Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Two-Minute Reviews: CoverGirl Eyeshadow Palette, Physicians Formula Healthy Glow, Smashbox Heartbreaker

The concept behind two-minute reviews is mostly products that I photographed, swatched, but I never ended up reviewing.  Rather than just bury the photos into the “Unlikely to Review” folder and never let them see the light of day, I decided that perhaps a quickie review was better than no review at all… Let me know if you’d rather a quickie review than no review :)

CoverGirl Vibrant Browns (#700) Eyeshadow Palette ($7.49) is a palette that features four shades of eyeshadow: a softened, matte black with glitter overlay, subdued blue-toned sheer gray with silver sheen, muted copper with orange-gold shimmer and frost finish, and an incredibly sheer white with sheen. The colors are all on the sheerer side, and the shadows themselves just don’t grab me. I think one or two more muted shades might work, but these altogether just don’t. I find the gold too warm to work with the coolness of the black and gray. Quick Rating: C-

Physicians Formula Healthy Glow Shimmer Strips ($11.95) reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. Healthy Glow is a gradation of light, icy pink to a muted raspberry pink. The colors are better used together rather than alone, as individually, they’re not very pigmented. Together, they create a lightened raspberry with a frosty white sheen. This is great for those with closer-to-flawless skin, because it’s pretty and shimmery–but if you have larger pores, the high frost finish will accentuate them. For a drugstore blush, though, the price is a little steeper than I’d like to see. Quick Rating: B

Smashbox Heartbreaker Collection looked super cute in the promos, but I wasn’t loving it when I saw some of the pieces in person. In fact, I loved the actual box packaging infinitely more than the product packaging! The boxes are cute with doodles and polaroids on it–just sweet and fitting for the theme. The shiny white plastic makes it look and feel on the cheap side, and Smashbox really isn’t a cheap brand. I tend to think of Smashbox as more of a mid-to-high end brand. I tried three products: Starlight Fusion Soft Lights ($30), Rollerball Lip Gloss ($21), and Liquid Liner Pen ($24). I reviewed the eyeliner previously, but I never got around to the other two products. Despite looking rather vibrant in the pan, Starlight is a very soft, lightened raspberry sorbet with a soft champagne sheen. It didn’t show up very well on my medium skin tone, so I wasn’t never driven to wear it in a look (hence this quickie review!). Quick Rating: C+

The Rollerball Lip Gloss was very much the same — it’s clear gloss with icy white shimmer. It’s very slightly pink tinged, but on lips, it looks clear. I also felt like the Rollerball packaging made me feel like I was using Bonne Bell (which is fine… if I’m paying Bonne Bell prices!). Quick Rating: C-

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Urban Decay Summer of Love Eyeshadow Palette

Travel with Urban Decay This Summer

Urban Decay Summer of Love Shadow Palette ($29.00) is a new-for-summer eyeshadow palette that features four eyeshadows (0.04 oz. each), a miniature Sin Primer Potion (0.09 fl. oz.), and miniature Bourbon 24/7 Eye Pencil (0.03 oz.). The eyeshadows included in the palette are Flash (bright iridescent purple), Maui Wowie (medium gold with silver glitter), Chopper (coppery fawn with silver microglitter), and Smog (deep coppery bronze).

Everything in the palette is available individually, should you only fall in love with one of the shades! As such, everything included is also permanent. However, for those who do not already have the majority of these eyeshadows either individually or in various past-released palettes, you get a good amount of product in the palette itself.

Normal eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. (and retail for $17) while the palette versions are 0.03 oz. — still plenty to use. The eyeliner is typically 0.04 oz. (and retails for $17) but 0.03 oz. in the palette. Plus, you do get the mini-sized Sin Primer Potion (my least favorite of the primers, though–so metallic!). All in all, the palette is a good deal with lots of value–if you don’t already own the shades in it.

  • Flash is a cool-toned violet purple with a slight iridescence. It’s very smooth, pigmented, and vibrant.
  • Maui Wowie is an antique gold with silver glitter. It has great color pay off, and I swear this version felt so much smoother than the one included in the Alice in Wonderland palette, which felt much grittier. You may encounter some fall out with this shade from the glitter.
  • Chopper is a muted copper with a gilded-bronze sheen/shimmer. It has nice pigmentation and applies smoothly.
  • Smog is a deepened chocolate brown with a warm bronze sheen. It, too, is a vibrant shade that has rich pigmentation.

