Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Korres Eyeshadow

Korres Eyeshadows ($16.00 for 0.06 oz.) are smooth, blendable, and pigmented.  I’m actually surprised at how well-rounded Korres’ line is, just because I came to know them as a skincare brand first, rather than a makeup brand, but they can do both well.

  • #42S Green White is a sky blue with a silver-white frost sheen.
  • #44S Golden Green is a light, springy chartreuse green with yellow gold sheen.
  • #46S Olive Green is a smoked out gray-brown with a taupe sheen.  I really don’t see much green in it, but it’s a lovely cool-toned brown with maybe a smidgen of khaki olive in it.
  • #84S Sky Blue is a darkened periwinkle blue with violet and a bright, nearly metallic sheen.  This one is more like a stormy blue sky, maybe.  Not at all sky blue (in fact, they could have named #42S Sky Blue without missing a beat).

I’ll definitely put together a look using some of these shades, but after playing around with some combos on my eyes (nothing finished!), I like the way these blend together.  They’re very smooth and apply evenly. The packaging is simple and functional–plastic square flip-top compacts.  The back of the compact has a colored label and labeling information, so while I could see clear lids being more functional, the backs do give you a good idea as to what’s inside.  I would, though, like to find out who names the colors, because they never seem to quite work…

At the moment, Korres has their eyeshadows marked down to $7–so, I’d say at that price, these are most certainly a steal!

Also available in:  #12 Base, #22 Orange, #34 Golden Brown, #74 Light Purple, #27 Golden Bronze, #82 Light Blue

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

Recommendation:  If you like softer, more muted variations on color, Korres Eyeshadows seem to offer a selection of shades that will give you color without being bright or too bold.

AvailabilityKorres

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Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Clarins Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Summer 2010:  Instant Sun Light Eyeshadow Palette

Clarins Instant Sun Light Eye Palette ($36.00) is a really wearable, easy-to-use summer palette that’s particularly suitable for those with warmer skin tones.  The palette includes four shades of eyeshadow:  a pale, shimmering champagne-peach; shimmering copper; satin medium-dark brown; and shimmering peachy-melon.  It also includes a gel eyeliner in a light chocolate brown with gold shimmer.

Each eyeshadow is smooth, pigmented, and blendable.  What I really love about this palette is how workable it is–all the shades belong and work together with ease.  This is a great everyday palette, but it’s also perfect for traveling.  Whether you want a lighter, softer neutral eye or a smokier eye, you can do both with this one palette.  Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t necessarily the most innovative shades, but they are high-quality eyeshadows that will do you well, if you’re in the market for some neutrals or want them all in a convenient palette.

The eyeliner also suits the palette, because it’s dark enough to be smoldering, but it’s not so dark that it can’t be worn during the day, too.  I like the subtle shimmer in it, and I didn’t experience any smudging or fading when I wore it.  The included brushes are just mediocre but will get the job done if you’re in a pinch.

Clarins packaged this well–just a nice metal compact with a velvety brown bag–and I’m really surprised at the price.  Typically, Clarins eyeshadow quartets retail for $40, while this limited edition summer palette is just $36.  This made me curious to see if perhaps they just went with minimal quantity, but you get 0.15 oz. of product here.  Quartets contain 0.21 oz.–so I can see why there is a price differential.

Nonetheless, while it’s always great to get a ton of product for your money, we don’t always need the amount we buy, so sometimes just the initial investment cost is more important at the end of the day.  I think the amount you get is plenty to last you, even if this becomes an everyday palette (think of it as about 0.03 oz. per shade, as compared to the average eyeshadow at 0.05 oz.).

I really love this palette because of how well each shade coordinates with the others.  I see so many possibilities, and it’s definitely something I’d take with me on a weekend getaway.

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 love warmer neutrals, Clarins Instant Sun Light Eyeshadow Palette is a good match for you.  Each shade is well-pigmented, smooth and soft to the touch, and blendable.

AvailabilityClarins

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Monday, May 17th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams
#5, #7, #18, #21

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams:  #5 Peach, #7 Fuchsia, #18 Purple, #21 Turquoise

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) have finally debuted at Sephora. These are AMAZING. There are twenty-one shades in total, but some are designed for the lips and cheeks while others are formulated for the eyes and cheeks (p.s. why isn’t there #19?).

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #5 Peach is a spun-gold peach with such a pretty sheen. It’s such a fresh pop of color on the cheeks. It reminded me of MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow a bit, actually–I was a little bummed to find out it wasn’t meant for eyes.
  • #7 Fuchsia is a bright fuchsia-purple with a soft sheen. It’s certainly intense, so go easy for a softer look.
  • #18 Purple is a softened lilac purple with a frosty finish. It was the least pigmented of the four I tried, though.
  • #21 Turquoise is aqua-teal with a frosty shimmer-sheen. It’s wickedly gorgeous. I’ve seen plenty o’ teal in the past few years, but this one is absolutely stunning.

These are creamy without being ultra creamy–I think I’d actually prefer them to be just a smidgen creamier. They’re blendable, but they dry down quickly. These didn’t budge, smudge, or crease on me one bit, whether they were on my eyes, lips, or cheeks. In fact, you really have to use an oil-based makeup remover to get all the last bits of it off. I tried using these as eyeliners, bases, and blushes, and they worked fabulously at each job. In fact, I enjoyed these four so much that I ordered five more (Fresh Pink, Coral, Gold, Warm Beige, and Intense Blue).

The only complaint I have–a minor one at that–is that the packaging feels a little cheap. They’re easy to store, since they’re small and rounded, but the plastic feels a bit on the thinner side, and there is also a lot of air in the jar from the get-go, which concerns me in regards to whether these will dry out after six months or so.  You do get a fair amount of product for your money, which was nice to see.

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 love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

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Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Inglot Eyeshadows

Inglot Eyeshadows are not easy to come by in the U.S., but perhaps that will change over the next year or two. The brand now has a boutique in NYC, which looks like any high end brand’s boutique from the photos and videos I’ve seen of it (I have never been there personally). My girl Pursebuzz picked up two palettes of eyeshadows on my behalf while she was at a local trade show, so I think each of these palettes was around $40, inclusive (the palette and eyeshadows). I think the normal price hovers around $75ish for the palette and enough eyeshadows to fill it. I remember we both planned to purchase more, but they were cash-only (say what?! what is cash?!) at the show.

The quality of the eyeshadows is nice–well-pigmented, smooth, and blendable. They come in a ridiculous variety of colors and seem to have three finishes available: regular, AMC, and AMC Shine. Again, since I’ve never been to an Inglot store, and their website explains nothing about, I really can’t say much about what each finish is officially or there are finishes within each type of eyeshadow.

  • #464 is an adobe brown with gold shimmer and red undertones. It’s kind of like clay, in the color.
  • #495 is a brightened pink with a subtle pearly sheen.
  • #48 (AMC Shine) is a pinky-plum with a frosty look.
  • #15 (AMC Shine) is a fiery orange and a gold frost finish, though it’s not incredibly bright.
  • #60 (AMC) is a semi-matte true yellow.
  • #474 is a lightened yellow with a pearled sheen.
  • #57 (AMC) is a darkened forest green with a satin-y feel.
  • #58 (AMC) is a brightened grass green with a satin look.
  • #447 is a spring-y leafy green with subtle sparkle.
  • #59 (AMC) is a yellowed chartreuse with a satin sheen.
  • #70 (AMC) is a medium sky blue with a satin feel.
  • #05 (AMC Shine) is a brightened, light sky blue with a frosty sheen.
  • #20 (AMC Shine) is a pale baby blue with a silvered sheen and frost finish.
  • #24 (AMC Shine) is an aqua-blue with a bright frost sheen.
  • #68 (AMC) is a blue-based purple with slight sparkle and sheen.
  • #40 (AMC Shine) is a darkened plum-berry with silver sparkle and a frosty finish.
  • #441 is a slightly iridescent light purple with a pearly sheen.
  • #65 (AMC) is a deep, satin black with teal flecks of sparkle.
  • #498 is a charcoal gray with teal sparkle strewn through it.

All of the shades I tried had great color pay off, were smooth and easy to work with, and there really is such a huge variety of colors available, so you’re sure to find at least a few that tickle your fancy.

For me, though, something about these felt a little one-note for me. Again, since I can’t see their full stock and variety, this is really based solely on my experience with these nineteen shades. It was just this color with a frost/pearl/satin sheen, but I didn’t see shades I’ve never seen before. I didn’t see green with blue and aqua shimmer. I didn’t see blue with a flash of gold.

The price on these is amazing, and there’s nothing about these that feels cheap. The packaging is sturdy, the eyeshadows seem about the same size as MAC eyeshadows, and they even have a full boutique–just like high-end brands. They are a great deal, and if you’re in the NYC area, I would definitely recommend checking Inglot out sometime.

I think the one thing I can say that I really didn’t like about these was how snug they are in the palettes. They really do not come out — the magnet is pretty strong. I gouged over half of the eyeshadows just trying to remove them. I don’t know about you, but I do rearrange my palettes from time to time, so ruining a bunch of them just to move them around is frustrating.

I know the next time I’m in NYC, I’ll be stopping by the Inglot store to see and learn more about their full line.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: Not necessarily the most original shades on the block, Inglot matches the quality of high-end brands with the price of low-end.

Availability: Inglot Cosmetics

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Saturday, May 15th, 2010

tokidoki Diamante Eyeshadow

tokidoki: Diamante Eyeshadow

tokidoki Diamante Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a pearled pink with silver microglitter. The color swatches amazingly, and it’s such a pretty shade that would work well as a brow or cheek highlighter–even more so on pink-toned skin–if it didn’t have that pesky silver glitter. The silver glitter doesn’t distribute evenly, but it also has a tendency to fall out, though it’s nowhere near the worst glitter fall out I’ve encountered. I’m totally drawn to the shade, but now I’m on the lookout for something similar, sans the glitter.

This shade was definitely better than Adios Star! The shade itself was smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend. I’m not against or for the packaging, but I still like the way it was done. I feel it’s cute, fitting with the brand, and it’s not cheap–it just doesn’t have that cheap feel of flimsy plastic. I like that each eyeshadow has a different colored top, because it’s a touch you see all the time. I can imagine that for some, these would be cumbersome to store, though.

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: 4/5

Recommendation: I think that the tokidoki eyeshadows that aren’t described with “iridescent glitter” or “matte” may be the ones most worth checking out.

Availability: Sephora

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Friday, May 14th, 2010

Urban Decay Loose Pigments

Urban Decay Loose Pigments Review, Photos, Swatches

A few weeks ago, I purchased all of the Loose Pigments available on HauteLook, which was twelve, and it seems to be all that are (at least, currently) in existence. They were $5, so they were such a steal, I couldn’t resist…

Loose Pigments are just that – loose eyeshadow or loose color. Urban Decay’s tend to be finely milled, so they’re soft, easy to blend, and apply smoothly. They all look and work better when used wet or with a slightly adhesive base like MAC’s Mixing Medium.

  • Asphyxia is a pop of light fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia sheen.
  • Baked is a metallic copper bronze with a high sheen.
  • Goddess is a smoldering black base with flashy teal flecks strewn through it. This one had a little more tendency to fall out, even when used wet, compared to the others.
  • Graffiti is a medium grassy green. It didn’t seem to go on quite as bold or pigmented as I would have liked.
  • Gunmetal is a silvered dark gray.
  • Protest is a dark forest green base with flecks of silver shimmer. It has the same texture as Goddess.
  • Rockstar is a darkened purple with an electric violet edge and shimmer.
  • Shag is a gilded bronze with a metallic flash. Works pretty well dry, even though I’d still use these wet at all times!
  • Shattered is a brightened aqua-blue with a frost finish. This one worked really well wet — very pigmented and intense.
  • Smog is a darkened bronze with a copper edge.
  • X is a peachy-melon with a gilded gold metallic finish.
  • Yeyo is a shimmery white with a very frosty finish. I found the texture of this one to be the weirdest–a little chunky–so it didn’t apply as smoothly as I would have liked.

One of the reasons I’m not a huge advocate for these loose shades is that Urban Decay as all these shades available in eyeshadow-form, which are often easier to work with and more practical (easier to travel with). The other reason is they’re pretty expensive as compared to MAC Pigments — you only get 0.04 oz. for $20 (MAC is 0.15 oz. for $19.50). The packaging is just okay — a lot of the pigment sticks to the applicator and the edges of the applicator, so it can be pretty messy. I think I prefer the open-jar format of most loose color in comparison.

If you can nab these on sale, I think they’re totally worth it. (Hello, $5 each? More than worth it!) I don’t think I’d fork over $20 for these–might as well just buy the eyeshadow version (0.05 oz. for $17.50!). I believe Protest and Rockstar may be the only ones that don’t have eyeshadow counterparts.  While the product is good, the value of these is poor and the packaging bulky (considering how little you get), plus wasteful–I found myself cleaning up a ton of pigment that fell off the brush just getting it in and out of the jar.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: These are nice shades of loose pigments, if you don’t mind paying the price.

Availability: Urban Decay

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