Showing posts with label Quads. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quads. Show all posts

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Edward Bess Sun and Stars Prismette Eyeshadow Quad

Edward Bess has recently added three new palettes to his line called Prismette Eyeshadow Quads ($68 each for 0.25 oz/7g). These come cased in a black rectangular mirrored compact with a double-sided brush. According to Bergdorfs, these quads have Edward's Classic Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow formula in a combination of some new shades and signature shades.

There are three sets right now: Cosmic Bliss (all taupe), Over the Moon (plummy greys) and Sun and Stars (day and night look). All quads include the same basic light all-over-base-shade. For the repeats of his singles, Cosmic Bliss includes Intimate + 2 new taupes. Over the Moon contains all new shades and Sun and Stars include Escape, Dusk and Night. I will review all three in the upcoming weeks. First up is Sun and Stars.

Sun and Stars contains three existing shades, Escape (a warm coppery bronze shimmer), Dusk (a metallic taupe, looks greenish/khaki in the photos but applies more neutral), and Night (a cool satiny black). The base/matte shade is new. It has a similar color to his single shadow in Nude but is slightly darker and more pigmented. It works well as an all over base to even the lid softly without looking chalky.

I've been using Sun and Stars over his illuminating eye primers (which I think are the best eye bases I've tried) and it has performed exceptionally well. The colors are well pigmented with just enough shimmer to add depth but not overly frosty. Compared to the singles, the Sun and Stars quad applies with the same pigment and smoothness. If you already own the individual shades, then purchasing the quad isn't necessary. It is very convenient for travel and if you're new to Edward Bess, this is a perfect introduction to his line.

Here it is swatched on my arm:

Comparison shot to the singles: Nude, Escape, Dusk and Night (no swatches since the shades swatch identical between the singles and quads, with the exception of Nude which is a lot lighter/sheerer)

Bottom line: excellent! For me it's not a must-have simply because I already own the shades individually. I do like the sturdy packaging which is much easier to travel with (versus singles). Sun and Stars has performed very well. Lasting power with his eye bases is all day for me. It's a palette that can be incorporated into any look and versatile enough for day or night. I believe it will suit a wide range of skintones. While I was at the Beverly Hills counter over a year ago, I saw Edward apply Night to lovely woman with a dark complexion - it gave her a stunning smokey eye.

I'm sure all Edward Bess fans have already seen reviews on other blogs, but in case you haven't be sure to check out:
I purchased my Edward Bess quads from Bergdorf Goodman. They are also available online at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Sephora. Right now there appears to be a limited-edition set exclusive to Neimans online called Private Eye which has the Sun and Stars, Dune Eye Base and his mascara for $100 (individual products added up total $128, I haven't tried his mascara so I can't report on it, but I do love his eye bases).

Have you tried Edward's latest?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Chanel Raffinement #39 Quadra Eye Shadow - Spring 2013

The winter-to-spring season brings quite a few lovely neutral palettes from Armani, Burberry, Edward Bess and Chanel. The Printemps Precieux de Chanel brings us Raffinement #39 Quadra Eye Shadow ($58 for 6.8g/0.24 oz) which is every neutral-lover's dream. The quad has a mixture of three shimmery earthy warm neutrals and a dark warm matte brown. This is hands down my favorite neutral of all the recent releases. The pigment is excellent, much better than most Chanel palettes in my opinion. The texture is soft and easy to blend. The shimmer is visible but not over the top. It's a definite must-have.

Here it is swatched, on me it pulls very warm:

Chanel recently discontinued Kaska Beige (which I found to be a good staple, I had to get backups) so I thought that Raffinement would be very similar. However looking at them side by side you can see how they are very different. The color/finish of Raffinement is similar to Armani's #6 Boudoir. The difference is that Armani has 2 light shimmer/2 mattes while Chanel's has 3 shimmers/1 matte. If I had to pick one, it would be the Chanel. I added Prelude below to show the undertones.

I could only fit three sets on my arm, so I picked the ones that were most similar, Armani #6 and Chanel Kaska Beige. There are two views below with different lighting. Right now I'm a Chanel B30.

Overall love. Raffinement is a gorgeous palette. The quality and pigment are excellent. Did you pick up Raffinement? Or anything else from Chanel spring?

