Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow: Twilight Rose

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Pure Color Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a softened pale pink-peach with a frosted shimmer. Estee Lauder describes this shade as a “cool light pink,” and it has a satin finish, which is means it has a “soft, lustrous sheen.” Nothing about this seems cool-toned, and the pink is quite subtle. It reads rather peach in the pan and still leans that way when swatched.

I actually think this would work really well as a cheek highlighter–I initially thought it was a blusher when I first swatched it! Similarly, it would be a nice all-over color on the lid to brighten up the eyes. I think it may be on the frostier side for a brow highlight, but it could work; it would depend more on personal preferences. It has a nice, smooth texture, but this is definitely a softer and sheerer color, so I don’t know if I’d call it a rich shade.

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

RECOMMENDATION: For quick looks, this could make a really nice lid color — and double as a cheek highlighter!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Eyeshadows
MAC A Wish Come True Eyeshadow

MAC Tartan Tale: Eyeshadows

MAC Tartan Tale Eyeshadows ($19.50 for 0.10 oz.) are new and limited edition as part of the Tartan Tale Color Collection. These eyeshadows are twice the size of regular pressed MAC Eyeshadows (0.05 oz. vs. 0.10 oz.), and they are the same size pot as Mineralize Eyeshadows or Cream Colour Bases. Given the quantity, they’re actually a better value (when you look at price/quantity) than MAC’s normal eyeshadows.

The six limited edition shades include: A Wish Come True (dirty mauve with bubblegum pink Tartan striping), Enviably Fun (grass green with dark green Tartan striping), Follow Your Fantasy (mid-tone peach with chocolate Tartan striping), Golden Crown (light gold with bronze Tartan striping), Glamora Castle (dark grey with teal Tartan striping), and Semi-Precious (aubergine with chocolate Tartan striping).

I wish MAC included a better description of the product itself, because “dressed in a playfully tartan pattern finish” doesn’t tell me how I should expect these to perform. My experience with them is that they are a very soft, silky powder with decent color payoff. All of the colors seemed just a touch more muted when swatched than they looked in the pan.

I tried to remove the top layer with the tartan striping, so the swatches are of what was beneath the striping. Doing so also showed that the colored striping is only on the top layer, and the pattern itself doesn’t go all the way through.  You can see the shadow cut in half, over at BBB — thanks @mylipsbutbetter!

  • A Wish Come True is a softened pink with light plumminess and a frosted finish. It seems like a warmer pink to me. It’s a warmer Swish and a lighter and more muted Da Bling.
  • Enviably Fun is a soft chartreuse green with stronger golden sheen and yellow undertones. It’s similar to Juxt eyeshadow, but it’s brighter and greener–think Bitter and Juxt coming together.
  • Follow Your Fantasy is a soft medium orange with champagne shimmer-sheen. MAC doesn’t have a lot of orange eyeshadows, so there didn’t seem like there was anything similar in the permanent range. Paradisco would come the closest, but it is more coral.
  • Golden Crown is a gilded champagne gold with soft sheen. This one was the least pigmented of the six and gave more shimmer than heavy color. It’s like a sheerer, less yellow Goldmine.
  • Glamora Castle is a steel blue with silver sheen. This seemed a little less frosty than the others. It’s a bluer version of Surreal (without the duochrome). It’s also a less intense version of Urban Decay’s Money (a BoS III exclusive shade).
  • Semi-Precious is a brightened red plum with soft violet sheen. This was the most pigmented shade of the six. It is rather similar to both Hepcat and Plum Dressing.

I don’t think any of these shades really jumped out as being particularly new or original, and they seem rather soft and muted for fall–like I would expect to see this kind of soft, springy palette in spring/summer. I’m lukewarm on these; they’re soft and smooth, but a little powdery, and while they’re good, they’re not excellent.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Nice but not outstanding–if there’s a color that grabs you, I don’t think you’d be disappointed. They have a very soft, smooth texture.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer
MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer

MAC Tartan Tale: MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer

MAC Style Clan Nail Lacquer ($13.00) is a mushroom-y brown with flecks of burnt copper glitter-shimmer.  They’re flakies almost.  This is such a cool polish to see from MAC, and I don’t have any dupes in my stash for this one.  It did apply a little streaky, though, so I recommend using a thin initial coat, followed by a thicker secondary coat–or else two medium coats instead of the thicker second coat for a total of three coats. (I’m wearing two coats in the photos.)

