Saturday, January 4, 2014

Em Cosmetics Black Friday Unboxing Haul + First Impressions + Makeup Look (Video) + Swatches!

So as most everyone in the beauty/Youtube/makeup world knows, Michelle Phan launched her makeup line called "Em Cosemetics" in this last year and to mine, and many others, surprise, it wasn't exactly an "affordable" line. Not that she said it was going to be or anything but I know I just assumed it wouldn't be too pricey because I thought she'd want to cater towards her general Youtube viewing audience which includes a lot of teenagers and young adults who don't exactly have a ton of money to spend. So when I saw the prices and realized, there was no way I was going to be able to justify spending that much on makeup, I was pretty bummed out because hey, it's Michelle Phan! Her products have to be freaking awesome right?? Then came Black Friday and guess what? There was a sale for $10 off of any $30 purchase, $20 off of any $50 purchase, and $50 off of any $100 purchase~! Woot woot right? So I picked up the Day Life Palette, the great cover up concealer, and a waterliner in Ros Gold for a little less than $70 after the $50 discount and tax. The nice thing is that they offer free shipping on ANY order, no minimum price, andd free returns too (super good for me because unfortunately I'm probably going to be returning at least one thing D: ). Shipping took about a week which was fine since the confirmation email said it'd take 5-7 business days, and the packing was nice with giant bubble wrap and pink wrapping paper on everything *___* I filmed me unboxing the package, my first impressions, and a makeup look testing out the products so check it out the videos: part 1 and part 2!
 Anyways, now that that's out of the way, and I've had some time to try out the products some more and figure out if I really like them or not... let's get started with the nitty gritty review!

The first product I want to talk about is the Day Life Palette. I ended up choosing this palette because I figured it had the most neutrals and wearable shades so I'd get the most use out of it. If you get to watch my first impression video, you'll remember me mentioning that it was definitely a lot "duller" looking than I expected. The colors just didn't seem as bright and vibrant as they had on my computer screen, but I guess that's what makes them good neutrals right? :P When I first tried out the eyeshadows in the palette, I noticed that the shimmery colors were much more softer and pigmented than the matte shades. As I continued to try out the palette, I realized a LOT of the eye shadows aren't very pigmented and they come out super patchy and don't blend out well. When you swatch them, they come out really blotchy and not smooth or dark. If you just swatch with your finger, you'll get a good amount of product on your finger so it looks promising but when you swipe it, poof - half of the color vanishes O_o'  Plus, after I swatched the shadows on my arms (pictures below), I wiped my arms and literally all of them just wiped off... like disappeared which means the lasting power of these shadows isn't that great. It also took me multiple swipes to get the swatches even visible for some of the photos. So if you haven't realized by now, I'm not exactly in love with the palette and I have to say that disappoints me a lot because I wanted to like it! I totally was excited to try them out because they seemed pretty good when Michelle Phan does videos using them and I've seen other reviews so I was really surprised at the "meh" quality of the shadows /: I've already contacted the company for a return label because I realized that honestly, I'm not going to be using the blush or lip colors very often (I don't wear either very often and I don't love using lip colors from a pan anyways.. ) and if the eyeshadows aren't like top notch quality, then I can't justify the $42 cost of this palette that I paid for. I would much rather just purchase the Lorac Pro Palette or the new Naked 3 palette and get better quality/pigmented shadows /: So in the end, I can't recommend the Day Life Palette (perhaps you'll have better luck with another life palette) due to the disappointing quality of the eyeshadows. I've really tried to use this palette and make it work, but the fact that many of the colors go on so patchy and that blending doesn't help at all (either wipes away most of the color or just smears it around more so that it looks even worse).. well I just don't know what to do anymore :(

I have swatches I did from the top two sets in the palette. As you can see, most of them don't look pigmented and I had to swipe them all 3-5 times to get the pigmentation needed for the camera to pick them up.

