Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyeshadow Palette
Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

Quick Review: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.15 oz.) includes three eyeshadows and one long-wear eye paint. It features: White (pure white), Tin (steel icy blue), Storm (dark grey), and Onyx (rich black). The packaging is sleek and compact, and I love that they have an actual brush applicator included, rather than sponge-tipped ones!

The Long-Wear Eye Paints are new and featured in the three palettes from Bobbi Brown’s Smoky, Sultry, Smoldering Collection. According to Bobbi Brown, they are “high-pigment metallic eyeshadow that can be worn wet or dry.” She recommends “[applying] them with a damp Cream Shadow Brush for a strong, luminous and long-lasting pop of shimmering color that won’t crease.”

  • White is a pure, cool-toned white. This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Tin is a semi-sheer, pale silvery gray with a purple cast. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Storm is a charcoal gray. This is a matte eyeshadow. I know it looks a lil’ sheer in the swatches, but being a matte, you won’t find any trouble getting the pigmentation to pop on the lid.
  • Onyx is a dark black with a soft sheen and silver and green shimmer-glitter. This is a long-wear eye paint. It really needs to be used wet in order to get rich, opaque color. When used dry, it’s sheer and a soft black instead.

Each of the eyeshadows is 0.04 oz. (full-sized are 0.08 oz. for $20.00; 0.10 oz. for $20.00 for metallic eyeshadow), while the Long-Wear Eye Paint is 0.03 oz. (not currently available on its lonesome; but for valuation purposes, we’ll assume 0.08 oz. for $20.00). In this palette, you receive $20.00 worth of regular Eyeshadow, $8 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $7.50 worth of Long-Wear Eye Paint. This totals to $35.50 worth of product. You do also receive a double-ended brush in the palette, which is usable (and one of the better brushes included in palettes)– we’ll say it’s $7 worth–bringing us to $42.50. It’s not a value-packed palette, but I don’t think you’re losing out.

You can check out my full review of the Smoldering Palette, too! :)

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t think this is a must-have palette; the shades are dupe-able enough that you may already have a great selection of smokey-eyed hues in your stash. I’m not impressed with the pigmentation of Tin, and White isn’t going to work as a highlighter for more skin tones (too stark!). It’s a decent palette, but with as many holiday palettes out there, I’d opt for something else.  (By the by, products don’t lose points for being dupe-able.)

WHERE TO BUY: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow
Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow

Quick Review: Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Baked Eyeshadow

Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Baked Eyeshadow Duo ($7.29 for 0.09 oz.) is a baked eyeshadow (similar to MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows), and one side is solid while the other is marbled. When swatched, the product works amazing whether wet or dry–the solid side is a rusted orange-red with a frosty finish, while the marbled side is a pinky beige with a white frost finish.

It has a smooth texture, high frost finish, and both shades were incredibly pigmented. In the past, I’ve found that baked eyeshadows often must be used wet in order to achieve good color pay off, but these worked well dry, too. I did have the ever slightly noticeable fading after eight hours of wear with Maybelline’s Baked Eyeshadow Duos, but it was very slight.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Maybelline has several other variations on their duos, and based on this one, these might be a great alternative to higher-end baked eyeshadows like MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows–perhaps not necessarily exact dupes in terms of colors but the product type is quite similar.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Shiseido GD824 Eyeshadow
Shiseido Ocean Sunset (GD824) Satin Eye Color

Shiseido Ocean Sunset (GD824) Satin Eye Color

Shiseido Ocean Sunset (GD824) Satin Eye Color ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a shimmering, paled yellow gold. Shiseido’s new line of Luminizing eyeshadows, trios, and blushes really impressed me–this is a soft gold (and it’s not meant to be brighter or darker) that’s great as an all-over lid shade or on the lower lash line. This eyeshadow has such a smooth, silky texture that’s nearly creamy with how buttery it is. It is nicely pigmented and applies evenly with no fall out.  The only downside is that these singles are a little pricey.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Such a smooth, silky textured eyeshadow, if yellow isn’t your cup of tea, they have several other shades that might be worth checking out at the counter.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Maybelline Silver Starlet Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow
Maybelline Silver Starlet Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow

Quick Review: Maybelline Silver Starlet Baked Eyeshadow

Maybelline Silver Starlet Baked Eyeshadow Duo ($7.29 for 0.09 oz.) is a baked eyeshadow (similar to MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows), and one side is solid while the other is marbled. When swatched, the product works amazing whether wet or dry–the solid side is a steely blue with frosty, silver sheen; the marbled side a neutral champagne pink with a frosted sheen.  The blue shade is actually similar to the blue from MAC’s Sea & Sky Duo.

