Monday, July 11th, 2011


Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

This post is going to look at six of the fifteen eyeshadows (and the second post will look at the other nine). With the server issues we have had today, it’s even more essential than normal that I split the photos (50!) over two posts to make things more manageable. The review (and rating), however, encompasses the entire palette.

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 15 x 0.05 oz.) includes fifteen brand new, never-before-seen shades in a limited edition palette. These shades are: Midnight Rodeo (brown pearl with silver), Tainted (pale matte purple with golden shimmer), Deeper (deep shimmery golden brown), Midnight 15 (oyster pearl with silver glitter), Junkshow (metallic bright pink with slight blue shift), MIA (dark velvet brown), Vanilla (creamy white gold), Omen (metallic bright purple with blue shift), Ace (dark gunmetal), Flow (soft peach shimmer), Evidence (deep metallic blue), Blackout (darkest, must saturated black), Chase (bright bronze), Deep End (bright teal), and Half Truth (deep greyish purple). It will be available on urbandecay.com beginning July 12th, and it will make its way to other retailers like beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, and Ulta in July/August. I do not have any specific dates for other retailers at this time.

  • Midnight Rodeo is a sparkly taupe brown. It does have glitter, but it’s subtle and doesn’t seem as large as Urban Decay’s other glitter-finished eyeshadows. I thought Toasted might be similar, but it’s not–much browner, less of a taupe. theBalm Insane Jane is grayer (more cool-toned), while Inglot #402 is nearly indistinguishable from Midnight Rodeo.
  • Tainted is a pinked lavender with a subtle golden sheen. I found this one a little powdery–almost too blendable (where it sheers out when you make any move to blend it)–and the sheen and lavender color don’t bind together entirely. It’s ridiculously more pigmented and leans more on the purple side compared to MAC Boy Crazy. Lancome Amethyst Glam palette has a shade that’s similar but purpler. MAC Lotusland is similar but seems a bit lighter.
  • Deeper is a chocolate bronze with a subtle golden sheen. It is a warmer, lighter version of Urban Decay Darkhorse, darker and less warm Urban Decay Smog–almost like the two had a baby.
  • Midnight 15 is a soft champagne with a hint of gray and frosted finish. There is a subtle amount of glitter which has a touch of fall out. Initially, I thought it might be similar to Urban Decay Virgin, but it’s grayer–looks taupe in comparison. It’s a little darker compared to the beige in Chanel Prelude and less yellow compared to Urban Decay Ruthless (this is the closest).
  • Junkshow is a brightened fuchsia-purple with a fuchsia sheen. It’s similar (but brighter) than MAC Double Feature 7, while Urban Decay Woodstock is pinker, less blue-based, and has no purple. It has a more vibrant and obvious pink base compared to Urban Decay Fishnet, however the iridescent sheen is less apparent in Junkshow.
  • MIA is a dark brown with a soft copper base and light sheen. It is lighter and doesn’t have the gold shimmer of Urban Decay Darkhorse.

Of the fifteen shades in the palette, Tainted and Midnight Rodeo were the ones I wasn’t sold on. Midnight Rodeo has subtle glitter, so there was just the tiniest amount of fall out (I tested all shades I thought might be problematic as soon as I finished swatching the palette!)–like two or three specks of sparkle, so nothing like the fall out from other glitter eyeshadows from Urban Decay. Tainted is easily sheered out; the matte lavender base doesn’t seem to bind with the golden sheen, and the result is that neither comes together to stand out. It is a shade that works better packed on and lightly blended around the edges. We are not talking about a terrible eyeshadow in either instance–those are just the two that I was like, “Hm, there’s room for improvement.”

The color payoff for nearly all of the shades was nice. Tainted sheers out easily but applies well initially, and Evidence (surprisingly!) felt a little stiff–it didn’t have the same buttery, dense texture that most Urban Decay eyeshadows have. Evidence works much better applied, and it still has decent color payoff when swatched, but the stiffer texture stood out immediately to me. The other thirteen shades were nicely pigmented and applied smoothly.

It’s possible to have too many similar shades to make the palette worth picking up, but overall, I think it’s an excellent palette that offers so much value. There are fifteen full-sized eyeshadows here, and Urban Decay’s full-sized eyeshadows retail for $17 each–that’s $255 worth of eyeshadow for $55. This is what I want to see when a brand puts out a value palette, set, kit, or what-have-you. It doesn’t feel like Urban Decay skimped on the quality, either, as some brands do when they put together a value palette. These eyeshadows feel just like singles and past palettes Urban Decay has put out.

