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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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Chanel Ombres Perlees de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette
Chanel Ombres Perlees de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette

Chanel Spring 2011: Ombres Perlees

Chanel Ombres Perlees de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette ($65.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a new and limited edition eyeshadow palette from Chanel’s spring collection that features five shades.  It contains: a pearled, metallic barely gold-tinged white; metallic pinked bronze withc hampagne sheen; dirty mauve gray; darkened, charcoal foreest green with metallic sheen; and dirty charcoal navy blue with sheen. All five were really pigmented except the purple shade, which was noticeably sheerer. The finishes on these is rather metallic, with some being true metallics and others being a cross between frost and metallic.

Initially, I likened the texture of these shades to Stila’s Jewel Eyeshadow Palette or Urban Decay’s Stardusts — but not quite. Those two have a wetter, glittery texture, while these as drier but smoother and are about shimmer, micro-shimmer, sheen, but not so much about glitter. They’re similar but different enough that I wouldn’t say they are the same.

These are creamy, buttery shadows; they feel almost like a cream-to-powder eyeshadow, but they’re powder. The texture is really lovely, and if you have the chance to, get a feel (though I have no idea how well these hold up as testers!). Again, all of the shades except the purple one were pigmented; the swatches are shown with just a single pass of color–there’s no layering required–and they’re incredibly easy to blend out, because they apply so smoothly. I liked using the 239 or the 242.

I am disappointed in the amount of product, though, because the average eyeshadow quad contains 0.24 oz. of product, which retails for $56, and while this one is $65, you’re getting only 0.17 oz. I don’t, however, think this will prevent it from being one of the more sought after items from the spring collection, and I can certainly see why it has been flying off the shelves before it’s even officially hit counters.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: The texture is phenomenal and something one has to try out in person to really understand, but I’m not sure this color scheme is as workable as I’d like to see in a palette. It runs cooler, with even the coppery shade seemingly cool, so it will work best on cooler skin tones. I think because the shades are darker but cool, warmer skin tones can still pair them with warmer shades for an easy look.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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