Monday, January 25th, 2010

Tarte Flower Child Eyeshadow Palette for Spring 2010

Tarte for Spring 2010:  Flower Child Palette

Tarte Flower Child Natural Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00) is a new spring-styled palette from Tarte. It seems like every season, Tarte has a new eyeshadow palette up their sleeves. The Flower Child palette is in the same vein; it includes ten eyeshadows housed in a purple-covered case (kind of like a patent material) with flowers sprouting out on top (sorry, no photo).

Inspired by the rich earthen hues from which their pure color pigments are harvested and this Spring’s runway and red carpet trends, Tina’s interpretation of tarte’s best-selling eyeshadow palette combines saturated pigments with subtle pops of color. Versatile and artistic, this palette seamlessly transitions between day and night thanks to a wide variety of tones ranging from delicate to robust. This harmonious balance of shades ingeniously captures the expressiveness of the eyes no matter the look.

Eyeshadows

  • Soft Daffodil is a lightly shimmered peach. It’s hard to see on my skin tone, but it’s a very pretty shade to use with a neutral or softer look.
  • Ecru Hibiscus is a pink champagne. It may not seem ultra pigmented to the eye, but it’s designed to be softer shade — this is something you could use as a highlighter or as a wash. I think it’s just pigmented enough to do what it should.
  • Pink Peony is a brightened up blue-based pink. It was a little powdery when I played with it and looked sheerer when swatched than I’d have liked it to be. Even though it’s supposed to have shimmer, it seemed very minute to me.
  • Gray Periwinkle is a silvered gray with a light shimmer sheen (but it’s truly quite faint). I didn’t see any periwinkle in this, though. This shade was decently pigmented relative to the rest of the shades in the palette.
  • Peach Tulip is a coppery bronze that goes on very smooth and looks rich. This one is very pigmented, but it looks absolutely nothing like a peach or tulip. This seems like a better fit for the name “Firewheel” (while Firewheel seems a better fit for Peach Tulip).
  • Firewheel is a peachy melon with a soft gold sheen. This is a played down, more pinked melon than MAC’s Melon pigment. I always gravitate towards these kinds of shades! This applied very smooth and pigmented.
  • Buttercup is a slightly warmed-up soft brown with a matte finish. It’s soft, but it’s a little on the sheerer side and can look a bit faded.
  • African Violet is a darkened purple with red undertones with a light shimmer sheen. It’s decently pigmented, though not intense.
  • Delphinium Blue is a powdery navy blue. This was the sheerest and most powdery shade of the ten eyeshadows–it just wasn’t very pigmented or smooth.
  • Vibrant Forest Grass is a darkened cool-toned green with a soft shimmer finish. I think the name is a little off — it’s not vibrant (just pigmented, but not intensely so), but it is like a forest green, I suppose.

Also included in the palette is a double-sided eyeliner that has a dark brown on one side and a lightly shimmered darkened teal on the other; a double-sided brush (yes, a brush–no sponge tip applicators here!), and a miniature-sized Natural Eye Primer. The Eye Primer doesn’t actually fit inside the palette, though, so it’s not as functional as it could be. (It comes in a plastic holder that hangs off of the side.)

All of the eyeshadows are full-sized and magnetized so you can remove them if you want, refill with other Tarte eyeshadows as needed, and so on. I really do like that, because it means you are getting a great deal for your money, but it means you can always slot in another shade if you happen to finish one of these!

Bottom Line: It’s a solid palette, but it’s definitely on the sheerer/softer side of the eyeshadow spectrum. The colors do fit well with the season, as it gives me a spring feeling. The palette itself holds excellent value as you get ten full-sized eyeshadows for $44 (as opposed to $10 a pop, not that you can purchase these shades individually, though). I think some of the shades could have used some more pigmentation, particularly the deeper shades, but it’s a decent palette overall.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For a real value-loaded palette, Tarte’s Flower Child offers several soft shades for the spring season.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Eyeshadow Palette

I purchased the palette online at Urban Decay on Friday, and it finally arrived here to me in California (they ship out from Florida, FYI!). For those interested in picking one up for themselves, both U.S. and Canadian Sephoras are taking phone orders. I know the U.S. number is 1-877-SEPHORA. Last I heard, Sephora would have it online around the 26th and retails for $52.

In the Book of Shadows, Alice in Wonderland style, you get sixteen eyeshadows, each weighing 0.03 oz. You also receive a miniaturized Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.) and two miniaturized 24/7 eye pencils (0.3 oz.) in Zero and Flipside.

It is important to note that the eyeshadows included in the palette are not new shades; they’re existing/previous shades re-named to fit in the Alice in Wonderland theme. That being said, if you own Urban Decay’s Ammo, Book of Shadows Vol. I/Vol. II, or the Sustainable Palettes, you may already own the majority of the shadows in the Alice in Wonderland kit.  Below is a shadow-by-shadow review with the real-name of the eyeshadow in parentheses (for your reference).

Eyeshadows

  • Underland (Flash) is a bright, cool-toned medium purple with an icy lilac shimmer. It’s soft, smooth, and richly pigmented.
  • Alice (Painkiller) is a bright aqua-blue with an icy sheen. Like Underland, it’s smooth, silky soft, and has lots of pigment to it.
  • Oraculum (Baked) is a warmed-up copper with a softer copper sheen. Smooth, soft, well-pigmented. I do find this one has a bit of a frostier finish than some of the other shades.
  • Queen (Last Call) is a reddened eggplant with a burgundy edge. It has a frost-like sheen, but it is smooth and pigmented.
  • Chessur (Chopper) is a cooler-toned, not nearly as bright, copper shade. It has the same soft texture as the majority of Urban Decay’s shadows, but it has silverish glitter particles that may contribute to some fall out in practice.
  • White Rabbit (Polyester Bride) is a gently yellowed white (though still, very white) with a white-gold sheen. Like Chessur, it also has some glitter to it, so it’s not quite my favorite texture.
  • Wonderland (Maui Wowie) is a tarnished gold, maybe an antique gold, but not quite so dark. It has a golden bronze sheen to it. It’s pigmented and smooth, but it also has a few glitter particles (though I think this is one of the more manageable glitter-based shades in the bunch).
  • Curiouser (Grifter) is a lightened fuchsia-purple with icy purple sheen. It also has silverish glitter particles in it, which may lead to fall out. This is one of the lesser pigmented shades, though it still has decent color pay off.
  • Muchness (X) is a peachy-melon with a gold sheen. It almost has a little mauve to it, in certain lighting. It reminded me of MAC’s Melon pigment quite a bit. This has a frosty finish, but it doesn’t have the glitter, so it’s smooth and easier to work with.
  • Mushroom (Mushroom) is a taupe brown with kind of a silvery sheen and shimmer. It’s not quite as rich as some of the other shades, but it can be layered for a more intense look. (Don’t get me wrong, it has nice pigmentation–just not as intense as the other shades in this palette.)
  • Midnight Tea Party (Midnight Cowboy Rides Again) is a flushed champagne with silver/gold glitter particles. This is quite possibly my least favorite Urban Decay eyeshadow. It is a pain in the behind to work with, because the glitter fall out is pretty insane. It’s a shame, because the color itself is pretty, but the glitter means “No, thank you!” for me.
  • Vorapal (S&M) is a neutral, slightly cooled down silver with a brighter silver sheen. Smooth and pigmented.
  • Absolem (Homegrown) is a grassy green with a golden shimmered sheen. Very pigmented and true-to-color.
  • Drink Me, Eat Me (Sin) is a pinked champagne with a bright, frosty sheen. It’s like a pinker version of Midnight Tea Party–and sans all the glittery fall out.
  • Mad Hatter (Twice Baked) is a lightly glittered dark brown with warm undertones. I don’t remember Twice Baked behing so lagging in pigment, but I really had to layer this one on to get a decent evenness. It gave me some drag and a faded look.
  • Jabberwocky (Oil Slick) is a dark black base with icy blue and silver glitter. While not as prone to fall out as Midnight Tea Party, it’s still one of the glittery shades that may lead to some fall out while applying it.

Bottom Line: From the beginning, I’ve been a little disappointed that Urban Decay didn’t create some new shades for this palette, in light of the partnership between them and Alice in Wonderland. The names are certainly excellent and totally work with the theme, but I would have appreciated (and just loved to have seen!) brand new shades.

I like the shades and palette overall, but I think I already own the majority in various other palettes, too, so I’ll probably end up passing this on to my sister after I do some looks with it (well, hopefully!). I’m not a huge fan of Urban Decay’s more glittery shades (of which there are six, with one being exceptionally hard to work with) and tend to prefer their smoother shades.  I think the palette could have done with a few matte or semi-matte shades, too, just to break up the frost and shimmer.

The packaging is very cohesive, and it looks good.  It fits with the theme, but I think they put it together quite nicely.  My lid won’t stay open, so it being used as a mirror is not happening as of yet.  Since the theme, while well-done, isn’t a driver for me though, I probably would have passed on this palette under normal circumstances.  It’s a better buy if you are looking to try a bunch of Urban Decay eyeshadows without investing in singles; it’s definitely a value palette if that’s the case!

Love it or hate it?

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: 5/5

Recommendation: If you’re a big Alice in Wonderland fan, or really like cute packaging, you may want to place you order sooner rather than later. OR if you’ve always wanted to try out UD shadows (but don’t have any/just a few).

Availability: Sephora (TBA)

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Drugstore Treats from Maybelline’s Eye Studio Collection

Maybelline Eye Studio Give Me Gold Color Plush Silk Eyeshadows ($9.99) may be a mouthful to say, but it’s a surprising treat to be found at your local drugstore. Each of the Color Plush Silk Eyeshadows can be found in a palette with four shades in each, and there are twelve different varieties currently on the market.

I’m often left wanting more from mass makeup, but Maybelline really knocked it out of the park with their Eye Studio collection. (I’ll be reviewing two shades of the Marbleized Eyeshadows and Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliners later this week!) I’m a tough one to impress when it comes to “drugstore makeup,” and I’m just really glad I had the opportunity to try these so I could share a new find with you.

Give Me Gold includes four shades: a silky champagne-white, a yellow gold with shimmer, a copper-bronze with gold shimmer, and a chocolate brown with a little bit of gold shimmer. I particularly liked this palette because the shades really work well together; they complement and you can get some nice neutral-ish eyeshadow combinations out of it. I’m pleased to report that all four of the shades were well-pigmented, felt soft to the touch, and applied very smoothly.

The only real downside to this palette was the packaging, which looks so-so, but it does feel a little cheap and flimsy. It may not last if you carry it around in your makeup bag on a daily basis, but if you just take it with you for travel from time to time (and leave it at home most of the time), I think it’ll be fine. I found the cover of this one snapped off, but I was able to snap it right back on.

Other than the packaging not wow-ing me, I’m pleased. The product itself is the most important part, and it was standout. Definitely some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried from a drugstore beauty brand. You can definitely expect a look from me in the next day or two with these!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for eyeshadow on a budget, Maybelline’s new Eye Studio palettes may be just right!

Availability: Maybelline, Target

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Beautiful, Glittering Eyes with Stila’s Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Stila Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00) is a mysteriously glittering, shimmering palette. When I saw the promotional images for the palette, I was definitely curious — who doesn’t love some glitter? (OK, I know a few of you don’t, but shh!)

I find myself at a loss as to how exactly to describe the texture and feel of these eyeshadows. They feel almost wet, but not really creamy and certainly not powdery. They apply fairly sheerly when used, though they can be layered for a slightly more intense look.

Since it has a bit of a creamy feel (but it’s sooo not a cream shadow!), I patted the Golden Topaz shade all over my lid, just to see what kind of fall out we were looking for. I wasn’t even concerned about staying power, because it wasn’t over a base, so I expected it to crease. Well, it didn’t. It didn’t crease after just having patted it on my lid for over an hour. There was also very, very minimal fall out (like I saw three or four sparkles). Typically, I find myself having to strategically apply foundation over glittery bits and doing all sorts of tricks to make sure my undereye area isn’t more sparkly than my eyelid.

  • Golden Topaz is a soft peachy-brown with champagne shimmer/glitter.
  • Amethyst is a medium dark purple with red undertones and soft golden glitter.
  • Black Diamond is black with silver glitter.
  • Rose Quartz is a light-medium rosy pink with silver glitter.

I was pleasantly surprised at Stila’s newest palette for the spring season. I just wasn’t expecting it to knock my socks off, and I admit I was totally expecting the glitter to fall everywhere. But you know what’s REALLY awesome about this? It looked like my lids were wet. The color really does look like shimmering water. Gorgeous!

Now, I just hope they’ll release another one of these, but with vibrant jewel-tones… say a deep blue, mermaid teal…

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 glitter and have always wanted glitter that looks like reflecting water… you have to check this out!

Availability: Sephora, Stila

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Friday, January 15th, 2010

MAC Pop Colour Collection

MAC “Pop Colour” Collection:  Review, Photos, Swatches

Debuting today in-store are eight eyeshadow shades, permanent extensions to the freestanding and PRO store eyeshadow ranges. They will only be available in limited quantity and duration at counters (department stores), though. They’re also available online and should be online for as long as they’re permanent (think of online as much like a freestanding store). These are, thus, available in palette form when you purchase through freestanding/PRO stores or through the MAC website. Four shades were already PRO shades, two were previously limited edition shades, and two are brand new.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-have: Lucky Green, Atlantic Blue, Winkle

Nice-to-have: Free to Be, Vibrant Grape

Skip:

I found the texture and pay off to be pretty good across the board. The mattes tended to needed two or three layers to build up the intensity and make them smooth without a proper base, but since I’ve owned a few of these previously, I can say they work well in practice. I don’t think any of them are poor in quality to merit skipping them based on that; it comes down to whether or not you like a particular shade (e.g. I don’t know if I’m going to love Goldenrod on me). Sunny Spot is the only one of the eight that has a similar shade already in the permanent line (Bitter), but it’s not a dead-on dupe.

Eyeshadows

  • Red Brick is a brick red — that’s really what it is. It’s an orange-y red with a matte finish. It can be pigmented, but it requires building up the intensity and/or a good base. Red Brick has been a PRO color for as long as I can remember. As far as I know, it is pretty much the closest to red eyeshadow I’ve seen from MAC (with the exception of Mi’Lady mineralize eyeshadow).
  • Free to Be is a satin-y coral-pink. It can go on pink, or it can go on more coral; it will depend on what you use it with or your natural skin tone. Thanks to Sarah, she pointed out that the Free to Be from 2005 is actually a dusky gray-green. It is also going to be released as a limited edition shade (and in special packaging) in Give Me Liberty of London in March, as the description is a coral matte (fits).
  • Goldenrod is a brightened golden yellow with a little orange thrown in. It’s much darker and more orange than Chrome Yellow. Like Red Brick, I can’t remember when this wasn’t at PRO.
  • Lucky Green is a golden shimmered yellow-based green. This is one of my all-time favorite shades by MAC, and I’m really happy to see it become part of the permanent range. It was originally released with Belle Azure (2005). It has an amazing texture and goes on so smooth and pigmented, but it is a veluxe pearl, so I’ve come to expect that from my VPs! You can looks I’ve done with it here.
  • Sunny Spot is a matte textured chartreuse shade. It’s a very yellowed green. It’s decently pigmented (more so than similar permanent shade Bitter–also yellower, by the by), but I’d have rather seen Sour Lemon from the PRO line (though that isn’t matte, to be fair). This is one of two brand spankin’ new shades to debut at both freestanding and PRO stores as an extension of the permanent line.
  • Vibrant Grape is a medium dark reddened purple.   This one definitely needs a base underneath it to go on smoothly.  I’ve used it in practice, so I can tell you it’s easier to use than it is to swatch.  It’s been a PRO shade for sometime now, but it will now be permanent at freestanding stores in addition to PRO stores. It was also released in limited edition packaging in Style Warriors last year. And if you’re looking for ideas on how to wear, we have a Look Book for it! You can see the original launch images here. You can see a look with it here.
  • Atlantic Blue is a gorgeous shade of deep ocean blue with kind of a violet twist to it (because it’s not just plain ol’ blue, nor is it a navy blue). I love this shade, and I really love that it’s matte. Works excellently in the crease! This was originally part of the PRO line, but it is now permanent at freestanding stores, too. Check out a few reader-submitted ideas on how to use this shade in our Look Book.  Here are a few looks I’ve done with it: here, here, here.
  • Winkle is a softened sky blue with an edge of periwinkle. It’s not quite periwinkle (not nearly enough purple), but it’s not quite a true sky blue either (check out the PRO shade Sky Blue if that’s what you’re looking for). This is the second of the two brand new shades.

Any favorites for you? What are you getting? (Or not getting?)

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Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Weekend Quickies:  Carnival Lights, Lancome Cream Shadows, Philosophy Holiday Shower Gels

Here are some products I’ve tried in the past few months with reviews done all quick-style ;)

  • China Glaze Carnival Lights Nail Lacquer ($3.50) has a medium pink jelly base with silver micro-glitter and larger silver hexagonal glitter. It doesn’t go opaque on my nail, as you can still see the tip of it a bit. Above is two coats.
  • Lancome ‘Color Design’ Cream Eyeshadow ($22.00) came in three shades: Garter Belt (deep burgundy with red shimmer), Haute Smoke (soft taupe brown with multicolored shimmer), and Pink Lace (a milky pale pink). These lasted on my lids well (until I took it off, so about eight hours or so), though they are advertised to last for sixteen hours (I don’t think I usually wear my makeup for much more than eight hours!).
  • Philosophy Candy Cane Shower Gel ($16.00) smells exactly as advertised — like the peppermint-y candy canes of the holiday season. Lathers up quite well, as the rest of their shower gels do.
  • Philosophy Have a Cherry Christmas Shower Gel ($16.00) lathers up nicely and smells like slightly sweetened cherries that still have that tartness to them. The Muse has a more in-depth review if you’re curious. I love me some Philosophy Shower Gels, but how many times can I tell you that? Ha! ;)

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