Saturday, August 8th, 2009

Stay-Put Liner: Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner

Smashbox Navy Blue Jet Set Waterproof Eye Liner ($22.00) is a gel eye liner that goes on creamy and then dries after about a minute.  I like that they designed it to stay blendable (wet/creamy) for a minute before it dries to a “smudge-proof, budge-proof finish that lasts all day.”  It does, in fact, stay on all day without smudging or budging or migrating onto places it shouldn’t be.  It’s available in five shades:  Bronze, Dark Brown, Midnight Black, Midnight Purple, and Navy Blue.

I’d definitely love to see Smashbox introduce more shades into their line-up — some fun shades would be awesome to see, but it is still nice tot have five easy, wearable shades.  I’ve only tried Navy Blue myself, but I love the soft bluish silver laced in the dark navy base shade.  Looks great even with a neutral look on the upper lash line!  The pot feels extremely tiny, but I don’t see myself going through this product quickly nonetheless.

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

Recommendation: The product itself is fantastic, and even though the container is tiny, you don’t need much for an application, so one container will last you quite awhile.  I will say that I’d prefer a little more bulk to the packaging to make it easier to hold onto, less likely to be lost (since I lose everything), and all that.  Because it stays wet for longer, you have more time to work and don’t have to worry about drag.

Availability: Smashbox.com, Beauty.com, Nordstrom.com, Sephora.com

Have you tried any of Smashbox’s Gel Liners? What was your experience?

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Friday, August 7th, 2009

Matte Alert: Zoya Matte Velvet Collection

Zoya Matte Velvet Collection ($6.00 each) consists of three matte-shimmer polishes. What’s nifty about these is that they look matte, but there is still a healthy dose of shimmer in it, so while it has that flat look, the shimmer adds depth and makes them more interesting. Keep in mind that matte-based polishes have a lot shorter wear time, particularly because a lot of top coats add shine/glossiness (which defeats the purpose of matte). Without a base or top coat, you’ll get chips pretty quickly. (Of the three nails I did, Loredana is half gone, while the other two show minor tip wear, and it’s been about 12 hours.) But, but… there is a benefit to these… they dry incredibly fast. Like insanely quickly. No quick-drying top coat required, these babies dry down completely within a few minutes (so work quickly).

  • Dovima is a grayish-black with silver shimmer. I didn’t find it to be a true black, but more of a subdued charcoal. This one was my favorite of the three.
  • Loredana is a silver with silver shimmer shade. It’s not a light bright silver base, but it’s noticeably bright without being too much so.
  • Posh is a rich, jewel-toned ruby red. It has a beautiful jewel-tone ruby red base with soft, silver shimmer. I really love this shade of red, and being able to wear it matte is fun.

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

Recommendation: If you’ve always been curious about matte-finish nail polishes, these are for you. If you don’t mind re-doing your nails after a few days, I’d strongly urge you to sneak a peek at these lovelies. They’re fun, hip, and definitely a trend for fall.

Availability: Zoya.com

Have you picked up these new shades yet?

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Friday, August 7th, 2009

shu uemura’s Primitribe Collection is a good mix of neutrals and color. I absolutely adored the Painting Liner, which was creamy, incredibly pigmented, and easy to work with. The Primal Color Sticks were interesting, but without testing them at-home, I can’t tell you if they actually last at all. Unfortunately, the U.S. launch of Primitribe doesn’t include everything — we won’t be seeing Spinel, the pink painting liner as far as I can tell.

Primitribe Color Stick

  • Rich Earth is a warm-toned, chocolate brown with golden shimmer.
  • Night Maroon is a satiny burgundy-wine with more of a creamy finish than a shimmer finish.
  • Blazed Gold is a warm-toned, yellow gold with lighter gold shimmer.
  • Misty Grove is an olive green with a creamy texture and light shimmer.

Primitribe Mix Blush

  • Echo is a blush duo of a pink-toned brown and a dark gold with gold shimmer.
  • Rhythm contains a large section of rosy pink and a smaller section of muted, warmed-up light medium brown with gold shimmer.
  • Soul is a combination of a satin-y medium-toned orange and a warm, medium dark chocolate brown with pale gold shimmer.

Painting Liner

  • Turquoise is a bright pop of creamy, blue-based turquoise with silver micro glitter.
  • Citrine is an insanely bright, creamy yellow with a slight sheen.

Rouge Unlimited

  • BG 942 is a creamy, mostly opaque peachy-orange.
  • WN 296 is a dark, vampy burgundy-red with a glossy finish.

Nail Enamel

  • P 980 is a pale, pastel peachy-cream with a frosty finish.
  • WN 296 is a bright, fuchsia-red with pink pearl.

Available: August 2009; currently available in-store at Nordstrom and online at NeimanMarcus.com.

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Introducing… Urban Decay Minx & Ecstasy Eyeshadows!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($16.00) recently had two new additions added to the line-up: Minx, described as a blue-green shift with glitter; and Ecstasy, described as a bright purple with slight pink tint.

Minx is a beautiful shade of aqua-green with a little taste of mint and lots of silvery sheen and shimmer. It has decent pigmentation, though it could have a bit more color pay off for my taste. I’d love to see it go on a little richer and deeper. It does, however, go on smoothly and blends easily with other shadows. Ecstasy is a vibrant shade of cool-toned medium purple with soft silver sheen. It doesn’t have a lot of shimmer/glitter either. I found the pigmentation on this shade to be better than Minx, which made me happy. It has the same smooth, blendable texture as Minx (as well as the rest Urban Decay’s eyeshadow range overall).

