Eye Shadow -Chantecaille - Lasting Eye Shade- Peony
northender 2/1/2008 6:45:00 PM
Someone sent me this shimmery icy pink eye shadow pan as a swap extra once and I didnít touch it, figuring it would be enticing swap bait for some pale Nordic maiden some day, (and hideous on my GGG/DDD NC45 eyelids) but last week I developed an unexplainable need for pink eyeshadow. Still I didnít touch the Peony, figuring it would ďchalk outĒ on me and reduce its swap value by no longer being BN. Well after a superemely overindulgent and fabulous 2007, Iím on a very low buy (a ďVLBĒ) so I just canít spend money on MU right now. So, I started playing with the icy pinks in some Lancome GWPs, then I spent $6 on a HIP pigment. Emboldened by the not-catastrophic glowy results, I finally swiped this shadow and dusted it on my lids. Whatever, itíd been on my list nearly a year and no one had bit. To my amazement, my lids just glowed! The stuff is powder but it glides on like cream. No creasing! Silky texture and a little goes a long way. No chalkiness or obvious glitter - just an icy sheer pinky ethereal & subtle glow that lasts all day over primer. Yesterday, I paired it with blue shadow in the crease and blue liner for an edgy nighttime look; today I toned it down with some matte brown liner and matte brown shadow in the crease. Pretty pretty pretty. I got this for free, but a pan costs $21. I canít say Iíd pay $21 for this pan (or the outrageous $26 for a pot), but for free, itís an awesome basic. Oh, the joys of shopping in your stash . .
Eye Shadow -L'Oreal - HIP Loose Pigment- Unashamed
northender 1/27/2008 1:27:00 AM
Got this for $6 because HIP was BOGOF at CVS this week. This is a small sifter jar filled with what looks like silvery pinkish plummish glitter. A cool dark mauvey purply rose. This color is tough to describe. Funny thing is that it looks pretty innocuous in the pacakge but when you open it, it looks like you just bought a tin of cheap sparkle. I was afraid to wear what looked like pure glitter (the kind you use in arts and crafts and for Halloween makeup or whatever Kate Moss was upto when she painted a star on her eye) but too my surprise, it appeared as a shimmery silvery pinky-plum on my warm-toned NC45 GGG/DDD lids. Not OTT at all, just festive and glowy - perks things up on a cold winter night. After dusting it on my lids over primer with the included soft mini-brush (much better than the crappy liner brush that comes the HIP creme liner, BTW), I lined my eyes with a matte dark blue liner to tone down the sparkles and the result, if I do say so myself, was fab. And longlasting - this stuff did not fade, at all, over nine hours. Nor did it migrate (which is often a problem with what HE brands call "shimmer"). This stuff goes on true, stays put, and is easy to wash off. The only negative is that you have to apply it very sparingly (which is tough because it's messy in container and a lot more than you need tends to "sift" out before you need it). That's a minor point. For 6 bucks, this stuff is a steal. I think I might just have to declare 2008 The Year of the Drugstore.
Eyeliner -L'Oreal - HIP Color Truth Cream Eyeliner in Midnight Blue
northender 1/26/2008 3:29:00 PM
After splurging on myself in 2007, none of it regretted, I decided to go on a VLB (very low buy) this year - meaning occasional drustore splurges of $15 or less and HE buys only for LE items that I absolutely cannot swap for with a ceiling of $150 total. So, today I went to CVS and all L'Oreal HIP products were 2-for-1. I couldn't resist so I picked this up (as well as the Unashamed pigment). Basically, I got this liner for $6.00. It is a deep, dark but bright blue, and definitely not navy. The pot looks like a Stila smudge pot and you get a bonus small liner brush to go with it. This liner is just almost nice as my Stila smudgepot and has good lasting power when used over Lumene eye base - it didn't budge and stayed true for 9 hours. No joke!!! The texture isn't as silky as Stila's but it was 1/3 the price with the discount and the effect was the same. The color is a true matte blue on my NC 45 warm-toned GGG/DDD skin and nicely offsets the shimmer Unashamed pigment. The included brush is no great shakes (it hurts and the liner tends to clump on it) but it draws a nice thick cat-eye line and is easy to clean. I like using this product better with my Stila smudge and line brush. After trying this, I had to resist the urge to run back to CVS and try all sorts of different HIP combos but, again, I'm on a VLB and I don't *need* the other colors right now. But when the HE stuff runs out, I'm running to CVS.
