Archive - Product Reviews

Dior Summer 2015 Contraste Horizon (556) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette: A Traditional Summer Eye Palette With a Twist

Published in: Dior, Eyes, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

dior contraste horizon

Dior Summer 2015 Limited Edition 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon ($62)

I see torrents of teal, bunches of brown, gobs of gold and a deluge of Dior on the horizon!

The new $62 Dior Summer 2015 Limited Edition 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon, one of two limited edition powder eyeshadow palettes in the recently released Dior Summer 2015 Tie Dye Collection, is available now online and at Dior counters, where it patiently awaits makeup lovers hoping to take it home. :)

Dior Contraste Horizon contains a shimmery medium warm brown, a shimmery deep teal, a shimmery warm yellow gold, a shimmery mint and an iridescent pale violet, and yes, it’s $62.

YIKES!

Dior is a high-end brand, after all, and with their prices, it seems they aren’t afraid to show it.

dior contraste horizon

Swatches of the Dior 5 Couleurs Summer 2015 Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon (for skin tone reference, I wear Diorskin Nude Air Serum in 040)

This is what I’d call a traditional summer eye palette…with a twist. If you live for classic summer eye colors, you may freak out over the shimmery gold, brown and teal shades in this palette.

Granted, the whole brown/teal/gold combo idea isn’t exactly revolutionary — I mean, it’s no Ryan Gosling body pillow — but because Dior is freaking Dior, these shadows do everything they’re supposed to do, and they do it well.

Take the teal, brown and gold eyeshadows in this eye look I’m wearing. Seriously, it only took one layer with these to reach maximum color. The highly pigmented powders are downright indulgent, and yay! — no fallout. Plus, an eight-hour wear time.

dior contraste horizon

Wearing the Dior 5 Couleurs Summer 2015 Eyeshadow Palette in 556 Contraste Horizon on my eyes


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Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starblush: Mmm… Doesn’t a Baked Starblush Sound Delicious Right Now?

Published in: Face, Makeup, Product Reviews, Smashbox

smashbox fusion soft lights baked starblush

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starblush ($32)

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starblush“Uh, yes, I’ll take a Baked Starblush and a tall Caramel Macchiato, please…”

I really like this product’s name: Baked Starblush. It sounds both astronomical and tasty. :) This here is the Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starblush, one of two new $32 shimmery baked highlighters (the other one is called Starburst) containing five individual shades (there are two of each color) — in this one’s case a soft white, a soft pink, a rosy pink, a dusty rose and a bright rose. Both are available now online and at Smashbox counters, Nordstrom, Ulta and Sephora.

smashbox fusion soft lights

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starblush

Starblush, which you can wear on your cheeks, eyes, face and body, creates a subtle veil of light pink shimmer, and it’s one of those considerate subtle veils that doesn’t emphasize pores. With a finish about halfway between a super shiny BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector and a less intense Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder, it’s probably better for lasses with light and medium skin tones, because it might look ashy on deeper damsels.

As for wear time, on my combination oily/dry skin, it lasts between six and seven hours.

smashbox fusion soft lights

Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starblush


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Dior Summer 2015: The Dior Addict Lipsticks in 001 Red Bliss and 005 Fuchsia Utopia Are Perfect in Every Way But Price

Published in: Dior, Lips, Makeup, Product Reviews

dior summer 2015 fuschia utopia top

From Dior Summer 2015, Dior Addict Lipstick in 005 Fuchsia Utopia ($33)

The Dior Summer 2015 Collection Dior Addict Lipsticks ($33 each, available in four shades) are aptly named.

Because they are deliciously addictive. :)

I usually like to swap out the lip products I keep in my purse every few days (’cause I crave variety), but the two Dior Addicts I’m wearing here are the only two lipsticks I’ve carried around consistently this past month.

Two of four Dior Addict Lipsticks in the Dior Summer 2015 Tie Dye Collection, they’re available now at Dior counters and online. I’ve been bouncing back and forth between 001 Red Bliss and 005 Fuchsia Utopia (the others are 002 Coral Trip and 006 Nude Fever).

dior summer 2015 red bliss

From Dior Summer 2015, Dior Addict Lipstick in 001 Red Bliss ($33)

“Dior Addict is back this summer with a brand new two-tone version: four fresh and bright shades featuring the emblematic Dior logo in a contrasting colour at the center. In a single sweep, shades and textures intertwine to recreate a subtle tie dye effect on the lips.”

dior.com

Like Tootsie Pops, each of these lipsticks has a surprise inside. There are two colors within each bullet, and they mix together as you slick one across your lips.

