Friday, July 2nd, 2010


Dior Misty Mauve Eyeshadow Palette

More Plums for Fall — Dior-Style

Dior Misty Mauve Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.21 oz.) is one of two new-for-fall eyeshadow quints (the other being Pink Design #808). It contains a soft, sparkling icy lilac; satin-matte gray purple; deep black-purple with silver shimmer; frosty white with just a hint of yellow; and muted pink-mauve with a shimmer sheen.

The pigmentation was decent overall, but the icy lilac was on the sheerer, powdery side while the gray purple definitely needs to be layered for a smooth, even look. The center shade–the blackened purple–is the most intense and will easily smoke out any look you desire. I see this quint working best on those with cooler skin tones, and I do see paler skin tones rocking this easier than darker ones, just because of the lighter, shimmery shades.

Are you plummed out or ready for more?  Does this quint make your heart pitter-patter?

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For cooler, paler skin tones, I think this is a great way to wear darker, plummier shades. It’s not quite as pigmented as some of the other quints I’ve reviewed in the past few years, so I’m a little bummed by that.  I like, but I don’t love.

AVAILABILITY: August 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Kat Von D Memento Mori Palette

Kat Von D True Romance Eyeshadow Palette: Memento Mori

Kat Von D Memento Mori Eyeshadow Palette ($34.00 for 8 x 0.05 oz. eyeshadows) has been on my radar for awhile, but I’ve only now been able to really try it out! It contains eight eyeshadows, each pretty much the equivalent of a full-size eyeshadow (MAC eyeshadows are 0.05 oz., for reference), so it’s a great affordable palette. It’s also a rather colorful selection, so it’s very fun to play around with and apropos for summer.

  • True is a violet-blue cream shadow that goes on glossy but seems to dry down to a nearly matte finish. I found the surface of mine a bit dry, but once I got deeper, it was fine. I thought it was an eyeliner at first, actually!
  • Solitude is an iridescent lilac purple with a soft sheen. It’s the least shimmery shade of the bunch.
  • Meditation is a light bronze with a little copper in it. It has a frosty finish.
  • Agatha Pink is a pale peach with a shimmery/frosty finish.
  • Sugar Skull is a shimmery white-gold.
  • Peggy is a true teal base with flecks of white-gold sheen/shimmer. Almost strikes me as a duochrome. It’s so pretty, but I found that this shade seemed to fade a little when worn.
  • Hard Luck is a deep forest green mixed with gray.
  • Tijuana is a darkened black-brown base with flecks of gold and copper glitter-shimmer. This shade at ridiculous fall out, even when used sparingly. It’s a beautiful shade, but clean-up seems to be a must. Use less rather than more, too, and tap brush against your wrist to avoid excess fall out.

I thought the box the palette comes in was beautiful, and I was a bit let down by the cheap, white plastic palette inside. It just looked and felt like something I’d buy for $10 at the drugstore–not something that’s $34 and from Sephora. The included dual-ended brushes are actually bristled brushes, but they’re rather flimsy.  They just kind of flop and make it a pain to really pack on color–plus they’re so tiny, I don’t have the patience to use ‘em myself!

All of the shades have a very smooth texture, and they go on evenly and are richly pigmented. I do find that they’re a little on the powdery side, and may even work best with sponge applicators–at least with some of the shades (like Peggy and Tijuana). Tijuana was the troublemaker of the group, which frustrated me as it was also the prettiest (to me), so I really wanted it to be as beautiful on as it was swatched!

Overall, though, I think these are solid eyeshadows worth taking a look at if a particular palette color scheme grabs you. It took some getting used to using these before I was able to minimize the fall out with these. They also blend very easily, which is nice, but it means use softer strokes and feather rather than sweep for most of the work!  I have heard that the Beethoven palette is one of her best palettes, so I might check that out next.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: I like the palette overall, and I’m impressed at the level of pigmentation of the shadows. I think it’s a great option for a palette of colorful eyeshadows, especially if you’re on a budget.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Chanel Taupe Gris Eyeshadow
Chanel Taupe Gris Eyeshadow

It’s Taupe, It’s Gray, It’s Taupe Gris!

In addition to Vert Khaki, Chanel will launch Taupe Gris ($28.50 for 0.07 oz.) with their fall collection. The name is completely spot-on–it’s a grayed taupe brown with a soft sheen. It has the same silky smooth texture of Chanel’s single eyeshadows, and while the pigmentation is there, it’s not quite as rich as Vert Khaki’s. Fans of shades like MAC Smoke & Diamonds and Stila’s Lil’ Diamond may want to consider adding this smoky taupe shade to their collection.

I like Taupe Gris for a subtler smoky eye–when you don’t want to go silver and gray and black. It can work well with plums and burgundies, as it almost looks like it takes on a purple tone when paired with them. Similarly, it is just as nice to add darkness to the crease in a smoky brown eye, too.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula is good but not quite as great as I’d expect from Chanel. It’s just a little sheerer than other single shades, but it’s still smooth and buttery, and on the lid, the pigmentation difference is further minimized as it blends out beautifully.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils
NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils: Pure Gold, Electric Blue, Purple Velvet, Rocky Mountain Green

New Jumbo Eye Pencil Shades for Summer

Just in time for summer, NYX has added four new perfect-for-the-season shades of their Jumbo Eye Pencils ($4.00 for 0.18 oz.). These are oversized eyeliners that can be used as an eyeshadow, eyeshadow base, or eyeliner.

  • Pure Gold is a coppered gold. It has a frost finish, and it’s not exactly “pure gold,” since it looks rather coppery. It’s a beautiful color nonetheless!
  • Electric Blue is a brightened sky blue with silver shimmer and a satin-frost finish.
  • Purple Velvet is a royal purple with a violet shimmer-sheen.
  • Rocky Mountain Green is a lightened emerald green with a silver pearl finish.

I like the Jumbo Eye Pencils as eyeshadow bases the most, because their jumbo-sized points are easier to use in applying it all over the eye. Similarly, the pencil is often a bit unwieldy when trying to use it as an eyeliner, just because it is so much bigger and the point that much less precise for lining. I think it would be cool if these were double-sided with the same color on both, but one side is a normal-sized pencil, while the other is the jumbo-size! Best of both worlds, yeah?

I’m able to wear the Jumbo Eye Pencils alone without any creasing, but I think oilier eyelids will experience at least some, minimal creasing. I think they work really well to layer under eyeshadows, especially to give them more pop.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: These make for great eyeshadow bases, and if you’re in the market for some colored eyeshadow bases for your eyeshadow stash, hard to go wrong with one of these!

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, June 25th, 2010

 

Urban Decay Naked Palette
Urban Decay Naked Palette

Ready to Get Naked?

Urban Decay Naked Palette ($44.00) is new-for-fall and contains twelve shades–eight are incredibly neutral, but four pack a little–much welcome–color punch. There are six permanent and existing shades, one repromoted shade, and five new shades.

The palette includes: Virgin (satin chamois), Sin (champagne), Naked (matte buff nude), Sidecar (cocoa with golden sparkle sheen), Buck (matte nutmeg), Half Baked (subtle, lustrous bronze), Smog (deep coppery bronze), Darkhorse (bronze patina), Toasted (rich copper), Hustle (plum brown satin), Creep (onyx with gold sparkle), Gunmetal (gunmetal gray with silver glitter). The final piece is a double-ended 24/7 Liner with Zero (black) on one side and Whiskey (creamy rich brown) on the other.

  • Virgin is a pale, shimmered nude beige. It’s very, very light, but it’s such a beautiful neutral. It’s a little frosty for a highlighter, particularly on darker skin tones, but it would make for a great all-over wash or pop of light on the inner tear duct.
  • Sin is a champagne with a touch of pink and a frostier finish. This shade is permanently available.
  • Naked is a matte medium beige-brown. It has a very soft, smooth texture–not at all powdery or chalky.
  • Sidecar is a shimmered, medium bronze brown with almost a red undertone. This shade was in the first edition of the Book of Shadows. (I didn’t see it on Urban Decay’s website at all.)
  • Buck is a matte darkened beige-brown. It’s really a darker version of Naked. It has the same silky smooth texture and rich color pay off of Naked, too.
  • Half Baked is a coppery bronze with a frost-metallic finish. This shade is permanently available.
  • Smog is a medium dark bronze with a gilded bronze sheen. This shade is permanently available.
  • Darkhorse is a darkened deep chocolate brown with flecks of bronze.
  • Toasted is a medium dark pinky brown with a shimmery finish. This shade is permanently available.
  • Hustle is a dark plummy chocolate brown with a soft shimmer finish.
  • Creep is a darkened blue-black base with silver and teal shimmer. Urban Decay said “onyx with gold glitter” but I really didn’t see the gold.
  • Gunmetal is a blue-gray metallic that really must be seen to be appreciated. It almost feels like a duochrome, because it flashes blue but it’s dark and smoldering. This shade is permanently available.

The palette also contains a double-ended eyeliner, and Zero is your basic creamy black with a near-matte finish–if you’re an Urban Decay palette collector, you probably have enough Zero eyeliners to get you through the next twenty years. However, it also contains Whiskey, which is a brand new shade of creamy chocolate brown with red undertones. It’s very similar to Bourbon, but it seems a little lighter and doesn’t have the shimmer.

It’s packaged in a velvety chocolate brown exterior, which makes it look sleek and sophisticated–it’s probably one of the classier products I’ve seen come from the brand, actually. It feels very luxe and not quite Urban Decay–but I think it’s a good thing, and it’s nice to see. This is also an amazing value palette. The palette contains 12 x 0.05 oz. eyeshadows, plus 2 x 0.02 oz. liners and a miniature-sized Primer Potion of 0.13 fl. oz. (I actually originally thought it came sans UDPP, because I just received the palette… but the back of it says you do get it, so it probably tags along in a plastic package, but not included in the actual palette case.) The real coup here is the twelve full-size eyeshadows–yes, that’s right–a $17 full-size eyeshadow from Urban Decay contains 0.05 oz. of product, which is exactly what we have here–a value of $204.

I think this is one of Urban Decay’s best palettes to date, actually. It combines incomparable value for the price tag, but the high quality of their eyeshadows really comes through, too. There are no glittery, fussy shades here (and I can’t tell you how happy I am to NOT see Midnight Cowboy Rides Again!). Every shade is soft, smooth, and richly pigmented–even the mattes. For those with a lot of palettes, it may feel a bit redundant, as there are seven shades in it that we’ve seen again–but still five we haven’t. Not that I’m getting through an eyeshadow pan any time soon, but at least you can feel at ease if you fall in love with one of those seven.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re an eyeshadow fiend and love yourself some shimmery finishes, Urban Decay’s new Naked palette won’t disappoint. It even includes two matte shades–something I’ve remarked on for the lack thereof in previous palettes–and a good mix of neutrals, smoldering neutrals, and darker, smokier colors. There is nothing about this palette that’s a miss.

AVAILABILITY: June 29th @ Urban Decay; around August 1st @ Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, Beauty.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Chanel Vert Khaki Eyeshadow
Chanel Vert Khaki Eyeshadow

Crazy for Khaki!

There are two single eyeshadows included with the Chanel Les Contrastes de Chanel CollectionVert Khaki (khaki) and Taupe Grise (chocolate grey).  Each retails for $28.50 and contains 0.07 oz. of product.  I originally planned to review them together, but I adore Vert Khaki too much–it deserves its own post!

Confession time:  I ADORE OLIVE GREENS.  (Is it a confession if everybody already knows?  Guess not!)  No, but seriously, I totally have a thing for antique-y earth tones.  I’m so smitten over Vert Khaki as soon as I gazed down upon it… and then fell head-over-heels in love with it after swatching it.  It’s this beautiful concoction of darkened olive green with a metallic gold sheen and flashes of gold and emerald green shimmer.  Divine!  LOVE!

It has the same silky, soft texture of Chanel eyeshadow, and it’s richly pigmented and a little goes a long way.  It’s shimmering without being frosty, and it blends out beautifully with other shadows. Not the most affordable eyeshadow on the  market, but at least they don’t skimp on quantity–a little more than average.

I’m excited to try this over a gold base, just to bring out the golden tones in it!

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: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of smoky eyes, Chanel has you covered with the Enigma eyeshadow quad. It’s very dark and seductive, but it seems a little limited in its combinations.

Availability:  July 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →