Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Cle de Peau Eyeshadow
Cle de Peau #101 Eyeshadow

Going Luxe:  Cle de Peau Satin Eye Color

Cle de Peau Satin Eye Color ($45.00 for 0.07 oz.) is the ultimate luxury in eyeshadow.  It’s absolutely fantastic eyeshadow–soft, smooth; it applies like butter and feels like silk.  At $642 per ounce–and to put that into perspective, MAC is $290/oz., NARS is $328/oz., Chanel is $407/oz.–it’s the most expensive eyeshadow I’ve ever tested.  (But I got curious, so I did some research, and La Prairie’s Eyeshadow comes in at $900/oz. and Sisley at $920/oz., so it’s not the priciest one out there…)

Knowing that it’s Cle de Peau, a luxury line, there’s a sense of, “Mmm, ahh, ohh!” from the get-go, which is part of the experience of using high-end or luxury brands.  When I did the math, however, even I had to go,“Whoa!”  I’m going to tell you point blank that I don’t think I’d ever fork over $45 for a single eyeshadow myself (of course, if it was antique gold, maybe we could talk, if my wallet didn’t run away).  But this is something that has to be put into perspective.  I would have (and I have) paid $45 or more for a lipstick (Guerlain) or lipgloss (Cle de Peau!) that I really liked.  I also want to say that Cle de Peau is a luxury brand, so their business is not built on being affordable.  The price tag very much reflects that.

So, putting price aside, the eyeshadow formula does not disappoint.  I tried two shades:  #101, which is a shimmering warmed-up white, and #107, which is a softened plum-mauve with a shimmery finish. Both shades swatched very true-to-color, and the shimmer is softened a bit (almost like a diffused glow) but on the frostier side.  The best way to describe these is exactly as I said earlier:  “it applies like butter and feels like silk.” The two shades I tried were well-pigmented and shimmered in their loveliness.

These also adhere very well to the lids, whether or not you use a base.  Typically, I don’t bother trying out eyeshadows without a base, since wearing an eyeshadow base is nearly a must-do when you wear eyeshadow, period.  However, because Cle de Peau advertises that it can be applied without “fading, creasing, or dulling,” I had to give it a shot.  The eyeshadows have “Hydro-wrap Complex” and Argan Tree Oil for “smooth application and wear.”  Fancy talk, but these do wear well as an all over color and no base, so count me surprised.  They didn’t soften, crease, or fade during the eight hours I wore them to test (and yes, I totally wore #101 on one eye and #107 on the other!).

They are truly lovely and beautiful from start to finish, even if they are jaw-dropping-ly expensive.  I can easily see why someone would purchase these, even if I myself can’t quite afford them!

Has anyone else tried these?  Anyone caved on these?  Must-see shades?

There are also eight other shades in the formula: 102 (smoked, gray-purple), 103 (nude), 104 (peach), 105 (pinked-peach), 106 (subdued brown-pink), 108 (purple amethyst), 109 (medium green), and 110 (soft sky blue).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For the ultimate indulgence in eyeshadow, there’s Cle de Peau. I would indulge only if it was a product I could see myself using regularly and finishing.

Availability: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) is a stunning combination of slightly warmed-up neutrals.  I was really hoping Maybelline was going to knock it out of the park with this combination, but they didn’t quite hit the mark for me.  They’re so-so but just not stellar.  I’d still consider it pretty good by drugstore beauty standards, though–but it’s only decent against popular favorites like MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Urban Decay.

It includes a champagne-pink with a frosty finish, subdued copper, muted golden bronze, and darker chocolate bronze with light gold shimmer.  My biggest issue with these eyeshadows was just that they applied sheerly, so it was difficult to get as much dimension as I’d like on my eyes.  Like the other Maybelline palettes, these are softer eyeshadows that have to be applied with less sweeping and more packing/tapping techniques.

These excel best over a more metallic base (think MAC Indianwood or Rubenesque Paint Pots), because these eyeshadows grab onto the base well and then you can get the colors to pop and look more like themselves!  I’m still, overall, impressed by the quality of the Maybelline Eyeshadow Quads, but none have been quite as good as Good with Gold thus far.

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quad Reviews…

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for soft, almost velvet-textured neutrals, you might like Copper Chic for a budget-friendly option.

Availability: Target

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Monday, March 8th, 2010

Milani Glitter Eyeliner

Milani Glitter Eyeliner ($5.99) is new for spring, and it’s available in six shades: Precious Silver, Emerald Stone, Purple Quartz, Terra Brown, Blue Topaz, and Black Rocks.

  • Black Rocks is a dark black base with silver micro-glitter.
  • Emerald Stone is an turquoise-green with silver micro-glitter.
  • Blue Topaz is a softened sky blue with silver micro-glitter.

I’m pleased to report that these pencil eyeliners are easy to use and last well on the lower lash line. I didn’t experience any budging, smudging, or migration when I wore these on my lower lash line. What I really liked about these was how smooth and soft they were when I applied the color to my lower lash line. Some glitter eyeliners have a grittier texture, which makes them less than ideal for application on such sensitive areas as the lash line.

A fun detail is on the opposite side of the pencil is a smudging sponge, but I found these didn’t smudge that well–even when first applied. That’s fine for me, since I’d rather have it never smudge than smudge a little. I also prefer using the 219 and eyeshadow to really smoke out or smudge the lash 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: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love a little bit of glitz and glam on your lash line, you might want to check out Milani’s new Glitter Eyeliners!

