Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette ($84.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a rather neutral collection of shades. It includes: a soft pale neutral beige with a matte finish; light-medium cool-toned beige with taupe in a matte finish; iridescent pale pink with a metallic sheen; blackened burgundy brown with a satin finish; cool-toned brown with a satin finish; and a deep black-brown. This is like a cool-toned version of Rue de Francs Bourgeois, which was a palette of warmer-toned neutrals.

As much as I liked Guerlain’s spring palette (Rue de Rivoli), I really wasn’t impressed with this one. Two of the shades (the blackened burgundy brown and cool-toned brown) were very sheer, even when layered. I just couldn’t get the pay off that I’d like to–they were sheer and didn’t seem to lay down as seamlessly as other Guerlain eyeshadows have. I think the swatches do a nice job of showing where these went awry.

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  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like the color combination, and I think it would suit light to medium skin tones with cooler undertones. However, the quality is poor in two of five shades, so I wouldn’t recommend this as a go-to neutral palette.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo
Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Gypsy Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a beautiful neutral duo featuring a shimmering, warmed-up champagne beige and a rich, coppered chocolate brown. Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos are such an underrated and underappreciated product–the quality is absolutely phenomenal and the shades are infinitely flattering.
Selfishly, I wish they had about a dozen more duos, because their eyeshadows are easily some of the best I’ve come across–and better yet, the quality is fantastic across the range. There are no duds in their duo line-up. Soft, smooth as silk, and buttery texture paired with intense color pigmentation that glides on, blends effortlessly, and can be used wet or dry.

The $38 may seem steep, but don’t let it fool you: there are two full-sized (actually, more than that) eyeshadows inside. Each eyeshadow is 0.10 oz., which is double the average full-sized eyeshadow, for a total of 0.20 oz. The packaging is also this pewter bronze with a swivel top that reveals a mirror inside along with a pint-sized brush (with real bristles) that’s usable and not scratchy.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: Hourglass as a brand is underrated, but their eyeshadows are easily my favorite product from the brand.  There is something to be said for a brand that puts out consistently high quality products with to-die-for textures.  This duo will naturally flatter warmer skin tones but they are not too warm–they will work well on cooler and neutral-toned skin, too.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Monday, January 10th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette
Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-in-one palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lipglosses, and one lipstick. It includes:  Navajo (creamy pinkish white), Rose Gold (golden pink), Burnished Rose (warm rose), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Plum (deep pinky plum), Pink Pudding (bright medium pink), Pink Bouquet (baby pink with silver flecks), and Powerful (bright deep pink).

  • Navajo is a pale beige white with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent range.
  • Rose Gold is a rose-tinged bronze gold with a frosted finish.
  • Burnished Rose is a warmed-up, soft light-medium brown beige with a matte finish.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown with a matte finish.
  • Plum is a very pinked plum with lots of color pay off; it can be built up with ease or blended out for a softer look. It has a near matte finish.  This is a powder blush.
  • Pink Pudding is a sheer, medium pink with soft pink shimmer.  This is a Shimmer Lip Gloss.
  • Pink Bouquet is a semi-sheer rosy pink with petal pink shimmer.  This is a Glitter Lip Gloss.
  • Powerful is an opaque, rich, deep burgundy wine with a creamy, slightly shiny finish.  This is a lipstick.

The palette contains 0.09 oz. of Eyeshadow ($22.50 value), 0.04 oz. Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($7.50 value), 0.14 oz. of blush ($23.69 value), 0.028 oz. of Shimmer Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), 0.028 of Glitter Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), and 0.035 oz. of Lip Color ($6.42 value). It total value of the products inside the palette sums to $68.11, while the palette itself costs $60. It’s not a value-packed palette, but you’re getting your money’s worth.

All four eyeshadows were pigmented, and Chocolate Caviar was the only one that didn’t have a really beautifully creamy, silky texture (just slightly drier), and the Plum blush was also nicely pigmented.  The two lip glosses are both on the sheer side as Bobbi Brown glosses often are, while the lipstick was gorgeous and rich in color.