Urban Decay seems to really love releasing summer palettes with a series of browns and then a pop of color. (Remember Get Baked from last year?) I do like this color variation a lot better than last year’s, because I feel like there is a good amount of differentiation between each shade.

The packaging fits with their theme–definitely groovy and all that–but I’m not digging the vintage photographs on the back. I would have personally loved to have seen the floral pattern continue around the mirror, like it did in Get Baked. It’s cool that the graphic designer’s parents are now immortalized in a makeup palette, but for me, it’s just, “Who are these random people?” Like the majority of Urban Decay products, it is made out of sturdy cardboard. I like these flip-open palettes, because they’re slim, streamlined, and easy to travel with and store.

It’s a nice option for a summer palette, but as always, I wish Urban Decay would release new shades of eyeshadows rather than using their permanent shadows. It makes it hard to purchase as a fan, just because you probably own all of them with the palettes you already have! Maybe Urban Decay should make palette forms available of all their eyehadows so we can just mix and match throughout the year! :)

P.S. – I think I have enough mini-sized Bourbon liners to get me through year 3000.

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

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

Recommendation: If you don’t own a lot of Urban Decay eyeshadows, this palette makes a fun option for some summery shades. It’s a great value if you don’t have any of the shades, and the quality of the products within the palette are tops.  It’s easily skipped if you own half or more of the shades/products in it.

Availability: Urban Decay

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Toki Doki for Sephora

tokidoki for Sephora: Adios Star Cromatico Eyeshadow

tokidoki Adios Star Cromatico Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a matte black base with silver glitter strewn through it. It looked pretty in the pan, but unfortunately looks rather chalky when swatched, and it took some effort to get a decent level of pigmentation. Being a black eyeshadow, though, you could easily use this in the crease and not notice any chalkiness–but you might think of it as more of a dark gray-black than pure black.

This is the only tokidoki eyeshadow I have tried, so please don’t take this review of this single shade as representative of the whole line! I’m definitely going to check it out in person or grab another one or two shades online to see if this is just a poor man within an otherwise good range. Hopefully, Temptalia readers have also given these a try, so they can speak up on some other shade’s behalf! :)  I know the lovely Muse reviewed Carnivora, Diamante, and SavanaSavana looks way better in terms of pigmentation.

The packaging is very tokidoki inspired–if you dig it, you dig it; if it’s not your thing, that’s okay, too. I’d say that I’m neutral on the whole thing myself, but I think it’s done well. It’s not luxe, ultra high-end packaging, but it doesn’t feel like something you’d find in the dollar bin either. I like that each of the eyeshadows has a different colored lid–it’s just a nice touch. The price is also just right at $15, because these are actually cheaper than MAC eyeshadows by the ounce–MAC eyeshadows are $14.50 each, but you only get 0.05 oz. while the tokidoki eyeshadows are $15 each, but you get 0.07 oz.

So right now, though I’m disappointed in this shade, I am going to keep an eye out for more shades at my local Sephora and see how those hold up for me. I definitely want to check out Bastardino, Bruttino, Ciao Caio, Killer Candy, Savana, Skeletrina, and Soya. Shocker, I’m sure, that those are all some of the brighter shades available.

Shades: Adios Star (glitter black), Bastardino (dark green glitter), Bruttino (blue pearl), Bulletto (brown pearl), Carnivora (beige pearl), Choco (brown pearl), Ciao Ciao (pink pearl), Diamante (glitter pink), Donutella (nude multi-glitter), Killer Candy (purple pearl), Nancy Rocks (lavender pearl), Romeo (plum pearl), Samba (gray pearl), Savana (gold glitter), Skeletrina (indigo pearl), Soya (green pearl).

Have you tried these? Which shades?

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

  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: I would skip this particular shade of the Cromatico Eyeshadow line-up — I haven’t tried any of the others, so I can’t speak for those! Funny enough, the cute and just-right packaging and price save this product from a non-passing grade!

AvailabilitySephora

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

MAC Art Supplies Collection:  Greasepaint Sticks
Greasepaint Sticks: Zinc Zone, Uniformly Blue, Slick Black, Greengrease,
Dirty, Charred Mauve, Brown Now, Below Ground

MAC Art Supplies Collection: Greasepaint Sticks Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Art Supplies Collection launches in-stores on April 1st (late April for international locations) and online March 30th. The collection includes eight new and limited edition shades of Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50), six new and limited edition shades of Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners ($14.50), and nine new and limited edition shades of Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker ($16.00).

Today, I’m going to review the new Greasepaint Sticks and (in a separate post) three of the six Pearlglide Intense Eye Liners. I’m going to mull over the Lipstain Markers until tomorrow, but I’ll give you my review of the three (of nine) shades I tried so far–so stay tuned! :)

Greasepaint Sticks ($17.50)

  • Below Ground is a soft bronzed chocolate brown with lighter bronze flecks. It reminded me of a lighter, less frosty version of Bronze eyeshadow.  I liked this one a lot, because I felt like it was light enough to be used in lighter looks as well as darker looks.
  • Brown, Now is a burgundy-brown. I don’t know why it’s called Brown, Now, to be honest, because it’s pretty burgundy to me.
  • Charred Mauve is a cool-toned blue-based purple with soft blue-violet flecks/sheen. It is similar to V, but it’s not the same–it’s a darker, grayer version–but the two are close enough that you don’t need both.
  • Dirty is a taupe brown with multi-colored shimmer. Kind of cool how it has all different colors of shimmer in it.
  • Greengrease is a forest green over a blackened base. It has flecks of gold, blue, and green shimmer. I found this one to be the least pigmented of the eight, though you can layer to get a more opaque look.
  • Slick Black is a matte, all-black shade. It’s rich and dark. It’s not like the original Greasepaint Stick from Style Black, because the original Greasepaint Stick is a black base with flecks of blue and violet shimmer. It reminded me a lot of Blacktrack fluidline, though.
  • Uniformly Blue is a medium-dark navy blue over a blackened blue-gray base with flecks of blue shimmer/sheen. Compared to B, it is a darker version; Uniformly Blue has a blackened base that the blue shade sits over. It’s close enough, though, that unless you’re a huge fan of Greasepaint Sticks, you only need one of the two.
  • Zinc Zone is a gunmetal silver over a lightly blackened base with silver and black shimmer/sheen. This is a fun shade, and I think it would make a nice base for a very dramatic, near-black smoky eye.

The good: I loved the variety of the shades offered in the collection. There are eight to choose from, so you aren’t stuck with just one or two like in the past. On me, I find they wear quite well–no real budging, smudging, or transferring throughout the day. They’re very smooth, soft, and easy to apply without tugging on the eyelid too much.

They’ve also improved the scent/smell of the Greasepaint Sticks this time–which is huge. My previous Greasepaint Sticks have a funky scent that’s unpleasant, but I didn’t notice any scent on these (whereas the scent on the original shades is still overwhelming!). These might have the faintest scent if you’re particularly gifted in the smelling department, but I didn’t detect anything with my sniffer.

The bad: Even though a nice dark base can be useful, I don’t necessarily need eight different variations on the theme. I’ve always found that most darker bases eat color rather than enhance it, so you’re always left with some sort of darkened smoky eye. Personally, I find that they’re a bit too thick to use as eyeliner without having to do some clean-up after application with a cotton swab.

My picks: Below Ground, Brown Now, Greengrease, Zinc Zone

Skip if you have…: Charred Mauve if you have V, Uniformly Blue if you have B, Slick Black if you have Blacktrack (Fluidline)

How to Use Greasepaint Sticks

  • As an all-over eyeshadow base — think of them as darker versions of shadesticks
  • As a smudged out eyeliner — make sure to sharpen them (sharpener is found on the opposite end) so you don’t get too thick of a line
  • As a defined crease — draw it into the crease and then smudge with a brush and/or eyeshadow

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Monday, March 29th, 2010

Guerlain Ombre Perlees

For our Natural Beauties: Guerlain’s Take on Summer

This summer, Guerlain goes supremely natural with their Meteorites Perles Collection. It is definitely different from last summer’s Summer Splash Collection.

I think those who find summer colors too bright, shimmered, or the like will find the Ombre Perlees Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00) a refreshing experience. It contains four shades: a dusty pinked white with a near matte finish, muted pinky-brown with a near matte finish, softened gray lilac with a satin finish, and grayed taupe with subtle satin shimmer.

