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

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!


Monday, August 15, 2016

LOC Love of Color Dream Team Ultimate Collection


Birchbox launched their own makeup line called LOC (Love of Color) and today I have a review of their new summer colors from the Dream Team Collection. I was able to play with the items at the Birchbox Soho Store while in New York and they were kind enough to ship a set out for me to try out. For those new to the LOC makeup line, the products launched so far are in pencil format sized at the right size to ensure you can easily use up the color by the end of the season. It's perfect for those who like to stay on trend. There are a number of ways to try these - individually or in multiple curated sets. Price point wise, I find them reasonably priced and the quality is on point.

I have the LOC Dream Team Ultimate Collection ($52, a $95 value) swatched to review for you today which has 5 Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencils and 3 One and Done Shadow Sticks. In the set you also get a large pencil sharpener. If you're the kind of person who really likes value sets, I think this one will be a winner in your book.


The Ultra-Gloss Lip Pencils come in two kinds of formulas. One is a sheer glossy shades and others are full coverage creams. All the ones I tried are non-shimmers and apply flawlessly with smooth coverage. Colors are as follows:


Birthday Suit is a pale nude, on me it's a bit pinkish in color and very pale. The formula is pretty flawless though which I found surprising for such a light color. Most pale lip colors end up looking chalky on me or require a lot of blending or added liner. This one is an easier-to-pull-off nude compared to the Charlotte Tilbury Kim KW Hot Lips (at least on me).

Cupid's Bow is an ultra-cool blue-based fuchsia. This one is full coverage with a glossy sheen. The formula is really good, color is not my cup of tea. I usually find colors this cool-toned to be very hard for me to pull off.

Cherry Bomb is a perfect cherry red. It's warm toned but not orangey. Coverage is full.

Punch Line is a sheer bright pink which I'm obsessed with. It gives a healthy pink glow to the lips that looks natural because of the transparency.

Purple Reign is a sheer cool-toned purple which I also really like.

As far as I can tell, there is no detectable scent or taste. Texture is medium to thick but doesn't feel heavy. They hug the lips well so they stay put and don't bleed. Lasting power is better than a glossy or sheer lipstick but not quite as long as a matte lipstick.



Next up are the One and Done Shadow Sticks. These are creamy shadow sticks that set quickly so once you apply I recommend blending fast because once they set, they do not budge. For those who find eyeshadow fades quickly, I highly recommend you check these out because I found the lasting power quite impressive. I would have preferred it if these were in a twist-up format, but I suspect being packaged that way might cause them to dry out.

Heavy Petal is a shimmering champagne color. Peachy Sheen is a soft golden peach. Haute Cocoa is a chocolate brown shimmer. The shimmer in these blends out to a nice sheen. I found they layered well together. Given the fact that they dry and set quickly though I found that layering powder shadows on top needs to be done quickly if you like blending.



I give all of these a thumbs up for quality, price and lasting power. They all perform really well. Had I been able to pick out individual colors versus the set, I would have skipped Cupid's Bow just because I don't usually wear colors that bright or cool-toned. All others get a thumbs up from me and I especially appreciate that the Birchbox stock photos on their website of this collection are very accurate.


LOC Love of Color Dream Team Ultimate Collection can be found exclusively online at Birchbox.com and also in their stores. This particular set retails at $52 - but you can also pick and choose individual shades or other sets as well.

Have you tried LOC from Birchbox yet? If yes, what did you think?

LOC items provided courtesy of Birchbox for review consideration.


Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Singles - More Shades Reviewed + Swatched


I've been adding more Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows to my collection. Ever since the full color line launched at Sephora and Ulta I've been exploring the brand more and have been really pleased with everything I've tried so far. As a lover of natural makeup looks I am happy to report that although the makeup from Anastasia Beverly Hills can indeed create dramatic looks, there are a lot of options for natural beauty lovers and that even though the textures are very pigmented - shimmers can be blended for a more diffused natural look. I reviewed three quads I made a few months ago. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows come in single pan format so you can pick and choose what colors you want. There is a magnetized 4 pan palette that is available for purchase or you can put these in your own compacts as well. Individual shadows are priced at $12 each or if you buy four at a time plus the compact they're priced at $40.

