Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Bonfire Palette

Bobbi Brown Bonfire Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which [again] includes three palette variations. Bonfire is more my style than the other two variations.  By the by, Aquamarine is the third variation, which I won’t be reviewing at this time!  It does, however, have the same Pot Rouges as Orchid Sparkle, which I reviewed earlier, so it’s like… half reviewed :)

Pot Rouge

  • Tawny is a brownish-red–it’s not a brick red, and it certainly doesn’t scream “RED!” but it’s in there. Creamy, opaque, and smooth.
  • Fresh Melon is a brightened coral-peach with a creamy and opaque look. This can be worn as a very subtle blush or lip.
  • Calypso Coral is a bold, tropical orange-coral with the same creaminess of the other shades of Pot Rouge. This is definitely a more fearless coral, though, because it is fairly bright. You can pat less on to get a less intense look, though, which is nice.

Eyeshadow

  • Bone is a softened white-beige with a matte finish. Kind of a classic shade–easier for me to wear with my warmer skin tone than whites.
  • Cafe Cream (Sparkle) is a shimmered medium coffee brown with an almost taupe-gray tone to it. It looks almost wet when used, and the fall out isn’t too bad.
  • Bonfire is a rich copper with a metallic finish. Think MAC Amber Lights with a smoother finish. This is the “bright” shade in the palette, while the other shades are designed to coordinate with this one.
  • Cognac is an intense shade of coppered chocolate brown with an almost burgundy sheen. This shade is truly lovely–I fell completely in love at first swatch. It’s one of those shades that I could see myself buying the palette for.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish. I like this more with the Bonfire palette than the Orchid palette, but I also wish they varied it, so there wouldn’t be any repeats between the three palettes!

It has the same sleek packaging as Orchid, so my thoughts remain the same on that: well-done, practical, and keeps everything as clean as can be in a palette.

I think these eyeshadows work better together than the ones chosen for the Orchid palette as well. I can definitely see many different combinations with these five shades. I also like the shades swatched smoother and more pigmented–there was only one iffy shade (Cafe Cream), but it was still decent and not so troublesome (unlike Orchid Sparkle).

I know that I’m personally more drawn to Bonfire (hey, I like me some warm shades!), so I’m definitely going to try to do a look with this palette later this week or next!

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: If you’ve wanted to try Pot Rouges, this is one way to try three at once… and get some eyeshadows as a bonus!

Availability: BobbiBrown.com, Nordstrom

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Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips:  Orchid Palette

Bobbi Brown Orchid Palette ($60.00) is an eye, cheek, and lip palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which includes three palette variations. I’m typically wary of any palette that has lip wells in them, but I was excited, for these aren’t just the typical lip color, these are Pot Rouges, which are designed for cheeks and lips.

Pot Rouge

  • Powder Pink is a creamy rosy pink that can be layered for an opaque look on lips or sheered out for an everyday blusher on cheeks.
  • Pale Pink is a cool-toned blue-based pink that feels creamy and goes on fairly opaque.
  • Sand Pink is a creamy coral-beige shade. I don’t see a lot of pink in this, but it’s a muted, played-down coral that will work well on warm skin tones in particular.

Eyeshadow

  • White is a matte white. It’s a muted white, so it’s not a bright, totally unwearable white.
  • Dusty Plum (Metallic) is a mauvey-plum with a shimmery finish. It has that “metallic” feel, like it’s almost wet you swatch it.
  • Orchid Sparkle is a sheer, sparkly lilac–very light, very sheer, and prone to fall out.
  • Mulberry is a richly pigmented royal purple with a matte finish. Like a lot of mattes, it applies better when you use a brush than anything else. I don’t have a shade quite like this.
  • Caviar is a dark black-brown with a matte finish.

Oddly enough, my favorite part about this palette are the Pot Rouges. After trying Cabo Coral last month, I was curious about the other shades of Pot Rouge, and this is a good way to try out three new shades. All three were very creamy and pigmented, and they’re wearable on both cheeks and lips, so they do double-duty.

The eyeshadows didn’t get me too excited–I really liked Mulberry, though–I’m not sold on these five together. I can see a few combos, but usually I see a lot of combos in Bobbi Brown’s palettes and that wasn’t the case here. Orchid Sparkle is a throwaway shade for me, just because I know it’s a pain in the butt to use and it’s incredibly sheer; to make it work, try wearing it over a dark, metallic base. Dusty Plum Metallic would be my other shade favorite, because it’s smooth, pigmented, and versatile.

I like Bobbi Brown’s palette packaging, because the palette itself is sleek, but it’s practical, too.  The cheek/lip shades are separated from the eyeshadows quite well, and each palette also has a clear lid that flips up to further protect the shades from dirt and dust.

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’ve wanted to try Pot Rouges, this is one way to try three at once… and get some eyeshadows as a bonus!

Availability: BobbiBrown.com, Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection:  Cabo Coral Pot Rouge

Bobbi Brown Cabo Coral Pot Rouge ($22.00) is one of two new shades from the Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals Collection. The other shade is Calypso Coral (a bright coral).

Cabo Coral is a very peachy coral. It’s more peach than coral–but it does have a slight pinkness to it that makes it read a little coral. I found it looked more coral on my lips (I imagine from some of the natural pinkness of my lips) than on my cheeks (which was peachier).

