Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Penultimate Eyeliner
MAC Wonder Woman Penultimate Eyeliner

MAC Wonder Woman: Penultimate Eyeliner

MAC RAPIDBLACK PENULTIMATE EYELINER ($18.50 for 0.08 oz.) is super-sized for Wonder Woman–the original (and permanently available) Rapidblack is $16.50/0.03 oz.–making this over twice as much for $2 more. This feels and looks a lot like a marker; even holding it feels like I’m getting to write a note rather than line my eyes. Personally, I think it may be too large to be of great use for most people, and if you have smaller eyes–forget it!

my thoughts on the formula: I really like the original Penultimate eyeliner for something quick and easy that doesn’t dry out and gives you a medium black eyeliner (though it photographs brown with flash–it is definitely black). The tip is thin enough and flexible enough to glide across the eye without skipping. It wears all day for me, and I like that you can do thin or thick eyeliner with it. You can see photos of the permanent Rapidblack here.

Also worth noting, but the outside packaging felt and seemed like a sticker to me. I couldn’t exactly get it to peel or slip off, but it was something that caught my eye.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 1/5

final thoughts: Way too large. This is probably the least useful jumbo-sized product of the launch; it’s not just an increase in overall product quantity, but it really changes the effectiveness of the product itself. I’d recommend their Superslick eyeliners over Penultimate in general (better overall), and certainly over this shade. The formula itself is nice, but the packaging gets a major thumbs down for me–fine, be jumbo, but at least work as well as the original.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Opulash Mascara
MAC Army of Amazons Opulash Mascara

MAC Wonder Woman: Opulash Mascara

MAC OPULASH MASCARA ($15.00 for 0.38 oz.) is a thickening mascara that also lengths and helps with holding a curl, and it is a “long-wearing formula” designed to work for up to fifteen hours. Wonder Woman sees the release of these shades; Army of Amazons (green), Bad Bad Black (black), Themyscira (blue), and Victorious (purple). The Bad Bad Black shade is available permanently but in permanent packaging.

  • Army of Amazons is a muted emerald green.
  • Bad Bad Black is a deep black.
  • Themyscira is a violet-tinged blue.
  • Victorious is a medium purple.

my thoughts on the formula: I liked the soft, feathery look Opulash gave my lashes along with some very nice length! I’m actually surprised I didn’t see length pushed in the marketing write-up for Opulash, because I look at the before/after photos, and I see longer, slightly blacker lashes, but not necessarily a ton of volume. I found two or three quick coats was all you needed to get the feathery lash effect going. More than that resulted in a bit of clumping, but if you don’t load up your lashes with the product, it’s a nice, full and feathery lash that’s clump-free. You can see my full review of Opulash here.

I have only trialed Army of Amazons on my lashes (well, and the black shade, many months ago, when Opulash first released), but I was impressed with the amount of noticeable color it delivered. I did not use any primer, but my lashes definitely have that green tint. Colored mascaras usually look rather dull and muted (if they show at all) on my lashes, wihch are naturally a soft black. As I work through the other shades, if I find that any of the others perform less, I will revise this review at that time.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: I like the Opulash mascara formula, and it’s a good mascara for those who have decent lashes to begin with.  It lengthens more than it volumizes or thickens for me, though.  So far, it seems like the color actually shows up surprisingly well even over black lashes.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Pigments/Reflects Glitters
Bright Fuchsia and Marine Ultra Pigments; Bronze and Pearl Reflects Glitters

MAC Wonder Woman: Pigments & Reflects Glitters

MAC PIGMENTS ($21.00 for 0.15 oz.) and MAC REFLECTS GLITTER ($21.00 for 0.15 oz.) are also included in the collection. The shades are: Bright Fuchsia (bright magenta), Marine Ultra (vivid marine blue), Reflects Bronze (sparkling rich gold), and Reflects Pearl (white glitter with pearl sheen).

All four shades are permanent shades available at MAC PRO stores. Supposedly, for licensing costs, these are priced ta $21.00 compared to the normal price of $19.50. Unless the packaging wins you over or you don’t have a PRO store nearby (and don’t want to order over the phone), I wouldn’t get these.

  • Bright Fuchsia is a brightened medium-dark fuchsia with fuchsia-pink shimmer. It has rich pigmentation and goes on smoothly. This shade is not eye safe.
  • Marine Ultra is a medium-dark ocean blue with a matte finish. It comes together very nicely and smoothly when applied. This shade is not lip safe.
  • Reflects Bronze is a coppery bronze glitter. This shade is not eye safe.
  • Reflects Pearl is a silvery-white glitter. This shade is not eye safe.

my thoughts on the formula: Both pigments and glitters are multi-use products, though their boxes come with safety warnings if they aren’t safe for a particular area of the face (usually eyes or lips). I noted the safety for each shade above. Both products are best used wet or over a tacky base (especially glitters). Glitters can be used in hair products (for glittered hair), nail polish, and lip gloss–just to name a few non-eye usages.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: Normally, I find pigments in the B+/A- range, but the bump in price and product quantity staying the same pushes it down to a B. I’m personally a little disappointed to see four shades from the permanent line being pushed in this collection. I’m also not sure why MAC always includes Reflects Glitters in collections clearly for regular consumers (not professional artists) if they’re not eye safe.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner
Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner

Smashbox Spring 2011: Heather

Smashbox Heather Soft Focus Powder Eye Liner ($22.00 for 0.025 oz.) is a soft brownish-gray. It’s new and limited edition for spring, but it is a powder eyeliner to create a “soft, smoldering look.” It delivers on the softer color, and it will draw in a nice line, but it leaves product everywhere.

The photo above was not intended to be artsy, but upon opening it for the first time, it dropped that much product onto my desk. Now, imagine that on your face–because that’s exactly what I ended up with when I tried applying this for the first time (my carpet is less than pleased). At a mere 0.025 oz. of product, I’m not exactly sure one wants to deal with any wasted product–even by wiping excess on a tissue.

Aside from the packaging woes, application worked out well, and I liked the softer lined look it yielded. I think those who find gel eyeliner too crisp and stark would enjoy a powder liner like this. Unfortunately, it only wore four hours before it started to flake.

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  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: Between the messy packaging and below average wear, it just didn’t work out.

where to buy: Sephora

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara
L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara

Do you need a million lashes for a million dollar lash look?

L’Oreal Blackest Black (635) Voluminous Million Lashes Mascara ($8.99 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is designed as a volumizing mascara that will make your sparse lil’ lashes go from two to a million with a couple of coats of mascara. Obviously, like all mascaras, the claims are exaggerated, but what we can take out of all the marketing brouhaha is that it should give the illusion of a fuller fringe of lashes.

The good thing about mascara is a picture is worth at least 1,000 words, if not a few more. The wand on Voluminous Million Lashes works brilliantly to define and separate lashes–even after a couple of coats–and no clumping. My lashes look longer and thicker certainly, though increased volume? I’m not entirely sold. It’s there in some capacity, but perhaps not as volumizing as I’d expect from a full-on volumizing mascara.

I wore this for twelve hours, and I have no smudging or flaking issues to report. It also held my curl during the twelve hours I trialed this mascara (on five separate occasions). They added new technology to the tube itself so that when the wand pulls through the opening, it minimizes the amount of excess mascara on the brush/wand, for a cleaner application.  Blackest Black is a nice, inky black, too.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

final thoughts: Love the brush and the packaging — could be more volumizing, though it is a nice mascara overall (but I rate based on how well a product performs relative to its claims).

where to buy: drugstore.com

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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Celebrate

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “parrot green” 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.”

Celebrate is a bright, chartreuse green with a strong yellow base. It applied semi-opaque but glided on easily. The problem with this shade was its complete inability to not crease. I tried it alone, and it creased within minutes. I layered eyeshadow on top (Giorgio Armani Transluminence palette–the teal–I just used whatever I had nearest to me), and it still creased in less than an hour. It’s not even a little creasing–it’s painful to see. Not to be daunted, I also tried it over NARS’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base with the same eyeshadow layered on top, and I still had the same results (a veritable creasing bonanza).

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–and Celebrate continues to show that NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils really can be hit or miss.

The Glossover

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product

Celebrate

I'm not even sure what you can really use this with or for, if it's going to crease with two additional helpers (a base and shadow to set). It migrates on the lower lash line, too, so it's not something one could line with, either. Five points for the glide and color pay off!
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