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

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.




Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Neutral Creamy Shimmer Wash Eye Shadows | NARS, By Terry, Laura Mercier, RMS and Chanel


Lately I've been a fan of these swipe and go shimmery wash eyeshadows. I like a creamy texture so there's no extra base needed for good pigment and blending. I like neutrals but have discovered a few non-nude shadows I find good for color, dimension and glow. Just add a simple black or bronze liner and mascara and you're good to go (for lazy makeup days). I also find them good for touch ups if you're transitioning from day to night to add a bit of depth to the eyes. The creamy textures mean you apply straight from the tube if it's a twist up stick or right from the compact with your fingers and smudge/blend easily. My current favorite neutrals:


  • NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Iraklion ($25) is a mauve rose quartz taupe fawn shimmer. It blends out to a sheer finish but nicely contours the lids. You can layer for more color and it also works well as a base for powder shadows but won't change the color.
  • Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Rose Gold ($26) is a shimmery gold with a slight hint of pink tones, on me it pulls more champagne gold but the pink prevents it from being a pure yellow gold. It's on the creamy side so if you have oily lids you may need a matte base underneath.
  • By Terry Ombre Blackstar ($43 each) in Ombre Mercure (interesting oyster that flashes gold and a bit of green sparkle), Frozen Quartz (cool medium pink sparkle) and Misty Rock (plum pink) are all intense creamy shadows, I adore each of them alone on the lid with a simple liner. They are on the pricey side but the quality, texture and lasting power make these worth every penny.
  • RMS Cream Eyeshadow in Solar ($28) is something I use on a weekly basis, alone or as a base, there's something so pretty about a rich gold shimmer for the eyes that warms up the complexion (review here)
  • Chanel Illusion D'Ombre in Emerville ($36) is a classic champagne peach shimmer. I think it's one neutral shimmer everyone should have in their beauty collection. It makes a lovely wash all over the lids.
  • NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows ($29 each) in Europa and Andromeda (reviews here) are nice when layered together for that simple polished glow look for the eyes. 



Swatched side by side you can see they look intense when swatched straight from the tube, the pigment is good and textures are super easy to blend and layer. They aren't quite as frosty when you blend them out. My assessment for shimmer levels:
  • Most shimmery are the By Terry Ombre Blackstar sticks but if you've tried these you know they blend out really nicely but maintain the color. RMS Solar is on the shimmery side as well but the gold base blends well with my natural skintone almost like a contour.
  • Medium shimmers are Laura Mercier Rose Gold and Chanel Emerville.
  • Sheer shimmers are NARS Iraklion and Dual-Intensity Eyeshadows in Europa and Andromeda (most in this formula are intense, but I have the softest ones).


What are your favorite creamy shimmer shadows for an all over wash? Do you have any swipe and go kind of shadows you love? Or are you one who usually prefers to layer more color on the eyes?



Friday, January 17, 2014

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon


I've always been fascinated by the By Terry line but it's one of those brands I had never ventured into. I took my first baby step into the brand with the Baume de Rose which lives up to all the hype. During my last trip to Barneys New York in Beverly Hills last month, the product specialists showed me the Ombre Blackstar Color Fix Cream Shadows and the Brow Mascara (thoughts on this soon). I had about six different cream shadows swatched on my hand. I let the cream shadows sit on the back of my hands for about a minute. When I tried to remove, I found that none of them budged when I tried to wipe them off. The colors all applied very smoothly and blended easily upon first swipe before drying down to a budge-proof finish. I literally wanted to purchase one of each color limited myself to test one first. I picked a classic shimmering bronze: the Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon ($43 for 1.64 g/0.58 oz).


The Ombre Blackstar shadows contain an ultra-smoothing Tahitian black pearl extract which makes most of them brighten the lids with reflective shimmer particles. Bronze Moon is a neutral shimmery bronze. The texture is creamy and pigment is easy to control but you need to blend quickly after application. Once it sets and dries, it really does have a "tattoo-hold." It feels natural on the lids after it dries, you can't feel any pull or layers of product like with some cream shadows. On me it lasted from 5 am past 8 pm without budging, fading or smudging. Do note that I have normal to slightly dry lids. I rarely have issues with cream shadows being too moist. Most primers I try tend to be a bit too dry in texture when they dry down causing the skin to almost shrink and stretch. By Terry Bronze Moon is a really nice color on the lids. It's one of those colors that works perfectly all by itself. No other highlighter, base, crease or liner needed for me. Just the shadow and one coat of mascara.



Swatched heavily and then blended out:



Comparisons to Chanel Illusion d'Ombre in Initiation (review here), Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Cocoa, Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Stick in Rehab, MUFE Aqua Shadow Stick 20E, Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in Moon River and Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow in Bronze Sugar (swatched here).

Out of all of these, the By Terry Bronze Moon has the best staying power. On the lids its the most neutral in color, not quite as bronzey or silvery.



I'm really impressed with the staying powder, pigment and blendability of Bronze Moon. The lasting power is far better than most cream shadows I have tried before. The price is high though which has prevented me from wanting to look at them in the past. I will definitely be checking out the other colors my next trip to Barneys or SpaceNK, however it will be a while before I can bring myself to buy another one due to the high price tag. If you have any favorites from the By Terry line I'd love to hear about them!

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Bronze Moon ($43) is permanent and is available at Barneys, SpaceNK, Beauty.com and Bloomingdales.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Fatal and Initiation | Holiday 2013



Chanel has released two new shades of their Illusion D'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow ($36 each) in Initiation and Fatal. Each color is beautiful alone with a simple coat of mascara but also look lovely when layered together. Lasting power is quite good for these - they did not budge from my eyes from morning to early evening when I tested these.

Below: Left - Fatal, Right - Initiation



Fatal is a stunning purple-red with silver sparkles. It's like a mix between Chanel Illusoire and Ebloui but with an added kick of visible silver shimmer to make it unique. Purples can be hard for me to pull off if they have too much blue or too much red. Fatal is the perfect in between. It does look warmer in the pot than it applies on the skin but it's a chameleon-like color. The shimmers are both red and purple so it may look different depending on what angle you hold the pot at.


Initiation is a stunning warm bronze with silver and gold flecks. I find this one to be extra sparkly but in a good way. There was no fall out with the sparkles. I like to use the little applicator brush to apply but fingers or a basic cream shadow brush works well too. (One of my favorites is MAC #242 for creams or Chanel Concealer #10.) I'm glad Chanel released a bronze shadow - it was a much-needed color in the Illusion D'Ombre lineup.


Swatches, two views. The colors are easy to control for pigment. I swatched with a heavy hand but they are easy to blend out and layer.



Comparisons show that Chanel Initiation is quite different from most bronze colors I own. Armani Eyes to Kill #15 is warmer and #26 is more brassy. For Chanel Fatal I found Armani Eyes to Kill #27 almost identical in finish. The Armani is just slightly lighter with a bit more silver frost.

Comparisons below: MAC Buried Treasure Paint Pot, Armani Eyes to Kill #15, Armani Eyes to Kill #26, Chanel Ebloui, Chanel Illusoire and Armani Eyes to Kill #27.


With flash:


Without flash:


Overall beautiful colors perfect for fall to holiday. Versatile enough to incorporate into many different looks for both day and night. Also wearable alone, mixed, or layered over other powder shadows for added depth and sparkle. Definitely must-haves in my book.

Both Chanel Fatal and Initiation Illusion D'Ombres are limited-edition colors. Available now at Neiman Marcus.
 

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