Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow: Gold, Silver, Pewter

Bobbi Brown Chrome Eyeshadow ($22.00 for 0.1 oz.) are new and limited edition from Bobbi Brown’s Holiday Collection for the holiday season.

These are stunning metallic finish eyeshadows — ultra pigmented, feel like butter, and blend easily. There are three shades available: Gold, which is a darker bronzy-gold; Silver, which is a bright metallic silver-gray; and Pewter, which is a taupe-brown gold with a silver-gold sheen. All three are equally amazing, just from the first use. They’re so soft, and each shade packs plenty of color. I think I may have to get a back-up of Pewter, because it’s just such an excellent color in a stellar formula. (I’m totally planning to use Pewter as a one-swipe-and-you’re-done shade!)

Bottom Line: Considering the size of the shadow (they’re cheaper than MAC, by the ounce!), the sleek packaging of Bobbi Brown (though it does hold fingerprints), and the amazing quality of these shadows… I am in love! So smooth, so rich in color, and I’m all over anything metallic. Perfect shades for holiday, too!

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

Recommendation: If you love metallic, shiny, or otherwise gilded eyeshadows… I think you’ll enjoy Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Eyeshadows!

Availability: BobbiBrownCosmetics.com

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Givenchy Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension ($28.00) is an extension (harhar!) of Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Mascara. This is a lengthening mascara, whereas the original Phenomen’Eyes is more of an all-purpose mascara, though it is designed to curl and separate lashes. Both mascaras describe the final result as “lashes with a panoramic effect.” I tried out Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension in Extension Blue, which certainly looks like a medium navy blue on the wand and in the tube.

On my lashes, the color itself is minimal–if you have lighter or blonder lashes, I imagine the blue will be more pronounced. To get more color pay off, I do recommend trying it with a fleshy-colored lash primer (most lash primers are white–my favorite is Lancome’s Oscillation Primer). Aside from the color, I was incredibly impressed by the superior length I achieved with a few coats of this mascara. My lashes looked longer, just a smidgen thicker (but I wouldn’t call this mascara thickening), and it kept my lashes pretty separated.

The biggest downside is this product takes some getting used to. It definitely has a revolutionary wand, which is a sphere-shaped wand with little spikes. I’d say it took me about three to four uses before I started to feel like I was getting the hang of the application. You have to play around and experiment to see what’s the best method to apply it is. I don’t think this separates perfectly, but I also think that the “spikes” on the wand can sometimes clump up with product, so blotting can help. One or two brushes with a lash comb will separate lashes and give you a great finished look, and I find I usually do this step most of the time, since I have a tendency to PILE on the mascara. :)

Bottom Line: For a great lengthening mascara, Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension Mascara is killer. It also gives my lashes a natural curl and keeps it in place all day. I don’t find this mascara smudges or flakes on me, either. My only issue is the blue doesn’t really show up that well on me, though it’s more noticeable in person than in photos. I’d probably just get the Extension Black shade instead, but I really found the formula to work! It’s not the easiest mascara to use and it is a bit pricey, which keeps this product from getting a better overall score.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: For longer lashes, Givenchy’s Phenomen’Eyes Effet Extension Mascara delivers!

Availability: Sephora.com

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Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Benefit BADgal Liner (Waterproof) ($20.00) is a medium black pencil liner designed to be smudgeproof and waterproof. It’s a follow-up release to the original BADgal liner, which many had trouble getting to really stick on the lash line.

While the newer Waterproof version is longer lasting in comparison to the original formula, it’s not quite waterproof enough. I guess, in that sense, it sort of fails to live up to its name, because I do find that it can be smudged a bit with watery eyes. I think the average person may find this to be long-wearing and smudge and water resistant, but it’s certainly not going to pass the cry test. It’s also not something that lasts well on my waterline (but so little does, and most liners are never touted as waterline safe…).

Personally, it lasts for hours on my lower lash line with little smudging and definitely no creasing or serious migration. My eyes aren’t, though, watery on a regular basis, but I happened to wear this while suffering some seasonal allergies (pollen, dust, and the like) and found it just didn’t hold up well. When it gets hit by tears/water, it has a tendency to smudge a bit. Now, don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t start cascading down your face or anything! It does stay within a tolerable distance from where I originally put it, but for something called Waterproof, I expect just that.

I do like that the liner itself is double-ended; it has the liner on one side and a sponge smudger on the other, so it can really give you a quick and dirty sultry eye on a whim. (Really, just smoking out the lower and upper lash lines can add drama to eyes–even if you don’t wear any eyeshadow!) It’s slim and portable, and the formula itself is very creamy and easy to apply… but I just wish it was truly waterproof — I’d describe it more as a water-resistant formula, so it’s like 80% there.

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

  • Product: 22/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t have watery eyes and like a soft, medium black, BADgal liner (Waterproof) might be a match for you.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick

Guerlain Gemma Le Rouge G de Guerlain Lipstick ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dazzling confection of medium pink with a golden glimmer. It applies opaque in one to two layers, and it looks natural yet still more color pop than a my-lips-but-better (MLBB) shade. I’m really a big fan of how smoothly and evenly the Rouge Gs apply, and Gemma is no exception. I think this color is universally flattering, because it’s a nice, neutral medium pink. The gold shimmer adds a little oomph to the color, too. This is a shade you could wear year-round, so this is definitely going to make its way into my everyday lip color stash.

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

Recommendation: This is one of my favorite shades that I’ve seen from the Rouge G lineup — it’s a very pretty in pink shade with just the right amount of shimmer.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, October 20th, 2009


Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss: Canari, Colibri, Hirondelle

Chanel Aqualumiere Gloss ($27.00) will see an addition of three new, limited edition shades as part of Chanel’s Holiday Collection. The shades include Canari, which is a peachy-melon with golden-peach shimmer; Colibri, which is a shimmery champagne with iridescent shimmer; and Hirondelle, which is a medium pink with pink and gold shimmer.

All three Aqualumiere Glosses appearing with the holiday collection are very sheer shades. They pack pretty shimmer, but they don’t add much in the way of color. Canari goes on as a golden shimmer, which is pretty and definitely holiday-esque–I’d probably layer it over a red for a little extra glitz. Colibri makes my lips appear cooler and paler with iridescent silvery white shimmer. It actually reminds me a bit of MAC’s She-Zam Dazzleglass, but with a little more of a pinkish tone to it. Surprisingly, Hirondelle adds the most color to lips, and it appears as a soft, slightly milky pink with pink shimmer.

Aqualumiere Glosses are sheer, ultra glossy, and non-sticky. It comes with a brush-tipped applicator which makes for fairly easy application. I’m easygoing when it comes to gloss applicators – doe foot or brush, it’s all good! They’re not the most long-lasting lipgloss (I certainly wouldn’t dub them long-wearing) – I get about three hours of wear when I layer one on by itself. Over a lipstick, I do get better results (four to five hours overall for the average pairing). I still prefer some of the earlier released shades of Aqualumiere Glosses–I remember being really jazzed over them initially–but these new shades for holiday are a little too sheer for my liking. I’d suggest checking out permanent shades like Candy Glow and Ginger Shimmer instead.

Bottom Line: Aqualumiere Glosses are, by their nature, sheer, so I’m not going to knock a bunch of points off on that account.  These shades just aren’t to my particular taste, but if you like non-sticky, ultra glossy lipgloss, then Aqualumiere Glosses are always a good bet–just as long as you’re in the market for something on the sheerer side.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of the feel and texture of Chanel’s Aqualumiere Glosses, you might want to peep the new shades. They’re very much on the sheer side, though!

Availability: October 2009 at CHANEL counters

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Monday, October 19th, 2009


Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner in Indigo and Cocoa

Sonia Kashuk Dramatically Defining Long Wear Gel Eye Liner ($8.99) is SK’s answer for longwearing, smudge-proof, budge-proof gel liner. It’s available in three shades: Cocoa (deep brown), Ebony (deep black), and Indigo (deep blue). I haven’t seen Ebony yet, but I did get a chance to play with Cocoa and Indigo.

Indigo is a rich, vibrant dark navy blue (I wouldn’t describe it as Indigo, personally) with slight shimmer but not a lot of shininess. It applies evenly and opaquely with an angled eyeliner brush (I like MAC’s 208). Cocoa is a dark, slightly warm-toned chocolate brown. It has a very creamy texture, and it has a slightly wet look to it, though it does dry down and has an overall matte finish. I’d say that Cocoa is comparable to MAC’s Rich Ground fluidline, but it has a more matte appearance and probably a touch warmer, too.

Both of these gel liners wear incredibly well throughout the day with no budging, smudging, or fading. They stay in place and last all day long on the lower and upper lash lines. They’re also thick and creamy and pack plenty of color, so you can easily create defined eyes with a flick of the wrist. The quality of these is most definitely comparable to Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liner and MAC’s Fluidlines. The packaging isn’t as nice (just feels a little cheap) as either of the high-end brands mentioned, but ultimately, it’s the product that counts.

Bottom Line: If you’re on a tight budget, or if you’ve merely wanted to try your hand at gel liners, Sonia Kashuk provides a solid option. The only real drawback to the line is that it is an extremely limited shade range and may be difficult to find, as it’s only available at some Targets and not currently available for purchase online.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: For those who’ve eyed MAC’s Fluidlines or Bobbi Brown’s Gel Liners, Sonia Kashuk’s DDLGELs are awesome, affordable options.

Availability: Target (Local)

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