Showing posts with label Eyeliner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eyeliner. Show all posts

Monday, November 24, 2014

NudeStix #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit


NudeStix has released a few holiday sets this year, today I have the #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit ($49 for 3 x 1.41g/0.05 oz) to share with you. It has three Magnetic Eye Colors in Gilt, Twilight and Night along with a compact sharpener, all cased in a limited-edition tin. You can also purchase each of the shades in the set individually for $24 each at all NudeStix retailers, but the trio set is currently exclusive to Sephora.

The three shades in the set:

  • Gilt - a warm shimmery golden beige
  • Twilight - a silvery taupe bronze mix
  • Night - a super intense black


I reviewed the couple of the Eye Pencils back in July. The Magnetic Eye Color pencils surpass the Eye Pencils in pigment and lasting power. They are longwearing eye color pencils with a creamy texture that glide on lids easily. There are different colors to shade, highlight or define and once the pencils set, they will not budge. These have a nice creamy texture that blends nicely with the fingers. For the lighter shades Gilt and Twilight, I like to apply straight onto the lid from the pencil and then either smudge or blend with the fingers. The darker shade Night is best when smudged with a soft brush for me (I like MAC #239).

According to NudeStix, the Magnetic Eye Color pencils are ideal for oily lids. The formula is waterproof and after testing these, I can say that they did last all day for me and did not budge at all, not even Night.

Close ups and some swatches:





There are a number of creamy pencil shadow sticks I've reviewed from different brands. I'm really impressed with the long-wear quality many brands have been releasing. Formulas are improving and lasting power is getting better. The NudeStix Magnetic Eye Colors are in between Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks and Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pops. I would say the Laura Mercier is more creamy in texture with softer shimmer and slightly softer pigment. Marc Jacobs Twinkle Pops are more glitzy and shimmery but have pigment that is just as intense as the Nudestix.

I have three sets of color comparisons:


NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywood Land
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Golden (discontinued)
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Chanel Stylo Eyeshadow in Moonriver (discontinued)
By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Ombre Mercure #15
Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Moonlight (review + eye look)
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect (from Naked2)
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Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Tuxedo (on the eyes here)
Chanel Stylo Yeux in Black Shimmer
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The colors in the NudeStix #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit are classics that are easy to combine for a no-fuss look. I'm really impressed with the lasting power and pigment. Some creamy pencils disappear on the lids once you blend them out, but the NudeStix doesn't disappear on my lids. Given that these are classic neutrals, you may find duplicates or colors with similar effects. You may want to shop your stash, but I give these a thumbs up.

The NudeStix #GILTYLOVE Holiday Kit is limited-edition and exclusive to Sephora this year, if you miss out or don't like all the colors, you can buy the shades individually at Sephora and Space NK (they are part of the permanent line).

The NudeStix products were provided free of charge for review consideration.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bobbi Brown Black Scotch Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner


For the holiday Bobbi Brown has a new Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner color called Black Scotch ($24 for .1 oz/3 g). It's a gorgeous deep shimmery blackened bronze. It fits the gap in my eyeliner collection between black and bronze. The color is quite pigmented and applies easily along the upper lash line. It has an emollient texture which makes it glide onto the eyes. I find it sets and dries after a minute. After that short wait period, there is no smudging. I haven't tried it along the lower lash line, mainly because I haven't found any gel or pencil liner that will stay put on the bottom. But on the top lid, it lasted all day without budging or smudging. Sometimes I like to use these Gel Liners as a base for a darker shadow. The combination of gel liner + powder shadow on top really intensifies darker colors and makes a smokey lash line easy with the blending and layering.


Up close you can see the tiny bits of gold and bronze shimmer:



Swatched you can see the gold flecks:


Gel liners have been around so long and are so popular sometimes I forget that some women are new to liners that aren't pencils. In case you are just starting to explore different kinds of liners, two brushes I really like to use are the Bobbi Brown Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush and wider smudge brushes like Tom Ford Eyeliner/ Eye Definer Brush #15. For gel liners sometimes I don't want a super precise line because I like to pack on the color a bit more and then smudge with one brush. Smudge brushes help me do this.


Comparisons below show how Black Scotch is quite different from many other bronzy brown eyeliners. There might be dupes from MAC with some of the limited-edition releases but many of my pencils are still buried somewhere in a storage box (note Bobbi Brown Bronze has been discontinued):


One last shot:


Bottom line: a beautiful classic. I really like that it's a deep color without being brown or black. The bronze and gold shimmer is visible once you apply it without it being too glitzy. It has just the right amount of sparkle.

