Friday, August 19th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #2 Aqua Cream
Make Up For Ever #2 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #2 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #2 Aqua Cream ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “silver gray” with a shimmer finish. It’s less silver and gray than it is dirty gray and brown–more taupe than silver. It has a frosted, metallic sheen. When it is sheered out, it looks browner and more taupe-like.  This shade is recommended for both eyes and cheeks, though I suspect most will use it on eyes.  The color reminded me of Chanel Epatant, which has a lot more shimmer.

I’m a big fan of Aqua Creams, because they really stay on well. The formula is all about bringing “rich color payoff” with long-lasting wear that does not crease or smudge. These have creamy consistency that applies easily and smoothes out beautifully, but they do have a quicker dry down time–and once they set, they’re set for the rest of the day. I’ve worn numerous shades since they originally launched, and I’m never disappointed. The wear is truly phenomenal!

The Glossover

coming-soon

Make Up For Ever #2 Aqua Cream Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I like #2 as a quick wash of smoky color when you don't have a lot of time to create a look, but it also makes a great base for a smoky eye. The long-wearing formula makes it more versatile, since you can wear it alone or underneath your favorite powder products.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, June 10th, 2011


Guerlain Ombre Fusion Cream Eyeshadow: Bahia, Havana, Maya

Guerlain Terra Inca Collection: Ombre Fusions

Guerlain Ombre Fusion Cream Eyeshadows ($35.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) are new for summer and come in three varieties. Guerlain claims they are heat and water-resistant that “will last from dawn to dusk.” Each shadow is housed in a square glass tube with a metal cap–the packaging is very reminiscent of lipgloss, even down to the doe-footed applicator.  The packaging is a good mix of functionality and aesthetic appeal, but the glass makes these less portable.

  • Bahia is a soft pinked peach with very fine gold micro-shimmer. This is definitely wear-and-go kind of shade; perfect as a brightening wash of color on the lid.
  • Havana is a chocolatey khaki brown with olive green and gold micro-shimmer. Of the three, this is the most unique, as the color shifts from chocolate bronze to olive to khaki.
  • Maya is a medium-dark bronzy brown with red undertone and gold and copper micro-shimmer.

Depending on how much product you apply, you can get a sheerer layer of color or something richer and more opaque. Guerlain mentions an “illuminated effect” and “shimmering reflections.” I swatched both heavily and very lightly to show how sheer it could be blended out, if desired. It’s really all in the application of the user–a little goes a long way. Bahia was the one shade that I found took real layering to achieve a more opaque look, so I would describe Bahia as semi-sheer to semi-opaque, while the others are semi-opaque to opaque–all depending on how much product you choose to apply. They’ll go on more opaque generally, just because so little is required for a sheer effect that you have to be deliberate about how little you use.

The texture of these is a very thin cream; I would consider them more liquid than cream, because they have the feel and spread of a thicker liquid. It enables these to blend effortlessly onto the lid, whether you use a brush or fingertip, but they act far more like a cream eyeshadow from there on. These dry down at just the right pace; not so quick that you rush to get it in place or so slow that it builds into creases. Once it set, it stayed on for twelve hours with no creasing, fading, or smudging. I took a hot shower while wearing Havana on the lid to no noticeable decrease in wear–it didn’t crease, and it didn’t disappear. I just patted my face dry with a towel, and it looked the same pre- and post-shower.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Guerlain Ombre Fusion Cream Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

A
Bahia is the easiest to wear, while Havana seemed to be the most unique. It reminded me of a richer Nordstrom. These lived up to all of the lofty claims made--all-day wear and resists both heat and water.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Cham-Pale Paint Pots
MAC Paint Pots: Chilled on Ice, Dangerous Cuvee, Let Me Pop, Vintage Selection

MAC Cham-Pale: Paint Pots

MAC Paint Pots ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) are part of the permanent line, and it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve seen anything new in the range, but Cham-Pale brings to us four new and limited edition variations: Chilled on Ice (frosted white gold), Dangerous Cuvee (frosted cool grey), Let Me Pop (frosted light copper), and Vintage Selection (frosted dirty peach).

  • Chilled on Ice is a cool-toned iridescent pale yellow gold.  It is interesting because it seems cool-toned but yet it is a gold, which is often a warmer hue.
  • Dangerous Cuvee is a navy-tinged gray with a silvery-white sheen and shimmer.
  • Let Me Pop is a medium-dark copper with a golden copper sheen.  In the pot, it resembles Melon pigment, but when worn, it’s anything but.
  • Vintage Selection is a medium taupe brown.  It has a highly reflective frosted sheen.  It was the most opaque of the four.

Paint Pots can be used alone like a cream eyeshadow or as a base for your eyeshadows–I would say the latter is the more popular usage, though. I happen to use them as eyeshadow bases myself, because I find that most shades lend themselves to such rather than be worn alone. Whether I wear them alone or underneath eyehadow, they wear all day, and they are actually quite water-resistant, too.

These shades have a slightly creamier, but sheerer, formula than typical paint pots, which I imagine is due to the higher shimmer content in these.  They’re part shimmer, part metallic (but definitely not true metallics!).  The effect is reminiscent of Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadows, but these are more shimmer, less glitter, and generally speaking, more opaque (not that they are opaque).  They are easy to blend out and can be worn on their own, because they can be softened at the edges and sheered out enough to be worn in that fashion.

