Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Paint Pots:
Coral Crepe, Groundwork

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Chromagraphic Pencils & Paint Pots Review, Photos, Swatches

I am both a little surprised–but very delighted–to say that the Chromagraphic Pencils work wonderfully on the waterline. They look lovely–very fresh and awake–without being too light. I used NC/NW15 on my waterline as soon as I had finished photographing them (nobody likes to see used stuff photograph, yeah?), and here I am three hours later with it still hanging on.  I’d definitely say to grab one when you’re able to if you’ve always wanted an easy way to open up and brighten your eyes.

Chromagraphic Pencil ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • NC15/NW20 is a light nude with a creamy feel and look.
  • NW25/NC30 is a yellower, deeper nude with the same creaminess as the other shade.

Paint Pot ($16.50 U.S. / $22.00 CDN)

  • Coral Crepe is a reddened, darkened coral-orange with a slight golden sheen. It can be sheered out a bit, but it really goes on quite coral. I tried as a base, and it can definitely be worn on the eyes. I also tried it on the lips, and I’d vote nay on that in the future–very drying and chalky looking. Havne’t tried it on the cheeks, but you might be able to do that.
  • Groundwork is a softened brown with a yellow undertone. This is a permanent shade.

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

It’s funny, despite five eyeshadows being launched in this collection, none of them really spoke to me. I also got more of a fall collection vibe off of them, even though we’re heading right into summer. To be honest, I don’t think any of these are really must-haves.

Gazette Gray had a lot of potential, but it’s just so sheer–would have been great if it had been a veluxe pearl finish! Cut to Fit is something that’s close enough to other shades I’ve seen before. Tissue Weight is pretty on its own, but you may already own something similar.

Eyeshadow ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Cut to Fit is a reddish copper-bronze with a frost finish. It reminds me of French Cuff from early last year, but it’s not as frosty and perhaps a little more darkness to this one. It also seems close to Twinks from the permanent line.
  • Bamboo is a matte fleshy nude with a subtle orange undertone. It’s a permanent shade, but it’s nice to help diffuse color. On my NC25 skin tone, I find Bamboo is a bit orange/dark as a highlighter.
  • Tissue Weight is a pink-toned fleshy beige with a frost finish. This is a pretty color, and it layers well over Coral Crepe paint pot. I think pinker skin tones may even like this as a highlighter, albeit it is a bit on the frostier side.
  • Gazette Grey is a brownish-gray with gold and green-gold flecks of sparkle. It applies quite sheerly, so despite looking quite beautiful in the pan, it doesn’t translate on its own. You could try layering this over a darker base (like one of the Greasepaint Sticks from earlier in April) to bring out the flecks of shimmer in this.
  • Memorabilia is a matte, red-toned purple with an almost gray cast to it. It’s an interesting shade, though I believe this is its second appearance. It’s not totally opaque, but it’s not sheer either, and it’s a very blendable matte.

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

MAC Pret a Papier Collection
MAC Garb Blush

MAC Pret-a-Papier Collection: Blush & Mineralize Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

For whatever reason, I must have spaced, because I did not realize that Pret-a-Papier was such a large collection.  I kept thinking it was a dinky little collection, but it’s a full collection.  It includes two sheertone blushes and one mineralize blush duo.

Blush ($18.50 U.S. / $22.00 CDN)

  • Garb is a darkened nude with an orange undertone. It has a near matte finish, though there is a subtle shimmer in it that’s really not very noticeable.  Though it’s only a bit on the warmer side, the obvious orange tone may not work well with the fairest of the fair.
  • Instant Chic is a slightly coraled pink with a powdery look. It’s sheerer than Garb, and I found it more difficult to build up the intensity, though. I like the shade, because it’s not quite like anything in MAC’s permanent line, and I don’t know if I’ve seen something like this in recent collections either. I do wish it was a bit more pigmented–I fear it may be a wash on those with deeper skin tones (think NC/NW45 or darker).

Mineralize Blush ($23.00 U.S. / $27.50 CDN)

  • Light Over Dark is a duo of golden copper and a darkened, reddish copper-bronze. Both shades have a very frosty finish to them. The size of the compact is large enough to be able to use the shades separately or together, I’d imagine. I’m personally not a fan of this, because it does have a rather frosty finish, which turns out pretty gnarly in photographs!

Instant Chic is the most unique of the three blushes, despite not having the best color pay off (it is a sheertone, though).  It’s coral enough to be perfect for summer and add some brightness to cheeks, but it’s not so warm that only warmer skin tones will like it.  I do think it’s a better shade for light to medium skin tones, and if you’re of a deeper skin tone, you may want to swatch it in person first.

Any of these catch your eye?

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Givenchy Summer 2010

Givenchy’s Summer Collection also featured Fleur de Frangipanier, which is available in two shades:  Island Sun (No. 2) and Island Tan (No. 3).  Each shade retails for $45 and contains 0.35 oz. of product.

I haven’t spotted Island Sun yet, but I know it is the lighter of the two shades available and also has a significant chunk of pink color to part of its flower, so I’d also presume it runs on the pinker/redder side while Island Tan is more on the warmer/orange side.  Givenchy’s Summer Collection is slated to hits stores in May 2010, so you may see it creep onto counters any day now.

Island Tan is a warmed-up, but muted, orange bronze with very, very subtle shimmer. I swatched both heavily and sheerly (and blended out), so you can see the potential intensity along with under more normal usage.   It’s a very soft shade of bronze that will certainly be flattering on warmer skin tones, but I definitely think it’ll have a tendency to turn orange on those with pink or red undertones.  (I would recommend checking out Island Sun instead!)

The texture of the powder is incredibly silky–it’s fine-milled and smooth to the touch.  It blends beautifully and wears well.  The shimmer in it is sophisticated and just barely-there, so it’s great for many skin types.  Not surprising for Givenchy is the palette itself is beautiful with the raised flower and color splotch pattern.  The color splotches range from a bronzed nude to chocolate bronze to peach.

The compact also has a pull-out drawer under the powder that reveals a small face brush, which is usable and certainly a step-up from the majority of included brushes in palettes, but it’s not my favorite!  I’m also pleased (and pleasantly surprised!) that Givenchy didn’t skimp on quantity either–you get plenty of bronzer for your buck.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For those with warmer complexions and yellower undertones, I think Island Tan is a workable bronzer.

Availability:  May 2010

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Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Chanel Darling Rouge Allure Lipstick
Chanel Darling Rouge Allure Lipstick

Not Quite Summer:  Chanel Darling Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Darling (#30) Rouge Allure Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a soft, squishy, kind-of-jelly-ish pink.  It adds some color, but it’s still on the sheerer side (particularly for a Rouge Allure).  It has a very glossy finish and feel–almost like a Hydrabase lipstick, actually–so it feels moisturizing and has more of a lip balm feel, though it does give my lips noticeable pinkness.  It’s a very muted, toned down pink that’s easily wearable by both cool and warmer skin tones, because it will take on many of the characteristics of your natural lip color.  When my Chanel artist showed me the sheet of products for Summer, I saw Darling on the list so I asked her to set it aside (along with Genial) for me, but it just doesn’t seem to fit with the launch.  It fits even less so when set against the brightness and vibrancy of Genial and Super.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re in the market for a sheer tinge of pink in the simplicity of a lipstick but with the feel of a lightweight balm, you might like Darling.

Availability:   Nordstrom (By the by, Nordstrom still has Genial!)

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Givenchy Summer 2010

Givenchy Will Take You to the Tropics & Back

Givenchy’s Summer Collection is an island themed number featuring quite the variety in products, but in this post, I’m going to concentrate on Island Lagoon (No. 17) Le Prisme Mono ($29).  It’s a multi-colored “quad” that features lighter aqua-blue, medium sky blue, grayish-black, and deep purple-blue.   The powder portion is small enough where using the individual colors is near impossible, but the top two squares are primarily aqua-blue with sky blue, while the bottom two squares are primarily aqua-blue and deep purple-blue, so I kind of looked at it as two shades of eyeshadow in total.

The compact has a pretty blue coloring on the outside, and the compact itself is much slimmer and thinner than previous limited-edition eyeshadow quartets released by Givenchy in the past.  It comes with a tiny sponge-tipped applicator that I wouldn’t bother using myself.

The eyeshadow looks incredibly pretty and artsy in the palette, but I’m not in love with the product itself.  It’s just not as bright and vibrant as it could be.  The first two squares yielded a frosted aqua-blue that’s semi-opaque–it’s noticeably on the sheerer side.  The bottom two squares worked together to create a semi-sheer, muted navy blue with silver sheen.  Over an eyeshadow base, they’ll be less visibly sheer, but the colors won’t pop.  If you want to get them to really pop, try them over a more metallic base–go for a champagne shimmer shade to keep them the same, slightly muted shade or use a colored base (like gold or blue), you can brighten them up a bit.  The eyeshadow itself is incredibly silky and buttery smooth–easy to apply and blend.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  I like it, but it’s not love–for me, it looks prettier than it actually is.  I think if they made it as vibrant as it looks, I’d like it more!   The eyeshadow has an excellent texture and feel but could use a little more pigmentation.

Availability:  May 2010

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