Palettes -Becca - Velveteen Eye Palette (Holiday 2007)
northender 12/16/2007 11:12:00 AM
The Basics: This sleek brown case contains four eyeshadows, a black "Barbarella" cake liner, a double ended brush, and a high quality mirror. Each pan is about 1 g/ .03 oz - smaller than Stila and MAC, bigger than Fresh, and around the same size as the pans in BB's Slopes palette. The Shadows: all of the shadows are shimmery but the shimmer is subtle and expensive looking - sort of like Fresh shadows. Used over primer I(Lumene), they survived the night intact. Organza is a pearly white shadow which I figured I would never use but how wrong I was!!! It can be used as a base or a highlighter and it doesn't chalk out my DDD/GGG skin, even when used dry! It just gives my lid a sheer glow. Lurex - shimmery wheatish-gold, think Stila Sparkle Chintz - khaki-olive-green - think Stila LaDouce but less sparkly Shantung - bronzey-gold, think Stila GoLightly but less sparkly The Cake Liner - it's basic black but easy to apply and lasted all night - which is rare for me. I was surprised it contained parabens (I thought Becca was crunchy-granola) but whatever - what doesn't kill you just makes you stronger right? The Brush - the brush is double-ended with shadow and liner ends. The shadow end is really useful because it's sort of a small triangle - you can use it for overall application but also to do precise work in the crease and to contour. The liner side was easy to use. The Price - $49, but I got it 20% off. For $40, it's a good bang for your buck. I would have happily plunked down full price for it. Except for Organza, none of these shadows are spectaular, but they are high quality and versatile. You can mix and match them in many ways and use them wet to line if you don't want Barbarella drama. Am seriously considering getting Sateen (packaging horror stories and all). Here's my pic: http://img.makeupalley.com/1/1/2/9/833956.JPG
Palettes -MAC - Holiday 2007: Viva Glamorous Warm Lips
northender 12/7/2007 10:40:00 AM
This cute little red metallic case contains three pans of lipcolor: Viva Glam V gloss, Viva Glam V lipstick, and Viva Glam VI lipstick, a small lipbrush, and a high quality mirror. As everyone knows, VGV is a neutral pink with subtle shimmer ("pearl" in MACspeak) and VGVI is is a plummy-brown-pink with less shimmer but still not matte ("terracotta plum fusion with pearl" in MACspeak). The VGV tends towards warm and VGVI is more neutral (which makes sense because I noticed it showed up in the "cool lips" palette). I have very pigmented lips so VGVI is a subtle stain on me and VGV looks sheer sparkly pink on me - neither of which is a bad thing because I like subtle lips for daytime. Predictably, the gloss is shinier and lighter than the lipstick. This entire palette on my lips is MLBB but paler girls will probably get more color payoff. I've been wearing these shades for an entire week now and I'm impressed with the texture and lasting power - my lips feel moist but not sticky, and it protects my lips from chapping - actually, it seems to have solved my chapped lip problem - last week, when the winter wind kicked up, my lips were dry, chapped, and flakey despite repeated applications of lip balm. This week, the wind is still brutal but my lips are soft, comfortable, and no longer flakey. The brush (a 316 SE) works fine for me - it is soft and flexible and easy to use. The price is fine, $22.50 for three colors that I get to try on an extended basis (may end up buying VGVI). Bonus is that the entire price goes to charity. Unlike the majority of people on this site, I like lip palettes - you get a usable amount of color without the risk of the stuff going bad or you getting tired of it. I can actually see myself hitting pan on this by the end of the winter.This case is super-portable (it's the size of a pack of gum), fits in my coat pocket or in a tiny purse, yet the mirror is big enough that I can check my whole face in it. This little palette might actually be backup-worthy except that I'm sure MAC will re-release it or something similar next year. Anyway, color me happy on this one.
This stuff sucks. For $10, you get 3.4 oz of minty-smelling stuff in a convenient spray bottle. It does not remove cream-based products. It does not remove powder based products. It does not remove anything and I have tried, over and over and over again. I do not want to use 1/8 of the bottle on one da*n brush! I want my $$$ back and I want it NOW.
