Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Becca Loose Shadow

The Jewel of Your Eye with Becca

Becca Jewel Dust ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) are loose multi-purpose powders made without talc or fillers. There are sixteen shades in the full range, from shimmering champagnes to baby blues.  I picked up three shades when Becca was on HauteLook a few weeks back.

  • Erzulie is a soft lavender with a gray cast and lighter lilac and blue shimmer.
  • Luella is a gold shimmered green-toned turquoise with a deeper turquoise base.
  • Erlina is a lightened, spring green with a strong yellow undertone with a near metallic, slightly frosty finish.

One thing I really enjoyed about these was that they work nearly as well dry as they do wet. When they are used wet, they do create a smoother, more solid color, but used dry, they hold together pretty well. They worked well over eyeshadow primers as well as cream eyeshadows.

All three shades I tried out are actually colors that I don’t quite have in loose form, and the way they shimmer is very reflective and sophisticated, actually–particularly when used on eyes. I could see some of the lighter, more neutral shades being used as an all-over dusting on lids for a little oomph without doing much else.

The packaging is stylish and easy to store–small, mostly square, and just elegant. I really wish you received more for the price, though — 0.04 oz. is so underwhelming for a product that costs $24 — and it’s a little less and a little more in cost than other loose shadows by high-end brands. I’m sure most of us will not get through a single container all that quickly, though, and like most loose colors, a little goes a long way.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I wish you got a little more product in each container, but the colors I tried were beautiful and shades I haven’t seen too often. The quality was lovely with smooth, rich color and beautiful shimmering finishes.

Availability: Becca

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Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Aveda Golden Jasper Eyeshadow Duo

Aveda Does Eyeshadow

Aveda Golden Jasper Eye Color Trio ($22.00 for 0.08 oz.) is an unexpected, but entirely pleasant, surprise from Aveda. I don’t know about you, but I always forget that Aveda actually has a full range of products–I always think hair when I think about the brand.

There is one really fabulous characteristic about Aveda though, that spans their entire range, it’s that they really are eco-conscious. And they don’t make you hunt around for information on whether they’re truly looking to be a greener, more earth-friendly company. The eye trios are packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled clamshell and paper sleeve–it’s something that reader Dusty pointed out about EcoTools: the brushes are packaged in plastic yet there is no information on whether that plastic was recycled or not. Additionally, the eyeshadow trio doesn’t contain talc, mineral oil, or parabens.

The trios are available in several other varieties: Blue Dawn, Plum Mist, Earth Rose, Aqua Pearl, Black Tulip, Sweet Grass, Copper Haze, and Gobi Sands.

Each trio features three complementary shades, arranged from lightest to darkest, and it pretty much makes using them a no-brainer. Lightest on the lid, medium or darkest on the outer lid/crease. Golden Jasper consists of a soft, light beige with a satin shimmer; warmed up medium brown with a soft sheen; and chocolate brown with warm undertones. The eyeshadow is soft, smooth, and pigmented. It melts when applied to lid, and I actually wore them without a base, just as a test, for several hours (I’d say around six), and I didn’t encounter any creasing. (But to be clear, my lids are on the drier side, rather than oily!)

I’m definitely interested in trying out some of the other shade varieties (perhaps Blue Dawn, Aqua Pearl, Sweet Grass, or Copper Haze), to see how those hold up. But so far, I’m impressed by the spirit and story of Aveda and the delivery on the eyeshadow formulation based on Golden Jasper. You can either use your own palettes, keep them in their plastic sleeves, or pick up one of their Environmental Compacts (made of 30% post-consumer recycled and 20% post-industrial regrind aluminum).

Have you tried Aveda’s eyeshadows before?

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: Next time you’re near an Aveda counter, you might want to check out their makeup range. I so infrequently hear about the range’s makeup and skincare, and maybe it’s time we check them out!

Availability: Aveda

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Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Rimmel Glam'Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Beauty on a Budget:  Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow

Rimmel Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadow ($3.99) come in several shades, but I recently tested out three shades:

  • Royal Violet (400) is a lightened lavender purple with subtle white shimmer.
  • Sapphire (450) is a nearly matte, periwinkle blue.
  • Posh Peacock (500) is a gorgeous shade of blue with an aqua-teal shimmer-sheen.

These are definitely some of the better textured eyeshadows from mass that I’ve encountered recently. They’re also quite pigmented without having to maneuver in certain ways, like packing it on, using sponge-tip applicators, etc. Glam’Eyes Mono Eyeshadows work best with brushes, as the eyeshadows are quite silky. I found a sponge-tip felt a little rough on the shadows–like it was causing the shadow to break apart a bit.

Posh Peacock (500) was definitely my favorite, because it was richly pigmented (more so than the other two I tried), and it was just stunning when swatched. It was vibrant and had depth when I’ve come not to expect that from a lot of eyeshadows on the market these days.  The other two shades were decently pigmented, but they were a little more on the powdery side, which is due in part to their more matte texture.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: They’re not the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, but they’re very good. For $4, they’re a great entry point for those looking to play around with eyeshadows or even just brighter colors in general, without breaking the bank. And for those who get a little thrill out of brilliant drugstore scores, you may want to pick up one of their new Mono shades.

