Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Clarins Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Summer 2010:  Instant Sun Light Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Instant Sun Light Eye Palette ($36.00) is a really wearable, easy-to-use summer palette that’s particularly suitable for those with warmer skin tones.  The palette includes four shades of eyeshadow:  a pale, shimmering champagne-peach; shimmering copper; satin medium-dark brown; and shimmering peachy-melon.  It also includes a gel eyeliner in a light chocolate brown with gold shimmer.

Each eyeshadow is smooth, pigmented, and blendable.  What I really love about this palette is how workable it is–all the shades belong and work together with ease.  This is a great everyday palette, but it’s also perfect for traveling.  Whether you want a lighter, softer neutral eye or a smokier eye, you can do both with this one palette.  Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t necessarily the most innovative shades, but they are high-quality eyeshadows that will do you well, if you’re in the market for some neutrals or want them all in a convenient palette.

The eyeliner also suits the palette, because it’s dark enough to be smoldering, but it’s not so dark that it can’t be worn during the day, too.  I like the subtle shimmer in it, and I didn’t experience any smudging or fading when I wore it.  The included brushes are just mediocre but will get the job done if you’re in a pinch.

Clarins packaged this well–just a nice metal compact with a velvety brown bag–and I’m really surprised at the price.  Typically, Clarins eyeshadow quartets retail for $40, while this limited edition summer palette is just $36.  This made me curious to see if perhaps they just went with minimal quantity, but you get 0.15 oz. of product here.  Quartets contain 0.21 oz.–so I can see why there is a price differential.

Nonetheless, while it’s always great to get a ton of product for your money, we don’t always need the amount we buy, so sometimes just the initial investment cost is more important at the end of the day.  I think the amount you get is plenty to last you, even if this becomes an everyday palette (think of it as about 0.03 oz. per shade, as compared to the average eyeshadow at 0.05 oz.).

I really love this palette because of how well each shade coordinates with the others.  I see so many possibilities, and it’s definitely something I’d take with me on a weekend getaway.

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 warmer neutrals, Clarins Instant Sun Light Eyeshadow Palette is a good match for you.  Each shade is well-pigmented, smooth and soft to the touch, and blendable.

AvailabilityClarins

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Nubar 2010

Nubar 2010: Layer ’til Your Heart’s Content

Nubar 2010 ($7.49) is a clear base with glitter flakies suspended in the thick, colorless base.   The flakes are different sizes, and it’s definitely something designed to be worn on top of your favorite polishes rather than alone (but no worries, I showed it alone, as well).  It flashes a greenish-gold, fiery-gold, orange, and green, depending on how the light hits it and how much you use.  I just used one coat of Nubar 2010 over two coats of other polishes.  I picked polishes with cream finishes, rather than shimmery ones, and other than that, I just grabbed ones nearest to me.  It’s easy to use, as it applies smoothly while dispersing the flakies pretty evenly without  trouble!

For reference:

  • Thumb = Nubar 2010
  • Pointer = SpaRitual Solaris + Nubar 2010
  • Middle = SpaRitual Color Trip + Nubar 2010
  • Ring = SpaRitual Dreams Becoming Reality + Nubar 2010
  • Pinky = OPI Who the Shrek Are You? + Nubar 2010

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 to layer your polishes, you may find Nubar 2010 an excellent way to add some bling to your manicure/pedicure.

Availability: Nubar

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Monday, May 17th, 2010

Thierry Mugler Gold Collection

Thierry Mugler Gold Collection for Summer 2010

“Gold is the most beautiful and precious source of light. It gives every woman an exceptional aura, like only a sun goddess of an evening would.” — Thierry Mugler

It is the divine nature of the material that has truly inspired Thierry Mugler. The ,wonderment that gold causes when it sweeps over skin and eyes invites each one of us to embrace new horizons. Gold rules over matter and reveals its magic in all its forms: caressing patinas, radiating stones, sensual lamés… Thierry Mugler reinvents gold to offer each and everyone a new kind of perfection, fluid and daring. Radiant divinity, heroine of the light, solar butterflies, it’s your turn to enjoy composing your own partition. As with every Color Event, the Gold Collection has new treasures:

Precious Gold Stones ($60.00)

Wonderful baroque nuggets, precious beads with fanciful shapes for instantly bewitching eyes: dazzling in the warmth of this marvelous luxury, they are reflected in the mirror of their elegant see-through silver compact.

