Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyeshadow Palette
Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

Quick Review: Bobbi Brown Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.15 oz.) includes three eyeshadows and one long-wear eye paint. It features: White (pure white), Tin (steel icy blue), Storm (dark grey), and Onyx (rich black). The packaging is sleek and compact, and I love that they have an actual brush applicator included, rather than sponge-tipped ones!

The Long-Wear Eye Paints are new and featured in the three palettes from Bobbi Brown’s Smoky, Sultry, Smoldering Collection. According to Bobbi Brown, they are “high-pigment metallic eyeshadow that can be worn wet or dry.” She recommends “[applying] them with a damp Cream Shadow Brush for a strong, luminous and long-lasting pop of shimmering color that won’t crease.”

  • White is a pure, cool-toned white. This is a matte eyeshadow.
  • Tin is a semi-sheer, pale silvery gray with a purple cast. This is a metallic eyeshadow.
  • Storm is a charcoal gray. This is a matte eyeshadow. I know it looks a lil’ sheer in the swatches, but being a matte, you won’t find any trouble getting the pigmentation to pop on the lid.
  • Onyx is a dark black with a soft sheen and silver and green shimmer-glitter. This is a long-wear eye paint. It really needs to be used wet in order to get rich, opaque color. When used dry, it’s sheer and a soft black instead.

Each of the eyeshadows is 0.04 oz. (full-sized are 0.08 oz. for $20.00; 0.10 oz. for $20.00 for metallic eyeshadow), while the Long-Wear Eye Paint is 0.03 oz. (not currently available on its lonesome; but for valuation purposes, we’ll assume 0.08 oz. for $20.00). In this palette, you receive $20.00 worth of regular Eyeshadow, $8 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $7.50 worth of Long-Wear Eye Paint. This totals to $35.50 worth of product. You do also receive a double-ended brush in the palette, which is usable (and one of the better brushes included in palettes)– we’ll say it’s $7 worth–bringing us to $42.50. It’s not a value-packed palette, but I don’t think you’re losing out.

You can check out my full review of the Smoldering Palette, too! :)

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t think this is a must-have palette; the shades are dupe-able enough that you may already have a great selection of smokey-eyed hues in your stash. I’m not impressed with the pigmentation of Tin, and White isn’t going to work as a highlighter for more skin tones (too stark!). It’s a decent palette, but with as many holiday palettes out there, I’d opt for something else.  (By the by, products don’t lose points for being dupe-able.)

WHERE TO BUY: Bobbi Brown

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Chanel Pearl Drop Le Vernis
Chanel Pearl Drop Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2011: Pearl Drop

Chanel Pearl Drop Le Vernis Nail Colour ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a softened white gold frost with a slight metallic finish, sprinkled with pale gold micro-shimmer. There is something about this that reminds me of two things: brides and

CHANEL LE VERNIS is a pricey product that often comes out with more unique shades (that are later replicated by other brands). The originality or amount of depth in their shades is what often pulls me towards them. Overall, I’ve had good luck with the formula and wear. The formula tends to be on the thicker side but not so thick it’s gloppy, while I typically get a full week’s worth of wear (and just minor tip wear).

Pearl Drop stays true to past Chanel lacquers; the same slightly thicker formula with decent pigmentation, but this is a shade that seems designed to be worn sheer.  I used two coats, and you could definitely try a third, but I think there was enough visible nail line at two that there would still be some at three.  If you want a more opaque effect, try wearing a base polish underneath (like a white) to make it pop.

Edited @ 8:21AM: Sorry… swatches should be fixed!  I was sleeping so I wasn’t able to get them faster – really sorry all for screwing up so badly! :(

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I really like this shade, but I’m personally a fan of golds and white golds in general, so I find it a very flattering shade against my warm skin tone.  I do think that this shade can be found in other brands, though, so you may want to check your stash first.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

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Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Benefit Bella Bamba Powder
Benefit Bella Bamba Powder

Benefit Bella Bamba Boxed Powder ($28.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a brightened medium pink with pale gold shimmer-sheen. It’s fairly pigmented and can easily be used as an intense blusher, but it’s soft and fine enough in texture to be used as a sheer color on cheeks when blended out. I want to say it’s like a mix of Coralista and Sugarbomb but distinctly pink, not really a coral at all.

At first glance, it seems like Bella Bamba might just be another NARS Orgasm variation, but it’s so much pinker than those peachy-pinks. The closest dupe I could think of was Chanel Pink Explosion Joues Contraste, which is slightly cooler and has less gold shimmer. NARS Angelika is closest in color by NARS, but it’s really more a mesh of that blush with Albatross, I’d say.

I’m a little disappointed to see Benefit cutting the product size down by so much–a lot of their boxed powders have as much as 0.42 oz., while ones that are lower hover around 0.35 oz. It’s just as pigmented and incredibly similar in texture to Coralista, which is a full 0.42 oz. It’s still a lot of product for $28 (most blushes are 0.15 oz. or so), but it was something I thought was worth noting. I’m also not a fan of the flip-top packaging, because it doesn’t stay open on its own (probably more frustrating to photograph than to use, I suppose, though). I prefer the removable lid myself.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: I think this is a great boxed powder, and even though they reduced the size, it’s still a ton of blush for the price.  It’s nicely pigmented win a flattering pink that’s not too cool or warm; the golden sheen makes it suitable for warmer skin tones while the slightly cool-toned pink of the shade itself works well on cool skin tones, too.

WHERE TO BUY: Sephora

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Friday, December 24th, 2010

Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow
Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Eye Studio Baked Eyeshadow

Quick Review: Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Baked Eyeshadow

Maybelline Sinful Sinnamon Baked Eyeshadow Duo ($7.29 for 0.09 oz.) is a baked eyeshadow (similar to MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows), and one side is solid while the other is marbled. When swatched, the product works amazing whether wet or dry–the solid side is a rusted orange-red with a frosty finish, while the marbled side is a pinky beige with a white frost finish.

It has a smooth texture, high frost finish, and both shades were incredibly pigmented. In the past, I’ve found that baked eyeshadows often must be used wet in order to achieve good color pay off, but these worked well dry, too. I did have the ever slightly noticeable fading after eight hours of wear with Maybelline’s Baked Eyeshadow Duos, but it was very slight.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

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

RECOMMENDATION: Maybelline has several other variations on their duos, and based on this one, these might be a great alternative to higher-end baked eyeshadows like MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows–perhaps not necessarily exact dupes in terms of colors but the product type is quite similar.

AVAILABILITY: Drugstore.com

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 24th, 2010

NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil
NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil

Quick Review: NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil

NYX Emerald City Eye Pencil ($3.50) is a darkened forest green with a hint of teal. It leans on the cooler side, but it works well with hazel eyes in particular. It has a fairly matte finish and good color pay off. NYX’s Eye Pencils last nearly all day on me, only slightly fading after eight hours (but from afar, I don’t think anyone would notice), but they are most notable for how soft they are. Use less pressure initially, just to get an idea of how soft these are–if you apply firmer pressure, you may find the tip breaks off.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in need of affordable colored pencil eyeliners, NYX has you covered.

AVAILABILITY: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis
Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis

Chanel Spring 2011: Black Pearl

Chanel Black Pearl Le Vernis Nail Colour ($23.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a stormy teal-tinged blackened base with threads of metallic silvered green running through it, then topped off with green, blue, and teal micro-shimmer. This has a rather metallic finish, so brush strokes are apparent, but the formula works well enough that with some patience and steady hand, the brush strokes can be pulled out evenly and made to look like brushed metal. (I, on the other hand, lack steady hands–or patience–and wobbled a bit.)

LE VERNIS is a pricey product that often comes out with more unique shades (that are later replicated by other brands). The originality or amount of depth in their shades is what often pulls me towards them. Overall, I’ve had good luck with the formula and wear. The formula tends to be on the thicker side but not so thick it’s gloppy, while I typically get a full week’s worth of wear (and just minor tip wear).

Black Pearl seemed a little thicker than normal for Chanel, but each coat was pigmented, and I only needed two coats for opaque color. The only similar shades I could think of were China Glaze’s Rodeo Fanatic (way too blue to be similar) and NARS’ Full Metal Jacket (which is similar in the finish and look/feel, but not the color).

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: I couldn’t come up with any dead-on dupes, so perhaps Chanel has another unique shade on their hands. The formula applied fine, but I’ve never been a big fan of brush strokes. I could see this being a must-have for Chanel lacquer fans, but it might not hold the same appeal to others.

WHERE TO BUY: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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