Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Urban Decay Friends & Family Sale

Urban Decay Friends & Family Sale for April 2010!

From April 6th through the 19th, with code 1SFNF, you can save 30% off at urbandecay.com. Happy hauling!

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Zoya Flash Collection
Zoya Nail Lacquer: Maura, Jolene, Jancyn, Robyn, Perrie, Dana (Natural Light)

Zoya Flash Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

Zoya Flash Collection includes six vibrant hues of cream finish polish. Each bottle will set you back $7 or you can grab the sampler (which is a set of all six in full-size) for $36.

  • Maura is a cherry tomato cream that goes opaque in one coat–seriously. You can easily use two or three, but this is one ultra pigmented red.
  • Jolene is a brightened blue-toned bubblegum pink. It’s very much a Barbie pink, and it only takes two coats to get solid color.
  • Jancyn is a brightened pumpkin orange cream with a slight lean towards yellow-orange. This is the only one of the six that I had slight formula problems with–it felt a little on the thick side, and I definitely needed three coats to get an even, streak-free look. It’s not a terrible polish, but compared to the others, it was a little more finnicky.
  • Robyn is a darkened, summer sky blue cream. It’s bright without being overwhelming or neon, and it’s easy to get total opaque color with just two coats.
  • Perrie is a darkened lilac cream with red undertones. Two coats is all you need for opaque color and a smooth, even finish.
  • Dana is a softly brightened fuchsia-red cream. It’s a pretty shade of rasperry-ish fuchsia that doesn’t look too bright, but it’s not going to hide in the background either. Like the other shades, this only needed two coats for full color coverage.

Had Zoya not also put out the Sparkle Collection, I could easily have seen myself enjoying these more, but I just find it pales in comparison to Sparkle. There are plenty of things to love about these brightened creams, but if I had to choose between the two collections, Sparkle gets my vote without question. Obviously, part of that is personal taste, but I felt like I hadn’t quite seen anything like the shades and finishes in Sparkle! Anyway…

The formula on all but Jancyn was smooth, even, and incredibly pigmented. You only needed two coats for solid, opaque color on each shade–again, with the exception of Jancyn–and on Maura, you could have gotten away with just one. It’s a smooth formula with a good consistency–not too thick, not too thin–which makes for an easy application. I didn’t have to experiment to find the “right” way to apply these. I liked that you could get nearly neon color without some of the application troubles neons pose. But to be clear, these are definitely creams and not neons, and they try with a slight glossiness rather than the near-matte of typical neons.

Even though the shades don’t seem completely unique or represent something new and totally different than ever before, the quality of the formula is excellent overall. Jancyn just felt a smidgen too thick, so perhaps a drop of thinner would solve that issue. Otherwise, these applied beautifully without streaking or bubbling and had a nice richness of color so you only needed two coats for full color.

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: If you love cream finish polishes and are in need of some summery shades, Flash might be made for you!

Availability: Zoya

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Smashbox Naked Beauty Collection

Smashbox Naked Beauty Collection for Summer 2010

A short and sweet collection from Smashbox will arrive in May, just in time for summer. While we’re on the topic of Smashbox, they launched their official blog this week, and they’re having a celebratory giveaway of $500 in Smashbox makeup to boot!

Photo Finish Lid Primer in Golden Nude ($20.00)

Get lids primed and ready for the perfect eye look with Smashbox’s best-selling, ultra-luxurious lid primer—now in a shimmering nude shade. Designed to create a flawless foundation for shadow, Photo Finish Lid Primer delivers color-correcting benefits and imparts a subtle golden glow for an effortless neutral eye. The exclusive formula contains PhytomoistTM, a plant-based hyaluronic acid for essential moisturization and amino acids for skin smoothing benefits. Soft focus pearls help diminish the appearance of fine lines on the lids, while the patented Qusome delivery system ensures all ingredients penetrate the skin to deliver effective results. Silicone Technology leaves lids silky smooth for a longwearing, fade-resistant finish.

Highl Lights/Creamy Cheek Color in Naked Beauty ($26.00)

Give your cheeks a naturally flushed look with this duo of beautifully bare shades. Infused with antioxidant Vitamin E, the cheek color and highlighter moisturize and protect while enhancing cheeks with a luminous glow.

Naked Beauty Lip Gloss Collection ($25.00)

In an array of barely-there shades, this set of eight mini glosses infuses lips with just the right amount of color and shine for a naturally beautiful finish.

