Friday, May 14th, 2010

Urban Decay Loose Pigments

Urban Decay Loose Pigments Review, Photos, Swatches

A few weeks ago, I purchased all of the Loose Pigments available on HauteLook, which was twelve, and it seems to be all that are (at least, currently) in existence. They were $5, so they were such a steal, I couldn’t resist…

Loose Pigments are just that – loose eyeshadow or loose color. Urban Decay’s tend to be finely milled, so they’re soft, easy to blend, and apply smoothly. They all look and work better when used wet or with a slightly adhesive base like MAC’s Mixing Medium.

  • Asphyxia is a pop of light fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia sheen.
  • Baked is a metallic copper bronze with a high sheen.
  • Goddess is a smoldering black base with flashy teal flecks strewn through it. This one had a little more tendency to fall out, even when used wet, compared to the others.
  • Graffiti is a medium grassy green. It didn’t seem to go on quite as bold or pigmented as I would have liked.
  • Gunmetal is a silvered dark gray.
  • Protest is a dark forest green base with flecks of silver shimmer. It has the same texture as Goddess.
  • Rockstar is a darkened purple with an electric violet edge and shimmer.
  • Shag is a gilded bronze with a metallic flash. Works pretty well dry, even though I’d still use these wet at all times!
  • Shattered is a brightened aqua-blue with a frost finish. This one worked really well wet — very pigmented and intense.
  • Smog is a darkened bronze with a copper edge.
  • X is a peachy-melon with a gilded gold metallic finish.
  • Yeyo is a shimmery white with a very frosty finish. I found the texture of this one to be the weirdest–a little chunky–so it didn’t apply as smoothly as I would have liked.

One of the reasons I’m not a huge advocate for these loose shades is that Urban Decay as all these shades available in eyeshadow-form, which are often easier to work with and more practical (easier to travel with). The other reason is they’re pretty expensive as compared to MAC Pigments — you only get 0.04 oz. for $20 (MAC is 0.15 oz. for $19.50). The packaging is just okay — a lot of the pigment sticks to the applicator and the edges of the applicator, so it can be pretty messy. I think I prefer the open-jar format of most loose color in comparison.

If you can nab these on sale, I think they’re totally worth it. (Hello, $5 each? More than worth it!) I don’t think I’d fork over $20 for these–might as well just buy the eyeshadow version (0.05 oz. for $17.50!). I believe Protest and Rockstar may be the only ones that don’t have eyeshadow counterparts.  While the product is good, the value of these is poor and the packaging bulky (considering how little you get), plus wasteful–I found myself cleaning up a ton of pigment that fell off the brush just getting it in and out of the jar.

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

Recommendation: These are nice shades of loose pigments, if you don’t mind paying the price.

Availability: Urban Decay

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection

MAC To the Beach Collection — Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

To the Beach will see the launch of five eyeshadows–three limited and new and two permanent–ranging from a much yellowed green to a peach to a teal.

  • Sweet & Punchy is a very, very yellowed chartreuse green.  It’s pretty much a dead ringer for Rated R, which came out a year ago.  It’s not really like Lucky Green (so much more yellow!).
  • Shimmermoss is a darkened aqua-teal with a frosty sheen. It’s part of MAC’s permanent line, and it’s definitely one of my favorite eyeshadows, too. It’s a shade I think everyone who loves colors and MAC should own. If you depot your products or don’t care about the special packaging, you can snag it in pan form and save a few bucks.
  • Humid is a darkened green with a yellow undertone and slight golden sheen. Like Shimmermoss, it’s a permanent shade, but it’s a classic shade, too. It’s soft, smooth, and has great color pay off. Humid is a must for green fiend like myself!
  • Firecracker is an oranged-coral-red.  It’s not a red, and it’s not a coral, but it’s a mix of all of that.  It has a soft frost sheen and packs a good amount of color.  Looks fab paired with Sweet & Punchy!  I don’t think it’s really similar to Hot Hot Hot.
  • Sand & Sun is a matte peach-nude.  I wasn’t impressed by this, because I really had to layer on about ten layers to get it to show up on my skin tone.  I tried it over a shimmery base later on, and it barely showed up.  To me, this is barely there not done very well–I don’t want to have to jab my brush in there ten times just to have something to show for all that effort.

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow

Make Up For Ever #35 & #127 Eyeshadows ($19.00) make for really excellent basic shades.  The brand really shines with their matte and semi-matte shades, like these two below.  I admit, when I first bought their eyeshadows, I went straight for the brights (this is me, duh!), so I’m glad I had the opportunity to check out some of the more neutral shades!  They have the same high-quality pigmentation and feel as the brights I’ve reviewed in the past.

