Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sephora Prisma Chrome Eyeshadows Review - Emerald Facet and Burgundy Gem

Sephora has released some limited edition eyeshadows that are nothing short of awesome. Prisma Chroma Eyeshadow singles come in a dazzling array of shades which will please everyone from neutral lovers to color addicts. They're designed to bring together the best of baked, powder, and cream eyeshadows - all in one compact. After seeing all of them in person, I settled on Emerald Facet (golden teal) and Burgundy Gem (dark plum). Pics of these beauties:

All of the shades have a gorgeous luster to them and killer payoff. I swatched both shades with and without primer, and to be honest, primer really didn't make a difference. In fact, Emerald Facet seemed to lose much of its green hue when layered over Too Faced Shadow Insurance and morphed into a lighter, bluer teal. Burgundy Gem was less burgundy than in the pan when swatched and much more purple/ plum; somewhat similar in tone to the purple side of my old MAC Earthly Riches eyeshadow duo. Such a shame; I was dying for it to be a vampy burgundy:

L-R: Emerald Facet, Emerald Facet over primer, Burgundy Gem, Burgundy Gem over primer.

See how blue Emerald Facet became? Weird! I much prefer the color without primer. When I applied Emerald Facet onto my lids either way, it was bright. For me, it's simply too much outside of my comfort zone. I did an EOTD (well, actually an EOTN) with Burgundy Gem on the lid, a bit of MAC Legendary Black Pro Longwear eyeshadow in the outer corner, and MAC Blacktrack Fluidline on the upper lid. And here's the result:

I'm so mad about the smudge of purple on the inner corner. Lol.

Recently I dyed my hair a golden blonde, so I've switched my brow color to Anastasia's "Strawburn" brow pencil topped with her "Caramel" brow gel. Together, they're perfection :) While I love Burgundy Gem simply for being a purple, it's sort of a common shade... nothing much to write home about when you have as many purples as I do. BUT... it's still gorgeous and these are worth every cent of their $15 price tag. So sad they're limited edition, though. I hope Sephora makes them permanent.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain Review - 6 Camel Croisiere

Sephora is bursting with some new items these days, and Yves Saint Laurent's Rouge Pur Couture Glossy Stain is one of the standouts. It caught my eye when browsing the site last week and although I'm not usually a huge fan of Yves Saint Laurent's makeup (simply because I don't think the quality can truly ever justify the sky-high prices) and I normally hate lip stains (they're almost always either in the form of a "Benetint" type liquid or some sort of magic marker, and stain my lips and unnatural cherry popsicle pink-red), I really wanted to try it. I ordered 6 Camel Croisiere, which is an online-only exclusive. Boo! :( Not only did I want this shade, I thought it would be helpful to swatch and post pics of it online.

Camel Croisiere is a soft natural coral with barely perceptible gold microshimmer. No worrries, shimmer haters - it truly looks like a creme lipcolor rather than a shimmery one. Glossy Stain comes in a sleek rectangular tube with a gold cap and it has a wide, flat, doe foot applicator that hugs the lips and spreads color evenly.

The formula is fantastic and unlike anything I've ever tried before. When you apply it, it glides on and then it feels a bit tacky for a few seconds. It settles and gives you this natural, beautiful pout with a balmy feel and a subtle, juicy shine that looks as if you just licked your lips. You know how fashion models have that pretty "I-was-just-born-with-these-naturally-flushed-and-luscious-lips" look? Well, Glossy Stain gives you that! FINALLY... someone has come out with a truly wonderful lip stain in an array of non-popsicle shades, that doesn't shrivel your lips yet wears for hours. Hallelujah! $32 and totally worth it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

L'Oreal Infallible 24 HR Eyeshadows Review - Perpetual Purple, Bronzed Taupe, and Golden Sage

Happy New Year everyone :) On a recent outing, I was thrilled to see tons of items from every brand literally pouring into drugstores. Among the new arrivals is L'Oreal's Infallible 24 HR Eyeshadows. These come in small pots with screw-top lids, and are available in a gorgeous assortment of shades, ranging from pale champagne to silver-flecked black. Almost all of the shades are vibrant and very shimmery.

I came home with Perpetual Purple, a vivid violet (with a beautiful blue fine shimmer); Bronzed Taupe, a mocha taupe (which reminds me a lot of Urban Decay's YDK eyeshadow); and Golden Sage, a medium green. Others that caught my eye were a dark chocolate and an absolutely stunning sapphire blue (which would kill on brown-eyed girls). These are really interesting... first off, they look a lot more expensive than what many people might think of when they hear "drugstore eyeshadow" - the colors are rich and bright, and they pack a serious pigment punch, even without primer. They have an unusual texture that I haven't come across in drugstore eyeshadows before; velvety, and so creamy they feel almost wet (when I went to swatch these, I thought for a split-second that they were cream shadows). These remind me of something Urban Decay or MAC would release. Kudos to L'Oreal for adding a few more cool (and affordable) items into our drugstores! The shimmer in Bronzed Mocha and Golden Sage give them an almost metallic look. Perpetual Purple is a little softer, but only just a little. Pics:

