5 Best Drugstore Eyeshadows

best drugstore eyeshadows

A lot of drugstore brands have upped their games lately, providing pigmented, velvety-smooth, and longlasting products at very competitive prices. But there’s an area where they are still often lacking quality: eyeshadows.

As tempting as they look in their little pans, drusgtore eyeshadows are often hit or miss. Actually, more miss than hit. I’ve lost count of how many turned out to be sheer, powdery and chalky. But, luckily, during the past few years, I’ve also come across some gems. Here they are:

1. Sleek Makeup I-Divine Eyeshadow Palette
Who’s surprised to see these at the top of the list? No one? Guess not, as I’ve been regularly raving about these palettes since I first tried them in 2008. You’ve probably sick of it by now, but these are truly some of the best drugstore eyeshadows ever. Each palette contains 12 smooth and very pigmented shades in different finishes (they still need to work a bit on their matte formula, but the rest is amazing!). They are currently available in 16 variants, with new, limited edition ones being released all the time. My favourites are Lagoon (wearable brights), Original (a mix of bright and neutral shades), and Storm (a mix of natural and smokey hues). Available at Sleekmakeup.com.

2. Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Set
These palettes contain eight shades, each of which is named after the area where it should be placed (such as browbone, crease, etc), which is very handy for newbies. But, of course, you can use them however, and wherever, you like. All eight shades are super pigmented, with a very soft and velvety texture that, however, produces some fallout. Nothing major, though. The one I have, Comfort Zone, also features a duochrome shade. How cool is that? Available at amazon.com and drugstore.com.

3. Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR Cream Eyeshadows
I’m not a big fan of cream eyeshadows because they usually tend to crease and fade within a couple of hours on my somewhat oily lids. But not these. These have amazing staying power, even without a primer. Plus, they have great colour payoff and apply smoothly on the lids. What’s not to like? Their newer metal formula is very nice too. Available at boots.com and ulta.com.

4. Layla Sparkle Eyeshadows
Like the name suggests, these are very, very sparkly. And very, very pigmented too. Definitely not something for the faint of earth. These are bold and demand attention. And did I mention they have a very soft and smooth texture that blends like a dream? But there’s a catch. You’ll have to use them with a primer if you want them to last all day without creasing. Available at shoplaylacosmetics.it.

5. Barry M Dazzle Dusts
If you’re a fan of loose eyeshadows, you must try these. These shimmery eyeshadows can be applied sheerly for a soft wash of colour, or built up for a more intense look. Their soft texture is easy to blend, too. There are more than 70 colourful and neutral shades to choose from, so everyone will be able to find a few they love. Some of them can also be used on the lips, face and nails! Available at boots.com and superdrug.com.

What are your favourite drugstore eyeshadows? Have you tried any of these?

Looks: Chocolate Binge

chocolate binge 01

I’m on a winged eyeliner kick lately. Only this time, I’ve abandoned black, and opted for a more colourful, but still intense, navy shade. Because I wanted that to be the focus of this look, I kept the rest of the face natural. I hope you’ll like it.

Products used:
- Too Faced Shadow Insurance
- Senna Haute Nudes Palette in Sultry
- Sleek Makeup I-Divine Sparkle 2 Eyeshadow Palette
- Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils in Binge and Whiskey
- Pupa Vamp! Mascara in Chocolate Brown
- YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Illuminating Foundation
- Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit
- Illamasqua Powder Blush in Naked Rose
- Sleek Makeup Face Form in Light
- Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick In Naturally Nude

1. Prime your lids with a good eyeshadow base, which will make your eyeshadows last longer. My favourite is Too Faced Shadow Insurance.
2. Sweep a medium matte reddish brown on the crease (I used Tiger Lily in the Senna Haute Nudes Palette in Sultry).
3. Apply a medium, matte, warm brown shade with red undertones (I used Palomino in the Senna Haute Nudes Palette in Sultry) on the outer V and lower lashline.
4. Apply a matte ivory shade (I used New Moon in the Senna Haute Nudes Palette in Sultry) on the browbone.
5. Pat a metallic golden copper shade (I used Chocolate Penny in the Sleek Makeup Sparkle 2 Eyeshadow Palette) on the lid. With a pencil brush, apply a touch of it in the very inner part of the lower lashline. Blend where it meets with the brown.
6. Line your upper lashline with a navy blue eyeliner. I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Binge, but if you have a navy liquid eyeliner in your stash, use that one. It will make the blue pop even more. Once you’ve drawn the line, wing it out.
7. Line your waterline with a dark and warm brown eyeliner pencil (I used Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Whiskey).
8. Apply mascara. I used a dark brown one, but you can use a black shade, if you prefer.

