Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit
Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit

Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit

Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit ($95.00 for 0.49 oz.) consists of four shades: Blonde Amber (sand-hued neutral), Pale Satin Amethyst (light purple), Bronze Topaz (alluring metallic), and Black Emerald (deep ocean green). The eyeshadows come in a swivel out compact with a flip-top mirror.  It’s fun, functional packaging that’s travel-friendly and sturdy.

Each eyeshadow is approximately 0.12 oz., which is over double the average eyeshadow (MAC eyeshadows contain 0.05 oz. each). There are four shades, which makes each shade $23.75 a pop. Their individually available eyeshadows are $30 each (and 0.13 oz.). The cost per ounce is $193.88/oz. for Le Metier de Beaute’s kit, as compared to MAC (which is not–technically–a comparable brand, as Le Metier de Beaute is a luxury brand), which comes in at $290.00/oz.

  • Blonde Amber is a soft, gold shimmered wheat with a subtle metallic sheen.
  • Pale Satin Amethyst is a rich, cool-toned lavender with a pearly sheen.
  • Bronze Topaz is a metallic, toned-down bronze.
  • Black Emerald is a luxurious jewel-toned blackened emerald green that maintains depth without becoming dirty.

All four shades had excellent color payoff with buttery textures that applied smoothly. The texture is so finely milled, which is what I noticed when I initially swatched these. There are times when I’m photographing and swatching where I have a moment of awe, and they aren’t all that often, but as soon as I swatched this kit, I couldn’t wait to write about it. The silky texture made these a cinch to work with, because they lay down so easily and blend effortlessly.

They’re definitely some of the best eyeshadows I’ve worked with (theBalm eyeshadows come pretty close to these–very similarly textured).  I’m terribly disappointed that I never made the commitment to one of the Kaleidoscope Kits, because I’ve missed several of the seasonal ones that are no longer available–but boy do I really wish I could buy them now!

The Glossover

leMetierPenelope

Le Metier de Beaute Penelope Kaleidoscope Eye Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
Definitely worth the investment if you love all four colors--if you just love one or two, you might want to take a look at their permanent line of single shadows to see if something there grabs your eye instead.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Summer: Yellow Brick Road

Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “super sheer mellow yellow.” The shade was made famous by Lady Gaga wearing it a few months ago. Sheer is definitely an apt descriptor, because after three coats, my natural nail line is still visible. It’s a bright, sunny yellow with a jelly finish. For some reason, this yellow makes my hands look sunburnt, so it’s not as flattering on me as it might be on others! (Boo!)

The consistency is thick-ish, though not difficult to work with, and it flows really nicely on the nail. It’s not even streaky on the first coat because of how naturally translucent it is. Overall, the formula was easy to work with, and even after three coats, it didn’t feel too heavy, though I’d recommend just going with two since it’s designed to be a sheer. The drying time is a little long, and I recommend waiting a minute or two between coats. I typically get a week of wear with Deborah Lippmann polishes (using Zoya Anchor and Armor as base/top coats).

The Glossover

LE
product

Yellow Brick Road

A
There is something about the jelly finish that makes sheer polishes have more interest to them. I wish this shade was more flattering on me, because I think it's perfect for summer--so warm and bright.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, May 18th, 2011


Urban Decay Quinceanera Bag

Urban Decay Quinceanera Bag

Urban Decay Quinceanera Bag ($26.00) is a limited edition makeup bag to celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary. The inside of the bag is decorated in their 15th anniversary print, while the outside is a bright and glittery–it’s a darker purple with lighter purple glitter. Though the outside shimmers in the light, it is covered in PVC, so you won’t see glittery bits falling off of the bag, and it’s easy to wipe off. There is also a smaller, clear pocket with a zipper within the larger compartment.

It’s a nice-sized bag, and I actually used it on my trip to Toronto last month and found it had enough room to spare for much longer trips. The bag itself is 8.5x3x6″ and fits Urban Decay’s larger Book of Shadow palettes (though I’d say pack that separate, leave the bag space for looser items!). The zipper is sturdy and slides along easily, while the material feels thick enough to keep any products that might pop open during a trip from leaking into the rest of your stuff, too. Overall, I liked the bag, and I think the pricing is just right, too. If you love glitter and shimmer and purple, this bag has your name on it!

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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011


Chanel Sari d’Eau Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Sari d’Eau

Chanel Sari d’Eau (44) Rouge Coco Shine ($32.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a semi-opaque orange with tangerine-gold shimmer and a glossy shine.  It reads like a darker version of Sari Dore Rouge Coco.

It’s actually more opaque than the Rouge Coco formula seems to be touted as, so while I will remove a point off of pigmentation for being too pigmented (I defer to what the brand claims the product should be), I wanted to make it a point to say as whether it’s too pigmented for your liking (or maybe, just pigmented enough), may be a bigger deciding factor.  It’s not opaque like Rouge Allures, but everything I’ve heard from Chanel artists and read from Chanel pegs these as sheer to semi-sheer.  I used about a layer and a half of product (just one pass around the outer edge of both lips, then a little dabbed on the center to ensure I had product everywhere).

