Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection
Lipstain Markers: A Classic, Full of Flare, Modern Mocha, Point of View,
Purposefully Red, Runway Ripened, Stylesetter, Sunset, Tomorrow’s Coral

MAC Art Supplies Collection: Pro Longwear Lipstain Markers Review, Photos, Swatches

There are nine new and limited edition shades of Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00) in MAC’s Art Supplies Collection. I really, really wanted to love these–I have been wanting a good lip stain forever–a superb formula in various shades, not just one great shade (e.g. Benetint). I was most excited for the Lipstain Markers when I first read about Art Supplies, but they just didn’t work well for me.

Update @ 4/1: Reviews, photos, & swatches for ALL shades now available.  Enjoy!

Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00)

  • Full of Flare is a brightened coral with a tinge of orange-red in it.  Probably one of the loveliest shades of the five I’ve tried so far!
  • Runway Ripened is a raspberry-ish red, but it’s still fairly red.  It gives good coverage and applies evenly.
  • Modern Mocha is slightly reddened coffee brown.  It’s not the most flattering color on my skin tone, but I could see some deeper skin tones using it for a natural lip tint.
  • Point of View is a darker and redder version of Modern Mocha.  It’s a rasberry-ish brown.
  • Purposefully Red is a vibrant cherry red.  I think this and Full of Flare are the best bang-for-your-buck colors of the nine.  If you love red but hate reapplying, bleeding, etc., Purposefully Red might be worth trying.
  • Sunset is a darkened, slightly reddish, coral.  This would look nice on both cool tones and deeper skin tones, because it’s not an overtly warm coral, which isn’t always easy to find.
  • Tomorrow’s Coral is a rich red with only a smidgen of coral in it. It’s definitely redder than I anticipated–I don’t think I’d have even picked up on any coral tones to it if it wasn’t for the name!
  • Stylesetter is a brightened pink with blue undertones. Reminded me a bit of Impassioned, perhaps, but more blue-based.
  • A Classic is a muted red–significantly lighter/less bold in comparison to Tomorrow’s Coral.

The good: The color applies quite evenly from the marker tip. I didn’t experience problems getting the color to apply evenly onto my lips. The stain will also last for hours if you don’t eat or drink (sounds like lipstick/gloss, eh?) and doesn’t come off on skin (or someone else’s lips…). You can layer a lip balm on top to keep it from looking so dry without disturbing the color itself as well. I also didn’t find that the lip stain would bleed on my lips, which is always a good thing!

You can wear the lip stain as a way to add more color or deepen color of your lipglosses and lipsticks.  They seem to work and look best when layered underneath something, rather than worn alone, which is kind of how I like to wear my lip stains–just a shift in natural lip color that looks exactly natural, no heavy gloss, no sheen, no shimmer, no weight.  To use it as a layering product, it acts a lot like a lip pencil or lip liner.

The bad: If you have dry, cracked, peeling, or otherwise imperfect lips, these are going to be a pain in the behind to use. I don’t consider myself to have any lip issues, and I even made sure to exfoliate promptly before applying these, but they are brutal on my lips. They’re incredibly unforgiving and will accentuate any dryness on your lips. If you wear a lip stain, make sure to exfoliate lips and moisturize well beforehand so that lips are hydrated before applying the stain on top. You may want to layer clear lip balm or a gloss on top to keep lips from drying out during the day as well.

Like other stains, the color will also have a tendency to deposit more in lip lines, but the effect of this isn’t noticeable until after two or three hours of wear when the stain starts to fade a bit. I’m not sure if perhaps my lips are more sensitive than others, but I found the marker tip to be more abrasive than I’d expect in a lip product. It really does feel like a regular marker on the lips–it’s not like sandpaper, but it’s not like a sponge-tip lipgloss wand either. It made my lips tingle and feel a bit irritated for about twenty minutes after application.