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Burberry No. 03 Pale Nude Complete Eye Palette

Burberry Pale Nude No. 03 Complete Eye Palette ($59) is a beautiful palette of soft neutrals. The colors layer well to create a soft illuminated eye with a soft contour. For many pale-colored quads, I find the shades all end up looking the same on my skin. Not so for the Pale Nude and I was surprised to find that this one is probably my favorite in out of the Burberry quads that I have tried. The shades in Pale Nude include a frosted cool white, a yellowish light cream with an iridescent sheen, a soft nude pink shimmer and a warm tan beige shimmer. All the colors in this palette have shimmer and frost. The color payoff is excellent like Pale Barley but not quite as metallic on the lids making this a great everyday staple. Texture is buttery smooth like the Burberry singles. I found the texture of this quad to be the best out of all the ones I tested.

Swatches on my Chanel B30 skin:

A few comparisons to other shades:
  • Pale Nude's white is not as sharp as Porcelain White, but very similar
  • Pale Nude's yellow cream looked similar to Porcelain in the compact, but it's quite a bit more yellow
  • Pale Nude's seashell pink is more neutral/warm than other Burberry pinks, I found it similar to Chanel's Sillage single, just more neutral
  • Pale Nude's brown shimmer is warmer and darker than Pale Barley

Overall a lovely staple and great palette for a soft nude eye. It does need a dark eyeliner for a complete eye look but other than that works great for me. The effect is subtle but glowy and softly defined. I really love it, but I can't say it would be a must-have for everyone. I can definitely see that some would find it to be too neutral or pale depending on personal preference.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Burberry No. 05 Dark Spice Complete Eye Palette

Burberry No. 05 Dark Spice Complete Eye Palette ($59 for 5.4 g/0.19 oz, made in Italy) is one of my favorite Burberry quads for color selection and pigment, however I found the texture to be slightly inconsistent among all four shades. Initially I was worried this might be too warm, but it works well with my skintone and the colors in this palette create a perfect warm smokey eye. The colors include:
  • a warm yellow cream shimmer - smooth and buttery like most Burberry single shadows, great for a blending color
  • a warm shimmery sienna, soft texture, easy to apply but not so easy to blend (needs a more precise application)
  • a dark chocolate brown with gold flecks of shimmer, great pigment, but also harder texture like NARS Galapagos makes it not so easy to blend/smoke out
  • a satiny dark black, soft texture rich pigment, blends well
The yellow and black are amazing in terms of texture and pigment. They are like most Burberry singles - buttery smooth and easy to apply/blend. I found the performance of the two browns to be similar to NARS Galapagos and NARS Mekong. Both are gorgeous dark smokey eye colors but require a more precise application. Blending works as long as it's minimal otherwise the result is slightly patchy and uneven-looking. (Examples of easy-to-blend dark shades for me include NARS Fez, Cordura and Burberry Midnight Brown.) Still - with a bit of work using multiple brushes and a layering approach this palette works well for me. It just takes more time and precision than your typical eyeshadow.


Overall I think it's really lovely and unique. While the colors seem basic, the combination is very flattering on the skin for a sultry smokey eye. It works well with a variety of shades for lips and cheeks. It's neutral enough to be easily be incorporated into any look/outfit, yet has the warm sienna shade and warm yellow satin that gives this a unique twist to the traditional smokey eye.

Have you tried Dark Spice yet? What were your thoughts?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Burberry No. 02 Mocha Complete Eye Palette

Burberry No. 02 Mocha Complete Eye Palette contains four warm-toned neutrals. I'm one who always falls in love with shimmery neutrals, but this palette seemed a bit too similar to shades in Burberry's existing line. I'm all for no-fail safe colors and I really loved the texture, pigment and convenience of all the shades in one palette. I just wish the colors were a bit different from what Burberry already released in singles. The colors included:
  • a soft matte ivory that matches my skintone when applied, very similar to Trench but a tad warmer
  • a warm golden beige-tan with subtle shimmer, nearly identical to Gold Trench
  • a warm matte chestnut brown, lighter than Chestnut
  • a warm bronze shimmer, unique compared to other browns from Burberry, but still very basic

The texture is just as smooth and soft as the singles. There is a bit of a powdery finish with debris from dipping a brush into the compact, but I experienced very little fall out when applied on the eyes. The colors layered beautifully to give a perfectly natural contoured eye. Lasting power was excellent and the colors did not budge at all during the entire day.

Comparisons below to Burberry Trench, Chestnut and Midnight Brown as well as Guerlain Les Cuirs which is very similar but not quite as warm:

Overall I'm very pleased with the performance of Mocha. The pigment and wear is excellent. However, if you own Trench, Gold Trench or Chestnut, I don't think you need this quad. I personally prefer the texture/color of Trench rather than the ivory matte in the quad, but they are still very close. It's a lovely quad that has a nice earthy feel. It works amazingly well with pinks, peaches and bronzey colors for lips and cheeks and is perfect for everyday wear.

Did you try or buy Mocha? What were your thoughts?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Burberry No. 01 Smokey Grey Complete Eye Palette

Burberry No. 01 Smokey Grey Complete Eye Palette ($59 for 5.4 g/.19 oz, made in Italy) is a beautiful classic palette for a sultry smokey eye. The Complete Eye Palettes by Burberry have four shades in an embossed diagonal-shaped pan. The compact size is the same as the light glow natural blush compacts. The eyeshadow quads come encased in a velvet pouch with three small applicators (sponge, angled and eyeshadow).

The colors in No. 01 Smokey Grey include a frosted cool white, a shimmery gunmetal, a matte smokey grey and a satiny soft black. The texture seems to be identical to the individual eyeshadows, perhaps not quite as buttery smooth, and slightly more powdery, but still very close. Pigment in this quad is excellent. The finish allows for either a sheer application of color. Each shade is easily layerable and after testing this for a few days I found the lasting power was quite good. What I love about this quad is that it works remarkably well with my olive skintone. Most classic smokey eye quads with white, greys and blacks look ashy on my skin. This one has a good balance of cool and warm (the matte grey goes on slightly warmish on my skin) to work for me.

A few more photos and swatches:

Update, here is another swatch set under artificial light, I don't know why the matte grey goes on so warm on my skin. On the eyes it's more true to what you see in the pan:

Several have asked how this compares to the new Armani Eyes to Kill quads, Chanel Smokey Eyes and the Burberry singles. My thoughts:
  • I didn't test all the Armani quads, but based on the two that I have, I feel the Burberry has a softer more buttery/blendable texture but more pigmented payoff in color. The Armani Maestro 01 seems to be cooler-toned and more subtle judging from swatches on Fruity Lashes, Beautezine and Best Things in Beauty.
  • Chanel Smokey Eyes is a quad I used to have (but think I gifted it away). It's a quad that was extremely high maintenance and often clashed with the yellow tones in my skin. I think the Burberry has more buildable pigment (from what I remember). The Chanel appears to be cooler-toned as well. Cafe Makeup has excellent photos and swatches.
  • Compared to the Burberry single shadows, I found the texture and pigment similar. This particular quad was slightly more powdery, but I didn't experience any fallout when I applied it on the lids. For color similarities, the white is very similar to Pearl White, but not as blue as Porcelain White. The gunmetal metallic shimmer is more pigmented and deeper than Pearl Grey. The black shade has better pigment than Midnight Black. You can probably achieve the same effect and don't need the quad if you have the singles.
Comparisons to Pearl White, Pearl Grey, Midnight Black and Edward Bess's Soft Smoke Trio (which is my favorite smokey eye palette).

I most likely won't use the applicators since the quality isn't anywhere near regular brushes. The handles are longer than your average machine-made small sponge applicators which is nice. The pouch is handy, but I don't see myself carrying the quads in my makeup bag at work, so I probably won't use those either. For the actual product I give it a huge thumbs up. I like that the colors are separated by the compact dividers - this makes it so much easier to apply and dip different shaped brushes into each well without mixing the colors. (I prefer to mix and blend on the eye.)

The quad worked well with a soft pink cheek (Burberry Peony) contoured with a matte tan shade (MAC Strada). I used Edward Bess's eye base to help it stay put all day and paired it with a glossy pink lip (NARS Frivolous with Burberry Nude Rose):

Have you checked this quad out? What's your current favorite classic smokey eye palette? Do be sure to check out other swatches and reviews (ones I found helpful linked here) to see how it looks on other skintones.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chanel Intuition #36 and Variation #37 Quadra Eye Shadows

Les Expressions de Chanel 2012 brings us new options for the eyes. There are new eyeshadow quads, cream eyeshadows, liquid liners and a new mascara. (See the US lineup on La Chanelphile and the European lineup on Café Makeup.) In the US, it appears the whole collection is scheduled to launch Black Friday (at least according to four different counters I've talked to in Southern California) although some have reported early sightings at some boutiques and select counters. I think at this time the exact release and availability dates are unclear.  I have yet to see the entire collection in person but ordered 36 Intuition and 37 Variation eyeshadow quads online from Neimans ($58 each).

