Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which [again] includes three palette variations. Bonfire is more my style than the other two variations.  By the by, Aquamarine is the third variation, which I won’t be reviewing at this time!  It does, however, have the same Pot Rouges as Orchid Sparkle, which I reviewed earlier, so it’s like… half reviewed :)

Pot Rouge

  • Tawny is a brownish-red–it’s not a brick red, and it certainly doesn’t scream “RED!” but it’s in there. Creamy, opaque, and smooth.
  • Fresh Melon is a brightened coral-peach with a creamy and opaque look. This can be worn as a very subtle blush or lip.
  • Calypso Coral is a bold, tropical orange-coral with the same creaminess of the other shades of Pot Rouge. This is definitely a more fearless coral, though, because it is fairly bright. You can pat less on to get a less intense look, though, which is nice.

Eyeshadow

  • Bone is a softened white-beige with a matte finish. Kind of a classic shade–easier for me to wear with my warmer skin tone than whites.
  • Cafe Cream (Sparkle) is a shimmered medium coffee brown with an almost taupe-gray tone to it. It looks almost wet when used, and the fall out isn’t too bad.
  • Bonfire is a rich copper with a metallic finish. Think MAC Amber Lights with a smoother finish. This is the “bright” shade in the palette, while the other shades are designed to coordinate with this one.
  • Cognac is an intense shade of coppered chocolate brown with an almost burgundy sheen. This shade is truly lovely–I fell completely in love at first swatch. It’s one of those shades that I could see myself buying the palette for.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish. I like this more with the Bonfire palette than the Orchid palette, but I also wish they varied it, so there wouldn’t be any repeats between the three palettes!

It has the same sleek packaging as Orchid, so my thoughts remain the same on that: well-done, practical, and keeps everything as clean as can be in a palette.

I think these eyeshadows work better together than the ones chosen for the Orchid palette as well. I can definitely see many different combinations with these five shades. I also like the shades swatched smoother and more pigmented–there was only one iffy shade (Cafe Cream), but it was still decent and not so troublesome (unlike Orchid Sparkle).

I know that I’m personally more drawn to Bonfire (hey, I like me some warm shades!), so I’m definitely going to try to do a look with this palette later this week or next!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve wanted to try Pot Rouges, this is one way to try three at once… and get some eyeshadows as a bonus!

Availability: BobbiBrown.com, Nordstrom

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Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which includes three palette variations. I’m typically wary of any palette that has lip wells in them, but I was excited, for these aren’t just the typical lip color, these are Pot Rouges, which are designed for cheeks and lips.

Pot Rouge

  • Powder Pink is a creamy rosy pink that can be layered for an opaque look on lips or sheered out for an everyday blusher on cheeks.
  • Pale Pink is a cool-toned blue-based pink that feels creamy and goes on fairly opaque.
  • Sand Pink is a creamy coral-beige shade. I don’t see a lot of pink in this, but it’s a muted, played-down coral that will work well on warm skin tones in particular.

Eyeshadow

  • White is a matte white. It’s a muted white, so it’s not a bright, totally unwearable white.
  • Dusty Plum (Metallic) is a mauvey-plum with a shimmery finish. It has that “metallic” feel, like it’s almost wet you swatch it.
  • Orchid Sparkle is a sheer, sparkly lilac–very light, very sheer, and prone to fall out.
  • Mulberry is a richly pigmented royal purple with a matte finish. Like a lot of mattes, it applies better when you use a brush than anything else. I don’t have a shade quite like this.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish.

Oddly enough, my favorite part about this palette are the Pot Rouges. After trying Cabo Coral last month, I was curious about the other shades of Pot Rouge, and this is a good way to try out three new shades. All three were very creamy and pigmented, and they’re wearable on both cheeks and lips, so they do double-duty.