1. Apply foundation and concealer. Set with powder, if needed.
2. Apply a medium rosy pink blush shade with slightly blue undertones and an almost matte finish (I used Illamasqua Powder Blush in Naked Rose) on the apples of your cheeks.
3. Sweep a sheer cream highlighting shade (I used the one in Sleek Face Form in Light) on top of your cheekbones, and the bridge of your nose.
4. Apply a creamy pale beige nude shade (I used Avon Ultra Color Rich Lipstick In Naturally Nude) on your lipstick.

chocolate binge 02

chocolate binge 03

Product Review: Ungaro By Emanuel Ungaro Perfume

ungaro by emanuel ungaro perfume

Name: Ungaro
Brand: Emanuel Ungaro
Size: 1.oz
Price: $65.00

What I liked:
- lovely radiant ambery-floral scent
- good sillage and staying power
- pretty packaging

What I didn’t like:
- there’s nothing mysterious or remarkable about it
- doesn’t change much throughout the day

Ungaro by Emanuel Ungaro is described as a “floral spicy amber perfume” ideal for women who are “dark and totally feminine…, Chic yet utterly shameless…, and Mysterious and radiant…”. All these statements have one thing in common: they are only half true. Ungaro is a floral scent, but my nose couldn’t detect any spicy notes. Not even a whiff of them. That’s a shame, because I love me some spiciness.

Ungaro is also feminine, chic, and radiant. But dark? Shameless? Mysterious? Nope. It’s a happy, youthful scent done well enough to smell elegant and be appropriate for any occasion, be it a work meeting at the office, a shopping spree with a girlfriend, or a casual date with friends or family. It’s lovely. But if you’re looking for something sexy, daring or mysterious, you won’t find it here.

Ungaro opens with a sweet burst of berries that, doesn’t, thankfully, make the opening smell like candy. It’s not gourmand, just cheerful. Soon, they are joined by a bouquet of white florals. Jasmine is the most prominent, but, like its floral companions, it doesn’t smell heady or intoxicating. It’s quite tame. And so is the ambery base.

Ungaro doesn’t really change much throughout the day. It’s just a simple, inoffensive fragrance that’s particularly suitable for the warm months ahead. Once applied, it easily lasts for about 8 hours. Sillage depends on how much you spray on. Just one spritz will make the scent stay very close to the skin. Two will intensify it, but not so much that it will bother your friends or colleagues.

Available at: amazon

Ungaro EDP by Emanuel Ungaro is a radiant, simple and inoffensive ambery floral scent that doesn’t change much as the hours pass. Both sillage and staying power are ok.

Rating: 3.5/5

Disclaimer: I got a sample of this product at my local beauty shop. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link, which means we get a commission when you purchase the item from this link. By doing so, you’ll be helping to support Beautiful with Brains. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

Product Review: Sunsilk Azione Termo-Attiva Shampoo

sunsilk azione termo attiva shampoo

Name: Azione Termo-Attiva Shampoo
Brand: Sunsilk
Size: 250ml
Price: €1,65

From the packaging:
The innovative Thermoactive technology protects and repairs hair from the damage caused by blowdryer and heat styling tools. It acts both from outside and within the hair shaft, leaving hair soft, shiny, and manageable.

What I liked:
- nice consistency, spreads easily over the hair
- cleanses hair well, without drying it out
- gorgeous sweet scent
- the packaging
- the price

What I didn’t like:
- heat protection properties are disappointing

Heat can damage hair. The more often you use heat styling tools or blowdry your hair, the drier and more brittle your locks will become. But we can’t exactly do without them, can we? Especially in the cold winter months, when hair takes ages to airdry. So, what’s a girl to do? Use heat protection hair products.

Celebrity hairstylist Thomas Taw, in collaboration with Sunsilk, has created a range of hair care products – which includes a shampoo, a conditioner and a styling spray – that promises to protect your hair from heat damage. It’s called Azione Termo-Attiva (Thermo-Active Action).

Today, I’m reviewing the shampoo. I was a bit sceptical about the ability of a rinse-off product to protect hair from heat and, after trying it, I’m still on the fence. The shampoo contains a bunch of silicones, such as Amodimethicone and Dimethiconol, that coat hair, creating a protective barrier, plus a few conditioning agents, such as Hydrolyzed Keratin, but not enough is left on hair after washing. When I later blow-dried my hair, I didn’t find it any softer or smoother than usual.

However, the purpose of a shampoo is to cleanse hair. And that’s something this shampoo, thanks to its gentle blend of surfactants (Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine) does really well. It removed excess oil and dirt from my hair without drying it out nor causing any irritation.

The consistency is lovely. Not too thick, but not too thick, it spreads nicely over the hair and is easily rinsed off. The pearly white colour is very pretty too. And the scent It’s sweet and reminds me of cherries. Delicious! And longlasting. It stays with you for most of the day.

