Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner ($19.00 each) is available in twelve different shades, ranging from soft white-gold to golden brown to gray. The Creaseless Cream Shadow is a crease-proof formula that can be sheered out or layered for a more intense effect.
I found that they did indeed live up to their name — they didn’t crease or smudge on me at any point during the day, when worn alone or as a base. I will say they did seem to perform better when used as a base, but I imagine most cream-based products do. Since I didn’t notice any creasing or fading when they were worn alone, I think they held up incredibly without anything on top, too. All of the shades I tried had a light sheen or subtle shimmer to them, which was just fine with me, but I’d definitely love to see Benefit add some more matte shades to the line-up in the future.
If you’re a big fan of MAC paint pots, I think you’d adore these! I found these more blendable/buildable than some paint pots, and I didn’t have as much trouble blending shadows on top of the deeper shades as I have with some of MAC’s darker colored paint pots (e.g. Nice Vice).
Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows
- R.S.V.P. is a slightly warmed-up champagne shade with not much shimmer but more of a golden sheen. This makes for an excellent all-over lid color when you need a quick look, but it also works well as a base shade, particularly for golds and greens.
- Skinny Jeans is a smoky, pewter-green shade. It’s kind of like like gray meets green meets gold. So, basically, all sorts of awesome. (I’m totally obsessed with the color pewter–go figure!) I love using this as a liner on the lower lash line or as a base for a really dark green smoky eye.
- Stiletto is a soft, reddish-burgundy shade flecked with microfine golden shimmer. I found this to be one of the sheerer shades just from the get-go, but it layers really well so you can increase the intensity if you want to use it on the lid. When I used an angled eyeliner brush to apply it as liner, I didn’t have any sheerness issues, it was pretty deep and intense.
- Tattle Tale is an opaque shade of white-gold with golden shimmer laced throughout. This was one of my favorites, just because it looks amazing on my warmer skin tone. It works well as an all-over lid color, neutral base (and I love that it’s a bit on the white side, so it helps colors pop more), as well as a highlighter on cheeks! Gotta love a multi-tasker!
- Busy Signal is a golden-toned bronze-copper shade. It’s incredibly pigmented, needing just one thin layer to get intense color. It is definitely a little warm, but not overly so. It seems almost neutral at times. I found I preferred to use this one as a liner than an eyeshadow (just because I personally prefer to use cream shadows as bases rather than individual shadows).
- Strut is a silver-gray with slight bluish-gray sheen. If you want a smoky eye, try this as a base!
- Flatter Me is a neutral, slightly subdued pinky shade with a little bit of peach and gold shimmer. I think those with cooler toned skin may find this perfect for an all-over color when warmer, more golden tones shades don’t work. I’m warm-toned, but I still like this as a soft lid color. It also can double as a blush if you work quickly with it!
- Birthday Suit is a soft, antique gold shade, which means I am ALL over it. It is such a gorgeous shade, and it has great pigmentation. I love it for layering with brown and gold shadows, as well as greens. I love wearing this alone or as a liner.
- Get Figgy is a mauvey-pink with slight golden shimmer. I liked this one with purple shadows, as well as some pinks, but I did find myself reaching for it more as a liner than a base color.
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Urban Decay Ink For Eyes is creamy, eye liner goodness!
For fall, Urban Decay launched Ink For Eyes ($22.00 each), which is a brand new cream eyeliner available in six shades just dead-on perfect for the upcoming fall season. Urban Decay tells us their secret ingredient is Nylon 12, which is an ingredient that limits drag for a smoother, more precise application while it softens and absorbs excess oil. I put on Zero yesterday, and it didn‘t smudge or fade on me, so I’m pretty happy with the wear on these so far.
The packaging is sleek and edgy, with a peacock drawing on the cover of the gunmetal-gray box. Flip it open, and you’ll find a sleek, narrow mirror, a double-ended brush (smudge tip and angled brush), plus the star – a strip of the actual ink.
- Binge is a rich, dark navy blue. It’s blue without being bright, and it’s dark without losing all of the blue. It’s definitely more navy blue than black-blue, too. You can also go less heavy to get a little more blue to stand out or go heavier and get a deeper color.
- Empire is a deep violet-purple with a little bit of sheen/glimmer. It’s pigmented, smooth, and really creamy when applied with a brush.
- Demolition is a deep, dark brown. It’s not too warm–almost seems cool-toned to me–and intense. Very creamy and chocolately.
