Everyday Makeup: Neutral, Natural Eyes with Too Faced
Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection ($34.00) is a new eyeshadow palette from Too Faced’s Naturally Naughty Collection for the fall season.
The palette contains nine different shades of eyeshadow crafted by Too Faced’s Creative Director, Jerrod Blandino, for easy, effortless looks that work for everyone. It contains: Heaven, a matte cream; Velvet Revolver, a matte, cool-toned taupe; Sexspresso, a matte dark brown; Silk Teddy, a shimmery pink-beige; Push-Up, a shimmery neutral medium brown; Erotica, a lightly shimmered dark charcoal taupe; Nude Beach, a glittery pink champagne; Honey Pot, a shimmery softly muted gold; and Cocoa Puff, a warm-toned chocolate brown with gold shimmer. Each of the three larger eyeshadows are 0.07 oz., while the six smaller shadows are 0.03 oz.
Included with the palette are three how-to cards, detailing the three looks — Day, Classic, and Fashion. For those more eyeshadow savvy, there are definitely many more than three possible looks to create from this palette of nine. I like that the palette contains a mix of mattes, shimmers, and high shimmer/glitters, because it allows you to maximize your looks by adding different dimensions and layers of textures. Also included is a small, pull-out drawer with a double-sided brush (sponge-tip applicator on one side, angled brush on the other side)–not a highlight or a brush I’d personally use unless it was an emergency.
All of the eyeshadows swatched smoothly and went on with a good amount of pigmentation, including the matte shades, which were also smooth and buttery–not chalky at all. I didn’t see any of these colors “drag.” My favorite shades were Honey Pot and Cocoa Puff. Cocoa Puff is especially stunning with the mix of gold shimmer layered into the chocolate brown. While Nude Beach is pretty, it is extremely frosty/glittery, so it has to be worn with a bit more care, particularly for those with deeper skin tones.
The packaging was cute, but I could have done without the pull-out drawer that only contained the brush (which I didn’t like or find particularly useful). By omitting the drawer, the palette would be slimmer and more streamlined. If you’re bothered by cardboard/paper packaging, this palette might not be for you, as well. I like the earth-friendly-ness of paper packaging (at least, compared to plastic), so it wasn’t an issue for me. I thought the packaging was cute, functional, and worked well overall.
- Product: 8/10
- Value: 9/10
- Ease of Use: 8/10
- Packaging: 7/10
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a go-to neutral eye palette, consider Too Faced’s Natural Eye. Nine great shades of neutral tone eyeshadows that all work well and go on smoothly (hey, it’s hard to find a palette with *all* winning shades!). If you prefer even softer neutrals or only like matte or semi-matte shades, this isn’t a good match for you. For $34, this product is well-worth a peek.
What do you think of Too Faced’s new Natural Eye palette?
See photos and swatches… Continue reading →
It’s a Toner, Not a Lotion: Clarins’ Super Restorative Wake-Up Lotion
Clarins Super Restorative Wake-Up Lotion ($40.00 for 4.2 oz.) is indeed a toner. I must admit that I had to read the product’s tip sheet before realizing it was a toner and not a moisturizer. (Hey, I associate the term “lotion” with moisturizer, what can I say?) I will even go so far as to admit that I used this a few times as a lotion, but I am happy to report it did not cause any ill effects (e.g. breakouts). Funny enough, my skin didn’t feel like it even missed a moisturizer!
Which leads me to tell you that this is an excellent, non-drying, non-irritating toner that works well to re-energize the skin with the slight cooling nature of the product. The toner is a gel-based toner, rather than a liquid toner. Clarins recommends applying it with a cotton ball with “light, tapping movements,” and I’d say that’s a fair technique. You can substitute cotton balls with cotton pads or sheets as well.
Whenever I’m reviewing a product, I like to see what a company says about their products and what ingredients they tout as amazing, just because it helps keep me aware of what the product is supposed to do. Clarins lists the primary ingredients in the product as well as what they’re designed to do–something I like. Perhaps not always entirely believable, but I appreciate it nonetheless.
- Pueraria Lobata – helps boost cell activity and collagen production, while soothing the skin.
- Green coffee extract – rich in caffeine, energizes skin, helping it look more vital and radiant.
- Ginseng root – reinforces energizing action of caffeine, adds vitality.
- Oat Sugars, extracted from the plant’s seeds, work as a natural skin-tightening agent, and help smooth appearance of imperfections on skin’s surface.
- Hibiscus extract – remove excess dry skin cells and brightens skin.
- Butcher’s Broom (Ruscus) – helps eliminates toxins and reduce puffiness.
When applied, the product does feel a bit sticky, but it absorbs/fades within a few minutes, so it’s not a major concern for me, but it is a mild annoyance. My skin does feel clean and refreshed after using this product, and this toner is more about tapping it on than wiping away anything. I think this product is suitable for those with sensitive skin, but those with extremely sensitive skin may not find this suitable. It’s lightweight, goes on easily, and doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight.
