Friday, July 22nd, 2011


Bobbi Brown Sand Tortoise Shell Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Sand Tortoise Shell Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Sand Tortoise Shell Eye Palette ($60.00 for 0.32 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows: Ivory (creamy white), Hot Stone (medium brown), Terracotta (warm golden nude), Desert Sand (golden beige), Antique Rose (warm pink nude), Black Chocolate (black brown), Sandy Rose (brown bronze), and Gold Bar (pale gold).

Here’s a quick breakdown of Bobbi Brown’s finishes: regular eyeshadows have a matte finish, which means no shimmer; sparkle eyeshadows are glittery and have a translucent base to allow it to glide onto the lid; metallic eyeshadows are richly pigmented with a bright sheen; and shimmer wash eyeshadows are sheer and lightly pearlized.

  • Ivory is a pale, creamy white with a matte finish. There is a softness to it that keeps it from being powdery or chalky. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow and is part of the permanent range. Inglot #351 is similar but less warm.
  • Hot Stone is a medium-dark brown with a hint of gray. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow and is part of the permanent range. It’s a little darker than MAC Omega but lighter than MAC Charcoal Brown. Inglot #361 is less brown but similar.
  • Terracotta is a lightened orange with a matte finish. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow. MAC Samoa Silk is lighter and brighter. Inglot #368 is closer, but it’s more orange.
  • Desert Sand is a pale champagne-gold with a bright, metallic sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow. Urban Decay Blunt is similar but more golden. MAC Retrospeck also seems similar.
  • Antique Rose is a medium-dark peach-beige with a matte finish. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow. Inglot #337 is similar but not as pink.
  • Black Chocolate is a blackened brown with a matte finish–it looks more charcoal than brown, though. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow and is part of the permanent range. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this, just because it’s more gray-black than black-brown, but it’s very, very dark.
  • Sandy Rose is a soft, light beige-taupe with a metallic sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow. Inglot #402 is a bit darker but still similar.
  • Gold Bar is a sheer white gold with lots of fine gold shimmer. This is a sparkle eyeshadow. Sparkle eyeshadows are supposed to be sheer, but this felt a little dusty and uneven overall–not just sheer. MAC Nylon is similar but has a whiter base color.

Overall, I think this palette is better than the Bronze Tortoise palette, because it has a better variety in finishes as well as the shades are more diversified, which makes it a more versatile palette in comparison.  The only troublemaker was Gold Bar, which despite the Sparkle finish, seemed uneven, and it was prone to fall out.  Ivory and Terracotta seemed a touch under-pigmented but just barely.

Unfortunately, the product sample I received to review did not come with a box, and the label on the back of the compact had sample labeling, so I couldn’t get an ingredients’ list or how much product was in it. I called my local Bobbi Brown counter and asked, and they said that the regular eyeshadows (mattes) contain 0.04 oz., sparkle finishes contain 0.02 oz., metallic finishes contain 0.05 oz., and shimmer wash finishes contain 0.05 oz. This palette contains 5x regular, 1x sparkle, and 2x metallic, which ends up being the equivalent value of: $50 in regular eyeshadows, $3.69 in sparkle eyeshadows, and $20 in metallic eyeshadows. All in all, this palette contains $73.69 worth of product.

The Glossover

palette

Sand Tortoise

B+
There is a good mix of mattes and shimmers in this palette, which is always nice to see. If you've been looking for a neutral palette with more matte eyeshadows, you might consider this. It's cooler in overall tone compared to the Bronze Tortoise palette. The only eyeshadow that had real issues was Gold Bar.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011


Dior Smoking Blue (001) Blue Tie Palette

Dior Smoking Blue (001) Blue Tie Palette

Dior Smoking Blue (001) Blue Tie Palette ($70.00 for 0.19 oz.) is new and limited for fall, and it contains a mix of silver and navy blue eyeshadows along with a pink lipgloss. The compact itself is metal and includes a full-size mirror when you open it. The gloss has a metal lid that you can open, which is nice, because it helps to minimize any cross-contamination of the eyeshadow powder into the gloss.

My first thought when I was photographing the palette was how lovely it looked. It’s heavy in a luxurious way (though not something I’d love to travel with!) with great detailing on the outside and inside. After swatching it, I was left disappointed. For all of Dior’s sleek packaging, this palette falls flat where it counts the most–quality.

The eyeshadows are dry in texture so they drag and pull when applied, and the lack of pigmentation makes it difficult to apply even layers of color or to really utilize this palette in a meaningful way. For such shimmery colors, these were surprisingly chalky overall. The upper left shade (1) is a semi-sheer gray-blue with a subtle sheen. The upper right shade (2) is a purpled, navy blue with a sheen. It didn’t look anything like the pan–it leaned purple and lacked the vibrancy of the blue in the pan. The bottom left shade (3) is a semi-sheer black with multi-colored shimmer. The bottom right shade (4) was a silvered-gray with a hint of brown, and it was the most pigmented shade of the bunch.

For better alternatives, consider: 1) MAC Prussian, 2) Inglot #332, theBalm Risque Renee, or Make Up For Ever #81, 3) theBalm Guilty Gwen, and 4) Inglot #444, theBalm Sexy Stacey. You can also peruse the Blue Eyeshadow Gallery or Gray Eyeshadow Gallery.

The lipgloss is a sheer peony pink with a subtly glossy finish; there isn’t much color to it, but it gives lips a brightened look. It didn’t quite feel like Dior’s Ultra Glosses, as this was thinner and a little tacky. Both the eyeshadows and gloss wear about average, but with the eyeshadows, it’s difficult to tell since everything looks faded as soon as it is applied.

The Glossover

palette

Smoking Blue

F
The exterior packaging is so lovely and well-thought out, but the actual product inside leaves a lot to be desired. The eyeshadows are chalky, dry, and have poor color payoff, and these characteristics make them difficult to apply to the lid.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5.5/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

1.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011


MAC Honesty Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches – Neutrals (Part 1)

  • Back with more MAC Eyeshadows–almost through the permanent shades I have–and this set features neutrals, including browns as well as beiges.
  • Honesty is a soft coppered brown with chunky gold and copper glitter. It has a lustre finish. It’s not the chunkiest lustre I’ve come across, but it doesn’t make my list of must-haves. Urban Decay Blaze would be a good alternative.
  • Patina is grayish-brown (almost taupe) with a pale, golden sheen. It has a frost finish.
  • Wedge is a warm-toned, medium brown with a matte finish. It is warmer and brown compared to MAC Omega but softer than MAC Cork.
  • Soba is a yellow-ed brown with a subtle golden sheen and satin finish. It’s yellower than Wedge, and the finishes are different, but they are similar.
  • Era is a darkened beige with a champagne sheen. It has a satin finish. It is lighter (and shimmery) than Burberry Almond.
  • Malt is a pinked brown-beige with a matte finish. It’s a bit powdery. Inglot #344 is similar.
  • All That Glitters is a lightened copper-gold with a veluxe pearl finish.The texture is rather gritty for a veluxe pearl.  Urban Decay Blaze is similar.
  • Bisque is a soft beige with a matte finish. Inglot #390 is similar.
  • Brule is a soft, warm beige with a satin finish.
  • Blanc Type is a pale white-beige with a Matte2 finish. Inglot #355 is similar but may turn more peach on some complexions.

Eyeshadows like Honesty and All That Glitters–tend to have chunkier textures with glitter fall out.  I will buy a new All That Glitters, even though mine was brand new as of a month ago, since many of you say I have a bad batch, but please give me some time to do so. Shades like Bisque, Brule, and Blanc Type are very light, and I know that on me Blanc Type photographs ashy (on me) when I’ve used it as a highlighter. Patina is a fun shade, because it’s almost like a neutral duochrome, and I couldn’t think of a real dupe for it.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches - Neutrals (Part 1)

B-

Two shades brought down the overall grade of an otherwise average to good set of eyeshadows. They're good--not the best on the market--but reliable and easy to work with (excepting Honesty and All That Glitters).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011


Laura Mercier Pine Bronze Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Pine Bronze Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Pine Bronze Sateen Eye Colour ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “smoky green with bronze shimmer.” The Sateen formula is designed to be a “lightweight eyeshadow with a creamy powder texture” with “intense, luminous color” that has “superior blending” and “long-wearing, crease-resistant application.”

It’s an olive green with subtle, pale gold shimmer strewn through it, but it has more of a satin sheen than it is shimmery. The level of pigmentation is very nice–smooth, mostly even color that is opaque with little need to build the color to get there. Like Cedar, it wears best over a primer, but the product claims long-lasting wear without mention of a primer. It wears for about seven hours before I start noticing subtle creasing but more noticeable fading.

Inglot #419 is a frosted, metallic variation of this color, but because of those two characteristics, I would not call them dupes at all. The color is more like Urban Decay Urb, but Urb lacks pigmentation and has texture issues. It is very similar to Burberry Khaki.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Pine Bronze Sateen Eye Colour Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I would still recommend this--overall--as long as you wear an eyeshadow primer underneath, which I imagine most of us do already! This product lost the majority of points from failing to be long-wearing and crease-resistant on its own as claimed.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “warm brown with shimmer.” The Sateen formula is designed to be a “lightweight eyeshadow with a creamy powder texture” with “intense, luminous color” that has “superior blending” and “long-wearing, crease-resistant application.”

First things first: yes, the eyeshadow is broken; it slipped out of the bubble wrap it was shipped in, and this was the result, but the damage was contained, so I could still give you some idea of the color and quality of the product, even if it might be hard to look at.

Cedar is a warm, medium-dark brown with subtle gold shimmer and satin sheen. It has excellent color payoff, and it applies smoothly and evenly. The wear is great over a primer with no fading or creasing, but the formula is described as long-wearing and crease-resistant without mention of a primer, so I did try it that way as well. I get about seven hours or so without a primer, which isn’t bad, but it’s not a full day of wear. The creasing is very subtle, but the fading is more noticeable. I would still recommend wearing it over an eyeshadow base to get solid wear throughout the day.

It’s a lot like MAC Swiss Chocolate, except Cedar has a little shimmer. NARS Galapagos is a bit darker, while Inglot #327 is a matte version. Milani Rich Java is a bit more red-based.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I would still recommend this--overall--as long as you wear an eyeshadow primer underneath, which I imagine most of us do already! This product lost the majority of points from failing to be long-wearing and crease-resistant on its own as claimed.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Overall & Round-up

These are all of the shades of Giorgio Armani’s Eye to Kill Intense Eyeshadows that I have.  There is one missing (14), which came out with 13, 15, and 16 for holiday in 2010–unfortunately, it was already unavailable when I started to review these shades earlier this year.  You can view all 15 in their full glory in the Swatch Gallery.

More UniqueBlast of Blue (1), Lust Red (2), Purpura (3), Pulp Fiction (4)

Good AlonePulp Fiction (4), Khaki Pulse (6), Sweet Fire (7), Champagne (8), Rock Sand (9),

Less Unique:  Gold Blitz (5), Sweet Fire (7), Champagne (8), Rock Sand (9), White Punch (11)

Temptalia’s Favorites:  Blast of Blue (1), Lust Red (2)), Purpura (3), Pulp Fiction (4), Khaki Pulse (6), Black (13)

Best Quality:  Blast of Blue (1), Lust Red (2), Gold Blitz (5), Khaki Pulse (6), Black (13), Copper/Black Grey (15)

Reviews, Photos, Swatches