Monday, July 19th, 2010

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo

Prettiest NARS Eyeshadow Duo? Perhaps!

NARS Rajasthan Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a stunning mix of golden taupe brown and smoky peacock blue. I’m not always a huge fan of NARS eyeshadows, to be honest–I’ve had a lot of misses, particularly with their singles in the past few seasonal collections–but Rajasthan blew me away. It is such a gorgeous duo that’s wearable and so perfect for fall. I love that it’s not a smoky plum but a charcoal black smoked out base with layers of metallic and navy blue all woven together. It may look a little on the cooler side, but warmer beauties will have no problem turning this into something lovely on the eyes.

The pigmentation is spot-on–it looks just like it does in the pan–while the texture is exactly what you’d expect from NARS: smooth and buttery. NARS’ eyeshadow duos are always a better value than their eyeshadow singles–you get twice as much for only $9 more.

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a must-have in my book. The pigmentation and texture are exactly where they should be, and the colors are incredibly wearable for both cooler and warmer as well as lighter and deeper skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

AVEDA Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow
Aveda Aqua Pearl Eyeshadow

Pretty in the Pan; Not So Much on Skin

After being really happy with Aveda’s Golden Jasper Eye Color Trio, I knew I had to try some of the other eyeshadow trios. I decided to go with Aqua Pearl ($22.00 for 0.08 oz.), which looked like a pretty trio of yellow, muted green, and a green-teal. Unfortunately, the eyeshadows themselves are a far cry from what they look like in the pan. I didn’t experience the same soft, melts-on-skin feeling as I did with Golden Jasper. Aqua Pearl was incredibly sheer and all three shades looked muted when swatched. I did like that they weren’t powdery, and they did apply smoothly for the most part–just very, very different than they look in the pan.

I do still like that the eyeshadow trio is packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled plastic and paper, and the eyeshadow itself doesn’t contain talc, mineral oil, or parabens.

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

  • Product: 20/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I would definitely pass on this shade unless you want something very sheer that doesn’t ever get to be intense.

AVAILABILITY: Aveda

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Burberry Khaki Eyeshadow
Burberry Khaki Eyeshadow

Burberry Khaki (08) Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is an olive green with subtly warm-toned, brown undertones. It had a soft, smooth texture that applied well. The color payoff was good, though Burberry’s formula is confusing, as it’s called “Sheer Eyeshadow,” but then it’s supposed to have really true, long-lasting color. MAC Flourishing is greener. Lancome Designer is darker, greener. Dior Khaki Design #3 is more shimmery. bareMinerals Eureka is more shimmery. bareMinerals Speaker Box is darker, more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes
#1L, #6L, #8L, #11L, #23L

Aqua Eyes, I Love Thee!

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is one of my favorite eyeliners–pigmented, long-wearing, waterproof, and just all around fantastic liners. I love the color range, and I have kind of gotten into a rather “collect ‘em all” mentality. You can read my very first review of Aqua Eyes (includes #5L, 7L, 10L, 12L, 15L, 17L, and 20L) as well as my single reviews of #3L, #4L, #9L, and #16L, too.

  • #1L is a deep dark black (despite appearing brown in the swatch–what is it with black eyeliner turning brown when photographed?) with a soft sheen.
  • #6L is a dark plummy purple with slight red undertones and soft sheen.
  • #8L is a bright, metallic silver–on the lighter, brighter side.
  • #11L is a medium-dark violet purple with soft violet sheen. New favorite purple liner!
  • #23L is a shimmering golden champagne with a nearly metallic finish.

(What am I missing? Hmm… #0L, 2L, 14L, 18L, 19L, 21L, 22L, 24L… 13L is on its way… wow, that’s more missing than I thought. BOO!)

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: Aqua Eyes wears so well throughout the day without fading, smudging, or migrating. They’re one of my go-tos for eyeliners, and I love how pigmented and diverse the shade range is.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Nordstrom Beauty Exclusives: Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette

Dior Ready-to-Wear Palette ($54.00) is just one of Nordstrom’s many Beauty Exclusives for their Anniversary Sale (which officially kicks off on the 16th–so close yet so far!). It looks like it’s sold out online, but you may be able to check your local Nordstrom to see if they still have any available for pre-order/sale. This palette contains a blush, bronzer, four eyeshadows, and two lip glosses along with three miniature brushes.

I could really get down with the palette’s theme if they just didn’t put those lip glosses in there–you’re going to experience some cross-contamination of the powder products into your lip glosses. It’s a little annoying and a bit gross. I’m also not entirely sure just how value-packed this palette is, but it seems to be–at the very least–what I’d expect to pay for a Dior palette such as this one. (Mine doesn’t have a label nor a box, so I don’t have specifics on sizes for each interior product.)

The blush is a dirty pink-red that’s rather on the sheer side, and the bronzer is a soft, sheer medium bronze-tan with subtle sheen. The eyeshadows include a frosted warm white, peachy-pink (think NARS Orgasm), shimmering spun gold, and cool-toned subtle bronze. These aren’t Dior’s best eyeshadows–they’re a little on the sheer side and the texture isn’t nearly as creamy as their quints typically are. The two lipglosses are a dirty caramel with multicolored shimmer and a sheer beige champagne.

You can definitely build some looks with this palette, though everything is a smidgen on the warm side (I guess that compensates for their rather cool-toned plummy palette for fall, eh?).  I think everything pairs well together, and it’s a nice color palette that’ll work for the summer, too.   However, I feel the quality isn’t as good as Dior products usually are–just feels a little below.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: For warmer skin tones, this may make a great travel palette–if you don’t mind shades on the sheerer side. Overall, though, it doesn’t meet the expectations I have based on my past experience with Dior.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Burberry Beauty Eyeshadow
Burberry Trench (02) Eyeshadow

Burberry Trench (02) Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is one of twenty shades of soft, subtle eyeshadows launched in the Burberry Beauty line. I bought Trench, because it seemed like it would be a very fitting shade for the brand.  From the packaging to the color range to the feel, it’s high-end and stays true to the Burberry line and philosophy.

Trench is a smooth, buttery shade of light beige with a soft, satin sheen. It may seem hard to see on my skin tone, because it very much matches my skin tone, but it’s a beautiful barely-there shade. It’s perfect as a highlighter for lighter skin tones as well as an all-over wash for a touch of lightness. The texture is soft to the touch, but it’s pigmented.

The packaging is luxe with the gunmetal case with the signature Burberry check patterning on the cover. It also has the Burberry logo stamped across the front side. The eyeshadow compact does come in a velvet check-patterned pouch, and there is also a sponge-tipped applicator included inside. I don’t care for most included applicators, whether they’re actual brushes or sponges, because they’re often too stubby to provide enough control and precision, so it’s a throwaway for me. I like that the packaging feels weighty enough that it’s substantial and not flimsy, and the darker gunmetal hides some of the fingerprints (but you will see some). It stays closed when you want it to, and it also has a mirror inside.

Surprisingly, each eyeshadow contains a bit more product than the average eyeshadow–0.088 oz., whereas Chanel and Dior single shadows usually weigh in around 0.07 oz. and are similarly priced. Guerlain still comes in as one of the weightier high-end shadows at 0.12 oz. a pop, though!

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like subtler color and enjoy soft, buttery textures, you may like Burberry eyeshadow.

AVAILABILITY: Burberry, Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →