Monday, February 1st, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Green with Envy

Affordable Eyeshadow? Really?  Maybelline Eye Studio may make it possible!

Maybelline Eye Studio Green with Envy Eyeshadow Quad ($7.49 to $9.99) is new from Maybelline for spring.  Though the packaging is nothing to write home about (typical mass packaging–feels cheap, not the sturdiest palette I’ve ever handled–the lids often pop off, but they can be popped back on), the eyeshadows are some of the better ones I’ve tried when it comes to drugstore beauty brands.  The eyeshadow quad consists of four shades…

  • A shimmery, white-gold champagne highlighter that’s opaque enough to show up but sheer enough not to be overly frosty. I like this as a highlighter or all-over-the-lid kind of wash of color.
  • A shimmery, yellow-based green with a golden sheen. It’s like a slightly muted, less golden-shimmered MAC Lucky Green. It has decent color pay off, but it’s not quite as pigmented as higher-end eyeshadows (like MAC or Urban Decay), but for a drugstore brand, I’m still impressed.
  • A shimmery, muted peach-brown with golden shimmer and sheen. I can’t think of a dupe for this (at least, not off the top of my head), but it kind of feels like one of those hard-to-wear neutral shades, at least for me. I think those with cooler complexions may find it easier to wear than warm-toned complexions.
  • A charcoal gray with gold and green shimmer. I felt like this had the worst texture and color pay off of the four, though it was still okay (just not fabulous). It felt a little chalky or powdery, so it’s best applied in layers and patted on rather than blended too much. It is, however, a unique shade (which just isn’t something you see often from mass). I think if you layered this over a dark base, you wouldn’t have to worry so much about pigmentation and could get the cool multi-tonal shimmer to show.

I think the color pay off of the Give Me Gold Eyeshadow Quad was better than this one, but I’d still say it was good for something found in mass retailers and for the price. It has the same silky texture, but it can sometimes feel powdery (use less than you think, then build up).  I have a few more of these to try out over the next few weeks, so I’ll continue to review the other variations as I test them.  I have a few of the more “colorful” ones to judge just how pigmented Maybelline can do truer, more vibrant hues.

Which ones have you tried?  Impressed or disappointed?

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: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you like soft shadows and want something affordable, Maybelline Eye Studio Quads might be up your alley!

Availability: Target, Walmart

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Monday, February 1st, 2010

Urban Decay Eden Primer Potion

Go Matte or Go Home! with Urban Decay’s Eden Primer Potion

Urban Decay Eden Eyeshadow Primer Potion ($18.00) is the newest version of Primer Potion to debut this spring season. Like the original Urban Decay Primer Potion and follow-up Sin, Eden helps to prevent creasing, helps your eyeshadow stay on all day long, and increase color vibrancy of eyeshadows.

Eden is a yellow-toned opaque primer. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some skin tones (probably those with yellow undertones and medium complexions) use this as a concealer in a jam. On me, I felt like when blended out on the lid, it looked slight yellower than my MAC Soft Ochre paint pot, but this has a much thinner consistency, though it still runs significantly more opaque than the original UDPP and still thicker and richer than Sin.

Unlike the original UDPP, which carries a slight sheen/shimmer, and Sin, which carries an incredibly metallic shimmer sheen (and it’s very pink-champagne), Eden is completely and utterly matte. It’s a good base for those wanting to keep their matte or satin eyeshadows just that, soft and with minimal shimmer. Also, it’s a nice way to kind of mattify some of the more shimmered eyeshadows you have, too.

I like it, and it didn’t really crease on me, which surprised me as UDPP creases on me, personally. It worked well with my skin tone, but I think those with more pink undertones may find this a little too yellow on them (just like Sin is kind of awful on me). It comes in the same genie-bottle packaging as the other versions of Primer Potion, so if you aren’t loving that curvy lil’ bottle, this isn’t any different.

I’ll probably stick with my MAC Soft Ochre paint pot for a matte, neutral eyeshadow base (like the thicker texture, less yellow, and no packaging woes), but I’m so glad Urban Decay has put out a truly matte Primer Potion! It’s about time and makes an excellent addition to their Primer Potion range!

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: 2/5

Recommendation:  If you’re in need of a matte-finish eyeshadow base… consider Eden!

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, February 1st, 2010

Cle de Peau #103 Extra Silky Lipstick
Cle de Peau #103 Extra Silky Lipstick

The Spring Season: Cle de Peau #103 Extra Silky Lipstick

Cle de Peau #103 Extra Silky Lipstick ($50.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a neutral-toned peach nude that applies and feels like a dream. It’s creamy, soft, and well-pigmented. This is just one of those lipsticks that makes you sigh when you apply it.

I often swatch anywhere from ten to twenty lipsticks in a sitting, and by ten, my lips are feeling a little swollen and dried out, but put one of these on? Heaven. Absolute heaven and feels like a nice reprieve to my lips. (I swear, they sing!) The wear time is average for me (four hours), though surprisingly so, just because there is a lot of slip to these, since they are so creamy and glossy. Extra Silky Lipsticks feel like a lightweight, ultra-creamy lipstick meshed with a gloss. They’re very thin and hug lips without emphasizing lip lines.  The closest, in texture, that I’ve come across would be YSL’s Rouge Volupte, but Cle de Peau is scent-free (as far as I could smell!) and wears longer.

Cle de Peau lipstick is luxuriating on the lips, but that feeling of luxury does come at a luxury price tag, unfortunately! If you have the deep pockets to afford and enjoy this pretty little number, Cle de Peau makes one amazing lipstick formula. I wish, at the very least, you got more for your money — 0.07 oz. is well below the average lipstick size (which is 0.12 oz.). Since it has such a creamy feel to it, it’s also easy to “waste” product by layering too much on. But like I said, if you feel like an indulgence, you can’t go wrong with Extra Silky Lipsticks!

(Oh, and P.S. – don’t click the lipstick up too much, because you can’t retract it!)

Is this the right nude lipstick 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 31st, 2010

Cool, Pink Cheeks with Illamasqua Chased Blush

Illamasqua Chased Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a matte, blue-based medium pink. I know Sephora describes this as a lilac pink, but I don’t know if that’s very accurate. Its not so much lilac as it is just a very cool-toned pink. Personally, I found this shade a bit hard to pull off, but I liked it softly tapped onto the apples of cheeks with a smoky eye and a light pink or nude lip.

The texture is matte, so its great for those who find shimmery blushes too much for their skin. Illamasqua’s blushes, while matte, are not powdery or chalky. As with most matte textures, some trial and error is to be expected, but if you keep working with it, you’ll happen upon just the right technique and application method to give you very natural-looking color.

I also like that you can build up the color intensity by applying more, but you don’t have to worry about getting too much with just one swipe, either. I found just one tap of the brush on the powder was enough to give me the color intensity I wanted more often than not. Its always better to start off lighter rather than heavier–easier to add more than it is to diffuse it. But in the event that you feel like you’ve overdone it, use a buffer brush or take some loose powder and blend it out to lighten the color.

I’m not a huge fan of Illamasqua’s packaging, because its bulkier than Id like (or that it needs to be). You get a good amount of product for your money — Illamasqua’s blushes are just slightly more expensive than NARS in terms of price per ounce ($156 compared to $164). Illamasqua blushes come in a good range of shades, ranging from vibrant to soft.

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Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Apricot Creme Gloss

The Spring Season: Le Metier de Beaute Apricot Creme Lip Gloss

Le Metier de Beaute Apricot Creme Lip Gloss ($36.00) is a peachy-nude cream gloss with just a touch of golden shimmer laced through it. It is, primarily, a cream finish gloss, though, so it can settle into lip lines. I find that it’s not really noticeable from the average viewing difference. I love, love the feeling of Le Metier de Beaute glosses, though; it’s moisturizing, lush, and non-sticky. It just feels amazing on lips. Every time I use one of my Le Metier de Beaute glosses, I marvel at how lovely they feel applied. I don’t wear Apricot Creme alone very often, but I love it on top of pinks and nudes.

Is this the right nude gloss 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 30th, 2010

Chanel Exquise Lipstick
Chanel Exquise Rouge Allure Lipstick

The Spring Season: Chanel Exquise Lipstick

Chanel Exquise Lipstick ($30.00) is a beautiful yellow-based, warmed-up pink with golden shimmer. It’s a semi-opaque lipstick that gives decent coverage, but more pigmented lips may find it isn’t full coverage enough to mask their natural pigmentation. (If you have naturally reder lips, this will only subdue the red to more of a raspberry-ish pink.) What I like about Exquise is how warm it is; it’s not easy to find neutral or warm-toned pink lipsticks, as most are blue-based. Since it is a Rouge Allure Lipstick, it also wears well, keeps lips hydrated, and has a slightly glossy sheen.

Is this the right pink 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 →