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

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Few New MAC Additions: MACnificent Me! Eyeshadow Palette, Patentpolish Lip Pencils and Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

It's been a while since I've done a MAC haul - I'm usually not on top of my game with new collection launches, so many times everything sells out literally in the blink of an eye. This time I was on top of my e-mails and ordered a few items from the new MACnificent Me! Collection right when it launched (it launches in stores this Thursday). Also I picked up some of the Pro Longwear Lip Pencils from my local MAC store so I thought I'd do a roundup of my recent MAC acquisitions.

First up is the MACnificent Me! Eyeshadow Palette ($40 for 9 mini eyeshadows). I have a couple other x9 eyeshadow palettes in Amber and Burgundy - they are on the small side but are super cute and nice to bring along for travel if you're super tight on space. The colors in the MACnificent Me! palette make up the perfect neutral-cool-soft rose-nude-plum mix and the texture/pigment far exceeds the other two. The pans are very tiny - I prefer the full size pans, but the pigment in this one is really good.

Top Row: MACnificent Me! (f), Quiet Type (f), Dance in the Dark (m)
Middle Row: Fabulous DNA (f), Pleasing to the Eye (m), Sable (f)
Bottom Row: Frankly Frosty (m), In my Element (l), Cool Complement (m)

A quick look at the Burgundy and Amber next to the MACnificent Me! for comparison purposes:

Next up are the Patentpolish Lip Pencils ($20 each) from the MACnificent Me collection. I tried a few of these from the MAC Kelly Osborne Collection (from summer 2014). I ordered mine sight unseen as they looked like the perfect neutrals. I knew there might be a chance one or two of them would be too pale but I didn't want to miss out, so I ordered 4. These are indeed on the lighter side, but 3 of the 4 worked. These are super glossy chubby pencils. Lasting power is medium - better than the MAC lustre lipstick formula, but not as long as the matte formula. I like that they twist up so there's no sharpening required.
  • Make Me Proud is the perfect baby rose pink cream
  • My Flip Side is a really good nude brown color that doesn't make me look like a corpse
  • It's Really Me is a peach pink nude, on me it turns slightly pinkish, it's a gorgeous nude
  • Pleasure's All Mine is a weird super pale pink, in the heat of the sun, these started to melt a tiny bit when I was photographing it, this one turned a lighter color on the outside, on the lips, it's like concealer but worse

Last but not least is my first look at the Pro Longwear Lip Pencils ($20 each). I picked up three neutrals in the store - I should have been more discerning and picked up colors that were more different but I had my hand covered in at least 20 pencil marks. These lip liners are seriously long-lasting. They stay put on the lips for like forever. I was hoping to do lip swatches with my lips lined and filled in - but the formula does not look good on my lips all over. It's too thick and the pigment is super rich so it makes my lips look super dry. As a traditional lipliner though these are really good. There are a lot of good colors to choose from.
  • Cultured is the lightest one, it's a neutral pink mauve with a hint of pearl (it goes perfectly with Chanel Wild Rose Glossimer and makes it look really good)
  • Staunchly Stylish is a deeper pink
  • Double-Time is the perfect cafe brown pink neutral 

My MAC lip picks swatched side by side:

I'm really pleased with everything with the exception of Patentpolish in Pleasure's All Mine although I knew there was a chance at least one of the pencils would be too pale for my skintone. The MACnificent Me! eyeshadow palette is a real winner in the collection - it's the perfect rosy-toned neutral palette for fall I think will suit a number of skintones. Be sure to visit the MACnificent Me section of MAC's site to see the beautiful before and after photos transformations with the different beauty looks.

At this time, I believe all the items I featured are limited-edition MAC colors (except Staunchly Stylish). You can find the items in stores and counters right now. Online at Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and MAC.

Did you pick up anything from the MACnificent Me collection? Or have you picked up anything from the regular line recently?

Monday, September 28, 2015

NARS Pro Palettes

Earlier this month, NARS finally launched their first customizable palettes with inserts for eye and cheek products. They are called the NARS Pro Palettes and the palette themselves come in two sizes, Small ($14) and Large ($18). A select number of their colors are available for purchase as inserts in blush, highlighter, bronzer, contour duos, and eyeshadows (prices range from $18 to 30). I've been a long-time NARS fan and I've depotted some of my powders to put into other palettes. The rubberized casing sometimes gets ruined and sticky over time so the only way for me to keep using them is to depot. I've tried a number of methods and about half of the products became ruined (cracked, dented, burned, etc.) I am so so happy that NARS finally has launched these palettes. I have the small one to share today. Prices and options are as follows:
Both palettes come in a magnetic black case (not rubberized like the full-size packaging). The small one measures a little over 7 inches wide and a bit over 5.5 inches tall, depth is about 1/2 an inch.

Each insert comes in a clear sturdy plastic case:

Products are labeled on the back in case you mix them up, you will still be able to see what colors you use if you look on the back:

The base of the pan is magnetized so the pans adhere to the bottom. I tried several variations and found that there is plenty room around the pans which makes it easy to insert or remove without touching the edges. Since everything is magnetic - once they are set in the pan, the pans stay put.

A few variations I tried to show what fits where and in what combinations. Online at on the Build Your Own Pro Palette Section of you can customize your own palette by playing with the different colors to see what fits. The small one fits the powder blushes perfectly. The other items have a lot more room around them which I don't mind - it makes it easy to interchange the colors or move them around.

Swatches of the shades featured above: Miss Liberty, Angelika, Desire, Orgasm, Deep Throat, Torrid, Luster, Lovejoy and Laguna Bronzer

Eyeshadow duos in: All About Eve, Alhambra, Sugarland, Cordura, Kalahari

Here's a quick size comparison of the NARS Pro Palette in Small to that of a couple MAC Pro Palettes (Blush x6 customized by me and Nordstrom's Finest x15):

I'm overall beyond thrilled that NARS has released these palettes. Since they are designed for makeup artists, they're currently exclusive to NARS boutiques and The shade selection is limited but I really hope they will expand the color offerings soon. In the meantime I'm going to be ordering a few more base palettes and attempt to depot some of my current compacts as carefully as I can.

As a quick update, there was a mess-up with one of my NARS orders so I ended up with a few duplicates. Instead of returning them, I've decided to give them away! Entry details below in the widget (must be 18 years or older, USA or Canada residents only). I'm giving away 1 small palette with Orgasm, Torrid, Deep Throat, All About Eve, Kalahari, Alhambra and Cordura (all brand new), entries must be made via the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you looked into the NARS Pro Palettes yet? Or do you already depot your current compacts?

The NARS Pro Palette was provided courtesy of NARS for review consideration.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Le Métier de Beauté Ken Downing Paris and Full Stream Kaleidoscopes

It's been over a year since I've featured anything from Le Métier de Beauté. Long-time readers know that I used to be a huge fan of the line. Their kaleidoscope kits feature some of the most beautiful colors for eyes and cheeks - over the past 5+ years I accumulated quite a few and loved them (I still do). However I found that many kits contained repeat colors and at $95+ each, I found them too pricey to end up with duplicate colors (as seen in one of my last posts on the line from 2014). Fast forward to this month and I decided to splurge on two for the Neiman Marcus Beauty Event (which ends tomorrow 9/23) - both of which seemed unique enough to justify. One is the Ken Downing Paris Eye Kaleidoscope $125 (which isn't new, but still available for purchase) and the other is a new one called Full Stream Kaleidoscope $95.

The Le Métier de Beauté Ken Downing Paris Eye Kaleidoscope has four eyeshadows. This one is more expensive than most, priced at $125 for 0.49 oz/ 14 g. I was also really drawn to the Ken Downing London Kit, but 2 of the 4 shades seemed very warm. In my experience, Le Métier de Beauté always surprises me with how wearable the reddish/orangey shades are on the eyes, especially when layered with cooler tones, but I decided to opt for the cool version.

The four shades include a soft satiny cool pink shimmer, a warm copper metallic, a cool pale silver dove grey shimmer and a warm brown shimmer. The mix of warm and cool is pure genius, especially when the colors are layered together (although I've shown them swatched separately). Pigment is easy to build. The two lighter shades are sheerer in finish with a soft satiny texture while the darker ones are more metallic, more buttery in texture and more pigmented.

Close ups of each shade:

There are four new Kaleidoscopes exclusive to Neiman Marcus. The four are called Full Stream, Lift Off, Bon Voyage and All Aboard (not available online yet). Each kit has a translucent pressed powder and variations of blush, bronzer, highlighter and eyeshadow. I originally pre-ordered two, but since all have a pressed powder, I remembered my hesitation in getting duplicates and picked Full Stream.

