Monday, March 15th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Aquamarine Palette

Bobbi Brown Color Strips Collection:  Aquamarine Palette

Bobbi Brown Aquamarine Palette ($60.00) includes five eyeshadow shades (Lightening , Aquamarine, Storm, Ivory, and Grey Sky) and three pot rouge shades (Sand Pink, Pale Pink, Powder Pink). This is the third palette from Bobbi Brown’s Color Strips Collection, which also featured Bonfire and Orchid.

  • Ivory is a cool-toned white beige with a matte finish.
  • Lightning (Sparkle) is a shimmering softened gray with silver shimmer.
  • Aquamarine (Metallic) is a muted sky blue with a frosty sheen and shimmer.
  • Grey Sky is a medium gray with almost a brownish-taupe cast with a matte finish
  • Storm is a deepened blue-black with a matte finish.

The Aquamarine Palette is more on the cool-toned side, so it’s definitely more suitable for those with cooler undertones. However, it’s not unwearable for those with warmer skin tones, but you’ll want to mix and match with some slightly warmer hues just to bring everything together. What I really like about this palette, though, is that the shades work really well together, like in the Bonfire Palette.

For a review of the Pot Rouges, head on over to my Orchid Palette review, which includes the same shades of Pot Rouges. The packaging remains the same as the other two palette variations–sleek Bobbi Brown case that opens up with plastic “windows” that keep out dirt and dust from the products (which is really something you don’t see often and much appreciated).

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 love a cool-toned smoky gray eye, you might dig Aquamarine.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Friday, March 5th, 2010

Lancome Pop 'n Green Palette

Lancome O My Rose! Collection:  Pop ‘n Green Eyeshadow Quad

Lancome Pop ‘n Green Eyeshadow Quad ($42.00) is a sultry blue and green palette for spring. It’s surprisingly un-spring-like and yet it’s not totally out-of-season either. It’s almost like the perfect accompamiment to a gloomy, rainy day–and I do mean that as a compliment!

Pop ‘n Green includes a bright silvery-white with shimmer; a greenish-gray with taupe with a more metallic finish; an olive-green with a subtle yellow-olive sheen/pearl (not really shimmery); and a blue-teal with soft silver shimmer over a pearly sheen finish. I don’t have colors quite like the olive green and teal in my collection–similar, but the pearly finish makes them distinctive against anything I might already own (all of which are either more matte or shimmery). I think it would have been cool for the entire palette to have the same pearled sheen finish, actually.

The green-gray-taupe shade is so-so; a little on the sheer side, even though it has a kind of “wet” look to it, I wish the pay off was more. The silver shade has decent pigmentation, but it’s not as color-rich as the olive green and teal are. I like the palette, though I can see this not being something for everyone. I like the way it fits a different side of spring; not the blossoming, pastel side, but the cooler, rainier weather. I think I’m really swooning for that green, though, and I must say, I’m a sucker for olive greens, so…

It’s like I’m in love with half the quad, but the other half is just so-so–the pigmentation is perfect and the texture isn’t as smooth as the good half.  I do like that the other half makes sense, though–you can wear these four shades together or variations of three of the four.

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 love cooler, non-traditional spring shades, you might find Pop ‘n Green to your liking!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Beauty on a Budget:  Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad

Maybelline Eye Studio Sapphire Siren Eyeshadow Quad ($9.99) includes an icy silver with bright silver shimmer, a muted teal-blue with silver shimmer, a dark navy blue with a soft sheen, and a matte black with silver sparkle. The eyeshadows have a very soft texture, so they are best applied by patting the eyeshadow on rather than sweeping it on.

The silver, dark blue, and black were surprisingly pigmented and really didn’t have a powdery or chalky finish to them–the only one that I had any issues with was the teal shade, which tended to go on very soft and really had to be packed on in order to get decent color. I also found that it was easy to overblend the teal shade to a very faded teal shade, but the other three shades I didn’t have that problem with. I thought I might have had that issue with the black, but it stayed dark and black for the most part.

The silver reminded me of MAC Electra, while the blue was similar to a mix between MAC Freshwater and MAC Deep Truth, and the black was a less glittery version of MAC Black Tied. The teal was a bit too faded to really be comparable to a MAC eyeshadow, but it has a similar tone as MAC Surreal (which is now discontinued).

The packaging is the same as the other eyeshadow quads I’ve reviewed, so I still have the same gripe — it’s cheap and flimsy. It’s easy for the clear plastic lid to pop off the hinge, though I haven’t had it break, so I can still pop it back on. For the price tag (particularly if you catch these on sale), they’re worth checking out!

More Maybelline Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads…

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’re on a budget and want to try out some new eyeshadows, Maybelline’s Eye Studio Eyeshadow Quads are worth a look!

Availability: Local drugstores

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Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Sugarpill Eyeshadow Quad

Sugarpill Cosmetics:  Burning Heart Eyeshadow Quad

Sugarpill Cosmetics recently debuted, and Amy (aka Shrinkle), the creator and founder, reached out to Temptalia to see if I’d be interested in checking it out. I’ve known of Shrinkle forever, mostly through friends who’ve bought from her via eBay, so when I saw that she was working on a cosmetics line, I was definitely intrigued. It was perfect timing when she reached out to me, because I was thinking of grabbing a few to try.

Today, I’ll go through the majority of the Sugarpill line, but first, I wanted to start off with the Burning Heart Palette ($34.00), which contains four large-sized eyeshadows (0.14 oz. each). The eyeshadows included in the palettes are the same size and shadows you can purchase individually. She has three variations available with a total of nine unique shades altogether. Burning Heart includes Flamepoint, Buttercupcake, Love+, and Poison Plum.

