Sword Beauty

Wet 'n' Wild Mega Cushion Highlight & Mega Cushion Contour | Review + Swatches

Face Makeup, Highlight, Swatches, Review, Contour, CushionSword BeautyComment

It has been a long time since I started using cushions. It’s been exciting to see this Korean beauty trend break into the US market with larger shade ranges and more affordable pricing. Although I am used to the typical cushion foundation or lip tint, I am entirely new to cushion highlighters, bronzers, and color correctors. I stumbled across the Wet ’n Wild Mega Cushion line at Walgreens and couldn’t help myself.

The Spring 2017 collection included the Mega Cushion Highlight and the Mega Cushion Contour. Both cushions come in one shade, the highlight, ‘Who’s That Pearl?’ and the contour, ‘Cafe Au Slay!’ Wet ’n Wild boast that they have a featherweight finish, are ultra-bendable, and are super convenient. There is 0.24 oz of product in each cushion and they retail for $5.99USD.

For those unfamiliar with cushions, the liquid product (usually foundation) is soaked in a sponge and comes with a puff/cushion applicator. The cushion packaging is supposed to make it quick and easy to apply and touch up with a liquid foundation, which is why I question it’s convenience as a highlighter or a contour product.

The packaging differs from traditional cushions in that it is not a compact. The cap comes off completely and the plastic divider that separates the product with the applicator also comes off completely. To me, this completely destroys the ease of use that a cushion is supposed to give you. You wouldn’t want to throw this in your bag for touch-ups, as it is essential three separate parts. The puff included isn’t the best, I find that US brands haven’t invested as much into the technology of the puff applicator as they have in higher end or Korean brands. Brushes and a BeautyBlender works better with both products.

Like most cushions, the liquid product is very watery, this allows you to customize how subtle or strong you want to wear them. The bronzer is buildable so it can work across a range of light to medium skin tones . The watery texture sets quickly so blending after applying it onto the face is important. When it does set, it really does not move and has a matte finish. It lasted all day on me and a small amount went a long way. The highlight has the same texture and it is a light pearly shade. I found that this set similarly to bronzer but did not last as long. Like the bronzer, it is very lightweight and a very small amount worked well for me. It can get very dewy and intense so a little does go a long way, especially if you have oily skin.

Overall, I was impressed with the staying power of the Mega Cushion Contour but the packaging is just not worth it to me. Any other way to bronze or contour your face might be more convenient. The highlight is gorgeous and last quite well on my oily skin on it’s own. I like that it can be a light dewy highlight or an intense one just by layering it. Wet ’n Wild really knocks it out of the park with the claim of featherweight finish, While I like both products, I don’t know if either one necessarily needs to be a cushion product. Both would be easier to use if they were packaged differently. 

Besides the gimmick-y packaging, the products themselves are pretty great and a bargain as well. You can purchase them on the Wet n Wild website or on Amazon. What do you guys think about these cushions?

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NYX Total Control Drop Foundation | Review + Swatch

Face Makeup, Swatches, Review, FoundationSword Beauty1 Comment

With a new year comes new goodies in the drugstore beauty aisle. It seems like the drugstore makeup brands are really starting to step up their foundation lines. NYX is no exception, with their recently released Total Control Drop Foundation. NYX has taken the dropper idea and made it something completely new. No need to mix with anything, the Drop Foundation covers your needs whether it be light or full coverage. 

NYX describes the Total Control Drop Foundation as a matte finish foundation with the ability to adjust to your ideal coverage. The more drops you use, the higher the coverage. The drop foundation comes in 24 different shades and is housed in a dropper style bottle. The retail price is $14, and it comes with 0.43 ounces of product.

I’ll start out by saying that I have combination skin. Super oily t-zone and dry everywhere else which usually means that not one single foundation is going to be perfect for me. With that being said, I think the Total Control Drop Foundation is pretty great. There are pros and cons, especially if you have a similar skin type to me. If you have a normal skin type, I think you are going to love everything about this foundation.

I find that the matte finish was really working against me in the areas where my skin was slightly flaky. A little extra moisturizing fixed the issue for me and it’s easy to work around if your skin isn’t dry all over. If you have a super dry skin type, I wouldn’t recommend this to you. The formula clings to really dry patches and can look powder-y after a couple hours.

There are also cons to this if you have super oily skin. After 6 or 7 hours I can see the foundation separating and creasing on my nose. The foundation slips and moves around after the 7 hour mark.  It isn’t a problem in the first couple hours, but I find that I need to blot throughout the day.

For light to medium coverage, which is what I prefer, 4-5 drops for my whole face worked perfectly. I usually use an extra drop after blending it out for my nose area or to cover any redness showing through. It covered up my uneven skin tone and some hyper pigmentation. The formula is watery and I found my BeautyBlender to be the best option for blending it into the skin. It feels extremely light weight on, even if you build the coverage up. 

Overall, I like the idea of the Total Control Drops and I prefer it’s lightweight wear. I like how matte the finish is and it looks amazing on first application. I wish it was a little more long wearing on me, if it didn’t settle on my nose like it does, I would be in love. As long as you aren’t extremely oily, this will be a long wearing foundation on you. The NYX Total Control Drops are available on nyxcosmetics.com and ulta.com! Let me know what you guys think!

Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette | Review + Swatches

Eye Products, Eyeshadow, Makeup, Review, SwatchesSword BeautyComment

It’s been eight long months of waiting but the Too Faced Sweet Peach Palette is back (along with a whole collection of peach themed products)! I picked up a palette on Sephora in the beginning of April and neglected writing a blog post since it was limited edition and Too Faced said they weren’t restocking it at first. Now, it’s back by popular demand, the hype is back, and I thought I would include my two cents.

The Sweet Peach Palette is packaged in a metal tin with a magnetic closure. The cute peach shapes and the pink to peach ombre is adorable and adds a lot of character to the palette. It comes with 18 eyeshadows, each containing 0.03 grams of product (as opposed to the Chocolate Bar palettes that come with 14 shadows of the same size and then 2 larger highlight shades. The Sweet Peach Palette houses less total product than any of the Chocolate Bar Palettes). The shadows smell like super sweet peach candies, it doesn’t linger when you actually apply it but it is very strong. The palette retails for $49USD. 

The palette contains a good mix of colors and finishes. I do have to say that I was disappointed with the number of peach shades, I wanted to have some more peachy colors to play with. You really only get ‘Just Peachy’, 'Candied Peach’, and ‘Bellini’. After taking a quick look, the palette as a whole without those three shades looks pretty much like any other neutral palette. I can see the benefit of making it a palette that houses everything you would need, but if you have a lot of neutral eyeshadow palettes, you don’t really need to pay $50 for this one just to get a few peachy-toned shadows.

The shadows are all soft in texture and they blend quite easily. They all swatch very nicely and as with any shadow, they will apply and wear better with primer. Some shades work better on the lids than others. I had a slightly harder time with the pigmentation and wear with the darker shades and some of the mattes. The formula across the board is not bad but it's nothing notable, a mix of some great shades and some under performing ones. The shimmery shadows worked best on me, and I really enjoy using the three peach shades. I would say it's a nice palette to have but it's not something I reach for very often.

Overall, if you are looking for a palette that contains peachy, fun, bright shades with a solid formula, this is not going to do it for you. The packaging is extremely adorable and I really like the scent so I feel like the hype mostly lives around that. I don’t think it is a must have but if you want a neutral palette with a pop of color, the Sweet Peach Palette may be a good buy for you. 

The Two Faced Sweet Peach Palette will be available on TooFaced.com at Midnight on December 14th. It will also be available on Ulta.com, Sephora.com, and Macys.com on December 15th!

Let me know you thoughts on the Sweet Peach collection!

Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Liquid & Stick Foundation | Review, Comparison + Swatches

Face Makeup, Comparisons, Makeup, Swatches, ReviewSword BeautyComment

As a big fan of most MUFE products, I never once looked into the Ultra HD foundation that everyone raved about. Well, Makeup Forever has since reformulated the product and I got my hands on it the liquid and stick versions of the Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation thanks to Influenster! Since the formulas are different, I will put in my comparisons of the two based off my skin type so you can get a better feel for which one might suit you.

MUFE says the“Ultra HD Liquid Foundation creates a naturally flawless complexion…this revolutionary foundation features uniquely-coated pigments that provide medium to buildable coverage with an even lighter weight”. The liquid foundation is supposed to work well on all skin types without needing touch ups. The shade range is pretty large, with 40 shades ranging in undertones. My MUFE shade is Y415 and it suits my skin perfectly. Each bottle comes with 1.01 oz of product and retails for $43 USD.

The Ultra HD Invisible Cover Liquid Foundation has light to medium coverage. I would say that the finish is more towards a matte so it is suited more toward oily or combination skin. I fell in love with the liquid, I was skeptical of the claims MUFE made with it but I was very happy with the lightweight, extremely natural wear. The foundation is buildable, I would say you can get it to high coverage but it might look cakey depending on your skin type. I personally enjoy lighter face makeup so one to two pumps is a good amount go product for my whole face. It covers redness and hyper pigmentation on my skin very well, but it has a harder time covering skin texture, especially if you're on the drier side.

