Two by Two: A History of Comparisons on Everyday Lipstick

As one of the lovely loyal readers of Everyday Lipstick, you’ve probably noticed that I love comparisons. I love comparing one product to another and deciding which one is better and which one might be the lucky winner of a place in my makeup drawer.

Today, I thought it would be fun to take you back through the past comparisons from Everyday Lipstick! Also, to find these more easily, there is a new category called “Product vs Product”.  There, you can easily find all of the product comparisons!

Tale of two False Lashes, comparison of Urban Decay Lashes vs Sephora brand

Comparison of Two Cheek Highlighters, comparison between Smashbox highlighter and Benefit Watts up

REN Vita Mineral vs REN Hydra Calm, I reviewed two REN day creams to find the better match for me!

LaVanila Lipscreen compared to Jack Black Lip Balm, my favorite lip balm reigns supreme, despite a comparison to a product that is three times more expensive

Between the eyes: Comparison of two eye creams, which is better: REN gel or Shiseido bio performance? Read the article to find out!

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Tale of Two False Lashes

For special occasions, I love fake lashes. I don’t know if I’ve watched too many episodes of the Real Housewives or if I am just running out of special occasion makeup ideas, but it really feels like a party when you put your fakes on.

But! They are most certainly not all created equal. Here’s a move I can’t explain: I bought some lashes online from Sephora.com that had very mediocre reviews. Lashes are tough already without buying some that most of the Sephora community didn’t like.

I bought the Urban Decay Flirt style lashes online for $15, they look like this:

They also come with a tube of glue, which is where most of my problems started. The glue never got tacky enough to stick to my eyelid. Most lash glue after 10-15 seconds, gets tacky and if you stick it to your lid, it will easily stay and you can manipulate it into the right spot. Not this glue! It stayed extremely runny for almost 2 minutes.

My second problem is that the base of the lashes (the part where all the fibers attach) is very stiff and isn’t easily bendable. It has to be bendable because you have to curve it to follow your lash line. So with glue that wouldn’t stick and lashes that wouldn’t bend, it was a no-win.

But I don’t want to leave you empty-handed! The lashes I love are actually Sephora brand. I love the Astonish (and cutting it down a little bit so it is only half that size) and Flair.

Sephora Astonish, $10 comes with glue:

Sephora Flair, $10, also comes with glue:

The glue that comes with these lashes is excellent and the lashes last 2-3 wears if you are gentle with them. For $5 cheaper than Urban Decay, they are such winners. What lashes do you love? Have you ever had trouble with false lashes? Let me know!

Comparison of two cheek highlighters

I love cheek highlighters for special occasions. But recently, I’ve decided I also love them in the summer for no occasion at all! When you have been outside and maybe have just a bit of a tan, a subtle little glow or shimmer on your cheek is so pretty. I’ve always had the Smashbox Halo Wand in my makeup drawer and recently got the Benefit Watts Up in a trial size. They are so different but I love them both!

First up: Smashbox Highlighting Halo Wand, $32, Sephora

It comes in two colors: Pearl and Gold. For my skin, gold is the better choice but if you are more fair or have more pink tones in your complexion, pearl might be a better choice for you. I purchased this before my wedding actually because what better time to have glowy, dewy skin than on your wedding day?!

With one push of the bottom button, a perfect amount of highlighter is distributed into the brush to cover all the spots on your face. It gives a subtle golden, iridescent glow and even though it’s a liquid, it doesn’t crease after wear.

Second in line for a review: Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter, $30, Sephora

Watt’s Up comes in one color that is more similar to the Smashbox Pearl. Of course the travel size didn’t have it, but the full size product has a

blender sponge on the bottom to help spread out the product. Unnecessary because your fingers work well, but nice touch. I would also guess the sponge would pick up a lot of the color in the process…

It’s a completely different consistency than Smashbox, it’s a solid instead of a cream or liquid. I actually think it’s slightly easier to apply because of this.

