Monday, November 8th, 2010


Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains six shades of eyeshadow designed to take you from day to night with shades on the warmer side of the color spectrum.  Each eyeshadow has 0.05 oz. worth of product, so the palette’s total weight is 0.30 oz. of product.  It does also include a short-handled eyeshadow brush with actual bristles–it’s surprisingly nice, workable, though I don’t think it’ll replace any full-size brushes you may own, but it is one of the better included brushes I have seen this holiday season.

This palette includes: Ivory (creamy white), Oat (soft mocha beige), Espresso (dark chocolate brown), Burnt Sugar (deep golden brown), Velvet Bronze (warm golden bronze), and Black Plum (deep black plum).

  • Ivory is a creamy, muted white with a very rich, smooth texture.  It’s surprisingly pigmented–not chalky at all–and it’s not a stark, bright white, so it’s more wearable.  It has a nearly matte finish.  This is a permanent shade (and a popular shade that Bobbi Brown has used often in her palettes).
  • Oat is a light-medium brown with an extremely subtle sheen that barely glints even under flash photographer.  It’s smooth, nicely pigmented, and would work well on both warmer and cooler skin tones.    This shade reminded me of MAC’s Soft Brown.
  • Espresso is a darkened cool-toned charcoal brown with a touch of satin sheen.  It has good color pay off and applies smoothly.  Espresso is very reminiscent of MAC’s Brun or Showstopper eyeshadows, both cooler browns.   This is a permanent shade.
  • Burnt Sugar is a golden-toned warm medium-brown with a glinting, metallic gilded gold sheen.  It has a smooth texture with rich color pay off with a metallic finish.  This is a permanent shade.
  • Velvet Bronze is a medium red-toned brown with a soft golden sheen.  This was the least pigmented shade within the palette, but it was still nicely pigmented (just worth pointing out that it was a bit softer).  It has a metallic finish.  The color itself is similar to MAC’s Texture, but Velvet Bronze has a brighter sheen.
  • Black Plum is a smoldering, deep brown with flecks of bronze shimmer.  It is a really nice, smooth textured brown, which leans a bit warm, but it is rather neutral overall.  It has a shimmer wash finish.  This is a permanent shade.

I think this palette is a good mix of neutrals that do tend on the warmer side, but the palette is closer to neutral-warm than one with very strong, warm under tones running through it.  These shades are classic–they will serve one well when it comes to creating office-friendly looks or smoking those looks out for something a touch more dramatic in the evening.  I am particularly pleased with the pigmentation level of the palette, as everything was nicely pigmented and five of the six were excellent in pigmentation.  The texture is soft and smooth, with all of the shades applying evenly.  I also appreciate that Bobbi Brown often mixes finishes within her palettes so that users can create a variety of textured looks.

Bobbi Brown’s Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.), Metallic Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.10 oz.), and Shimmer Wash Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.).   In this palette, you are receiving $37.50 worth of Eyeshadow, $20.00 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $12.50 worth of Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow.   This palette thus contains $70 worth of eyeshadows for $45.  FINALLY! a true value-oriented palette for the holidays!

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

RECOMMENDATION:

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow: Twilight Rose

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Pure Color Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a softened pale pink-peach with a frosted shimmer. Estee Lauder describes this shade as a “cool light pink,” and it has a satin finish, which is means it has a “soft, lustrous sheen.” Nothing about this seems cool-toned, and the pink is quite subtle. It reads rather peach in the pan and still leans that way when swatched.

I actually think this would work really well as a cheek highlighter–I initially thought it was a blusher when I first swatched it! Similarly, it would be a nice all-over color on the lid to brighten up the eyes. I think it may be on the frostier side for a brow highlight, but it could work; it would depend more on personal preferences. It has a nice, smooth texture, but this is definitely a softer and sheerer color, so I don’t know if I’d call it a rich shade.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For quick looks, this could make a really nice lid color — and double as a cheek highlighter!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, November 4th, 2010

MAC Smoky Thrillseekers Pigments/Glitter Set
Pigments: Blue Brown, Dark Soul, Jigs & Jive, Naked; Reflects Blackened Red

MAC Smoky Thrillseekers Pigments/Glitter Set

Each pigment/glitter set includes four pigments and one glitter, each contains 0.09 oz. of product, according to the tin. The five glass vials are housed inside a tartan-decorated metal tin, and there is a plastic insert that keeps them standing together, but it’s removable, should you desire. I did find it curious that there were no inserts regarding uses (e.g. what’s eye/lip safe) in any of the sets, though.

This set includes: Blue Brown (deep brown with frosted green/blue reflection), Dark Soul (charcoal black smoked with gold), Jigs & Jive (naked taupe), Naked (fleshy beige with golden copper pearl), and Reflects Blackened Red (sparkling burgundy).

  • Blue Brown is a medium-dark brown with a strong teal reflective base. It’s very much a duochrome, and it is also similar to Club eyeshadow—just much, much more intense. It is a permanent shade.
  • Dark Soul is a smoldering charcoal gray with silver sheen and flecks of glitter. I never see the gold in this shade myself. It is a permanent shade.
  • Jigs & Jive is a softened tan brown with a champagne sheen. This is a new and limited edition shade to this set. I would say it’s similar to Tan pigment, which is permanent.
  • Naked is a soft, warmed up peach beige with subtle gold sheen. It makes for a great highlighter. It is a permanent shade.
  • Reflects Blackened Red is a darkened red-burgundy base with flecks of burgundy glitter and sheen. It is a permanent shade.

I think the pigment sets are a good value, and they’re always worth a peek if you’re into loose color or pigments. You’re getting 0.45 oz. of product for $32.50, while a single, full-sized pigment contains 0.15 oz. of product and retails for $19.50–essentially, this is $60 worth of pigments/glitters.

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

RECOMMENDATION: This set contains four permanent shades and one new shade–which may be a bummer for some. Jigs & Jive is probably close enough to Tan that you could skip this set if you have Tan, though.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics (November 4th/11th — check your local store for availability)

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Thursday, November 4th, 2010

MAC Warm Thrillseekers Pigments/Glitter Set
Pigments: Gift O’ Glamour, Gilded Green, Gold Mode, Most Darling; Reflects Bronze Glitter

MAC Warm Thrillseekers Pigments/Glitter Set

Each pigment/glitter set includes four pigments and one glitter, each contains 0.09 oz. of product, according to the tin. The five glass vials are housed inside a tartan-decorated metal tin, and there is a plastic insert that keeps them standing together, but it’s removable, should you desire. I did find it curious that there were no inserts regarding uses (e.g. what’s eye/lip safe) in any of the sets, though.

This set includes: Gift O’ Glamour (pale metallic pink), Gilded Green (frosty mid-tone green with gold pearl), Gold Mode (tan gold), Most Darling (medium brown shimmer), and Reflects Bronze (sparkling rich gold).

  • Gift O’ Glamour is a pinky beige with a champagne frosted shimmer. The pink is very subtle in this–I would not have thought of this shade based on the description of “metallic pink.” It’s a little like Expensive Pink eyeshadow. This is a new and limited edition shade to this set.
  • Gilded Green is a pale aqua-green with a shimmer-sheen finish. It’s kind of a combination of Aquadisiac and Juxt–more closely resembling Aquavert and Metamorph eyeshadows (both limited edition) merging together. This is a repromote.
  • Gold Mode is a gilded champagne with a high sheen. It’s a lighter, less red-toned version of Woodwinked eyeshadow. This is a repromote.
  • Most Darling is a medium-dark warm brown with soft bronze shimmer. It reminded me of Soft Brown eyeshadow but with shimmer. This is a new and limited edition shade to this set.
  • Reflects Bronze is a bright coppery glittery concoction. Think a glittery version of Amber Lights eyeshadow. This is a permanent shade.

I think the pigment sets are a good value, and they’re always worth a peek if you’re into loose color or pigments. You’re getting 0.45 oz. of product for $32.50, while a single, full-sized pigment contains 0.15 oz. of product and retails for $19.50–essentially, this is $60 worth of pigments/glitters.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: I like that two of the pigments are new shades, but this set almost ends up being a neutral set, because of how many browns are in it.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics (November 4th/11th — check your local store for availability)

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Thursday, November 4th, 2010

MAC Cool Thrillseekers Pigments/Glitter Set
Pigments: Cheers My Dear, Mauvement, Silver Fog, Softwash Grey; Reflects Pearl Glitter

MAC Cool Thrillseekers Pigments/Glitter Set

Each pigment/glitter set includes four pigments and one glitter, each contains 0.09 oz. of product, according to the tin. The five glass vials are housed inside a tartan-decorated metal tin, and there is a plastic insert that keeps them standing together, but it’s removable, should you desire. I did find it curious that there were no inserts regarding uses (e.g. what’s eye/lip safe) in any of the sets, though.

This set includes: Cheers My Dear (pale violet), Mauvement (cool taupe with gold pearl), Silver Fog (platinum silver), Softwash Grey (grey with purple pearl), and Reflects Pearl (very fine particle white glitter with a pearl sheen).

  • Cheers My Dear is a pinked lilac with a frosted silver sheen. This is a new and limited edition shade to the set. It’s a cross between Pink Pearl and Kitschmas pigments–it’s not as cool-toned or as purple as Kitschmas, as it’s pinker, but it’s not nearly as pink or fuchsia as Pink Pearl.
  • Mauvement is a bronzy taupe with a mauve undertone and champagne sheen. This is a repromote.
  • Silver Fog is a bright silver with a nearly metallic shine. This is a PRO shade.
  • Softwash Grey is a cool-toned, blue-purple gray with a slight metallic sheen. This is a repromote.
  • Reflects Pearl is a glimmering silver-white glitter with no real color base. This is a permanent shade. I see this working more as a layering shade than alone, because it lacks a cohesive color base so it doesn’t hold together.

I think the pigment sets are a good value, and they’re always worth a peek if you’re into loose color or pigments. You’re getting 0.45 oz. of product for $32.50, while a single, full-sized pigment contains 0.15 oz. of product and retails for $19.50–essentially, this is $60 worth of pigments/glitters.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love smoky eyes, metallic finishes, or cool tones in general, this is a worthwhile set.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics (November 4th/11th — check your local store for availability; I’m getting mixed reports)

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Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Hourglass Dune Eyeshadow Duo
Hourglass Dune Eyeshadow Duo

Still Loving Hourglass’ Visionaire Eyeshadow Duos

Hourglass Dune Eyeshadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes a champagne shimmer and deep olive shimmer eyeshadow. I picked up this shade during Sephora’s Friends & Family Sale, because I really love the texture of Hourglass’ eyeshadows–so smooth and buttery without being a powdery mess.

Dune has a shimmering gilded beige champagne with a metallic sheen accompanied by a darker, deeper, smoldering brown with flecks of green and copper shimmer.  Each eyeshadow was rich in pigmentation, applied flawlessly on the lid, and it was easy to blend them together.

Even though the price tag makes me cringe, keep in mind that you’re getting 0.20 oz. worth of product–MAC and Urban Decay eyeshadows are only 0.05 oz. ($14.50 and $17.00, respectively), while NARS Single Eyeshadows contain 0.07 oz. ($23.00).

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the market for an easy to use, high quality neutral eyeshadow duo, consider Dune.  At the very least, check out the Hourglass display next time you’re at Sephora.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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