Monday, December 13th, 2010


Chantecaille Spring 2011 Collection

Sea turtles define all that is ancient and magical about our blue planet and yet they are endangered and struggling for survival, their numbers severely reduced from historical levels. Persistent over-exploitation, especially of adult females on nesting beaches, and the widespread collection of eggs are largely responsible for the depleted status of Caribbean species. In addition to this harvesting, the turtles are accidentally captured in active or abandoned fishing gear, resulting in deaths to tens of thousands of turtles annually. Coral reef and seagrass degradation, oil spills, chemical waste, persistent plastic and other marine debris, high density coastal development, and an increase in ocean-based tourism have damaged or eliminated nesting beaches and feeding areas.

Sea turtles once shared the Earth with the dinosaurs, and they have quietly watched the theater of evolution for eons. Among the most migratory of all creatures, they touch the hearts and economies of nearly 100 nations. They have been in the midst of danger for some time, and unfortunately many have been lost due to our lack of action. Today, Chantecaille is honoring the impressive beauty and stature of these gentle giants. Chantecaille continues its mission to support marine wildlife.

Chantecaille is partnering with Dr. Karen Eckert of WIDECAST, who is focused on saving sea turtles in the waters of the Caribbean Sea, including Caribbean island nations and in Central and South America. WIDECAST, the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (www.widecast.org), is comprised of a network of experts resident in more than 40 Caribbean nations and territories, all working together to realize a future where sea turtles and human communities can live together in balance. Please join us in supporting the conservation efforts of this unique organization.

Sea Turtle Palette ($79.00) (Limited Edition)

This limited edition palette, inspired by the beauty of green sea turtles and their warm, sandy nesting grounds, reflects the fluid ease, billowy freedom and insouciant vintage Parisian chic of fashion. Three Eye Shades and one Cheek Shade reflect the golden warmth of new spring neutrals complimented by an on trend deep sea green eye defining shade. Composed of formulas with the finest pearl and pigment particles to create a natural, satin, sheer veil on the skin with a glowing effect. Eye shades never travel or crease. For the complete Spring look, follow with one of our new long lasting, full color Hydra Chic shades. With the purchase of this refillable palette, 5% of proceeds will help WIDECAST ensure the survival of sea turtles.

New Hydra Chic Shades ($30.00)

To complete this clean, graceful and sophisticated look, Chantecaille created three new Hydra Chic shades. Hydra Chic is a modern full-impact lipstick that is hydrating and luminous with six hours of great color wear. Natural extracts of papaya and orchid help to soften lips and provide anti-oxidant and anti-aging protection. Raist, a natural sugar derivative, provides immediate and comforting hydration.

  • Aster A bright vibrant floral pink shade. Not too cool and not too warm, this pink emphasizes and brightens lips.
  • Canna A soft peach shade warms the face.
  • Willow Impart the sophisticated look of the neutral lip with this deep beige shade.

Availability: Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Frédéric Fekkai Salons, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, select Saks Fifth Avenue locations, Space NK, and online at www.chantecaille.com for Spring 2011

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Monday, December 13th, 2010

Kat Von D Love & Fury Eyeshadow Palette
Kat Von D Love & Fury Eyeshadow Palette

Get Love & Fury with Kat Von D

Kat Von D Love & Fury (Adora) Eyeshadow Palette ($34.00 for 0.40 oz.) is a new and limited edition eyeshadow palette for the holidays that includes eight eyeshadows. There are five powder eyeshadows and three cream eyeshadows.

  • Albino is a sheer, shimmering silver-toned white.
  • Holy Bible is a bright blue-toned white with a metallic sheen.
  • Slayer is a bright metallic silver. This is a cream shadow, and it was a little on the drier side.
  • Glock is a darkened gray with a silver sheen.
  • Crucifix is a deep, dark black. It’s very creamy and smooth–it works well as an eyeliner in particular. This is a cream shadow.
  • Bloodletting is a burgundy red with purple flecks of shimmer. It is a little drier, like Slayer, but less so. This is a cream shadow.
  • Ace of Spades is a muted, gray-purple with soft violet flecksof shimmer. Just a touch sheer.
  • Oddfellow is a light gray-black with blue glitter flecks. This one was sheer and a little chalky for me.

The color scheme is very dark, foreboding, and it generally fits with the vibe I get from Kat Von D’s makeup line and the aesthetics of the range. If you love smokier looks, this is a palette with your name on it! It has four variations of silver/gray and then four dark, smoky shades.

I think the palette is decent, but I had a few issues with pigmentation on three of the powder eyeshadows (Albino, Ace of Spades, and Oddfellow). Oddfellow was the least pigmented and even looked it when swatched. It pops more when layered over the black base of Crucifix, but it’s hard to use on its own. Slayer is drier and the shimmer in the cream base makes it difficult to blend out evenly. Ace of Spades was a touch sheer while Abino was rather sheer. It’s more like a shade you’d dust over another shade because of the sheerness.

I like the concept more than the execution, just because for $38, there really shouldn’t be any sheer shades in it. I do, however, like that these are–essentially–the equivalent to eight full-sized eyeshadows, so you are getting plenty of bang for your buck. There are included brushes with the palette, but I don’t find them useful.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I would probably pass unless you really love all of the shades in this palette and don’t mind using darker bases to amp up some of the sheerer shades.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Monday, December 13th, 2010

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils
Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Pencils: Illegal, Midnight Cowboy

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Lip Pencils

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is releasing two new shades for spring: Illegal (barely-there rosy nude) and Midnight Cowboy (deep nude). The information I have indicates that these will retail for $18, but the other Lip Pencils are currently available for $17, which makes me think this is a price increase going forward starting in January.