I’ve always found Guerlain eyeshadow to have a supreme texture–soft, silken, smooth, nearly buttery–and this quad is no exception. All four shades applied smoothly and had good pigmentation. These are not bright shades in the least bit, but they swatch exactly as you’d expect given the way they look in the palette. Like most limited edition eyeshadow palettes from Guerlain, the flower design is only an overlay and will disappear after a couple of uses.

The packaging is luxe and traditional to Guerlain’s line, except it’s metallic silver, not quite the typical “metal” feel. I personally like that while Guerlain keeps the same shape and style of its palettes, the color will change based on the collection itself. Included with the palette are two sponge-tip applicators, but like all sponge applicators, they’re nothing to write home about and could easily be left out as far as I’m concerned! Brushes, please!

Being a more high-end, luxury brand, Guerlain doesn’t come cheap, but at least they’ll give you a good amount of eyeshadow (0.24 oz. — for reference, a MAC eyeshadow is 0.05 oz.) and make it look pretty while they’re at it!  There are no real low points to this product–it’s a solid natural-toned eyeshadow palette.  Price is really the only negative that I can think of!

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: 5/5

Recommendation: If you’re cool-toned and looking for more natural shades to play up your eyes with, I think this should definitely be on your list of products to keep an eye out for. Warmer skin tones can still wear this quad, because all of the shades run closer to neutral than strongly cool, but it really strikes me as exceptionally beautiful on cooler skin tones–even more so on fairer skin tones.

Availability: April/May 2010

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Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Dior Crush Glow Palette

Summer Preview: Dior Crush Glow (659) Eyeshadow Palette

Dior’s Addicted to Dior Collection is a short and sweet collection of a mere eight pieces (that’s only $365 to own it all–the fact that I say “that’s only” indicates how deeply addicted I am to beauty!).  It includes two “luggage” tags that slide open and reveal lipgloss inside, available in Coral and Pink for $60, two Eyeshadow Quints in Ready-to-Glow (649) and Crush Glow (659) for $58, Golden Spotlight Extreme Eyeshadow for $28, Rose Trendsetter (574) High Shine Lipgloss for $28, Crystal Gloss (001) for $26.50, and Nude Glow, a Bergdorf Goodman’s exclusive, for $46.

While Ready-to-Glow looks like a slightly cooler variation of Crush Glow, Crush Glow is fabulously warm. This is excellent news for those warm-toned beauties, but cooler skin tones may want to swatch in person before deciding. I personally think that cooler skin tones can still wear this palette, and I’d recommend pairing the eyeshadows with a cooler cheek and/or lip to bring everything together.

There are five shades in the Crush Glow palette: a peachy-gold with a frosty finish; lightly iced pink with champagne shimmer; muted mostly pink coral with a low frost finish; plummy-mauve with brown with a light frost finish; and ambered bronze with more of a pearly sheen than frost finish. All five shades were well-pigmented, smooth to the touch, and easy to use.

I don’t always have good luck with Dior’s Quints, but Crush Glow is definitely a palette that appeals to me, on a personal level (I am a fiend for golds and coppers!). It’s a fitting color palette for summer, because it’s warm and shimmering.  I love that all five shades coordinate really well with each other.  Sometimes you find palettes that look lovely and swatch beautifully, but you’re not always sure how you’ll make them work together. It’s a very travel-friendly palette, because you can create easy daytime looks or smoke it up with the plummy or bronzy shades in the palette for a more sultry evening look.

I think this is one of Dior’s better palettes in the past few years that I’ve followed the brand.  The eyeshadows are high-quality with good color pay off, a smooth, buttery texture, and they work exceptionally well together.  This is a palette you can take with you on your summer travels or enjoy at home.

Though the official details indicated April 2010 as a release date, I already saw the “luggage tags” available on Nordstrom.com — so I think it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing Dior’s summer collection launch in full quite soon!

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: 5/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: All five shades do have a shimmery appearance, so those who prefer a mix of shimmers and mattes may find themselves wanting with this palette. If you say “No thanks!” to shimmer typically, I don’t see this palette changing your mind. On the other hand, if you say “Yes, please!” to shimmer and are looking to add some warmer toned eyeshadows to your collection, this is a nice palette to own.

Availability: April 2010

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