Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes in #4L

Make Up For Ever #4L Aqua Eyes Liner ($17.00) is a reddened plum with subtle red shimmer. I like Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes a lot–it’s budge-proof, smudge-proof, water-resistant, and it just really hangs on all day long. There are also many shades to choose from, so you’re bound to find at least one that appeals to you!

I personally wish they were a softer pencil eyeliner, though; they’re not too hard, but I definitely prefer mine to be on the softer, creamier side. They’re about average in price–not falling in the “affordable” category, but they’re not prohibitively expensive either.  The packaging is straightforward; it looks like a pencil with a glossy black casing.

I also reviewed Aqua Eyes in several other shades (seven, to be exact) last year.

What are your must have Aqua Eyes?

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

Recommendation:  If you’ve been looking for a pencil eyeliner that stays put, Make Up For Ever might have your number!

AvailabilitySephora

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Sugarpill Chromalust

Sugarpill Cosmetics:  ChromaLust Loose Eyeshadow

Sugarpill Cosmetics released eleven shades of Chroma Lust loose eyeshadows ($12.00 for 0.18 oz.). These loose eyeshadows are ultra finely milled with rich color pay off that apply smoothly. Many of these eyeshadows are also vegan (check their website which marks which shades are vegan), for those curious! I’d recommend using these with a stickier base (e.g. something like mixing medium) for brighter and more long-lasting eyeshadow. Myself, I’d use these as bases, much like I’d use MAC Pigments.

  • Asylum is a rich burnished red with a shimmery sheen. I found it looked redder when used wet (and obviously, more intense).
  • Decora is a medium baby girl pink with silvery sheen and gold glitter flecks.
  • Goldilux is a metallic bronzed gold. This is a truly gorgeous color–easily my favorite of the eleven shades currently available.
  • Junebug is a dark forest green with black flecks and a frosty sheen. The darkened base really comes through when used wet.
  • Absinthe is a brightened yellow-green with a golden yellow sheen. It’s not chartreuse, but it’s not quite green either. This one applied beautifully wet or dry.
  • Magpie is a medium-dark navy blue with silvery sheen and shimmer. I found this one definitely looked much better when used wet.
  • Starling is a slightly darkened sky blue with a radiant silver sheen. This one could be used wet or dry, but I liked it better when wet.
  • Royal Sugar is a vibrant shade of royal blue with silver and sky blue flecks of sparkle. This is not only an intense shade, but it’s a very unique color as well.
  • Hysteric is a medium purple with a red base and an almost multi-colored shimmer.
  • Lumi is an iridescent teal-reflecting white shimmer. This is a very fun shade to work with, and it’s one of those colors that can be layered over dark bases to give it a more unique look. (This one reminded me of MAC Transparent Teal Glitter in a non-glitter form.)
  • Tiara is a metallic silver with a bright silver sheen. I found this looked lovely wet or dry, but the metallic sheen is brought out when this is used wet.

These are held cynlider-style plastic containers with slightly glossy black screw-on lids with the Sugarpill logo printed (it’s not a sticker!) on top. The containers are cute and functional (reminded me of stumpier, smaller versions of MAC Pigments). There’s no insert or lid once you open, so take care when opening.

I really liked the texture of these, because they were so soft and smooth, you didn’t need much to get intense color. My favorite shades were Goldilux, Absinthe, and Royal Sugar.

What are your favorites?

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Sugarpill Eyeshadow Quad

Sugarpill Cosmetics:  Pressed Eyeshadow

Sugarpill Cosmetics also released nine shades of pressed eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.14 oz.)–though you can find them all within pre-made eyeshadow quads as well. You can find a review of Flamepoint, Buttercupcake, Love+, and Poison Plum here. The other five shades you can find in this review!  The majority of the eyeshadows are vegan, but check the website, as they mark which are vegan (e.g. Love+ is not).

  • Bulletproof is a deep dark black with a matte finish. It applies smoothly and isn’t chalky or powdery.
  • Tako is a matte white. This one I felt had a little bit of a powdery look to it, though it was surprisingly good for a white eyeshadow. I don’t know if I’ve ever found a white that didn’t look a bit off on my skin tone, to be honest. It doesn’t feel powdery–just looks a little like it on my skin tone.
  • Dollipop is a bright hot pink with a matte finish. This is one of those showstopping pinks, truly. I am not sure if I’ve ever seen anything quite this bright before. This is a retina-burning shade! Super pigmented and applies beautifully.
  • Midori is an intense medium-dark green with a subtle shimmer. I actually can’t think of a shade that’s similar to this–at least not one that I own. Very pretty – wearable without being so intense or primary.
  • Afterparty is a rich medium blue with a shimmer pearl. This is the only shade that really made me go, “Oh! This looks like…” (it reminded me of MAC’s Freshwater, but a little lighter blue). This one has a very distinct pearly sheen to it.

All of the nine eyeshadows applied smoothly and felt soft to the touch. They were intensely pigmented, and you didn’t need much to get to that high level of pigmentation. For those who aren’t so much into color, Sugarpill doesn’t quite have you covered–yet. I’m interested to see if Sugarpill will put together a wider range of finishes, color varieties, and the like in the future.

The packaging works for me. It’s understated and functional, but it doesn’t feel cheap (which is something I worry about with newer brands). It’s a circular, flat, semi-domed shaped plastic. It has a matte black plastic on the bottom half with a clear plastic flip-top lid. The lid has the Sugarpill logo printed (not a sticker!) on the lid as well.

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

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

Recommendation: If you love bright eyeshadow, Sugarpill Cosmetics might grab your attention!

Availability: Sugarpill Cosmetics

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Sugarpill Eyeshadow Quad

Sugarpill Cosmetics:  Burning Heart Eyeshadow Quad

Sugarpill Cosmetics recently debuted, and Amy (aka Shrinkle), the creator and founder, reached out to Temptalia to see if I’d be interested in checking it out. I’ve known of Shrinkle forever, mostly through friends who’ve bought from her via eBay, so when I saw that she was working on a cosmetics line, I was definitely intrigued. It was perfect timing when she reached out to me, because I was thinking of grabbing a few to try.

Today, I’ll go through the majority of the Sugarpill line, but first, I wanted to start off with the Burning Heart Palette ($34.00), which contains four large-sized eyeshadows (0.14 oz. each). The eyeshadows included in the palettes are the same size and shadows you can purchase individually. She has three variations available with a total of nine unique shades altogether. Burning Heart includes Flamepoint, Buttercupcake, Love+, and Poison Plum.

  • Flamepoint is is a vibrant matte orange with fierce pigmentation.
  • Buttercupcake is a bright matte yellow. I found the pigmentation on this to be great, but it did feel a little on the powdery side.
  • Love+ is an intense shade of true red with a semi-matte finish. When swatched, I found it really looked more matte, but there is some shimmer/sheen when you look at it in the pan. Awesome pigmentation–very much true-to-color.
  • Poison Plum is a rich violet with a semi-matte finish. Again, like Love+, it has shimmer in the pan, but it’s very subtle when used.

All four eyeshadows are rich, vibrant shades with good pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. These aren’t powdery or chalky–they are very blendable in practice. The eyeshadow pans themselves look to be about the size of Make Up For Ever eyeshadows, for reference. Since the palette is magnetized, these actually can be popped out if you want to rearrange them for travel, too.

The packaging is edgy and fun–it’s exactly what I’d expect from what I know about Amy and her style. What I like is that for a brand that’s debuting, she’s done it right. The packaging is not only true to her style, but it’s quality. It’s printed, designed for the line, and looks good. On the back of the packaging, all of the ingredients are listed for your reference. I would love to see the names of the eyeshadows added to the back of the palette/packaging, though.

The quad itself is a heavy-duty cardboard (whether you dig cardboard or not for packaging is another story) — I myself, prefer plastic/metal packaging because they hold up better — but I haven’t had many issues with cardboard packaging either. Nevertheless, it’s not cheap, flimsy cardboard. I think with normal use, you’re not going to have any issues with the cardboard breaking down much, but you might get a couple of scratches. It’s magnetic, so it’ll stay closed, and inside, there’s a large mirror.

Do not expect Sugarpill to be an ultra affordable line–because the packaging doesn’t reflect cost-cutting and the products themselves are made with quality. I think it’s unfair for a brand (any brand, for that matter) to set low prices just to gain buyers. I think it’s important to set a price that makes sense for your brand, where you want to position yourself, and what kind of audience you want to appeal to. I think $34 for four shades of intensely pigmented eyeshadow (and they’re pretty large-sized pans, to boot) is a good deal.

I’d also like to give major kudos to Sugarpill for putting up some of the most accurate brand-provided swatches I’ve seen.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you love bright eyeshadow, Sugarpill Cosmetics might grab your attention!

Availability: Sugarpill Cosmetics

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Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Beauty on a Budget:  Maybelline Irresistibly Ivy Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Irresistibly Ivy Eyeshadow Quad ($8.49) is a mix of four eyeshadows that can be used together or alone. They’re very soft, slightly powdery shades, so it’s better to use a tapping technique, rather than sweeping/brushing it on a lot. Think less windshield-wiper motions when applying these with a brush. I find that this is just something that holds true for all softer shadows (e.g. Stila and Urban Decay).

Irresistibly Ivy includes a softly shimmered champagne beige; rich, orange-copper with golden shimmer; matte teal with glitter sparkle; and reddened bronze-copper. I found that the orange-copper shade had the best texture and color pay off–very smooth and true-to-color. The teal had a little more of a dusty feel to it, since it’s more of a matte base with shimmer on top.

For drugstore beauty, the pay off is intense and over a good primer (e.g. UDPP), I had no problems with the color popping and staying true. I found minimal fading after eight hours, so they’re not quite as good as some of my favorite eyeshadows, but for the price, they’re an excellent alternative for those on a budget–or would like to try certain colors without shelling out $15+ for one.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you like soft shadows and want something affordable, Maybelline Eye Studio Quads might be up your alley!

Availability: Local drugstores

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Monday, February 15th, 2010

Milani Liquif'eye Liner

Long-lasting Eyeliner on a Budget:  Milani Liquif’Eye

Milani Liquif’Eye Metallic Eye Liner Pencils ($5.49 each) are new for spring and available in five shades: Black, Silver, Gold, Aqua, and Brown. As far as I’m concerned, there is always more room in the world for metallic/chrome eyeliner. These do remind me of L’Oreal HIP Chrome Eyeliners in many ways, though these are a little firmer and more metallic than chrome finish. They’re definitely similar, though.

Liquif’Eye is soft, smooth, and richly pigmented eyeliner. It glides on like my beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Liners and looks just as smooth. I get good wear out of these–no smudging, budging, or migration eight hours later. They don’t look faded either! Surprisingly, they stay well on my waterline, too, for several hours (but I do have a more watery waterline at times), which isn’t something most liners can do for me.

At just $5.49 each, they’re hard to resist. Not only are they excellent in every way–quality, long-lasting liner that is rich in color and smooth in texture–but they’re priced just right. I tried out four of the five shades, and I found each one to be just as good. I hope to see Milani release more shades in the future–how about a green, copper, and violet?

  • Black (#01) is a rich, deep dark black. It’s an absolutely smoldering black that’s truly black–there’s no gray here.
  • Silver (#02) is a bright and shiny silver with a metallic finish.
  • Gold (#03) is a toned down, burnished gold. It’s not a true yellow gold, but it’a step down from that. Little more “antique” gold in it.
  • Aqua (#04) is a bright aqua-blue. It isn’t quite as metallic as either the gold or silver shades, but it still has that metallic sheen.

Even the packaging is anything but cheap.  It’s a matte black that looks and feels sleek.  If you blindfolded me, I couldn’t tell you that these didn’t feel like other high-end eyeliners, like Smashbox and Urban Decay.

Have you tried these yet?

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

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

Recommendation: Next time you’re near a Milani display, these are definitely worth a little look-see.

Availability: Local drugstores, MilaniCosmetics.com

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