Thursday, August 20th, 2009


Brash & Bold Pigment

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection: Pigments

The talented photographer Marilyn Minter was inspired by MAC’s glitters and pigments. From her portion of the Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection comes two Reflects Glitters (Copper and Rust), two Glitters (Gold and Fuchsia), four pigments (Cocomotion, Brash & Bold, Heritage Rouge, and Push the Edge), as well as Gloss Texture in Clear.

Pigment ($19.50)

  • Brash & Bold is a velvety, deep fuchsia-red with subtle fuchsia-purple sheen. If Bright Fuchsia and Pink Pearl pigment had a baby, this would be it.
  • Heritage Rouge is a dark, cranberry-burgundy frost. It’s incredibly pigmented and goes on smooth. It’s one of the best pigment textures to date. This was a previously released shade, so be sure to check your stash to make sure you don’t already have one.
  • Push the Edge is a deep blue-based violet purple with soft shimmer/sheen. It reminded me a lot of Entremauve pigment but bluer, not quite as plum. The textures are even similar, as this one is a bit chalky (though not terribly so).
  • Cocomotion is a rich shade of antique gold with a bit more brightness than your typical antique gold. It’s one of my favorite shades of pigments (again, check your stash before buying), because it’s extremely smooth, rich in pigmentation, and is a dream to work with.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: I think both Brash & Bold and Push the Edge pigments represent two shades we don’t often see MAC putting out. While neither is necessarily absolutely, positively original, they’re both pleasant surprises. Cocomotion and Heritage Rouge are also exceptional shades, and it’s good to see them make a return, at least for a limited time.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com

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Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — Photo Realism Eyeshadow Quad

Richard Phillips contributed three eyeshadow quads to the MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. Let’s take a look at the earthy quad called Photo Realism…

Photo Realism Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Photorealism is a paled down yellow-gold with a bit of a taupe-mix in the base with a frost finish. This is a very unique color, actually. Just the way the gold comes together makes it unusual.
  • Fresh Approach is a cool-toned, minty green. It’s not a bright, springy green, because it is mixed with a little bit of aqua to make it more of a mint green. It has a veluxe pearl finish, so it has a nice, smooth texture with great color pay off.
  • Image Maker is grayish green with a frosty finish. It actually reminded me of Club eyeshadow with less reddish tones.
  • Grey Range is a dark blue-green and is a pretty good match to Deep Blue Green pigment, actually. It has a veluxe pearl finish, which is why it has good pigmentation.

I’d put both Photo Realism and Notoriety eyeshadow quads on the same level–they’re both nice palettes with colors that go on smoothly and have good color to them. Notoriety is likely the more wearable between the two, because of the neutral tones, but Photo Realism is surprisingly wearable. None of the colors are so bright or bold that they couldn’t be used in a more subtle look. I’m really impressed with Photorealism, just because it has so much dimension to it. I love the idea of Grey Range, because I’ve always wanted an eyeshadow the color of Deep Blue Green pigment (I don’t like pressed pigments). These colors also just scream FALL! to me, too. I like it when things fit!

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 9/10
  • Overall: 8/10

Recommendation: Perfect for fall, Photo Realism is a great combination of softer, cool-tone greens and blues. If you like a little color in your looks, you might find yourself falling for this quad.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com

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Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — Notoriety Eyeshadow Quad

Richard Phillips contributed three eyeshadow quads to the MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. Let’s take a look at the earthy quad called Notoriety…

Notoriety Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Skintone 1 is a glittery confection of pale, whitish pink with a frosty finish. It has a lustre texture, which makes it a bit gritty and it does have a bit of fall out.
  • Rich & Earthy is a muted orange-base with golden shimmer laced through it. MAC describes it as a “coral bronze,” but I don’t really see that much brown in it. It’s more of a light, copper orange with gold shimmer, at best. This one has a veluxe pearl finish, which means it’s smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend.
  • Skintone 2 is a slightly muted gold with a bronzy finish. It has a frost finish, so it is incredibly easy to blend while still being pigmented and smooth to the touch. I felt like this was a really wearable gold, because it wasn’t so yellow or bright.
  • Notoriety is a deep cool-toned taupe brown base with gold flecks throughout. Being a velvet finish, this shadow is a bit chalky if you don’t layer it. I was expecting the brown to be a bit warmer–more chocolate–than it turned out to be. It’s surprisingly cool.

In the Gallery may be the “butt” quad of the collection (aka the loser of the bunch), I’m happy to be able to say that Notoriety is much better. The colors are more pigmented, and they’re not chalky like In the Gallery . I felt the weakest was Notoriety, actually, because it was a bit chalky compared to the other three shades in this quad. However, it layers really well so you can create a smooth texture that way. In particular, I really liked both Rich & Earthy and Skintone 2 — very pretty, wearable shades.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: Want a bit of a neutral look with a little shimmery kick? I think Notoriety is neutral without being too soft or subtle. It gives you great earthy tones that will be perfect for fall.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com

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Thursday, August 20th, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection — In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad

As envisioned by Richard Phillips, three eyeshadow quads were developed for the upcoming MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection. This post will focus on In the Gallery Eyeshadow Quad!

Private Viewing Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00)

  • Lightfall is an extremely sheer, satiny pale pink with lavender. If you have anything beyond a pale skin tone, this color is going to take work to show up. I couldn’t use a brush or a finger to swatch–I had to use a sponge-tip applicator and really dig into the color and layer it over five times to get the color to show up as it does in the swatch below. I was not pleased to say the least! Over a base, I imagine a little less work would be necessary, but that’s true for every color.
  • Look at the Eyes is a shimmery silvery-puprle with light silver-pink shimmer. It has a frost finish, but it doesn’t appear overly frosty. This reminded me a bit of Beautiful Iris eyeshadow.
  • In the Gallery is a matte eggplant-purple–reminded me a bit of Fig. 1 eyeshadow, though it’s not ultra pigmented and can be a bit chalky when applying.
  • Private Viewing is a plummy, red-brown. It is also matte, like In the Gallery, but it doesn’t feel as chalky. It could be smoother–more like Matte2s, IMO. This felt like a more purple Sketch eyeshadow to me.

This is a true purple quad–every color is tinted with it. I like the way the colors match each other, and I think you can get several different color combinations out of this quad. I’ve always been a fan of MAC’s quad packaging, because you get the ease and slimness of palettes, but you can see through the lid, too, which is always nice if you’re guilty of owning a few too many quads like myself! It’s not the most original set of shades, but they work well together. Because the two matte eyeshadows do have some drag, and Lightfall requires far too many layers to show up, I wouldn’t put this on my must-have list.

  • Product: 6/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you’re all about purple eyeshadows, you should certainly check this quad out, since it is ALL about purples! Just make sure you have a good eyeshadow base if you become an owner of one of these, because the shadows don’t work so well without one.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com (August 20th), MAC stores

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009


Givenchy Velvet Purple, Glamorous Fuchsia, Lilac Confession, Capricious Pink

Givenchy’s Latest Lip Gloss Launch

Givenchy Gloss Interdit Ultra-Shiny Color Plumping Effect ($24.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a new product launch by Givenchy which features twelve shades of the new lip gloss.  I tried out four of those twelve shades, and I gotta say, I like the new formula!

  • Velvet Purple is a semi-sheer berry-burgundy shade with subtle shimmer and lots of glossy sheen.
  • Glamorous Fuchsia is a semi-opaque, medium bubblegum pink that goes on more creamy in finish and look but still has lots of glossiness.
  • Lilac Confession is a semi-opaque, medium pink laced with lightly cooled lilac with a frosty shimmer finish.
  • Capricious Pink is semi-sheer, light shimmery pinky-beige shade that goes on more sheerly and more of a muted, light pink, which is a bit different compared to the swatch (which is more of a bright pinky-coral).

The gloss does lightly plump up lips, but there is no noticeable burn/tingle that is often associated with lip plumping products.  (Trust me, I am no fan of that lip plumping tingle.)  It’s a medium-thick, non-sticky gloss that can be semi-sheer to more opaque, depending on the shade chosen.  Glamorous Fuchsia and Lilac Confession both had good pigmentation, while Velvet Purple was most certainly noticeable, it still appeared as more of a sheer gloss.  Capricious Pink had the least color pay off of the four, but that is the nature of lighter lip glosses.

I find that these wear for four or five hours with minimal fading, and they don’t leave behind any residue when they do fade away after eating/drinking.  They’re also moisturizing and feel really lovely on your lips–lightweight and not thick or tacky.  They’re a bit pricey relative to other brands’ lipglosses, but the price is right in line with what I’d expect from Givenchy.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation:  Lipgloss lovers will likely enjoy this new formula, and if you want some fuller lips… even better.  The way the gloss looks helps to further amp up your natural lip shape, too.  A wee bit pricey for some, but if it’s within your budget or you feel like splurging… not a bad choice!

Availability: Sephora

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Bright Enough for Fall: Dolce & Gabbana Dazzling Smooth Eye Colour Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Dazzling Smooth Eye Colour Quad ($59.00) is a stunning combination of a snowy white with a pink-purple icy tinge, a shimmering ocean blue, spring-y yellow-y chartreuse, and a medium warm-toned pink.

As promoted with Dolce & Gabbana’s Romantic Collection for the fall season, the Dazzling quad is just an immediate attention-grabber. I must admit I was instantly in love with it from the moment my eyes saw the promo image, but I had my reservations–just how bright would D&G actually go? Would it end up being sheer, muted shades?

I’m very happy to report that there’s no muted tones here! I will say that the promo image is a bit color-enhanced, because the shades aren’t quite so vibrant, but they’re still bright and bold and fun. They aren’t, by any means, tame or muted. And even better? They’re not sheer imitations of color either. All four shades apply easily without needing to build up intensity with multiple layers. The icy-pink/white has more of a glittery shimmer and look, while the other three are softer and smoother and have a softer sheen. I found all four colors to apply extremely true-to-color, which is a huge positive in my book!

I’m not entirely sure why this quad is being repromoted with the fall launch, just because it screams *summer* to me, but I can go with it, since I probably would have missed it otherwise! ;) I think this is a solid color combination of shades that work well together but can also be used easily with other shades you may have at home. For some, the price of D&G is just out of the world, but let me bring it back to earth–just a bit, at least–because the pricing of the palette is in line with other high-end brands like Chanel ($56), Dior ($56), and Guerlain ($58).

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: Been a bit color shy and would love something already put together for you that’s bright without being over the top? Try Dazzling! If you love color and want to indulge, I think you’ll find this to your liking!

Availability: Saks Fifth Avenue, Dolce & Gabbana

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