Monday, November 21st, 2011


Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Have Beauty Products for Eyes

I’m going to do my best to crank out the last few gift guides in the next day, because I know a lot of sales are coming up for Black Friday/Cyber Monday, and I don’t want you to miss out! These are all products I personally recommend that are part of the permanent range. Products are listed in order of ascending price!

Eyeliners

  • Milani Liquif’Eye Eyeliners ($5.49) is a standout formula with a wallet-friendly price tag–if they had a bigger range, they’d be even better. I love their Black and Aqua shades.
  • MAC Fluidlines ($15) is a long-time favorite, because it’s creamy enough for smooth, crisp application but sets and wears well. My favorite is Blacktrack.
  • Tarina Tarantino Dream Hyperliners ($15) are a newly-discovered favorite with a fantastic color range, rich color, and long-wear. My favorite shades have been Sparkling Ammunition and Puppeteer.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liners ($18) also has an amazing range of shades as well as finishes, and this is an eyeliner that stays on well throughout the day. I regularly reach for shades like #4L, 5L, 12L, and 20L.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencils ($18) are a total go-to for me! They have a full color range available, and they’re soft and glide on easily. Some of my favorites are Bourbon Covet, Graffiti, Mildew, Rockstar, Stash, and Underground.
  • Stila Smudgestick Waterproof Eyeliners ($20) are super soft and pigmented, but they do run out of quick–but their color range is so rich, it’s hard to say no. I love Moray, Peacock, and Stingray.
  • Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliners ($21) is a rich, long-wearing gel eyeliner that’s smooth and creamy but still wears all day. Check out shades like Black Mauve Shimmer Ink and Cobalt Ink!
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners ($23) is my absolute favorite for liquid liner, because the color range is wide and the formula itself stays on all day. I recommend shades like #3, 4, 9, 10, and 14. If you like lots and lots of sparkle, consider Stila Sparkle Liquid Eyeliners ($22) which have a very similar formula but their shades have more shimmer.

Eyeshadows

  • Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow ($1.99 to $4.99) are a real steal with a lot of variations and options available, and a lot of the shades are of excellent quality.
  • Inglot Eyeshadows ($5) won’t break the bank but will deliver intense color payoff–they’re most well-known for their mattes and Double Sparkles.
  • Sugarpill Chromalusts ($12) are finely milled with lots of dimension. My favorites are Stella, Absinthe, and Goldilux! I’d also recommend checking out their eyeshadows if you’re shopping for someone who loves bright colors (they’re also $12 and top notch).
  • theBalm Eyeshadows ($16) are richly pigmented, silky smooth, and wear really well. Their individual singles are great, but they also have several palettes that work well, too. My favorite singles are All About Alex, Jealous Jordana, and Risque Renee.
  • Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19) are some of my favorite cream eyeshadows for quick all-over washes or as an eyeshadow base; the range is generally more neutral/subdued so it would be great for busy folks who don’t have a lot of time to spend on their makeup every morning. I love shades like Birthday Suit and Skinny Jeans.
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils ($20) is a chubby pencil that can be used as an eyeliner or more like a cream eyeshadow (or even an eyeshadow base). They wear really well and deliver pretty good color. I like shades Clinic, Lit, and Midnight Cowboy.
  • Bare Escentuals Ready Eyeshadows ($20 for duo, $30 for quad) caught me off guard, because I really didn’t think they’d be out of this world, but they’re really, really good. Some of my favorite duos are The Scenic Route and The Escape, and some of my favorite quads are The Elements and The Truth.
  • MAC Pigments ($20) are still one of my favorite products for really revving up a look. Some of the permanent shades I love are Pink Opal, Melon, and Teal.
  • Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22) come in neutrals as well as bright pops of color, and they’re a cream product that really locks down once it sets. I love the Aqua Creams best for eyes. I totally dig shades like #2, #5, #13, #15.
  • Illamasqua Pure Pigment ($24) may be pricey and they don’t come with a whole lot of product, for most consumers, it’ll take years to get through. The reason I like these is I feel like the range has a lot of complex, unique shades.
  • Le Metier de Beaute True Color Eyeshadow ($30) is a pricey but absolutely luxurious eyeshadow formula that’s built for layering. I love shades like Chameleon and Jade.
  • Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense ($32) are so intense and have this interesting formula that wears well all day long and comes in some fun shades. I love #1, 2, 3, and 6 a lot!
  • Tarina Tarantino Jewel Eyeshadow Palettes ($32) are good bang for your buck with top notch quality–love Dreamy the most.
  • Hourglass Visionaire Eyeshadow ($38) is my favorite eyeshadow formula, and I really wish they’d come out with more shades, but my favorites are Gypsy, Prism, and Lagoon.
  • Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette ($48) is still one of my favorite palettes that Urban Decay has launched, and it is something I reach for when I travel.

