Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Lancome Midnight Rush Eyeshadow Palette
Lancome Midnight Rush Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Midnight Rush Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Midnight Rush Eye & Shadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is a blue-themed eyeshadow palette with five shades in total. It consists of an all-over base, lid, crease, highlighter, and liner color.

The all-over base shade is a creamy, muted white with a semi-matte finish; it’s very pigmented and so soft to use–not chalky at all. The lid shade is a navy blue with a low-frost finish; it is easy to overblend this shade into something very sheer. The crease shade is a grayish, black navy blue but really doesn’t yield much color when used; such a shame that it performs so poorly. The highlighter shade is a silvered pewter with a frost finish; nicely pigmented and smooth, with the metallicness of its finish accentuated when used wet. The liner shade is a dark black with a hint of blue and navy blue and silver shimmer; it worked well both wet and dry, though dry is a little more intense.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of Lancome’s eyeshadows are very smooth–soft, silky–and all of these shades were excellent in terms of pigmentation. I only had minor fall out concerns with the highlighter shade, so I would recommend using it with a damp brush.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The crease shade gave me trouble, much as it did in the Teal Fury palette. I’m not sure what it is about the formula of that finish that results in poorer color pay off. Midnight Rush is reminiscent of Guerlain’s 2 Place Vendome Palette, with three of the five being quite similar.

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Givenchy Candide Garden Eyeshadow Quad
Givenchy Candide Garden Eyeshadow Quad

Givenchy Spring 2011: Candide Garden

Givenchy Candide Garden (78) Le Prisme Eyeshadow Quartet ($56.00 for 0.14 oz.) is easily one of the best quads I’ve seen Givenchy put out that I’ve had the pleasure of testing. Candide Garden is stunning in its color combination and a joy to swatch.

This quad contains a rich, medium-dark chocolate brown with a satin finish; soft, burnt orange with a flashy golden orange shimmer-sheen; soft, pale peach with a satin sheen and pale peach-gold micro-shimmer; and a light yellowed chartreuse with a soft frost finish.

The shades work well together, and there is something about the overall combination that is unexpected. None of the colors feel too warm, which is uncommon in oranges, peaches, and chartreuses. Even the brown seems more neutral, because sometimes it looks cool-toned but other times, warm. The only downside to this quartet is the amount of product you get–a mere 0.14 oz. for the $56 price tag.

my thoughts on the formula: Soft, finely milled eyeshadows apply smoothly and blend effortlessly. You won’t find chunky shimmer or powdery fall out in these shades. Each shade was nicely pigmented.

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

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

final thoughts: For cooler skin tones that have always wanted to find a more wearable orange, you may want to check out this particular palette. It just might work!

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, February 21st, 2011

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Untamed Violet

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade of cool-toned violet with soft flecks of gold shimmer. It is part of Estee Lauder’s Wild Violet collection for spring. The shade itself should suit cool skin tones with ease, and warmer skin tones can make it work by pairing it with warmer shades.

my thoughts on the formula: Pure Color Eyeshadow is very soft and smooth but not powdery and has no fall out. With a nice level of pigmentation, the shadow is easy to work with.

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

final thoughts: It’s a lovely color with a silky texture that makes it blend when applied.

where to buy: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, February 20th, 2011


Quick Review: Milani Glamorous Gems

Milani Glamorous Gems Eyeshadow Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) includes six shades of eyeshadow, all coordinated and in thin, raised strips. They can be used wet or dry, but I found the color pay off too sheer to work with when used dry that I had to use them wet (all swatches are of them wet). I liked the colors in the palette and felt like they coordinated well with each other.

When you use them wet, the color pay off is decent for the first three shades and a little better for the bottom three shades. The palette contains a shimmery white, soft grassy green, teal-tinged forest green, pale yellow gold, softened copper, and bronze. The first three shades have a frostier finish, while the bottom three shades have more a metallic finish.  They all looked more intense in the palette than when swatched, though; most of the shades looked rather muted.

My biggest issue with the palette is actually the packaging/set-up. Each strip is very thin, so it can be difficult to maneuver your brush so that you only get one color–it’s very easy to pick up whatever shade is above or below. The shadows also break down very easily, so use a light touch or else you risk crumbling.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: If these colors popped a little more swatched as they do in the pan, I think it could be a real winner.  I also wish these could be used dry–they just weren’t holding together for me when I tried to swatch (and later attempted to apply).

where to buy: Milani

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, February 19th, 2011


Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Spring 2011: Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette ($79.00 or 0.42 oz.) is a limited edition color palette for spring. It is a refillable palette, and the eyeshadows are easily removed if one desires. Inside, there is a base color, eye color, cheek color, and eye definer. There is a raise turtle design on each shade, and the turtle itself has a metallic sheen overlay (which disappears upon first swatch).

The base color is a pale, gilded beige with pale gold shimmer-sheen. The eye color is a medium-dark brown with slight warm undertones finished with a soft satin sheen. The cheek color is a pink-peach with a peach-gold sheen–think shades like MAC Springsheen, NARS Orgasm, etc. but less shimmer, less golden, and pinker. The eye definer shade is a charcoal forest green with a frosted finish. All four shades were silky smooth and nicely pigmented; there were no issues with the textures or the colors at all.

The three eye colors can all be used wet or dry, though I had no issues with pigmentation and they went on so prettily dry I didn’t even think to use them wet until I read the description of Chantecaille’s eyeshadows online! Funny enough, this palette is cheaper (by the ounce, at $188/oz.) than MAC ($290/oz.), Make Up For Ever ($238/oz.), NARS ($228/oz.), and Urban Decay ($340/oz.).

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

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

final thoughts: I think it’s a really well-done palette with not just a lovely set of colors presented with beautiful decor, but the quality of the eyeshadows and blush is fantastic.  Very smooth, soft, and easy to use.  They blend effortlessly and pack quite a bit of pigment.  I’m also happy to see how much product was included in the palette and love that it is refillable.

where to buy: Nordstorm

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette
Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Shadow & Liner Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) consists of four eyeshadows and one eyeliner shade, though the eyeliner shade is equally available for use as an eyeshadow. I’ve found that the shimmery shades can be used wet or dry, while the satin and matte shades are better used dry.

The all-over base is a pink champagne with a frosted sheen of a finish. The lid shade is a metallic finished copper with strong orange undertones. The crease shade is a medium, warmed up brown with soft red-orange undertones and pale copper shimmer-sheen. The highlighter shade is a pale yellow gold that’s almost cool-toned; I found this shade had some fall out and worked best applied wet. The liner shade is a rich, dark chocolate brown with subtle red undertones and burgundy-bronze shimmer–best liner shade yet, because it works beautifully wet or dry.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of Lancome’s eyeshadows are very smooth–soft, silky–and all of these shades were excellent in terms of pigmentation.  I only had minor fall out concerns with the highlighter shade, so I would recommend using it with a damp brush.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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

final thoughts: This is a very warm palette, perhaps the opposite of Taupe Craze, with its dosage of amber, orange, and red undertones. I actually think this is the best palette I’ve tried so far from the line-up. Really bold, intense color and smooth finishes, with just the highlighter shade having some fall out.

where to buy: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →