Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Hollywoodland

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “pale gold” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Hollywoodland is a muted yellow-based gold–kind of a gilded champagne-gold to me. It delivers a nice layer of color without a lot of tugging. Smooth without being greasy, it glides on the lid. I tested it alone, and within ten minutes, it was crease-city (photo included, for your viewing horror), and following that disaster, I tested it with Hourglass’ Dune eyeshadow on top–much better results (six hours of crease-free wear). However, I later tried it with NARS Brazil eyeshadow on it, and it creased a bit at the four hour mark. It seems like it really needs quite a bit of powder to really set it. I also wore it as a liner and honestly, when I went to check it after an hour, I couldn’t find it.

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–but with enough powder, Hollywoodland managed to get through six hours without creasing, unlike the last one I tried (Palladium).

The Glossover

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product

Hollywoodland

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For $24, this product needs a lot of help to make it usable. From a brand that can make my favorite eyeshadow primer, I'm It's a shame, because it was gorgeous as a base but also blended out on its own for a quick, everyday look.  Given that these are prone to creasing on my normal-to-dry lids, if you have to layer your eyeshadow primers normally, I don't think these are for you.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: Lilac Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Lilac Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • Lilac is a vibrant blue-violet with a fuchsia-violet undertone. Unfortunately, it is a pain to work with–there is no creaminess, so the color drags and skips when applied. I really wanted to wear it, but I could barely get it to show up, even after working the tip down a bit.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.   Lilac just did not work for me at all; what I managed to apply wore okay for about four or five hours, but it was so faint and sheer.

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  • Product: 16/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s such a shame that it doesn’t apply evenly nor have enough creaminess to glide on and deposit pigment intensely.   It’s a beautiful color but not worth picking up based on a rougher texture, below average wear, and sheer color.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: White Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana White Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • White is exactly as it sounds–it’s a bright, creamy white and is one of the creamiest liners I’ve tested from Dolce & Gabbana’s range.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.

Note, however, that White didn’t have the poor texture that plagues many other Dolce & Gabbana eyeliners–it was very creamy and pigmented; it was easy to work with. This is why I don’t like to combine reviews, because unless a product line is very consistent, there can be enough variance that each product will earn a different grade–and this is exactly why I split this post into two separate ones, even though their content is very similar.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: White looks rather stark on my medium skin tone, so I’m not sure what skin tone this would be ideal for–it is a very bright white, and could offer a lot of contrast for the right look. While it is creamy, I wouldn’t necessarily use it as an eyeshadow base. It wore for only six hours though, before fading away.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Chanel Gris Scintillant Le Crayon Yeux
Chanel Gris Scintillant Le Crayon Yeux

Chanel Spring 2011: Gris Scintillant

Chanel Gris Scintillant Le Crayon Yeux ($29.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a dark charcoal gray with silver and teal-tinged silver shimmer. There are a lot of amazing eyeliner formulas out there, and while I haven’t had trouble with other Chanel Le Crayon Yeux shades (though I have only tried a couple), this one is quite sheer and requires a few passes to achieve decent color opacity. It’s also not as intense or as smooth as I’d like in a pencil eyeliner.  Overall, I found this to be rather disappointing.

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  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: At $29, for many, it can be difficult to justify, and if the color isn’t exactly unique or the formula isn’t excellent, there seems little reason to pick this up.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Siahi Fluidline
MAC Siahi Fluidline

MAC Mickey Contractor: Siahi Fluidline

MAC Siahi Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is new and limited edition from MAC Mickey Contractor, and MAC describes it as a “deep turquoise blue” with a frost finish. Siahi is rich, jewel-toned teal-tinged dark blue with a slight shine. I found this shade more pigmented than Ivy, and I didn’t experience the same sheerness with this shade, but the wear was still fantastic.  It reminded me of Stila Peacock, though it is a pencil eyeliner, but possibly a shade or two lighter.

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you’re a fluidline fan, I think it’s worth at least a look-see, but I expect the fluidlines to sell out quickly.  With nice pigmentation, smooth, long-wearing color, it will be a great shade to pair with golds, greens, bronzes, blues, and teals.

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Ivy Fluidline
MAC Ivy Fluidline

MAC Mickey Contractor: Ivy Fluidline

MAC Ivy Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is new and limited edition from MAC Mickey Contractor, and MAC describes it as a “bright green” with a frost finish. Ivy is a brightened teal-tinged emerald green with subtle yellow undertones. It’s not quite as pigmented as other fluidlines; I didn’t have any skipping when I tested it on my upper lash line, but it did not go on as opaque as I’d like. I had to do a second pass to get better results, but on the upside, it wore beautifully without smudging, fading, or migrating (eight hours of wear).

I thought Jadeye might be comparable, and though I don’t own it, looking at various swatches showed it to be significantly tealer (in fact, back in its original launch, which was in Jewelescent in’ 06, I described it as teal–win!). Make Up For Ever #22 Aqua Cream is a reasonably yellower green, so they’re not quite dupes.

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: I really dig the shade itself, but I wish it was more pigmented. If you’re a fluidline fan, I think it’s worth at least a look-see, but I expect the fluidlines to sell out quickly.

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

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