Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Chanel Contraste Duos

Those Double Cs Do It Again!

Chanel Ombres Contraste Duos (Eyeshadow Duos) ($42.00 for 0.09 oz.) each include a shimmering, light creamy powder shade that is designed to be worn alone or as a base, and then a darker shade with a matte finish to pack on the color. Each compact includes a mirror, sponge-tipped applicator, and a brush-tipped applicator.

Even though Chanel says one side is creamier than the other, I really didn’t find the texture to vary much between the two shades. They both felt smooth as silky, buttery, and incredibly finely-milled as Chanel eyeshadows are known to be. When I saw the duos, they reminded me of oversized quad eyeshadows–they have the same dome and shape, but they’re a bit larger than the quad eyeshadows.

I didn’t experience any fall out or fading with these shadows when used over a regular eyeshadow base (NARS, if you’re curious). These are classic colors–it’s clear by the shades chosen that this isn’t meant to be a daring, avant garde kind of collection or look; they’re suitable across the gamut of skin tones, easy to wear, and fit into most people’s lives. If you want something subtler, use more of the light shade; if you want a smokier look, go heavier with the darker shade. Each duo complements itself and can easily be worn on its own without having to look for other eyeshadows to pair it with (though that works, too!).

  • Berry-Rose (50) contains a shimmering, light cotton candy pink and a darker, eggplanty burgundy with a matte finish. Both shades were really smooth and buttery.
  • Gris-Subtil (10) has a shimmering silvered gray and matte charcoal gray. Gris is definitely a shade that looks better applied than just swatched–almost looks dusty when swatched.
  • Khaki-Clair (60) has a shimmering white with very subtle yellow undertones and a matte grayish olive green–I don’t know if I’d really call it olive green, because it’s very subtle. The darker shade was the most pigmented color out of the four duos I tried.
  • Misty Soft (40) contains a smoked out plum with subtle red undertones but an overall rather cool, and it’s complemented by silver-shimmered mauve. The lighter mauve shade reminded me of MAC’s Mauvement pigment a bit without the subtle gold sparkle.

I had a bit of sticker-shock with these, because a full-sized quad is $59, and it’s been a long time since I’ve really taken a look at their Silky Eyeshadow Duos as well (which retail for $40/0.07 oz.). Whether for good or bad, the pricing isn’t much of a stretch after looking at the price/quantity of other high-end brands like Dior and YSL. It seems a little less than stellar, but ridiculously overpriced/undersized.

Overall, I like these. I don’t love, love, LOVE these, but I like them, and I think they’ll fit well for doing more sophisticated looks that are elegant and classy. If you’re more into bolder, brighter shades, the current color range is definitely not that.

There are two more duos available that aren’t reviewed in this post: Taupe-Delicat (20) and Bleur-Tendre (30).

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: With such a classic selection of shades, you may have similar colors in your stash already. If you’re just started to delve into the world of beauty and you’re a fan of Chanel, I think you’d like these.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Stila Backstage Palette

Shimmer on Backstage with Stila

Stila Backstage Eyeshadow Palette ($28.00 for 0.39 oz.) is an eyeshadow palette with six shimmering shades that range from pale peach to rich teal.  The palette was inspired by the trends seen at Fall Fashion Week, and all six shades are new and can be used either wet or dry.

I’m so pleased to be able to say that THIS is a palette worth purchasing.  The formula of the eyeshadows is exactly like Stila’s normal line.  After my experience with their last palette, I was a little wary of this one.  The texture is incredibly soft (which may take some getting used to if you’ve never used Stila eyeshadows before), pigmented, and almost creamy despite being a pressed, powder eyeshadow.

  • Chiffon is a shimmering medium peach with light yellow undertones.   This is the only shade that seemed a little more on the glittery side; chunkier shimmer rather than very fine.
  • Flamingo is a red-based fuchsia purple with a light iridescent fuchsia sheen.  It’s like a pinker version of MAC’s Stars ‘n Rockets.
  • Pacific is a medium-dark blue with a lighter blue shimmer-sheen.
  • Luster is a mauvey-plum with a slight gray cast and golden sheen–this is a shade I can get down with, because it’s very different.
  • Poetic is a light mauve with a silvery sheen.  It reminds me of MAC Shale.
  • Coal is a rich, darkened teal with a soft teal sheen.

