Wednesday, December 1st, 2010


Brown Eyeliners: Tokidoki Savana, CoverGirl Brown, Milani Brown, Chanel Brun-Cuivre, Chanel Brun-Teak

Need More Brown Eyeliner…

I went through my pencil eyeliners and picked out shades I thought would fit in the “brown eyeliner” category, but between you and me, using the color of the packaging is definitely not the ideal way to do it. I ended up with a few shades (okay, four) that don’t fit well within the brown family. I had a feeling my brown eyeliner stash was a bit skimpy, and it definitely is–don’t really feel like this is a full comparison!

  • Tokidoki Savana Glitter Eyeliner is a coppery brown with soft copper shimmer. It has warm undertones. (Review)
  • CoverGirl Brown Liquiline Blast is a dark neutral brown. (Review)
  • Milani Brown Liquif’Eye Eyeliner is a miedum-dark brown that’s pretty neutral, though it has red undertones. (Review)
  • Chanel Brun-Cuivre (66) Precision Eye Definer is a medium-dark copper brown with soft copper shimmer. It is significantly darker than tokidoki’s Savana.
  • Chanel Brun-Teak (02) Precision Eye Definer is a medium-dark brown with subtle warm red undertones.
  • Urban Decay Bourbon 24/7 Liner is a medium brown with a bit of taupe and flecks of bronze shimmer. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Corrupt 24/7 Liner is a dark chocolate brown with warm amber undertones. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Underground 24/7 Liner is a light-medium taupe brown with a metallic sheen. (Review)
  • MAC Uniform Technakohl Liner looked brown on the end, but it’s actually a khaki green-brown with subtle olive tones and green shimmer. I wouldn’t consider this brown.
  • MAC Brownborder Technakohl Liner is a medium-dark brown with warm, red undertones. It is extremely similar to Chanel’s Brun-Teak.
  • Dolce & Gabbana #11 Eye Liner is a blue-based black with flecks of green and teal shimmer. Not brown!
  • Dolce & Gabbana #1 Eye Liner is a purple-black with green and teal shimmer. Not brown! (Review)
  • Jouer Mure Eye Definer is a darkened plum with multicolored shimmer. Not brown!

Honestly, most of these seemed pretty different from each other. Some have only slight differences, but they were still noticeable whether one was lighter or darker than the other. I’ll have to see what I can do about rectifying my brown eyeliner situation and re-do a comparison when I have more.

I only have wear issues with Dolce & Gabbana’s Eye Liners–sometimes they wear all day, but sometimes it seems to fade after six hours or so.  I don’t personally like Tokidoki’s Glitter Eyeliners because they are rather scratchy/rough against the lash line from the glitter particles, but it wears fine.

The creamiest formulas were Milani Liquif’Eye, CoverGirl Liquiline Blast, Urban Decay 24/7 Liner, and Chanel Eye Definer.  MAC Technakohls are twist-up pencils, so they allow for a much finer, precise application.

What are your favorite brown eyeliners?

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Bobbi Brown Hollywood Red Lip Color
Bobbi Brown Hollywood Red Lip Color

Bobbi Brown Hollywood Red Lip Color

Bobbi Brown Hollywood Red Lip Color ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright, candy apple red with fuchsia undertones and scarlet red micro-shimmer. It’s rich and opaque, and the color is nearly traffic-stopping. This pink-based red makes wearing a cooler red easier for those with warmer skin tones while still brightening teeth.

Bobbi Brown’s Lip Colors are scent- and taste-free. With a vibrant shade like this, I easily get four hours of wear, but it usually extends to five or six. Many of the shades from the Lip Color range are incredibly rich in pigmentation–lots of creamy, opaque shades to go around, and Hollywood Red is no exception. It’s a new shade for the holidays, but it’s also sticking around (aka it’s not limited edition).

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 a rich, vibrant shade of red, Hollywood Red is exactly that!

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010


Today is World AIDS Day…

A day participated in across the world to raise awareness, remember those we have lost, and come together to do more and celebrate what has been done so far. Light for Rights draws attention to the rights of people living with HIV around the world.  The campaign looks to mobilize support for the protection of these rights in order to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, while also combating stigma and discrimination.

Websites on World AIDS Day

There is one beauty brand that deserves recognition for their continued, unrelenting work for people affected by HIV and AIDS: MAC Cosmetics. The MAC AIDS Fund makes strides every single day through VIVA GLAM. Viva Glam consists of several lipsticks and lipglasses where 100% of the purchase price goes towards helping people affected by HIV and AIDS. We’re not talking a portion of proceeds. Every. Single. Cent. It’s easy to support the cause when you get a lipstick and all $14.50 goes towards helping those affected by HIV/AIDS!

To date, MAF has raised over $190 million.

Did you know that one lipstick provides…

  • 23 female condoms or 233 male condoms,
  • 18 personalized birthday cakes to be hand-delivered to a person living with HIV/AIDS on their birthday,
  • 14 blood glucose monitoring strips,
  • 8 individually tailored, nutritious home-cooked meals,
  • 2 emergency boxes filled with non-perishable food,
  • 1 personal nutrition counseling session with a registered dietitian,
  • 1 week’s supply of groceries for 2 clients,
  • 1 Maxi-Pharmadose Medication Organizer,
  • 1 private therapeutic recreation session,
  • 1 rapid oral HIV test, or
  • 1 pair of school shoes for a child orphaned by AIDS
Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Q&A with Black Swan Makeup Department Head Margie Durand and Makeup Designer Judy Chin

Q: How does a makeup artist prepare to work on a film? Do you receive guidance from the director or collaborate with the costume designer/art director/key hair stylist on the makeup look?

Margie: When I begin working on a film I speak to the director and all of the creative team if possible. The directors inspiration and vision really drives the process and I try to deliver that vision in makeup.

Judy: As I read the script, I try to envision the characters, taking into account their background (age, personal history, affluence, profession). As I see the plot develop in the story, I make note of how these events might affect their appearance. When I’m designing the looks for a film, it’s very important to consider the director’s visual style and tastes. Occasionally, I get to collaborate with the costume or production designers. I always try to find out how the actors will be dressed, as that can have a significant influence on the makeup look. While our designs are often created independently at first, I find that the hair stylist and I work very closely to be sure that our looks fit together and bring the characters to life.

Q: How long does it typically take for you to prepare to start working on a movie like Black Swan?

Judy: I spend a lot of time drawing and doing practical makeup tests. Depending on actor availability and camera tests, it could take three to four weeks of preparation.

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Black Eyeliner Comparison
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

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Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara
Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

Sneak Peek: Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

New for December, Estee Lauder’s Sumptuous Extreme Mascara ($23.50) promises to deliver a volumizing mascara that never clumps and “[makes] eyes look outrageously big and amazingly bold.” The brush even has its own name–Extreme BrushComber–which has a new shape that is said to hold more mascara, be easy to use and get to all your lashes in spite of its size. The formula has “Tri-blend Multiplying Fibers,” which include “Hollow Tube Fibers” for curl and length, “Solid Rod Fibers” for volume and length, and “Micro-Locking Fiber” for thickeness and length. Finally, it contains Lash-Advancing Vitamin Complex, which has Vitamin B5, designed to condition lashes and keep lashes flexible. It will be available in four shades: Extreme Black, Extreme Brown, Extreme Indigo, and Extreme Violet.

The brush itself is quite large–a full 1 3/4″ in length when I measured–but the way it narrows and tapers does make it easier to maneuver around the inner corners of eyes. I do find it more difficult to use it on lower lashes, just because it is so large, but I think users of Dior’s DiorShow won’t find it much larger. After using this mascara for a couple of weeks and alternating with other mascaras, I did feel like the brush itself was more helpful in defining lashes–just separating them as I was applying the mascara–than the average mascara wand.

My fringe definitely looked longer and fuller–it had a slightly feathery quality to it–but the richness of the black made the overall effect more dramatic. I was able to do several passes through my lashes without getting any clumping, and this is a mascara that you can easily do a second or third coat of, too, if desired. It doesn’t dry immediately (15-20 seconds), but it’s not so wet that you’ll have mascara residue underneath your eye if you blink. My lashes felt incredibly lightweight and soft–flexible and bendable. I was able to push and rub (gently!) against my lashes and didn’t experience any flaking either.

I was most impressed by the richness of the Extreme Black shade–deep dark black, very inky and solid. It’s definitely one of the blackest mascaras I’ve tried in recent memory. It volumizes nicely, and it gives enough thickness to my lashes to make them more noticeable, but it still feels like I’m wearing one of the lighterweight, more natural mascaras (think Maybelline Full ‘n Soft) but I get the effect of dramatic mascara. I experienced no flaking, smudging, budging, or other ill effects after twelve-hour wear.

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 have shorter, sparser lashes, Estee Lauder does double-duty with lengthening and volumizing. Oh, and if you have black lashes but still want them blacker? This will make them even darker!

AVAILABILITY: Estee Lauder, December 2010

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