Monday, December 6th, 2010

Urban Decay Greed Primer Potion
Urban Decay Greed Primer Potion

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Greed Primer Potion

Greed ($18.00 for 0.34 oz.) is new and not new — it is new because it is the first time it has been available on its own (and full-sized), but it was originally launched as part of Urban Decay Little Sins Eyeshadow Primer Potion Set.

  • Greed is a shimmering slightly pale gold with yellow undertones.

Even though I tested Greed previously for wear, I found the full-size version to be more pigmented and the overall finish of the product seemed different to me. I tested and photographed Greed just this past October, but the full-sized version has more of a metallic finish with a stronger sheen.

The finish is quite similar to Sin’s, but I specifically mentioned in the previous post on Greed that it had more of a shimmer than frost finish. Because Greed has more of a metallic finish, it reflects more light, but the color itself is still a beautiful pale yellow gold. I was, however, still able to wear Greed all day on its own or as an eyeshadow base without creasing.

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: I think warm-toned beauties will find this works really well as a base or an all-over color for quick looks.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 at urbandecay.com, early February 2011 at Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, ULTA

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Monday, December 6th, 2010

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils vs. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils
Urban Decay Sin, NYX Yogurt, Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils vs. Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils

Though they seem rather similar on the surface and even at first glance, I think the shade ranges differ enough where there is less overlap than expected.  For instance, I could not find dupes for Urban Decay’s Midnight Cowboy, Clinic, Narc, or Lit at all.  However, I think that Urban Decay’s Sin and Clash definitely have dupes, while Delinquent has something similar but there is a noticeable difference in quality that makes them different.

I think that Rehab and Barracuda may also lack dupes, but I do not have the appropriate NYX shades to tell you for sure.  Mercury and Wasteland may have dupes, but again, I can’t say for sure.

  • Urban Decay Sin seems to be closest to NYX Yogurt, but the latter is darker and pinker.
  • Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy is also closest to NYX Yogurt but I would not consider them dupes–Midnight Cowboy is more of a gilded champagne-beige without the pink of Yogurt.
  • Urban Decay Clinic has no corresponding dupe in the NYX line. NYX lacks any teal shade.
  • Urban Decay Narc has no corresponding dupe in the NYX line. NYX Rocky Mountain Green is a cooler, brighter green, which may be more comparable to Urban Decay Graffiti (which is available as an eyeliner).
  • Urban Decay Clash is the one shade I found a strong dupe for, which was NYX Electric Blue, though the NYX version is not quite as bright and requires layering to achieve opaque color.
  • Urban Decay Delinquent is similar to NYX Purple Velvet but the swatch will show you how different the pigmentation is between the two of them. Urban Decay’s is significantly more pigmented, and it is more of a jewel-tone purple with less red in its base.
  • Urban Decay Lit is a softer, lighter version of NYX Pure Gold, which is much more of a coppery gold.
  • Urban Decay Morphine is is a darker version of NYX Oyster, and it also has more of a purple tone, while Oyster pulls pinker.

I don’t have all of NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils, but based on Dusty’s swatches that he did for Temptalia back in April, here are my thoughts on some possible similarities:

  • Wasteland and/or Rehab may be comparable to Iced Mocha, which looks like it runs lighter and perhaps not as dark.
  • Mercury may be comparable to Pots and Pans, but it looks a little darker.
  • Barracuda may be comparable to Slate, which looks like it has a bluer cast (less of a silver-gray).

What about the formulas?

Generally speaking (and based on the eight or so NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils I own), NYX has a creamier, more emollient base, which is likely why more people have experienced creasing when using them alone and/or as a base.  (You can always remedy this by using an eyeshadow base underneath the pencil itself.)  Keep in mind, also, that Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencils are still very much untested by the makeup community at large–I can only report on my experience, but I have rather normal lids (neither dry or oily).

Some shades have excellent pigmentation and go on beautifully while other shades do look sheerer when swatched against Urban Decay’s.  NYX take longer to dry, so you have more time to work with them and blend them, but it may also mean they have more time to settle into creases and lines on the lid.  Urban Decay’s seem to take more elbow grease to remove (just using a makeup remover wipe) than NYX’s. Urban Decay also specifically calls attention to the fact that their pencils are free of parabens and mineral oil, both ingredients found in NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils.

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Saturday, December 4th, 2010


24/7 Shadow Pencils: Clinic, Narc, Clash, Delinquent, Morphine, Barracuda

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils: Part 2

For spring, Urban Decay’s launching a brand new product: 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.), which come in twelve different shades. There are six included in this post: Clinic (deep peacock green with fine green sparkle), Narc (mossy green sheen), Clash (bright electric blue with fine silver sparkle), Delinquent (deep jewel purple with fine purple sparkle), Morphine (iridescent lilac), and Barracuda (black with fine silver sparkle).

  • Clinic is a rich, jewel-tone teal with green-teal sheen and light silver sparkle. It is similar to Covet 24/7 Liner, but Clinic seems more green-based.
  • Narc is a darkened grassy green tinged with olive dusted with gold sparkle. It compares best with Mildew 24/7 Liner, but it is noticeably greener and warmer.
  • Clash is a brilliant bright blue with silver sparkle. It is extremely similar to Electric 24/7 Liner–if I look closely, it seems like Clash is slightly brighter.
  • Delinquent is deep purple violet with lilac sparkle. It’s such a stunning jewel-tone shade. It is completely different from Lust 24/7 Liner, and it doesn’t compare to Ransom 24/7 Liner either.
  • Morphine is an iridescent cool-toned bluish-lilac with some fuchsia in its base. I thought it might compare to Asphyxia 24/7 Liner, but it’s much, much lighter, more iridescent, and really does not have much in common with Asphyxia.
  • Barracuda is a darkened black with silver sparkle. I couldn’t distinguish it from Oil Slick 24/7 Liner, and it is slightly darker than Uzi 24/7 Liner.

Of this set, Delinquent and Morphine are the most unique, while the other four have similar shades in the 24/7 Liner line.  This is predicated on you already owning the liner counterparts and not feeling the need to spring for jumbo-sized versions to use as an eyeshadow base.  The 24/7 Liners are still much easier to use as eyeliners, because they are smaller and therefore more precise and suited for the lash line.  However, you do get significantly more bang for your buck with the 24/7 Shadows, so if you don’t own one of the 24/7 Liners that compares but always wanted to, perhaps the 24/7 Shadow version will serve you well.

These really do feel like jumbo-sized 24/7 Liners–they are smooth, creamy, and glide across the lid with ease. I will say that these seem more pigmented than the 24/7 Liners. You really get true color with one stroke, and even lighter shades go on opaque. I wore Clinic (to-be-reviewed) on one eye and Midnight Cowboy on the other eye for twelve hours yesterday, and I didn’t experience any creasing. I wore them both all over the lid and above the crease, applied with the pencil itself, and straight on the lid (no primer).

I later wore just Rehab all over the lid and above the crease, blended out with fingertips, with Rehab over Urban Decay’s Primer Potion on one lid and by itself on the other. This test was more about blendability and how it would work over a base. It dries down quickly; it’s smudgeable and blendable for 15-20 seconds, but you’ll want to work pretty fast if you’re blending two or more of the Shadow Pencils together. Lighter shades like Sin, Lit, and Midnight Cowboy are beautiful all-over lid shades–for those mornings where all you have are two minutes to spare.

They are shorter than 24/7 Liners (just over 5.5″), but they are definitely fatter–they also contain over twice the product (.10 oz. vs. 0.04 oz.) and only cost $3 more ($20 vs. $17). In terms of high-end products, they compare to NARS Shadow Pencils in look (doesn’t migrate), but they perform well, like MAC Shade Sticks (creamier, though). I’m pleasantly surprised at how the price/quantity worked out here. All in all, I’m liking these so far, and they make excellent colored eyeshadow bases that can also double as eyeliner. So far, I’ve found they adhere well to the lid without creasing or fading.

P.S. — I have to see what NYX pencils I have, but I will try to do some comparisons later this weekend (school all day).

