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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit x Space NK


Every once in a while I'll try a product and wonder what took me so long to try it. Kevyn Aucoin eyeshadows fall into that category (along with some of the blushes reviewed here). For the longest time I've avoided many items from the Kevyn Aucoin beauty line simply because of the price points. So many of his products have been widely raved about, and rightly so due to their good quality and solid performance. Kevyn Aucoin recently launched a set exclusive to Space NK called The Making Eyes Kit ($125, a $160 value if you purchase items separately). This kit includes:
  • The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 (0.04 oz)
  • The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette (0.03 oz)
  • The Expert Mascara Black (0.4 oz)
  • The Eyelash Curler
  • The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black (0.04 oz) 
Space NK kindly sent the set for me to try and part of me was really excited to try things I've always been curious about. The other part of me wondered if this would live up to the hype as the items look incredibly basic. I love beauty basics and classics but sometimes there are products that just simply seem a bit too basic to justify the splurge when less expensive options will work just as well. I was really impressed with the Eye Shadow Palette, Brow Pencil and Eye Pencil. More thoughts on each item below.

Quick look at the box. The set comes cased in a large black box with a mirror. I like that everything has it's own individually molded compartment so if you have this shipped to you, items stay in place. I'm not sure what I'll do with the box at the moment. I suppose I could use it for travel by taking out the insert. The larger mirror is nice to have when you're on the go. However the box is made of cardboard so I don't  know how well it will hold up traveling.

First a look at the items swatched:


For me the winner of this set is The Essential Eye Shadow Set Palette #2 which has a mix of cool tones. The set comes with a little instruction card on how to apply the colors but I took one look and decided to apply them my own way. I have no crease in the lids so most of the time I need to apply shadows differently from most other women anyways in a gradient. Since I have no fold or crease I don't usually do the outer corner or v-shape blending.

Colors in this palette include a shimmering soft but pigmented black, lavender purple shimmer, beige satin, white frost, bone satin. All of the colors have some degree of shimmer but it is very soft on the skin. If you're a no-shimmer kind of person for eyeshadows I think this will still work for you as the finish is VERY very soft.


The pigment is medium but buildable. Texture is very soft and looks natural on the eyes. As one who does not really like cool tones (especially white frosts) because they often look sharp or contrast with my olive skin I was surprised to find this one worked really well with my skintone for a cool-toned smoky eye with a hint of purple. The black looks like it could be chalky if you swatch it on the hand or arm. With a brush it's intense and very pigmented but not too sharp. It's a very good one to apply along the lash line and easy to blend and smoke out. Below shows all the items in the kit applied including the mascara, liner and brow pencil.

The only other added product was the Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold all over the lids used as a base.


Next are The Precision Brow Pencil Brunette and The Eye Pencil Primatif Basic Black. The Precision Brow Pencil is very easy to use and Brunette is a good neutral to cool toned brown that works for my dark hair. For me I like that there is no red undertone which I find some brow pencils have, yet there's not too much grey which can sometimes cause my brows to look ashy. I like that if you twist product up you can also twist it back down.

The Eye Pencil in Basic Black is one of the deepest black pencils I've tried. It has a smooth and super creamy texture. In terms of lasting power it stayed put on my eyes all day without any smudging or budging. I used it along upper lashes and waterline. That being said, I will usually also see how it holds up on the arm. When I test liners, let it sit for about 30 minutes on the arm, then take my finger and swipe it across the arm swatch to see how much it smudges. On the arm it smudged while some other liners set and don't budge. That being said I tried this on a few different days and on my eyes it lasted all day without any budging so for me it's a winner.

Last but not least are The Expert Mascara Black and The Eyelash Curler. Both of these have been raved about by many people. To date I have only tried the mascara in mini forms that usually come with the Space NK gwps and had not really been that impressed. The full size does perform better but my heart still belongs to the Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara and Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascaras for volume, curl-holding and lasting power. The one from Kevyn Aucoin is a deep black, doesn't clump or smudge. It does a good job at coating each lash but for me it simply does not hold the curl and doesn't give me the volume the other two do. Do note that I have incredibly skimpy straight lashes so I need a miracle mascara to make it look like I have any.

