Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Urban Decay Primer Potion Tubes
Urban Decay Primer Potion Tubes

Urban Decay Primer Potion Tubes

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Tubes ($19.00 for 0.37 oz.) just launched at Sephora and will be exclusive to Sephora at this time. They’re available in all four varieties–Eden, Greed, Original, and Sin–and they’re actually a smidgen bigger than the bottles (0.37 oz. vs. 0.34 oz.) and cost a dollar more. I noticed that Sephora didn’t mark these as limited editoin and only stated that they would be exclusive to Sephora for a limited time–I presume they’ll roll out to the usual retailers later on.  Once I have more details, I’ll be sure to post.

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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Celebrate

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “parrot green” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Celebrate is a bright, chartreuse green with a strong yellow base. It applied semi-opaque but glided on easily. The problem with this shade was its complete inability to not crease. I tried it alone, and it creased within minutes. I layered eyeshadow on top (Giorgio Armani Transluminence palette–the teal–I just used whatever I had nearest to me), and it still creased in less than an hour. It’s not even a little creasing–it’s painful to see. Not to be daunted, I also tried it over NARS’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base with the same eyeshadow layered on top, and I still had the same results (a veritable creasing bonanza).

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–and Celebrate continues to show that NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils really can be hit or miss.

The Glossover

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product

Celebrate

I'm not even sure what you can really use this with or for, if it's going to crease with two additional helpers (a base and shadow to set). It migrates on the lower lash line, too, so it's not something one could line with, either. Five points for the glide and color pay off!
Results
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Dupes
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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Hollywoodland

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “pale gold” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Hollywoodland is a muted yellow-based gold–kind of a gilded champagne-gold to me. It delivers a nice layer of color without a lot of tugging. Smooth without being greasy, it glides on the lid. I tested it alone, and within ten minutes, it was crease-city (photo included, for your viewing horror), and following that disaster, I tested it with Hourglass’ Dune eyeshadow on top–much better results (six hours of crease-free wear). However, I later tried it with NARS Brazil eyeshadow on it, and it creased a bit at the four hour mark. It seems like it really needs quite a bit of powder to really set it. I also wore it as a liner and honestly, when I went to check it after an hour, I couldn’t find it.

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–but with enough powder, Hollywoodland managed to get through six hours without creasing, unlike the last one I tried (Palladium).

The Glossover

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product

Hollywoodland

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For $24, this product needs a lot of help to make it usable. From a brand that can make my favorite eyeshadow primer, I'm It's a shame, because it was gorgeous as a base but also blended out on its own for a quick, everyday look.  Given that these are prone to creasing on my normal-to-dry lids, if you have to layer your eyeshadow primers normally, I don't think these are for you.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

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Sunday, December 19th, 2010

MAC Pigments
MAC Pigments: Follow Your Fancy, Madly Personal, New Fixation, Violet

MAC Stylishly Yours: Pigments

There are four shades of MAC Pigments ($19.50 for 0.15 oz.), three are new and limited edition: Follow Your Fancy (bright coral with small pearl particle), Madly Personal (bright pink), and New Fixation (bright fuchsia red with soft pearl); along with one repromote: Violet (vivid bright violet purple), which is permanent.  I’m still working on figuring out what (if any) safety information accompanies these, as none of my pigments had safety inserts inside their boxes.

I must have been under a rock for the past year, but MAC now prints safety information on the back of the pigment box itself. There were no safety warnings for Follow Your Fancy or New Fixation.  Madly Personal had a warning that it is not for use in the lip area.  Go figure – the pink isn’t safe on lips!?!

  • Follow Your Fancy is a rusted orange with subtle redness and a frosted sheen.  Nicely pigmented, and it’s actually really fun to see, because I can’t remember such a rusty color in pigment form coming out.  This is new and limited edition.
  • Madly Personal is a medium-dark fuchsia pink with a pearly sheen.  It is less cool-toned than Brash & Bold, but the two are close.  It’s a darker, less frosty version of Fuchsia, too.  This is new and limited edition.
  • New Fixation is a medium-dark pinky-red with pearly sheen.  I don’t own it, but it may be similar to Basic Red, except the finish is different and this seems like a less true red.  This is new and limited edition.
  • Violet is a shimmering violet purple with a frosted sheen.  This is permanent.

All four of the pigments were really smooth and pigmented.  I also loved that MAC used more of a pearly sheen as a finish than a full-on frost finish – it adds more variety to the pigment range (even though these are limited, except Violet).

MAC Stylishly Yours Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North America, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th.

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

RECOMMENDATION: I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s pigments; you get plenty of them, need very little, and they are pigmented and easy enough to work with.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Cham-Pale Paint Pots
MAC Paint Pots: Chilled on Ice, Dangerous Cuvee, Let Me Pop, Vintage Selection

MAC Cham-Pale: Paint Pots

MAC Paint Pots ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) are part of the permanent line, and it feels like it’s been forever since we’ve seen anything new in the range, but Cham-Pale brings to us four new and limited edition variations: Chilled on Ice (frosted white gold), Dangerous Cuvee (frosted cool grey), Let Me Pop (frosted light copper), and Vintage Selection (frosted dirty peach).

  • Chilled on Ice is a cool-toned iridescent pale yellow gold.  It is interesting because it seems cool-toned but yet it is a gold, which is often a warmer hue.
  • Dangerous Cuvee is a navy-tinged gray with a silvery-white sheen and shimmer.
  • Let Me Pop is a medium-dark copper with a golden copper sheen.  In the pot, it resembles Melon pigment, but when worn, it’s anything but.
  • Vintage Selection is a medium taupe brown.  It has a highly reflective frosted sheen.  It was the most opaque of the four.

Paint Pots can be used alone like a cream eyeshadow or as a base for your eyeshadows–I would say the latter is the more popular usage, though. I happen to use them as eyeshadow bases myself, because I find that most shades lend themselves to such rather than be worn alone. Whether I wear them alone or underneath eyehadow, they wear all day, and they are actually quite water-resistant, too.

These shades have a slightly creamier, but sheerer, formula than typical paint pots, which I imagine is due to the higher shimmer content in these.  They’re part shimmer, part metallic (but definitely not true metallics!).  The effect is reminiscent of Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadows, but these are more shimmer, less glitter, and generally speaking, more opaque (not that they are opaque).  They are easy to blend out and can be worn on their own, because they can be softened at the edges and sheered out enough to be worn in that fashion.

I felt that these took a wee bit longer to dry than other paint pots, but they still dried down and stayed in place.  My big concern with these is the sheerness, because I could not build up the color.  In the past, paint pots have been rather opaque, so it’s hard to know if this was simply the desired result for these in particular or if there is a deficiency of pigment.  However, since the official description is still “[a] highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish,” I would expect more intensity from these–at the very least, achievable by layering.

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: As much as I wanted to fall in love with these, I’m a little underwhelmed.  The sheerness isn’t what I would expect from the paint pot formula, but it may be a welcomed characteristic to others.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Friday, December 17th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Flash Palette
Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette

Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette

Make Up For Ever 12 Flash Color Palette ($95.00 for 2.46 oz.) contains Gold 004 (metallic gold), Coral 002 (vibrant coral), Turquoise 000 (light turquoise), Fuchsia 005 (bright fuchsia pink), Yellow 013 (vibrant yellow), Brown 023 (dark brown), Silver 003 (metallic silver), White 010 (pure white), Red 017 (bright red), Bright Blue 014 (bright royal blue), Leaf Green 008 (bright green), and Black 011 (pure black).

This is a multi-tasking, multi-purpose palette designed with the artist in mind. If you have ever played around with color theory, I think this might be something you would enjoy. These are thin, creamy colors in very basic shades (overall) that can be used as is or mixed together to create different shades and variations. I do find that these crease when worn alone, especially if you do not sheer them out a lot, but they work well when layered over an eyeshadow primer or with powder eyeshadows to set.  I like these a lot for just general purpose, not necessarily so much as just eyeshadow bases, but as face or body paint.

  • Gold 004 is a metallic yellow gold with shimmer.
  • Silver 003 is a metallic silver with shimmer. It looks like foil.
  • Coral 002 is a creamy medium coral.
  • White 010 is a bright, creamy white.
  • Turquoise 000 is a creamy, light aqua.
  • Red 017 is a creamy, true red.
  • Fuchsia 005 is a creamy, medium-dark deep pink.
  • Bright Blue 014 is a creamy, brightened royal blue.
  • Yellow 013 is a creamy, bright yellow.
  • Leaf Green 008 is a creamy, light-medium grass green with yellow undertones.
  • Brown 023 is a creamy, medium-dark chocolate brown.
  • Black 011 is a creamy black.

On the back of the palette, it indicates that you cannot use these shades [in the USA] on the eyes: Coral 002, Fuchsia 005, or Red 017; nor these shades on the lips: Silver 003, White 010, or Bright Blue 014. It is interesting that the warnings are for the USA specifically. I was a little concerned about the packaging, but I have had this for a few months now, and the product is still creamy on the surface–no dried up product here.

Though Sephora doesn’t really sell individual flash colors (I only saw one–Bright Blue 014), they retail for $18 each (0.24 oz.), which works out to be $75/oz. This palette contains 2.46 oz. for $95, which works out to be $38.62/oz. It’s a nice way to load up on the Flash Colors for sure–twelve shades in all! A little goes a long way, but you do get a surprisingly amount of product per well (0.205 oz.).

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: At $95, it is definitely an investment and something you should thoroughly think about whether it is a product you would use. It consists of a lot of basic colors, because it is designed to be mixed on the fly for whatever color you need at a particular moment in time. It’s not necessarily a wear-and-go kind of palette either. I consider this more of an artistry palette, and for makeup artists and budding makeup artists alike, it is a worthwhile piece.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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