Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Bobbi Brown Earth Metal Lip & Eye Palette ($60.00) is a new, limited edition holiday palette from Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Collection, which also features a Velvet Plum Eye Palette, Glitter Lip Balm Palette, and Chrome Eyeshadows (I mentioned those last week–love them!!).

For Eyes

  • Autumn Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow is a slightly green-tinged golden brown with shimmer.
  • Earth Metal Metallic Eyeshadow is a plummy brown with shimmer.
  • Zinc Metallic Eyeshadow is a light taupe brown with kind of a silver sheen. This shade wasn’t quite as pigmented as the others (it was just so-so).
  • Black Spruce Metallic Eyeshadow is a dark forest green with metallic shimmer.
  • Sunset Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a pale, light melon-y gold with light shimmer. Like Zinc, it wasn’t as pigmented the majority of the eyeshadows.
  • Antique Gold Metallic Eyeshadow is a coppery bronze with a metallic sheen. (It doesn’t look like antique gold to me!)

For Lips

  • Paisely Rose Creamy Lip Color is a pale, peachy pink.
  • Rose Garden Creamy Lip Color is a light medium yellow pink.
  • Rose Bud Creamy Lip Color is a plummy-pink.
  • Barefoot Shimmer Creamy Lip Color is a shimmery peach-brown.

First, as some of you know, I’m not of a fan of lip palettes. As such, I probably wouldn’t purchase this palette, just because I don’t extract any value out of the lip palette portion. I don’t think the eyeshadows are so stunning as to warrant the price tag ($60) by themselves, either. (I’d rather splurge on the Chrome Eyeshadows instead!) The lip colors, as in most lip palettes, are very sheer and don’t do much on my lips. They all kind of look the same, so this isn’t a lip palette designed to change my mind on how I feel about lip palettes in general.

I like the eyeshadows, because they’re definitely my kind of colors – earthy, metallic, and lots of gold thrown in. All of the eyeshadows felt very smooth and had a metallic look to them, and I only found pigmentation problems in two (Zinc and Sunset Gold), but the problems were minor – they just weren’t as pigmented as the majority of the palette, but there was still plenty of color pay off. I think this palette is actually a really good mix of shades that go together easily, and there’s just not much fuss when you use these.

Bottom Line: If you like the lip palette portion, I think this is a great buy. If you’re more like me and have no use for lip palettes, this is more of a skip item. I just can’t get with a palette knowing I’m not going to use half of it and still paying the full price for it, you know? I really wish they made these shades available separately or split the palette in half!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I would rather just be able to purchase the eyeshadow portion of the palette as a set over the lip and eye combination.  If you like both sides, I definitely think it’s a good buy in that instance!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

A good smoky eye palette is never a bad thing to have on hand. It’s useful, easy to travel with, and it’s classic. I’m not loving this year’s version of the smoky eye palette, because it’s more of a brownish eye, and I’ve always felt the classic smoky eye is monochromatic. I still hold that last year’s was better. (And I still contend that you can make your own smoky eyeshadow quad with permanent MAC eyeshadows just as well.)

6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Fire In Her Eyes is a super soft, slightly sheer beige with a light frost finish. In the swatch, you can tell it hardly shows up on my skin without a base. It’ll make a nice highlight, though.
  • Wide-Eyed Wonder is kind of a taupe-y brown with a reddish touch. There’s nothing about this shade that makes it jump off the page for me.
  • Black Magique is a velvety smooth deep dark black with brown tones. It has slight gold shimmer, but it’s hardly noticeable.
  • Spell No. 9 is a satiny neutral pink. It’s sheer, and it doesn’t do much for me.
  • Deception is a sheer, glittery copper bronze. Even though it’s a frost finish, it had more of a lustre feel to me.
  • Smoke & Mirrors is a cool-toned chocolate brown with a little gray sheen.

I”m not sold on this year’s. It reads more like a neutral eye palette than a smoky eye palette to me. It’s useful, and the colors are easily worn by many, so in that aspect, it’s a solid choice for those looking for a go-to palette.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: 6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC’s Warm eyeshadow palette usually gets me. I’m warm-toned, and I naturally gravitate towards warmer shades. Give me gold and I’m a happy lady! This year’s warm eyeshadow palette isn’t my favorite, but I like half of it a lot. The other half is just so-so, but I’ve been known to purchase a palette for just one color… so I suppose half isn’t bad! I think the reason I don’t love half of the palette is that it doesn’t feel very “warm” to me.

6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Oh My Darling is a soft, slightly warmed up beige with a frost finish. I like that this color is included, if only because it’s a very nice shade for a highlight. It’s not too frost or white, so it will work well on the brow bone.
  • Dare Ya! is a medium pink with kind of a peachy tone to it. It went on a bit sheerly on me, though.
  • Sorcery is a reddish-toned eggplant purple with a soft finish.
  • Gold Tease is a gorgeous shade of gilded gold with a metallic sheen. It reminded me of the Rushmetal pigments a bit, actually.
  • Prankster is an antique gold; kind of like a green-gold that’s played down. Again, gold, so of course I love it. I told you – three shades rocked my world!
  • Devilishly Dark is a warmed-up light chocolate brown with gold shimmer.

I would have bought this palette just for the two gold shades, but I have an unhealthy obsession with gold eyeshadow. (Particularly if they’re antique golds!)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Mystic Cool Eye Shadows

Mystic Cool is an interesting mix of eyeshadow shades. It’s not the most cohesive palette MAC has put out, but if you’re just looking to boost up your color collection and aren’t so concerned with a palette that works together easily, you shouldn’t mind. It’s not to say that there aren’t color combinations to be created from the palette, but it just requires a little more thinking than your average eyeshadow palette where there are so many obvious combinations to work with.

6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Cool Incantation is a frosty golden-white with an almost gray tinge to the white base. It reminded me a little of Nanogold but yellow.
  • Blue Enchantment is a deep turquoise with subtle shimmer. Surprisingly, MAC doesn’t have a shade like this in their permanent line. It’s almost as if Shimmermoss and Bottle Green had a baby.
  • Deep Secret is a shimmery, jewel-toned indigo-blue. It’s incredibly pretty, and it reminded me of a darker Cinders eyeshadow (one of my all-time favorite limited edition shades).
  • Shhh, Don’t Tell is a satiny pale neutral pink that goes on like a dusty rose pink. It was hard to get it to show up really well on my skin tone without a base.
  • Rose Potion is a frosty rose. It’s a fairly simple shade, but it’s not one I’ve seen often by MAC either.
  • Violet Vow is a cool-toned, dark brown with kind of a purple edge to it. I found this one harder to work with, and I felt like it wasn’t as pigmented as it could have been.

I didn’t fall head over heels in love with this palette, but I did like it. I think there are some great colors in this palette, but long-time collectors may find they have similar shades (at least, similar enough) in their stash already.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Sorceress Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Sorceress Eye Shadows

I’ve always liked MAC eyeshadow palettes, because I do feel like they represent a chance to get multiple eyeshadows at a more affordable price point, and MAC has put out some great limited edition shades in holiday palettes in the past. This year’s palettes actually reminded me of a bit of the Ornamentalism palettes from a few years ago–which is a good thing. The packaging is better, though, this year, as it’s sleek, functional, and feels like it has more quality than the last few years’ palettes.

6 Sorceress Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • White Rabbit is a frosty silver-tinged white. It’s not a particularly unique shade, and I’d say it’s a little too frosty to work well as a highlighter for most.
  • Hold My Gaze is a gray-green base with golden-green shimmer. This is actually a very unique shade, and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an eyeshadow of this color before (which is pretty surprising). It has decent pigmentation. It’s just a very unusual shade.
  • Edge of Dark is a charcoal gray with silver gray shimmer, and I had some issues getting it to go on smoothly. It doesn’t have the best texture, but it is a lustre, so I’m not surprised.
  • Magnetized is a frosty white-purple. It kind of reminded me of a lighter, whiter Beautiful Iris eyeshadow.
  • Hypnotizing is a grayed down mauve. It’s dark yet light, because it’s not an intense shade.
  • Altered State is a dark, almost jewel-toned purple with slight reddish brown tones. I liked this shade a lot.

I liked the combination of colors MAC put into the Sorceress combination, and I was pleasantly surprised by Hold My Gaze. I’d probably buy it just for that shade, simply because I haven’t seen one like that before. I can appreciate the originality of it! Overall, though, it is a cooler palette, so if you prefer warm shades, you might not like this one.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Tarte Femme Naturale Eye Palette ($44.00) is an eyeshadow palette that contains ten different shades of Tarte eyeshadow from their fall collection. (Tarte also released the Femme Fatale Eyeshadow Palette with this one.)

  • A pale champagne with slight sheen. This one is a paler version of the color next to it and has more of a frost finish.
  • A champagne with the lightest champagne shimmer. It’s a soft shade, and it makes for a perfect highlighter within this palette.
  • A subdued, semi-matte rose-mauve. I like this shade for two reasons: it’s a subtle way to incorporate a pinker color into your palette without worrying so much it may make you look like you’re crying; but also because I don’t see this particular shade very often. I also dig the finish.
  • A sparkling mix of peachy-gold and soft rose. This reminded me of MAC’s Say Yeah eyeshadow, but a little dark, which is just fine in my book. Say Yeah was always one of my go-to shades. This one has the most frosty/glittery appearance, but I didn’t find it had a lot of fall out issues as glittery shades often do.
  • A deep forest green with a little bit of a grayish tinge. This one had amazing pigmentation and texture–very soft, smooth, and gives you plenty of intensity without having to pack it on.
  • A semi-matte reddish brown. There’s not a whole to say about the shade itself, but it doesn’t read too warm to me (maybe even cool, actually). It has really good pigmentation, and it is surprisingly not chalky for a shadow with such a matte finish.
  • A light, peachy-brown with a frosty finish. This one is similar to the other neutrals in the palette, as it has that frosty look. It’s pigmented and feels soft to the touch.
  • A chalky, cool-toned lilac-pink. Personally, this shade is one I’d find difficult to pull off on my skin tone, but I think those with cooler skin tones will appreciate it. It’s chalky, but I’d say half of it comes from how cool the shade is along with the matte finish.
  • A plummy rose with gold glitter. This color is so stunning! It’s this gorgeous shade that I envision being perfect for fall or holiday. I love the way the gold flecks sparkle in the plummy base. This one wasn’t as pigmented as the others, but it still was pretty good.
  • A rich bronze with gold flecks and a frost finish. This one has a very nice feel to it–very soft–and goes on like butter and has intense pay off.
  • A dark, smoky blue-black with a gray cast. This one was the least pigmented out of the ten shadows, and it kind of dragged a bit when I swatched.

This is a solid palette that gives you a ton of product for under $50. Tarte shadows themselves are high in quality and still affordable.  They’re soft, smooth, and they’re usually easy to blend. The only thing I really wasn’t jazzed over was the product’s packaging.  It just feels tacky to me, and I hate that fingerprints get stuck all over the casing.  The “rose” attached also presents some storage woes.

Each eyeshadow is 0.06 oz., and the palette itself is refillable. Tarte refillable eyeshadows retail for $10 a pop. The palette itself yields you a cost of $73.33/oz. whereas one refillabe Tarte eyeshadow will run you $166.67/oz. Buying these together means you get twice as much for half the cost! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

Recommendation:  If you’d like some neutrals–but not just neutrals–Tarte’s Femme Naturale palette offers a good combination to get you started.

Availability: Sephora

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