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, I think you’ll like these. Whether you use these as eyeliner or as an eyeshadow, they work as well, if not better, than the 24/7 Liners–since they’re more pigmented.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 @ urbandecay.com; early February 2011 @ Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, & ULTA

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Saturday, December 4th, 2010


24/7 Shadow Pencils: Sin, Lit, Midnight Cowboy, Rehab, Wasteland, Mercury

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils: Part 1

For spring, Urban Decay’s launching a brand new product: 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.), which come in twelve different shades. There are six included in this post: Sin (champagne shimmer), Lit (sunny bronze shimmer), Midnight Cowboy (beige with fine gold sparkle), Rehab (taupey brown sheen), Wasteland (dark brown sheen), and Mercury (gunmetal grey sheen).

  • Sin is a light-medium pink-beige champagne with a frosted sheen. It swatched very comparably to Sin Primer Potion–it seemed less frosty.
  • Lit is a softened orange-gold with a frosted sheen. It’s actually similar to Guerlain’s Gold Eyeliner, but it has no similarity to either Eldorado (which is a yellow gold) or Baked (much darker, bronzy).
  • Midnight Cowboy is a medium beige with flecks of gold glitter. The glitter seems finer than what is in the eyeshadow. I was crossing my fingers that this would resemble Midnight Cowboy 24/7 Liner (which is exclusive to the 24/7 Liner Anniversary Set), but it’s not. The liner is definitely lighter, a little warmer.
  • Rehab is a dark red-toned chocolate brown with a smidgen of taupe. It is similar to Underground 24/7 Liner–a hair darker, cooler, perhaps, but it could be a potential skip in lieu of other shades that are less similar.
  • Wasteland is a cool-toned olive brown with fine gold shimmer. It didn’t match up with any of the 24/7 Liners. It’s more like a mix of Stash and Bourbon but compares to neither alone.
  • Mercury is a silvered gray with frosted sheen. It seemed warmer when swatched next to Gunmetal 24/7 Liner, which also looks bluer.

These really do feel like jumbo-sized 24/7 Liners–they are smooth, creamy, and glide across the lid with ease. I will say that these seem more pigmented than the 24/7 Liners. You really get true color with one stroke, and even lighter shades go on opaque. I wore Clinic (to-be-reviewed) on one eye and Midnight Cowboy on the other eye for twelve hours yesterday, and I didn’t experience any creasing. I wore them both all over the lid and above the crease, applied with the pencil itself, and straight on the lid (no primer).

I later wore just Rehab all over the lid and above the crease, blended out with fingertips, with Rehab over Urban Decay’s Primer Potion on one lid and by itself on the other. This test was more about blendability and how it would work over a base. It dries down quickly; it’s smudgeable and blendable for 15-20 seconds, but you’ll want to work pretty fast if you’re blending two or more of the Shadow Pencils together. Lighter shades like Sin, Lit, and Midnight Cowboy are beautiful all-over lid shades–for those mornings where all you have are two minutes to spare.

I thought it was interesting that there was very little overlap in the names. It seems like Urban Decay often uses the same names (and the corresponding shade) across product types (e.g. Ransom 24/7 Liner, Ransom Eyeshadow), but most of these are new names. Meaningless in terms of the product itself, but it made me curious as to what else we might see from Urban Decay in 2011. It also made me curious given that there are some shades that are rather close to existing 24/7 Liners.

They are shorter than 24/7 Liners (just over 5.5″), but they are definitely fatter–they also contain over twice the product (.10 oz. vs. 0.04 oz.) and only cost $3 more ($20 vs. $17).  In terms of high-end products, they compare to NARS Shadow Pencils in look (doesn’t migrate), but they perform well, like MAC Shade Sticks (creamier, though). I’m pleasantly surprised at how the price/quantity worked out here. All in all, I’m liking these so far, and they make excellent colored eyeshadow bases that can also double as eyeliner. So far, I’ve found they adhere well to the lid without creasing or fading.

