Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Hollywoodland

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “pale gold” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Hollywoodland is a muted yellow-based gold–kind of a gilded champagne-gold to me. It delivers a nice layer of color without a lot of tugging. Smooth without being greasy, it glides on the lid. I tested it alone, and within ten minutes, it was crease-city (photo included, for your viewing horror), and following that disaster, I tested it with Hourglass’ Dune eyeshadow on top–much better results (six hours of crease-free wear). However, I later tried it with NARS Brazil eyeshadow on it, and it creased a bit at the four hour mark. It seems like it really needs quite a bit of powder to really set it. I also wore it as a liner and honestly, when I went to check it after an hour, I couldn’t find it.

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–but with enough powder, Hollywoodland managed to get through six hours without creasing, unlike the last one I tried (Palladium).

The Glossover

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product

Hollywoodland

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For $24, this product needs a lot of help to make it usable. From a brand that can make my favorite eyeshadow primer, I'm It's a shame, because it was gorgeous as a base but also blended out on its own for a quick, everyday look.  Given that these are prone to creasing on my normal-to-dry lids, if you have to layer your eyeshadow primers normally, I don't think these are for you.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2011: Bateau Ivre

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “rich sky blue” and “deep denim blue” by NARS.  It is a new and limited edition eyeshadow duo from NARS’ Spring Collection (now available).

Bateau Ivre is a combo of a rich periwinkle blue with a satin-matte finish (seems more periwinkle than sky blue to me, though I can see the sky blue reference working) and dark, grayish-cast blue with a matte finish. This is a really beautiful combination of colors; it is also a very pretty way to wear blue in a less neon/vibrant way. These softer, almost muted blues remind me of sailors and boats and cruise ships. The texture of the eyeshadows are both soft and smooth, with the lighter blue shade seemingly more pigmented but both work nicely when applied to the lid.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS Eyeshadow Duos usually contain complementary colors, though sometimes you’ll see a duo and go, “There’s no way!” NARS states that you can use their eyeshadows wet or dry, though. The texutre is soft, smooth, and very blendable, with the colors being nicely pigmented.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The classic way to wear this duo would be to use the lighter blue all over the lid with the darker blue in the crease, then highlight with your favorite highlighter. These blues will suit the gamut of skin tones with their slightly muted appearance.

where to buy: NARS

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Guerlain D'une Etreinte Eyeshadow
Guerlain D’une Etreinte Eyeshadow

As White as Snow

Guerlain D’une Etreinte (143) Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright snow white; it’s not quite icy–there is some hidden warmth there that keeps it from being cool-toned. It is definitely a near-blinding kind of white, though, with a rich metallic finish. When applied dry, it is still nicely pigmented, but used wet, it seems slightly smoother and the metallic sheen is more visible.

my thoughts on the formula: Guerlain’s eyeshadow texture is phenomenal in their singles–smooth, silky, very buttery. The color is true-to-pan and delivers rich results with little product needed. This particular formula can be used wet or dry, though the color already reaches full intensity used dry. Guerlain’s eyeshadows are massive–over double the average single eyeshadow–and so by the ounce, Guerlain is as expensive ($300/oz.) (or as affordable) as MAC eyeshadows ($290/oz.).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This could work really nicely with a smoky eye–think blacks and whites and shades of gray.  It has a beautiful texture:  silky smooth, buttery, and excellent pigmentation.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Saturday, January 22nd, 2011

NARS Nouveau Monde Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Nouveau Monde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2011: Nouveau Monde

NARS Nouveau Monde Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “metallic silver lilac” and “rich olive gold.” The duo includes a cool-toned lilac with silver-gray shimmer and flecks of larger shimmer (seems smaller than micro-glitter but not as fine as shimmer), which goes on smoothly but a touch sheer; alongside the lilac shade is a khaki olive brown with a smooth, satin finish. The khaki shade has excellent pigmentation and texture–very rich and smooth.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: It’s an interesting pair of colors–would not have thought to put a lilac and olive brown together at all.  Though I was slightly concerned about fall out issues with the lilac shade, due to the more apparent flecks of shimmer-glitter, it seemed minimal at worst.

where to buy: NARS

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Friday, January 21st, 2011

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette
Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette

Pretty in Pink with Bobbi Brown

Bobbi Brown Pretty Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-inclusive face palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lip glosses, and one lip color. It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Pink Flannel (nude pink), Pink Chiffon (bright pink with shimmer), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Pretty Pink (warm baby pink), Soiree Pink (baby pink with silver flecks), Bubble Bath (bright neutral pink), and Sandwash (beige pink). It shares one overlapping shade (Chocolate Caviar) with the Powerful palette.

