Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — Notoriety Eyeshadow Quad

Richard Phillips contributed three eyeshadow quads to the MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. Let’s take a look at the earthy quad called Notoriety…

Notoriety Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Skintone 1 is a glittery confection of pale, whitish pink with a frosty finish. It has a lustre texture, which makes it a bit gritty and it does have a bit of fall out.
  • Rich & Earthy is a muted orange-base with golden shimmer laced through it. MAC describes it as a “coral bronze,” but I don’t really see that much brown in it. It’s more of a light, copper orange with gold shimmer, at best. This one has a veluxe pearl finish, which means it’s smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend.
  • Skintone 2 is a slightly muted gold with a bronzy finish. It has a frost finish, so it is incredibly easy to blend while still being pigmented and smooth to the touch. I felt like this was a really wearable gold, because it wasn’t so yellow or bright.
  • Notoriety is a deep cool-toned taupe brown base with gold flecks throughout. Being a velvet finish, this shadow is a bit chalky if you don’t layer it. I was expecting the brown to be a bit warmer–more chocolate–than it turned out to be. It’s surprisingly cool.

In the Gallery may be the “butt” quad of the collection (aka the loser of the bunch), I’m happy to be able to say that Notoriety is much better. The colors are more pigmented, and they’re not chalky like In the Gallery . I felt the weakest was Notoriety, actually, because it was a bit chalky compared to the other three shades in this quad. However, it layers really well so you can create a smooth texture that way. In particular, I really liked both Rich & Earthy and Skintone 2 — very pretty, wearable shades.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: Want a bit of a neutral look with a little shimmery kick? I think Notoriety is neutral without being too soft or subtle. It gives you great earthy tones that will be perfect for fall.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com

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Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad

As envisioned by Richard Phillips, three eyeshadow quads were developed for the upcoming MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. This post will focus on In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad!

Private Viewing Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Lightfall is an extremely sheer, satiny pale pink with lavender. If you have anything beyond a pale skin tone, this color is going to take work to show up. I couldn’t use a brush or a finger to swatch–I had to use a sponge-tip applicator and really dig into the color and layer it over five times to get the color to show up as it does in the swatch below. I was not pleased to say the least! Over a base, I imagine a little less work would be necessary, but that’s true for every color.
  • Look at the Eyes is a shimmery silvery-puprle with light silver-pink shimmer. It has a frost finish, but it doesn’t appear overly frosty. This reminded me a bit of Beautiful Iris eyeshadow.
  • In the Gallery is a matte eggplant-purple–reminded me a bit of Fig. 1 eyeshadow, though it’s not ultra pigmented and can be a bit chalky when applying.
  • Private Viewing is a plummy, red-brown. It is also matte, like In the Gallery, but it doesn’t feel as chalky. It could be smoother–more like Matte2s, IMO. This felt like a more purple Sketch eyeshadow to me.

This is a true purple quad–every color is tinted with it. I like the way the colors match each other, and I think you can get several different color combinations out of this quad. I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s quad packaging, because you get the ease and slimness of palettes, but you can see through the lid, too, which is always nice if you’re guilty of owning a few too many quads like myself! It’s not the most original set of shades, but they work well together. Because the two matte eyeshadows do have some drag, and Lightfall requires far too many layers to show up, I wouldn’t put this on my must-have list.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you’re all about purple eyeshadows, you should certainly check this quad out, since it is ALL about purples! Just make sure you have a good eyeshadow base if you become an owner of one of these, because the shadows don’t work so well without one.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com (August 20th), MAC stores

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Bright Enough for Fall: Dolce & Gabbana Dazzling Smooth Eye Colour Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Dazzling Smooth Eye Colour Quad ($59.00) is a stunning combination of a snowy white with a pink-purple icy tinge, a shimmering ocean blue, spring-y yellow-y chartreuse, and a medium warm-toned pink.

As promoted with Dolce & Gabbana’s Romantic Collection for the fall season, the Dazzling quad is just an immediate attention-grabber. I must admit I was instantly in love with it from the moment my eyes saw the promo image, but I had my reservations–just how bright would D&G actually go? Would it end up being sheer, muted shades?

I’m very happy to report that there’s no muted tones here! I will say that the promo image is a bit color-enhanced, because the shades aren’t quite so vibrant, but they’re still bright and bold and fun. They aren’t, by any means, tame or muted. And even better? They’re not sheer imitations of color either. All four shades apply easily without needing to build up intensity with multiple layers. The icy-pink/white has more of a glittery shimmer and look, while the other three are softer and smoother and have a softer sheen. I found all four colors to apply extremely true-to-color, which is a huge positive in my book!

I’m not entirely sure why this quad is being repromoted with the fall launch, just because it screams *summer* to me, but I can go with it, since I probably would have missed it otherwise! ;) I think this is a solid color combination of shades that work well together but can also be used easily with other shades you may have at home. For some, the price of D&G is just out of the world, but let me bring it back to earth–just a bit, at least–because the pricing of the palette is in line with other high-end brands like Chanel ($56), Dior ($56), and Guerlain ($58).

