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Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner

Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner
Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner

An Intense Black Eyeliner That Lasts All Day

Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner ($28.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a rich, deep black. If you want an intense, no-bones-about-it kind of black, that’s exactly what this. It joins the likes of MAC Black Black and Urban Decay Perversion when it comes to richness.

The formula is soft and creamy–almost too creamy, because I worried about the wear of the product as I applied it–that it glides on like silk and melts against the lash line like butter, filling in any minuscule gaps. It sets after about a minute, and after testing it twice, it held up quite nicely for a full eight hours without migrating or smudging. It still looked 90% after twelve hours.  It doesn’t wear for a full eight hours on the water line, but it does look pretty good. From afar, the water line still looks mostly lined, though up-close you can see some gaps and areas where it has worn away. There isn’t a whole lot of information on this formula online, so I didn’t actually see whether this was water line safe or whether it was intended to be used there (so the assumption is that it is not water line safe).

It’s supposed to be water-resistant and long-lasting with a soft, creamy texture. All true: water-resistant to a point, such that water won’t make it smudge or smear, unless you go rubbing your eyes, then you will get subtle smudging, but sweat, steam, and a little “rain” (well, I closed my eyes and sprayed water on my eyes) don’t cause the eyeliner to fade, smudge, or smear.

Too bad this is limited edition! Why do brands put out limited edition products like this? It’s not like it’s an electric blue eyeliner that maybe won’t do so well. It’s black–it’s such a basic, staple item!  Boo!

Update:  The version I have will be released in October for the holidays. The pencil will be permanent and will come with a smudge-tip on the end when it launches in October. This information has come from Giorgio Armani.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Acqua Waterproof Eyeliner Black (01)
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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MAC Illustrated’s Smoky Eye Plum Kit

MAC Illustrated - Smoky Eye Plum Kit
MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

New from MAC – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit ($49.50) includes three eyeshadows, two travel-sized brushes, Technakohl Eyeliner, and a travel-sized Zoom Lash mascara. It’s a Nordstrom exclusive set and available both in-stores and online. There is another palette available, but it contains all permanent shades, so I only purchased this one for review.

  • Creative Whim is a pale lilac with subtle cool undertones and a soft white frost. It has a satin finish. The color payoff was just so-so–there was obvious sheerness. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 is similar but more metallic in finish, slightly less pink. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is paler, cooler-toned. MAC Silverwear is lighter.
  • Drawn to Drama is a darkened violet purple with a blue shimmer-sheen. The texture was on the dry side, which you can even see in the swatch, which resulted in decent pigmentation but nothing to get excited over. Urban Decay Ransom is lighter. MAC Pink Union is brighter, more red-toned. MAC Parfait Amour is lighter. Urban Decay Frigid is nearly the same. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is more subdued.
  • Moody is a brown-tinged medium-dark gray with a satiny sheen. It is a veluxe pearl, and it is also a repromote. The texture of this is not at all like your typical veluxe pearl, because it lacks the buttery, dense feel. The color payoff is lacking, and it’s not usually the case with veluxe pearls that pigmentation is a problem. Instead, Moody feels dry and applies that way, making it difficult to blend out. Shocker of shocks! — it’s from an old nemesis, Evil Eye, where I actually made the same observations then as I did today. MAC Hint of Sapphire and Inglot #434 are most similar to this.
  • Purple Dash is a red-toned plum with subtle shimmer-sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. Make Up For Ever #4L is just like this shade.  Technakohls tend to wear between six and eight hours on me.

All three eyeshadows are full-sized ($45.00 value), and the eyeliner is also full-sized ($14.50 value). The travel-sized mascara is half the size of a full-sized one ($7.50 value), and it’s hard to put a value on the travel-sized brushes. The brushes were scratchy when I tried using them, and I’m not a huge fan of the 212 as a good multi-purpose/general brush. It’s more of a specific action brush, so I don’t think it makes sense to include it in a set like this (you’d probably one brush to apply eyeshadow and another to blend it out). Though Nordstrom lists the value at $100, I’d put the value around $67 realistically.