  • Illegal is a medium-dark rosy brown. It’s nude, but it’s not really what I think of nude (which tends to be a paler beige). It is, however, a shade that will flatter most natural lip colors, especially those with some pink.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a medium-dark brown with a hint of mauve. Similar, this is a good shade for an allover lip color base. It would also work to darker your favorite beige lipstick or neutralize some of your other ones.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencils are really creamy, glide on like a dream, and wear well. They are some of the more comfortable lip pencils to use, because they don’t tug at all.

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 are looking for a nice lip liner that will neutralize or even out your natural lip color, I think both of these will work nicely.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 at urbandecay.com, February 2011 at Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, and ULTA

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Monday, December 13th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #48 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #48 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Make Up For Ever #48 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

Make Up For Ever #44 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a darkened red with a sheer-opaque look–it doesn’t look heavy or solid but it still delivers rather full-coverage color.   It has a creamy texture with a slightly glossy finish.  This is one of the creamier shades I’ve tried from Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artist line-up, actually!  It wears really well, too–a nice six hours.  Make Up For Ever’s Rouge Artists are scent- and taste-free.

Is this the right red for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through December 2010.

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Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Brushes
Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Brushes:  Powder, Blush, Blending, Eyeshading, Lip

Are Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Brushes Worth It?

Dolce & Gabbana Makeup Brushes debuted earlier this year, and despite having much luck with Dolce & Gabbana’s Makeup Line… I’m just not loving their makeup brushes. I actually find them, on the whole, a little scratchy. They are just nowhere near as soft as I expect from quality makeup brushes.

I know that a lot of readers thought the packaging looked very cheap with the gold plating and black handle, but the handles are a very sleek, matte black, which I think offsets the shiny gold plating in a way that’s not quite as “cheap” looking as anticipated. The ferrules also seem tightly in place, and I had very little bristle fall out, even on first use.  All of the brushes are made out of natural hair (goat and sable).

  • The Powder Brush ($55.00) is a large, dome-shaped brush with nice fullness, but it is a little scratchy. It’s pretty soft, but sometimes I find it less than pleasant on the skin.  It is luxuriously full and dense, though.
  • The Retractable Lip Brush ($29.00) is a small, thin brush that is thick and slightly tapered at the end. It is thicker than the average lip brush, and it’s not quite as wide. I like the firmness it has, and I like that it is retractable with a case, so it can be stored easily in a purse.
  • The Blush Brush ($48.00) is a medium-sized, tapered brush with a subtle dome shape. It works well for applying just the right amount of blush on cheeks as well as highlighting the cheek bones. I found it softer than the Powder Brush but not as soft as I would expect.
  • The Eyeshading Brush ($30.00) is a small, densely-packed dome-shaped eye brush. It is extremely similar to MAC’s 239, but this version seems an itsy bit smaller and firmer. I really liked the shape itself, but it, too, felt a little scratchy when used to blend.
  • The Blending Brush ($32.00) is a fluffy, slightly tapered brush designed for blending eyeshadows. I don’t think I have small eyes necessarily, but I found this brush too big to be all that useful. It may work better if you have larger eyes.

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

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I do not recommend purchasing these without having tested them in-person. They are not the worst brushes I have tried, and they really aren’t bad–they are decent–but there are better brands (at this price point or lower) out there. If you want to try Dolce & Gabbana, I recommend trying one of their blushes or lipsticks instead!

AVAILABILITY: Saks

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Sunday, December 12th, 2010

Bare Escentuals Buxom Do You Believe in Love at First Sight? Eyeliner Set
Buxom Do You Believe in Love at First Sight? Eyeliner Set

Love at First Sight Doesn’t Last

Buxom Do You Believe in Love at First Sight? Six Mini Eyeliners Set ($28.00 for 6 x 0.01 oz.) includes these shades: No. 1 (bright turquoise), No. 2(violet purple), No. 3 (pearl white), No. 4 (black), No. 5 (espresso), and No. 6 (gold with silver micro glitter).

  • No. 1 is a medium blue with a little aqua lean.
  • No. 2 is a brightened violet with satin sheen.
  • No. 3 is a frosted warm-toned white.
  • No. 4 is a medium-dark black.
  • No. 5 is a medium-dark brown with warm undertones.
  • No. 6 is a yellow gold with silver glitter.

These eyeliners look lovely when swatched, but they do not perform half as well on the eyes. They are drier and have a tendency to tug on the lash line, rather than glide-on and apply smooth, solid color. They pull and tug, which results in a faded, patchy look–not at all sexy! I don’t own any of Buxom’s Insider Eyeliners (which are their twist-up liners), but I did test them out in-store and found these to be incredibly different in formula. If you were hoping that this set was comparable, it’s definitely not.

I wasn’t able to achieve the pigmented, vibrant color on the lash line that I was able to get on my arm. The wear seemed to last, but since it already looked a bit patchy, it was hard to tell what faded. I wouldn’t say that wear is where this product goes wrong–it’s really the lack of creaminess or softness that would help the product glide on the lash line smoothly.

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

  • Product: 19/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Skip these for a creamier, softer formula that glides onto the lash line rather than tugs at it.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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