Sunday, August 7th, 2011

bareMinerals Showstopper Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals Showstopper Eyeshadow Duo

Debuting in October, has a new line of bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow — and it’s nothing like their current line-up of mineral eyeshadow. Ready is a solid eyeshadow, but the brand states that they still include the SeaNutritive Mineral Complex (which includes sea minerals with antioxidants, cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine, and cucumber) that deliver “anti-aging benefits for a softer, smoother, revitalized eye area.” The new solid eyeshadow is described as “creamy, silky smooth” with “seamless blendability” with “stay-true color” that can be worn alone and is long-wearing and “won’t smudge or run.”   This review is not evaluating the anti-aging claim, because to truly test to that, one would have to wear these eyeshadows for 6-8 weeks everyday.

They will be available in duos as well as quads–and I’ll be reviewing all of them in the coming weeks. There are 15 duos and four quads that will be available. Each duo (Ready 2.0) will retail for $20.00 and contains 0.10 oz., while the quad (Ready 4.0) will retail for $30.00 and contain 0.17 oz. I’m still waiting to get confirmation of the quantity in each duo (the packaging I have does not have official labeling). I loved that each duo/quad has a name but also each individual eyeshadow has its own name, too (and everything goes with its theme). I would love to see future adaptations that might allow for mixing and matching of your favorites, so it could be a more customizable system.

The first duo I wanted to share was The Showstopper, which includes two shades: Bravo and Encore. I almost thought this duo was a dupe for NARS Demon Lover, but it’s much lighter–it’s similar in concept, with a cool-toned, blue with a hint of purple matched with a purpler shade, but they are quite different.

  • Bravo is a pale, periwinkle blue with a white, frosted finish. Inglot #429 is bluer and darker.
  • Encore is a medium-dark purple that doesn’t lean too red, but it’s not a cool-toned purple either, with a softened frost finish. It is several shades lighter than Giorgio Armani #3, a touch darker and more opaque than Milani Purr-fect Purple, and most similar to theBalm All the Way Annie.

The texture of these eyeshadows is amazing–silky to the touch, smooths out beautifully, and applies easily to the lid with excellent blendability and staying power. I’ve worn a few of the duos alone, and I’ve achieved 10 hours of wear without an eyeshadow primer. Both Bravo and Encore were true-to-color and delivered rich, opaque color.  If I had to be nit picky, Bravo was the tiniest bit powdery if you were heavy-handed with a brush in the pan, but it melts against skin and there is no fall out when used.

Each duo is packaged in a black, rubberized compact with a mirror inside and an applicator (none of mine came with an applicator, so I’m not sure if it’s sponge-tipped or not, but I would expect that it is). If you’re familiar with NARS’ packaging, this is similar. I like the rubberized surface, because it allows for better grip and is more forgiving when dropped on a hard surface (it absorbs the impact better than hard plastic, but not as well as cardboard).

The Glossover

palette

bareMinerals Showstopper Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
These eyeshadows are a much welcome addition, because pressed eyeshadows can be so much more convenient. Showstopper contains shades that complement each other, and the quality is top notch.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, July 7th, 2011


Bow & Arrow, Silver Sword, Nunchucks, 5″ Stiletto, Two By Four, Brass Knuckles, Ice Pick, Smokin’ Pistol

Buxom Smoky Eye Sticks

Released this past spring, Buxom’s Smoky Eye Sticks ($18.00 for 0.03 oz.) might seem familiar–MAC Greasepaint Sticks look awfully similar. They feel similar, too. Both formulas are creamy but yield slightly uneven, almost patchy application, because they set really quickly. Buxom’s Smoky Eye Sticks don’t budge, smudge, or crease when worn alone, but you have to work fast to soften the edges if you plan to wear it as a one-and-done shade.

There are eight shades available: Bow & Arrow (smoky moss), Silver Sword (smoky silver), Nunchucks (smoky royal blue), 5″ Stiletto (smoky plum), Two By Four (smoky black-brown), Brass Knuckles (smoky bronze), Ice Pick (smoky gray), and Smokin’ Pistol (smoky coal).

Like MAC Greasepaint Sticks, though, as pretty as they look, they tend to “eat” color, so you might find yourself packing on an eyeshadow if you plan to layer additional products on top. The tip of the pencil is pointed but still thicker than your average eyeliner pencil, which may be cumbersome to use for some (I do). On the bottom, there is an included sharpener (just like MAC Greasepaint Sticks). There is some overlap in the shade range, but a few shades do not. MAC’s Greasepaint Sticks were limited edition, so they are not longer available, and when they were available, retailed at $17.50 a pop.

