Friday, April 16th, 2010

tokidoki Brilliant Glitter Eyeliner

tokidoki Brillante Glitter Eyeliner ($14.00) are fun, glittery shades of eyeliner that come in pencil form.

Available in fourteen shades: Carina (pink beige with gold glitter), Peperoncino (bright candy pink with silver glitter), Unicorno (pale yellow with gold glitter), SANDy (grass green with gold glitter), Liberty (teal with gold glitter), Rondine (turquoise with silver glitter), Rosetta (lilac with gold glitter), Skeletro (navy with silver glitter), Adios Apple (violet with silver glitter), Savana (bronzed chocolate with gold glitter), Marrone (dark brown with gold glitter), Diamante (deep silver with silver glitter), Melodia (dark gunmetal gray with gold glitter), and Mozzarella (black with silver glitter).

I bought three shades to try out from Sephora’s VIB sale: Rondine, Unicorno, and SANDy. All three shades were very pigmented and quite sparkly!

  • Rondine is a sky blue with silver glitter. (I don’t know why it’s listed as “teal” because it’s not teal at all on me.)
  • Unicorno is a pale white gold with darker gold glitter.
  • SANDy is a medium grass green with yellow-gold flecks of glitter.

I loved the pigmentation and look of the eyeliners, and they reminded me a lot of MAC’s Softsparkle Pencils of the past. They also don’t budge, smudge, or fade, and even better–there is very little movement of the glitter. Sometimes the glitter in a glitter eyeliner will end up migrating and falling everywhere but where you applied it, but the glitter in the tokidoki liner stays in place for the most part (negligible fall out).

My issue with these is that they’re a little hard/rough on the lash line–I find they’re noticeably gritty and have a tendency to tug a bit, too. They could just be a much, much softer pencil so they applied more smoothly without tugging.

The packaging is cute with classic tokidoki patterns on the pencil itself, plus each pencil is color coordinated to its shade. They’re affordable and work well, other than the hardness of the pencil itself. They’re good enough that I’ll keep the three shades I have and possibly pick up one or two more, but since the hardness is a little much for my lash line, I don’t see myself buying every single one.  I am totally in love with Unicorno, though — so pretty!

Have you tried these?

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Though they stay really well once they’re on, I found them a little rough on the lash line. If you’re used to the softness of Urban Decay 24/7 Liners, you may find this too hard.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Urban Decay Urban Defense

The Tinted Moisturizer Challenge:  Urban Decay Urban Defense

Urban Decay Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 ($32.00 for 1 oz.) is new for summer from Urban Decay. It’s a sheer, lightweight tinted moisturizer that provides a touch of color to even out the skin tone with a slightly dewy finish.

Active Ingredients: Octocrylene (8.0%), Octinoxate (7.5%)

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-40 Castor Oil, Glycerin, Silica, Dimethicone, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Litchi Chinesis Pericarp Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Montmorillonite, Butylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyenthanal. May contain CI77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI7749/77492/77499 (Iron Oxides).

On the SPF front, octocrylene is a chemical sunscreen that covers the UVB spectrum and short UVA (but not long UVA). The formula also contains dimethicone, so those who are sensitive to silicone-based ingredients may find it irritating. It’s high enough on the list that I was a bit concerned for myself, but I didn’t notice any skin issues (well, no more than usual!) after using this for a full week.

Urban Defense feels and looks natural and doesn’t feel greasy. It absorbs and dries down quite fast, and if you have very, very dry skin, you’ll still want to use a moisturizer first before layering this on. However, even though it feels lovely on, it does have a bit of a dewy finish. In real life, I think it reads dewy, but in photos, I found it made me look oily. Either way, I still preferred it with a dusting of translucent setting powder on top! (Check out the before and after photos at the end of the post!) It also lasted me six hours or so without ever looking greasy or fading (I never seemed to wear it longer than that while I was testing it!), which was definitely nice!