The eyeshadows didn’t get me too excited–I really liked Mulberry, though–I’m not sold on these five together. I can see a few combos, but usually I see a lot of combos in Bobbi Brown’s palettes and that wasn’t the case here. Orchid Sparkle is a throwaway shade for me, just because I know it’s a pain in the butt to use and it’s incredibly sheer; to make it work, try wearing it over a dark, metallic base. Dusty Plum Metallic would be my other shade favorite, because it’s smooth, pigmented, and versatile.

I like Bobbi Brown’s palette packaging, because the palette itself is sleek, but it’s practical, too.  The cheek/lip shades are separated from the eyeshadows quite well, and each palette also has a clear lid that flips up to further protect the shades from dirt and dust.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve wanted to try Pot Rouges, this is one way to try three at once… and get some eyeshadows as a bonus!

Availability: BobbiBrown.com, Nordstrom

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Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Beauty on a Budget:  Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) includes an icy silver with bright silver shimmer, a muted teal-blue with silver shimmer, a dark navy blue with a soft sheen, and a matte black with silver sparkle. The eyeshadows have a very soft texture, so they are best applied by patting the eyeshadow on rather than sweeping it on.

The silver, dark blue, and black were surprisingly pigmented and really didn’t have a powdery or chalky finish to them–the only one that I had any issues with was the teal shade, which tended to go on very soft and really had to be packed on in order to get decent color. I also found that it was easy to overblend the teal shade to a very faded teal shade, but the other three shades I didn’t have that problem with. I thought I might have had that issue with the black, but it stayed dark and black for the most part.

The silver reminded me of MAC Electra, while the blue was similar to a mix between MAC Freshwater and MAC Deep Truth, and the black was a less glittery version of MAC Black Tied. The teal was a bit too faded to really be comparable to a MAC eyeshadow, but it has a similar tone as MAC Surreal (which is now discontinued).

The packaging is the same as the other eyeshadow quads I’ve reviewed, so I still have the same gripe — it’s cheap and flimsy. It’s easy for the clear plastic lid to pop off the hinge, though I haven’t had it break, so I can still pop it back on. For the price tag (particularly if you catch these on sale), they’re worth checking out!

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads…

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’re on a budget and want to try out some new eyeshadows, Maybelline’s Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads are worth a look!

Availability: Local drugstores

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Monday, February 8th, 2010

Physician's Formula Bronze Brown Eyes Shimmerstrips

9 Eyeshadows for the Price of $11: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips

Physicians Formula Bronze Brown Eyes Shimmer Strips ($10.95 for 0.26 oz.) is a strip of nine different shades designed to complement brown eyes specifically. Bronze Brown Eyes includes: a neutral lilac, soft bronze brown, coppery bronze, golden champagne, soft copper, bronze, light copper, plummy brown, and burgundy brown. All nine shades apply smoothly, give good color pay off, and have a frosty finish. (If you’re into matte textures, Shimmer Strips are not the way to go.) Physicians Formula describes the shades as “three blendable trios perfectly paired to color, contour, and line your eyes.” Sort of handy if you’re not quite sure how to pair your shades yet.

Physicians Formula’s Shimmer Strips line-up always reminds me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. They’re not-so-elegantly packaged in comparison, as they come in a clear, slightly glossy plastic packaging. Shimmer Strips come in a slim compact that skinny and long that snaps open and includes an angled sponge-tip applicator (which is as good as sponge applicators are, which is not very). Otherwise, they do have a very similar feel and look–soft, not ultra intense in pigmentation but not sheer, and frosty.

I found these worked just fine using regular makeup brushes, though less is more–piling too much on the brush can lead to excess fall out. Overall, I found fall out to be minimal and the color to stay on fairly well with just some fading after the eighth hour of wear. Physicians Formula also designed Shimmer Strips for Hazel, Blue, and Green eyes, if you’ve been looking for a how-to on how to make your [insert color here] eyes.

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: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been looking for easy-to-use eyeshadows on a budget, Physicians Formula’s Shimmer Strips give you nine all in one!

Availability: Physicians Formula

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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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