  • Bow & Arrow is a dark, mossy green with subtle yellow undertones. It is not as cool-toned (it reads much yellower) than MAC Greengrease.
  • Silver Sword is a dark, silvery-gray with a brownish base. It seemed darker than MAC Zinc Zone, which I’d say is the most comparable.
  • Nunchucks is a medium-dark navy blue. It is very similar to MAC Uniformly Blue.
  • 5″ Stiletto is a blackened plum-purple. It’s red-based, while MAC Charred Mauve is blue-based.
  • Two By Four is a dark brown with a near-matte finish. It doesn’t have a comparable shade in MAC’s line-up.
  • Brass Knuckles is a reddened brown-burgundy. It is very similar to MAC Below Ground.
  • Ice Pick is a dark gray (which almost casts a bit green) with a near-matte finish. Like Two By Four, MAC does not have a comparable shade.
  • Smokin’ Pistol is a creamy black with a near-matte finish. It is very similar to MAC Slick Black.

You can usually tell within a couple of hours whether a product that extolls long-wearing properties is actually going to live up to the claims. I splashed my eyes with water, and I didn’t experience any bleeding or running color, so they seemed waterproof to me. I didn’t go swimming or anything with them, though. With summer in full swing, I thought this might be an appropriate time to review these, given they just don’t budge!

Have you tried Buxom’s Smoky Eye Sticks? How did you like them?

The Glossover

product

Buxom Smoky Eye Sticks Review, Photos, Swatches

B
You have to be willing to move quickly (I recommend working on one eye at a time!) in order to soften the edges after applying, but they do apply fairly smoothly with good color payoff.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, June 15th, 2011


Bare Escentuals Friends & Family Sale (2011) – Get 20% Off!

Save 20% off your entire order at bareescentuals.com with code LOVE or in-stores at boutique locations from June 16th through June 19th (make sure to print the coupon).

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011


Bare Escentuals Prime Time Primer Shadows

Bare Escentuals Prime Time Primer Shadows

Debuting July 1st, Bare Escentuals will launch new Prime Time Primer Shadows ($18.00 for 0.10 fl. oz.) in six shades: Bronzed Twig (iced chocolate), Chroma Violet (ripe plum), Gunmetal (midnight silver), Racing Green (blazing emerald), Sundance (sunlit peach), and Urban Nature (delicate moss).

From the press release, the formula is crease- and water-proof, delivers “rich, vivid metallic color” with a “creamy, lightweight texture.” Bare Escentuals says they can be worn alone or under eyeshadow and applied with fingers or brushes. I was actually intending to photograph, swatch, and test Bare Escentuals Buxom Eyeshadows, but when these came, I was like, “Hmm, let’s just swatch these for now.” I fell in LOVE! with Urban Nature, so I immediately put it on my eyelid for all-day testing.

  • Bronzed Twig is a medium-dark chocolate bronze with khaki gold shimmer.
  • Chroma Violet is a muted plum with silver shimmer.
  • Gunmetal is a softened silvery gray with a metallic sheen.
  • Racing Green is a darkened forest green with subtle emerald green micro-shimmer.
  • Sundance is a peachy orange with a golden sheen.
  • Urban Nature is muddied plum, khaki, and green duochrome. This shade is COOL. It just plays some tricks when you look at it.

A lot of times you can just tell if a product is going to make it all day or not–or at the very least, if it even has a shot–within the first few minutes. The length of the dry down tends to be a do-or-die factor, because longer dry downs mean more chances for the product to migrate and build-up in the natural lines on the eyelid and within the crease. These dry down rather quickly (15 seconds or so).

Once they dry down, they really do not budge. I wore Urban Nature (also wore Chroma Violet and Sundance on two separate occasions) for twelve hours without any creasing, fading, or smudging. Oh, did I mention I took a shower and let water run down my face? I did that after eight hours, and we were still good to go post-shower (I just patted my face dry).

Because of the quicker dry down time and how well they lock onto the lid, they don’t remain blendable for too long either. I found that I had enough time to apply it and smooth out the egdes for a one-and-done kind of look. These also worked well as a base, as they held the eyeshadows on all day. The texture is creamy enough to make these easy to spread out over the lid but not so emollient that they’ll slide around.

I did heavier and lighter swatches–and I do mean light–I wanted to try and mimic the effect of a wash of the color, for those who wanted something subtler. The pigmentation in all six shades was lovely; opaque without having to layer on product. I used about a fourth of the amount of the heavier swatch to create the more wash-like color.

My major issue with these is their size; these are tiny! Most major eyeshadow primer players range from $17 to $24 and contain an average of 0.30 fl. oz. These are certainly pigmented and you do not need a ton of product to acheive a nice, opaque layer of color on the lid, and I wouldn’t expect anyone to run through a tube within weeks by any means–it’s just the one area that stuck out for me. Why so small? (Or conversely, why so small but $18?)