  • Gold Dust Golden glints for day and night seduction

Ombre Stellaire ($40.00)

Intense and precious, seemingly flowing from a stream of pure gold, the Gold Leaf eyeshadow unravels its silky-soft golden pressed powder. Filled with dazzling particles, this color catches the light as if by magic, and sprinkles eyelids with spectacular golden glints. Its stunning effects make eyes sparkle with a glittering and glistening glow.

  • Gold Leaf Gold leaf effect for magnetic eyes

Latex Gloss ($33.00)

In this collection, LATEX GLOSS comes in five new, very chic and highly pigmented shades: lacquered, iridescent or sequined, colors result from a sublime balance of sensual elegance and mouth-watering daring. Their ultra glossy aspect, with fruit jelly colors and a honey flavour, sends the senses senseless.

  • Raspberry (2) Raspberry pink coulis, good enough to eat
  • Hearty Pink (3) Fresh pink with sequined effects, delicious like a sweet
  • Light Pink (4) Seemingly subtle pink, enriched with shimmering particles
  • Beige (5) Rosy-beige, bewitched by a pearly shimmer
  • Chocolate Brown (6) Rich brown, irresistible and melting like milk chocolate

Availability: May 2010

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Monday, May 17th, 2010

Smashbox to be Acquired by Estee Lauder Companies

Today, Estee Lauder Companies announced that they will be acquiring Smashbox Cosmetics.  The acquisition is expected to finish in July 2010.  Snippets from the press release below…

The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Inc., a privately held, photo studio-inspired prestige cosmetics company based in Los Angeles, California. The acquisition is expected to close in July 2010, subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Company said that the transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2011, before transaction and integration costs.

“The Estée Lauder Companies is the ideal home for Smashbox,” said Dean Factor, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Smashbox Beauty Cosmetics, Inc. “The Company possesses the scale and vision to help transition Smashbox into its next phase of growth, and its track record of nurturing and growing prestige brands is second to none. Moreover, we share a similar cultural heritage and dedication to consumer-inspired innovation and creativity. We expect to benefit greatly from The Estée Lauder Companies’ extensive knowledge in product development, operational execution, and international marketing and distribution, and we look forward to the next great period of growth for the brand.”

The Estée Lauder Companies will collaborate with the Smashbox organization to develop a comprehensive integration plan to transition Smashbox into The Estee Lauder Companies’ family after closing. Dean Factor, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Davis Factor, co-founder, Chief Creative Office and celebrity photographer, and Budd Taylor, President, will each play key roles with respect to these activities and the continued success of Smashbox. Smashbox will continue operating out of its Los Angeles, California office.

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams
#5, #7, #18, #21

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams:  #5 Peach, #7 Fuchsia, #18 Purple, #21 Turquoise

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) have finally debuted at Sephora. These are AMAZING. There are twenty-one shades in total, but some are designed for the lips and cheeks while others are formulated for the eyes and cheeks (p.s. why isn’t there #19?).

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #5 Peach is a spun-gold peach with such a pretty sheen. It’s such a fresh pop of color on the cheeks. It reminded me of MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow a bit, actually–I was a little bummed to find out it wasn’t meant for eyes.
  • #7 Fuchsia is a bright fuchsia-purple with a soft sheen. It’s certainly intense, so go easy for a softer look.
  • #18 Purple is a softened lilac purple with a frosty finish. It was the least pigmented of the four I tried, though.
  • #21 Turquoise is aqua-teal with a frosty shimmer-sheen. It’s wickedly gorgeous. I’ve seen plenty o’ teal in the past few years, but this one is absolutely stunning.

These are creamy without being ultra creamy–I think I’d actually prefer them to be just a smidgen creamier. They’re blendable, but they dry down quickly. These didn’t budge, smudge, or crease on me one bit, whether they were on my eyes, lips, or cheeks. In fact, you really have to use an oil-based makeup remover to get all the last bits of it off. I tried using these as eyeliners, bases, and blushes, and they worked fabulously at each job. In fact, I enjoyed these four so much that I ordered five more (Fresh Pink, Coral, Gold, Warm Beige, and Intense Blue).

The only complaint I have–a minor one at that–is that the packaging feels a little cheap. They’re easy to store, since they’re small and rounded, but the plastic feels a bit on the thinner side, and there is also a lot of air in the jar from the get-go, which concerns me in regards to whether these will dry out after six months or so.  You do get a fair amount of product for your money, which was nice to see.

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 color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

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Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Inglot Eyeshadows

Inglot Eyeshadows are not easy to come by in the U.S., but perhaps that will change over the next year or two. The brand now has a boutique in NYC, which looks like any high end brand’s boutique from the photos and videos I’ve seen of it (I have never been there personally). My girl Pursebuzz picked up two palettes of eyeshadows on my behalf while she was at a local trade show, so I think each of these palettes was around $40, inclusive (the palette and eyeshadows). I think the normal price hovers around $75ish for the palette and enough eyeshadows to fill it. I remember we both planned to purchase more, but they were cash-only (say what?! what is cash?!) at the show.

The quality of the eyeshadows is nice–well-pigmented, smooth, and blendable. They come in a ridiculous variety of colors and seem to have three finishes available: regular, AMC, and AMC Shine. Again, since I’ve never been to an Inglot store, and their website explains nothing about, I really can’t say much about what each finish is officially or there are finishes within each type of eyeshadow.

  • #464 is an adobe brown with gold shimmer and red undertones. It’s kind of like clay, in the color.
  • #495 is a brightened pink with a subtle pearly sheen.
  • #48 (AMC Shine) is a pinky-plum with a frosty look.
  • #15 (AMC Shine) is a fiery orange and a gold frost finish, though it’s not incredibly bright.
  • #60 (AMC) is a semi-matte true yellow.
  • #474 is a lightened yellow with a pearled sheen.
  • #57 (AMC) is a darkened forest green with a satin-y feel.
  • #58 (AMC) is a brightened grass green with a satin look.
  • #447 is a spring-y leafy green with subtle sparkle.
  • #59 (AMC) is a yellowed chartreuse with a satin sheen.
  • #70 (AMC) is a medium sky blue with a satin feel.
  • #05 (AMC Shine) is a brightened, light sky blue with a frosty sheen.
  • #20 (AMC Shine) is a pale baby blue with a silvered sheen and frost finish.
  • #24 (AMC Shine) is an aqua-blue with a bright frost sheen.
  • #68 (AMC) is a blue-based purple with slight sparkle and sheen.
  • #40 (AMC Shine) is a darkened plum-berry with silver sparkle and a frosty finish.
  • #441 is a slightly iridescent light purple with a pearly sheen.
  • #65 (AMC) is a deep, satin black with teal flecks of sparkle.
  • #498 is a charcoal gray with teal sparkle strewn through it.

All of the shades I tried had great color pay off, were smooth and easy to work with, and there really is such a huge variety of colors available, so you’re sure to find at least a few that tickle your fancy.

For me, though, something about these felt a little one-note for me. Again, since I can’t see their full stock and variety, this is really based solely on my experience with these nineteen shades. It was just this color with a frost/pearl/satin sheen, but I didn’t see shades I’ve never seen before. I didn’t see green with blue and aqua shimmer. I didn’t see blue with a flash of gold.

The price on these is amazing, and there’s nothing about these that feels cheap. The packaging is sturdy, the eyeshadows seem about the same size as MAC eyeshadows, and they even have a full boutique–just like high-end brands. They are a great deal, and if you’re in the NYC area, I would definitely recommend checking Inglot out sometime.

I think the one thing I can say that I really didn’t like about these was how snug they are in the palettes. They really do not come out — the magnet is pretty strong. I gouged over half of the eyeshadows just trying to remove them. I don’t know about you, but I do rearrange my palettes from time to time, so ruining a bunch of them just to move them around is frustrating.

I know the next time I’m in NYC, I’ll be stopping by the Inglot store to see and learn more about their full line.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: Not necessarily the most original shades on the block, Inglot matches the quality of high-end brands with the price of low-end.

Availability: Inglot Cosmetics

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