Black is Black is Black?
Black Eyeliner Comparisons
Are there shades of black? Indeed there are! Not every black eyeliner is the same. There are soft blacks, medium blacks, and deep blacks (and of course, variations within those categories). To try and make some sense of it all, I’m going to assign numerical ratings based on how black each liner is, with 10 being deep, dark black, 1 meaning so light that it’s almost no longer black, and 5 meaning a medium black.
- Shiseido Black Noir (BK 901) Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil has an amazing creaminess to it, and it is almost a true, deep black. (Review) 9
- MAC Black Black Chromagraphic Pencil some creaminess but has some hardness (but not in a bad way–it’s not rough on eyes at all), and it is a true dark black — leans on the warm side. (Review) 10
- MAC Feline Kohl Power is a rich, deep dark black that’s easy to smudge. It is a limited edition product, so it’s not currently available but is often repromoted. (Review) 10
- Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner is a rich, deep dark black–creamy without being runny. (Review) 10
- Urban Decay Zero 24/7 Liner is a softened, medium black. It is a slightly warmer black on me. (Review) 4
- MAC Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a darkened medium black. 6
- MAC Smolder Eye Kohl is a dark black with cool leanings. 8
- MAC Graphblack Technakohl is a medium black. 5
- Milani Black Liquif’Eye Liner is a dark black with a cool pull. (Review) 8
- Stila Stingray Smudge Stick is a dark black with neutral to cool undertones. (Review) 8
- YSL #1 Eye Pencil is a rich black, almost ultra black, with a very matte finish. (Review) 9
- Bobbi Brown Black Kohl Eye Liner is a rich, glossy black. The glossiness makes it look less inky, though. (Review) 8
- Benefit BADgal Liner is a creamy, dark black with warm leanings. (Review) 8
I included review links when I had them to share, but I had some wear issues with YSL’s #1 Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown’s Black Kohl Eyeliner, and Benefit’s BADgal.
The darkest: MAC Black Black Chromagraphic Pencil, MAC Feline Kohl Power, Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner
Dark: Shiseido Black Noir Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil, YSL #1 Eye Pencil
Medium-dark: MAC Smolder Eye Kohl, Milani Black Liquif’Eye Liner, Stila Stingray Smudge Stick, Bobbi Brown Black Kohl Eye Liner, Benefit BADgal Liner
Medium: MAC Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil, MAC Graphblack Technakohl
The lightest: Urban Decay Zero 24/7 Liner
Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow
Benefit’s New Creaseless Cream Shadow Shades!
Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19.00 for 0.16 oz.) are now available in four new, Sephora exclusive shades: Purple Snap (lavender violet), Silver Spoon (true silver), Tidal Rave (muted teal with gold shimmer), and Ice Shot (icy white). I have three of the four to share with you today.
I love Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows — I actually gave them an award for best cream eyeshadow last year. They’re just so creamy, smooth, and apply beautifully. They can be applied sheerly for quick color or layered for a more intense look or as a base. I don’t experience any creasing–they last all day for me. And as someone who has owned many for over a year now, they aren’t prone to drying out in their jars, either.
I’m happy to report that these didn’t disappoint! They’re true to Benefit’s cream shadow formula with the creaminess and smoothness I’ve come to love. The colors are easily vibrant but just as easily used sheerly, which makes it a more versatile product.
- Purple Snap is a brightened medium purple with softened red undertones. It has light violet micro-shimmer with a subtle sheen–not too frosty, but it’s not matte either.
- Silver Spoon is a bright blue-tinged silver with a little mix of gray. The metallic finish is definitely there, but the bluish cast seems to dull it a bit (which isn’t a bad thing).
- Tidal Rave is a darkened blue-teal base with green-gold shimmer. This is actually a really cool shade–very lovely–and pretty different from the rest of Benefit’s line-up. It has an almost duochrome nature to it. I was reminded me of MAC’s Surreal Eyeshadow (discontinued).
P.S. — Sephora lists Tidal Rave as Tidal Wave–but my box and bottom of the jar says Rave! So pfft!
If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ!
- Product: 29/30
- Value: 8/10
- Ease of Use: 4/5
- Packaging: 4/5
RECOMMENDATION: I think Tidal Rave is the most unique shade of the three featured in this post–but I’m totally digging the bluish cast of Silver Spoon, too. It’s kind of like stainless steel over traditional bright silver!
The Sultry Season: Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick
Benefit Breakup Rumor Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a gorgeous reddened berry with gold sheen and glossy finish. If you feel like you’ve seen this recently, you’re right — it’s very similar to MAC’s Baron’s Rose — but it’s not limited edition and you can purchase it on its own (rather than as part of a set). I actually just swatched it shortly after Baron’s Rose, and I was struck by the similarity then. It’s a lovely holiday shade, though, with the glinting gold sheen.
Is this the right berry for you? Would you wear it?
The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.
Win 3 Benefit Ultra Shines!
One (1) lucky winner will receive three Benefit’s Ultra Shines Lip Glosses, which includes Wild Child, Back to the Fuchsia, and Spiked Punch! (Retail value $54!)
Congratulations to Britta S.!
RULES: All entries must be submitted by October 24th, 2010 at 11:59 PM PST. This contest is open to all readers as pursuant to your local state/country’s laws. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified via e-mail. This post will be updated with the winner once the winner confirms.
Two Ways to Win
You can do one, the other, or both to maximize your chances of winning…
1.) Leave a comment on this blog post tell me which gloss you’d use first!
2.) Like Temptalia on Facebook and leave a comment entering to win on this post on our page.
