Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Celebrate

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “parrot green” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Celebrate is a bright, chartreuse green with a strong yellow base. It applied semi-opaque but glided on easily. The problem with this shade was its complete inability to not crease. I tried it alone, and it creased within minutes. I layered eyeshadow on top (Giorgio Armani Transluminence palette–the teal–I just used whatever I had nearest to me), and it still creased in less than an hour. It’s not even a little creasing–it’s painful to see. Not to be daunted, I also tried it over NARS’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base with the same eyeshadow layered on top, and I still had the same results (a veritable creasing bonanza).

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–and Celebrate continues to show that NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils really can be hit or miss.

The Glossover

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product

Celebrate

I'm not even sure what you can really use this with or for, if it's going to crease with two additional helpers (a base and shadow to set). It migrates on the lower lash line, too, so it's not something one could line with, either. Five points for the glide and color pay off!
Results
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Dupes
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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Hollywoodland

NARS Hollywoodland Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “pale gold” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Hollywoodland is a muted yellow-based gold–kind of a gilded champagne-gold to me. It delivers a nice layer of color without a lot of tugging. Smooth without being greasy, it glides on the lid. I tested it alone, and within ten minutes, it was crease-city (photo included, for your viewing horror), and following that disaster, I tested it with Hourglass’ Dune eyeshadow on top–much better results (six hours of crease-free wear). However, I later tried it with NARS Brazil eyeshadow on it, and it creased a bit at the four hour mark. It seems like it really needs quite a bit of powder to really set it. I also wore it as a liner and honestly, when I went to check it after an hour, I couldn’t find it.

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–but with enough powder, Hollywoodland managed to get through six hours without creasing, unlike the last one I tried (Palladium).

The Glossover

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product

Hollywoodland

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For $24, this product needs a lot of help to make it usable. From a brand that can make my favorite eyeshadow primer, I'm It's a shame, because it was gorgeous as a base but also blended out on its own for a quick, everyday look.  Given that these are prone to creasing on my normal-to-dry lids, if you have to layer your eyeshadow primers normally, I don't think these are for you.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, January 24th, 2011

Lancome Glowy Ballerine Butterflies Fever Blush
Lancome Glowy Ballerine Butterflies Fever Blush

Lancome Spring 2011: Glowy Ballerine

Lancome Glowy Ballerine Butterflies Fever Blush ($40.00 for 0.39 oz.) is an icy, pale pink blush that goes on barely-there. It has a silver glitter overlay, but the glitter disappears after the first use. On me (warm, medium skin tone), I get visibly pinker cheeks, but the effect is definitely subtle. The texture is soft, and it’s effortless to apply and blend out, partially owing to the softness in the color itself. It has an ultra soft sheen that looks more like a glow when applied, so there is no need to fear shimmery or glittery finishes here (and again, the glitter is only on the top layer).

Lancome says: “The new must have blush is an original twist of two incontrovertible items of the 70’s style: the bowtie and the butterfly designed by Alexis Mabille. In fashion, wearing a bowtie is the ultimate chic attitude, besides a way to express free-spirit and absolute lack of concern for what other people think. The butterfly is a multicultural symbol of free soul, feminity and beauty of nature.”

Lancome recommends using the pink shade as a blush, beige shade as a sculptor, and lavender shade to unify the complexion. This is all well and good, and I appreciate the directions overall, but you’re going to need a pretty small (and precise) brush to use any of the three shades alone–especially the lavender one.

The design is femine and pretty, though of course, it looks less elegant once you’ve used it a few times, but some of the features still linger (and as far as I know, and based on Lancome’s recommendation to use certain shades individually), there are three distinct shades that go all the way through. Also worth noting is that this is practically a brick of blush at 0.39 oz. (average blush is around 0.15 to 0.20 oz.). The included applicator worksin a pinch, but the bristles are rougher than I’d like, and they will kick up a lot of powder if you attempt to use it.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This will be gorgeous on light to medium skin tones both cool and warm, but I think much of the effect will be lost on darker skin tones.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2011: Bateau Ivre

NARS Bateau Ivre Eyeshadow Duo ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “rich sky blue” and “deep denim blue” by NARS.  It is a new and limited edition eyeshadow duo from NARS’ Spring Collection (now available).

Bateau Ivre is a combo of a rich periwinkle blue with a satin-matte finish (seems more periwinkle than sky blue to me, though I can see the sky blue reference working) and dark, grayish-cast blue with a matte finish. This is a really beautiful combination of colors; it is also a very pretty way to wear blue in a less neon/vibrant way. These softer, almost muted blues remind me of sailors and boats and cruise ships. The texture of the eyeshadows are both soft and smooth, with the lighter blue shade seemingly more pigmented but both work nicely when applied to the lid.

my thoughts on the formula: NARS Eyeshadow Duos usually contain complementary colors, though sometimes you’ll see a duo and go, “There’s no way!” NARS states that you can use their eyeshadows wet or dry, though. The texutre is soft, smooth, and very blendable, with the colors being nicely pigmented.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The classic way to wear this duo would be to use the lighter blue all over the lid with the darker blue in the crease, then highlight with your favorite highlighter. These blues will suit the gamut of skin tones with their slightly muted appearance.

where to buy: NARS

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

MAC Sophisto Lipstick
MAC Sophisto Lipstick

The Sultry Season: MAC Sophisto Lipstick

MAC Sophisto Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a semi-sheer berry pink with gold shimmer. It is a lustre finish, which means it is on the sheerer side but has a glossier finish (more like a lip gloss than a traditional lipstick).

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte and lustre shades can be drying).

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

final thoughts: This shade will work well across all skin tones, because it’s not too bold, bright, or pigmented; it’s soft and sheer but still deposits noticeable color on the lips. It will work best on those with less pigmented lips, however, because it is a sheerer shade.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Guerlain D'une Etreinte Eyeshadow
Guerlain D’une Etreinte Eyeshadow

As White as Snow

Guerlain D’une Etreinte (143) Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a bright snow white; it’s not quite icy–there is some hidden warmth there that keeps it from being cool-toned. It is definitely a near-blinding kind of white, though, with a rich metallic finish. When applied dry, it is still nicely pigmented, but used wet, it seems slightly smoother and the metallic sheen is more visible.

my thoughts on the formula: Guerlain’s eyeshadow texture is phenomenal in their singles–smooth, silky, very buttery. The color is true-to-pan and delivers rich results with little product needed. This particular formula can be used wet or dry, though the color already reaches full intensity used dry. Guerlain’s eyeshadows are massive–over double the average single eyeshadow–and so by the ounce, Guerlain is as expensive ($300/oz.) (or as affordable) as MAC eyeshadows ($290/oz.).

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

final thoughts: This could work really nicely with a smoky eye–think blacks and whites and shades of gray.  It has a beautiful texture:  silky smooth, buttery, and excellent pigmentation.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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