Some of you spotted some new quads in my travel bags here, here and here and have asked for swatches. I have sixteen more shades to share swatches. Based on the reviews I've read online some are a miss, most seem to be hits. There are quite a few shades that are online only - it took me a long time to research shades, swatches and other reviews to decide which ones to order. I feel lucky that all with the exception of one shade are all hits.

I found that the palettes were great for travel. I brought 3 quads with me but really could have gotten away with just one. I normally bring the Urban Decay Naked Palettes (all the eye palettes swatched in this post here) with me but decided to change it up on my last trip.


Four quads I put together - I don't keep the shades in the same palettes all the time, but for the most part they stay in these combinations. The colors are really versatile, well pigmented, easy to blend and layer, have minimal fallout after application, stay put - what more could I ask for? I find they work well with or without a base. I feel like a broken record when I say this, but my two go-to bases are either the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base or Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Rose Gold (both swatched in this post here).

Top left quad: Lace, Victorian, Pose, Truffle Glitter
Top right quad: Gleam, Birkin, Intense Gaze, Topaz
Bottom left quad: Touch of Lilac, Belize, Macaroon, Brownie
Bottom right quad: Amber, Glisten, Comfort, Dark Chocolate Shimmer

A closer look at my picks. There are several different finishes which include glitter, matte, metallic, satin and shimmer. I think the quality is great across all formulas based on what I've tried. Sephora separates the formulas by finish - although I find some of the shimmers to be more glittery/sparkly. The swatches below will help you see the degree of shimmer in each shade.


Descriptions as I see them:
  • Lace is the only one I found slightly disappointing, it's a sheer ivory champagne, it's a good blending shade, but pigment was on the sheer side
  • Victorian is an light antique patina olive shimmer
  • Touch of Lilac is a soft light shimmer with a hint of lilac
  • Belize is a medium warm peachy brown skin-toned shimmer
  • Pose is a deep purple shimmer
  • Truffle Glitter is a highly metallic sparkle brown with gold flecks
  • Macaroon is a sparkly metallic lavendar purple
  • Brownie is a sparkling gold-flecked brown
  • Amber is a pretty shimmering warm gold amber
  • Glisten is a peachy bronze shimmer
  • Gleam is a metallic champagne peach
  • Birkin is a matte warm brown
  • Comfort is a warm shimmering auburn
  • Dark Chocolate Shimmer is a dark matte black with gold flecks
  • Intense Gaze is a shimmery pink red
  • Topaz is a warm golden tan shimmer

A closer look:

Swatches:



Another thumbs up from me. I still have not tried any of the Anastasia pre-made palettes although a number of you have urged me to. There are a lot of items coming out for fall though and since I already have a lot to play with from her line shadow-wise, I think I'm set for a while. I have to set aside my budget for other items to test and feature so I probably will not be reviewing the palettes she has out now. Plus I splurged on her new Sweets Glow Kit (which I definitely did not need). Out of all the ones she has launched, Sundipped Glow Kit (reviewed here) is hands down my favorite just in case you were wondering.

I'm sure there are a number of dupes for the shadows I picked out in other lines but I'm overall really pleased with the pigment, level of shimmer and ease of blendability with all except for Lace which turned out to be too sheer for what I wanted. It doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, I just didn't like it as much as the others. I found other colors to be more special. If you do order these I do recommend ordering 4 at a time + the compact for the $40 price (versus buying them in one-offs at the $12 price per shadow).

You can find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy's and Anastasia Beverly Hills. Have you tried these yet? Which are your favorite colors?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Review


I was over the moon when I found out Anastasia Beverly Hills expanded their product line to Sephora and immediately picked up a few eyeshadows. In store the first weeks they launched I saw a lot of testers but there were empty spots for product as stock was trickling in. I picked out a few shades in batches and the process of narrowing down picks was overwhelming because there are so many options! Shades went in and out of my online cart and I finally decided on 12. You can buy the Eyeshadow Singles for $12 each and the 4-Pan Empty Well Palette for $1. There are different textures ranging from matte, metallic, shimmer, satin and glitter. I picked out a mix of finishes to give them a test.


