Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast
MAC Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad: Manila Paper, Flip, Aztec Brick, Creole Beauty

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Colour 4 is decidedly for those who enjoy their golds and warm-toned browns. So, you know this is my favorite, personally. I love all four shades, and I’m excited that all four are pigmented and smooth. It’s so rare to like *all* the shades in a palette, so it is a nice surprise. I don’t think this is the most original color palette ever, though. I could see duping it with Nylon, Motif, Amber Lights, and Bronze. Not that it’d be exactly the same, it just brought instant “similar but not the same” shadows to mind when I first saw and swatched it.

Eyeshadow Quad — Colour 4

  • Manila Paper is a shimmery white-gold (more white than white-gold!) in a veluxe pearl finish. This is fairly pigmented, but you could probably dupe it with Nylon (which is a little frostier and yellower).
  • Flip is a peachy-gold with gold shimmer sheen with a frost finish. This came out previously, though it was limited edition. I’ve always liked this shade–not quite like anything MAC has in the permanent collection. The closest is something like Gleam or Motif, but it’s not a dupe for either.
  • Aztec Brick is a rich, shimmery copper with gold sheen in a veluxe pearl finish. It reminded me of Amber Lights eyeshadow quite a bit, though perhaps a little more bronzy than Amber Lights.
  • Creole Beauty is a warmed-up, medium-dark bronze with lighter bronze-gold sheen and shimmer with a frost finish. It’s like Romp and Bronze had a baby. Nice pigmentation–probably one of my personal favorites from the launch.

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast
MAC Colour 3 Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Colour 3 Eyeshadow Quad Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Parts 3 and 4 each have an eyeshadow quad, complete in the brand spankin’ new eyeshadow quad packaging. I have to say that I don’t love the new packaging — it’s glossy, so it holds fingerprints a bit, and it looks dirtier once you’ve used the quad a few times compared to the older packaging. It also feels a bit bulkier and not as slim as the older packaging. It looks sleeker and certainly more modern/updated, though. I just hate fingerprints on packaging!

Colour 3 is definitely a cool-toned, purple dominated quad. None of the four shades really grab me personally, but I can see this appealing to others. If you love smoked out purples and plums, this is definitely a quad worth checking out.

Eyeshadow Quad — Colour 3

  • Mink Pink is a soft, dusty fleshy beige pink with a veluxe finish (though it feels more like a matte finish to me).
  • Bruised Plum is a mauvey plum with a silvery sheen. It’s like a more purple version of Shale. It’s a veluxe pearl finish, but it’s not as pigmented as I’d expect for a VP.
  • Black Tulip is dark purple with just a touch of sheen. The finishes of this quad don’t make sense to me, because this doesn’t feel like a frost at all.
  • Jungle Moon is a matte, darkened brown with a plummy feel. MAC describes it as a blackened deep eggplant, and I think that’s a fairly accurate description. It’s a soft, well-pigmented matte eyeshadow that doesn’t feel chalky or dusty.

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Monday, February 1st, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Green with Envy

Affordable Eyeshadow? Really?  Maybelline Eye Studio may make it possible!

Maybelline Eye Studio Green with Envy Eyeshadow Quad ($7.49 to $9.99) is new from Maybelline for spring.  Though the packaging is nothing to write home about (typical mass packaging–feels cheap, not the sturdiest palette I’ve ever handled–the lids often pop off, but they can be popped back on), the eyeshadows are some of the better ones I’ve tried when it comes to drugstore beauty brands.  The eyeshadow quad consists of four shades…

  • A shimmery, white-gold champagne highlighter that’s opaque enough to show up but sheer enough not to be overly frosty. I like this as a highlighter or all-over-the-lid kind of wash of color.
  • A shimmery, yellow-based green with a golden sheen. It’s like a slightly muted, less golden-shimmered MAC Lucky Green. It has decent color pay off, but it’s not quite as pigmented as higher-end eyeshadows (like MAC or Urban Decay), but for a drugstore brand, I’m still impressed.
  • A shimmery, muted peach-brown with golden shimmer and sheen. I can’t think of a dupe for this (at least, not off the top of my head), but it kind of feels like one of those hard-to-wear neutral shades, at least for me. I think those with cooler complexions may find it easier to wear than warm-toned complexions.
  • A charcoal gray with gold and green shimmer. I felt like this had the worst texture and color pay off of the four, though it was still okay (just not fabulous). It felt a little chalky or powdery, so it’s best applied in layers and patted on rather than blended too much. It is, however, a unique shade (which just isn’t something you see often from mass). I think if you layered this over a dark base, you wouldn’t have to worry so much about pigmentation and could get the cool multi-tonal shimmer to show.

I think the color pay off of the Give Me Gold Eyeshadow Quad was better than this one, but I’d still say it was good for something found in mass retailers and for the price. It has the same silky texture, but it can sometimes feel powdery (use less than you think, then build up).  I have a few more of these to try out over the next few weeks, so I’ll continue to review the other variations as I test them.  I have a few of the more “colorful” ones to judge just how pigmented Maybelline can do truer, more vibrant hues.

Which ones have you tried?  Impressed or disappointed?

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: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you like soft shadows and want something affordable, Maybelline Eye Studio Quads might be up your alley!

Availability: Target, Walmart

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Monday, January 25th, 2010

Tarte Flower Child Eyeshadow Palette for Spring 2010

Tarte for Spring 2010:  Flower Child Palette

Tarte Flower Child Natural Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00) is a new spring-styled palette from Tarte. It seems like every season, Tarte has a new eyeshadow palette up their sleeves. The Flower Child palette is in the same vein; it includes ten eyeshadows housed in a purple-covered case (kind of like a patent material) with flowers sprouting out on top (sorry, no photo).

Inspired by the rich earthen hues from which their pure color pigments are harvested and this Spring’s runway and red carpet trends, Tina’s interpretation of tarte’s best-selling eyeshadow palette combines saturated pigments with subtle pops of color. Versatile and artistic, this palette seamlessly transitions between day and night thanks to a wide variety of tones ranging from delicate to robust. This harmonious balance of shades ingeniously captures the expressiveness of the eyes no matter the look.

Eyeshadows

  • Soft Daffodil is a lightly shimmered peach. It’s hard to see on my skin tone, but it’s a very pretty shade to use with a neutral or softer look.
  • Ecru Hibiscus is a pink champagne. It may not seem ultra pigmented to the eye, but it’s designed to be softer shade — this is something you could use as a highlighter or as a wash. I think it’s just pigmented enough to do what it should.
  • Pink Peony is a brightened up blue-based pink. It was a little powdery when I played with it and looked sheerer when swatched than I’d have liked it to be. Even though it’s supposed to have shimmer, it seemed very minute to me.
  • Gray Periwinkle is a silvered gray with a light shimmer sheen (but it’s truly quite faint). I didn’t see any periwinkle in this, though. This shade was decently pigmented relative to the rest of the shades in the palette.
  • Peach Tulip is a coppery bronze that goes on very smooth and looks rich. This one is very pigmented, but it looks absolutely nothing like a peach or tulip. This seems like a better fit for the name “Firewheel” (while Firewheel seems a better fit for Peach Tulip).
  • Firewheel is a peachy melon with a soft gold sheen. This is a played down, more pinked melon than MAC’s Melon pigment. I always gravitate towards these kinds of shades! This applied very smooth and pigmented.
  • Buttercup is a slightly warmed-up soft brown with a matte finish. It’s soft, but it’s a little on the sheerer side and can look a bit faded.
  • African Violet is a darkened purple with red undertones with a light shimmer sheen. It’s decently pigmented, though not intense.
  • Delphinium Blue is a powdery navy blue. This was the sheerest and most powdery shade of the ten eyeshadows–it just wasn’t very pigmented or smooth.
  • Vibrant Forest Grass is a darkened cool-toned green with a soft shimmer finish. I think the name is a little off — it’s not vibrant (just pigmented, but not intensely so), but it is like a forest green, I suppose.

Also included in the palette is a double-sided eyeliner that has a dark brown on one side and a lightly shimmered darkened teal on the other; a double-sided brush (yes, a brush–no sponge tip applicators here!), and a miniature-sized Natural Eye Primer. The Eye Primer doesn’t actually fit inside the palette, though, so it’s not as functional as it could be. (It comes in a plastic holder that hangs off of the side.)

All of the eyeshadows are full-sized and magnetized so you can remove them if you want, refill with other Tarte eyeshadows as needed, and so on. I really do like that, because it means you are getting a great deal for your money, but it means you can always slot in another shade if you happen to finish one of these!

Bottom Line: It’s a solid palette, but it’s definitely on the sheerer/softer side of the eyeshadow spectrum. The colors do fit well with the season, as it gives me a spring feeling. The palette itself holds excellent value as you get ten full-sized eyeshadows for $44 (as opposed to $10 a pop, not that you can purchase these shades individually, though). I think some of the shades could have used some more pigmentation, particularly the deeper shades, but it’s a decent palette overall.

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

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

Recommendation: For a real value-loaded palette, Tarte’s Flower Child offers several soft shades for the spring season.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Eyeshadow Palette

I purchased the palette online at Urban Decay on Friday, and it finally arrived here to me in California (they ship out from Florida, FYI!). For those interested in picking one up for themselves, both U.S. and Canadian Sephoras are taking phone orders. I know the U.S. number is 1-877-SEPHORA. Last I heard, Sephora would have it online around the 26th and retails for $52.

In the Book of Shadows, Alice in Wonderland style, you get sixteen eyeshadows, each weighing 0.03 oz. You also receive a miniaturized Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.) and two miniaturized 24/7 eye pencils (0.3 oz.) in Zero and Flipside.

It is important to note that the eyeshadows included in the palette are not new shades; they’re existing/previous shades re-named to fit in the Alice in Wonderland theme. That being said, if you own Urban Decay’s Ammo, Book of Shadows Vol. I/Vol. II, or the Sustainable Palettes, you may already own the majority of the shadows in the Alice in Wonderland kit.  Below is a shadow-by-shadow review with the real-name of the eyeshadow in parentheses (for your reference).

Eyeshadows

  • Underland (Flash) is a bright, cool-toned medium purple with an icy lilac shimmer. It’s soft, smooth, and richly pigmented.
  • Alice (Painkiller) is a bright aqua-blue with an icy sheen. Like Underland, it’s smooth, silky soft, and has lots of pigment to it.
  • Oraculum (Baked) is a warmed-up copper with a softer copper sheen. Smooth, soft, well-pigmented. I do find this one has a bit of a frostier finish than some of the other shades.
  • Queen (Last Call) is a reddened eggplant with a burgundy edge. It has a frost-like sheen, but it is smooth and pigmented.
  • Chessur (Chopper) is a cooler-toned, not nearly as bright, copper shade. It has the same soft texture as the majority of Urban Decay’s shadows, but it has silverish glitter particles that may contribute to some fall out in practice.
  • White Rabbit (Polyester Bride) is a gently yellowed white (though still, very white) with a white-gold sheen. Like Chessur, it also has some glitter to it, so it’s not quite my favorite texture.
  • Wonderland (Maui Wowie) is a tarnished gold, maybe an antique gold, but not quite so dark. It has a golden bronze sheen to it. It’s pigmented and smooth, but it also has a few glitter particles (though I think this is one of the more manageable glitter-based shades in the bunch).
  • Curiouser (Grifter) is a lightened fuchsia-purple with icy purple sheen. It also has silverish glitter particles in it, which may lead to fall out. This is one of the lesser pigmented shades, though it still has decent color pay off.
  • Muchness (X) is a peachy-melon with a gold sheen. It almost has a little mauve to it, in certain lighting. It reminded me of MAC’s Melon pigment quite a bit. This has a frosty finish, but it doesn’t have the glitter, so it’s smooth and easier to work with.
  • Mushroom (Mushroom) is a taupe brown with kind of a silvery sheen and shimmer. It’s not quite as rich as some of the other shades, but it can be layered for a more intense look. (Don’t get me wrong, it has nice pigmentation–just not as intense as the other shades in this palette.)
  • Midnight Tea Party (Midnight Cowboy Rides Again) is a flushed champagne with silver/gold glitter particles. This is quite possibly my least favorite Urban Decay eyeshadow. It is a pain in the behind to work with, because the glitter fall out is pretty insane. It’s a shame, because the color itself is pretty, but the glitter means “No, thank you!” for me.
  • Vorapal (S&M) is a neutral, slightly cooled down silver with a brighter silver sheen. Smooth and pigmented.
  • Absolem (Homegrown) is a grassy green with a golden shimmered sheen. Very pigmented and true-to-color.
  • Drink Me, Eat Me (Sin) is a pinked champagne with a bright, frosty sheen. It’s like a pinker version of Midnight Tea Party–and sans all the glittery fall out.
  • Mad Hatter (Twice Baked) is a lightly glittered dark brown with warm undertones. I don’t remember Twice Baked behing so lagging in pigment, but I really had to layer this one on to get a decent evenness. It gave me some drag and a faded look.
  • Jabberwocky (Oil Slick) is a dark black base with icy blue and silver glitter. While not as prone to fall out as Midnight Tea Party, it’s still one of the glittery shades that may lead to some fall out while applying it.

