Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Burberry Almond (06) Eyeshadow
Burberry Almond (06) Eyeshadow

Burberry Almond (06) Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is a soft, medium brown with just a touch of warmer, more golden undertones, but very subtly so.  This would make a great contouring shade for those with fairer, paler skin, and it would work well as an all over color on medium to medium-dark skin tones.  It pairs well with Trench for a quick neutral eye.

The texture is soft and smooth–buttery and feels like silk.  It adheres well to the lid, over a base or without, though I haven’t worn it sans a base for twelve hours or anything (I always prefer a base–it feels like I’m committing a cardinal sin otherwise!).  It’s pigmented but it’s a buildable shade–you can sheer it out with ease for a very soft look or apply in layers for something deeper.  Burberry eyeshadows uncomplicate makeup; it’s hard to go wrong if you use their shadows.  I also like the amount you get for the price tag; a little more than the usual high-end shadow.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like subtler color and enjoy soft, buttery textures, you may like Burberry eyeshadow.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Shiseido YE406 Tropicallia Eyeshadow Trio

Shiseido Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio: Tropicalia

Shiseido Tropicallia (YE406) Luminizing Satin Eye Color Trio ($33.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a stunning trio of bright, summery shades: a shimmered fuchsia-purple, shimmered sunshine yellow, and soft grass green with yellow undertones. According to Shiseido, this particular trio was inspired by a “vividly colored succulent plant” in southern California. For fall, Shiseido launched seven different eyeshadow trios inspired by Dick Page’s–Shiseido’s Makeup Artistic Director–travels.

Shiseido’s Luminizing eyeshadows have an incredibly butter, almost creamy kind of texture. They’re so soft and finely milled they feel like silk when applied. The shadow holds together so well and deposits evenly. Every shade in the Tropicallia trio is richly pigmented; nothing sheer or untrue here–exactly as pictured. After trying Shiseido’s formula, it’s definitely one of the nicest formulas I’ve ever tried.  The purplish-fuchsia shade did remind me of MAC’s Stars ‘n Rockets, though in a more pigmented and creamier formula that applies pinker (less blue-toned).

The only downside (which isn’t major) is they could give you a little bit more of each color–the quantity is just a little below what I’d expect at the price tag. Each shade is about 0.033 oz. (0.10 oz. in sum), so you’ll still get plenty of usage out of each, and it’s not too high of an investment cost ($11 per shadow).

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

RECOMMENDATION: Give Shiseido’s eyeshadow trios a swatch next time you’re at the counter. I think you’ll be surprised at how lovely the formula is.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora.com

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Saturday, July 31st, 2010


CoverGirl Blazing Blues

Still Hunting for Drugstore Brights

CoverGirl Blazing Blues Eyeshadow Trio ($5.19 for 0.14 oz.) looked like a promising trio of bright, vibrant eyeshadows.  Several years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find any bright eyeshadows, let alone a whole trio of them!  It’s definitely great to see that drugstore brands have stepped things up and started putting out more fun, bold, and bright shades.  However, it’s too bad that the pigmentation is still sorely lacking.

After building up four or five layers of color, I was able to get decent color pay off, but it took more work than it should have.  The trio contains a medium-dark blue with a low level sheen, banana yellow with a soft frost finish, and an aqua-blue with silver sheen.  Personally, I was hoping that the yellow might be a MAC Going Bananas dupe, but it’s so faint, it’s difficult to compare the two.  The worst shade in the trio was the aqua-blue, because even after attempting to build up the intensity of the shade, it still looked sheer and washed out.

In terms of texture, these eyeshadows were a little chalky and powdery–not delectably smooth and buttery at all.

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  • Product: 19/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like your brights on the sheerer side, then CoverGirl’s Blazing Blues Trio might be more up your alley. But if you want your eyeshadows to be true-to-color, soft, and smooth, look elsewhere.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

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Thursday, July 29th, 2010

NYX Nude on Nude Palette
NYX Nude on Nude Palette

Cheap, Tawdry Nudes

For a mere $11, you can grab NYX’s Nude on Nude Palette, which contains nine neutral eyeshadows, plus two complementing lip colors. It contains these eyeshadows: pale nude beige (semi-matte finish), semi-sheer mushroom taupe with warm undertones (light shimmer), cool-toned dark brown (satin finish), peachy copper (frosty/metallic sheen), muted copper (frosty), semi-sheer dark gray brown (light shimmer), brightened copper (frosty), browned gold (frosty), and warmed medium-dark chocolate brown (light shimmer). It also contains a reddish rose with lots of shimmer and sheer, medium bubblegum pink for lip colors.

Overall, the eyeshadow quality is pretty good; some shades kick-up a noticeable amount of powder, so you may experience some fall out when using the shades. Nearly all of the shades were nicely pigmented and had a soft, smooth texture.  I also like the packaging (except the pull out drawer–feels cheap) — on the outside, it looks sleek and classy.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: On a budget and want some neutrals? NYX makes it easy to do so without feeling guilty.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadow
MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadows

MAC Dare to Wear: Eyeshadows, Part 2

First, make sure you’ve read Part 1. In this post, you’ll notice four blue-based shades–this collection is definitely skewed towards blue. There are three permanent shades here: Sky Blue, Atlantic Blue, and Winkle; the first available only at PRO, the latter two at all freestanding stores.

  • Zingy is a medium blue that leans just a little green. It’s a less intense version of Electric Eel eyeshadow. It was also a little fussy to get to layer right in a swatch–though it’s pretty once it comes together.
  • Sky Blue is a soft, pale sky blue with silvery-white shimmer in a frost finish. It’s a little on the sheer side and can be a bit dusty. This is a permanent PRO shade.
  • Atlantic Blue is an intense shade of deep blue with a violet undertone in a matte finish. This is one of my favorite shades–period! This is a permanent PRO shade.
  • Winkle is a softened cornflower blue with a satin finish. It needs to be layered to get a nice level of intensity, but it has a very buttery texture. This is a permanent shade.
  • Shock-a-holic is a medium-dark purple with strong red undertones in a matte finish. It’s a little brighter, richer version of Vibrant Grape; brighter/purpler version of Nocturnelle or Fig 1.
  • Crazy Cool is a shimmery cool-toned lilac with a silver-white sheen in a veluxe pearl finish. It’s a darker version of Digit and a lighter version of Beautiful Iris. It’s a little on the sheer side and not as smooth as I’d expect for a veluxe pearl.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

  • Must-Haves:  Atlantic Blue, Winkle
  • Nice-to-Haves: Zingy, Sky Blue, Shock-a-holic
  • Skip: Crazy Cool

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Light: Zingy, Sky Blue, Winkle, Shock-a-holic, Crazy Cool
  • Medium: Zingy, Atlantic Blue, Winkle, Shock-a-holic
  • Dark: Zingy, Atlantic Blue, Winkle, Shock-a-holic, Crazy Cool

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Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadows
MAC Dare to Wear Eyeshadows

MAC Dare to Wear: Eyeshadows, Part 1

There are twelve brightly colored eyeshadows releasing with MAC’s Dare to Wear Collection, which is Lady Gaga “inspired.” This is a collection that will appeal to some and hold absolutely zero appeal to others. Not only are the shades on the brighter side, the majority of them have a matte finish.

The collection also has a lot of permanent shades, so check your stash before you run over to the store–and if you’re near a store, keep in mind you can purchase the permanent shades in palette form. The permanent shades are Free to Be, Lime, and Aqua, with Free to Be available at all freestanding stores and the latter two only at PRO stores.

  • Louder, Please is a pinked red with a matte finish. This shade was quite pigmented and required very little fussing to get a nice layer of smooth, rich color. This is the closest to red I’ve seen from MAC (but it is not a true red, to be clear).
  • Free to Be is a pinky coral with a matte finish. It has some pigmentation, but it can be a rather difficult shade to really punch up. This is a permanent shade.
  • Going Bananas is a soft, medium yellow with a frosty finish. It has a nice level of pigmentation, and it’s a particularly flattering yellow because it doesn’t run too bright or full-on yellow. This is a repromote.
  • Sassy Grass is a medium-dark grass green with a matte finish. I thought it might resemble Wondergrass (limited edition, released with C-Shock), but it’s much darker and a wee bit greener.
  • Lime is a muted, medium-dark chartreuse green with slight yellow undertones and a matte finish. This was probably one of the harder shades to work with out of the twelve; it’s a bit stiff and takes some layering. This is a permanent PRO shade.
  • Aqua is a bright pastel aqua-blue with a matte finish. This is one of the more powdery matte shades by MAC, and it can be layered to get a nice level of color intensity, but it may look chalky on some complexions. This is a permanent PRO shade.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

  • Must-Haves: Going Bananas, Sassy Grass
  • Nice-to-Haves: Louder, Please, Free to Be, Aqua
  • Skip: Lime

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Light: Free to Be, Going Bananas, Lime, Aqua
  • Medium: Louder, Please, Going Bananas, Sassy Grass, Lime
  • Dark: Louder, Please, Going Bananas, Sassy Grass, Lime, Aqua

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