Photo from the em website. Mine definitely weren't this pigmented
Moving on from the life palette, we have The Great Cover Up concealer! Thankfully, this one matched my expectations in that yes it gives great coverage for my undereye circles and areas of redness. However, from what I had heard from everyone on Youtube and reviews, I think I did expect it to have a bit more coverage because I can still see some scars/pigmentation spots through the concealer so it's not super high coverage but I don't mind that too much. I don't notice any caking throughout the day and it also doesn't break me out so that's good. I do agree with everyone else that a little bit of this product goes a long ways and it blends out nicely. My only real bother is that I got the shade light warm and while it does match my skin tone and shade quite well, I usually prefer my concealers to be a bit lighter than my actual skin because I feel like it gives a more brightening effect (especially for under the eyes). I'm around an NC 30-35 so perhaps next time I will pick up the shade "fair warm" and see if that works out. There are 8 shades of the concealer but there aren't many darker shades (only like 2) so if you have darker skin, you might not be able to find a shade to match your skin. I also know some people complained about not knowing what shade they were after they had removed the concealer from the packaging but I guess Em Cosemetics fixed that because on the back of my concealer, it says "light warm" now although it's in a sort of ugly font like they just stamped it on, but I don't mind too much. Overall, I definitely would recommend this concealer if you're looking for something to cover up most of your blemishes without looking too cakey or fake and if you can get it on sale. The regular $20 is a bit pricey for a concealer, but reasonable when you compare it to other high end brand concealers and the quality is there so if you really can't wait to try it out, I would say to go for it even if there isn't a sale. However, if you really want something crazy high coverage, this isn't that product and I would actually recommend the Kat Von D Lock it foundation or concealer as those are super (not an exaggeration) high coverage but you just have to be careful or else they can look thick/cakey.

The last product I picked up was the Em Cosemetics waterliner in Ros Gold. I included a picture of my swatch above and also the photo from the website to help you get an idea of what it really looks like. Now, I really was excited to try this liner out because I'd heard great things about it (lasting power, waterproof ability, smudge proof, etc) and looking at the swatches from Raeview (another blogger, go check her out~!), they look really amazing! I chose Ros Gold because I thought it was the most unique and it looked really pretty. Unfortunately, when I got the liner, the color turned out to be a lot more orangey-peachy rather than a pink copper color that I'd expect of a rose gold eye liner (why they named it Ros Gold rather than Rose Gold I'm not sure). To make things worse, the moment I opened the liner, half of it fell out because it had broken! I pushed it back in and I think I "smushed" the fallen half back with the other half inside the pencil, but I'm still a little put off by my broken product :( It works fine now and everything, but I'm not sure if I should return or exchange it because hey, a $20 pencil shouldn't start off broken right? Beside that point though, the quality of this liner is superb. It's definitely a good creamy and soft consistency without going overboard (like the Milani Liquify pencil which in my opinion is a bit TOO soft) and it doesn't tug on my eyelids when I use it. It's also great for being on the waterline and lasted all day on my waterline without smearing out. I think this is comparable to the Urban Decay 24/7 liners and with the wide variety of colors, you're bound to find the color you want. So all in all, yes I'm completely satisfied with the quality of the product and would recommend it at SALE price, but I still don't love the color I got (Ros Gold) which is why I'm thinking about exchanging it for another shade (I'm considering the chocolate brown one since I know I'll get a lot of use out of that, but then I feel like it is a bit normal and I already have a TON of brown pencil liners). One thing that I would prefer though is the liners coming in a the standard wooden pencil form rather than a twist up plastic pencil. I understand that in the twist up form, you don't have to sharpen your pencil constantly, but I, personally, just prefer the pencil ones because I think you can get a greater variety of line thicknesses and I just like the feel of them better (does that even make sense? haha) My sister also mentioned that the twisty plastic liners look "cheap" and I can agree with her on that. The biggest downside to these water liners are their price because at $20, they are just a little bit more expensive than Urban Decay ($19) and Make Up For Ever ($19) but I guess it's fair because the quality is comparable to those high end brands and the good thing is that at least Em Cosemetics has good sale deals (ie. their buy one get one free deal for Cyber Monday vs. Urban Decays twice annual only sale of 20% off)
So I hope you guys all enjoyed my little review of the products I got from Em Cosemetics and I hope it helps you make a better more well-informed decision before your make your purchase! I don't know if I just got a bad palette or something because I definitely can't recommend the Day Life Palette, but for the other two products (the Great Cover Up Concealer and the Waterliner), I would give two thumbs up and say they're great quality and worth the hype they get. Hope you all have a lovely day and a wonderful holidays~!