Monday, February 7th, 2011

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeliner
Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Wild Violet: Untamed Violet

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Double Wear Eye Pencil ($19.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a deep dark violet with iridescent purple shimmer strewn through the colored base. It applies smoothly and goes on opaque without having to layer, and it lasts all day on my lower lash line (since it has shimmer, I didn’t wear it on my water line). I wouldn’t describe it as particularly creamy, even though it had a good glide. The formula is comparable to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eye Pencils, though.  It is a darker purple with less iridescence than Urban Decay Ransom, but it is comparable to Urban Decay Lust, which is slightly bluer and doesn’t have as much sheen.

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

final thoughts: The cooler undertones of this shade help to brighten eyes, so it is a nice shade to wear alone for a less-is-more kind of look, because it will brighten the whites of your eyes.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Penultimate Eyeliner
MAC Wonder Woman Penultimate Eyeliner

MAC Wonder Woman: Penultimate Eyeliner

MAC RAPIDBLACK PENULTIMATE EYELINER ($18.50 for 0.08 oz.) is super-sized for Wonder Woman–the original (and permanently available) Rapidblack is $16.50/0.03 oz.–making this over twice as much for $2 more. This feels and looks a lot like a marker; even holding it feels like I’m getting to write a note rather than line my eyes. Personally, I think it may be too large to be of great use for most people, and if you have smaller eyes–forget it!

my thoughts on the formula: I really like the original Penultimate eyeliner for something quick and easy that doesn’t dry out and gives you a medium black eyeliner (though it photographs brown with flash–it is definitely black). The tip is thin enough and flexible enough to glide across the eye without skipping. It wears all day for me, and I like that you can do thin or thick eyeliner with it. You can see photos of the permanent Rapidblack here.

Also worth noting, but the outside packaging felt and seemed like a sticker to me. I couldn’t exactly get it to peel or slip off, but it was something that caught my eye.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 1/5

final thoughts: Way too large. This is probably the least useful jumbo-sized product of the launch; it’s not just an increase in overall product quantity, but it really changes the effectiveness of the product itself. I’d recommend their Superslick eyeliners over Penultimate in general (better overall), and certainly over this shade. The formula itself is nice, but the packaging gets a major thumbs down for me–fine, be jumbo, but at least work as well as the original.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner
Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner

Smashbox Spring 2011: Heather

Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner ($22.00 for 0.025 oz.) is a soft brownish-gray. It’s new and limited edition for spring, but it is a powder eyeliner to create a “soft, smoldering look.” It delivers on the softer color, and it will draw in a nice line, but it leaves product everywhere.

The photo above was not intended to be artsy, but upon opening it for the first time, it dropped that much product onto my desk. Now, imagine that on your face–because that’s exactly what I ended up with when I tried applying this for the first time (my carpet is less than pleased). At a mere 0.025 oz. of product, I’m not exactly sure one wants to deal with any wasted product–even by wiping excess on a tissue.

Aside from the packaging woes, application worked out well, and I liked the softer lined look it yielded. I think those who find gel eyeliner too crisp and stark would enjoy a powder liner like this. Unfortunately, it only wore four hours before it started to flake.

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  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: Between the messy packaging and below average wear, it just didn’t work out.

where to buy: Sephora

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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Celebrate

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “parrot green” 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.”

Celebrate is a bright, chartreuse green with a strong yellow base. It applied semi-opaque but glided on easily. The problem with this shade was its complete inability to not crease. I tried it alone, and it creased within minutes. I layered eyeshadow on top (Giorgio Armani Transluminence palette–the teal–I just used whatever I had nearest to me), and it still creased in less than an hour. It’s not even a little creasing–it’s painful to see. Not to be daunted, I also tried it over NARS’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base with the same eyeshadow layered on top, and I still had the same results (a veritable creasing bonanza).

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–and Celebrate continues to show that NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils really can be hit or miss.

The Glossover

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product

Celebrate

I'm not even sure what you can really use this with or for, if it's going to crease with two additional helpers (a base and shadow to set). It migrates on the lower lash line, too, so it's not something one could line with, either. Five points for the glide and color pay off!
Results
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Dupes
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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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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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