I felt that these took a wee bit longer to dry than other paint pots, but they still dried down and stayed in place.  My big concern with these is the sheerness, because I could not build up the color.  In the past, paint pots have been rather opaque, so it’s hard to know if this was simply the desired result for these in particular or if there is a deficiency of pigment.  However, since the official description is still “[a] highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish,” I would expect more intensity from these–at the very least, achievable by layering.

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: As much as I wanted to fall in love with these, I’m a little underwhelmed.  The sheerness isn’t what I would expect from the paint pot formula, but it may be a welcomed characteristic to others.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow
Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow

Benefit’s New Creaseless Cream Shadow Shades!

Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19.00 for 0.16 oz.) are now available in four new, Sephora exclusive shades: Purple Snap (lavender violet), Silver Spoon (true silver), Tidal Rave (muted teal with gold shimmer), and Ice Shot (icy white). I have three of the four to share with you today.

I love Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows — I actually gave them an award for best cream eyeshadow last year. They’re just so creamy, smooth, and apply beautifully. They can be applied sheerly for quick color or layered for a more intense look or as a base. I don’t experience any creasing–they last all day for me. And as someone who has owned many for over a year now, they aren’t prone to drying out in their jars, either.

I’m happy to report that these didn’t disappoint! They’re true to Benefit’s cream shadow formula with the creaminess and smoothness I’ve come to love. The colors are easily vibrant but just as easily used sheerly, which makes it a more versatile product.

  • Purple Snap is a brightened medium purple with softened red undertones. It has light violet micro-shimmer with a subtle sheen–not too frosty, but it’s not matte either.
  • Silver Spoon is a bright blue-tinged silver with a little mix of gray. The metallic finish is definitely there, but the bluish cast seems to dull it a bit (which isn’t a bad thing).
  • Tidal Rave is a darkened blue-teal base with green-gold shimmer. This is actually a really cool shade–very lovely–and pretty different from the rest of Benefit’s line-up. It has an almost duochrome nature to it. I was reminded me of MAC’s Surreal Eyeshadow (discontinued).

P.S. — Sephora lists Tidal Rave as Tidal Wave–but my box and bottom of the jar says Rave! So pfft!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think Tidal Rave is the most unique shade of the three featured in this post–but I’m totally digging the bluish cast of Silver Spoon, too. It’s kind of like stainless steel over traditional bright silver!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beach Collection Shadows

Bobbi Brown Beach Collection: Long-Wear Cream Shadows

For summer, Bobbi Brown’s collection includes Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadows ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) in four new shades: Moonstone (pale shimmering green), Opal (opalescent pink), Pink Oyster (shimmering pink), and Surf (pale shimmering blue), as well as Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) in Shore (pale nude).

  • Opal is an opalescent pinky-purple. It’s very sheer and light–it’s nice as an all-over wash on the lid. It could possibly be used as an eyeshadow base, too, since it’s more on the neutral side. Since the base almost feels and goes on clear, it looks glittery on the lid.
  • Surf is a cool-toned baby blue with a silver-white sparkle-sheen. It has a soft colored base, so it looks smoother on the lid compared to Opal and more metallic and less glittery. It’s not a deep blue, but it’s a lot more representative of the color it looks like in the pot, so it’s the color I would expect!
  • Shore is a creamy, matte beige. This is not an exciting color, but it’s incredibly versatile. It can be used to brighten up lids a bit, but it can be used as an eyeshadow base, too. It’s neutral and easy-to-use, particularly because of the matte finish.

I’m actually not a huge fan of Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long-Wear Eyeshadows — they’re just incredibly sheer and more glittery than metallic. I reviewed a few shades earlier, when they first launched. I still wish they had more of a metallic finish, because they do feel more on the glittery side. The Metallics have an almost wet feel to them–it’s a thinner creamy consistency with a wet feel and applies very smoothly and evenly without any trouble (better than the other three I tried!). They also last all day without creasing or budging or fading.

I prefer the texture, feel, and color pay off of the original Long-Wear Eyeshadows for sure. I think having a couple of the Metallics can be fun, but they’re not as versatile as the more opaque ones. Like the Metallics, the original Long-Wear Eyeshadows last all day without budging, smudging, or fading.  I just don’t think the Metallics are nearly as versatile or as multi-tasking as the original ones, which are more pigmented and very, very smooth.

Because these are two different products, I’m not going to give out an overall rating for all three.  Instead, I’m going to break it down between the two — for Metallics, they work really well in terms of staying power and not creasing, but the color payoff is sheer and not buildable as purported, so they’re more of a B product for me.  They’re better than the first ones I tried, because I do think these have a smoother finish and are truer-to-color in the pot.  Shore, on the other hand, has excellent pay off and quality, so it’s much more of an A- product and shade.

RECOMMENDATION: Shore is an excellent neutral base that works well and looks great. It’s something that doesn’t inspire excitement, but it’s a very useable product. The Metallics don’t grab me and neither shade gets me any closer to loving them at the moment.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream: Two More!

I’ve already fully reviewed Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream ($22.00) here (#5, 7, 18, 21) and here (#6, 9, 11, 13, 20). I’ve got two more shades to show you!

  • #1 Anthracite is a darkened steel green with a light silver shimmer.
  • #22 Emerald Green is a brightened green with a slightly metallic-frost sheen and yellow undertones.

I can see #1 Anthracite working really well for an intense, ultra-dark smoky eye. I definitely think that #22 Emerald Green is definitely the more versatile and usable shade of these two in particular, though. It’s great layered underneath golds, greens, blues, and teals.

Anyone else indulge in the new Aqua Creams?

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

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