Mascaras

  • Maybelline Full ‘n Soft Mascara ($6.59) is my go-to for soft, natural-looking lashes with lots of volume.
  • MAC Plushlash Mascara ($15) is a great all-over mascara; it thickens, lengthens, and volumizes.
  • Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash Mascara ($19) is fantastic for lengthening.
  • Hourglass Film Noir Mascara ($28) is inky black while lengthening and thickening well.

What are your must-have eye products that are permanent?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette
Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a cooler toned set of more neutral shades. I think we could hedge and say it’s more neutral-cool than really, truly cool-toned. The formula is designed to have intense color payoff, and the eyeshadows are long-wearing and can be used wet or dry (always good to know–more brands should note this!).

I reviewed Dreamy initially, which I was really digging, and I like this one a lot, too–it’s not my personal favorite just by preference, but the quality is lovely and lives up to my readjusted expectations for Tarina Tarantino’s beauty line. I think Sephora is doing these palettes an injustice by not even taking the time to describe each palette’s colors! You just get this ridiculously tiny photo of the palette, but I think with a smaller brand like this, more would be better. I noticed this mostly because I like to start off each review with the brand’s official description of the shade as well as the formula. It helps me to breakdown what I should be looking for and hit on in the review.

The top shade in the palette is a cool-toned medium-dark brown with a frosted finish; it’s almost taupe, but I don’t think it has quite enough gray tint to make it a true taupe. The pigmentation is excellent, and the texture is dense, buttery, and applies smoothly. It’s much lighter than the taupe-ish shade in Dreamy (just because at first glance, they seem similar). It’s a little darker than MAC Magical Mist, cooler-toned and less red-based than Urban Decay Wreckage, and it’s just a touch cooler-toned compared to Bare Escentuals A-Ha.

On the left, there is a bright, frosted gold-tinged white. It’s almost too light to call it a white gold. It has good color payoff and applies smoothly. It is extremely similar to the white gold shade in Dreamy, but it’s also similar to several other shades, including theBalm Envious Erin, theBalm Tempting Tara, Urban Decay Zephyr, and Bare Escentuals Breathtaking. It’s the warmest shade in the palette and definitely not neutral or cool-toned.

In the middle, there is a pale neutral pink with a white frost finish. The payoff is decent but could be better here (think 8/10); it’s not as intense as the other shades in the palette. MAC Fresh Ice is cooler-toned, almost lilac in comparison, while Bare Escentuals Muse is similar but less frosted and more opaque.

On the right, there is a barely warmed golden peach with a metallic finish. It’s smooth and soft, while the pigmentation is good. Inglot #330 reminded me most in terms of color, but it has a matte finish. I couldn’t think of anything else that was similar, though.

The last shade, on the bottom, is a slightly cool-toned dark brown with this slightly warm undertone peeking through. It’s interesting, because the sheen on this looks gray tinted, but the edging has a warmer tone to it. The texture is almost matte, kind of like half-matte, half-satin; and the color payoff is nice. It’s a bit grayer and lighter than MAC Charcoal Brown. MAC Double Feature 3 is a bit closer but not quite.