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, I think you’ll like these. Whether you use these as eyeliner or as an eyeshadow, they work as well, if not better, than the 24/7 Liners–since they’re more pigmented but wear just as well.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 @ urbandecay.com; early February 2011 @ Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, & ULTA

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC The Family Crest Pigment
MAC The Family Crest Pigment

MAC Tartan Tale: Pigments

For the color collection, there are three new and limited edition shades of MAC Pigments ($19.50 for 0.15 oz.). These shades are: The Family Crest (blackened bronze with pearl), Later (black with transforming purple pearl), and Moonlight Night (blackened teal with teal pearl). All three pigments have frost finishes. Later is a repromote from this spring’s Alice + Olivia Collection.

  • The Family Crest is a darkened, plummy brown base with flashes of gold and violet shimmer. It’s a very fun and complex shade! It’s actually a little similar to Style Clan nail lacquer (which you can’t wear on your eyes, LOL!). I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.
  • Later needs moisture to look amazing. Do not just swatch it dry and forget about it, because you’re really not giving it a chance then. When applied wet, it’s a blackened-gray base with flashes of violet and deep blue-purple shimmer and sheen. About a million times prettier wet than dry. It is similar to My Dark Magic Mineralize Eyeshadow from Venomous Villains. It could also be replicated by layering Violet pigment over a black base.
  • Moonlight Night is a darkened charcoal gray base with flashes of deep forest green shimmer and soft frosted sheen. I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.

Even when swatched dry, both The Family Crest and Moonlight Night swatched smoothly, but Later definitely needs to be used wet or patted over a sticky base to get the true color. I personally find MAC’s Mixing Medium (Water-Based) to work really well when using pigments wet, because it is slightly tacky, which makes the pigment hold together and wear all day.  I’ve often used pigments as bases for other eyeshadows with this method.

Though I like the look of the new pigment jars, I do find them a lot messier.  I don’t know if it’s perhaps that I open these over a white table, but I feel like I get some smeared on the photo station every time I open them, which is quite annoying.  I haven’t spilled or toppled any of the jars over, at least!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of pigments or enjoy using loose color, then yes on all three. I think they’re great shades and nothing feels like, “Wow, I’ve seen this twenty times!”

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Monday, October 4th, 2010

Urban Decay Potion
Greed, Sin, Eden, Original

Urban Decay Little Sins Eyeshadow Primer Potion Set ($29.00) is new for the holidays and contains miniature sizes of the three existing Primer Potion varieties: Original (invisible), Eden (matte nude), Sin (shimmering champagne). It also contains a miniature size of a new and (currently) exclusive shade: Greed (pearly gold).

  • Greed is a shimmering slightly paled gold with definite yellow undertones. It’s not really an opaque base, and it’s not as pigmented of a base as Sin. It also has more of a shimmer than a frost base, unlike Sin. I think warm-toned beauties will find this works really well as a base as well as an all-over color for quick looks.
  • Sin is a beige-nude with a high frost sheen and champagne micro-shimmer.
  • Eden is a yellow-toned light nude with a matte finish.
  • Original is virtually invisible, though I’ve always found it has a slight shimmer to it.

I think one of the more frustrating marketing strategies that pops up during the holiday season is when a brand brings out one new, exclusive/limited edition shade amongst a set of several other permanent shades.  (And don’t get me wrong, many brands employ this strategy.)  I don’t want to have to buy the three other Primer Potions just so I can get Greed. This is how I end up with doubles or triples of certain eyeliners, pigments, etc. — none of which I’ve ever used up the original! I really do like Greed, though, so I’m crossing my fingers that Urban Decay releases it on its own.

I find that the Original Primer Potion has a tendency to crease on me after about seven hours, though Eden and Sin both seem to hold up better.  Greed didn’t give me any creasing problems after wearing it on three different occasions for over eight hours on each.

Each contains 0.13 oz., which means you’re getting 0.52 oz. of product in sum.  This translates to $55.77/oz. while a full-sized version ($18 for 0.34 oz.) goes for $52.94/oz.  It’s a nice opportunity for those who haven’t tried our the brand’s line of eyeshadow bases yet.  It may also be worth it for those who are devotees, because you’ll likely run through your tubes eventually and need replacements… ta-da.  Plus, the travel-sized versions may be more convenient for those treks to Mom and Dad’s house for holiday dinner.

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: It really depends on two things:  whether you have any of the full-sized versions and how badly do you want Greed?  (I suppose I should have said how greedy are you to have Greed…)

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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