There are four shades, and while none seemed overly warm-toned to me, they did seem a little more yellow based. I think those with redder or cooler undertones may find that these aren’t perfect matches. I would recommend trying in-store (or buying from a retailer with a good return policy) if you have particularly red, pink, or cool undertones.

  • Halo is the lightest and I think is neutral enough to work on both cool and warm toned skin, but it may not be light enough for our ultra pale friends.  I think if you fit into MAC’s NC/NW15-20 range, this would be the best fit for you.
  • Bodyguard is the next lightest, described by Urban Decay as “medium light,” and it’s the shade I use. I’m NC25 in MAC, and I find Body Guard to be a decent match, if a little light. Ideally, I’d probably mix a bit of Bodyguard and Bulletproof together, but since the pump is such an issue, it’s not really possible.
  • Bulletproof is a medium shade, but it’s actually a big step from Bodyguard. It didn’t work for me as NC25, so I’d imagine it’s more around those at the NC/NW30-40 level.
  • Forcefield is described as medium dark, and it’s not too much darker than Bulletproof. It’s noticeably darker, but it doesn’t seem as big of a leap as from Bodyguard to Bulletproof. I would say this would suit shades around the NC/NW40-45 level.

But the biggest issue and problem with this product is the packaging. It is a pump packaging that dispenses about 10 times too much product with a single pump. It takes a very gentle hand and patience to pump out just enough (and still, often a bit too much) for your needs. I did one solid pump and it was tinted moisturizer for DAYS… enough to cover my body.

This was a pretty big deal to me, because it squeezes out a ridiculous amount. I think this product would have been much better in a tube or in a pump that doesn’t squeeze out a week’s worth at once.  (Personally, I also don’t dig the label–seems like the printer was low on ink!)

I’d also love to see a more expansive shade range, because fitting so many varieties in skin tone shades and undertones into just four is a bit frustrating for some.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

Recommendation:   The feel and coverage of Urban Defense is right on, but the packaging is such a disappointment that it really takes away from the product itself.

AvailabilityUrban Decay

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Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever
Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever

The Summer Season: Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever

Lancome Electric Pink La Laque Fever ($26.50) is an ultra dazzling darkened fuchsia-pink with an obscene amount of glittery sparkles. There are thirteen shades available, but Electric Pink has always been my favorite, even since they first launched. (You know something is good when you loved it a year ago and are still in awe when you swatch it now!) The color is fun and dark enough to work for not just summer but beyond, but it’s still a nice pop of raspberry pink for summer nights on the beach (or wherever!). The color base itself is a raspberry pink, while it has iridescent fuchsia micro-glitter. It’s like a sophisticated, full-color version of MAC’s Dazzleglass.

Oh, but you know the best part about La Laque Fevers? They wear incredibly well for a gloss. I get a full four hours of color wear out of it, and I’d say the gloss is around two hours or so before it could use a little touch-up (you could use clear gloss as a way to add shine without adding more product). The scent seems a little fruity to me, but it’s subtle and pleasant (much less subtle in comparison to some of Lancome’s lipsticks).

Is this the right pink gloss 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 →

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyper Liner

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner Review

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner ($17.00) is a soft pencil eyeliner available in thirteen colorful shades.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tarina Tarantino’s makeup line, but these two eyeliners are the first products from her line that I’ve tried, and I am pleasantly surprised!   They are soft but not super soft — think firmer than Urban Decay 24/7 Pencils but softer than Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes — and apply very smoothly.  The color range seems fun, even if I’ve only seen two, I’m interested in checking out a few more shades (like Spark of Envy!).

  • Glamorous Thief is a brightened medium blue with silver spairkle and a soft sheen.
  • Amethyst Android is a blue-based violet purple with a soft sheen but no real noticeable shimmer.

I found these liners stayed put on my lower lash line (I didn’t wear on my water line, since I wasn’t sure if these were waterline safe or not) without budging, smudging, or migrating during the day.   The liner itself applies intensely without work, and it glides on without tugging on the lash line, too.  I really like the level of softness, because it’s not so soft it’s easy to break, but it’s not so hard that it tugs or drags on the lash line either.