Looking at the general range, I think they could have made one or two of these colors more cool-toned, because then they’d have a genuinely cool-toned but fairly neutral palette to offer. This palette will work well universally, though, because it’s a mix of cool and warm but for the most part, nothing leans too far in either direction. The color payoff was good on all the shades except the center shade, which was so-so–better than average but not as good as the others. I tested out this palette without a primer (just used three shades on one eye), and it made it to eight hours without creasing or fading, but it had very subtle creasing after ten.

The Glossover

palette

Delightful

A+

Looking at the general range, I think they could have made one or two of these colors more cool-toned, because then they'd have a genuinely cool-toned but fairly neutral palette to offer. This palette will work well universally, though, because it's a mix of cool and warm but for the most part, nothing leans too far in either direction. The color payoff was good on all the shades except the center shade, which was so-so--better than average but not as good as the others.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Dreamy Jewel Eyeshadow Palette
Tarina Tarantino Dreamy Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Dreamy Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00 for 0.32 oz.) is part of the newly repackaged and launched beauty line by jewelry designer Tarina Tarantino. The eyeshadow formula in the palettes is supposed to have “intense, shimmery payoff” with “ultra high pigmentation.” The eyeshadows are touted as long-wearing and can be applied wet or dry. Each compact contains a good amount of eyeshadow, too, with each eyeshadow averaging out to 0.064 oz. (the average eyeshadow is around 0.05 oz.). For the price of two high-end eyeshadows, you’ll get five.

The top shade is a rich copper with hints of orange; it’s a lighter, rusted copper shade with a frosted finish. It’s brighter and more orange than a lot of coppery shades I’ve come across. Make Up For Ever #12 is browner, more bronzy. Urban Decay Baked and MAC Amber Lights are also more bronze. The pigmentation is amazing–intense and vibrant–with a dense, buttery texture.

On the left, there’s a frosted white gold with a soft, smooth texture and good color payoff. This shade is common enough that there are a few shades similar to it, including: Givenchy Lune Mysterieuse (yellower), theBalm Tempting Tara, theBalm Envious Erin, Urban Decay Zephyr, and Bare Escentuals Breathtaking.

In the middle, there’s a golden peach, which comes out more like a pale, muted gold than it does a peach. It has a metallic finish; the pigmentation is good but not as intense as the top shade, but it’s still very soft and smooth to the touch. It’s similar to Bobbi Brown Gold Bar.

On the right, there’s a rich, chocolaty brown with a bronze shimmer and sheen. It has a frost finish, rich pigmentation, and a smooth texture. Like the left shade, it is common and these shades are similar: Inglot #409, Inglot #422, and Urban Decay Lost.

The bottom shade is a deep, dark brown with copper and bronze sparkle that tends to sit atop the color rather than completely embedded within it (like a typical frost). When I applied it, I did find that some of the shimmer transferred but it didn’t look quite as noticeable on the eye as it did in the swatch. The color payoff is very intense, though, and it’s so smooth when applied. It’s warmer and more shimmered than MAC Legendary Black.

I wore this palette (all five shades) with the muted gold on the lid, the softest touch of copper on the very outer lower lid, bronzy shade in the crease with the darker brown to add more depth in the crease, and the white gold on the brow bone. I wore it with and without a primer, and the results without a primer lasted for eight hours without creasing or fading but started to show faint signs of creasing by the tenth hour. With a primer, it was unmoved at ten hours.

I was pleasantly surprised by the texture and color payoff of this palette! I didn’t have particularly high expectations (I was thinking middle-of-the-road), but this was really, really good. This particular palette consists of a lot of dupeable shades, so long-time makeup aficionados will likely have similar shades already, but newcomers with warmer skin tones will find many reasons to fall in love with this palette. I’d love it if each shade had a name, though!

