Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners
Bobbi Brown Black Velvet Kohl Eyeliners: Black Plum, Black Chocolate, Black

When the River Runs Black Velvet

Bobbi Brown Kohl Eye Liners ($22.00 for 0.04 oz.) are a new and limited edition eyeliner from the fall Black Velvet Collection.  It comes in three shades: Black Plum, Black Chocolate, Black.  Bobbi Brown describes them as a “silky-smooth formula [that] delivers dense, even and blendable pigment.”

  • Black Plum is a rich, earthy plum with subtle red undertones.  I love that it’s really quite plum and doesn’t lean burgundy.
  • Black Chocolate is a deep dark chocolate brown.
  • Black is a blue-based rich black.

At first application, I loved the smoothness of the formula, softness of the pencil, and rich color achieved without a lot of a layering.  Unfortunately, that rich color doesn’t last past lunch for me.  If lunch was 20 minutes away.  I tried wearing these in several ways – on the waterline, on the lower lash line, both.  I thought perhaps they weren’t cut out for the waterline and by putting it there was causing the rest of it to migrate, too, so I tried just the lower lash line, staying away from the waterline entirely.

The results were the same–barely there color within an hour or two, but it was already noticeably migrating and disappearing within fifteen minutes.  What seems to happen is the liner fades away except right at the base of the lashes, so it’s a very thin line of color that lasts.

I was so particularly frustrated, because the liner looked so amazing as part of the look I did for the day, but by the time I finished my foundation and slicked my lip color on… I could already tell there was something wrong.  It’s like when you do laundry and there’s always a sock that’s gone missing–you don’t know where it went but yet it’s gone.  I know I put a nice line of kohl on my lower lash line, but by the time I take photos to show you all, it’s half gone!

I’m so frustrated by the lack of staying power, because these have such a lovely texture/finish.  They’re so rich and opaque and don’t require a lot of building to get there.  They have a harder edge than many other pencil eyeliners, but it doesn’t feel harsh on the lash line; it almost melts against the skin as you apply the color.  And I so, so dig the color of Black Plum.

Like any product that has a tendency to crease on its own, setting with a powder (like an eyeshadow) will help greatly, but it can also alter the color.  You could also try a sealing product like Benefit’s She-Laq.  Not that you should have to do that with the right eye liner, but nevertheless, sometimes we can’t let a color go and insist on discovering ways to Make. It. Work.

These are a brand new product, and I haven’t seen any other reviews for these yet, so I am incredibly curious to see what others experience.  Maybe I’m just the unfortunate minority here that yearns to love these but can’t!

They’re not as bad as NARS’ Eye Pencils were on me, which didn’t just fade away, but took on a new life by smudging and migrating everywhere (and somehow, even getting on my lid from my lower lash line!).   I’m torn on rating these, because on one hand, they feel and look amazing, but then they don’t last well on me at all.  At least these just disappear and don’t give me raccoon eyes!

Have you tried these yet?

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

  • Product: 19/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Is it bad that I really just hope it’s me that can’t get these to stay put?  I want these to work for someone!  I can’t personally recommend the new kohl eyeliners based on my experience.  If you purchase from a store with a health return policy and don’t mind being a guinea pig, I did really enjoy the texture and consistency of the kohl.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Video: Peek @ Bobbi Brown’s Black Velvet Collection

Here’s a “first impressions” video of some of the pieces from Bobbi Brown’s Black Velvet Collection! I’ve swatched and shown all the shades in the video, and over the next few days, I’ll be reviewing everything in full. Already did the Creamy Lip Colors today! :)

Sunday, August 29th, 2010


Chanel Eyeliner: Marine, Jade

Swatched:  Chanel Marine & Jade

Chanel Long Lasting Eyeliner ($28.00 for 0.01 oz.) are budgeproof, smudgeproof, and waterproof automatic twist-up eyeliners. I reviewed this product initially with Cassis Eyeliner, which was a plummy shade. I have nothing new to say — these still wear amazingly without migrating or fading during the day. These are just two more shades swatched and tested for your viewing pleasure.

  • Marine (30) is a navy blue with silver shimmer with a darker blackened navy blue base. It’s surprisingly opaque in just one stroke.
  • Jade (50) is a lightened greenish teal with silver sheen. This one doesn’t have the heavier shimmer that Marine has–much more of a sheen. This is gorgeous with brown eyes.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For a nice, long-wearing eyeliner, Chanel’s makes a nice choice–if you don’t mind the price tag.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Friday, August 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Precision Ink
Illamasqua Precision Ink

A Tale of Twin Liners

Illamasqua Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner (£16.50 for 0.06 oz.) is a new eyeliner launching with Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness collection for fall. It’s a long-wearing and waterproof liner that should dry quickly.

It may look familiar. In fact, it may look very familiar. Illamasqua’s Precision Ink and MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliners are exactly the same. Every part of the packaging is the same, from the bottom to the inside to the formula itself. MAC has sticker labels on the bottom, while Illamasqua has the label on the side of the eyeliner–which reveals a bit of an inset, and after peeling back the MAC label, the MAC liner has it, too.

Illamasqua has two shades (at least for now): Abyss, which is a rich black, and Alchemy, which is a metallic gold. (The MAC counterparts would be On the Hunt and Pure Show, for reference.) The shades are exactly the same as far as I can tell. There is no discernible difference, and I swatched both gold shades on my hand and kept them there for about 36 hours–I wanted to see them in all different lighting.  If there is any difference between them, I could not detect a single one.

This is a very easy review, because I’ve done it before: they are as long-wearing as they claim to be. They won’t smudge, budge, flake, or migrate whatsoever once they’re dry, though I find that drying time is around twenty to thirty seconds (not super fast, not agonizingly long). It is water-resistant, and it flakes off when you put makeup remover on it.

Whenever two brands, particularly such well-known brands as these, come out with exactly the same product, not just similar colors (which you could simply say are coincidence or going with the trends), I wonder what went on. I don’t know much about manufacturing and the behind-the-scenes aspect of beauty product creation, so I don’t have any insider knowledge to provide for you. My first experience with it was with all of the lip stain markers that released in the earlier half of this year–it seemed like every brand was putting out some kind of lip stain marker. Then MAC and Orly’s polish similarities, and now this… It just makes you wonder.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Just depends on which brand you prefer, I’d say… It’s a very nice long-wearing liquid eyeliner that’s easier to use than your typical liquid eyeliner.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Leopard Luxe

MAC Fabulous Felines: Leopard Luxe Review, Photos, Swatches (Eyes)

Here’s part one of Leopard Luxe — part two coming soon! :)

Leopard Luxe Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • Wild By Nature is a medium-dark nude brown with a matte finish, though it seems like it has just a bit of satin to it.  Reminded me of a lighter Soft Brown.
  • Notoriety is a slightly sheer dirty brown with cool undertones and flecks of gold shimmer with a velvet finish. I really hate the pay off of Notoriety, even though it’s an interesting color. This is a repromote from Makeup Art Cosmetics.
  • Style Predator is a gold-shimmered medium orange base with a veluxe pearl finish. It reminds me of a darker version of Straw Harvest (Spring Colour Forecast) and more of a gold sheen than Off the Page (Makeup Art Cosmetics).
  • Furiously Fabulous is a deep, dark brown-gray with a veluxe pearl finish. This is the best textured eyeshadow of the three quads–it’s smooth and pigmented. I thought it was going to look like Knight Divine from an initial glance, but it’s very different. It’s like Brun and Satin Taupe had a baby.

Superslick Liquid Eye Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Pure Show is a true gold, and it seems a little less pigmented than the average Superslick liner — it’s more shimmery with a sheerer color base. It can be layered for a more intense, opaque line, though.
  • Marked for Glamour is a darkened gray that almost looks taupe when used lightly.
  • On the Hunt is a very deep, dark black.  It has a very semi-glossy look even when dried, but it’s not wet looking (but not 100% matte/flat).

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Lithe is a lightly shimmered peach-nude. It reminded me of Dazzleray and Jardin Aires pigments (both limited edition)–the texture is much smoother and finer than either of those pigments, and Lithe isn’t as frosty.
  • Old Gold is a green-based gold with touches of reddish brown. It flashes a green-gold overall. It’s a very interesting and complex shade; definitely worth a look if you haven’t acquired this previously. This is a permanent shade.

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Palace Pedigreed
MAC Fabulous Felines – Palace Pedigreed

MAC Fabulous Felines: Palace Pedigreed Review, Photos, Swatches (Eyes)

Here’s the first of two posts on the Palace Pedigreed part of the Fabulous Felines Collection.

You can find official promotional photos and information on MAC Fabulous Felines here.  I will not have full collection swatches and photos until I’m able to purchase the missing pieces.  I purchased all of these through Bloomingdale’s, which is selling early online (no idea why).

Palace Pedigreed Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • Courtly is a semi-sheer dirty mauve with a satin finish. It seemed rather muted to me, and it took a little extra work to get it to swatch well. The closest permanent shadow I could think of was Seedy Pearl, which has a lot more shimmer, significant pink tones, and an iridescent glow about it that make them quite different in actuality.
  • Palace Pedigreed a darkened plum with a soft sheen and satin finish. It reminded me of a darker version of Plum Dressing, less purple Nocturnelle.
  • Quite Spoiled is a pinky purple with a soft, satin finish. It has a subtle sheen of shimmer. It reminded me of a purple version of Modest Tone (N Collection).
  • Russian Blue is a darkened teal with a matte finish. The pigmentation seems lacking, but when used with a brush, it’s a lot better, though it’s still not quite as pigmented as I’d like. You’ll want to use the pat-and-pack method rather than sweeping this shade on.

Superslick Liquid Eye Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Nocturnal is a bright metallic silver with a high frost finish.
  • Signature Blue is a medium-dark navy blue with lighter blue micro-shimmer.
  • Smoky Heir is a burgundy plum with violet, plum, and purple micro-shimmer.

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Bloodline is a darkened taupe-brown with a tiny bit of plum. When wet, it can be very intense. If used with a brush like an eyeshadow, it works well in the crease and darkens substantially.
  • Mauvement is a chunky brownish mauve with flecks of gold. It’s an interesting shade, but it does have some chunkiness to the texture that can be bothersome.  I’m really annoyed that I can’t find my original jar of Mauvement, because this seems browner than the original; slightly smoother, but still on the chunkier side.

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