Sunday, February 20th, 2011


Quick Review: Milani Glamorous Gems

Milani Glamorous Gems Eyeshadow Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) includes six shades of eyeshadow, all coordinated and in thin, raised strips. They can be used wet or dry, but I found the color pay off too sheer to work with when used dry that I had to use them wet (all swatches are of them wet). I liked the colors in the palette and felt like they coordinated well with each other.

When you use them wet, the color pay off is decent for the first three shades and a little better for the bottom three shades. The palette contains a shimmery white, soft grassy green, teal-tinged forest green, pale yellow gold, softened copper, and bronze. The first three shades have a frostier finish, while the bottom three shades have more a metallic finish.  They all looked more intense in the palette than when swatched, though; most of the shades looked rather muted.

My biggest issue with the palette is actually the packaging/set-up. Each strip is very thin, so it can be difficult to maneuver your brush so that you only get one color–it’s very easy to pick up whatever shade is above or below. The shadows also break down very easily, so use a light touch or else you risk crumbling.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: If these colors popped a little more swatched as they do in the pan, I think it could be a real winner.  I also wish these could be used dry–they just weren’t holding together for me when I tried to swatch (and later attempted to apply).

where to buy: Milani

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, February 19th, 2011


Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Spring 2011: Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette ($79.00 or 0.42 oz.) is a limited edition color palette for spring. It is a refillable palette, and the eyeshadows are easily removed if one desires. Inside, there is a base color, eye color, cheek color, and eye definer. There is a raise turtle design on each shade, and the turtle itself has a metallic sheen overlay (which disappears upon first swatch).

The base color is a pale, gilded beige with pale gold shimmer-sheen. The eye color is a medium-dark brown with slight warm undertones finished with a soft satin sheen. The cheek color is a pink-peach with a peach-gold sheen–think shades like MAC Springsheen, NARS Orgasm, etc. but less shimmer, less golden, and pinker. The eye definer shade is a charcoal forest green with a frosted finish. All four shades were silky smooth and nicely pigmented; there were no issues with the textures or the colors at all.

The three eye colors can all be used wet or dry, though I had no issues with pigmentation and they went on so prettily dry I didn’t even think to use them wet until I read the description of Chantecaille’s eyeshadows online! Funny enough, this palette is cheaper (by the ounce, at $188/oz.) than MAC ($290/oz.), Make Up For Ever ($238/oz.), NARS ($228/oz.), and Urban Decay ($340/oz.).

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

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

final thoughts: I think it’s a really well-done palette with not just a lovely set of colors presented with beautiful decor, but the quality of the eyeshadows and blush is fantastic.  Very smooth, soft, and easy to use.  They blend effortlessly and pack quite a bit of pigment.  I’m also happy to see how much product was included in the palette and love that it is refillable.

where to buy: Nordstorm

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette
Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Shadow & Liner Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) consists of four eyeshadows and one eyeliner shade, though the eyeliner shade is equally available for use as an eyeshadow. I’ve found that the shimmery shades can be used wet or dry, while the satin and matte shades are better used dry.

The all-over base is a pink champagne with a frosted sheen of a finish. The lid shade is a metallic finished copper with strong orange undertones. The crease shade is a medium, warmed up brown with soft red-orange undertones and pale copper shimmer-sheen. The highlighter shade is a pale yellow gold that’s almost cool-toned; I found this shade had some fall out and worked best applied wet. The liner shade is a rich, dark chocolate brown with subtle red undertones and burgundy-bronze shimmer–best liner shade yet, because it works beautifully wet or dry.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of Lancome’s eyeshadows are very smooth–soft, silky–and all of these shades were excellent in terms of pigmentation.  I only had minor fall out concerns with the highlighter shade, so I would recommend using it with a damp brush.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a very warm palette, perhaps the opposite of Taupe Craze, with its dosage of amber, orange, and red undertones. I actually think this is the best palette I’ve tried so far from the line-up. Really bold, intense color and smooth finishes, with just the highlighter shade having some fall out.

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Lancome Amethyst Glam Shadow & Liner Palette
Lancome Amethyst Glam Shadow & Liner Palette

Lancome Color Design Shadow & Liner Palette: Amethyst Glam

Lancome Amethyst Glam Color Design Shadow & Liner Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is a purple-themed palette of five eyeshadows. It is one of ten new palettes from Lancome, just in time for spring. This one seems quite apt for the season, with the springy hues of lilac.

The all-over base shade is a pale white with a subtle pink-lilac iridescence; it seems more like a shimmer overlay. The lid shade is a brightened lilac purple with pinky undertones–such a pretty shade. The crease shade is a gray-cast purple with a blue-gray undretone and copper-gold shimmer. The highlighter shade is a soft pink-lilac with a shimmered finish. The liner shade is a deep blue-violet with soft blue micro-shimmer, which applies much better wet than dry.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of these eyeshadows is very soft and silky, but all but the lid shade were sheerer than I’d like. The all-over base shade was the sheerest, while the highlighter shade seemed a touch sheer but worked out pigmentation-wise when worn on the lid–except it suffered from some fall out.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The palette is cooler in tone, but I think the brightness of the lid color along with the pink tones of the highlighter shade, make it appropriate for warmer skin tones, too.  I’d recommend this for light to medium skin tones, but darker skin tones may find some shades a little too sheer.

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Lancome Teal Fury Color Design Palette
Lancome Teal Fury Color Design Palette

Lancome Color Design Shadow & Liner Palette: Teal Fury

Lancome Teal Fury Color Design Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is a mix of blues and teals. This is the second palette I tested out of Lancome’s ten new palettes, where each includes five shades which are then labeled.

The all-over base shade is a pink-tinged white with a bright, frosted finish, and it is nicely pigmented. The lid color is a medium teal with a silvered-white sheen and shimmer; it has good color pay off but could stand for a touch more intensity in the base color. The crease color is a dusty, grayish teal with a near matte finish, but unfortunately, the color pay off leaves something to be desired. The highlighter shade is a brightened medium blue with a frost-metallic finish, and it has beautiful pigmentation. The liner shade is a charcoal blue-black with soft, silver shimmer, though it looks less blue when applied.

my thoughts on the formula: Both the all-over base and highlighter shades have smooth, silky textures with excellent pigmentation. The crease shade is a naturally muted color but that doesn’t mean I should need to pile it on to get a decent swatch of it! As before, I was able to use the shimmery shades both wet and dry, along with the liner shade.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: I love the blue in this palette, and I think the dusty blue-teal is gorgeous in theory but could use a lot more intensity in real life.  I felt like I had to really layer and pile it on just to get it to show up for a swatch.  I think this palette has a nice mix of colors, though the pink-tinged all-over base seems a little out of place.

where to buy: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette
Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette

Lancome Color Design Shadow & Liner Palette: Taupe Craze

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is one of ten new palettes from Lancome. It includes five shades, and each shade is labeled for a particular purpose. The way they are labeled is actually very much in the order that one would apply them. Of course, I think it is safe to say that one could easily use any combination of the five shades!

Taupe Craze is a cool-toned neutral palette; not all shades have strong, cool undertones, but overall, the palette leans cool. I liked how the palette was a mix of finishes–satin, shimmery, and almost matte. Initially, the two shimmery shades were concerning, because they looked almost glittery, but it seems like it’s more of the top layer than anything else–both shades are more shimmer than glitter.

The all-over color is a pale peach-beige with a satin-matte finish and excellent color pay off and a smooth texture. The lid shade is a neutral-cool medium brown with a soft taupe shimmer. The crease shade is a medium-dark taupe brown with a soft satin sheen. The highlighter shade is a smoky taupe with a bright metallic sheen and shimmer in its finish; when used wet, the metallic sheen is emphasized. I have no idea why Lancome would recommend this shade as a highlighter. Finally, the liner shade is a deep cool-toned taupe brown with silver flecks of shimmer; it is best used wet, if you want really smooth, richly colored line. The liner seemed the least pigmented–it’s a touch lighter swatched than what it is in the pan, but when used wet, it is a touch darker.

Both the shimmery shades (lid and highlighter) along with the liner shade worked whether wet/dry (with the liner shade being better wet). I did try the all-over base and crease shade wet, just to see if I could, and they worked better dry. There did seem to be a slight hardening and darkening over the crease shade from using it wet, though. I couldn’t find out whether these were to be used wet/dry on Lancome’s website, but from my experience, it did not negatively impact any of the shades, with the exception of the crease shade.

my thoughts on the formula: With the exception of the liner shade, the other four shades had very soft, smooth textures with nice color pay off. I really loved the all-over base shade–it had such a silky soft texture with beautiful pigmentation. It worked well as a lid shade and highlighter shade (which is good, because the “highlighter” shade is quite dark for a highlighter).

I’m disappointing in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

I also know this palette invites a comparison to Urban Decay Naked Palette, but this one is cooler-toned, while Naked is warmer. If I had to pick the most similar shades, I would say Virgin (but Lancome’s all-over-base is much more pigmented and smooth, less shimmer), Toasted (Lancome’s lid shade is cooler), Buck (Lancome’s crease shade is cooler-toned, more taupe), while the highlighter and liner shades have no real similarities to shades from the Naked palette.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a nice neutral palette for cooler skin tones, and there is a nice range of textures to create looks with depth. I wish they boosted up the quantity just a bit, perhaps to 0.18 to 0.20 oz.  It’s a shame how the below average value of this palette brings down the overall grade.

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →