Monday, January 25th, 2010

Tarte Flower Child Eyeshadow Palette for Spring 2010

Tarte for Spring 2010:  Flower Child Palette

Tarte Flower Child Natural Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00) is a new spring-styled palette from Tarte. It seems like every season, Tarte has a new eyeshadow palette up their sleeves. The Flower Child palette is in the same vein; it includes ten eyeshadows housed in a purple-covered case (kind of like a patent material) with flowers sprouting out on top (sorry, no photo).

Inspired by the rich earthen hues from which their pure color pigments are harvested and this Spring’s runway and red carpet trends, Tina’s interpretation of tarte’s best-selling eyeshadow palette combines saturated pigments with subtle pops of color. Versatile and artistic, this palette seamlessly transitions between day and night thanks to a wide variety of tones ranging from delicate to robust. This harmonious balance of shades ingeniously captures the expressiveness of the eyes no matter the look.

Eyeshadows

  • Soft Daffodil is a lightly shimmered peach. It’s hard to see on my skin tone, but it’s a very pretty shade to use with a neutral or softer look.
  • Ecru Hibiscus is a pink champagne. It may not seem ultra pigmented to the eye, but it’s designed to be softer shade — this is something you could use as a highlighter or as a wash. I think it’s just pigmented enough to do what it should.
  • Pink Peony is a brightened up blue-based pink. It was a little powdery when I played with it and looked sheerer when swatched than I’d have liked it to be. Even though it’s supposed to have shimmer, it seemed very minute to me.
  • Gray Periwinkle is a silvered gray with a light shimmer sheen (but it’s truly quite faint). I didn’t see any periwinkle in this, though. This shade was decently pigmented relative to the rest of the shades in the palette.
  • Peach Tulip is a coppery bronze that goes on very smooth and looks rich. This one is very pigmented, but it looks absolutely nothing like a peach or tulip. This seems like a better fit for the name “Firewheel” (while Firewheel seems a better fit for Peach Tulip).
  • Firewheel is a peachy melon with a soft gold sheen. This is a played down, more pinked melon than MAC’s Melon pigment. I always gravitate towards these kinds of shades! This applied very smooth and pigmented.
  • Buttercup is a slightly warmed-up soft brown with a matte finish. It’s soft, but it’s a little on the sheerer side and can look a bit faded.
  • African Violet is a darkened purple with red undertones with a light shimmer sheen. It’s decently pigmented, though not intense.
  • Delphinium Blue is a powdery navy blue. This was the sheerest and most powdery shade of the ten eyeshadows–it just wasn’t very pigmented or smooth.
  • Vibrant Forest Grass is a darkened cool-toned green with a soft shimmer finish. I think the name is a little off — it’s not vibrant (just pigmented, but not intensely so), but it is like a forest green, I suppose.

Also included in the palette is a double-sided eyeliner that has a dark brown on one side and a lightly shimmered darkened teal on the other; a double-sided brush (yes, a brush–no sponge tip applicators here!), and a miniature-sized Natural Eye Primer. The Eye Primer doesn’t actually fit inside the palette, though, so it’s not as functional as it could be. (It comes in a plastic holder that hangs off of the side.)

All of the eyeshadows are full-sized and magnetized so you can remove them if you want, refill with other Tarte eyeshadows as needed, and so on. I really do like that, because it means you are getting a great deal for your money, but it means you can always slot in another shade if you happen to finish one of these!

Bottom Line: It’s a solid palette, but it’s definitely on the sheerer/softer side of the eyeshadow spectrum. The colors do fit well with the season, as it gives me a spring feeling. The palette itself holds excellent value as you get ten full-sized eyeshadows for $44 (as opposed to $10 a pop, not that you can purchase these shades individually, though). I think some of the shades could have used some more pigmentation, particularly the deeper shades, but it’s a decent palette overall.

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: For a real value-loaded palette, Tarte’s Flower Child offers several soft shades for the spring season.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, January 25th, 2010

MAC Nymphette Lipglass

The Spring Season: MAC Nymphette Lipglass

MAC Nymphette Lipglass ($14.00) is a pretty semi-sheer concoction of golden shimmered champagne pink with just a touch of green-gold shimmer. It’s the most affordable dupe of Cle de Peau #2 Lip Gloss that I’ve found, but it is also a lot sheerer (more of a soft pink base, whereas Cle de Peau shows up more a champagne nude with lots of gold). But Nymphette is a beautiful shade in its own right, so I really wouldn’t think about it as “just a dupe for,” but a shade that’s worth buying independent of that. It works well layered on lipsticks but can also be worn alone for a pretty pout. MAC Lipglass is vanilla-scented and one of the tackier glosses on the market, but those are both things I like (hey, tackier lipglosses have a tendency to stay on better!), particularly since MAC Lipglass lasts about three to four hours on me when worn alone.

Is this the perfect glossy shade for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

 

Guerlain Corail Passion Lipstick
Guerlain Corail Passion Lipstick

The Spring Season: Guerlain Corail Passion Lipstick

Guerlain Corail Passion (#559) KissKiss Lipstick ($30.00) is a soft orange-based coral with a slight frost sheen. It applies easily, goes on semi-opaque, and has a glossy sheen in its finish. It’s not quite shimmery yet it definitely has a frost edge to it (but I don’t think it’s too frosty, like frosts sometimes are). It’s not my perfect coral (Guerlain’s Gems is the closest so far!), but I like the way it’s distinctly coral but not too bright–many truer corals also tend to be bolder, brighter.

I’m not often a fan of orange-based shades on me, whether they’re red or coral or what-have-you, but this is soft enough of an orange hue that it doesn’t bother me as it usually does! The texture is soft and smooth, very easy to work with, and I get about four to five hours of wear from KissKiss lipsticks. They are heavily scented, so if you prefer soft scents, scent-free, or more vanilla-esque scents, you may want to take a sniff before you buy a Guerlain lipstick.

Is this the perfect glossy shade for you? Would you wear it?

The Spring Season is a series of posts featuring my favorite soft beige, coral, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for the first blossom of spring — that runs through March 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland Eyeshadow Palette

I purchased the palette online at Urban Decay on Friday, and it finally arrived here to me in California (they ship out from Florida, FYI!). For those interested in picking one up for themselves, both U.S. and Canadian Sephoras are taking phone orders. I know the U.S. number is 1-877-SEPHORA. Last I heard, Sephora would have it online around the 26th and retails for $52.

In the Book of Shadows, Alice in Wonderland style, you get sixteen eyeshadows, each weighing 0.03 oz. You also receive a miniaturized Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.) and two miniaturized 24/7 eye pencils (0.3 oz.) in Zero and Flipside.

It is important to note that the eyeshadows included in the palette are not new shades; they’re existing/previous shades re-named to fit in the Alice in Wonderland theme. That being said, if you own Urban Decay’s Ammo, Book of Shadows Vol. I/Vol. II, or the Sustainable Palettes, you may already own the majority of the shadows in the Alice in Wonderland kit.  Below is a shadow-by-shadow review with the real-name of the eyeshadow in parentheses (for your reference).

Eyeshadows

  • Underland (Flash) is a bright, cool-toned medium purple with an icy lilac shimmer. It’s soft, smooth, and richly pigmented.
  • Alice (Painkiller) is a bright aqua-blue with an icy sheen. Like Underland, it’s smooth, silky soft, and has lots of pigment to it.
  • Oraculum (Baked) is a warmed-up copper with a softer copper sheen. Smooth, soft, well-pigmented. I do find this one has a bit of a frostier finish than some of the other shades.
  • Queen (Last Call) is a reddened eggplant with a burgundy edge. It has a frost-like sheen, but it is smooth and pigmented.
  • Chessur (Chopper) is a cooler-toned, not nearly as bright, copper shade. It has the same soft texture as the majority of Urban Decay’s shadows, but it has silverish glitter particles that may contribute to some fall out in practice.
  • White Rabbit (Polyester Bride) is a gently yellowed white (though still, very white) with a white-gold sheen. Like Chessur, it also has some glitter to it, so it’s not quite my favorite texture.
  • Wonderland (Maui Wowie) is a tarnished gold, maybe an antique gold, but not quite so dark. It has a golden bronze sheen to it. It’s pigmented and smooth, but it also has a few glitter particles (though I think this is one of the more manageable glitter-based shades in the bunch).
  • Curiouser (Grifter) is a lightened fuchsia-purple with icy purple sheen. It also has silverish glitter particles in it, which may lead to fall out. This is one of the lesser pigmented shades, though it still has decent color pay off.
  • Muchness (X) is a peachy-melon with a gold sheen. It almost has a little mauve to it, in certain lighting. It reminded me of MAC’s Melon pigment quite a bit. This has a frosty finish, but it doesn’t have the glitter, so it’s smooth and easier to work with.
  • Mushroom (Mushroom) is a taupe brown with kind of a silvery sheen and shimmer. It’s not quite as rich as some of the other shades, but it can be layered for a more intense look. (Don’t get me wrong, it has nice pigmentation–just not as intense as the other shades in this palette.)
  • Midnight Tea Party (Midnight Cowboy Rides Again) is a flushed champagne with silver/gold glitter particles. This is quite possibly my least favorite Urban Decay eyeshadow. It is a pain in the behind to work with, because the glitter fall out is pretty insane. It’s a shame, because the color itself is pretty, but the glitter means “No, thank you!” for me.
  • Vorapal (S&M) is a neutral, slightly cooled down silver with a brighter silver sheen. Smooth and pigmented.
  • Absolem (Homegrown) is a grassy green with a golden shimmered sheen. Very pigmented and true-to-color.
  • Drink Me, Eat Me (Sin) is a pinked champagne with a bright, frosty sheen. It’s like a pinker version of Midnight Tea Party–and sans all the glittery fall out.
  • Mad Hatter (Twice Baked) is a lightly glittered dark brown with warm undertones. I don’t remember Twice Baked behing so lagging in pigment, but I really had to layer this one on to get a decent evenness. It gave me some drag and a faded look.
  • Jabberwocky (Oil Slick) is a dark black base with icy blue and silver glitter. While not as prone to fall out as Midnight Tea Party, it’s still one of the glittery shades that may lead to some fall out while applying it.

Bottom Line: From the beginning, I’ve been a little disappointed that Urban Decay didn’t create some new shades for this palette, in light of the partnership between them and Alice in Wonderland. The names are certainly excellent and totally work with the theme, but I would have appreciated (and just loved to have seen!) brand new shades.

I like the shades and palette overall, but I think I already own the majority in various other palettes, too, so I’ll probably end up passing this on to my sister after I do some looks with it (well, hopefully!). I’m not a huge fan of Urban Decay’s more glittery shades (of which there are six, with one being exceptionally hard to work with) and tend to prefer their smoother shades.  I think the palette could have done with a few matte or semi-matte shades, too, just to break up the frost and shimmer.

The packaging is very cohesive, and it looks good.  It fits with the theme, but I think they put it together quite nicely.  My lid won’t stay open, so it being used as a mirror is not happening as of yet.  Since the theme, while well-done, isn’t a driver for me though, I probably would have passed on this palette under normal circumstances.  It’s a better buy if you are looking to try a bunch of Urban Decay eyeshadows without investing in singles; it’s definitely a value palette if that’s the case!

Love it or hate it?

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you’re a big Alice in Wonderland fan, or really like cute packaging, you may want to place you order sooner rather than later. OR if you’ve always wanted to try out UD shadows (but don’t have any/just a few).

Availability: Sephora (TBA)

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Drugstore Treats from Maybelline’s Eye Studio Collection

Maybelline Eye Studio Give Me Gold Color Plush Silk Eyeshadows ($9.99) may be a mouthful to say, but it’s a surprising treat to be found at your local drugstore. Each of the Color Plush Silk Eyeshadows can be found in a palette with four shades in each, and there are twelve different varieties currently on the market.

I’m often left wanting more from mass makeup, but Maybelline really knocked it out of the park with their Eye Studio collection. (I’ll be reviewing two shades of the Marbleized Eyeshadows and Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliners later this week!) I’m a tough one to impress when it comes to “drugstore makeup,” and I’m just really glad I had the opportunity to try these so I could share a new find with you.

Give Me Gold includes four shades: a silky champagne-white, a yellow gold with shimmer, a copper-bronze with gold shimmer, and a chocolate brown with a little bit of gold shimmer. I particularly liked this palette because the shades really work well together; they complement and you can get some nice neutral-ish eyeshadow combinations out of it. I’m pleased to report that all four of the shades were well-pigmented, felt soft to the touch, and applied very smoothly.

The only real downside to this palette was the packaging, which looks so-so, but it does feel a little cheap and flimsy. It may not last if you carry it around in your makeup bag on a daily basis, but if you just take it with you for travel from time to time (and leave it at home most of the time), I think it’ll be fine. I found the cover of this one snapped off, but I was able to snap it right back on.

Other than the packaging not wow-ing me, I’m pleased. The product itself is the most important part, and it was standout. Definitely some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried from a drugstore beauty brand. You can definitely expect a look from me in the next day or two with these!

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

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

Recommendation: If you’re looking for eyeshadow on a budget, Maybelline’s new Eye Studio palettes may be just right!

Availability: Maybelline, Target

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Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Beautiful, Glittering Eyes with Stila’s Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Stila Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00) is a mysteriously glittering, shimmering palette. When I saw the promotional images for the palette, I was definitely curious — who doesn’t love some glitter? (OK, I know a few of you don’t, but shh!)

I find myself at a loss as to how exactly to describe the texture and feel of these eyeshadows. They feel almost wet, but not really creamy and certainly not powdery. They apply fairly sheerly when used, though they can be layered for a slightly more intense look.

Since it has a bit of a creamy feel (but it’s sooo not a cream shadow!), I patted the Golden Topaz shade all over my lid, just to see what kind of fall out we were looking for. I wasn’t even concerned about staying power, because it wasn’t over a base, so I expected it to crease. Well, it didn’t. It didn’t crease after just having patted it on my lid for over an hour. There was also very, very minimal fall out (like I saw three or four sparkles). Typically, I find myself having to strategically apply foundation over glittery bits and doing all sorts of tricks to make sure my undereye area isn’t more sparkly than my eyelid.

  • Golden Topaz is a soft peachy-brown with champagne shimmer/glitter.
  • Amethyst is a medium dark purple with red undertones and soft golden glitter.
  • Black Diamond is black with silver glitter.
  • Rose Quartz is a light-medium rosy pink with silver glitter.

I was pleasantly surprised at Stila’s newest palette for the spring season. I just wasn’t expecting it to knock my socks off, and I admit I was totally expecting the glitter to fall everywhere. But you know what’s REALLY awesome about this? It looked like my lids were wet. The color really does look like shimmering water. Gorgeous!

Now, I just hope they’ll release another one of these, but with vibrant jewel-tones… say a deep blue, mermaid teal…

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

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

Recommendation: If you love glitter and have always wanted glitter that looks like reflecting water… you have to check this out!

Availability: Sephora, Stila

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