You can find the Black Scotch Gel Liner at all Bobbi Brown counters now. Online at Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Bloomingdales, and Lord and Taylor. Note that it is listed as a limited-edition color, but right now it should still be relatively easy to find.

Did you check out anything from the Bobbi Brown holiday collection? I picked up the gold highlighter, lipstick and nail polish (swatched and featured here). I'm debating whether or not to track down the pink highlighter.

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Additions to the Burberry Beauty Eyes Collection | Bold Lash Mascara, Effortless Liquid Liner + Effortless Kohl Eyeliners


Burberry Beauty recently added some items to their Eye Makeup lineup, including new eyeliners, mascaras and brow definers. All of the items are beautifully packaged in sleek and modern gunmetal-colored tubes. These should be available at all Burberry Beauty counters now, online at Nordstrom, Saks and Burberry. I've been playing with some of the new items for a few weeks now and have some to share thoughts on today.

Shown below:



Bold Lash Mascara ($29) comes in two shades, Ebony No. 1 and Chestnut Brown No. 2, I've been testing out Ebony and was really surprised with how easily it defined the lashes. It's not the thickest most volumizing mascara I have used but it does add very good volume. The color is a true black (many turn grey on me) and stays the same deep color once it dries. I didn't have any smudging or flaking and it came off the lashes easily at the end of the day with a bi-phase makeup remover. The brush grabs the lashes easily, even at the base, application is clump-free.



Effortless Liquid Liner ($34) is a liquid liner that has a pointed felt tip applicator. It comes in one color Jet Black No. 1 and is one of the deepest colors of liquid liners I've tried. The handle of the pen has a slightly groove making it easier to grip when you apply it. The handle + shape of the tip allows for super precise application. If you're a liquid liner pro, you will really like this one. If you're more of a novice like me, it will take a bit of feathering to get an even line, but I found it easy to control and apply on the lash line. Lasting power is really good. I swatched on the back of my hand in the morning and it didn't budge from around 5:30 am until 8:45 pm no matter how much I rubbed it. It did come off with a bit of water. On the eyes the liner lasted really well looking as fresh in the evening as it did in the morning. No smudging or creeping. Being a liquid product, I would say treat this like mascara when you apply. It will be wet when you apply, so let it sit for a minute. If your mascara is prone to transfer when you first apply when you blink, this will have a similar result. Try to let it set for a minute and dry.


Close up of the felt tip:


Effortless Kohl Eyeliners ($29 each) come in four colors, Jet Black No. 1, Chestnut Brown No. 2, Storm Grey No. 3 and Pale Grape No. 4. Burberry sent me Jet Black and Storm Grey for review and I've been extremely pleased. I've been a fan of the Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof liners, but many have commented that the quality isn't consistent among all colors. I do think it's hit and miss sometimes based on testers I've tried at the counter to the ones I have at home. Some are hard and tug at the eyes. If you experienced this but want a twist-up long-lasting pencil that comes with a sharpener at the end, the Burberry Effortless Kohl Eyeliners are the solution for you. These are rich pigmented Kohl Liners. The Jet Black is one of the deepest blacks I've tried (the Hourglass 1.5 mm Mechanical Eyeliner in Obsidian is one of the deepest I've tried and the Burberry is slightly deeper). Storm Grey is one of the richest greys I've swatched before, it's a deep color but not so dark it looks black. I don't think either of these are waterproof, but both of these have really good lasting power. You do need to let these sit for a minute to completely set, but once they do set, I found they did not budge.

These are a huge improvement in formula compared to the original formula of eyeliner Burberry released. The Eye Definer Eye Shaping Pencils have really good pigment and gorgeous colors, but lasting power is medium unless you set with a powder shadow on top.


Removable end reveals a built-in sharpener:


Swatches of the liners:


Comparison swatches:

Trish McEvoy Grey (discontinued)



A few more detail shots:



If you're looking for classic eye products that work and last long, I highly recommend you check out the new offerings from Burberry. I've already ordered the other two shades Effortless Kohl Eyeliners in Chestnut Brown and Pale Grape, two of each, one set for my mom who likes plum and brown twist-up liners that don't tug at the eyes and don't smudge, the other set for me.