The colors I picked out vary in weight depending on finish. All the pans are the same size but some are more densely packed while the shimmers have lighter weight particles mixed in. I'll list the weights per shade in case you're interested. Pigment is very impressive across all the ones I bought. Perhaps I was lucky in selecting good shades - most I ordered sight unseen. Based on online swatches I was a bit concerned some of the colors such as Rose or Pink Champagne would be extremely glittery or frosted. You can apply some of them with a damp brush for an extremely pigmented almost foiled-looking finish for more intense coverage. With a dry brush over an eyeshadow base the finish is more natural looking. 

Finish is smooth and easy to blend. All the colors applied on the lids flawlessly - they have a soft texture that is very easy to layer. Some of the shimmer colors will have fall out when you apply them - but once on the lids they did stay put all day long without budging. I have hundreds of eyeshadows from other brands and do not need any more but being a beauty blogger am always curious about testing new formulas, brands and textures. I did not know what to expect from these - I thought there might be a good chance these were overhyped, but after putting these to the test I can say that these are definitely impressive. The pigment is very good, textures easy to blend and color selection seems to be diverse to suit a wide range of preferences.

Shades that I picked out:
  • Rose (1.7 g) is a neutral-warm mauve pink rose with silvery sparkles
  • Pink Champagne (1.6 g) is a cool-toned mauve pink shimmer, a cooler-version of rose
  • Gem (1.7 g) is a medium peach champagne shimmer
  • Chocolate Crumble (1.5 g) is a cool-toned brown shimmer
  • Nude (1.7 g) is a matte beige pink
  • Suede (1.7 g) is a soft pale yellow gold shimmer
  • Stone (1.7 g) is a light to medium neutral-cool brown
  • Smoke (1.7 g) is a matte neutral brown
  • Sateen (1.3 g) is a shimmery pale champagne frost
  • Chiffon (1.5 g) is an olive khaki kind of shimmer
  • Warm Taupe (1.7 g) is a medium warm taupe shade matte
  • Chocolate (1.6 g) is a shimmery medium chocolate brown
Close ups and swatches:




Some look extremely frosted when swatched on the arms or back of the hand. Once on the lids though the finish of the shimmer is more subtle and definitely very wearable for everyday.


While the price per shadow is reasonable - completing a palette does add up costing $49 for a complete palette. By comparison MAC has reduced the price of their Pro-Palette refills at MAC stores to $6 per pan with the price of the compact at $8 totaling $32. Of course the formulas are different and amount of product you get is different (weight varies depending on formula). Just a few things to consider if you are price/value conscious. MAC just launched new palette sizes and inserts that allow you to mix and match products. I really love the concept and I've been a long time fan of MAC products. A more detailed review to follow on the MAC pro palettes (so much to do and not enough time) but here's a quick look at a few of the different options. As you can see below the pans of the Anastasia eyeshadows are the same size as the MAC eyeshadows. The only one shown below that is pre-filled and non-customizable is the MAC x9 palette. You can find all the MAC Pro Palette Options on their website here and at MAC Stores.

So you might want to know how do the Anastasia eyeshadows compare to MAC. If you've played with MAC before you know there are a lot of different formulas and finishes. Pigment, shimmer factor, color payoff and density depends on the formula. In general here are a few thoughts:
  • the MAC mattes have a softer more natural finish but harder texture compared to the Anastasia mattes, color payoff of Anastasia is more pigmented
  • the MAC Veluxe Pearl shadows have that almost buttery soft velvety finish that is similar to that of the Anastasia shimmer eyeshadows, color payoff is excellent for both
  • some of the Anastasia eyeshadows like Rose, Pink Champagne, Chocolate Crumble, Chiffon have a more metallic finish compared to MAC shimmers
  • overall texture of the Anastasia eyeshadows is softer and more velvety while the MAC eyeshadows tend to have a slightly stiffer or harder texture
  • is one better than the other? I would say sometimes yes, sometimes no. MAC Shroom is one of those classic all over wash kind of shades that has the perfect semi-sheer texture to blend out colors, Anastasia Sateen by comparison is similar in color but a lot more pigmented and a lot more frosted which gives more contrast on the lids if you are medium to tan to deep. In this case it really depends on what kind of look you want, how much shimmer and how much pigment. Sheerer finishes aren't necessarily bad - I love sheer washes for a lot of reasons.


A quick look with the quad I put together with Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate Crumble blended together on the lids:


Products worn:
The eyeshadows exceeded my expectations and I think every color I tested is top notch in terms of color, pigment, blendability and everything else I would want in an eyeshadow. I've forever been searching for an antique olive kind of shimmer eyeshadow that I can wear and Chiffon is IT! Most have a tiny bit too much green which clashes with my olive/yellow skin. The colors Rose and Pink Champagne are wearable pinks - huge for me since so many pinks can give me that unflattering pink-eye kind of look. Bottom line is I can't wait to explore more of the colors. If you have any loves please let me know!

You can find the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy's and on the Anastasia Beverly Hills website. I have not yet tried any of the palettes as many of them have had bold colors I did not think I would wear, but they did look interesting. As always would love to hear about your loves or thoughts on these. If you've been looking into them I hope these swatches are helpful!

P.S. I'm very behind on responding to comments - but will try to catch up soon!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Suqqu Summer 2016 - Creamy Glow Lipstick EX-20 and EX-21 and Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-31


I was thrilled to be able to finally try a few items from the Japanese beauty line called Suqqu. It's a brand that's been on my radar for years but it's not easily accessible to those in the US. I was sent a few pieces from the Summer 2016 Collection to try and literally could not contain my excitement while swatching these items. The collection is a UK exclusive that you can find online and in stores at Selfridges. I have 3 items to feature here, but for reference Sweet Makeup Temptations has the entire collection reviewed and swatched on her blog in case you are curious about the other items.


I was able to test out the following:

Blend Color Eyeshadow EX-31 Gyoukou £45 for 0.16 oz/4.6 g - this is an eyeshadow quad with some of the softest silkiest eyeshadows I've ever tried. The palette has a mix of different textures including a shimmering yellow, sheer matte white, matte burnt orange and satiny cool brown shade. All the colors are extremely easy to blend and layer together - the white is very soft and while I swatched it with a heavy hand on the arm to show the color, on the lids it's almost translucent when you blend it out. The shades come in a mirrored compact with some of the best compact brushes I've ever tried and are made with excellent craftsmanship (most compacts come with applicators that are completely worthless). I have mixed feelings about this quad due to the colors. Quality, pigment, application and lasting power are all top of the line, but the colors are very warm and quite outside my comfort zone. I know they are designed for a more colorful summer look, but I tried these several different ways and yellow/orange really aren't my colors. Based on my testing I do think the quality, design and pigment are excellent. Now that I've been able to see for myself how good these are I am going to do some investigating on other colors and try to order a few (if you have any recs please let me know!).

Creamy Moist Lipstick in EX-20 Hyaku Daidai £27 for 0.13 oz/3.8 g - this is a richly pigmented creamy lipstick and just as the name implies, very moist. Both of the shades I tried are full-coverage colors with an insanely luxuriously creamy texture. I love coral-like shades and usually wear softer peaches but EX-20 is really quite striking even though it's orange. It has a fun summery vibe. There is a tiny bit of shimmer in this one - it's visible in the tube and on the lips but not in an overly frosted way. Lasting power is very good and the color stays put as long as you don't touch your lips.

Creamy Moist Lipstick in EX-21 Senka £27 for 0.13 oz/3.8 g - this is a bright raspberry pink. It's medium-deep and bright all at the same time. On me it pulls neutral-cool but still has enough warmth in the base that it doesn't look blueish. If you like lots of bold color this is really quite pretty.

Swatches of all three, first with flash:


Without flash:


A closer look at each item:



Eye look of all four shades layered and blended, you may not be able to detect any of the white, but it was used as the last step to blend out any harsh edges:






After years of reading so many wonderful reviews on the brand I'm thrilled to finally have been able to try a few items. The quality is top notch - I'm so impressed with the texture of everything. The eyeshadows are unbelievably soft - almost pillow soft to the touch. They blend beautifully but the colors in EX-31 just really aren't my kind of colors. The Creamy Glow Lipsticks are everything everyone has raved about - creamy, glowy, moist with full and flawless coverage. The neutral lip lover in me is dying to try some of the more neutral shades - if you have any recommendations on where to start please let me know in the comments.

I do believe the items in the summer collection are limited-edition (I'll update once I confirm), currently available at Selfridges. I'm still in the spring mindset for colors (although I do love a good bronzer year round) but the lip items will be perfect for warmer months when brighter colors feel more in season (at least for me).



Have you tried anything from Suqqu before?

Many thanks to Suqqu for sending a few items for me to play with.
 

design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2016 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK