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.

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  • 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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Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Burmese Beauty
MAC Fabulous Felines – Burmese Beauty

MAC Fabulous Felines: Burmese Beauty Review, Photos, Swatches (Eyes)

I’m going to break each section into two parts — eyes and lips/cheeks. There are a lot of products, and I definitely want to focus on each part of the collection, it’s hard to digest so much in just one post. I’m working as fast as I can to get all the photos and swatches up, and I’ll fill in with more dupes as I find them.  I am missing a few pieces, and I will update the post and review once I’m able to purchase them.

Burmese Beauty Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • Prized is a soft nude beige with pale white micro-shimmer with a satin finish. It reminded me of a much more pigmented Shroom.  This will work well as a highlighter on light to medium skin tones, but it may be more of a light lid color for darker skin tones.
  • Skintone 2 is a slightly neutralized gold with a frost finish. It’s not a cool-toned gold, but it doesn’t have really strong yellow undertones either. This is a shade of gold that can be worn by both warm and cool skin tones.  It’s a lot less yellow compared to Goldmine (and not as frosty).  Maybe like Flip from Spring Colour Forecast. This is a repromote from Makeup Art Cosmetics.
  • Burmese Beauty is a duochrome of teal and red-based deep brown with a lustre finish. It doesn’t actually feel like a lustre to me–it’s much smoother, not so glittery like your typical lustre. This is very much like Blue Brown pigment except less intense (the brown base isn’t as strong, nor is the metallic finish). It’s a lighter, more pigmented version of Club eyeshadow as well.
  • Showstopper is a dirty, cool-toned dark matte brown. It works well when used with a brush in actual application, while it doesn’t swatch very well. This shade has been repromoted at least a half dozen times in the past five years.

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

  • Desires & Devices is an antique gold with a dirty olive base and a mixture of green and gold shimmer.
  • Defiantly Feline is a medium-dark brown with deep gold and amber shimmer. It looks rather medium brown when used lightly and thinly.
  • Treat Me Nice is a medium grassy green with gold and green sparkle.

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

  • Antique Green is a darkened cool-toned green with a touch of teal. It’s definitely green, but it’s not your typical green, which tends to have stronger yellow undertones.  This is a repromote.
  • Gold Stroke is a reddish medium bronze brown with a frosty finish. It’s pretty, and it has some warmth to it, but it’s not overly warm. It makes a nice base for golds. This is a repromote.

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Saturday, August 14th, 2010

MAC Venomous Villains - Dr. Facilier

MAC Disney Venomous Villains Collection: Dr. Facilier Review, Photos, Swatches

The last part of the collection is Dr. Facilier’s part. It includes one lipgelee, three pigments, two greasepaint sticks, and two magically cool liquid powders. It also has a silver mirror compact with Dr. Facilier on the outside (not shown or reviewed here).

All of the character images are stamped on the products; they are not stickers. You can find official promotional imagery and color descriptions here. The collection launches on September 30th, 2010 at all MAC locations, October 2010 internationally, and approximately September 28th for online. You may also want to check your local store to see if they are holding an unveiling/preview party for the collection.

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

  • Melon is a peachy-gold with subtle pink undertones.  I love Melon as a base for corals, golds, reds, and bronzes.   It also works nicely to highlight cheeks or lips.  This is part of the permanent range.
  • Brash & Bold is a bright pop of dark pink with subtle satin sheen.  It’s smooth, pigmented, and not frosty at all.  It was released last year with Makeup Art Cosmetics.
  • Push the Edge is a lightly shimmered violet purple.  It has a nice richness in color, and it has a slightly metallic sheen.  It was released last year with Makeup Art Cosmetics.

Magically Cool Liquid Powder ($29.50 U.S. / $35.50 CDN)

  • Truth & Light is a soft peach nude sheen. Yes, it feels like liquid when you apply it to skin, and yes, it is a little wet, and then it dries to a powder finish. It is VERY cool to play with, I can assure you! This is something one might use all over or to highlight certain areas; it’s very subtle and not at all frosty. (It doesn’t photograph/show well on my cheeks by itself.)  It can be used under or over makeup.
  • Cajun is a medium tan with soft peach sheen. It gives my cheeks just a little bit of a tanned/bronzed look–again, very subtle, but more noticeable on its own than Truth & Light.

Lipgelee ($15.50 U.S. / $18.50 CDN)

  • Resort Life is an over-the-top white champagne shimmered, silver glittered sheer gloss with subtle pink glitter. It was originally released in MAC in Lillyland.

Greasepaint Stick ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Slick Black is a deep dark black, very solid and opaque. It’s been released a few times now.
  • French Quarter is a smoldering golden taupe brown with a black-brown base and flecks of bronze glitter-shimmer. It’s stunning, and it would make a great base for darker, smokier looks.  Much, much warmer than Dirty Greasepaint Stick.

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Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Shiseido Black Sand Eyeliner
Shiseido Black Sand Eyeliner

There’s always room for one more black eyeliner!

Shiseido Black Sand (BK904) Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a really intense, smooth-applying black eyeliner with flecks of green and antique gold micro-shimmer. It’s really a stunning shade, and it’s definitely a color that appeals to my personal tastes. It formula is incredibly smooth and almost creamy, but it stays in place quite well. It doesn’t last more than an hour or two on my waterline, but it stays on my lash line just fine. The pencil itself is dual-ended with the eyeliner on one side and a smudging sponge on the other.

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: If you’re a fiend for black golds like I am, then you’ll want to check this out!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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