Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Smashbox Naked Beauty Collection

Smashbox Naked Beauty Collection for Summer 2010

A short and sweet collection from Smashbox will arrive in May, just in time for summer. While we’re on the topic of Smashbox, they launched their official blog this week, and they’re having a celebratory giveaway of $500 in Smashbox makeup to boot!

Photo Finish Lid Primer in Golden Nude ($20.00)

Get lids primed and ready for the perfect eye look with Smashbox’s best-selling, ultra-luxurious lid primer—now in a shimmering nude shade. Designed to create a flawless foundation for shadow, Photo Finish Lid Primer delivers color-correcting benefits and imparts a subtle golden glow for an effortless neutral eye. The exclusive formula contains PhytomoistTM, a plant-based hyaluronic acid for essential moisturization and amino acids for skin smoothing benefits. Soft focus pearls help diminish the appearance of fine lines on the lids, while the patented Qusome delivery system ensures all ingredients penetrate the skin to deliver effective results. Silicone Technology leaves lids silky smooth for a longwearing, fade-resistant finish.

Highl Lights/Creamy Cheek Color in Naked Beauty ($26.00)

Give your cheeks a naturally flushed look with this duo of beautifully bare shades. Infused with antioxidant Vitamin E, the cheek color and highlighter moisturize and protect while enhancing cheeks with a luminous glow.

Naked Beauty Lip Gloss Collection ($25.00)

In an array of barely-there shades, this set of eight mini glosses infuses lips with just the right amount of color and shine for a naturally beautiful finish.

  • Included shades: BARE (sandwashed pink), BUFF (sheer soft peach), NAKED (shimmering champagne), NUDE (creamy nude pink), EXPOSED (bubblegum pink), NATURAL (rosebud pink), SUNKISSED (shimmering golden brown), PURE (juicy melon)

Halo Hydrating Perfecting Bronzer ($39.00)

Give skin a barely-there glow with HALO HYDRATING PERFECTING BRONZER, a revolutionary formula designed to impart a naturally naked sun-kissed glow while dramatically minimizing the signs of aging. More than just makeup, the potent powder is an active skin treatment that fights signs of aging below the surface while infusing skin with luminous radiance. Packed with goji berries and pure gold to provide antioxidant protection, the formula contains 48 minerals, 11 amino acids, a powerful peptide and Smashbox’s patented hydrogel technology for sustained release of moisture and a radiant finish.

Availability: Smashbox.com, Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom beginning May 2010

See more photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Smashbox Splendid Lipstick
Smashbox Splendid Lipstick

The Spring Season: Smashbox Splendid Lipstick

Smashbox Splendid Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft, semi-opaque coral-pink with a glossy finish. It has subtle golden/champagne shimmer throughout, but it has more of a glimmering effect. Despite having a very soft and sheer look to it, it’s surprisingly opaque. It really melds and blends with your natural lip color, so it is easy to wear. Smashbox’s Lipsticks are always very creamy and moisturizing and wear for a solid four hours on me.

More Smashbox Lipsticks…

Is this the right coral 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 →

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Smashbox Liquid Pen Liner

Easy Liquid Lining with Liner Pens:  Version Smashbox

Smashbox Heartbreaker Jet Black Liquid Liner Pen ($24.00) is a felt-tipped pen that’s designed to look and feel like liquid liner, but with the control and precision that a pen can deliver. The pen is new and limited edition from Smashbox’s Heartbreaker Collection for the spring.

It’s actually kind of funny, because it seems like pen liners are the new thing to do, as several brands have put one out for the spring. I remember the first one I ever used was MAC’s Penultimate, which I still use on occasion. I like pen liners because they are easier to use than traditional liquid liners. I think I do personally prefer gel eyeliners for the upper lash line over liquid liners, but I do prefer pen liners over traditional liquid liners. You have a lot more control, and it is nice that the tip is always rich in color–you don’t have to worry about running out or product drying on you mid-lining.

Smashbox’s Liquid Liner Pen comes in just one shade, Jet Black, which is a rich black. It’s pretty intense and does go on as a slightly shiny black. I’ve noticed that a lot of black liquid liners seem to reflect more brown-black when swatched, but they really do appear quite black in real life–the same thing happened here. I urge you to check it out where I wore it in this look (on the right eye–your right, not mine–the left eye was done with Stila’s Pen Liner!)

