Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules Palette
Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules Palette

Beauty Rules?!

Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules Face Palette ($45.00) has me at odds! I do and don’t like this palette. I do LOVE the new and exclusive Pot Rouge shades to this palette. I also adore the packaging–I just think it’s cute and fits so well with the theme. I absolutely do not like the eyeshadows included in the palette, and I really disliked both of the sparkle eyeshadows.

My dislike of those two eyeshadows actually overwhelmed me for awhile, because I kept giving this palette a look of disdain. Once I sat down to write the review, though, I realized that only two of ten products weren’t so hot. I do think the Pot Rouges are really the highlight out of this palette, because they are wearable, flattering shades. Both shades are exclusive to the palette, as are the two lip glosses and Eclipse eyeshadow. (Ivory is permanent; Lightning, Orchid, and Crystal Gold have been in previous palettes.)

  • Ivory is a matte white ivory. If you have a few Bobbi Brown palettes, you probably have this shade somewhere! It’s similar to MAC’s Blanc Type.
  • Lightning is a sheer, softened gray taupe with silver shimmer and has a sparkle finish. It was in Bobbi Brown’s Aquamarine Palette.
    Orchid is sheer, sparkly lilac with a sparkle finish. This was in Bobbi Brown’s Orchid Palette, and I disliked it as much then as I do now. It’s just a mess to apply–fall out everywhere.
  • Eclipse is a matte, stormy black. It’s a nice black, but it doesn’t stand out strongly against other matte blacks available.
  • Baby Pink is a rosy pink with cool, blue undertones. It can be built up for a more intense look or blended out for a rosy flush. I was reminded a bit of Benefit’s Posietint, but Posietint is not as buildable.
  • Homecoming Pink is a medium pink with neutral undertones. It’s as wearable and buildable as Baby Pink, just darker and neutral. Fun find: Pale Pink from the Orchid Palette is a mix of Baby Pink and Homecoming Pink!
  • Air Kiss is a sheer, pale milky pink. It lightened my natural lip color a bit–essentially washed out my lip color.
  • Rum is a sheer rosy brown. It has a little milkiness to it, but it’s not as milky or as pale as Air Kiss.
  • Crystal Gold is a sheer glossy base with metallic bronze and copper shimmer. This is a Glitter Lip Balm, but I’d like this more layered over a lipstick. It’s a little streaky on its own.
  • Jet is a creamy, jet black eyeliner.  It wore well, and it wasn’t too soft or hard, though swatching it lightly on the back of your hand initially is recommended, just to wear down the sharpened point.

The palette contains 0.02 oz. Creamy Eye Pencil, 0.04 oz. x4 Eyeshadows, 0.07 oz. x2 Pot Rouges, 0.04 oz. x2 of Lip Gloss, and 0.04 oz. Glitter Lip Balm. After going through the math, the palette is a good deal. It’s not a fantastic deal, but it’s not a rip off. You get about $10 worth of Eyeliner, $20 worth of Eyeshadows, $15 worth of Sparkle Eyeshadows, $10 worth of Pot Rouge, $10 worth of Lip Gloss, and $5 worth of Glitter Lip Balm–so somewhere around $65 to 70 in value.

I don’t feel like this is a great palette for teenagers. Even though sparkle is fun and they always say it’s for the young (pfft!), both shades are prone to fall out, and I think the last thing a makeup newcomer should have to deal with is that. The Pot Rouges are forgiving, because they’re so blendable, and the lip colors are natural and wear with most looks–but it’s the eyeshadows that seem out of place for a palette geared towards teenagers.

P.S. — Though I am not a fan of lip palettes, particularly when lip colors are mixed with powder products, I did not let that personal bias influence the rating or grading of this palette, but I do still feel that way about them–haven’t changed my mind!

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: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: My gut says to pass on this, but if you’re a Pot Rouge fan like me, those pinks are hard to pass up.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Blush
Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Tissages de Chanel

Chanel Holiday 2010: Tweed Fuchsia

Chanel Tweed Fuchsia Tissages de Chanel ($45.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a cotton candy pink with slight blue undertones. It has golden shimmer patterned on the top of the blush, but underneath, it’s much subtler and interlaced with the blush itself. It’s almost like micro-glitter rather than regular shimmer, but a lot of it seems to disappear or get eaten up by the brush, so the effect isn’t like a disco ball. (And again, much of the glittery bits are overspray and will be gone after a use or two.)

Tweed Fuchsia, like several of the other Tweed varieties, does feel like it has a little more shimmer than the Joue Contrastes, which have a glowier kind of look when worn. The blue undertone of this pink isn’t too strong, though it gets stronger the heavier the color is used. When I wore it on my cheeks, it almost looked neutral! It also layered well, so you could build up the color for a more intense cheek or keep it soft for an everyday look.

It’s a pretty pink, but it’s a shade I’ve definitely seen before–if you have Pink Explosion from fall, you might find this quite easy to pass by.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a flattering shade of pink on both cool and warm skin tones, because it doesn’t lean too blue.  It’s also buildable, which makes it more versatile as you can pair it with heavier, smokier or barely-there looks.  However, you may want to check your stash to see if you have something similar.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Chanel SoHo de Chanel Highlighter & Blush
Chanel SoHo de Chanel Highlighter & Blush

Chanel SoHo Le Vernis: Should You?

Chanel SoHo de Chanel Highlighter & Blush ($65.00 for 0.45 oz.) is the star of the collection, is it not? It’s easily the prettiest, with the raised SoHo lettering and design of the powder. It has three distinct shades: rosy brown (it doesn’t read plum on me, though Chanel describes it as such), pale powder pink (but don’t expect to use that shade on its own–it’s such a thin strip!), and satiny pale white with subtle pink undertones (this is the highlighter). If you mix them altogether, the result is a lightly shimmered, glowy mix of muted rose.

Surprisingly, it swatches rather sheerly, but it applied much better with a blush brush on my cheeks–it was more pigmented than I anticipated (based on the subtler swatches). I actually loved the luminous sheen in the finish when they were swirled together–it’s glowy and rosy without being too pink. It is on the cooler side, but I think it still worked on my warmer skin tone, because it does have a touch of brown in it.

You could use the blush/highlighter shades separately if so desired, as both pieces are large enough to do so. The highlighter has such a fine sheen that I could see it being dusted all over as a finishing powder.  Overall, the powder applied really smoothly and evenly, and it was a cinch to blend out.

At $65, it’s not exactly a necessity item, but Chanel packed a surprising amount of product into this compact–a whopping 0.45 oz.–as compared to their blushes which weigh in at a mere 0.14 oz. By the ounce, it’s cheaper than NARS, can you believe it? This is one of those rare moments in beauty where I’m awarding Chanel 10/10 on value!

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Chanel collectors should be pleased with the way SoHo looks and feels but also how smoothly it applies. For those less motivated by the brand itself, if you pick it up, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed–but don’t sell a kidney for it or anything!

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Video Review: Rock & Republic (Blushes) First Impressions & Swatches

I reviewed CALL ME on Monday, but here’s a video I shot when I first opened up the four blushes I purchased from HauteLook, close-ups, me talking far too much per usual, and swatches.  I will do written reviews for the rest as well — not to fear!

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Rock & Republic Call Me Blush
Rock & Republic Call Me Blush

Where are my coral blush fiends?

Rock & Republic Call Me Blush ($40.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a gorgeous shade of shimmering pinky-coral with peach shimmer-sheen.  It’s really a ringer for Lancome’s Mandarin Sky (which I also loved), but more-sheen-than-shimmer (and not quite as pink) NARS Orgasm.  I’m obsessed. OBSESSED. with coral blushes, whether they’re pink-coral, peach-coral, or orange-coral, I’m all over them. 

Call Me is beautiful on both cooler and warmer skin tones–it doesn’t have strong orange undertones, so it can work just as nicely on those with pink undertones as those with yellow or olive undertones.   It is, obviously, most complimentary on warmer complexions, though.  The shimmer is incredibly fine and appears as a soft glowy sheen on cheeks.

It’s a very pigmented, smooth textured powder blush; surprisingly impressive for a brand that’s been pulled from all the counters I know of.  Even more impressive given that this brand regularly shows up on discount sites at 50% off.  It’s well worth the $40 price tag, since it is a high-end/luxury line, but the compact itself is quite large–and not just the physical compact, but the product inside weighs in at an impressive 0.32 oz. (most blushes are between 0.15 and 0.21 oz.).  Obviously, an incredible deal at $20 (which is how I got mine).

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: For my coral blush lovers, this one is not to be missed.

AVAILABILITY: Rock & Republic

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Leopard Luxe
Lipglass: A Quiet Roar, Schemer

MAC Fabulous Felines: Leopard Luxe Review, Photos, Swatches (Lips & Cheek)

Here is part two! Be sure to read part one.

Lipglass ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • A Quiet Roar is a very pale white gold on lips. It looks a little off to me when I wear it alone, but it could be used to layer over other shades. It reminded me of Almondine (Spring Colour Forecast).
  • Schemer is a sheer orange base with flecks of copper and ambered gold shimmer. I found it applied pretty unevenly, and even though I tried to make it even, I couldn’t quite get there. I’d use it as a layering gloss rather than alone. This is very, very similar to Gold Dust (Spring Colour Forecast). This one seems a little more pigmented.
  • Wildly Refined is a pinky brown with multicolored shimmer–lots of pink and peach shimmer.  It’s semi-opaque and has a very frosty/shimmery finish.

Lipstick ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Drive Me Wild is a reddened coral with gold sheen in a cremesheen finish. Like the other cremesheen finishes in this launch, it doesn’t feel like the typical cremesheen–creamier, smoother, more moisturizing. It reminded me of an orange version of Rose Maiden (Spring Colour Forecast).
  • Out Minxed is a sheer whitish shade with lots of multicolored glitter/shimmer with slight yellow undertones in a glaze finish. It’s similar to Liquid Lurex except less glittery and multicolored.
  • Powerful is an orange-y copper shade with lots of gold and copper glitter in a dazzle finish. As far as I can tell, it’s pretty much a dead ringer for Infused with Glam. Maybe a smidgen darker, but I don’t think so.
  • The Prowl is a semi-sheer red-tinged brown with a glossy, lustre finish. It has flecks of copper and amber shimmer in it. I did find that I had to be careful about pressing my lips together, because the color would look blotchy/streaky easily.

Mineralize Blush ($21.00 U.S. / $25.00 CDN)

  • Utterly Game is a peachy orange with very subtle sheen and no real shimmer (maybe a couple flecks here and there).  It can be built up for a more intense look quite easily, so I’d actually use a light hand if you’re on the fairer side.  I saw this on an artist at the store and thought she looked lovely, and she was very pale, but I didn’t love it on me – just made me look a little burnt, ha!

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