Bottom Line: From the beginning, I’ve been a little disappointed that Urban Decay didn’t create some new shades for this palette, in light of the partnership between them and Alice in Wonderland. The names are certainly excellent and totally work with the theme, but I would have appreciated (and just loved to have seen!) brand new shades.

I like the shades and palette overall, but I think I already own the majority in various other palettes, too, so I’ll probably end up passing this on to my sister after I do some looks with it (well, hopefully!). I’m not a huge fan of Urban Decay’s more glittery shades (of which there are six, with one being exceptionally hard to work with) and tend to prefer their smoother shades.  I think the palette could have done with a few matte or semi-matte shades, too, just to break up the frost and shimmer.

The packaging is very cohesive, and it looks good.  It fits with the theme, but I think they put it together quite nicely.  My lid won’t stay open, so it being used as a mirror is not happening as of yet.  Since the theme, while well-done, isn’t a driver for me though, I probably would have passed on this palette under normal circumstances.  It’s a better buy if you are looking to try a bunch of Urban Decay eyeshadows without investing in singles; it’s definitely a value palette if that’s the case!

Love it or hate it?

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: 5/5

Recommendation: If you’re a big Alice in Wonderland fan, or really like cute packaging, you may want to place you order sooner rather than later. OR if you’ve always wanted to try out UD shadows (but don’t have any/just a few).

Availability: Sephora (TBA)

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Drugstore Treats from Maybelline’s Eye Studio Collection

Maybelline Eye Studio Give Me Gold Color Plush Silk Eyeshadows ($9.99) may be a mouthful to say, but it’s a surprising treat to be found at your local drugstore. Each of the Color Plush Silk Eyeshadows can be found in a palette with four shades in each, and there are twelve different varieties currently on the market.

I’m often left wanting more from mass makeup, but Maybelline really knocked it out of the park with their Eye Studio collection. (I’ll be reviewing two shades of the Marbleized Eyeshadows and Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliners later this week!) I’m a tough one to impress when it comes to “drugstore makeup,” and I’m just really glad I had the opportunity to try these so I could share a new find with you.

Give Me Gold includes four shades: a silky champagne-white, a yellow gold with shimmer, a copper-bronze with gold shimmer, and a chocolate brown with a little bit of gold shimmer. I particularly liked this palette because the shades really work well together; they complement and you can get some nice neutral-ish eyeshadow combinations out of it. I’m pleased to report that all four of the shades were well-pigmented, felt soft to the touch, and applied very smoothly.

The only real downside to this palette was the packaging, which looks so-so, but it does feel a little cheap and flimsy. It may not last if you carry it around in your makeup bag on a daily basis, but if you just take it with you for travel from time to time (and leave it at home most of the time), I think it’ll be fine. I found the cover of this one snapped off, but I was able to snap it right back on.

Other than the packaging not wow-ing me, I’m pleased. The product itself is the most important part, and it was standout. Definitely some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried from a drugstore beauty brand. You can definitely expect a look from me in the next day or two with these!

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: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for eyeshadow on a budget, Maybelline’s new Eye Studio palettes may be just right!

Availability: Maybelline, Target

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