- Zero is an intense, rich black. There’s really not much else to describe it as — it’s really quite black! I am *all* over liners and mascaras that are this rich in black.
- Loaded is a medium-deep forest green with tiny greenish-silver shimmer. It has good color pay off, and I love that it’s noticeably green, but it isn’t bright or OTT at all.
- Pyrotechnics is a sheer, glittery base. It has multi-colored glitter and goes on mostly clear. Layer it over one of the others or underneath one of the others to add more glitz!
Of the six, my favorites would have to be Zero (for how pitch-black it is), Empire (because can you just imagine how gorgeous it would be with Fishnet layered on top?), and Pyrotechnics (love that you can add glitter in an easy-to-use pencil form). What are your favorites? Have you tried these yet?
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Earth Eyeshadow Duo
2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Eyeshadow Duos
Currently, 2nd Love has six variations of the eyeshadow duos ($9.00 each for 5.4g/0.19 oz.). These all have the same quality and feel as the rest of the 2nd Love product range. They’re smooth, soft, and pigmented. The colors feel like velvet, and they blend easily. They can be used wet or dry, depending on the intensity and kind of application you want.
- Earth is a combination of silvery-white and subdued brown.
- Amethyst is a combination of pale pink with soft silver shimmer and a dirty mauve-berry.
- Go Green is a duo featuring a gray-green with gold sheen/shimmer and a soft brown with green-gold shimmer. This was my favorite of the six, just because it seemed so multifaceted.
- Starry Night is a mix of lilac with soft cool-toned sheen and a purple-blue with violet sheen. (It’s definitely more of a purple than a blue shade.)
- Sandstone is a combination of a lightly warmed up bronze and a golden beige.
- Solar is a duo of bright silver with shimmer-sheen and a rich, dark black with a bit of multicolored shimmer.
Compared to MAC: Similar in feel and texture, though these all were pigmented for me, and none of them were glittery or overly shimmery. I’ve found some of the MAC mineralize eyeshadow duos can be too frosty or have gritty glitter that puts me off. These are also flatter colors, and by that I mean that you’ll see a silver base color with silver shimmer or a purple base with purple shimmer/sheen. You won’t see a purple with gold shimmer or things of that variety–at least not yet. Of course, these are also cheaper — $9.00 each for 5.4g/0.19 oz. as compared to $19.00 for 2.5g/0.08 oz.
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Coastal Scents Gel Liners ($6.95 each) come in fourteen different shades ranging from white to black to peach. I’ve tried seven of them so far, and I can say that they’re all extremely pigmented. Each jar seems like it contains a decent amount of product, and it feels like glass packaging to me (frosted, too). For just under seven bucks, these are a great deal. I think these would make great bases, in addition to eye liner, especially shades like White, 24K, Peach Bellini, and Turquoise.
Of the seven I tried, Turquoise was the least impressive — it just wasn’t as bright or opaque as the other ones. It was almost too frosty for my liking; Grapevine was very similar in texture, but it was more pigmented and the purple was dead-on purple. 24K also has a shimmery finish, but it doesn’t appear overly frosty and the color pigmentation is amazing. It’s a bronzy-coppery mix.
Sky Blue is pretty much matte in finish with good pigmentation; it’s not at all what I’d say sky blue would be (I’d think lighter, bluer), but this is pretty on its own. It’s a color that you don’t come across often, so it’s definitely worth a peek. Sexy Pink is pretty, but it’s going to be harder to wear on a regular basis. It reminds me of MAC’s Stars ‘n Rockets without the duochrome. Indigo Blue was extremely pigmented, and it almost ran blue-black on me.
I do like that the black looks wet, though–it gets you a very pretty look on the eyes. One concern I had about these products was the ease of use, because the jars aren’t huge so the openings are barely big enough to get my fingers into. My fingers aren’t particularly dainty, but hopefully that gives you an indication of the product’s size. These also felt quite wet; they feel nothing like other gel liners I’ve tried (Bobbi Brown, MAC, etc.). They almost feel like extremely creamy eyeshadows if I had to compare it to another texture.
If you’re placing an order at Coastal Scents any time soon, you might want to pick up one or two of the Gel Liners to see for yourself! For the price, they were worth trying, and I might use them occasionally when I need a brighter liner.
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Guerlain Exotic Paradise Collection is my favorite spring launch so far. (I admit, NARS’ Heart of Desire Collection looks very promising!) I’ve seen a fair amount of the spring collections released, and I really fell in love with Guerlain’s presentation, mix of colors, and especially the Exotic Paradise quad ($58.00). Guerlain has some of the best packaging of the higher end brands, because each product is housed in a metal compact/casing. It just feels more luxe than plastic, you know?
The Exotic Paradise Quad comes with four shades of shadow perfect for spring–pastels, but they’re not typical pastels. Trust me when I say the pastel green is *beyond* stunning! The pastel green shade is a vibrant springy green with gold sheen. The peachy shade is a smooth, silky peachy shade. The pastel pink is a rich, cool medium pink that goes on like butter. And the brown shade? Deliciously luxe and smooth with a warm, deep brown base and gold sheen. The brown is actually one of the most stunning shades of brown eyeshadow I’ve seen!
What really stood out to me about this uad is there was a good mix of pastel looks that could be made, but I could also go darker just by adding the brown shade with any of the other colors. The quality of the shadows from the texture to the pigmentation is oh-so-amazing. Each shadow, without exception, went on prettier than appeared, smoothly, and felt like silk. No dreaded chalkiness, no disappointment in color here. In these photos, you’ll notice there’s an overlay of a greenish-gold in the shape of flowers/leaves. This design does disappear after you use your shadows a few times, but it doesn’t matter. The shadows look incredible–even better–without this overlay.
I’d also like to take a quick minute to talk about Guerlain’s Ombre Eclat Duo Liner ($52.00) in L’heure de Nuit (which, if my terrible French works, means the hour of night or something to that effect). Pricey, but ridiculously luxe in packaging (gold-colored metal casing) and texture, so it’s definitely something I recommend to those who tend to buy high end brands like Guerlain. It’s a very practical product in which you’re given a very light shade and a coordinated dark shade, so you can use the product as a highlighter, liner, or just shadow. It’s interesting that it was out on display as part of the spring collection, just because it’s so much darker than the rest of the line. It’s not on my must-have list to recommend to you all, but I thought I’d give you my take on it!
Where To Buy
You can find Guerlain’s spring launch (plus many other brands’ spring collections) over at Nordstrom.com. Don’t forget they’re doing their large GWP right now!
Stay tuned for more reviews & photos Guerlain’s spring launch! But for now, take a look at more photos of the quad, duo liner, and swatches…. but of course! Continue reading →
MUSE Artist Eye Palette Row 1
If there’s one spring collection that’s been a sleeper, it’s Smashbox’s Muse Collection. It was one of the first collections to be available online (at Nordstrom’s), but I didn’t seem to hear about it much. I haven’t even seen a real review on it yet! So imagine my surprise when I happen upon it at Nordstrom’s last week, and the lovely Smashbox artist tells me they’re sold out!
The MUSE Artist Eye Palette ($48.00) contains ten eyeshadows along with an eyeshadow brush, and every eyeshadow has a great finish, texture, and color pay off. The first row is almost a lighter, pastel version of the second row of colors. It’s a great idea, because then you know you can do a lot of easy 2-3 color looks with this palette. The texture is buttery and smooth–no chalkiness, no skipping. The colors are rich and very much how they appear in the palette, which I can appreciate, since I hate feeling duped! Stila’s Precious Pearl Palette still has my heart, but Smashbox did a great job and offers bargain buy of ten shadows for $48 (Stila’s contains six and costs $40).
The MUSE Lip Paints ($21.00) are semi-sheer glosses with a colored base and then gold shimmer. Artiste is a reddish coral shade, and it is the darkest of the three. Virtuoso is a peachy, creamy shade, while Luminary is a warm baby pink. They’re all pretty, but none of them stood out and made me feel like I had to get one. The MUSE Rush Blush ($24.00) is a nice peach-toned pink shade that’ll go great on warm toned skin, and I think would still work well on cooler toned skin. It’s matte in its finish, and the pigmentation reminded me a bit of NARS blushes. Smooth and rich without being powdery. I must say, for the price of the Lip Paints or Blush, I’d rather just put my money towards the Eye Palette.
Finally, the MUSE Cream Eyeliner Artist Pencil Set ($36.00) contains three richly pigmented liners in Antique Gold, Imperial, Lapis, and Slate. At my counter, I only saw three out, which I believe are Antique Gold, Lapis, and Slate. These liners are really smooth with no skipping, an the colors are vibrant and true to color. The set of four for $36 means you get each for $9, which is pretty good when it comes to more high-end eye liners. I was tempted to get these, but since they were sold out, I had no choice but not!
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