The Glossover

palette

Dreamy

A+

I was pleasantly surprised by the texture and color payoff of this palette! I didn't have particularly high expectations (I was thinking middle-of-the-road), but this was really, really good. This particular palette consists of a lot of dupeable shades, so long-time makeup aficionados will likely have similar shades already, but newcomers with warmer skin tones will find many reasons to fall in love with this palette.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, November 7th, 2011

Tarina Eye Tarantino Dream Hyperliners
Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliners

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner ($15.00 for 0.04 oz.) were recently relaunched at Sephora. The Eye Dream Hyperliner formula are supposed to be waterproof, soft, smooth, richly pigmented, and provide good coverage. There are thirteen shades in total, and I received eight for review, which are included in this post. The shades in this post are: Crystal Gun (shimmering frosty white), Locket Book (medium brown with gold shimmer), Ultraviolet (metallic almost-black plum), Amethyst Android (royal purple with silver shimmer), Broken Doll (shimmering frosty light pink), Sparkling Ammunition (deep olive with gold shimmer), Kanzashi (turquoise with silver shimmer), and Glamorous Thief (rich sapphire with blue shimmer).

  • Crystal Gun is a bright, metallic-finished white. It has decent color payoff in one pass but not fully opaque.
  • Locket Book is a warm medium-dark brown with gold shimmer. It delivered semi-opaque coverage in a single pass.
  • Ultraviolet is an eggplant purple with soft purple shimmer with a slightly metallic finish. One pass won’t get you full color coverage (about two passes), but it doesn’t skip at all and was still fairly pigmented, given the trouble with purple eyeliners.
  • Amethyst Android is a blue-toned violet purple with a shimmered, metallic finish. Like Ultraviolet, it’s not quite opaque in one pass.
  • Broken Doll is a pale, warm-toned pink that looks almost champagne against my skin tone. The finish is fairly metallic, and this would be a good color to brighten the eyes without being too stark. It has decent color payoff in a single pass.
  • Sparkling Ammunition is a rich olive green with golden shimmer. In a single pass, it reads less green and more brown, but if applied in two or three passes, the green starts to come out.
  • Kanzashi is a bright blue with silver sparkle. It’s so-so in pigmentation in one pass. It is one of the most vibrant shades I tried.
  • Glamorous Thief is a medium-dark blue with soft blue shimmer. This shade was the most pigmented in a single go–nearly opaque.

I actually reviewed Glamorous Thief and Amethyst Android when these originally launched here, and I liked them then–and I really love the Eye Dream Hyperliners generally, after trying several shades for the past few weeks. I’ve been digging Locket Book and Sparkling Ammunition for a defined eye that’s not as stark as black. These are so, so smooth.   They have the same softness and smooth application as Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, actually, which wasn’t how I felt originally.  They deliver a fair amount of pigmentation in a single pass, though I’d probably use the same back-and-forth method I typically use with eyeliners for a really rich, opaque line of color. They hold up well without budging, fading, or smudging. I’ve worn them during a shower (the easiest and quickest way to test out “waterproof” claims–plus, humidity!) and had no issues there.

The eyeliners had a slight packaging re-do, and they look more streamlined than they were previously, and I do like that the entire length of the pencil is done in the shade’s color, rather than the pink it was before. Curiously, the eyeliners actually came down in price; they’re $15 a pop, compared to $17 when they debuted–which makes these a better deal than my favorite eyeliners by Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever. I definitely want to check out the other five shades in the range, like Spark of Envy, which you know is calling to me.

The Glossover

product

Eye Dream Hyperliner

A
These are really good, and now that they're cheaper than mainstays Urban Decay 24/7 Liner and Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, they're totally worth checking out next time you're at Sephora.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011


Tarina Tarantino Beauty for Fall 2011

Tarina Tarantino’s beauty line was inspired by the richness and radiance of her own handcrafted jewelry, and this fall, the entire line is taking a daring turn with a bold new look that brings it to a whole new level. Sleek graphite-colored packaging, jewel tone accents, illustrations of iconic Tarina designs and new must-have palettes add a multi-faceted dimension to the line. The luxe, long-lasting formulas remain the same, luxuriously infused with crushed pearl, micronized diamond powder and finely milled gemstones to reflect the brilliance, luminosity and sophistication of a jewel.

