Monday, November 29th, 2010

MAC False Lashes Mascara
MAC False Lashes Mascara

New MAC Mascara:  False Lashes

MAC False Lashes Mascara ($18.00 for 0.28 oz.) is the newest mascara to MAC’s line-up, which will be added to the permanent range in regular black packaging on December 26th. It was, however, released in limited edition Marcel Wanders packaging with the MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection launched on the 24th. The price is the same either way (that was a surprise!), and it is available in just one shade: False Black (black).

From MAC: “False Lashes Mascara adds dramatic volume, the rich, creamy, volumizing formula magnifies and multiplies the look of each lash, creating dramatically thick, long, curled, exaggerated lashes. The lush brush applies a deluxe dose of heavy pigment to the lashes and works in combination with the product to create incredible volume, length and density. The pigments in the formula are treated to allow for maximum colour payoff that remains true, deep, uniform and wears all day long. It’s flake- and smudge-resistant, ophthamologist-tested and safe for contact-wearers.”

Mascara is always an interesting product to review, because every description reads like a miracle product, so it can be difficult to determine what exactly what one should (reasonably) expect it to do. False Lashes is a volumizing mascara first, but it should also boast a dramatic result, from thicker, longer, more curled lashes. “Heavy pigment” leads me to expect a very rich black, dense and heavy in its darkness.

False Lashes excels in delivering longer lashes that are sky-high with a natural lift (all images are without aid of an eyelash curler). It’s a solid black mascara, though I didn’t think it was the deepest, darkest black I’ve experienced (Plushlash and Zoomlash seem darker to me). I did not notice a significant increase in volume; the results I achieved were really dominated by the length and curling power of the formula. There is certainly a volume increase from the standpoint of just thicker, longer, generally improved lashes overall, but my lashes do not appear much fuller.

The formula did not clump easily; you really had to wait for it to dry (20-30 seconds drying time) and be on the third or fourth full coat to find yourself is spidery territory. I was easily able to apply two full coats back-to-back without clumping issues. It dries pretty quickly but not too fast–you do have time to work it from base to tip and go back for more if necessary. When it dried, my lashes didn’t feel dried out or crunchy–they were still pretty soft and felt lightweight. After wearing this mascara for a few days in twelve-hour bursts, I did not have any fall out, smudging, or budging. It came off easily with makeup remover, but it lasted all day and never gave me raccoon eyes.

The brush was fairly large, so if you have smaller eyes, it may be a concern, and it may be unwieldy to use on lower lashes in particular.  It looks much like a normal mascara wand, and it has a slightly more tapered tip.

Overall, it’s a nice mascara, but I’m not sure it’ll make it into my regular rotation of mascaras. It does length amazingly, so it may work wonders on those with shorter lashes, and it does give nice lift on its own (and it holds up well throughout the day), too. If you have naturally long lashes, though, I think this may be too much lengthening power to work well for you.  It is a bit pricey for a MAC mascara, though–unlike Haute & Naughty (which was also $18), which had the crazy packaging, I’m not sure why this merits the $18 price tag.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It lengthens lashes quite dramatically with some lift, so for shorter, straighter lashes, it might be a worthwhile mascara.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

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Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Goes Modern for the Holidays

Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette ($75.00) contains ten eyeshadows and four lip glosses all housed in a sleek palette for the holidays.

It includes: Ivory (creamy white), Oyster Grey (silvery beige), Antique Pink (muted rose), Quarry (steely grey with golden flecks), Taffeta (pale pink bronze), Birch (soft brown), Heather Rose (golden plum), Navy Charcoal (navy charcoal grey), Gold Thread (deep golden copper), and Espresso (dark chocolate brown) eyeshadows; along with Grape (deep plum), Pink Bouquet (bright pink), Golden Topaz (golden bronze), and Paisley Rose (warm pink rose) lip glosses.