Availability: ULTA

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Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beach Collection Shadows

Bobbi Brown Beach Collection: Long-Wear Cream Shadows

For summer, Bobbi Brown’s collection includes Metallic Long-Wear Cream Shadows ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) in four new shades: Moonstone (pale shimmering green), Opal (opalescent pink), Pink Oyster (shimmering pink), and Surf (pale shimmering blue), as well as Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($22.00 for 0.12 oz.) in Shore (pale nude).

  • Opal is an opalescent pinky-purple. It’s very sheer and light–it’s nice as an all-over wash on the lid. It could possibly be used as an eyeshadow base, too, since it’s more on the neutral side. Since the base almost feels and goes on clear, it looks glittery on the lid.
  • Surf is a cool-toned baby blue with a silver-white sparkle-sheen. It has a soft colored base, so it looks smoother on the lid compared to Opal and more metallic and less glittery. It’s not a deep blue, but it’s a lot more representative of the color it looks like in the pot, so it’s the color I would expect!
  • Shore is a creamy, matte beige. This is not an exciting color, but it’s incredibly versatile. It can be used to brighten up lids a bit, but it can be used as an eyeshadow base, too. It’s neutral and easy-to-use, particularly because of the matte finish.

I’m actually not a huge fan of Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Long-Wear Eyeshadows — they’re just incredibly sheer and more glittery than metallic. I reviewed a few shades earlier, when they first launched. I still wish they had more of a metallic finish, because they do feel more on the glittery side. The Metallics have an almost wet feel to them–it’s a thinner creamy consistency with a wet feel and applies very smoothly and evenly without any trouble (better than the other three I tried!). They also last all day without creasing or budging or fading.

I prefer the texture, feel, and color pay off of the original Long-Wear Eyeshadows for sure. I think having a couple of the Metallics can be fun, but they’re not as versatile as the more opaque ones. Like the Metallics, the original Long-Wear Eyeshadows last all day without budging, smudging, or fading.  I just don’t think the Metallics are nearly as versatile or as multi-tasking as the original ones, which are more pigmented and very, very smooth.

Because these are two different products, I’m not going to give out an overall rating for all three.  Instead, I’m going to break it down between the two — for Metallics, they work really well in terms of staying power and not creasing, but the color payoff is sheer and not buildable as purported, so they’re more of a B product for me.  They’re better than the first ones I tried, because I do think these have a smoother finish and are truer-to-color in the pot.  Shore, on the other hand, has excellent pay off and quality, so it’s much more of an A- product and shade.

RECOMMENDATION: Shore is an excellent neutral base that works well and looks great. It’s something that doesn’t inspire excitement, but it’s a very useable product. The Metallics don’t grab me and neither shade gets me any closer to loving them at the moment.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Illamasqua Furore Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Pure Pigment in Furore

Illamasqua Furore Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a gorgeous shade of gilded, muted copper-bronze. It’s really a beautiful color that can be used as a loose highlighter dusted on cheeks or decolletage or used wet as an easy all-over lid color or as an eyeshadow base for neutral and bronzy looks.

I thought I had reviewed a Pure Pigment before, but apparently I never got around to it, other than this brief rant in a look I used it in originally. The first Pure Pigment I tried was Static, which was a gorgeous color, but the texture wasn’t very smooth (even when used wet) and the packaging drove me batty.

Furore has a much, much nicer texture. It’s almost like night and day! It’s smooth, soft, and really melts together when used wet. The packaging is still the same — very bulky and it’s easy for the pigment to poof out, but I definitely noticed less “poof” than I had previously. I didn’t end up with more on my counter than my eye with Furore.

The worst part about Pure Pigments is the size. It’s a mere 0.04 oz. That’s tiny. That’s almost ridiculous when compared with MAC Pigments (even with the size reduction, they’re still 0.15 oz–almost 4 times the size). Make Up For Ever’s pigments also vary between 0.07 and 0.09 oz. No, you don’t need a lot, so it’s hard to imagine really going through even the 0.04 oz. particularly quickly, but I really can’t believe how little you get.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t mind the small quantity you get, then Furore is a fantastic neutral shade. It’s not too bronzy or frosty–it’s kind of like a cross between a metallic and frost, but it’s not too much. I can see it working as a very versatile shade.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Urban Decay Gunmetal Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Eyeshadow:  Two Minutes with Gunmetal

Urban Decay Gunmetal Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a dark gray base with a deep silver sheen. It’s very much the color of gunmetal.  I like that it’s not overly frosty or shimmery–it’s definitely more of a frost finish than anything else, but it’s not over the top.  It reminds me of MAC’s Silver Ring Eyeshadow, actually, but not quite as dark.  Gunmetal has a soft, smooth texture with rich pigmentation from the start.  No need to go back for seconds and thirds–one swipe is really all you need with this shade.

This is an excellent silver-gray for a traditional smoky eye.  You could use this all over the lid, then apply a touch of matte black in the crease to darken and smoke.  Quick, easy, and totally sultry!

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 been in the market for a silver/gray for smoky eyes, Gunmetal is definitely a worthy contender!  The texture is every bit of what you’d expect from Urban Decay without being too frosty and not at all glittery.

Availability: Sephora

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