This is a clay mask with kaolin clay, rosehip oil, and, as a previous reviewer noted, a few, simple & natural ingredients. Perhaps that explains why it smells like urine!!! I put it on in the bathroom and immediately thought I had to clean the toilet or something. Completely ruined my jasmine-scented bath I was taking. That having being said, this mask is fantastic - you need to use a tiny, tiny amount (I can see 15-20 uses in the teeny, tiny jar) and it dries quickly without leavingyour face dry or tight. When I wash it off, I can see my pores, which are normally very tight but I think that's a good thing because all of the gunk in them is brought out to the surface. My face feels very refreshed afterwards. This is a great clay mask for me in the winter as I have very dry skin that gets clogged and congested (resulting in little bumps that aren't acne but annoying nonetheless). The price is not bad - $28, the ingredients are very natural, and a little bit goes a long way (as out friend, Jessica Simpson says - just a little dab, that's all you need). I prefer tubes to jar packaging but at least with jars, you know when you've used up every last bit of product plus you can reuse them for samples. So, thumbs up on this one.
Palettes -Stila - Fall Fantasy 2007 in Madagascar agate
northender 11/19/2007 3:34:00 PM
This palette is one of three LE "Fall Fantasy" palettes released in September 2007 - it's a cream and brown set with a pink blush. Eyeshadows: the palette contains three eyeshadows a warm & pale champagne base color, a peachy-bronzey crease/contour color, and a warm dark brown liner. Each color has subtle shimmer but nothing OTT. As usual, great Stila quality - a little goes a long way, lasts all day with primer, minimal creasing, blends easily. These are warm neutrals - nothing extraordinary or unique but a special set nonetheless because it's versatile and convenient. It's a palette that every girl needs for a neutral, everyday, pretty look. The pale eyeshadow color doesn't "chalk out" on my DDD/GGG skin and the color combination makes me look alive and glow-y. Blush: But wait, there's more!!! You get a small blush pan as well! It's a neutral pink blush - very basic look but nicely coordinated with the shadows. On my NC45 skin, I get a nice subtle glow, which works well for me because I like subtle makeup. Anther reviewer commented that it was more like a highlighter than a blush and she's right on. Packaging: the brown velvet case is my favorite Stila packaging ever but it's a dust magnet and will get dirty the minute it leaves its box. You get a pretty little mirror inside but from first use, the powder shadows "flake" all over the pretty velvet. You have to work very hard to keep it nice and neat, which sort of negates all the cuteness it has when it is new. The agate necklace is gimmicky and completely superfluous - I don't even know what to do with it. Price: The $32 would have seemed reasonable to me until Stila brought out the Blanc and Noire palettes for Holiday 2007 - for the same price, those palettes give you four full-sized (shimmery as hell but still, full-sized) eyeshadows and blush that you can mix around with regular Stila refills. The minute I saw the Blanc palette I just wished Stila had done the Madagascar palette the same way. The Madagascar palette must contain at most half as much product as the Blanc palette. So the extra is for, what, the agate necklace? I swapped for it so I didn't actually shell out the $32 for the palette - and since it's so small, I probably wouldn't have. Would I buy it again? The first time I used it, I was so enamored by the pretty, glowy, polished look it gave me in five minutes flat that I logged on immediately at Sephora to score one before FF ended. Then, I thought about it for a minute and realized that I could achieve a similar look with about half a dozen other products - my BE eye kit, Fresh's chamomile eye trio, NARS Mogambo duo, my current Stila six pan - that I can't even justify buying a backup, even at 20% off. It's a gorgeous, but basic, brown and cream set that can be duplicated in so many ways. However, I will say I prefer it to Dior's Incognito and Chanel's Spices and other neutral sets and I'm glad I do have mine. I'm betting that Stila will be releasing something equally as fabulous (and hopefully with more product) in the seasons to come. If the Blanc palette contained these colors, I wouldn't have thought twice about stocking up!!!
