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

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Urban Decay Naked On the Run Palette


The latest addition to the Urban Decay Naked series is the travel palette called Naked On the Run ($54, limited-edition). I'm a huge fan of the Naked Eyeshadow Palettes so I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered the newest palette of neutrals which has products for eyes, lips and cheeks.

Naked on the Run has five neutral eyeshadows with a mix of shimmer and matte colors, a mini 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner, a Naked Gloss, Bronzer, Blush, Highlighter and a mini Perversion Mascara. The colors in this palette:
  • Dive Eyeshadow is a sparkly medium rose pink with a high frost and some gold sparkle
  • Fix Eyeshadow is a matte light-to-medium tan brown
  • Resist Eyeshadow is a shimmering warm taupe
  • Dare Eyeshadow is a matte medium-dark warm brown
  • Stun Eyeshadow is a sparkling chocolate with gold and brown chunky shimmer
  • Bronzer is a finely milled soft bronze color
  • Blush is a cool pink with a slightly satiny sheen
  • 50/50 Highlighter is a satiny pale pink shimmer
  • Stag 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner is a deep brown with some plum tones, it has a lovely shimmer
  • Sesso Lip Gloss is a nude plum pink with an iridescent sheen


The Naked on the Run Palette is designed to be travel-friendly or to carry with you on the go. It does have everything you need for a complete look (minus brushes) and the colors are versatile, neutral, extremely pigmented and easy to wear. The compact however is huge. It's about 5.4 inches by 5 inches and a little over 1 inch thick. For a travel palette I expected something more compact, but the palette is deep to accommodate compartments for the lipgloss and mascara. The mirror is one of the biggest that I've seen in a compact which makes it super useful to apply the product whether you're at home or traveling or on the go.

For size reference next to a medium-sized tote and magazines. You can see that the Naked on the Run is fairly large. It won't fit in any of my makeup bags, but it does fit into one of the larger compartments in my purse:


Scarf by Nordstrom, iPhone Case by Gray Malin, L'Occitane hand cream mini, Prada Saffiano tote, Fujifilm Instax Mini 25 (similar version here and here), Smythson Notebook, NARS Contour Brush

For the products, the eyeshadows are richly pigmented and velvety in texture, true to Urban Decay's signature eyeshadow formula. There is a higher degree of frost with the shimmer shades but I found them very wearable. The colors do seem to be standard neutrals, but with most of Urban Decay's neutrals, I find they always manage to add a special mix of shimmer or sheen to their neutrals that gives them a new twist making them unique.

The cheek products which include the bronzer, blush and highlighter are finely milled with a very soft texture. The pigment is sheer to medium but buildable. I reviewed two of the Naked Flushed Palettes before and think I might be the only one who cannot wear them on their own. There is something about the texture that makes my cheeks look very dry where pores are suddenly emphasized and skin looks chalky. I had the exact same experience with this palette, but based on reviews I've read, it appears I might be in the minority with my thoughts on the cheek products.

Sesso Lip Gloss is a gorgeous plum rose pink but it's very sheer. You can see the natural lip through the lip gloss but it does leave a very natural rosy tint. It has a smooth texture with a slightly minty scent. I like the Naked Lip Glosses because they make the lips feel hydrated and smooth without that sticky tacky gloss feeling. Lasting power is medium for a few hours before it disappears. This is exclusive to the palette.

Stag Eyeliner is a really pretty dark brown plum shimmer. It leans more plum on me. I believe it's currently exclusive to the palette, but I hope that Urban Decay adds it to the permanent line or releases a powder shadow version of it. It's really quite pretty.

Last but not least, the palette includes a mini Perversion Mascara. This is the first time I've tried it although it's been on my radar for months. The 200+ customer reviews on Sephora were mixed so I didn't know what to expect. I found it lasted all day without smudging or flaking. The color is a rich deep true black and stayed the same rich color once it dried. For application I felt like I had to pack on 3 layers to make it adhere to the lashes. Application was overall easy and clump-free. It defined the lashes and added a bit of volume. The only thing I didn't like about this one was that it didn't hold the curl quite as well as other mascaras I've tried.








Swatches, eyeshadows swatched on the arm without a base:


Eyeshadow pigment is richer when swatched over a base (here is a mix of face primer and tinted moisturizer):


Other products with swatches on bare arm:


One last shot:


I'm a huge fan of the Naked series so this is overall a nice addition for me. The cheek products take extra work for me to make them work. I need to add a dewy base or highlighter underneath to make them look less chalky-looking but the colors are nice and naturally flattering. If you already own all the other Naked Eyeshadow Palettes and Naked Flushed Cheek Palettes you may find this has too many similarities to the others to justify owning. Even though this is designed to be a travel palette for on-the-go, I don't know how I feel about lugging this around in my purse. The compact seems fairly sturdy and while I am usually gentle with purse handling, I'm not sure that I would want to leave this inside for an extended period of time. Also the palette is huge and takes up a lot of space in my purse. I did test it on-the-go with me for a few days and for me it's just too big to carry around.

I'm happy with mine, but it's not something I plan on repurchasing. For reference, Naked + Naked2 + Naked3 swatched here, Naked2 Basics swatched here, Naked Flushed featured here.

You can find Naked on the Run at Urban Decay counters and stores now. Online at Sephora, Ulta, Urban Decay and Nordstrom.

Did you buy Naked on the Run or test it in store? What did you think?

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.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty The Sky-Liner Petites Highliner Collection


Marc Jacobs Beauty released some beautiful sets for the holiday season. The Sky-Liner Petites Highliner Collection ($45 for 7 eyeliner minis, each 0.37 g / 0.01 oz) has been on my list for quite some time and after a few days of testing I can say that I think it's a must if you like eyeliner and want some options that are beyond the basic black and brown.

This set has seven different minis of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Highliners (full sized options are $25 each). These are twist-up gel pencils that are waterproof. The pigment of these is quite intense but the formula is smooth and glides on the eyes nicely without any tugging. I was really pleased to find how easy it was to layer nicely and get a precise line. Given the smooth texture when you apply these, I was worried these might be one of those types of pencils that didn't stay put. But after you let these sit for a minute, they truly are budge-proof. Compared to other long-wear pencils, I would say these last a lot longer than Urban Decay 24/7 pencils and even more than Chanel Stylo Yeuxs. Lasting power is as good as Burberry Effortless Kohls (reviewed here).

I had tested a mini that was a Sephora Beauty Insider 100 Point perk back in August and loved it. The other shades in this set are just as good and had it not been for the minis I probably wouldn't have tried some of the other fun colors and totally missed out. It comes cased in a sleek black tin.


All the shades are shimmery except Blacquer. The shimmer isn't overly frosty on the eyes though, for me it's really perfect. I'm in my early 30's and for those who want to know if anyone over 25 years of age can wear these, I would say absolutely yes.



The colors in the Sky-Liner Highliner set include:
  • O(Vert) is a shimmery sage green
  • Brown(Out) is a metallic deep chocolate brown
  • Sunset is an interesting warm coppery gold
  • Midnight in Paris is a deep teal shimmer
  • Th(ink) is a violet navy blue metallic
  • (Plum) age is a bright orchid purple shimmer
  • Blacquer is a lush glossy deep black
For size reference next to my hand, you can see these are really cute mini-sized liners:




If you're like me and won't buy sets unless you like all the colors know that all the shades are available for individual purchase. Wearing colors like Sunset and Plumage are a bit of a stretch for me based on my natural instinct. I gravitate towards neutrals but every once in a while I have a makeover at a counter (like with NARS and Chanel) where they use some more wild colors as an accent on the eyes. I'm always surprised that it actually looks nice although I've never been able to bring myself to splurge on a full sized pencil I know I will only use occasionally. For me, this is the benefit of mini sets. This year has brought a lot of sets that have items I know I will actually be able to use up while still giving me mini bite-sized options that I can test out before seeing if I want to splurge on the full-sized versions.


I still haven't quite figured out how to wear Sunset (any recs would be appreciated) but I've tested each of the other six shades and really like them.

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Sky-Liner set retails for $45 and is limited-edition. As of right now, the set is still available online at Marc Jacobs Beauty. It was available at Sephora but looks like it's currently sold out online, if you are brave enough to go to the mall these days, you might want to check in store. Update 12/13 back in stock online at Sephora! After testing the colors, I can say I highly recommend it. They last all day long and didn't budge at all from morning until late evening.

Did you buy any of the Marc Jacobs Beauty sets? Or the Black Friday sets? What did you think?

The Sky-Liner Petites set was provided courtesy of Marc Jacobs Beauty for review consideration.

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)
_________________


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)
_________________


Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Tuxedo (on the eyes here)
Chanel Stylo Yeux in Black Shimmer
_________________

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.

 

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