Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Givenchy Pardas'Eyes Liner

Givenchy New Impressions Collection: Parad’Eyes

Givenchy Parad’Eyes Eye Liner ($27.00 for 0.1 oz.) includes two new shades as part of Givenchy’s New Impressions Collection for Spring 2010. The two shades are…

  • Mauve Impression (8) is more pink than move. It’s a clear base with lots of shimmering pink sparkle. It’s very pretty and spring-y, but it didn’t show up mauve at all on me! Sephora described the shade as “metallic lilac,” which is a little easier to get behind than “Mauve.”
  • Nude Impression (9) is a metallic bronze with champagne and bronze shimmer. Like Mauve Impression, it seems like a clear base with colored shimmer rather than a colored base.

The Parad’Eyes Eyeliners come in square tubes with predominantly black packaging with the bottom of the top with Givenchy’s logo in blue and the bottom of the product in a bronzy-gold and the label. I find that these liners do stay on well, once they dry (which takes a little longer than the average liquid liner), but with these being more glitter/shimmer based, they look best layered over a solid-colored liner. These can also be fun on lashes for a little extra bling-bling over mascara. They stay on without budging or flaking, but they may be a little pricey just for a glitter/shimmer eye liner!

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

Recommendation: If you love a bit of added sparkle to your spring look, these certainly will do the trick! They’re sheer enough to be versatile and universal, but they have plenty o’ bling to give you that glitz and glam. They’re on the pricey side, though in line with high-end prices, so they may be more of an indulgence. Both shades should work nicely on both cool and warm skin tones, because neither is so warm/cool–though naturally Nude pairs the best with warmer skin tones and Mauve with cooler skin tones.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Midnight Bloom Collection

Dolce & Gabbana — Summer Preview — Laguna Eyeshadow Duo

Laguna Eyeshadow Duo ($36.00 for 0.17 oz.) is new for Dolce & Gabbana’s summer collection (due out in May), and I’m excited to show you a sneak preview of this perfect-for-summer duo! It includes a softly teal-shimmered muted sky blue and a rich, blackened forest green with gold and green shimmer.

At first, I thought that the bluish side was like Benefit’s Mermaid Eyeshadow, but it’s not. It’s more like a blue version, if anything, but after looking at both, they’re definitely not similar. The forest green shade originally reminded me of NARS Night Porter, but the finish is softer and smoother and it’s a shimmer/sheen rather than a glitter finish.

The texture of Dolce & Gabbana eyeshadows is amazing. It’s soft, smooth, and buttery. I love that Dolce & Gabbana puts out colors amongst more muted shades, too, because I think it gives them more variety. But even better is that their colors actually show-up true-to-pan!

Surprisingly, Dolce & Gabbana is cheaper by the ounce than NARS Eyeshadow Duos–$211/oz. vs. $228/oz. (and not so surprisingly, cheaper than NARS, Make Up For Ever, and MAC singles), but you do get the luxe, “gold” metal casing for your buck, too (but it does hold fingerprints as is typical with metal packaging). I’m actually surprised that these are priced so similarly to NARS Eyeshadow Duos, because the Dolce & Gabbana line-up is more comparable to Chanel and Dior in terms of pricing, typically.

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

Recommendation: If you love really smooth eyeshadows that go on like butter, Dolce & Gabbana Eyeshadow Duos hit the mark. If you’ve been hunting for a blue that’s not too bright or overwhelming, you may find this duo works well. I think this duo in particularly is suitable for both cool and warm skin tones, too!

Availability: May 2010 at Saks Fith Avenue

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Monday, March 15th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Aquamarine Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips Collection:  Aquamarine Palette

Bobbi Brown Aquamarine Palette ($60.00) includes five eyeshadow shades (Lightening , Aquamarine, Storm, Ivory, and Grey Sky) and three pot rouge shades (Sand Pink, Pale Pink, Powder Pink). This is the third palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which also featured Bonfire and Orchid.

  • Ivory is a cool-toned white beige with a matte finish.
  • Lightning (Sparkle) is a shimmering softened gray with silver shimmer.
  • Aquamarine (Metallic) is a muted sky blue with a frosty sheen and shimmer.
  • Grey Sky is a medium gray with almost a brownish-taupe cast with a matte finish
  • Storm is a deepened blue-black with a matte finish.

The Aquamarine Palette is more on the cool-toned side, so it’s definitely more suitable for those with cooler undertones. However, it’s not unwearable for those with warmer skin tones, but you’ll want to mix and match with some slightly warmer hues just to bring everything together. What I really like about this palette, though, is that the shades work really well together, like in the Bonfire Palette.

For a review of the Pot Rouges, head on over to my Orchid Palette review, which includes the same shades of Pot Rouges. The packaging remains the same as the other two palette variations–sleek Bobbi Brown case that opens up with plastic “windows” that keep out dirt and dust from the products (which is really something you don’t see often and much appreciated).

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love a cool-toned smoky gray eye, you might dig Aquamarine.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Cle de Peau Eyeshadow
Cle de Peau #101 Eyeshadow

Going Luxe:  Cle de Peau Satin Eye Color

Cle de Peau Satin Eye Color ($45.00 for 0.07 oz.) is the ultimate luxury in eyeshadow.  It’s absolutely fantastic eyeshadow–soft, smooth; it applies like butter and feels like silk.  At $642 per ounce–and to put that into perspective, MAC is $290/oz., NARS is $328/oz., Chanel is $407/oz.–it’s the most expensive eyeshadow I’ve ever tested.  (But I got curious, so I did some research, and La Prairie’s Eyeshadow comes in at $900/oz. and Sisley at $920/oz., so it’s not the priciest one out there…)

Knowing that it’s Cle de Peau, a luxury line, there’s a sense of, “Mmm, ahh, ohh!” from the get-go, which is part of the experience of using high-end or luxury brands.  When I did the math, however, even I had to go,“Whoa!”  I’m going to tell you point blank that I don’t think I’d ever fork over $45 for a single eyeshadow myself (of course, if it was antique gold, maybe we could talk, if my wallet didn’t run away).  But this is something that has to be put into perspective.  I would have (and I have) paid $45 or more for a lipstick (Guerlain) or lipgloss (Cle de Peau!) that I really liked.  I also want to say that Cle de Peau is a luxury brand, so their business is not built on being affordable.  The price tag very much reflects that.

So, putting price aside, the eyeshadow formula does not disappoint.  I tried two shades:  #101, which is a shimmering warmed-up white, and #107, which is a softened plum-mauve with a shimmery finish. Both shades swatched very true-to-color, and the shimmer is softened a bit (almost like a diffused glow) but on the frostier side.  The best way to describe these is exactly as I said earlier:  “it applies like butter and feels like silk.” The two shades I tried were well-pigmented and shimmered in their loveliness.

These also adhere very well to the lids, whether or not you use a base.  Typically, I don’t bother trying out eyeshadows without a base, since wearing an eyeshadow base is nearly a must-do when you wear eyeshadow, period.  However, because Cle de Peau advertises that it can be applied without “fading, creasing, or dulling,” I had to give it a shot.  The eyeshadows have “Hydro-wrap Complex” and Argan Tree Oil for “smooth application and wear.”  Fancy talk, but these do wear well as an all over color and no base, so count me surprised.  They didn’t soften, crease, or fade during the eight hours I wore them to test (and yes, I totally wore #101 on one eye and #107 on the other!).

They are truly lovely and beautiful from start to finish, even if they are jaw-dropping-ly expensive.  I can easily see why someone would purchase these, even if I myself can’t quite afford them!

Has anyone else tried these?  Anyone caved on these?  Must-see shades?

There are also eight other shades in the formula: 102 (smoked, gray-purple), 103 (nude), 104 (peach), 105 (pinked-peach), 106 (subdued brown-pink), 108 (purple amethyst), 109 (medium green), and 110 (soft sky blue).

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

Recommendation: For the ultimate indulgence in eyeshadow, there’s Cle de Peau. I would indulge only if it was a product I could see myself using regularly and finishing.

Availability: Saks Fifth Avenue

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Copper Chic Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) is a stunning combination of slightly warmed-up neutrals.  I was really hoping Maybelline was going to knock it out of the park with this combination, but they didn’t quite hit the mark for me.  They’re so-so but just not stellar.  I’d still consider it pretty good by drugstore beauty standards, though–but it’s only decent against popular favorites like MAC, Make Up For Ever, and Urban Decay.

It includes a champagne-pink with a frosty finish, subdued copper, muted golden bronze, and darker chocolate bronze with light gold shimmer.  My biggest issue with these eyeshadows was just that they applied sheerly, so it was difficult to get as much dimension as I’d like on my eyes.  Like the other Maybelline palettes, these are softer eyeshadows that have to be applied with less sweeping and more packing/tapping techniques.

These excel best over a more metallic base (think MAC Indianwood or Rubenesque Paint Pots), because these eyeshadows grab onto the base well and then you can get the colors to pop and look more like themselves!  I’m still, overall, impressed by the quality of the Maybelline Eyeshadow Quads, but none have been quite as good as Good with Gold thus far.

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quad Reviews…

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for soft, almost velvet-textured neutrals, you might like Copper Chic for a budget-friendly option.

Availability: Target

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Monday, March 8th, 2010

Milani Glitter Eyeliner

Milani Glitter Eyeliner ($5.99) is new for spring, and it’s available in six shades: Precious Silver, Emerald Stone, Purple Quartz, Terra Brown, Blue Topaz, and Black Rocks.

  • Black Rocks is a dark black base with silver micro-glitter.
  • Emerald Stone is an turquoise-green with silver micro-glitter.
  • Blue Topaz is a softened sky blue with silver micro-glitter.

I’m pleased to report that these pencil eyeliners are easy to use and last well on the lower lash line. I didn’t experience any budging, smudging, or migration when I wore these on my lower lash line. What I really liked about these was how smooth and soft they were when I applied the color to my lower lash line. Some glitter eyeliners have a grittier texture, which makes them less than ideal for application on such sensitive areas as the lash line.

A fun detail is on the opposite side of the pencil is a smudging sponge, but I found these didn’t smudge that well–even when first applied. That’s fine for me, since I’d rather have it never smudge than smudge a little. I also prefer using the 219 and eyeshadow to really smoke out or smudge the lash line!

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love a little bit of glitz and glam on your lash line, you might want to check out Milani’s new Glitter Eyeliners!

Availability: Milani

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