The packaging is true-to-form for Urban Decay with the filigree edging and metallic finishes. Inside the cover of the palette is a full-sized mirror (spans the entire area of the lid), and the portion that holds the eyeshadows actually pops out to reveal a compartment below. You won’t be able to put much (maybe a few photos or something!) underneath, because it’s a rather narrow space with the insert on top. Urban Decay described it more as a way to make the entire box useful after you have used up all your eyeshadows, and once you recycle the eyeshadow insert portion, you’ll definitely have more room. It does hold fingerprints like crime scene, though!

Remember, you can compare all of these eyeshadows side-by-side in the Swatch Gallery!

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette Swatches, Photos, Review (Part 1)

A
There is a good variety of colors in this palette, though it does have a surprising amount of neutrals, with good color payoff and soft and smooth textures. You might find you have too many similar shades already, but for those who don't, it's a great way to snag high-end eyeshadows without breaking the bank.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, July 11th, 2011


MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos

MAC Colourizations: Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes (Part 2)

MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos ($25.00 for 0.09/0.10 oz.) are pre-filled with nameless eyeshadows. Some of the duos contain 0.09 oz. while others contain 0.10 oz. From the ones I have, Double Feature #5 and #8 contain 0.10 oz., while the others contain 0.09 oz. The four featured in this post are:  Double Feature 5 (pale frosty peach / dark brown with green pearl), Double Feature 6 (light grey taupe / mid-tone bronze), Double Feature 7 (bright fuchsia / cool black), and Double Feature 8 (mid-tone orange / deep navy).  Once I can purchase #7, I will update this post with a review and photos/swatches for it.

Edited @ 7/11:  Added photos, swatches, and review for Double Feature 7.

  • Double Feature 5 is a pale pink-peach with a frost finish / red-toned brown with a green-teal duochrome and a frost finish. Both shades were had good color payoff, and they felt really smooth when applied. The pink-peach shade is a bit like Urban Decay Scratch but lighter, and it is also comparable to Inglot #354 is similar but matte. The brown shade is like a much improved MAC Club or in line with Urban Decay Lounge and MAC Blue Brown pigment.
  • Double Feature 6 is a light-medium gray-taupe with a matte finish / medium coppered-bronze with a veluxe pearl finish. The light taupe was a touch sheer but wasn’t powdery, while the bronzy shade was better in terms of pigmentation and very smooth. The light taupe is like a darker, grayer MAC Brule. I suspect is a much lighter version of Omega. The bronzy shade is similar to Inglot #405 but less intense. It is a lot like MAC Amber Lights, just softened.
  • Double Feature 7 is a brightened fuchsia-purple with fuchsia sheen and a frost finish / muted black with a satin finish. The pink shade is a more intense with a stronger and pinker base than MAC Stars ‘n Rockets (and also Urban Decay Fishnet). It ends up more similar to Romping. The black shade is a soft black, so it’s less intense than MAC Carbon, but it is very dry and almost chalky–it was a pain to work with./li>
  • Double Feature 8 is a medium-dark, rusty orange with a frost finish / cool-toned purple with a satin finish. There was good color payoff for the orange shade, but the purple shade was sheer and very stiff/dry to use. MAC describes it as a “deep navy” but it ends up rather purple on me. The orange is much lighter and more orange than MAC Coppering. It’s most like MAC Red Brick with a shimmery finish. The purple shade seems like it would be similar to MAC Contrast as well as MAC Indian Ink but shimmery (not quite as dark, either).

The only duo that gave me cause for concern was Double Feature 8, because the purple/blue shade was rather hard to work with from both a texture and pigmentation standpoint. It was dry, stiff, and color payoff was low. In Double Feature 6, the light taupe was slightly sheer but that is me being nitpicky–it still had good color payoff.

The Glossover

palette

Double Feature #5

B+
Of this set, Double Feature 5 had the best overall quality--texture was soft, smooth, while color payoff was great. I would skip Double Feature 8 because the purple shade just lacks quality.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, July 11th, 2011


MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos

MAC Colourizations: Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes (Part 1)

MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos ($25.00 for 0.09/0.10 oz.) are pre-filled with nameless eyeshadows. Some of the duos contain 0.09 oz. while others contain 0.10 oz. From the ones I have, Double Feature #5 and #8 contain 0.10 oz., while the others contain 0.09 oz. The four featured in this post are:
Double Feature 1 (bright yellow gold / pinked-up chrome purple), Double Feature 2 (bright lime / frosty deep grey), Double Feature 3 (mid-tone teal / deep chocolate), and Double Feature 4 (deep forest green / mid-tone ochre brown). Once I can purchase #3, I will update this post with a review and photos/swatches for it.