Why am I addicted to Dior Addict? Let me count the ways…

  1. The fantastic formula… It’s remarkable just how moisturizing these are considering the lightweight formula. Within a couple hours of applying either of these shades my normally dry lips feel less like cheese graters. Like the Zella sweatpants of sheer lipsticks, they feel fantastic! The smooth, virtually weightless formula feels almost like a silky lip balm or a luxurious lip butter.
  2. Extremely user-friendly… I usually apply them directly from the tube without a mirror. You have a lot of leeway with these because they’re sheer, and if you take one a little beyond the edge of your lips, no big deal. I usually reapply after meals, or every two hours, and I actually look forward to the feel of these gliding across my lips. The light vanilla flavor and scent is yummy, too.
  3. Sheer, but not too sheer… Sometimes with sheer lipsticks, if you have pigmented lips like I do, your natural lip color overpowers the pigment, and it can look like you aren’t wearing anything at all. That’s totally not the case with these Dior Addict Lipsticks. They contain a healthy serving of pigment, and the colors apply evenly and smoothly. I’d call them medium coverage.

For me, these are right up there with the top performers in the medium-coverage lipstick category alongside the fantastic $20 MAC Huggable Lip Colours, which look similar but have a slightly thicker formula, and the fabulous $50 Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers, which are a smidgen more pigmented but waaay more expensive.

dior summer 2015 001 red bliss

From Dior Summer 2015, Dior Addict Lipstick in 001 Red Bliss ($33)

dior summer 2015 fuschia utopia top

From Dior Summer 2015, Dior Addict Lipstick in 005 Fuchsia Utopia ($33)


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The NARS Numéro 2 False Eyelashes: For Lashes That Long for Length

Published in: Eyes, Makeup, NARS, Product Reviews

nars numero 2 eyelashes

Wearing the NARS Numéro 2 false eyelashes ($20, one of eight styles)

Should you ever feel like your makeup mojo has pulled an Elvis and left the building (or has just gone on temporary hiatus), I highly suggest applying a pair of false lashes — the longer and more luscious the better, like the reusable Numéro 2 Eyelashes by NARS ($20 each, and one of eight styles).

“A medium-length false lash set with uniform volume from corner to corner, Numéro 2 Eyelashes’ full span expertly walks the line between boldness and subtlety. Designed to become a lash wardrobe staple. Named for the second model to walk the runway in a fashion show lineup. Versatile, reusable. Made for everyday use.”

narscosmetics.com

I swear, whenever I wear the Numéro 2s, I feel like my eye makeup and I go into lady boss mode. It’s kind of like swapping out your off-white lunch lady comfort shoes for a pair of black patent-leather stiletto heels… Meow! Don’t mess with this girl, because she has claws, and she’s not afraid to use ’em. :)

The Numéro 2s are one of eight new reusable (you just have to be careful with them), natural-fiber false eyelash styles from NARS, all of which have their own distinct flava, and they’re one of my favorites in the line.

nars eyelashes numero 2

NARS Eyelashes Numéro 2

See how the lashes are about the same length all the way across the spine? The Numéro 2s are designed to fake a full, lush fringe, and my lashes certainly feel lush when I wear them. Because they’re hella long.

Not like Beyonce-writhing-on-the-floor-in-a-video long, but probably too long to wear to your in-laws’ house for Tuesday dinner.

They’re probably better for wearing to a club with friends on a Friday night, or for sitting in your office while your cat takes a nap (which is happening where I am right now).

I really like the length of these lashes, because they’re noticeably long, but I don’t see them out of the corner of my eye, so they don’t interfere with my peripheral vision (an actual problem with some false eyelashes sometimes).

They’re reasonably lightweight, too, although not as lightweight as my go-to Eylure 117s. They aren’t uncomfortably bulky, but I can definitely feel them on my lash lines.

If you’re gonna wear them out (and I think you should!), here are a few things that might help…
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Does $20 L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 Give $54 Urban Decay Naked a Run for Its Money?

Published in: Drugstore Beauty Finds, Eyes, Loreal, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

loreal la palette nude 1

Wearing L’Oréal’s $20 La Palette Nude 1

Knowing that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay, I wondered just how closely L’Oréal’s much less expensive $19.99 10-pan La Palette Nude 1 palette of neutral powder shadows would imitate its $54 Naked superstar cousin. Would La Palette’s three mattes be as easy to blend as UD Naked’s matte shadows, and what about pigment, shimmer and fallout? How would they compare? And what would I miss with only 10, instead of 12 shades?

I decided to find out.

The $19.99 L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1 vs. the $54 Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette

Briefly, what’s the idea behind L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1?
Well, it’s basically the Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Palette with 10 neutral powder shadows instead of 12. Seven of them are shimmers — a warm beige, a peach, gold, bronze, chocolate brown, silvery taupe and a cool-toned white — and three are matte browns — a medium taupe-brown, medium tan brown and a dark neutral brown. La Palette Nude 1 is one of two eyeshadow palettes that were added to the L’Oréal permanent line this spring, and it comes with a dual-ended brush with a sponge-tip applicator on one end and a small flat eyeshadow brush on the other. There are also four simple how-to tutorials for four different eye looks on the bottom/back. It’s available now online and at drugstores and Ulta.

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1 on my eyes

What makes it interesting?
First, for me, the price. It’s $34 less than Urban Decay Naked.

The 10 shadows work out to $2 each, versus Naked with its 12 shadows, which work out to $4.50 each. So it’s less than half the price.

Yes, I can see your big saucer eyes from across the keyboard, ’cause that’s tempting stuff. :) Seriously, I’m the last person in the world who needs another neutral palette of brown and beige shades, but when I saw La Palette Nude 1 at Ulta last week, I had to go there. I couldn’t stop myself.

What is this compulsion I have to try all of the brown eyeshadows…? It must come from the same place that makes me want all of teh kittehs. The struggle is real, my friend.

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1

So, is La Palette Nude 1 as good as Urban Decay Naked?
In some ways, yes, I think it is. Like Naked, it has a good variety of matte transition shades (which are also highly pigmented! *thumbs up*), and a perfect balance between warm and cool color-temp shades.

The shadows also feel silky and soft like Urban Decay’s, which I guess isn’t a big surprise, considering that L’Oréal owns Urban Decay. Maybe there’s some crossover between the formulas, or maybe not and it just worked out that way. La Palette’s shadows also last seven to eight hours for me.

The original Urban Decay Naked Palette

loreal la palette nude 1

L’Oreal La Palette Nude 1

But there a couple of ways in which I think UD Naked trumps L’Oréal La Palette Nude 1…

Nude 1’s mattes, while fabulously pigmented, take longer to blend.
This first time I wore the Nude 1 palette, I used my trusty NARS Pro-Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. I layered the shadows on top of it, and I felt like I had to work pretty hard to buff out the edges and transition shades into each other. The overall look turned out a little choppy. Then I tried the mattes on top of a creamier base (MAC’s Paint Pot in Soft Ochre), which I hoped would give the shadows a more slippery surface. It seemed to help a bit, but things were still a tad choppy. It required more passes with my fluffy blending brush to get my gradients worked out than I could count, so if you’re going to invest in this palette and plan to give these mattes a daily workout, I highly recommend also having a cream shadow on hand to use as a base, along with a healthy dose of patience.

Nude 1’s shimmers aren’t all that shiny.
Compared to the shimmery shadows in UD Naked, Nude 1’s pearlescent shadows don’t shimmer as brightly, so I get more of a soft shine than a mirror. The shimmer also doesn’t seem anywhere near as pigmented or refined. In fact, I feel like it looks pretty chunky on my lids. It reminds me of the shimmers in the Maybelline Blushed Nudes palette.

I don’t know if it’s something that companies do on purpose to cater to the drugstore makeup crowd, or if it’s just a consequence of a lower price, but it is still possible to reach the point where Nude 1’s shimmery eyeshadows shine bright like diamonds. You may just have to wet your brush first and do a lot of layering.

It’ll take some effort, not gonna lie.
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