfied on this point.

Application: Jaded and Blue Steel are more pigmented and only need 1-2 coats (which I feel is fairly standard for nail polish) while the other three needed 2-3 coats for full opacity. However, I'm still completely happy for all of them, as I like the option to wear those a little sheerer or add an extra coat depending on what look I feel like going for. They also apply nicely with no streaks. Again, I'm completely satisfied.

Wear time: I've been wearing Gatsby since Monday (it's now Friday) and on my off hand, there is only one finger with a noticeable chip. However, I am wearing it with base and top coats, and Revlon's Chroma Chameleon in Pink Quartz over the top. The polish is definitely chipping off of my dominant hand, but I managed to make it until Wednesday before that happened (although I had to fix one finger). I find no polish can survive simple hands-on work like washing dishes, and opening eye shadows very well. I feel like it's no worse than any of my more expensive "drug store" polishes, like Revlon or Maybelline.

Packaging:  These look very similar to Butter London polishes, and are quite cute. The rectangle white cap comes off, with the screw off brush separate underneath - just like Butter London. As such they are fairly easy to apply, and I have no complaints about the bottles.

Price: $2 full price, bought three of the shades for $1. Super amazingly cheap!

Overall: I'm in love with this chrome range - hence why I bought five of them. They are so cheap, but don't feel like cheap polishes - unlike some BYS ones, for example. I'd happily by more shades if I manage to find them!

I also bought two other polishes: one in the "Bright" range (Kermit) and one in the "Pastel" range (Mint).


 Here I applied 3 coats of both Kermit and Mint. I appologise again, because I didn't clean up the edges first, and took the photos without waiting long enough and smudged the polish a little bit.

Natural light in the shade

Direct Sunlight

As you can see, Kermit is a very bright fluorescent green, while Mint is a pretty and somewhat bright pastel green which is a little on the bluer side. Also, sorry that I blocked the light a little on the Mint painted finger (oops). I'm far less impressed with these, especially because they were still noticeably streaking after three coats of polish. I love the name Kermit for a bright green polish though, I think it's cute.

Colour:  Both live up to being bright and pastel respectively, and the colours are quite pretty.

Application: Both were still streaky after three coats, which is enough to make me consider simply throwing them away. I'm not sure I'll ever wear them due to the bad application, and I'd feel less bad throwing them away  than I would offering a cheap and shitty polish to someone.

Price: I bought each for $1 (full price $2), so I don't feel like I've wasted too much money.

Wear time: I haven't worn either for longer than it took to apply, take the photos and then remove the polish, and I'm doubting I ever will.

Packaging: As with the chromes: These look very similar to Butter London polishes, and are quite cute. The rectangle white cap comes off, with the screw off brush separate underneath - just like Butter London. As such they are fairly easy to apply, and I have no complaints about the bottles.

Overall: I don't feel these ones are worth buying, but for a dollar or two its probably worth the risk if you see a really pretty one - after all the chromes were fantastic, and these are only two random ones, so it may have been bad luck with the particular bottles, colours or ranges. Especially considering polishes considered to be drug store level can go for up to $25 in Australia full price, and can be just as risky in regards to quality.

EDIT: I've since bought Lady Lilac polish from the "Bright" collection, and it applies well - not streaky at all. So it seems like it might be a luck of the draw thing (at least for those two ranges) as to how good they will be. Even for $2 I think it's worth the risk if you like the colour!

Now, the lipstick:

Coco is a matte lipstick, and is a nice nude pink tone so I'm not really sure where the name coco came from. It is the top swatch in the photos below. Gold Orange is a shimmery lipstick, and I think was part of the "Moisture" range. Gold Orange is a pretty apt name, as that is exactly how I'd describe the colour.


Natural light, in the shade

Direct light

In the above photos, both lipsticks are only one swipe. On my lips, I find that Coco is a fantastic nude colour or My Lips But Better shade. It's fairly opaque, enough so that the scar on my lower lip is only slightly visible. Comparatively, Gold Orange is quite sheer, simply adding a orangey-gold shimmer to the lips. I feel like Gold Orange would be nice patted over an opaque lipstick in the center of the lips to add a pretty shimmer. Both wear like a lip butter, which is nice and soft on the lips but needs to be reapplied quite often. Neither leave a stain, and wear off gracefully albeit quickly and are easy to apply.

Colour:  Both are really nice on me, which was not a guarentee as Kmart has no testers these days. Coco is a nice matte nude pink, while Gold Orange  orangey-gold shimmer which is very sheer, and I think would be better worn over another lipstick than on its own. Coco and the pink lipstick I reviewed from BOE, the equivalently priced Big W brand, are the best nude colours I've found for my skin tone, which is very very pale and cool/neutral. 

Application and Wear: Both are very soft on the lips, although Gold Orange feels slightly more moisturizing (which makes sense as it is from the "Moisture" range). The feel and wear time remind me of a lip butter, such as the Colour Whisper range from Maybelline. They are also just as easy to reapply. However, Coco is more matte and pigmented in appearence than Maybeline's Colour Whisper. 

Price: Full price is $2, however I payed $1

Packaging: Cute, and plastic although they feel fairly sturdy. 

Overall:  I'm quite happy with these lipsticks, especially as cheaper alternatives to more expensive lip butters from drug store brands (such as Revlon or Maybelline). They feel really nice, soft and moisturizing on the lips and are very easy to reapply. They aren't what I'd choose when I want a bright, completely opaque and long wearing lipstick, but I'm quite happy with the price.

So basically, this Kmart brand is great for such a cheap price, and definitely worth trying. :)

Round Up: Makeup Tutorials

These are tutorials I've found and like, done by other people.

The tutorial for this look can be found here: http://imgur.com/a/e8R1Y#r1Jzv8i. I found this via Reddit, but she has lots of other awesome eye looks on her blog: StyleByCat.blogspot.com. Also, I think this would also look awesome in other colours - I tried it with some pinks and a darker pinky purple, which went great with my blue/green/gray eyes.

This is a beautiful cranberry look, a colour that looks fantastic with blue eyes. It's found here: http://www.rebeccashoresmua.com/2014/09/apply-easy-cranberry-eye-fall-tutorial/. This makeup artist is really awesome, and this is the sort of look I wear a lot.

I really love this look. This video is good, although she has some troubles with the camera quality and lighting - but so do I, so I can't judge. The important thing is the look is fantastic and you can see how to do it yourself. I love a really subtle cut-crease, because it shapes the eyelids really nicely and can look quite natural, unlike a cut crease with clashing vibrant colours, which isn't really my style. A similar look in fairly neutral tones that compliment your eye colour (subtle yellow and pinks such as those in The Balm's NudeTude palette suit my blue/green/grey eyes). It could also work using two different shades of the same colour, for a less natural but still subtle cut crease.

Now, here are a couple of simple but effective lipstick tutorials:



They are both basic but fantastic, so I recommend checking them out. :)

For more great tutorials, check out my pinterest board


Or take a look at some great makeup artists I like on YouTube:

Nikki Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/user/NikkieTutorials

Goss Makeup Artist: https://www.youtube.com/user/gossmakeupartist

Batalash Beauty: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0qI3HpiBua75glb4RV5mWA

17 Sep 2014

Lipstick Swatches Part 4

From Left-Right - Max Factor Lipstick in Secret Cerise #660; The Face Shop Lipstick in #437; and Cover Girl Lipstick in Rich #295

Max Factor Lipstick in Secret Cerise #660
Max Factor Lipstick in Secret Cerise #660
Max Factor Lipstick in Secret Cerise #660
I like this lipstick. It's a pinky-red plum tone. It's not the longest wearing, but lasts okay, and feels nice.

The Face Shop Lipstick in #437

The Face Shop Lipstick in #437
The Face Shop Lipstick in #437
The Face Shop Lipstick in #437

This one I like the least, although I still like it. It's very pigmented, but harder to apply - it tends to smear quite easily if you apply it straight from the tube. It is a lot better if you use a brush, it just takes a little longer (and I'm often lazy and in a rush). It's a really nice colour though, and pretty affordable. It's a plummy red with a nice shimmer to it.

Cover Girl Lipstick in Rich #295

Cover Girl Lipstick in Rich #295

Cover Girl Lipstick in Rich #295
This one is very similar to the Max Factor one, but darker and more red. It feels like it was made in the same factory. I love the colour, and it feels nice on the lips.

10 Sep 2014

Lipstick Swatches Part 3

E.L.F Matte Lip Color in Coral; Revlon Lipstick in 080 Coral; and Revlon ColorStay Sheer in 125 Sheer Coral

E.L.F Matte Lip Color in Coral
E.L.F Matte Lip Color in Coral

E.L.F Matte Lip Color in Coral

Revlon Lipstick in 080 Coral

Revlon Lipstick in 080 Coral

Revlon Lipstick in 080 Coral
Revlon ColorStay Sheer in 125 Sheer Coral

Revlon ColorStay Sheer in 125 Sheer Coral

Revlon ColorStay Sheer in 125 Sheer Coral

7 Sep 2014

Lipstick Swatches Part 2

 Here are swatches of my purple lipsticks:

Left-Right: Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in Grunge; Liptember in purple; Australis Velourlips Matte Lip Cream in TOK-I-O; and Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Vigorous Violet.

With Flash

Liptember purple (unnamed shade) (from 2013)

Liptember purple, ulternative lighting

I apologize for the patchiness of the Liptember lip swatches above, it usually applies nicer but I used too much makeup remover over the course of the evening doing so many swatches (I did all my lipsticks in one night) and this just started to happen.

(Also, Liptember is a lipstick sold to raise money for women's mental health. See the Liptember website for more information. They are now available again from Chemist Warehouse in Australia).

Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in Grunge, applied heavily (and somewhat messily, opps)

Australis Colour Inject Mineral Lipstick in Grunge applied lighter.

Australis Velourlips Matte Lip Cream in TOK-I-O, straight after application and still wet.

Australis Velourlips Matte Lip Cream in TOK-I-O, dried

The TOK-I-O lip swatches were also a little patchier than usual due to the same problem I mentioned above. It really shouldn't be an issue in daily life, though, unless you are trying on a lot of lipsticks to decide what you want to wear.

 I also I tried mixing Tok-I-O with a small amount of Lovely ME:EX Makeup Base in shade 02 (purple) by the Faceshop (reviewed here).

The results are shown below:

Now, I gave away the Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Vigorous Violet before I remembered to do the lip swatch, I'm sorry. I didn't like this lipstick, and it didn't like to apply evenly on my lips.