Passed on this last year and avoided Chanel counters this year because I didn't want to get sucked in. Finally, I managed to swap for it and after I did my first EOTD with it I thought "where has this been all my life???!!" It's like Nymphea's dark sister and it's what I wanted Spices and Dior's Sunset Cafe to be - three gorgeous and softly shimmering warm shadows that can be paired and blended in many different classy combinations with a killer dark & unique liner color. My gripe with most Chanel quads is that most of them don't contain that killer dark liner color that takes the quad from day to night. Problem solved here!!! This solid black compact with a large mirror, velvet case, and two applicators contains four shadows - a champagne nude color, a warm golden pink, a soft brown, and a dark metallic sparkly green. None of the paler shades "chalk out" on me - I get true color without using primer which is a first for me with Chanel shadows. These powders are finely milled, silky, and blend like a dream. The standout shade is the dark metallic green - dark black-green (think NARS Night Porter's classier mom) - you can use it to line for daytime and to smoke things out for a sultry EOTN. I normally don't care much for Chanel's color combinations or textures but they scored big points with me on this quad.
Eye Shadow -Guerlain - Ombre Eclat Duo&Liner in L'Heure Bronze
northender 11/16/2007 11:03:00 AM
This gorgeous golden old-school compact contains a creamy beige shadow, a khaki-olive shadow, a dark olive cream liner, one sponge applicator, a liner brush, a high-quality large mirror, a black velvet case, and a little instruction booklet. I was amazed but the beige shadow didn't "chalk out" on my GGG/DDD skin - I got true beige, and the green has subtle gold shimmers. Neither shadow is "bronze" per se, but the effect of blending and contouring with both of them is bronzy. The liner is a pretty alternative to black and matches the shadows perfectly. This set gives you a subtle, sophisticated, and foolproof EOTD - it's "expensive" shimmer that glows rather than sparkles - which makes it wearable at an office or during the day. I got this instead of NARS Earth Angel - similar colors but more glittery. The texture of the Guerlain shadows is far superior to NARS - more finely milled and silky. Interestingly, the foam applicators work much better than brushes. The price is outrageous - $50 (I got it 20% off - still outrageous) but you do get a liner as well as the two shadows, so, with the 20% off, it was a better deal for me than the NARS. I admired it for months and tested it often before I finally broke down and bought it. Some of the other combos look nice too but I can only justify splurging on one. This would be a great present for someone (or yourself) because it is so luxurious but you need to make sure the combo of colors will be versatile to justify the steep price tag. Plus, the packaging makes me feel like a Hollywood movie star. The snap you hear when closing the compact is like hearing a door shut on a Mercedes Benz.
Like its name suggests, this is a pale pinky-gold cream shadow. I'm NC45, GGG/DDD, and rose gold gives my lids a warm & slightly shimmery sheen - not really rose or gold but pretty nonetheless. Add some black cake liner and red lipstick and you've got instant glam. Nice solid little case with a gorgeous mirror - too small to really be very useful but crystal clear. This is a nice & basic shadow with high-quality subtle shimmer.
Eye Shadow -Becca - Creme Eye Color in Bronze Gold
northender 11/15/2007 4:47:00 PM
Like its name suggests, this is a bronzey-gold cream shadow. In the pan. I'm NC45, GGG/DDD, and on my eyelids, bronze gold feels and looks like I applied vaseline to my lids. All I get is a sheen - no color payoff whatsoever. On me, this can only be used as a base - and $20 for a base, to me, is just ridiculous. With eyeshadow this expensive, I should get some pigmentation even though I am a darkie. Other golden brown cream shadows like this (such as BB Burnished) do show up on my skin. Other Becca shadows (like the gorgeous green patina) show up fine on me (lasting power is suspect though). I had similar issues with Becca's Rose Gold shadow but I could forgive that puppy for not really showing up as it's a pale color but this one was supposed to be bronze!!! Anyway, packaging, as usual, is gorge with a high-quality mirror.
