Friday, January 13th, 2012

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “navy blue.” It’s a dark navy blue with a shimmery finish. I feel it necessary to do a full copy-and-paste from spring’s press release regarding this product, because too often I receive comments and emails saying I’m being unduly harsh and unfair, all because NARS “meant” for this product to crease; that this is supposed to have that “creased” look.  I’m harsh, but I don’t think unduly so; this is an atrocious product, and from a high-end brand that can and does put out quality products, it’s appalling. I don’t make excuses for brands, least of all when they create products that perform this poorly.

This is what the press release states: “The navy blue Soft Touch Shadow Pencil complements any warm-weather look. Use the creamy, long-wearing formula alone, as a base for layering with powder shadow, or to line and sculpt the eye.” This product is long-wearing by itself, can be used as a base beneath powder eyeshadow, as well as an eyeliner. There is nothing about this product creasing, migrating, moving, turning to sludge, or otherwise indicating it’s supposed to look like this on the lid.

Whenever I wear/experiment NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, I notice my eyes are a bit irritated; there’s a burning sensation (not on the lid but of my eye), especially when I use these as eyeliners. I’ve tried Dark Rite in the three methods that NARS states: alone, as a base, and as an eyeliner. None of these methods was successful. The good news is this product creases so quickly that it takes very little time to go through all those tests!

Alone, it fades, smudges on the beneath the lower lash line (from the lid!), creases, and pools into creases. It isn’t dry to the touch after a half hour of wear, which is obviously going to be a problem–if it doesn’t dry, it doesn’t set, so it won’t stay in place. It applies somewhat evenly but does have problems; if you apply with a finger, it seems to just slide around but I wasn’t able to get a really even look with it using my fingers. I had the best luck doing one pass and doing my best not to layer.

As a base with powder eyeshadows on top, it’s both a pain to use (because it’s wet, the powder eyeshadow tends to clump and stick to it but not blend out well; the darker hue also has a tendency to “eat” the eyeshadow) and wear (because it creases after five minutes, just not as bad as it was alone). In the past, I have tried several of these pencils over/under various bases, with/without eyeshadow, and the results are dismal  (See Celebrate.).  I tried the same methods with this one as well with the same disappointing results, whether it’s used alone, underneath eyeshadow, or over a primer, it’s a one-way trip to Crease City.

Finally, as an eyeliner, it smudges and travels further and further away from the lash line. I don’t need any help making my under eye circles look any darker, but this product excelled at it.

The only reason it earns any points is that it is pigmented, but the pigmentation is patchy and uneven, which does impact the overall pigmentation score.  The texture is creamy enough that it glides on the lid without too much tugging or pulling, which accounts for some points.  But you’ll notice that when it comes to overall product score and longevity, there are none.  These continue to be one of the worst formulas I’ve come across.  At $24, it’s a slap in the eye.

If you want a shadow pencil that actually works, consider Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils, which not only wear all day long without trouble, they’re four bucks cheaper. Here are some navy blue eyeliners to consider as well.

The Glossover

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Dark Rite

If you're been looking for a product to deliver a creased, glossy look, perhaps for an editorial, maybe this is up your alley. I suspect you could find a cheaper cream product to do something similar or else pat Vaseline or gloss over your favorite navy blue eyeshadow.
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Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Estee Lauder Blackened Sapphire Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner
Estee Lauder Blackened Sapphire Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Blackened Sapphire Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Blackened Sapphire Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a deep navy blue with a hint of indigo. It has a matte finish, and it has a fair amount of pigmentation in a single pass, but it builds up really easily and well. The texture is creamy without being slippery. It has a really dense feel and wears well on the lash line for ten hours or so (waterline is less, five to six hours). I couldn’t think of any dupes–a lot of my navy blue eyeliners are lighter or have shimmer, which tends to lighten the overall appearance.

Navy blue is an excellent alternative to black while still getting a really defined eye.  It can also add a pop of color without adding brightness to your favorite neutral look (which is my favorite way to wear it).  The matte base makes it more versatile, too, because you can smudge a shimmery eyeshadow to play with the finish and dimension of it.

The Glossover

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Blackened Sapphire

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It has a matte finish, and it has a fair amount of pigmentation in a single pass, but it builds up really easily and well. The texture is creamy without being slippery.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil: Demolition, Perversion, Woodstock

Urban Decay will be adding three previously limited edition shades of 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencils ($19.00 for 0.04 oz.): Demolition (matte deepest darkest brown), Perversion (matte blackest carbon black), and Woodstock (bright fuchsia pink with silver micro glitter). I’m sure fans of the formula will be more than pleased to see such an ultra rich (and coveted) black made available year-round. No need to go easy any more!

  • Demolition is a dark brown with subtle amber warmth around the edges. This is a new and exclusive shade. Try CoverGirl Brown as a possible dupe.
  • Perversion is a really deep, dark black with a matte finish. It’s very creamy (more so than the majority of the 24/7 Pencils) but still works well.
  • Woodstock is a fuchsia-red pink with a satiny sheen and silver sparkle. The pigmentation was decent but not fully opaque in a single pass. It is buildable (see the larger swatch).

