Lip Gloss -Bobbi Brown - High Shimmer Lip Gloss - Silver Pearl
CoonieR 12/17/2011 2:05:00 PM
This was a waste of money. I swatched it in the store and it seemed to have lovely multicolored shimmer and sparkle with a silvery base. Either the lighting in Nordstrom is set perfectly to showcase cosmetics (which is quite possible) or my judgement was quite off (also quite possible). Once I applied this to my lips, I felt like I'd been had. It does indeed have some sparkle and shimmer, but you really have to be under bright light and be looking for it to see it.The silvery sheen is just about invisible. On the plus side, the dove's foot applicator and minty scent are nice and this lasts 2-3 hours easily. This was still a disappointment. "High Sparkle" seems kind of ironic, given the almost-invisible shimmer. Somewhere out there Bobbi Brown is spending my $23 and laughing.
Eye Shadow -Smashbox - Photo Op Enhancing Palette - Blue Eyes
CoonieR 11/17/2011 7:46:00 PM
It's generally known that browns and bronzes really make blue eyes stand out, so it would make sense that this palette would contain colors in that range. However, this would have been an incredible product if it wasn't SO warm. The color range is what keeps this from being spectacular. There's a nice ivory with very subtle shimmer, a lovely taupe, a matte brown, a shimmery (very pigmented!) dark brown, and.... not one, but TWO melon-y oranges. It's the fact that there are two almost identical almost-unwearable oranges in this palette. Usually I don't judge colors based on how they look on me (heck, it's partially my fault for choosing the colors after all), but Smashbox seemed to forget that a good number of people with naturally blue eyes just can't pull off super-warm colors. This is marketed at blue-eyed people; you'd think they'd replace one of the oranges with a gray or something to compliment the taupe better. That said, the quality is excellent and this is a good value at $42. The shadows are quite buttery and last all day over a primer. They're very blendable. This could have been amazing. If you have blue eyes, can wear MAC Woodwinked and not look like you have the flu and don't have similar colors already, this is a great palette to add to your makeup bag.
This brush is amazing and definitely worthy of the rave reviews. Yes, it's expensive, but nothing (at least nothing that MAC, LM, BB, Kevyn Aucoin, Sephora or UD makes) makes can compare to this. This is what I'd hoped that the MAC 252 would do. It applies wet or dry shadows with amazing precision and allows me to perfectly pack on color. This is definitely one of my favorites. If you like to pack on e/s, it's a must-have.
Eye Shadow -Laura Mercier - Sequin Eye Shadow in Violetta
CoonieR 11/5/2011 7:48:00 PM
LM Sequin shadows don't get much love on MUA, and it's easy for me to see why. They're tough to work with, and Violetta is no exception. I've had this for a while and it sat in my m/u drawer, unused, for quite a while. I didn't like how there was little color and lots of glittery fallout. It was nothing like the cool, sparkly violet that I was expecting. After a few months, I decided to experiment with my LM Sequin shadows (I have Tiger Eye as well) and dipped my dense e/s brush into Trish McEvoy Finish Line before packing on Violetta. To my surprise and amazement, there was the amazing violet that I'd hoped for. It was simply gorgeous, with lots of shimmer and sparkle and good color pigmentation. What irks me is that these were really not designed to be used wet, but that seems to be the only way to use them. If you have Violetta and you want the color that's in the pan, wet your brush and pack on the color; otherwise this is a purpleish glittery mess.
Although glittery nail polishes are truly a PITA to remove, they are usually lovely on and worth the tough removal. Excuse Moi is no exception. I have to 'fess up... I originally checked this out because I'm a big Muppets fan and a sucker for good marketing. This is a hot pink with plenty of holographic glitter/shimmer. It's really not opaque enough to wear on its own, IMO (you'd need many layers to achieve the hot pinkness of the polish in the bottle), but it's simply gorgeous when worn over a pink shade. I'm wearing it over Holy Pink Pagoda right now and can't stop looking at my nails. Like other glittery polishes, this doesn't last forever. The glittery chunks seem to wear faster than the polish (if that makes sense--it's kind of hard to explain) and after a few days, the holographic chunks wear away and the polish loses some of its impact. Removal is pretty typical of polishes like this; I end up using the foil method that's so popular on MUA. This is lovely, and if you like pink and you're not afraid of the tedious removal process, I recommend Excuse Moi.
