Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Paint Pots:
Coral Crepe, Groundwork

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Chromagraphic Pencils & Paint Pots Review, Photos, Swatches

I am both a little surprised–but very delighted–to say that the Chromagraphic Pencils work wonderfully on the waterline. They look lovely–very fresh and awake–without being too light. I used NC/NW15 on my waterline as soon as I had finished photographing them (nobody likes to see used stuff photograph, yeah?), and here I am three hours later with it still hanging on.  I’d definitely say to grab one when you’re able to if you’ve always wanted an easy way to open up and brighten your eyes.

Chromagraphic Pencil ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • NC15/NW20 is a light nude with a creamy feel and look.
  • NW25/NC30 is a yellower, deeper nude with the same creaminess as the other shade.

Paint Pot ($16.50 U.S. / $22.00 CDN)

  • Coral Crepe is a reddened, darkened coral-orange with a slight golden sheen. It can be sheered out a bit, but it really goes on quite coral. I tried as a base, and it can definitely be worn on the eyes. I also tried it on the lips, and I’d vote nay on that in the future–very drying and chalky looking. Havne’t tried it on the cheeks, but you might be able to do that.
  • Groundwork is a softened brown with a yellow undertone. This is a permanent shade.

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

It’s funny, despite five eyeshadows being launched in this collection, none of them really spoke to me. I also got more of a fall collection vibe off of them, even though we’re heading right into summer. To be honest, I don’t think any of these are really must-haves.

Gazette Gray had a lot of potential, but it’s just so sheer–would have been great if it had been a veluxe pearl finish! Cut to Fit is something that’s close enough to other shades I’ve seen before. Tissue Weight is pretty on its own, but you may already own something similar.

Eyeshadow ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Cut to Fit is a reddish copper-bronze with a frost finish. It reminds me of French Cuff from early last year, but it’s not as frosty and perhaps a little more darkness to this one. It also seems close to Twinks from the permanent line.
  • Bamboo is a matte fleshy nude with a subtle orange undertone. It’s a permanent shade, but it’s nice to help diffuse color. On my NC25 skin tone, I find Bamboo is a bit orange/dark as a highlighter.
  • Tissue Weight is a pink-toned fleshy beige with a frost finish. This is a pretty color, and it layers well over Coral Crepe paint pot. I think pinker skin tones may even like this as a highlighter, albeit it is a bit on the frostier side.
  • Gazette Grey is a brownish-gray with gold and green-gold flecks of sparkle. It applies quite sheerly, so despite looking quite beautiful in the pan, it doesn’t translate on its own. You could try layering this over a darker base (like one of the Greasepaint Sticks from earlier in April) to bring out the flecks of shimmer in this.
  • Memorabilia is a matte, red-toned purple with an almost gray cast to it. It’s an interesting shade, though I believe this is its second appearance. It’s not totally opaque, but it’s not sheer either, and it’s a very blendable matte.

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Givenchy Summer 2010

Givenchy Will Take You to the Tropics & Back

Givenchy’s Summer Collection is an island themed number featuring quite the variety in products, but in this post, I’m going to concentrate on Island Lagoon (No. 17) Le Prisme Mono ($29).  It’s a multi-colored “quad” that features lighter aqua-blue, medium sky blue, grayish-black, and deep purple-blue.   The powder portion is small enough where using the individual colors is near impossible, but the top two squares are primarily aqua-blue with sky blue, while the bottom two squares are primarily aqua-blue and deep purple-blue, so I kind of looked at it as two shades of eyeshadow in total.

The compact has a pretty blue coloring on the outside, and the compact itself is much slimmer and thinner than previous limited-edition eyeshadow quartets released by Givenchy in the past.  It comes with a tiny sponge-tipped applicator that I wouldn’t bother using myself.

The eyeshadow looks incredibly pretty and artsy in the palette, but I’m not in love with the product itself.  It’s just not as bright and vibrant as it could be.  The first two squares yielded a frosted aqua-blue that’s semi-opaque–it’s noticeably on the sheerer side.  The bottom two squares worked together to create a semi-sheer, muted navy blue with silver sheen.  Over an eyeshadow base, they’ll be less visibly sheer, but the colors won’t pop.  If you want to get them to really pop, try them over a more metallic base–go for a champagne shimmer shade to keep them the same, slightly muted shade or use a colored base (like gold or blue), you can brighten them up a bit.  The eyeshadow itself is incredibly silky and buttery smooth–easy to apply and blend.

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:  I like it, but it’s not love–for me, it looks prettier than it actually is.  I think if they made it as vibrant as it looks, I’d like it more!   The eyeshadow has an excellent texture and feel but could use a little more pigmentation.

Availability:  May 2010

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Monday, April 19th, 2010

Chanel Noir et Or Palette

Out of Chanel’s ultra exclusive Noir et Or Collection, Ligne et Ombre de Chanel in Jet-Gold ($45.00) emerges. While not exactly groundbreaking in terms of color, it’s extremely fitting to the collection. It’s a matte black cake eyeliner paired with a golden peach flecked eyeshadow.

The black side is not meant to be used dry–it needs to be used wet so it can “activate.” I just gave the brush the tiniest bit of wetness, and I was already able to get a nice, intense black out of it. The gold, while it can be worn dry, also looks and wears better wet–and I like that with Chanel shadows, I can use them wet without leaving a wet spot behind. (Similarly, the gold would adhere and look more uniform used over a base rather than dry, since it is so shimmery.)

When used as an eyeliner, the black lasts for hours on me. I didn’t have any fading, smudging, or migration after eight hours of wear on my lower lash line (not my waterline, to be clear). If you really wanted, you could definitely use it with a brush to darken up the crease or any shadow you’re wearing, but it doesn’t excel at that (and again, it’s supposed to be used as an eyeliner).

It’s a fun product, but there’s nothing so standout about it that it’s necessarily worth hunting down and forking over $45 for. Chanel and luxury makeup collectors will likely enjoy it, but I think for others, it’s not going to knock your socks off–I’d say grab an eyeshadow duo, lipstick, or gloss instead (or even an eyeshadow quad, since this is just a little less than one!). I think if they made the gold a metallic cream finish, it could have gotten really interesting. It may not have been the most wearable, but it would have certainly played into the collection’s theme just a bit more.

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

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

Recommendation: The cake eyeliner is excellent, but the gold eyeshadow is almost like a throw-in–pretty but not amazing. Chanel collectors will likely covet the piece, as exclusive as it is, but non-collectors won’t miss out if they skip this.

Availability: Chanel Boutiques

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Saturday, April 17th, 2010

NYX Jumbo Pencils
Hot Pink (621), Yellow (622), Horse Raddish (607), Oyster (610), Yogurt (611)

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil ($4.00) are oversized (hence the jumbo!) pencils that can be used as eyeliners or shadows, according to NYX. It’s available in twenty-four shades, ranging from black to blue to yellow.

I like them best as an eyeshadow base–I find that it’s easier to blend on top of it than it is to blend it with other Jumbo Eye Pencils. They work great used alone as a base or layered on top of your favorite eyeshadow base (like Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance). I used them as a base alone and didn’t experience any creasing or fading.

  • Hot Pink (621) is a slightly blue-based medium pink with no shimmer or frost.
  • Yellow (622) is a paled sunny yellow with no shimmer or frost.
  • Horse Raddish (607) is a frosted leafy green with silver sheen.
  • Oyster (610) is an iridescent purple with red undertones and icy sheen. It was the sheerest of the five I tried–you can see that it doesn’t quite go opaque.
  • Yogurt (611) is a frosted copper brown with a gilded champagne sheen.

I like that they have so many shades available, and they’re an incredibly affordable option for those looking for a product to help their eyeshadows stay on longer and appear more vibrant. I’ve always found colored bases can make colors really pop, and these are a great way to add some colored bases into your stash without breaking the bank.

The only downside is that it’s a pain in the butt to sharpen these with anything but NYX’s Sharpener. Luckily, NYX’s Sharpener is only $4, so it won’t set you back an arm and a leg. I also find these a little difficult to line with unless they’re freshly sharpened, just because they are oversized.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and looking for a new eyeshadow base, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils may fit the bill!

Availability: NYX Cosmetics

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Friday, April 16th, 2010

Tarina Tarantino Hypershadow

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hypershadow ($19.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a range of twenty-four eyeshadows from neutral to bold and everything in-between. I was particularly impressed with the size of the range, just because it seemed quite large for a first launch.

Available shades: Amulet (deep moss green with green micro glitter), Baby Sparkle (pale pink with silver glitter), Bangle (bronzed gold shimmer), Beaded (dark maroon shimmer), Bow (matte hot pink), Brooch (dark chocolate with gold and green micro glitter), Butterfly Black (matte black), Chain (smoky gray shimmer), Cord (warm cocoa with gold micro glitter), Crimp (matte ivory), Cuff (light golden shimmer), Facet (peachy beige with iridescent glitter), Headband (pink beige shimmer), Hoop (bright yellow gold shimmer), Memento (dark lapis blue with blue micro glitter), Organza (mother of pearl shimmer), Pave (dark purple with iridescent glitter), Peacock Pearl (bright turquoise shimmer), Ribbon (intense lavender with magenta micro glitter), Rivet (rich plum shimmer), Stick Pin (golden beige shimmer), Sweetzer (bright jade with silver glitter), Trim (light brown with gold micro glitter), and Trinket (pale gray with iridescent glitter).

I’ve been hanging onto this review for about two months. I did all my pre-review work for Ribbon all the way in early February, but I was unimpressed with the shade, and I wasn’t sure if perhaps it was just a dud in the line-up, since there were so many. I tried Stickpin at the end of March, and it gave me a little hope, but since the Sephora V.I.B. sale as right around the corner, I figured I’d try two more shades. I think it’s kind of obvious that I really wanted to like these, ha!

  • Ribbon is a matte, darkened lavender/lilac. It’s supposed to have magenta micro glitter, but I didn’t see it translate when swatched. I could see it in the pan, but it never transferred when I used it. It’s a dusty, chalky matte shade that doesn’t blend easily. It kind of just sits there.
  • Stick Pin is a yellowed golden peach with a frosty shimmer sheen. This one felt a little dusty, but it was only slightly. Overall, it had a smooth feel and look while still being pigmented. Way better than Ribbon!
  • Peacock Pearl is a bright blue. I’m not sure why it seems like companies are calling things turquoise/teal when they’re really not so much. This has the same texture and finish as Stick Pin, so it was smooth, soft, and had a lightly frosted sheen. It wasn’t as pigmented as I’d like or expect, though. It took a little layering to get truly bright color.
  • Sweetzer is a medium grassy green with silver glitter. It’s more like a matte green base topped with an overlay of silver micro glitter. The glitter isn’t overdone, but it doesn’t stick too well in the shadow, so there is some fall out.

After trying four different shades, I won’t be buying any more myself. Two of the shades I tried (Ribbon and Sweetzer) have a more matte finish with glitter on top, while the other two shades I tried (Stick Pin and Peacock Pearl) had a more frosty/shimmery finish. The more shimmery the finish, the better the eyeshadow seemed to be, overall–it was smoother, not chalky or powdery, and it had decent pigmentation.

However, these eyeshadows are advertised to utilize “the maximum pigment load, 20-50% more pigment with less binder.” They’re less pigmented than other mainstream brands known for their brights (e.g. MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Urban Decay), and their texture doesn’t make them any more desirable.

They’re difficult to blend–even the shimmers, not as difficult as the more matte shades, but noticeably off–and I found that they seemed to fade. I had to pack on the color to get it vibrant, but I felt like it just kept disappearing on me after several minutes passed.  (You can see the look I did with Peacock Pearl & Sweetzer here.)  I had no troubles with them wearing for hours without creasing (over a base, of course!), but the fading was really a huge disappointment. Again, the shimmery finishes held up better and faded less than the more matte shades.

It’s such a shame, because they are beautifully packaged and you do get a lot for your money (these are a little cheaper than Make Up For Ever by the ounce). I also love how each eyeshadow comes in a pink satchet with an “intro to my line” card by Tarina. They’re just nice details to see done. You’re better off grabbing some Make Up For Ever Eyeshadows, since they’re the same price (you get 0.08 oz. instead, though) and the quality is much, much better.

I feel like they’re almost a poor quality eyeshadow you find at the drugstore, rather than a high-end eyeshadow that costs $19 a pop.  It’s not the worst eyeshadow I’ve tried, but it’s nowhere near a high-quality eyeshadow, particularly for high-end.  What saves the overall rating from falling into D/F range is that they are a good value (in terms of quantity/price) and the packaging is adorable–but the product itself is an D-.

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

  • Product: 18/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: I would swatch in-store before buying, if it’s possible. Otherwise, stick to the shades with “shimmer” as the finish, rather than matte or anything with “micro glitter,” for your best bet. If you want a Tarina Tarantino piece of makeup in your stash, I’d recommend the Eye Dream Hyperliners instead.

Availability: Sephora

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