  • Included shades: BARE (sandwashed pink), BUFF (sheer soft peach), NAKED (shimmering champagne), NUDE (creamy nude pink), EXPOSED (bubblegum pink), NATURAL (rosebud pink), SUNKISSED (shimmering golden brown), PURE (juicy melon)

Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer ($39.00)

Give skin a barely-there glow with HALO HYDRATING PERFECTING BRONZER, a revolutionary formula designed to impart a naturally naked sun-kissed glow while dramatically minimizing the signs of aging. More than just makeup, the potent powder is an active skin treatment that fights signs of aging below the surface while infusing skin with luminous radiance. Packed with goji berries and pure gold to provide antioxidant protection, the formula contains 48 minerals, 11 amino acids, a powerful peptide and Smashbox’s patented hydrogel technology for sustained release of moisture and a radiant finish.

Availability: Smashbox.com, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom beginning May 2010

See more photos! Continue reading →

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Soft Pink Lips for Summer

Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection launches a new, but lonesome, shade of glossimer in Bikini Peach (#257). It’s a creamy, milky pink with yellow undertones and a soft, champagne shimmer with a glossy sheen. I can’t remember owning other creamy glossimers, so it’s an interesting shade for me. Despite its creaminess, it doesn’t settle too much into lip lines, and from a normal viewing distance, it just looks like a soft pink lip. I like that there’s enough color that it doesn’t read pasty on my warmer skin tone, as many milky pinks often do. It’s a fun, easy-to-wear shade that can be worn alone or layered over a lipstick, depending on what you’re going for.

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 love a dazzling, moisturizing lip gloss in a milky pink shade, you may like this one. It’s suitable for both cool and warm skin tones, because it is more of a neutral, if slightly warm, pink.

Availability: May 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick
Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Brink Lipstick

Illamasqua Brink Lipstick ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a brightened, peachy-coral with nearly matte finish–it does have a very subtle glossy sheen (but no shimmer). Because it has a more matte finish, it’s not an overly creamy lipstick–it doesn’t have a lot of slip–but it has enough creaminess to apply evenly, opaquely, and not dry out lips. This is a totally opaque lipstick, which is particularly good for those of you with more pigmented lips and never can find a coral that doesn’t look red on you.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Upcoming MAC Collections: Summer 2010

Don’t let MAC overwhelm you! Here’s what you can expect over the next few months from MAC.  It seems like a lot, but I swear it feels much lighter than last year.

In April, MAC will launch Prep for Colour and Pret-a-Papier as well as repromote Mineralize Eye ShadowsPrep for Colour is a collection centered around prepping and priming products with three new eyeshadows and lipglass in terms of colour.   Pret-a-Papier is a full color collection featuring a few repromotes in the launch, but there is one new paint pot (Coral Crepe), as well as a theme of neutrals, corals, and peaches within the collection.  This is the bigger launch for April.

In May, we’ll see the release of Superglass, Chromagraphic Pencils, Nudes, Opulash, and To the Beach.  However, keep in mind that Chromagraphic Pencils and Nudes are only releasing at PRO stores, which means you cannot find these products at counters or freestanding stores.  From my understanding, these PRO only products are permanent, though!  Superglass is a medium coverage, ultra glittery gloss–think Dazzleglass but on steroids.  Opulash is short and sweet featuring a new mascara only available in one shade (black), and if you’re near a Nordstrom, you can grab it on April 22nd.  To the Beach is the biggest launch of May, and I’d go as far as to say it’s the biggest launch of summer, with aqua-green packaging.  It’s a full color collection, and I know a few of you have been saving up for this already!

In June, MAC leaves us feeling pretty empty or else they’re being kind and giving you some time to recover.  Right now, June only shows a roll out of pigments to counters and additional shades to freestanding stores.  Counters do not normally carry pigments, but they will in June.  There are also some previously PRO-only shades that will be available at both counters/freestanding locations.  Keep in mind that some of them may not be eye-safe, so ask before you purchase…

In July, there’s really only three collections to fret over:  In the Groove, Alice + Olivia, and Digi-Pops/Look in a Box aka Nordstrom’s Anniversary Collection.  In the Groove is a full color collection, so there is plenty to choose from here so budget accordingly!  Alice + Olivia is a short and sweet collection with only nine products (but no repromotes!)–three new dazzleglass cremes, three new pigments (!), and three new nail lacquers.  Digi-Pops has three parts, but they’re all part of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Collection, along with Look in a Box.  Those with freestanding stores will find iPalette pretty dull, as it is merely a selection of permanent pan eyeshadows for customers to build their own palettes.

I know it seems heavy, but these are really the main collections: Pret-a-Papier (April 22nd), To the Beach (May 27th), In the Groove (July 8th), and Alice + Olivia (July 8th).  Digi-Pops will roll out new Dazzle lipsticks (supposedly to be released later on to freestanding stores, but I have no confirmation yet), while the rest of Digi-Pops is standard anniversary fare or primarily repromotes/permanent shades, so it’s not as big as you think.  (Oh, and skip the brush sets… buy one or two full-size MAC brushes instead of a set.)

What collection(s) are you looking forward to the most?