Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary 24/7 Eyeliner Set
Urban Decay 15th Anniversary 24/7 Eyeliner Set

Sneak Peek: Urban Decay 15th Anniversary 24/7 Eyeliner Set

In 2011, Urban Decay will turn 15 years, and to celebrate, they are releasing a set of 15 24/7 Eyeliners. The 15th Anniversary 24/7 Eyeliner Set ($92.00 for 0.04 oz. x 15) includes full-sized eyeliners in:

Stray Dog (shimmering brown taupe), Corrupt (dark metallic brown with silver glitter), Bourbon (medium brown with gold sparkle), Midnight Cowboy (beige with gold sparkle), Baked (bold bronze), Stash (dark olive with gold sparkle), Mildew (deep mossy green), Perversion (blackest carbon black), Electric (bright aquamarine blue), Binge (deep metallic navy blue), Ransom (bright iridescent purple), Asphyxia (pinky iridescent purple), Rockstar (darkest eggplant), Zero (zealous black), and Uzi (gunmetal grey with sparkle).

All of the eyeliners included in the set are full-sized (0.04 oz. each), and a full-sized eyeliner retails for $17, which means you are getting $255 worth of eyeliner for $92, plus Urban Decay’s Grind House (their sharpener, retails for $9), which is actually my favorite sharpener–use it for all brands myself.

It is a great set for someone who is new to Urban Decay or who hasn’t yet stocked up on their 24/7 Eyeliners, because there are a lot of permanent inclusions and overlap with previous holiday mini-sets. This holiday’s Jackpot 24/7 Eyeliner Set included seven that overlapped (Stash, Mildew, Electric, Binge, Ransom, Rockstar, and Zero), while last year’s Super Stash Eyeliner Set included six that overlapped (Stash, Rockstar, Ransom, Binge, Corrupt, Zero).

The good news? There are six shades not currently available permanently, but if they were–all six would set you back $102 (still more than the whole set).

  • Stray Dog is a mushroom brown–definitely taupe. This is a new shade exclusive to the set.
  • Corrupt is a dark chocolate brown with warm amber undertones. This is a new shade exclusive to the set (well, that’s what the press release says, but it was included in 2009’s Super Stash mini-set).
  • Bourbon is a medium-dark warmed-up brown. This is a permanent shade.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a shimmering champagne peach with a subtle metallic sheen. This was my second favorite from the set–this is totally a shade that is lacking in the 24/7 range. It is a great shade to brighten up eyes. This is a new shade exclusive to the set.
  • Baked is a frosted coppery bronze. This is a permanent shade.
  • Stash is an antique gold with a slight metallic sheen. This looks amazing with green eyes. This is a permanent shade.
  • Mildew is a forest green with subtle gold shimmer. This is a permanent shade.
  • Perversion is a rich, deep dark black with a near matte finish. It is gorgeous! MAC Feline Kohl Power lovers will fall in love with this shade. It would be a shame if Urban Decay didn’t make this permanent. This is a new shade exclusive to the set.
  • Electric is a bright, neon cyan blue with subtle shimmer-sheen. This is a permanent shade.
  • Binge is a navy blue with a hint of violet with soft blue micro-shimmer. This is a permanent shade.
  • Ransom is a fuchsia-tinged violet with soft sheen. This is a permanent shade.
  • Asphyxia is a fuchsia base with fuchsia-violet shimmer and sheen. It was surprisingly sheer–it did not have the color pay off of the average 24/7 Liner. This is a new shade exclusive to the set.
  • Rockstar is a rich eggplant with a slight metallic sheen. This is a permanent shade.
  • Zero is black. It’s not too dark, not too light, just black. This is a permanent shade.
  • Uzi is a gunmetal silver with teal-green and silver micro-shimmer. It’s not quite as dark as Gunmetal, but they do not seem world’s apart. This is a new shade exclusive to the set.

Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners are some of my favorite pencils to use. I love the color variety, but more importantly, they wear well and long on me. They don’t smudge or budge, fade or migrate. The formula is kind to eyes, as they are soft and glide effortlessly across the lash line–no drag here.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It might be something to put on a holiday IOU list (since it won’t be out until January) or else save holiday gift cards and checks towards–if you are a fan of the 24/7 Liners. If you’re not sure about it, you may want to check out an individual shade before committing $92 to the cause. Long-time Urban Decay fans may find they have a lot of the shades featured in the kit (and maybe duplicates or even triplicates thereof).

