Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sephora Retractable Brow Pencil | Review & Photo Swatches

The bold brow trend is still going strong and I'm back with yet another eyebrow product review. Visit my post here for a quick overview of other brow pencils I've tried so far to match my black hair. The Sephora retractable brow pencil in soft charcoal ranks pretty high on my list for brow pencils, so let's jump into this review.

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Let's first look at some general pros vs cons of the product itself, then talk about the color match of the two shades I have tried: 05 neutral gray brown and 06 soft charcoal.

  • retractable and requires no sharpening
  • ultra-fine tip allows for precision
  • relatively affordable at $13 for 0.003 oz (ABH Brow Wiz is $21 for 0.003 oz)
  • slim and sleek packaging
  • 7 different shades currently available
  • water-resistant (not really waterproof)
  • not smudge-proof (it will smudge/fade if you scratch your brow)
  • wingtip comb side would be more useful if it were replaced by a spoolie brush
  • texture varies between shades (see details below)

I've tried 2 of the 7 available shades: 05 neutral gray brown and 06 soft charcoal. The neutral brown color was not a great match for my Asian black hair, but the soft charcoal works very well for defining the tail end of my brow.

The 06 soft charcoal color is a decent match for my natural black Asian hair as it has a cool undertone, but it's not quite as ashy as the "granite" Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz which is a great match for my black hair. I found the Sephora soft charcoal shade has a very soft and creamy texture; thus, I have to use a light hand application or else my brows look unnaturally harsh. I personally find this pencil shade too harsh for use alone or all over my brows since I have some patchy bald spots. It has worked perfectly to define the tail end of my brow and I often use it in combination with my "grey" Forever 21 retractable brow pencil.

The 05 neutral gray brown is a true grey with no warm/red undertones to it at all. Strangely, it has a very unnatural sheen to it (see photo below). I also found this formula to be very different from the soft charcoal shade.  The neutral gray brown pencil had a very hard formula that did not apply as smoothly as the soft charcoal one. I will not be repurchasing the neutral gray brown shade.

More Photos:

Find them at Sephora sealed with clear plastic wrapping like this:

What the pencil looks like uncapped:

Brand new pencil with all the product twisted up:

The wingtip comb helps blend out the product and tame the brows into place,
but I'd much prefer a spoolie brush:

05 Neutral Gray Brown vs 06 Soft Charcoal:

ABH Brow Wiz Dupe? Almost, but not quite!

I still have to take a photo swatch of it applied on my brows; stay tuned! I'll update this post once I get to it :)

Overall this Sephora brow pencil is a great alternative to the ABH Brow Wiz for a fraction of the price, but it's not an exact dupe. You get the same amount of product and the packaging is similar; however, the lasting power of the Sephora pencil is not as impressive.

I still prefer the "granite" ABH Brow Wiz shade (see my review here) over any of the Sephora pencils. But if you're able to find the perfect shade match for your hair/brow color, then this budget-friendly Sephora retractable brow pencil may be a staple item for your makeup collection.

For more eyebrow product reviews, check out my post here:
I'd love to know what your favorite brow products are! Let me know in the comments :)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Everlane Short Sleeve and Tunic Sweatshirt | Review & Photos

This Everlane sweatshirts review post is long overdue as the temperatures outside are quickly rising and it's almost time to welcome the first day of summer! I ordered these short sleeved sweatshirts over 3 months ago and have worn/washed them multiple times. I'm very happy to report that these sweatshirts hold up extremely well in the washer and dryer!  Let's take a closer look at each style separately, shall we?

The Short Sleeve Sweatshirt
Simply put: I am absolutely in love with this sweatshirt!

The excellent quality of the neoprene-inspired french terry fabric surpasses my expectations for a $30 sweatshirt. The material is structured enough that it doesn't require ironing, yet soft enough to provide some stretch for optimal comfort. I've never owned a sweatshirt that looked brand new even after multiple washes; it doesn't pill, wrinkle, or lose it's shape after washing/drying.

The XS size is a great fit for my 5'4'' 110 lb body. My shoulders are slightly broad in proportion to the rest of my body, so the raglan sleeve style is a more flattering fit as it smoothly drapes off my shoulders as opposed to having a seam cut off right at my shoulder blades.

The sleeves can be worn cuffed or uncuffed. The length of the short sleeves are perfect for me when worn cuffed. It cuts off about 1.5 inches above my elbow so it covers the largest part of my bicep. The sleeve opening was also a great fit for me--not constricting yet not awkwardly wide.

I find the heather grey to be a lovely versatile color that pairs well with a wide variety of my other wardrobe pieces. This sweatshirt is definitely my favorite piece from Everlane so far.

The Tunic Sweatshirt
I've been really loving the marled style lately, so I could not pass up this tunic sweatshirt.

The tunic sweatshirt has a different fit and feel than the short sleeve sweatshirt. The material is 100% cotton french terry, so it is not as dense/structured as the short sleeve sweatshirt; it feels a bit softer and has more drape. I love how the marled style gives the sweatshirt depth and texture while still being super comfortable.

This sweatshirt has a longer length since it is a tunic style sweatshirt. I personally feel like it kind of makes me look shorter. I'm not really sure why I ordered a size small as I think an XS would have been more flattering for my height (5'4''). I think it's definitely still wearable so I kept it.

So the verdict is: I am 100% in love with the short sleeve sweatshirt but probably wouldn't repurchase the tunic sweatshirt.

There is no question that all the Everlane pieces I've purchased have been great quality for the price; the challenging part is always determining appropriate sizing to avoid making a return/exchange. Well, that's what blog posts and reviews are for, right?

I also reviewed their U-neck and V-neck tees as well as their weekender bag. Check out those posts for more info about Everlane.

Let me know which Everlane pieces you own and love! I'm always up for adding timeless basics to my closet ;)