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Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Rant & Rave

This Week’s Topic: SKINCARE!

Your Mission: Tell us what you love, hate, or are otherwise indifferent to about skincare and all that it entails.

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Halloween Makeup: Autumn, Glam Rock Style

Dustin created this, as he calls it, “autumn-inspired glam-rock look.” Not only did it come out stunning and right on point (it immediately reminded me of fall), but the photos really showcase the look in all its splendor. Kudos!

Eyes

  • MAC Red Apple Blush on the brow (and in the brow)
  • MAC Parfait Amour Eyeshadow
  • MAC Off the Page Eyeshadow
  • MAC Unbasic White Eyeshadow
  • MAC Smoke & Diamonds Eyeshadow
  • Reflects Rust Glitter
  • Mascara was MAC Mixing Medium and Push the Edge Pigment

Face

  • MAC Face & Body
  • MAC Studio Fix
  • MAC Unbasic White Eyeshadow
  • MAC Off the Page Eyeshadow
  • MAC Orange Eyeshadow

Lips

  • MAC Azalea Blush
  • MAC Coppering Eyeshadow
  • MAC She-Zam Dazzleglass
  • Sublime Shine Dazzleglass Creme

Also, for the leaves…

“I used leaves that I gathered and glued them to a paper mache mask that I made (out of black MAC tissue paper no less! LOL). I also pinned some to my hair and glued some to my face (for a more three-dimensional, multi-layered look.”

See more photosContinue reading →

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Today, CoverGirl is doing a pre-sale for their two new additions to the Blast line-up with Smoky ShadowBlast ($8.49) and ShineBlast Lip Gloss ($8.49). For those who purchase by visiting Drugstore.com, they’ll save $5 and earn free shipping while supplies last. For those who purchase by visiting CVS, they will receive free shipping. I found the pre-sale site forced me to “build a look,” when I just wanted to see where to buy, so you can just go to drugstore.com directly and search for it by name and it’ll show up.  Drugstore.com is also showing all of the shades shipping in “one to two weeks.”  Curious!

Smoky ShadowBlast is available for pre-sale in four shades: Silver Sky, Onyx Smoke, Bronze Fire, and Purple Plume. ShineBlast Lip Gloss is available for pre-sale in four shades: Dazzle, Flare, Ablaze, and Firecracker.

When these officially hit stores in January 2010, we’ll see an addition of Citrus Flair and Tempest Blue ShadowBlasts, and we’ll see a whole slew of additional glosses come the new year. The additional gloss shades are: Aglow, Beam, Ember, Fire, Gleam, Glimmer, Glow, Heat, Ignite, Radiate, Smolder, and Sparkler.

I just played around with two shades of ShadowBlast this weekend, because I wanted to be able to share a little more insight than just marketing blitz as the pre-sale got underway…

First, an obvious point of contention with this product is the lack of labeling on the product itself.  The original packaging does tell you the shade names, but once you take ‘em out of the packaging and toss it away, there’s nothing to tell you what you have.

First, I tried Citrus Flaire ShadowBlast, which was a duo of shimmery chartreuse green and a rich, shimmery copper. The chartreuse side is “step one,” designed to be use as a lid color, while the copper side is “step two,” meant to be used as a liner or crease shade. The second one I tried was Silver Sky ShadowBlast, which was a duo of a shimmery, light silver (“step one”) and a smoky purple with lighter shimmer (“step two”). Both ShadowBlasts were pigmented, smooth, and creamy without being overly so–just enough slip to glide along the lid without tugging or pulling.

After playing around with these this weekend, I’d say that they’re best layered over a base like Urban Decay Primer Potion or Too Faced Shadow Insurance or else set well with powder eyeshadow for best results. I found when worn alone, it was hard to get just the right amount so it didn’t crease or look faded. If you just want to use them as a liner, I didn’t have migration issues, but the tip of the product is a little bulky, so it’s not super easy to use as a liner.

These reminded me a lot of MAC’s shadesticks, actually – just a little softer and smoother and with less staying power (on their own). When I used it alone the first time around, it creased within fifteen minutes–I threw a layer of the chartreuse shade all over my lid for a quick and dirty crease-test, and by the time I finished photographing and swatching the other ShadowBlast, it had definitely creased.

Bottom Line: It’s really great to see CoverGirl step up their game with these pigmented cream eyeshadows. I think if you’re looking for a way to boost up eyeshadow colors, these make a great way to add an extra level of dimension underneath your regular eyeshadows.

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: 5/5

Recommendation: For a more budget-friendly alternative to pigmented cream shadows and ways to enhance your eyeshadow, these are worth checking out.