MUFE says the Ultra HD Stick Foundation “provides medium-to-full coverage with a lightweight, second-skin texture…it’s formulated with hyaluronic spheres for time-released hydration that is perfect for normal to dry skin”. The stick foundation differs from the liquid in that it has higher coverage and hydrating qualities. There are 15 shades in the line and I happened to get Y445 which is one shade darker than the shade that matches me perfectly. Each stick has 0.44oz of product and retails for $43 USD.

The Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation definitely has a more natural, satin finish with medium to high coverage. It keeps the skin looking glowy all day, although it can easy be set with a powder for a matte finish. The formula is surprisingly creamy and blends easily. With a BeautyBlender, you can get this to a lighter coverage and you can also build it up to high coverage as it layers pretty well. The lightweight wear is consistent across both foundation formulas. It wears off during the day on me due to its finish and my skin type. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone with oily skin, although you could make it work with a mattyifying primer and powder. 

Both foundations look very natural on the skin, they live up to the “second skin” claim. I can easily say that the liquid foundation works better for my skin. I have combination skin where the oily parts get extremely greasy and where the dry bits are almost flakey. With this, there are downsides to both foundations. I find that with the stick, I need to set it and touch up more than twice a day and it wears away and settles in oily and drier parts respectively. I think the stick formula will work well for those with a normal skin type. With the liquid, I feel like I can cover more imperfections with less product. It has a longer wear time on me. It doesn’t always look the best on drier areas of the skin but if I prime with a hydrating oil or primer, it looks much more even. Because both products are the same price, I think you will get more use out of the liquid foundation if you are intending to use the stick foundation on your whole face (rather than just contouring and touch ups as its description suggests).

Overall, both foundations are suited to different skin types and they both work well as a natural, lightweight foundations that photograph well. Both are available for purchase on Sephora.com and Makeupforever.com.

-These products were sent to me from Influenster for review purposes. All opinions are my own and are based only off of my experience with the products-

Pony Effect Contouring Master Palette in Fabulous | Review + Swatches

Face Makeup, Korean Beauty, Makeup, Review, SwatchesSword BeautyComment

Korean makeup artist, Pony, has a whole line of makeup including brow, lip, and skin products. I have tried quite a few products from Pony Effect and I have yet to be disappointed. I purchased her Contouring Master Palette in ‘Fabulous” a couple months ago and I can’t wait to share with you guys

The Contouring Master Palette has 4 different powder products for brightening, highlighting, blush and contour. Pony Effect describes the pans as a “luxurious powder has a silky soft texture that blends effortlessly to give your skin that soft-focus, photogenic finish.” The packaging is extremely sleek, using plastic black and rose gold and the palette also includes a huge mirror. Each pan holds 3 grams of product and the palette sells for $32. The palette comes in two shades, “Fabulous” and “Marvelous”.

So far, all of the Pony Effect products I’ve tried are extremely beginner friendly. Her products are all buildable and the powders are not too soft or too pigmented, which is popular within Korean makeup. This palette is no exception, the shades aren’t harsh against the skin and they are more suited to natural makeup looks. 

The brightening shade, ‘Super Magic’, is a matte highlight that works well under the eyes. The highlighting shade, ‘Dreamcatcher’ is on the more natural side but it is build able (Read my full review of the Pony Effect Mirage highlighters here!). The blush, ‘On My Own’, does not really show up on my skin tone but it is a very pretty light pink on lighter skin tone. The contouring shade, ‘Behind Story’ is too close to my actual skin tone to be called a shading color. It is the least pigmented of all 4 powders and t would suit someone lighter than the 20 range in MAC foundations.

I do have to say that both palettes are more suited to fair skin, I think people with medium skin tone can use some of the shades. I am around NC35 and the blush and contour shades were disappointing. The arm swatches were done on my sister who is around an NW30 or slightly lighter so you can see it on her skintone. I think anyone with a deeper complexion than me wouldn’t get much use out of either palette. The star is definitely the highlighter which is sold individually, although not in the shade, ‘Dreamcatcher’.

Overall, if you are looking for a beginner face palette to do your basic face routine and you are on the fair side, this is a good choice for you. Pony Effect products are available for purchase on Memebox.com. Let me know what you guys think about the Pony Effect line!