Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Build a Quad: “Purple Shock”

Rich in purples, Purple Shock is a mix of cool-toned, blue-based purples and a more red-toned fuchsia purple to give it a little more oomph, a little something extra. Featured in the quad are MAC Parfait Amour eyeshadow (a cool-toned medium purple frost), MAC Stars ‘n Rockets eyeshadow (a fuchsia-purple with a icy purple sheen), MAC Beautiful Iris eyeshadow (a soft, iridescent lilac purple), and MAC Shroom eyeshadow (a soft, lightly shimmered highlighter).

For more customization, you can easily swap in your favorite highlighter in place of Shroom, or if you’re not looking to use this quad on its lonesome (e.g. you have plenty of highlighters elsewhere), you could add in a fleshy pink like MAC Hush eyeshadow instead. On the opposite end, you could go darker and smokier by adding MAC Contrast eyeshadow in place of Shroom.

A few combinations to try with this…

  • Shroom all over the lid, Stars ‘n Rockets on the outer lid, Parfait Amour in the crease, Shroom to highlight
  • Beautiful Iris all over the lid, Stars ‘n Rockets on the outer lid, Parfait Amour in the crease, Shroom to highlight
  • Beautiful Iris all over the lid, Parfait Amour in the crease, Shroom to highlight
  • Shroom all over the lid, Beautiful Iris on the outer lid, Stars ‘n Rockets in the crease, Shroom to highlight

A few looks I’ve done that can be replicated with these shades…

Build a Quad is a feature focusing on creating different eyeshadow palettes that are both beautiful and functional using permanent shades of eyeshadow. We invite readers to suggest their own build-a-quads — just leave your ideas in the comments! Don’t forget to name your quad! :)

P.S. — Thank you for all of your fantastic and encouraging feedback on last week’s debut of this feature.

See swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: SKINCARE!

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about skincare and all that it entails.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Today, CoverGirl is doing a pre-sale for their two new additions to the Blast line-up with Smoky ShadowBlast ($8.49) and ShineBlast Lip Gloss ($8.49). For those who purchase by visiting Drugstore.com, they’ll save $5 and earn free shipping while supplies last. For those who purchase by visiting CVS, they will receive free shipping. I found the pre-sale site forced me to “build a look,” when I just wanted to see where to buy, so you can just go to drugstore.com directly and search for it by name and it’ll show up.  Drugstore.com is also showing all of the shades shipping in “one to two weeks.”  Curious!

Smoky ShadowBlast is available for pre-sale in four shades: Silver Sky, Onyx Smoke, Bronze Fire, and Purple Plume. ShineBlast Lip Gloss is available for pre-sale in four shades: Dazzle, Flare, Ablaze, and Firecracker.

When these officially hit stores in January 2010, we’ll see an addition of Citrus Flair and Tempest Blue ShadowBlasts, and we’ll see a whole slew of additional glosses come the new year. The additional gloss shades are: Aglow, Beam, Ember, Fire, Gleam, Glimmer, Glow, Heat, Ignite, Radiate, Smolder, and Sparkler.

I just played around with two shades of ShadowBlast this weekend, because I wanted to be able to share a little more insight than just marketing blitz as the pre-sale got underway…

First, an obvious point of contention with this product is the lack of labeling on the product itself.  The original packaging does tell you the shade names, but once you take ’em out of the packaging and toss it away, there’s nothing to tell you what you have.

First, I tried Citrus Flaire ShadowBlast, which was a duo of shimmery chartreuse green and a rich, shimmery copper. The chartreuse side is “step one,” designed to be use as a lid color, while the copper side is “step two,” meant to be used as a liner or crease shade. The second one I tried was Silver Sky ShadowBlast, which was a duo of a shimmery, light silver (“step one”) and a smoky purple with lighter shimmer (“step two”). Both ShadowBlasts were pigmented, smooth, and creamy without being overly so–just enough slip to glide along the lid without tugging or pulling.

After playing around with these this weekend, I’d say that they’re best layered over a base like Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance or else set well with powder eyeshadow for best results. I found when worn alone, it was hard to get just the right amount so it didn’t crease or look faded. If you just want to use them as a liner, I didn’t have migration issues, but the tip of the product is a little bulky, so it’s not super easy to use as a liner.