  • Ivory is neutral-cool white. This is a matte eyeshadow, and it is part of the permanent range.
  • Pink Flannel is a muted gray-rose with great color pay off and no chalkiness. It is nicely pigmented and very creamy, not at all chalky. This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pink Chiffon is a white-shimmered petal pink with an inherent sheerness because of its finish. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Pretty Pink is a blue-based medium pink with a near matte finish. This is a blush.
  • Soiree Pink is a sheer confection of gold and pink shimmer; it has a milky pink base, but it really didn’t seem to show up on lips. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Bubble Bath is a cool-toned medium pink with a glossy shine. This is a lip gloss.
  • Sandwash is a nearly opaque, plummy pink with a cream finish. This is a lipstick.

The palette contains 0.09 oz. of Eyeshadow ($22.50 value), 0.04 oz. Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($7.50 value), 0.14 oz. of blush ($23.69 value), 0.028 oz. of Shimmer Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), 0.028 of Glitter Lip Gloss ($4.00 value), and 0.035 oz. of Lip Color ($6.42 value). It total value of the products inside the palette sums to $68.11, while the palette itself costs $60. It’s not a value-packed palette, but you’re getting your money’s worth.

Just like the Powerful, all of the shades were pigmented, and the matte shades were nice and creamy, with the exception of Chocolate Caviar which was slightly drier. Again, both glosses are rather sheer with the lip color being more opaque. The Pretty palette coordinates better within itself, though, which is really nice to see.

I love the sleek packaging, and I think the typography on the outside cover of the palette is beautiful. Bobbi Brown’s campaign of Pretty. Powerful. is really a fantastic slogan, so I’m all for it being emblazoned across the palette itself. Though I’m not personally that fond of palettes that mix powders with gloss or creams, I do like that Bobbi Brown’s palettes always seem to have deeper wells and a very tightly clasping palette to minimize powder migration.

P.S. — In case you missed it, I reviewed the Powerful palette earlier.

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

final thoughts: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Pretty palette may just be one of those. With eyeshadows, blush, and lip color all in one go all housed in a slim palette, it is easy to travel with. This one certainly works better as a standalone palette, and the cooler tones of the palette make it more flattering on cooler skin tones.

where to buy: Bobbi Brown

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Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette

A Look at Estee Lauder’s New Spring Palette

Estee Lauder Wild Violet Eyeshadow Palette ($42.00 for 0.27 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette just in time for spring. In the past year or two, Estee Lauder has really stepped up their game. I think they’ve been listening to evolving customer demands and have given their texture and themes some facelifts. I could still do with some tweaking of the packaging, but I very much appreciate their foray into color, into real color, and not just washes.

The palette contains five different shades: a soft, pale beige with a frosted champagne shimmer; medium-dark chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones in a shimmer-sheen finish; cool-toned gray-taupe brown with a satin finish; rich, smoldering; deep dark purple with white and blue flecks of shimmer over a matte base; and a brightened metallic copper. I think the shades individually are stunning, but the palette is an excellent composition of warm and cool, rich and luxe. With soft, silky smooth textures and beautiful color pay offs, all five eyeshadows are easy to use.

Do you remember NARS Daphne? There was a shade that swatched terribly but worked beautifully on the eye itself–the matte texture needed the delicate touch of a brush to work–but Estee Lauder gives us this rich, decadent purple that’s so deep and luxurious, like a violet velveteen. Estee Lauder’s violet is deeper and darker, while Daphne has a stronger bluer base and lighter overall look so it appears brighter.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think going with a more neutral palette overall with that pop of violet in the center works well here. There is also a nice mix of cool and warm that it’s workable on both skin tones. One of the best palettes I’ve ever seen by Estee Lauder and an overall stunning palette–period.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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