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Trehalose, Gluconolactone, Adipic Acid, Sodium Sulfate, Oleic Acid, Heliantus Annuus Seed Oil, Lysine HCI, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Amodimethicone, Dimethiconol, Parfum, Sodium Chloride, TEA-Dodecybenzenesulfonate, Trideceth-12, Tin Oxide, Cetrimoniun Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Carbomer, Glycol Distearate, PPG-12, Magnesium Chloride, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Magnesium Nitrate, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, DMDM Hydantoin, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone, Sodium Benzoate, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Benzyl Alcohol, Butylphenyl Methylproponial, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Linalool, Limonene

Available at: supermarkets and beauty shops

Sunsilk Azione Termo-Attiva Shampoo cleanses hair well without drying it out. It also leaves it smelling gorgeous for hours. However, its heat protectant properties are disappointing.

Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: the item was purchased by me for both personal and review purposes. The review is based on my own personal and honest experience with the product. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

New Collection: Tom Ford Summer 2014 Makeup

tom ford summer 2014 makeup collection 01

For spring, Tom Ford has released a small, but chic collection with glowing shades and a pop of colour. Here are more photos and information. Enjoy!

Available in Unabashed, it features soft pearl and satin neutral shades, with a pop of cobalt for the eyes, and peach coral and light rose hues for the cheeks.

tom ford summer 2014 makeup collection 03
Available in Fire Lust, a beautiful peachy pink highlighter that makes the complexion glow.

tom ford summer 2014 makeup collection 02
LIP SHIMMER ($49.00) (Limited Edition)
Available in Moonlight (gold), and Solar Gold (champagne).

The collection is already available at Saks. Do you like it?

Do Black People Need To Wear Sunscreen?

Black skin has an inbuilt SPF so sunscreen is not necessary.

How many times have you heard that? Too many, unfortunately. It’d be great if that were true, but sadly, it’s just a myth. One that, if believed, could be deadly. So, why is it so widespread? Well, like all believable myths, it has some true in it.

Inbuilt SPF doesn’t provide adequate sun protection

Black skin really has an inbuilt SPF of between 8 and 16 (depending on how dark it is), which protects it from some of the damage caused by UV rays. The problem is that SPF 15 only filters about 92% of UVB rays. That’s a high percentage and it may seem enough to provide adequate protection, but it’s not. The rays that get through and hit the skin will, overtime, cause dark spots, premature aging, and even cancer. However, the inbuilt SPF does mean that you can use a sunscreen with a lower SPF, such as 15 or 30 rather than 35 or 50. It also means that you may reapply it less often than the recommended two hours (but don’t leave it too long, of course!). But you still need to use sunscreen everyday.

Black skin isn’t immune to sunburn

A sunburn conjures up images of pale skin, all red and peeling. But dark skin can get sunburned too. It’s a bit trickier to detect, because dark skin doesn’t become red. But  it  does experiences all the other symptoms: it is hot to the touch, painful, feels tight and peels. Sure, it is more difficult for black people to get a sunburn, but the risk, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors when the sun is burning hot in the sky, is there. And even just a sunburn can increase your chances of developing skin cancer.

Skin cancer is rarer, but more deadly in dark-skinned people

Did you know that there are many types of skin cancer? Dark-skinned people are less likely to develop some of them, but are not immune to skin cancer. And when they do develop melanoma, they are more likely to die from it. Why? In black people, melanoma tends to show up on more lightly pigmented areas, such as the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and even the fingernail bed. Because not many people are aware of this, they tend to be diagnosed later, when the cancer has already spread to other areas, and is so much more difficult to cure. So, be sure to wear sunscreen on all areas of your body exposed to the sun and, once a year, go to your dermatologist for a skin cancer screening.

The Bottom Line

Although dark skin has inbuilt SPF, it is not high enough to offer adequate protection against premature aging, sun spots, sunburns and cancer. So, wear sunscreen daily. Be safe, not sorry!

Do you have dark skin? If so, do you wear sunscreen every day?

New Collection: Too Faced Summer 2014

too faced summer 2014 collection 01

For summer 2014, Too Faced has created a small but very tempting collection. The packaging is adorable, while the bronze and vividly colourful shades are perfect for the hot season. Here are more details:

too faced summer 2014 collection 02
This gorgeous palette features nine eyeshadow shades: St Tropez, Cannes, Soleil, Riviera, Jardin, Cote d’Azur, La Croisette, Monaco, and De La Mer.

too faced summer 2014 collection 04
This cute palette features three bronzers to give your skin a radiant, sunkissed glow. The shades are: Chocolate Soleil, Sun Bunny, and Snow Bunny.

too faced summer 2014 collection 03
These are said to shine like a gloss, be as pigmented as a liquid lipstick, and leave behind a staining effect. Available in Melted Nude, Melted Coral, Melted Peony, Melted Fuchsia, Melted Ruby, and Melted Violet.

The collection is now available at Toofaced.com and Ulta.com. Has anything caught your eye?