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Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Brash Cosmetics & Nail Color from Payless

If you missed my previous posts, Payless Shoe Source released several different lines of affordable color cosmetics and fragrance over the past few years, and recently I got the opportunity to try some cosmetics from their newest collection, Brash. For more info on Brash, including their spokesperson (Sierra from VersaMerge), click here.

According to the Payless website, all Brash products are paraben-free and not tested on animals. You can purchase these products at select Payless stores throughout the country. To search for stores near you that carry Brash, click here. (San Diego girls: the Payless across from Horton Plaza carries Brash, as do the stores in Mission Valley and Plaza Bonita).

Brash Dual Vision Eyeshadow in Berry Burst - Pink Baby
 (retail: $5.99, 0.08 oz.)

Both the pinkish-lavender and plum shades in this duo are essentially matte when blended, but they do contain lots of sparkle:

I wasn't happy with the pigmentation on bare skin; both colors are very sheer when blended. With primer the pigmentation is intensified, but they are still on the subtle side. The texture is decent--not too crumbly or powdery but not extremely silky either.

Brash Shimmer Eyeshadow in Olive Sparkle (retail: $5.99, 0.03 oz)

(Apologies for not including the ingredients of this product in this post--the tiny, gold metallic lettering on the clear container made it impossible for me to photograph. If you have any specific questions about the ingredients, leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them.)

I like roller balls for loose pigments because they eliminate the mess. I've been using this shadow the same way I use all roller ball shadows: I roll a good amount of shadow onto the back of my hand, then pick up the shadow with a brush (rolling directly onto the lid can yield spotty coverage). The pigmentation of this one is nice but, like the duo, it tends to sheer-out once blended. So again, I'd recommend a primer first.

Brash Lip Stain in Bitten Berry (retail: $4.99, 0.07 oz)

If you're a long-time reader of this blog, then you know that lipstains are my thing. I LOVE them and I own a zillion of them. So I can tell you with absolute confidence that this is a very nice lipstain, and I think it's the surprise hit of all the products I'm featuring today. 

As with most lipstains, the color on the packaging never quite matches the color you get on your lips. If I were to purchase one of these for myself, I would never pick this one based on the shade on the tube. BUT, I'm so glad it was sent to me because, on my skin, it's actually a very wearable, deep berry-wine-plum. On my arm it looks more pink, but on my lips it's a gorgeous berry-wine shade that I am LOVING right now. And as for the ease of use, pigmentation and staying power, this one ranks right up there with my favorites (NYC and Palladio). It doesn't leave ring-around-the-lips as it fades; it fades quite evenly, leaving a nice subtle stain behind. I really, really love this.

 Brash Fruity Lip Syrup in Orange Burst (retail: $2.99, 0.25 oz)

This is essentially a clear gloss on my lips, even though you can see a very subtle orange tint in the swatch below. I think that, going into it, anyone who buys these types of glosses is buying them for shine and flavor, so there's no surprises here. The flavor of Orange Burst tastes exactly like an orange popsicle to me, which is fun. And I'm actually very impressed with the staying power--the shine lasts a good three hours on my lips and works nicely on top of the lip stain.

The one issue I have with this product is that the hole in the opening is rather large, so a LOT of product streams out when you squeeze the tube. I had a mess on my hands the first time I used it, so just remember to barely squeeze at all if you try one, and don't hold the tube upside-down because the gloss is very liquid-y and will stream right out of the tube if you're not careful.

Brash Nail Polish in Metal Orchid (retail: $2.99, 0.33 oz)
Brash Nail Polish in Totally Teal (retail: $2.99, 0.33 oz)

These polishes are Big Three Free:

And the brushes are thin and narrow (not flat and wide):

Metal Orchid is a bright medium-toned orchid with lots of shimmer and sparkle. The formula is very easy to work with (not too thick and not too thin) but it's on the sheer side. These photos were taken after two coats (no top coat) and as you can see, a third coat would definitely improve the opacity.

Totally Teal is a bright teal with a subtle gold sheen that I couldn't quite capture in photos. This is one OPAQUE polish, lovelies. It's almost a one-coater, which is always nice to see in a teal shimmer (so many teal shimmers are sheer!).  The formula of this polish was again, very easy to work with. Not too thin and not too thick. This is my favorite shade of the two. Oh, and these pics were taken after two coats and no top coat.

And that concludes my review of some of the cosmetics that the new Brash line from Payless has to offer. The standout products for me are the Lip Stain in Bitten Berry and the Nail Polish in Totally Teal. Once again, to see which Payless stores in your area offer Brash cosmetics, click here. And before I forget, my pal Kimberly has some swatches of other polishes from Payless (the Unforgettable Moments collection) here, if you'd like to check them out.

Have you tried any cosmetics from Payless? Any favorites?

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. I'm not much of a nail polish girl, but I'm really liking those colors. Will have to track them down.

  2. I'm going to have to scour through your past posts for lipstain reviews! i just realized how much I love them. And its awesome that Payless has released cosmetics! Thank you for your swatches =)

    1. Cool! I've swatched ALL of the Palladio shades and lots of the NYC shades. Hope that helps!

  3. Never tried their make up. The body care line though is really nice (called Zoe and Zac Naturals). I have blackberry honey hand cream... smells devine.

    1. Oooh, I so want to try that hand cream! Thanks! :)

  4. Looks like I will be adding another Teal nail polish to my collection since I am not sure I have one with a gold shimmer! Thanks for the heads up on these G.! I will also check out the lip stains too!

    1. I'd love to know what you think if you try them!

  5. Oooh i'm gonna have to try that lipstain. I'm obsessed with the NYC ones (i own every single shade)...

  6. I like Metal Orchid a lot. I don't think I could pull off the teal with my skin coloring though, but it's lovely. Great mani, too. The shape and length of your nails is exactly how I'd like mine to be :-)

  7. nice packaging...I almost thought it was urban decay

  8. First off, I would LOVE a breakdown of your fave lip stains because I have yet to find what works for me... I need shade recommendations! I think they would be great for my 8 hour workday where I usually don't remember to reapply lipstick. The packaging on the lip stains is always misleading so I always feel like I got "the wrong one". That being said, the nail polishes look really nice. I have yet to make a purchase of their line but it seems that the polishes look more interesting than the other products. Next time, I may just have to put up a couple.

    1. Search my blog for Palladio and NYC lipstains. I have tons of swatches. :)

  9. Does the lip stain have any kind of scent? I bought one recently and was surprised to find if had a definite scent that wasn't very pleasant!

    1. Oh no! I haven't noticed that at all with mine. :(

  10. So at first this post was viewed with raise eyebrows - really, a shoe store selling make-up? Come on now you must be joking. However, I really need that lipstain! I haven't found one that works for me and this might just be the one!


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