All four photographed in store from Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills:

Full Stream has a translucent powder, one cool pink shimmery blush, a warm tan bronzer and a soft peachy shimmer eyeshadow (also works as a highlighter). The kit is very simple and basic - but it's perfect for on-the-go and touchups. I was worried the powder would look really white on my face because swatching it showed it was really pigmented. On the face, even on my tan skin, it disappears and leaves a matte-looking finish.

Close ups of each color:

I'm happy with both of my purchases. They did make a serious dent in my wallet and although Full Stream is easily dupeable with other colors, sometimes it's nice to have something basic that doesn't require much effort or thought to apply. It brightens the face in a natural polished way and adds color without looking overdone. I can see this going really well with bold lips. Even though these are expensive at $95 and $125 each, if you break it down per pan, it's about $23 to $31 per color which isn't too bad given the product amount. Comparing it to other brands at the per gram or per ounce price, it's reasonable. Still, if you're like me, you probably budget beauty splurges at the bottom line total, so yes, these are still pricey. The only gripe I have about these two is the sticker at the top. I like the fun designs and they are really pretty - however the kits have a slightly rounded top and the stickers are flat so the result is a bubbled sticker that looks uneven. I had one in my purse in my makeup bag (I don't recommend doing this) and the tops are not scratch proof. One of mine wasn't applied on the kit evenly so the edges started to come up. It bothered me enough that I pulled the sticker off which is a shame because the designs are really cute.

In summary, I think the new kits are definitely worth looking into. You can find both the Ken Downing Paris and Full Stream Kaleidoscope exclusively in store and online at Neiman Marcus.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette

Lancôme recently launched a 16-pan eyeshadow palette called Auda[city] in Paris ($68 for 16 shadows each x 1.3g/0.45 oz). This palette was designed by Lisa Eldridge and inspired by the streets of Paris. It's Lancôme's first multi-palette with light neutrals, taupes, purples, smokey greys and darker browns. It comes cased in a large mirrored compact and double-ended eyeshadow brush. The eyeshadows have different textures including matte, satin and metallic.

There are mixed reviews on this palette - I've been playing with this one for a few days now to put it to the test. Overall I would say it's a good neutral palette that has a wide range of colors to create a multitude of looks. I like that each color is distinct from each other so there aren't any repeats within the same palette. The look and feel of the shadows is very natural with a sheer to medium finish. Most of the colors are buildable in pigment - by using a denser brush or dampening it you will get more pigment. Texture is soft and sheer - the shimmers have a lot of powdery kickup and when applying on the eyes I experienced a lot of fall out onto the cheeks. It was easy to clean up though and I usually have some sort of fall out with powder shadows whenever I blend and swipe (creams excluded). Once on the lids - lasting power was pretty good. I tried with and without a base - a base definitely helps, my favorite is Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Base or a cream shadow stick like NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks or Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks.

The finish of each color in this palette is either hit or miss. Some are sheerer than others. A couple of the darker shades are best applied with a detailed brush damp and then smoked out - if you use a fluffy brush for some of the deeper colors you will see uneven application. The nice thing about the darker shades being sheer though is that they are easy to build slowly. If you're a smokey eye novice and worried about overdoing it - this is a good starter palette.

  • Filigree is a light ivory gold shimmer, pigment is medium
  • Choquette is a matte cream peach, pigment is medium
  • Parfait is a light matte cool pink, pigment is sheer to meidum
  • Joie is a frosted champagne shimmer, pigment is medium-full
  • Voyage a warm matte terracotta tan, pigment is sheer to medium but easy to blend
  • Santé is a soft matte brown, sheer to medium pigment, this is a good blending shade to soften harsh edges and finish the eye look by adding warmth
  • Kitten Heel a metallic duo chrome pink gold copper, pigment is medium with a lot of fallout, but on the lids it stays put
  • Tenacity is a glorious metallic taupe, it's frosty but so so pretty on the lids

  • Exhibition is an orchid shimmer, finish is very sheer, this is my least favorite in the palette
  • Zip Me Up is a deeper orchid purple shimmer, also sheer in finish, my second least favorite
  • Volcano is a shimmery grey, finish is sheer to medium
  • Audacious is a satiny smokey brown shimmer, pigment is medium
  • Couture is a soft semi-sheer dark matte brow, color is really soft unless you apply with a damp detail brush or small smudge brush
  • It List is a satiny black with tiny bits of silver shimmer flecks, pigment is medium
  • Clock Strikes 12 is a metallic grey that is very sheer, but buildable if you pack it on
  • Nuit is a cool-toned metallic black gunmetal, pigment is medium

