Stila’s Summer Collection features a stunning quad, the Charmed palette ($28.00), which I am sure instantly created some temptation! The colors featured in the palette are a mid-tone copper, warm gold, intense teal, and deep burgundy.
The color themselves are quite lovely, as they swatch well with rich pigmentation. I’d describe the colors more of a coppery-pink, warm coppery-gold, teal with green undertones, and a brown-burgundy. The texture is smooth and silky, easily blending into the skin and no fall out problems.
The only issue I had with the palette was the packaging itself. The gold coloring and the detailing on the outside was beautiful, but it feels like it’s all cardboard. The clear part (where you can see the shadows) is super thin plastic–like what you might find on top of shadows. I’d have preferred something more durable. Otherwise, this palette is superb, and it is totally worth $28!
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Next in Givenchy’s Maharani Collection are the Prismissimes, which are compacts filled with nine shades to be used on the face or the eyes. The Spring collection features #21 Maharani Pinks and #22 Maharani Apricots ($53.00 each). Both palettes feature eight subtly shimmered or matte shadows, plus one frosty shadow smack dab in the middle.
Maharani Pinks contains four shades of soft brown-based beige paired with four shades of soft, subtle pink. In the middle is a frosty, warm, copper bronze color. The way Givenchy does their Prismissimes, the four shades are actually a gradient–meaning there is the lighest brown-based beige, a medium colored, then a medium-dee, and then a darker shade–that are all similar to each other. The same story is repeated with the pink colors, too.
The texture of Prismissimes’ shadows is always velvety smooth. I tend to find that there is not enough variation in one Prismissimes to do a whole host of eye looks, but you can get some good standbys with this quad (what with the beiges) and subtly cheeks with the pinks. For me, each color squaer is too small for me to really love it as a face/blusher, unfortunately. I’d much rather get one of their Prisme Again! Blush Quartets ($40.00).
Maharani Apricots is formatted just like Maharani Pinks, except the colors are a little darker to begin with. Four shades go from light to dark in a neutral brown color family, while the other four are a peachy-brown shade going from apricot peach to peach-brown. In the center is a rich, frosty medium-to-dark brown shade. Again, the textures of this product is the same as Maharani Pinks — smooth and velvety.
Each Prismissime comes with a cute little brush that’s designed to be used as a face brush (since it’s quite wide). What I liked about the brush was that it was also appropriately designed with the same theme as the palettes themselves. It’s just a nice touch, you know? Overall, I’m not sure these are totally worth their value, and I’d probably rather get two of the Blush Quartets instead. Then again, I haven’t tried using either as a face product, and I am curious to see how pinks and browns end up together…
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(After swatching those, I wanted to do a look using those colors, LOL!)
Coastal Scents Ultra Shimmer 88 Eyeshadow Palette ($24.95) is very similar to the 88 Piece Makeup Palette ($21.95), with the major difference being these are full of high shimmer. I only swatched a few random colors, so that I could test (and you could see) the pigmentation and the level of shimmer, because the colors are exactly the same as the original 88 Makeup Palette.
All the raves from before still apply, because these shadows are smooth in texture and rich in color pay off. There’s no down side, no reason to poo-poo them in the least bit. For $25, it is, indeed, a beauty bargain. Regardless of whether or not you’re on a budget, I definitely recommend you check out either or both of these palettes. They’re well worth their price tags, and sometimes it’s good to be know you can get high quality products for less than $30. It won’t stop me from buying makeup from other, more expensive brands, but now I can set the bar higher for those brands to really wow me. For those on a budget, these are truly worth every hard-earned penny you spend. I can’t imagine anyone not being both impressed and excited to play with these palettes!
Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Mineral Oil, Kaolin, Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lanolin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, BHT. May contain: Mica and titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarine Blue, Manganese Violet, Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, Chrome Oxide Greens, Chrome Hydroxide Green, FD&C Red No.40 AlLake, FD&C Yellow No.5 Al Lake, FD&C blue No.1 Al Lake.
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Coastal Scents 88 Piece Makeup Palette ($21.95) is one of those products people talk about often, but it’s kept on the down low and you’re always left wondering if a $22 eyeshadow palette could ever be anything near amazing. Despite hearing raves from several trusted peers, I remained a little skeptical–I mean, I believed it was pretty decent, but I didn’t think it would be outstanding.
This palette is AMAZING. Coastal Scents really gives you quality eyeshadows that are smooth in texture and rich in pigmentation. I would say that the power of the shadows is well worth at least $100 to $150, because the shadows really do rival just about any major brand’s eyeshadows. Bobbi Brown’s Brights, move outta the way, ’cause you only have one thing better than this palette: your minuscule size–which is only valuable if you travel often. The 88 Makeup Palette measures approximately 9″ by 7″ — kind of like an oversized piece of paper. Each eyeshadow is about the size of a dime, and I imagine you’ll be able to get a good amount of usages out of each before you run out.
I was thinking about how fantastic would it be if you were able to mix and match and build your palettes with more normal-sized shadows, because one drawback of the palette is: what if you run out of five or six colors? $22 isn’t a lot to re-purchase, but at the same time, who wants to replace it just for a few colors? I’d also like a smaller palette size, just because this is quite large relative to any other palette I own, so it’s not convenient for me to store anywhere in my bathroom.
Of the 88 eyeshadows, I would say only a handful of them appeared chalky or less pigmented than what I would want in a top-notch eyeshadow. But let’s be cynical, if 75 of the 88 are amazing, this is still an incredible steal. For those of you who have ever wanted to try bright colors but can’t bring yourself to shell out $15 for each shadow… get this. Really, you will be as impressed as I was! I was taking photos and swatching each shadow one-by-one, and I kept remarking to my boyfriend how pigmented they were (and he, of course, half-listened and went back to his work).
The 88 Makeup Palette comes with both matte, semi-matte, and satiny shadows; it’s not exclusively matte formulations. They do a brilliant job of fully representing bright, bold colors, and they do lesser (but still good) job of representing more natural colors. I do think that their more subdued, more natural colors aren’t as standout as the bright ones — some of them just are missing the subtle nuances that make neutrals pretty without being bright. I’d also love to see things like a brown shadow with gold shimmer or green-gold shimmer. Coastal Scents shadows tend to be more base with coordinating/matching shimmer.
Ingredients: Talc, Mica, Mineral Oil, Kaolin, Titanium Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, Isopropyl Palmitate, Lanolin, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. May contain: Mica and titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarine Blue, Manganese Violet, Ferric Ammonium ferrocyanide, Chrome Oxide Green, Hydrated Chrome Oxide Green. FD&C Red #40/ak Kajem /fd&/c Tekkiw #5 Al Lake, FD&C Blue #1 Al Lake
In the end, the swatches don’t lie! There are quite a few swatches, so they will be in the post right after this!
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Gloss Pur: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
YSL’s Spring Look 2009 Collection is fun to review, because it is so different from many of the other spring launches this season. Do you remember how we had a lil’ sneak peek a few weeks ago of what was to come? Sure, you have some pastels typical to spring, but then you have such an intense, vivid black that totally negates how spring it is!
Must-haves: Gloss Pur in Pure Raspberry, Pure Lipstick in Romantic Pink, Ivory Beige/Deep Black
Nice-to-haves: Glosss Pur in Pure Fuchsia, Pure Lipstick in Silky Apricot
Skip: Collector Powders (Complexion and Eye), Oatmeal/Petroleum Blue
See a review breakdown of each product AND swatches… Continue reading →
Guerlain Exotic Paradise Collection is my favorite spring launch so far. (I admit, NARS’ Heart of Desire Collection looks very promising!) I’ve seen a fair amount of the spring collections released, and I really fell in love with Guerlain’s presentation, mix of colors, and especially the Exotic Paradise quad ($58.00). Guerlain has some of the best packaging of the higher end brands, because each product is housed in a metal compact/casing. It just feels more luxe than plastic, you know?
The Exotic Paradise Quad comes with four shades of shadow perfect for spring–pastels, but they’re not typical pastels. Trust me when I say the pastel green is *beyond* stunning! The pastel green shade is a vibrant springy green with gold sheen. The peachy shade is a smooth, silky peachy shade. The pastel pink is a rich, cool medium pink that goes on like butter. And the brown shade? Deliciously luxe and smooth with a warm, deep brown base and gold sheen. The brown is actually one of the most stunning shades of brown eyeshadow I’ve seen!
What really stood out to me about this uad is there was a good mix of pastel looks that could be made, but I could also go darker just by adding the brown shade with any of the other colors. The quality of the shadows from the texture to the pigmentation is oh-so-amazing. Each shadow, without exception, went on prettier than appeared, smoothly, and felt like silk. No dreaded chalkiness, no disappointment in color here. In these photos, you’ll notice there’s an overlay of a greenish-gold in the shape of flowers/leaves. This design does disappear after you use your shadows a few times, but it doesn’t matter. The shadows look incredible–even better–without this overlay.
I’d also like to take a quick minute to talk about Guerlain’s Ombre Eclat Duo Liner ($52.00) in L’heure de Nuit (which, if my terrible French works, means the hour of night or something to that effect). Pricey, but ridiculously luxe in packaging (gold-colored metal casing) and texture, so it’s definitely something I recommend to those who tend to buy high end brands like Guerlain. It’s a very practical product in which you’re given a very light shade and a coordinated dark shade, so you can use the product as a highlighter, liner, or just shadow. It’s interesting that it was out on display as part of the spring collection, just because it’s so much darker than the rest of the line. It’s not on my must-have list to recommend to you all, but I thought I’d give you my take on it!
Where To Buy
You can find Guerlain’s spring launch (plus many other brands’ spring collections) over at Nordstrom.com. Don’t forget they’re doing their large GWP right now!
Stay tuned for more reviews & photos Guerlain’s spring launch! But for now, take a look at more photos of the quad, duo liner, and swatches…. but of course! Continue reading →