In celebration of Tarina Tarantino Beauty’s new look, six Jewel Shadow Palettes will premiere this fall. These gorgeous vanity compacts each feature five coordinating eyeshadows with shimmering gemstone powders and a high intensity, long-wear formula that leaves your eyes sparkling like jewels. The glamorous oval shape of the compact also makes it easier to see the whole surface of your face when applying your makeup on the go. Choose from: Wonderful (shimmery forest greens, golds and browns), Lovely (pearlized grays, silvers and creams with matte black), Magical (pearlized pinks, taupes and plums), Delightful (pearlized beiges and pinks with matte chocolate brown), Fantastical (pearlized mauves, creams and plums, and Dreamy (pearlized coppers and golds with black with gold sparkle).

The Tarina Tarantino Collection includes:

Pearl Glow Primer ($29.00)

An opalescent primer that keeps makeup looking beautiful. Available in Pearl or Pearl Nude

Sparklicity Shimmer Dust ($39.00)

Pure-refraction reflex shimmer in a feminine spray for body and hair. Available in Opal, Gold and Bronze

Sparklicity Pure ($17.00)

Pure-refraction reflex shimmer for a sophisticated look on eyes or face. Available in Pure, Pure Opal, Pure Nude, Pure Gold and Pure Bronze.

Jewel Shadow Palettes ($32.00)

A palette of five long-wear eyeshadows in a glamorous compact.

  • Wonderful Shimmery forest greens, golds and browns
  • Lovely Pearlized grays, silvers and creams with matte black
  • Magical Pearlized pinks, taupes and plums
  • Delightful Pearlized beiges and pinks with matte chocolate brown
  • Fantastical Pearlized mauves, creams and plums
  • Dreamy Pearlized coppers and golds with black with gold sparkle

Fleur de Lash Mascara ($19.00)

For dramatically thickened and lengthened lashes. Available in Black Opal.

Gem Gloss ($19.00)

A silky, hydrating gloss with high shine. Available in 13 shades.

Conditioning Lip Sheen ($22.00)

A lightweight conditioning lipstick with medium pigmentation and shine. Available in 11 shades.

Sparklicity Gloss ($14.00)

A hydrating gloss with gemstone powders for a dazzling shimmer effect. Available in six shades.

Fuchsia Revolution Brush Set ($69.00)

A professional-quality brush set to create any makeup look with brush handles in Tarina’s signature fuchsia shade.

availability: October 2011

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Monday, December 20th, 2010


NARS Manon, UD Ransom, MAC Rich Purple, L’Oreal HIP Violet Volt, MUFE #11L, Tarina Tarantino Amethyst Android, UD Lust

Purple and Violet Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

Here is our last eyeliner comparison — blue-based purples!

  • NARS Manon Eyeliner is a blue-based violet purple. There’s no shimmer, just pure purple. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Ransom 24/7 Liner is an iridescent violet purple with a pinky undertone. (Review)
  • MAC Rich Purple Chromagraphic Pencil is a dark, cool-toned purple (Review)
  • L’Oreal HIP Violet Volt Chrome Eyeliner is a grayed purple with a metallic sheen. (Review
  • Make Up For Ever #11L Aqua Eyes is a violet purple with a satin sheen. (Review)
  • Tarina Tarantino Amethyst Android Hyperliner is a violet purple with a satin sheen. It is slightly bluer than Make Up For Ever #11L. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Lust 24/7 Liner is a medium-dark, blue-based violet. It is bluer and darker than Make Up For Ever #11L. (Review)

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! NARS Manon Eyeliner is a lighter version of MAC Rich Purple Chromagraphic Pencil.

DUPE ALERT! Makeup For Ever #11L Aqua Eyes is a slightly more purple (less blue) than Urban Decay’s Ransom 24/7 Liner–they are the closest in terms of color here, though.

Formula/Wear: NARS Eyeliner is the only one that I have any issues with based on my experience–it just smudges, migrates, and generally is a mess on me but many readers had positive experiences (and others who had similar experiences to mine), so I recommend reading the review for a fuller perspective.  MAC’s Chromagraphic Pencil is one of the longest wearing pencils I’ve come across and incredibly pigmented, too.

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