Thursday, September 8th, 2011

Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette
Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette

Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette

Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit 4-Colour Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) includes shades of silver, teal, navy blue, and black. Three of the shades have shimmery finishes, while one shade has a matte finish and can be used also as an eyeliner. It’s a limited edition palette from Guerlain’s holiday collection.

The first shade (on the left) is a silvered pewter with a hint of gray. It has a shimmery finish and a sheerness to it that makes it seem partially like a layering shade. The only possible dupe I could think of was MAC Vex, which can look similar… or very, very different, given its duochrome finish. In the middle towards the top, there’s a bluish-teal with a frosted finish.

It has good color payoff, but the shade is rather muted by nature (even in the pan, it is not an in-your-face kind of teal!). Urban Decay’s Aquarius seemed similar but is less blue.

Underneath the teal shade is a navy blue with a blackened-blue base and a hint of purple. The color payoff is nice with a really soft, smooth application. It is reminiscent of Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here and Make Up For Ever #81.

The final shade is a dark black with brown tone (as compared to a blue tone) in a matte finish. I honestly was expecting this shade to swatch challky and unevenly, particularly because the texture wasn’t very buttery–it was very soft and silky, but not dense and buttery. It’s rich in color and very easy to blend. It is similar to Make Up For Ever #4.

I like it, but I’m not head-over-heels in love with it. The color combination works, and it’s a lovely cool-toned, almost midnight kind of mix. It’s smoky eyes with a touch of color but not a punch. The textures here are soft and silky-smooth and wear well all on their own. The look I posted yesterday was created and worn without an eyeshadow primer or base, and I had no issues over the twelve hours I wore it.

The Glossover

palette

Les Ombres de Nuit

A-
I like it, but I'm not head-over-heels in love with it. The color combination works, and it's a lovely cool-toned, almost midnight kind of mix. It's smoky eyes with a touch of color but not a punch

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, September 4th, 2011


Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit

Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit

Urban Decay Midnight Emergency Kit ($39.00) is a limited edition set that features four eyeshadows, one lipgloss, and one travel-sized brush. It will be available at ULTA and select Macy’s in-store and online at ulta.com and urbandecay.com. The four eyeshadows included are: Midnight Cowboy (champagne with silver glitter), Midnight Rodeo (brown pearl with silver glitter), Midnight 15 (pearly oyster with silver glitter), and AC/DC (smoky grey/purple with shimmer).

It is all housed in a champagne-colored pleather case with a zipper enclosure wrapped around it. It’s fairly heavy (feels heavier than it looks) and definitely sturdy–it’s not easily crushed by any means–but the heft of it is not something I’d want to stash in my bag.  The overall size is nice, and I’m sure some will have no problem stashing it in their bag.

  • Midnight Cowboy is a pale champagne pink with a frosted finish and chunky silver sparkle. The underlying base color has good color payoff, but the sparkles cause major fall out. I wish I knew of a dupe for the color, but the only thing I could think of was Safe Bet Annette which is still a bit pinker.
  • Midnight Rodeo is a sparkly taupe brown. It does have glitter, but it’s subtle and doesn’t seem as large as Urban Decay’s other glitter-finished eyeshadows but may still have some fall out. The color payoff is good, and the texture is fairly smooth. I thought Urban Decay Toasted might be similar, but it’s not–much browner, less of a taupe. theBalm Insane Jane is grayer (more cool-toned), while Inglot #402 is nearly indistinguishable from Midnight Rodeo. This shade is a repromote from the 15th Anniversary Palette and BoS 4.
  • Midnight 15 is a soft champagne with a hint of gray and frosted finish. There is a subtle amount of glitter which has a touch of fall out. Initially, I thought it might be similar to Urban Decay Virgin, but it’s grayer–looks taupe in comparison. It’s a little darker compared to the beige in Chanel Prelude and less yellow compared to Urban Decay Ruthless (this is the closest).
  • AC/DC is a smoky purple with a very subtle red undertone; it’s more of a neutral purple. It was in the BoS 2. Am I the only one who expected to see another Midnight-themed shadow here? Don’t get me wrong–I’m so glad at least one shade isn’t fall out city. Urban Decay Gravity is a little purpler but similar. theBalm Kissy, Kissy is a touch darker. Bare Escentuals Encore has a stronger red undertone.
  • Midnight Cowboy Lip Junkie is a sheer champagne-tinted gloss with lots of champagne shimmer. It’s mint-scented and virtually colorless on the lips but imparts shine and shimmer. You can check out my full review of the formula in my original review.

