Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a medium-dark red-toned purple with a silvered shimmer-sheen. It delivers good color payoff both wet and dry, and when it is applied wet, the metallic finish comes through more. Urban Decay Rockstar is less shimmered, so it looks darker. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar.

I liked this one better than Cyber Green, because the texture was softer and smoother, even when applied dry. Still, the texture is like a cross of “baked” eyeshadows (like MAC Mineralize Eyeshadows) and a regular powder, but infinitely better than baked products, because it retains the vibrancy in color when it is applied damp–it doesn’t dry down to something faded. Alone, it wears about six hours without any issues when it is applied dry, and when it is applied wet, I was able to get to eight hours without issues.

The Glossover

LE
product

Cyber Lilac

A-
These are definitely worth checking out, just because the formula feels a little different than other eyeshadows I've come across. I like that they can be used wet or dry, but you can still get good color payoff if you use it dry and you don't lose vibrancy when you use it wet.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, December 5th, 2011

By Courtney, Indie & Mineral Makeup Expert

Courtney is the amazing talent behind Phyrra.net, which showcases a veritable treasure trove of looks and reviews, often focusing on indie brands and mineral makeup. She’s my go-to for all things in those areas! I reached out to Courtney to help me and readers like me understand more about indie brands–how can we make sure we’re buying from good companies and getting quality products (and not just repackaged ones)?  You can also check out Courtney’s own tried and true list of brands she buys from.

When she isn’t blogging, you can find her with her much loved standard poodle (Phaedra) and pug (Maximus), gaming, or writing (about non-makeup, that is)!  She’s not afraid to experiment with color, whether it’s her hair, lips, or on the eyes.


Mineral Makeup: What to Look For When Buying

I first got into mineral makeup in April of 2008. I didn’t know much about it at the time, so I started to try and find as much information as possible. Surprisingly, I didn’t find too many reviews (though some of the best ones I could find came from The Shades of U). This led me to decide to start a blog and write about my experiences with indie cosmetics. Through my trials and tribulations, I’ve learned a lot! I’ve interviewed company owners and experimented on my own. From my experiences over the past three years, I’ve compiled a list of tips to share on how to discern good products.

When you stumble across an indie company that you’re just dying to order from, before you hit that buy button, there are a few things you should do…

Look at the Type of Products Sold

While some great indie and mineral makeup companies only offer eye shadows, so do a lot of companies that merely repackage product. If you’re unsure of what repackaged products are, it’s where a company will buy products wholesale, mark it up 400% and put it into tiny containers to resell it to unsuspecting consumers as a handmade product.
I’ve got no problems with companies that sell unblended shades that are clearly denoted as such, but I often feel it’s duplicitous when a company sells unblended shades at a crazy markup and claims those are handmade when they don’t even add a base to the product. A lot of the great indie (independent) makeup companies out there sell not only eye shadow, but also blush, mixing mediums (Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, anyone?), foundation, and lip products. Lip products and foundations are usually a very positive sign of a legitimate company, because many people find creating both of those product lines to be labor intensive, so someone looking to make a quick buck isn’t likely to make either.

Do Your Research First!

First, Google the company name with the word review after it and see what people have to say. Sometimes, I’ve found a neutral or negative review on a product or customer service to be a deciding factor for if I will purchase. Positive reviews, as well as product swatches, are very helpful in deciding if the product is something I want to purchase, too. It  is also helpful to see how an indie company handled a problem, like if someone had an item missing from an order, or to see how promptly a company responds to inquiries.

Next, Google the company name with the word repackaged after it. If nothing comes up, that’s usually a good sign. If repackaged links come up, see what people say. Some companies, as mentioned before, do sell some unblended colors. This means that they’re a stock shade, usually with a base added to it to make it a finished product. The most common colors to see that are repackaged are the Pops mica. Many companies have sold these shades.

If you’ve found a company that you’re interested in and they have some colors repackaged but others that are not, chances are they carry the repackaged colors due to customer request. Additionally, if the repackaged shades are a finished product, meaning they have a base added, they should be a good product to purchase and wear. Just be wary if a repackaged color doesn’t have any base ingredients listed!

Check out more tips to help you buy from reputable, quality indie brands and learn what ingredients to look for/avoid!  Continue reading →

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush
Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush

Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as “shimmering peach.” It’s a pink apricot with soft golden shimmer that becomes more of a sheen when it’s sheered out. It’s similar to a lot of coral blushes that exist; it’s a bit pinker, less orange compared to cult favorite NARS Orgasm and resembles Benefit CORALista more.  It reminded me a bit of MAC Hipness, too.

The powder is very soft and finely-milled, so when you touch your brush to it, you can pick up quite a bit of color in a single go. This means it is a little powdery, though, so you may want to use a light hand when picking up color. Luckily, though the blush is fairly true-to-pan with good color payoff, it blends out easily because of the overall softness of the powder. It has more of a shimmer-sheen finish, so it doesn’t look frosty or disco ball-like on the cheeks. I had a good experience while wearing it, because it lasted eight hours without migrating or looking faded.

The Glossover

P
product

Feather

A-

I love how well this wears, and I like that it's shimmery without being frosty--more like a glowy, luminous sheen. This is a coral that should work across skin tones, because it isn't orange, even though it is still warm-toned.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, December 5th, 2011

Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss
Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss

Guerlain Spring 2012: Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss

Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss ($32.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “pure pink,” and it is one of four new and permanent glosses for spring. It looks like a peachy-pink with lots of pale gold sparkle when swatched (and in the tube), but on lips, it just looks like a sheer white peach gloss with lots of sparkle. I didn’t get any color to translate at all! You can find a number of similar barely-there shades in the Sheer Lipgloss Gallery.

KissKiss Lipgloss is a non-sticky, moisturizing formula that’s supposed to be water-resistant and long-lasting. It has three finishes (though I don’t know how you’d know which was what), the Petal Effect is sheer, Pearl Effect has “pearly essence,” while Gloss Effect gives a “subtle sparkling finish.” As far as I know, this is supposed to be a sheer to semi-sheer range (with KissKiss Laque being more opaque, which I believe is discontinued).

Rose in Bloom seems to lighten my lips a bit, because the resulting effect is more of a milky look with a lot of white and pale gold sparkle and shimmer. It has an ultra glossy shine, and the texture is almost gel-like; it’s thick without being goopy or sticky. It comes with a brush-type applicator that’s flexible without being floppy. KissKiss Lipgloss is scented with a sweet, fruity concoction but no taste. Where KissKiss Lipgloss excels is in its wear; it’s comfortable, moisturizing, non-sticky, and wears for four to five hours while retailing its shine for three to four hours.

I feel like water-resistant claims are kind of funny, because yes, water will trickle past your lip and onto your shirt, rather than streaking through your lipgloss, but water-resistant doesn’t seem to mean much in the world of lipgloss. When I hear “water-resistant” with a lipstick or gloss, my mind immediately thinks about being able to drink with the product on, but it’s by no means transfer-resistant, so you’ll still file remnants of gloss on the edge of your cup if you press your lip to it.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose in Bloom

A-
This is the only shade I've seen so far, so I don't know if the other three releasing with the launch are as sheer or more semi-sheer; this particular shade is sheer and milky, so it's something that can be more easily duped and you may even own something comparable already!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Spring 2012: Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette ($85.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette for spring. It contains six eyeshadows, with the long, skinny shade on the right designed to be used as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The palette is hefty with a metal compact and filigree lid. There’s an interior mirror that flips open that’s connected to the lower portion of the palette. Inside, there is also a small, dual-ended brush that is serviceable but not better than the average full-size brush. The shades are described as soft pink, tea rose, pearl mauve, soft violet, luminous pink, and intense plum. I’m not entirely sure which description goes with which, to be honest! I know that the luminous pink shade is the center shade and the intense plum is the eyeshadow/liner shade on the far right of the palette.