I wrote about other brands of liquid liners I've tried and tested back in August. My top three picks back then were Tom Ford, Kat Von D and Charlotte Tilbury. The new Burberry has joined my top picks the list since it has a really rich deep black color that doesn't bleed or budge (although the Tom Ford is still hands down my number one favorite).





The new Burberry Beauty Eye Makeup additions are available at Burberry Beauty counters now, online at NordstromSaks and Burberry.

Many thanks to Burberry for sending me these items for review consideration.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty - Preview of The Beauty Look Book Picks


Beauty fans will be thrilled to know that Charlotte Tilbury's beauty line has finally launched in the US. The range has launched online first at CharlotteTilbury.com, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter and BeautyLish starting September 2nd. Later this fall, the line will launch in select stores starting October 7th at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC and October 10th at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles. Launch events will also be hosted with Nordstrom in other cities including Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Orange County, Washington D.C. and Las Vegas through Spring 2015.

I fell head over heels in love with the Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set which was available at Nordstrom during the Anniversary Sale. I couldn't wait for the line to launch in the US so I decided order a few of her look sets from the UK site along with some other items. I'll have detailed reviews on all the items, but many of you have asked for a preview post wanting to know what I ordered and whether I thought the sets were worth it (versus buying items individually).

I did quite a bit of research when trying to decide what to buy. Some of the lipsticks and lip glosses looked extremely brown in stock photos so I relied heavily on blog swatches to help me pick out colors. I went with two of the sets simply because I found it easier to purchase an entire look rather than mix and match items. There are definitely duplicates in some of the sets with items such as mascara, makeup bag and some liners. (I gifted my extra makeup bag and mascara to another beauty friend.)

I ordered my items from the UK site and Paypal converted Pounds to Dollars. I think the prices I paid were slightly higher in the UK versus US prices, current US retail prices listed below. (Note all items are available individually as well).
_____________________________


The Rock Chick Set ($225) includes:


_____________________________

The Uptown Girl Set ($225) includes:


_____________________________

Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash ($52)
Beach Sticks Bronze and Blush in Ibiza and Moonbeach (not yet available in the US)


There is a lot to digest with her line - it all looks so overwhelmingly good. I'll have reviews posted in the next week by category: face, eyes and lips with thoughts and swatches. I'm still happy I ordered the sets although you don't really save all that much buying a set versus individual items. I normally like to pick out items individually rather than stick to one preset look, but the color combinations are really good and easy to use for ideas. Even though I look nothing like the model used for each look, I found the looks helpful to see how soft or dramatic items would look on another face.

I've had really good experiences so far. I'm relieved since I spent a small fortune and bought everything sight unseen. More thoughts soon.

You can find Charlotte Tilbury in the US online at CharlotteTilbury.comNordstromBergdorf GoodmanNet-A-Porter and BeautyLish.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Liquid Eye Liners | Chanel, Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford


I've never been a fan of liquid eyeliners on me. The traditional kind with a tiny brush at the end has always felt flimsy to me which has never let me control the line on the eyes. I don't have the steadiest hands and prefer to line with a detail brush and a darker powder shadow or a pencil that I can blend easily. I've tested a few felt tip liquid liners in stores (on the hand) and found they either looked grey when they dried, had felt tips that looked mushed after use, or bled into crevices easily. I dismissed them for many years until I discovered Tom Ford's Defining Eye Pen last year and it completely changed my outlook on liners. Since then I've been braver with the liquid liner application and have been able to test a few more. I don't have a good tutorial on application but find it's best when applied in short strokes (even if it's messy) along the upper lash line and then built up for thickness and precision. I absolutely loved this Easy Winged Liner Technique video by MakeupbyTiffanyD which helped me tremendously as a liquid liner beginner.

Five liquid liners I've tried that I wanted to share (with a Sharpie and Post Card for size reference):


  • Chanel Écriture de Chanel Stylo Eye-Liner in Noir ($35) was the second liquid liner I purchased. The artists at the Chanel counter raved about it when it came out with the fall collection. Noir is a true black but when you compare it to the other five I have, it's not the deepest and looks slightly greyish. It has a felt tip and the cap has a slight spring inside when you close it, the packaging seals it completely so it doesn't dry out. My initial thoughts on this were that it was a good liquid liner, but after comparing it to others, it's just not as good. It takes a long time to dry, the tip isn't quite as precise and just looks grayish once it does dry.
  • Kat Von D Ink Liner in Trooper ($18) has made it into my top three picks. The Ink Liner comes with a felt tip while the Tattoo Liner comes with a brush tip. This one has a stiffer tip that is still slightly flexible. For me it creates a super precise line and is very easy to control. When testing which one would remove easily off my arm with a dual-phase eye makeup remover, this was the second longest lasting (next to Tom Ford). This one also has a spring insert in the cap which seals it completely once closed. I like that it's very fluid and there's no bleeding when you apply it.
  • Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen in Blacquer ($30) is one I had high hopes for based on the rave reviews. When I first tried it I did not like it. The felt tip was too soft for a precise line. After experimenting with it some more, I found it best when applied sideways or horizontally and then gliding it across the lids in short feathery strokes. It dries nicely to a true rich and glossy black but doesn't smudge. It is a liner I find takes more time. When I'm in a rush, this one isn't the best for me. 
  • Charlotte Tilbury The Feline Flick Quick Fine Line Shodõ Pen is something I purchased from the from the Rock Chic set on Charlotte Tilbury UK. Now available in the US at Nordstrom, Net-a-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman and Beautylish. This one is quite amazing with a super precise line and glossy rich black finish. It stays put and sets quickly. I love that it is super easy to glide on for precise application. The stiffer tip makes it easier for me to apply versus one that bends easily. Huge thumbs up for this one.
  • Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen in Deeper 01 ($55) is hands down the best liquid eye liner I've tried. It comes with two tips, one is a thicker brush, the other is a smaller felt tip. This one is super easy to apply. It gives a super dark black line and is the easiest for me to use (which is important since I'm not the best at applying liquid liners). It's lasted almost a year for me without drying out and the tips have remained sharp.




Comparisons to pencil liners: Houglass 1.5 Mechanical Pencil, Chanel Stylo Yeux in Gris and Edward Bess Defining Eyeliner in Deep Brown


To summarize my thoughts:

Top three picks
Tom Ford, Charlotte Tilbury and Kat Von D
Deepest black: Charlotte Tilbury
Longest lasting: Kat Von D, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford
Most precise: Tom Ford and Kat Von D
Easiest to control: Tom Ford

If I were pressed to pick just one, it would hands down be the Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen even though $55 for an eyeliner is quite ridiculous. It's super easy to control for a lighter or deeper line. It also has two tip sizes for a fine or thick line. It glides on and doesn't smudge and retains its lush dark glossy black color even when dried.

Are you a liquid liner fan? What are your favorites?

The Marc Jacobs and Kat Von D eyeliners were provided courtesy of Sephora for review consideration. The others were purchased by me. More information in my Disclosures.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hourglass 1.5 mm Mechanical Gel Liner - Obsidian


New this fall from Hourglass is their 1.5 mm Mechanical Gel Liner in Obsidian ($45 for pack of 3 or $16 each). It's their thinnest and softest waterproof eyeliner that comes in a twist up pencil. The product description:
  • The precision 1.5mm tip ensures effortless control, and allows for lining in between lashes
  • The unique formula, poured into a slim mechanical component, has the malleability, intensity and staying power of a traditional gel; no pot, no brush, no clean-up required
  • The waterproof, transfer-proof and long-lasting formula delivers extended wear
  • The supple, moisturizing formula glides on smoothly and dries quickly
  • Two clicks is all you need to line the eye, each advanced mechanical pencil lasts for approximately 17 to 20 uses
  • Only dispense product as needed – mechanical pencil does not retract
  • Free of phthalates, sulfates, talc and gluten, no animal testing
  • Ophthalmologist tested
I've been testing the new eyeliner this week in warm humid weather in Southern California and have been impressed with the lasting power. It holds up quite well throughout the day. I tested it on a few nights out and it didn't bleed, smudge or fade. The tip is super tiny for precise application - the 2 click claim is true. You only need 2 clicks to dispense enough liner for each eye. I'm rarely able to apply eyeliner in a single stroke. The same applies with this one. I prefer to feather it along the lash line. I like that it doesn't tug or pull. The formula is soft but not too soft. Some eyeliners can tug on the eye irritating my sensitive eyes. This one from Hourglass is gentle and I had no irritation.



The 1.5 mm Mechanical Gel Liner comes in one color right now, Obsidian, which is an intense black. It's not quite as intense a color as you can get with some liquid liners, but for a pencil and gel formula, it's still a true black. Many black eyeliners turn greyish on my skin or look ashy so I typically opt for colors like plum, brown or bronze. Hourglass Obsidian is a true rich black without looking harsh.


I'm still working on taking face photos, it's harder than it looks. I've found it pretty difficult to get eye photos. Here's a close up I took of my eye although the flash washes out everything:


A few comparisons here to some other black eyeliners. You can see how the Hourglass 1.5 mm tip is small compared to other eyeliners so it offers a truly precise line:





Thumbs up. I'm often skeptical of black eyeliners because I'm picky with the color and pigment. I can't always pull of the color because it often looks harsh or ashy on my skin. The Hourglass 1.5 mm in Obsidian is good in color and the formula is very good. I find it well priced for a higher-end liner. I'll have a round up post next week of my favorite black eyeliners.

The packaging is really well designed. It twists up easily and I love that there is no sharpening required to keep that super fine precise tip. It glides on easily, stays put and doesn't smudge. It's all I could want in an eyeliner. I hope Hourglass will expand the shade selection.

Hourglass 1.5 mm Mechanical Gel Liner in Obsidian launched on Hourglasscosmetics.com* this week. It will be available for purchase at Sephora* next week starting July 29 and available at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter.com, Space NK starting August 15.

Note that select retailers* will have this available as a single eyeliner for $16, all others will have it available in the trio at $45.

This post contains items that were sent courtesy of Hourglass for review consideration.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

MAC Look in a Box All About Coral | Nordstrom Anniversary 2014


MAC has several limited-edition boxed sets and palettes available for this year's Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I bought the Look in a Box - All About Coral ($39.50) which includes 2 lip items and 2 eye products:

  • Passion Charge Lustre Lipstick is a glossy medium-bright coral peachy shade
  • Stoke the Flame Lipglass is a frosted peach with visible sparkles
  • Collective Chic Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow has a glitzy champagne, olive shimmer and plum-brown frost shade
  • Brownborder Technakohl Liner is a warm brown eyeliner, it's the only item you can purchase separately



I bought this mainly because I fell in love with the lip items. The Passion Charge lipstick and Stoke the Flame lipglass combination creates a pretty peachy coral lip that's perfect for summer. The lipstick is a lustre formula but has impressive pigment for a glossy lipstick. The lip glass looks good layered over lipsticks but has enough color to wear alone.



If you're like me and only like the lip colors, here are some swatches that I did in attempts to dupe Stoke the Flame Lipglass. I couldn't find anything identical but here are some swatches:

MAC Mimmy (Hello Kitty collection, discontinued)
MAC Eurobeat Dazzleglass (discontinued)
MAC Meteoric Cremesheen Glass (discontinued)



Some more dupe attempts with other corals and peaches. I was really surprised how close it is to Tom Ford Sweet Spot:

Tom Ford Sweet Spot (discontinued)
Edward Bess Forbidden Flower (discontinued)
MAC Fresh & Frisky Huggable (discontinued)


I swatched the eye palette in store and was really impressed with the pigment. On the eyes it proved to be a bit tricky to apply. The champagne color is quite glittery and when I applied with a brush I experienced a lot of fall out. I found it best either applied with fingers by patting all over the lids with a creamy base or on top of the other two shades to set. Once on the eyes it didn't budge, but the initial application had some fall out over the face. The khaki olive and brown plum applied smoothly with a brush and layered nicely for a smokey eye. I tested this in warm hot weather outdoors at an event that lasted from 1 pm to 7 pm. I spritzed the Urban Decay All Nighter Spray (also featured here) over the eyes and face and it made the look last all afternoon and kept it looking fresh - nothing budged.

The eyeliner is pretty basic. I like the smooth creamy texture and find it lasts long, but if you have a lot of brown eyeliners it's not a must-have. I did some comparisons for the eyeliner.




The MAC Look in a Box sets are limited-edition. It appears the All About Coral Set has sold out online along with a few other sets but I've linked it so you can find the Product/Item Number. I suspect it's still available in stores and you may want to have Nordstrom Customer service locate one for you if you're interested. They might restock online. I found the set to be a good deal for the price. If you only like a few items in the set I hope the comparison swatches above help find something similar.

 

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