Thanks to Benefit for their generosity to help us celebrate our 4th anniversary!
Lipstick Comparisons: $13 to $25 (Part 1)
In this price range, lipsticks tend to be more pigmented, have less synthetic scents, and wear an average of four hours. I’m not typically disappointed beyond belief with a lipstick formula in this price range. Brands from MAC to NARS to Smashbox fall into this price tier, while designer brands like Chanel, Dior, and YSL are in the next tier. There are really SO many brands and formulas to choose from in this category that I had to split this post into two parts!
- PROS: Creamy, opaque, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours, moisturizing
- NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., slight sweet scent
- CONS: Very limited shade range
- MY REC: These aren’t quite as glossy or as creamy as the Silky Finish line, but they’re more opaque. I still find them rather creamy and moisturizing, though. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.
- PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, glossy, wears for 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.10 oz., shades range from sheer to semi-opaque, slight sweet scent
- CONS: Short shade range centered around pinks
- MY REC: The Silky Finish is a much glossier, often shimmered lipstick compared to Benefit’s Full Finish range. These actually remind me quite a bit of Laura Mercier’s Stick Gloss. They’re more moisturizing than the average lipstick and have a slicker texture, too. Some of mine seem to have a very subtle sweetened scent while others have none.
- PROS: Creamy, slightly glossy, wears 4-6 hours, opaque
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., scent-free, more neutral/pink based shade range
- CONS: One finish (semi-matte)
- MY REC: I like the pigmentation and creaminess in the texture of Bobbi Brown’s Lip Color. Sometimes I get caught in thinking that Bobbi Brown is all about sheers, but then the Lip Color line always reminds me that it’s not always the case. Despite their creaminess, they’re not moisturizing; not drying either, but not particularly moisturizing.
- PROS: Wearable shade range, creamy, moisturizing, semi-opaque
- NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., more neutral/pink based shade range, scent-free
- CONS: Wears 2 to 3 hours (despite being touted as long-wearing)
- MY REC: I think Clinique makeup often gets overlooked, but I like how much of their makeup is scent-free. I also think they’re worth more than just a glance given the price tag.
- PROS: Opaque, true-to-tube color, wears 5 to 7 hours, lots of fun shades
- NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
- CONS: Mostly matte finishes, dry
- MY REC: It’s important to note that while the texture itself seems a little dry, these lipsticks don’t suck the moisture out of your lips, but they definitely don’t impart any either. With an abundance of matte shades with drier finishes, these are not ideal for those with dry to ultra dry lips.
- PROS: Creamy, opaque, moisturizing, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: Guava-scented
- CONS: 0.06 oz., limited shade range
- MY REC: My biggest issue with these is how little you get; they’re half the size of Korres’ Mango Butter Lipsticks and $4 more. The Guava lipsticks are more opaque and not as glossy in the finish, but they’re a little less moisturizing than the Mango Butters.
- PROS: Creamy, moisturizing, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., mango-scented
- CONS: Name/numbering system doesn’t always match tube color, limited shade range
- MY REC: I find these very moisturizing, and I love the glossiness of the finish, because it almost looks like you’re just wearing a gloss. If you have dry lips and haven’t tried these, you might want to give ‘em a shot.
- PROS: Creamy, semi-opaque, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.14 oz., scent-free
- CONS: Limited shade range
- MY REC: I’ve found these to be very creamy, and they’re often more on the opaque side of color. They impart some moisture but I wouldn’t consider it a moisturizing lipstick.
- PROS: Moisturizing, glossy, semi-sheer, wears 3 to 4 hours
- NEUTRAL: 0.12 oz., Berry-scented
- CONS: Very limited shade range
- MY REC: It’s very comfortable to wear and feels incredibly moisturizing–it’s just a shame that there are so few shades available.
The Lipstick Comparisons series is designed to provide a quick reference summary sheet for some of the many available lipstick formulas. It seems like most brands have at least a couple of formulas, if not half a dozen, and it can be difficult to find the formulas that will work best for your budget, coloring, style, or taste.
This is not necessarily a best of list, and it’s not exhaustive–it is based on actual lipsticks that I’ve tried; they are all, however, decent to excellent lipsticks. (And perhaps, some day, it will be an exhaustive list.) I have summarized my experience based on pros and cons, but also some “neutral” factors that may be pros or cons, depending on your preferences. I will update this series as I try new lipstick formulas.
Benefit for Holiday 2010
Some Beauty to Love ($29.00) (Limited Edition) (Sephora Exclusive)
This kit is the perfect gift for the beauty obsessed and includes an array of face-brightening products including: one full-size Coralista coral-pink cheek powder, one full-size Eye Bright instant eye brightener, and deluxe minis of “That Gal” brightening face primer and BADgal Lash mascara.
All You Need is Gloss ($26.00) (Limited Edition)
This glitzy gloss set includes three double-ended wands for a total of six shimmering shades. Glide them on with the soft cushion paddle for the ultimate luscious-lip look. Includes 0.1 oz. sizes of I’m with the Band (golden pink shimmer), Almost Famous (copper penny), Life on the A List (bubble gum pink), Who Are You Wearing (passion fruit pink), Back to the Fuchsia (sparkling fuchsia), 24k (sexy gold).
Her Name was Glowla ($36.00) (Limited Edition)
This complete kit will help you achieve an amazingly radiant glow. It features an ultra-flattering CORALista pink cheek powder, Benefit’s best-selling High Beam luminescent complexion enhancer, BADgal lash mascara, life on the A list lip gloss, and a step-by-step lesson on creating the hottest look for the holidays.