Showing posts with label Cream Eyeshadow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cream Eyeshadow. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Giorgio Armani Eye Tints - Onyx, Cold Copper, Senso, Rose Ashes and Gold Ashes


Giorgio Armani's latest includes a new liquid/cream eyeshadow called Eye Tints ($38 each for 6.5 ml/0.22 fl oz, made in France). These eyeshadows are all shimmery and come in twelve different colors. I ordered several sight unseen and literally gasped when I opened the boxes. They are really beautiful.

The shades above, left to right (note the tubes themselves only have numbers as labels):

  • Onyx 5 is a super sparkly olive green with silver and green shimmers
  • Cold Copper 9 is a smooth shimmer neutral tan
  • Senso 10 is a unique plum brown bronze shimmer
  • Rose Ashes 11 is a warm peachy gold base that flashes pink and rose 
  • Gold Ashes 12 is a super sparkly cool-toned champagne shimmer
These Armani Eye Tints have a fluid texture but aren't so fluid that they are like liquids. There is a bit of thickness to them which makes them slightly like a cream, but the texture is still on the fluid side. The color sheers out once you blend them but it is easy to build and blend. I've been playing with these all last week - my favorite way to apply is straight from the tube onto the lids and then blend on the eyes with a finger.

Onyx and Gold Ashes are extremely sparkly, but not quite as frosted or as pigmented as Armani Eyes to Kill shadows and not as glitzy as some of the Chanel Illusion D'Ombres. I've tried Gold Ashes all over the lids and it blends out really nicely for an even wash of sparkle. The other shades Cold Copper, Sense and Rose Ashes have a more finely milled shimmer. In terms of lasting power, I found these dried down to a satiny finish on the eyes after they set and lasted all day without budging. You can layer a powder shadow on top of these but if you do, I recommend working quickly with your shadows - these tend to set and dry quickly, although it's not immediate which allows you to blend and layer, dry time is on the fast side (at least for me).

For reference, Café Makeup has all the shades swatched and Color Me Loud has a detailed review on Senso #10.

These come with a beveled sponge tip applicator:



Close up of all the shades:


Swiped straight from the tube:


Swiped on a larger area:


Comparison swatches:


Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Epatant (review)
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Mirage (review)
NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia (review)
Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Twilight (review)
Chanel llusion D'Ombre in New Moon (d/c, review)
By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon (swatches)
Armani Eyes to Kill 9


I really like these, although I am partial to the Eyes to Kill Intense Shadows. I know many have found those too shimmery and too intense so if you're looking for something softer I recommend you check out the Eye Tints. They have a smooth texture that offers light to medium buildable coverage. 

Armani Eye Tints retail for $38 each. Currently available at Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Giorgio Armani Beauty. Have you checked out these new shadows yet?

Monday, January 5, 2015

NARS Eye-Opening Act - Beauty Look Book Picks


This month, NARS Cosmetics introduces a limited-edition collection called the Eye-Opening Act featuring Tilda Swinton as the face of the campaign. This collection focuses on creating different looks for the eyes with new products and colors.


All the items in the Limited-Edition Eye-Opening Act Collection are exclusive to Nordstrom through March 15 of this year:
  • Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Stick ($28 each for 0.05 oz / 1.6 g)
    • Flibuste - black
    • Dark Angel - brown
    • Reykjavik - grey
    • Glénan - blue
    • Nunavut - purple
  • Yeux Irresistible Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • All About Eve Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Flesh-toned neutral with shimmer
    • Jezebel Eyeshadow - Shimmery sable
    • Thunderball Eyeshadow - Midnight gray
    • Colombo Eyeshadow - Vintage gold shimmer
    • Brousse Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sable
    • Coconut Grove Eyeshadow - Deep Brown infused with reflections 
  • Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil Eyeshadow Palette ($48 for 6 shades each 0.03 oz / 1 g)
    • Dalliance Eyeshadow - Dusty lilac stone
    • Pyla Eyeshadow - Smokey hunter green
    • Sidi Bou Saïd - Blackened grape
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (left side) - Sheer white shimmer
    • Luberon - Iridescent sand with rose gold sheen
    • Pandora Duo Eyeshadow (right side) - Matte black
  •  Illuminating Multiple St. Lucia ($39 for 0.5 oz / 14 g)
    • Sheer Rose

I ordered some items sight unseen a little over a week ago and have been putting them to the test. I have my picks to share with you today. First up are the new Matte Velvet Eyeshadow Sticks. These are twist up creamy shadows that come in five colors. I've had really good experiences with the NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliners and Soft Touch Shadow Pencils so I thought these new shadow sticks might be a cross of the two products. I ordered Reykjavik, Flibuste and Dark Angel sight unseen.


The shades I ordered are quite intense and pigmented. I found Reykjavik (grey) and Dark Angel (brown) easy to apply straight on the lids along the lash line. They glided on without tugging. Flibuste (black) was a bit drier in texture and tugged a little bit on my eyes but I was still able to apply on the lash line fairly easily. The Velvet Matte Shadow sticks do dry very quickly and once they set they don't budge. For me, these work best as a liner. I've played with these by using a small smudge brush to apply them (take the brush and swipe the shadow stick, then use the product on the brush to apply to the eyes). Or I've also applied these directly to the eyes and blend with the fingers or a blending brush very quickly.

I like the sleek and simple packaging but given the intensity and pigment of the colors, I feel these act more like eyeliners rather than eyeshadows and wish they came in the Larger than Life Eyeliner form for easier and more precise application. That being said, for any darker cream shadow I usually use a brush to apply (versus fingers) whether it's a pot, twist up stick, chubby stick or compact form.




Here are a few swatched comparisons. I think the NARS Reykjavik grey is a phenomenal grey color. It's my favorite out of the ones I've tested because it's an intense grey without being too light or dark.


Next are the two Eyeshadow Palettes. These are my favorite items from the Eye-Opening Act Collection. Both are super compact and cute. I thought my favorite for sure would be the Yeux Irresistible but I actually really like Inoubliable Coup D'Oeil just as much, especially since it has a lot of new colors (versus repromoted shades).


Yeux Irresistible contains a mix of warm and cool. All the shades are available in other Single Shadows and Eyeshadow Duos with the exception of Colombo which is exclusive to this palette. For me this one has colors that will create a smokey or dramatic eye.


Here are the shades swatched with a heavy hand. If you're familiar with NARS Eyeshadows you are well aware that they have a smooth texture with medium pigment that is easy to build. All the shades here perform just like the individuals. They glide on the eyes nicely and layer well with each other. There is only one shade I've found requires extra work. In my experience with Thunderball (the single), I've found it works best when packed on the eyes with a detail brush as a liner. If you apply with a regular eyeshadow brush all over the lids, you may find it looks uneven and chalky. I found performance to be the same with this palette.
  • All About Eve II is a cool shimmering champagne pink with finely milled shimmer
  • Jezebel is a reddish brown color with subtle shimmer
  • Thunderball is a matte navy teal grey
  • Colombo is a shimmering gold with a very soft texture
  • Brousse I is a shimmering plum
  • Coconut Grove is a satiny dark brown that acts more like a matte on the lids



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Inoubliable Coup d'Oeil surprised me. With the exception of Luberon, all the other colors are very much cool-toned which can be hard for me to wear easily. That combined with the fact that I rarely wear green shadows on the eyes made me a bit hesitant to order this. I decided to give it a try and I'm really glad I did. Most of the colors with the exception of Pandora Duo are new and exclusive to this palette. The combination of these colors creates a unique and softly defined eye.

  • Dalliance is a sheer soft matte lilac tan, it goes on smoothly over an eyeshadow base
  • Pyla is a soft olive green with a slight grey tone and satiny shimmer
  • Sidi Bou Said is a dusty purple grape color with a satiny matte texture
  • Pandora I and II is a sheer iridescent cool white shimmer with a matte black
  • Lumeron is a shimmering coppery rose gold champagne




Last but not least is the new St. Lucia Multiple. This is a beautiful soft shimmering rose champagne. On my medium-toned skin it's a highlighter color (I use the NARS Radiant Cream Compact Foundation and All Day Luminous Powder Foundation in Punjab), but I suspect on fair skin tones it will look more bronzey with more color. This one has a finely milled shimmer with a super smooth texture (no glitter). On my skin it's light enough that I can wear it on the eyes without having to worry about getting that pink-eye look. On the cheeks it adds a very natural but visible glow to the skin. It's really stunning. It's a multi-dimensional color with lots of different colored shimmers in it. It has a rose base with champagne, silver, and pink shimmers that makes it glow. I found it sheer-to-medium in coverage. It's not invisible on the skin, but it is on the sheer side for my particular skin tone. You can build the color naturally.





I'm really pleased with the eyeshadow palettes and new multiple. The colors in the palettes make creating an eye look easy whether you want something for day or night. There is a nice simplicity to the color combinations that will give you a classic look with a modern edge. The small size of the palettes makes these easy to carry with you if you need to travel or carry something with you to take you from day to night if you can't make it back home to get ready. The new St. Lucia Multiple is really quite stunning. It is sheer but gives a really stunning glow. I have mixed feelings about the Velvet Shadow Sticks. If you're looking for a more pigmented version of the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, you will probably like the Velvet Shadow Sticks. I like the packaging design and the rich pigment. I also found lasting power very impressive (they don't budge). I do think they set a bit too quickly for me and due to the intensity of the colors I think they work better as liners than shadows.

All the items in the NARS Eye-Opening Act are limited-edition. They are currently exclusive to Nordstrom counters and online. Have you checked out the collection? Or have anything on your wish list? I'd love to hear your thoughts?




This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions my own. All products purchased by me. For more information please refer to my disclosures.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Dolce & Gabbana Beauty - Lips, Eyes and Nails


Today I'm sharing Part 2 of my Dolce & Gabbana Beauty favorites. There is a lot to explore with the Dolce & Gabbana beauty line and over the past few years I've done some extensive testing. Today's post will be an introduction to some of the items I have enjoyed the most. What I think is the most appealing about the line is the diverse color range in all of the products. There are good nudes and soft pinks to appeal to neutral makeup lovers, but there are also a lot of more dramatic and bright shades for those who crave color.

Up first are the Smooth Eye Color Quads ($60 each for 4.8 g/ 0.16 oz) in Smoky 105 and Contrasts 140. Smoky is hands down the best smokey eyeshadow quad I've tried. The pigment is very good and smooth. It has a pigmented matte black, deep chocolate bronze, shimmering sand and a pale ivory pink frost. If you find most traditional grey, silver and black smokey eyeshadow palettes too cool-toned for you, the Dolce & Gabbana Smoky is a great alternative. The sand and bronze colors add depth and definition with a warm touch. Contrasts is a softer palette of rosy colors. It has a soft petal pink shimmer, a pale pink-tinged cream satin, a soft plum shimmer and a warm reddish bronze shimmer. This will give you a soft defined eye that isn't too nude or too pink. If you're new to eye makeup and want to ease into wearing color, this is a great introductory quad that is impossible to mess up or overdo.

Next is the Perfect Mono Cream Eye Color ($36 for 4 g / 0.14 oz) in Desert 40. This one is listed as a matte shade but it has a slight shimmery sheen to it. Desert is a cool-toned tan nude shade. On my skin tone it's the perfect contouring nude shade to add depth and a hint of color. I like this one alone or combined with the Smoky Quad. It has a soft velvety texture. It is creamy to the touch but dries quickly. I found it went on smoothly when my lids were primed with a tiny bit of eye cream. It is described as a long-wear cream shadow that is supposed to last up to 12 hours. I found it lasted from morning to night for me, I've tested it for around 9-10 hours and each time it stayed put and did not budge.



To define the eyes, the original pencil released was the Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($30 each). These are highly pigmented pencils that come with an angled applicator at one end for blending. Lasting power depends on the shades. I find the metallics last long on my eyes while the mattes don't. Shades like Stromboli and Coffee have a matte base with flecks of sparkle - I find these work best if you layer a powder shadow on top of them to intensify color and get a smokey eye look. They don't smudge but they on me they fade by early-afternoon. I've had better experience with the shimmery metallics though like Bronzo, Shimmer and Agave - all of which last quite long on my eyes from morning until night. 



For lips, Dolce & Gabbana offers a wide range of textures and finishes. There are sheer shine lipsticks, glossy lipsticks, pigmented cream lipsticks and glosses with different levels of pigment and shimmer. Do note these are heavily scented with a soft rose fragrance so if you are super sensitive to scents your mileage may vary on tolerance. I find I can wear them without any issue and the scent does fade after 5 minutes or so. Out of all the formulas, I would say the Classic Cream ($33 for 3.5 g) and Voluptuous Monica Lipstick ($34 each) formulas perform the best. They are creamy, smooth and moisturizing with pigmented coverage. The Classic Cream Lipstick in Petal 135 is my newest acquisition and I find it is the perfect pink nude cream, it leans neutral but has the perfect balance of warm and cool in it to not wash out the face or pull blue on my pigmented lips.


For glosses, the packaging was re-designed although it still comes in a clear tube and sponge tip applicator. I have several colors in the Sheer Shine ($31 for 5 ml) formula. Two I've used up include Seduction 100 and Nude 60. I've found the old and new formulas to be identical. These are sheer glosses with high shine that work best when layered over a lipstick.

For many years I would do a lipliner + lipstick + gloss look on a daily basis. These days I find I usually skip lipliner altogether but Dolce & Gabbana does have a wide range of perfect nudes. I prefer to find a lipliner that matches my natural lip tone or something slightly lighter to go with nude lip colors. The Precision Lip Liner ($30) comes in a wide range of nude shades with pink, brown and rose undertones. They blend in well with the lip naturally and help extend the wear of lipstick. These come with a brush at one end which is handy for blending. Cashmere 8 is a good versatile nude. I've swatched a couple others below.


For the nails, Dolce & Gabbana has over 30 shades to choose from. The polishes are called Intense Nail Lacquer ($25 each for 11 ml). I've accumulated quite a few to date and like these for the glossy finish and smooth texture. Even the sheer shades have really good coverage and smooth application. Three I'm obsessed with include Perfection (a sheer but smooth nude with a jelly finish), Chocolate (a deep glossy chocolate cream with a jelly finish) and Cosmopolitan (a sheer coral peach, also with a jelly finish). The colors can be easily duped but the formulas have this perfect jelly texture that has an ultra glossy finish. Lasting power is really good and I usually get 5 days of wear without any chipping or tip wear. If you try these I think you will be impressed with the smooth coverage these offer.



I hope you found this a helpful introduction to the Dolce & Gabbana Beauty line. The brand offers high quality luxurious products that I find perform really well. It's definitely one I recommend exploring the next time you are at a counter. Out of all that Dolce & Gabbana has to offer, if I had to pick three things to look at for starters, it would be the Powder Foundation (reviewed here), Smoky Quad and any one of the Luminous Cheek Colors.





This post was sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions are my own. For more information you can refer to my Disclosures page.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks in Au Revoir and Volver


I recently bought two of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks ($28 each for 1.6 g/ 0.05 oz, made in Italy) in Au Revoir and Volver (my recent Sephora haul here). I've been playing with the Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks for months in store but never pulled the trigger to purchase. These are twist up cream shadow sticks with intense color and shimmer. On the skin they have a slightly cool feel when you first apply them. The packaging mimics a large crayon which I think is really fun. The tips have colors that match the color of the shadow which makes it easy to identify if you store them upright in jars.


Au Revoir is a shimmery medium taupe silver color. The shimmer is quite intense but it blends out nicely on the lids. I did find with this shade I had to blend quickly because they set and dried a bit fast on the lids. If you have oily lids, you will really like how these stay put a long time. My lids aren't oily, they tend to be on the dry side (but relatively normal). With this one I needed to make sure my eyes were well prepped with a tiny bit of eye cream. The pigment is so rich and the formula is a bit thick straight from the tube, so any dry areas will be emphasized with this one.

Volver is a warm golden champagne peach shimmer. This one is also very shimmery, but not quite as frosty as Au Revoir. I found this color a bit easier to work with and blend on the lids. It didn't dry quite as fast as Au Revoir did (at least based on the ones I bought) but it still dried pretty fast. Volver has a golden sheen to it but the base is still light-to-medium champagne so it's not too gold.


I've been using these a couple different ways. I like incorporating one of the Twinkle Pops into an eye look with 2 other powder shadows. Since the ones I picked are neutrals they are very easy to mix with other eyeshadow colors. I've tried layering them together as well. It gives a nice simple polished look, but for me the two of them combined is a bit too frosty for my personal preference.

Swatches straight from the tube, these are heavy unblended swatches:


Comparisons below, note that the flash enhances the shimmer. These are on the high frost side, but for me they aren't so frosty that they are over the top (the MAC Pigments are discontinued shades I thought might be similar, but turns out they are very different):


I'm in love with Volver. It's a really nice warm peachy champagne color and the gold shimmer gives it dimension without being too frosty. I can never resist taupe shadows so I give Au Revoir a thumbs up, although it is on the more shimmery side and takes some blending for my dry lids. If you have normal to oily, it will probably blend easier on your skin compared to the way it does on mine. 

These are both shimmery, but still wearable for my conservative makeup-loving self. If you like neutral shimmers but want something more subtle, I'd recommend opting for the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks (especially the mini set reviewed here).

There are currently nine different shade options of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Twinkle Pop Eye Sticks. They retail for $28 each. Available at Sephora and Marc Jacobs Beauty.

Have you tried these? What did you think?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Eye Color Set | Holiday 2014


This holiday Laura Mercier has released a limited-edition six piece Mini Caviar Stick Eye Color Set ($55, each mini stick 1.0g/0.03 oz). Over the past few years, I've eyed the holiday Caviar Stick mini sets but only liked 1/2 of the shades so never purchased it. This year's set has beautiful neutrals including Rosegold, Copper, Moonlight, Khaki, Amethyst and Cocoa. All the shades are colors I know I will use, I've had this set for a few weeks now and love the versatility of the colors. These are perfect no-fuss cream shadow sticks that you can swipe and blend with a finger, although brushes work too for the darker shades if you want to get detail application.
  • Rosegold is a lovely soft warm champagne with a hint of rose
  • Copper is a warm but wearable soft copper shimmer
  • Moonlight is the perfect platinum-taupe shimmer with a bit of warmth
  • Khaki is a neutral khaki metallic
  • Amethyst is a soft mauve purple with silvery pearl
  • Cocoa is a basic chocolate brown with a hint of shimmer


Each shade is nicely pigmented but easy to blend and smooth on the lids. The sticks are buildable so you can control the level of color you want. My lids are on the normal-dry side, but I can apply these straight to the lid without any base or eye cream needed. If you have oily lids you will really like how these stay put. The dry time is just perfect for me. Some cream shadow sticks dry almost instantly requiring super quick blending before they set. The Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks have a slightly dewy texture which gives you more time to blend and apply slowly - but once they set, they don't budge.

You can use these a number of different ways: a single shade alone, multiple colors layered together, or combined with powder shadow. Close ups and swatches:





Eye swatches below: top picture is just with Moonlight applied and blended on the lids, the bottom two photos are with Rosegold and Khaki layered in addition to Moonlight:



I'm smitten with this set. If you're one who rarely gets to finish a cream shadow stick because they end up drying out before you can use it up, these minis are a good way to try multiple shades in smaller doses. I've had a couple of the full sizes that have lasted over a year and haven't dried out but I'm always worried about it (many other brands have). Or if you want to try multiple shades out in a smaller travel friendly format, these are great. You can bring all six shades with you in your makeup bag or travels without worrying that they will take up a lot of space.

I highly recommend it. The Laura Mercier Mini Caviar Stick Eye Color Set retails for $55. I bought mine at Nordstrom (currently sold out). It's also available at Space NK, Bloomingdales, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Macy's and Laura Mercier.

Have you tried Laura Mercier Caviar sticks? What's your favorite color? The holiday sets this year look amazing. I've started to make a wish list.




 

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