Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

theBalm Curvy Cami Eyeshadow
theBalm Curvy Cami Eyeshadow

theBalm Curvy Cami Eyeshadow

theBalm Curvy Cami Eyeshadow ($16.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “plum shimmer with gold flecks.”  It’s a medium-dark plum with subtle red-mauve undertones and even subtler gold shimmer.  I love how it is a red-based purple without being obvious, which makes it easier to wear and more universally suitable.

my thoughts on the formula: Curvy Cami has a very soft, silky texture, but it is a touch powdery and doesn’t seem as pigment-packed as other theBalm eyeshadows I’ve tested.  It is easy to blend because of the soft texture.  Worth noting, too, is individual eyeshadows come with 0.12 oz., which is just over double the average eyeshdaow–and at a rather affordable price tag.

The Glossover

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theBalm Curvy Cami Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It’s a nice, softened plum with some darkness but without being blackberry or vampy. I do wish it was a bit more pigmented, since it seems a little sheer.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Video Review: Benefit for Brows

With Benefit’s announcement of free brow service on your birthday, they also included a few of their cult favorite brow products, which I swatch and talk about in this video–a bit of first impressions with some review, since I have used a few products mentioned in the video previously!  I posted reviews for both Brows A-Go-Go and High Brow this past week, and since the pencil isn’t my shade, I’m not reviewing it at this time.

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Benefit High Brow
Benefit High Brow

Benefit High Brow ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is designed to “lift” and enhance brows by brightening with a “soft, matte linen-pink” shade. Benefit recommends applying it beneath your brow, just following the arch, and blend.

Inevitably, one wonders what is the difference between Benefit’s Eye Bright and High Brow, as they’re both pink pencils designed to help brighten eyes — well, Benefit wrote a blog post explaining the differences. To summarize, High Brow is a neutral pink while Eye Bright is a cool-toned pink; the cooler tones in Eye Bright as designed to combat dark circles. Benefit warns that using High Brow on undereye circles may look too light, while using Eye Bright to define brows may look too pink.

It’s absolutely true that Eye Bright is a cooler-toned, more blue-based pink, and it also has a bit of micro-shimmer–very subtle but still there. I think those who are naturally cool-toned, one could get away with using both. For those with warmer undertones, the difference is likely more noticeable.

I like High Brow for more minimal looks; not necessarily five-minute looks but when one wants to have that natural look. The creaminess of the product makes it easy to blend, and it dries down quickly and holds up fairly well alone (about six hours). I applied it in the photos below so you can see how it looks, and I deliberately went heavy-handed, because I wanted it to show up in photos–the effect can be subtler if one desires.

The Glossover

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Benefit High Brow Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like High Brow, and I think it may be a must-have for some but for others a totally unnecessary addition to their stash. It depends on what features are most important to you, because some love really defined brows and others will wear eye makeup nearly everyday so a powder highlight will generally be enough to define the brow area.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Benefit Brows A-Go-Go
Benefit Brows A-Go-Go

For the Brow Enthusiast

Benefit Brows A-Go-Go ($38.00) is an all-i-one brow kit, which includes both Light and Dark Brow Zings Powders (0.04 oz. each), Brow Zings Wax (0.03 oz.), Smokin’ Liner (0.01 oz.), Eye Bright (0.03 oz.), Brow Highlighter Powder (0.04 oz.), mini tweezers, and dual-ended brush.

Benefit and brows take me back almost ten years (which makes me a little nauseous to think about, because sometimes I think I’m still 18 and when I’m clearly not). One of my first beauty experiences was begging my makeup-enthused best friend to tweeze my brows, and she always carried Benefit’s Brow Zings and their mini tweezers. I can’t tell you how I longed for a pair of my own mini tweezers–they just seemed so cool at the time. (With my hands, I can appreciate full-size tweezers for regular maintenance but minis are nice in a pinch.)

The lighter shade is a medium-dark taupe brown, while the darker brow shade is a dark brown with subtle red undertones. The wax is a cross between the two–not too dark, not too light. I found the eyeliner to be fairly black but a bit stubby so it may be difficult to hold for some. I actually liked the shimmering icy pink of the highlight powder; not quite as cool-toned as Eye Bright, which is a creamy, pale white-pink.

The dark shade works well for me, having nearly black natural brows.  I like mixing the two, though, for a softer look as well.  I would be careful using the highlighting products on deeper skin tones, because I think it may turn a little ashy, but they work well on light and medium skin tones.

The Glossover

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Benefit Brows A-Go-Go Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you're someone who likes to have immaculate brows and tends to focus more time on them, the kit is useful. If you don't find yourself doing much to them, it may be too superfluous to merit buying. For something more compact, there is the traditional Brow Zings, which is a smaller-sized palette featuring a coordinating brow powder and wax (available in light, medium, and dark) along with mini tweezers but retails for $30.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Neiman Marcus Exclusive: Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

  • Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer is a medium-dark pink with gold micro-glitter and sheen; it is slightly cool-toned, though it seems to shift between cool and neutral depending on how the light hits it. It applies rather sheerly but can be intensified for a more obvious blush.
  • Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss is an ultra sheer gloss that really has a clear base with pink and gold shimmer. This shade is available individually.
  • Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a blackened burgundy brown. This shade is available individually.
  • Eye/Lip Brush is a miniature-sized brush with a glossy black cap that slips on and off. It’s not officially labeled, but it seems like a really narrow lip brush–not quite small enough to be a true eyeliner brush though it does seem to resemble the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush a bit.
  • Face Brush is a fluffy, dome-shaped brush that resembles the Face Blender Brush. It seems wider and less tapered, though. It was soft against the skin.

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

The Glossover

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Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cute kit, and if you like every product in it, the price tag doesn't seem so difficult to pay.  If you were hoping for a value-packed deal, this isn't quite it.  The kit will complement cooler skin tones.  I wish the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer was available individually!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette
Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette

Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette

Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette ($4.99 for 0.30 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows spread over two columns. Each column seems to coordinate within itself more than the two columns do with each other. The tone of the palette is rather cool, with the first column being purple themed and the second column being more earth-toned.

The first column consisted of a pale, icy violet shimmered satin white; muted pink-lilac base with pale gold shimmer-sheen; darkened red-toned purple with a frost finish; and medium-dark violet-blue purple with silver sparkle. I found the pigmentation to be a little sheer in both of the lighter shades–a little dusty, too; not nearly as saturated as the two darker purples.

The second column includes a pale, high-frost pink-white; coppery rose mauve with red undertones in a soft frost finish; blackened burgundy brown with a satin finish; and a grayish black with subtle green sparkle and satin finish. The pale pink is extremely pigmented and smooth, while the copper rose shade is a bit sheerer and blends into a very sheer shade when applied. I found the burgundy shade to lean much browner when swatched than it looked in the pan. The darker grayish-black was more pigmented than previous variations I’ve seen in the Color Icon palette, which was nice, but it did fade a bit when worn (after six hours).

my thoughts on the formula: Color Icon Eyeshadows are definitely some of the best eyeshadows you’ll find in the drugstore, and this palette shows both the best and worsts of the formula overall. The frostier shades seem to work the best and have no problem wearing all day (over a base, of course), while the more matte shades tend to lack in pigmentation and fade after a few hours (they don’t disappear, but they do fade noticeably).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Wet 'n' Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B
For cooler complexions, I think this palette will work well.  Like the Blue had Me at Hello palette, there were a few shades that didn't quite hit the mark, but overall several shades worked really well.  I though the coppered rose shade was particularly beautiful in color and wished it had been more pigmented.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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