Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which includes three palette variations. I’m typically wary of any palette that has lip wells in them, but I was excited, for these aren’t just the typical lip color, these are Pot Rouges, which are designed for cheeks and lips.

Pot Rouge

  • Powder Pink is a creamy rosy pink that can be layered for an opaque look on lips or sheered out for an everyday blusher on cheeks.
  • Pale Pink is a cool-toned blue-based pink that feels creamy and goes on fairly opaque.
  • Sand Pink is a creamy coral-beige shade. I don’t see a lot of pink in this, but it’s a muted, played-down coral that will work well on warm skin tones in particular.

Eyeshadow

  • White is a matte white. It’s a muted white, so it’s not a bright, totally unwearable white.
  • Dusty Plum (Metallic) is a mauvey-plum with a shimmery finish. It has that “metallic” feel, like it’s almost wet you swatch it.
  • Orchid Sparkle is a sheer, sparkly lilac–very light, very sheer, and prone to fall out.
  • Mulberry is a richly pigmented royal purple with a matte finish. Like a lot of mattes, it applies better when you use a brush than anything else. I don’t have a shade quite like this.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish.

Oddly enough, my favorite part about this palette are the Pot Rouges. After trying Cabo Coral last month, I was curious about the other shades of Pot Rouge, and this is a good way to try out three new shades. All three were very creamy and pigmented, and they’re wearable on both cheeks and lips, so they do double-duty.

The eyeshadows didn’t get me too excited–I really liked Mulberry, though–I’m not sold on these five together. I can see a few combos, but usually I see a lot of combos in Bobbi Brown’s palettes and that wasn’t the case here. Orchid Sparkle is a throwaway shade for me, just because I know it’s a pain in the butt to use and it’s incredibly sheer; to make it work, try wearing it over a dark, metallic base. Dusty Plum Metallic would be my other shade favorite, because it’s smooth, pigmented, and versatile.

I like Bobbi Brown’s palette packaging, because the palette itself is sleek, but it’s practical, too.  The cheek/lip shades are separated from the eyeshadows quite well, and each palette also has a clear lid that flips up to further protect the shades from dirt and dust.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve wanted to try Pot Rouges, this is one way to try three at once… and get some eyeshadows as a bonus!

Availability: BobbiBrown.com, Nordstrom

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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

MAC Liberty of London Collection
MAC Eyeshadow Packaging: Bough Grey, Dame’s Desire, Birds & Berries, Free to Be

MAC Give Me Liberty of London: Eyeshadow Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Each of the eyeshadows is packaged in white flip-top containers, but on top of the clear lid, there is a flower, and each shade has a different color (or flower!).

Eyeshadow ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Bough Grey is a smooth, softened gray with a tinge of blue and a subtle sheen with a satin finish. I can’t think of a shade quite like this — perhaps Scene, but the texture feels smoother, softer and the color seems grayer.
  • Dame’s Desire is a medium purple with red undertones and an almost icy purple shimmer with a frost finish. It reminds me of Creme de Violet’s coloring but more pigmented and with a different finish. Maybe if Stars ‘n Rockets and Creme de Violet had a baby? It was originally in the Dame Edna Collection.
  • Birds & Berries is a shimmery, frosted bluish-teal with a veluxe pearl finish. It reminded me a lot of Strike the Pose eyeshadow, except a little greener/tealer, but the two are incredibly similar.
  • Free to Be is a coral-orange with a matte finish. It goes on smooth and pigmented, but it is also a permanent shade (recently added).
  • Give Me Liberty of London is a dusty milky pink.  It reminds me of Pen ‘n Pink.  It goes on very lightly, semi-sheer, but it doesn’t look or feel chalky.

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Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Beauty on a Budget:  Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) includes an icy silver with bright silver shimmer, a muted teal-blue with silver shimmer, a dark navy blue with a soft sheen, and a matte black with silver sparkle. The eyeshadows have a very soft texture, so they are best applied by patting the eyeshadow on rather than sweeping it on.

The silver, dark blue, and black were surprisingly pigmented and really didn’t have a powdery or chalky finish to them–the only one that I had any issues with was the teal shade, which tended to go on very soft and really had to be packed on in order to get decent color. I also found that it was easy to overblend the teal shade to a very faded teal shade, but the other three shades I didn’t have that problem with. I thought I might have had that issue with the black, but it stayed dark and black for the most part.

The silver reminded me of MAC Electra, while the blue was similar to a mix between MAC Freshwater and MAC Deep Truth, and the black was a less glittery version of MAC Black Tied. The teal was a bit too faded to really be comparable to a MAC eyeshadow, but it has a similar tone as MAC Surreal (which is now discontinued).

The packaging is the same as the other eyeshadow quads I’ve reviewed, so I still have the same gripe — it’s cheap and flimsy. It’s easy for the clear plastic lid to pop off the hinge, though I haven’t had it break, so I can still pop it back on. For the price tag (particularly if you catch these on sale), they’re worth checking out!

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads…

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: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and want to try out some new eyeshadows, Maybelline’s Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads are worth a look!

Availability: Local drugstores

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Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in #4L

Make Up For Ever #4L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a reddened plum with subtle red shimmer. I like Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes a lot–it’s budge-proof, smudge-proof, water-resistant, and it just really hangs on all day long. There are also many shades to choose from, so you’re bound to find at least one that appeals to you!

I personally wish they were a softer pencil eyeliner, though; they’re not too hard, but I definitely prefer mine to be on the softer, creamier side. They’re about average in price–not falling in the “affordable” category, but they’re not prohibitively expensive either.  The packaging is straightforward; it looks like a pencil with a glossy black casing.

I also reviewed Aqua Eyes in several other shades (seven, to be exact) last year.

What are your must have Aqua Eyes?

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’ve been looking for a pencil eyeliner that stays put, Make Up For Ever might have your number!

AvailabilitySephora

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Sugarpill Chromalust

Sugarpill Cosmetics:  ChromaLust Loose Eyeshadow

Sugarpill Cosmetics released eleven shades of Chroma Lust loose eyeshadows ($12.00 for 0.18 oz.). These loose eyeshadows are ultra finely milled with rich color pay off that apply smoothly. Many of these eyeshadows are also vegan (check their website which marks which shades are vegan), for those curious! I’d recommend using these with a stickier base (e.g. something like mixing medium) for brighter and more long-lasting eyeshadow. Myself, I’d use these as bases, much like I’d use MAC Pigments.

  • Asylum is a rich burnished red with a shimmery sheen. I found it looked redder when used wet (and obviously, more intense).
  • Decora is a medium baby girl pink with silvery sheen and gold glitter flecks.
  • Goldilux is a metallic bronzed gold. This is a truly gorgeous color–easily my favorite of the eleven shades currently available.
  • Junebug is a dark forest green with black flecks and a frosty sheen. The darkened base really comes through when used wet.
  • Absinthe is a brightened yellow-green with a golden yellow sheen. It’s not chartreuse, but it’s not quite green either. This one applied beautifully wet or dry.
  • Magpie is a medium-dark navy blue with silvery sheen and shimmer. I found this one definitely looked much better when used wet.
  • Starling is a slightly darkened sky blue with a radiant silver sheen. This one could be used wet or dry, but I liked it better when wet.
  • Royal Sugar is a vibrant shade of royal blue with silver and sky blue flecks of sparkle. This is not only an intense shade, but it’s a very unique color as well.
  • Hysteric is a medium purple with a red base and an almost multi-colored shimmer.
  • Lumi is an iridescent teal-reflecting white shimmer. This is a very fun shade to work with, and it’s one of those colors that can be layered over dark bases to give it a more unique look. (This one reminded me of MAC Transparent Teal Glitter in a non-glitter form.)
  • Tiara is a metallic silver with a bright silver sheen. I found this looked lovely wet or dry, but the metallic sheen is brought out when this is used wet.

These are held cynlider-style plastic containers with slightly glossy black screw-on lids with the Sugarpill logo printed (it’s not a sticker!) on top. The containers are cute and functional (reminded me of stumpier, smaller versions of MAC Pigments). There’s no insert or lid once you open, so take care when opening.

I really liked the texture of these, because they were so soft and smooth, you didn’t need much to get intense color. My favorite shades were Goldilux, Absinthe, and Royal Sugar.

What are your favorites?

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Sugarpill Eyeshadow Quad

Sugarpill Cosmetics:  Pressed Eyeshadow

Sugarpill Cosmetics also released nine shades of pressed eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.14 oz.)–though you can find them all within pre-made eyeshadow quads as well. You can find a review of Flamepoint, Buttercupcake, Love+, and Poison Plum here. The other five shades you can find in this review!  The majority of the eyeshadows are vegan, but check the website, as they mark which are vegan (e.g. Love+ is not).

  • Bulletproof is a deep dark black with a matte finish. It applies smoothly and isn’t chalky or powdery.
  • Tako is a matte white. This one I felt had a little bit of a powdery look to it, though it was surprisingly good for a white eyeshadow. I don’t know if I’ve ever found a white that didn’t look a bit off on my skin tone, to be honest. It doesn’t feel powdery–just looks a little like it on my skin tone.
  • Dollipop is a bright hot pink with a matte finish. This is one of those showstopping pinks, truly. I am not sure if I’ve ever seen anything quite this bright before. This is a retina-burning shade! Super pigmented and applies beautifully.
  • Midori is an intense medium-dark green with a subtle shimmer. I actually can’t think of a shade that’s similar to this–at least not one that I own. Very pretty – wearable without being so intense or primary.
  • Afterparty is a rich medium blue with a shimmer pearl. This is the only shade that really made me go, “Oh! This looks like…” (it reminded me of MAC’s Freshwater, but a little lighter blue). This one has a very distinct pearly sheen to it.

All of the nine eyeshadows applied smoothly and felt soft to the touch. They were intensely pigmented, and you didn’t need much to get to that high level of pigmentation. For those who aren’t so much into color, Sugarpill doesn’t quite have you covered–yet. I’m interested to see if Sugarpill will put together a wider range of finishes, color varieties, and the like in the future.

The packaging works for me. It’s understated and functional, but it doesn’t feel cheap (which is something I worry about with newer brands). It’s a circular, flat, semi-domed shaped plastic. It has a matte black plastic on the bottom half with a clear plastic flip-top lid. The lid has the Sugarpill logo printed (not a sticker!) on the lid as well.

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 love bright eyeshadow, Sugarpill Cosmetics might grab your attention!

Availability: Sugarpill Cosmetics

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