AVAILABILITY: Urban Decay, Sephora, Ulta, Macy’s – January 2011

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Monday, November 29th, 2010

MAC False Lashes Mascara
MAC False Lashes Mascara

New MAC Mascara:  False Lashes

MAC False Lashes Mascara ($18.00 for 0.28 oz.) is the newest mascara to MAC’s line-up, which will be added to the permanent range in regular black packaging on December 26th. It was, however, released in limited edition Marcel Wanders packaging with the MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection launched on the 24th. The price is the same either way (that was a surprise!), and it is available in just one shade: False Black (black).

From MAC: “False Lashes Mascara adds dramatic volume, the rich, creamy, volumizing formula magnifies and multiplies the look of each lash, creating dramatically thick, long, curled, exaggerated lashes. The lush brush applies a deluxe dose of heavy pigment to the lashes and works in combination with the product to create incredible volume, length and density. The pigments in the formula are treated to allow for maximum colour payoff that remains true, deep, uniform and wears all day long. It’s flake- and smudge-resistant, ophthamologist-tested and safe for contact-wearers.”

Mascara is always an interesting product to review, because every description reads like a miracle product, so it can be difficult to determine what exactly what one should (reasonably) expect it to do. False Lashes is a volumizing mascara first, but it should also boast a dramatic result, from thicker, longer, more curled lashes. “Heavy pigment” leads me to expect a very rich black, dense and heavy in its darkness.

False Lashes excels in delivering longer lashes that are sky-high with a natural lift (all images are without aid of an eyelash curler). It’s a solid black mascara, though I didn’t think it was the deepest, darkest black I’ve experienced (Plushlash and Zoomlash seem darker to me). I did not notice a significant increase in volume; the results I achieved were really dominated by the length and curling power of the formula. There is certainly a volume increase from the standpoint of just thicker, longer, generally improved lashes overall, but my lashes do not appear much fuller.

The formula did not clump easily; you really had to wait for it to dry (20-30 seconds drying time) and be on the third or fourth full coat to find yourself is spidery territory. I was easily able to apply two full coats back-to-back without clumping issues. It dries pretty quickly but not too fast–you do have time to work it from base to tip and go back for more if necessary. When it dried, my lashes didn’t feel dried out or crunchy–they were still pretty soft and felt lightweight. After wearing this mascara for a few days in twelve-hour bursts, I did not have any fall out, smudging, or budging. It came off easily with makeup remover, but it lasted all day and never gave me raccoon eyes.

The brush was fairly large, so if you have smaller eyes, it may be a concern, and it may be unwieldy to use on lower lashes in particular.  It looks much like a normal mascara wand, and it has a slightly more tapered tip.

Overall, it’s a nice mascara, but I’m not sure it’ll make it into my regular rotation of mascaras. It does length amazingly, so it may work wonders on those with shorter lashes, and it does give nice lift on its own (and it holds up well throughout the day), too. If you have naturally long lashes, though, I think this may be too much lengthening power to work well for you.  It is a bit pricey for a MAC mascara, though–unlike Haute & Naughty (which was also $18), which had the crazy packaging, I’m not sure why this merits the $18 price tag.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It lengthens lashes quite dramatically with some lift, so for shorter, straighter lashes, it might be a worthwhile mascara.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, November 29th, 2010

Guerlain Grenade Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Grenade Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Rouge G Lipstick: Grenade

Guerlain Grenade (65) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a brightened raspberry pink with soft pink micro-shimmer and a glossy sheen. True to the Rouge G formula, the color itself is opaque without being heavy. With such a rosy hue, it works well with cooler skin tones, but since it doesn’t have strong blue undertones, it flatters warmer skin tones, too. It applies evenly and smoothly, with rich color delivered in a single pass.

The first dupe I could think of was Dior Raspberry Serum de Rouge, which is more muted and less pink, but I think it may be close enough for those wanting a more palatable price tag.  Chanel Rouge Orage Rouge Coco is also similar but pulls almost coral in comparison.

Rouge Gs are pricey, mostly due to the fancy packaging, which includes a heavy metal case, with a top that slides off and flips open to reveal a mirror. Though I’ve heard about refills “coming soon,” I’ve yet to see them come through (it would be nice!). The lipstick formula is one of my favorites–so soft and smooth, rich in color, moisturizing on its own, and lasts four to six hours (lighter shades closer to four, darker shades closer to six). They do have a fruit-floral scent (but no taste), which is a bit heavy-handed, so for those who are more sensitive to scents, you may want to see if it is one you like first.

The Glossover

LE
product

Grenade

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #44 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick
Make Up For Ever #44 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick

More Scarlet Hues by Make Up For Ever

Make Up For Ever #44 Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a rich shade of neutral-cool red–a shade that’s just a hint blue but so close to neutral. This is a shimmer-free red that still has a slight sheen, so it’s not matte either. There is plenty of color pay off in a single layer, and between the formula and the richness of the hue, it stays on my lips for six hours with ease.

The Rouge Artist Intense formula is typically opaque, and while it’s not a moisturizing lipstick, it’s not a drying one either, though it does not feel creamy against the lips (it may take a little more pressure to apply than your average lipstick). With lighter shades, I see four hours of wear, but with richer or darker shades like #44, I get as much as six.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For cooler and warmer skin tone, this is a nice shade of red that’s bright without being traffic-stopping.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss
Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss

Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss: Star Pink

Estee Lauder Star Pink Pure Color Gloss ($20.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a milky pale pink with fine golden shimmer. It’s described as a “cool light lilac,” and it swatches that way on my arm, but on my lips, it ends up looking a lot pinker. I could see the lilac being pulled out if your lips are naturally cooler or paler.

Pure Color Glosses have a sponge-tipped applicator, and they are all fig-scented (as the majority of Estee Lauder’s lip products are), which is a slightly sweetened fruit scent. This gloss is just barely tacky; I hate to say it has any tackiness, but there is a touch there. I get about two to three hours of wear, which is average, and I don’t find these glosses to be drying either.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice gloss, and with so many shades to choose from, if this particular shade of pink isn’t up your alley, you may find another one that is.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Goes Modern for the Holidays

Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette ($75.00) contains ten eyeshadows and four lip glosses all housed in a sleek palette for the holidays.

It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Oyster Grey (silvery beige), Antique Pink (muted rose), Quarry (steely grey with golden flecks), Taffeta (pale pink bronze), Birch (soft brown), Heather Rose (golden plum), Navy Charcoal (navy charcoal grey), Gold Thread (deep golden copper), and Espresso (dark chocolate brown) eyeshadows; along with Grape (deep plum), Pink Bouquet (bright pink), Golden Topaz (golden bronze), and Paisley Rose (warm pink rose) lip glosses.

  • Ivory is a creamy muted white–it’s not too stark, but it’s not what I’d describe as beige, either. I’ve mentioned it before, but this color is routinely in Bobbi Brown’s palettes. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Oyster Grey is a pale, frosted champagne. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Antique Pink is a sheer, pink champagne.  I found the pigmentation on this shade to be underwhelming–it could use a boost.   This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Quarry is a cool-toned muted brown with a white shimmer-sheen. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Taffeta is a softened bronze with golden sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Birch is a muted medium-dark brown–it has very subtle red undertones. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Heather Rose is a plummy rose with bronze shimmer.  It is a touch sheer but only negligibly. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Navy Charcoal is a muted navy blue matte base with blue flecks of sparkle.
  • Gold Thread is a browned gold with a bright gold sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Espresso is a cool-toned, smoldering black-brown. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Grape is a sheer plummy pink with plum and gold shimmer. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Pink Bouquet is a sheer medium rose pink. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Golden Topaz is a sheer beige nude with champagne shimmer. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Paisley Rose is a sheer peach-coral nude with faint champagne shimmer. This is a shimmer lip gloss.

Each regular eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; metallic eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; each shimmer wash eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; shimmer lip gloss is 0.03 oz.; and glitter lip gloss is 0.03 oz. In sum, you are getting 0.08 oz. worth of regular eyeshadow ($20.00 value), 0.06 oz. of metallic eyeshadow ($12.00 value), and 0.06 oz. of shimmer wash eyeshadow ($15.00 value). For the gloss, you are getting 0.03 oz. worth of shimmer lip gloss ($4.30 value) and 0.09 oz. worth of glitter lip gloss ($12.86 value). There is also a lip brush and an eyeshadow brush, both functional and not too scratchy (nowhere near as soft as full-sized Bobbi Brown brushes, but they are decent), which I’d put at $10 of value. The palette contains $74.16 worth of product, but you do get 10 eyeshadows and 4 lip glosses (three lip glosses or three eyeshadows would run you right around ~$60 alone).

I really love that Bobbi Brown separates her eyeshadows and lip glosses; it’s not something we always see in palettes, but this brand often does it, and I can appreciate that. It’s just nice not having to worry about powder getting into your gloss products. I also like the inclusion of brushes over sponge-tipped applicators and wish more brands would do the same.

This is the kind of color palette I would expect from Bobbi Brown, and I think it does suit its name. If you’re after bright colors, this is obviously something quite different. However, this palette is excellent for creating work-safe looks as well as some heavier, smokier looks–but lighter, “safer” shades dominate and make it an easy palette for those needing work-friendly options on-the-go or all in one place. I did find that the pigmentation was a bit sheer in a few of the shades (indicated above), but overall, it’s a nice palette.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: At $75, I would want to make sure to purchase it (or gift it) to someone who would really enjoy and use the majority of the palette–not just for one or two shades, you know?

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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