I also found that these stains wore off significantly when drinking or eating. I actually brushed my teeth wearing one of these, and it was almost completely gone. It’s surprisingly easy to remove, but that’s not exactly why you’d opt for a stain, is it? I did several wear tests since receiving these on Friday morning, and I did wear tests with two of the three shades I currently have. I wore Tomorrow’s Coral while sleeping (approximately eight hours total), which allowed me to wear it without eating/drinking. I didn’t wake up with perfectly stained lips, but there was still a good amount of color left–too bad my lips looked like raisins left out in the sun to further dry out! I also wore Stylesetter for another eight-hour test, but during the day, to see how it would survive eating/drinking–it didn’t. I’d say about 80% of it disappeared by the time I had finished lunch.

They smell like vanilla, but they have kind of an odd taste. It’s not gross or chemical-y, but there’s something about it that’s a little unpleasant (but not wholly so). The packaging is cute and sleek, but they look 95% like CoverGirl’s Outlast Lipstains, which I thought was interesting.

My picks: None at this time. Based on lack of long-wearing power, I don’t think any of these shades are must-haves. I’ll be buying the other six shades to photograph and swatch so you can see what they look like when it launches in-store, so perhaps one of those shades will wow me enough to recommend it!

See photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection
Pearlglide Eyeliners: Black Line, Undercurrent, Industrial,
Petrol Blue, Almost Noir, Designer Purple

MAC Art Supplies Collection: Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Art Supplies Collection launches in-stores on April 1st (late April for international locations) and online March 30th. The collection includes eight new and limited edition shades of Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50), six new and limited edition shades of Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners ($14.50), and nine new and limited edition shades of Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00).

Pearlglide Eye Liner ($14.50)

  • Almost Noir is a darkened burgundy purple with a slight red tone to it and gold and burgundy sparkle.
  • Designer Purple is a bright pop of violet with deeper violet and iridescent purple shimmer.  Very pretty–most vibrant of the six!
  • Petrol Blue is a brightened navy blue with blue and light blue sparkle.  I would say it is similar to Fly-by-Blu (but I don’t own it to do a swatch comparison, sorry!), perhaps a little brighter.
  • Black Line is a dark black base with a mix of gold and green-gold shimmer. It’s almost like Old Gold Pigment and a black eyeliner had a baby. I’m ALL over this one!
  • Undercurrent is a bluish-teal base with teal shimmer and sheen. So pretty and lovely… but I’m a sucker for teal, so really, are you surprised? ‘Cause I’m not!
  • Industrial is a high-shimmered silvered blue. It’s almost like a sky blue but with flecks of silver lining (I couldn’t resist) throughout.

The good: Smooth, soft eyeliner with rich, intense shades that glide on easily and don’t smudge or budge. They’re similar in smoothness/softness as Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liners, Milani Liquif’Eye Liners, and L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners.

The bad: They’re limited edition and made of awesome, so it kind of sucks, but I’ve also never run out of an eyeliner, so I’m not (personally, at least) concerned about running out of these either. I have no other complaints about Pearlglide Eyeliners. Oh, wait — the line could use more shades? Sure, that’s “bad.” MAC continuously puts out Pearlglide liners and even new shades periodically, so they should just make these permanent already! (Much like Feline Kohl Power might as well be permanent… so much for my five backups!)

My picks: All? Black Line is the most unique of the three I’ve tried so far!

See photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection:  Greasepaint Sticks
Greasepaint Sticks: Zinc Zone, Uniformly Blue, Slick Black, Greengrease,
Dirty, Charred Mauve, Brown Now, Below Ground

MAC Art Supplies Collection: Greasepaint Sticks Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Art Supplies Collection launches in-stores on April 1st (late April for international locations) and online March 30th. The collection includes eight new and limited edition shades of Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50), six new and limited edition shades of Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners ($14.50), and nine new and limited edition shades of Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00).