The upper left eyeshadow is a pale white pink with a satiny shimmer. It has surprisingly good color payoff for as pale and light as it is, and it doesn’t look chalky against my skin tone. It’s similar to Tarina Tarantino Delightful (more shimmer), MAC Fresh Ice (more shimmer, purpler), and Bare Escentuals Muse (a touch darker, pinker).

The bottom right (or side right) eyeshadow is pale pink-tinted mauve with a pearly sheen. It’s soft and light with nice pigmentation and a smooth, silky soft feel. It didn’t seem like something different, but I couldn’t find a dupe for it; there’s the mauve in it that separates it from shades like Bare Escentuals Giddy, which is similar in lightness and finish but is much pinker.

In the center, there is a vibrant medium, subtly blue-based pink with a white, frosted finish. The color payoff is nice, and it has a really dense, buttery texture. Make Up For Ever #85 is less blue-based. It is fairly similar to Urban Decay Hot Pants. MAC Feather Pink also compares well in regards to hue, but it is bluer and matte.

To the right of the center pink eyeshadow, there is a medium-dark purple with a pearly sheen. It could be more pigmented; there is some softness there that makes it appear less like it does in the pan when applied to the skin. Make Up For Ever #142 is a darker, deeper version. Bare Escentuals Encore is darker and less red.

The bottom shade is a rosy brown with a satin finish; it almost appears matte. The color payoff is so-so, and on deeper skin tones, I’m not sure it would show up well. Inglot #344 is browner, while Inglot #359 is pinker.

On the right side, there is an eggplant purple with a pearled finish. It’s supposed to be an eyeshadow/eyeliner shade, so I did swatches of it dry and wet. This shade was finicky to work with; the texture was drier and stiffer compared to the other shades in the palette, so the resulting color payoff was sheerer and a bit uneven. When it is used wet, it is a lot easier to use. MAC Hyperviolet is deeper and less purple. Bare Escentuals Nightcap is darker, more matte, and browner. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is deeper and browner. MAC Fig 1 is a little darker and matte. Inglot #445 is a touch lighter and more frosted.

Overall, the palette is decent but not great–the color payoff could be improved. This was really my major issue with this palette, because three shades had pigmentation issues to some degree, with the eggplant shade having the most (as well as texture issues). Even though pink eyeshadow can sometimes be difficult to wear, Guerlain’s incorporated a lot of mauve, rose, and plum to dial back the pink; the only genuinely pink shade in the palette is the center shade. Both the pink mauve and rosy brown work well as neutrals. The wear of these eyeshadows is better over a prime and so-so without; they wear about eight hours before I start noticing some slight fading. I find Guerlain’s eyeshadows a tiny bit powdery overall.

The Glossover

palette

Boulevard du Montparnasse

B-
If you like palettes that deliver softer color, you may still enjoy this one, as the colors tend to be a little more muted compared to how they look in the pan. If you like true-to-pan results with denser, more buttery textures, you may want to skip this. At $85, I expect all shades to perform excellently, so it would be a skip for me.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Girls Just Want to Have Fun Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Girls Just Want to Have Fun Nail Lacquer

A Look at Deborah Lippmann’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Girls Just Want to Have Fun Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “carefree coral” with a creme finish. It’s a vibrant, just shy of being neon, shade of coral-red. Though it certainly is a cream finish, it has that squishy look to it of a jelly to me as well. I loved that this lacquer was opaque in two coats! As far as similar shades go, SpaRitual Love & Happiness is pretty close, perhaps a touch darker. Illamasqua Lament is pinker.

The flow of Girls Just Want to Have Fun is excellent; it spreads evenly across the nail without streaking or bubbling. It has a good consistency–not too thick or thin. Deborah Lippmann’s polishes tend to wear well on me; I typically get a week of wear with minor to minimal tip wear. This was originally launched during the summer (I have a major backlog!), but it’s still available and for those who are 1) having summery weather now or 2) wear seasonally inappropriate shades, enjoy! :)

The Glossover

LE
product

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

A+
This is a beautiful shade, and I can definitely see why it was created for her summer collection earlier this year. The formula on this shade is excellent; great flow, application, and wear.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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