Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Smashbox Eye Wish Eyeshadow Palette
Smashbox Eye Wish Eyeshadow Palette

Wish Big with Smashbox for the Holidays

Smashbox Eye Wish Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00) is a limited edition holiday palette that contains twelve eyeshadows, four cream eyeliners, and trial sizes of mascara and eyeshadow primer. It’s housed in a yellow gold flip-top rectangular box (think Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows). Inside the palette is a mirror along with a how-to booklet.

  • 1 is a softened dark orange with gold sheen. It’s a touch sheer.
  • 2 is a plum-tinged silver gray. This one was sheer.
  • 3 is a yellowed beige with a matte finish. It wasn’t really chalky, but it was a little sheer.
    4 is a pale warm pink. Nice pigmentation and very smooth.
  • 5 is a molten bronze with warm amber undertones. It reminded me of MAC’s Amber Lights + Bronze mixed together. This was one of the nicest shades in the palette for its rich pigmentation and smooth texture.
  • 6 is a pink-mauve with a frosted sheen. The pigmentation was nice with this shade.
  • 7 is a medium blue with aqua-blue sheen and shimmer. It looked cooler in the pan, but it’s still pretty swatched–the sheen just seemed more noticeable in the pan.
  • 8 is a soft medium-dark gray with a soft silver sheen. It had nice color pay off.
  • 9 is a chocolate bronze with a soft frost finish. It went on easily and smoothly.
  • 10 is a muted cool-toned purple plum. This was a little chalky.
  • 11 is a deep peacock blue with a satin sheen. It could have been a little more pigmented, but it worked better during application than swatched.
  • 12 medium-dark gray with a satin sheen.
  • 13 is a chocolate brown with red undertones and flecks of pale gold shimmer.
  • 14is a deep plum purple with light purple and pink shimmer.
  • 15 is a deep teal-blue.
  • 16 is a charcoal black with a silver sheen.

I want to specifically call attention to the fact that the liners are noted as generic “cream eyeliners.” Smashbox has a line of cream eyeliners called Jet Set, which have a good reputation, but these liners aren’t labeled as such, so I am going to assume (and hope) that they are not Jet Set liners. These liners take forever to dry, and they smudge easily–which is nice initially–but they don’t seem to stay in place at all for me. They just migrate, migrate, migrate, and this leads to… a migraine. Ha, ha. I couldn’t even get them to work well as a base, because they sheer out quite a bit and don’t set fast enough before settling into the crease.

I did like how Smashbox coordinated the columns of eyeshadows, though–and there are certainly a lot of looks one could do with this palette. There is a good mix of colors and neutrals, but I will say this palette leans on the cooler side, with the exception of the browns which are warmer. Overall, the eyeshadow quality is good across the board, with some shades being more average (like #1, 2, 3, and 4) and a couple (like #5, 6, and 9) being really nice with full pigmentation and smooth application. The lightest shades (#1, 2, 3, and 4) were the sheerest and more problematic. The texture of these didn’t seem quite as soft of Smashbox’s eyeshadows, but they were still soft, and overall, they seemed less powdery than typical Smashbox eyeshadows.

The palette includes 0.63 oz. worth of eyeshadow (works out to be 0.0525 oz. each) and 0.105 oz. (works out to be 0.0263 oz. each) worth of cream eyeliner, along with a miniature-sized Lash DNA Mascara (0.20 oz.) and Lid Primer (0.02 oz.). Compared to the cost of full-sized equivalent products, the palette has $170 worth of eyeshadow, $23 worth of eyeliner, $12 worth of mascara, and $5 worth of lid primer–the whole palette coming to a total of $210 worth of Smashbox products for a price of $45. To sum all that up, yes, this is a value palette–the eyeshadows alone make it worthwhile (in terms of quantity/price).

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I wouldn’t rely on this palette for the eyeliners, but if you like the colors included for eyeshadow, then it’s definitely a good value.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom and Sephora

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Friday, December 3rd, 2010


Khaki Eyeliner: Shiseido Black Sand, MAC Buried Treasure, Make Up For Ever #5L,
Urban Decay Stash, shu uemura ME Khaki, MAC Rosemary & Thyme, Chanel Khaki Dore,
Stila Moray, Urban Decay Mildew

Khaki & Olive Green Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

I love antique golds/tarnished greens, and as a result, I do tend to gravitate towards these shades, especially in eyeliners.  I find they pull out the warmth in my hazel eyes–Urban Decay’s Stash is a total go-to liner for me.  Other green shades will be compared separately.

  • Shiseido Black Sand Smoothing Eyeliner is a black base with green and tarnished gold shimmer. (Review)
  • MAC Buried Treasure Powerpoint Eye Pencil is a blackened olive brown with soft green and dark gold shimmer. It’s similar to Shiseido’s Black Sand, but the base is browner and less true green shimmer; seems warmer.
  • Make Up For Ever #5L Aqua Eyes is a khaki green with a tarnished gold sheen. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Stash 24/7 Liner is a dark tarnished gold with sheen. (Review)
  • shu uemura ME Khaki 09 Drawing Pencil is a khaki green with a tarnished gold sheen. It is a hair darker than Make Up For Ever’s #5L.
  • MAC Rosemary & Thyme Eye Kohl is a khaki green with antique gold shimmer and sheen. It is greener than Make Up For Ever #5L and Shu Uemura’s #09. (Review)
  • Chanel Khaki Dore Crayon Yeux is a warm khaki brown with subtle gold and green hints. It is significantly less green than the others here. (Review)
  • Stila Moray Smudge Stick is a deep tarnished green with antique gold shimmer and sheen. It’s most comparable to Urban Decay’s Stash, but the green base is much stronger in Moray, making them noticeably different. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Mildew 24/7 Liner is a dark forest green. It almost seems like an olive green initially, but it’s far too cool and lacks the golden sheen of the rest in this comparison. (Review)

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! If you like khaki green-golds, Make Up For Ever #5L Aqua Eyes, MAC Rosemary & Thyme Eye Kohl, and shu uemura’s ME Khaki 09 Drawing Pencil are all very similar. The shu shade is a little greener than the other two.

Product Formulas/Wear: I have no wear issues with any of the formulas here, with the exception of shu uemura’s, which I haven’t tested. Stila Smudge Sticks and Make Up For Ever Aqua Eye wear best on the water line for me (but I do not know whether either are tested for the water line). MAC Eye Kohls are the creamiest, with Urban Decay right behind it.

What are your favorite khaki/olive green eyeliners?

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Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Kat von D Adora Lipstick

Go Metallic Red with Kat Von D

Kat Von D Adora Painted Love Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.11 oz.) is new-for-fall, and it looks like it’s already sold out online. I just received this from Sephora as part of their holiday offerings, so I was quite surprised to find it missing in action online! It looks like this may be a shade you’ll have to pick up from your local Sephora–if they still have it. It is a stunning shade of bright metallic red. It is an absolutely stunning shade of holiday red; it’s got a metallic-chrome shine that makes the color glow under light.

The shade itself is rich and opaque, needing just one layer for full color coverage. On me, it seems barely blue-based, but generally, I think this would be a very flattering shade on both cooler and warmer skin tones. When I wore it, I got five hours of wear, and it didn’t dry out my lips. Since it has some matte in its finish, it can accentuate dryness if you have cracked or peeling lips.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of fun holiday reds like me, this is one worth calling your local Sephora about!

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010


Silver Eyeliner: Milani Silver, L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning, Make Up For Ever #8L, Urban
Decay Dime, Guerlain Silver, Urban Decay Gunmetal, CoverGirl Silver Spark, Urban Decay Uzi

Silver & Gray Eyeliner Comparisons & Dupes

It looks like metallic silver has been done by quite a few brands, doesn’t it? When it comes to grays, though, I don’t have nearly enough to give a particularly great comparison, but of the three darker grays I own, there are more differences between the three than with the five silver shades.

  • Milani Silver Liquif’Eye Liner is a metallic silver. It is nearly identical to Urban Decay’s Dime. (Review)
  • L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning Chrome Eyeliner is a metallic silver. It is very similar to Guerlain’s Silver, and it is a little darker than the other three silver shades here. (Review)
  • Make Up For Ever #8L Aqua Eyes is a metallic silver. It is a little lighter than the other four silver shades here. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Dime 24/7 Liner is a metallic silver. It is nearly identical to Milani’s Silver.(Review)
  • Guerlain Silver Stylo Yeux is a metallic silver. It is very similar to L’Oreal HIP’s Silver Lightning; it is a little darker than the other three metallic silver shades here. (Side note: I received this relatively recently, but yet I could hardly find any information on it… anywhere.)
  • Urban Decay Gunmetal 24/7 Liner is a darkened silver-gray with shimmer. (Review)
  • CoverGirl Silver Spark Liquiline Blast is a bluish silver-gray. It’s similar to Gunmetal, but it is bluer and has less shimmer. (Review)
  • Urban Decay Uzi 24/7 Liner is a blackened silver. I was hoping to find you a dupe for this one but no such luck. (Review)

Thoughts

DUPE ALERT! The first five shades are all quite similar: Milani Silver, L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning, Make Up For Ever #8L, Urban Decay Dime, and Guerlain Silver . L’Oreal HIP Silver Lightning and Guerlain Silver is are a hue darker than the other three. Make Up For Ever #9L is the lightest of the five.

Product Formulas/Wear: I have no notable issues with wear with any of these formulas (with the exemption of Guerlain’s Stylo Yeux, which I have not tested). They all wear all day for me (tested for at least 12 hours) without budging or migrating. L’Oreal HIP and Milani are the creamiest, with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners following shortly after (still creamy, though). Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes are firmer but still doesn’t tug on the lash line. CoverGirl Liquiline Blasts sometimes need a second pass for true color pay off but otherwise wear fine.

What are your favorite silvers and grays?

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Illamasqua Welt Lipstick
Illamasqua Welt Lipstick

Illamasqua Welt Lipstick

Illamasqua Welt Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright fuchsia pink with a blue base. There is a subtle iridescent shimmer-sheen to the matte finish, too–it’s not a frost, but it’s not quite a sheen. It’s a rich, opaque color that really clings to lips, but the formula does not pull moisture out. Illamasqua’s Lipstick formula feels a little dry when applied, but let it warm up on your lips, because it really isn’t the drying kind. It does hug the lips, though, which makes it a much longer wearing lipstick (six hours or more).

The Glossover

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product

Welt

If you're looking for long-wearing, matte finishes, you may like Illamasqua's lipsticks.  I do not recommend them for those with chapped, cracked, or peeling lips, though.
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Dupes
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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer

Best of Fall: Extravagant Night

Estee Lauder Extravagant Night Nail Lacquer ($18.00 0.3 fl oz.) is a stunning deep dark purple wine base decked out with multi-colored flecks that range from deep fuchsia to violet to gold. Ahh! This was absolutely gorgeous from the first coat on (two coats shown). I don’t even know how to describe the way it looks, because it practically dances under bright lights (like flash), but it still retains its character and depth in natural light. It applies evenly, just like a normal shimmer polish tends to do, but the effect is so much more like a glitter–without the grittiness.

It’s sold out in a lot of places, but Macy’s still has it online! I wish it weren’t so expensive or else they put more in the bottle (0.3 fl. oz. is below average for the price point).

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If it’s something in your budget, YES!

AVAILABILITY: Macy’s

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