Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

A good smoky eye palette is never a bad thing to have on hand. It’s useful, easy to travel with, and it’s classic. I’m not loving this year’s version of the smoky eye palette, because it’s more of a brownish eye, and I’ve always felt the classic smoky eye is monochromatic. I still hold that last year’s was better. (And I still contend that you can make your own smoky eyeshadow quad with permanent MAC eyeshadows just as well.)

6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Fire In Her Eyes is a super soft, slightly sheer beige with a light frost finish. In the swatch, you can tell it hardly shows up on my skin without a base. It’ll make a nice highlight, though.
  • Wide-Eyed Wonder is kind of a taupe-y brown with a reddish touch. There’s nothing about this shade that makes it jump off the page for me.
  • Black Magique is a velvety smooth deep dark black with brown tones. It has slight gold shimmer, but it’s hardly noticeable.
  • Spell No. 9 is a satiny neutral pink. It’s sheer, and it doesn’t do much for me.
  • Deception is a sheer, glittery copper bronze. Even though it’s a frost finish, it had more of a lustre feel to me.
  • Smoke & Mirrors is a cool-toned chocolate brown with a little gray sheen.

I”m not sold on this year’s. It reads more like a neutral eye palette than a smoky eye palette to me. It’s useful, and the colors are easily worn by many, so in that aspect, it’s a solid choice for those looking for a go-to palette.

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

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: 6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC’s Warm eyeshadow palette usually gets me. I’m warm-toned, and I naturally gravitate towards warmer shades. Give me gold and I’m a happy lady! This year’s warm eyeshadow palette isn’t my favorite, but I like half of it a lot. The other half is just so-so, but I’ve been known to purchase a palette for just one color… so I suppose half isn’t bad! I think the reason I don’t love half of the palette is that it doesn’t feel very “warm” to me.

6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Oh My Darling is a soft, slightly warmed up beige with a frost finish. I like that this color is included, if only because it’s a very nice shade for a highlight. It’s not too frost or white, so it will work well on the brow bone.
  • Dare Ya! is a medium pink with kind of a peachy tone to it. It went on a bit sheerly on me, though.
  • Sorcery is a reddish-toned eggplant purple with a soft finish.
  • Gold Tease is a gorgeous shade of gilded gold with a metallic sheen. It reminded me of the Rushmetal pigments a bit, actually.
  • Prankster is an antique gold; kind of like a green-gold that’s played down. Again, gold, so of course I love it. I told you – three shades rocked my world!
  • Devilishly Dark is a warmed-up light chocolate brown with gold shimmer.

I would have bought this palette just for the two gold shades, but I have an unhealthy obsession with gold eyeshadow. (Particularly if they’re antique golds!)

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

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Mystic Cool Eye Shadows

Mystic Cool is an interesting mix of eyeshadow shades. It’s not the most cohesive palette MAC has put out, but if you’re just looking to boost up your color collection and aren’t so concerned with a palette that works together easily, you shouldn’t mind. It’s not to say that there aren’t color combinations to be created from the palette, but it just requires a little more thinking than your average eyeshadow palette where there are so many obvious combinations to work with.

6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Cool Incantation is a frosty golden-white with an almost gray tinge to the white base. It reminded me a little of Nanogold but yellow.
  • Blue Enchantment is a deep turquoise with subtle shimmer. Surprisingly, MAC doesn’t have a shade like this in their permanent line. It’s almost as if Shimmermoss and Bottle Green had a baby.
  • Deep Secret is a shimmery, jewel-toned indigo-blue. It’s incredibly pretty, and it reminded me of a darker Cinders eyeshadow (one of my all-time favorite limited edition shades).
  • Shhh, Don’t Tell is a satiny pale neutral pink that goes on like a dusty rose pink. It was hard to get it to show up really well on my skin tone without a base.
  • Rose Potion is a frosty rose. It’s a fairly simple shade, but it’s not one I’ve seen often by MAC either.
  • Violet Vow is a cool-toned, dark brown with kind of a purple edge to it. I found this one harder to work with, and I felt like it wasn’t as pigmented as it could have been.

