Archive - Product Reviews

Laura Mercier’s New High Coverage Concealer For Under Eye Disguises Dark Circles, But Demands Significant Elbow Grease

Published in: Eyes, Laura Mercier, Makeup, Product Reviews

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer For Under Eye in shade 4

Wearing the new Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer For Under Eye ($28) to cover up ye olde dreaded dark circles

If your current full-coverage under-eye concealer were a skimpy Brazilian-cut bikini, then Laura Mercier’s new High Coverage Concealer ($28 for a 0.27-oz. tube) would be a Victorian Era bathing costume, complete with skirt, bloomers, bonnet and shoes.

In other words, no skin be showin’ here, ma! Those dark circles will be covered-the-eff-up.

A recent addition to Laura’s permanent line, High Coverage is referred to as “three in one” by Team LM. It’s supposed to cover, de-puff and brighten under-eye circles, all at the same time, and it comes in 12 shades that correspond to the colors in Laura’s existing Secret Concealer range.

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer (1)

I had hoped to experience significant makeup nirvana testing High Coverage based on how much I’ve been loving the new Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation Laura released at the same time (one word: amazing), but to be honest, my feelings run hot and cold… My overall opinion depends on how psycho my skin is acting on any given day.

Annoying Dry Skin Issues: Chapter 1,576

My under-eye area is usually some degree of dry, from slightly dry to very, and when it’s very dry, High Coverage Concealer does not look cute.

Yes, it completely covers my dark circles, which is great, but the texture looks thick and heavy, and cracks appear around my fine lines.

It’s a different story, however, when my skin is behaving better (and I also jump through some extra hoops, which I’ll describe in a moment), in which case, High Coverage looks and works great. The cracking is kept to a minimum, and the texture looks natural.

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer For Under Eye in shade 4

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer For Under Eye in shade 4

Being somewhat dry and thick (it looks and feels like a thick paste, as opposed to a runny liquid), the formula is also pigmented — things that don’t often lend themselves to easy blending — so if you attempt to half-@ss the application, you could be in for a janky surprise (particularly if you have mature skin).

The way around it is to really get in there and do the work, and if you do, High Coverage can look lovely.

Here’s how I apply it

A drop the size of a pin head is enough, literally, to do both eyes. The back of the tube recommends dotting a bit on a fingertip and patting that beneath your eyes, but I tried that and wasn’t too crazy about the way it turned out. I thought it looked a little heavy…

Instead, I load a smidgen on the back of my hand, where I sheer it out using a synthetic tapered blending brush (you could use a brush with natural fibers for this, but I find that synthetic brush heads usually have stiffer bristles, which in this case handle the thick-ish formula better.)

Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer For Under Eye in shade 4

Application tips on the back of the tube

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For Comfort and Eye-Catching Color, Try Sonia Kashuk’s $8.99 Lustrous Shine Lip Crayons

Published in: Lips, Makeup, Product Reviews, Sonia Kashuk

Sonia Kashuk Lustrous Shine Lip Crayon in Peony

Wearing Sonia Kashuk’s new Lustrous Shine Lip Crayon in Peony ($8.99), one of four shades available now at Target

Yet one more reason to go fan-girl over Sonia Kashuk: the unfathomably high levels of pigment in her new Lustrous Shine Lip Crayons.

Sonia Kashuk Lustrous Shine Lip Crayons Orchid (left) and Peony (right)

Orchid (left) and Peony (right)

I can’t believe these $8.99 retractable crayons aren’t more expensive. Smooth, silky and lightweight like a lip balm, they remind me a lot of pricier products from Too Faced and Benefit.

Sonia Kashuk Lustrous Shine Lip Crayon swatches in Peony (left) and Orchid (right)

Peony (left) and Orchid (right)


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Giorgio Armani Beauty’s New Fall 2014 Eyes To Kill Liners Have Killer Shine

Published in: Eyes, Giorgio Armani, Makeup, Product Reviews

Wearing Giorgio Armani Beauty's Eyes To Kill Liner in Rose Iron

Wearing Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Eyes To Kill Liner in Rose Iron

Eyes to killWith his heat ray vision, Superman has eyes to kill.

Medusa has eyes to kill (well, turn you to stone, but that’s basically the same thing).

And now, with new Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Liners (called Ametista, Oro Oscuro, Perla Nera and Quarzo on the website), we mere mortals can also have eyes to kill.

Shiny eyes to kill, because when I wear these liquid liners on my lash lines, I feel like I have shine for days, yo!

But it’s an unusual shine…

Starting at the finish

“Muted metallic.” That’s how I describe the finish. Mind you, it’s not as frosty or shiny as some metallic or glitter liners, like the kind you might see at Urban Decay or MAC, some of which reflect so much light that you can look like you’re wearing a costume if you go too far with them.

There’s no mistaking these for matte — that’s for sure — but the shiny finish seems softer to me, more diffused and more elegant than the finish that a lot of other shiny liners have.

Giorgio Armani Beauty Eyes to Kill Liner in Rose Iron

Rose Iron on my lash lines, MAC Smolder on my water lines, and Armani’s Black Ecstasy Mascara on my lashes

Not everyone is gonna get the distinction. Like, El Hub, adorable yet clueless dude that he is, he probably wouldn’t get it. “What’s the big whoop?” he’d say. “They just look shiny to me.”

