Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Maybelline Caramel Kiss Lipstick

The Spring Season: Maybelline Caramel Kiss Lipstick

Maybelline Caramel Kiss Lipstick ($8.29) is a creamy browned nude — it’s kind of like a taste of caramel; a little warm, a smidgen golden, but very natural, soft, and wearable. I’m not usually big on brown-based shades, but this is a shade I can work with. I love the kiss of gold shimmer in this color, and the coverage is excellent. It clings and wears really well with lips, because it looks natural and lasts a good four hours on me.

Is this the right nude for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Too Faced for Spring 2010 Eyeshadows
Too Faced Teddy Bear & Heaven Eyeshadow Duo

Spring Makeup:  Neutrals from Too Faced

For spring, Too Faced introduces four eyeshadow duos ($17.00 each) all in shiny black packaging with clear lids that snap shut.

  • Teddy Bear & Heaven is a duo a dark, cool-toned grayish brown and a silky smooth pale beige-nude. They’re both matte in texture and have good pigmentation.
  • Cocoa Puff & Honey Pot is a beautiful duo of a dark, rich chocolate brown with bronze brown undertones and golden shimmer and a metallic copper bronze with a high level of metallic-frost in its finish. I really loved the deep shade (I presume Cocoa Puff) — very intense, lovely, and easy to work with. Honey Pot is very flashy and has a great deal of metallic sheen.
  • Erotica & Silk Teddy is like a cool-toned version of Cocoa Puff & Honey Pot, actually. It’s a cool-toned taupe chocolate brown with gold and green shimmer paired with a champagne pink with a bright metallic sheen. Like Honey Pot, Silk Teddy is very, very high in sheen.
  • Sexpresso & Peach Fuzz has a dark, cool-toned espresso brown with a matte finish and a light peachy orange with gold flecks (but the base color felt rather matte with more of the glitter/shimmer as an overlay).

According to Too Faced, the eyeshadow duos were their way of giving you the ability to repurchase your favorite shades from their Natural Eye Palette. I actually reviewed the Natural Eye Palette back in August when it first debuted. The shades they didn’t put into duo form were Velvet Revolver, Push-up, and Nude Beach (and by the way? Nude Beach is no loss, seriously!).

I think it’s cool that Too Faced–at least it seems that way–listened to their fans and made sure they wouldn’t run out of their new favorite shades. I personally prefer the eyeshadow duo packaging — more durable, less messy, and I like being able to tote just one or two around, rather than entire palette. The palette was cute, though. This is also a nice way to maybe grab one duo instead of the entire palette if you were looking for a particular shade. The palette retailed for $34 and contained three larger sized shadows (0.07 oz. each) and six smaller sized shadows (0.03 oz. each), and the duos are a good size — 0.08 oz. for each duo (I imagine it’s split pretty evenly down the middle). You get a better bang for your buck with the palette, but you might prefer the set-up and convenience of the duos (or maybe only want one!).

Bottom Line

Smooth, buttery, and pigmented — these eyeshadows are particularly lovely, high quality, and they’re all easy to use neutrals. I actually much prefer these over the Fun in the Dark Palette and would put my money towards these instead!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you like Too Faced eyeshadows, and you’re looking for neutrals… those are these!

Availability: Sephora

See more photos + swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Smashbox Charming Lipstick
Smashbox Charming Lipstick

The Spring Season: Smashbox Charming Lipstick

Smashbox Charming Photo Finish Lipstick ($22.00) is semi-sheer, shimmery beige with a slight peach undertone. I’m not exactly sure why Sephora describes this as a “nude pink,” because I didn’t see any pink in it. It was definitely nude and dare I say it, a little peach? Smashbox’s lipsticks also have a sweet vanilla scent, very similar to MAC lipsticks, though I’d say this is just a bit stronger (but not overwhelming!). It does run a little more on the sheer side, so those with more pigmented or naturally tinted lips may find it doesn’t do much for them once applied. I was able to build up decent coverage, but I wouldn’t say it’s opaque. It’s a subtle shade, which makes it very wearable. With Smashbox’s lipsticks, I get about four hours of wear — probably a little on the lower end of the wear spectrum for me.

Is this the right nude for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Make sure you also read the follow-up to this post, which compares Kitschmas vs. Kitschmas.

