Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Paint Pots:
Coral Crepe, Groundwork

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Chromagraphic Pencils & Paint Pots Review, Photos, Swatches

I am both a little surprised–but very delighted–to say that the Chromagraphic Pencils work wonderfully on the waterline. They look lovely–very fresh and awake–without being too light. I used NC/NW15 on my waterline as soon as I had finished photographing them (nobody likes to see used stuff photograph, yeah?), and here I am three hours later with it still hanging on.  I’d definitely say to grab one when you’re able to if you’ve always wanted an easy way to open up and brighten your eyes.

Chromagraphic Pencil ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • NC15/NW20 is a light nude with a creamy feel and look.
  • NW25/NC30 is a yellower, deeper nude with the same creaminess as the other shade.

Paint Pot ($16.50 U.S. / $22.00 CDN)

  • Coral Crepe is a reddened, darkened coral-orange with a slight golden sheen. It can be sheered out a bit, but it really goes on quite coral. I tried as a base, and it can definitely be worn on the eyes. I also tried it on the lips, and I’d vote nay on that in the future–very drying and chalky looking. Havne’t tried it on the cheeks, but you might be able to do that.
  • Groundwork is a softened brown with a yellow undertone. This is a permanent shade.

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

It’s funny, despite five eyeshadows being launched in this collection, none of them really spoke to me. I also got more of a fall collection vibe off of them, even though we’re heading right into summer. To be honest, I don’t think any of these are really must-haves.

Gazette Gray had a lot of potential, but it’s just so sheer–would have been great if it had been a veluxe pearl finish! Cut to Fit is something that’s close enough to other shades I’ve seen before. Tissue Weight is pretty on its own, but you may already own something similar.

Eyeshadow ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Cut to Fit is a reddish copper-bronze with a frost finish. It reminds me of French Cuff from early last year, but it’s not as frosty and perhaps a little more darkness to this one. It also seems close to Twinks from the permanent line.
  • Bamboo is a matte fleshy nude with a subtle orange undertone. It’s a permanent shade, but it’s nice to help diffuse color. On my NC25 skin tone, I find Bamboo is a bit orange/dark as a highlighter.
  • Tissue Weight is a pink-toned fleshy beige with a frost finish. This is a pretty color, and it layers well over Coral Crepe paint pot. I think pinker skin tones may even like this as a highlighter, albeit it is a bit on the frostier side.
  • Gazette Grey is a brownish-gray with gold and green-gold flecks of sparkle. It applies quite sheerly, so despite looking quite beautiful in the pan, it doesn’t translate on its own. You could try layering this over a darker base (like one of the Greasepaint Sticks from earlier in April) to bring out the flecks of shimmer in this.
  • Memorabilia is a matte, red-toned purple with an almost gray cast to it. It’s an interesting shade, though I believe this is its second appearance. It’s not totally opaque, but it’s not sheer either, and it’s a very blendable matte.

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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.

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

  • 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.

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

  • 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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