I’ve reviewed Urban Decay’s eyeliner formula many times in the past, including this past holiday season as they launched two holiday sets of pencils (which is where you’ll find all three of these). The all-day wear from these eyeliners is the obvious selling point, but I also really like the range of colors and that they’re just creamy enough to glide across the lash line without tugging but not so creamy that they smudge.  Both Demolition and Perversion apply like a dream, while Woodstock is sheerer than your average Urban Decay liner.

Which is your favorite?

The Glossover

coming-soon

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil: Demolition, Perversion, Woodstock

A
The all-day wear from these eyeliners is the obvious selling point, but I also really like the range of colors and that they're just creamy enough to glide across the lash line without tugging but not so creamy that they smudge. Both Demolition and Perversion apply like a dream, while Woodstock is sheerer than your average Urban Decay liner.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner
Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner

Chanel Spring 2012: Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner

Chanel Grenat Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.01 oz.) is described as “garnet.” It’s a rich burnished burgundy-red with a subtle coppery-red shimmer and even subtler sheen. It has pretty good color payoff in a single pass, though it tends to look browner and less red. If you were worried it might appear too red on the lash line, it doesn’t–it seems to compliment and work well against the natural tones of the skin so it does not make eyes look bloodshot.

This eyeliner formula is good; it’s both waterproof and long-wearing–no fading, smudging, or disappearing over the course of ten hours. Though the size of twist-up pencils always worries me, it’s true across all price points (from drugstore to high-end). There’s a sharpener on the opposite end which detaches and enables you to sharpen the tip of the eyeliner. The pencil is small enough that, for the most part, sharpening isn’t a must (as, inevitably, you’ll waste some product by doing so).  It’s creamy enough that it delivers good pigmentation in a single pass, but it could be a little creamier to enable better glide.

The Glossover

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Grenat

A
This is a good formula, and the color is interesting; it may or may not be your cup of tea, though! It works well with the colors from Chanel's spring collection, especially the eyeshadow quad.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eye Dream Hyperliner
Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eye Dream Hyperliner

Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eye Dream Hyperliner ($15.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “metallic peacock green.” It’s a rich shade of teal with a hint of blue. It doesn’t lean green and just barley leans blue, but it’s a cooler-toned teal with a metallic finish. It’s less green compared to Urban Decay Clinic and Urban Decay Covet (both of those are almost the same).  I’ve been reaching for this a lot lately, because it looks great paired with a neutral eye as it gives some oomph without dominating.  The product is creamy, so it glides on easily and smoothly without tugging at the lash line.  It yields really good color payoff in a single pass.

In my original review, I really raved about these eyeliners, and then I had more good things to say about three more shades. I’m still missing one (Tommy Jet), but Spark of Envy brings me one step closer to completing the set.  I encourage you to read my original review for a full-length post on these, but to sum it up: these are soft and creamy enough to glide-on easily across the lash line without dragging or tugging while delivering a fair amount of pigmentation in a single pass (and opaque in two). They don’t budge, fade, or smudge during the day, and they wore through a shower for me.  I’m really most impressed by the payoff of these pencils in one stroke, and the excellent wear is icing on the cake.

The Glossover

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Spark of Envy

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Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Eyelicity Glitter Eyeliner
Tarina Tarantino Eyelicity Glitter Eyelines

Tarina Tarantino Eyelicity Glitter Eyeliner ($16.00 for 0.17 oz.) is supposed to deliver “smooth color payoff and excellent coverage” that is smudge-proof. It comes in three shades: Glitter Mist (micro iridescent pearl glitter), Magic Mirror (micro silver glitter), and Black Diamond (black liner with iridescent glitter).

  • Glitter Mist is a mix of iridescent pink, white, and silver glitter that’s more sheer than opaque. There’s lots of shimmer, but it doesn’t deliver a solid line of color. The glitter almost looks like flakies.
  • Magic Mirror is a gray and silver mix of glitter; it’s surprisingly not metallic–it’s a much darker gray/silver than your typical foil-like silver.
  • Black Diamond is a black liquid eyeliner with multi-colored glitter–I saw mostly green, blue, and silver.

The first two are more layering shades than ones to wear individually, though Magic Mirror could be worn alone, it doesn’t have quite the same oomph as Black Diamond does when worn alone. Black Diamond definitely has enough of a color base to be used alone, but it’s not as opaque as most black liquid eyeliners. I’ve been liking these more layered over my favorite eyeliners for added sparkle. You can also apply it over mascara, if you should so desire!

The applicator is thin, but the eyeliner can be a little thick, so I prefer to use a separate eyeliner brush (like the 208), especially since I applied it to the lower lash line.  Those with more experience with thin, liquid eyeliner brushes should find this suitable; it feels and looks much like the multitude of others do.  It’s not too long or floppy, and it’s very thin, so precision is possible.

It has a longer drying time (but still under a minute), which is more a minus than it is a plus. Once it dries, though, it didn’t budge. It will peel off if you pick at it (say you swatched it on your arm), but it’s not going anywhere with water (or tears!) or through regular day wear. I didn’t find glitter all over my cheeks or anything like that after wearing it for twelve hours.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Eyelicity Glitter Liner

B+

For layering, these are fantastic, but if you're looking for an opaque glitter eyeliner, you'll want to look elsewhere. These just don't quite get there! Black Diamond is the closest but would still look better layered over a black eyeliner.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

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