Quick eye swatch with a super natural look:

One last shot:

My overall take on the Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette is that it's a decent palette. If I were to rate this on a scale, I'd give this a B rating. I think it's a good wearable palette that will take you from day to night looks without any other shadows required. The variety makes it versatile and will allow for a number of different looks. If you're new to eyeshadow and want the convenience of a palette, this is a good starter palette. There are a number of women I know who don't wear much eyeshadow - if you want color but want a natural palette that's fun to experiment with this is a good option.

Compared to other palettes, I do think there are better options out there for richer more vibrant color/pigment. That being said the Lancome Palette does appear to be designed for a natural look versus bold rich color. I'm not a huge fan of the brush it comes with - one is a synthetic small brush that seems better suited for creams. The other side is a larger fluffy side which is good for pigmented shadows, since this palette is sheer to medium it doesn't pick up color well. It is a really good blending brush though.

In terms of larger palettes, the Urban Decay Naked series still rules them all as the best ones for the price of $54 each (at least in my opinion). Based on feedback I've received from previous reviews I've posted I know they aren't everyone's cup of tea. I like Urban Decay because of the soft textures, rich pigment, gorgeous shimmers, wearable metallics - for many the palettes are just too much in terms of frost/shimmer. For others, some can't get over the look of the packaging. The MAC x15 Naturals Palettes are also good if you're looking for variety but come at a much higher price tag of $85.

If you want a softer palette with shimmers but ones that have more subtle shimmers I'd recommend this Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette or the Dior Eye Reviver (reviewed here and here). Given how many eyeshadows I've tested and own, I can't call this one a must-have, although for the price it's nice to have - the quality is good and shadows blend/build nicely on the lids.

Overall a good wearable and versatile palette that's nice to have, or nice to start out with if you're building a makeup collection. The overall look and feel is extremely beautiful - it's a palette you can wear for a number of occasions. You can find the Lancôme Auda[city] in Paris Eyeshadow Palette available now at Lancôme counters. Online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and all other Lancôme retailers.

Have you tried this palette yet? What's your favorite large eyeshadow palette?

This palette was provided courtesy of Lancôme for review consideration.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Les 5 Ombres de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette in Entrelacs for Fall 2015

There's a stunning new eyeshadow palette from Chanel this fall called Les 5 Ombres de Chanel in Entrelacs ($80, limited-edition). It's quite expensive but the colors are phenomenal neutrals that have a super soft texture with good buildable pigment. I think Chanel should make all their shadows in this formula - it melds into the skin flawlessly. The light colors are pigmented with a glorious shimmer giving them unique look. (In the pan they look almost matte.) The three darker shades are satiny in texture and layer nicely over each other. If you have a creamy liner or base on the lids you will see the dark shades pop. Chanel's Les 5 Ombres de Chanel for fall is the perfect in-between of pure mattes and high frost shimmers. The finish is more of a satiny glow and I can't rave enough about this palette. Even though I own enough neutrals to last 100 lifetimes I think this one is a must. 

The colors left to right:

Shimmering soft ivory with a champagne shimmery glow
Matte neutral beige tan
Soft satiny chocolate shimmer
Dark blackened brown satin
Soft light pink with gold shimmer

Swatches with the sponge applicators:

Swatched heavy over Tom Ford Peach Glow Primer with fingers:

I suspect each color can be replicated with individual colors. Some of the ones above resemble older Chanel singles and quads that I own (the first one resembles Ivory, second resembles Sand, third looks like a brown version of the darkest color in Poesie, fourth is unique). I pulled two other palettes to compare, Chanel Charming from Holiday 2013 and Dior Eye Reviver 001:

Overall a winner. I highly recommend it. If you're new to high end eyeshadows and want a good easy to wear palette of neutrals, the Les 5 Ombres de Chanel is a good introductory palette. It has conservative colors suitable for everyday wear but enough color to show up on the eyes and add dimension. Lasting power is very good - it stays put all day without fading or budging. I've used it with my go-to eye base from Edward Bess. I like it so much I have to buy a back it up.

You can find the fall 2015 Les 5 Ombres de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette in Entrelacs at all counters now, while supplies last since it's limited-edition. Online at, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman and all other Chanel retailers.


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