Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) is a stunning combination of slightly warmed-up neutrals.  I was really hoping Maybelline was going to knock it out of the park with this combination, but they didn’t quite hit the mark for me.  They’re so-so but just not stellar.  I’d still consider it pretty good by drugstore beauty standards, though–but it’s only decent against popular favorites like MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Urban Decay.

It includes a champagne-pink with a frosty finish, subdued copper, muted golden bronze, and darker chocolate bronze with light gold shimmer.  My biggest issue with these eyeshadows was just that they applied sheerly, so it was difficult to get as much dimension as I’d like on my eyes.  Like the other Maybelline palettes, these are softer eyeshadows that have to be applied with less sweeping and more packing/tapping techniques.

These excel best over a more metallic base (think MAC Indianwood or Rubenesque Paint Pots), because these eyeshadows grab onto the base well and then you can get the colors to pop and look more like themselves!  I’m still, overall, impressed by the quality of the Maybelline Eyeshadow Quads, but none have been quite as good as Good with Gold thus far.

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quad Reviews…

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for soft, almost velvet-textured neutrals, you might like Copper Chic for a budget-friendly option.

Availability: Target

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Saturday, March 6th, 2010

NARS D Gorgeous Eyeshadow

NARS Spring 2010: D. Gorgeous Eyeshadow

NARS D. Gorgeous Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new single eyeshadow from NARS’ Spring Collection. It’s a light lilac with a matte finish, and it really looks absolutely stunning in its pan–it’s this lovely pale color against matte black packaging, but the product doesn’t come through on quality.

D. Gorgeous is a chalky matte with very sheer, light color. It’s an almost gray-lilac when swatched, but it has this dusty, chalky look to it that’s not very flattering. It’s also incredible sheer and powdery–the minute I dipped my brush in it, it was like, poof! The only good thing I can say about the texture is at least it isn’t a hard-to-swatch matte that just looks like it drags. D. Gorgeous is smooth and soft to the touch, it’s just much chalkier than other NARS’ eyeshadows.

By the way, NARS also raised the price on their single eyeshadows (from $22 to $23). You’re always better off purchasing a NARS eyeshadow duo over a single, because the price per ounce in singles makes it more expensive than MAC, Smashbox, and Make Up For Ever.

It’s really too bad that this went so powdery on me, because it seemed like such a nice shade for spring. It’s not the worst matte I’ve tried, but with the dustiness and lack of pigmentation, it’s not the best, either. Considering its NARS, I expect pigmentation to never be a problem!

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  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Pass and opt for an eyeshadow duo!

Availability: Blue Mercury

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Friday, March 5th, 2010

Maybelline Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow Quad

Spring Pastels with Maybelline are a Little Too Light

Maybelline Eye Studio Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) includes an icy silver with very faint, icy lilac shimmer; a lilac-lavender with gold shimmer; a blue-based blue-purple with subtle gold shimmer; and an eggplant purple with red undertones. This is probably my least favorite Eye Studio Eyesahdow Quad I’ve tested–it’s very faint overall. The pigmentation just isn’t there in three of the four shades (all but the eggplant-y one). I like the concept of four different purple shades, but I must say the blue-based purple might have been nicer with another, stronger medium purple with red undertones.

The eyeshadows themselves are soft and smooth, they just lack pigmentation. I’ve been happier with some of the other variations in this product type, like Good with Gold. This is definitely a skip variation to me — if the colors had more pay off, it could be a nice a way to try out purple eyeshadow, but since they’re already so soft, it’s hard to build up the intensity with these.

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quad Reviews…

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  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: Skip this one — it’s just too faint — unless you love really soft, subtle color!

Availability: Target

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Friday, March 5th, 2010

Lancome Pop 'n Green Palette

Lancome O My Rose! Collection:  Pop ‘n Green Eyeshadow Quad

Lancome Pop ‘n Green Eyeshadow Quad ($42.00) is a sultry blue and green palette for spring. It’s surprisingly un-spring-like and yet it’s not totally out-of-season either. It’s almost like the perfect accompamiment to a gloomy, rainy day–and I do mean that as a compliment!

Pop ‘n Green includes a bright silvery-white with shimmer; a greenish-gray with taupe with a more metallic finish; an olive-green with a subtle yellow-olive sheen/pearl (not really shimmery); and a blue-teal with soft silver shimmer over a pearly sheen finish. I don’t have colors quite like the olive green and teal in my collection–similar, but the pearly finish makes them distinctive against anything I might already own (all of which are either more matte or shimmery). I think it would have been cool for the entire palette to have the same pearled sheen finish, actually.

The green-gray-taupe shade is so-so; a little on the sheer side, even though it has a kind of “wet” look to it, I wish the pay off was more. The silver shade has decent pigmentation, but it’s not as color-rich as the olive green and teal are. I like the palette, though I can see this not being something for everyone. I like the way it fits a different side of spring; not the blossoming, pastel side, but the cooler, rainier weather. I think I’m really swooning for that green, though, and I must say, I’m a sucker for olive greens, so…

It’s like I’m in love with half the quad, but the other half is just so-so–the pigmentation is perfect and the texture isn’t as smooth as the good half.  I do like that the other half makes sense, though–you can wear these four shades together or variations of three of the four.

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

Recommendation: If you love cooler, non-traditional spring shades, you might find Pop ‘n Green to your liking!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which [again] includes three palette variations. Bonfire is more my style than the other two variations.  By the by, Aquamarine is the third variation, which I won’t be reviewing at this time!  It does, however, have the same Pot Rouges as Orchid Sparkle, which I reviewed earlier, so it’s like… half reviewed :)

Pot Rouge

  • Tawny is a brownish-red–it’s not a brick red, and it certainly doesn’t scream “RED!” but it’s in there. Creamy, opaque, and smooth.
  • Fresh Melon is a brightened coral-peach with a creamy and opaque look. This can be worn as a very subtle blush or lip.
  • Calypso Coral is a bold, tropical orange-coral with the same creaminess of the other shades of Pot Rouge. This is definitely a more fearless coral, though, because it is fairly bright. You can pat less on to get a less intense look, though, which is nice.

Eyeshadow

  • Bone is a softened white-beige with a matte finish. Kind of a classic shade–easier for me to wear with my warmer skin tone than whites.
  • Cafe Cream (Sparkle) is a shimmered medium coffee brown with an almost taupe-gray tone to it. It looks almost wet when used, and the fall out isn’t too bad.
  • Bonfire is a rich copper with a metallic finish. Think MAC Amber Lights with a smoother finish. This is the “bright” shade in the palette, while the other shades are designed to coordinate with this one.
  • Cognac is an intense shade of coppered chocolate brown with an almost burgundy sheen. This shade is truly lovely–I fell completely in love at first swatch. It’s one of those shades that I could see myself buying the palette for.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish. I like this more with the Bonfire palette than the Orchid palette, but I also wish they varied it, so there wouldn’t be any repeats between the three palettes!

It has the same sleek packaging as Orchid, so my thoughts remain the same on that: well-done, practical, and keeps everything as clean as can be in a palette.

I think these eyeshadows work better together than the ones chosen for the Orchid palette as well. I can definitely see many different combinations with these five shades. I also like the shades swatched smoother and more pigmented–there was only one iffy shade (Cafe Cream), but it was still decent and not so troublesome (unlike Orchid Sparkle).

I know that I’m personally more drawn to Bonfire (hey, I like me some warm shades!), so I’m definitely going to try to do a look with this palette later this week or next!

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: If you’ve wanted to try Pot Rouges, this is one way to try three at once… and get some eyeshadows as a bonus!

Availability: BobbiBrown.com, Nordstrom

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Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which includes three palette variations. I’m typically wary of any palette that has lip wells in them, but I was excited, for these aren’t just the typical lip color, these are Pot Rouges, which are designed for cheeks and lips.

Pot Rouge

  • Powder Pink is a creamy rosy pink that can be layered for an opaque look on lips or sheered out for an everyday blusher on cheeks.
  • Pale Pink is a cool-toned blue-based pink that feels creamy and goes on fairly opaque.
  • Sand Pink is a creamy coral-beige shade. I don’t see a lot of pink in this, but it’s a muted, played-down coral that will work well on warm skin tones in particular.

Eyeshadow

  • White is a matte white. It’s a muted white, so it’s not a bright, totally unwearable white.
  • Dusty Plum (Metallic) is a mauvey-plum with a shimmery finish. It has that “metallic” feel, like it’s almost wet you swatch it.
  • Orchid Sparkle is a sheer, sparkly lilac–very light, very sheer, and prone to fall out.
  • Mulberry is a richly pigmented royal purple with a matte finish. Like a lot of mattes, it applies better when you use a brush than anything else. I don’t have a shade quite like this.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish.

Oddly enough, my favorite part about this palette are the Pot Rouges. After trying Cabo Coral last month, I was curious about the other shades of Pot Rouge, and this is a good way to try out three new shades. All three were very creamy and pigmented, and they’re wearable on both cheeks and lips, so they do double-duty.

The eyeshadows didn’t get me too excited–I really liked Mulberry, though–I’m not sold on these five together. I can see a few combos, but usually I see a lot of combos in Bobbi Brown’s palettes and that wasn’t the case here. Orchid Sparkle is a throwaway shade for me, just because I know it’s a pain in the butt to use and it’s incredibly sheer; to make it work, try wearing it over a dark, metallic base. Dusty Plum Metallic would be my other shade favorite, because it’s smooth, pigmented, and versatile.

I like Bobbi Brown’s palette packaging, because the palette itself is sleek, but it’s practical, too.  The cheek/lip shades are separated from the eyeshadows quite well, and each palette also has a clear lid that flips up to further protect the shades from dirt and dust.

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: If you’ve wanted to try Pot Rouges, this is one way to try three at once… and get some eyeshadows as a bonus!

Availability: BobbiBrown.com, Nordstrom

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