The eyeliners are also very simply packaged–colored end followed by a silver strip, and then the majority of the pencil is a pink all topped off with a silver cap.  They’re the same price as both Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever’s eyeliners–and just as good.  I’d say the color range may differ here and there, though Tarina Tarantino’s closer to Urban Decay’s.   In fact, Glamorous Thief is incredibly similar to Deviant, while Amethyst Android to Lust.  (If you have those, I’d pass on both these shades.)  On me, all three wear about the same, with Make Up For Ever doing the best on the water line, and then Tarina Tarantino and Urban Decay doing just slightly under Make Up For Ever (but I personally prefer the color range and softness of Urban Decay).

Have you tried Tarina Tarantino’s Hyperliner yet?  Any must-have shades?

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’re either an eyeliner fiend or you don’t have too many Urban Decay/Make Up For Ever eyeliners, then Tarina Tarantino is a nice line to try if you’re looking for a pop of color in your eyeliner.  I don’t think the shade range is as standout when the market has so much that is similar, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that these work well and are high quality eyeliners.  If you own all of Urban Decay’s liners, you may find these too similar to own both–the only shade that looks different from anything Urban Decay has is Broken Doll (light pink).

AvailabilitySephora

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010


Noir (261), Sable (211), Purple Shock (270), Precious Gold (290), Emerald Sparkle (250)

Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Liner ($5.79) is a waterproof, self-sharpening eyeliner that comes in in six different shades (Deep Ocean being the only one not shown).  Each pencil also has a smudging tip on the opposite end.

  • Emerald Sparkle is a greenish teal with silver sparkle.
  • Precious Gold is a true yellow gold with a frosty sheen.
  • Purple Shock is a darkened red-based purple.
  • Sable is a warmed-up coffee brown.
  • Noir is a dark black with subtle sheen.

The formula on these is pretty good, but they could live up their claims of being waterproof and budgeproof just a little bit more.  I found that they stayed pretty well, but on oilier areas (yes, I put eyeliner on my forehead–don’t you?  What, you don’t?  Say it isn’t so!), it doesn’t hold up 100%–more like 90%.  The other downside is that they seem to take a little longer to set/dry, so make sure not to blink too hard or else you might unintentionally smudge!  On the other hand, if you want to smudge it, you have plenty of time to do so.

None of the shades seemed to last on my water line for more than a half hour or so, but they stayed put on my lower lash line when I wore them just fine (for reference, my skin is normal-to-dry).  More watery or oilier lash lines may experience a little bit of migration or budging after several hours, but for a drugstore liner, these worked out well.

The liner itself feels very soft along the lash line, and it doesn’t tug at it either.  The tip is fine enough to get a thin line, but it might too thick to get a really tight line if that’s what you’re after.  I like that they’re self-sharpening (the sharpener is included on the pencil), because it’s something you can keep in your makeup bag and never have to worry about a sharpener.  They also are fairly waterproof–they barely budged after I ran my arm under a faucet.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re looking for a good eyeliner to use that’s self-sharpening and soft, Rimmel Exaggerate might work for you.

Availability:  Local Drugstores (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc.)

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Violet Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Violet Lipstick

The Summer Season: Dolce & Gabbana Violet Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Violet (#100) Shine Lipstick ($30.00) is a creamy, magenta purple with a very glossy, squishy look. It’s quite pigmented–nearly opaque–and feels incredible on lips. It’s smooth, applies evenly, and looks practically wet on lips. The lipstick has a noticeable rosy scent which may be too much for some, but luckily, I don’t mind heavier scented lipsticks, and I find that it’s not noticeable (to me, at least) when I wear it–it’s more of a scent you can smell when you smell the tube.

I have to admit I was surprised about this shade, because even though I had high hopes for a shade called “Violet,” I didn’t think I’d find a color that’s really not represented by many of the ultra high-end brands.

Is this the right purple 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 →