  • #35 is is a soft, powdery beige.  It’s so soft, smooth, and buttery in its texture with great color payoff.   It’s so light that it’s difficult to see, which makes it a great neutral shade for adding light to lids or as a highlighter for the brow bone.
  • #127 is a cool-toned medium brown with a subtle sheen.  I love the way it has this barely-there sheen–it gives you an opportunity to play around with textures while still being subtle.

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: 4/5

Recommendation:

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Urban Decay Graffiti Eyeshadow

Going Green with Urban Decay, Part 2

Urban Decay Graffiti Deluxe Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a vibrant shade of grass green. I originally tried it out back in March, in this St. Patrick’s Day Look. It’s a very edgy green–not quite grass, not dark–bright enough to get noticed, but it’s not neon either. The texture of Urban Decay’s Deluxe Eyeshadows is amazing–smooth, buttery, intensely pigmented. It’s rich, luxe, and so, so smooth.

Deluxe Eyeshadows are also available in these shades: Fishnet (iridescent purple), Freakshow (deep purple with red sheen), Frigid (deep purple with blue sheen), Honey (glistening gold), Peace (shimmering turquoise), Ransom (vibrant iridescent purple), Ruthless (pale sandy taupe shimmer), Scratch (shimmering silver pink), Shag (tan shimmer), Zero (smoking black), and Underground (taupe brown shimmer).

The packaging is cute and funky, though not the most functional. The price, however, is worth noting, because you get 0.09 oz. of product, which makes this one of the most affordable high-end eyeshadows to purchase!

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: If you love your vibrant greens and enjoy shimmer, Graffiti is a worthwhile shade!

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Hourglass Prism

Why didn’t you tell me how amazing Hourglass’ Eyeshadows were?  I am now!

Hourglass Prism Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a stunning, smoky duo of steel blue with a silver sheen and an intense, deep dark black with flecks of teal and silver running through it. The pigmentation of the two shades is absolutely insane–so vibrant, so smooth. The texture is excellent; smooth, soft, buttery, and easy to blend.

The packaging is kind of a gunmetal silver-brown, very modern and sleek. It’s actually a swiveling compact, which is interesting. I like that the packaging is different and elegant, but I get the feeling that it obviously contributes a bit to the steeper cost of these.

Just to put things in perspective, MAC eyeshadows are $290/oz. and NARS eyeshadow duos at $228/oz. — with Hourglass at$190/oz.

The pricing may be off-putting for some, but if it’s within your budget, I’d urge you to at least give ‘em a swatch at your nearest Sephora sometime. They just might impress you as they did me!

I’m quite pleased with the quality and feel of the duo–I really didn’t expect it–and I’d say these are some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, from the texture to the pigmentation to the colors themselves. I definitely have to look into some of the other duos and see how those stack up against Prism (totally crossing fingers that they are just as amazing!).

Other duos include: Dune (champagne shimmer/deep olive shimmer), Exhibition (mauve shimmer/eggplant shimmer), Gypsy (peach ivory shimmer/bronze shimmer), Lagoon (seafoam blue shimmer/teal shimmer), and Suede (ivory shimmer/light beige shimmer).

Have you tried Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos?

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

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

Recommendation: I can’t believe nobody told me how amazing the texture of Hourglass’ eyeshadows are! Pricey but excellent in every way, Prism is certainly worth a look! (Seriously, did you see that I rate it 30/30 in terms of *quality*?!)

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Cle de Peau #111 Eyeshadow

Cle de Peau Satin Eye Color ($45.00 for 0.07 oz.) in 111 (soft chocolate brown) and 114 (soft pink) are part of Cle de Peau’s Captivante Collection. It also features three other new shades — 112 (light blue), 113 (dark brown), and 115 (pale purple).

I originally reviewed Cle de Peau’s Satin Eye Color a few weeks ago.  These new-for-spring shades are exactly the same in terms of feel, quality, and texture.  They’re buttery, silky smooth, and so, so soft.  They’re not chalky or powdery, but they almost feel like a buttery cream when you apply them.  One thing I like about these is you can wear them with or without a base, because the formula is designed to adhere to the lid without a base.

  • 111 is a softened medium chocolate brown that comes off as mostly neutral in its undertones, so it’s a great, universal brown.
  • 114 is a pretty petal pink with a subtle sheen and shimmer.  Like 111, it isn’t too warm or cool–a pink that can be worn by many.

I wore both shades in this look I posted last week.  I liked how they looked soft and touchable, but they still delivered plenty of color.  If you love the brightness of Make Up For Ever and MAC eyeshadows, Cle de Peau is not a stand-in by any means.  If you love pigmented, but still soft and wearable, colors, like Chanel and Dior, Cle de Peau may be more your style.

These eyeshadows are undeniably expensive, and Cle de Peau is not a brand for everyone.  Keep in mind that it is a luxury brand, and part of luxury is that not everyone can afford it, so the price completely reflects that.  They are excellent eyeshadows, but they’re certainly more of a splurge item for many of us, including myself.

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:

Availability: Neiman Marcus

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