  • Flamepoint is is a vibrant matte orange with fierce pigmentation.
  • Buttercupcake is a bright matte yellow. I found the pigmentation on this to be great, but it did feel a little on the powdery side.
  • Love+ is an intense shade of true red with a semi-matte finish. When swatched, I found it really looked more matte, but there is some shimmer/sheen when you look at it in the pan. Awesome pigmentation–very much true-to-color.
  • Poison Plum is a rich violet with a semi-matte finish. Again, like Love+, it has shimmer in the pan, but it’s very subtle when used.

All four eyeshadows are rich, vibrant shades with good pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. These aren’t powdery or chalky–they are very blendable in practice. The eyeshadow pans themselves look to be about the size of Make Up For Ever eyeshadows, for reference. Since the palette is magnetized, these actually can be popped out if you want to rearrange them for travel, too.

The packaging is edgy and fun–it’s exactly what I’d expect from what I know about Amy and her style. What I like is that for a brand that’s debuting, she’s done it right. The packaging is not only true to her style, but it’s quality. It’s printed, designed for the line, and looks good. On the back of the packaging, all of the ingredients are listed for your reference. I would love to see the names of the eyeshadows added to the back of the palette/packaging, though.

The quad itself is a heavy-duty cardboard (whether you dig cardboard or not for packaging is another story) — I myself, prefer plastic/metal packaging because they hold up better — but I haven’t had many issues with cardboard packaging either. Nevertheless, it’s not cheap, flimsy cardboard. I think with normal use, you’re not going to have any issues with the cardboard breaking down much, but you might get a couple of scratches. It’s magnetic, so it’ll stay closed, and inside, there’s a large mirror.

Do not expect Sugarpill to be an ultra affordable line–because the packaging doesn’t reflect cost-cutting and the products themselves are made with quality. I think it’s unfair for a brand (any brand, for that matter) to set low prices just to gain buyers. I think it’s important to set a price that makes sense for your brand, where you want to position yourself, and what kind of audience you want to appeal to. I think $34 for four shades of intensely pigmented eyeshadow (and they’re pretty large-sized pans, to boot) is a good deal.

I’d also like to give major kudos to Sugarpill for putting up some of the most accurate brand-provided swatches I’ve seen.

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: 3/5

Recommendation: If you love bright eyeshadow, Sugarpill Cosmetics might grab your attention!

Availability: Sugarpill Cosmetics

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast
MAC Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad: Manila Paper, Flip, Aztec Brick, Creole Beauty

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Colour 4 is decidedly for those who enjoy their golds and warm-toned browns. So, you know this is my favorite, personally. I love all four shades, and I’m excited that all four are pigmented and smooth. It’s so rare to like *all* the shades in a palette, so it is a nice surprise. I don’t think this is the most original color palette ever, though. I could see duping it with Nylon, Motif, Amber Lights, and Bronze. Not that it’d be exactly the same, it just brought instant “similar but not the same” shadows to mind when I first saw and swatched it.

Eyeshadow Quad — Colour 4

  • Manila Paper is a shimmery white-gold (more white than white-gold!) in a veluxe pearl finish. This is fairly pigmented, but you could probably dupe it with Nylon (which is a little frostier and yellower).
  • Flip is a peachy-gold with gold shimmer sheen with a frost finish. This came out previously, though it was limited edition. I’ve always liked this shade–not quite like anything MAC has in the permanent collection. The closest is something like Gleam or Motif, but it’s not a dupe for either.
  • Aztec Brick is a rich, shimmery copper with gold sheen in a veluxe pearl finish. It reminded me of Amber Lights eyeshadow quite a bit, though perhaps a little more bronzy than Amber Lights.
  • Creole Beauty is a warmed-up, medium-dark bronze with lighter bronze-gold sheen and shimmer with a frost finish. It’s like Romp and Bronze had a baby. Nice pigmentation–probably one of my personal favorites from the launch.

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Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast
MAC Colour 3 Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Colour 3 Eyeshadow Quad Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Parts 3 and 4 each have an eyeshadow quad, complete in the brand spankin’ new eyeshadow quad packaging. I have to say that I don’t love the new packaging — it’s glossy, so it holds fingerprints a bit, and it looks dirtier once you’ve used the quad a few times compared to the older packaging. It also feels a bit bulkier and not as slim as the older packaging. It looks sleeker and certainly more modern/updated, though. I just hate fingerprints on packaging!

Colour 3 is definitely a cool-toned, purple dominated quad. None of the four shades really grab me personally, but I can see this appealing to others. If you love smoked out purples and plums, this is definitely a quad worth checking out.

Eyeshadow Quad — Colour 3

  • Mink Pink is a soft, dusty fleshy beige pink with a veluxe finish (though it feels more like a matte finish to me).
  • Bruised Plum is a mauvey plum with a silvery sheen. It’s like a more purple version of Shale. It’s a veluxe pearl finish, but it’s not as pigmented as I’d expect for a VP.
  • Black Tulip is dark purple with just a touch of sheen. The finishes of this quad don’t make sense to me, because this doesn’t feel like a frost at all.
  • Jungle Moon is a matte, darkened brown with a plummy feel. MAC describes it as a blackened deep eggplant, and I think that’s a fairly accurate description. It’s a soft, well-pigmented matte eyeshadow that doesn’t feel chalky or dusty.

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