If you like extremely tight/thin lines, I don’t think this is your best bet. It can give you a relatively thin line, but I had trouble getting and keeping it ultra thin. The tip is long enough to give you a nice, broad stroke, but it’s not so long that you lose control over the shape and direction of your line (nor does it kind of bend too much). This does have a very “liquid” feel when you use it, so don’t go over the line too much — once or twice should be plenty. This liquid liner does last a solid eight hours or longer on me (I avoid wearing my makeup for longer than eight hours a day!) and doesn’t fade, smudge, or migrate whatsoever while I’ve worn it.

It’s housed in a simple pen-shaped tube with a removeable cap that clicks back on. It’s very minimalist, but it’s slim and functional. The price tag seems a little higher than I’d have expected (Jet Set and Cream Eye Liner by Smashbox are both $22), but it’s not too out of the price range for Smashbox liners. The other downside is that this is a product that could become a staple in your routine, but it’s limited edition!

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

Recommendation: If you’ve always wanted to try black liquid liner but don’t have the steadiest hand, a pen liner might be a good option!

Availability: Beauty.com, Nordstrom, Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Smashbox Paradise Blush

The First Blush of Spring:  Smashbox Paradise Blush Rush

Smashbox Paradise Blush Rush ($24.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a lightly golden shimmered peach with just a smidgen of pink in it. It’s more like an orange-coral, perhaps, but the pink really is downplayed. Paradise isn’t the most unique shade, but Smashbox’s Blush Rush formula is particularly lovely. It’s smooth, soft to the touch, and applies beautifully to cheeks. The color always look natural and never overdone, but they offer buildable color for those who want a light cheek and others who want a more intense look. Paradise is just one of those shades that’s incredibly easy to wear with a variety of looks from the everyday to the bold and dramatic. If you like blushes like MAC Springsheen and NARS Orgasm, Paradise is right there with ‘em!

I’ve always liked Smashbox’s permanent product packaging — it’s functional and sleek.  Cute packaging is fun, but it’s gotta be functional, too.  It just has a very clean look to it, which I dig.  Price-wise, it’s a little more expensive than your average blush at $184/oz. (compared to MAC blushes at $88/oz. and NARS blushes at $156/oz.), but actual investment is in line with NARS ($25) and Illamasqua ($23).

You can see me wearing Paradise in this look! :)

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: 5/5

Recommendation: If you love your peachy blushes, Paradise may be a good one to add to your stash!

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

Smashbox Charming Lipstick
Smashbox Charming Lipstick

The Spring Season: Smashbox Charming Lipstick

Smashbox Charming Photo Finish Lipstick ($22.00) is semi-sheer, shimmery beige with a slight peach undertone. I’m not exactly sure why Sephora describes this as a “nude pink,” because I didn’t see any pink in it. It was definitely nude and dare I say it, a little peach? Smashbox’s lipsticks also have a sweet vanilla scent, very similar to MAC lipsticks, though I’d say this is just a bit stronger (but not overwhelming!). It does run a little more on the sheer side, so those with more pigmented or naturally tinted lips may find it doesn’t do much for them once applied. I was able to build up decent coverage, but I wouldn’t say it’s opaque. It’s a subtle shade, which makes it very wearable. With Smashbox’s lipsticks, I get about four hours of wear — probably a little on the lower end of the wear spectrum for me.

Is this the right nude 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 →

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Cream/Gel Eyeliner Breakdown

Cream/gel eyeliners are usually thick creams (the consistency of a cream, but the thickness of more like a paste… or a lipstick, for a better beauty reference!). They usually require a brush to apply it, and most use these on the upper lash line (they can be irritating on the lower lash line, particularly for those with more sensitive eyes). They’re a very, very popular item with numerous brands having their own take on the cream/gel eyeliner product type.

At the end of the day, they’re all quality cream/gel eyeliners and none are not worth paying for. As with many cosmetic products, some will work better on others–we’re not all going to fall in love with the same formula–but I do think these are all good picks. Personally, I tend to choose by the color/shade rather than the brand! If I had to give you a top three (in alphabetical order), they would be: Bobbi Brown, MAC, and shu uemura.

Here’s a comparison across eight different brands and their cream/gel eyeliners… Continue reading →