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Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad Swatches, Photos, Review


Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad

Just in time for fall, Dolce & Gabbana’s Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) offers a seemingly perfect mix of hues for the cooler temps and falling leaves.   The first shade is soft peachy beige with a matte finish. It has a slightly powdery texture that may not work so well with drier skin types and lends itself to a sheerer application overall. The shade reminded me of Inglot #328 (which is a touch darker) and, to a lesser degree, Inglot #330 (which is lighter).  To the right of that is a medium-dark orange with a matte finish. It has a similar feel and texture as the peach shade, which is a little powdery and sheer in places. MAC Rule is similar but has better color payoff.

On the bottom left, there is a warm, red-toned medium-dark brown with a soft golden bronze shimmer and satiny sheen. It has good color payoff and has a soft, silky smooth texture. I felt it was the best out of the four shades in the palette. MAC Lie Low is similar but a step darker. MAC Faux Gold is similar but more intense. MAC Texture is less red-toned.  Beside the medium-dark brown, there is a burgundy-brown with a satiny sheen but less-than-stellar color payoff. The texture is on the drier side, which makes it harder to blend and achieve the intensity as seen in the pan. It’s too bad, because I think the mix of burgundy and brown makes it the more complex shade of the four. MAC Twinks is browner and darker. Chanel Ebloui is darker. Bare Escentuals’ Kismet is very similar but matte in finish.

A lot of the issues are really emphasized during application than when they’re swatched. I have more trouble working with Dolce & Gabbana’s matte and semi-matte eyeshadows than I do with their shimmery shades (especially when the texture is dense and feels buttery to the touch). They have a tendency to apply in a chalky, uneven way and require a fair amount of color-packing to achieve decent color payoff. Fluffier brushes (think MAC’s 222) work better with the dry texture of the bottom right shade, while a flatter and firmer (think MAC 249) brush will work better with the powdery shades. I’d recommend tapping the brush lightly against your forearm before applying to the lid or else be prepared to do some clean-up.

This is a palette more suited towards warmer complexions (with peach, red, or yellow undertones), because of the abundance of peach, orange, and red here. None of these shades are cool-toned, and two shades have fairly strong red undertones, so it may turn muddy or lean too strongly in the red/orange direction to be as flattering on cooler complexions. I am an advocate of wearing whatever you like, though, because it’s in the way one wears it and ultimately outweighed by the confidence to wear it. If you’re cooler-toned, you might try pairing it with ashy browns, grays, or blue-based pinks.

Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad Swatches, Photos, Review

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Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Candied & Green Almond Crayon Intense Eyeliner Swatches, Photos, Reviews


Dolce & Gabbana Candied Crayon Intense Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Candied & Green Almond

Dolce & Gabbana’s fall collection–Sweet Temptations–includes two new shades of their Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.04 oz.). The new shades are Candied (light gold) and Green Almond (olive).

  • Candied is a metallic finished pale yellowed gold. The pigmentation on this shade is sheer; you definitely won’t get an opaque line of color in one pass. I couldn’t really build it up to opaque color for the heavier swatch. Make Up For Ever #9L is a darker yellow, while tokidoki Unicorno is less yellow and has coppery glitter in it.
  • Green Almond is a dark forest green over a olive brown base. Again, the color payoff leaves something to be desired–it loses a lot of depth because it doesn’t deliver much color in a single pass (or even a couple of them–you really have to go back and forth several times to yield decent color payoff). It’s a dead ringer for Urban Decay Mildew. MAC Jade Way is a little greener.

I’m not a huge fan of this eyeliner formula because of the texture; it’s stiff and dry, so it doesn’t glide on easily and can pull and tug at the lid. The wear is so-so, where I get around six hours with a darker and drier shade like Green Almond but lighter shades like Candied seem to vanish after four or five hours (this is on the lower lash line, not water line!). Some shades are creamier (like their White) but the majority don’t wear longer than six hours. It’s frustrating when a formula is so inconsistent, because you can’t bank on it performing as good as previous shades.

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Candied & Green Almond Crayon Intense Eyeliner Swatches, Photos, Reviews

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Zoya Gems & Jewels: Layering Fun


Kissy, Rina, Twila layered over MAC Nocturnelle

Zoya Gems & Jewels: Layering Fun

As promised, here are several different layering combinations using Zoya’s Gems & Jewels Collection.  I also layered the bar glitter shades over gold, silver, and black.  I like the shades layered best over Izzy from the holiday collection, but overall, I prefer it over silver!

See more photos & swatches!

Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews


Izzy, Kissy, Holly

Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection for Holiday 2011

Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection includes three shimmery shades along with three glittery shades. Each color retails for $8.00.

  • Izzy is a darkened pink with bright fuchsia-pink shimmer and a metallic-like finish. I used two coats for opaque color. China Glaze Endurance is similar but has silvery-white micro-glitter so the finishes are quite different. It’s not as red-based as Zoya Gilda.
  • Holly is a luxurious emerald green with lighter green shimmer. Really rich and decadent–opaque in nearly one coat but I used two for swatches. Very Christmas-y green. It’s not like China Glaze Mistletoe Kisses, which has a lot of silvery-white glitter, nor China Glaze Emerald Sparkle, which has a much darker base. It is darker and smoother compared to Zoya Ivanka.
  • Noel is a metallic medium-dark silvered blue with silver shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. The base color seems similar to Zoya Crystal, but Crystal has gold sparkle in it.
  • Kissy is a pink and ruby red glittery layering coat with holographic bar glitter. I used two coats, and it was mostly opaque.
  • Rina is an emerald green shimmered base with emerald green and teal bar glitter. I used two coats, and it was more opaque than not but you could see some nail visible in spots.
  • Twila is a medium-dark blue shimmered base with brighter blue bar glitter.

The formula on the shimmery shades (Izzy, Holly, and Noel) is beyond phenomenal. I don’t know if I’ve ever used such a perfectly applying polish before. Each coat is extremely pigmented (I used two for all six shades here, but one is almost enough on the shimmery shades), but the consistency is fluid and flowing without being watery nor thick. I had really good wear out of Holly layered with Twila (seven days with minimal tip wear and no chips).

I was surprised at how opaque the layering shades were, actually. You could easily wear them alone, though I think they work really well layered, too. The only downside is removal is a bit messy–you can see as I swatch through more and more combinations using the glittery shades how I still have residue on my skin. It’s not impossible, but they take a little more work and time than a cream finish (which is par for the course).

I found the bar glitter to be fun and something I’ve personally never tried before, so I had some experimenting to do (will have a whole post up next with various combinations and layering, so stay tuned!). It’s perfect for the holidays, and it reminds me of tinsel.  You’ll need to make sure to take care of the edges so you don’t have any stray glitter pieces extending past the edge of your nail, but the glitter spreads evenly without trouble.  I can’t wait to rock these closer to the holidays!

Zoya Gems & Jewels Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews

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