Today, I’m going to review the new Greasepaint Sticks and (in a separate post) three of the six Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners. I’m going to mull over the Lipstain Markers until tomorrow, but I’ll give you my review of the three (of nine) shades I tried so far–so stay tuned! :)

Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50)

  • Below Ground is a soft bronzed chocolate brown with lighter bronze flecks. It reminded me of a lighter, less frosty version of Bronze eyeshadow.  I liked this one a lot, because I felt like it was light enough to be used in lighter looks as well as darker looks.
  • Brown, Now is a burgundy-brown. I don’t know why it’s called Brown, Now, to be honest, because it’s pretty burgundy to me.
  • Charred Mauve is a cool-toned blue-based purple with soft blue-violet flecks/sheen. It is similar to V, but it’s not the same–it’s a darker, grayer version–but the two are close enough that you don’t need both.
  • Dirty is a taupe brown with multi-colored shimmer. Kind of cool how it has all different colors of shimmer in it.
  • Greengrease is a forest green over a blackened base. It has flecks of gold, blue, and green shimmer. I found this one to be the least pigmented of the eight, though you can layer to get a more opaque look.
  • Slick Black is a matte, all-black shade. It’s rich and dark. It’s not like the original Greasepaint Stick from Style Black, because the original Greasepaint Stick is a black base with flecks of blue and violet shimmer. It reminded me a lot of Blacktrack fluidline, though.
  • Uniformly Blue is a medium-dark navy blue over a blackened blue-gray base with flecks of blue shimmer/sheen. Compared to B, it is a darker version; Uniformly Blue has a blackened base that the blue shade sits over. It’s close enough, though, that unless you’re a huge fan of Greasepaint Sticks, you only need one of the two.
  • Zinc Zone is a gunmetal silver over a lightly blackened base with silver and black shimmer/sheen. This is a fun shade, and I think it would make a nice base for a very dramatic, near-black smoky eye.

The good: I loved the variety of the shades offered in the collection. There are eight to choose from, so you aren’t stuck with just one or two like in the past. On me, I find they wear quite well–no real budging, smudging, or transferring throughout the day. They’re very smooth, soft, and easy to apply without tugging on the eyelid too much.

They’ve also improved the scent/smell of the Greasepaint Sticks this time–which is huge. My previous Greasepaint Sticks have a funky scent that’s unpleasant, but I didn’t notice any scent on these (whereas the scent on the original shades is still overwhelming!). These might have the faintest scent if you’re particularly gifted in the smelling department, but I didn’t detect anything with my sniffer.

The bad: Even though a nice dark base can be useful, I don’t necessarily need eight different variations on the theme. I’ve always found that most darker bases eat color rather than enhance it, so you’re always left with some sort of darkened smoky eye. Personally, I find that they’re a bit too thick to use as eyeliner without having to do some clean-up after application with a cotton swab.

My picks: Below Ground, Brown Now, Greengrease, Zinc Zone

Skip if you have…: Charred Mauve if you have V, Uniformly Blue if you have B, Slick Black if you have Blacktrack (Fluidline)

How to Use Greasepaint Sticks

  • As an all-over eyeshadow base — think of them as darker versions of shadesticks
  • As a smudged out eyeliner — make sure to sharpen them (sharpener is found on the opposite end) so you don’t get too thick of a line
  • As a defined crease — draw it into the crease and then smudge with a brush and/or eyeshadow

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Monday, March 29th, 2010

shu uemura Says Goodbye to U.S.!

It’s sad to see such a major brand say goodbye to us beauty addicts in the U.S., but shu uemura will be discontinuing its operations in the U.S., though there has been no set exit date in place yet.   According to the information released in Tuesday’s issue of WWD, you should still be able to purchase your favorite shu products through their website.

L’Oreal announced on Monday that they would be closing shu uemura’s operations in the U.S.  The brand is currently available in eighteen countries, and operations are only closing in the U.S.  According to WWD, shu does about 80% of its business in Asia, so it’s not a total surprise to see them exit the U.S.  WWD also states that, “For the future, American consumers will be able to purchase the products online at shuuemura.com.” WWD

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Urban Decay Summer of Love Nail Kit

Summer of Nails with Urban Decay

Urban Decay Summer of Love Nail Kit ($28.00) includes seven miniature-sized bottles of nail polish in summery shades. Each bottle contains 5ml/0.17 fl. oz. of product in it.

  • Shine On is a brightened bronze with gilded bronze shimmer. You can see a few brush strokes in this one, but they’re not too bad. I found the formula on this one to be a little goop-y but watery. You can’t rush this one — you have to let it dry quite a bit between coats. I found three were necessary for overall smoothness and color.
  • Woodstock is a bright neon pink. Like most neons, it’ll dry on the matte side, but a shiny top coat like Seche Vite will give it a glossy look. This went opaque in two coats, and it was a fuss-free formula.
  • Love Light is a sheer champagne shimmer. Even with three coats, you’ll still see the nail beneath it, but there’s plenty of shimmer here. The formula is sheer but easy to work with.
  • Hashbury is a magenta-fuchsia purple. It has a lot of red in it, and in the light, it looks much lighter than it does in the dark (where it looks more like an eggplant-y purple). Compared to the other two shimmery/metallic shades like Shine On and Aquarius, this one was easy to use and was just a bit on the runny side but not difficult to work with.
  • Magic Bus is a darkened neon orange. It’s like construction cone orange to me. Like Woodstock, it has a very smooth, easy to use formula that applies opaque in two coats.
  • Aquarius is a metallic-y aqua blue with teal sheen/shimmer. This one is both a pain to photograph and apply. It applies sheerly, so you need at least three coats for an opaque look. The problem with the formula is that it’s both goop-y and watery — it’s difficult to get enough for a thin coat, because if you do a medium-thick or thick coat, you’ll end up with goop-y looking nails (see my index finger in the swatch) that looks terrible. This was the problem child of the bunch for sure. Like Shine On, make sure you give each coat time to dry.
  • Psychedelic Sister is a neon coral-red. Again, like the other two neons (Woodstock and Magic Bus) in this kit, Psychedelic Sister applies smoothly and evenly without any work.

Three of the seven shades have an excellent formula–Woodstock, Magic Bus, and Psychedelic Sister–while three aren’t so hot–Shine On, Hashbury, and Aquarius. Love Light was neither excellent nor problematic; it just was, you know? Shine On and Hashbury weren’t too bad, but the formulas had a bit of a goop-y yet watery feel to them. Aquarius had this issue, but it also showed brush strokes the most and required nearly four coats to look right. With my larger hands, I found the tiny bottles harder to work with (I felt like I had meathooks!), but I was able to get used to that pretty quickly so it wasn’t a huge issue.

I like that it comes in a cute little bag that you can reuse later on for whatever makeup essentials you might want to put in it. It’ll fit your 24/7 Eyeliners, a few eyeshadows, glosses, and a blush. It’s not huge, but it has enough space for an overnight adventure.

If it was just the neons, these would be an A! Unfortunately, the metallic shades are harder to work with, and between Shine On and Aquarius, they have more of a low-B/mid-C formula, respectively, to me.  The kit, in total, is thus somewhere in between–just to clarify how everything came together.  I didn’t feel that comfortable rating it as a whole, just because some were great, some weren’t so great!

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love trying lots of shades at once, this nail kit is a great way to grab some metallics and neons without breaking the bank. If you don’t mind a little patience, the metallics are workable, while the neons apply like a dream.

Availability: UrbanDecay.com on March 30th

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Monday, March 29th, 2010

Urban Decay Summer 2010

Urban Decay Summer 2010 Collection

Summer of Love Eyeshadow Palette ($29.00)

Includes Chopper, Maui Wowie, Smog, and Flash Eyeshadows, plus Bourbon 24/7 Eye Pencil and travel-sized Sin Eyeshadow Primer Potion. Available at Sephora, ULTA and Macy’s. Or online at sephora.com, ulta.com, macys.com, beauty.com and urbandecay.com.

