Benefit Smokin’ Eyes ($36.00) is an all-in-one palette to give you sexy, smoky eyes in no time. It contains three eyeshadows, black eye liner, brightener, two brushes, mini tweezers, and then instructions. The palette is housed in traditional Benefit packaging (cardboard/paper), which I can appreciate for its earth-friendliness. What I like most about this palette is the inclusion of eye liner, brow wax, and the mini tweezers. Those mini tweezers can really come in handy, actually! The brightener can be essential for those of us who aren’t getting quite as much sleep as we’d like, too.
There is a light pink highlighter, a soft gray with shimmer, and a deeper, gray-brown base shade. The eye liner is pretty black, surprisingly, and the brushes are average. I’ve never found palette brushes to be particularly noteworthy; they usually get the job done in a pinch, but they’re not brushes I’d use by choice. The instructions are a nice touch for those who are not so makeup-savvy. So, this makes a great gift to give to the new beauty fan or to someone in need of an all-in-one palette for special occasions.
See inside and swatches! Continue reading →
Dior Nude Pink Designer Quint ($58.00) is designed to be an “all in one” palette. I tried out the Nude Pink Designer Quint, and while it looks stunning, it’s not my favorite Dior quint.
The two light pink shades (bottom left corner and top right corner) are extremely sheer, and the one on the top right corner is almost a bit glittery in texture (think lustres). The middle shade is stunning, as a gorgeous peachy-pink shimmer shade. The top left shade is a plummy pink with multicolored shimmer that goes on almost pinky/plummy brown. The bottom right shade is a creamy shadow/liner in a rich burgundy-wine shade. With this quint, I just don’t see a ton of looks popping out from it. They definitely could have varied the two light pinks up more–going light and medium, for instance.
I haven’t been able to swatch or see any of the other ones in person, but from photos, I’d have to say that the other Designer Quints look fantastic. The Nude Pink one is the only one that seems to fall short of the mark. Amber Design has a stunning combination of burgundies and peach and golds, while Navy Design has rich, smoldering blues and lighter blues. Green Design (Asia Exclusive) also looks gorgeous with mint greens and golden-toned forest greens. I’ll be sure to get swatches of the other ones once they’re out at my local Dior counter!
See swatches! Continue reading →
Urban Decay Get Baked Eye Kit ($28.00) includes Baked, Half Baked, Twice Baked, and Flipside eyeshadows, along with a travel-sized 24/7 Eye Pencil in Bourbon. It also comes with a mini Sin primer potion.
Baked is a stunning shade of ultra pigmented, deep bronze. Half Baked is a softer, more golden-toned bronze shimmer shade. Twice Baked is a dark, chocolatey brown with subtle gold shimmer. Flipside is a bluish-teal with blue-green shimmer. I love the Baked shades, because they’re really rich in color and go on so smoothly. I just see these being stunning in neutral looks, especially during the summer. Flipside is a bluer version of MAC Shimmermoss, and it is a welcome addition in my collection!
I already have Bourbon and Sin in full-size, and I do like both. LOVE Bourbon, but I love all of the 24/7 Pencils. I like Sin for a shimmery base — I do, personally, like it more than regular UDPP.
Get Baked is a great summer palette with a good price to boot. Check out your local Sephora or Urban Decay counter to see for youself!
See swatches… Continue reading →
Urban Decay Cream Eyeshadows ($17.00 each) came out a few months ago as the newly revamped cream eyeshadows. I had heard many raves for the original Urban Decay cream eyeshadows, and these are definitely up to par! I’m really loving the packaging on this product, because it is a flocked applicator that you just pull out and use to apply (very much like a lipgloss or UDPP). Usually cream eyeshadows are packaged in pots or jars, so you either usey our fingers or a brush to apply.
These eyeshadows are a silicone, gel-based formula that provides a creaseless base layer of color. I tried Grass, which is a really bright pop of emerald, grassy green; Weeds, which is a bright, shimmering yellow-y gold-green; and Radium, which is a bright, shimmering medium blue color. I haven’t road-tested them on my eyes yet, but I did blend them out on my hand to test out the staying power. Verdict? They held up all day, despite several hand washings! Definitely something to consider for the hot, sweaty summer months coming up.
Asphalt (black with lots of silver and iridescent glitter), Delinquent (deep metallic purple), Grass (metallic junebug green), Midnight Rodeo (pink champagne with lots of silver and iridescent glitter), Moonshine (pale silver with lots of silver glitter), Mushroom (gunmetal with taupe shift and iridescent glitter), Radium (metallic blue), Rehab (creamy taupe), Sphynx (icy pink with silver and iridescent glitter), Suburbia (medium bronze with subtle gold microsparkle), Weeds (medium green with yellow shift and big silver glitter), Whipped (golden peach with subtle gold microsparkle)
See swatches… Continue reading →
Coastal Scents Gel Liners ($6.95 each) come in fourteen different shades ranging from white to black to peach. I’ve tried seven of them so far, and I can say that they’re all extremely pigmented. Each jar seems like it contains a decent amount of product, and it feels like glass packaging to me (frosted, too). For just under seven bucks, these are a great deal. I think these would make great bases, in addition to eye liner, especially shades like White, 24K, Peach Bellini, and Turquoise.
Of the seven I tried, Turquoise was the least impressive — it just wasn’t as bright or opaque as the other ones. It was almost too frosty for my liking; Grapevine was very similar in texture, but it was more pigmented and the purple was dead-on purple. 24K also has a shimmery finish, but it doesn’t appear overly frosty and the color pigmentation is amazing. It’s a bronzy-coppery mix.
Sky Blue is pretty much matte in finish with good pigmentation; it’s not at all what I’d say sky blue would be (I’d think lighter, bluer), but this is pretty on its own. It’s a color that you don’t come across often, so it’s definitely worth a peek. Sexy Pink is pretty, but it’s going to be harder to wear on a regular basis. It reminds me of MAC’s Stars ‘n Rockets without the duochrome. Indigo Blue was extremely pigmented, and it almost ran blue-black on me.
I do like that the black looks wet, though–it gets you a very pretty look on the eyes. One concern I had about these products was the ease of use, because the jars aren’t huge so the openings are barely big enough to get my fingers into. My fingers aren’t particularly dainty, but hopefully that gives you an indication of the product’s size. These also felt quite wet; they feel nothing like other gel liners I’ve tried (Bobbi Brown, MAC, etc.). They almost feel like extremely creamy eyeshadows if I had to compare it to another texture.
If you’re placing an order at Coastal Scents any time soon, you might want to pick up one or two of the Gel Liners to see for yourself! For the price, they were worth trying, and I might use them occasionally when I need a brighter liner.
See product photos and swatches! Continue reading →
Prescriptives’ Motor-Eyes Instant Action Mascara ($32.00) is designed to increase volume, blacken lashes, and lift and curl all with a vibrating mascara brush. The brush is supposed to keep the mascara moving and “work synergistically” with your lashes.
The mascara formula itself doesn’t smudge or flake, and I do like the richness in the black color. It does, surprisingly, lift my lashes a bit and make them look curled without me actually having to use an eyelash curler. I also felt like I got quite a bit of length added my stubby lashes. While Prescriptives does say this is a clump-free formula, I did find that some clumping occurred for me.
The vibrating brush is a little noisy, but it sounds more intimidating than it actually is. I hardly feel the vibration at all, which is a huge plus, because the little vibrations usually tickle my lashes, ha! One thing I dislike about the vibrating feature is there’s no way to turn it off. As soon as you unscrew the wand from the tube, it starts to vibrate. It doesn’t turn off until you screw it back in. This is the same problem I had with Estee Lauder’s Turbo Lash Mascara, too. I would say this formula beats out Estee Lauder’s though; but they do feel very similar (not surprising since they’re owned by the same company).
Lancome’s Oscillation formula still beats out Prescriptives’ for me, and I like that I can turn on/off the oscillating part of the mascara. To be honest, $32 for a vibrating mascara is steeper than I’d pay. I’d rather go with a tried and true formula (e.g. Chanel Exceptionnel) for that price.
See it in action! Continue reading →