Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Givenchy Summer 2010

Givenchy Will Take You to the Tropics & Back

Givenchy’s Summer Collection is an island themed number featuring quite the variety in products, but in this post, I’m going to concentrate on Island Lagoon (No. 17) Le Prisme Mono ($29).  It’s a multi-colored “quad” that features lighter aqua-blue, medium sky blue, grayish-black, and deep purple-blue.   The powder portion is small enough where using the individual colors is near impossible, but the top two squares are primarily aqua-blue with sky blue, while the bottom two squares are primarily aqua-blue and deep purple-blue, so I kind of looked at it as two shades of eyeshadow in total.

The compact has a pretty blue coloring on the outside, and the compact itself is much slimmer and thinner than previous limited-edition eyeshadow quartets released by Givenchy in the past.  It comes with a tiny sponge-tipped applicator that I wouldn’t bother using myself.

The eyeshadow looks incredibly pretty and artsy in the palette, but I’m not in love with the product itself.  It’s just not as bright and vibrant as it could be.  The first two squares yielded a frosted aqua-blue that’s semi-opaque–it’s noticeably on the sheerer side.  The bottom two squares worked together to create a semi-sheer, muted navy blue with silver sheen.  Over an eyeshadow base, they’ll be less visibly sheer, but the colors won’t pop.  If you want to get them to really pop, try them over a more metallic base–go for a champagne shimmer shade to keep them the same, slightly muted shade or use a colored base (like gold or blue), you can brighten them up a bit.  The eyeshadow itself is incredibly silky and buttery smooth–easy to apply and blend.

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

Recommendation:  I like it, but it’s not love–for me, it looks prettier than it actually is.  I think if they made it as vibrant as it looks, I’d like it more!   The eyeshadow has an excellent texture and feel but could use a little more pigmentation.

Availability:  May 2010

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Monday, April 19th, 2010

Chanel Noir et Or Palette

Out of Chanel’s ultra exclusive Noir et Or Collection, Ligne et Ombre de Chanel in Jet-Gold ($45.00) emerges. While not exactly groundbreaking in terms of color, it’s extremely fitting to the collection. It’s a matte black cake eyeliner paired with a golden peach flecked eyeshadow.

The black side is not meant to be used dry–it needs to be used wet so it can “activate.” I just gave the brush the tiniest bit of wetness, and I was already able to get a nice, intense black out of it. The gold, while it can be worn dry, also looks and wears better wet–and I like that with Chanel shadows, I can use them wet without leaving a wet spot behind. (Similarly, the gold would adhere and look more uniform used over a base rather than dry, since it is so shimmery.)

When used as an eyeliner, the black lasts for hours on me. I didn’t have any fading, smudging, or migration after eight hours of wear on my lower lash line (not my waterline, to be clear). If you really wanted, you could definitely use it with a brush to darken up the crease or any shadow you’re wearing, but it doesn’t excel at that (and again, it’s supposed to be used as an eyeliner).

It’s a fun product, but there’s nothing so standout about it that it’s necessarily worth hunting down and forking over $45 for. Chanel and luxury makeup collectors will likely enjoy it, but I think for others, it’s not going to knock your socks off–I’d say grab an eyeshadow duo, lipstick, or gloss instead (or even an eyeshadow quad, since this is just a little less than one!). I think if they made the gold a metallic cream finish, it could have gotten really interesting. It may not have been the most wearable, but it would have certainly played into the collection’s theme just a bit more.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: The cake eyeliner is excellent, but the gold eyeshadow is almost like a throw-in–pretty but not amazing. Chanel collectors will likely covet the piece, as exclusive as it is, but non-collectors won’t miss out if they skip this.

Availability: Chanel Boutiques

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Monday, April 19th, 2010

Tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner

tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner — Love the Applicator, Not Sold on the Shades

tokidoki Perfetto Eyeliner ($16.00) is a felt-tip liquid liner pen. It comes in eight shades: Rondine Love (white), Donutella (medium pink), Ciao Ciao (periwinkle), Arlecchino (dark blue), Mostro (spring green), SANDy (dark green), Carina (eggplant), and Sabochan (black).

I bought two with my Sephora V.I.B. order, because I had a lot of readers request a review of these, so I figured now would be a good time to try :) I picked Mostro and Ciao Ciao as the two to try–I can never resist a green, and well, I’m always game to try anything periwinkle, too.

  • Mostro is a muted, yellowed green. Sephora describes it as “spring green,” and I’d say that’s an accurate description. It’s muted and blah–I wore it in this look and you’ll notice it doesn’t pop at all.
  • Ciao Ciao is a slightly brightened periwinkle blue. I’d say it’s a bluer periwinkle, but it’s still very much in the periwinkle family. Like Mostro, though, it seems a little muted.

Despite not loving either shade much, I love the applicator… like a TON. I am no pro at lining my upper lash line (because lining the area tends to cause my eyes to swell up or itch, so I don’t do it often!), but these made it a cinch. They’re stiff but not hard, and they deliver opaque color the entire time you’re lining. I can see that those who love really, really thin lining not loving the applicator, though. You can get a nice line that’s not ridiculously thick for sure, but you won’t be able to get a pencil-thin line.

It actually made me sad that I wasn’t into these colors at all but was totally crushing on the applicator. I might look out at the other shades to see if they are less muted. They’re supposed to be “bold shades,” but they just seem a little on the subtle/light side to me. It’s like they had so much more room to pop, but they didn’t go there.

The liner also lasts all day without fading, transferring, or smudging. I wore it on my lower lash line and across my lid (like a diagonal line across part of my lid and crease) to test, and I had no movement whatsoever. I’m really hoping to fall in love with one of the other shades (I’m thinking about trying the black one next), though, since it is such a great product.

Anyone else try these?

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: The product quality is fantastic on these–long-wearing, doesn’t budge or smudge, and stays true-to-color while you wear it. The color range might not be as fantastic, though, so you may want to swatch before you buy.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, April 17th, 2010

NYX Jumbo Pencils
Hot Pink (621), Yellow (622), Horse Raddish (607), Oyster (610), Yogurt (611)

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil ($4.00) are oversized (hence the jumbo!) pencils that can be used as eyeliners or shadows, according to NYX. It’s available in twenty-four shades, ranging from black to blue to yellow.

I like them best as an eyeshadow base–I find that it’s easier to blend on top of it than it is to blend it with other Jumbo Eye Pencils. They work great used alone as a base or layered on top of your favorite eyeshadow base (like Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance). I used them as a base alone and didn’t experience any creasing or fading.

  • Hot Pink (621) is a slightly blue-based medium pink with no shimmer or frost.
  • Yellow (622) is a paled sunny yellow with no shimmer or frost.
  • Horse Raddish (607) is a frosted leafy green with silver sheen.
  • Oyster (610) is an iridescent purple with red undertones and icy sheen. It was the sheerest of the five I tried–you can see that it doesn’t quite go opaque.
  • Yogurt (611) is a frosted copper brown with a gilded champagne sheen.

I like that they have so many shades available, and they’re an incredibly affordable option for those looking for a product to help their eyeshadows stay on longer and appear more vibrant. I’ve always found colored bases can make colors really pop, and these are a great way to add some colored bases into your stash without breaking the bank.

The only downside is that it’s a pain in the butt to sharpen these with anything but NYX’s Sharpener. Luckily, NYX’s Sharpener is only $4, so it won’t set you back an arm and a leg. I also find these a little difficult to line with unless they’re freshly sharpened, just because they are oversized.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re on a budget and looking for a new eyeshadow base, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils may fit the bill!

Availability: NYX Cosmetics

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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?

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: 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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