Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — Photo Realism Eyeshadow Quad

Richard Phillips contributed three eyeshadow quads to the MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. Let’s take a look at the earthy quad called Photo Realism…

Photo Realism Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Photorealism is a paled down yellow-gold with a bit of a taupe-mix in the base with a frost finish. This is a very unique color, actually. Just the way the gold comes together makes it unusual.
  • Fresh Approach is a cool-toned, minty green. It’s not a bright, springy green, because it is mixed with a little bit of aqua to make it more of a mint green. It has a veluxe pearl finish, so it has a nice, smooth texture with great color pay off.
  • Image Maker is grayish green with a frosty finish. It actually reminded me of Club eyeshadow with less reddish tones.
  • Grey Range is a dark blue-green and is a pretty good match to Deep Blue Green pigment, actually. It has a veluxe pearl finish, which is why it has good pigmentation.

I’d put both Photo Realism and Notoriety eyeshadow quads on the same level–they’re both nice palettes with colors that go on smoothly and have good color to them. Notoriety is likely the more wearable between the two, because of the neutral tones, but Photo Realism is surprisingly wearable. None of the colors are so bright or bold that they couldn’t be used in a more subtle look. I’m really impressed with Photorealism, just because it has so much dimension to it. I love the idea of Grey Range, because I’ve always wanted an eyeshadow the color of Deep Blue Green pigment (I don’t like pressed pigments). These colors also just scream FALL! to me, too. I like it when things fit!

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 9/10
  • Overall: 8/10

Recommendation: Perfect for fall, Photo Realism is a great combination of softer, cool-tone greens and blues. If you like a little color in your looks, you might find yourself falling for this quad.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com

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Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — Notoriety Eyeshadow Quad

Richard Phillips contributed three eyeshadow quads to the MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. Let’s take a look at the earthy quad called Notoriety…

Notoriety Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Skintone 1 is a glittery confection of pale, whitish pink with a frosty finish. It has a lustre texture, which makes it a bit gritty and it does have a bit of fall out.
  • Rich & Earthy is a muted orange-base with golden shimmer laced through it. MAC describes it as a “coral bronze,” but I don’t really see that much brown in it. It’s more of a light, copper orange with gold shimmer, at best. This one has a veluxe pearl finish, which means it’s smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend.
  • Skintone 2 is a slightly muted gold with a bronzy finish. It has a frost finish, so it is incredibly easy to blend while still being pigmented and smooth to the touch. I felt like this was a really wearable gold, because it wasn’t so yellow or bright.
  • Notoriety is a deep cool-toned taupe brown base with gold flecks throughout. Being a velvet finish, this shadow is a bit chalky if you don’t layer it. I was expecting the brown to be a bit warmer–more chocolate–than it turned out to be. It’s surprisingly cool.

In the Gallery may be the “butt” quad of the collection (aka the loser of the bunch), I’m happy to be able to say that Notoriety is much better. The colors are more pigmented, and they’re not chalky like In the Gallery . I felt the weakest was Notoriety, actually, because it was a bit chalky compared to the other three shades in this quad. However, it layers really well so you can create a smooth texture that way. In particular, I really liked both Rich & Earthy and Skintone 2 — very pretty, wearable shades.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: Want a bit of a neutral look with a little shimmery kick? I think Notoriety is neutral without being too soft or subtle. It gives you great earthy tones that will be perfect for fall.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com

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Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad

As envisioned by Richard Phillips, three eyeshadow quads were developed for the upcoming MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. This post will focus on In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad!

Private Viewing Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Lightfall is an extremely sheer, satiny pale pink with lavender. If you have anything beyond a pale skin tone, this color is going to take work to show up. I couldn’t use a brush or a finger to swatch–I had to use a sponge-tip applicator and really dig into the color and layer it over five times to get the color to show up as it does in the swatch below. I was not pleased to say the least! Over a base, I imagine a little less work would be necessary, but that’s true for every color.
  • Look at the Eyes is a shimmery silvery-puprle with light silver-pink shimmer. It has a frost finish, but it doesn’t appear overly frosty. This reminded me a bit of Beautiful Iris eyeshadow.
  • In the Gallery is a matte eggplant-purple–reminded me a bit of Fig. 1 eyeshadow, though it’s not ultra pigmented and can be a bit chalky when applying.
  • Private Viewing is a plummy, red-brown. It is also matte, like In the Gallery, but it doesn’t feel as chalky. It could be smoother–more like Matte2s, IMO. This felt like a more purple Sketch eyeshadow to me.

This is a true purple quad–every color is tinted with it. I like the way the colors match each other, and I think you can get several different color combinations out of this quad. I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s quad packaging, because you get the ease and slimness of palettes, but you can see through the lid, too, which is always nice if you’re guilty of owning a few too many quads like myself! It’s not the most original set of shades, but they work well together. Because the two matte eyeshadows do have some drag, and Lightfall requires far too many layers to show up, I wouldn’t put this on my must-have list.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you’re all about purple eyeshadows, you should certainly check this quad out, since it is ALL about purples! Just make sure you have a good eyeshadow base if you become an owner of one of these, because the shadows don’t work so well without one.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com (August 20th), MAC stores

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Bright Enough for Fall: Dolce & Gabbana Dazzling Smooth Eye Colour Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Dazzling Smooth Eye Colour Quad ($59.00) is a stunning combination of a snowy white with a pink-purple icy tinge, a shimmering ocean blue, spring-y yellow-y chartreuse, and a medium warm-toned pink.

As promoted with Dolce & Gabbana’s Romantic Collection for the fall season, the Dazzling quad is just an immediate attention-grabber. I must admit I was instantly in love with it from the moment my eyes saw the promo image, but I had my reservations–just how bright would D&G actually go? Would it end up being sheer, muted shades?

I’m very happy to report that there’s no muted tones here! I will say that the promo image is a bit color-enhanced, because the shades aren’t quite so vibrant, but they’re still bright and bold and fun. They aren’t, by any means, tame or muted. And even better? They’re not sheer imitations of color either. All four shades apply easily without needing to build up intensity with multiple layers. The icy-pink/white has more of a glittery shimmer and look, while the other three are softer and smoother and have a softer sheen. I found all four colors to apply extremely true-to-color, which is a huge positive in my book!

I’m not entirely sure why this quad is being repromoted with the fall launch, just because it screams *summer* to me, but I can go with it, since I probably would have missed it otherwise! ;) I think this is a solid color combination of shades that work well together but can also be used easily with other shades you may have at home. For some, the price of D&G is just out of the world, but let me bring it back to earth–just a bit, at least–because the pricing of the palette is in line with other high-end brands like Chanel ($56), Dior ($56), and Guerlain ($58).

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: Been a bit color shy and would love something already put together for you that’s bright without being over the top? Try Dazzling! If you love color and want to indulge, I think you’ll find this to your liking!

Availability: Saks Fifth Avenue, Dolce & Gabbana

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Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Everyday Makeup:  Neutral, Natural Eyes with Too Faced

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection ($34.00) is a new eyeshadow palette from Too Faced’s Naturally Naughty Collection for the fall season.

The palette contains nine different shades of eyeshadow crafted by Too Faced’s Creative Director, Jerrod Blandino, for easy, effortless looks that work for everyone. It contains: Heaven, a matte cream; Velvet Revolver, a matte, cool-toned taupe; Sexspresso, a matte dark brown; Silk Teddy, a shimmery pink-beige; Push-Up, a shimmery neutral medium brown; Erotica, a lightly shimmered dark charcoal taupe; Nude Beach, a glittery pink champagne; Honey Pot, a shimmery softly muted gold; and Cocoa Puff, a warm-toned chocolate brown with gold shimmer. Each of the three larger eyeshadows are 0.07 oz., while the six smaller shadows are 0.03 oz.

Included with the palette are three how-to cards, detailing the three looks — Day, Classic, and Fashion. For those more eyeshadow savvy, there are definitely many more than three possible looks to create from this palette of nine. I like that the palette contains a mix of mattes, shimmers, and high shimmer/glitters, because it allows you to maximize your looks by adding different dimensions and layers of textures. Also included is a small, pull-out drawer with a double-sided brush (sponge-tip applicator on one side, angled brush on the other side)–not a highlight or a brush I’d personally use unless it was an emergency.

All of the eyeshadows swatched smoothly and went on with a good amount of pigmentation, including the matte shades, which were also smooth and buttery–not chalky at all. I didn’t see any of these colors “drag.” My favorite shades were Honey Pot and Cocoa Puff. Cocoa Puff is especially stunning with the mix of gold shimmer layered into the chocolate brown. While Nude Beach is pretty, it is extremely frosty/glittery, so it has to be worn with a bit more care, particularly for those with deeper skin tones.

The packaging was cute, but I could have done without the pull-out drawer that only contained the brush (which I didn’t like or find particularly useful). By omitting the drawer, the palette would be slimmer and more streamlined. If you’re bothered by cardboard/paper packaging, this palette might not be for you, as well. I like the earth-friendly-ness of paper packaging (at least, compared to plastic), so it wasn’t an issue for me. I thought the packaging was cute, functional, and worked well overall.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a go-to neutral eye palette, consider Too Faced’s Natural Eye. Nine great shades of neutral tone eyeshadows that all work well and go on smoothly (hey, it’s hard to find a palette with *all* winning shades!). If you prefer even softer neutrals or only like matte or semi-matte shades, this isn’t a good match for you. For $34, this product is well-worth a peek.

Availability: Sephora

What do you think of Too Faced’s new Natural Eye palette?

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Prescriptives’ Well Suited Collection is a nice launch easy, wearable shades in pre-made palettes (cool, neutral, and warm), along with the release of new longwearing liners. My favorite products from this launch are the new longwearing liners and the Well-Suited Finishing Powder. I also thought Posh Beige was a gorgeous shade from the LipColors.

Well-Suited Eye Color Compact ($40.00 U.S. / $48.00 CDN)

All three palettes had decent to good color pay off, but I did find shadows that had a more matte finish were a little less smooth and could skip a bit when swatched. These colors are designed to be wearable shades, and Prescriptives succeeded in this aspect. If you’re more of a bold color kind of person, these might not be up your alley. If you’re looking for something you can wear all week, you may find these are suitable for you!

  • Warm includes a soft, satin-y peach; a warm-toned medium brown with gold and green shimmer; a neutral-toned golden green-brown; a dark teal with aqua-blue shimmer; and a slightly warmed-up dark brown with a semi-matte/matte finish.
  • Neutral looks like a smoky eyes palette, actually. It includes a neutral-toned peach with light peach-gold shimmer; a neutral-tone reddish-brown with multicolored shimmer; a satiny, dark, chocolate brown; a medium silver with slight shimmer; and a matte black.
  • Cool consists of a peachy-pink with silvery shimmer; a cool-toned chocolate brown with slight shimmer; a grayish shade with brown undertones; a reddish-plum with golden shimmer; and a matte dark purple.

Face

  • Well-Suited Finishing Powder ($28.00) is a satiny, dusty pink with the collection’s theme as a raised pattern on the compact. It goes on as a pale, slightly warm pink (neutral or warm, but definitely not cool). It doesn’t have any shimmer, and it looks very natural and soft on skin.

Colorscope Lipcolor

  • Posh Honey is a semi-sheer warm-toned beige with golden sihmmer.
  • Posh Ginger is a brownish shade with a little bit of warm red with slight golden shimmer.
  • Posh Nude is a pinky-nue with a semi-sheer finish and low-level gold pearl.
  • Posh Pink is a semi-opaque raspberry pink with a glossy sheen.

Longwear Kohl Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Black Kohl is a medium flat black — not an ultra rich, ultra black-black, but a wearable, soft black.
  • Blush Kohl is a medium-dark blue with no shimmer or sheen.
  • Brown Kohl is a slightly war-toned chocolate brown.
  • Slate Kohl is a grayish-charcoal shade with a slight sheen.

Available: Nordstrom.com

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