While I personally like the collection’s illustrations, this palette is unwieldy. It’s just unnecessarily large, and it really does so in order to hold the brushes, eyeliner, and mascara. This might be something that would have worked better if they had made it a double-decker palette and hidden the brushes and eyeliner underneath the eyeshadow and mascara.  Too bulky to be a great travel palette!

I tried wearing the three shades together, and the nice thing about them is they coordinate well with each other.  The downside is that none of them are good eyeshadows; they’re all disappointing in some way or another.  All three shades suffer from lack of pigmentation, and Drawn to Drama and Moody are very dry and are difficult to blend during application.  Without a primer, they wore seven hours before looking a bit faded. With a primer, they lasted a full eight hours without creasing or fading.

MAC Illustrated’s Smoky Eye Plum Kit

D+
6.5
Product
7
Pigmentation
6.5
Texture
8
Longevity
3
Application
69%
Total

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner
Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner

Lancome Dress-up Teal (401) Liner Design Long Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner ($24.50 for 0.07 oz.) is described simply as “turquoise.” It’s a very subtly green-tinted blue, less than what I’d envision teal being (which is a perfect–and hard to achieve–balance of blue and green). If you’re familiar with bluer turquoise gem stones, the color is reminiscent of those. There is a faint teal shimmer throughout. Urban Decay Flipside is a little more teal. It looks like it does in the pot, which is fairly blue, but the name says “teal,” so I was a bit disappointed to see it apply as more of a blue hue.

The texture is creamy, smooth, and has a slightly thicker consistency than a lot of other gel eyeliners I’ve come across. I used MAC’s 266 to draw a line across my lid, and it applied evenly, opaquely, and didn’t skip or tug. Lancome states that the formula is long-wearing (up to twelve hours), smudge-proof, and waterproof. After six hours of wear, there was some transfer of the liner to my crease. I also wore on my lower lash line, and it appeared to wear better, but there was some faint smudging and fading after eight hours. I can’t say I cried a river when testing these, so I ran some water over the swatch and blotted lightly with a tissue, and the swatch was still intact and looked fairly good.

It’s packaged in a (mostly) clear glass pot with a shiny black screw-top lid.  It contains slightly less product than other popular gel eyeliners (both Bobbi Brown and MAC’s contain 0.10 oz. compared to Lancome’s, which has only 0.07 oz.), which is a bit of a bummer.

Lancome Liner Design Long-Wear Calligraphy Gel Eyeliner Dress-Up Teal

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MAC & Beth Ditto Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners

MAC Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liner
MAC Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners

MAC & Beth Ditto: Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners

MAC Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners ($22.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a brand new product type for the brand that launches specifically in this collection. There was originally five shades in the collection, but one was pulled out of production (no reason given). According to the very nondescript blurb online, it’s a dual-ended product with an eyeshadow on one end and a Greasepaint liner on the other end to create “the perfect smoky eye.” If you read through the color description that MAC gives, it’s easy to figure out which side is supposed to be the shadow and liner.

The four shades are: Beth Mask (reddish brown bronze liner / golden peach pink shadow), Beth or Glory (deep brown liner / bright blue shadow), Drag, Strip (smoky navy liner / pale blue shadow), and Little Miss Moffet (true black liner / true white shadow). Each dual-ended pencil has a side with a rounded tip, which is supposed to be the liner, and a slanted tip, which is supposed to be a shadow, based on the color descriptions.

This is not a positive review, and this was an incredibly frustrating product to test. What I experienced with this product made me go, “Either it is one of the worst products MAC has ever launched to-date OR I’m doing it wrong.” The concept of using a product in such a wrong way that it doesn’t work is something I find very, very suspect–most of us are not new to the makeup game, and a lot of products are similar to ones we’ve used in the past. This product is called “Shadow/Liner,” so naturally, one would expect to use it as an eyeshadow and an eyeliner. This means actually applying it to the eyelid and on the lash lines. The results were so terrible (more on that in a second) that I decided I would reach out to MAC to ask them more about this product: what was it supposed to do and if they had any tips on how to use them. I was informed these are long-wearing and water-resistant.