Summer of Love Nail Kit ($28.00)

7 shades of miniature-sized nail polish shades. Available exclusively at Macy’s, macys.com and urbandecay.com.

Urban Defense Tinted Moisturizer ($32.00)

Features light moisture, just enough color coverage, and SPF 20. With just the right amount of tint, light-diffusing pigments diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, providing a youthful finish. The formula is buildable and highly breathable, so reapply as needed to get the coverage you desire. Our custom multi-mineral complex contains magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, lysine, and Vitamins A & E to nourish your skin. Anti-oxidants ginseng root extract and ginkgo biloba leaf extract help protect against free radical damage … like a big bodyguard for your skin. Available at Sephora, ULTA, and Macy’s. Or online at sephora.com, ulta.com, macys.com, beauty.com and urbandecay.com.

  • Halo
  • Bodyguard
  • Bulletproof
  • Forcefield

Guardian Angel Spray Moisturizer with SPF 8 ($26.00)

This superfine mist can actually replace your existing moisturizer. Time release technology ensures that Guardian Angel continues to hydrate over a 24-hour period… probably longer than you actually need it! How does it work? The formula is hygroscopic, meaning it actually attracts and binds water to itself. Even with SPF 8, Guardian Angel feels light as air – no heavy moisturizer feeling. Worn under makeup, it hydrates evenly and creates a perfect base for foundation, allowing for smoother makeup application after misting. The lightweight formula is dermatologist tested, allergy tested, great for sensitive skin, oil-free, paraben-free, and vegan. Reduces the powdery makeup look you can sometimes get from foundation, and gives skin a healthy glow.

Makeup Setting Sprays ($29.00)

What prompted this marriage in makeup-saving heaven? Urban Decay and Skindinavia share a vision: long-lasting makeup. Urban Decay owns the market on pre-makeup prep with our Primer Potion franchise, while Skindinavia has developed an exciting lineup of post-makeup products. We were wowed by their technological expertise and clinical testing. Sure, there are other setting sprays on the market, but Skindinavia pumps their products full of innovative, super-effective ingredients. We worked with the Skindinavia team to identify the proprietary ingredients that best fit the needs of our customers. Together, we came up with three formulations that address shine, dryness and the need for all-night wear (of course). All Nighter is available at Sephora, ULTA and Macy’s. Or, online at sephora.com, ulta.com, beauty.com, macys.com and urbandecay. com. Dew Me and DeSlick are available exclusively at Macy’s, macys.com and urbandecay.com

  • All Nighter Facebook-ready makeup, all night (or day) long–great for all skin types
  • Dew Me Cooling effects prevent makeup meltdown; designed for dry/combination skin and those in hot and humid climates
  • De Slick Keeps oil under control so makeup stays perfect all day; great for oily/combination/acne-prone skin

De-Slick in a Tube ($28.00)

Forever banish a greasy t-zone (or any zone for that matter) with our lightweight gel, developed to keep matte under hot studio lights or in muggy heat. Apply De-Slick after your moisturizer, then wait about 30 seconds to apply foundation. This addicting formula provides unbelievable oil control and absorbing action, is super easy to use, and is miraculous for midday touch-ups. Available at Sephora, ULTA and Macy’s. Or online at
sephora.com, ulta.com, macys.com, beauty.com and urbandecay.com.

Pocket Rocket Lip Gloss ($19.00)

Available at Sephora, ULTA and Macy’s. Or online at sephora.com, ulta.com, macys.com, beauty.com and urbandecay.com.

  • Max Meet surfer Max, uber sweet and bashful; he doesn’t mind getting salty or wet, and this pinky nude gloss is ideal for sunset surf sessions.
  • Colin Fireman Colin really got our temperatures blazin’ with his bravado, and we salute his daring service with a punchy orange-red shade.

Availability: March 30th @ UrbanDecay.com

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