There are some m/u products that have changed how I used m/u and make me wonder how I lived without them. This is one of those products. See, I had used water and Visine to wet e/s before and found that they did indeed help make e/s work better as e/l. I'd also tried using water and Visine to apply a few fallout-heavy shadows (like a few ultra-glittery UD shadows and LM Sequin e/s), but never got great results. Then I tried Finish Line. Not only did it make my e/s-turned-e/l more intense, but I tried it with some of those problematic shadows (not using them as liner, mind you) and VOILA! My LM Sequin shadows and glittery UD shadows looked amazing with no fallout. Finish Line made them last longer and didn't cause any glittery messy fallout. My liner can make it through an entire workday with this. I love the eyedropper--it makes application easy and sanitary. I don't use too much product. The bottle isn't big, but a little goes a long way. 1-2 drops is all I need to wet my brush, whether I'm using an e/l brush or medium e/s brush. Yes, it's expensive at $24 for .3 oz, but this stuff works!
I'm a firm believer that HE mascaras aren't worth the $$$ that HE m/u companies charge for them, and Lash Stiletto Volumptous is exactly why. I've tried many other brands (MAC, Clinique, Lancome included) and this beats every one of 'em. This might even replace Max Factor 2000 Cal mascara as my HG (but time will tell--that was my HG for years until they stopped selling it in the US). This mascara provides instant gratification; my lashes look thicker and more defined immediately after application. It wears beautifully all day and comes off easily w/Clinique's Take the Day Off m/u remover. It's cheap and readily available. The curved brush is perfect for my eye shape. I was completely turned off of Maybelline mascaras before (Great Lash in particular), but after this received such rave reviews on MUA, I had to try it. I'm very glad that I did.
Eyeliner -Laura Mercier - Purple Sapphire Eye Kohl Pencil
CoonieR 9/23/2011 9:00:00 PM
I love this color, but as others have said, the texture leaves something to be desired. The color itself is truly the color of tanzanite--a lovely deep purple blue. I haven't found a color like this anywhere else. It brings out the blue in my eyes and doesn't take away from them at all (as some blue tones do). It's a great alternative to black or brown--not too OTT, but colorful at the same time. The texture is what makes this not HG-worthy. It is indeed hard and tough to blend. It does last, though, once it's on, even on my oily lids. I've used it on my waterline w/no problems, which is amazing considering that I have sensitive eyes. Overall, even though the formula isn't my favorite, the color is wonderful.
This was horrible. I'm usually an OPI girl but bought this because I loved the color in the bottle--it's a lovely iridescent lavender. Once I applied it, however, it was incredibly sheer and wasn't as lavender as it appeared in the bottle--it was more of a grayish-lavender with a little sheen to it. Not bad, but not what it appeared to be in the bottle, even after 2 or 3 coats. The formula, however, is what makes this 1-lippie worthy. It took FOREVER to dry (30 minutes after I applied it I managed to smudge it). It chipped like crazy even under a top coat. I'm talking about BIG chunks--not little dings at the tips of my nails. I took this off after one day and I'm considering returning it to Ulta. Not sure if I got a bad bottle or this brand just isn't for me.
This is the sole reason I'm glad that I bought the Naked palette--otherwise, I would have never discovered this gem. Toasted is absolutely gorgeous, and if it's possible to have multiple HG shadows, this is one of 'em (BB Fawn is the other). The color is gorgeous. It's a bronzy-neutral with enough shimmer to make it interesting but not at all OTT. It's amazing on its own but I'll usually pair it with Sin or a matte ivory color. It's sophisticated and makes my blue eyes look stunning. The lasting power is as good as any other I've tried. Over a primer it lasts 12 hours easily. I'm thrilled that this is permanent and available as a single, because I can imagine hitting pan on this one. It's worthy of the hype and positive reviews!
