Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows
Bobbi Brown Chrome Patina, Goldstone, Starry Night Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long Wear Cream Eyeshadows: Chrome Patina, Goldstone, Starry Night

Bobbi Brown Metallic Long-Wearing Cream Eyeshadow ($22.00 for .12 oz.) is a new product launched this September from Bobbi Brown. They’re inspired by and yet a bit of a departure from her classic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadows. They seem to be the same on the surface, but when I played with three of them, I found them to be a bit different.

“With these shadows there’s no need to choose function over style. They’re longwearing and come in the most glamorous, eye-catching shades ever.” – Bobbi Brown

The Metallic Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow is available in eight shades:

  • Antique Gold A deep gold sparkle
  • Black Pearl A medium purple
  • Brown Metal A warm brown sparkle
  • Chrome Patina A golden pewter
  • Goldstone A gold sparkle
  • Mercury A silver sparkle
  • Starry Night A navy blue sparkle
  • Starry Purple A deep purple sparkle

I tried three: Chrome Patina, Goldstone, and Starry Purple. Chrome Patina is a sheer, glittery wash of pewter with gold sparkle. Goldstone is a semi-opaque toned-down gold with a brown cast and brighter gold sparkle. Starry Night is a sheer, glittery navy blue concotion with almost multicolored sparkle.

I’m actually surprised by Bobbi Brown’s introduction of these glittery shadows to her line-up, just because they’re a bit over the top with how glittery they are. I do, however, think they’re fun and will definitely wear them myself, but I can see some avoiding these because the glitter finish feels inappropriate or accentuates signs of aging on the eyes (as frosts and glitters often do).

Sheer or opaque?

It seems like your mileage will vary from shade to shade, because Goldstone had the best finish and pigmentation, going on nearly opaque, while both Chrome Patina and Starry Night were sheerer and therefore the look glitter was emphasized (instead of a more metalized look). I do wish they were more pigmented so they had a much smoother look and were more the metallic finish they’re touted to be than glitter. (I would personally call these Glitter Long-Wearing Eyeshadows from my experience so far.)

How well do they wear?

They wear very well, just like the original Cream Eyeshadows. They are long-wearing and hold up throughout day without smudging, fading, or creasing. I actually wasn’t sure if they would work out, because they feel very wet when you initially apply them, but they do dry down completely and aren’t subject to creasing (even when worn alone). I found it a bit difficult to blend cream shadows on top of this color or with it once it was dry, so you do have to work quickly if you are trying to use cream shadows together. If you just want to layer on powder shadows over the glittery base, there’s no need to be concerned over timing.

Wait — you can wear these as liner, too!

If you aren’t so much a fan of glitter eyeshadow, there is one alternative usage that I actually may find myself using these more for than as shadows — eyeliner!  I think these are excellent to layer over (or for some, worn alone — again, depends on how sheer the shade is) say a fiercely intense black liner for an extra kick.  Ohh!  I’m getting excited just thinking about experimenting now…

Are they worth the price tag?

As far as value goes, Bobbi Brown provides enough product in each pot to make it about as much and priced as I’d expect for the Bobbi Brown product range. Benefit cream eyeshadows are slightly cheaper ($19.00 for .16 oz.), while these are more affordable than NARS cream eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.1 oz.) and less of an investment as shu uemura’s ($30.00 for .17 oz.). Despite the pot feeling and looking small (reminded me of gel liner sizes), it does hold more product than it seems. The packaging is classic Bobbi Brown: clear, glass with a black screw-on lid. It’s hefty, but I don’t mind — I like seeing non-plastic packaging.

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

Recommendation: If you love shimmering glitter, you might love these to layer underneath your eyeshadows or as a quick wash of color (at least, some of the more neutral shades). I definitely recommend checking them out in person and seeing how the shade you’re most interested in swatches, because it may or may not be pigmented enough for your liking.

Availability: Nordstrom, Bobbi Brown

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Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Dolce & Gabbana: Black Crayon Intense Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Black Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00) is an intense black eyeliner with microfine gold glitter. The eyeliner itself is double-ended with the crayon on one side and a smudging sponge brush on the opposite end.

The liner stays on about average as far as my eyes are concerned — lasts for a few hours, doesn’t fade too much as wear extends, and it certainly doesn’t disappear. It doesn’t stay pristine throughout the day, though, unless it is smudged out quite a bit and set with some powder. I liked the intensity of the black color, and the gold glitter is subtle (and surprising) enough that it can work for everyday or to glam up a look in the evening.

For the price tag, I personally would expect better wearing time–at least eight hours of no budging, smudging, or fading. It can handle about four hours, but after that, there is noticeable (though not terrible) migration and fading on the lower lash line. It does wear better on the upper lash line, because it less disturbed and prone to fine lines like the lower lash line is. Because of the glitter, I would not recommend using this on the waterline (so I didn’t).

The eyeliner was not as soft as I would like, either. It wasn’t as creamy and soft as Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, though still harder than Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Eyes liners. I found mine to feel just a bit rougher than I think is necessary in a pencil, though it does allow one to get a more defined, precise line. I would suggest quickly giving it a shot of heat via your blow dryer if you have sensitive lids or find yours particularly hardened.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Unless there was a particularly unique shade amongst D&G’s eyeliners, they’re not the first product I’d recommend from the D&G line. (I’d probably recommend their lipsticks first.)

Availability: Saks

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Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadows for Superior Use & Value

Benefit Velvet Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.11 oz.) are velvety, silky-soft eyeshadows with smooth color that go on effortlessly and blend seamlessly. Seriously, I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with these from the moment I swatched them on my skin. They’re ridiculously soft and exactly as they’re named–velvety. There’s little else that is as suitable to describe it as like velvet. I find that these also blend really easily both within the Benefit brand but with other brands’ shadows, too (always a plus).

Benefit currently has ten shades of their velvet eyeshadow available: Bikini Line (desert sand), Fawn Over Me (cafe au lait), Leggy (pink nude satin), Buckle Bunny (rosa mocha), Rich Beach (brown sugar), Where There’s Smoke (smoky pewter), Dandy Brandy (copper spice), “Gimme Some” Plum (iced plum), Like What You Sea? (misty blue), and I Cannes and I Will (golden mulberry). I’ve only tried six of the ten shades, but I’m comfortable saying that the entire range is worth checking out, because the six I tried were amazing.

  • Bikini Line is a soft, shimmering warm-toned gold. This has my name written ALL over it, duh. I cannot resist a gold eyeshadow to save my life!
  • Rich Beach is a warm-toned bronzy shade with just a bit of gold shimmer.
  • Dandy Brandy is a lightly cool-toned chocolate brown with copper flecks of shimmer.
  • Buckle Bunny is a muted rosy mauve with soft gold sheen.
  • I Cannes & I Will is a plum purple with gold flecks. I really loved this shade, because it has a very unique look to it.
  • Like What You Sea? is a soft, cool-toned silvery-blue with silver sheen.

They’re also really reasonably priced relative to the amount you get. For $14 at MAC, you’ll get 0.05 oz. of eyeshadow, whereas Benefit’s giving you double that for $18. From that perspective, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth with Benefit’s Velvet Eyeshadows!

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

Recommendation: If you’re all about a super soft and silky eyeshadow, these are most definitely for you. I just can’t get over the texture and how soft these are!

Availability: Benefit, Sephora.com

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Sunday, August 23rd, 2009


Tarte Femme Fatale Palette

Tarte: Get Killer Eyes on a Budget

Tarte Femme Fatale Eye Palette ($44.00) is one of two palettes from Tarte’s Fall 2009 Collection.  It’s a refillable eyeshadow palette that contains ten different eyeshadows.  The top row contains:  shimmering blush, iridescent smoke, shimmering violet, shimmering indigo, shimmering onyx; the bottom row contains:  shimmering light gold, shimmering copper-rose, shimmering deep bronze, shimmering jade, shimmering garnet.  It also includes a double-ended eyeliner and double-ended brush.

Now, I’m going to give you my take on the top row’s shades:  a soft, buttery semi-matte pale dusty pink; a frosty, icy silver with pink pearl; a deep red-tone purple with magenta; a dark navy blue with gray; and a gray-black with light sheen.  The second row’s shades:  a soft, semi-sheer peach with a buttery feel; a peach-toned copper with a frost finish; a warm-toned golden caramel brown; a muted teal with gray-blue; and a rich, deeply pigmented burgundy-black with purple flecks.

I found all ten shades to have a soft, smooth texture and all of them had decent to great pigmentation.  The only two that has slightly less pigmentation were the first shades in each of the rows–which I’d attribute more to them being softer shades overall, and thus just not appearing as pigmented as the other eight shades.  It’s an interesting mix of colors, and I can definitely see several combinations just jump out at me, which is something in its favor.

It’s actually a very value-heavy palette, because each shadow is 1.75g/0.06 oz.–which is more than a single, standalone MAC eyeshadow (which is 1.5g/0.06 oz.)!  If it’s cheaper than MAC, it’s pretty much going to be a better deal than most other high-end brands, too.  It’s actually great to see a palette that gives you plenty of product while pricing it right.

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

Recommendation:  Palette lovers, rejoice!  Value, pigmentation, and usability combine to make this a very worthwhile palette.  I personally didn’t love the packaging, but it’s such a minor point when what’s inside is so good!

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Bobbi Brown Goes Green for Fall, Take 2

Bobbi Brown Forest Shimmer Ink Gel Eyeliner ($21.00) is a new shade as part of Bobbi Brown’s Ivy League Collection.  Forest Shimmer Ink is a deep, olive-brown green with soft golden-olive shimmer.  It’s a very dark green-brown, and it is not lat all forest green to me (which is a bit brighter, more fervently green).  The addition of brown to the green makes it incredibly wearable, even to the office.  It has good pigmentation, goes on smooth and creamy, and then dries down and lasts me all day (on the lower lash line–not the waterline).

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

Recommendation:  For gel liner fans, this is an excellent shade to add to your stash.  It goes well with other greens, but it works with golds and browns, too, making it a versatile shade.  It even works well as a base — particularly under greens to give them a little more oomph!

Availability: Nordstrom, BobbiBrownCosmetics.com

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Friday, August 21st, 2009

Bobbi Brown Goes Green for Fall

Bobbi Brown Bash Metallic Eyeshadow ($20.00) is one of three eyeshadows featured as part of Bobbi Brown’s Ivy League Collection for the fall season.  Bash is a glimmering shade of deep forest green with gold-green flecks of shimmer sheen.

The shade itself has a metallic-frost sheen, and the color is intense without being too bold or dark (and thus looking more black-green than like a green).  It’s even prettier when layered over Forest Shimmer Ink Gel Eyeliner, actually!  It turns it into a darker, fiercer green.

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

Recommendation:  If you’re a green fiend like I am, this is definitely a must-have forest green.  It’s vivid without leaning too green nor too black, and it has just enough shimmer and gold sheen to make it easy to blend and use.

Availability: Nordstrom, BobbiBrownCosmetics.com

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