D'oh! Switched Sage and Taupe around in this one :p
Check out the SHINE on these babies ;)
L-R, Bronzed Taupe, Golden Sage, Perpetual Purple

While these didn't last a full 24 hours on me, they came pretty damn close. I'm impressed, as nothing makes me happier than a great drugstore item. I hope to see more shades in the future... more purples, perhaps? An olive? A burgundy would make me drool!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent Long Wear Cream Eyeliner Review - Black Cherry

Yves Saint Laurent is seriously late to the gel/ cream eyeliner party! Stila smudge Pots, Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner, and MAC fluidlines all came out years ago. And here we are at the end of 2011, and YSL has released a cream eyeliner (the fancy, full name? "Eyeliner Effect Faux Cils Long Wear Cream Eyeliner" ;) in four basic shades: black Bronze (actually quite olive in person), Sea Black (navy), Black Cherry (purple) and Deep Black (basic black). I purchased Black Cherry, pretty much drooling at the idea of a true black cherry liner finally being in my possession. And... well... it's... not anything like a cherry...

It's PURPLE. Nothing black, or cherry, or any combination of black and cherry. Who named this shade?! 

I was so, so jazzed for an eyeliner with the name "Black Cherry"! I imagined a vampy, blackened burgundy. In the pot, Black Cherry resembles MAC Fluidline in Macroviolet (purple with red pearl). But when swatched or applied, it's much bluer, much more violet. It's a very beautiful purple, but it looks almost exactly like my Bobbi Brown Violet Ink eyeliner. And Violet Ink costs less. True to its name, the formula is extremely creamy and long wearing;however I simply can't justify the price of $25 for a tiny pot. There really wasn't anything outstanding about the formula (*coughcough* or the color), so I feel like I'm paying the extra money only for a gold cap on the pot emblazoned with Yves Saint Laurent's initials.

Meanwhile, my search for a blackened burgundy eyeliner continues... feel free to drop me an email with any shade suggestions! 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sally Hansen Smooth & Perfect Nail Color + Care Review - Whisper

I may have found my PERFECT lavender nail color. I went to CVS yesterday to pick up a couple items, and saw Sally Hansen's newest display. Smooth & Perfect Color + Care is the latest offering from SH; eight soft shades are supposed to "let your nails breathe", allow 20% more oxygen to read nails, fill in ridges, and leave a porcelain-smooth finish. Hmm... we'll see about that :P I saw "Whisper", a gentle lavender (that's not too pink, not too blue, and not too chalky looking at all) with microshimmer, and knew I was taking it home.

These polishes all have the newer, larger brushed that Sally Hansen and most companies (such as Rimmel) prefer including in their bottles these days. I personally favor smaller, slimmer brushes, but I guess I'm in the minority :( . The shades are all soft and pale; perfect for springtime and sort of the stereotypical "bridal" shades. So here is Whisper. The microshimmer gives it a delicate pearl finish which is just so lovely and BEAUTIFUL:
Sadly, my infatuation with Whisper was short-lived. These shades are very sheer. Maybe not as sheer as essie's sheers, but still way too sheer for someone like me with terrible VNL. I used four coats (ha... SH says to use 2-3 coats) for this picture. On the upside, the S&P formula did dry to a "porcelain smooth" finish, without topcoat or nails being buffed beforehand. While it's a pain in the ass to have to apply so many coats, I love the end result so much that I'm willing to do it... and wait forever for it to dry!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Stila In The Garden Eye Shadow Palette Review & Swatches

Stila has a couple of new eyeshadow palettes out for Spring 2012, one of them being the In The Garden palette. I own the In The Moment palette (another one out for this spring, only a mix of purples and browns) and LOVED it, so I bit the bullet and ordered In The Garden. There are two rows of shadows, with five in each row. The top row of shades are: 

Chinois - matte creamy white
Breeze - shimmery beige
Bark - shimmery taupe 
Freesia - shimmery violet blue
Rosette - metallic pink violet

The bottom row's shades are:

Nectar - matte creamy beige
Honey - metallic bronze gold
Sage - shimmery translucent green
Moss - deep olive green with shimmer 
Juniper - deep shimmery forest green

Also included is a Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner in Starfish, a black with green and gold pearl, and a small how-to booklet with different looks you can create. Onto swatches (click to enlarge)!:

In The Garden eyeshadow swatches, top row
In The Garden eyeshadow swatches, bottom row
Starfish Smudge Stick. Um... where's the black??

The shadows in this set are wonderful. Stila did not skimp on the quality. They're pigmented, smooth, and blend beautifully. My only complaint is that the Starfish Smudge Stick isn't a black eyeliner at all... it's pretty much just an olive green with gold glitter. And the pigmentation isn't all that; I had to go over it a few times to get the desired depth of color. Bah... I'm lazy and want instant gratification! Personally, I prefer my Clinique Egyptian Cream Shaper For Eyes - it's superior to Starfish in every way. Other than that, this palette is a ridiculous bargain; a $118 value for only $39. While I prefer the In the Moment palette (since it does so much more for my eye color), this is truly a must have for brown-eyed girls.