The Glossover

bareEscentualsPrimeTime

bareMinerals Prime Time Primer Shadows Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I was completely surprised by Urban Nature--would not have expected that shade at all--and the formula is excellent. Waterproof and wears all day without creasing or fading, which make these a perfect product to launch in the summer.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, May 21st, 2011

bareMinerals High Shine Eyecolors
Gold Medal, Flash, Meteorite, Vapor

New bareMinerals High Shine Eyecolors!

bareMinerals High Shine Eyecolors ($16.00 for 0.05 oz.) just saw the release of six new shades: Gold Medal (pale gold), Flash (iced lilac), Meteorite (iced mocha), and Vapor (gunmetal gray), which are shown in this post, along with Ice (frosted pink) and Rose Gold (antique golden mauve).

I love the texture and color pay off of this product, but I still find the packaging a huge let down. I first reviewed these here. These apply really smoothly with insane pigmentation and a fun, foil-like finish. These wear well alone (eight hours, no creasing) as well as over a base, with other shadows, or over other eyeshadows.

  • Gold Medal is a muted, antique gold with a metallic finish.
  • Flash is a softened lilac with a silvery-white sheen.
  • Meteorite is a cool-toned brown with subtle burgundy tones.
  • Vapor is a bluish gray with a smooth, metallic sheen.

These are beautiful from first swatch to application, but there is a major drawback to this product line. The applicator/tube is a total no-go! However they managed it, when you pull the applicator out of the tube (which is a large sponge-tipped applicator), it also pulls a ton of product onto the edges. In essence, it pulls out far too much product on the applicator itself as well as leaves a lot along the rim of the tube (which just falls on your floor, lap, or wherever!).

I would recommend dumping the color into a jar or else cutting the applicator off — because it seems like the larger sponge-tip does pull much of the excess to the rim, so if you just snipped it off entirely (and used a separate brush to apply), you could leave it in the tube. (Ironically, they tout the applicator as a “convenient, quick-draw wand [that] allows for easy, on-the-go application.”) I wouldn’t recommend any kind of QUICK-DRAW with this unless you wanted it all over your sink.

The Glossover

product

bareMinerals High Shine Eyecolors for Summer Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It's such a great product bottled in such a horrific way. There's just not that much excess product in the tube that you'd want to risk wasting it with the current packaging. The colors are amazing, as is the formula itself!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, May 19th, 2011

Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Cream
BareMinerals Purely Nourishing Cream

Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Cream

Bare Escentuals Purely Nourishing Cream for Dry Skin ($28.00 for 1.7 oz.) worked so well with my normal-to-dry skin in the spring. I used it as my evening cream for about two months (which I finished at that point), though I definitely doubled up on usage a few times and used this as my morning moisturizer on days when I knew I was staying home.

It’s thick and creamy, feels rich without being heavy, but absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy feel behind.  My skin felt hydrated and lush; like it had a little extra spring in it because it was fully moisturized.  Like the rest of the new skincare range, it has a very subtle herbal-ish scent; a little lavender, a little earthiness.  It’s not a fragrance, though; it seems like the ingredients coming through but nothing added.   It’s always interesting when you try out a product, finish it, switch to something else, and that is when you realize just how much it had done for your skin.

I’m seriously this close to buying another jar, because the combination of products I’m using right now isn’t cutting it with California’s wacky weather and my skin is dying for some real hydration.  I’m rotating in their Purely Nourishing Lotion with SPF 15 in this week, so I’m hoping for good results from that since I’ve been suitably impressed with the line so far.  The price is right, quantity is good, and the product itself is excellent.  Sure, I’d love an airless pump, but otherwise, there’s nothing I don’t like about it.

ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Squalane, Glycerin, Sorbitan Stearate, Behenyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Sorbitol, Dimethicone, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Propanediol, Soil Minerals, Phenoxyethanol, Sorbityl Laurate, Jojoba Alcohol, Isopropyl Jojobate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Jojoba Esters, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract (Viola Tricolor), Xanthan Gum, Linseed Oil/Palm Oil Aminopropanediol Esters, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Citrate, Potassium Hydroxide, Trisodium Edta, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil (Glycine Soja), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil (Persea Gratissima), Citric Acid, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil (Vitis Vinifera), Punica Granatum Seed Oil (Punica Granatum), Lavandula Hybrida Oil (Lavandula Hybrida), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil (Lavandula Angustifolia), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Butter (Simmondsia Chinensis), Linalool, Salicornia Herbacea Extract (Salicornia Herbacea), Butylene Glycol, Fagus Sylvatica Bud Extract (Fagus Sylvatica), Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Tocopherol, Ascorbic Acid, Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Tocopheryl Acetate, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil (Anthemis Nobilis), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Averrhoa Carambola Leaf Extract (Averrhoa Carambola).

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