Monday, February 21st, 2011

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Spring 2011: Untamed Violet

Estee Lauder Untamed Violet Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new and limited edition shade of cool-toned violet with soft flecks of gold shimmer. It is part of Estee Lauder’s Wild Violet collection for spring. The shade itself should suit cool skin tones with ease, and warmer skin tones can make it work by pairing it with warmer shades.

my thoughts on the formula: Pure Color Eyeshadow is very soft and smooth but not powdery and has no fall out. With a nice level of pigmentation, the shadow is easy to work with.

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

final thoughts: It’s a lovely color with a silky texture that makes it blend when applied.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Sunday, February 20th, 2011


Quick Review: Milani Glamorous Gems

Milani Glamorous Gems Eyeshadow Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) includes six shades of eyeshadow, all coordinated and in thin, raised strips. They can be used wet or dry, but I found the color pay off too sheer to work with when used dry that I had to use them wet (all swatches are of them wet). I liked the colors in the palette and felt like they coordinated well with each other.

When you use them wet, the color pay off is decent for the first three shades and a little better for the bottom three shades. The palette contains a shimmery white, soft grassy green, teal-tinged forest green, pale yellow gold, softened copper, and bronze. The first three shades have a frostier finish, while the bottom three shades have more a metallic finish.  They all looked more intense in the palette than when swatched, though; most of the shades looked rather muted.

My biggest issue with the palette is actually the packaging/set-up. Each strip is very thin, so it can be difficult to maneuver your brush so that you only get one color–it’s very easy to pick up whatever shade is above or below. The shadows also break down very easily, so use a light touch or else you risk crumbling.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

final thoughts: If these colors popped a little more swatched as they do in the pan, I think it could be a real winner.  I also wish these could be used dry–they just weren’t holding together for me when I tried to swatch (and later attempted to apply).

where to buy: Milani

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Video Review: China Glaze Crackle Glaze

Check out how it crackles in real-time! That’s probably a few minutes in, so skip forward if that’s all you want to see :)

Saturday, February 19th, 2011


China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Crushed Candy, Fault Line, Broken Hearted

China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Part 2

China Glaze Crackle Collection ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) has three more shades, as featured here.  Together, they feature one of my favorite combos — gotta love aqua and bright pink!  All the shades dry to a matte finish, so if you want a shiny finish, just use a shiny top coat (I used Seche Vite for swatches).

  • Crushed Candy is a matte aqua teal. It looks very much like For Audrey, actually. For me, this was the toughest shade to work; I could get it to splinter, but it was just very thick. I did a thinner (which looks fairly streaky when you apply it) coat to the middle nail, and it has a lot of cracks running through it with smaller pieces of color. I did thicker coats on the index and ring fingers and found wider cracks and large chunks of color.
  • Fault Line is a matte, vibrant, royal purple with violet and fuchsia micro-shimmer. I thought this shade was so beautiful and surprisingly easy to work with. This one looked especially nice with a top coat on top.
  • Broken Hearted is a bright, dark candy pink with a matte finish. This has a thicker consistency than Black Mesh but nowhere near as thick as Crushed Candy. I did a thinner coat on the ring finger, which resulted in more cracks and smaller pieces, while I did thicker coats on the index and middle fingers, and they had larger cracks but fewer of them.

Half of the fun of these Crackles is finding good base colors to layer underneath one of the Crackle Glazes. I can’t compare the formula to any other brands, past or present, as I really don’t have any experience with them. I vaguely remember CoverGirl Crackles, but I don’t think I owned any (I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish until I was in my late teens). I like these, and they were easy enough to work with–hey, the look itself is edgy and a little messy, so minor mistakes are easily forgiven. Lightning Bolt might take one or two attempts, but I think I just went too thick.

Tips

  • Do 2 coats maximum of your base color and let it dry completely.
  • Apply the Crackle Glaze in one coat and as quickly as possible as it dries down very fast!
  • Use a thicker coat of Crackle Glaze for more opaque color or thicker cracks (but less of them).
  • Use a thinner coat of Crackle Claze if you want a very crackled, piece-y look.

P.S. — I’ll be posting a video later today showing the polish as it crackles, because I found it pretty cool.

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

final thoughts: dd

where to buy: Sally’s

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011


China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Black Mesh, Cracked Concrete, Lightning Bolt

China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Part 1

China Glaze Crackle Collection ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) consists of six shades, and I wanted to break it into two parts because of how many photos the collection ended up being. Crackle nail polish is just that, polish that cracks. It’s a layering polish, so it is something you apply after you have applied your base color/coat. All the shades dry to a matte finish, so if you want a shiny finish, just use a shiny top coat (I used Seche Vite for swatches).

  • Black Mesh is a matte, deep black. This was the easiest shade to work with out of the six, and it cracks really well. The formula was thin but very pigmented.
  • Cracked Concrete is a matte, medium-dark gray. It’s definitely the color of freshly poured concrete. The formula was thin but pigmented and cracked well without having to trial it.
  • Lightning Bolt is a matte, bright white. I recommend using a medium-thick coat of this if you want it to look more opaque, as thinner coats, while they will show more splintering, also show a lot of the base coming through, so it has a streaky look to it. I used a a fairly thick coat for swatches, and while it splintered, it didn’t do as much as I’d like.

Half of the fun of these Crackles is finding good base colors to layer underneath one of the Crackle Glazes. I can’t compare the formula to any other brands, past or present, as I really don’t have any experience with them. I vaguely remember CoverGirl Crackles, but I don’t think I owned any (I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish until I was in my late teens). I like these, and they were easy enough to work with–hey, the look itself is edgy and a little messy, so minor mistakes are easily forgiven. Lightning Bolt might take one or two attempts, but I think I just went too thick.

Tips

  • Do 2 coats maximum of your base color and let it dry completely.
  • Apply the Crackle Glaze in one coat and as quickly as possible as it dries down very fast!
  • Use a thicker coat of Crackle Glaze for more opaque color or thicker cracks (but less of them).
  • Use a thinner coat of Crackle Glaze if you want a very crackled, piece-y look.

P.S. — I’ll be posting a video later today showing the polish as it crackles, because I found it pretty cool.

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

final thoughts: If you dig the effect, definitely worth picking up a couple of shades.  I think Black Mesh performed the best out of the six, followed by Cracked Concrete.

where to buy: Sally’s

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011


Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Spring 2011: Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette ($79.00 or 0.42 oz.) is a limited edition color palette for spring. It is a refillable palette, and the eyeshadows are easily removed if one desires. Inside, there is a base color, eye color, cheek color, and eye definer. There is a raise turtle design on each shade, and the turtle itself has a metallic sheen overlay (which disappears upon first swatch).

The base color is a pale, gilded beige with pale gold shimmer-sheen. The eye color is a medium-dark brown with slight warm undertones finished with a soft satin sheen. The cheek color is a pink-peach with a peach-gold sheen–think shades like MAC Springsheen, NARS Orgasm, etc. but less shimmer, less golden, and pinker. The eye definer shade is a charcoal forest green with a frosted finish. All four shades were silky smooth and nicely pigmented; there were no issues with the textures or the colors at all.

The three eye colors can all be used wet or dry, though I had no issues with pigmentation and they went on so prettily dry I didn’t even think to use them wet until I read the description of Chantecaille’s eyeshadows online! Funny enough, this palette is cheaper (by the ounce, at $188/oz.) than MAC ($290/oz.), Make Up For Ever ($238/oz.), NARS ($228/oz.), and Urban Decay ($340/oz.).

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

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

final thoughts: I think it’s a really well-done palette with not just a lovely set of colors presented with beautiful decor, but the quality of the eyeshadows and blush is fantastic.  Very smooth, soft, and easy to use.  They blend effortlessly and pack quite a bit of pigment.  I’m also happy to see how much product was included in the palette and love that it is refillable.

where to buy: Nordstorm

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