Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Urban Decay Show Pony Shadow Box ($30.00) contains six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows, a miniature sized Primer Potion (0.13 fl.oz.), and miniature sized Zero 24/7 Eye Pencil (0.03 oz.).

The palette contains…

  • Snatch is a peachy-pink champagne kind of shade.  It reminded me a bit of MAC’s Say Yeah eyeshadow, which was limited edition from eons ago.  I felt like Snatch was very glittery, though, so fall out may be a concern for some.  It didn’t feel as gritty as Midnight Cowboy Rides Again from their Book of Shadows, Vol. II.
  • Mildew is a medium-dark forest green with golden green shimmer weaved through it.  It’s very pretty, and it’s perfect for the fall.
  • Flash is a bright, cool-toned violet purple with an icy purple sheen.
  • Painkiller is a bright, lightened blue-based teal with a silvery sheen.  It reminded me a bit of Flipside 24/7 Eye Pencil.
  • Smog is a neutral-warm bronzy brown.  It’s pretty, but you may already have something like it in your stash.  It’s a good kind of shade to own, as it makes for a wonderful smoked out neutral eye.
  • Toasted is a cool-toned taupe brown with softer brown shimmer.

This palette contains some nice shades, and only one of them (Snatch) had a texture that left something to be desired.  The other five were soft and went on very pigmented.  While I like the shades, I don’t think this is the most original combination of colors, and I’m not sure if you’d find it hard to create color combinations within just these six.  I can definitely spot a few, but you’ll need to use a separate highlighter–Snatch is a bit too pigmented and glittery to serve as really a choice highlighter.  In a pinch, you could work it in, though.

Between this and the Book of Shadows, I’d opt for the Book of Shadows.  It’s pricier ($18 more), but you’ll get more shadows, more color combinations, and more use out of it, per my opinion.  I do like that it does come with a miniature UDPP – great for travel.  I personally have so many miniature sized Zeros that I don’t know if I’ll ever run out of Zero, so maybe a fun colored liner would have been nice to include in it.

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

Recommendation:  If you’re a fan of Urban Decay’s palettes, this is a cute little set, but make sure you have a separate highlighter on hand.

Availability: Urban Decay

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner ($18.00 for 0.25 fl. oz.) is a glitter eyeliner with colored glitter suspended in a clear base.  Uncapped and you’ll find a thin eyeliner brush attached (much like the typical liquid liner).  There are currently eleven shades available–from fuchsia to blue to iridescent.

Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner

  • Catfight is a deep fuchsia-pink.
  • Groupie is a pale, muted pink–very muted.
  • Baked is a deep golden-toned brown.
  • Midnight Cowboy is a silvery taupe brown.
  • Spandex is a multi-colored array of blue and gold and brown glitter.  (Looks absolutely nothing like it does in the tube–the rest do.)
  • Air Guitar is a slightly lightened medium blue.
  • Stagedive is a blue-based teal.
  • Mullet is a slightly olive-toned green.
  • Metalhead is a medium dark violet purple.
  • Glam Rock is a medium silvery-gray.
  • Distortion is a whitish, iridescent mix of multi-colored and pink glitter.

What I like using these glitter eyeliners for is to layer over Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners (or any liner, really–they just coordinate well with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners).  Alone, they’re just so-so, because the clear base makes them apply kind of sketchy. They can also be used over eyeshadow, too, for the same kind of effect.

In the swatches, you’ll see how it’s not a very clear, even or defined line of glitter.  When you use it over a liner, it works much better, because you get the sparkle of the glitter, but the colored liner fills in any gaps so the glitter actually pops.

I think I’d love these more if they had colored bases as well, just because it’d be more of a two-in-one and require a little less effort on my part.  They just may make excellent, super glittery bases if they were in a colored base, too… Hm!  Nevertheless, they were designed to have a clear base, so I won’t knock the product because my preference is different.  It’s much like Urban Decay describes, and I love the range of shades they have.

Oh!  One more idea, Urban Decay, how about a holiday set of miniature sized versions of these?  Would be awesome methinks!

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Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection

Chanel Les Folie Noirs Eyeshadow Quad ($60.00) is from Chanel Noirs Obscurs Collection.  ( Be sure to check out reviews on the limited edition nail polishes and lipsticks, too!)  It’s a limited edition eyeshadow quad with each shade being embellished with the brand’s signature logo in black.

While I was impressed by the new Rouge Allure lipsticks and Le Vernis shades, the eyeshadow quad was a disappointment.  In fact, I had to let my disappointment simmer a bit in case I was too harsh/expected too much.  I do not recommend this eyeshadow quad unless you’re a Chanel collector–then you’re not really looking to use it so much as own it as a collector.

If you actually want to use it, the shades are poorly pigmented, go on unevenly, and just overall, look mediocre–even with a sponge applicator.  (Swatching with a brush always gives the least amount of pigmentation, whereas swatching with a sponge applicator usually yields the most.)   The swatches included in this post are with a sponge applicator, for your reference.

The dark brown shade (top left) goes on extremely sheerly and almost looks chalky on my skin.  The color itself is a cool-toned dark brown.  Next to it is a dark forest green with a slight bit of shimmer.  This one swatched better and had so-so pigmentation (just not quite as intense as I’d like).  On the bottom right, there’s a muted, dark navy blue with subtle navy shimmer.  This also swatched decently, though not quite as well as the green.  The last shade is a slightly warmed-up medium chocolate brown that isn’t as sheer as the other brown in the quad, but it’s still quite faded when swatched.

Ultimately, if you use a sponge applicator (or even use this product wet) and layer on the color–and I do mean layer–you may find this works well for a range of smoky eyes.  For me, at the price tag, I expect well-pigmented eyeshadows that feel soft, silky, and require minimal effort to work into my eyeshadow wardrobe.

Chanel, I love you, but this one is a miss for me!

  • Product: 16/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  Skip this — opt for a permanent Chanel eyeshadow quad if you’re in the market for eyeshadow or else sneak a peek at the limited edition Rouge Allure Lipsticks!

Availability:  October/November 2009

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
MAC Greasepaint Sticks: V, B, Black

MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Greasepaint Stick & Feline Kohl Power

MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes three shades of Greasepaint Sticks and repromotion of Feline kohl power.

Greasepaint Stick

  • B is a deep, dark navy blue with lighter blue shimmer and a metallic sheen.
  • V is a deep, dark purple-violet with lighter purple shimmer and a metallic sheen.
  • Black is a dark black-purple with a violet cast and shimmer that’s more noticeable when swatched than when used as a liner.

Kohl Power

  • Feline is an intense, richly pigmented black liner that goes on incredibly dark. One of my favorite black liners!

Per my review of the Greasepaint Stick from Style Black, I haven’t yet found these to be rockin’ my world yet. They migrate on my lower lash line quite a bit – kind of smudgy and creasing on the lower lash line. It’s great that I can smudge the product when I’m applying it, but after I smudge it, I expect it to stay put!

On the water line, it holds up better, but it seems to aggravate my eyes, so I think I’m too sensitive to wear it on my water line. I wish the Black Greasepaint Stick was actually a true black, particularly since V exists so soon after the original release. The Greasepaint Sticks can be a bit thick to work with, so you may find yourself using a separate brush to apply this product in thinner, more precise lines. They feel a bit like a shadestick to me, actually.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: If you like shadesticks, you may find these to be great bases for darker looks!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Sunday, September 27th, 2009


Roach, Gash, Lucky, Shattered, Acid Rain

Urban Decay Liquid Liner ($18.00) is available in a slew of shades in a cute inkwell-like pot. There are fourteen shades to choose from, from purple to black to red.

  • Roach is a reddish-toned dark brown with a metallic finish.
  • Gash is a deep red with just a touch of brown.
  • Lucky is a coppery medium-dark brown.
  • Shattered is a medium-dark grassy green with some antique gold thrown in.
  • Acid Rain is a bright pop of chartreuse green.

Urban Decay’s Liquid Liners are incredibly long-wearing, smudge-proof, budge-proof, and nearly waterproof. Once dry (takes a few seconds, but it doesn’t take long), the liner doesn’t budge at all. You can move it around before it dries, but once it sets, good luck with that! All of the ones I have give off a bit of a metallic sheen even when dry, which is something I personally like. The formula is really great for those who need their liner to stay in place without a lot of fuss. I love that these don’t fade even a little bit after twelve hours of wear. I also love the shade variety — you can’t always find red or bright green liquid liners!

The packaging is so-so; the inkwell design is cute, but it’s not space-saving. It also doesn’t make these as portable as they could be if they were in the more traditional liquid liner tube packaging (I heard that it used to be, actually!). The brush included could probably be a little finer, a little tighter, but it gets the job done with some practice. If you’re not planning to take these on-the-go, a separate eyeliner brush is a better bet. I like either 208 or 209 by MAC myself for these. I will say that the included brush does feel quite comfortable in my hand, even if the brush itself could be improved upon.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’re looking for richly pigmented liquid liners, Urban Decay has you covered!

Availability: Sephora

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Friday, September 25th, 2009

Urban Decay Book of Shadows, Vol. 2

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. II ($48.00) is the second installation in the Book of Shadows eyeshadow palette series. It is also part of Urban Decay’s holiday offerings. You can view my review on last year’s Book of Shadows for comparison, as well.

First, the palette includes sixteen eyeshadows. The new and exclusive shades are AC/DC, Nylon, Mushroom, Sphynx, Jinx, Homegrown, Misdemeanor, and Perversion. The existing shades are Sellout, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Twice Baked, Half Baked, Flipside, and YDK. Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz., compared to single eyeshadows that are 0.05 oz. and retail for $16.00 and the deluxe eyeshadows that are 0.09 oz. for $18.00. All of the existing shades are single eyeshadows (not deluxe), so it’s best to compare to that.  Just to put it in perspective, by the ounce, these are about half the price (by ounce!) as the full-sized versions.

Shade Breakdown

  • Perversion is a nearly matte charcoal black with just a tiny dust of silver sparkle. (I know Urban Decay says it’s matte, but it seemed like it had some sparkle to it every time I looked at it.) This shade was also included in last year’s palette.
  • Gunmetal is a frosty, silvery-gray with lighter silver sparkle.
  • Ecstasy is a shimmery cool-toned medium purple with lighter pinky-purple shimmer.
  • AC/DC is a burgundyish-plum with a dirty silver sheen.
  • Nylon is a medium bronzy-brown with softer bronze shimmer and has a frosty finish.
  • Sellout is a frosty, intensely pigmented champagne-nude. I really liked the color pigmentation of this shade in particular, and it felt very, very smooth.
  • Mushroom is a dark, cool-toned taupe-y brown with cool bronze shimmer. This is sort of similar to the cream eyeshadow of the same name.
  • Sphynx is a lightly brightened cotton candy pink with an icier pink sheen.
  • Half Baked is a coppery bronze with a golden bronze metallic sheen and shimmer.
  • Twice Baked is a dark, semi-matte chocolate brown with just a light dusting of bronze.
  • Midnight Cowboy Rides Again is a glittery confection of light taupe brown and champagne. This eyeshadow had the worst texture of the bunch — very gritty, very glittery.
  • YDK is a medium-toned cool-toned brown with a reddish tone and a frost finish.
  • Jinx is a bright, medium freshwater blue that goes on very pigmented and smooth.
  • Flipside is a green-teal, mermaid-esque shade with a frost finish.
  • Homegrown is a bright, grassy green with a golden-green sheen.
  • Misdemeanor is a dark, blue-green shade that is reminiscent of peacock feathers with a soft, green micro-shimmer.

At first glance, I thought the two palettes were too similar for my liking, but after comparing them side-by-side, that was definitely not the case. The only repeated shade is Perversion, but otherwise, the shades are different. Some of the shades themselves are similar, but there are no obvious repeats. I always like Urban Decay’s palettes, because they are always high on value and variety. I like being able to try out a bunch of shades without having to actually purchase all of those individual shades (particularly since it’s very hard for me to finish an eyeshadow, so I don’t actually need a whole pot of it!).

I also like that Urban Decay mixes about half in new shades and half in existing shades. With sixteen shades in total, there are many different eyeshadow combinations one could come up with within this palette. I will say I wish Urban Decay had a better highlighter shade included in this palette or found elsewhere in this, because the closest we come is Sellout, which has a very high metallic/frost finish so it can be garish on the brow bone at times. I could also go with seeing a few matte or semi-matte shades for more texture variety.

These are all minor complaints, mind you, because for the price, it’s a great deal whether you want to travel with it or just use it at home. (If you’re using it at home, the highlight and matte complaints are worthless — just mix it with products you already have.)

The shades are well-pigmented, smooth, and nearly all of them have a frost/shimmer finish. (If you don’t dig that, you won’t dig this.) The only shade I had any real issue with was Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, because it is extremely glittery, so it has fall out issues. Otherwise, the shades were impressive, and clearly there is a lot of color to play around with in this palette. This makes a great gift for yourself or a friend, too.

The packaging is just so-so; I found last year’s packaging prettier and more cohesive. I found both palettes to be a little bulky, and I wouldn’t mind something that just open and shut, rather than pulling out a drawer of eyeshadows. The inclusion of a miniature sized UDPP as well as Zero and Bourbon eyeliners is just icing on the cake–all three are handy in application and for travel.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you’ve always wanted to try Urban Decay eyeshadows, their palettes are always a choice way to do so. You get great value and good variety!

Availability: Urban Decay

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