I didn’t fall head over heels in love with this palette, but I did like it. I think there are some great colors in this palette, but long-time collectors may find they have similar shades (at least, similar enough) in their stash already.

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

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Sorceress Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Sorceress Eye Shadows

I’ve always liked MAC eyeshadow palettes, because I do feel like they represent a chance to get multiple eyeshadows at a more affordable price point, and MAC has put out some great limited edition shades in holiday palettes in the past. This year’s palettes actually reminded me of a bit of the Ornamentalism palettes from a few years ago–which is a good thing. The packaging is better, though, this year, as it’s sleek, functional, and feels like it has more quality than the last few years’ palettes.

6 Sorceress Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • White Rabbit is a frosty silver-tinged white. It’s not a particularly unique shade, and I’d say it’s a little too frosty to work well as a highlighter for most.
  • Hold My Gaze is a gray-green base with golden-green shimmer. This is actually a very unique shade, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an eyeshadow of this color before (which is pretty surprising). It has decent pigmentation. It’s just a very unusual shade.
  • Edge of Dark is a charcoal gray with silver gray shimmer, and I had some issues getting it to go on smoothly. It doesn’t have the best texture, but it is a lustre, so I’m not surprised.
  • Magnetized is a frosty white-purple. It kind of reminded me of a lighter, whiter Beautiful Iris eyeshadow.
  • Hypnotizing is a grayed down mauve. It’s dark yet light, because it’s not an intense shade.
  • Altered State is a dark, almost jewel-toned purple with slight reddish brown tones. I liked this shade a lot.

I liked the combination of colors MAC put into the Sorceress combination, and I was pleasantly surprised by Hold My Gaze. I’d probably buy it just for that shade, simply because I haven’t seen one like that before. I can appreciate the originality of it! Overall, though, it is a cooler palette, so if you prefer warm shades, you might not like this one.

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

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Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Tarte Femme Naturale Eye Palette ($44.00) is an eyeshadow palette that contains ten different shades of Tarte eyeshadow from their fall collection. (Tarte also released the Femme Fatale Eyeshadow Palette with this one.)

  • A pale champagne with slight sheen. This one is a paler version of the color next to it and has more of a frost finish.
  • A champagne with the lightest champagne shimmer. It’s a soft shade, and it makes for a perfect highlighter within this palette.
  • A subdued, semi-matte rose-mauve. I like this shade for two reasons: it’s a subtle way to incorporate a pinker color into your palette without worrying so much it may make you look like you’re crying; but also because I don’t see this particular shade very often. I also dig the finish.
  • A sparkling mix of peachy-gold and soft rose. This reminded me of MAC’s Say Yeah eyeshadow, but a little dark, which is just fine in my book. Say Yeah was always one of my go-to shades. This one has the most frosty/glittery appearance, but I didn’t find it had a lot of fall out issues as glittery shades often do.
  • A deep forest green with a little bit of a grayish tinge. This one had amazing pigmentation and texture–very soft, smooth, and gives you plenty of intensity without having to pack it on.
  • A semi-matte reddish brown. There’s not a whole to say about the shade itself, but it doesn’t read too warm to me (maybe even cool, actually). It has really good pigmentation, and it is surprisingly not chalky for a shadow with such a matte finish.
  • A light, peachy-brown with a frosty finish. This one is similar to the other neutrals in the palette, as it has that frosty look. It’s pigmented and feels soft to the touch.
  • A chalky, cool-toned lilac-pink. Personally, this shade is one I’d find difficult to pull off on my skin tone, but I think those with cooler skin tones will appreciate it. It’s chalky, but I’d say half of it comes from how cool the shade is along with the matte finish.
  • A plummy rose with gold glitter. This color is so stunning! It’s this gorgeous shade that I envision being perfect for fall or holiday. I love the way the gold flecks sparkle in the plummy base. This one wasn’t as pigmented as the others, but it still was pretty good.
  • A rich bronze with gold flecks and a frost finish. This one has a very nice feel to it–very soft–and goes on like butter and has intense pay off.
  • A dark, smoky blue-black with a gray cast. This one was the least pigmented out of the ten shadows, and it kind of dragged a bit when I swatched.