36 Intuition is a warmer but still somewhat neutral option for the eyes. All the shades are medium in shimmer. It has a soft seashell pink shimmer, a warm sheer gold sparkle, a neutral bark brown shimmer and a warmer brown tan. Pigmentation and coverage is medium-sheer. It performs like most Chanel quads and on my eyes works best over a dewy cream base (Edward Bess's Eye Base or Laura Mercier's Metallic Cream Shadows). A few others to check out with features on this quad:

37 Variation is a cooler-toned option. The shades are also on the shimmery side but not quite as sparkly as Intuition. It has a cool-toned powdery pink satin, a silvery sage metallic, a warm brown and an eggplant shimmer. I thought this would be my favorite out of the two, but it's borderline too cool for my skin. It's still quite lovely on olive complexion but I prefer Mystic Eyes to this one. I haven't seen the European/baked version of Variation in person, but judging from online reviews/swatches, I think I prefer the color payoff of the Euro one better. Some other swatches to check out:
More photos and swatches below: 

I didn't have time to do comprehensive comparisons or swatches but caught one slightly blurry photo today for reference. You can see Variation isn't quite as purple as Vanities, but not quite the same as Mystic Eyes. Intuition is very different from Spices but resembles Dior's Fairy Golds in color family (which I have not tried yet).

For me Intuition was a lovely surprise. It looked like it would be too neutral or unoriginal but it really is quite lovely. Variation on the other hand was a slight disappointment. The colors are really lovely but needs a bit of warming up for my skintone.

Have you spotted the Les Expressions de Chanel collection yet? I'm still waiting to see the whole collection, but at this time think I will probably pass on everything else. Perhaps I will consider the mascara?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Palettes 02 Terra Sienna and 06 Boudoir

Giorgio Armani has reformulated and repackaged their eyeshadow quads into eight new color options. The new Eyes to Kill Eye Palettes ($59 each) come with a double tiered black lacquered compact. The top layer has four eyeshadows, underneath there are two sponge-tipped applicators. At the Armani counter it was hard to not to fall in love with them all. I decided to try two safety neutrals first: 02 Terra Sienna and 06 Boudoir. The packaging below:

Both shades I picked turned out to be fairly similar. They are both neutrals with two shimmery light shades and two darker matte shades. Those who have been long time Armani fans will be pleased to learn that the latest eyeshadow formulation is a significant improvement in pigment and texture over the past quads. Over the years it seems Armani has reformulated almost all their color products. I noticed many of the Maestro singles are no longer for sale - I asked the Armani rep if they were being reformulated too and at this time he wasn't sure but said it wouldn't surprise him if they did.

Terra Sienna is the cooler-neutral option with a light cool champagne frost, a lovely warm taupe shimmer, a matte brown and a matte dark brown. The texture is soft and well pigmented and easy to blend and layer. The matte shades did feel a bit dryer in texture but still applied beautifully. This is a great neutral for everyday.

Boudoir is another beautiful neutral but warmer. It has a soft peachy shimmer, a soft seashell shimmer, a warm terracotta matte, and a warm dark matte brown. I normally wouldn't have looked at this in the past because of the terracotta shade, but I found that layering it brings warmth and depth to the eye. It's quite lovely.

Close ups and swatches:

The shades I picked are similar to the Neo Brown Eye and Face Palette from fall. Here they are side by side for reference:

I've tested these for a few weeks now and can report that these are amazing in pigment and texture for a natural soft eye. The look is natural but not too natural and the shades are easy to layer. I've been applying with brushes rather than the sponges but they are nice to have for touch ups. If you're looking for something even more basic and neutral, check out the 04 Effeto Nudo - I thought it was too basic for me but the formula of these palettes is really nice so I might go back to check it out. I didn't pull any palettes or eyeshadows to compare or dupe. Given the fact that these are neutrals I'm fairly certain there are close dupes out there, but I like the convenience and texture of these. Plus Armani always releases the most amazing neutral shimmers I couldn't resist.

A few other reviews I highly recommend you check out:
So many brands are releasing new quads this time of year - Armani, Chanel, Burberry and Edward Bess. Have you checked them out yet? What were your thoughts about Armani's?

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