Friday, August 14th, 2009


The Perfect Cheek

Sneak Peek: MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — The Perfect Cheek, Violet Trance, Colour Matters, Obviously Orange

Also designed by Richard Phillips, two blushes (The Perfect Cheek and Notable) appear from MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. While on the other hand, illustrator Maira Kalman’s Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection includes six colorful shades of eyeshadow complemented by five shades of technakohl liners.

Powder Blush ($18.00)

  • The Perfect Cheek is a powder blush with a matte finish that goes on a dusty, pale pink. While it was visible on my skin tone, I found it hard to detect, and the inside of my forearm is probably around NC20 range, which leads me to worry about visibility on deeper skin tones. On some deeper skin tones, this may appear ashy as well.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Eyeshadow ($14.50)

  • Violet Trance eyeshadow is a matte dark blue-based violet purple. This originally released two or three years ago, so avid collectors may already have this in their stash. As lovely as it appears in the pot, it’s not the easiest matte to work with. I’d have to vote Make Up For Ever #92 if you’re looking for a deep, intense purple, just because this one doesn’t have a dream texture. It’s so-so, a bit chalky and thus drags a bit, and pigmentation is decent but not intense.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 6/10
  • Packaging: 8/10
  • Overall: 6/10

Technakohl ($14.50)

  • Colour Matters techankohl is a satiny chartreuse shade. It looks nearly the same as True Chartreuse pigment does, just in technakohl liner. Since I’m lazy at heart, I am pleased to see it in technakohl form (even though, if you’re on a budget, you could use the pigment form to create your own liner).
  • Obviously Orange technakohl is a pop of medium-bright orange. It’s not neon orange, and it’s not rusty or coppery either. Compared to Colour Mattes, this one has a much more noticeable shimmer/frost to it–kind of a golden shimmer.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 9/10
  • Overall: 9/10

Recommendation: I’d skip the blush if you have medium or darker skin unless you can try it in-person and decide for yourself. Violet Trance eyeshadow doesn’t impress me much, and I’d rather opt for a better quality shadow from another brand. I love technakohls, though, so I was quite pleased with the creaminess, opacity, and look of the two new technakohls I’ve tried so far.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com (August 20th), MAC stores

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Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Stay-Put Liner: Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner

Smashbox Navy Blue Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner ($22.00) is a gel eye liner that goes on creamy and then dries after about a minute.  I like that they designed it to stay blendable (wet/creamy) for a minute before it dries to a “smudge-proof, budge-proof finish that lasts all day.”  It does, in fact, stay on all day without smudging or budging or migrating onto places it shouldn’t be.  It’s available in five shades:  Bronze, Dark Brown, Midnight Black, Midnight Purple, and Navy Blue.

I’d definitely love to see Smashbox introduce more shades into their line-up — some fun shades would be awesome to see, but it is still nice tot have five easy, wearable shades.  I’ve only tried Navy Blue myself, but I love the soft bluish silver laced in the dark navy base shade.  Looks great even with a neutral look on the upper lash line!  The pot feels extremely tiny, but I don’t see myself going through this product quickly nonetheless.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: The product itself is fantastic, and even though the container is tiny, you don’t need much for an application, so one container will last you quite awhile.  I will say that I’d prefer a little more bulk to the packaging to make it easier to hold onto, less likely to be lost (since I lose everything), and all that.  Because it stays wet for longer, you have more time to work and don’t have to worry about drag.

Availability: Smashbox.com, Beauty.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com

Have you tried any of Smashbox’s Gel Liners? What was your experience?

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Friday, August 7th, 2009

shu uemura’s Primitribe Collection is a good mix of neutrals and color. I absolutely adored the Painting Liner, which was creamy, incredibly pigmented, and easy to work with. The Primal Color Sticks were interesting, but without testing them at-home, I can’t tell you if they actually last at all. Unfortunately, the U.S. launch of Primitribe doesn’t include everything — we won’t be seeing Spinel, the pink painting liner as far as I can tell.

Primitribe Color Stick

  • Rich Earth is a warm-toned, chocolate brown with golden shimmer.
  • Night Maroon is a satiny burgundy-wine with more of a creamy finish than a shimmer finish.
  • Blazed Gold is a warm-toned, yellow gold with lighter gold shimmer.
  • Misty Grove is an olive green with a creamy texture and light shimmer.

Primitribe Mix Blush

  • Echo is a blush duo of a pink-toned brown and a dark gold with gold shimmer.
  • Rhythm contains a large section of rosy pink and a smaller section of muted, warmed-up light medium brown with gold shimmer.
  • Soul is a combination of a satin-y medium-toned orange and a warm, medium dark chocolate brown with pale gold shimmer.

Painting Liner

  • Turquoise is a bright pop of creamy, blue-based turquoise with silver micro glitter.
  • Citrine is an insanely bright, creamy yellow with a slight sheen.

Rouge Unlimited

  • BG 942 is a creamy, mostly opaque peachy-orange.
  • WN 296 is a dark, vampy burgundy-red with a glossy finish.

Nail Enamel

  • P 980 is a pale, pastel peachy-cream with a frosty finish.
  • WN 296 is a bright, fuchsia-red with pink pearl.

Available: August 2009; currently available in-store at Nordstrom and online at NeimanMarcus.com.

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Prescriptives’ Well Suited Collection is a nice launch easy, wearable shades in pre-made palettes (cool, neutral, and warm), along with the release of new longwearing liners. My favorite products from this launch are the new longwearing liners and the Well-Suited Finishing Powder. I also thought Posh Beige was a gorgeous shade from the LipColors.

Well-Suited Eye Color Compact ($40.00 U.S. / $48.00 CDN)

All three palettes had decent to good color pay off, but I did find shadows that had a more matte finish were a little less smooth and could skip a bit when swatched. These colors are designed to be wearable shades, and Prescriptives succeeded in this aspect. If you’re more of a bold color kind of person, these might not be up your alley. If you’re looking for something you can wear all week, you may find these are suitable for you!

  • Warm includes a soft, satin-y peach; a warm-toned medium brown with gold and green shimmer; a neutral-toned golden green-brown; a dark teal with aqua-blue shimmer; and a slightly warmed-up dark brown with a semi-matte/matte finish.
  • Neutral looks like a smoky eyes palette, actually. It includes a neutral-toned peach with light peach-gold shimmer; a neutral-tone reddish-brown with multicolored shimmer; a satiny, dark, chocolate brown; a medium silver with slight shimmer; and a matte black.
  • Cool consists of a peachy-pink with silvery shimmer; a cool-toned chocolate brown with slight shimmer; a grayish shade with brown undertones; a reddish-plum with golden shimmer; and a matte dark purple.

Face

  • Well-Suited Finishing Powder ($28.00) is a satiny, dusty pink with the collection’s theme as a raised pattern on the compact. It goes on as a pale, slightly warm pink (neutral or warm, but definitely not cool). It doesn’t have any shimmer, and it looks very natural and soft on skin.

Colorscope Lipcolor

  • Posh Honey is a semi-sheer warm-toned beige with golden sihmmer.
  • Posh Ginger is a brownish shade with a little bit of warm red with slight golden shimmer.
  • Posh Nude is a pinky-nue with a semi-sheer finish and low-level gold pearl.
  • Posh Pink is a semi-opaque raspberry pink with a glossy sheen.

Longwear Kohl Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Black Kohl is a medium flat black — not an ultra rich, ultra black-black, but a wearable, soft black.
  • Blush Kohl is a medium-dark blue with no shimmer or sheen.
  • Brown Kohl is a slightly war-toned chocolate brown.
  • Slate Kohl is a grayish-charcoal shade with a slight sheen.

Available: Nordstrom.com

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Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


5L, 17L, 20L, 12L, 7L, 15L, 10L

Aqua Eyes Eye Liner

Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes line is probably one of the top eyeliner formulas on the market to-date.  It’s extremely budge-proof, smudge-proof, and water-resistant.  It actually holds up quite well to all three claims.  Add to that a diverse range of color choices (Sephora sells 25), and you have a winning combination.   They’re smooth, well-pigmented, and deliver long-lasting color.

  • #5L is a khaki-bronze with a hint of green in it. It’s like a deep, slightly green-toned antique gold. I love wearing this with golds, browns, and greens.
  • #17L is a soft, yellowed spring green with soft shimmer sheen. I was hoping for a little more chartreuse in it, but it’s still a nice, subtle liner color.
  • #20L is a forest-green with teal in it. I adore this one — a definite must-have. I pair it with blues, teals, and greens.
  • #12L is a dark blue with a subtle shimmer-sheen. It’s not super unique, but it’s a nice blue shade.
  • #7L is a nice pop of blue-based turquoise. It’s the brightest color that I own.
  • #15L is an violet-blue shade. I liked this one, because I felt like it was fairly unique. I don’t have anything like this in my collection of eye liners.
  • #10L is a bronzy-copper. It’s very “me” in a sense, because I love these kinds of warm-toned bronzes. It’s great with warm-toned looks, particularly neutral looks, for an extra kick.

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Thursday, July 23rd, 2009


Kitten Smudge Pot

Stila’s Fall Collection also included the launch of Kitten Smudge Pot, Black Cat Smudge Pot, and Kitten Lip Glaze. I have to tell you that I am absolutely in love with Black Cat. The swatches don’t even do it justice, just because the way the shimmer/glitter catches the light is stunning.  These new products will be available September 2009, but you might see them pop up on stilacosmetics.com earlier (perhaps late August).

  • Kitten Smudge Pot is a beige-y champagne shade. It’s definitely neutral, and it’s wearable alone or as a neutral base. It’s fairly frosty, though, so if you’re more of a matte finish person, this probably wouldn’t appeal to you. I like it as a one-swipe-and-you’re-done kind of color. It’s also nice on the lower water line.
  • Black Cat Smudge Pot is a fairly opaque black-base smudge pot with golden glitter/shimmer laced through the color. It’s really glitzy and reminds me of Hollywood glamour. This is awesome as a liner, but it also makes an awesome base for that totally dark, black smoky eye.
  • Kitten Lip Glaze is a sheer gloss with a peachy base and peachy-gold shimmer. It’s pretty, extremely wearable, and has a little stickiness to it. Compared to the Lip Enamel Luxe, it didn’t excite me so much. For those who love sheer, shimmering glosses with a neutral kick, this is definitely up your alley.

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