- Product: 8/10
- Value: 7/10
- Ease of Use: 8/10
- Packaging: 7/10
Recommendation: Easy to use and effective are two great ways to describe Clarin’s Wake-Up Lotion (aka Toner!). It doesn’t strip skin of its natural oils or leave behind tightness (often confused with “clean”), which is something I consider a must-have in any toning or skincare product. The value is so-so, with $40 being a steep investment for a toner, but the bottle is large enough to give you approximately two months’ of use, perhaps more. It’s a good, solid toner, and Clarins’ fans will enjoy it.
Availability: Clarins, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com
Anyone else try out this Clarins’ toner? Thoughts?
Gel Cleansing with Darphin
Darphin Cleansing Foam Gel with Water Lily ($38.00 for 4.2 oz.) is a soft, gentle gel-based cleanser with an incredibly light floral scent. It looks nearly colorless when squeezed out of the tube and applied to face. It’s easy to use–just dampen face with a bit of water, then massage the cleanser all of your face to cleanse. It is a water-based cleanser designed to work even on the most sensitive skin without adding redness.
I’ve actually stuck with this cleanser for a few weeks now, because I find it so effective at cleansing, but also because it doesn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts. It seems to lift and remove the majority of makeup and dirt build-up from my day without much fuss, and my skin never feels tight or stripped after using. Even when I follow-up with my toner, very little residue is left behind–mostly around my hairline, which is where I always miss cleansing (I fear getting it in my hair) anyway.
Although it is a bit pricey, it doesn’t hold decent value, as a tube should last you between two and three months. (I’m into my second month now, and I haven’t even used close to half — maybe a third or so.) I imagine if you use this twice daily you should see about two months’ worth out of each tube. This cleanser is also easy to travel with, because you can squeeze what you need into a travel bottle, too.
- Product: 9/10
- Value: 8/10
- Ease of Use: 9/10
- Packaging: 7/10
Recommendation: If you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, consider Darphin’s new gel cleanser. Soft, mild, and gentle are all perfect descriptors of this daily cleansing product.
Availability: Beauty.com, Darphin.com
Have you tried Darphin’s latest Cleansing Foam Gel? Yay or nay?
Bobbi Brown Fall/Winter 2009 Introductions
Late fall/early winter, Bobbi Brown will release shades of Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow and new Rich Color Gloss.
Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadow
- Chrome Patina
- Brown Metal
- Starry Night
- Black Pearl
- Starry Purple
- Antique Gold
- Gold Stone
Rich Color Gloss
- Ruby Red
- Pink Raspberry
- Dusty Rose
- Pink Buff
Availability: October/November 2009.
See more photos… Continue reading →
Still a month and a half away, MAC’s Style Black Collection continues to create buzz. Slated for September 24th, the collection features a mixture of black shades as well as black-inspired shades (e.g. the mineralize eyeshadows). Are you excited for this upcoming launch? I know I can’t wait for the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator to be re-released myself.
MAC Cosmetics Make-up Art Cosmetics Collection: The Interviews
ART IS M·A·C’S DNA: THE MAKEUP ARTISTRY MAVERICK COLLABORATES WITH THREE RENOWNED ARTISTS TO CREATE WORK INSPIRED BY M·A·C’S FALL COLOUR COLLECTION, MAKE-UP ART COSMETICS.
In M·A·C culture, the human face and body are the ultimate canvas for makeup artists. Makeup and brushes are quite literally the tools. M·A·C Artists are influenced by all forms of art from painting to photography to images in film, using makeup as their means of expression. Like fine artists, they create depth, sculpt contours, brush on highlights, blend textures, mix colours, or apply pigment straight from the tube like Van Gogh. But in this case, the canvas talks back.
“We are M·A·C … Make-Up Art Cosmetics. Every face is a canvas to us, a glorious chance for spectacular transformation. It’s nice to be pretty, but it’s so much more fabulous and interesting to be a persona, something once out-of-grasp that has, through the power of art, become thrillingly real,” says James Gager, Senior Vice President/Creative Director. “In keeping with our art heritage, it made sense to ask these three artists to participate in a unique collaboration with us for fall. Working in their individual mediums – drawing, photography and painting – each applied a different colour palette to a portrait, with inspired results.”
Gordon Espinet, Vice President, Makeup Artistry adds, “Art has no boundaries. Art appeals to ‘all ages, all races, all sexes! Art is ultimately all about individual expression. M·A·C makes no distinction between the fine artist and the makeup artist and gives every artist the power to tell their story with makeup.”
Everything at M·A·C is built around the idea that anything is possible when self-expression is honored, exalted, allowed to rise to its ultimate aria. This season M·A·C celebrates the idea of the Artist in every shade and stripe…makeup as art form. M·A·C has selected three individuals who exemplify this idea through both the subjects they choose, and the wildly individual styles and colours used to convey them. Bold, heroic, big; giggly, playful, clever; dramatic, original, abstract: Fall ’09 as seen by Richard Phillips, Maira Kalman, and Marilyn Minter. Be inspired!
Check out full Q&As with each collaborator… Continue reading →