Edited @ 7/11:  Added photos, swatches, and review for Double Feature 3!

  • Double Feature 1 is a brightened banana yellow with a veluxe pearl finish / red-toned grape purple with a frost finish. The yellow shade is right on the border of yellow and gold, and the frosty finish makes it look more gold than yellow. It had good color payoff, and it seems a touch darker than MAC Going Bananas. The purple shade has good color payoff, but it could be a little more pigmented. It is slightly darker (and has a different finish) compared to MAC Vibrant Grape.
  • Double Feature 2 is a neon, chartreuse-lime with a veluxe pearl finish / dark gray with a silvery shimmer and satin finish. The lemon-lime shade had good color payoff, and the finish felt very smooth. It is lighter and brighter than MAC Lucky Green–it’s more like MAC Bitter with better color payoff and a shimmery finish. Inglot #343 is comparable in color but matte. The gray shade is on the sheer side and doesn’t apply very smoothly overall. It seems like a shimmery MAC Print.
  • Double Feature 3 is a brightened teal with a matte finish / muted, gray-tinted brown with a satin finish.  The color payoff of the teal shade is lovely, while the brown shade was harder to work with and felt very dry.  Just the poor quality of the brown shade makes this duo rather expensive for one good color.  The teal shade is very much like Inglot #372; it’s like a matte version of Surf USA.  The brown shade is very similar to Urban Decay Shakedown.
  • Double Feature 4 is a medium-dark teal with a veluxe pearl finish / muted, orange-toned brown with a matte finish. Both shades had nice color payoff and smooth textures. The teal shade was one of the better textured shades out of the six duos I tried. The teal is seems comparable to MAC Teal Pigment (but likely less frosted in the finish). I can’t think of a real dupe/comparable shade for the brown shade. I thought maybe Ochre Style (limited edition from many years ago), but it seems lighter from what I can tell.

The color payoff was decent to good overall, but notably, the purple shade of Double Feature #1 was a little sheer while the gray shade of Double Feature #2 was sheer and uneven in color payoff. The best duo (in terms of quality) was Double Feature #4, because both shades had good color payoff and smooth textures. I can see each duo being worn on their own, though I think they may be better used in conjunction with other shades you may own at home. They tend to be rather strong, bold combinations if you stick with just the duo compact.

I find it odd that there is no information about the finishes within the palette (thank goodness the press release listed them!), and even odder that none of these shades are named. MAC regularly gives names to the shades they include in various eyeshadow quads and palettes, so why skip the duos?

I’m happy to say these are infinitely better than the last time MAC attempted eyeshadow duos–Suite Array. If you remember Suite Array, you’ll know what I mean! To this day, those are easily some of the absolute worst products MAC (or any high-end brand) has ever put out. They were the kind of product that made you wonder where QA was that day.  These are actually better quality than many of the recent eyeshadow quad releases have been (which have felt rather inferior to many of MAC’s permanent eyeshadows).

Generally, MAC eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. except for veluxe pearls, which come in at 0.04 oz., and I think this is why some of the duos are 0.10 oz. and others are 0.09 oz. as all of the duos that are 0.09 oz. have a veluxe pearl eyeshadow in it.)  I tried to remove some of the eyeshadows from the duo, but I wasn’t able to, so I believe they are glued in.  MAC eyeshadows are normally $14.50 (in the pot) or $11.00 (pan), while an empty quad is $6.00 (they do not sell empty duos at this time).  The pricing on these is as expected ($22 for eyeshadows + $3 for compact), except that since you can’t choose your own shades, they could have made these more of a value deal (like pre-filled quads are $36 vs. $49 to fill it yourself).

The Glossover

palette

Double Feature #1

A-
Double Feature 4 is the highest quality duo, while Double Feature 2 is the least (because of the gray), and Double Feature 3 is good but not perfect. Keep in mind if you don't love both eyeshadows, it's like you're paying $25 for one!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, July 11th, 2011


Chanel Rouge Joues Contraste / Blush

Chanel Byzance: Rouge Joues Contraste

Chanel Rouge Joues Contraste / Blush ($43.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a darkened scarlet red with a satin sheen. It’s very, very intense. You’ll need a light hand with this particular blush, because it is easy to go overboard. When you use a light hand, though, it does tone down to more of a medium-dark pink–it doesn’t look red–which looks like a soft flush.

For such a pigmented blush, though, I had hoped for more blendability, but I felt like I had to do quite a bit of buffing and blending to get it to look even on me. Buffing was absolutely essential here, because without it, my cheeks looked splotchy and feverish.  The texture is soft and smooth, just like other Joues Contrastes, but I did not find it as blendable as the others.   I normally find Chanel’s blushes extremely easy to blend out and apply, but the color seemed to “stick” once it was applied.  Joues Contrastes tend to fade after six to eight hours on me, rather than lasting a full eight to ten.

MAC Bite of an Apple is a little brighter, pinker. NARS Exhibit A is much more orange. It’s a brighter, more vibrant version of MAC Love Thing. It compares best with MAC Frankly, Scarlet but perhaps a little darker.

Rouge will be excellent on deeper skin tones, because of its rich color payoff, and it will also be good for anyone who reaches for dramatic blushes overall. If you are looking for more of a wear-and-go color, and ultimately, think you’d end up using this very lightly, you’d be better off picking up a product that takes less time to apply correctly.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rouge

B+
Rouge will be excellent on deeper skin tones, because of its rich color payoff, and it will also be good for anyone who reaches for dramatic blushes overall. If you are looking for more of a wear-and-go color, and ultimately, think you'd end up using this very lightly, you'd be better off picking up a product that takes less time to apply correctly.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, July 11th, 2011


Chanel Topkapi Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Byzance: Topkapi Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Topkapi Eyeshadow Quad ($65.00 for 0.14 oz.) is one of the highest quality eyeshadow palettes I’ve seen the brand put out in the time that I’ve been reviewing their products (about four years). There have been standout palettes released, but Topkapi is no gimmick–it delivers. These are smooth, buttery shades with absolutely zero powderiness that apply like silk and deliver rich color payoff in a single pass.   The texture is different from normal Chanel eyeshadow quads–much richer.

The quad contains a medium-dark brown with copper shimmer (think the tone of MAC Swiss Chocolate with the richness of NARS Galapagos); taupe-brown with a frosted finish (a better, more pigmented version of MAC Caviar Dreams, very similar to Inglot #402 and theBalm Insane Jane); deep-dark brown-black with a hint of burgundy (MAC Beauty Marked seems similar, but definitely more burgundy and a pain to work with); and a bright, metallic yellow gold (similar to Urban Decay Eldorado but better quality, also Inglot #403 and MUFE #10).

As lovely as the colors are and how they coordinate with each other, the shades themselves are not particularly unique. Depending on what your personal stash looks like, it may or may not be worth the splurge. What impressed me most here was the texture of the eyeshadows themselves.  The texture is soft without being powdery, smooth and rich in color, and all of these characteristics enable the shades to blend together effortlessly.

I wish they put more product in the palette, though–it’s less than the usual (U.S.) quad, which contains 0.24 oz. compared to the 0.14 oz. weight of this quad.  Of course, it’s all in your use, whether it is realistic that you’d even use the 0.14 oz. here or not.  It’s $8 more and 0.10 oz. less than their typical eyeshadow quads.  (Keep in mind, non-U.S. locations have a different formula, and I believe the weight is much, much less, because they are baked eyeshadows.)

I found the color palette here suited my skin tone quite well–so much so that for a few seconds, I had the urge to get a second one.  If I wasn’t a beauty blogger, I could easily see this as being a go-to palette for me.  Great eyeshadows exists in a variety of textures, finishes, and shades; my personal favorites are more buttery–the smoothness of a cream eyeshadow but in powder form–like the kind found here (often found in brands like theBalm, Hourglass, Le Metier de Beaute, Urban Decay, and so on).

The Glossover

palette

Topkapi

A+
As lovely as the colors are and how they coordinate with each other, the shades themselves are not particularly unique. Depending on what your personal stash looks like, it may or may not be worth the splurge. What impressed me most here was the texture of the eyeshadows themselves.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, July 11th, 2011


Giorgio Armani Silver/Black Grey (16) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani Silver/Black Grey (16) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani Silver/Black Grey (16) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a darkened silvery gray with a bright, foil-like metallic sheen. It has an almost green-teal pull of color. It doesn’t look pure silver on me, which is what I was expecting. #16 worked well both wet and dry; there was hardly any difference between the two–the finish is slightly more metallic and smoothed out when used wet, but it’s hard to distinguish the difference on the eye.  It’s not quite as smooth or as nicely textured as a few of the other shades, though.

The texture of the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows is interesting; it’s a really compacted loose powder, but it’s so finely milled that it almost feels like a hybrid cream-powder. Each pot contains 0.14 oz. worth of product, which is a good amount, given that most pressed eyeshadows average around 0.05 oz. I have worn around half of the range alone on lids with 12+ hours of wear without creasing, smudging, or fading.

The Glossover

P
product

#16

A-
It's a good mix of metallic, foil-like silver and darker, smokier gray. Those two shades work well together to create something that's both highly metallic but less bright than pure silver.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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