(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.
See more palette photos… Continue reading →
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!
See more palette photos… Continue reading →
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 →
Lip Plumpers: Pink Pearl, Rose Flush, Peach Glow;
Palette: Buff, Tawny Apricot, Granite; Blushing Peach, Blushing Pink
Laura Mercier’s First Blush Collection recently debuted at retailers and Nordstrom.com. I believe just this morning it launched on LauraMercier.com, as well! It’s a fairly small launch, relative to many of the other major beauty brands this season, with just a palette, brush set, three lip plumpers, and two nail polishes.
The First Blush Palette ($55.00) contains three eyeshadows (Buff, Tawny Apricot, and Granite), two blushes (Blushing Peach and Blushing Pink), and three lip glazes (Flushed, Natural, and Naked). My favorites of the palette are both blushes; they’re both soft, smooth powder blushes in complimentary tones. The peach is soft and light, while the pink is pretty neutral and subtle. The eyeshadows didn’t impress me overly so, as I’ve definitely seen these shades many times before. Buff was a little chalky, which totally turned me off. The lip glazes were pretty, but I imagine they are at least semi-sheer when actually applied to lips (my swatches ran thicker). The shades of lip glazes are flattering on most skin tones, and they’re soft and springy for sure.
The First Blush Lip Plumpers ($30.00 each) are pretty, but with a price tag like that, I had to pass. I don’t need a lip plumper, so I see no reason to pay that much for a Laura Mercier gloss (their Lip Glace is $22 a pop). Pink Pearl is a sheer, pastel pink–not terribly unique–but it’s a face friendly color that works easily and can be used everyday. Rose Flush is a brownish red that goes on sheer and glossy. Similarly, Peach Glow is just as glossy, but the color is a brighter coral-orange shade.
I didn’t have much time to play with the brush set, though from what I could tell, it felt nice enough. I have plenty of brush sets myself, so I don’t see myself buying more at this time, which is probably why I didn’t fight through the crowd at the Laura Mercier counter to see them better! The nail lacquers were also being used, but they were both soft, subtle shades designed with spring in mind.
See more swatches… Continue reading →
Bobbi Brown’s Brights Collection really grabbed our attention with its star product: Bobbi Brown Brights Palette with 35 shades of bright, matte eyeshadows. The pricetag for this dreamboat is $70, which is not quite the deal many of you were looking forward to, because this palette is indeed quite small. It’s just a little shorter in height than UDPP, which makes it around six inches tall. The shadows themselves are approximately dime sized or perhaps even slightly smaller.
BARGAIN BUY OR OVERPRICED?
Let’s discuss whether this is truly a bargain buy or if it’s way overpriced and something you should skip if only for the pricetag. Bobbi Brown consistently releases palettes each season, and they all range around $50-60 a pop. Sometimes they’re all eyeshadows, but other times they are a mix of blushes, eyeshadows, and lip colors. Each Bobbi Brown eyeshadow goes for $20 each for 2.5 grams of shadowy goodness, and if I recall correctly, each shadow is around an inch in each direction.
Now, if you’re a beauty addict, you quite possibly have more shadows than you’ll ever use in your lifetime (cough, that’s me!). Coming from that side of the spectrum, getting 35 colors for $70 isn’t a bad deal–especially because I’m unlikely to use any of these all up. I’ll use as much from one of these as a single $20 eyeshadow in all likelihood. What if you’re not a beauty addict? If you’re just starting out, this is a great opportunity to fill your collection with 35 new shadows. Talk about doubling or tripling your collection in one fell swoop!
I bet a few of you are thinking, “But Coastal Scents has a palette with 88 colors for $20!” I actually can’t personally vouch for it, but I know enough respected beauty bloggers have reviewed it with raves, so I’ll assume it’s true for the purpose of this comparison. You’re totally right–Coastal Scents is a way better deal and bargain. It’s going to be pretty hard for any high end brand to compete with that price tag, even the much adored MAC shadows costs much more.
There is at least one good reason I can think of for going for Bobbi Brown’s instead: size. What? Small size is a good thing? When it comes to traveling it is! Instead of taking several palettes or pots of shadows, you can take 35 vivid colors in a compact palette. It’s truly a travel-friendly way to bring a ton of eye makeup with you without taking up a lot of space.
So in the end…
Yes, the palette is worth it relative to Bobbi Brown products (so we don’t get into a quarrel over pricing, bargains, etc.). The price is in line with comparable Bobbi Brown palettes and products, and I feel this is one of the best measures of “value” aside from comparing against other brands. You just gotta buy what you love, what works for you, and what you see as a better value for you. Overall, Bobbi Brown did a fantastic job of making her mattes smooth, more buttery than chalky, and the majority of the shadows have great color pay off. I found the pinks had the least vivid pay off, but the greens, blues, and purples were much more pigmented. I swatch everything without a base, because I believe in seeing what you really get. A good base often elevates any mediocre shadow to at least average, but a good shadow shouldn’t need the best possible base or combination of bases to look good. I like to see color pay off and good pigmentation sans a base to make sure I like what I’m getting!
See more palette photos as well as swatches! Continue reading →