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

See more photos and swatches! Continue reading →

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

See swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Lancome Sparkling Cherub Illuminating Powder

Lancome Holiday 2009: Lancome Sparkling Cherub Illuminating Powder

Lancome Sparkling Cherub Sheer Warming Illuminating Powder ($40.00 for 0.35 oz.) is very true to its name: it’s a subtle powder that warms up the complexion.

To me, it feels and looks very much like a bronzer. Although it initially looks sparkly, it’s just a gold overspray, so after that top layer disappears, you’re left with a mostly matte combination of colors. The outer right is kind of a beige-y fleshy-tone, while the inner ring is a deeper bronzy shade. I’m not really a fan of overspray, just because all they do is make it look pretty, sparkly, and different than what it really is.  I’d rather just see it in its semi-matte to matte form.

It’s not really practical to use each section alone, so together, they mix and create a very lightly warmed-up bronze-orange powdery shade. I could see some maybe using the inner portion alone, but the outer ring is a little thin to make it easy to use by itself.

The design of the cherub is cute, and you’ll see it linger in your compact for several uses (until you flatten him out, LOL), which is nice. I could see myself using this as a light blusher on cheeks or maybe a dusting on my forehead, nose, and chin to add extra warmth during the winter season. I don’t, personally, think I’ll reach for this too often, but if you’re looking for a way to warm up your complexion, this might be it.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For a cutely designed, subtle bronzer, Sparkling Cherub might have you covered.

Availability: Nordstrom

See swatchesContinue reading →

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Benefit Powderazzi ($30.00 for 3 0.10 oz. powders) is part of Benefit’s holiday offerings, and it features three shades of their popular powders: CORALista, Dallas, and Hoola.

This past summer, I reviewed and adored Benefit’s CORALista powder, which is a soft, pinky-coral with subtle sheen. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It’s particularly flattering on my warm-toned skin, and I’ve always been a big fan of wearing coral. I’m glad they chose to include it in their powder trio this year!

Also featured is Hoola, which is a matte medium dark cocoa brown meant to be used as a bronzer. I rarely wear bronzer, but when I do, I tend to gravitate towards very lightly shimmered or matte shades, like Hoola. Hoola also feels more like a neutral shade, so it’s something that has more universal appeal.

The third shade in this trio is Dallas, which is a plummy color with kind of a dirty feel. It reminded me a bit of MAC’s Marign blush, but more on the plum side. It’s not as shimmery as CORALista, but it definitely has a sheen and shimmer to it. I think this is a great shade for the fall/winter, where darker cheeks always feel more appropriate (to me, at least).

The packaging is typical Benefit — cute print on cardboard packaging. I don’t tote my makeup around very often, so I don’t mind cardboard packaging. Others who often toss products into their bag may find the cardboard will take a beating, though it probably won’t disintegrate or anything–it just won’t look perfect.

As far as size goes, you get 0.3 oz. of product total in this kit, and each full-size Benefit powder goes for $28 for 0.4 oz. You’re paying a little extra to be able to try three shades at once rather than picking up one huge-sized powder. This is a good opportunity to try three shades without having to purchase all three separately. If you find you love any of the three enough that you actually finish it, the full-size is available to you.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve wanted to try out Benefit’s powders in the past but haven’t wanted to fork over the money for each one, this trio may prove a better chance for you to try a variety of colors instead.

Availability: November 2009 at Ulta

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Face Kits

I like that MAC tried something new – a face palette. I haven’t seen them put out a face palette in quite some time, and the tiered system of this compact is convenient. These palettes actually do have some heft to them, so they’re not ultra lightweight or anything. (I was very surprised at how heavy my bag was when I purchased the palettes in general–sure felt like I was walking out with a lot!) I think at the price range, these feel a little steep. It’s hard to tell just exactly how much product you’re getting of each and if it’s really a better deal than if you bought them separately.

Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit ($38.00 U.S.)

  • Pretty Baby is a soft, powdery pink beauty powder. Beauty powders can be used as all-over powders, blushes, highlighters, etc. It’s really up to you on how you want to use it, and depending on your skin tone, what may be the best use for it. I remember when it launched with the Diana Ross collection and I’d use it everyday, but I couldn’t tell you what it did for my skin/face.
  • Sunsparked Pearl is a pearly peach highlighter. It’s one of my favorite MAC highlighters, because it has subtle shimmer and a great “glow” factor. I’ve always felt it worked particularly well on warm skin, but it’s also nice on cooler skin.
  • Peachykeen is a peachy-coral blush shade that is available all the time. It’s one of my favorite blushes (MAC has an excellent line of permanent blush shades).

Fab-racadabra Bronze Face Kit ($38.00 U.S.)

  • Golden is a golden-brown bronzing shade with subtle gold pearl shimmer.
  • Buffed & Polished is a glitzy gilded bronze with golden shimmer. It reads a little chunky shimmer to me, though, so it’s not my favorite to use on the face.
  • Sunbasque is a deep bronzy peach. Again, it’s an excellent blush and part of the permanent shade range.

I liked the Hocus Focus Colourful Face Kit best. I think it’s wearable for both warm and cool skin tones, and I think it works well to give you a brighter, glowier look without a fuss. The Fab-racadabra Bronze Face Kit is exactly that–a bronzing kit. Since I’d rather just opt for a single bronzer than a whole kit full, it’s not my thing. I think it may lean too orange for some as well.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

See photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009


Warmth Glow n’ Bronzer

2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Glow n’ Bronzers

There are three Glow n’ Bronzers to choose from, and each one contains four strips of color. You could likely use each one individually to highlight or use on eyes, but as a blush/bronzer, it is most practical to use all four together (“swirled”). The Glow n’ Bronzers ($15.00 each for 16.1 g/0.57 oz.) are very much like the Marble Blushes. Each strip is soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. These also wear well and last me most of the day–or as long as I needed it to! Like the Marble Blushes, these give a soft sheen rather than chunky glitter or shimmer particles, so if you’ve found other baked products too shimmery, these might be more your cup of tea.

  • Warmth contains four strips of color: pale white-beige, neutral brown with pink undertones, soft, pale pink, and bronze. When swirled together, you get a soft, bronzy-pink shade. I’d see this working well on paler skin tones.
  • Sun Kissed contains four strips of color: light beige with pink, soft orange, taupe-y bronze, and warm bronze. I will caution that my swatches are a bit misleading on this one, only because some of it is so similar to my skin tone, so on paler complexions, you’d definitely see a bit more bang for your buck. On the other hand, this one works extremely well with my coloring, because it looks very natural and definitely gives me a “sunkissed” look. Swirled together, you’ll see a soft, coppeyr-bronze shade with soft gold sheen.
  • Toasted contains four strips of color: taupe-brown with pink, pale ivory-beige, soft golden peach, and rich copper. When used together, the colors come together to create a soft golden sheen. On me, it looks more like a highlighter more so than a bronzer.

Compared to MAC: I’d say these are most like MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes (particularly the limited edition releases from Brunette, Blonde, Redhead, since those, too, had strips of color). Again, these are cheaper at $15.00 for 16.1g/0.57 oz. compared to MAC at $27.00 for 10g/0.35 oz. MAC also offers a larger variety on types of mineralize skinfinishes, since some are blushers, while others can bronze your skin and still others are highlighters. MAC’s tend to be swirled/marbled rather than with strips, too. One thing I noticed is that when I swirled MAC mineralize skinfinishes together (from BBR), the strips didn’t mix so much. With the 2nd Love Glow n’ Bronzers, when you mix them, you can kind of see that you did that. You can dust everything off and it’s all as it should be, though. When you use a brush, this effect is extremely minimized; it is more pronounced when you use sponges/fingers.

Check out product photos and swatchesContinue reading →