Now, if you’re the kind of guy or gal who carries eight different black liners in your makeup bag and can quickly rattle off their names and differences, you’ll probably appreciate these and their muted metallic finish.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Liners from the purple shade on the left: 3 Mercury Nude, 2 Acid Gold and 3 Rose Iron

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Liners from the purplish shade on the left: 3 Mercury Nude, 2 Acid Gold and 3 Rose Iron

Easy-peasy application

As for the formula itself and the way these feel, one word: bomb. They’re sort of halfway between a liquid and a cream, almost like a watery gel, and it makes them easy to control, especially with the included, fine-tipped brush applicator. With it, I can easily draw skinny and thick lines with sharp edges in a single swipe.

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill Liner

With a MAC Lipglass for scale

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In the MAC Artificially Wild Collection, MAC Takes Nudes Underground With Dirty Mauves, Sooty Greys and Golden Beige Browns

Published in: Collections, MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

MAC Artificially Wild Collection

Wearing the new MAC Artificially Wild Collection

Did you ever read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? It’s the Phillip K. Dick story that inspired Bladerunner, and in it there are these ultra realistic android animals, like robotic dogs and cats, that some people have as pets because many of the real animals are driven extinct during a world war. Only the mega rich can afford to have living, breathing pets. Everyone else’s animals are artificially wild…

Which brings me to this: MAC Artificially Wild.

Based on MAC’s promo pics for the 22-piece release, truth be told, I was kinda freaked out. The camo, the dark shadows under the model’s eyes — it seemed potentially drab and depressing, and I couldn’t see myself feeling good in a look like that.

MAC Artificially Wild

But I liked the overall idea. Nudes, with a subversive, fight-the-power angle. Instead of regular warm, buttery browns and beiges, there were dirty mauves, sooty greys, golden beige browns and a light sprinkling of khaki.

In the end, the call of the wild was too strong to resist. After playing with the products, I started to come around…

It was kind of like when you see a dress that you’d never pick out for yourself on a hanger, but just for kicks, you try it on, and then you think, “OK. Yeah. I can work this.”

Cheek products for contouring

There are some cool things here…like the cheek products, in particular. A couple of ‘em contour and carve out cheekbones better than Michelangelo. I really like the Powder Blush in Taupe, which transforms my chubby cherub cheeks into chiseled choppers capable of cutting concrete.

I think Cream Colour Base in Breaking Ground deserves mentioning. A purplish gray mauve, you can use it below your cheekbones to create well-placed shadows on your face. Chanel did something like it a while back with a powder blush called Notorious… Breaking Ground is basically a cream version.

MAC Eye Shadow in Artificial Earth

Artificial Earth

MAC Eye Shadow in Stony

Stony

MAC Eye Shadow in Marsh

Eye Shadow in Marsh

MAC Eye Shadow in Natural Wilderness

Eye Shadow in Natural Wilderness

MAC Powder Blush in Next to Skin

Powder Blush in Next to Skin

MAC Powder Blush in Pink Cult

Pink Cult

MAC Powder Blush in Taupe

Taupe

MAC Cream Colour Base in Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground

MAC Cream Colour Base in Au Nature

Cream Colour Base in Au Nature

MAC Lipstick in Icon

Icon

MAC Lipstick in Shitake

Lipstick in Shitake

MAC Lipglass in Obviously Bare

Obviously Bare

MAC Lipglass in De Nude

Lipglass in De Nude

MAC Eye Shadows in Artificial Earth, Stony, Marsh and Natural Wilderness

From the left, Eye Shadows in Artificial Earth, Stony, Marsh and Natural Wilderness

MAC Powder Blushes in Taupe, Next to Skin and Pink Cult

Powder Blushes in Taupe, Next to Skin and Pink Cult

MAC Cream Colour Bases in Breaking Ground and Au Nature

Cream Colour Bases in Breaking Ground and Au Nature

MAC Lipstick Swatches in Icon and Shitake

Lipsticks in Icon and Shitake

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Turn on Your Eye High Beams With the Giorgio Armani Beauty Fall 2014 Fade to Grey Eyeshadow Palette

Published in: Eyes, Giorgio Armani, Makeup, Palettes, Product Reviews

Giorgio Armani Fall 2014 Fade to Grey Eyeshadow Palette

Wearing the new Giorgio Armani Fall 2014 Fade to Grey Eyeshadow Palette, $88 (!)

Words one does not expect to hear at a Giorgio Armani Beauty counter: “Where’s, like, the dollar menu?”

Because everything is pricey! — like this new $88 eye palette from Giorgio Armani’s Fade to Grey fall 2014 collection.

Amani Fall 2014 Fade to Grey Eyeshadow Palette

That’s a lot of glow, yo.

The sleek, stylish black packaging houses two absolutely beautiful eye luminous shimmer shadows, side by side — one, a warm, shimmery golden peach, and the other a purply taupe-ish grey.

On lids, these shadows are like Buzz Lightyear, reflecting light to infinity and beyond. The super shiny finish makes my eyes look BIG, doe-eyed and bright, and the effect is even more pronounced when I incorporate a dramatic mascara, like Armani’s new Black Ecstasy, which I’m wearing here.

Giorgio Armani Fall 2014 Fade to Grey Eyeshadow Palette

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