The palette itself has a brocade texture/patterning on the outside but is made out of paper.  There is no mirror inside (which doesn’t bother me, but as many palettes have them, I thought it was worth noting), just a quote. Each eyeshadow is approximately 0.065 oz., which is a little more than your average single eyeshadow, but the palette is priced at just $28 (or ($4.67/each), so it’s a great deal and represents Stila as a brand–quality and all.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love jewel-toned eyeshadows with soft, buttery textures, Stila’s fall palette is a winner.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Friday, August 20th, 2010


Urban Decay S&M Eyeshadow

Permanent Play:  Urban Decay S&M Shadow

Urban Decay S&M Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.05 oz.) is smooth, buttery shade of silvered gray with a part frost, part metallic finish. It’s nicely pigmented, and it applies incredibly evenly with little work. It’s the type of shade that works well for a very classic smoky eye. I also like to pair it with navies and bright blues for something a little unexpected.  S&M is part of Urban Decay’s permanent line-up of eyeshadows, so it’s available year-round as a single shadow.  (If you’re not much of a pot person, Urban Decay shadows are as easily depotted as MAC and will fit into MAC palettes as well.)

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in need of a metallic silver-gray, S&M might be a shade for you.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Leopard Luxe

MAC Fabulous Felines: Leopard Luxe Review, Photos, Swatches (Eyes)

Here’s part one of Leopard Luxe — part two coming soon! :)

Leopard Luxe Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • Wild By Nature is a medium-dark nude brown with a matte finish, though it seems like it has just a bit of satin to it.  Reminded me of a lighter Soft Brown.
  • Notoriety is a slightly sheer dirty brown with cool undertones and flecks of gold shimmer with a velvet finish. I really hate the pay off of Notoriety, even though it’s an interesting color. This is a repromote from Makeup Art Cosmetics.
  • Style Predator is a gold-shimmered medium orange base with a veluxe pearl finish. It reminds me of a darker version of Straw Harvest (Spring Colour Forecast) and more of a gold sheen than Off the Page (Makeup Art Cosmetics).
  • Furiously Fabulous is a deep, dark brown-gray with a veluxe pearl finish. This is the best textured eyeshadow of the three quads–it’s smooth and pigmented. I thought it was going to look like Knight Divine from an initial glance, but it’s very different. It’s like Brun and Satin Taupe had a baby.

Superslick Liquid Eye Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Pure Show is a true gold, and it seems a little less pigmented than the average Superslick liner — it’s more shimmery with a sheerer color base. It can be layered for a more intense, opaque line, though.
  • Marked for Glamour is a darkened gray that almost looks taupe when used lightly.
  • On the Hunt is a very deep, dark black.  It has a very semi-glossy look even when dried, but it’s not wet looking (but not 100% matte/flat).

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Lithe is a lightly shimmered peach-nude. It reminded me of Dazzleray and Jardin Aires pigments (both limited edition)–the texture is much smoother and finer than either of those pigments, and Lithe isn’t as frosty.
  • Old Gold is a green-based gold with touches of reddish brown. It flashes a green-gold overall. It’s a very interesting and complex shade; definitely worth a look if you haven’t acquired this previously. This is a permanent shade.

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Palace Pedigreed
MAC Fabulous Felines – Palace Pedigreed

MAC Fabulous Felines: Palace Pedigreed Review, Photos, Swatches (Eyes)

Here’s the first of two posts on the Palace Pedigreed part of the Fabulous Felines Collection.

You can find official promotional photos and information on MAC Fabulous Felines here.  I will not have full collection swatches and photos until I’m able to purchase the missing pieces.  I purchased all of these through Bloomingdale’s, which is selling early online (no idea why).

Palace Pedigreed Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • Courtly is a semi-sheer dirty mauve with a satin finish. It seemed rather muted to me, and it took a little extra work to get it to swatch well. The closest permanent shadow I could think of was Seedy Pearl, which has a lot more shimmer, significant pink tones, and an iridescent glow about it that make them quite different in actuality.
  • Palace Pedigreed a darkened plum with a soft sheen and satin finish. It reminded me of a darker version of Plum Dressing, less purple Nocturnelle.
  • Quite Spoiled is a pinky purple with a soft, satin finish. It has a subtle sheen of shimmer. It reminded me of a purple version of Modest Tone (N Collection).
  • Russian Blue is a darkened teal with a matte finish. The pigmentation seems lacking, but when used with a brush, it’s a lot better, though it’s still not quite as pigmented as I’d like. You’ll want to use the pat-and-pack method rather than sweeping this shade on.

Superslick Liquid Eye Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Nocturnal is a bright metallic silver with a high frost finish.
  • Signature Blue is a medium-dark navy blue with lighter blue micro-shimmer.
  • Smoky Heir is a burgundy plum with violet, plum, and purple micro-shimmer.

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Bloodline is a darkened taupe-brown with a tiny bit of plum. When wet, it can be very intense. If used with a brush like an eyeshadow, it works well in the crease and darkens substantially.
  • Mauvement is a chunky brownish mauve with flecks of gold. It’s an interesting shade, but it does have some chunkiness to the texture that can be bothersome.  I’m really annoyed that I can’t find my original jar of Mauvement, because this seems browner than the original; slightly smoother, but still on the chunkier side.

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Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Burmese Beauty
MAC Fabulous Felines – Burmese Beauty

MAC Fabulous Felines: Burmese Beauty Review, Photos, Swatches (Eyes)

I’m going to break each section into two parts — eyes and lips/cheeks. There are a lot of products, and I definitely want to focus on each part of the collection, it’s hard to digest so much in just one post. I’m working as fast as I can to get all the photos and swatches up, and I’ll fill in with more dupes as I find them.  I am missing a few pieces, and I will update the post and review once I’m able to purchase them.

Burmese Beauty Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • Prized is a soft nude beige with pale white micro-shimmer with a satin finish. It reminded me of a much more pigmented Shroom.  This will work well as a highlighter on light to medium skin tones, but it may be more of a light lid color for darker skin tones.
  • Skintone 2 is a slightly neutralized gold with a frost finish. It’s not a cool-toned gold, but it doesn’t have really strong yellow undertones either. This is a shade of gold that can be worn by both warm and cool skin tones.  It’s a lot less yellow compared to Goldmine (and not as frosty).  Maybe like Flip from Spring Colour Forecast. This is a repromote from Makeup Art Cosmetics.
  • Burmese Beauty is a duochrome of teal and red-based deep brown with a lustre finish. It doesn’t actually feel like a lustre to me–it’s much smoother, not so glittery like your typical lustre. This is very much like Blue Brown pigment except less intense (the brown base isn’t as strong, nor is the metallic finish). It’s a lighter, more pigmented version of Club eyeshadow as well.
  • Showstopper is a dirty, cool-toned dark matte brown. It works well when used with a brush in actual application, while it doesn’t swatch very well. This shade has been repromoted at least a half dozen times in the past five years.

Superslick Liquid Eye Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Desires & Devices is an antique gold with a dirty olive base and a mixture of green and gold shimmer.
  • Defiantly Feline is a medium-dark brown with deep gold and amber shimmer. It looks rather medium brown when used lightly and thinly.
  • Treat Me Nice is a medium grassy green with gold and green sparkle.

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Antique Green is a darkened cool-toned green with a touch of teal. It’s definitely green, but it’s not your typical green, which tends to have stronger yellow undertones.  This is a repromote.
  • Gold Stroke is a reddish medium bronze brown with a frosty finish. It’s pretty, and it has some warmth to it, but it’s not overly warm. It makes a nice base for golds. This is a repromote.

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