These reminded me a lot of MAC’s shadesticks, actually – just a little softer and smoother and with less staying power (on their own). When I used it alone the first time around, it creased within fifteen minutes–I threw a layer of the chartreuse shade all over my lid for a quick and dirty crease-test, and by the time I finished photographing and swatching the other ShadowBlast, it had definitely creased.

Bottom Line: It’s really great to see CoverGirl step up their game with these pigmented cream eyeshadows. I think if you’re looking for a way to boost up eyeshadow colors, these make a great way to add an extra level of dimension underneath your regular eyeshadows.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: For a more budget-friendly alternative to pigmented cream shadows and ways to enhance your eyeshadow, these are worth checking out.

Availability: CoverGirl

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Beauty Bargains: This Week’s Coupons, Sales, & Promotions

  • Bath & Body Works: $4 Home Fragrance Oils. Expires 11/15/09
  • Bath & Body Works: $20 Figural Candle with any $25 Purchase. Expires 11/11
  • Bath & Body Works: Buy 3 Get 2 Free Signature Collection. Expires 11/5/09
  • Benefit Cosmetics: Free US Standard Shipping on any $50 purchase. Enter promo code PRETTY50 at checkout. Free International Shipping with any $115 purchase. Enter promo code WORLD115 at checkout.
  • Bliss Spa: Get 15% off bliss and laboratoire remède products at blissworld.com. Enter promo code 109906 at checkout. Expires 11/2/09
  • Bobbi Brown: Free Full Size Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Indigo Ink ($21 Value) with $65 Order at BobbiBrown.com. Offer Code: HOLIDAY. Expires 1/15/2010
  • Bobbi Brown: Free Full Size Lip Gloss in Honey ($20 Value) with $65 Order at BobbiBrown.com. Offer Code: HONEY. Expires 1/15/2010
  • Clinique: Receive a Free 7-Piece gift with any $21.50 purchase at clinique.com! Plus, get a matching deluxe cosmetic bag and Free Standard Shipping with any $45 purchase. While supplies last.
  • DermaDoctor: Take $10 off all orders over $100! Use checkout code: DDSAVE10. Expires 12/15/09
  • Estee Lauder @ Nordstrom: Free Estée Lauder gift, $125 value, yours with any $39.50 Estée Lauder purchase at Nordstrom.
  • Juara Skincare: Get 10% OFF JUARA Skincare in November 2009. Use code: NOV09.
  • Lancome (Canada): Free mini Juicy Tubes collection with any $40 purchase on Lancome.ca. Enter code JUICY at checkout!
  • Prescriptives: Free Standard Shipping with any $35 Prescriptives.com purchase, use offer code FREESHIP3 at checkout. Expires 12/31/09
  • Sephora: Get Philosophy’s Amazing Grace Buffing Wash Sample with any order. Enter code BUFFING at checkout.
  • Sephora: Get a Bare Escentuals 10-day sample plus mini kabuki brush FREE with any order! Use code TRYBE at checkout.
  • Sephora: Beauty Insiders Only. Get a free Bare Escentuals Buxom lip mini gloss. Choose your own shade. Enter code BUXOMKISS at checkout.
  • Sephora: Free Skincare Sample Kit at Sephora! Enter code 123SKIN at checkout!
  • Sephora: Get a Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Mascara free with any order! Use code BEFLAWLESS at checkout.
Monday, November 2nd, 2009

E.L.F. Royal Red Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: E.L.F. Royal Red Lipstick

E.L.F. Royal Red Lipstick ($5.00) is a deep red with a plum twist. It’s just red enough to be part of the series, yet it’s definitely not the true red we often think of when we think red lips. Not everyone loves or wants to wear true red lips all the time, so reds that deviate in various ways are always fun options to consider. The lipstick itself is scent- and taste-less, so if your nose is sensitive to scents, you may prefer these scent-less shades. E.L.F.’s Lipstick lasts about average on me (three to four hours), and it does leave a bit of a waxy feel behind once the color has faded away. This is a budget-friendly lipstick option that goes on sheer and builds into an opaque shade after a few layers. It’s hard to go wrong for $5!

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Temptalia Asks You

Do you wear makeup when your skin is acting up? Like a breakout?  Dry patches?  (What-have-you!)

Temptalia's Answer.

I wear what I feel I need to not be totally self-conscious about it, but I do try to only wear it when I’m going out for longer than 10-15 minutes (e.g., not just the grocery store).

.