  • Ivory is a creamy muted white–it’s not too stark, but it’s not what I’d describe as beige, either. I’ve mentioned it before, but this color is routinely in Bobbi Brown’s palettes. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Oyster Grey is a pale, frosted champagne. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Antique Pink is a sheer, pink champagne.  I found the pigmentation on this shade to be underwhelming–it could use a boost.   This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Quarry is a cool-toned muted brown with a white shimmer-sheen. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Taffeta is a softened bronze with golden sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Birch is a muted medium-dark brown–it has very subtle red undertones. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Heather Rose is a plummy rose with bronze shimmer.  It is a touch sheer but only negligibly. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow.
  • Navy Charcoal is a muted navy blue matte base with blue flecks of sparkle.
  • Gold Thread is a browned gold with a bright gold sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Espresso is a cool-toned, smoldering black-brown. This is a matte eyeshadow. It is also part of the permanent range.
  • Grape is a sheer plummy pink with plum and gold shimmer. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Pink Bouquet is a sheer medium rose pink. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Golden Topaz is a sheer beige nude with champagne shimmer. This is a glitter lip gloss.
  • Paisley Rose is a sheer peach-coral nude with faint champagne shimmer. This is a shimmer lip gloss.

Each regular eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; metallic eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; each shimmer wash eyeshadow is 0.02 oz.; shimmer lip gloss is 0.03 oz.; and glitter lip gloss is 0.03 oz. In sum, you are getting 0.08 oz. worth of regular eyeshadow ($20.00 value), 0.06 oz. of metallic eyeshadow ($12.00 value), and 0.06 oz. of shimmer wash eyeshadow ($15.00 value). For the gloss, you are getting 0.03 oz. worth of shimmer lip gloss ($4.30 value) and 0.09 oz. worth of glitter lip gloss ($12.86 value). There is also a lip brush and an eyeshadow brush, both functional and not too scratchy (nowhere near as soft as full-sized Bobbi Brown brushes, but they are decent), which I’d put at $10 of value. The palette contains $74.16 worth of product, but you do get 10 eyeshadows and 4 lip glosses (three lip glosses or three eyeshadows would run you right around ~$60 alone).

I really love that Bobbi Brown separates her eyeshadows and lip glosses; it’s not something we always see in palettes, but this brand often does it, and I can appreciate that. It’s just nice not having to worry about powder getting into your gloss products. I also like the inclusion of brushes over sponge-tipped applicators and wish more brands would do the same.

This is the kind of color palette I would expect from Bobbi Brown, and I think it does suit its name. If you’re after bright colors, this is obviously something quite different. However, this palette is excellent for creating work-safe looks as well as some heavier, smokier looks–but lighter, “safer” shades dominate and make it an easy palette for those needing work-friendly options on-the-go or all in one place. I did find that the pigmentation was a bit sheer in a few of the shades (indicated above), but overall, it’s a nice palette.

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: At $75, I would want to make sure to purchase it (or gift it) to someone who would really enjoy and use the majority of the palette–not just for one or two shades, you know?

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Glitter Eyeliner
Bobbi Brown Glitter Eyeliner: Silver, Gold

Haven’t We Met Before?

Bobbi Brown Glitter Liquid Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.05 oz.) are felt-tipped liquid liners available in both Silver (bright silver) and Gold (bright gold).

These have a thin, almost watery consistency that’s been soaked into a long, narrowed pen. As I’ve mentioned a few times now (ha, ha!), I like the liner for its long-wearing capabilities, but the applicator is also very easy to use. It’s flexible without being all over the place, and it’s thin enough to allow for precision. (For a more in-depth review, you may want to consider my MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliners Review).

The liner reminds me of tube mascara, because when you use remover on it, it flakes off, rather than just simply dissolving. I did find that taking a shower (heat and humidity) made it easy for these to flake off IF you rubbed your eyes, but they would stay put otherwise. It does stay tacky for a few minutes, so while you can’t do much if you make a mistake other than starting again, it will feel tacky to the touch.

It’s a good liner, but this is the third time I’ve seen it in the past six months, so it has me raising my eyebrows halfway off my forehead. MAC’s still comes in as the cheapest ($17.50, and it’s actually 0.06 oz.), and they are also permanent.

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: This liner formula that seems to have a lot of brands on board is certainly worth checking out, but what brand you choose is really more about personal preference as I have not observed any noticeable differences across the three brands I’ve tested thus far.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow
Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow

Benefit’s New Creaseless Cream Shadow Shades!

Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ($19.00 for 0.16 oz.) are now available in four new, Sephora exclusive shades: Purple Snap (lavender violet), Silver Spoon (true silver), Tidal Rave (muted teal with gold shimmer), and Ice Shot (icy white). I have three of the four to share with you today.

I love Benefit’s Creaseless Cream Shadows — I actually gave them an award for best cream eyeshadow last year. They’re just so creamy, smooth, and apply beautifully. They can be applied sheerly for quick color or layered for a more intense look or as a base. I don’t experience any creasing–they last all day for me. And as someone who has owned many for over a year now, they aren’t prone to drying out in their jars, either.

I’m happy to report that these didn’t disappoint! They’re true to Benefit’s cream shadow formula with the creaminess and smoothness I’ve come to love. The colors are easily vibrant but just as easily used sheerly, which makes it a more versatile product.

  • Purple Snap is a brightened medium purple with softened red undertones. It has light violet micro-shimmer with a subtle sheen–not too frosty, but it’s not matte either.
  • Silver Spoon is a bright blue-tinged silver with a little mix of gray. The metallic finish is definitely there, but the bluish cast seems to dull it a bit (which isn’t a bad thing).
  • Tidal Rave is a darkened blue-teal base with green-gold shimmer. This is actually a really cool shade–very lovely–and pretty different from the rest of Benefit’s line-up. It has an almost duochrome nature to it. I was reminded me of MAC’s Surreal Eyeshadow (discontinued).

P.S. — Sephora lists Tidal Rave as Tidal Wave–but my box and bottom of the jar says Rave! So pfft!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think Tidal Rave is the most unique shade of the three featured in this post–but I’m totally digging the bluish cast of Silver Spoon, too. It’s kind of like stainless steel over traditional bright silver!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Bare Escentuals High Shine Eye Color
Bare Escentuals High Shine Eye Color

Killing Me Softly with Bad Packaging

Bare Escentuals High Shine Eye Color ($16.00 for 0.05 oz.) are kind of amazing. If you’re looking for intensely pigmented, smooth as silk, and bright, metallic-like eyeshadows, Bare Escentuals has you covered. There are six shades available: Frost (silver), Moonshine (deep plum), Patina (gilded khaki), Electric (deep teal), Bronzed (bronze brown), and Glisten (golden sand).

These apply so smoothly–as if they were creams or liquids, but they’re very much a loose powder. The powder seems incredibly finely milled, which helps give it that silky texture and intensifies the color as it holds together impeccably. Though I find these shades rather high-shine to wear alone, I love them as bases or mixed with other shadows. I did try wearing Glisten on its lonesome to test for creasing, and it wore well–no creasing six hours later.

  • Frost is a bright metallic silver.  This is easily the most dupeable shade, as most silvers tend to be on the metallic side in finish (if it’s not, then it’s more of a gray, is it not?)
  • Moonshine is a softened mauve-tinged plum. This shade seemed the least metallic of the bunch.
  • Patina is a gilded olive green with gold shimmer-sheen. This one is gorgeous if you’re a green fiend!
  • Electric is a softened blue that pulls just slightly teal. It’s really not teal to me, though–maybe a dusty teal?
  • Bronzed is a warm bronze with a metallic sheen.  This also felt a bit dupeable; it’s just one of those warm bronzes you see often.  It doesn’t make it bad, just not necessarily the one to get.
  • Glisten is a tarnished gold with a metallic sheen. This was my other favorite, along with Patina, but I’m a total sucker for antique golds…

These are beautiful from first swatch to application, but there is a major drawback to this product line. The applicator/tube is a total no-go! However they managed it, when you pull the applicator out of the tube (which is a large sponge-tipped applicator), it also pulls a ton of product onto the edges. In essence, it pulls out far too much product on the applicator itself as well as leaves a lot along the rim of the tube (which just falls on your floor, lap, or wherever!).

I would recommend dumping the color into a jar or else cutting the applicator off — because it seems like the larger sponge-tip does pull much of the excess to the rim, so if you just snipped it off entirely (and used a separate brush to apply), you could leave it in the tube. (Ironically, they tout the applicator as a “convenient, quick-draw wand [that] allows for easy, on-the-go application.”)

The Glossover

product

bareMinerals High Shine Eye Color Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I think these are all kinds of awesome, but due to the poor packaging design, the product's overall rating gets dragged significantly. If you don't mind fussing with the packaging to make these work, they're definitely worth checking out.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette
Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette

Choose Your Glam with Bobbi Brown: Smoldering

Bobbi Brown Smoldering Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.15 oz.) includes three eyeshadows and one long-wear eye paint. It features: Ivory (creamy white), Heather Lilac (pink heather), Charcoal (dark grey), and Port (deep plum).

The Long-Wear Eye Paints are new and featured in the three palettes from Bobbi Brown’s Smoky, Sultry, Smoldering Collection. According to Bobbi Brown, they are “high-pigment metallic eyeshadow that can be worn wet or dry.” She recommends “[applying] them with a damp Cream Shadow Brush for a strong, luminous and long-lasting pop of shimmering color that won’t crease.”

  • Ivory is a creamy neutral white with a hint of beige–it’s not a stark white. This shade seems like it’s in the majority of Bobbi Brown’s palettes, though, so you probably have at least one! It is a permanent shade.
  • Heather Lilac is a pink mauve with a frosted metallic finish. It’s nicely pigmented and very smooth. This is exclusive to this palette.  It reminded me of NARS’ Night Rider, sans glitter; NARS Ondine is close, too, but leans brown.
  • Charcoal is a dark black with a matte finish. This is a permanent shade.
  • Port is a blackened burgundy with ruby and bright burgundy sparkle. It reminded me of a less black-based MAC Young Punk. From what I can tell, the Long-Wear Eye Paints are very similar to baked/mineralize eyeshadows–it has a small dome, the same sheer texture when applied dry, and it intensifies ten-fold when applied damp.  The shade is all reminiscent of a shadow from LORAC’s Private Affair palette.

Each of the eyeshadows is 0.04 oz. (full-sized are 0.08 oz. for $20.00; 0.10 oz. for $20.00 for metallic eyeshadow), while the Long-Wear Eye Paint is 0.03 oz. (not currently available on its lonesome; but for valuation purposes, we’ll assume 0.08 oz. for $20.00). In this palette, you receive $20.00 worth of regular Eyeshadow, $8 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $7.50 worth of Long-Wear Eye Paint. This totals to $35.50 worth of product. You do also receive a double-ended brush in the palette, which is usable (and one of the better brushes included in palettes)– we’ll say it’s $7 worth–bringing us to $42.50. It’s not a value-packed palette, but I don’t think you’re losing out.

I see a lot of these shades working together, though I really wish Bobbi Brown would vary the lightest shade–Ivory is permanent and too often included in her limited edition palettes. The packaging is sleek and compact, and I love that they have an actual brush applicator included, rather than sponge-tipped ones!  It is a bit basic, with both a matte white and black eyeshadow, so it might not be the best holiday palette to pick up if you have a sizable stash.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: This would be excellent on cooler skin tones in particular, though warmer ones should be able to use it, too. You may want to opt elsewhere for a highlighter if you are medium to dark in skin tone, as Ivory may look stark.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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