Category Archives: Maybelline

My Favorite “MLBB,” Neutral, & Natural Lipsticks & Glosses

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MLBB lipstick

Good morning! Today I have quick reviews & swatches of five of my favorite mlbb (my lips but better) / neutral / natural lipsticks & glosses. These aren’t what I’d call nude lipsticks – I think of those as paler than my natural lip tone – but rather rosy, natural colors. I tend to wear this type of lip color to work, and all five of these are frequently used.

MLBB lipstick

MAC Out For Passion // Tarina Tarantino Queen Alice // Revlon Pink Truffle // Maybelline Intoxicating Spice // Essence Choose Me!

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Maybelline Very Berry Baby Lips: Review, Swatches, Comparison

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Maybelline Very Berry Baby Lips Pinked

Maybelline recently released a new collection of tinted Baby Lips balms for spring, called the “Pink’ed” collection. It contains five new and limited edition shades, which you can see below. I bought one, in the shade Very Berry.

I haven’t reviewed Baby Lips balms before, but I like them. I don’t find them particularly moisturizing, so they’re not my choice to actually repair dry lips.  However, when my lips are in good condition, they work well enough, and I especially like the tinted ones. Continue reading

Clear Lip Liner & Lip Primer Comparison

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clear lip liner - lip primer

Lip Primer & Clear Lip Liner

Milani and OCC each recently released clear lip liners (or should I call them lip pencils? I never know which to write). I purchased the Milani to try it out, then received the OCC as a press sample. So, I thought I’d do a comparison of those two items plus all the other clear lip liners & lip primers I own. This post is a comparison of the following six items:

– NYX Lip Primer – $6.99 at Ulta
– OCC Anti-Feathered Clear Lip Pencil – $16 at Sephora
– Sally Hansen Plumping Lip Primer (in jar) – around $6; I’ve only seen it at CVS
– Maybelline Clear Lip Pencil – $4.95 at
– E.L.F. Lip Lock Pencil – $3 at
– Milani Clear Anti-Feathering Lip Liner – $4.49 at

I expect a lip primer / clear lip liner to do two things – prevent feathering & extend the weartime of my lipstick.  All six of the items I tried prevented feathering (as tested on my hand, because lipstick rarely feathers on my lips).  However, in terms of extending the wear of my lipstick, there’s a clear winner, a clear loser, and four items in the middle.

Best for extending weartine: Milani

Milani clear lip liner

The Milani Anti-Feathering lip liner has a soft texture.  It creates a sort of “grippy” surface on the lips for your lipstick or gloss to adhere to.  Although it’s marketed mostly as preventing feathering, it actually did the best job of extending the weartime of my lip products. Do note that if you use too much pressure or sharpen it to too fine of a point, the tip will break off.

I’ve seen the Milani liner at CVS stores and Walgreens stores for around $6, and it’s available on the Milani website for under $5. Recommended!

Worst for extending weartime: ELF

ELF lip lock pencil

The E.L.F. lip lock pencil is only $3, but I still don’t think it’s worth it – it does nothing to extend the wear time of my lip products. On the positive side, it does prevent feathering and I like the packaging – it’s much easier to cover my lips with this size pencil than a slim pencil, plus it doesn’t need to be sharpened.

When I posted about this previously, a couple people commented that this product is meant to prevent feathering (which it does), rather than extend wear. I think the description on ELF’s website implies that it does both; but the intent really doesn’t matter. In the end, if you’re looking for a cheap anti-feathering pencil this is great; if you want something that extends wear, it’s not.

Average: OCC, Maybelline, NYX, Sally Hansen

clear lip liner - lip primer-2

I found the Maybelline & OCC pencils (the nearest two in the photo above) to be extremely similar – both are slightly hard, waxy pencils. Both prevent feathering and help lipstick last longer, but both are a bit difficult to use due to the thinness & texture of the pencil.

The NYX lip primer (farthest away in above photo) is a chubby pencil, so it’s easy to use. It looks light pink in the photo, but applies almost-clear; I can’t see it swatched on my skin, and it mutes the natural color of my lips just a little. This is a solid choice, just not my favorite.

sally hansen plumping lip primer

The Sally Hansen plumping lip primer (review) might actually be my favorite of all of these products.  The Milani does do a little bit of a better job at gripping the lip product, but the Sally Hansen makes up for it in being easy to apply.  You can see that it’s in a jar in the first photo in this post, and that’s because it broke off a while back – not ideal, but it’s still easier to use than a skinny pencil. Do note that the “plumping” aspect shows up as a minty tingle, so this is not a good choice for those with sensitive lips.

Overall, I’d recommend the Milani, the Sally Hansen (as long as you don’t have sensitive lips), and the NYX.  The ELF lip lock is also a good choice if you only care about preventing feathering, not about weartime.  And I’d skip the Maybelline and OCC – they work, but the others are all easier to use.

Do you use any type of lip primer? I’d love to hear what works for you!

*I recieved the OCC pencil courtesy of the brand and The Makeup Show. I purchased all other products featured in this post. This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

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Concealer Swatch-A-Thon

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I was suprised to realize that I own 15 concealers and three concealer palettes (the two L’oreal True Match concealer crayons – [review // $8.99 at Ulta] are not pictured below because they live in my desk at work; swatches are in my original review). Here’s a roundup – I’ll start with a description of each concealer, organized by type, with all swatches at the bottom.

Concealer Comparison

The lightweight, light-reflecting concealers:
Clinique Airbrush // Maybelline Lumi // Physician’s Formula Spotless // Rimmel Match Perfection

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Maybelline Dare to be Nude Color Elixir Review, Swatches, Comparison

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Maybelline Dare to be Nude Color Elixir - Charming Cocoa - Almond Aura

Charming Cocoa // Almond Aura

As promised, I have a review of two Color Elixir from Maybelline’s new limited edition Dare to be Nude collection. The collection includes six of the glosses – all limited edition – and I picked up Charming Cocoa, a red-brown, and Almond Aura, a creamy mid-tone nude. When I swatched Charming Cocoa, I realized that it was quite similar to Intoxicating Spice – which I love – so I have all three swatched side by side below, as well as lip swatches of all three.

Maybelline Color Elixir Comparison Swatches - Intoxicating Spice - Charming Cocoa - Almond Aura

Intoxicating Spice // Charming Cocoa // Almond Aura

Maybelline Intoxicating Spice Swatch

Intoxicating Spice

Maybelline Charming Cocoa Swatch

Charming Cocoa

Maybelline Almond Aura Swatch

Almond Aura

I’ve now written about the Color Elixir glosses twice (initial review // reviews revisited) but to recap, they have a comfortable non-sticky cushiony-gel texture; they leave my lips soft and moisturized and they’re very flattering – lip lines are minimized and lips look fuller. Pigmentation level varies significantly between shades, from semi-opaque to quite sheer. They don’t last very long on me, but I don’t mind reapplying.

Here are the six shades of Color Elixir I currently own:

Maybelline Color Elixir Swatches

Signature Scarlet // Intoxicating Spice // Charming Cocoa // Almond Aura // Caramel Infused // Amethyst Potion

Have you purchased anything from Maybelline’s new Dare to Be Nude collection?

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Maybelline Master Shape Brow Pencil Review, Swatches, Comparison

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Maybelline Master Shape pencil

I realized recently that I’ve almost used up the Maybelline Master Shape brow pencil that I bought a few months ago, but haven’t reviewed it yet. The Master Shape pencils come in four colors (Blonde, Auburn, Soft Brown, and Deep Brown) and retail for around $8 at drugstores. They are available online at &

As you can tell by the amount used, I like the pencil. However, I don’t have time to write out a full review today. So, here’s quick pros & cons list.


  • Moderate pigmentation makes it easy to use
  • Slightly waxy to hold [relatively tame] brows in place
  • I like the shape of the included spoolie
  • The spoolie end comes with a cap as well, so it doesn’t get damaged in your bag
  • Good color for me – not too warm


  • Impossible to draw a fine line  – better for shading an area. I don’t think it would work as well on sparse brows.
  • Soft enough that it has to be frequently sharpened – I doubt it would last me two months of daily use.

I find brow pencils are often difficult to swatch on skin, so I have paper swatches for you today.  I’ve swatched several pencils plus all of the brow pens I own. The top row is the Maybelline Master Shape in Deep Brown; the Shu Uemura hard forumula pencil in Seal Brown (which I don’t like very much), and the pencil side of the Browlash Ex Water Strong Brow Pencil in Greyish Brown (which I love – reviewed here). The bottom row is Milani’s brow pen in Dark Brown (reviewed), a K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow pen in Grayish Brown (I like it), and the pen side of the same Browlash. The color is a little off in the photo, but you can see that the Milani is very warm, the Maybelline is a cool brown, and the other four are even cooler/ ashier grey-browns.

eyebrow pencil swatches

click to enlarge

Here’s a before / after of the Maybelline applied:

Maybelline Master Shape brow pencil: before & after

Maybelline Master Shape brow pencil: before & after

Given that my brows are fairly full, I generally don’t try to draw in individual hairs – I just shade the whole brow area to add definition. The Maybelline Master Shape pencil works well for this, and I have been using it regularly when I want to do my brows quickly and end up with a soft, natural look. And, the biggest endorsement of all – I am planning to repurchase!

What’s your go-to brow product?

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post. This post contains one or more affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.