I love the sleek packaging, and I think the typography on the outside cover of the palette is beautiful.  Bobbi Brown’s campaign of Pretty. Powerful. is really a fantastic slogan, so I’m all for it being emblazoned across the palette itself.  Though I’m not personally that fond of palettes that mix powders with gloss or creams, I do like that Bobbi Brown’s palettes always seem to have deeper wells and a very tightly clasping palette to minimize powder migration.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Powerful palette may just be one of those.  With eyeshadows, blush, and lip color all in one go all housed in a slim palette, it is easy to travel with.  However, I am not sure just how keen I am with the way the eyeshadows coordinate with the blush and lip colors–they are almost too orange compared to the plum and pink of the other shades.

WHERE TO BUY: Bobbi Brown

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Sunday, January 9th, 2011


Lancome French Touch Color Design Eyeshadow Quad

Lancome French Touch Color Design Eyeshadow Quad

Lancome French Touch Color Design Eyeshadow Quad ($42.00 for 0.168 oz.) is a gorgeous, limited edition quad released for fall.  Aha! I thought I wasn’t going to be able to review this, but it is still available for purchase through HSN, and thus, I can.  It contains four shades:  a pale pink with satin sheen; warmed-up bronze; peachy pink with a gold metallic sheen; and berry burgundy.

The eyeshadows are rich in pigmentation and have a beautiful texture–soft, silky, and very easy to blend.  Everything about this palette is lovely except the amount you get — a pitiful 0.11 oz.!  We’re talking a palette here, which are usually a better value than singles, but whoa.  Most brands give you double the amount in this palette in their quads, so I was pretty disappointed by that.

(By the way, if someone could confirm the weight, that would be great–I am going by HSN’s page, as mine has a sample label with no box packaging, so there was no weight on my palette.  Does anyone else find it frustrating that brands do not always include the product’s size/weight?)

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: If they gave you more for your money, I’d be more inclined to recommend it.  If quantity isn’t a concern (like you don’t often finish eyeshadows), then it’s more of a non-issue.  The quality is very nice, though.

WHERE TO BUY: HSN

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Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Estee Lauder Extravagant Golds Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Extravagant Gold Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Extravagant Gold Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Extravagant Gold Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00 for 0.27 oz.) is a limited edition palette that came out with Estee Lauder’s holiday collection (but it is still available, should it be your heart’s desire!). It includes five warm-toned variations on the gold theme: a pale, champagne gold; softened coppered, amber brown with a frosted finish; orange-gold with a satin sheen; smoldering dark red-toned brown with a matte finish; and a rich copper with a metallic-frost finish.

The eyeshadows are smooth, silky to the touch, and incredibly blendable. They have nice pigmentation, but I really like the blendability of these. They just seem to melt against the skin, and the softness isn’t powdery–just soft.  I do feel like I’ve seen these shades before, though, so it may not be the best investment if you already own similar shades, but if you’ve been on the look out for something warm, gold, and compact, this hits high notes for all three.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a palette that would suit warm skin tones impeccably; it may be too orange-y on those with cooler skin tones, though. If you don’t have similar shades already in your stash, I’d recommend taking a peek at this.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Promesse Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a [relatively] new and limited edition pastel palette, which is exclusive to Chanel.com. For those of us in the U.S., the palette is in the “international style,” where the eyeshadows have more of a baked appearance and texture; they are noticeably different from the texture and design of most U.S. eyeshadow quads. I’m generally not a fan of Chanel’s quads in this formula, because the shades are often very sheer and nowhere near as soft–typically, the only way to use them is wet–this is based on my experience with three or four of this kind of quad.

Promesse delivers decent pigmentation across all four shades, both wet and dry, which I was really happy to see. These also didn’t seem to skip or drag at all when used dry. The palette includes a pale white with a blue tinge in a frosted metallic finish; pink-tinged champagne beige; warm bronze with a frosted finish; and pale, pastel green with a pearly finish. The beige shade was the sheerest when used dry, but the others were fine. When used wet, all four performed well. The texture also seemed softer and silkier than usual.

I’m always taken aback when I see how little is supposed to be in here, just 0.04 oz. (less than most single eyeshadows, and U.S. Chanel quads are typically 0.21 oz.), and I can say that it certainly doesn’t look like there isn’t enough product in it. From a weight perspective, it seems ridiculously low, but when I look at the product itself and the way they seem to fill the pan, it’s hard to align those two images.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like this quad best on paler skin tones, because two of the four shades are very, very pale and almost white, which may look too stark and almost ashy on medium to dark skin tones.

WHERE TO BUY: Chanel

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