Makeup Brushes -Sephora - Face and Eye Travel Tool Kit
northender 11/15/2007 4:37:00 PM
This sleek black case contains five travel sized brushes - 1) a face/blush brush 2) eyeshadow brush 3) eyeshadow crease brush 4) eyeshadow smudge brush and 5) angled brow/eyeliner brush. At $32 a pop, it works out to about $5-6 a brush When I saw this, I was immediately excited as this set contains the five brushes I use the most. It's as if Sephora designed this set for me!!! Unfortunately, the brushes aren't that great - none of them pick up and apply makeup very well. The bristles are soft but they seem "loose" or just not densely packed enough for precise application. The crease brush in particular is crap - it's way too bushy and absolutely useless to apply crease color precisely - I end up getting powder everywhere and I can't "place" the eyeshadow where I want to - and isn't that the purpose of a crease brush??? The smudge brush isn't densely packed enough to "smudge" properly without making a mess and the eyeliner brush isn't stiff enough to get a good, precise line. The basic face and eye brush are just that - basic & nothing special, and at $5-6 a brush, very expensive given that EOB's brushes cost less and work much better. The face/blush brush started shedding almost immediately. It's so much easier to do my makeup with my Stila smudge&line brush, my EOB crease and angled liner brushes, and my Body Shop retractable blush brush so I'd rather just carry those brushes individually than bother with this set. I do love the chic little case it comes in - with a magnetic clasp! and the idea of having these brushes in a set. I'm considering chucking these brushes or trying to swap them without the case and putting my other brushes in there.
Bronzers -Christian Dior - Bronze Sun Couture palette #002
northender 11/1/2007 9:53:00 AM
Sun Couture #002 calls itself "summer makeup for face & lips SPF 20" - whether the SPF is of any use whatsoever is debatable unless you paint your face with the powder , but nice touch, Dior, in giving us an extra nudge towards splurging on this $50 palette. I ended up getting it for $35 by opening a Saks card and getting a FF discount, and $35 is bearable for this product - a gorgeous golden brown plastic compact, with a large, high quality mirror and a velvet pouch, contains a large powder pan divided into three shades - 1) a sparkly, shimmery reddish terracotta bronzer-blush; 2) a tiny strip of vanilla white highlighter that looks like chalk; and 3) sparkly shimmery golden tan bronzer. When applied lightly, the shimmer isn't as apparent on your face as it is in the pan - which is a huge plus for me. There are two ways that I use the palette - when I am in a rush, I just swirl all three colors onto my bronzer brush, quickly tap the powder onto cheeks, forehead, jawline. The result on my DDD/GGG skin is a nice rosy glow. I also use it to contour - I use the tan bronzer to contour, the terracotta color as blush, and then I grab an eyeshadow brush and paint the highlighter on my cheekbones and blend it. Dior light colors are the only ones that don't "chalk out" on my skin. You need travel size brushes to contour - otherwise you can't use each color separately. Oh yeah, this palette also comes with a pink lipgloss that gives me a "come hither" pout that I don't quite need for my boring life but I blot blot blot and use it as lip balm. I wish they'd just skipped the gloss but I guess that's what makes it a "palette" rather than just powder. Whatever - wish they'd just thrown in a brush - double ended, please. As for it being "summer makeup", I think it works best for me on a winter or fall day when my skin looks dull and tired and I need a pick me up to make me look alive. The bright blush really does give you a "just came in from the cold" flush that IMO, would look quite unnatural in summer. It's a nice product and more versatile than it looks - but I'd buy it again for the first time but I doubt I'd ever repurchase - it's not an everyday palette. The terracotta color doesn't look as bright on as it does on the pan, but then again, I'm a DDD/GGG. I could see it making a PPP look like s/he has a clown face unless s/he just swirls all the colors together - but then again, it is Halloween today. EDIT JINE 2008: I now use this everyday to counteract the "kabuki" effect of my sunscreen. I don't know how I lived without it. Glow sans shimmer. I love Dior!!!!!
This lipstick is perfection on me and is being discontinued *cries*! It's a matte dark brown-red that is the perfect classic red on my pigmented lips. Simply stunning with a neutral eye - I am DDD/GGG, NC45. Further, it's smooth as silk, glides on, and gives great color with just one layer! After initial application, it stains your lips without being waxy without settling into the lines. I think that's why it costs so much - because it doesn't get creasy or flakey or anything. Just a gorgeous stain. . Usually I'd take two lippies off for being so expensive ($23) where there are comparable colors for half the price, but this lipstick but this is so well pigmented that it will probably last longer than a cheaper lipstick. Plus it is matte AND moisturizing. No lipliner needed. I would wear this everyday but I don't because it is being discontinued. NARS, why are you getting rid of this color??? You are breaking my heart!