Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow
Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow

Benefit’s New Creaseless Cream Shadow Shades!

Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19.00 for 0.16 oz.) are now available in four new, Sephora exclusive shades: Purple Snap (lavender violet), Silver Spoon (true silver), Tidal Rave (muted teal with gold shimmer), and Ice Shot (icy white). I have three of the four to share with you today.

I love Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows — I actually gave them an award for best cream eyeshadow last year. They’re just so creamy, smooth, and apply beautifully. They can be applied sheerly for quick color or layered for a more intense look or as a base. I don’t experience any creasing–they last all day for me. And as someone who has owned many for over a year now, they aren’t prone to drying out in their jars, either.

I’m happy to report that these didn’t disappoint! They’re true to Benefit’s cream shadow formula with the creaminess and smoothness I’ve come to love. The colors are easily vibrant but just as easily used sheerly, which makes it a more versatile product.

  • Purple Snap is a brightened medium purple with softened red undertones. It has light violet micro-shimmer with a subtle sheen–not too frosty, but it’s not matte either.
  • Silver Spoon is a bright blue-tinged silver with a little mix of gray. The metallic finish is definitely there, but the bluish cast seems to dull it a bit (which isn’t a bad thing).
  • Tidal Rave is a darkened blue-teal base with green-gold shimmer. This is actually a really cool shade–very lovely–and pretty different from the rest of Benefit’s line-up. It has an almost duochrome nature to it. I was reminded me of MAC’s Surreal Eyeshadow (discontinued).

P.S. — Sephora lists Tidal Rave as Tidal Wave–but my box and bottom of the jar says Rave! So pfft!

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: I think Tidal Rave is the most unique shade of the three featured in this post–but I’m totally digging the bluish cast of Silver Spoon, too. It’s kind of like stainless steel over traditional bright silver!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Bare Escentuals High Shine Eye Color
Bare Escentuals High Shine Eye Color

Killing Me Softly with Bad Packaging

Bare Escentuals High Shine Eye Color ($16.00 for 0.05 oz.) are kind of amazing. If you’re looking for intensely pigmented, smooth as silk, and bright, metallic-like eyeshadows, Bare Escentuals has you covered. There are six shades available: Frost (silver), Moonshine (deep plum), Patina (gilded khaki), Electric (deep teal), Bronzed (bronze brown), and Glisten (golden sand).

These apply so smoothly–as if they were creams or liquids, but they’re very much a loose powder. The powder seems incredibly finely milled, which helps give it that silky texture and intensifies the color as it holds together impeccably. Though I find these shades rather high-shine to wear alone, I love them as bases or mixed with other shadows. I did try wearing Glisten on its lonesome to test for creasing, and it wore well–no creasing six hours later.

  • Frost is a bright metallic silver.  This is easily the most dupeable shade, as most silvers tend to be on the metallic side in finish (if it’s not, then it’s more of a gray, is it not?)
  • Moonshine is a softened mauve-tinged plum. This shade seemed the least metallic of the bunch.
  • Patina is a gilded olive green with gold shimmer-sheen. This one is gorgeous if you’re a green fiend!
  • Electric is a softened blue that pulls just slightly teal. It’s really not teal to me, though–maybe a dusty teal?
  • Bronzed is a warm bronze with a metallic sheen.  This also felt a bit dupeable; it’s just one of those warm bronzes you see often.  It doesn’t make it bad, just not necessarily the one to get.
  • Glisten is a tarnished gold with a metallic sheen. This was my other favorite, along with Patina, but I’m a total sucker for antique golds…

These are beautiful from first swatch to application, but there is a major drawback to this product line. The applicator/tube is a total no-go! However they managed it, when you pull the applicator out of the tube (which is a large sponge-tipped applicator), it also pulls a ton of product onto the edges. In essence, it pulls out far too much product on the applicator itself as well as leaves a lot along the rim of the tube (which just falls on your floor, lap, or wherever!).

I would recommend dumping the color into a jar or else cutting the applicator off — because it seems like the larger sponge-tip does pull much of the excess to the rim, so if you just snipped it off entirely (and used a separate brush to apply), you could leave it in the tube. (Ironically, they tout the applicator as a “convenient, quick-draw wand [that] allows for easy, on-the-go application.”)

The Glossover

product

bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I think these are all kinds of awesome, but due to the poor packaging design, the product's overall rating gets dragged significantly. If you don't mind fussing with the packaging to make these work, they're definitely worth checking out.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette
Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette

Choose Your Glam with Bobbi Brown: Smoldering

Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.15 oz.) includes three eyeshadows and one long-wear eye paint. It features: Ivory (creamy white), Heather Lilac (pink heather), Charcoal (dark grey), and Port (deep plum).

The Long-Wear Eye Paints are new and featured in the three palettes from Bobbi Brown’s Smoky, Sultry, Smoldering Collection. According to Bobbi Brown, they are “high-pigment metallic eyeshadow that can be worn wet or dry.” She recommends “[applying] them with a damp Cream Shadow Brush for a strong, luminous and long-lasting pop of shimmering color that won’t crease.”

  • Ivory is a creamy neutral white with a hint of beige–it’s not a stark white. This shade seems like it’s in the majority of Bobbi Brown’s palettes, though, so you probably have at least one! It is a permanent shade.
  • Heather Lilac is a pink mauve with a frosted metallic finish. It’s nicely pigmented and very smooth. This is exclusive to this palette.  It reminded me of NARS’ Night Rider, sans glitter; NARS Ondine is close, too, but leans brown.
  • Charcoal is a dark black with a matte finish. This is a permanent shade.
  • Port is a blackened burgundy with ruby and bright burgundy sparkle. It reminded me of a less black-based MAC Young Punk. From what I can tell, the Long-Wear Eye Paints are very similar to baked/mineralize eyeshadows–it has a small dome, the same sheer texture when applied dry, and it intensifies ten-fold when applied damp.  The shade is all reminiscent of a shadow from LORAC’s Private Affair palette.

