Saturday, May 15th, 2010

tokidoki Diamante Eyeshadow

tokidoki: Diamante Eyeshadow

tokidoki Diamante Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a pearled pink with silver microglitter. The color swatches amazingly, and it’s such a pretty shade that would work well as a brow or cheek highlighter–even more so on pink-toned skin–if it didn’t have that pesky silver glitter. The silver glitter doesn’t distribute evenly, but it also has a tendency to fall out, though it’s nowhere near the worst glitter fall out I’ve encountered. I’m totally drawn to the shade, but now I’m on the lookout for something similar, sans the glitter.

This shade was definitely better than Adios Star! The shade itself was smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend. I’m not against or for the packaging, but I still like the way it was done. I feel it’s cute, fitting with the brand, and it’s not cheap–it just doesn’t have that cheap feel of flimsy plastic. I like that each eyeshadow has a different colored top, because it’s a touch you see all the time. I can imagine that for some, these would be cumbersome to store, though.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: I think that the tokidoki eyeshadows that aren’t described with “iridescent glitter” or “matte” may be the ones most worth checking out.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Guerlain Cashmere Gloss
Sable (#01), Ambre (#04), Ebene (#06)

Guerlain Terracotta Lip Gloss ($30.00) is a lightweight, non-sticky lipgloss that delivers subtle color with SPF 15. It’s a very moisturizing formula that lasts about two hours on my lips. The shades themselves are sheer in color, but they really have an excellent formula. I’ve tried three of the six shades that came out — there are also: Sierra (#02), Grenade (#03), and Santal (#05).

  • Sable (#01) is a beige nude with champagne shimmer. It adds a little beige to my natural lip color, but mostly, it mutes the natural rose tint of my lips down a bit. I like this kind of shade with a smoky eye, either alone or over a nude lipstick.
  • Ambre (#04) is a softened red-coral with fine gold shimmer. It’s muted, it’s sheer, but it still delivers a significant amount of color without being thick or goopy. I like this shade, because I think it would be universally flattering–it’s not at all orange.
  • Ebene (#06) is a lush reddened, ambered bronze. It’s one of the most pigmented shades of the three I tried. Loved the consistency — smooth, even color that doesn’t sink into lip lines.

Guerlain describes the applicator as ergonomic, but I have to tell you, it was really awkward for me. I don’t know if it’s perhaps more to do with the length of the applicator or the handle, but it felt a little wobbly in my hands, personally–but I would say I have bigger hands with longer fingers (I blame my piano playing years!), so that could be it, too.

They feel like a glossy, thicker lip balm, but they’re on the thinner side for a lipgloss. They still deliver the shine and glossiness that you’d expect in a gloss, but they keep lips looking full, pouty, and soft while you wear ‘em. They have a slight scent, like most Guerlain lip products, but it seems subtler than is par for the brand.

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

Recommendation:  Those who really enjoy lightweight, non-sticky glosses that go on thin and have a nice, moisturizing touch, may like Guerlain’s Terracotta Glosses.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Friday, May 14th, 2010

Urban Decay Loose Pigments

Urban Decay Loose Pigments Review, Photos, Swatches

A few weeks ago, I purchased all of the Loose Pigments available on HauteLook, which was twelve, and it seems to be all that are (at least, currently) in existence. They were $5, so they were such a steal, I couldn’t resist…

Loose Pigments are just that – loose eyeshadow or loose color. Urban Decay’s tend to be finely milled, so they’re soft, easy to blend, and apply smoothly. They all look and work better when used wet or with a slightly adhesive base like MAC’s Mixing Medium.

  • Asphyxia is a pop of light fuchsia-pink with iridescent fuchsia sheen.
  • Baked is a metallic copper bronze with a high sheen.
  • Goddess is a smoldering black base with flashy teal flecks strewn through it. This one had a little more tendency to fall out, even when used wet, compared to the others.
  • Graffiti is a medium grassy green. It didn’t seem to go on quite as bold or pigmented as I would have liked.
  • Gunmetal is a silvered dark gray.
  • Protest is a dark forest green base with flecks of silver shimmer. It has the same texture as Goddess.
  • Rockstar is a darkened purple with an electric violet edge and shimmer.
  • Shag is a gilded bronze with a metallic flash. Works pretty well dry, even though I’d still use these wet at all times!
  • Shattered is a brightened aqua-blue with a frost finish. This one worked really well wet — very pigmented and intense.
  • Smog is a darkened bronze with a copper edge.
  • X is a peachy-melon with a gilded gold metallic finish.
  • Yeyo is a shimmery white with a very frosty finish. I found the texture of this one to be the weirdest–a little chunky–so it didn’t apply as smoothly as I would have liked.

One of the reasons I’m not a huge advocate for these loose shades is that Urban Decay as all these shades available in eyeshadow-form, which are often easier to work with and more practical (easier to travel with). The other reason is they’re pretty expensive as compared to MAC Pigments — you only get 0.04 oz. for $20 (MAC is 0.15 oz. for $19.50). The packaging is just okay — a lot of the pigment sticks to the applicator and the edges of the applicator, so it can be pretty messy. I think I prefer the open-jar format of most loose color in comparison.

If you can nab these on sale, I think they’re totally worth it. (Hello, $5 each? More than worth it!) I don’t think I’d fork over $20 for these–might as well just buy the eyeshadow version (0.05 oz. for $17.50!). I believe Protest and Rockstar may be the only ones that don’t have eyeshadow counterparts.  While the product is good, the value of these is poor and the packaging bulky (considering how little you get), plus wasteful–I found myself cleaning up a ton of pigment that fell off the brush just getting it in and out of the jar.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: These are nice shades of loose pigments, if you don’t mind paying the price.

Availability: Urban Decay

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Lustre Drops: Pink Rebel, Sun Rush

MAC To the Beach Collection – Lustre Drops Review, Photos, & Swatches

Lustre Drops are like puff paints (the kind you’d use in crafts).  They’re tiny, but a little goes a long way.  I like these mixed with moisturizer and used on shoulders and legs.  They can be used on the face, though, and I like using it as a shimmered base for a blush or along the cheek bones.

  • Pink Rebel Lustre Drops is a slightly pink-toned peach highlighter. Lustre Drops are, essentially, liquid highlighters. You can use them on your cheeks, brows, decolletage… whatever. You can mix it in with your foundation or moisturizer for an all-over sheen. Naturally, this one suits those with pinker undertones, but it can easily work with warmer complexions as well.
  • Sun Rush Lustre Drops is a golden peach highlighter. This one is definitely more suitable for those with warmer undertones, but if used sheerly (which is really the best way to use these anyway), it’s not so warm that it would turn orange on cooler undertones.

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

China Glaze Vintage Vixen Collection

China Glaze: Classic Camel, Ingrid, Swing Baby, Goin’ My Way, Riveter Rouge, Foxy

China Glaze Vintage Vixen Collection Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

Vintage Vixen includes twelve new shades of polish, ranging from a khaki beige to a midnight blue to a darkened teal. The collection starts shipping in early July.

The formula on these was consistently good–I had no issues applying these right out of the bottle. As far as I’m concerned, if I don’t have to fuss over a formula and experiment with application, it’s a solid formula. It is a thinner consistency, but each coat still packed quite a bit of pigment. Most of these shades are two-coaters, but you can do three, too, if you so desire (which is usually what I do).

The collection is made up of a mix between frost and microglitter finishes. The feeling is decidedly fall, so it’s perfect for the season (remember–this is China Glaze’s fall collection!).  With twelve shades and sixty photos in total, I split up the two posts to help narrow the focus a bit.  Of these six, my favorites are:  Classic Camel (elegant with a twist) and Goin’ My Way (the way the light hits it is divine).  I also liked Foxy (love the lava-ish look of it), but not quite as much as the other two–there weren’t any dud shades here, really.

  • Classic Camel is a khaki beige with a stronger yellow undertone and golden yellow shimmer. I needed two thicker coats or three mediums coats with this shade.
  • Ingrid is a softened deep, molten chocolate brown with ultra fine, light brown shimmer. I found two coats was optimum with this shade.
  • Swing Baby is a metallic taupe brown with microglitter. I couldn’t get total coverage with three coats, but the microglitter spread pretty evenly overall. It dries down to a slightly bumpy surface–you can feel the microglitter a bit–but a thicker layer of top coat solves that issue.
  • Goin’ My Way is a burnished copper flecked chocolate brown. I love the way this one catches light. It does show brush strokes just a tad, if you’re looking for them. Two coats was just right fro this color.
  • Riveter Rouge is a deep red with flecks of silver migroglitter. Like Swing Baby, the surface can be a little gritty so using a thicker top coat helps to smooth it away. Two coats here was perfect.
  • Foxy is a warmed up, lightened coppered brown with significant red undertones. It’s flecked with copper-orange shimmer throughout. I found two coats to work well here.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love your polishes on the darker side (whether now or in the fall), these are some excellent choices.

Availability:  July 2010

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

China Glaze Vintage Vixen Collection
China Glaze: Hey Doll, Bogie, Emerald Fitzgerald, Midnight Mission, First Class Ticket, Jitterbug

China Glaze Vintage Vixen Collection Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

Here are the other six shades from Vintage Vixen!  Just to recap, the formula rocks here.  It may feel a little thin, but each coat packs plenty of pigment, despite the consistency.  It’s easy to apply–I didn’t have to play around with application to get beautiful, even, and smooth color.  Most of these are two-coaters, but they easily work with three, which is my preferred number.

From these, my favorites are easily Emerald Fitzgerald (oh, it’s swoon worthy in its inkiness!) and First Class Ticket (so intense and rich in its color).  I also loved the way Midnight Mission looked.

  • Hey Doll is a rosy-brown with silver shimmer. This was a two-coater.
  • Bogie is a darkened plummy mauve with silver and reddened shimmer. I don’t think I have any color quite like this in my personal stash. Two coats was perfect here.
  • Emerald Fitzgerald is a deep, inky teal with lighter aqua-teal shimmer. Love, love this one. It’s distinctly teal, not black, but yet it’s so dark and delicious. I found two coats was just enough to give a nice, opaque look.
  • Midnight Mission is a midnight navy blue base with silver microglitter. It’s exactly what you’d call midnight blue–with the silver as the twinkling stars over a darkened night sky. Like many other shades in this launch, two coats was just right with this color.
  • First Class Ticket is a rich, lush violet purple with blue-violet shimmer. Absolutely stunning! I thought this was the best shade out of the bunch. It nearly glows. Just two coats with this one as well.
  • Jitterbug is a stormy gray with silver microglitter. It has the same feel and texture as Swing baby, but I was able to get this one to go opaque with three coats. It has a grittier surface once it dries, so a thicker top coat works best.

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

Recommendation:  If you love your polishes on the darker side (whether now or in the fall), these are some excellent choices.

Availability:  July 2010

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