Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives: Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette ($54.00) is just one of Nordstrom’s many Beauty Exclusives for their Anniversary Sale (which officially kicks off on the 16th–so close yet so far!). It looks like it’s sold out online, but you may be able to check your local Nordstrom to see if they still have any available for pre-order/sale. This palette contains a blush, bronzer, four eyeshadows, and two lip glosses along with three miniature brushes.

I could really get down with the palette’s theme if they just didn’t put those lip glosses in there–you’re going to experience some cross-contamination of the powder products into your lip glosses. It’s a little annoying and a bit gross. I’m also not entirely sure just how value-packed this palette is, but it seems to be–at the very least–what I’d expect to pay for a Dior palette such as this one. (Mine doesn’t have a label nor a box, so I don’t have specifics on sizes for each interior product.)

The blush is a dirty pink-red that’s rather on the sheer side, and the bronzer is a soft, sheer medium bronze-tan with subtle sheen. The eyeshadows include a frosted warm white, peachy-pink (think NARS Orgasm), shimmering spun gold, and cool-toned subtle bronze. These aren’t Dior’s best eyeshadows–they’re a little on the sheer side and the texture isn’t nearly as creamy as their quints typically are. The two lipglosses are a dirty caramel with multicolored shimmer and a sheer beige champagne.

You can definitely build some looks with this palette, though everything is a smidgen on the warm side (I guess that compensates for their rather cool-toned plummy palette for fall, eh?).  I think everything pairs well together, and it’s a nice color palette that’ll work for the summer, too.   However, I feel the quality isn’t as good as Dior products usually are–just feels a little below.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For warmer skin tones, this may make a great travel palette–if you don’t mind shades on the sheerer side. Overall, though, it doesn’t meet the expectations I have based on my past experience with Dior.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Monday, July 12th, 2010

Burberry Beauty Eyeshadow
Burberry Trench (02) Eyeshadow

Burberry Trench (02) Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is one of twenty shades of soft, subtle eyeshadows launched in the Burberry Beauty line. I bought Trench, because it seemed like it would be a very fitting shade for the brand.  From the packaging to the color range to the feel, it’s high-end and stays true to the Burberry line and philosophy.

Trench is a smooth, buttery shade of light beige with a soft, satin sheen. It may seem hard to see on my skin tone, because it very much matches my skin tone, but it’s a beautiful barely-there shade. It’s perfect as a highlighter for lighter skin tones as well as an all-over wash for a touch of lightness. The texture is soft to the touch, but it’s pigmented.

The packaging is luxe with the gunmetal case with the signature Burberry check patterning on the cover. It also has the Burberry logo stamped across the front side. The eyeshadow compact does come in a velvet check-patterned pouch, and there is also a sponge-tipped applicator included inside. I don’t care for most included applicators, whether they’re actual brushes or sponges, because they’re often too stubby to provide enough control and precision, so it’s a throwaway for me. I like that the packaging feels weighty enough that it’s substantial and not flimsy, and the darker gunmetal hides some of the fingerprints (but you will see some). It stays closed when you want it to, and it also has a mirror inside.

Surprisingly, each eyeshadow contains a bit more product than the average eyeshadow–0.088 oz., whereas Chanel and Dior single shadows usually weigh in around 0.07 oz. and are similarly priced. Guerlain still comes in as one of the weightier high-end shadows at 0.12 oz. a pop, though!

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like subtler color and enjoy soft, buttery textures, you may like Burberry eyeshadow.

AVAILABILITY: Burberry, Nordstrom

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Monday, July 12th, 2010

Urban Decay Vegan Palette

Can You Resist Cute Packaging?

Urban Decay Vegan Palette ($34.00) is a new and limited edition eyeshadow palette for fall, and it features six eyeshadows, one eyeliner, and a miniature-sized eyeshadow primer.  It features only products that are vegan-friendly.

The packaging is my favorite part about this product, which is creative, pretty, and functional. Otherwise, the eyeshadows are every bit of quality you’d expect from Urban Decay, but with the Naked Palette released simultaneously and featuring three of these shades (Smog, Gunmetal, Half Baked), it makes getting both of them rather redundant.

These are pitfalls of Urban Decay’s limited edition palettes, because long-time collectors often end up with multiples of several shades, since the brand reuses certain shades with great frequency. (I am personally tired of seeing Twice Baked and Baked in their palettes!) On the other hand, for newer Urban Decay fans, the palette is a cute palette with six great shades from the brand’s range. Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz. in weight, along with a 0.03 oz. Zero 24/7 Eye Pencil and 0.13 oz. Sin Primer Potion. It’s a decent amount for the price tag, but…

The Naked Palette gives you so much for–double the eyeshadow shades (12 in total)–but every single shade in it is full sized at 0.05 oz. For $10 more, you’re getting 0.6 oz. of eyeshadow, instead of 0.18 oz. Pretty awesome, right? All six of the Vegan palette shades can be purchased individually, in case you’re dead-set on one of them. I guess what I’m really saying is if you were waffling between the Vegan and the Naked palette, I would recommend the Naked palette and not even think twice about it.

  • Minx is shimmering aqua green with tiny flecks of teal glitter.
  • Urb is a softly shimmered olive green with a golden sheen. It was the least pigmented shade of the six, though I wouldn’t call it sheer or lacking in pigmentation overall.
  • Gunmetal is a blue-toned gray-black with silver sheen. Very pigmented!
  • Twice Baked is a satin-y medium-dark chocolate brown.
  • Smog is a shimmering bronze with a copper-gold sheen.
  • Half Baked is a lightened copper with a near metallic finish.

The palette also includes a miniature-sized Zero 24/7 Liner (true black) and Sin Eyeshadow Primer Potion (a shimmery burnt champagne base). I need another Zero like I need another eyeliner, period, but it’s a solid black eyeliner which will work well with any of the six shadows and any combinations thereof. I find Sin very, very shimmery–so frosty that it’s hard to use as a base, particularly with frost finished shades like these. I think Eden would have been a better choice here to make it more versatile.

Minx and Urb are the only shades that are on the glittery side, though neither is a glitter bomb. The other four shades are smoother and don’t feel glittery–just shimmery. All six shades are very true-to-color with nice pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. I really do like and enjoy the palette, and there is nothing wrong with it. It just depends on what Urban Decay palettes you already own and how much overlap you have between them all.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t plan on getting the Naked eyeshadow palette (how could you not?!) and you don’t have too much overlap with previously released palettes, it’s an adorably packaged palette with quality in mind.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora, Urban Decay

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Sunday, July 11th, 2010

MAC Dare to Wear

MAC Dare to Wear

U.S. Launch Date: July 29th, 2010
International Launch Date:  August 2010

Our own Lady Gaga mobilized legions of you to DARE TO WER… and it’s created a wave of energy, excitement and outrageousness all around the world! Join the brigade of loud and proud who daily dare to declare their own individuality. High-powered pigment and holographic pearl create a crazy-intense, shine-saturated gloss, combined with Pop Eye Shadow shades, as over-the-top as Lady G Live!

Inter-dimensional one-coat colour on the first stroke means there’s always an encore! Creamy soft application grabs and sculpts, gel structure molds and has a bouncy feel — pure exhilaration, it’s a personal high! More and more of you, every minute, every hour, every day, not afraid to DARE TO WEAR. Bravo!

Dare to Wear Lipglass ($18.00)

Dare to Wear Lipglass provides intense, full-coverage colour with a holographic pearl finish.  Bright-coloured, high-intensity pigments coat the lips, while holographic pearls glisten and shine on the lips to create a show-stopping gloss.  It allows you to achieve the most intense colour and shine in one stroke.  The gel formula gives the product a creamy, soft texture that adheres comfortably to the lips.

  • Ban This! Deep purple with multi-pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Bold & Brash Bright red with multi-pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Dare to Dare Light blue pink with multi-pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Gimme That! Bright fuchsia pink with pink pearl (Limited Edition)
  • So Bad Mid-tone coral orange with pink and gold pearl (Limited Edition)
  • Wind Me Up Dirty bronze with pink and gold pearl (Limited Edition)

Eyeshadow ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Aqua Subdued, pale greyed aqua (Matte) (Permanent, PRO)
  • Atlantic Blue Bright violet blue (Matte) (Permanent)
  • Crazy Cool Pale frosty lavender (Veluxe Pearl) (Limited Edition)
  • Free to Be Bright true coral (Matte) (Permanent)
  • Going Bananas Soft lemon yellow (Frost) (Limited Edition) (Repromote)
  • Lime Lime green (Matte) (Permanent, PRO)
  • Louder Please Bright fuchsia (Matte) (Limited Edition)
  • Sassy Grass Bright grass green (Matte) (Limited Edition)
  • Shock-a-holic Deep purple (Matte) (Limited Edition)
  • Sky Blue Robin’s egg blue (Frost) (Permanent, PRO)
  • Winkle Mid-tone cornflower blue (Satin) (Permanent)
  • Zingy Bright sky blue (Matte) (Limited Edition)

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Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Chantecaille Tiger in the Wild Collection for Fall 2010

To celebrate and raise awareness for the wild tiger, Chantecaille has created a limited edition palette with a selection of easy to wear cheek and eyeshades with an elegant Tiger embossing that is easy to wear and attractive on everyone.

While the world celebrates the Year of the Tiger, the plight of this majestic animal continues. In fact, this celebration of the tiger places it in a more perilous situation. Demand has increased for tiger parts including paws, teeth, bones, and skins while the last of the tigers are being poached, tiger farms are sprouting in Asia catering to the illegal trade in body parts. Tigers are poached, hunted and exterminated for small and big profit. The disappearance of wild tigers is of utmost urgency, as the loss of our top predators is the barometer of an ecosystem in trouble. Since 1998, the last Year of the Tiger, the population of tigers in the wild has diminished from 5,000 to 3,200. With this palette, Chantecaille supports TRAFFIC*, an international wildlife trade monitoring organization to help save the last tigers in the wild. It is a world-wide concern, which needs attention and focus.

“Poaching continues to erode wild Tiger numbers, but with sufficient support we can restore Tigers to all their glory in the forests of Asia.” – Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC

Visit www.chantecaille.com to learn how you can help.

Tiger in the Wild Palette ($78.00)

The Look for Fall is a strong woman who exudes confidence and power in a subtle yet distinctive manner. Her style is streamlined and modern. Her color palette is simple and well defined. Her clothes are chic and appropriate for any occasion and any destination. A few prominent looks are pantsuits, skirts, blouses, blazers, hats and the versatility of a sharp masculine style contrasted with a soft feminine look, exemplified in such materials as leather and tweed mixed with lace and sheer chiffon. Colors are blues from Prussian to Indigo, pewter, cream, and shades of persimmon. 5% of the proceeds benefit TRAFFIC

Lip Chic ($30.00)

  • Capucine Bold yet wearable orange
  • Anaïs Universal pink

Brilliant Gloss ($28.00)

  • Classic Everyday, natural

Le Stylo ($26.00)

  • Indigo Alluring deep blue shade

Availability: August 2010 at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Frédéric Fekkai Salons, Neiman Marcus, select Saks Fifth Avenue locations, Nordstrom, and Space NK. Also available online at www.Chantecaille.com.

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Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Benefit Scene Queen Makeup Palette

Get Ready to Make a Scene

Benefit Scene Queen Makeup Palette ($38.00) contains something for each part of your face — 0.1 oz. CORALista, 0.09 oz. High Beam, 0.18 oz. Juicy Coral Lip Shine, 4 0.1 oz. eyeshadows, Smokin’ Liner, and 2 double-sided makeup brushes.

  • CORALista is a pink-cral with subtle sheen but not a lot of shimmer. It’s very pigmented, so a little goes a long way. I actually didn’t even realize it was in the palette until I went to write the review! It’s a pretty small pan, so it may take some maneuvering to get your brush in it. The included brush is a bit stubby, so I find it cumbersome to use.
  • High Beam is a light, shimmering pink-toned highlighter. It’s a whitish-pink, and it works best on light to medium skin tones (Moon Beam better for deeper skin tones).
  • Juicy Coral Lip Shine is a semi-opaque coral-orange with golden shimmer. It’s a very pretty shade of coral, and it’s not too orange either.
  • Smokin’ Liner is a dark black-brown eyeliner that goes opaque without trouble. Very smooth and richly pigmented.
    Charcoal is a darkened gray-black with subtle silver shimmer.
  • Shimmering Beige is a pink-toned medim beige with a frost finish.
  • Misty Blue is a slightlyg rayed medium-dark blue with a silver sheen.
  • Navyis a rich navy blue with a purple edge and flecks of midnight sky blue shimmer.
  • Dual-Ended Brushes have an angled brush on one end and a fluffier brush on the other–and then two of them. They’re usable in a pinch, but they’re not the best brushes of all time. Better than the usual inclusions, though.

I like all of the products individually, and I feel Benefit gives you a good amount of each of them (in fact, the eyeshadows are surprisingly weighty–0.1 oz. compared to the average of 0.05 oz.–but I don’t feel that such a rich shade of coral on both cheeks and lips is actually all that suitable to pair with the eyeshadows. I think medium skin tones will be able to pull off that look, but paler skin tones may have to be a little cautious. I fear it may be too much all at once. I was expecting a pinker blush (maybe Sugarbomb) rather than CORALista here.

That’s my only gripe about the palette, though! There are only powder products exposed, while the lip and cream products are housed in their own containers, so there’s no worry about cross-pollination of shadow dust. The palette is cute and still functional, and it even includes a step-by-step guide on how to wear the palette.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you like yourself a blue smoky eye, this may make a great g-to palette.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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