Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Hourglass Prism

Why didn’t you tell me how amazing Hourglass’ Eyeshadows were?  I am now!

Hourglass Prism Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a stunning, smoky duo of steel blue with a silver sheen and an intense, deep dark black with flecks of teal and silver running through it. The pigmentation of the two shades is absolutely insane–so vibrant, so smooth. The texture is excellent; smooth, soft, buttery, and easy to blend.

The packaging is kind of a gunmetal silver-brown, very modern and sleek. It’s actually a swiveling compact, which is interesting. I like that the packaging is different and elegant, but I get the feeling that it obviously contributes a bit to the steeper cost of these.

Just to put things in perspective, MAC eyeshadows are $290/oz. and NARS eyeshadow duos at $228/oz. — with Hourglass at$190/oz.

The pricing may be off-putting for some, but if it’s within your budget, I’d urge you to at least give ‘em a swatch at your nearest Sephora sometime. They just might impress you as they did me!

I’m quite pleased with the quality and feel of the duo–I really didn’t expect it–and I’d say these are some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, from the texture to the pigmentation to the colors themselves. I definitely have to look into some of the other duos and see how those stack up against Prism (totally crossing fingers that they are just as amazing!).

Other duos include: Dune (champagne shimmer/deep olive shimmer), Exhibition (mauve shimmer/eggplant shimmer), Gypsy (peach ivory shimmer/bronze shimmer), Lagoon (seafoam blue shimmer/teal shimmer), and Suede (ivory shimmer/light beige shimmer).

Have you tried Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos?

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

Recommendation: I can’t believe nobody told me how amazing the texture of Hourglass’ eyeshadows are! Pricey but excellent in every way, Prism is certainly worth a look! (Seriously, did you see that I rate it 30/30 in terms of *quality*?!)

Availability: Sephora

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Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Philosophy Color of Grace Palette

Philosophy The Color of Grace Coloring Book ($37.50) is a springtime palette that works if you’re looking for something soft, elegant, and delightfully feminine. It contains two sheer lipglosses (Be Sweet and In Love), two neutral eyeshadows (Angel and Dream), cream highlighter (7th Heaven), powder blush (Pure Joy), and powder highlighter (Amazing Grace).

  • Be Sweet Lip Gloss is a sheer, pale pink with a little bit of milkiness and subtle white shimmer.
  • In Love Lip Gloss is a sheer, medium pink with lots of shimmer.
  • Angel Eyeshadow is a soft, whitish pink with just a little bit of shimmer and a very satin smooth feel.
  • Dream Eyeshadow is a darkened brown with reddish undertones that goes on rather sheerly.
  • 7th Heaven All-Over Illuminator is a pink-tinged champagne cream highlighter that can be applied heavily or sheered out for a subtle glow.
  • Pure Joy Powder Blush is a semi-sheer brightened blue-based pink with subtle gold shimmer.
  • Amazing Grace Shimmering Face Powder is a brightened soft white-pink with white shimmer.

I don’t think Philosophy is re-inventing anything here, but it’s a very girly palette that will appeal to those who want subtle color, whether it’s on their eyes or cheeks or lips. I wish Dream eyeshadow was more pigmented, because then I’d like the palette more. It’s a bit of a sheer wash when I tested it out, so it’s hard to get the amount of darkness out of it that I want.

The palette itself is packaged in a “leather-bound” book style, with white stitching on the edges. It’s cute and slim, and it’s also lightweight, so it’s great for traveling.  It’s nice but not quite Amazing (ha).

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:

Availability: Nordstrom

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Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Cle de Peau #111 Eyeshadow

Cle de Peau Satin Eye Color ($45.00 for 0.07 oz.) in 111 (soft chocolate brown) and 114 (soft pink) are part of Cle de Peau’s Captivante Collection. It also features three other new shades — 112 (light blue), 113 (dark brown), and 115 (pale purple).

I originally reviewed Cle de Peau’s Satin Eye Color a few weeks ago.  These new-for-spring shades are exactly the same in terms of feel, quality, and texture.  They’re buttery, silky smooth, and so, so soft.  They’re not chalky or powdery, but they almost feel like a buttery cream when you apply them.  One thing I like about these is you can wear them with or without a base, because the formula is designed to adhere to the lid without a base.

  • 111 is a softened medium chocolate brown that comes off as mostly neutral in its undertones, so it’s a great, universal brown.
  • 114 is a pretty petal pink with a subtle sheen and shimmer.  Like 111, it isn’t too warm or cool–a pink that can be worn by many.

I wore both shades in this look I posted last week.  I liked how they looked soft and touchable, but they still delivered plenty of color.  If you love the brightness of Make Up For Ever and MAC eyeshadows, Cle de Peau is not a stand-in by any means.  If you love pigmented, but still soft and wearable, colors, like Chanel and Dior, Cle de Peau may be more your style.

These eyeshadows are undeniably expensive, and Cle de Peau is not a brand for everyone.  Keep in mind that it is a luxury brand, and part of luxury is that not everyone can afford it, so the price completely reflects that.  They are excellent eyeshadows, but they’re certainly more of a splurge item for many of us, including myself.

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

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

Recommendation:

Availability: Neiman Marcus

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Thursday, April 29th, 2010

MAC Opulash Mascara

MAC Opulash Mascara ($14.00) is the latest mascara from MAC, and it’s exclusively at Nordstrom until May 27th (when it will launch at all MAC locations).  It’s designed to give you “the most extreme volumization ever seen” along with curl without “clumping or Spider-Woman Syndrome” and “superlative separation.”  It’s only available in one shade–Bad, Bad Black.

The wand is incredibly large–probably the largest MAC wand to-date–and reminded me quite a bit of DiorShow, actually.  It’s large, kind of fluffy (but not actually fluffy), and it has a very tapered edge.  I do like the tapered edge, because it does make it easier to reach the lashes on the inner corner of the lid as well as coat the bottom lashes.  Even though the brush is on the larger side, I didn’t find it unwieldy–there wasn’t much of a learning curve.  If you prefer smaller mascara wands, though, this will definitely be a mascara to check out in person first.

The formula itself is very lengthening while doing an excellent job at separating lashes and not clumping–except if you wait too long between coats.  This is a drier mascara; there is no wet, glossy look, and it does dry down quickly, so you need to work fast in order to get the maximum effect with this mascara.  I found it gave me some volume, but it wasn’t over-the-top.  I didn’t encounter any smudging or flaking while test-driving this mascara for the past week either.

I liked the soft, feathery look Opulash gave my lashes along with some very nice length!  I’m actually surprised I didn’t see length pushed in the marketing write-up for Opulash, because I look at the before/after photos, and I see longer, slightly blacker lashes, but not necessarily a ton of volume.  I found two or three quick coats was all you needed to get the feathery lash effect going.  More than that resulted in a bit of clumping, but if you don’t load up your lashes with the product, it’s a nice, full and feathery lash that’s clump-free.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love length and volume, Opulash might work well for your lashes.  If you have naturally lengthy lashes (lucky you!), you may want to pass on this one, because it may be super length… like obnoxious length (who knew there was such a thing!).

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow
Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow: H5 Aqua Shimmer, H10 Languid Lagoon, H12 Lemon Sugar

Shiseido Hydro-Powder Eye Shadow ($25.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a cream-to-powder eyeshadow that can be used as a cream eyeshadow or as an eyeshadow base.

It is available in several shades: H1 Goldlights (gold), H2 Whitelights (white), H3 Tiger Eye (peach-orange), H4 Spring Plum (plum), H5 Aqua Shimmer (aqua), H6 Violet Visions (purple), H7 Green Exotique (green), H8 Bare Pink (soft pink), H9 Glistening Sand (nude), H10 Languid Lagoon (teal), H11 Rose Tulle (rose), H12 Lemon Sugar (soft yellow), and H13 Clover Dew (soft green).

With summer coming up, we have to break out our most long-wearing, budge-proof makeup. It would so not be cute to have mascara smeared under our eyes, eyeliner running around, and eyeshadow creasing and swimming on the lid. I tried three shades of Hydro-Powder Eyeshadow

  • H5 Aqua Shimmer is a steely blue with a silver sheen/shimmer. It doesn’t actually read very aqua to me, but it’s like a darkened water blue.
  • H10 Languid Lagoon is a aqua-teal with flecks of green and gold shimmer.
  • Lemon Sugar is a softened golden yellow.  This would definitely make a nice, universal colored base.

The formula of the Hydro-Powder Eyeshadows is phenomenal. They have a very creamy, almost water-based feel (that’s not to say they’re running or thin, but they’re creamy and have a wet texture) that glides onto the eye easily. The three shades I tried were all pigmented and applied smoothly and evenly to the eye whether you used your finger or a brush.

But the real reason these are amazing is that they’re crease-proof, budge-proof, and smudge-proof once they’ve dried. The drying time is long enough to give you time to blend them together, if you choose to use them as eyeshadows, but not so long that you have to wait around for it to set.

My favorite way to use these are as eyeshadow bases, because they work well to emphasize or intensify your eyeshadows as well as keeping them locked in place all day long. Even though I don’t personally use them as individual eyeshadows, they’re some of the easiest cream eyeshadows to blend together.

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 have problems with your eyeshadows creasing, Shiseido’s Hydro-Powder Eyeshadows may rescue you from your makeup woes either alone or worn under eyeshadow!

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Monday, April 26th, 2010

Milani Brown Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencil ($5.49) is a matte, medium-dark brown. I consider it a rather neutral brown, and it’s a great shade to use to define eyes for an everyday look. It’s less dramatic and obvious than black eyeliner. I love the Liquif’Eyes for their creamy feel and texture, easy-to-glide-on nature, and their long-wearing power. They’re really an all-around fantastic eyeliner, period.

This is a short review, as I just wanted to complete the set of Milani’s Liquif’Eye Eye Liners. You can see swatches of the four other shades and my full review here.

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

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

Recommendation: For an easy-to-wear, soft and creamy brown eyeliner that won’t break the budget, Milani has you covered.

Availability: Milani

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