Monday, May 17th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams
#5, #7, #18, #21

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams:  #5 Peach, #7 Fuchsia, #18 Purple, #21 Turquoise

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) have finally debuted at Sephora. These are AMAZING. There are twenty-one shades in total, but some are designed for the lips and cheeks while others are formulated for the eyes and cheeks (p.s. why isn’t there #19?).

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #5 Peach is a spun-gold peach with such a pretty sheen. It’s such a fresh pop of color on the cheeks. It reminded me of MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow a bit, actually–I was a little bummed to find out it wasn’t meant for eyes.
  • #7 Fuchsia is a bright fuchsia-purple with a soft sheen. It’s certainly intense, so go easy for a softer look.
  • #18 Purple is a softened lilac purple with a frosty finish. It was the least pigmented of the four I tried, though.
  • #21 Turquoise is aqua-teal with a frosty shimmer-sheen. It’s wickedly gorgeous. I’ve seen plenty o’ teal in the past few years, but this one is absolutely stunning.

These are creamy without being ultra creamy–I think I’d actually prefer them to be just a smidgen creamier. They’re blendable, but they dry down quickly. These didn’t budge, smudge, or crease on me one bit, whether they were on my eyes, lips, or cheeks. In fact, you really have to use an oil-based makeup remover to get all the last bits of it off. I tried using these as eyeliners, bases, and blushes, and they worked fabulously at each job. In fact, I enjoyed these four so much that I ordered five more (Fresh Pink, Coral, Gold, Warm Beige, and Intense Blue).

The only complaint I have–a minor one at that–is that the packaging feels a little cheap. They’re easy to store, since they’re small and rounded, but the plastic feels a bit on the thinner side, and there is also a lot of air in the jar from the get-go, which concerns me in regards to whether these will dry out after six months or so.  You do get a fair amount of product for your money, which was nice to see.

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

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Eye & Lip Pencils

MAC To the Beach Collection — Eye Kohls & Lip Pencils Review, Photos, Swatches

To the Beach also sees the introduction of two limited edition lip pencils and one limited edition eye kohl (plus a repromote of a permanent shade).  I liked both of the Eye Kohls, but I found the Lip Pencils to have a bit of a rough texture, even after heavily swatching them to smooth down the point.

  • Rosemary & Thyme is a gilded olive-green with an antique gold sheen. This is a permanent shade, but a gorgeous color to own if you love wearing neutrals, metallics, or greens.
  • Float on By is an aqua sea-blue with a silverish-metallic blue sheen. I love the color, but I feel like if you own the majority of UD’s 24/7 liners, you probably have this already.
  • Life’s a Breeze is a soft medium pink with yellow undertones. It can be difficult to find really awesome lip pencils that suit your natural tone, and I have to say finding a great warmer pink can be more challenging as well.
  • Temperature Rising is a bright, neon orange. This is totally construction cone orange to me.

Edited:  Review for wear added, now that I’ve had several hours to wear these…

The Eye Kohls wear okay, but they’re not immovable.  I don’t, generally, have major issues with eyeliners fading or smudging on me, but I find these fade a bit by hour three.  I think those more prone to smudged eyeliner will find the kohls a little more difficult to work with–unless you set with sealer or powder, then they stay put.  As far as the Lip Pencils go, those were just fine.  They stayed in place, did their job (helping lipstick adhere to your lips, defining lips, etc.).

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

tokidoki Brillante Glitter Eyeliner

tokidoki Brillante Glitter Eyeliner ($14.00) are fun to try out, because there are so many shades and so many of them that are bright and vibrant and just fun.  I reviewed these a month ago, and I thought I’d share some photos and swatches of two more of the fourteen available shades.

  • Skeletro is a dark, navy blue with silvered-blue flecks.
  • Savana is a burnished copper-bronze with flecks of gold.

Savana is so, so lovely.  It has this all-over warmth of a flickering fire–really lovely with brown and green eyes in particular.  I think both of these shades are wearable without being bland; they’re vibrant enough to be worn alone or used with other products without competing.  I love the overall color pay off of these eyeliners, but they could be softer on the lash line.  They’re not super rough, but they’re not as smooth as Urban Decay 24/7 Liners either.  They’re more comparable to MAC Softsparkle Pencils.  Obviously, it’s the glittery bits that cause some of that roughness, and it’s nowhere near painful, but it’s something to note.

The packaging is adorable and fun — love how each pencil is a different color — and the price is just right.  I think these are fun eyeliners–maybe not must-haves, but they’re nice-to-haves.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you like glittery eyeliners, these are an affordable indulgence!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, May 10th, 2010

Tarte Clay Shadow/Liner

Tarte Clay Shadow/Liner ($22.00 for 0.08 oz.) is new for summer and available in five shades: Black (matte black), Bronze (deep bronze sheen), Brown (matte chocolate brown), Indigo (deep royal blue sheen), and Plum (eggplant purple sheen). Each shade also comes with a double-ended brush with a small eyeshadow brush on one end and a pointed end for lining.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been testing the wear of four of the five shades, and they definitely hold up well as an eyeshadow or eyeshadow base. They’re a bit bold to wear alone, so I’ve found that I prefer layering eyeshadows on top of them instead. They have a creamy feel and apply with a very smooth finish.

  • Brown is a matte chocolate brown–that’s the exact description I came up with before I read the officialy one–and it’s very, very opaque.
  • Indigo is a midnight blue with a soft, frosted sheen. I found that it’s pigmented without being intense. It’s a noticeable color, but it isn’t too vibrant that it’s a bright.
  • Plum is a red-based medium-dark purple with multi-colored shimmer and a frost sheen. I don’t think I’d call this Plum, though — it’s a bit brighter than that.
  • Bronze is a coppered bronze with a frosted sheen .It has a definite warmth to it.

The shades themselves don’t reinvent the color wheel by any means, but the product itself is solid. I didn’t experience any creasing or fading when I used them as an eyeshadow base. Similar, when I wore them as eyeliner, they stayed put–no budging, migration, or fading. I found the Brown shade (the only one I tried, since the other three have shimmer) lasted a few hours on my waterline, as well. They’re definitely pool and summer-friendly products, though I definitely like them more as an eyeliner. I find such dark bases eat color rather than enhance it like lighter bases, so I just personally get more use out of these kinds of products by using them as an eyeliner.

I had a little issue with the packaging, as I often had to attempt to screw the cap on several times to catch the threading, and the cap itself felt a bit flimsy. It doesn’t make or break the product for me, but it was annoying, since you want to make sure to tightly close all of your cream/gel products to prevent them from drying out. The included brush is just so-so–I still reached for my trusty MAC brushes–just a little unrefined and not the softest brush I’ve used. Better than a sponge-tip applicator, though!

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

Recommendation:  For long-lasting, creamy eyeliner or eyeshadow, Tarte’s new Clay Shadow/Liners definitely get the job done.

Availability: Sephora

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

YSL Dessin Eyeliner

YSL Dessin du Regard Eye Pencil ($28.00) are gorgeous, deeply pigmented eyeliners that apply evenly and smoothly.  I spent the past week testing between three shades — Turquoise (09), Oriental Blue (03), and Black Velvet (01).

  • Turquoise is a lightened aqua with a slight golden sheen to it.  It had the frostiest finish of the three I tried–definitely more of a shimmer sheen here, which works, since it’s light and bright enough to make your eyes pop but not over the top.
  • Oriental Blue is a brightened-up navy blue with silver sparkle.  It’s not quite a true navy blue, since it’s brighter — almost like a midnight sky blue lit up by the moon — it’s very pretty.
  • Black Velvet is an intense, deep dark black with an inky feel and look.

Recently, YSL reformulated their eye pencils “with highly pigmented color for a deep impact and long-lasting finish.”  They’ve included jojoba oil to “mak[e] the finish on the skin smooth and conformtable” along with “a wax adhesive [that] acts as a fixing agent to reinforce the intensity of the pigment for hours.”  The eye pencils are definitely easy to use and give you a smooth, creamy line with little effort.  The color is also highly pigmented, as advertised, but I didn’t quite get the long-lasting finish I expected (and would have loved!).  These are nowhere near as bad as NARS Eye Pencils were on me, though, thankfully!

I get about four hours of wear before these shades start to disappear on my lower lash line (maybe an hour or so on the lower water line).  The good news–at least as far as it can go–is that these fade away rather than migrate and smudge and otherwise give you raccoon eyes.  The first time I tried these, I wore Oriental Blue by itself on my lower lash line, and after five hours, when I went to inspect it, it was nearly all gone.  All that remained was a smidgen of faded, dark blue between my lashes.  I repeated testing with the other two shades as well, just to be sure, but they all performed the same on me–faded and nearly invisible by hour five.

Each pencil comes with a sharpener, and the pencil itself is dual-ended with an angled sponge-tip for smudging on one end and the pencil on the other.

It’s available in twelve shades: Black Velvet (black), Leather Brown (dark brown), Oriental Blue (navy blue), Smokey Purple (grayed purple), Deepest Green (forest green), Hazelnut Brown (reddish brown), Charcoal Grey (gray), Amber Brown (medium brown), Turquoise (teal), Purple Silk (purple), Stellar Green (green), and Silky Pink (pink).

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

Recommendation:  If you don’t find yourself having trouble with your eyeliner smudging or like to wear pencil on your upper lash line, these might be a product worth trying, because they do pack plenty of color pay off and look beautiful on.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Urban Decay Mildew Eyeliner

COMPLETION in the form of Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Eyeliner

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Mildew ($17.00) marked the completion of my 24/7 Eyeliners. I was really thrilled to see Urban Decay release the holiday shades (that were exclusive to the sets) show up in full-size and made part of the range.   There’s not much more to be said about Mildew that I haven’t already said in my original review (psst, check that out if you’re in need for an in-depth review!).  Color-wise, Mildew is a darkened forest green with a gold sheen.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you like green eyeliner, Mildew is a nice one!

Availability: Sephora

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