Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams: Part II

Ahh! The five Aqua Creams ($22.00) I ordered from Sephora arrived over the weekend, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been enjoying them! I liked the first four that I tried, because the pigmentation is incredible, and the finishes are beautiful.

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

  • #9 Coral is a medium coral-orange with subtle shimmer (very faint).
  • #6 Fresh Pink is a beautiful blue-based pink with golden shimmer. SO pretty. It’s amazing on cheeks and lips! Just make sure to prep lips, because it seemed a little drier than some of the other Aqua Creams, but it holds on for hours.
  • #13 Warm Beige is a lightened champagne taupe with a metallic sheen. This is kind of a neutral base color, but it’s a bit high on the frost/metallic finish and darker than I’d like — not quite as universal as I was hoping.
  • #11 Gold is a metallic gilded gold. Very, very pretty. Not entirely sure how usable it is, but it is stunning.
  • #20 Intense Blue is a medium ocean blue with silver shimmer. It’s like MAC Freshwater eyeshadow, in a cream form.

The reason I like these so much is they’re creamy but not too creamy–they won’t slip around on your eye lids, and they really lock down. These just don’t budge at all, even without setting with eyeshadow. I also like that you can use them on eyes/cheeks or lips/cheeks (depending on the shade), because they’re more multi-tasking. I like them the most on eyes, then cheeks, and finally lips. I wouldn’t wear these alone on lips (they dry down a bit, so they’ll last for over four hours on me, possibly stain, but my lips need more moisture, so I top with a gloss). Like they are on the eyes – they are excellent bases.

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

  • 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. These are particularly lovely blushes for those with oily skin, because these dry down quite well.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils: Review, Photos, Swatches

Last week, MAC PRO launched a full collection of Chromagraphic Pencils. Each retails for $14.50, and all the shades are permanent at PRO stores. This collection is only available at PRO stores, but anyone can shop at a PRO store. You can even call up your nearest PRO store, and you can place a phone order for a flat-rate shipping cost. Keep in mind that these are PRO products, which means they were designed with the makeup artist in mind, not necessarily consumers.

These may seem familiar because MAC released two of the flesh-toned shades with Pret-a-Papier (NC15/NW20 and NW25/NC30). The other eleven shades are new. Chromagraphic Pencils are creamy pencils that glide on easily and smoothly. According to PRO, they are meant for lining and defining, which makes sense as they have other products (like Chroma Cakes and Paint Sticks) more suitable for larger areas.

I do really like the flesh-toned shades for use on the lower waterline to open up the eye. I find that the NC15/NW20 achieves that the best (the others being a bit too dark on me) myself, and I’m about NC25. Black Black is really intense, and it is safe for usage everywhere but the lips, and that’s the one I chose to test-drive first. It stays pretty well on the waterline and lash line – it looks intense and dark from a normal viewing distance, but up close, I can see that it looks a little faded–but it hadn’t faded any more after the initial inspection and stayed on for about six hours for me (on the waterline, over eight on the lash line).

The following shades are not to be used in the lip area: Black Black, Marine Ultra, NC15/NW20, NW25/NC30, NC42/NW35
The following shades are not to be used in the eye area: Basic Red, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta
The following shades are not to be used in the inner rim of eye: Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow, Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple

The darker, more pigmented shades will stain the skin a little if worn for prolonged periods of time. I did not wear the swatches of these for very long, but it took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove them entirely.  I think these are certainly a quick and easy way to put detail on body/face painting efforts.  I’m not necessarily sure how much use most of us would get out of these, though (which is just fine–these weren’t made for us!).

  • Pure White is a crystal clear creamy white.
  • Basic Red is a primary red, subtle orange undertones.
  • Process Magenta is a brightened pink, not quite fuchsia, definitely magenta.
  • Genuine Orange is a rich, almost neon tangerine orange.
  • Primary Yellow is exactly that–bright yellow.
  • Landscape Green is a medium grass green.
  • Marine Ultra is a darkened medium sea blue.
  • Hi-Def Cyan is a creamy sky blue.
  • Rich Purple is a darkened, red-toned purple.
  • Black Black is an intense, almost wet-looking black.
  • NC15/NW20 is a light beige/fleshy shade.
  • NW25/NC30 is a darker version of NW15/NC20. Almost looks like a darkened peach.
  • NC42/NW35 is darker version of NW25/NC30. It looks a bit peachy/orange on me.

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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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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!

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

Availability: Sephora

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