Availability: Milani

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Monday, March 8th, 2010


Lancome Color Design Matte Lipstick: Stylista, Plum Show, Posh Pink, Red Haute

Lancome Mix & Matte Collection: Matte Lipsticks

For a complete review, please read part one, which goes over the features of the lipstick and all that jazz! :)

  • Stylista is a softened coral-peach with full color coverage.
  • Plum Show is a darkened, slightly vampy red that applies smoothly and opaquely.
  • Posh Pink is a brightened pink with just a smidgen of coral-ness to it.
  • Red Haute is a fierce, bright tomato red that applies beautifully and has rich color payoff.

This month, Lancome launches Mix & Matte, a collection of eight matte Lancome Color Design Matte Lipstick ($22 each, available in Bronze Show, Corset, Lucky Kiss, Pink Preview, Plum Show, Posh Pink, Stylista, and Red Haute) and eight Color Design Eye Shadow Matte ($16.50, available in Chic, Daylight, Fashion Label, It List, Successorize, Sultry Mauve, Vintage, and Wear It Well). This collection is available exclusively at Macy’s and Lancome’s website.

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’ve hated the way matte lipsticks have felt in the past, you may find Lancome’s version of matte a wonderful experience!

Availability: Macy’s, lancome-usa.com

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Monday, March 8th, 2010


Lancome Color Design Matte Lipstick: Bronze Show, Corset
Lucky Kiss, Pink Preview

Lancome Mix & Matte Collection: Matte Lipsticks

This month, Lancome launches Mix & Matte, a collection of eight matte Lancome Color Design Matte Lipstick ($22 each, available in Bronze Show, Corset, Lucky Kiss, Pink Preview, Plum Show, Posh Pink, Stylista, and Red Haute) and eight Color Design Eye Shadow Matte ($16.50, available in Chic, Daylight, Fashion Label, It List, Successorize, Sultry Mauve, Vintage, and Wear It Well). This collection is available exclusively at Macy’s and Lancome’s website.  Today, I’m reviewing the more interesting part of the launch–the lipsticks.

There’s only one word to sum up how I felt about Lancome’s new matte lipsticks:  SURPRISED BEYOND BELIEF.

Pleasantly, fabulously surprised! Matte lipsticks have a reputation for being chalky, drying, and difficult to work with. Lancome has reinvented the feel and touch and play of a matte lipstick and modernized it in a way that works. I would describe the finish of these new lipsticks as more of a semi-matte or demi-matte. In natural light, they look like a more traditional matte lipstick, but in the sunlight, they have a subtle sheen.

However, regardless of how they look, they feel nothing like matte lipsticks. Nothing. At. All. (That’s where the pleasantly surprised bit comes in!)  Like it was love at first swipe.  My mouth formed an “O” as soon as I applied Bronze Show.  I was like, “What?  No way.”

These matte lipsticks are soft, creamy, and glide on smoothly. There’s no pulling or draggint to get even, opaque coverage. Every single shade in the matte lipstick line-up is consistent in its finish, feel, texture, and pigmentation. These are lightly moisturizing and have a bit of slip, which is so out-of-the-realm of matte lipsticks in my world. Lancome attributes this to “soft waxes and emollients” for “modern glide and slip” as well as a “light-diffusing gel” as a mattifying agent (as opposed to a dull powder).

Though there is some slip, I wouldn’t describe these as slippery. They’re creamy without being all over the place. The color clings to lips well so wear-time is improved (I found myself getting around five hours with these) and fades in a way that doesn’t leave a ring of color on the outskirts of your lips.

  • Bronze Show is an opaque, orange-toned brown.
  • Corset is a richly pigmented, creamy coral-pink.
  • Lucky Kiss is a smooth, softened plummed-down pink.
  • Pink Preview is a creamy, blue-based light pink.

To nitpick, I don’t love the packaging of the Color Design Lipsticks. They’re a glimmering, almost metal-looking plastic, but you can only stand them label-side down. Even though the tops of most Color Design lipsticks has a colored top (to “match” the shade itself), I prefer names (because I remember those more!). The Matte lipsticks have a clear top, though, which makes it a little more annoying when you’re trying to find the shade you want. But that’s really the only part that I didn’t like about these. The price is right, and I’m glad these aren’t Absolu Rouges (they’d be $30 then!).

Kudos, Lancome! This is probably one of the best Lancome products I’ve tried–to date–and an incredibly well-done take on the matte lipstick.

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’ve wanted to get down with matte lipsticks, but you couldn’t get down with the drying texture, give Lancome’s latest take on the matte lipstick a try.

Availability: Macy’s, lancome-usa.com

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Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Shiseido PK 224 Lipstick
Shiseido Sugar Babe PK 224 Lipstick

The Spring Season: Shiseido PK 224 “Sugar Babe” Lipstick

Shiseido PK224 Perfect Rouge Glowing Matte Lip Color ($25.00) is a softened pink with a yellow undertone. It has a very glossy look to it in the light–completely the opposite of matte, despite the product name–and is incredibly creamy. In more natural/darker lighting, it has a semi-matte appearance. It’s moisturizing and fairly long-wearing, too–I get about three to four hours of wear in this particular shade.

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →