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.

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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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Saturday, March 6th, 2010

NARS D Gorgeous Eyeshadow

NARS Spring 2010: D. Gorgeous Eyeshadow

NARS D. Gorgeous Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new single eyeshadow from NARS’ Spring Collection. It’s a light lilac with a matte finish, and it really looks absolutely stunning in its pan–it’s this lovely pale color against matte black packaging, but the product doesn’t come through on quality.

D. Gorgeous is a chalky matte with very sheer, light color. It’s an almost gray-lilac when swatched, but it has this dusty, chalky look to it that’s not very flattering. It’s also incredible sheer and powdery–the minute I dipped my brush in it, it was like, poof! The only good thing I can say about the texture is at least it isn’t a hard-to-swatch matte that just looks like it drags. D. Gorgeous is smooth and soft to the touch, it’s just much chalkier than other NARS’ eyeshadows.

By the way, NARS also raised the price on their single eyeshadows (from $22 to $23). You’re always better off purchasing a NARS eyeshadow duo over a single, because the price per ounce in singles makes it more expensive than MAC, Smashbox, and Make Up For Ever.

It’s really too bad that this went so powdery on me, because it seemed like such a nice shade for spring. It’s not the worst matte I’ve tried, but with the dustiness and lack of pigmentation, it’s not the best, either. Considering its NARS, I expect pigmentation to never be a problem!

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  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Pass and opt for an eyeshadow duo!

Availability: Blue Mercury

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Friday, March 5th, 2010

Maybelline Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow Quad

Spring Pastels with Maybelline are a Little Too Light

Maybelline Eye Studio Legendary Lilac Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) includes an icy silver with very faint, icy lilac shimmer; a lilac-lavender with gold shimmer; a blue-based blue-purple with subtle gold shimmer; and an eggplant purple with red undertones. This is probably my least favorite Eye Studio Eyesahdow Quad I’ve tested–it’s very faint overall. The pigmentation just isn’t there in three of the four shades (all but the eggplant-y one). I like the concept of four different purple shades, but I must say the blue-based purple might have been nicer with another, stronger medium purple with red undertones.

The eyeshadows themselves are soft and smooth, they just lack pigmentation. I’ve been happier with some of the other variations in this product type, like Good with Gold. This is definitely a skip variation to me — if the colors had more pay off, it could be a nice a way to try out purple eyeshadow, but since they’re already so soft, it’s hard to build up the intensity with these.

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  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: Skip this one — it’s just too faint — unless you love really soft, subtle color!

Availability: Target

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Friday, March 5th, 2010

Lancome Pop 'n Green Palette

Lancome O My Rose! Collection:  Pop ‘n Green Eyeshadow Quad

Lancome Pop ‘n Green Eyeshadow Quad ($42.00) is a sultry blue and green palette for spring. It’s surprisingly un-spring-like and yet it’s not totally out-of-season either. It’s almost like the perfect accompamiment to a gloomy, rainy day–and I do mean that as a compliment!

Pop ‘n Green includes a bright silvery-white with shimmer; a greenish-gray with taupe with a more metallic finish; an olive-green with a subtle yellow-olive sheen/pearl (not really shimmery); and a blue-teal with soft silver shimmer over a pearly sheen finish. I don’t have colors quite like the olive green and teal in my collection–similar, but the pearly finish makes them distinctive against anything I might already own (all of which are either more matte or shimmery). I think it would have been cool for the entire palette to have the same pearled sheen finish, actually.

The green-gray-taupe shade is so-so; a little on the sheer side, even though it has a kind of “wet” look to it, I wish the pay off was more. The silver shade has decent pigmentation, but it’s not as color-rich as the olive green and teal are. I like the palette, though I can see this not being something for everyone. I like the way it fits a different side of spring; not the blossoming, pastel side, but the cooler, rainier weather. I think I’m really swooning for that green, though, and I must say, I’m a sucker for olive greens, so…

It’s like I’m in love with half the quad, but the other half is just so-so–the pigmentation is perfect and the texture isn’t as smooth as the good half.  I do like that the other half makes sense, though–you can wear these four shades together or variations of three of the four.

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

Recommendation: If you love cooler, non-traditional spring shades, you might find Pop ‘n Green to your liking!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which [again] includes three palette variations. Bonfire is more my style than the other two variations.  By the by, Aquamarine is the third variation, which I won’t be reviewing at this time!  It does, however, have the same Pot Rouges as Orchid Sparkle, which I reviewed earlier, so it’s like… half reviewed :)

Pot Rouge

  • Tawny is a brownish-red–it’s not a brick red, and it certainly doesn’t scream “RED!” but it’s in there. Creamy, opaque, and smooth.
  • Fresh Melon is a brightened coral-peach with a creamy and opaque look. This can be worn as a very subtle blush or lip.
  • Calypso Coral is a bold, tropical orange-coral with the same creaminess of the other shades of Pot Rouge. This is definitely a more fearless coral, though, because it is fairly bright. You can pat less on to get a less intense look, though, which is nice.

Eyeshadow

  • Bone is a softened white-beige with a matte finish. Kind of a classic shade–easier for me to wear with my warmer skin tone than whites.
  • Cafe Cream (Sparkle) is a shimmered medium coffee brown with an almost taupe-gray tone to it. It looks almost wet when used, and the fall out isn’t too bad.
  • Bonfire is a rich copper with a metallic finish. Think MAC Amber Lights with a smoother finish. This is the “bright” shade in the palette, while the other shades are designed to coordinate with this one.
  • Cognac is an intense shade of coppered chocolate brown with an almost burgundy sheen. This shade is truly lovely–I fell completely in love at first swatch. It’s one of those shades that I could see myself buying the palette for.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish. I like this more with the Bonfire palette than the Orchid palette, but I also wish they varied it, so there wouldn’t be any repeats between the three palettes!

It has the same sleek packaging as Orchid, so my thoughts remain the same on that: well-done, practical, and keeps everything as clean as can be in a palette.

I think these eyeshadows work better together than the ones chosen for the Orchid palette as well. I can definitely see many different combinations with these five shades. I also like the shades swatched smoother and more pigmented–there was only one iffy shade (Cafe Cream), but it was still decent and not so troublesome (unlike Orchid Sparkle).

I know that I’m personally more drawn to Bonfire (hey, I like me some warm shades!), so I’m definitely going to try to do a look with this palette later this week or next!

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: 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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