Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow

Make Up For Ever #35 & #127 Eyeshadows ($19.00) make for really excellent basic shades.  The brand really shines with their matte and semi-matte shades, like these two below.  I admit, when I first bought their eyeshadows, I went straight for the brights (this is me, duh!), so I’m glad I had the opportunity to check out some of the more neutral shades!  They have the same high-quality pigmentation and feel as the brights I’ve reviewed in the past.

  • #35 is is a soft, powdery beige.  It’s so soft, smooth, and buttery in its texture with great color payoff.   It’s so light that it’s difficult to see, which makes it a great neutral shade for adding light to lids or as a highlighter for the brow bone.
  • #127 is a cool-toned medium brown with a subtle sheen.  I love the way it has this barely-there sheen–it gives you an opportunity to play around with textures while still being subtle.

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

Recommendation:

Availability: Sephora

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Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

tokidoki Brillante Glitter Eyeliner

tokidoki Brillante Glitter Eyeliner ($14.00) are fun to try out, because there are so many shades and so many of them that are bright and vibrant and just fun.  I reviewed these a month ago, and I thought I’d share some photos and swatches of two more of the fourteen available shades.

  • Skeletro is a dark, navy blue with silvered-blue flecks.
  • Savana is a burnished copper-bronze with flecks of gold.

Savana is so, so lovely.  It has this all-over warmth of a flickering fire–really lovely with brown and green eyes in particular.  I think both of these shades are wearable without being bland; they’re vibrant enough to be worn alone or used with other products without competing.  I love the overall color pay off of these eyeliners, but they could be softer on the lash line.  They’re not super rough, but they’re not as smooth as Urban Decay 24/7 Liners either.  They’re more comparable to MAC Softsparkle Pencils.  Obviously, it’s the glittery bits that cause some of that roughness, and it’s nowhere near painful, but it’s something to note.

The packaging is adorable and fun — love how each pencil is a different color — and the price is just right.  I think these are fun eyeliners–maybe not must-haves, but they’re nice-to-haves.

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

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

Recommendation:  If you like glittery eyeliners, these are an affordable indulgence!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, May 10th, 2010

Guerlain #262 Kiss Kiss Baby

Guerlain Cherry Summer (#262) Kiss Kiss Baby Lip Balm ($31.00) is an ultra moisturizing, sheer baby pink.  Kiss Kiss Baby is a high-end version of lip balm, so don’t go into it expecting extraordinary color pay off.  Accordingly, Cherry Summer is no exception–it’s barely there color that delivers a hydrating punch to the lips.   It’s one of two limited edition shades from Guerlain’s Summer collection.  I can’t get over how soft and smooth it is and it really does keep lips moisturized for hours.  I also like that you don’t need a lot to get the moisturizing effect, which is often a problem with higher-end lip balms.  I do like their little potted Terracotta balms a bit  more, but the stick-delivery is way more convenient.  I think Guerlain fanatics will enjoy it, but if you’re not a high-end beauty fiend, this isn’t the product I’d start with!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re a Guerlain fanatic and are on the hunt for something ultra moisturizing, you might find it in Kiss Kiss Baby.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, May 10th, 2010

Tarte Clay Shadow/Liner

Tarte Clay Shadow/Liner ($22.00 for 0.08 oz.) is new for summer and available in five shades: Black (matte black), Bronze (deep bronze sheen), Brown (matte chocolate brown), Indigo (deep royal blue sheen), and Plum (eggplant purple sheen). Each shade also comes with a double-ended brush with a small eyeshadow brush on one end and a pointed end for lining.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been testing the wear of four of the five shades, and they definitely hold up well as an eyeshadow or eyeshadow base. They’re a bit bold to wear alone, so I’ve found that I prefer layering eyeshadows on top of them instead. They have a creamy feel and apply with a very smooth finish.

  • Brown is a matte chocolate brown–that’s the exact description I came up with before I read the officialy one–and it’s very, very opaque.
  • Indigo is a midnight blue with a soft, frosted sheen. I found that it’s pigmented without being intense. It’s a noticeable color, but it isn’t too vibrant that it’s a bright.
  • Plum is a red-based medium-dark purple with multi-colored shimmer and a frost sheen. I don’t think I’d call this Plum, though — it’s a bit brighter than that.
  • Bronze is a coppered bronze with a frosted sheen .It has a definite warmth to it.

The shades themselves don’t reinvent the color wheel by any means, but the product itself is solid. I didn’t experience any creasing or fading when I used them as an eyeshadow base. Similar, when I wore them as eyeliner, they stayed put–no budging, migration, or fading. I found the Brown shade (the only one I tried, since the other three have shimmer) lasted a few hours on my waterline, as well. They’re definitely pool and summer-friendly products, though I definitely like them more as an eyeliner. I find such dark bases eat color rather than enhance it like lighter bases, so I just personally get more use out of these kinds of products by using them as an eyeliner.

I had a little issue with the packaging, as I often had to attempt to screw the cap on several times to catch the threading, and the cap itself felt a bit flimsy. It doesn’t make or break the product for me, but it was annoying, since you want to make sure to tightly close all of your cream/gel products to prevent them from drying out. The included brush is just so-so–I still reached for my trusty MAC brushes–just a little unrefined and not the softest brush I’ve used. Better than a sponge-tip applicator, though!

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

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

Recommendation:  For long-lasting, creamy eyeliner or eyeshadow, Tarte’s new Clay Shadow/Liners definitely get the job done.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, May 10th, 2010

Illamasqua Fierce Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Fierce Intense Lipgloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Fierce Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss Fierce ($19.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a medium violet purple. Yes, it’s really, truly a purple lipgloss. This isn’t a hint of violet, a smidgen of purple–it is undeniably purple. I don’t, personally, think I’d wear this shade alone, but I’d work it with a red or burgundy lipstick mixed with it for something I could wear. Though I experienced no bleeding and the gloss goes on beautifully–smooth, evenly, and mostly opaque–the natural color of the edges of my lips are visible–I recommend using a lip brush to apply and a magenta or purple lip liner underneath. I think this will yield the most impacting pout if you’re going full-force purple.

Is this the right purple lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

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The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

YSL #13 Rouge Volupte Lipstick
YSL Peach Passion Rouge Volupte Lipstick

The Summer Season: YSL Peach Passion Rouge Volupte Lipstick

YSL Peach Passion (#13) Rouge Volupte Lipstick ($34.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a brightened peachy-coral with an ultra creamy feel. Rouge Voluptes are ridiculously creamy–quite possibly the creamiest lipstick I’ve ever tried–so they do have a lot of slip. It’s easy to use more than you need, but the lipstick itself lasts a solid three to four hours, despite the slip-factor. Peach Passion is a rich, opaque shade that delivers full-color coverage with a soft, mango-ish scent.

Is this the right coral lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →