Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: Lilac Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Lilac Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • Lilac is a vibrant blue-violet with a fuchsia-violet undertone. Unfortunately, it is a pain to work with–there is no creaminess, so the color drags and skips when applied. I really wanted to wear it, but I could barely get it to show up, even after working the tip down a bit.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.   Lilac just did not work for me at all; what I managed to apply wore okay for about four or five hours, but it was so faint and sheer.

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  • Product: 16/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: It’s such a shame that it doesn’t apply evenly nor have enough creaminess to glide on and deposit pigment intensely.   It’s a beautiful color but not worth picking up based on a rougher texture, below average wear, and sheer color.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner
Dolce & Gabbana Eyeliner: White & Lilac

Dolce & Gabbana Secret Garden: White Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana White Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.054 oz.) will see the introduction of two new shades, White and Lilac from Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Garden Collection, which should hit Saks counters and online soon.

  • White is exactly as it sounds–it’s a bright, creamy white and is one of the creamiest liners I’ve tested from Dolce & Gabbana’s range.

Dolce & Gabbana’s Eyeliners are hit or miss for me; they’re often too hard, so they lack enough creaminess to enable the eyeliner to apply smoothly and evenly. They don’t glide-on, and instead, they can tug on the lash line or skip when applied, which results in an uneven, splotchy look.

Note, however, that White didn’t have the poor texture that plagues many other Dolce & Gabbana eyeliners–it was very creamy and pigmented; it was easy to work with. This is why I don’t like to combine reviews, because unless a product line is very consistent, there can be enough variance that each product will earn a different grade–and this is exactly why I split this post into two separate ones, even though their content is very similar.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: White looks rather stark on my medium skin tone, so I’m not sure what skin tone this would be ideal for–it is a very bright white, and could offer a lot of contrast for the right look. While it is creamy, I wouldn’t necessarily use it as an eyeshadow base. It wore for only six hours though, before fading away.

WHERE TO BUY: Saks

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Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo
Hourglass Exhibition Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Exhibition Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Exhibition Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) contains a grayish plum mauve with a frost-metallic finish and a blackened burgundy eggplant with a frost-metallic sheen. Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos are such an underrated and under-appreciated product–the quality is absolutely phenomenal and the shades are infinitely flattering.

Selfishly, I wish they had about a dozen more duos, because their eyeshadows are easily some of the best I’ve come across–and better yet, the quality is fantastic across the range. There are no duds in their duo line-up. Soft, smooth as silk, and buttery texture paired with intense color pigmentation that glides on, blends effortlessly, and can be used wet or dry.

The $38 may seem steep, but don’t let it fool you: there are two full-sized (actually, more than that) eyeshadows inside. Each eyeshadow is 0.10 oz., which is double the average full-sized eyeshadow, for a total of 0.20 oz. The packaging is also this pewter bronze with a swivel top that reveals a mirror inside along with a pint-sized brush (with real bristles) that’s usable and not scratchy.

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

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: Hourglass as a brand is underrated, but their eyeshadows are easily my favorite product from the brand. There is something to be said for a brand that puts out consistently high quality products with to-die-for textures. This duo will naturally flatter cooler skin tones but it is not so cool-toned that warmer skin tones will find it difficult to work with.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Rue de Passy Eyeshadow Palette ($84.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a rather neutral collection of shades. It includes: a soft pale neutral beige with a matte finish; light-medium cool-toned beige with taupe in a matte finish; iridescent pale pink with a metallic sheen; blackened burgundy brown with a satin finish; cool-toned brown with a satin finish; and a deep black-brown. This is like a cool-toned version of Rue de Francs Bourgeois, which was a palette of warmer-toned neutrals.

As much as I liked Guerlain’s spring palette (Rue de Rivoli), I really wasn’t impressed with this one. Two of the shades (the blackened burgundy brown and cool-toned brown) were very sheer, even when layered. I just couldn’t get the pay off that I’d like to–they were sheer and didn’t seem to lay down as seamlessly as other Guerlain eyeshadows have. I think the swatches do a nice job of showing where these went awry.

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  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I like the color combination, and I think it would suit light to medium skin tones with cooler undertones. However, the quality is poor in two of five shades, so I wouldn’t recommend this as a go-to neutral palette.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo
Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo

Hourglass Gypsy Visionaire Eyeshadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a beautiful neutral duo featuring a shimmering, warmed-up champagne beige and a rich, coppered chocolate brown. Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos are such an underrated and underappreciated product–the quality is absolutely phenomenal and the shades are infinitely flattering.
Selfishly, I wish they had about a dozen more duos, because their eyeshadows are easily some of the best I’ve come across–and better yet, the quality is fantastic across the range. There are no duds in their duo line-up. Soft, smooth as silk, and buttery texture paired with intense color pigmentation that glides on, blends effortlessly, and can be used wet or dry.

The $38 may seem steep, but don’t let it fool you: there are two full-sized (actually, more than that) eyeshadows inside. Each eyeshadow is 0.10 oz., which is double the average full-sized eyeshadow, for a total of 0.20 oz. The packaging is also this pewter bronze with a swivel top that reveals a mirror inside along with a pint-sized brush (with real bristles) that’s usable and not scratchy.

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

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: Hourglass as a brand is underrated, but their eyeshadows are easily my favorite product from the brand.  There is something to be said for a brand that puts out consistently high quality products with to-die-for textures.  This duo will naturally flatter warmer skin tones but they are not too warm–they will work well on cooler and neutral-toned skin, too.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Monday, January 10th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette
Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette

Bobbi Brown Powerful Palette ($60.00 for 0.36 oz.) is an all-in-one palette with four eyeshadows, one blush, two lipglosses, and one lipstick. It includes:  Navajo (creamy pinkish white), Rose Gold (golden pink), Burnished Rose (warm rose), Chocolate Caviar (deep chocolate brown), Plum (deep pinky plum), Pink Pudding (bright medium pink), Pink Bouquet (baby pink with silver flecks), and Powerful (bright deep pink).

  • Navajo is a pale beige white with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent range.
  • Rose Gold is a rose-tinged bronze gold with a frosted finish.
  • Burnished Rose is a warmed-up, soft light-medium brown beige with a matte finish.
  • Chocolate Caviar is a deep, dark cool-toned chocolate brown with a matte finish.
  • Plum is a very pinked plum with lots of color pay off; it can be built up with ease or blended out for a softer look. It has a near matte finish.  This is a powder blush.
  • Pink Pudding is a sheer, medium pink with soft pink shimmer.  This is a Shimmer Lip Gloss.
  • Pink Bouquet is a semi-sheer rosy pink with petal pink shimmer.  This is a Glitter Lip Gloss.
  • Powerful is an opaque, rich, deep burgundy wine with a creamy, slightly shiny 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.

All four eyeshadows were pigmented, and Chocolate Caviar was the only one that didn’t have a really beautifully creamy, silky texture (just slightly drier), and the Plum blush was also nicely pigmented.  The two lip glosses are both on the sheer side as Bobbi Brown glosses often are, while the lipstick was gorgeous and rich in color.

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.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: For those who like palettes that make their mornings easier, Bobbi Brown’s Powerful 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.  However, I am not sure just how keen I am with the way the eyeshadows coordinate with the blush and lip colors–they are almost too orange compared to the plum and pink of the other shades.

WHERE TO BUY: Bobbi Brown

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