Pot Rouges are designed to be used on both lips and cheeks. It has a creamy formula that feels like like a hardened cream almost, because it’s not actually that creamy in the pot. On the cheeks, it’s easy to apply with a stippling brush or blended with fingertips or a sponge for soft, natural color. It’s peach enough to work well on cooler skin tones, while it also works on those with warmer skin tones.

What I really like about the Pot Rouges is the staying power. This is more of a blush stain than a cream blush, because it really does grab and stay on cheeks throughout the day. It doesn’t fade or melt away by mid-afternoon, which is a huge plus for when you need your makeup to look on point all day long. It’s pigmented enough to give you nice color on both lips and cheeks, but not so pigmented that it’s easy to overapply.

This is my first Pot Rouge, but it makes me excited to check out some other shades. What are your favorites?

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’ve always wanted to wear coral, but you couldn’t find the right shade, Bobbi Brown has five different versions to check out.

Availability: Bobbi Brown

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Thursday, January 7th, 2010

MAC in Lillyland Collection
MAC Optimistic Orange Cremeblend Blush

MAC in Lillyland Collection: Cremeblend Blushes Review, Photos, Swatches

Even though my personal favorites from this collection are the lipgelees (review is forthcoming, promise!), I really think the Cremeblend Blushes really stand out. All four are intensely pigmented, rich in color, and really will pop on your cheeks — if you so desire. What’s nice about these is you can use a stippling brush like the 188 (smaller brush-head than the 187, so it’s ideal for cheek color) for a softer, less color-rich look, or you can layer and build up the intensity for a bolder cheek look as well. These seemed thinner and more pigmented than MAC’s Blushcremes as well.

Note, I can’t comment on the wear of these, as I haven’t had them for more than a few hours! I will definitely do my best to use these in a look in the next week.

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

  • Optimistic Orange is a bright pop of orange. It’s not quite neon orange, but it is pretty bold and bright. Definitely a true orange, though; this is not coral on me whatsoever.
  • Joie-de-Vivre is a bright pink-coral; it leans more pink than orange, which is why it’s predominantly pink, but it’s obvious it’s not a bubblegum pink. MAC described it as a “peachy coral,” but I’d say it’s more like a pinky coral.
  • So Sweet, So Easy is a bubblegum pink. It’s a medium pink with barely-there yellow undertones. It’s the lightest and softest shade of the four.
  • Florida is a bright fuchsia-purple. It’s creamy, ultra pigmented, and WOW-za, you know? This is the kind of the color that can easily scare you away. Again, try a stippling brush, use a light hand, and you may even find using fingers to blend out the color (after the initial brush-based application) may give you the right level of intensity.

See photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, November 6th, 2009

NARS Luxor Multiple

NARS Luxor Multiple ($37.00 for 0.50 oz.) is the newest Multiple to debut as part of NARS’ Holiday Collection. NARS describes it as, “[a]n iridescent pink to be used on eyes, cheeks, lips and body.”

Luxor is an icy pink that almost runs a little lilac on me because it is definite cool undertones. It has a slight iridescence that’s noticeable without being over the top; it’s about the right about of shimmer I’d expect from a product best used as a highlighter. It’s surprisingly pigmented and can definitely be layered for a more opaque look. It does blend easily once warmed against the skin.

I personally prefer to use Luxor in a way that might be considered a little unconventional. I like to pat a little on the areas I want to highlight just before I apply my moisturizer. Once I’ve done that, then I apply my facial moisturizer as usual (which I do apply with my hands and slather all over). I find that it gives the highlighted areas this very soft, refined highlight and lends a certain glow to my face overall (because some, of course, does get mixed up in the moisturizer). It’s an interesting effect, nonetheless. I was inspired to try it this way because of how I use MAC’s Strobe Cream. Luxor reminds me a bit of it, only amped up–like if you took the Cream part out of Strobe Cream and just left the Strobe!

You can also take a fluffy brush and lightly dab on Luxor onto lids to give eyes a more awake look, or you can lightly dust it on your lips before layering on a gloss for some extra sparkle. The more traditional use of this as a highlighter would be to dot it along the areas you’d want to highlight, blend with a stippling brush, and then set with loose/translucent powder. You can definitely do this with Luxor, so have at it — after all, it isn’t called The Multiple for nothing!

My only big issue with The Multiples, in general, is that they’re pretty pricey. I don’t actually feel like you get a ton of product for your money, because I think these can be used up quicker than you’d think. They can be very emollient, so you may end up wearing more than you necessarily need (if you use a brush to apply, it helps to mitigate any potential over-use). I don’t think they’re a rip-off, but they do feel a little overpriced.

My secondary issue is I do find I need to use a translucent powder to set these in place to prevent them from fading too much throughout the day (I then get about four to six hours of good wear before it starts to fade).  Since I’ve found a way to combat fading, it’s not a biggie, and I tend to set my makeup anyway, so it’s not adding an extra, otherwise unnecessary step either.

Bottom Line: I think Multiple fans will enjoy Luxor. I still haven’t found a Multiple that really turns my head as others have, but I am eagerly awaiting the day it happens!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been looking for a cream-to-powder cool-toned highlighter, Luxor may be your new best friend.

Availability: NARS

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Friday, July 24th, 2009


Gold Member, Penny Lane, Cactus Flower, Constantinople

NARS Cosmetics – Cream Blushes – Swatches

To complement the product photos, here are the swatches for some of NARS’ cream blushes! :)

Where to Buy: Nordstrom.com.

Continue reading →

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