Thursday, January 1st, 2009

POP Beauty’s Cat Eyes ($16.00) is an eye crayon that’s angled and shaped to help streamline the cat eye lining process.  It comes in three colors: Black Onyx, Black Dahlia, and Black Olive.  I tried out Black Onyx, because it’s a classic cat eye color, so how could I lose?  I really liked the intensity of the black–it wasn’t super, super black (which I do love when the mood strikes), but for my upper lash line, sometimes a black that’s pigmented and dark, but not ultra rich is much better.  I often want the shadows to stand out, not my liner, so it’s a nice option to have at your disposal.

When it came to actual application, I did find that it helped make the process easier, because of the way the liner was shaped.  It is angled just right, and because it is crayon, you don’t have to worry about dipping a brush into gel liner or going back for more liquid liner.  It’s right there!  I didn’t feel like it went on as smooth as I would like (I had a little skipping), but perhaps if I had warmed the pencil up a bit more, it would have worked better.

If you want a really thin line, this product is probably not for that.  The crayon is thick enough to generate a good cat eye, but you won’t be able to get a very thin and precise line with it, just because it is designed to be a certain thickness.  Otherwise, I think this is a nice way to introduce yourself to the motions of getting the cat eye down pat.  It’s a lot more forgiving than liquid liner, that’s for sure!

In comparison to MAC’s Penultimate Liner, which is supposed to help make lining easier as well, I find this easier to do than Penultimate.  Penultimate is much more like a liquid liner than a pencil liner, so the two have different finishes and will look different in the end.  Penultimate is not as forgiving, and I find it’s all too easy to make an “oops” with it.  But like I said, POP’s is a crayon, so it gives you the look of pencil liner, whereas Penultimate is similar to liquid liner.

See more product photosContinue reading →

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

A little late, but better than never, right? Here are photos and swatches of Laura Mercier’s Master Tool Box ($68.00) that came out for the holiday season. But guess what? You can save 25% with code HOL25 now through January 10th, 2009. So hey, maybe being late WAS a good thing after all ;) The lip palette has Tea Rose, Pink Champagne, Cinnamon, Amaretto and Garnet Lip Colours. The eyeshadow palette contains Morning Dew, Rose, Fresco, Chocolate, Twilight Grey, a mini Black Violet Kohl Eye Pencil.

The palette is very universal–I can see it working on everyone, which is always a good thing to see. I hate when a palette is pretty, but I can’t get it to work for my skin tone! The shadows are smooth, buttery, and the pigmentation is there. The colors look just like they do in the pan; it’s a huge pet peeve of mine when a shadow looks one way in the pan and totally different on the skin or during application. The lip colors are pretty tame, but there is a nice berry shade for holiday parties and winter outings.

See the eyeshadows & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Anastasia Highlighting Brow Kit ($32.00) is a totally new product to get 2009 started off on the right brow, err, I mean foot! ;) The kit consists of a tri-colored baked brow powder as well as a tri-colored baked highlighting powder. The trios are terracotta baked and can be used wet OR dry–using it wet won’t ruin the product like it often does for regular powder products. What’s fun is you can also use these wet for eyeliner in a pinch! Both trios come housed in a sleek silver compact that’s lightweight and small enough to keep in your purse. I found using a stiff angled brush was ideal for getting my brows defined to my specifications, and then any eyeshadow brush works well to highlight just under and above the brow to better accentuate the brow’s shape.

This lovely brow kit doesn’t release until January 29th, 2009 — BUT you can win one of your very own right here at the blog!

To enter:  Leave any comment on this post.  To double your chances, follow us on Twitter (please include your Twitter name in your comment!).  To triple your chances, subscribe to our RSS via e-mail (see the giant RSS button on the right!).

But maybe you want to take a peek inside, first?! :) Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 16th, 2008

Laura Mercier’s Eye Colour Quad in Tuxedo ($38.00) is her latest combination included in the Black Tie Collection, perfect for holiday smoky eyes.  The shadows vary between slight shimmer to matte in finish, while the texture is uniformly smooth and silky.  You get a bright white, shimmer, silvery white highlighter, deep dark gray, and a shimmery black.  I think we both know what to do with this quad–dark, dramatic eyes!  Of course, you can go as dramatic as you want; you can apply the shimmery white shade all over your lid for a subtler look, too.  I love the gray shade, because it’s not black but it isn’t too light either.  Available at Nordstrom.com.

See the inside and swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Anastasia Five Element Brow Kit ($65.00) contains everything you need to keep your brows looking fierce. What I really love about the kit is that it is available in five different shades, ranging from Golden Blonde to Strawburn. This really lets you customize your choice so it best suits your brow color. Each kit comes with Precision Tweezers, Brow Powder Duo, Brow Stencils, Mini Duo Brush #7, and Clear Brow Gel. Oh, and of course, everything is stashed in an adorable pink zip-top bag.  The bag actually has plenty of room, so you stash some of your other makeup or staples in there in a pinch.  Anastasia tweezers are top-notch–great angle and grip so you can get those stubborn hairs out.  I love the stencils for helping you determine what kind of brow shape you love or want.  You can use them to help fill in your brows, but I’ve found that they can be helpful when creating a new shape, too.  Brow gel is nice to set those who have brow hairs that often go wayward (ahem! me!).  A little goes a long way!  If you use too much, it’ll feel crunchy and not at all natural.  I think the only way this kit could be better is if they had some brow scissors, too!

See the kit opened! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

MUD CARES PALETTE ($25.00) is a quad of eyeshadows developed and created by Makeup Designory (you know, the school!).  Not only that, but this palette donates 100% of the proceeds towards building homes for children in Africa who have been orphaned by AIDS.

Palette colors:

Spanish Gold Warm, amber brown

Dulce de Leche Soft brown-based pink

Cashmere Medium beige with coffee warmth

Moss Golden olive green with gold flecks

What really impressed me about the palette was how utterly pigmented each of the colors were.  They really are true-to-color and go on like a dream.  Soft and finely milled with just a touch of shimmer/sheen.  It’s more a sheen than true shimmer, but they’re definitely not matte shadows.  I can really see this palette working for most skin tones and complexions; it just has a good mix of colors that have enough depth to really have fun with.

Plus, MUD offers these tips on using it (how awesome is that?):

Great on all skin tones
Mix Spanish Gold with Moss to create a rich liner
Use a sheer swipe of Cashmere for a touch of warmth
Use Dulce de Leche as a highlight for a dimensional effect
Use with Black Eye Pencil and Black Cream Mascara for a dramatic evening look
Use #330 Shadow Fluff Brush for a brilliant sweep of color on the entire lid
Use #330, #350 or #800 Brush to blend and define the crease
Use the fine sharp angle of #210 Angle Liner Brush to apply along upper and lower lash lines as a liner or to achieve natural hair strokes on eyebrows
Use #810 Smudger Brush to smudge or smoke out eye liner or crease color
Use #320 Shadow Brush to apply to the center of the lid
Use #300 or #350 Brush to blend and highlight the brow bone

See swatches & another product photo… Continue reading →