lip pencil

Review: Make Up For Ever Aqua Essentials Kit (Sephora Beauty in a Box)

Since we are still in the Sweaty Glowy Summer Season and you may be in the market for sweatproof, waterproof, budgeproof cosmetics, I thought I’d review the rest of the products in the Make Up For Ever Aqua Essentials Set, available from Sephora for $69. This turned out to be a very mixed bag for me; some products perform excellently, others … not so much.

First of all you will remember that I am apparently the only person on the planet who didn’t like the long-awaited and much-lemminged Aqua Creams. I’m going to give them another chance, though, and will report back if I get better results.

The kit also comes with a lip pencil, two eye pencils, a waterproof mascara, and a small bottle of eye makeup remover for waterproof makeup. All except the eye makeup remover are full-size products. I can’t comment on the mascara because I’m still finishing up a tube of Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes and so I haven’t even opened it. (Since mascara goes bad so quickly, I really hate to have more than one open at a time.) I also try to stay away from waterproof mascara since my eyes are so sensitive to mascara flakes and it’s harder to remove waterproof mascara cleanly than it is to remove non-waterproof mascara.

Speaking of that, the makeup remover works perfectly well. I wish I could get more excited about it than that, but that’s about all the rah-rah I’ve got. It’s a lotion rather than a liquid; no shaking or mixing required. It works. It’s neither better nor worse than most other makeup removers I’ve tried. It’s no Lancome Bi-Facil, but it does the job.

The lip pencil, sadly, is not as good as I wanted it to be. I compared notes with Marigolds on the subject and she has the same opinion. The shade is nice, and is a neutral terracotta that should be good for a variety of skintones, but it just doesn’t last, even with TFLI underneath it. Sorry, MUFE, but Urban Decay has it all over you in the lip pencil department.

By way of redemption, though, the MUFE eye pencils are quite nice. The two that come in the kit are black and a kind of bluish-gray. Excellent for making smoky eyes, but just as capable (when sharpened) of very satisfactory tightlining. They stay put on the lashline (so long as you’ve got a good primer underneath) and hold their color for most of the day.

Is it worth purchasing? Well, if you like the Aqua Creams, which retail for $22 apiece, and you like the Aqua Eyes eye pencils, which retail for $17 apiece, then buying this kit will save you $9 over purchasing those products separately, and you get a full-size lip pencil, full-size mascara, and small bottle of makeup remover thrown in for good measure.

Swatches!

Left to right: Aqua Creams in #13 Warm Beige and #15 Taupe, Aqua Eyes pencils in Mat Black 0L and Dark Grey 21L, Aqua Lip in Nude Beige 1C (and by the way, “nude beige” absolutely does not describe this color).

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MUFE Aqua Essentials Kit: $69 at Sephora

Provenance: Purchased

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): For me, since I dislike the Aqua Creams, poor. However, if the products work for you, this could easily turn out to be an Excellent.

Purchase again? Not this one, but that’s not to say I won’t be suckered in by future offerings…

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)

Review: Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencil in Paranoid

I’m of two minds about Urban Decay. Oh, wait — that would mean I had Dissociative Identity Disorder, not Paranoia. I don’t think they have a lip pencil that’s called Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Which is kind of not that surprising, since “Dissociative Identity Disorder” doesn’t have the same urban-grunge-and-just-slightly-distasteful vibe that so many of their other colors do: Gash, Mildew, Asphyxia, Freakshow, Acid Rain, and, well, the list goes on. Of course, these product titles do very well represent the name of the company, but I guess I’m just not of the right generation to buy into the coolness of that.

And that is such a pity, because there are a lot of really great products in this brand that are far more sophisticated than their names would imply. Same goes for the packaging: I think you could take these products, change the packaging, change the names, and rebrand it as a line that would have much more appeal to the over-21 set. On the other hand, UD may not be all that concerned about marketing to the over-21 set. At any rate, don’t let the packaging and the product names deter you — there are many excellent products in the line that are worth checking out.

As you know, I’ve just ordered the UD Naked eyeshadow palette so I’ll be reviewing that when it gets here, but in the meanwhile I thought I’d squee about another UD product, the 24/7 Lip Pencil in Paranoid.

UD’s 24/7 eye pencils have a cult following due to their great colors, smooth application, smudgeability (until they set), and their tenacity in staying put on your lids once they are set. I’m really pleased with this 24/7 lip pencil as well. It applies smoothly and doesn’t feel drying, and with TFLI underneath it lasts quite awhile and fades smoothly. I’m not left with an outline of my lips and no color on the inside. (Hate. That.)

Paranoid is a MLBB shade for me — just a little darker, but still a nice attractive raspberry. It’s about in the middle of the shade range, with maybe a few more dark colors than light. I’m good on other colors of lip pencil for right now, but when I run out I’ll definitely look to UD for replacements.

Closeups and swatches!

Above: naked lip; below: with Urban Decay 24/7 Paranoid lip pencil

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Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencil in Paranoid: $17

Provenance: Purchased.

Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Good. Who doesn’t want things to be cheaper, though?

Purchase again? Definitely yes on this one.

(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)