Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Toki Doki for Sephora
Toki Doki

tokidoki for Sephora: Royal Pride Inferno Bronzer

tokidoki Royal Pride Inferno Bronzer ($22.00 for 0.37 oz.) is a warmed, golden-tan with champagne-gold shimmer bronzing powder. The powder itself has a heart and crossbones raised design in the middle, and there’s no overspray on it, it’s just the same as the rest of the product–which is nice, just because I hate being duped by those oversprays!

Though I was disappointed with the color pay off of Adios Star, I had no such pigmentation issues with Royal Pride. This swatched beautifully–pigmented, smooth, and gorgeous to look at. As far as bronzing goes, I think this will work nicely on lighter medium skin tones to deeper medium skin tones, but it may turn orange on some of the paler beauties. I’d recommend paler and very cool skin tones to swatch in-store if they’re able to.

tokidoki also has Diavolina, which is described as a “medium/tan with gold shimmer.” I felt like Royal Pride was a pretty deep bronzer, but it’s described as a “light/medium with gold shimmer.” I think Diavolina may be best for medium deep to deep complexions, but I haven’t seen it to be sure.

The packaging is made out of plastic, but it feels heavy and thick enough that I don’t feel like I’m using dollar-store makeup (which is always my fear whenever I see a non-beauty brand enter the beauty biz!). It’s solid, semi-clear, and should be sturdy enough to tote around.

You also get a whopping 0.37 oz. of product, which is rather hefty for a bronzing product. MAC Bronzing Powders are also $22, but you get 0.30 oz. I think tokidoki did a good job pricing themselves above mass, but they didn’t price themselves out of range, either. I wouldn’t go crazy buying hundreds of dollars over this without testing it first, but I can see myself picking a few items just to try and see (and if all else fails, take advantage of Sephora’s excellent return policy).

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you’re looking for a golden-toned bronzer, I think you may like Royal Pride.  It’s quite pigmented, so use a light hand or a fluffier brush when you go to use it to keep from overdoing it!

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Exotic Bronzing Blush

Get Your Blush AND Bronze on?  Hmm…

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Exotic Bronzing Blush ($35.00) is a pressed powder bronzer and blush with a coral reef inspired design. Estee Lauder calls it a “Bronzing Blush,” and you can tell in the photo that it really is exactly that! It’s unrealistic to use the two shades separately, but once swirled together, they create a rosy-peach bronzed shade.

It’s peachy without really being too pink and not quite brown but more like a gilded champagne. The shimmer is fine enough that it doesn’t accent pores but is still noticeable. I found this worked mostly as a blush, as it did have enough peach and rose tones to it that it’s more a blush than a bronzer. It does give my cheeks that sunkissed glow, though.

I like that the packaging has a very modern look and feel to it–that coppery bronze that shimmers in the sunlight.  The pricing is a little high, though, for a product that’s mostly a blush.  I’d have preferred to see this at maybe a $28 or $30 price point–more in line with their normal blush prices.

You can check out other items from Bronze Goddess, too!

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

Recommendation:  It’s a cute compact, and it works well on warmer skin tones for sure. On cooler skin tones, it may not be as lovely, since it does have a warmer undertone. I also think on deeper skin tones, it may work mostly as a highlighter rather than a blush. Light to medium skin tones should have no problems using this as a blush or blush-highlighter! It’s not the most unique blush shade, but it’s done well.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals:   Nectar Shimmerbrick

Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick ($38.00 for 0.4 oz.) is new for spring–part of the Cabana Corals Collection–and is a coral lover’s dream. If you love Shimmerbricks and have an affinity for corals and bronzed golds, I think this just may be a new favorite for you.  (Also releasing with Cabana Corals is Pink Quartz Shimmerbrick!)

When worn on cheeks, it works as a blusher and highlighter in one, because it packs plenty of color along with a soft frosty shimmer sheen. Although some Shimmerbricks are just a tad too frosty to me at times (at least on cheeks!), Nectar is just right. It hits that sweet spot of color, shimmer, and sheen. It can be applied with a light hand for a softer application or layered for an intense cheek for night time. Since I am an absolute fiend for all things coral, Nectar is most definitely my favorite Shimmerbrick to-date!

Shimmerbricks are a pricey investment, but they’ll last you a long time (or forever, in my case) — you get a whopping 0.4 oz., which makes the cost per ounce just a smidgen more than MAC blushes. Each of the five strips of color swatch beautifully; rich color, intense pigmentation, and smooth to the touch Shimmerbricks can be used on the eyes or cheeks, and you could get a very pretty sunset-esque kind of look out of these shades in addition to its usage of a very coral-bronzed blusher. I like that it can be a multi-tasker, at least. I have to admit, I haven’t worn any Shimmerbricks on my eyes yet but may have to give it try with Nectar.

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

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a Shimmerbrick collector, I know you need to check this out. If it’s your first-time thinking about a Shimmerbrick, I think you need to swatch!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Thursday, January 7th, 2010

MAC in Lillyland Collection
MAC Pearlmatte Eyeshadow

MAC in Lillyland Collection: Pearlmatte Eyeshadow & Powder & Coconut Ice Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

The two prettiest-looking items in the collection are my two least favorites of the collection. Both the Pearlmatte Eyeshadow and Face Powder are lovely to look at with their floral design, but the product itself is just okay.

Pearlmatte Eyeshadow

This is basically three eyeshadows in one, and the pieces are big enough that you can get your brush into each. It consists of a lightly shimmered white, a soft yellow-green with gold shimmer (think Juxt), and a medium blue-based pink with light shimmer (think Da Bling, but blue-based). The design dusts off pretty fast — I could barely see any of the floral portions once I did swatches. The shadows themselves are decently pigmented, but they’re not ultra rich. They also felt a little powdery, which I wasn’t thrilled with. Nice design, just an okay product.

Pearlmatte Face Powder

This contains four different shades within the compact, but realistically, as a face/cheek product, you’re going to end up with a swirl of colors, not just any of the four. In particular, the orange shade is incredibly small, so good luck wearing that alone if you’re brave enough to try! Nonetheless, I did swatch the four individual shades, and then I did a swirled swatch. The individual shades are: a yellowed, shimmered gold, mostly matte/satin peachy orange, sheer, deep pink, and a neutral tan-brown with no real shimmer. Swirled together, I ended up with a rather bronzy shade — it ran a little orange and had the yellow-gold shimmer in it. I don’t know if I’d use this as an all over face powder myself, because it seems more like a bronzer based on playing around with it so far.

Coconut Ice Nail Lacquer

I’d like to know why they named this Coconut Ice. Maybe I haven’t consumed enough coconut ice in my life, but I just envisioned a lightened shade — based on the name. I’ve read the description previously, so I wasn’t misled, but the name seemed off to me. This is a brightened peachy-coral kind of shade. It’s like Seasonal Peach with a lot more pink. It has a creamy finish, and I’d say it needs two to three coats to look right. It kind of reminded of an old, old nail polish called Pink Radar, except lighter and less pink. I liked it, but I like corals, so this wasn’t much of a surprise.

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Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Too Faced Fun in the Dark Palette

Spring Makeup with Too Faced Fun in the Dark Palette

Too Faced Fun in the Dark Palette ($32.50) is a new, limited edition eyes, cheeks, and lip palette from Too Faced for the spring. It contains four eyeshadows (Pin-Up, Peep Show, Full Frontal, Lucky Charms), two lip products (Tropical Pink, Free Love), one blush (Papa Don’t Peach), and one bronzer (Sun Bunny).  When you flip open the top, there are small, circular lights that go along the border of the palette that light up, and according to Too Faced, the battery life is about thirty hours.

I really, really did not like the light-up mirror included in the palette.  In fact, I will just come right out and say it:  I hated it.  It was a blinding cool-toned white.  The light was neither flattering nor comfortable to look towards.  I disliked it so much, I left the palette open for two days to drain the battery of the lights, because it was just such a distraction.  But seriously, it hurt my eyes a bit when I first flipped the top of this palette open.  Don’t get me wrong, the lighting is a minor point, and like I did, you can always drain the battery for the lights, but it didn’t leave me the best first impression, you know?

The four eyeshadows are of the softer shadow variety, and they’re smooth and well-pigmented.  Pin-up is a neutral, maybe slightly cool, champagne beige with soft white shimmer.  Peep Show is a cool-toned medium pink with gold shimmer–this one was lovely; it reminded me of Urban Decay Naked Lipstick or MAC Stark Naked BlushFull Frontal is a rich chocolate brown with red undertones and a slightly frosty finish.  Lucky Charms is a frosty medium-dark forest green with gold shimmer and green sheen.

Papa Don’t Peach is a pinky-peachy blush, which leans a little more peach.  It has good pigmentation, and it’s similar to NARS Orgasm, but I’d say it’s a little darker and not nearly as shimmery.  If you like Orgasm, though, I imagine you’d like this shade as well.  Sun Bunny is a split-bronzer with a darker, more coppery bronze on one side and a lighter, less shimmery soft copper bronze on the other side.

Tropical Pink is an ultra sheer (aka clear) gloss with a hint of gold sparkle.  I found it pretty disappointing, just because there was no pigmentation to speak of and it felt quite gooey.  Free Love is a medium-pink lipstick with gold shimmer.  I liked Free Love a lot more, because you could get pigmentation out of it with enough layers.  I’m still no fan of lip palettes, particularly when they’re housed near powder-based products, though!

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a palette for easy travel, you might enjoy Fun in the Dark, because it has a little something for all of your face – the eyes, cheeks, and lips.  It’s not the most handy palette, just because the four eyeshadows don’t yield the most combinations, but it’s an interesting pairing of colors, nonetheless.  I like it overall, but I didn’t fall in love.

Edit: It does, indeed, look like they spelled Chronicles wrong on the palette.  I checked the image Sephora’s using, and it’s misspelled there, too.

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: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you like Too Faced eyeshadows, or have always wanted to try them, this might be a good way to check them out!

AvailabilitySephora

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Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Holiday Palettes Revealed:  Too Faced Glamour Revolution Palette

Too Faced Glamour Revolution Palette ($39.50) is a new, limited edition holiday palette available exclusively at Sephora. Too Faced calls it a “makeup book,” actually. It contains nine eyeshadows, three lipglosses, a bronzer, blush, and Shadow Insurance (eyeshadow base).

Face

  • La Vie En Rose Brightening Blush is a bright pop of petal pink with gold flecks of shimmer. It’s not a neutral nor warm-toned pink, but it’s not too cool to make it difficult to wear for warmer skin tones. It’s actually a very pretty shade. It has a soft texture and is quite pigmented. The shimmer could be more subtle/integrated, but it works well.
  • Chocolate Soleil Bronzer is a surprisingly cool-toned chocolate brown. It’s not too pigmented, and I don’t think it’d be my favorite bronzer on my skin tone (which is warmer). It is shimmer-less, but it does have a soft sheen.

Lips

There are three nameless lip glosses in this palette, and I can see why they didn’t bother to name them — they’re unremarkable. They are all incredibly sheer, with the first one looking like a nude-pink in the pot and coming out slightly pink-tinged gloss if I look hard enough. The second is a deeper-nude in the pan, but the actual color in a swatch is just sheer glossiness. The most pigmented is the third, which looks like a medium deep pink in the pan, but it’s just a soft pink gloss. I think Too Faced could have omitted these lip glosses (even if I liked lip glosses in pan-form, these are pretty poor performing) and gone with maybe a highlighter to round out the blush and bronzer.

Eyeshadow

Naturally, the eyeshadow portion of the palette is the highlight of the product, and the eyeshadows are smooth, pigmented, and the texture, overall, is good. The shade range is interesting – a few neutrals, but there are also some pops of color. The palette of eyeshadows does seem to run more cool-toned, though.

  • Milk Chocolate is a tauped-up chocolate brown with a matte finish. It feels pretty smooth and doesn’t look chalky.
  • George & Weezie is a green-tinged gold with a frosty finish. It has almost a green-gray cast.
  • Boy Toy is a frosty cool-toned blue-based pink with silverish sheen.
  • Label Whore is a reddish brown with a green-teal shimmer/sheen. I thought this shade was really fun and different — it reminded me of a tealer, more pigmented version of MAC’s Club eyeshadow. This shade is also available as a single.
  • London Calling is a soft white-gold with a slightly frosty finish.
  • Glamazon is a soft taupe with a pink undertone. It has almost a metallic finish. This shade is also available as a single.
  • Dirt Bag is a brown with a touch of burgundy. It has more of a satiny finish than frost, too. This shade is also available as a single.
  • Party Girl is a medium purple with a sheen and deeper purple shimmer.
  • Neptune is a bright green-based teal with a soft sheen (less frost, more sheen!). This shade is also available as a single.

Bottom Line: It’s a fun, cute palette. It’s not my favorite holiday palette, but it’s a solid one. Everything in the palette seems to run on the cooler side, so it may be a better palette for cooler skin tones. Even though there’s a good assortment of eyeshadows, I felt like they had a few too many frosts and no standout highlighter shade–if this is a palette to get me ready from face to lips to eyes, that’s something I’d look for. Some might find the packaging cute, others may find it cumbersome, because it is a bigger palette and could have easily been made smaller (and thus more portable).

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of Too Faced eyeshadows, this is a great way to get several for less!

Availability: Sephora

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