Monday, September 20th, 2010

Guerlain 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette

Is this palette worth $84?

I know that it probably sounds funny, but after reviewing and being disappointed by Guerlain’s Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette, I felt the need to determine whether the palettes were a miss in general or perhaps just that particular combination was underwhelming. I decided to go with Guerlain’s 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette ($84.00 for 0.25 oz.), which is one variation that seemed to stand out more than the others (to me).

The palette includes six eyeshadows in varying shapes and sizes.  It’s housed in a beautiful compact with a filigree pattern on the cover that’s actually see-through.  There’s a black plastic piece that lifts open to reveal the eyeshadows themselves (and on the inside, there is a mirror).  A dual-ended miniaturized brush is also included, and while not something I’d use under regular circumstances, is nicer than many other palette applicators I’ve come across.

This is a rather cool-toned palette, which would make it most suitable for those who lean cool, but it’s still wearable on warmer skin tones, since they’re closer to neutral than very cool.  There is a pale white-beige with a satin finish, muted gray-brown with a satin finish, medium-dark ocean blue with soft sheen, antique gold with a hint of taupe base and frosted shimmer, cool-toned charcoal brown with a semi-matte finish, and darkened purple-black with flecks of violet shimmer over a semi-matte color base.

I think the pigmentation on the eyeshadows is nice overall, but it’s not rich and intense and luxe to me.  I really don’t get the luxury feel from the texture, but these shades are more impressive in their subtle nuances than in Rue de Francs Bourgeois.  I’m not keen on the level of pigmentation in the lighter brown shade, which is a little sheer; though the charcoal-brown shade appears sheer when swatched, it applies just fine with a brush on the eyes (say in the crease).

I’m still not as wow-ed as I’d like to be with these palettes, and while the palette’s case is most assuredly gorgeous, the eyeshadows don’t quite match it.  The texture could be finer, richer — I think this is what makes me go, “Hmm, I want to like you, but it’s not quite there,” because they don’t feel as buttery as Guerlain’s singles, duos, and quads’ eyeshadows do.  I do like that these have nearly no fall out, and they do apply very smoothly and evenly.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION:

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Urban Decay Urb Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Urb Eyeshadow

The Hue of Sage Green

Urban Decay Urb Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a sage green with antique gold glitter flecks. It’s a very smooth shade that’s pigmented but the color itself is softer, so it’s not a bright or intense shade of green. I love the slight golden sheen that’s in the finish.

Urban Decay described it as a “metallic celedon green with glitter,” which should immediately alert you to the fact that this is a glittery shade. It will have some fall out. My experience with Urb is that the fall out is significantly less than some of the most egregious: Midnight Cowboy Rides Again.

If you want a more satin finish shade, you could try Make Up For Ever’s #34 Eyeshadow instead.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If it weren’t for the inevitable fall out that Urban Decay’s glitter shades are prone to, I’d really love this shade. The color itself is beautiful, and the soft flecks of glitter are lovely–when they stay on the lid.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Saturday, September 18th, 2010

NARS Palladium Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
The Culprit

Do you ever get angry at your beauty products?

Back in July, I first tried out NARS Palladium Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) in this look, and I really LOVED how everything came together, but of course, it was only a matter of time–fifteen minutes in fact–that this was creasing and melting into an eyeshadow catastrophe.

I was actually rather frustrated with it creasing so quickly, but I was angry with the product itself. Why? Because it was BEAUTIFUL! Palladium is a gorgeous shimmering aqua-teal with flashes of aqua-blue glitter strewn through. It even applied very smoothly to the lid, despite its grittier texture (from the glitter). I don’t like to be made to look like a fool, because I gave Aigle Noir a rather positive review (B, and while it creased without shadow on top, I had no issues using it underneath eyeshadow) [editor's note: revised grade to D- due to brand's marketing claims], and this shade creases like nothing else–alone, with shadow, over a base!

The only use I found for this product was as an eyeliner. Surprisingly, the staying power is ten-fold better on my lower lash line (I didn’t try it on the upper lash line), though it won’t last through twelve hours ofhumidity by any means. It stayed put for three to four hours before migrating and fading a bit, but it didn’t look terrible at the end of the day. However, since it’s such a thick pencil, it’s not very convenient to use it along the lower lash line, and the glittery bits mean it is rougher against the area, too.

Have you ever had a beauty product really anger you?

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Palladium Soft Touch Shadow Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

F
Only if you love the way creased eyeshadow looks!

Product

2/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

2.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Chanel Stupendous Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Stupendous Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel SoHo Story: Stupendous

Chanel Stupendous Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00 for 0.24 oz.) is new and limited edition for Chanel’s SoHo Story Collection, which celebrated the grand reopening of SoHo Boutique. It contains for shimmering shades: a pink champagne, plum-tinged gray-brown, burgundy brown, and icy blue with silver sheen. This is one of the more pigmented Chanel quads I’ve crome across where every shade looked as rich and pigmented wet as it did dry. (Typically, products always look more intense when used wet.)

All four shades seemed rather cool-toned to me, and after using everything together, the entire collection is definitely on the cooler side of the spectrum. Though if you’re warmed, it’s still a very wearable set of products. It leans cool but it’s not so cool where I’d be leery, but just because a product leans the opposite of your skin tone doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t wear it. It’s all a matter of what you pair it with! For instance, try doing one cool area (either lips, cheeks, or eyes) and pairing with two warmer areas (whichever two you didn’t use a cool product on!).

I posted this look earlier in the week. Though I wasn’t sure the blue was going to work paired with the other quad colors, it worked out in the end. I do think it veers on being overly frosty/shimmering, though. As a way to highlight the inner tearduct, I like it, but those wary of ultra frosty products, this might be one of those danger! kind of shades.

Stupendous is consistent with Chanel’s quads–soft, buttery consistency that feels like silk and blends easily. The formula is such that the powder binds well to the lid, even without a primer (though, don’t expect it to last 18 hours if you have oilier lids!), though I’d never wear eyeshadow without a good base! (That’s beauty blasphemy!!) Some readers compared this quad to Mystic Eyes, but going by the only swatches I have posted (I don’t own it), they’re not too similar.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: I think cool-toned beauties will find this just works beautifully. For warmer skin tones, it’s not a must-have, but paired with a peach blush, I think it’d be lovely.

AVAILABILITY: Chanel

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Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Video Review:  Urban Decay Deluxe Eyeshadow, Eyeshadow, & Lipstick

This is a video review of a few of Urban Decay’s permanent products — their regular, circular eyeshadows, deluxe eyeshadows, and a few lipsticks.  I’ve reviewed these products before on the blog (though not these shades!), and I will be doing full write-ups of these products individually over the next couple of months, but if you can’t wait, this video should help you!  I hope you enjoy!

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Urban Decay Black Palette
Urban Decay Black Palette

Getting Heavy with Urban Decay

Urban Decay The Black Palette ($36.00 for 0.24 oz.) contains six eyeshadows (0.04 oz. each), along with a miniature-sized Zero 24/7 Eye Pencil (0.03 oz.) and Eden Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.). As far as I know, this palette is limited edition and a Sephora exclusive (and Sephora lists it as “online only”).

  • Black Dog is an intense, deep dark black with a matte finish. It’s about as intense and deep as Sugarpill Bulletproof, but it’s not quite as smooth or as blendable. It is not at all unworkable, though. I just point this out because it seemed like Black Dog was one of the shadows readers were most looking forward to, and Bulletproof is an alternative to buying the entire palette.
  • Barracuda is a darkened gray with silver flecks; it is a very steely, cool-toned gray. I thought it was similar to Urban Decay’s Gunmetal, but it seems a little darker and less frosty.
  • Jet is a cool-toned plummy purple with very subtle red undertones. It has a semi-matte color base with flecks of blue glitter.
  • Sabbath is a darkened, smoky noir blue with flecks of blue glitter.
  • Cobra is a muddied blackened base with flecks of antique-gold and green-gold shimmer/glitter.
  • Libertine is a blackened green color base with flecks of gold and emerald green micro-glitter.

The Black Palette is housed in a sleek, slim rectangular palette with a mirror on the inside cover; it’s made out of cardboard/paper as Urban Decay palettes often are, but it’s very compact.  The miniature Zero eyeliner is stowed away inside along the eyeshadows, while the miniature Eden primer potion is loose (which does ensure that this palette is thin).  It’s definitely a more travel-friendly palette than the Book of Shadows.

Quality-wise, these eyeshadows feel like most of Urban Decay’s regular eyeshadow line (not to be confused with their deluxe eyeshadow line, which has a slightly differing texture); they’re pretty smooth and pigmented.  These do feel a touch more powdery and kick up some eyeshadow if you’re not careful, so I do recommend tapping your brush against your wrist to get any excess shadow out–that way it doesn’t just poof and land on your under eye instead!  I don’t think they’re the best of the brand’s eyeshadows, but they’re solid overall.

I find this palette too redundant to be a must-have for most makeup mavens.  When applied to eyes as part of look, they really don’t standout; they all look black with a touch of varying glitter (but it is so subtle, it’s hard to notice until you look for it specifically).  I did a quick look using Cobra, Libertine, and Black Dog, and if I saw that, I’d say I used two eyeshadows (a shimmery black, nude highlighter); the difference is nearly imperceptible.

You can really get the same effect by using a black eyeshadow/base and layering a shimmery color shade on top– in fact, a ton of people do this with MAC Blacktrack as a base and you can get some really cool effects (try using a duochrome shade on top!).   You might even find that the color pops even more.  These are just too black, too flat.  The inclusion of Eden with this palette is interesting, because it makes these eyeshadows look flatter and even more similar to each other than other bases.  I did some experimenting using Eden, a shimmery white gold base, and colored bases; these eyeshadows look best over colored bases–you can get that blackened look without losing the color entirely.

I feel like I do get the concept of blackened, smoldering colors that don’t scream color but at the same time, I want some differentiation between one shade from the next.  I don’t want to squint my eyes to detect slight differences in the flecks of glitter.  I also think the inclusion of Gunmetal or Dime 24/7 Liner (instead of Zero) would have helped these shades pop.  I recommend experimenting with cream eyeshadow in black and layering shimmery colors on top to see what look you prefer!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s worth trying to recreate on your own at home — unless you wear a ton of black eyeshadow, you should be able to get something comparable–if not better–as you need it.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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