Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Nubar 2010

Nubar 2010: Layer ’til Your Heart’s Content

Nubar 2010 ($7.49) is a clear base with glitter flakies suspended in the thick, colorless base.   The flakes are different sizes, and it’s definitely something designed to be worn on top of your favorite polishes rather than alone (but no worries, I showed it alone, as well).  It flashes a greenish-gold, fiery-gold, orange, and green, depending on how the light hits it and how much you use.  I just used one coat of Nubar 2010 over two coats of other polishes.  I picked polishes with cream finishes, rather than shimmery ones, and other than that, I just grabbed ones nearest to me.  It’s easy to use, as it applies smoothly while dispersing the flakies pretty evenly without  trouble!

For reference:

  • Thumb = Nubar 2010
  • Pointer = SpaRitual Solaris + Nubar 2010
  • Middle = SpaRitual Color Trip + Nubar 2010
  • Ring = SpaRitual Dreams Becoming Reality + Nubar 2010
  • Pinky = OPI Who the Shrek Are You? + Nubar 2010

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

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

Recommendation: If you love to layer your polishes, you may find Nubar 2010 an excellent way to add some bling to your manicure/pedicure.

Availability: Nubar

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Monday, May 17th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams
#5, #7, #18, #21

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams:  #5 Peach, #7 Fuchsia, #18 Purple, #21 Turquoise

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) have finally debuted at Sephora. These are AMAZING. There are twenty-one shades in total, but some are designed for the lips and cheeks while others are formulated for the eyes and cheeks (p.s. why isn’t there #19?).

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #5 Peach is a spun-gold peach with such a pretty sheen. It’s such a fresh pop of color on the cheeks. It reminded me of MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow a bit, actually–I was a little bummed to find out it wasn’t meant for eyes.
  • #7 Fuchsia is a bright fuchsia-purple with a soft sheen. It’s certainly intense, so go easy for a softer look.
  • #18 Purple is a softened lilac purple with a frosty finish. It was the least pigmented of the four I tried, though.
  • #21 Turquoise is aqua-teal with a frosty shimmer-sheen. It’s wickedly gorgeous. I’ve seen plenty o’ teal in the past few years, but this one is absolutely stunning.

These are creamy without being ultra creamy–I think I’d actually prefer them to be just a smidgen creamier. They’re blendable, but they dry down quickly. These didn’t budge, smudge, or crease on me one bit, whether they were on my eyes, lips, or cheeks. In fact, you really have to use an oil-based makeup remover to get all the last bits of it off. I tried using these as eyeliners, bases, and blushes, and they worked fabulously at each job. In fact, I enjoyed these four so much that I ordered five more (Fresh Pink, Coral, Gold, Warm Beige, and Intense Blue).

The only complaint I have–a minor one at that–is that the packaging feels a little cheap. They’re easy to store, since they’re small and rounded, but the plastic feels a bit on the thinner side, and there is also a lot of air in the jar from the get-go, which concerns me in regards to whether these will dry out after six months or so.  You do get a fair amount of product for your money, which was nice to see.

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

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

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

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Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Inglot Eyeshadows

Inglot Eyeshadows are not easy to come by in the U.S., but perhaps that will change over the next year or two. The brand now has a boutique in NYC, which looks like any high end brand’s boutique from the photos and videos I’ve seen of it (I have never been there personally). My girl Pursebuzz picked up two palettes of eyeshadows on my behalf while she was at a local trade show, so I think each of these palettes was around $40, inclusive (the palette and eyeshadows). I think the normal price hovers around $75ish for the palette and enough eyeshadows to fill it. I remember we both planned to purchase more, but they were cash-only (say what?! what is cash?!) at the show.

The quality of the eyeshadows is nice–well-pigmented, smooth, and blendable. They come in a ridiculous variety of colors and seem to have three finishes available: regular, AMC, and AMC Shine. Again, since I’ve never been to an Inglot store, and their website explains nothing about, I really can’t say much about what each finish is officially or there are finishes within each type of eyeshadow.

  • #464 is an adobe brown with gold shimmer and red undertones. It’s kind of like clay, in the color.
  • #495 is a brightened pink with a subtle pearly sheen.
  • #48 (AMC Shine) is a pinky-plum with a frosty look.
  • #15 (AMC Shine) is a fiery orange and a gold frost finish, though it’s not incredibly bright.
  • #60 (AMC) is a semi-matte true yellow.
  • #474 is a lightened yellow with a pearled sheen.
  • #57 (AMC) is a darkened forest green with a satin-y feel.
  • #58 (AMC) is a brightened grass green with a satin look.
  • #447 is a spring-y leafy green with subtle sparkle.
  • #59 (AMC) is a yellowed chartreuse with a satin sheen.
  • #70 (AMC) is a medium sky blue with a satin feel.
  • #05 (AMC Shine) is a brightened, light sky blue with a frosty sheen.
  • #20 (AMC Shine) is a pale baby blue with a silvered sheen and frost finish.
  • #24 (AMC Shine) is an aqua-blue with a bright frost sheen.
  • #68 (AMC) is a blue-based purple with slight sparkle and sheen.
  • #40 (AMC Shine) is a darkened plum-berry with silver sparkle and a frosty finish.
  • #441 is a slightly iridescent light purple with a pearly sheen.
  • #65 (AMC) is a deep, satin black with teal flecks of sparkle.
  • #498 is a charcoal gray with teal sparkle strewn through it.

All of the shades I tried had great color pay off, were smooth and easy to work with, and there really is such a huge variety of colors available, so you’re sure to find at least a few that tickle your fancy.

For me, though, something about these felt a little one-note for me. Again, since I can’t see their full stock and variety, this is really based solely on my experience with these nineteen shades. It was just this color with a frost/pearl/satin sheen, but I didn’t see shades I’ve never seen before. I didn’t see green with blue and aqua shimmer. I didn’t see blue with a flash of gold.

The price on these is amazing, and there’s nothing about these that feels cheap. The packaging is sturdy, the eyeshadows seem about the same size as MAC eyeshadows, and they even have a full boutique–just like high-end brands. They are a great deal, and if you’re in the NYC area, I would definitely recommend checking Inglot out sometime.

I think the one thing I can say that I really didn’t like about these was how snug they are in the palettes. They really do not come out — the magnet is pretty strong. I gouged over half of the eyeshadows just trying to remove them. I don’t know about you, but I do rearrange my palettes from time to time, so ruining a bunch of them just to move them around is frustrating.

I know the next time I’m in NYC, I’ll be stopping by the Inglot store to see and learn more about their full line.

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: Not necessarily the most original shades on the block, Inglot matches the quality of high-end brands with the price of low-end.

Availability: Inglot Cosmetics

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Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Illamasqua Mistress Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Mistress Intense Lipgloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Mistress Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Mistress Intense Lipgloss ($19.00) is a creamy, orange-coral with fierce pigmentation and a juicy, plump look. Illamasqua’s Intense Lipglosses really feel like liquid lipsticks sometimes, just because they’re so packed with color, have the look and feel of both a gloss and lipstick. They’re non-sticky, too, and while the gloss parts fades after an hour or two, the color itself remains for a solid four to five.

Is this the right coral lipgloss 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.

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Saturday, May 15th, 2010

tokidoki Diamante Eyeshadow

tokidoki: Diamante Eyeshadow

tokidoki Diamante Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a pearled pink with silver microglitter. The color swatches amazingly, and it’s such a pretty shade that would work well as a brow or cheek highlighter–even more so on pink-toned skin–if it didn’t have that pesky silver glitter. The silver glitter doesn’t distribute evenly, but it also has a tendency to fall out, though it’s nowhere near the worst glitter fall out I’ve encountered. I’m totally drawn to the shade, but now I’m on the lookout for something similar, sans the glitter.

This shade was definitely better than Adios Star! The shade itself was smooth, pigmented, and easy to blend. I’m not against or for the packaging, but I still like the way it was done. I feel it’s cute, fitting with the brand, and it’s not cheap–it just doesn’t have that cheap feel of flimsy plastic. I like that each eyeshadow has a different colored top, because it’s a touch you see all the time. I can imagine that for some, these would be cumbersome to store, though.

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: I think that the tokidoki eyeshadows that aren’t described with “iridescent glitter” or “matte” may be the ones most worth checking out.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, May 15th, 2010

Guerlain Cashmere Gloss
Sable (#01), Ambre (#04), Ebene (#06)

Guerlain Terracotta Lip Gloss ($30.00) is a lightweight, non-sticky lipgloss that delivers subtle color with SPF 15. It’s a very moisturizing formula that lasts about two hours on my lips. The shades themselves are sheer in color, but they really have an excellent formula. I’ve tried three of the six shades that came out — there are also: Sierra (#02), Grenade (#03), and Santal (#05).

  • Sable (#01) is a beige nude with champagne shimmer. It adds a little beige to my natural lip color, but mostly, it mutes the natural rose tint of my lips down a bit. I like this kind of shade with a smoky eye, either alone or over a nude lipstick.
  • Ambre (#04) is a softened red-coral with fine gold shimmer. It’s muted, it’s sheer, but it still delivers a significant amount of color without being thick or goopy. I like this shade, because I think it would be universally flattering–it’s not at all orange.
  • Ebene (#06) is a lush reddened, ambered bronze. It’s one of the most pigmented shades of the three I tried. Loved the consistency — smooth, even color that doesn’t sink into lip lines.

Guerlain describes the applicator as ergonomic, but I have to tell you, it was really awkward for me. I don’t know if it’s perhaps more to do with the length of the applicator or the handle, but it felt a little wobbly in my hands, personally–but I would say I have bigger hands with longer fingers (I blame my piano playing years!), so that could be it, too.

They feel like a glossy, thicker lip balm, but they’re on the thinner side for a lipgloss. They still deliver the shine and glossiness that you’d expect in a gloss, but they keep lips looking full, pouty, and soft while you wear ‘em. They have a slight scent, like most Guerlain lip products, but it seems subtler than is par for the brand.

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:  Those who really enjoy lightweight, non-sticky glosses that go on thin and have a nice, moisturizing touch, may like Guerlain’s Terracotta Glosses.

Availability: Nordstrom

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