Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in Girlish Romp

This purchase marks two firsts for me: my first mineral makeup purchase as well as my first MAC purchase. For those of you who don't follow MAC, Girlish Romp is a limited edition quad from the Colour Craft collection of summer '09. Originally, I was drawn to Eccentricity (the purple/bronze palette), but then I decided that it looked too much like a combination of Lavsuca Eye Color Select in PU-2 plus the Lunasol palette I just bought. Plus, I read a Chinese review on Girlish Romp with pictures of EOTD with Girlish Romp that convinced me this would be a good addition to my collection since I am liking sheer colors more than intense pigmented colors right now.

The packaging of this quad is the same as the ones for the regular Mineralize shadow duos, which means that there is very little of each color. The size might be an issue with some people, but I actually like the small size since I never use up my eyeshadows anyway. The small size is also very convenient for traveling, though I wish there is a divider between the different colors so the powder for the different colors don't travel onto other colors.

The texture of the shadows are pretty smooth, but they may be a bit too powdery since the packaging gets dirty with a lot of loosened shadow particles very quickly. The color payoff is very good in my opinion, though all the colors are light so they may be too sheer for people with darker complexions. The lasting power of these shadows are also pretty good for me when I have UDPP on underneath.

The colors in the quad are a pale ivory gold (A), a pale peach (B), a medium cool pink (C), and a pale lavender that almost looks silver (D). Despite the mix of warm and cool colors, all four actually work very well together for one eye look. Also, all of the shadows are shimmery, though the way they shimmer are a little different. Color A looks like an ivory with gold shimmer, whereas the other shades appear as the actual colors with a metallic-y finish. For the overall look, I think this quad is perfect for spring and with sun dresses since the shadows give a sheer but noticeable wash of color. Too bad it is already late summer now, but I foresee me getting a lot of use out of this palette next spring (that is, if I don't fall in love with something else before then ^.~).

All photos in this post were taken under natural light.

In short: A really beautiful quad for those who are not looking for intense colors. If you only use neutral shadows, this quad may be a good first step towards using more colorful shadows. Plus, four colors (albeit small) for $19.50 is a great deal.

Bobbi Brown Nude Eye Palette: Amazing-ness!

I have always been a bit weary of matte eyeshadows. They are not pretty in the traditional sense, and they are much harder to blend well for a makeup novice like me. Plus, very few makeup marques actually make nice matte shadows, so the quest for a fine, smooth matte shadow is much more difficult than the quest for a top quality shimmery shadow. Well, if you are looking for good matte shadows, look no further, Bobbi Brown (BB) is your answer. BB is seriously the only brand I have ever encountered that makes matte shadows appear so amazing, I actually want to buy them. This reason is (partly) why I ended up purchasing the latest Nude Eye Palette from BB's Nude Collection for summer '09.

The casing for this limited edition (LE) eyeshadow palette is very basic and modern. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to be excited about either. One good thing about the packaging of this new palette is that when the shadows run out, I can go out and buy regular BB shadows to stick into the palette. Not that these shadows will run out any time soon since they are pretty big for my standards. Too bad this LE palette doesn't come with a BB brush like in previous LE palettes; it would have been nice to have a "free" brush when purchasing the palette.

Moving on to the shadows themselves, all of which are absolutely gorgeous. All three matte shadows are smooth, finely milled, and very pigmented. The three shimmer shadows are equally amazing, with the exception of the light silver shade which is just a tad less smooth. I have no problems with these shadows creasing on me as long as I apply UDPP underneath.

The color of the shadows in this palette are a matte off-white (Navajo), a shimmery pale silver, a matte khaki, a shimmery pale gold, a shimmery bronze, and a matte brown-black. Navajo is great for subtly highlighting the outer corner of the lower eye area for a more wide-awake look. The matte khaki works well for adding subtle contours in the crease, and the matte brown-black makes for an awesome eyeliner, especially wet. I also love using the silver on my lower lashline for a more doe eye look. Overall, the entire palette works well to create a very pulled-together look that is understated but still accents the eyes well.

All photos in this post were taken under natural light.

In short:
Although a bit expensive, the Bobbi Brown Nude Eye Palette is worth every penny. From the silky smooth matte shadows to the gorgeously shimmery metallic shadows, this palette is the quintessential Bobbi Brown palette in that it provides an understated look of natural beauty.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Lunasol Sheer Contrast Eyes in Lavender Coral

I've been lemming this palette ever since my obsession with Asian makeup started last year. I first read about this palette at A Touch of Blusher, which also happens to be the blog that introduced me to Asian makeup. Subsequently, I read about it at a number of different blogs and decided that it's probably worth checking out since I love lavenders/purples and shimmer. I'm very glad to say that it was a good decision to get this palette as I'm really loving it so far.

The casing for the Lunasol palettes is a very classy bronze with Lunasol written on the front in elegant lettering. This palette was very well packaged with a layer of styrofoam protecting the palette between the palette and box. The brush and applicators that come along with the palette are also of fairly good quality, though nothing to really write home about. The texture of the shadows are in general very fine and smooth, but the dark purple shade can be a little rough and dry when using fingers, and the gold shade is a bit gritty. I have had no problems with the shadow creasing on me when I apply UDPP underneath, though the shimmer/sparkles do migrate like crazy. The color payoff of the palette is pretty good for me, which makes me wonder why Lunasol decided to call this line Sheer Contrast Eyes (based on the reviews I've read, Lunasol has had some sheerer offerings).

The shades in the palette include a blue-toned lavender (A), a pale cool pink (B), an intense purple-black (C), and a pale gold (D). All of the shades are, to some extent, sparkly and shimmery. The shade with the most obvious sparkles are the gold shade, followed by the lavender and pink shades, with the dark purple shade taking up the rear. Although the shadows are very obviously shimmery, the shimmers don't make the shadows look like cheap adolescent stuff. The overall look achieved with the palette is a young, lively look that reminds me of spring. Unfortunately, the sparkliness of the shadows do make it less office-appropriate, so don't buy this palette if you're an OL with every intention of wearing these shadows to work. That is, unless your office encourages a more creative or less uptight environment.

The official directions are in the picture below. This method of application works fine for me, but my own way of application (obviously) suits me better. I will discuss the details in another post.

All photos in this post are taken under natural light.

In short: A great palette to own for its elegant casing and wearable and vibrant shadows. This is definitely something one can wear on weekends and dates, though it is not typically office-appropriate. Also, stay away if you don't like major shimmer/sparkles.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Inspiration - Retro Anna Tsuchiya

For its Fall 2009 campaign, Maquillage paired up with Alexander Wang to release some limited edition eyeshadow palettes as well as some new lipcolors. For this season, the lipcolors are catching my eyes more than the eyeshadow palettes, especially because the eyeshadows are mostly boring neutrals. To better express the retro theme of Maquillage's Fall 2009 collaboration with Wang, spokesmodels Anna Tsuchiya and Ueno Juri were given what I like to call ugly bowl haircuts in the ads. I was actually really impressed by how Anna Tsuchiya pulled this hairstyle off. It is a hairstyle I would never get, yet Tsuchiya was able to make it seem fashion-forward instead of just ugly. Unfortunately, Ueno Juri did not pull off the hairstyle as well ^^"'