Sunday, August 31, 2014

SERIOUSLY, SKIP IT: Butter London Lippy (in Snog + Dupes)

I love Butter London. I love their logo, their website layout, their packaging, and their nail polish. It's square. Squares are excellent shapes for basically everything.

I tried really hard to like the Lippy Liquid Lipstick. Like, really hard. I put it on in the morning and I ate with it and then I was so grossed out I wiped that stuff right off.

Look at that cute rectangle.

The packaging is fantastic. If I could scrub out all the pink gunk and pour in a different product, I totally would. Although now it's more likely I'll put it in my box of lip products and pull out every now and then, quietly admire, then put back to resume gathering dust.

The product itself is totally confusing. I have no idea what I own. It's called a Lippy--but so is every lip product from Butter London. Is it a lip gloss? Is it a liquid lipstick? I have no fucking idea. From the packaging it looks like the Lippy Liquid Lipsticks, but the little sticker at the bottom assures me I'm holding a lip gloss that's 0.24 fl oz. The box, on the other hand, corrects me: "no, honey, it's 0.25 fl oz."

Whatever it is, I hate it.

Typical applicator.

The smell, oh man, the smell. When you open the package and smell it, it's ok. It's something between old perfume and a Jolly Rancher. But like if the Jolly Rancher had no sugar. Just that overbearing, synthetic fruity smell. The kind of perfume your elderly aunt has been wearing since the 50's. Color payoff is great, but it doesn't dry either.

The worst part is actually smearing this glop on your mouth. The texture is really thick and liquid lipstick-y, but boy howdy is this thing sticky. It stays in place, but I feel like I stuck one of those weird sticky strips you find on the back of samples but on my lips. You know the ones. Like clear boogers attaching your already-tiny primer sample to unnecessary cardboard.

And then you start to taste it. Imagine walking though the perfume department right as someone sprayed a bottle, and the perfume gets in your mouth. And then you eat a bar of soap. That's exactly what this Lippy tastes like. When I ate some sandwich I couldn't taste anything but soap--and it was a damn good sandwich too. Even after you remove it, the smell lingers for a good, long while.

Because I hate myself, I photographed it on my lips. No flash.

There are the sacrifices I make in the name of blogging.

As much as I wanted to test the lasting power of this thing, I just can't keep this slathered on my lips. The perfume scent is so overbearing and I don't want to perpetually feel like someone shoved a bar of soap in my mouth.

Like any responsible blogger, I bring you less disgusting dupes. I have entirely too many lip products, mostly drugstore, so I quickly managed to pick out a few similar shades.

L-R: Butter London Snog, Maybelline Color Elixer in Celestial Coral (~$9), Maybelline Superstay 14HR Lipstick in Continuous CrandberryEternal Rose (~$9), Revlon Super Luxurious Lipstick in Pink Velvet, Love That Red, Fire & Ice (~$8). 
L-R: Butter London Snog, Maybelline Color Elixer in Celestial Coral (~$9), Maybelline Superstay 14HR Lipstick in Continuous CranberryEternal Rose (~$9), Revlon Super Luxurious Lipstick in Pink Velvet, Love That Red, Fire & Ice (~$8). 

Flash, same order as above.

I wouldn't call any of these identical in the swatch, but on the lips, it's a lot harder to spot the differences. In person, Continuous Cranberry is a lot redder. The closest dupe is the last one, Fire & Ice. The undertones differ slightly, but again, on the lips the difference is imperceptible.

I would spring for Revlon's Fire & Ice and toss Snog right in the trash. The color is so great, but everything else gets a sad emoticon from me.

The Lippy Liquid Lipstick retails for $18 for 0.24 fl oz ($75 per ounce). In comparison, OOC Lip Tars are $19 for 0.33 fl oz ($57 per ounce) and are much better quality. Revlon's Super Luxurious lipsticks are ~$8 for 0.15 oz ($53.33 per ounce).


To make up for the mediocrity of this 'lippy', here's a picture of the bun showing off her weird rabbit feet.

The thing she's chillin' in was intended to be a litterbox, but she decided it makes a better bed.

Friday, August 29, 2014

LORAC Mint Edition vs. LORAC Mint Edition

If you don't lurk in clearance sections, you may not know that the once Ulta and Sephora Mint edition exclusive Lorac palettes are now on sale for $15. The Sephora edition once retailed for $42 and the Ulta edition was once $36. I've wanted the minty cuteness from even before I learned makeup, so of course I snatched up both while crying maniacal tears. I'm here to compare the two and let you decide which to buy, if you're not as obsessed with mint as I.

If you don't want to read this huge wall of text, I'll tell you now that I suggest the Ulta version. Or just scroll and enjoy the pretty pictures.

L-R: Sephora exclusive, Ulta exclusive.
My Sephora one was said to be in a flawed external box, but it looks fine. It's not like a damaged box translates to damaged product.