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: Been a bit color shy and would love something already put together for you that’s bright without being over the top? Try Dazzling! If you love color and want to indulge, I think you’ll find this to your liking!

Availability: Saks Fifth Avenue, Dolce & Gabbana

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Monday, August 17th, 2009

Bright Silver Eyes: Korres Eyeshadow

Korres Eyeshadow in #51 Silver ($16.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a bright lightly warmed-up silver shade with a frosty, shimmery finish. Korres has sixteen different eyeshadow shades available, and they’re priced in line with MAC (which is $14.50 for 0.05 oz.). Each eyeshadow comes in a square compact that flips open to reveal the shadow itself.

The eyeshadow was incredibly silky and smooth, and it applied easily. It held a lot of pigment and color, and there was no chalkiness or drag. I liked that it wasn’t a cool-toned silver, because it worked better on my warmer skin tone than some other bright silvers do. When used on the eyes, Korres’ Silver eyeshadow blends easily and seamlessly with other shadows. (I sometimes find mixing brands isn’t always easy with some shadows!) I’m hoping my local Sephora carries a few more shades so I can try some more out in person.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’re an eyeshadow fiend, be sure to peep Korres’ eyeshadows next time you’re at your local Sephora. The shade selection leaves something to be desired with only sixteen currently available (via Korres’ website), but hopefully they’ll continue to expand it in the future.

Availability: Sephora

Have you tried Korres’ eyeshadows? Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

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Saturday, August 15th, 2009


Pristine Eyeshadow, Cloudaine Elegant Lip Gloss

Kevyn Aucoin:  The Prime Color Creme Eyeshadow

The Prime Color Creme Eye Shadow ($27.00) is an eyeshadow in a twist-up pen form. The eyeshadow itself has a cream consistency. It is true to its claims about creaseless-ness, as I found it didn’t crease after eight hours of wear, but the product itself is not my favorite. It can be difficult to blend the color out and apply from the get-go, and it isn’t the best base I’ve worked with either, because blendability is an issue. The shade I tried was Pristine, which is a soft, golden brown-champagne shade. This is something that can be worn alone on lids if desired, and if that’s the aim, this product meets it well.

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

Recommendation: Compact and travel-friendly, the Prime Color Creme Eyeshadows might be your new travel companion. They’re difficult to use, and they aren’t the easiest to blend, so for those two reasons, I won’t be buying any more shades in the future. I also find the price a bit steep for what you’re getting, which is just one more reason these aren’t up to my standards.

Availability: Sephora

Friday, August 14th, 2009


Heritage Rouge pigment

Sneak Peek: MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — Pigments & Reflects Glitters

The talented photographer Marilyn Minter was inspired by MAC’s glitters and pigments. From her portion of the Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection comes two Reflects Glitters (Copper and Rust), two Glitters (Gold and Fuchsia), four pigments (Cocomotion, Brash & Bold, Heritage Rouge, and Push the Edge), as well as Gloss Texture in Clear.

Pigment ($19.50)

  • Heritage Rouge is a dark, cranberry-burgundy frost. It’s incredibly pigmented and goes on smooth. It’s one of the best pigment textures to date. This was a previously released shade, so be sure to check your stash to make sure you don’t already have one.
  • Push the Edge is a deep blue-based violet purple with soft shimmer/sheen. It reminded me a lot of Entremauve pigment but bluer, not quite as plum. The textures are even similar, as this one is a bit chalky (though not terribly so).
  • Cocomotion is a rich shade of antique gold with a bit more brightness than your typical antique gold. It’s one of my favorite shades of pigments (again, check your stash before buying), because it’s extremely smooth, rich in pigmentation, and is a dream to work with.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Reflects Glitter ($19.50)

  • Reflects Copper is a shimmery, glittering confection of orange copper. It is not eye-safe, so while it’s gorgeous to look at, I know there’s not much for me to do with it. Some things you can do with glitter that’s not eye-safe: mix with nail polish, mix with body lotion, mix with hair spray, and mix with lipgloss.
  • Reflects Rust is a rusty shade of orange-red. It’s just as glimmering as Reflects Copper, and the glitter is incredibly fine, but again, not eye-safe, which is just a bummer.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 6/10
  • Packaging: 8/10
  • Overall: 8/10

Recommendation: I adore both Heritage Rouge and Cocomotion pigments. Push the Edge is nice, but not amazing like the other two. It is a rich shade of violet, so it may be worth some of the work to make it really pop in a look nonetheless. As much as I adore the way Reflects glitters look and feel, I find myself rarely using them. Both are beautiful shades, though they are also both permanent at PRO stores, so you don’t have to hurry if you’re on a budget.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com (August 20th), MAC stores

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