It’s a lightweight, nearly scent-free (I couldn’t distinguish what it was, but it was very faint), and has an emollient base. It applies evenly and smoothly, because it has that balm-like quality. Unfortunately, it only lasts two to three hours on me, but I would say it is on the moisturizing side, though not as moisturizing as my favorite lip balms.  I do wish these were the same size as other lipsticks in Chanel’s line (like 0.12 oz.), because of the emollient base, it’s easy to over-apply the product–and the need for reapplication being every couple of hours means you’ll go through a tube much faster than other lipsticks in Chanel’s range.

The Glossover

P
product

Sari d'Eau

B
Sari d'Eau will work best with warmer skin tones, because it does pull very orange. There is, at most, only a hint of coral, but I find it's more like a crushed orange with lighter tangerine and gold shimmer.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner
shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner

shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner

shu uemura Shusu Sleek Shampoo ($45.00 for 10 fl. oz.) and Conditioner ($55.00 for 8 fl. oz.) is a duo of products designed for “coarse and unruly hair.” The big deal behind the product is the usage of black cumin oil, which is supposed to provide “deep nourishment” and “discipline the hair fiber with a fluid touch.” There is also a Smoothing Treatment ($65.00 for 6 fl. oz.), which seems like a deep conditioner, in the line.

The first time I tried out this set, all I could do was marvel at the scent–it’s very earthy, spicy, and masculine. It was reminiscent of my favorite scent–Tom Ford Oud Wood–in how I reacted. It’s heady, and it lingers, though I don’t find myself smelling it constantly, I do catch whiffs of it periodically during the day that I washed it. The brand says the scent is “gardenia with green leaves,” but I get more of the black cumin oil coming through. (I’d love a bottle of eau de parfum of this scent!)

I liked both products a lot, and they do a fine job of giving my hair a straighter look (it is slightly wavy in places as a result of years of putting it up), assuming I leave it down to dry or blow dry.  I’ve been using the set since the beginning of March, and I definitely have noticed it keeping my hair soft, hydrated, and less fly aways.   I noticed that I was able to achieve better results–really sleek, soft falls of hair–when I blow dried my hair (I used a T3 Evolution). The results were good when left to air dry, but everything just seemed a little straighter and shinier with the blow dryer.

The shampoo lathered well and left my hair feeling clean but not stripped, while it had a thicker consistency.  I actually used just the shampoo a few times alone, and my hair still felt soft and silky without conditioning afterward.

I love that the conditioner comes with a pump (wish the shampoo did, too!), because I always find myself pouring on the conditioner to get enough coverage on all of my hair, so it’s nice to be able to get a feel for how many pumps and be more consistent. The conditioner smoothes on easily, and it does a fabulous job of re-hydrating hair.  For a conditioner, it has a thinner consistency, but I think that makes it easier to smooth on with less excess used.

These are rather rich formulas, though, and so I don’t think they’re the most appropriate for my hair type and as much as I love the scent, I’m not sure I’d make these my go-to personally–but I do think they will help those who are looking to tame fly aways and frizzy hairs, because this product did so well for me in those areas.  I readily admit, however, that I don’t find my hair overly fussy, so I can only review based on my experience with my relatively easy-to-deal-with hair.

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Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream
Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream ($18.50 for 2.5 oz.) is described as an “ultra-rich formula customized for the most dehydrated hands that offers supreme moisture, leaves hands soft, and promotes healthy-looking cuticles.”

Now, despite the usage of “brown sugar” in the title, it’s referring to the inclusiom of brown sugar crystals in the formula itself, but it has nothing to do with the scent. I know when I first tested this product out, I expected something sweet and food-ish, but the scent is actually a stronger, herbal-ish lemon. Distinctly lemon, but it almost borders on cloying and synthetic. I’m actually a fiend for lemon-y scent (seriously, I love all lemon-scented kitchen soaps!), but this smelled a little off.

ingredients: Water (Aqua), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot), Kernel Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Sucrose, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Caramel, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate Triethanolamine, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Isohexadecane, Lecithin, Sorbitan Oleate, Bisabolol, Panthenol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xanthan Gum, BHT, Benzoic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Geraniol.

As a hand cream, it’s a decent product: a very thick, luxuriously textured cream that absorbs in a few minutes without leaving behind any greasy residue. It moisturizes well if you have normal skin, but when my hands are at their driest, I don’t find that it to outperform some of my favorites (like Jack Black Hand Healer). It just leaves my hands shy of feeling truly soothed and infused with moisture. This seems to do better at locking in existing moisture while imparting some but not quite enough.

It’s not bad, and it’s better than average, but I don’t think it will work well for those with particularly dry or cracked hands.  I did like the texture and how quickly the product absorbed (which can always be an issue in thicker creams like this one).   If your hands are in better shape and the scent catches your fancy, I think this will do the trick for you.