MAC Senior Artist, Keri Blair had these application tips:

The tapered end is the “liner” so it’s better for more detailing and defining (I don’t recommend it for the water line) however the slant tip makes it easy to apply to the eye lid or inner corner of the eye. Use it to pop the lid and with a flip of the wrist you can use the rounded side to smoke out the outer and inner corner of the eyes. The rounded side is great for smudging and “smoking” out the eye. You can blend with your finger or a brush but work quickly because this long wearing, water resistant formula dries fast! My best advice is to work one eye at a time to achieve a perfect Smokey smudgy look.

On occasion, I get to utilize a very interesting test: I ask long-time reader, guest writer, and makeup artist Dustin Hunter if he managed to find a way to make something work. If there is ANYONE who will find some use for a product, it’s him. Me, on the other hand, I’m less likely to bother finding really creative ways to make a truly awful product work–I don’t have the time, desire, or energy to do so. There are too many excellent products waiting to be discovered and reviewed! We had a rather long exchange on both Twitter and via e-mail on the difficulty in using and testing this new formula, because it just wasn’t working.

The formula, regardless of which end, is dry. It is extremely dry, which results in poor color payoff and painful application. When I first tried applying Beth Mask to my lid (using the peach side as a lid color), it was so incredibly painful–there was so much tugging, pulling, and drag. For all of that, there was hardly any product on my lid, and what little there was ended up uneven and sparsely applied. I used several different tools in attempt to get color to transfer onto my lids: fingers, brushes (231, 208, 212, 316), and straight from the tube. I had the “best” results straight from the tube.

Some shades were more difficult to work with, but they were all poor performers. I couldn’t use any of these as eyeshadows, and a few of them were better as eyeliners, but the wear wasn’t there. On the lid, I had creasing after five hours. As eyeliner, the ones I tried (Beth Mask, Beth or Glory, and Drag, Strip) were smudged after four hours. When I used them on the lid, blending was futile–because they start out so dry, it’s already immensely hard to blend them out, and they do dry further after being applied. Trying to apply them over a bare lid wasn’t working, so I tried applying over a primer (I used NARS’ Smudgeproof), and it was easier to apply, but it was only marginally better. The result really speaks for itself.

I didn’t expect them to be as bad as they were, because when I swatched them, I was able to build up the color on most of the shades, but I did have to go back and forth several times with firm pressure–and that firm pressure just doesn’t translate well to the eyelid. When MAC has outstanding formulas like Shadesticks, Greasepaint Sticks, etc., how this product can fall so short, I’ll forever be baffled by. I’m also rather disappointed to see there was a measly 0.03 oz. in the product (the average regular eyeliner is 0.04 oz.).

This may be one of the worst products I’ve seen from MAC or any brand. There are flops, and then there are products that make you wonder what kind of testing happened. You want to read those reports. I know Big Bounce was a flop, but at least there was a way to use them that wasn’t too far off from how one might use them anyway (as an eyeshadow base–you just couldn’t use them alone). I might as well write my to-do lists with these, because you won’t see me ever going through the pain of using one of these again.

MAC & Beth Ditto Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners

F
0
Product
3
Pigmentation
1
Texture
3
Longevity
0
Application
16%
Total

MAC Hey, Sailor Powerpoint Eye Pencils


MAC Blue Stripe Powerpoint Eye Pencil

MAC Hey, Sailor: Powerpoint Eye Pencils

MAC Hey, Sailor Powerpoint Eye Pencils ($16.00 for 0.04 oz.) include three shades: Blue Stripe (dark navy), Emerald Sea (kelly green), and Handforged (metallic yellow gold). The Powerpoint formula is supposed to be very soft with “deep, fully opaque coverage.”

  • Blue Stripe is a navy blue with subtle dark blue shimmer and a hint of purple. It’s pretty sheer in one pass–looks more blackened blue that way. It’s similar to Make Up For Ever #3L. MAC Prussian is also similar.
  • Emerald Sea is a soft springy green with yellow undertones. The color payoff is so-so here; it’s semi-opaque but it will fold over itself, so it’s hard to get a really rich, opaque line of color. Make Up For Ever #17L is more metallic and lighter.
  • Handforged is a bronzy copper with gold sparkle and shimmer. It doesn’t have rich pigmentation in a single stroke, and it seems to stay somewhat sheer even when layered. The sparkle in this shade is a bit chunky, though it didn’t feel gritty when I applied it to the lash line. It is different from these golds. It’s a little more golden compared to Make Up For Ever #10L.

