Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Urban Decay Feminine Palette
Feminine Palette: Stray Dog, SWF, Midnight Cowboy, Aquarius, Darkhorse, Ecstacy

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Feminine Palette

Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette ($34.00 for 0.34 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Stray Dog (cool medium brown), SWF (light cotton candy pink with silver micro-glitter), Midnight Cowboy (pink champagne with lots of silver glitter), Aquarius (aqua green with shimmer), Darkhorse (bronze patina), and Ecstacy (bright purple with slight pink tint). Also included is Zero 24/7 Liner (black) and Eden primer potion (nude).

  • Stray Dog is a cool-toned, taupe-tinged dark brown with a frost finish. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually; it has also been in the Foreshadow palette.
  • SWF is a pale cotton candy pink with a bright metallic-frost sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a gilded champagne bronze with flecks of champagne glitter. It has less fall out than Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, but it still has plenty of it to make one frustrated. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually; it was also in the Cowboy Junkie set.
  • Aquarius is a pale aqua green teal with a silver metallic sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually.
  • Darkhorse is a darkened deep chocolate brown with flecks of bronze. This shade was in the Naked palette and is not available individually.
  • Ecstacy is a brightened, medium cool-toned violet purple with a soft frost finish. This shade is part of the permanent range and available individually; it was also in the Book of Shadows, Vol. 2. By the by, marginally annoyed that ecstasy is misspelled–imagine it was deliberate but find it annoying nonetheless! It is spelled correctly in the actual BoS Vol. 2, though…

my thoughts on the formula: Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are rich in pigment, apply evenly, and feel like butter. Generally speaking, their formula is excellent. I will warn and caution you against their shades with “glitter” or “sparkle” in the finish–some of these can be prone to fall out (for example, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again).

In terms of value, the palette includes 0.18 oz. of eyeshadow ($61.20 value), 0.03 oz. of eyeliner ($12.75 value), and 0.13 fl. oz. of primer potion ($6.88 value). The total value of the palette is $80.83, while the retail price is $34.

I think sometimes we lose sight of what the beauty industry and market are like as a whole — not every person purchases every palette or even much at all.  Not everyone enters at the same time, so even though you may find yourself owning many of the shades, it doesn’t make it a terrible product – Urban Decay does some really excellent shades that you can get year round, but these sure make those shades more accessible and affordable to people who don’t have a lot of Urban Decay or have always wanted to try it.  It would be great to see new shades, of course, but I recognize what value they may hold to others.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: In this palette, only Midnight Cowboy is the finicky shade, while five of the six are lovely.  Only Darkhorse is not available individually, but at least a couple shades here haven’t been in half a dozen palettes previously.  As long as you love at least two shades (and like one or two others), then it works out to be a deal, since two eyeshadows will run you $34 if purchased individually.

where to buy: Urban Decay

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011


Dangerous Palette: Haight, Mildew, Virgin, Oil Slick, Rockstar, Gunmetal

Urban Decay Dangerous, Feminine, & Fun Palettes: Sneak Peek

Just launched, Urban Decay has three new palettes for spring.  Each features six shades of eyeshadow and a medium-sized 24/7 Liner, plus a miniature-sized primer potion.  I’ll have full reviews up tomorrow, but I wanted to at least get a quick palette photo and swatches.  Each palette retails for $34.

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Guerlain Orange Euphorique Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Orange Euphorique Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Spring 2011: Orange Euphorique

Guerlain Orange Euphorique (45) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a muted tangerine orange with a little pinkiness in it, which is probably what keeps it from venturing into neon territory. It has soft, pale gold micro-shimmer and a glossy finish. Not quite opaque but nearly there (you can see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through).

my thoughts on the formula: Long-time readers will know that Guerlain’s Rouge G formula is one of my absolute favorite lipsticks, so I always look forward to new and seasonal shade releases. Rouge G colors have certain nuances to them just seem to make them more flattering when worn. The formula is moisturizing, long-wearing (four to six hours), and comfortable to wear–never heavy but generally opaque in color.

The one thing I noticed about these is though the weight feels the same (we actually whipped out the scale, it was a 0.06 oz. lighter), the magnet enclosure seemed slightly weaker. If you throw ‘em around, the black lacquered case’s lid will fall off easier than the metal one (which also slips off if you put it through the tests we did, haha). I carried one in my purse all day, though, and it was fine.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: I know that cooler skin tones find orange lipstick more difficult to wear, as it is such a naturally warm color, but for once, here is an orange that just may suit cooler skin tones even better than warmer ones.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Hourglass Nectar Extreme Sheen Lipgloss
Hourglass Nectar Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Nectar Extreme Sheen Lipgloss

Hourglass Nectar Extreme Sheen Lipgloss ($28.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brightened coral with subtle pink undertones. It applies nearly opaque, but it doesn’t apply as evenly as I’d like–close but there are still a few uneven areas. It has a high gloss finish with lots of shine and gives lips a rather juicy look from the creamy finish.

my thoughts on the formula: It is such a rich, luxurious gloss that applies beautifully and evenly while delivering opaque color with very little product. The formula is thick without being goopy, non-sticky, and very moisturizing. I get three to four hours of wear. There is a light, sweet scent–reminiscent of perhaps creme brulee–that doesn’t feel overwhelming nor smell synthetic.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Unfortunately for Nectar, Siren was the first Extreme Sheen I tried and such a dazzling shade at that, I find it hard to be as enthusiastic about Nectar as I was over Siren. Personal preferences and all that, you know!  If this applied more evenly, it would have been rated higher.

where to buy: Hourglass

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011


Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soleil

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soleil for Summer 2011

This summer, let Estée Lauder transport you to the Mediterranean with the latest Bronze Goddess collection of seductive makeup. Inspired by the hues and atmosphere of luxurious resorts on the Rivieria, the collection invites you to sit poolside and take in the cool waters, warm sand beaches and sun’s luminous rays. Experience the casual luxury and seductive spirit of a Goddess with shades that sparkle, shimmer and shine for eyes, lips and nails, while face and décolletage are transformed into golden, glowing perfection.

Bronze Goddess Island Oasis Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00) (Limited Edition)
The eyeshadows’ delicate iridescent pigments allure with radiance and luminosity in warm sand shades of copper, bronze, gold and coral balanced by cool surf hues of turquoise, seashell pink, silver and seaweed.

ShadowStick Duo ($20.00)

  • Gold Bronze
  • Pink Teal

Pure Color Gloss ($20.00)

  • Blazing Coral Sparkle
  • Plum Divine Shimmer
  • Sun Burst Sparkle (Limited Edition)

Pure Color Crystal Lipstick ($24.00)

  • Tiramisu

Bronze Goddess Sea Star Bronzing Blush ($34.00) (Limited Edition)

Bronze Goddess Sea Star Bronzing Blush is a beautifully-crafted, feather-light illuminating blush that enhances any skin’s bronzed complexion with a perfectly warm sun-kissed glow. Featuring an artful starfish resting on a shimmering sand-inspired background, the silky, soft powder bronzing blush gives skin a naturally radiant, smooth, sun-kissed finish. Color-true and with buildable coverage, this unique bronzing blush enhances your natural cheek color with an added touch more summer radiance with every stroke. Easy to apply and blend, the blush can be worn alone, or over any Bronze Goddess bronzer and will not streak or settle into pores.

Bronze Goddess Bronzer ($30.00)

  • Soft Matte Bronzer
  • Soft shimmer Bronzer
  • Soft Duo Bronzer (Amber Bronze Medium/Amber Bronze Rich)

Bronze Goddess Luminous Liquid Bronzer ($28.50) (Limited Edition)

Pure Color Nail Lacquer ($19.00)

  • Shimmering Bronze (Limited Edition)

Bronze Goddess Soleil Fragrance ($55.00) (Limited Edition)

Bronze Goddess Soleil’s opening reveals a dawn-like freshness of Sicilian citron, Calabrese bergamot and sweet tangerine blended with Provençal lavender flowers and lemon tree petitgrain. A cascade of solar flowers follows: Mediterranean pittosporum, neroli Tunisia, Moroccan orange blossom, Indian sambac, grapefruit tree blossoms and pink lily nectar. Finally, the background of the fragrance warms with enveloping blonde woods, iris notes, ambrette seed and crystalline musks.

Bronze Goddess Fragrance ($55.00) (Limited Edition)

Availability: March 2011

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Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Essie Winter 2010 Collection
Essie Nail Lacquer: Going Incognito, Hot Coco, Luxedo

Essie Winter 2010 Collection

Though on the way out, here are long overdue swatches for Essie’s winter collection, which includes: Going Incognito (deep emerald green), Hot Coco (tawny sepia), Luxedo (deepest plum), Masquerade Belle (black ruby), Silken Cord (risque red), and Smokin’ Hot (stone-cold fox gray). Each bottle retails at $8 a pop, and I spotted them online still at Apothica.

  • Going Incognito is a deep emerald green cream–almost a blue-tinged green (not quite into teal territory). It’s opaque in two coats. ORLY Enchanted Forest is the closest dupe I can think of, though it is greener (less blue).
  • Hot Coco is a pink-tinged mid-tone taupe cream. I can totally see the sepia in this. If you wanted to get into nude nails but found nudes too pale and washed you out, this is a nice take on it. Two coats. It seems a little similar to China Glaze Heirloom Organza.
  • Luxedo is a blackened plum cream. It’s very inky and barely stays purple in low light conditions as it turns nearly black. It’s nearly opaque in one coat, though I did two here. Itl ooks a lot like Essie’s Velvet Voyeur (from fall).
  • Masquerade Belle is a deep, velvety red-brown cream. Two coats. It’s darker and redder then MAC Dance All Night.
  • Silken Cord is a bright coral-red cream. It’s a surprisingly bright shade for winter–feels like something for a summer launch. I used two coats. It’s a lighter version of Zoya’s Maura.
  • Smokin’ Hot is a purpled gray cream. I used two coats, though I noticed a touch of drag with this one. The base color is reminiscent of Chanel’s Paradoxal. It is a darker version of Essie’s Merino Cool (from fall).

my thoughts on the formula: The formula was really nice on these; not too thin, not too thick, and the majority were pigmented enough to use just two coats of polish. The only shade I had any issues with was Smokin’ Hot, wihch seemed a little thin in places.

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: 4/5

final thoughts: This collection actually looks similar to Essie’s fall collection, but the shades are different, some more so than others.  The formula was easy to work with, and Essie really does do creams well, so they are in their element with these six.

where to buy: Apothica

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