The eyelash curler works well too. I was relieved to find there was no pinching (for me the Shiseido one everyone raves about just doesn't work for me at all). It has a very lightweight feel which makes it easy to use but I prefer something with a bit more weight to it. That being said it performs well and I am happy to own it.

Bottom line a solid set of good eye basics. I am already plotting another eyeshadow palette purchase because this one is just so good. If you have any recommendations for the palettes or duos let me know! You can find all the items in this set individually if you prefer to pick and choose items on your own. However the Kevyn Aucoin The Making Eyes Kit as a set is a Space NK exclusive.

Have you tried any of these yet? What did you think?

The Making Eyes Kit was provided courtesy of Space NK for review.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New from Charlotte Tilbury: Scent of a Dream, The Legendary Muse Eyeshadow Palette and Legendary Brows


Charlotte Tilbury has launched a few new items this fall including a new perfume Scent of a Dream and new look called The Dreamy Look. A few months ago she also launched a new brow gel in a few shades and I have been testing out the clear one to include in today's review. What I have a look at includes:
The Dreamy Look features a new eyeshadow palette and a few other repromoted items including the mascara, bedroom black kohl and Secret Salma Lipstick. You can buy the items individually or in the Dreamy Look Gift Box Set. While browsing the site I did not realize the featured lipstick in Secret Salma was a repromote from the Hot Lips launch until the moment I hit submit on my order. So now I have two.


Up first is the new perfume called Scent of a Dream. I received the 50 ml as a press sample for review and it is exactly what I envisioned Charlotte Tilbury to launch for a fragrance. It's a very complex kind of scent that has a rich and seductive feel. To me it's very much an evening date night kind of scent rather than everyday. Lasting power is quite strong and I was able to smell it late in the afternoon from the morning spritz. It's a dark woodsy floral but has some light notes mixed in at the same time.
  • Top notes include lemon, peach, black pepper, saffron, mandarin and bergamot.
  • Heart notes include tuberose, jasmine, frankincense, hedoine, violet, muget, orange flower, rose oil, tea rose, green ivy and magnolia.
  • Base notes include fire tree, Iso E Super, patchouli, ambroxan, precious woods, amber, castoreum, musks.
According to Charlotte Tilbury, the top notes develop after 15 minutes after warming up on the skin and heart notes develop after five hours. I do find it shifts on the skin after a few hours but still smells very much the same. Had I spritzed and tried this in store on my own I don't know that I would have bought it for myself - it's quite a bit more seductive and rich compared to what I typically wear and to this day I still feel like my best date-night scent is Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb although Edward Bess is coming out with three fragrances next month which are incredible and Louis Vuitton launched seven new scents which are also quite amazing which might move Flowerbomb off the favorites list to a three-way tie (more details and review soon but I still have a lot of testing to do). Bottom line the Scent of a Dream is indeed dreamy and lovely, just not quite me.

Next up is a quick reswatch of Secret Salma which is a gorgeous raspberry pink color. It's the matte revolution formula which is matte but luminous at the same time. Full review and lip swatches of all the Hot Lips Lipsticks in this post here but here's another look for reference.




The Legendary Brows Brow Gel in Clear is a brow gel that comes with a very tiny brush wand. I am not a fan of clear brow gels because of two reasons. First is they rarely do anything for my brows and second they often leave that white chalky cast. I am very low maintenance when it comes to brows and I am well aware that I need to up my brow game. To date my go-to's are the Diorshow Brow Styler (review here) and the La Palette Sourcils de Chanel (review here) - they're the best no fuss impossible to overdo brow products for brow dummies. I've tried a number of brow gels in clear and tinted and try to use them but often forget to. The Charlotte Tilbury Legendary Brows Brow Gel performs well to actually hold brows in place. There's no white film or chalky look once it dries. I will say that a little goes a long way. The first time I tried it I applied way too much and it left my brows very sticky. I'm really pleased with it - it holds brows in place after combing them upwards.


Last but not least is the new Legendary Muse Luxury Palette. This is limited-edition and has the same exterior star designed packaging as last year's Fallen Angel Eyeshadow Palette. This year's Legendary Muse texture is not like the limited-edition from last holiday but rather like her regular palettes in powder form for 3 shades and 1 glitter finish color. I last reported that the MAC Pressed Pigments were too glittery for me. The ones from Charlotte Tilbury and Tom Ford though are ones I find more wearable even though I'm very conservative for eye looks.


I have fallen head over heels for the Legendary Muse Luxury Palette. It's a warmer palette of neutrals but still very wearable. Charlotte labels them 1 thru 4 on the back for application order but I apply this one in a different order. I like applying the darkest shade first and then follow with the top two layered on top and glitter topped as the last part. Pigment is medium to full. Colors match my arm so they look a bit sheer here but they do show up well on the eyes.

Colors are a soft pinky shimmer, warm coppery gold shimmer, light gold glitter and mauve shimmer.


A quick eye look in indoor lighting, no flash. Still working on getting the right lighting for face and eye swatches and beauty looks. I would say in real life the palette isn't quite as reddish/mauve looking as the photos show below.


Comparison swatches below show that you can definitely find dupes for the palette, but the texture and combination just works so well. There are subtle differences in the shimmer and texture is soft and blendable. I bought my palette sight unseen so I did not know what to expect based on the online stock photos. I did know it would be on the warmer side and am thrilled at how it turned out.

Left to right below:
  • MAC Eyeshadow in Naked Lunch
  • Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped, Moonstone shade (review)
  • Anastasia Glow Kit in That Glow, Golden Bronze shade (review)
    Anastasia Eyeshadow Single in Amber (review)
  • Tom Ford Cream Powder Duo in Naked Bronze, glitter shade (review here)
  • Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped, Tourmaline shade (review)
  • NARS Eyeshadow Duo Kalahari (review


I really love the eyeshadow palette and think it's a great one to wear for any occasion. Although I really don't do lots of glitter makeup, the Charlotte Tilbury glitters are easy to wear and layer on top of other powder shades for a little glitz without going over the top. If you're looking for a classic raspberry pink lip, Secret Salma is a gorgeous option that I think would suit a wide range of skintones. The brow gel is a good one but as I'm not really a brow aficionado I don't think I'd call it a must-have but it is one of the few clear ones that actually hold my brows in place. The perfume is a beautiful one, but as perfume is very personal I think it's a bit bolder than my personality and I only see myself wearing it for evening.

You can find the new Charlotte Tilbury launches online at Charlotte Tilbury. Right now the eyeshadow palette and perfume are also available at Nordstrom.

Have you tried any of these new launches yet? What did you think?

Perfume and brow gel provided courtesy of Charlotte Tilbury for review. Palette and lipstick purchased by me.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MAC x Star Trek Collection Picks


Last month I stopped by the MAC x Star Trek Preview at Comic-Con. The collection officially launches this month and is currently available online at MAC and Nordstrom but was available for early access to anyone in the San Diego area during the week of Comic-Con. I am not one who has followed Star Trek very closely and have never attended Comic-Con even though it is in my hometown, but I could not pass up the opportunity to see something MAC-related and was curious to see what the Star Trek collection looked like so I took an Uber for the first time in San Diego (second time I've used it ever!) to downtown since I knew finding parking on my own would be virtually impossible (or extremely expensive).

The MAC x Star Trek Preview was held a few blocks away from the San Diego Convention Center where Comic-Con is actually held. They had a space ship station setup with areas for makeup testing, makeup application and checkout. Everything was decked out in a Star Trek theme. You can see more from the event on Star Trek's website.




The day I stopped by some items were already sold out from the early preview. I ordered a couple more items once they popped up online and now have my picks ready to show you. The collection celebrates 50 years of Star Trek and at the event a tiny collectors pin and some Legos were given with each purchase. Everything as you can imagine has a metallic and space-like theme with lots of shimmer, glitter and glitz. All items have the silver Star Trek logo. The most conservative colors I could find and picked out:
  • Trip the Light Fantastic Powders ($34 each for 6.5 g/0.22 oz) in Luna Luster, Strange New Worlds, Highly Illogical
  • Pressed Pigment ($23 each for 3 g/0.1 oz) in To Boldly Go and The Naked Time
  • Lipstick ($18 each for 3 g/0.1 oz) in Llap and Where No Man Has Gone Before
  • Lipglass ($17 each for 4.8 ml/0.16 oz) in Pleasure Planet


Up first are the Trip the Light Fantastic Powders which are swirled highlighters. MAC describes these as sheer powders but I find that the color can be built for more pigment. I don't really find them sheer but you can blend the colors for a more sheer look. Luna Luster is a pale opal rose with tiny flecks of silver sparkle (they look like super tiny micro glitters), Strange New Worlds is a warm peachy rose shimmer, Highly Illogical is a mauve plum shimmer. I've been a long time fan of MAC Mineralize Finish Powders even though they can be very shimmery, I find these Fantastic Powders to have less frost and more of a softer sheen. They are still on the shimmery side though. My favorite is Strange New Worlds for the most natural sheen. The other two are more shimmery and have more contrast with my skin and work best as a soft highlighter for the cheeks or eyes.


Next are two of the Pressed Pigments, both of which are what I'd call glitter bombs. I've tried and used MAC Pressed Pigments before so I was aware of how sparkly they might be. I talked myself into being brave with these thinking I could pull them off (at least my version of brave). I cannot. They are simply too sparkly for me, even when pressed lightly over other matte shadows or when layered with other colors. The base colors are gorgeous. Not to worry for me though because I have a friend who is dying to take these off my hands, lol. Once on the lids there is minimal fallout and I will say they last an impressive amount of time.



For the lips everything was shimmery or metallic. Most options are for the person who likes super edgy looks. Where No Man Has Gone Before is a gorgeous metallic rose with golden sheen, Llap is a shimmering frosted beige, Pleasure Planet is a very sparkly multi-colored gold with a sheer yellow base. In my experience some MAC frost and shimmers look best with a clear or sheer gloss on top to help tone down the shimmer a bit and bring out the color. I think both of these lipsticks are in that category.


All swatched on bare lips, just as labeled:


Swatch comparisons:


I found the MAC x Star Trek launch to be a fun and innovative collection filled with lots of unique colors and interesting textures for shimmer and glitter. In case you haven't seen it, Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog has a really fun series of looks on her blog of the collection. I had a lot of fun visiting the Star Trek setups at Comic-Con, it's always fun to people watch and the costumes are quite amazing. If I had to pick anything as a must-have, it would be Strange New Worlds Trip the Light Fantastic Powder.

The collection is available online and in stores starting today at MAC and Nordstrom as well as all other MAC counters. Everything is limited-edition.



Have you checked anything out yet? Or do you have anything on your wishlist?


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Dior Skyline Collection for Fall 2016


The Dior Skyline Collection for Fall 2016 is the first fall collection I'm reviewing this year. A lot of you have been e-mailing me and messaging me about fall beauty which has just started to arrive at counters. The most highly requested item for review has been the Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer in this collection and I will say right up front go buy it now - Dior never disappoints with highlighters and they give a very pretty glow. The Dior team has also created a special promo code for Beauty Look Book readers so if you see any items that catch your eye, scroll down to the end of this post for details.

The items from fall that I have to review:
Up first are the standouts in my opinion which include the Diorblush Light and Contour Sticks and Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer. I already reviewed and swatched the contour sticks but I will repost photos for reference. As a quick recap, the Diorblush Light and Contour sticks are natural looking contour creams that are very easy to use and that won't give you a harsh look. They blend nicely along the cheeks and for a contour-dummy like myself, they're impossible to overdo.


A closer look at the contour sticks:




The Diorskin Nude Air Luminzer 001 for fall is absolutely stunning. It comes with an embossed design on the surface. This is one of those shades that will look different on everyone. Fair skin-toned beauty lovers will find this almost peachy while deeper skintones will find this more pale. On my medium skintone I find it to be a champagne gold with slight peachy tones. It's finely milled, blends in with the skin flawlessly, doesn't emphasize pores, stays put all day and has the prettiest sheen. The highlighter comes with a tiny kabuki brush which is well made but for me on the small side so I find it best for touch ups or on-the-go rather than for regular application.


Left is swatched heavily, right is blended out. You can blend or sheer out the color more if you prefer a more diffused glow. It's absolutely perfect!


Swatch comparisons below show that the Nude Air Glowing Gardens 002 from spring is a tiny bit lighter than the Nude Air Luminizer for Fall 2016. On my face they are almost identical, I put one on each side of my face and they looked pretty close. Photos of course cannot do the shimmers or texture justice but I hope these help show the difference. And yes, even if you already own the spring versions, I think the one for fall is still a must.


