Sunday, August 29th, 2010


Chanel Eyeliner: Marine, Jade

Swatched:  Chanel Marine & Jade

Chanel Long Lasting Eyeliner ($28.00 for 0.01 oz.) are budgeproof, smudgeproof, and waterproof automatic twist-up eyeliners. I reviewed this product initially with Cassis Eyeliner, which was a plummy shade. I have nothing new to say — these still wear amazingly without migrating or fading during the day. These are just two more shades swatched and tested for your viewing pleasure.

  • Marine (30) is a navy blue with silver shimmer with a darker blackened navy blue base. It’s surprisingly opaque in just one stroke.
  • Jade (50) is a lightened greenish teal with silver sheen. This one doesn’t have the heavier shimmer that Marine has–much more of a sheen. This is gorgeous with brown eyes.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For a nice, long-wearing eyeliner, Chanel’s makes a nice choice–if you don’t mind the price tag.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Friday, August 27th, 2010

Illamasqua Precision Ink
Illamasqua Precision Ink

A Tale of Twin Liners

Illamasqua Precision Ink Liquid Eyeliner (£16.50 for 0.06 oz.) is a new eyeliner launching with Illamasqua’s Art of Darkness collection for fall. It’s a long-wearing and waterproof liner that should dry quickly.

It may look familiar. In fact, it may look very familiar. Illamasqua’s Precision Ink and MAC Superslick Liquid Eyeliners are exactly the same. Every part of the packaging is the same, from the bottom to the inside to the formula itself. MAC has sticker labels on the bottom, while Illamasqua has the label on the side of the eyeliner–which reveals a bit of an inset, and after peeling back the MAC label, the MAC liner has it, too.

Illamasqua has two shades (at least for now): Abyss, which is a rich black, and Alchemy, which is a metallic gold. (The MAC counterparts would be On the Hunt and Pure Show, for reference.) The shades are exactly the same as far as I can tell. There is no discernible difference, and I swatched both gold shades on my hand and kept them there for about 36 hours–I wanted to see them in all different lighting.  If there is any difference between them, I could not detect a single one.

This is a very easy review, because I’ve done it before: they are as long-wearing as they claim to be. They won’t smudge, budge, flake, or migrate whatsoever once they’re dry, though I find that drying time is around twenty to thirty seconds (not super fast, not agonizingly long). It is water-resistant, and it flakes off when you put makeup remover on it.

Whenever two brands, particularly such well-known brands as these, come out with exactly the same product, not just similar colors (which you could simply say are coincidence or going with the trends), I wonder what went on. I don’t know much about manufacturing and the behind-the-scenes aspect of beauty product creation, so I don’t have any insider knowledge to provide for you. My first experience with it was with all of the lip stain markers that released in the earlier half of this year–it seemed like every brand was putting out some kind of lip stain marker. Then MAC and Orly’s polish similarities, and now this… It just makes you wonder.

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: Just depends on which brand you prefer, I’d say… It’s a very nice long-wearing liquid eyeliner that’s easier to use than your typical liquid eyeliner.

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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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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