Monday, February 14th, 2011

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette
Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette

Lancome Color Design Shadow & Liner Palette: Taupe Craze

Lancome Taupe Craze Color Design Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is one of ten new palettes from Lancome. It includes five shades, and each shade is labeled for a particular purpose. The way they are labeled is actually very much in the order that one would apply them. Of course, I think it is safe to say that one could easily use any combination of the five shades!

Taupe Craze is a cool-toned neutral palette; not all shades have strong, cool undertones, but overall, the palette leans cool. I liked how the palette was a mix of finishes–satin, shimmery, and almost matte. Initially, the two shimmery shades were concerning, because they looked almost glittery, but it seems like it’s more of the top layer than anything else–both shades are more shimmer than glitter.

The all-over color is a pale peach-beige with a satin-matte finish and excellent color pay off and a smooth texture. The lid shade is a neutral-cool medium brown with a soft taupe shimmer. The crease shade is a medium-dark taupe brown with a soft satin sheen. The highlighter shade is a smoky taupe with a bright metallic sheen and shimmer in its finish; when used wet, the metallic sheen is emphasized. I have no idea why Lancome would recommend this shade as a highlighter. Finally, the liner shade is a deep cool-toned taupe brown with silver flecks of shimmer; it is best used wet, if you want really smooth, richly colored line. The liner seemed the least pigmented–it’s a touch lighter swatched than what it is in the pan, but when used wet, it is a touch darker.

Both the shimmery shades (lid and highlighter) along with the liner shade worked whether wet/dry (with the liner shade being better wet). I did try the all-over base and crease shade wet, just to see if I could, and they worked better dry. There did seem to be a slight hardening and darkening over the crease shade from using it wet, though. I couldn’t find out whether these were to be used wet/dry on Lancome’s website, but from my experience, it did not negatively impact any of the shades, with the exception of the crease shade.

my thoughts on the formula: With the exception of the liner shade, the other four shades had very soft, smooth textures with nice color pay off. I really loved the all-over base shade–it had such a silky soft texture with beautiful pigmentation. It worked well as a lid shade and highlighter shade (which is good, because the “highlighter” shade is quite dark for a highlighter).

I’m disappointing in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

I also know this palette invites a comparison to Urban Decay Naked Palette, but this one is cooler-toned, while Naked is warmer. If I had to pick the most similar shades, I would say Virgin (but Lancome’s all-over-base is much more pigmented and smooth, less shimmer), Toasted (Lancome’s lid shade is cooler), Buck (Lancome’s crease shade is cooler-toned, more taupe), while the highlighter and liner shades have no real similarities to shades from the Naked palette.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a nice neutral palette for cooler skin tones, and there is a nice range of textures to create looks with depth. I wish they boosted up the quantity just a bit, perhaps to 0.18 to 0.20 oz.  It’s a shame how the below average value of this palette brings down the overall grade.

where to buy: Sephora

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Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Video Review: NARS Spring 2011

This is an actual review of the entire NARS Spring 2011 collection, not just first impressions/swatches. I tried not to rant too much on those Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, but I’m not sure how successful I was there, ha! I will be reviewing Nana and Tzigane here on the blog soon.   Would love it if you subscribed to our YouTube channel, too! :)

Saturday, February 12th, 2011

Video Review: Urban Decay Dangerous, Feminine, & Fun Palettes

I managed to stay under 20 minutes, woo!

Photos & Reviews

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Video Review: theBalm Shady Lady, Vol. 3 Palette

First look at theBalm’s Shady Lady, Vol. 3 palette, which is new for 2011, along with swatches and all that jazz.  You can my written review here.

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Romance Eyeshadow Duo
Dolce & Gabbana Romance Eyeshadow Duo

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: Romance

Dolce & Gabbana Romance Eyeshadow Duo ($36.00 for 0.17 oz.) is new for spring, part of Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden collection, which should make its way to Saks within the next couple of weeks. Romance includes a bright silvery white with a frosted, metallic sheen and a dirty gray with a satin finish. The silvery white works well both dry and wet, though the metallic sheen is more noticeable when it is used wet. The gray shade is best used wet, because it went on a little patchy when applied dry.

my thoughts on the formula: Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeshadows are inconsistent, which is troublesome–you just never know if you’re going to get! Usually, they have a really silky smooth texture, but often, they do not perform so well when applied. I’ve found that using them wet often makes them more manageable (sometimes fantastic!).

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Both eyeshadows are okay–the gray shade being on the lower end, the silver shade being on the higher end. The duo does make for a quick and easy smoky eye, though, and I love that Dolce & Gabbana paired a matte shade with a frostier one.

where to buy: Saks, February 2011

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Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Urban Decay Fun Palette
Fun Palette: Woodstock, Baked, Uzi, Sin, Flipside, Psychedelic Sister

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Fun Palette

Urban Decay Fun Eyeshadow Palette ($34.00 for 0.34 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Woodstock (bright pink with slight shimmer), Baked (rich bronze), Uzi (metallic silver with big iridescent sparkles), Sin (champagne), Flipside (electric teal with blue sheen), and Psychedelic Sister (bright purple). Also included is Oil Slick 24/7 Liner (black with silver sparkle) and the original primer potion (nude).

  • Woodstock is a medium-dark fuchsia pink with a soft shimmer finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range.
  • Baked is a rich copper with a metallic-frost finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in the Baked, Book of Shadows, Vol. 1, and Alice in Wonderland palettes.
  • Uzi is a bright silvered white with silver glitter. Yes, there is fall out. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in the Book of Shadows, Vol.3 and Sustainable palettes.
  • Sin is a pinky champagne with a frost finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in the Alice in Wonderland and Naked palettes.
  • Flipside is a teal-tinged green with a metallic-frost finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it has been in Baked, Book of Shadows, Vol. 2, and Sustainable palettes.
  • Psychedelic Sister is a red-toned medium-dark purple with a shimmer finish. This shade is available individually as part of the permanent range, and it was in the Book of Shadows, Vol. III palette.

my thoughts on the formula: Urban Decay’s eyeshadows are rich in pigment, apply evenly, and feel like butter. Generally speaking, their formula is excellent. I will warn and caution you against their shades with “glitter” or “sparkle” in the finish–some of these can be prone to fall out (for example, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again).

In terms of value, the palette includes 0.18 oz. of eyeshadow ($61.20 value), 0.03 oz. of eyeliner ($12.75 value), and 0.13 fl. oz. of primer potion ($6.88 value). The total value of the palette is $80.83, while the retail price is $34.

I think sometimes we lose sight of what the beauty industry and market are like as a whole — not every person purchases every palette or even much at all. Not everyone enters at the same time, so even though you may find yourself owning many of the shades, it doesn’t make it a terrible product – Urban Decay does some really excellent shades that you can get year round, but these sure make those shades more accessible and affordable to people who don’t have a lot of Urban Decay or have always wanted to try it. It would be great to see new shades, of course, but I recognize what value they may hold to others.

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

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

final thoughts: Fun has the most shades that are permanent/available individually, as they are all available whenever your heart desires. Whether it’s a good value/purchase depends on just how many Urban Decay products you have in your arsenal. The palette itself is an excellent value, and if you like more than two shadows, it works out to be the same if you had bought then individually ($17 each). Uzi has a slightly fussy finish/texture, but the other five eyeshadows are really nice, especially Woodstock and Baked.

where to buy: Urban Decay

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