The Ulta version comes in a little clutch bag that's too tacky to use as an actual bag, but houses my makeup successfully when I throw it in my backpack. There's a tiny internal pocket I toss my earrings into.

L-R: Sephora exclusive, Ulta exclusive.

Both sets come with a full-sized lip product. The Ulta version looks like a cuter, mini version of the Sephora one. It feels very sleek.

The Sephora one is 3D and squishy. You can probably rest your head on it.

If you're planning on traveling, the Sephora version's packaging won't stand up well to wear. Since it's made of squishy fabric-y bits, it already looks kind of worn on the corners. Ulta's version, on the other hand, is sturdy cardboard.

If an old teddy bear was a palette, this would be it.

When you actually look at the colors side by side, there's a lot of overlap, unlike Lorac's images of the palettes.

T-B: Sephora, Ulta

The larger Sephora version comes with a mirror, 4 mattes, 4 shimmers, a highlighter, and a blush. The Ulta version comes with a mirror, 3 mattes, 3 shimmers, and the same blush. From what I've found while screwing around with these shades is that the Ulta version has better quality.

The Sephora version felt kind of dusty and sandy and had more fallout. The blush and highlighter were fine, but really powdery. I put my brush in and there was pink blush absolutely everywhere. The Ulta version was comparable to the Lorac Pro.

Now here's a huge breakdown of both palettes.

Sephora's Mint Edition: 

L-R: Shade 1 is a typical satin cream, 2 is a warm brownish color that's good for a subtle crease, 3 is the mint you're looking for, and 4 is a run-of-the-mill-but-kinda-powdery matte black.

The mattes on this one were really powdery. It's not to say they're bad, but I would be disappointed if I paid full $42 price for it. The mint color was the best and the cream was the worst. The mint applied really evenly and was really opaque in one stroke. These are a long shot from the Lorac Pro.

The first shade isn't really matte, since it has tiny bits of shine. The others do too when you take a crude photo on the macro setting, but I didn't see any in my swatches.

L-R: Shade 1 is a shimmery white that I'm sure you have tons of, 2 is a warm shimmery taupe, 3 is a shimmery reddish brown that had actual flecks of glitter in it, 4 is a shimmery brown with the same amount of flecks.
The big gash in the redbrown came from me dropping one Mint Palette on the other Mint Palette. Don't recommend.

The shimmery colors were by far better than the mattes. The worst shade was the red-brown; it felt really sandy because of the actual glitter particles. The best was the warm taupe; it felt buttery but not as much as the Lorac Pro. I wouldn't be that pleased with the two brown-glittery shades if I paid $42. For $15 though, it's not bad.

T-B: The highlighter is a warm pink, the blush is a frosty coral.

I do rather like the blush and highlighter. The only problem is they're ridden with fallout. If you as much as touch your brush to either, you'll have to blow the shimmer dust off your palette. A little goes far, though. The blush is a really frosty color that kind of eliminates the need for a highlighter, but I like to dap some over my cupid's bow. I would be content if I paid the full $42 for these.

And now here's the swatches you probably skipped to.

First off, check out the mass amounts of glitter in this one. You can really see the bits in there.

L-R: No primer, NYX HD Primer.
See the glitter in the cream and the browns up top?

L-R: Mattes 1234, shimmers 1234.
2 swipes, no primer.

L-R: Mattes 1234, shimmers 1234.
2 swipes over NYX HD Primer.

Highlighter and blush in different lighting. Two swipes.

So overall, Sephora's Palette was 'meh'. The $42 Lorac Pro was definitely a better buy. The best eyeshadows were the matte mint and the shimmery warm taupe. The rest weren't that buttery and on the powdery side, mattes especially. It is worth the $15, though.

Ulta's Mint Edition:

I love this one. The colors are fantastic and the quality is close to the Lorac Pro. I would've been content if I paid the full $36.

Top 3 are matte, bottom 3 are shimmers, and the blush is on the right.

L-R: Matte cream with actually a tiny bit of shimmer, next is a matte brown that's great for the crease, then a cool shimmer taupe, and a shimmery brown.

L-R: Matte mint with tiny shimmer in the pan that you're buying the palette for, a shade that looks like a purplish brown but actually has a subtle shift on my arm, and a peachy coraly blush.

Unlike the Sephora edition, these mattes were very creamy. The still had the appropriate amount of powder, but were really pleasant to stick my finger in. The shimmery colors were on par with the Lorac Pro and beautiful. The one color I would say had weaker pigmentation than the rest was, sadly, the mint. If all you care about in the world is one Lorac-brand mint pan, then buy the Sephora version and depot it and then trash the rest. If I could put that one into the Ulta version, this palette would be perfect. It wasn't as opaque as the Sephora's mint in one swipe, but definitely workable and slightly better than Sephora's mattes nonetheless.
The shimmers were the real stars of the show, though. The taupe was my favorite from the whole palette and the purplish brown was a close runner up. I would've been content if the palette only included those 3.

The blush was hardly powdery and nicely pigmented. You don't get the huge amount of pink fallout when swirling your brush as with the Sephora version.

2 swipes, no primer.

2 swipes over NYX HD Primer.

With primer, all the colors shine, but when you shift my arm, you can really see how pretty the shimmers are.

In different lighting. So pretty.

Overall, I would have easily forked over the $36 for this one. It's an amazing steal for the $15 I spent. The mint could be more pigmented, but it's not a deal breaker. The shimmers are really gorgeous. And I haven't even talked about the included lip gloss.


As with any Sephora/Ulta palettes, there's some overlap, but actually the colors have slight differences when swatched side-by-side. All of these are over primer.

Here's an overview of all the shades. With each duo I swatches Sephora on the left and Ulta on the right,

Matte cream, matte brown.
Sephora left, Ulta right.
With the cream matte especially you can easily tell the Ulta version is more pigmented. Ulta's brown was also a hair cooler than Sephora's.

Matte mint, shimmery taupe-y.
Sephora on left, Ulta on right.

I weep a single tear that Sephora's mint is more pigmented than Ulta's. They're the same shade, though. With the shimmery taupe-y colors, you can't quite tell the differences in the pan, but side by side you can see Ulta's is lighter and cooler.

Shimmery red-brown and brown-purple, then the two blushes.
Sephora's on left, Ulta's on right.

The two browns look similar at first glance, but when you turn the shift is clearly purple. Ulta's is a lot more beautiful and opaque. The blushes are practically identical. Ulta's is a hair more muted and less frosty, but on the face they're basically the same thing.

Hopefully now you don't have to go out and buy both palettes, like me. Unless that mint is calling to you.

Lip Products:

Both palettes also come with a full-sized lip product.

L-R: Sephora's, Ulta's.

L-R: Sephora's, Ulta's.

Sephora's version comes with a full-sized Couture Shine Liquid Lipstick in Retro (exclusive to this set). They retail for $22 alone, but have been on sale for $10 lately. The packaging is kind of "meh" inducing. Not something I'd pay $22 for.

It's so-so. The formula is ok but the color is just so damn boring. For a liquid lipstick, it doesn't dry either, which gets a sarcastic "great" from me. I like my lip products to be dry as a bone and not get caught in my hair when it's windy. The applicator is also kind of weird. It's not a doe-foot applicator, but rather a tiny little brush. Like half the size of a Stila lipgloss. It's so tiny. Why. Why is the brush so tiny. It just makes me have to dip it back in the tube twice as much. So overall, I don't like the color, I don't like how it doesn't dry, and the little brush is sort of frustrating.

The lipgloss and the Couture Shine.

There's fine gold specks, but they're practically invisible on the lips.
It's showing up a tad pinker than it actually is since my lips were stained reddish.

It's just kind of 'meh'.

The Ulta version is so much more fun. Ulta's exclusive comes with a full-sized Lips With Benefits lip gloss in Christian (exclusive to this set), which would retail for $18 alone. It's so much cuter to look at than the Couture Shine. Look! It's got stripes! Its tiny! It's bright pink! It's goddamn adorable!

SO CUTE. The applicator is a regular doe foot as seen above.

It's a shame the stripes disappear after sticking the applicator in and out.

I'm not huge on lip glosses, but if I was forced to wear one forever, I'd pick this one. The color is a really fun vibrant pink, the packaging is striped and aesthetically square, and the smell is heavenly. It smells exactly like a marshmallow you had lit on fire and just blown out. No joke, if you presented me blindfolded this gloss and an actual burning marshmallow, I wouldn't be able to pick out which is which until I put it in my mouth. The Couture Shine has the same essence, but it smells like a marshmallow you sprayed with chemicals; it smells a lot more synthetic than this one.

Pleasant pink.


So overall, I would solidly recommend the Ulta exclusive Mint Palette. You get nice eyeshadows, a tacky little makeup bag, and a cute gloss. The Sephora version has a few more boring eyeshadows, powdery quality, and a boring-colored liquid lipstick that doesn't dry.

The Ulta version contains 0.25 oz of eyeshadow, 0.11 oz blush, and 0.19 fl oz lip gloss. For $15 you're getting 0.36 ounces of powder products alone ($41.67 per ounce), and that's not including the Lips With Benefits and clutch.

The Sephora version contains 0.25 oz of eyeshadow too, 0.22 of blush and highlighter, and 0.17 fl oz lip gloss. For the same $15, you're getting 0.47 ounces of powder products ($31.92 per ounce), not including the Couture Shine liquid Lipstick.

For comparison, the LORAC Pro Palette retails for $42 for 0.32oz of eyeshadow ($131.25 per ounce).


Seriously why is the brush so tiny.


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