The Powerpoint formula feels very soft and fairly creamy, though it also has a waxy consistency. This allows for easy gliding, but it seems to interfere with really intense color being deposited. I also had trouble getting all three shades to apply evenly and opaquely. I was disappointed in the overall color payoff of these. I managed to test all three, and they all wore comparably: around seven and a half hours without budging or smudging, but there was some fading after eight hours.

MAC Hey, Sailor Powerpoint Eye Pencils

B-
8
Product
8
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
3.5
Application
81%
Total

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencil

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) come in six shades: Black Navy (deep midnight), Black Plum (rich eggplant), Hunter (deep emerald green), Jet (blackest black), Mahogany (rich brown), and Smoke (charcoal grey). The formula is supposed to wear for twelve hours, glide on smoothly, be waterproof, and not smudge or smear. Each pencil comes with a sharpener.

  • Black Navy is a dark navy blue with a hint of purple. It seems darker than other navy blue eyeliners. The color payoff in a single pass was pretty good.
  • Black Plum is a medium-dark eggplant purple with subtle red-burgundy undertones and a bit of a metallic finish. It had decent color payoff in a single stroke. It’s kind of like Urban Decay 1999 and Rockstar merged together. Chanel Cassis is a matte version. Urban Decay Crash comes close as well.
  • Hunter is a dark swampy green. It’s not emerald green like Bobbi Brown describes–there’s a really murky quality to it, probably from the olive undertones. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one. This shade had really good color payoff in one pass.
  • Jet is a deep black. It applies quite intensely in just one stroke. There are numerous black eyeliners like this shade on the market.
  • Mahogany is a deep chocolate brown with subtle warm, red undertones. The tip of the pencil broke off while I attempted (more on this later) to do a single pass of it in the swatch, but it does apply fairly well in a single go. CoverGirl Brown is just slightly lighter.
  • Smoke is a deep, dark gray with hints of purple. It has decent color payoff in a single stroke. CoverGirl Silver Spark is much lighter but the closest shade I could think of.

There was a consistent product failing that occured–all but two pencil tips broke off when I swatched them against my skin. Just snapped right off, and let me tell you, after the first one broke, I applied very, very gentle pressure with the next one, but it still happened. One of the two that hadn’t broke when I applied it to the lash line. It also seems like the outer edge has a slightly waxy film around it, which keeps the color from applying as intensely as it does once you’ve worn away the exterior (and it’s just a very thin layer on the exterior of the pencil). Once I sharpened the ones that had broke, they applied more intensely than before. It’s not a complete deal-breaker, but it’s very annoying and shouldn’t happen at this price point, and it’s not as if there’s tons of product to waste with pencil eyeliners!

The formula is good–it could stand to be a little creamier–it has a very dense, not quite hard but not silky soft, feeling against the lash line. It doesn’t pull or tug, and it leaves behind rich color without having to go back and forth over and over again. Bobbi Brown says it has “special polymers that melt at skin temperature,” which appears to be true, though I don’t know if this is really and truly special. It feels like many other pencils that naturally get creamier and glide-on better when they’re warmed up.  Since most of these broke soon after I attempted to use them, I did have plenty of chances to use the included sharpener, which worked well and had minimal waste.

If you want to smudge these, you can definitely can, but they do set after ten to fifteen seconds and stay put after that. I clocked in wear around ten hours that was lovely, and after twelve hours, it was still pretty good with some light fading but no smudging or migration. Though I didn’t see anything that said these were safe for the waterline, I wore the shimmer-free shades on the waterline as well and had surprisingly good results of eight hours. I tested Black Navy, Black Plum, Hunter, Jet, and Mahogany (the only shade I didn’t test specifically was Smoke), and they all wore similarly (give or take a few minutes!).

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Eye Pencils

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
92%
Total

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