Overall, Benefit is a more subtle product and useful for daily wear (if you wear it right) while Smashbox is more of a special occasion highlighter because it creates a more dramatic effect.

The verdict: if I could only have one, since they are nearly the same price, I’d buy Smashbox. It’s a bigger impact and perfect for highlighting your cheeks and brow for a special night out.

Click here to buy Smashbox Cheek Highlighter from Sephora.com and click here to buy Benefit Watt’s up!

REN Vita Mineral vs REN Hydra Calm Day Creams

There’s a new day cream in town. You know me, I love REN products but I wasn’t sold on their Vita Mineral Day Cream. It was a great day cream. Easy wear under makeup, just enough moisture and never greasy. But, it wasn’t special. So I went looking!

I had been interested in testing REN’s Hydra Calm Global Protection Day Cream and recently bought a bottle.

From REN, here is the description of Hydra Calm: An antiaging moisturizer for skin that is delicate or affected by everyday stressors like smoke and pollution. An optimal cream for sensitive skin, this moisturizer hydrates and replenishes skin, leaving it protected and looking beautifully healthy. Skin feels calmed and soothed. Antioxidant ingredients protect against free radicals to combat the signs of premature aging. Free of: Fragrance, parabens, petrochemicals, sulfates, synthetic colors, silicones, glycols.

After two weeks, here are my thoughts:

REN Hydra Calm smells better, it has an herbal, clean smell

REN Vita Mineral is thicker, but that doesn’t mean it is more moisturizing

REN Hydra Calm seems to absorb more easily and more quickly

Price difference: Vita Mineral = $45, Hydra Calm = $55

While it’s a little too soon to tell if it actually makes a visible difference on my skin, so far, I’m a big fan of Hydra Calm. If you have sensitive skin, REN has an entire Hydra Calm line of products, from an anti-aging serum to a cleansing milk.

Update: LaVanila lipscreen still isn’t as good as Jack Black Lip Balm

Well the LaVanila I featured in this post for it’s amazing scent, smooth application and fantastic sunscreen content didn’t pass the test. I took it on a ski trip two weeks ago and it just simply doesn’t last more than 30 minutes. You literally have to reapply it all day.

So, while LaVanila has some great pros, Jack Black has yet to be replaced as my favorite lip balm of all time.

Between the eyes: Comparison of two eye creams

I’ve long been on the search for a really really great eye cream. I don’t want saggy lids when I’m in my 40s and 50s so I’ve always thought of it as an investment. Eye creams really are an investment too, because they are pricey. I’ve rarely seen anything worth buying (ie- that will have any chance of working) for less than $30.

After testing many samples (including Boscia Amino eye treatment for $38, Fresh Black Tea Eye Cream for $68 and a few others) it came down to two: REN Active 7 Radiant Eye Gel and Shiseido Bio-Performance Eye Contour Cream. Shiseido actually makes a few eye products, including options for dark circles and wrinkle-resist. I was specifically looking for something that would be moisturizing and tightening for that area so I went with Bio-Performance.

As you can see from the image below, they are REN and Shiseido are completely different styles of eye creams. REN (on the left) is really a tightening gel and Shiseido (on the right) is a lifting and moisturizing cream.

eye creams

Fact of the matter is I really like them both. But here are some nitty gritty details:

1. REN, because it’s a tightening gel, can feel uncomfortable if you wear it during the day. Almost as if your eyes are dry and slightly irritated

2. Both have excellent dispensers that with one pump dispense exactly the right amount. I’ve heard so many people review and complain about eye creams on Sephora.com because the dispenser dispenses too much at a time. These two brands have it figured out.

3. REN is less expensive by about $20.

4. But here’s the real kicker: I could tell visible results with Shiseido. The skin around my eyes was brighter, softer and felt very moisturized. I have been using it twice per day for nearly 6 weeks and could see some results at around 4 weeks.

So the winner is…

Click here to buy the Shiseido eye contour cream and this blog will earn 2% to use toward future review purchases!