Availability: CoverGirl

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Beauty Bargains: This Week’s Coupons, Sales, & Promotions

  • Bath & Body Works: $4 Home Fragrance Oils. Expires 11/15/09
  • Bath & Body Works: $20 Figural Candle with any $25 Purchase. Expires 11/11
  • Bath & Body Works: Buy 3 Get 2 Free Signature Collection. Expires 11/5/09
  • Benefit Cosmetics: Free US Standard Shipping on any $50 purchase. Enter promo code PRETTY50 at checkout. Free International Shipping with any $115 purchase. Enter promo code WORLD115 at checkout.
  • Bliss Spa: Get 15% off bliss and laboratoire remède products at blissworld.com. Enter promo code 109906 at checkout. Expires 11/2/09
  • Bobbi Brown: Free Full Size Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Indigo Ink ($21 Value) with $65 Order at BobbiBrown.com. Offer Code: HOLIDAY. Expires 1/15/2010
  • Bobbi Brown: Free Full Size Lip Gloss in Honey ($20 Value) with $65 Order at BobbiBrown.com. Offer Code: HONEY. Expires 1/15/2010
  • Clinique: Receive a Free 7-Piece gift with any $21.50 purchase at clinique.com! Plus, get a matching deluxe cosmetic bag and Free Standard Shipping with any $45 purchase. While supplies last.
  • DermaDoctor: Take $10 off all orders over $100! Use checkout code: DDSAVE10. Expires 12/15/09
  • Estee Lauder @ Nordstrom: Free Estée Lauder gift, $125 value, yours with any $39.50 Estée Lauder purchase at Nordstrom.
  • Juara Skincare: Get 10% OFF JUARA Skincare in November 2009. Use code: NOV09.
  • Lancome (Canada): Free mini Juicy Tubes collection with any $40 purchase on Lancome.ca. Enter code JUICY at checkout!
  • Prescriptives: Free Standard Shipping with any $35 Prescriptives.com purchase, use offer code FREESHIP3 at checkout. Expires 12/31/09
  • Sephora: Get Philosophy’s Amazing Grace Buffing Wash Sample with any order. Enter code BUFFING at checkout.
  • Sephora: Get a Bare Escentuals 10-day sample plus mini kabuki brush FREE with any order! Use code TRYBE at checkout.
  • Sephora: Beauty Insiders Only. Get a free Bare Escentuals Buxom lip mini gloss. Choose your own shade. Enter code BUXOMKISS at checkout.
  • Sephora: Free Skincare Sample Kit at Sephora! Enter code 123SKIN at checkout!
  • Sephora: Get a Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Mascara free with any order! Use code BEFLAWLESS at checkout.
Monday, November 2nd, 2009

E.L.F. Royal Red Lipstick

The Scarlet Season: E.L.F. Royal Red Lipstick

E.L.F. Royal Red Lipstick ($5.00) is a deep red with a plum twist. It’s just red enough to be part of the series, yet it’s definitely not the true red we often think of when we think red lips. Not everyone loves or wants to wear true red lips all the time, so reds that deviate in various ways are always fun options to consider. The lipstick itself is scent- and taste-less, so if your nose is sensitive to scents, you may prefer these scent-less shades. E.L.F.’s Lipstick lasts about average on me (three to four hours), and it does leave a bit of a waxy feel behind once the color has faded away. This is a budget-friendly lipstick option that goes on sheer and builds into an opaque shade after a few layers. It’s hard to go wrong for $5!

The Scarlet Season is a series of posts showcasing and featuring my favorite shades of red lips–from glosses to lipsticks that runs through December 2009. You can sure expect to see a lot of red this holiday season!

See more swatches and comparison photosContinue reading →

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

Bobbi Brown Chrome Palette ($75.00) is the stunning eye and lip palette include with Bobbi Brown’s Chrome Collection, and it is also limited edition (of course!). The palette includes ten shades of eyeshadow and four shades of lip glosses.

For Eyes

  • White Eyeshadow is just that, a matte snowy white. It’s slightly cool, but it isn’t frosty or cold.
  • Polar Ice Eyeshadow is a soft, light gray with a blue tinge and silver shimmer. It goes on a bit sheer, but it can be layered for a slightly more solid look.
  • Storm Cloud Eyeshadow is a sparkly medium dark brown. It doesn’t really have anything special about it to make it unique, but it still looks pretty (you just may already have something similar in your stash).
  • Iron Eyeshadow is a matte slate gray. It didn’t go on as smoothly as the White eyeshadow, and it felt a little more dusty.
  • Thunder Eyeshadow is a glittery dark gray with a touch of black and silver shimmer. This reminded me of MAC’s Knight Divine, though not quite as glittery or gritty.
  • Moonlight Eyeshadow is a glittery soft pink with a little champagne tone. Bobbi Brown describes it as a cool purple sparkle, which is clearly not. The back of my palette shows that this is where Moonlight is supposed to be, but I really feel like this and Foil were misplaced/mislabeled.
  • Cyber Grey Eyeshadow is a slightly purple tinged smoky silver shimmer shade.
  • Foil Eyeshadow is a glittery soft purple-gray — very similar to Cyber Grey, but it has more of a glittery texture. As I mentioned earlier, I think this is really Moonlight and Foil is the other one… as Bobbi Brown describes Foil as “a pale bronze.” Again, I’m just going off the back of my palette (and Bobbi Brown’s website).
  • Chrome Eyeshadow is a silver with a little brown thrown in – kind of reminds me of Pewter Chrome Eyeshadow, but not nearly as pretty. (Sorry, I *love* that eyeshadow, so not much can compare.)
  • Charcoal Haze Eyeshadow is a matte medium gray-black. This one had the same texture as Iron, but it did seem a little smoother.

For Lips

  • Pink Mist Lip Gloss is a medium yellow-pink with multi-colored sparkle. It’s pretty sheer, but I found I could actually see some color when I swatched it on my skin (which I barely could with the Earth Metal palette).
  • Winter Bronze Lip Gloss is a copper sparkled bronze shade. On lips, it looks a bit burnished, but it’s not ultra pigmented so it’s more wearable than it looks.
  • Berry Lip Gloss is a muted plum-berry with soft sparkle. I liked this shade the most, as it seemed opaque enough to add color to lips, but still soft as I’d expect from Bobbi Brown.
  • Chrome Pink Lip Gloss is beige-rose with gold sparkle. It’s pretty, and it’s a shade I could see people loving for everyday.

You know me — I don’t like lip palettes. I don’t like them alone, and I don’t like them when attached to eyeshadow palettes, either. They’re just a no-go for me. I will say that the gloss in these are more pigmented than in Bobbi Brown’s Earth Metal Eye & Lip Palette, which is a plus.  I’m not going to drop points on this product because of that personal bias, so I’m judging on the product included itself, which is better than a lot of lip palettes I’ve tried.

In the palette, you get 10 eyeshadows, each weighing 0.02 oz. (total weight of 0.20 oz.), and you also get four lipglosses, each weighing 0.03 oz. (total weight of 0.12 oz.). A single Bobbi Brown eyeshadow retails for $22 for 0.10 oz. and a single lip gloss retails for $20 for 0.14 oz. The reason for all these conversions is to see exactly how much you’re paying for what and whether it’s worth buying a palette if you like a few shades or if you should look towards Bobbi Brown’s permanent line-up instead. The eyeshadows (by weight) would yield about $44 in value, while the lip glosses yield about $17 — which gives you a total “value” of $61. The palette is priced at $75, so I do think it’s a bit steep, even when you consider the fact that you’re getting a variety of shades all housed in a pretty chrome palette.

I also don’t think there’s quite enough variety between the ten shades of eyeshadows — a few are quite similar (like Cyber Grey and Foil). This is definitely a cool smoky eye palette with a little purple kick. I like that they included three different matte shades in the palette, because I think mattes are often missed in palettes. I do wish they had included a highlighter shade, as I think the White eyeshadow will be too garish on bolder skin tones to work well as a highlighter. In a palette of this size, I’d expect a really obvious highlighter shade.

For me, this palette is just okay. It’s not the best value, and I think Bobbi Brown has better shades (or the equivalent) available in her permanent range. In fact, I definitely recommend her Chrome Eyeshadows (and duh, my #1 recommendation would be for Pewter!) if you’re not liking the majority of the shades in this palette. The eyeshadows are soft, have a smooth texture, and they’re all pigmented. There is nothing wrong with them, but I’m just not loving the color combination overall. Nice but not amazing, you know?

Bottom Line: for those who DO love the majority of the shades in the palette and don’t mind lipgloss in pan form, I think you may like this. It’s housed in chromed-out package (which does hold fingerprints, FYI!), offers plenty of smoky eyeshadow combinations, and is appropriate for the upcoming holiday season.  I also think Bobbi Brown fans may enjoy this more than I did, and I think it’s worth at least a peek next time you’re near a Bobbi Brown counter to see for yourself.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →