Monday, November 8th, 2010


Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains six shades of eyeshadow designed to take you from day to night with shades on the warmer side of the color spectrum.  Each eyeshadow has 0.05 oz. worth of product, so the palette’s total weight is 0.30 oz. of product.  It does also include a short-handled eyeshadow brush with actual bristles–it’s surprisingly nice, workable, though I don’t think it’ll replace any full-size brushes you may own, but it is one of the better included brushes I have seen this holiday season.

This palette includes: Ivory (creamy white), Oat (soft mocha beige), Espresso (dark chocolate brown), Burnt Sugar (deep golden brown), Velvet Bronze (warm golden bronze), and Black Plum (deep black plum).

  • Ivory is a creamy, muted white with a very rich, smooth texture.  It’s surprisingly pigmented–not chalky at all–and it’s not a stark, bright white, so it’s more wearable.  It has a nearly matte finish.  This is a permanent shade (and a popular shade that Bobbi Brown has used often in her palettes).
  • Oat is a light-medium brown with an extremely subtle sheen that barely glints even under flash photographer.  It’s smooth, nicely pigmented, and would work well on both warmer and cooler skin tones.    This shade reminded me of MAC’s Soft Brown.
  • Espresso is a darkened cool-toned charcoal brown with a touch of satin sheen.  It has good color pay off and applies smoothly.  Espresso is very reminiscent of MAC’s Brun or Showstopper eyeshadows, both cooler browns.   This is a permanent shade.
  • Burnt Sugar is a golden-toned warm medium-brown with a glinting, metallic gilded gold sheen.  It has a smooth texture with rich color pay off with a metallic finish.  This is a permanent shade.
  • Velvet Bronze is a medium red-toned brown with a soft golden sheen.  This was the least pigmented shade within the palette, but it was still nicely pigmented (just worth pointing out that it was a bit softer).  It has a metallic finish.  The color itself is similar to MAC’s Texture, but Velvet Bronze has a brighter sheen.
  • Black Plum is a smoldering, deep brown with flecks of bronze shimmer.  It is a really nice, smooth textured brown, which leans a bit warm, but it is rather neutral overall.  It has a shimmer wash finish.  This is a permanent shade.

I think this palette is a good mix of neutrals that do tend on the warmer side, but the palette is closer to neutral-warm than one with very strong, warm under tones running through it.  These shades are classic–they will serve one well when it comes to creating office-friendly looks or smoking those looks out for something a touch more dramatic in the evening.  I am particularly pleased with the pigmentation level of the palette, as everything was nicely pigmented and five of the six were excellent in pigmentation.  The texture is soft and smooth, with all of the shades applying evenly.  I also appreciate that Bobbi Brown often mixes finishes within her palettes so that users can create a variety of textured looks.

Bobbi Brown’s Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.), Metallic Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.10 oz.), and Shimmer Wash Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.).   In this palette, you are receiving $37.50 worth of Eyeshadow, $20.00 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $12.50 worth of Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow.   This palette thus contains $70 worth of eyeshadows for $45.  FINALLY! a true value-oriented palette for the holidays!

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION:

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Monday, November 1st, 2010

Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Holiday: Crystal Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Crystal Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a newly released, limited edition holiday palette featuring four shades of eyeshadow:  Amethyst (deep violet), Diamond (light purple silver), Star (white silver), and Peacock (aqua green).

  • Amethyst is a deep reddened violet with soft sheen. It has a metallic finish. It had an incredibly soft, smooth texture, and it applied very opaquely.
  • Diamond is a purple-tinged silvery white with a frosted shimmer sheen. It has a shimmer wash finish. Like Amethyst, it was very smooth and packed a good amount of pigment.
  • Star is a semi-sheer silvery white–it is more white than silver. It has a sparkle finish. Though it has a glittery finish, it is still quite smooth, and I didn’t experience any fall out.
  • Peacock is a pop of aqua-green teal with flashes of green-gold shimmer-sheen. It has a metallic finish. It was pretty smooth, but a touch powdery. The pigmentation level was good but not as nice as Amethyst.

When it comes to value, it’s a wash–you get almost what you would expect based on a price/ounce comparison against full-sized, individual shades, but you do get to have four different shades for the price of about two individual shades. Bobbi Brown’s Metallic Eyeshadows go for $20.00 for 0.10 oz., Sparkle Eyeshadows for $24.00 for 0.13 oz., and Shimmer Wash Eyeshadows for $20.00 for 0.08 oz. This palette contains 0.20 oz. in total, but it’s not broken down per shade, so we’ll just assume it’s 0.05 oz. each. You’re getting $20.00 worth of Metallic Eyeshadows, $9.23 worth of Sparkle Eyeshadow, and $12.50 worth of Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow, for a total of $41.73–plus a miniaturized bristle-based brush.

I’m much more impressed by this palette than I was the Beauty Rules Palette.  The consistency of these eyeshadows is soft, smooth, and almost buttery with good pigmentation in nearly all four.  I also think these work together to create wintry cool-toned looks.  I would also like to give props to Bobbi Brown for including a real eyeshadow brush that’s usable!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s definitely a worthy item for your holiday wish list — especially if you like the texture and quality of Bobbi Brown’s eyeshadows but have always wanted a little more zip in the color department.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette

Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a colorful palette with a slight cool tone running through it.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: White Rabbit (shimmer white), Melt My Heart (metallic silver), Carbon (matte black), Family Treasure (metallic bronze), Gaelic Gold (metallic gold), and Crown & Sceptre (metallic copper).

  • White Rabbit is a bright, shimmery white, It has a frost finish, and it was originally launched in last year’s holiday palettes. It has a very smooth texture and packs a lot of pigment without having to use a lot of product. It’s similar to White Frost or Gesso (but with shimmer).
  • Melt My Heart is a a light silver with a metallic sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s not quite as pigmented as other veluxe pearls, but it has a smooth feel when applied. It’s similar to Forgery, except the texture is soft and smooth–lighter than Electra.
  • Carbon is a dark black. It has a matte finish, and it is a permanent shade. It works better than it swatches, but it will definitely darken anything you layer it over. It’s not the deepest, darkest black, though.
  • Family Treasure is a soft metallic peachy gold with a strong shine. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it’s as smooth and pigmented as one would expect. It’s a less yellow, more orange Goldmine.
  • Gaelic Gold is a brightened medium gold kissed by molten ore. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it’s rich in pigmentation and creamy in consistency. It’s slightly darker and deeper than Goldmine. (Goldmine would fit almost exactly between Family Treasure and Gaelic Gold.)
  • Crown & Sceptre is a medium-dark coppery brown with metallic shine. It has a veluxe pearl finish with a smooth, creamy texture and nice color payoff. It’s a little lighter than Antiqued, but they are similar.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

Like Beauties Playing It Cool, Reelers & Rockers is a little reminiscent of last year’s Devil May Dare palette, but it’s only at a glance, rather than in reality. This year’s Reelers & Rockers is actually more pigmented and brighter.

Reelers & Rockers was my favorite palette of the four, not because of colors but how true-to-pan the colors were overall. Four of the shades have really stellar pigmentation and feel incredibly smooth when used–Carbon swatches poorly but works well in practice, while Melt My Heart could be a little more pigmented, it’s decent. It’s an interesting mix of shades; the top row being on the cooler side, while the bottom row is definitely warmer!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re jonesin’ for one of MAC’s palettes this year, this one is the best in terms of quality. The colors are also fun and festive but wearable.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a purple-themed palette with a cooler tone overall.  It’s one of the more pigmented palettes of the four released for the holidays.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: Silverwear (metallic lavender), Hold My Gaze (medium grey), To the Ball (dusty lavender), Magic Moor (purple grape), Altered State (blackened plum), and
Heather Belles (dark charcoal).

  • Silverwear is a silvery white with lots of frost in its finish. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in 2007 with the holiday palettes. Digit looks a bit similar, but it has a more obvious violet tinge to it.
  • Hold My Gaze is a grayed khaki green with soft copper sparkle. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. This is a shade that doesn’t bring to mind any dupes, but it seemed less pigmented compared to last year’s. (You can also check out a look I did with it here.)
  • To the Ball is a grayed purple. It has a satin finish. It’s similar to Poison Pen, which was discontinued in the past year or so, but it swatches really nicely–pigmented and smooth and buttery–just lighter and more muted. Also a more muted, grayer version of Purple Haze.
  • Altered State is a medium-dark grape purple with violet sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. It had good pigmentation, and it went on smoothly. It’s not quite as soft as most veluxe pearls, though. It’s’ similar to Satellite Dreams, which is a bit brighter and lighter.
  • Magic Moor is a nicely pigmented blackened plum. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it has the same buttery consistency and stays true to the finish. I can’t think of a great MAC dupe for it, but it reminded me of a similar shade in Chanel’s Enigma Palette.
  • Heather Belles is a darkened charcoal gray. It has a satin finish, and it’s a little hard to work with. It takes a bit of layering to get decent color pay off, and it’s not as smooth as the majority of MAC eyeshadows are. It’s like a sheerer version of Print.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

This palette is a bit similar to last year’s cool-toned, purple-dominant Sorceress palette (it actually shares two exact shades: Hold My Gaze, Altered State).  Overall, the pigmentation is decent throughout the palette, with the only real disappointment being Heather Belles.  I do wish Hold My Gaze was as pigmented as it was last year, because it does seem to vary, and I’m not a fan of inconsistency!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Worth a look if you dig purples! It doesn’t suffer from lack of pigmentation like Dashing Lassies and Twists of Tartan.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette

Twists of Tartan Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a colorful palette with a slight cool tone running through it.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: Lady’s Prance (clay), Rolled Gold (gold), High Spirits (shimmered avocado), Vainglorious (metallic maroon), Set to Dance (dark royal blue), and Bows & Curtseys (metallic hunter green).

  • Lady’s Prance is a dirty gray-beige. It has a matte finish, but it doesn’t look like 100% matte to me.   The pigmentation on this shade was really nice, as it went on solid without having to layer on a ton.  It’s a lighter version of Omega.
  • Rolled Gold is a smooth antique gold with subtle green-gold flash.  It has a lustre finish, but it feels a lot smoother and integrated than other lustres.  Patina would be the closest in the permanent range, but it’s not that close.
  • High Spirits is a medium grassy green with darker green shimmer.  It has a frost finish.  As pretty as this looked in the pan, it just didn’t swatch very intensely for me.   It’s like a darker version of Swimming–like a cross between Swimming and Humid.
  • Vainglorious is reddened burgundy with soft sheen. It has a frost finish.  Now, this was originally released as part of Venomous Villains, but the one in this palette swatched on the sheer side.  I barely had to get any product when it was sold individually to get a really rich, pigmented swatch, but I felt like I had to work hard to get it to show up from this palette. What gives?  It’s pretty close to Star Violet.
  • Set to Dance is a dark indigo blue. It has a matte finish, and it does suffer from some chalkiness and overall sheerness.   Naval (PRO) probably comes closest to this shade, but it’s bluer.
  • Bows & Curtseys is a darkened green that leans quite gray-black. It has a satin finish.  For as dark as this shade looks in the pan, it swatched something awful.  I just could not get it to show–it reminded me of Deep Blue Green pigment, except, you know, with 10% of the pigmentation.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

Despite loving how colorful this palette is upon first glance, the pigmentation leaves something to be desired.  There is just a lack of it in the majority of these shades (all but the gold and beige), and I really can’t understand why.  I had some textural issues with half the shades–Lady’s Prance and Rolled Gold have a lovely smooth texture, but Set to Dance and Bows & Curtseys had a much chalkier texture.  Overall, I’m not too keen on this palette.

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

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s definitely a palette geared towards those who love to wear color, but the lack of pigmentation makes it more appropriate to those who prefer their color sheer!

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette

Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a rather neutral, slightly warmed up palette.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: Bronze (copper penny), Buckwheat (frosty medium brown), A Dashing Lassie (metallic milk), Magical Mist (metallic taupe), Showstopper (dark brown), and Once Upon a Time (metallic vanilla).

  • Bronze is a rich metallic bronze with a copper-bronze sheen.  It has a frost finish, and it looks the same as the permanent shade of Bronze, despite the different descriptions.  This is the nicest and most pigmented shade of the six–but you can get it on its own, too.
  • Buckwheat is a medium-dark brown with soft green-gold shimmer.  It has a frost finish, and it was originally launched with Naked Honey in 2009.  The pigmentation is decent, but it could be a little richer. Sable seems like it would be the closest dupe from the permanent range.
  • A Dashing Lassie is a frosted soft white with beige sheen.  It has a frost finish. The pigmentation is decent, and it could be used as a highlighter on light to light-medium skin tones; it may be too ashy as a highlighter on darker skin tones.  It’s similar to Dazzlelight, perhaps not as white.
  • Magical Mist is a mushroom-y taupe with a metallic sheen.  It has a lustre finish, but it doesn’t have the typical gritty texture of lustre eyeshadows–very little fall out as a result.   I can’t think of any great dupes from the permanent range for this.
  • Showstopper is a dark, cool-toned sooty brown.  It has a matte finish, and it has been launched on numerous occasions.  Even though it swatches rather sheer, it works decently as a crease shade to darken the lid.  It’s just been in so many palettes and launches, I wouldn’t be surprised if you already had it somewhere in your stash!
  • Once Upon a Time is a semi-sheer champagne.  It has a veluxe pearl finish.  It’s very sheer for a veluxe pearl–looks more like a lustre in terms of color pay off.  It’s a more metallic version of Ricepaper.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz.  In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz.  These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

The best part about this palette is how well the shades coordinate with each other.  It’s very much variations on browns and beiges, and all but Bronze run on the neutral to neutral-cool end of the spectrum.  Unfortunately, pigmentation seems to be lacking severely in two of the shades, and pigmentation is only top notch in one.  I don’t think this palette is a must-have; at this price tag, I’d recommend Urban Decay’s Naked Palette instead for a solid neutral palette that’s not only a good deal but full of quality, too.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The shades go together well, but too many of them are on the sheerer side of things.  Given MAC’s penchant for pigment, it seems at odds with what one would expect to see in their palette.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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