Old vs. New MAC Pigment Jar Packaging: A Tale of Comparisons

The news may be old, but the feelings are still raw. MAC has changed up their packaging for their pigments, which are loose color (often multi-purpose). The MAC website, just today, updated and not reflects the new jar packaging.

This post is extremely image-heavy (22 images, 4mb), so please be patient if it takes awhile to load.  If you like this post, please feel free to link to it, but we would really appreciate if you did not hotlink the images!  Thank you!! :)

Here’s why some are upset:

  • New packaging (we often do not like change, period)
  • Sizing has decreased from typical 7.5g/0.26 oz. to 4.5g/0.15 oz.
  • Pricing is the same ($19.50 U.S.)

Because this post is designed to give you a very detailed insight into the differences between the sizing and packaging of both the old and the new…

Here is a summary for those find this post too long to read.

After dumping a new jar and an old jar, seeing it in real life, looking at the heighths, widths, density, etc., I suspect you’re losing around 1/2 teaspoon worth of pigment.  It may be more, it may be less, depending on the pigment in question.  (I estimate roughly 4 teaspoons of pigment per old jar, on average.)  You’re still getting plenty of pigment for your money–likely more than the majority of us will use up in a lifetime. Pigments often differ in texture and density; they’re not all made alike. Some are very chunky (e.g. Kitschmas) while others are very smooth (Vanilla). At the end of the day, I think you’re still getting much more than you think (and you’re not getting as little as you think).

See my detailed comparison with LOTS of photos… Continue reading →

Monday, January 4th, 2010

NARS Orgasm Lipgloss

The Spring Season: NARS Orgasm Lip Gloss

NARS Orgasm Lip Gloss ($24.00) is a sheer peachy-pink with gold shimmer. I really like this lipgloss worn over nudes and light pinks for added glossiness and shimmer, because it doesn’t effect color very much (if at all!) – just adds a little more pop. One of the reasons that NARS Lip Glosses are popular is they’re non-sticky without being drying, and they last a particularly long time–at least for a gloss. I personally see wear time around four hours, whereupon the glossiness does tend to fade, but the shimmer sticks around for a little longer after that.

The gloss formula is fairly thin, and the doe-footed applicator doesn’t get too much out per application, which may or may not be what you’d like–you just can’t glob it on, so you’re neither wasteful and it forces you to be a little more precise in your application. I guess those are good things! :)  I do wish they’d improve the smell a bit; some seem almost scent-free, but other times, it’s more of a chemical/plastic-y scent that’s harder to ignore.

Is this glossy peach-pink the one for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Chanel Khaki Dore Le Crayon Yeux ($28.00) is a stunning shade of rich, metallic golden bronze. It’s just the hue that I’m totally nuts for – that antique gold, bronze gold… anything in that family, I’m game for. Khaki Dore applies evenly, smoothly, and opaquely. It comes with its own pencil sharpener, and the liner itself is dual-ended. It has an angled sponge tip on the other end for blending/correcting.

It’s the first Chanel eyeliner I’ve tried, and I’m pleased with it. It looks really lovely in natural or smoky looks. Sometimes I’ll even wear it alone on my lower lash line with just some mascara for a very quick look for running errands. I wore it in this spring look I did few weeks ago. I’d say the highlight of this eyeliner is really how precise it is; it really does define and apply in a thin, even line without much fuss. It lasts all day on me (eight to twelve hours) without smudging, budging, or fading–always a necessity in an eyeliner.

Bottom Line

I’m not over the moon with the formula, but I do like this shade and don’t have anything quite like it, so it’s a shade I knew I’d be drawn to. The price tag is daunting, and I don’t expect most people to make room in their budgets for this eyeliner. Surprisingly (and a little to my horror), $28 isn’t as outlandish as I thought — Dior is priced at $26, YSL is priced at $28.

With that in mind, if you had $28 laying around and wanted to give your money to Chanel, I’d recommend a lipstick or gloss over the eyeliner, just because they do those exceptionally well. This is still a quality product, but it doesn’t reign supreme over eyeliners from other brands.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love antique or bronzy golds like me, this might be a must for you–if the price doesn’t scare you away.

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photos and swatches… Continue reading →