Each of the eyeshadows is 0.04 oz. (full-sized are 0.08 oz. for $20.00; 0.10 oz. for $20.00 for metallic eyeshadow), while the Long-Wear Eye Paint is 0.03 oz. (not currently available on its lonesome; but for valuation purposes, we’ll assume 0.08 oz. for $20.00). In this palette, you receive $20.00 worth of regular Eyeshadow, $8 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $7.50 worth of Long-Wear Eye Paint. This totals to $35.50 worth of product. You do also receive a double-ended brush in the palette, which is usable (and one of the better brushes included in palettes)– we’ll say it’s $7 worth–bringing us to $42.50. It’s not a value-packed palette, but I don’t think you’re losing out.

I see a lot of these shades working together, though I really wish Bobbi Brown would vary the lightest shade–Ivory is permanent and too often included in her limited edition palettes. The packaging is sleek and compact, and I love that they have an actual brush applicator included, rather than sponge-tipped ones!  It is a bit basic, with both a matte white and black eyeshadow, so it might not be the best holiday palette to pick up if you have a sizable stash.

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: This would be excellent on cooler skin tones in particular, though warmer ones should be able to use it, too. You may want to opt elsewhere for a highlighter if you are medium to dark in skin tone, as Ivory may look stark.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Urban Decay Scratch Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Scratch Eyeshadow

Wake-up Tired Eyes with a Scratch

Urban Decay Scratch Deluxe Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a shimmering pink champagne with a frosted metallic shine. It’s smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend. I would say it’s a touch too pigmented and metallic to work as a brow highlighter, but I love it as a lid shade. It’s a hue that brightens well without being overwhelming. I recommend just patting it on the lower lid and buffing upwards so it fades into the crease for a quick, one-minute kind of look. It pairs well with Urban Decay’s bronzes and peaches, too.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Excellent quality–ultra smooth texture with rich color pay off–make this something worth putting on the list, if you’re in need of a pink champagne kind of shade.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Clarins Barocco Eyeshadow Palette
Clarins Barocco Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Holiday 2010: Barocco Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Barocco Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette for the holidays. It contains three eyeshadows and is housed in an elegant gold-lidded case with a black “scroll’ on the left side. The packaging, though, is extremely prone to capturing fingerprints.

The palette contains a matte charcoal black; antique-gold bronze (almost flashes green); and gilded peach-champagne with a metallic sheen. The first two shade really need to be used wet to get smooth, even color that’s true-to-pan. The peachy shade can be used dry and still provides nice color pay off. These feel very much like a mineralize or baked shadow, but more like Chanel’s than MAC’s. The texture doesn’t feel as silky smooth as Chanel eyeshadows, but the results when applied are similar.

I love the packaging, even though it does hold fingerprints, but I think it’s very elegant and luxurious. I think the inclusion of the double-sided sponge-tip applicator brings it down a bit, though. I’m also concerned over the amount of eyeshadow here — 0.05 oz. I double-checked the box and the palette, and it lists “net weight” of 0.05 oz. There is no “3 x 0.05 oz.” written. What? Are you serious?

It’s a lovely palette with three shades that work well together for a gold-themed smoky eye–perfect for the holidays–and it looks beautiful from the packaging to the shadows themselves. I don’t love the eyeshadows, though; they could be a little more intense (even when they are used wet) and smoother. But I’m really not digging the itty bitty amount of product you are getting. Even for high-end, it falls below average.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If quantity isn’t important to you, the product itself is more of a B product. It’s nice–not the greatest palette ever–and worth a look-see if you favor bronzes and golds.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, November 19th, 2010

NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Holiday 2010: Melusine Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Melusine Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is one of two new and permanent products from NARS’ Holiday Collection (the other is Sex Appeal). NARS describes these shades as “pale silver lilac” and “bright deep purple.”

From NARS: In folklore tales, a melusine was described as a feminine, free spirited woman. Similarly, this duo eyeshadow is an ultra-modern union of two colors working in harmony. Sweep the bright deep purple across the lid and highlight under brow with the pale silver lilac.

First things first–this is by no means a dupe for NARS Daphne. The swatch tells the whole story! Daphne is a brightened violet with blue undertones, while Melusine (the purple side, of course!) is an eggplant purple with red undertones. Bottom line: they are quite distinct.

The light shade of the duo is a silvery gray, and if I look close enough, I can make out the finest misting of lilac–so light that it’s almost pink. On cooler skin tones, I imagine the lilac will be more pronounced, but the effect is still quite subtle. The finish is a frosted shimmer, smooth overall, but does have shimmer kick up. The darker shade is a rich eggplant purple with red undertones and has a matte finish. It swatches better than Daphne did, but they’re both lovely in use–very rich, smooth, and true-to-color.

I threw this duo on before running some errands, and I had three sweet ladies compliment me on my eyeshadow. There is a lot of contrast in the duo, with the silvered shade being so much lighter than the deeper purple, so it works well on its own. When I wore it, I wore the silvery shade all over the lid with the purple hue in the crease (to highlight, I used Burberry Trench Eyeshadow, which is just my-skintone-but-better!). I’ll try and post that look soon!

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: I think as a duo these shades work really well together; you have the mix of textures, nice contrast, and overall, two nicely pigmented, smooth textured eyeshadows.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →