Saturday, October 30th, 2010

NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow
NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2010: Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow

NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) contains three shades: (as described by NARS) silver, deep cobalt blue, and black onyx. According to Sephora’s description of this trio, the eyeshadows can be used wet to double as eyeliners.

The colors included in the trio are not unique, but they have a beautiful, smooth texture and rich, intense pigmentation that glides on with ease. There is a light silver-white with a frosted finish, medium-dark blue with subtle shimmer-sheen, and a medium-dark black with a satin sheen. These felt smoother and softer than the average NARS eyeshadow.

The silver has the largest portion, while the blue is about half the size and the black a third. It makes sense to have the black be such a thin strip, since you really do not need much black in most looks, but it may be too thin for those who use bigger brushes (say the MAC 252). It’s not a major drawback, as most eyeshadow brushes should be able to maneuver in there, but it was worth noting.

I’m not sure why this is a whopping $45, which is rather killer for a product like this, even for high end. A NARS Eyeshadow Duo contains 0.14 oz. of product and retails for $32, which makes the trio more per ounce (but a better value than the single eyeshadows). The quality is phenomenal, though!

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

RECOMMENDATION: I wish this was priced more in line with NARS Eyeshadow Duos. If you do not have similar colors in your stash already, though, it’s worth taking a peek at.

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora.com

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Eyeshadows
MAC A Wish Come True Eyeshadow

MAC Tartan Tale: Eyeshadows

MAC Tartan Tale Eyeshadows ($19.50 for 0.10 oz.) are new and limited edition as part of the Tartan Tale Color Collection. These eyeshadows are twice the size of regular pressed MAC Eyeshadows (0.05 oz. vs. 0.10 oz.), and they are the same size pot as Mineralize Eyeshadows or Cream Colour Bases. Given the quantity, they’re actually a better value (when you look at price/quantity) than MAC’s normal eyeshadows.

The six limited edition shades include: A Wish Come True (dirty mauve with bubblegum pink Tartan striping), Enviably Fun (grass green with dark green Tartan striping), Follow Your Fantasy (mid-tone peach with chocolate Tartan striping), Golden Crown (light gold with bronze Tartan striping), Glamora Castle (dark grey with teal Tartan striping), and Semi-Precious (aubergine with chocolate Tartan striping).

I wish MAC included a better description of the product itself, because “dressed in a playfully tartan pattern finish” doesn’t tell me how I should expect these to perform. My experience with them is that they are a very soft, silky powder with decent color payoff. All of the colors seemed just a touch more muted when swatched than they looked in the pan.

I tried to remove the top layer with the tartan striping, so the swatches are of what was beneath the striping. Doing so also showed that the colored striping is only on the top layer, and the pattern itself doesn’t go all the way through.  You can see the shadow cut in half, over at BBB — thanks @mylipsbutbetter!

  • A Wish Come True is a softened pink with light plumminess and a frosted finish. It seems like a warmer pink to me. It’s a warmer Swish and a lighter and more muted Da Bling.
  • Enviably Fun is a soft chartreuse green with stronger golden sheen and yellow undertones. It’s similar to Juxt eyeshadow, but it’s brighter and greener–think Bitter and Juxt coming together.
  • Follow Your Fantasy is a soft medium orange with champagne shimmer-sheen. MAC doesn’t have a lot of orange eyeshadows, so there didn’t seem like there was anything similar in the permanent range. Paradisco would come the closest, but it is more coral.
  • Golden Crown is a gilded champagne gold with soft sheen. This one was the least pigmented of the six and gave more shimmer than heavy color. It’s like a sheerer, less yellow Goldmine.
  • Glamora Castle is a steel blue with silver sheen. This seemed a little less frosty than the others. It’s a bluer version of Surreal (without the duochrome). It’s also a less intense version of Urban Decay’s Money (a BoS III exclusive shade).
  • Semi-Precious is a brightened red plum with soft violet sheen. This was the most pigmented shade of the six. It is rather similar to both Hepcat and Plum Dressing.

I don’t think any of these shades really jumped out as being particularly new or original, and they seem rather soft and muted for fall–like I would expect to see this kind of soft, springy palette in spring/summer. I’m lukewarm on these; they’re soft and smooth, but a little powdery, and while they’re good, they’re not excellent.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Nice but not outstanding–if there’s a color that grabs you, I don’t think you’d be disappointed. They have a very soft, smooth texture.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Pearlglide Eyeliners
MAC Tartan Tale Pearlglide Eyeliners

MAC Tartan Tale: Pearlglide Eyeliners

MAC Pearlglide Eyeliners ($14.50 each) are super soft, smooth, vibrantly colored eyeliners. These are some of my favorite eyeliners, and I have NO idea why MAC doesn’t make them permanent. They glide on so smoothly, and they don’t fade away. They stay on my lower lash line just fine throughout the day. They are not waterline safe, as they all have micro-glitter in them, though.  I can’t get over how smooth they feel when used on the lash line or lid; and the intensity of the color is so rich.  I love that the majority of the colors seem to have a lot of depth, too.

The five limited edition shades are: Black Swan (black with pearl), Lord It Up (bronze with pearl), Petrol Blue (deep navy with pearl), Undercurrent (teal with pearl), and Blackline (black with gold pearl).

Three of these shades are repromotes, though, from Art Supplies. The new shades are Black Swan and Lord It Up.

  • Black Swan is a deep black with charcoal gray shimmer. Very sultry of a shade! It is darker than Urban Decay’s Oil Slick, but they are similar.
  • Lord It Up is a medium-dark brown with subtle warmth–not quite chocolate, but maybe a molten chocolate. It’s a little warmer than Urban Decay’s Bourbon.
  • Petrol Blue is a rich, deep ocean blue with soft sky blue and medium blue shimmer-sheen. This shade is similar to Urban Decay’s Deviant.
  • Undercurrent is a medium-dark teal base with teal-green shimmer and gold sheen. This shade is similar to Urban Decay’s Covet but that shade lacks the green-gold sheen.
  • Blackline is a blackened base with antique green-gold sheen and shimmer.  It’s similar to Shiseido’s Black Sand.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Tartan Tale: Pearlglide Eyeliners Review, Photos, Swatches

A
If you love really soft, creamy eyeliners, this is a formula worth checking out. The shade range is interesting and more complex -- I don't have dupes for a lot of these shades.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC The Family Crest Pigment
MAC The Family Crest Pigment

MAC Tartan Tale: Pigments

For the color collection, there are three new and limited edition shades of MAC Pigments ($19.50 for 0.15 oz.). These shades are: The Family Crest (blackened bronze with pearl), Later (black with transforming purple pearl), and Moonlight Night (blackened teal with teal pearl). All three pigments have frost finishes. Later is a repromote from this spring’s Alice + Olivia Collection.

  • The Family Crest is a darkened, plummy brown base with flashes of gold and violet shimmer. It’s a very fun and complex shade! It’s actually a little similar to Style Clan nail lacquer (which you can’t wear on your eyes, LOL!). I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.
  • Later needs moisture to look amazing. Do not just swatch it dry and forget about it, because you’re really not giving it a chance then. When applied wet, it’s a blackened-gray base with flashes of violet and deep blue-purple shimmer and sheen. About a million times prettier wet than dry. It is similar to My Dark Magic Mineralize Eyeshadow from Venomous Villains. It could also be replicated by layering Violet pigment over a black base.
  • Moonlight Night is a darkened charcoal gray base with flashes of deep forest green shimmer and soft frosted sheen. I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.

Even when swatched dry, both The Family Crest and Moonlight Night swatched smoothly, but Later definitely needs to be used wet or patted over a sticky base to get the true color. I personally find MAC’s Mixing Medium (Water-Based) to work really well when using pigments wet, because it is slightly tacky, which makes the pigment hold together and wear all day.  I’ve often used pigments as bases for other eyeshadows with this method.

Though I like the look of the new pigment jars, I do find them a lot messier.  I don’t know if it’s perhaps that I open these over a white table, but I feel like I get some smeared on the photo station every time I open them, which is quite annoying.  I haven’t spilled or toppled any of the jars over, at least!

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: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of pigments or enjoy using loose color, then yes on all three. I think they’re great shades and nothing feels like, “Wow, I’ve seen this twenty times!”

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale:  Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette

Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a colorful palette with a slight cool tone running through it.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: White Rabbit (shimmer white), Melt My Heart (metallic silver), Carbon (matte black), Family Treasure (metallic bronze), Gaelic Gold (metallic gold), and Crown & Sceptre (metallic copper).