Up next are the two Skyline Eyeshadow Palettes. These also come with a stunning embossed surface. Texture is similar to that of the highlighter - they're powders with a slightly creamy feel. Pigment is medium but buildable and the texture melds in with the skin so they don't look powdery. If you apply them with a slightly damp brush the color can be intensified.

Capital of Light has a mix of shimmery and satiny shades including a gorgeous grey taupe, pale ivory white shimmer, satiny baby pink, shimmering tan and deep violet plum. The mix of colors creates a pretty smokey plum eye.

Parisian Sky has all shimmery shades. This one is better suited for an everyday kind of look. The colors include a shimmering tan, light sand shimmer, pale blue shimmer, silvery blue sparkle and deep chocolate shimmer. The blues give a sheer wash on the eyes and brighten the entire eye area when layered with the sand and beige colors. As one who rarely wears blue colors on the eyes, I found these surprisingly wearable.



Next up are two lip colors for the fall collection which is the Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks ($35 each). There are a few repromoted colors like Incognito 316 which is a classic neutral pink that pulls cool on my skintone. There is one new limited-edition color called Sophisticated 927 which is a cool-toned plum with a silvery sheen. These have a smooth sheer to medium coverage and glossy shine. If you're one who likes glossy finish lipsticks but want something to give visible coverage these are it. They have more coverage than the Rouge Dior Baumes but have that same glossy finish. These have a semi-thick almost gel-like feel which makes the pigment adhere well to the lips. Adding a liner of course will help extend the wear but they feel very comfortable on and fade nicely. As far as I can tell there is no detectable scent.


I applied these on the arm with a lip brush because these are the types of lip colors that don't show up well on arm swatches straight from the tube, but do on the lips:


Below, applied straight from the tube on bare lips:


Last but not least are the Dior Vernis nail polishes in Minimal and Skyline. Both look very standard in the bottles and borderline boring. I will say at first glance I thought they looked a bit unimpressive but Dior polishes rarely disappoint. In my opinion, out of all the luxury brands that have reformulated their nail polishes over the years, the Dior revamp has been the best. Formula has always been top notch with a smooth, glossy flawless finish. They improved the brush by rounding the tips so application is really easy. Minimal is a perfect creamy beige peachy nude. Good nudes can be hard to find and this one brightens the hands without looking too pale. Skyline is a gorgeous chocolate cream, also not the most unique color but it has the perfect mix of brown and vamp to give the hands a perfectly polished look.

A lot of you have asked for nail comparisons - I'm fresh out of nail wheels so I will post comparisons in a separate post as soon as I get them in the mail. I will say right now though that Minimal is almost an exact dupe for Chanel's discontinued Secret (the Dior is a bit brighter and has smoother/better coverage) and by comparison Chanel's discontinued Emprise is a lot peachier and darker.


Two coats in sunlight:



Two coats of Skyline:




Bottom line gorgeous. Top three stand outs to me are the Diorskin Nude Air Luminzer 001 and Dior Vernis in Skyline and Minimal. The Addict Hydra-Gel Core Mirror Shine Lipsticks comes in close fourth for formula - right now I'm still in the summer state of mind but I think Sophisticated is perfect for fall. Quality-wise everything is excellent. Pigment on everything is rich and visible on the skin but easy to blend and layer for those who like a natural refined beauty look. If you buy just one item I would say go for the highlighter unless you already have a lot and don't feel the need for one more in which case I would say opt for the Minimal nail polish. It's a great everyday neutral that will give the hands a clean polished look.

Dior is offering an exclusive promo for Beauty Look Book readers. Dior.com usually offers complimentary samples with any online order but starting today through the end of the month they are giving my readers extra deluxe samples. With any $100+ purchase using code BEAUTYLB at Dior.com you will get some extra deluxe minis including a 5 ml Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming fragrance, mini Hydralife Sleeping Mask packette and mini Diorshow Maximizer 3D. Code is valid today through 8/31/2016, while supplies last (U.S. site only).


You can find the Dior Skyline Collection for fall available now online at Dior.com and at all Dior counters. All the items are limited-edition. Have you checked out the fall pieces yet? What did you think? If you haven't, what's on your wishlist?

Skyline Collection provided courtesy of Dior for review consideration. Many thanks to Dior for providing my readers with a special promo code!


 

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