Ugh... I really hate being the lone dissenter, but this just didn't work for me. I'd been looking for a highly pigmented blue-violet (MAC's Parfait Amour was very close, but has too chalky a texture for me to be completely satisfied). I tried Jolie Poupee as an alternative. The colors in the pan are just gorgeous. The left side is, as described, a lovely blue-violet and matte. The right side is a slightly more red-violet and shimmery. I'd LOVE this if the texture of the left color wasn't super chalky--just as chalky as Parfait Amour. The right color is very pretty on and much more blendable than the left color. I just found that the left color was hard to work with--even packing on the color it was hard to achieve uniform coverage on the lid. For the price I'd expect two shadows that work perfectly together. They don't give these duos away (at $33 each), so it seems pretty expensive for one eye shadow that I really like and one that I'm just *meh* about. I'm really disappointed. For a $10 dollars less you could buy the almost-dupes Parfait Amour and Nocturnelle from MAC and even get a little more product.
Eyeliner -Stila - Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Rock Candy
CoonieR 6/2/2011 6:59:00 PM
This is very pretty! I tried this because I love all things sparkly, even though I'd never found a Stila product that didn't underwhelm me. This was a nice surprise find. The color itself is a lovely brownish taupe that isn't too warm or too cool--it's pretty neutral. The sparkle is also neutral and not at all OTT. In fact, this is subtle enough that I could wear it to work, but not dramatic enough that it would make my eye m/u really stand out. I'd be disappointed if I needed/wanted a dramatic look, but I like that I can wear this to the office for a little extra oomph. There are other liners (in this collection--check out Bora Bora or Royal) that are much more colorful and exciting. The lasting power is impressive. This stuff wears well all day, although I haven't tried wearing it to the pool yet so I can't vouch for the waterproof claims. My Clinique Take the Day off remover got this off, but I had to put a little effort into the removal. The one disappointment here is the brush. I found that using my MAC 209 brush was much more effective than using the provided brush. Using my 209 this glides on beautifully and smoothly. I liked this so much that I bought 3 other Sparkle Liquid liners.
OK, I can't resist anything shimmery or blue (against my better judgement), so I had to own this. It's ok, but pales in comparison to other e/s. The glitter fallout was incredible. Once I applied this, even over a primer, I had more glitter on my cheeks than I did on my eyelids, which was a big disappointment. I tried applying this wet and didn't get any more glitter on my lids, but it did intensify the blue color. Sorry, but this wasn't a good buy for me.
Lipstick -Laura Mercier - Stickgloss in Black Orchid
CoonieR 4/23/2011 10:27:00 AM
The MUAer who said, "if Clinique's Black Honey grew a pair, it would be Black Orchid" in the review for this was right-on. Thank you! This is what I'd hoped that Black Honey would be--subtle, flattering and longer-lasting. This looks absolutely scary in the tube, but it goes on like a sheer neutral-mauve. It's gorgeous and feels great--smooth, soft and doesn't dry out my lips at all. It lasts for a few hours and has enough of a sheen that it's glossy, but not as much as a regular l/g. No noticible shimmer or glitter and a faint vanilla scent make this a good low-key shade to wear with other neutrals. Love this! It's quickly becoming my go-to-everyday neutral l/s.
Makeup Brushes -Trish McEvoy - Angled Eyelining Brush 50
CoonieR 4/23/2011 10:22:00 AM
I'd always heard that Trish brushes are incredible and this didn't disappoint. I bought this to replace a MAC 266 brush that had been scratched up. This has stiffer bristles than the 266, but the lucite handle seems sturdier and this brush performs better IMO. It's more expensive, but so far, the Trish brushes I've purchased have been well worth the investment.