Monday, September 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment

You’ll Need to See This to Believe It

Illamasqua Ore Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of those products that shocks and awes the minute you swatch it.  Ore is a medium-dark metallic bronze with soft red undertones, multicolored shimmer, and a dazzling sheen.  It’s like a metallic bronze base with Christmas (green, pink, gold shimmer flecks) strewn through it.  The frustrating part about this particular shade is it really needs to be seen to be believed.  It’s so luxe and full of depth, but it looks better in person than it does in photos.

I loved it patted atop a shimmery primer and blended up with nothing else, but it also works well to layer with or use alongside your favorite coordinating eyeshadows.  I had several people stop me when I went out with this look on to ask what I had on my lids (which is not the norm).  Over a stickier base, Pure Pigments can easily be used dry, but I do prefer using them wet, as they hold together and apply smoothly and vibrantly.

There are, however, two things about Illamasqua’s Pure Pigments that I don’t particularly like:  quantity and packaging.  As far as similar products, Illamasqua weighs in with a rather tiny amount (Make Up For Ever wavers between 0.07 and 0.09 oz., while MAC tops in at 0.15 oz.).   You don’t need much, so you won’t be finishing a Pure Pigment any time soon, but it’s still worth noting.

The other thing is the packaging, which I find cumbersome and a pain to open.  If you’re not careful, it’s easy to loose hold of it and see your precious 0.04 oz. pigment soar across the air.  (There is actually a bunch of Ore embedded in my carpet, because it happened yet again to me while photographing.)  My best advice for opening these is to wedge your nail between the lid and base and run it around the perimeter a bit, then pull it open.  This seemed to alleviate a lot of the fumbling.  When it comes to a loose product, I think a screw-top lid might be a lot safer for us clumsy folk.

So why not an A product? Because the quantity is well below average of other comparable, high-end brands and the packaging could be less prone to slipping out of your hands and losing half the product to your carpet, sink, or bathroom floor.  This is one of my favorite shades for fall, and I will be purchasing a back-up because it is that stunning.

P.S. — Sephora has it listed as a new shade, but it shows as “out of stock,” though I believe it just isn’t in stock yet.  If you can’t wait, you can get it directly from Illamasqua.

The Glossover

P
product

Ore

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle Eyeshadow
Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle Eyeshadow

More Glitter Fun with Bobbi Brown!

Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a gray-black color base with layers of teal shimmer, lilac and silver glitter, and wet finish. I think the coolest characteristic about Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle Eyeshadows (or this breed of glitter eyeshadows in general) is how they look slick and wet.

The glitter eyeshadows of yesteryear were just powder eyeshadows with glittery bits in them (think MAC Lustres), but this newer breed has a creamier consistency–everything clings together and then smooths out when applied. There is significantly less fall out with these creamier glitter shades (but they are not cream eyeshadows!)–there is a bit, but nothing undue given how dark the shade is.

Upon first swatching, I thought it was exactly like Black Velvet, but swatched side-by-side, the differences are easily seen! (I actually went back and double-checked the shade name, and I thought maybe mine was mislabeled–that’s how close they seemed at first glance!) Black has a soft black color base with multi-colored glitter that flashes blue, teal, purple, and silver. It looks very blue when swatched next to Black Velvet.

It’s richer and multi-faceted compared to Stila’s Black Diamond, which is just a gray black base with silver glitter. Similarly, Urban Decay’s Void is grayer and sheerer than Stila’s Black Diamond, so that doesn’t really compare either.

Do you rock the glitter eyeshadow or is it too much bling for you?

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle Eyeshadows are some of the better glitter eyeshadows on the market–they’re pigmented, smooth, and hold together really well.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Black Cocoa Metallic Eyeshadow
Bobbi Brown Black Cocoa Metallic Eyeshadow

Try a Little Warm Cocoa for Fall

Bobbi Brown Black Cocoa Metallic Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a rich, chocolate brown with flecks of pale gold, gold, and copper shimmer. It has such a smooth texture with incredible color pay off that really just looks luxurious when worn. This shade would work well for a brown smoky eye as well as smudged on the lower lash line to add warmth to the eyes. I love this on warmer beauties, though it has that blackened cocoa laced with the warmer brown, so it could also be worn by those on the cooler side, too.

I also love that $20 will get you 0.10 oz. of eyeshadow–double the amount of most single shadows! This particular shade launched with Bobbi Brown’s Black Velvet Collection, but it is permanent to the line.

What are your favorite Bobbi Brown eyeshadows?

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of warmer, chocolate browns and enjoy yours with shimmer, Black Cocoa makes an excellent choice!

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad
Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Divine Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) looks like a beautiful, elegant mix of feminine colors that seem neutral–not too cool, not too warm.  I’ve always liked Dolce & Gabbana’s eyeshadows in the past (like Dazzling, Gold, Laguna), and I really haven’t had trouble with application of them.

In addition to having trouble with this palette, I also found similar issues with Ocean eyeshadow duo (also from fall, to be reviewed separately).  I thought perhaps it was due to my usage of NARS’ Smudgeproof as a base, so I tried Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, and I experienced the exact same issues:  sheer, faded colors that looked lovely at first but seemed to fade away as quickly as I applied them; slight muddying of color when blended.  It’s like there was nothing to bind the shadow to my lid, despite the eyeshadow base.

The best solution I was able to come up with was to use a shimmery, white gold cream shadow base (Shiseido Lemon Sugar).  Cream bases can sometimes be more adhesive, which can help softer or more difficult shadows stay on better, and shimmery bases always seem to emphasize colors in my experience.   It’s better–decent to just below good–but it’s not fabulous.

Divine consists of a barely-there beige with a subtle cool tone; medium mauve-tinged beige; frosted cotton candy pink; and darkened blue-toned purple with a semi-matte finish.  After using the quad in three look attempts, the lightest shade was my favorite, because it worked really well as a highlighter on my skin tone.  Though the pink shade swatches the best, it is the worst performer of the bunch, because despite its brightness in the swatch, it looks faded and flat on the lid.  The other three shades are more on the matte/satin side, so they already have a softer look and don’t fall flat when used.

I’m also mildly amused that the Eyeshadow Duos contain 0.17 oz. of product for $36, while the quads hold 0.16 oz. and go for $59.  This quad was a total miss for me, and I really wanted to love it.  It’s stunning when you first open the compact, but it’s such a let-down in practice.  Nothing will get a product onto my skip list faster than requiring me to give it three tries just to yield decent results.  As they say, three strikes and you’re out!

I mentioned it previously, but the nude shades worked just fine; they’re soft, smooth, and apply the same.  I don’t think they’re going to work well on anyone that’s medium-dark to dark in skin tone–they’re just going to be way too light and look chalky rather than subtle.  These shades would work well on light to medium skin tones for a contoured nude eye.  So in a sense, half the palette is… palatable (ha, ha).  I already spoke on the pink shade, and the purplish shade is so-so; it applies smoothly, but it seems to go sheer and fade pretty quickly.

Edited 10/01: Despite calling the Saks’ Dolce & Gabbana counter and being told not to use these eyeshadows wet or else I would ruin them, I did use them wet–it did solve a lot of smoothness/evenness of the eyeshadows on the lid, though the colors were still a bit faded and flat.  I changed the product grade from 20 to 23 as a result, which raised the overall grade from a C- to a C+.  A new issue, as a result of using them wet, was a bit of difficulty in blending out the darker shade.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: I’d rather get two lipsticks for the price of one eyeshadow quad. (I have reviewed many of Dolce & Gabbana’s lipsticks with happy results!)

AVAILABILITY: Saks

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Guerlain 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette

Is this palette worth $84?

I know that it probably sounds funny, but after reviewing and being disappointed by Guerlain’s Rue de Francs Bourgeois Eyeshadow Palette, I felt the need to determine whether the palettes were a miss in general or perhaps just that particular combination was underwhelming. I decided to go with Guerlain’s 2 Place Vendome Eyeshadow Palette ($84.00 for 0.25 oz.), which is one variation that seemed to stand out more than the others (to me).

The palette includes six eyeshadows in varying shapes and sizes.  It’s housed in a beautiful compact with a filigree pattern on the cover that’s actually see-through.  There’s a black plastic piece that lifts open to reveal the eyeshadows themselves (and on the inside, there is a mirror).  A dual-ended miniaturized brush is also included, and while not something I’d use under regular circumstances, is nicer than many other palette applicators I’ve come across.

This is a rather cool-toned palette, which would make it most suitable for those who lean cool, but it’s still wearable on warmer skin tones, since they’re closer to neutral than very cool.  There is a pale white-beige with a satin finish, muted gray-brown with a satin finish, medium-dark ocean blue with soft sheen, antique gold with a hint of taupe base and frosted shimmer, cool-toned charcoal brown with a semi-matte finish, and darkened purple-black with flecks of violet shimmer over a semi-matte color base.

I think the pigmentation on the eyeshadows is nice overall, but it’s not rich and intense and luxe to me.  I really don’t get the luxury feel from the texture, but these shades are more impressive in their subtle nuances than in Rue de Francs Bourgeois.  I’m not keen on the level of pigmentation in the lighter brown shade, which is a little sheer; though the charcoal-brown shade appears sheer when swatched, it applies just fine with a brush on the eyes (say in the crease).

I’m still not as wow-ed as I’d like to be with these palettes, and while the palette’s case is most assuredly gorgeous, the eyeshadows don’t quite match it.  The texture could be finer, richer — I think this is what makes me go, “Hmm, I want to like you, but it’s not quite there,” because they don’t feel as buttery as Guerlain’s singles, duos, and quads’ eyeshadows do.  I do like that these have nearly no fall out, and they do apply very smoothly and evenly.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION:

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Urban Decay Urb Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Urb Eyeshadow

The Hue of Sage Green

Urban Decay Urb Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a sage green with antique gold glitter flecks. It’s a very smooth shade that’s pigmented but the color itself is softer, so it’s not a bright or intense shade of green. I love the slight golden sheen that’s in the finish.

Urban Decay described it as a “metallic celedon green with glitter,” which should immediately alert you to the fact that this is a glittery shade. It will have some fall out. My experience with Urb is that the fall out is significantly less than some of the most egregious: Midnight Cowboy Rides Again.

If you want a more satin finish shade, you could try Make Up For Ever’s #34 Eyeshadow instead.

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: If it weren’t for the inevitable fall out that Urban Decay’s glitter shades are prone to, I’d really love this shade. The color itself is beautiful, and the soft flecks of glitter are lovely–when they stay on the lid.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Page 235 of 304« First233234235236237Last »