Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

COVERGIRL LiquilineBlast Eyeliner
LiquilineBlast: Brown Blaze, Blue Boom, Silver Spark, Green Glow, Violet Voltage

Urban Decay Dupe?  Not Quite, But Close

COVERGIRL LiquilineBlast ($7.99 for 0.033 oz.) are touted to give you the “intensity and styaing power of a liquid with the ease and blendability of a waterproof pencil.” It also comes with a smudger on one end. There are six shades in all, and the one I don’t have to review here is Blackfire–will try to get my hands on it for a review soon.

  • Brown Blaze is a dark neutral-toned brown.
  • Blue Boom is a bright medium blue with a satin-y shimmer finish.
  • Silver Spark is a dark charcoal gray with silver flecks of shimmer-glitter.
  • Green Glow is a bright pop of chatreuse green with yellow shimmer-sheen.
  • Violet Voltage is a red-toned purple–very eggplant-y.

I really do like these, even if they don’t do quite as good of a job as some of my favorite high-end eyeliners (Make Up For Ever, Urban Decay). My favorite shades were Blue Boom and Green Glow, which I’m sure doesn’t come as a surprise!

The LiquilineBlasts have a very smooth, soft feel when used, and they do glide very well across the lid/lash line. However, they aren’t incredibly pigmented–you can layer it on to get more of that opaque, intense liner look, though, but it’s not one-stroke color here. It’s also better if you apply in the same direction, even in layers, because it keeps it from smearing/sheering out.

These excel in the wear department, though — I had no trouble with these lasting all day without smudging, budging, or migrating. They stay tacky enough to be smudged for about a minute or two, but they seem to set quite well after that. It’s a shame that the pigmentation is a little low, because these could have been a great affordable alternative to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners–they’re a good one, but they’re just not a perfect substitute.  I would also say these felt softer than Urban Decay’s liners.

But I really love Green Glow — I only have a liquid liner in this color, and I am very much an eyeliner fiend, so whenever I come across a shade I don’t quite have, it’s hard not to fall in love.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I really like these, and with their lower price tag, it might be worth looking into as long as you don’t mind a little layering to get it to be true-to-color. They wear well and long, which is the most important aspect of any eyeliner, in my eyes … or rather, on my eyes… Ha!

AVAILABILITY: Ulta

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Monday, July 19th, 2010

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo

Prettiest NARS Eyeshadow Duo? Perhaps!

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a stunning mix of golden taupe brown and smoky peacock blue. I’m not always a huge fan of NARS eyeshadows, to be honest–I’ve had a lot of misses, particularly with their singles in the past few seasonal collections–but Rajasthan blew me away. It is such a gorgeous duo that’s wearable and so perfect for fall. I love that it’s not a smoky plum but a charcoal black smoked out base with layers of metallic and navy blue all woven together. It may look a little on the cooler side, but warmer beauties will have no problem turning this into something lovely on the eyes.

The pigmentation is spot-on–it looks just like it does in the pan–while the texture is exactly what you’d expect from NARS: smooth and buttery. NARS’ eyeshadow duos are always a better value than their eyeshadow singles–you get twice as much for only $9 more.

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

RECOMMENDATION: This is a must-have in my book. The pigmentation and texture are exactly where they should be, and the colors are incredibly wearable for both cooler and warmer as well as lighter and deeper skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

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Sunday, July 18th, 2010

AVEDA Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow
Aveda Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow

Pretty in the Pan; Not So Much on Skin

After being really happy with Aveda’s Golden Jasper Eye Color Trio, I knew I had to try some of the other eyeshadow trios. I decided to go with Aqua Pearl ($22.00 for 0.08 oz.), which looked like a pretty trio of yellow, muted green, and a green-teal. Unfortunately, the eyeshadows themselves are a far cry from what they look like in the pan. I didn’t experience the same soft, melts-on-skin feeling as I did with Golden Jasper. Aqua Pearl was incredibly sheer and all three shades looked muted when swatched. I did like that they weren’t powdery, and they did apply smoothly for the most part–just very, very different than they look in the pan.

I do still like that the eyeshadow trio is packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and paper, and the eyeshadow itself doesn’t contain talc, mineral oil, or parabens.

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  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I would definitely pass on this shade unless you want something very sheer that doesn’t ever get to be intense.

AVAILABILITY: Aveda

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Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Burberry Khaki Eyeshadow
Burberry Khaki Eyeshadow

Burberry Khaki (08) Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is an olive green with subtly warm-toned, brown undertones. It had a soft, smooth texture that applied well. The color payoff was good, though Burberry’s formula is confusing, as it’s called “Sheer Eyeshadow,” but then it’s supposed to have really true, long-lasting color. MAC Flourishing is greener. Lancome Designer is darker, greener. Dior Khaki Design #3 is more shimmery. bareMinerals Eureka is more shimmery. bareMinerals Speaker Box is darker, more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes
#1L, #6L, #8L, #11L, #23L

Aqua Eyes, I Love Thee!

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of my favorite eyeliners–pigmented, long-wearing, waterproof, and just all around fantastic liners. I love the color range, and I have kind of gotten into a rather “collect ‘em all” mentality. You can read my very first review of Aqua Eyes (includes #5L, 7L, 10L, 12L, 15L, 17L, and 20L) as well as my single reviews of #3L, #4L, #9L, and #16L, too.

  • #1L is a deep dark black (despite appearing brown in the swatch–what is it with black eyeliner turning brown when photographed?) with a soft sheen.
  • #6L is a dark plummy purple with slight red undertones and soft sheen.
  • #8L is a bright, metallic silver–on the lighter, brighter side.
  • #11L is a medium-dark violet purple with soft violet sheen. New favorite purple liner!
  • #23L is a shimmering golden champagne with a nearly metallic finish.

(What am I missing? Hmm… #0L, 2L, 14L, 18L, 19L, 21L, 22L, 24L… 13L is on its way… wow, that’s more missing than I thought. BOO!)

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

RECOMMENDATION: Aqua Eyes wears so well throughout the day without fading, smudging, or migrating. They’re one of my go-tos for eyeliners, and I love how pigmented and diverse the shade range is.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives: Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette ($54.00) is just one of Nordstrom’s many Beauty Exclusives for their Anniversary Sale (which officially kicks off on the 16th–so close yet so far!). It looks like it’s sold out online, but you may be able to check your local Nordstrom to see if they still have any available for pre-order/sale. This palette contains a blush, bronzer, four eyeshadows, and two lip glosses along with three miniature brushes.

I could really get down with the palette’s theme if they just didn’t put those lip glosses in there–you’re going to experience some cross-contamination of the powder products into your lip glosses. It’s a little annoying and a bit gross. I’m also not entirely sure just how value-packed this palette is, but it seems to be–at the very least–what I’d expect to pay for a Dior palette such as this one. (Mine doesn’t have a label nor a box, so I don’t have specifics on sizes for each interior product.)

The blush is a dirty pink-red that’s rather on the sheer side, and the bronzer is a soft, sheer medium bronze-tan with subtle sheen. The eyeshadows include a frosted warm white, peachy-pink (think NARS Orgasm), shimmering spun gold, and cool-toned subtle bronze. These aren’t Dior’s best eyeshadows–they’re a little on the sheer side and the texture isn’t nearly as creamy as their quints typically are. The two lipglosses are a dirty caramel with multicolored shimmer and a sheer beige champagne.

You can definitely build some looks with this palette, though everything is a smidgen on the warm side (I guess that compensates for their rather cool-toned plummy palette for fall, eh?).  I think everything pairs well together, and it’s a nice color palette that’ll work for the summer, too.   However, I feel the quality isn’t as good as Dior products usually are–just feels a little below.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For warmer skin tones, this may make a great travel palette–if you don’t mind shades on the sheerer side. Overall, though, it doesn’t meet the expectations I have based on my past experience with Dior.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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