Each eyeshadow is 0.04 oz., which is just shy of full-size (0.05 oz.), while the gloss is full-sized (0.34 fl. oz.)–plus the travel-sized Shadow brush ($26 for the full-sized version).  The value is at least $73.40 (the value of the eyeshadows and gloss) but likely closer to $85 or so because of the brush.

Urban Decay’s eyeshadows with “sparkle” are problem children.  Sometimes they’re sweet and you can get them behave, but most often, they’re unruly, frustrating, and wreak havoc upon your eye/face because of the glittery fall out.  Of the three sparkly shades here, Midnight Cowboy is the worst offender.  The other two are lesser offenders but still have some issues with fall out.

My advice for working with eyeshadows prone to fall out is to use a stiffer brush and pat on, rather than sweep.  You might also want to lightly tap the brush against your forearm after you’ve picked up the eyeshadow to loosen any excess product (and glitter).  It’s best to apply eye makeup first in this instance, so you can easily remove any residual fall out without removing foundation and the like.  A stickier base (mixing mediums, sealers, etc.) can also help the glitter to adhere rather than to fall away or generally disappear.  I just don’t think you should have to work that hard.  I’m also surprised that–given how much Urban Decay enjoys themselves glitter eyeshadow–they haven’t come out with their own adhesive base/sealer.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Midnight Emergency Kit

C+
There is a lot of fall out, and three of the five color products in this kit require some trial and error to find a method that works. Unless you're using an adhesive base, there is glitter fall out both during application as well as throughout the day. The packaging seems heavy for how little is inside it, so it's not as purse-friendly as it seems.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Saturday, September 3rd, 2011


Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00 for 10 x 0.03 oz.) is a limited edition, Sephora-exclusive eyeshadow palette for the holidays. It comes in a metal tin with a hinged lid with ten eyeshadows and a travel-sized eyeshadow brush. These are the shades included: Rockstar (deep eggplant with metallic base), Gunmetal (gunmetal grey with silver glitter), Skimp (pale nude with gold shimmer), Infamous (shifty mauve), Wreckage (shimmery dark taupe), Haight (shimmering mermaid blue), Money (silvery pale green), Mushroom (shimmering fawn), Spotlight (medium taupe with gold sparkle), and Limelight (bronze with gold glitter). New shades include Infamous, Limelight, Spotlight, and Wreckage. All other shades are repromotes.

The exterior of the palette is nice; it’s a good size, too–small enough to travel with but large enough to be easy to use with regular, full-sized brushes. There is no mirror in this palette, which is unusual for Urban Decay’s palettes. It’s not as slim as their six-pan palettes (like Dangerous, Feminine, etc.), but it is significantly smaller than the Book of Shadows volumes. It stays shut quite well, as the lid is kept on by hinges. The brushed metal finish of the tin hides fingerprints well. I don’t love the interior; it’s cardboard that shifts around a bit when you’ve plunk a brush into one of the eyeshadow wells. It just feels a little… cheap to me, and I generally don’t have issues with cardboard-based packaging so long as it feels sturdy.

  • Rockstar is a smoky eggplant purple with very subtle red undertones; it’s not a fully neutral purple, but it’s close. Giorgio Armani #3 is darker, less purple. theBalm All the Way Annie and Make Up For Ever #142 are similar but neither has the blackened base. theBalm Kissy, Kissy is closer but not quite as red-toned.
  • Gunmetal is a dark charcoal gray with silver glitter. This shade is part of the permanent range. If you feel like you’ve just seen this shade, it’s true–it’s also in the BoS 4. It is similar to Inglot #451 but a bit darker.  Because it does have glitter, it may have some fall out (I have found it less so than some of the really glittery shades).
  • Skimp is a beige-peach with a pearled sheen. It, too, was most recently in the BoS 4. It is similar to Bare Escentuals Serendipitous but lighter than MAC Brule. The quality seemed better here–it didn’t feel dry at all.
  • Infamous is a bright, plum-tinged fuchsia pink with a satiny sheen. This had a slightly drier texture than a lot of the other shades in the palette but the color payoff was still decent. It isn’t the same as Urban Decay Woodstock, which is much redder, brighter, and deeper. This is more like Woodstock and Fishnet got together and had baby. It is closer to Make Up For Ever #52 but muted and slightly purpler.
  • Wreckage is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle yellow undertones and a subtle golden sheen. The color payoff was decent but not as dense as most Urban Decay eyeshadows. It is very similar in color to Bare Escentuals A-Ha. It is reminiscent of Urban Decay Toasted but not as warm.
  • Haight is a teal-tinged, medium-dark blue with a frosted finish. This shade is part of the permanent range, but it is a little duller than my individual pot of it. It will take on a more of a teal appearance when near greens. I can’t think of a great dupe for Haight.
  • Money is a silvery green-gray with a cool-toned gold sheen. It’s a really cool, complex color. It does have silver sparkles in it, so there may be some fall out. I find Money has less sparkle than really glittery shades like Midnight Cowboy, though. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade either.
  • Mushroom is a dark taupe–a little silvery, brown, and gray. It is a little less brown compard to Giorgio Armani #4 and grayer compared to theBalm Come Hither Heather.
  • Spotlight is a pale champagne-bronze with gold glitter and a rather chunky texture. This was the worst shade in the palette–it was dry and chunky, not just from the glitter, but the powder itself didn’t adhere smoothly. It resulted in poorer color payoff and lots of fall out. Bare Escentuals Magnetism is a touch darker (and doesn’t have glitter).
  • Limelight is a lightened coppery bronze with a warm golden shimmer and glitter. It’s more orange than Urban Decay Blunt but not by much. It’s a lighter version of Urban Decay Half-Baked. Funny enough, some of the lightness of the shade is due to the drier texture and uneven color payoff (which is decent but not great). I had similar issues with this shade as I did with Limelight, just not to the same degree.

Long-time collectors and fans will find this palette with too many repromotes/similarly done shades. I think Urban Decay might want to cut back on creating more browns/bronzes, because they’re starting to run together. I don’t want more Half-Baked eyeshadows, but if you’re going to just make one-offs of it, I’d rather the original so I know I’m not getting anything new. They could consider doing more browns, even in the same tones and shades, but with different finishes–like satins or mattes.

I had major issues with Spotlight and Limelight and minor issues with Infamous. I would say that two of the ten eyeshadows were misses, but the other eight were varying degrees of good to great. Like other Urban Decay palettes, though, it’s a good deal–it has $102 worth of eyeshadows, plus a travel-sized version of the shadow brush ($26), so I’d approximate the value of the whole shabang for around $120.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Mariposa

B+
The total value of the palette makes it a good buy, and as always with a palette, a lot of whether it's something that strikes your fancy or not will depend on how large your stash is (and how many Urban Decay palettes you may already own).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, September 2nd, 2011

bareMinerals The Elements Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Elements Eyeshadow Quad

bareMinerals The Elements Eyeshadow Quad

Coming in October, bareMinerals The Elements Eyeshadow Quad ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.) will debut, and it features four shades: Air, Fire, Earth, and Water. bareMinerals’ pressed eyeshadow formula contains SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that gives the shadow a “creamy, silky smooth” texture with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing whether worn alone or with primer–you shouldn’t see any creasing or fading. I’ve tested various combinations of shades from the duos and quads, and I’ve happily achieved ten hours of solid wear without a primer underneath. For a review of the packaging, please read my original review.

Air is a grayish beige with a frosted finish. The color is very similar to Urban Decay Ruthless. Air has good color payoff and a really soft, smooth texture that’s dense and buttery.

Fire is a burnt orange with a satiny sheen. The color is much browner compared to MAC Rule, though it’s the closest shade I could think of. I was surprisd by how smooth and pigmented Fire was, because it almost has a matte-like finish so I was expecting a drier texture. Instead, it’s very workable and blendable.

Earth is a gray-tinted green with a pearly sheen. It has more of a sheen than Fire but not as much as a traditional frost does. I love the uniqueness of this color, but the texture is on the drier side so the color payoff is uneven in places and not as dense as I would like. It seems like what MAC Evil Eye should have been, though Earth is lighter.

Water is muted navy blue with an edging of teal. The finish has a lot of sheen to it but less shimmer. It’s bluer and less silvery compared to theBalm Sensational. I think MAC Bold Babe is closer, but it’s a lot less blue. Water had a really soft, silky texture and applied easily onto the lid.

The Glossover

coming-soon

The Elements Quad

A-
It's a cooler-toned quad with plenty of color, but it's done in a way that just seems sophisticated to me. I think it's the muted (without being drab) quality of each color -- you have burnt orange, rather than neon orange; subdued navy blue rather than pure blue.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.17 oz.) include shades of yellow, green, and pink.  It is a limited edition trio as part of the summer Dream Weavers Collection.  It’s available at local drugstore retailers, but not all have them and some sold out quickly of their stock so you might have to hunt around your local area for a displayer.

The Browbone shade is a sunshine yellow with a frosted finish. It has great color payoff with a dense texture that’s soft and smooth. It’s a little more golden and muted compared to MAC Bright Sunshine, but they are still rather close; it is also comparable (just a little darker) than MAC Double Feature #1.

The Crease shade is a cool-toned, medium grass green with a pale gold shimmer-sheen. It’s a fun shade, because the base color is cool-toned while the overlying shimmer is considerably warmer. The pigmentation is nice, and the texture is soft so it applies smoothly on the skin. It’s much lighter compared to Wet ‘n’ WIld Earth Looks Small From Down Here as well as Urban Decay Graffiti.

The Eyelid shade is a medium-dark pink with a hint of fuchsia iridescence in the finish. It’s the worst performing shade of the three–not fully pigmented so it applies unevenly (see the patchiness on the left portion of the swatch). The texture was a bit dry and not as dense as the other two shades. The color is similar to Milani Pink Twice. Make Up For Ever #83 is brighter and pinker.

Side note: While I appreciate the concept of identifying which colors go where, I don’t really see the labeling working in this particular trio. This set of colors is hard enough to wear together, let alone with bright yellow all over the brow bone. It could certainly work for a particular look, but overall, it’s a little much. None of this affects the rating, but it’s something I’ve seen more and more brands do. I think it takes away from some of the usefulness of guiding buyers on how to use a certain product. From a more creative stance, I appreciate the interesting pop of green amongst the other two colors (I would have expected copper, brown, or orange).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Wet 'n' Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If the pink shade performed better, this palette would get a better overall score, but it dragged it down to a B+, which is still a good rating--and particular good given the price point.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

bareMinerals The Dream Sequence Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Dream Sequence Eyeshadow Quad

bareMinerals The Dream Sequence Eyeshadow Quad

Slated for an early October release, bareMinerals is launching several pressed eyeshadow quads, including The Dream Sequence ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.), which features four shades: 500 Thread Count, Romp, Boudoir, and Nightcap. bareMinerals’ pressed eyeshadow formula contains SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that gives the shadow a “creamy, silky smooth” texture with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing whether worn alone or with primer–you shouldn’t see any creasing or fading. I’ve tested various combinations of shades from the duos and quads, and I’ve happily achieved ten hours of solid wear without a primer underneath. For a review of the packaging, please read my original review.

500 Thread Count is a pale beige with a soft frosted finish. It has a really dense, buttery texture that’s almost more like a cream than a powder. The color payoff is excellent, and I love having such high pigmentation in neutral shades, which sometimes go on sheer. MAC Creamy Bisque is a touch lighter, while Urban Decay Skimp is a touch darker. It is rather close to bareMinerals Chance but warmer and with a frosted finish.

Romp is a plummy mauve with a brownish metallic finish. The texture is really soft and smooth with good color payoff. The shade itself is browner than MAC Azuki Bean and theBalm Curvy Cami. It is similar to MAC Tendersmoke but a bit darker.

Boudoir is an iridescent fuchsia-purple with a frosted finish. The texture was soft and smooth, and the pigmentation was good overall though not as dense as I’d like it to be (ideally–I am being nit picky here). I’m fond of this kind of color, but it is a shade that a lot of brands have put out, so you might have something similar in your stash already.

The Glossover

palette

The Dream Sequence

A-
If you love purples, this is definitely the quad for you! I love the different finishes of the quad, because it will allow you to get a lot of depth and variety out of your looks.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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