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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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Athma Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Athma Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Mickey Contractor: Athma Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Athma Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 for 0.21 oz.) is new and limited edition from MAC Mickey Contractor. It includes four shades: Jaan (light neutral with soft gold pearl), Folie (reddish-plum brown), Vivah (brown with gold pearl), and Carbon (matte black).

Jaan is a peachy beige with soft gold sparkle. The pigmentation was nice, but I did experience some fall out when applying this on my lid. This has a lustre finish. It is a darker, sparkly version of Bamboo; or a lighter, sparkly version of Soft Brown.

Folie is a red-toned medium-dark brown with a soft, pearly sheen. It never swatches very nicely, but it is quite nice when used. This has a satin finish and is permanent.

Vivah is a lightly warmed up medium-dark chocolate brown with peach-gold sparkle. There was nice color pay off, but like Jaan, I did experience noticeable fall out. This has a lustre finish. It has a less frosted finish and less red undertones, but it is somewhat similar to Sable. It is a warmer, sparkly version of Courduroy. It also seems similar to Bobbi Brown Copper Sand (which I don’t own).

Carbon is a medium black. It works nicely to darken shades, even though it doesn’t swatch very well. It’s one of those better-in-practice mattes. This has a matte finish and is permanent.

I don’t typically like lustre eyeshadows, because the glittery bits are prone to ending up under your eye rather than on it, and these don’t do much to convince me otherwise. I recommend patting, rather than sweeping, on lustre eyeshadows, possibly with a damp brush for particularly fussy shades, to minimize fall out. If you do your eye makeup before your face makeup, then it will be easier to clean-up, too.

Initially, I thought this might be similar to Urban Decay’s Naked Palette, but there is not much shade overlap. They’re both neutral palettes, but there are not any direct dupes.

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: With two lustres that did prove to have some fall out along with two permanent shades, I can’t comfortably recommend this eyeshadow quad, as much as I do feel these are very flattering, easy-to-wear neutrals. I’m happy that both lustres are rather pigmented and don’t also suffer from sheerness like some lustre-finish shadows do. (Please note that this product scores high on value, which boosts up the overall rating by a third of a grade.)

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Dior Gris Gris Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Gris Gris Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Spring 2011: Gris Gris

Dior Gris-Gris (034) 5-Colour Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.21 oz.) is new and is part of Dior’s spring collection. (I’m not sure about the permanence of this product–still waiting for confirmation.) It is aptly named, as it consists of five shades that are variations on white/black/gray.

There is a blue-tinged white with a frosted finish; medium-dark bluish-gray with a satin finish; pewter gray with a metallic-frost sheen; bright snow white with a high metallic-frost finish; and a dark, matte black with silver micro-sparkle. For the traditional, more monochromatic smoky eye, this is a perfect palette to create those kinds of looks. I like the gradual intensity of gray from white to black, which allows for a lot of different variations in how light or dark you want to go.

This quint has very smooth, buttery eyeshadows that are nicely pigmented, not powdery, and effortlessly blendable. I did not feel like there were any problem children in this palette, which is really nice to see, because often there is at least one imperfect shade in any palette.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s a high quality palette with rather classic shades of white, gray, and black; whether it’s a must-have depends on your stash. None of these shades are out-of-this-world unique, but they work well together and come in a convenient palette, too.

WHERE TO BUY: January 2011

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