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!

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  • 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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Monday, May 31st, 2010

NYX Blonde Pearl Eyeshadow

NYX Ultimate Pearl Eyeshadow in Blonde Pearl

NYX Blonde Pearl Ultimate Pearl Eyeshadow ($7.00) is a brightened yellow gold with a soft frost finish. It’s nicely pigmented, and it has a very smooth, silky finish. Blonde Pearl is part of a new eyeeshadow formula packed with more shimmer for “a soft, shimmery, iridescent look.” The last NYX eyeshadows I tried were among their Trios, and the Pearl formula definitely has a smoother, more finely milled feel to it. It doesn’t have any powdery-ness. I did find that when used with a brush, it will diffuse a little, but it stays true-to-color for the most part.

It’s a good eyeshadow, and for the price–as compared to high end alternatives–it’s a bargain. Compared to other NYX eyeshadows, I’m not sure they’re significantly better than their singles ($5.50). The $7 price tag for a single eyeshadow seems a little steep for a brand known for their affordability. Blonde Pearl reminds me a lot of MAC’s Goldmine eyeshadow, though, so it’s a nice, slightly more affordable alternative.

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

Recommendation: For a more affordable alternative to high-end eyeshadow, NYX’s Pearl formula is still worth checking out, but it may not be significantly better than other NYX shadows.

Availability: NYX

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Sunday, May 30th, 2010

Hourglass Lagoon Eyeshadow Duo

Take a Dive Into Summer with Hourglass’ Lagoon

Hourglass Lagoon Eyeshadow Duo ($38.00) includes shades in a muted, gray-green and a deepened ocean-blue with a teal sheen.  I was eager to try out another eyeshadow duo after discovering the amazing-ness of Prism.  Both of these shades were soft, smooth–a very buttery, silky texture–and the colors were vibrant and true-to-color.  These also blend extremely well without fading or diffusing nor leaving a trail of fall out in their wake.

This particular duo doesn’t have the most unique shades, sure, but that fact doesn’t take away from the quality of these shades.  I feel like both of these shades are on the verge of being duochrome but haven’t committed fully to it; the seafoam green shade almost has a flash of blue-green, while the ocean blue shade has a metallic flash of teal.

I like the metallic, gunmetal packaging and the cool swivel top that reveals a mirror and an actual brush inside (not that you’d jump to use it if you had full-size brushes on hand).  It’s very sleek and modern, though again, I think it contributes to some of the pricing of this product.

The only downside to Hourglass’ eyeshadows is their price tag, which is pretty hefty.  They are some of the more expensive eyeshadows on the market–up there with brands like Chanel and Dior–so they’re not in everyone’s budget.  If you’re a fan of the silky textures of higher-end eyeshadows but dream of brighter, highly pigmented colors, Hourglass is a good bet from my experience.

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

Recommendation: If you love blendable, highly pigmented eyeshadows with almost creamy, buttery texture and a silken feel, Hourglass has yet to disappoint me with their eyeshadow duos.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream: Two More!

I’ve already fully reviewed Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream ($22.00) here (#5, 7, 18, 21) and here (#6, 9, 11, 13, 20). I’ve got two more shades to show you!

  • #1 Anthracite is a darkened steel green with a light silver shimmer.
  • #22 Emerald Green is a brightened green with a slightly metallic-frost sheen and yellow undertones.

I can see #1 Anthracite working really well for an intense, ultra-dark smoky eye. I definitely think that #22 Emerald Green is definitely the more versatile and usable shade of these two in particular, though. It’s great layered underneath golds, greens, blues, and teals.

Anyone else indulge in the new Aqua Creams?

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams: Part II

Ahh! The five Aqua Creams ($22.00) I ordered from Sephora arrived over the weekend, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been enjoying them! I liked the first four that I tried, because the pigmentation is incredible, and the finishes are beautiful.

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #9 Coral is a medium coral-orange with subtle shimmer (very faint).
  • #6 Fresh Pink is a beautiful blue-based pink with golden shimmer. SO pretty. It’s amazing on cheeks and lips! Just make sure to prep lips, because it seemed a little drier than some of the other Aqua Creams, but it holds on for hours.
  • #13 Warm Beige is a lightened champagne taupe with a metallic sheen. This is kind of a neutral base color, but it’s a bit high on the frost/metallic finish and darker than I’d like — not quite as universal as I was hoping.
  • #11 Gold is a metallic gilded gold. Very, very pretty. Not entirely sure how usable it is, but it is stunning.
  • #20 Intense Blue is a medium ocean blue with silver shimmer. It’s like MAC Freshwater eyeshadow, in a cream form.

The reason I like these so much is they’re creamy but not too creamy–they won’t slip around on your eye lids, and they really lock down. These just don’t budge at all, even without setting with eyeshadow. I also like that you can use them on eyes/cheeks or lips/cheeks (depending on the shade), because they’re more multi-tasking. I like them the most on eyes, then cheeks, and finally lips. I wouldn’t wear these alone on lips (they dry down a bit, so they’ll last for over four hours on me, possibly stain, but my lips need more moisture, so I top with a gloss). Like they are on the eyes – they are excellent bases.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley. These are particularly lovely blushes for those with oily skin, because these dry down quite well.

Availability: Sephora

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