Each shadow is packaged in a silver, flip-top container. The shadows are the same size as MAC from what I know, so yes, you could depot these if you desired. (I also believe the depotting methodology is about the same with these.)

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

Recommendation: If you like smooth, easy-to-use eyeshadows and like color, these two shadows are for you. Ecstasy earns slightly more of a recommendation over Minx, just because Minx lacks the intensity of pigmentation I prefer. Both are soft, shimmery/frosty shades that are easy to work with. I prefer all my eyeshadows in pan/palette form, so the packaging is functional, but it doesn’t inspire me to purchase solely on that criterion.

Availability: UrbanDecay.com, Sephora.com

Have you picked up these two new shades yet?

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Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Prescriptives’ Well Suited Collection is a nice launch easy, wearable shades in pre-made palettes (cool, neutral, and warm), along with the release of new longwearing liners. My favorite products from this launch are the new longwearing liners and the Well-Suited Finishing Powder. I also thought Posh Beige was a gorgeous shade from the LipColors.

Well-Suited Eye Color Compact ($40.00 U.S. / $48.00 CDN)

All three palettes had decent to good color pay off, but I did find shadows that had a more matte finish were a little less smooth and could skip a bit when swatched. These colors are designed to be wearable shades, and Prescriptives succeeded in this aspect. If you’re more of a bold color kind of person, these might not be up your alley. If you’re looking for something you can wear all week, you may find these are suitable for you!

  • Warm includes a soft, satin-y peach; a warm-toned medium brown with gold and green shimmer; a neutral-toned golden green-brown; a dark teal with aqua-blue shimmer; and a slightly warmed-up dark brown with a semi-matte/matte finish.
  • Neutral looks like a smoky eyes palette, actually. It includes a neutral-toned peach with light peach-gold shimmer; a neutral-tone reddish-brown with multicolored shimmer; a satiny, dark, chocolate brown; a medium silver with slight shimmer; and a matte black.
  • Cool consists of a peachy-pink with silvery shimmer; a cool-toned chocolate brown with slight shimmer; a grayish shade with brown undertones; a reddish-plum with golden shimmer; and a matte dark purple.

Face

  • Well-Suited Finishing Powder ($28.00) is a satiny, dusty pink with the collection’s theme as a raised pattern on the compact. It goes on as a pale, slightly warm pink (neutral or warm, but definitely not cool). It doesn’t have any shimmer, and it looks very natural and soft on skin.

Colorscope Lipcolor

  • Posh Honey is a semi-sheer warm-toned beige with golden sihmmer.
  • Posh Ginger is a brownish shade with a little bit of warm red with slight golden shimmer.
  • Posh Nude is a pinky-nue with a semi-sheer finish and low-level gold pearl.
  • Posh Pink is a semi-opaque raspberry pink with a glossy sheen.

Longwear Kohl Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Black Kohl is a medium flat black — not an ultra rich, ultra black-black, but a wearable, soft black.
  • Blush Kohl is a medium-dark blue with no shimmer or sheen.
  • Brown Kohl is a slightly war-toned chocolate brown.
  • Slate Kohl is a grayish-charcoal shade with a slight sheen.

Available: Nordstrom.com

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Searching for that dewy, glowy look? Benefit High Beam has you covered!

Benefit High Beam ($24.00) is a liquid highlighter that comes in a small bottle. Twist the cap and you’ll see a brush applicator–all in all, the packaging and application system looks very much like nail polish. I’ve found the best application method is to take the brush and dot it on the areas you want to highlight. I usually dotted two or three small-sized dots on my cheek bones, and then I blended it in with MAC’s 188 brush.

High Beam can act as a highlighter or illuminizer, which makes it a great, multi-tasking product to keep in your makeup bag. (Because of the packaging, it also makes a nice travel companion!) To use it as an illuminizer, mix a drop or two with your favorite foundation or moisturizer and apply all over to face. If you’ve used Strobe Cream, it’s kind of like that, but you’re able to mix to your desired level of lumination. As a highlighter, you use it on the traditional areas where you’d want light to reflect off your face (cheek bones, forehead, nose, chin, and so on). You can also use this on your brow bone — it is especially nice when you’re just wearing mascara, because it helps to brighten and wake-up tired eyes with minimal effort.

The best part about High Beam is that it isn’t noticeable that you’re wearing makeup. It’s subtle, soft, and has just this beautiful dewy, glowy finish that looks incredibly natural and yet adds so much more to your complexion. It doesn’t look or feel like a typical shimmery highlighter; it feels more like a radiant highlighter, where the luminous feel comes from a soft sheen instead of sparkles or glitter. I’ve had both my mom (older than me) and sister (deeper skintone) try this, and it looked equally lovely on them.

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

Recommendation: If you love dewy skin and are looking for a new highlighting option, consider Benefit High Beam. The product itself is high-quality, they give you plenty of it, and it’s fairly easy to use. The packaging is functional and cute, though the applicator system could use improvement. Overall, it’s a solid product and worth purchasing.

Availability: BenefitCosmetics.com, Sephora.com

Have you tried Benefit’s High Beam? Yay or nay?

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