  • White Rabbit is a bright, shimmery white, It has a frost finish, and it was originally launched in last year’s holiday palettes. It has a very smooth texture and packs a lot of pigment without having to use a lot of product. It’s similar to White Frost or Gesso (but with shimmer).
  • Melt My Heart is a a light silver with a metallic sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s not quite as pigmented as other veluxe pearls, but it has a smooth feel when applied. It’s similar to Forgery, except the texture is soft and smooth–lighter than Electra.
  • Carbon is a dark black. It has a matte finish, and it is a permanent shade. It works better than it swatches, but it will definitely darken anything you layer it over. It’s not the deepest, darkest black, though.
  • Family Treasure is a soft metallic peachy gold with a strong shine. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it’s as smooth and pigmented as one would expect. It’s a less yellow, more orange Goldmine.
  • Gaelic Gold is a brightened medium gold kissed by molten ore. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it’s rich in pigmentation and creamy in consistency. It’s slightly darker and deeper than Goldmine. (Goldmine would fit almost exactly between Family Treasure and Gaelic Gold.)
  • Crown & Sceptre is a medium-dark coppery brown with metallic shine. It has a veluxe pearl finish with a smooth, creamy texture and nice color payoff. It’s a little lighter than Antiqued, but they are similar.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

Like Beauties Playing It Cool, Reelers & Rockers is a little reminiscent of last year’s Devil May Dare palette, but it’s only at a glance, rather than in reality. This year’s Reelers & Rockers is actually more pigmented and brighter.

Reelers & Rockers was my favorite palette of the four, not because of colors but how true-to-pan the colors were overall. Four of the shades have really stellar pigmentation and feel incredibly smooth when used–Carbon swatches poorly but works well in practice, while Melt My Heart could be a little more pigmented, it’s decent. It’s an interesting mix of shades; the top row being on the cooler side, while the bottom row is definitely warmer!

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: If you’re jonesin’ for one of MAC’s palettes this year, this one is the best in terms of quality. The colors are also fun and festive but wearable.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale:  Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a purple-themed palette with a cooler tone overall.  It’s one of the more pigmented palettes of the four released for the holidays.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: Silverwear (metallic lavender), Hold My Gaze (medium grey), To the Ball (dusty lavender), Magic Moor (purple grape), Altered State (blackened plum), and
Heather Belles (dark charcoal).

  • Silverwear is a silvery white with lots of frost in its finish. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in 2007 with the holiday palettes. Digit looks a bit similar, but it has a more obvious violet tinge to it.
  • Hold My Gaze is a grayed khaki green with soft copper sparkle. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. This is a shade that doesn’t bring to mind any dupes, but it seemed less pigmented compared to last year’s. (You can also check out a look I did with it here.)
  • To the Ball is a grayed purple. It has a satin finish. It’s similar to Poison Pen, which was discontinued in the past year or so, but it swatches really nicely–pigmented and smooth and buttery–just lighter and more muted. Also a more muted, grayer version of Purple Haze.
  • Altered State is a medium-dark grape purple with violet sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. It had good pigmentation, and it went on smoothly. It’s not quite as soft as most veluxe pearls, though. It’s’ similar to Satellite Dreams, which is a bit brighter and lighter.
  • Magic Moor is a nicely pigmented blackened plum. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it has the same buttery consistency and stays true to the finish. I can’t think of a great MAC dupe for it, but it reminded me of a similar shade in Chanel’s Enigma Palette.
  • Heather Belles is a darkened charcoal gray. It has a satin finish, and it’s a little hard to work with. It takes a bit of layering to get decent color pay off, and it’s not as smooth as the majority of MAC eyeshadows are. It’s like a sheerer version of Print.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

This palette is a bit similar to last year’s cool-toned, purple-dominant Sorceress palette (it actually shares two exact shades: Hold My Gaze, Altered State).  Overall, the pigmentation is decent throughout the palette, with the only real disappointment being Heather Belles.  I do wish Hold My Gaze was as pigmented as it was last year, because it does seem to vary, and I’m not a fan of inconsistency!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Worth a look if you dig purples! It doesn’t suffer from lack of pigmentation like Dashing Lassies and Twists of Tartan.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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