It has a smooth texture, high frost finish, and both shades were incredibly pigmented.  In the past, I’ve found that baked eyeshadows often must be used wet in order to achieve good color pay off, but these worked well dry, too.  I did have the ever slightly noticeable fading after eight hours of wear with Maybelline’s Baked Eyeshadow Duos, but it was very slight.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Maybelline has several other variations on their duos, and based on this one, these might be a great alternative to higher-end baked eyeshadows like MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows–perhaps not necessarily exact dupes in terms of colors but the product type is quite similar.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010


Guerlain Spring 2011: Rue de Rivoli

Guerlain Rue de Rivoli Eyeshadow Palette ($84.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a palette that so perfectly embodies the feeling of spring from the textures to the colors themselves. The palette includes six eyeshadows (one which can double as an eyeliner): a soft, cool-toned, taupe brown with a matte finish; bright, frosted gold-tinged white; fuchsia pink with a pearly finish; soft, semi-sheer gray lilac; iridescent white pink and gold; and dark, grayish taupe with plum.

The gray lilac was the only shade that went on a bit sheer for me–it’s a little barely there and could use a boost in pigmentation (just because I couldn’t layer it on any more than what’s shown), but the other four shades had excellent pigmentation. The last shade, which is the grayish taupe with plum, is a difficult color to describe, because it is multi-faceted. It’s a charcoal gray, but then wait, there is some tuape, but is it taupe or is it mauve or maybe plum? This is the shade that can also be used as an eyeliner, too. These were silky smooth, applied beautifully and evenly, and there is a nice mix of matte, satin, and frost finishes.

I’m a fan of Guerlain overall, but when they released six of these palettes during fall, I was skeptical, and after trying two variations (Rue de Francs Bourgeois and 2 Place Vendome), I wasn’t sold. Price aside, the texture didn’t seem as fine or as soft as the brand’s other eyeshadows (singles, duos, and quads). Don’t get me wrong–they are nice eyeshadows, but I thought their other variations were better. I’m extremely pleased with this one; it really redeemed these palettes in my eyes!

The price tag is hefty, though the product is surely stunning from packaging to the composition of the colors–it’s all impeccably laid out. They even include a bristle-based dual-ended brush inside of it, which is an upgrade from the sponge-tipped applicators that dominate eyeshadow palettes (from low- to high-end). The filigree patterning on the cover of the palette is elegant and well-done, while the full-sized mirror is convenient but also covers the eyeshadows and keeps them protected. It’s a very sturdy palette, though the downside is the metal casing will show some fingerprints.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think Guerlain fans will enjoy this, especially if they liked fall’s palettes (I think this is even better than the two I tried, so!). The palette leans on the cooler side, but these kind of shades work well on warmer skin, too.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

MAC Pigments
MAC Pigments: Follow Your Fancy, Madly Personal, New Fixation, Violet

MAC Stylishly Yours: Pigments

There are four shades of MAC Pigments ($19.50 for 0.15 oz.), three are new and limited edition: Follow Your Fancy (bright coral with small pearl particle), Madly Personal (bright pink), and New Fixation (bright fuchsia red with soft pearl); along with one repromote: Violet (vivid bright violet purple), which is permanent.  I’m still working on figuring out what (if any) safety information accompanies these, as none of my pigments had safety inserts inside their boxes.

I must have been under a rock for the past year, but MAC now prints safety information on the back of the pigment box itself. There were no safety warnings for Follow Your Fancy or New Fixation.  Madly Personal had a warning that it is not for use in the lip area.  Go figure – the pink isn’t safe on lips!?!

  • Follow Your Fancy is a rusted orange with subtle redness and a frosted sheen.  Nicely pigmented, and it’s actually really fun to see, because I can’t remember such a rusty color in pigment form coming out.  This is new and limited edition.
  • Madly Personal is a medium-dark fuchsia pink with a pearly sheen.  It is less cool-toned than Brash & Bold, but the two are close.  It’s a darker, less frosty version of Fuchsia, too.  This is new and limited edition.
  • New Fixation is a medium-dark pinky-red with pearly sheen.  I don’t own it, but it may be similar to Basic Red, except the finish is different and this seems like a less true red.  This is new and limited edition.
  • Violet is a shimmering violet purple with a frosted sheen.  This is permanent.

All four of the pigments were really smooth and pigmented.  I also loved that MAC used more of a pearly sheen as a finish than a full-on frost finish – it adds more variety to the pigment range (even though these are limited, except Violet).

MAC Stylishly Yours Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North America, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s pigments; you get plenty of them, need very little, and they are pigmented and easy enough to work with.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →