Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Urban Decay Graffiti Eyeshadow

Going Green with Urban Decay, Part 2

Urban Decay Graffiti Deluxe Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a vibrant shade of grass green. I originally tried it out back in March, in this St. Patrick’s Day Look. It’s a very edgy green–not quite grass, not dark–bright enough to get noticed, but it’s not neon either. The texture of Urban Decay’s Deluxe Eyeshadows is amazing–smooth, buttery, intensely pigmented. It’s rich, luxe, and so, so smooth.

Deluxe Eyeshadows are also available in these shades: Fishnet (iridescent purple), Freakshow (deep purple with red sheen), Frigid (deep purple with blue sheen), Honey (glistening gold), Peace (shimmering turquoise), Ransom (vibrant iridescent purple), Ruthless (pale sandy taupe shimmer), Scratch (shimmering silver pink), Shag (tan shimmer), Zero (smoking black), and Underground (taupe brown shimmer).

The packaging is cute and funky, though not the most functional. The price, however, is worth noting, because you get 0.09 oz. of product, which makes this one of the most affordable high-end eyeshadows to purchase!

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 love your vibrant greens and enjoy shimmer, Graffiti is a worthwhile shade!

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Hourglass Prism

Why didn’t you tell me how amazing Hourglass’ Eyeshadows were?  I am now!

Hourglass Prism Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a stunning, smoky duo of steel blue with a silver sheen and an intense, deep dark black with flecks of teal and silver running through it. The pigmentation of the two shades is absolutely insane–so vibrant, so smooth. The texture is excellent; smooth, soft, buttery, and easy to blend.

The packaging is kind of a gunmetal silver-brown, very modern and sleek. It’s actually a swiveling compact, which is interesting. I like that the packaging is different and elegant, but I get the feeling that it obviously contributes a bit to the steeper cost of these.

Just to put things in perspective, MAC eyeshadows are $290/oz. and NARS eyeshadow duos at $228/oz. — with Hourglass at$190/oz.

The pricing may be off-putting for some, but if it’s within your budget, I’d urge you to at least give ‘em a swatch at your nearest Sephora sometime. They just might impress you as they did me!

I’m quite pleased with the quality and feel of the duo–I really didn’t expect it–and I’d say these are some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, from the texture to the pigmentation to the colors themselves. I definitely have to look into some of the other duos and see how those stack up against Prism (totally crossing fingers that they are just as amazing!).

Other duos include: Dune (champagne shimmer/deep olive shimmer), Exhibition (mauve shimmer/eggplant shimmer), Gypsy (peach ivory shimmer/bronze shimmer), Lagoon (seafoam blue shimmer/teal shimmer), and Suede (ivory shimmer/light beige shimmer).

Have you tried Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos?

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

Recommendation: I can’t believe nobody told me how amazing the texture of Hourglass’ eyeshadows are! Pricey but excellent in every way, Prism is certainly worth a look! (Seriously, did you see that I rate it 30/30 in terms of *quality*?!)

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Cle de Peau #111 Eyeshadow

Cle de Peau Satin Eye Color ($45.00 for 0.07 oz.) in 111 (soft chocolate brown) and 114 (soft pink) are part of Cle de Peau’s Captivante Collection. It also features three other new shades — 112 (light blue), 113 (dark brown), and 115 (pale purple).

I originally reviewed Cle de Peau’s Satin Eye Color a few weeks ago.  These new-for-spring shades are exactly the same in terms of feel, quality, and texture.  They’re buttery, silky smooth, and so, so soft.  They’re not chalky or powdery, but they almost feel like a buttery cream when you apply them.  One thing I like about these is you can wear them with or without a base, because the formula is designed to adhere to the lid without a base.

  • 111 is a softened medium chocolate brown that comes off as mostly neutral in its undertones, so it’s a great, universal brown.
  • 114 is a pretty petal pink with a subtle sheen and shimmer.  Like 111, it isn’t too warm or cool–a pink that can be worn by many.

I wore both shades in this look I posted last week.  I liked how they looked soft and touchable, but they still delivered plenty of color.  If you love the brightness of Make Up For Ever and MAC eyeshadows, Cle de Peau is not a stand-in by any means.  If you love pigmented, but still soft and wearable, colors, like Chanel and Dior, Cle de Peau may be more your style.

These eyeshadows are undeniably expensive, and Cle de Peau is not a brand for everyone.  Keep in mind that it is a luxury brand, and part of luxury is that not everyone can afford it, so the price completely reflects that.  They are excellent eyeshadows, but they’re certainly more of a splurge item for many of us, including myself.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:

Availability: Neiman Marcus

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow
Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow: H5 Aqua Shimmer, H10 Languid Lagoon, H12 Lemon Sugar

Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow ($25.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a cream-to-powder eyeshadow that can be used as a cream eyeshadow or as an eyeshadow base.

It is available in several shades: H1 Goldlights (gold), H2 Whitelights (white), H3 Tiger Eye (peach-orange), H4 Spring Plum (plum), H5 Aqua Shimmer (aqua), H6 Violet Visions (purple), H7 Green Exotique (green), H8 Bare Pink (soft pink), H9 Glistening Sand (nude), H10 Languid Lagoon (teal), H11 Rose Tulle (rose), H12 Lemon Sugar (soft yellow), and H13 Clover Dew (soft green).

With summer coming up, we have to break out our most long-wearing, budge-proof makeup. It would so not be cute to have mascara smeared under our eyes, eyeliner running around, and eyeshadow creasing and swimming on the lid. I tried three shades of Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow

  • H5 Aqua Shimmer is a steely blue with a silver sheen/shimmer. It doesn’t actually read very aqua to me, but it’s like a darkened water blue.
  • H10 Languid Lagoon is a aqua-teal with flecks of green and gold shimmer.
  • Lemon Sugar is a softened golden yellow.  This would definitely make a nice, universal colored base.

The formula of the Hydro-Powder Eyeshadows is phenomenal. They have a very creamy, almost water-based feel (that’s not to say they’re running or thin, but they’re creamy and have a wet texture) that glides onto the eye easily. The three shades I tried were all pigmented and applied smoothly and evenly to the eye whether you used your finger or a brush.

But the real reason these are amazing is that they’re crease-proof, budge-proof, and smudge-proof once they’ve dried. The drying time is long enough to give you time to blend them together, if you choose to use them as eyeshadows, but not so long that you have to wait around for it to set.

My favorite way to use these are as eyeshadow bases, because they work well to emphasize or intensify your eyeshadows as well as keeping them locked in place all day long. Even though I don’t personally use them as individual eyeshadows, they’re some of the easiest cream eyeshadows to blend together.

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 have problems with your eyeshadows creasing, Shiseido’s Hydro-Powder Eyeshadows may rescue you from your makeup woes either alone or worn under eyeshadow!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Lancome Pink Party Pretty Palette

Lancome Pink. Party. Pretty. Color Design Palette ($45.00 for 0.253 oz.) is a slim, summer eyeshadow palette that features six shades varying from a soft pink to a deeper black with copper shimmer.   It’s part of Lancome’s Bronze Riviera Collection for summer.

  • Flower is a soft, pearly rose-beige with white shimmer.
  • Fresh Rose is a coral-rose with a soft pink sheen.
  • Kitten Heel is a pinky-peach with golden sheen. This one was like NARS Orgasm in eyeshadow form, aka awesome.
  • Tropiques Glow is an orange-copper with a soft sheen.
  • Lounging is a warmed-up red-toned medium brown with a very satiny finish.
  • Lava is a charcoal black with gold and copper flecks of shimmer. It applies a bit sheerly, unfortunately, because it does look awfully pretty in the pan. Nonetheless, over a darker base, it’d be gorgeous (since the darker base will fill in the sheerness).

All of the shades–except Lava–had great texture and pigmentation. They were smooth, soft, and easy to blend. Lava was on the sheerer side, almost a bit chalky in the base color. Kitten Heel appealed to me the post, being this lovely shade of pink-peach–very summery and flattering, particularly on warmer skin tones.

I do think this palette is naturally more flattering on warmer skin tones, but I can still see it working on cooler skin tones. Flower, Fresh Rose, and Lava are all neutral to neutral-cool, so they can be worn with warmer shades to keep it more wearable on cooler skin tones.

Some combination ideas…

  • LID: Flower, LID: Fresh Rose, CREASE: Lava
  • LID: Kitten Heel, LID: Fresh Rose, CREASE: Lava
  • LID: Kitten Heel, LID: Tropiques Glow, CREASE: Lounging
  • LID: Fresh Rose, LID: Lounging, CREASE: Lounging
  • LID: Kitten Heel, LID: Tropiques Glow, CREASE: Lava

The packaging is gorgeous and compact. It’s a cardboard-encased plastic palette where the outside is wrapped in a metallic bronze that flashes copper-bronze when light hits it, but looks just bronze at other times (see the photos!). There’s a floral design that wraps around the outside as well–I loved that it actually wrapped around to the back of the palette.

Lancome also put quite a few eyeshadows in this palette, and the price is just right–by the ounce, the eyeshadows cost less than the majority of other high-end brands (including MAC and NARS!).

P.S. — Lancome’s Bamboo Bronzer is now available at Nordstrom! :)

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: 5/5

Recommendation: Depending on what you already have in your stash, this palette could make a great addition. It has a balance of neutral eyeshadows paired with warmer shades you’d expect to see in the summer. There are so many color combinations waiting to be done with these, too, which is always a sign of a cohesive eyeshadow palette.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Paint Pots:
Coral Crepe, Groundwork

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Chromagraphic Pencils & Paint Pots Review, Photos, Swatches

I am both a little surprised–but very delighted–to say that the Chromagraphic Pencils work wonderfully on the waterline. They look lovely–very fresh and awake–without being too light. I used NC/NW15 on my waterline as soon as I had finished photographing them (nobody likes to see used stuff photograph, yeah?), and here I am three hours later with it still hanging on.  I’d definitely say to grab one when you’re able to if you’ve always wanted an easy way to open up and brighten your eyes.

Chromagraphic Pencil ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • NC15/NW20 is a light nude with a creamy feel and look.
  • NW25/NC30 is a yellower, deeper nude with the same creaminess as the other shade.

Paint Pot ($16.50 U.S. / $22.00 CDN)

  • Coral Crepe is a reddened, darkened coral-orange with a slight golden sheen. It can be sheered out a bit, but it really goes on quite coral. I tried as a base, and it can definitely be worn on the eyes. I also tried it on the lips, and I’d vote nay on that in the future–very drying and chalky looking. Havne’t tried it on the cheeks, but you might be able to do that.
  • Groundwork is a softened brown with a yellow undertone. This is a permanent shade.

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