Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) won’t be available until May, but hang onto your seats, because it’s such a lovely duo. This is one of the best eyeshadow formulas on the market, and bareMinerals didn’t let us down with their expansion of their Ready line-up. Alter Ego consists of two shades: Wicked and Daring.

Wicked is a springy yellow-tinted green with a frosted finish. It has excellent pigmentation and goes opaque with very little product needed. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is darker, more olive green. MAC Juxt is yellower, a bit darker. Inglot #364 is very similar but a matte variation. It’s a warm, yellow-based green, but subtly done–it’s not as yellow or as warm as other shades that might be similar.

Daring is this rich, smoky purple with subtle red undertones and almost bluish tint. The color payoff is amazing–I couldn’t believe it–it was so soft, smooth, and rich. MAC Indigo Noir is similar but matte. MAC Imaginary is purpler and brighter. MAC Starless Night is similar but more shimmered, less muted.

What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery.  This texture and payoff translates seamlessly to the lids during application.  They’re soft and blendable.  Without a primer, it wears for over eight hours with no noticeable issues–after ten, there is the faintest fading around the crease.  With a primer, I have no problems even after ten hours.  The price point is palatable, too–two full-sized eyeshadows for $20.

The Glossover

palette

bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 3)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The last four shades I’m reviewing are: Saint Bernard (deep sea green), Schnauzer (vivid violet plum), Sheepdog (frosty white), and Shih Tzu (gilded lime green).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Saint Bernard is a pop of green-based teal that’s semi-sheer. This shade did not build up color as well as some of the other shades–it was more like Black Lab in that respect. Maybelline Edgy Emerald is similar but a little less green. NYX Seafoam Green is slightly darker. NARS Misfit is darker and more opaque. MAC Aquadisiac is slightly less green.
  • Schnauzer is a brightened eggplant purple with red undertones and a fine violet shimmer. Like Saint Bernard, it’s not as buildable in color as other shades, so semi-opaque is the highest opacity I was able to achieve. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is similar but a touch darker. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is deeper and browner. MAC Fig. 1 is a bit darker and has a matte finish. Inglot #445 is lighter and has a frosted finish.
  • Sheepdog is a frosted white with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s similar to a lot of other white eyeshadows.
  • Shih Tzu is a springy green with a chartreuse shimmer-sheen. MAC Lucky Green is brighter, more intense. Inglot #412 is lighter, more olive. Make Up For Ever #304 is brighter and greener.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 3)

A-
They're not quite as buildable as they seem like they should be, because for some, you really can't get much more color than what one layer of product yields (like Saint Bernard). The wear is really great, though, and if you like using sheer color as a base or as a wash for quick looks, you'll enjoy these.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 2)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The next five shades I’m reviewing are: Golden Retriever (vibrant copper red), Husky (baby blue), Mutt (bronzed taupe), Poodle (pale yellow gold), and Pug (smoky pewter).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Golden Retriever is a warm, slightly red-tinted bronze brown. It can be applied sheer or as mostly opaque color coverage. Benefit Dandy Brandy is slightly darker. Maybelline Bad to the Bronze is darker and less red-toned. Urban Decay YDK is less brown.
  • Husky is a pastel baby blue with a silvery white shimmer. The color coverage can be built to opaque color coverage with ease. MAC Styledriven is slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Illusion is whiter, more aqua. Inglot #367 is similar but matte.
  • Mutt is a muted brown with a gilded bronze sheen. It doesn’t read taupe to me–it’s too warm and golden for that. Like the previous two shades, it can be built to opaque color coverage or applied as a sheer wash of color with less product. Urban Decay Suspect is a little more yellow-toned. MAC Magical Mist is a bit grayer. Urban Decay Juju is less red-toned. Urban Decay Spotlight is lighter.
  • Poodle is a pale yellow gold with a soft, metallic sheen. It, too, can be opaque or sheer, depending on application, but it doesn’t take much product to get opaque color. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is a little lighter. theBalm Wild Child is very close. Givenchy Lune is also similar. MAC Nylon is slightly whiter.
  • Pug is a dirty gray-brown; it’s kind of taupe, but I feel like it’s too gray to be taupe. It’s such a cool shade, though, and it works well as a wash of color that’s more than just beige or brown. MAC Keep Your Cool is darker, less reflective. Urban Decay Mushroom is similar but a touch darker. Chanel Illusoire is darker, almost more purple-tinted.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A
I really love these five in particular, because they represent some of the best shades of the Stay-There range. They're sheer, they're opaque, they're truly buildable, which makes them incredibly versatile products.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 1)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. There are fourteen shades in total, and I will review all of them, but this post focuses on: Black Lab (shimmering black sky), Bulldog (intense royal blue), Chihuahua (bright silver), Cocker Spaniel (opalescent pink), and Collie (sparkling champagne).

I went to Buxom’s site to see if they had a more accurate description of the product’s pigmentation (at least, what it should be), and each shade actually gets a breakdown, which includes listing the type of coverage. All of the shades in the range are described as “sheer, buildable.” They’re vibrant in the pot, but the vibrancy doesn’t translate as much on the lid, so if you’ve steered clear because these look daunting in the pot, then don’t worry about it. If you’ve seen the pot and went, “Whoa!” and wanted opaque color coverage, you’ll be disappointed, as these are true-to-description: they’re sheer. They’re slightly buildable but not enough where you could get opaque color as it looks like in the pan but it varies between shades.

The formula is fun to play with, just because the consistency is unlike most products on the market. These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything!

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Black Lab has a semi-sheer, semi-matte black base with multi-colored shimmer; you get flecks of green, blue, violet, and silver for the most part. Chanel Mirifique looks similar in the pot, but they’re not very alike swatched. Bobbi Brown Onyx is similar. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle is a bluer-tinted base.
  • Bulldog is a semi-sheer medium purple-tinted blue with soft micro-shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is more intense and slightly purpler. Inglot #336 is somewhat similar but darker and matte.
  • Chihuahua is a bright, foil-like silver with a metallic finish. This was a really opaque color, actually. MAC Electra is similar but less metallic. Inglot #448 is slightly darker.
  • Cocker Spaniel is a pale peach with a subtle iridescent finish. It’s not pink on me, but I can see some of a pearly pink in the pot, so I think this is a shade that will look pinker/peachier depending on your undertones (with my yellower undertones, it leans peach). MAC Double Feature 5 is a bit like this but more of a true peach. Make Up For Ever #940 is quite similar but has a stronger iridescent sheen.
  • Collie is a peachy gold with a frosted, metallic sheen. This was one of the more opaque colors as well. It’s not quite as orange as Dior Couture Gold or as yellow as Urban Decay Blunt.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A
They're not quite as buildable as they seem like they should be, because for some, you really can't get much more color than what one layer of product yields (like Black Dog). The wear is really great, though, and if you like using sheer color as a base or as a wash for quick looks, you'll enjoy these.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Eyeshadows

And finally, to finish off eyes, my favorite eyeshadows from this year!

  1. MAC Mega Metal Eyeshadows
  2. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows
  3. Le Metier de Beaute Chameleon Eyeshadow
  4. Bare Escentuals Urban Nature Prime Time Shadow
  5. Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo
  6. Chanel Illusion d’Ombre
  7. Urban Decay Strip Eyeshadow
  8. MAC Surf Baby Eyeshadow
  9. Chanel Beige Lame Ombre Essentielle
  10. Sugarpill Stella Chromalust

What was your favorite eyeshadow this year?

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Top 10 of 2011: Eyeshadow Palettes

The idea of picking a mere ten fantastic products for the entire eye category (which, as I’m sure you’re aware, I have a great love for) was borderline absurd. I could not resist breaking it out a bit more :)

  1. Bare Escentuals The Playlist Eyeshadow Palette (plus lots of love for the Ready formula in general!)
  2. Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palettes
  3. theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette
  4. theBalm Cast Your Shadow Palette
  5. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone Eyeshadow Palette
  6. Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette
  7. Chanel Topkapi Eyeshadow Quad
  8. Inglot Eyeshadow Palettes
  9. Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope
  10. theBalm Shady Lady Vol. 3

What was your favorite eyeshadow palette this year?