Saturday, April 10th, 2010

YSL #17 Eyeshadow Duo

YSL #17 Ivory Beige/Deep Black Eyeshadow Duo ($41.00 for 0.09 oz.) features a yellow-toned beige with a matte finish and a deep black with a near matte finish (just a smidgen of shimmer).
I purchased this eons ago when YSL had their (first!) Friends & Family Sale, because I fell in love with it when they promoted it during a fall or holiday launch (I think in 2009). I was totally head-over-heels for the depth in the black, so I figured, maybe it was time to splurge on it finally. It’s a very dark, rich black, but it’s probably not the darkest black I’ve tried. Funny how memory blurs those things!

This is an excellent smoky eye duo, and surprisingly, the yellowed beige is pretty workable on my warmer toned skin without looking too chalky (as some light mattes can be). The eyeshadows are soft, smooth, and both are pigmented. The matte isn’t chalky, but it isn’t the softest matte eyeshadow I’ve tried. The black shade is really the star of the duo, though.

It’s packaged in classy, traditional YSL packaging with the faux gold metal look and logo emblazoned on the top of the compact. The logo is also embedded into the eyeshadows themselves as well. Even with the hefty price tag, you don’t get that much eyeshadow — it’s about the same as buying other high-end eyeshadows in singles. Usually, you do see a little bit of value savings when you buy duos, even in high-end brands like YSL, but not so much here. This was definitely a splurge item to satisfy a long-time want, so I’m happy with it.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Pretty but incredibly pricey, so I’d consider it an indulgence and luxury, rather than a must-have.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

MAC Prep for Colour Collection
Just Add Colour Lipglass (note, sample packaging)

MAC Prep for Colour Collection

The Prep for Colour Collection is a short and sweet collection. I’m not even sure why they bothered with any color cosmetics, and I could have gone for repromotes of great permanent neutrals, too — just because MAC does have a great neutral range. The collection includes one lipglass ($14), three eyeshadows ($14.50), Prep + Prime Skin Brightening Serum ($40), Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($30), and Prep + Prime Fortified Skin Enhancer SPF 35/PA+++ ($30).  I don’t have photos of Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow yet, which I will purchase when it launches in-store on Thursday (so check back then!).

  • Hey Eyeshadow is is a gilded beige-champagne with a touch of peach.  It was a very shimmery, frosty finish.  For reference, it is a veluxe pearl finish, though!  This is a repromote from Fafi, but I know a lot of you love this shade.
  • Sorcery Eyeshadow is a burgundy-brown with a satin finish–it’s not entirely matte, but it’s not overly shimmery, either.  It has more of a satin sheen.  It reminded me of a a lighter version of Sketch.
  • Prepped for Glamour Eyeshadow is a darkened chocolate brown with a taupe edge to it.  It’s sheerer and lighter than Satin Taupe, but it also has less of a frosty sheen.  Pretty, but if you already have Satin Taupe, you could probably skip this.
  • Just Add Colour Lipglass is a reddened, dark fuchsia pink with fuchsia-pink shimmer.  It’s a frost finish lipglass, and though my sample comes in a square tube, online shows it in a regular lipglass tube, so don’t buy because it’s square :)  It’s a very pigmented, color-rich gloss–so if you’ve always wanted a darker pink than Pink Poodle but still very intense, this might be it.
  • Prep + Prime Brightening Serum is a clear, slightly watery liquid that pumps out.  It’s hard to describe — it’s cool and thin, and it absorbs into skin quite quickly.  I haven’t used it long enough to really be able to tell you about results, but I can at least tell you about the consistency!  Hopefully will have more for you later on in April…

There are no must-haves in this collection from me. While all the color products in this launch are high quality and well-pigmented, they’re not necessarily must-haves.  Hey is the closest to a must-have, but I think you could easily substitute All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck in its place.  Sorcery is too similar to Sketch and Beautymarked, while Prepped for Glamour is quite similar to Satin TaupeJust Add Colour Lipglass is pretty, but again, just doesn’t strike me as a must-have.  You can’t go wrong with any of the four, so this is more of a “there’s nothing super-duper original or so awesomely pigmented you have to get it” kind of a review.

Skip if you have…

  • Skip Hey if you have All That Glitters, Gleam, or Retrospeck (unless you use these 24/7, then you’ll probably love Hey!).
  • Skip Sorcery if you have Sketch or Beautymarked, particularly if you don’t use those very often.
  • Skip Prepped for Glamour if you have Satin Taupe, unless you’ve always secretly wanted Satin Taupe but didn’t like how frosty it was.

So, are you stopping by MAC (or shopping online!) for Prep for Colour or are you waiting until Pret-a-Papier?

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010

An Intro to Paul & Joe Beaute with Purple Clover

Paul & Joe Purple Clover (066) Face & Eye Color ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is one of three limited edition shades from Paul & Joe’s Sparkle Collection. What always stands out about Paul & Joe, to me, is how cute the products are from top to bottom. The packaging is elegant, despite being made out of paper (and cardboard) — it’s cute, lightweight, and fun to look at.

Purple Clover is decorated in a purple with teal butterflies outlined in orange and an orange polka dot overlay. Inside, there are little clovers in a deeper, darker purple with the surrounding shade a plummy pink mauve. Together, they create a sultry, smoky plum-mauve with silver sparkle. It’s a really stunning color — it reminded me a bit of Cle de Peau #107 Eyeshadow initially, but #107 is a little lighter and has a golden sheen. The texture of Purple Clover is smooth, soft, and blendable with a nice level of pigmentation that’s not overpowering or sheer.

And oh, did you see that you get a whopping 0.10 oz.? Most eyeshadows are about 0.05 oz., and the largest single eyeshadow (that I know of) is made by Guerlain (at 0.12 oz.). Nice to see that you’re not just paying for pretty packaging! :)

This is/was my first Paul & Joe beauty product, and I’m so happy I liked it! Sometimes, I fear that I’ll try a new brand, be less-than-impressed with it, and then there’s always this hesitant to try it again in the future.

What are your favorite Paul & Joe products?

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you’re a sucker for cute packaging, soft and smooth eyeshadow, Paul & Joe may have your number.  If you live in NYC, you can head on down to the counter at Bergdorf!

Availability: BeautyHabit.com, Bergdorf Goodman (in-store only)

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Two-Minute Reviews: CoverGirl Eyeshadow Palette, Physicians Formula Healthy Glow, Smashbox Heartbreaker

The concept behind two-minute reviews is mostly products that I photographed, swatched, but I never ended up reviewing.  Rather than just bury the photos into the “Unlikely to Review” folder and never let them see the light of day, I decided that perhaps a quickie review was better than no review at all… Let me know if you’d rather a quickie review than no review :)

CoverGirl Vibrant Browns (#700) Eyeshadow Palette ($7.49) is a palette that features four shades of eyeshadow: a softened, matte black with glitter overlay, subdued blue-toned sheer gray with silver sheen, muted copper with orange-gold shimmer and frost finish, and an incredibly sheer white with sheen. The colors are all on the sheerer side, and the shadows themselves just don’t grab me. I think one or two more muted shades might work, but these altogether just don’t. I find the gold too warm to work with the coolness of the black and gray. Quick Rating: C-

Physicians Formula Healthy Glow Shimmer Strips ($11.95) reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. Healthy Glow is a gradation of light, icy pink to a muted raspberry pink. The colors are better used together rather than alone, as individually, they’re not very pigmented. Together, they create a lightened raspberry with a frosty white sheen. This is great for those with closer-to-flawless skin, because it’s pretty and shimmery–but if you have larger pores, the high frost finish will accentuate them. For a drugstore blush, though, the price is a little steeper than I’d like to see. Quick Rating: B

Smashbox Heartbreaker Collection looked super cute in the promos, but I wasn’t loving it when I saw some of the pieces in person. In fact, I loved the actual box packaging infinitely more than the product packaging! The boxes are cute with doodles and polaroids on it–just sweet and fitting for the theme. The shiny white plastic makes it look and feel on the cheap side, and Smashbox really isn’t a cheap brand. I tend to think of Smashbox as more of a mid-to-high end brand. I tried three products: Starlight Fusion Soft Lights ($30), Rollerball Lip Gloss ($21), and Liquid Liner Pen ($24). I reviewed the eyeliner previously, but I never got around to the other two products. Despite looking rather vibrant in the pan, Starlight is a very soft, lightened raspberry sorbet with a soft champagne sheen. It didn’t show up very well on my medium skin tone, so I wasn’t never driven to wear it in a look (hence this quickie review!). Quick Rating: C+

The Rollerball Lip Gloss was very much the same — it’s clear gloss with icy white shimmer. It’s very slightly pink tinged, but on lips, it looks clear. I also felt like the Rollerball packaging made me feel like I was using Bonne Bell (which is fine… if I’m paying Bonne Bell prices!). Quick Rating: C-

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes Liner

Going Green for Earth Month with #16L Aqua Eyes

Make Up For Ever #16L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a muted grass-green with yellow undertones and subtle darkened, grassy sheen.  I find this shade of green to be particularly unique amongst eyeliner shades.  Despite owning more eyeliner than eyes (ha, ha, not hard to do!), I don’t have a green quite like this.  It’s green without being bright or dark.  It’s almost muted but not exactly dull.  This looks pretty with soft, warmer browns and plums as well as the more expected blues, greens, and teals.

Aqua Eyes has a really great long-wearing formula that won’t budge, smudge, or fade throughout the day.  They have enough softness to glide on smoothly without tugging on the sensitive skin around the eyes, and they deliver color just as you see it in the pencil itself.  I’ve always found Aqua Eyes to look very true-to-pencil in color, which is always a nice thing, because you know what you’re getting!

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

Recommendation: This is a great green for those who love the color but want something more wearable and, perhaps even, office-friendly.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes Liner

Summer-proof Your Eye Makeup with Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes

Make Up For Ever #3L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a dark, navy blue with lighter, twilight blue shimmer.  It’s smooth and has a soft sheen.  I like wearing this particular navy shade with other blues, greens, golds, and even blue-toned purples.

I’ve reviewed several shades of Aqua Eyes, so if you’ve read those, much of the rest of this review is going to sound a bit redundant… but for those who haven’t read my previous Aqua Eyes’ reviews, this is for you!

Aqua Eyes have a really brilliant formula that’s budge-proof, smudge-proof, and water-resistant.  They’re excellent for those looking for long-wearing eyeliners that won’t migrate and fade throughout the day.  I particularly like them during the summer when I know I’ll be spending quite a bit of time outdoors, because I don’t have to worry about my eyeliner sweating all over the place.  The color range is tremendous with twenty-five shades to choose from, too, which is convenient–if you find you love this formula, you don’t have to look elsewhere for the shade you want.

They’re not as creamy or soft as Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners, but they’re not hard on the eyes, either; they’re just not quite as soft, and some may prefer that for getting more precision in their looks.

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’ve been wanting a navy blue eyeliner that’s not going to fade or migrate on your lash line, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes formula may just do the trick for you!

Availability: Sephora

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