It’s totally one of those “pretty ugly” kind of colors, too, because at first glance, you’re like, “oooh!” or “ewww!” and then you may flip-flop a few times on second and third glance!

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

RECOMMENDATION: If it weren’t for the slightly streaky formula (but it’s workable, just be patient), I’d give it a higher grade. I still think it’s totally worth having if you’re into collecting more unique polish shades.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Moth to Flame (sheer neutral beige; dazzleglass), Baron’s Rose (medium rose; lipstick), and Draw Me Close (dusty rose; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). The dazzleglass is permanent, while the other two are new and limited edition to this set. The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.

  • Moth to Flame is a sheer peach with white shimmer. On my lips, it just brightens my natural lip color and adds glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Baron’s Rose is a semi-sheer reddened berry with strong gold shimmer and sheen. It is a cremesheen finish lipstick. It’s extremely similar to Fun Bathing (from To the Beach) — Baron’s Rose is slightly redder/darker, but they are very, very close. It’s a lovely color, though.
  • Draw Me Close is a browned pink. It’d be great to use as a neutral lip liner.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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: It’s a real shame that Baron’s Rose has several similar pre-existing shades, because it’s a gorgeous shade. Festive but still perfect for autumn!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: Vain & Glorious Lip Bag

Each year, MAC puts out a couple of lip products in specially designed/packaged bags, and this year is no different. The Vain & Glorious Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Baby Sparks (sparkly baby pink; dazzleglass), Mellow Mood (sheer pink; lipstick), and In Synch (light pink; lip pencil).

Both the lipstick and dazzleglass are full-sized, while the lip pencil is miniaturized (about half the size of regular lip pencils). None of the products in the kit are new; Baby Sparks is permanent, while Mellow Mood and In Synch are both repromotes.

The lip products come with a tartan patterned bag that’s a little larger than my hand. It’ll certainly hold all of the products it comes with, along with a few more. The bag is the same for both lip sets.  It seems well-made to me; it definitely doesn’t look or feel cheap just by handling it.  If tartan is your thing, cool–if it’s not, well, pass it on to a friend.

  • Baby Sparks is a sheer, milky baby pink with icy pink shimmer. On my l ips, it just lightens up my natural lip color a bit and adds a lot of glossiness. It’s part of the permanent line-up of dazzleglasses. As pretty as dazzleglasses are when worn, their quantity/price ratio really leaves something to be desired.
  • Mellow Mood is a semi-sheer softened pink with subtle gold shimmer. It’s a little milky, and it has a lustre finish. Since it’s not too cool, it works on both cooler and warmer skin tones. It was originally launched with Electroflash back in 2008.
  • In Synch is a coraled pink. It is a lip pencil, and it was originally launched with Too Fabulous earlier this year in the spring.

Value-wise, the Lip Bag is okay but it’s not a showstopping deal. You’re getting a full-sized lipstick ($14.50), full-sized dazzleglass ($18.00), and a half-sized lip pencil ($7.00), which is a total value of $39.50. If you include the bag, then you’ll feel like you’re getting a bit more for your money.

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 like pink lips, this is definitely your set. If you have really pigmented lips, this set might not do much for you, as both lipstick/dazzleglass are on the sheerer side.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Becca Quartz Eyeshadow
Becca Quartz Eyeshadow

One & Done Eyeshadows: Becca Quartz

Becca Quartz Creme Eye Colour ($28.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a golden champage with warm shimmer. This is an easy shade to apply all over the lid to add a nice layer of shimmer and warmth to the lid.

Becca recommends setting it with loose powder to make it more crease-resistant, which I interpret as “this is not a crease-resistant product [on its own].” It works well set with either powder eyeshadow or translucent powder, though–no creasing once I’ve done one of those two things. Since it’s not a cream-to-powder eyeshadow, it stays blendable for awhile, and it has a creamier consistency, which makes it workable as a cheek highlighter, too.

Nice but necessarily a must-have.  Becca can be hard to find in person (I have never seen it myself–I got this shade from a HauteLook sale), though.  It’s also a bit pricey at $28, relative to other high-end brands and their cream eyeshadows.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a great shade for those with neutral-to-warm undertones, because it has a nice level of warmth without being yellow.  If you are looking for something that will not crease when worn alone, though, this is not it.

AVAILABILITY: Becca, but I noticed they all were out of stock, but Dermstore has it!

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