This is a solid palette that gives you a ton of product for under $50. Tarte shadows themselves are high in quality and still affordable.  They’re soft, smooth, and they’re usually easy to blend. The only thing I really wasn’t jazzed over was the product’s packaging.  It just feels tacky to me, and I hate that fingerprints get stuck all over the casing.  The “rose” attached also presents some storage woes.

Each eyeshadow is 0.06 oz., and the palette itself is refillable. Tarte refillable eyeshadows retail for $10 a pop. The palette itself yields you a cost of $73.33/oz. whereas one refillabe Tarte eyeshadow will run you $166.67/oz. Buying these together means you get twice as much for half the cost! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

Recommendation:  If you’d like some neutrals–but not just neutrals–Tarte’s Femme Naturale palette offers a good combination to get you started.

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Chanel Holiday 2009 Collection
Chanel Bird of Paradise Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Bird of Paradise Eyeshadow Quad ($56.00) is a new, limited edition, colorful palette that’s part of Chanel’s Holiday Collection. It includes four pops of color, which is a surprising twist on what we typically expect from holiday launches. Genius, perhaps? We’ll see…

The shades included in the palette are:

A paled down blue-teal with green-teal shimmer. I love the mix of a blue-teal colored base with green-teal shimmer. The color is muted without being boring; it still packs a punch of color, but it’s not over the top. It’s kind of what I’d expect from a teal by Chanel. It’s pigmented, silky soft, and blends easily.

A warm pop of goldenrod yellow-gold. This is an interesting color, because I think on cooler tones, the yellow is going to come out to play more, whilst on warmer tones, you’re going to get more of a warmer, golden shade. Also, I noticed that it seemed to warm up and cool done depending on the lighting situation (less light = more yellow; brighter light = more golden). This one wasn’t quite as pigmented or smooth as the other three shades, but it was still soft and the shimmer wasn’t too gritty. I really love the shade itself, though, because it’s not a true gold, yet it’s not orange or yellow.

A muted coppery-orange with golden shimmer and sheen. Orange can be a tough color to pull off, particularly for those who naturally have cooler complexions (because many oranges run very warm), so I know some just skip this color altogether. This is a great shade of orange that runs neutral-warm, which means it has some warmth, but it’s not overly so. It’s also not a straight copper. I love how the golden sheen catches light.

A soft olive green with golden olive shimmer. A lovely shade that actually reminds me more of fall than it does winter, but nevertheless, still nice. Pigmentation is true and the shade itself feels smooth to the touch and goes on like butter.

I’m really digging Chanel’s take on holiday this year. The colors are fun and playful, but they’re not hard to wear or even pair together (I was a little weary at first – so much color, could they work together? but alas, they can!). The only shade it’s really missing is a highlight shade, so you will have to tap into your stash to get that, but at least you get four rockin’ colors in it. Each has a metallic shimmer sheen, and I think that’s exactly what the holiday season is about–lots of glitz and glam!

This eyeshadow quad is eons better than Chanel’s Les Folie Noirs Eyeshadow Quad — so I am quite pleased. I was a bit hesitant that this one might not do it for me, but it worked out, thankfully!

As far as value goes, I do believe Chanel quads are around 0.24 oz. (I have some that say 0.24 oz., others that don’t say, and the recent Noirs Obscurs quad was 0.21 oz.), so they’re not a bad deal by the ounce (less than MAC eyeshadows). With colors like these, you may find yourself slower to get through each shade as well, so I think you’ll get plenty of usage out of the palette.

Bottom line: This is a nice palette with quality eyeshadows that give you color to play around with, but it’s not intimidating. It’s inviting, and I think it’s a good mix of colors that can also work together, not just by themselves. It’s also not overly warm or cool on the whole, so it’s more universal. I really like it, overall, but I’m not head-over-heels for it like I am over their Rouge Allure Laques.

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

Recommendation: For a downplayed approach to color, Chanel’s Bird of Paradise eyeshadow quad is stop that might be worth your while.

Availability: Chanel in October/November 2009

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