Friday, April 16th, 2010

Tarina Tarantino Hypershadow

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hypershadow ($19.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a range of twenty-four eyeshadows from neutral to bold and everything in-between. I was particularly impressed with the size of the range, just because it seemed quite large for a first launch.

Available shades: Amulet (deep moss green with green micro glitter), Baby Sparkle (pale pink with silver glitter), Bangle (bronzed gold shimmer), Beaded (dark maroon shimmer), Bow (matte hot pink), Brooch (dark chocolate with gold and green micro glitter), Butterfly Black (matte black), Chain (smoky gray shimmer), Cord (warm cocoa with gold micro glitter), Crimp (matte ivory), Cuff (light golden shimmer), Facet (peachy beige with iridescent glitter), Headband (pink beige shimmer), Hoop (bright yellow gold shimmer), Memento (dark lapis blue with blue micro glitter), Organza (mother of pearl shimmer), Pave (dark purple with iridescent glitter), Peacock Pearl (bright turquoise shimmer), Ribbon (intense lavender with magenta micro glitter), Rivet (rich plum shimmer), Stick Pin (golden beige shimmer), Sweetzer (bright jade with silver glitter), Trim (light brown with gold micro glitter), and Trinket (pale gray with iridescent glitter).

I’ve been hanging onto this review for about two months. I did all my pre-review work for Ribbon all the way in early February, but I was unimpressed with the shade, and I wasn’t sure if perhaps it was just a dud in the line-up, since there were so many. I tried Stickpin at the end of March, and it gave me a little hope, but since the Sephora V.I.B. sale as right around the corner, I figured I’d try two more shades. I think it’s kind of obvious that I really wanted to like these, ha!

  • Ribbon is a matte, darkened lavender/lilac. It’s supposed to have magenta micro glitter, but I didn’t see it translate when swatched. I could see it in the pan, but it never transferred when I used it. It’s a dusty, chalky matte shade that doesn’t blend easily. It kind of just sits there.
  • Stick Pin is a yellowed golden peach with a frosty shimmer sheen. This one felt a little dusty, but it was only slightly. Overall, it had a smooth feel and look while still being pigmented. Way better than Ribbon!
  • Peacock Pearl is a bright blue. I’m not sure why it seems like companies are calling things turquoise/teal when they’re really not so much. This has the same texture and finish as Stick Pin, so it was smooth, soft, and had a lightly frosted sheen. It wasn’t as pigmented as I’d like or expect, though. It took a little layering to get truly bright color.
  • Sweetzer is a medium grassy green with silver glitter. It’s more like a matte green base topped with an overlay of silver micro glitter. The glitter isn’t overdone, but it doesn’t stick too well in the shadow, so there is some fall out.

After trying four different shades, I won’t be buying any more myself. Two of the shades I tried (Ribbon and Sweetzer) have a more matte finish with glitter on top, while the other two shades I tried (Stick Pin and Peacock Pearl) had a more frosty/shimmery finish. The more shimmery the finish, the better the eyeshadow seemed to be, overall–it was smoother, not chalky or powdery, and it had decent pigmentation.

However, these eyeshadows are advertised to utilize “the maximum pigment load, 20-50% more pigment with less binder.” They’re less pigmented than other mainstream brands known for their brights (e.g. MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Urban Decay), and their texture doesn’t make them any more desirable.

They’re difficult to blend–even the shimmers, not as difficult as the more matte shades, but noticeably off–and I found that they seemed to fade. I had to pack on the color to get it vibrant, but I felt like it just kept disappearing on me after several minutes passed.  (You can see the look I did with Peacock Pearl & Sweetzer here.)  I had no troubles with them wearing for hours without creasing (over a base, of course!), but the fading was really a huge disappointment. Again, the shimmery finishes held up better and faded less than the more matte shades.

It’s such a shame, because they are beautifully packaged and you do get a lot for your money (these are a little cheaper than Make Up For Ever by the ounce). I also love how each eyeshadow comes in a pink satchet with an “intro to my line” card by Tarina. They’re just nice details to see done. You’re better off grabbing some Make Up For Ever Eyeshadows, since they’re the same price (you get 0.08 oz. instead, though) and the quality is much, much better.

I feel like they’re almost a poor quality eyeshadow you find at the drugstore, rather than a high-end eyeshadow that costs $19 a pop.  It’s not the worst eyeshadow I’ve tried, but it’s nowhere near a high-quality eyeshadow, particularly for high-end.  What saves the overall rating from falling into D/F range is that they are a good value (in terms of quantity/price) and the packaging is adorable–but the product itself is an D-.

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  • Product: 18/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: I would swatch in-store before buying, if it’s possible. Otherwise, stick to the shades with “shimmer” as the finish, rather than matte or anything with “micro glitter,” for your best bet. If you want a Tarina Tarantino piece of makeup in your stash, I’d recommend the Eye Dream Hyperliners instead.

Availability: Sephora

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Friday, April 16th, 2010

tokidoki Brilliant Glitter Eyeliner

tokidoki Brillante Glitter Eyeliner ($14.00) are fun, glittery shades of eyeliner that come in pencil form.

Available in fourteen shades: Carina (pink beige with gold glitter), Peperoncino (bright candy pink with silver glitter), Unicorno (pale yellow with gold glitter), SANDy (grass green with gold glitter), Liberty (teal with gold glitter), Rondine (turquoise with silver glitter), Rosetta (lilac with gold glitter), Skeletro (navy with silver glitter), Adios Apple (violet with silver glitter), Savana (bronzed chocolate with gold glitter), Marrone (dark brown with gold glitter), Diamante (deep silver with silver glitter), Melodia (dark gunmetal gray with gold glitter), and Mozzarella (black with silver glitter).

I bought three shades to try out from Sephora’s VIB sale: Rondine, Unicorno, and SANDy. All three shades were very pigmented and quite sparkly!

  • Rondine is a sky blue with silver glitter. (I don’t know why it’s listed as “teal” because it’s not teal at all on me.)
  • Unicorno is a pale white gold with darker gold glitter.
  • SANDy is a medium grass green with yellow-gold flecks of glitter.

I loved the pigmentation and look of the eyeliners, and they reminded me a lot of MAC’s Softsparkle Pencils of the past. They also don’t budge, smudge, or fade, and even better–there is very little movement of the glitter. Sometimes the glitter in a glitter eyeliner will end up migrating and falling everywhere but where you applied it, but the glitter in the tokidoki liner stays in place for the most part (negligible fall out).

My issue with these is that they’re a little hard/rough on the lash line–I find they’re noticeably gritty and have a tendency to tug a bit, too. They could just be a much, much softer pencil so they applied more smoothly without tugging.

The packaging is cute with classic tokidoki patterns on the pencil itself, plus each pencil is color coordinated to its shade. They’re affordable and work well, other than the hardness of the pencil itself. They’re good enough that I’ll keep the three shades I have and possibly pick up one or two more, but since the hardness is a little much for my lash line, I don’t see myself buying every single one.  I am totally in love with Unicorno, though — so pretty!

Have you tried these?

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Though they stay really well once they’re on, I found them a little rough on the lash line. If you’re used to the softness of Urban Decay 24/7 Liners, you may find this too hard.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyper Liner

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner Review

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner ($17.00) is a soft pencil eyeliner available in thirteen colorful shades.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tarina Tarantino’s makeup line, but these two eyeliners are the first products from her line that I’ve tried, and I am pleasantly surprised!   They are soft but not super soft — think firmer than Urban Decay 24/7 Pencils but softer than Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes — and apply very smoothly.  The color range seems fun, even if I’ve only seen two, I’m interested in checking out a few more shades (like Spark of Envy!).

  • Glamorous Thief is a brightened medium blue with silver spairkle and a soft sheen.
  • Amethyst Android is a blue-based violet purple with a soft sheen but no real noticeable shimmer.

I found these liners stayed put on my lower lash line (I didn’t wear on my water line, since I wasn’t sure if these were waterline safe or not) without budging, smudging, or migrating during the day.   The liner itself applies intensely without work, and it glides on without tugging on the lash line, too.  I really like the level of softness, because it’s not so soft it’s easy to break, but it’s not so hard that it tugs or drags on the lash line either.

The eyeliners are also very simply packaged–colored end followed by a silver strip, and then the majority of the pencil is a pink all topped off with a silver cap.  They’re the same price as both Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever’s eyeliners–and just as good.  I’d say the color range may differ here and there, though Tarina Tarantino’s closer to Urban Decay’s.   In fact, Glamorous Thief is incredibly similar to Deviant, while Amethyst Android to Lust.  (If you have those, I’d pass on both these shades.)  On me, all three wear about the same, with Make Up For Ever doing the best on the water line, and then Tarina Tarantino and Urban Decay doing just slightly under Make Up For Ever (but I personally prefer the color range and softness of Urban Decay).

Have you tried Tarina Tarantino’s Hyperliner yet?  Any must-have shades?

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 either an eyeliner fiend or you don’t have too many Urban Decay/Make Up For Ever eyeliners, then Tarina Tarantino is a nice line to try if you’re looking for a pop of color in your eyeliner.  I don’t think the shade range is as standout when the market has so much that is similar, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that these work well and are high quality eyeliners.  If you own all of Urban Decay’s liners, you may find these too similar to own both–the only shade that looks different from anything Urban Decay has is Broken Doll (light pink).

AvailabilitySephora

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Wednesday, April 14th, 2010


Noir (261), Sable (211), Purple Shock (270), Precious Gold (290), Emerald Sparkle (250)

Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Liner ($5.79) is a waterproof, self-sharpening eyeliner that comes in in six different shades (Deep Ocean being the only one not shown).  Each pencil also has a smudging tip on the opposite end.

  • Emerald Sparkle is a greenish teal with silver sparkle.
  • Precious Gold is a true yellow gold with a frosty sheen.
  • Purple Shock is a darkened red-based purple.
  • Sable is a warmed-up coffee brown.
  • Noir is a dark black with subtle sheen.

The formula on these is pretty good, but they could live up their claims of being waterproof and budgeproof just a little bit more.  I found that they stayed pretty well, but on oilier areas (yes, I put eyeliner on my forehead–don’t you?  What, you don’t?  Say it isn’t so!), it doesn’t hold up 100%–more like 90%.  The other downside is that they seem to take a little longer to set/dry, so make sure not to blink too hard or else you might unintentionally smudge!  On the other hand, if you want to smudge it, you have plenty of time to do so.

None of the shades seemed to last on my water line for more than a half hour or so, but they stayed put on my lower lash line when I wore them just fine (for reference, my skin is normal-to-dry).  More watery or oilier lash lines may experience a little bit of migration or budging after several hours, but for a drugstore liner, these worked out well.

The liner itself feels very soft along the lash line, and it doesn’t tug at it either.  The tip is fine enough to get a thin line, but it might too thick to get a really tight line if that’s what you’re after.  I like that they’re self-sharpening (the sharpener is included on the pencil), because it’s something you can keep in your makeup bag and never have to worry about a sharpener.  They also are fairly waterproof–they barely budged after I ran my arm under a faucet.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re looking for a good eyeliner to use that’s self-sharpening and soft, Rimmel Exaggerate might work for you.

Availability:  Local Drugstores (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, etc.)

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Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Blue Eyeliner

April Showers Bring Midnight Blue Eyeliner?

Dolce & Gabbana Blue Intense Eyeliner ($29.00) is a midnight navy blue with subtle sheen.  It has a rather rich look and an incredibly smooth finish.  The pencil itself is firm enough to get very distinct, precise lines without fear of breaking the tip.  The color applies smoothly and evenly without tugging the lash line or requiring lots of back-and-forth to get the pigmentation you want.

It is definitely a luxury eyeliner, though, and the price reflects that, so I know this won’t be something everyone will want to indulge in.  Nevertheless, it’s a quality eyeliner that applies beautifully without budging, smudging, or fading throughout the day.  It lasted impeccably through a forty-five minute yoga session (and for me, I’m so out of shape, that one session might as well be eight hours of sweating!), so it’s definitely an eye-worthy liner (oh, the cheese!).

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 love ultra soft liners like Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners, these will definitely be too hard in comparison.  If, on the other hand, you love the firmness of MAC’s Eye Kohls, this one will be just right.

Availability: Saks Fifth Avenue (available in May)

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Saturday, April 10th, 2010

YSL #17 Eyeshadow Duo

YSL #17 Ivory Beige/Deep Black Eyeshadow Duo ($41.00 for 0.09 oz.) features a yellow-toned beige with a matte finish and a deep black with a near matte finish (just a smidgen of shimmer).
I purchased this eons ago when YSL had their (first!) Friends & Family Sale, because I fell in love with it when they promoted it during a fall or holiday launch (I think in 2009). I was totally head-over-heels for the depth in the black, so I figured, maybe it was time to splurge on it finally. It’s a very dark, rich black, but it’s probably not the darkest black I’ve tried. Funny how memory blurs those things!

This is an excellent smoky eye duo, and surprisingly, the yellowed beige is pretty workable on my warmer toned skin without looking too chalky (as some light mattes can be). The eyeshadows are soft, smooth, and both are pigmented. The matte isn’t chalky, but it isn’t the softest matte eyeshadow I’ve tried. The black shade is really the star of the duo, though.

It’s packaged in classy, traditional YSL packaging with the faux gold metal look and logo emblazoned on the top of the compact. The logo is also embedded into the eyeshadows themselves as well. Even with the hefty price tag, you don’t get that much eyeshadow — it’s about the same as buying other high-end eyeshadows in singles. Usually, you do see a little bit of value savings when you buy duos, even in high-end brands like YSL, but not so much here. This was definitely a splurge item to satisfy a long-time want, so I’m happy with it.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Pretty but incredibly pricey, so I’d consider it an indulgence and luxury, rather than a must-have.

Availability: Sephora

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