eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Rose Gold Review + Swatches

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Color:
Rose Gold is exactly that, a shimmery rosy champagne gold color. Is it the most unique shade on the market? No. Is it the color Laura Mercier intended, and promises you? Yes. The caviar stick also makes this kind of shade more versatile–the creamy formula can be worn on it’s own for an amped-up take on a neutral eye, or used as a base for softer hues to neutralize it and tone it down. Also, the color coding on the bottom of the stick and the swatch on Sephora’s site are pretty true to the real hue. (4.5/5)

Wear:
Caviar Sticks promise to be long-wearing, and I was satisfied on that front! This shadow lasted over nine(!) hours looking flawless and freshly applied–no creasing or transferring (as the brand claims). I didn’t experience any shimmer fallout, either. (5/5)

Formula:
Caviar Stick Eye Colors are creamy shadow sticks that are designed to “glide onto lids,” “blend seamlessly,” and have “a rich-pigment payoff.” When testing this product, I checked off all those boxes! It goes on so easily and blends well, unlike some thicker, potted cream shadows. It had a high-shimmer payoff, with or without primer. (5/5)

Packaging:
Caviar Sticks come in lightweight but sturdy plastic pencils that twist up the product. The cap snaps into place and the twist-up mechanic doesn’t feel cheap. The brand and shade name are printed right on the side of the “pencil”, and I like that each shade is color coded on the bottom (making storage easier). (5/5)

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Price:
My Caviar Stick is a sample size that came in one of last year’s Sephora Favorites (making it both smaller–0.03 oz–and cheaper than it would’ve been on it’s own). However, the full size is $28 USD for 0.05 oz. That’s the same amount of product as a MAC powder eyeshadow, but almost twice the sticker price and price per ounce ($300 for MAC, $560 for Laura Mercier). Not to mention it is around the same price as similar products from Bobbi Brown and Marc Jacobs.

So, is it worth the higher cost? I think so. Rose Gold is exceptionally pigmented, versatile, and performs well, and has the sanitation, longevity and ease of use that other cream products don’t always have. I had zero problems with this product, so I think a $28 price tag isn’t outrageous, given the quality. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
I was definitely impressed by Rose Gold Caviar Stick. I don’t reach for cream shadows often (and this is the first one I’ve tried that came in pencil form), but it totally blew me away. It had fantastic color payoff, ease of use, and lasted forever, not to mention it’s potential multipurpose use. The only thing some may balk at is the price, but if you see yourself reaching for it a lot and hate dipping your fingers in potted shadows or dirtying up extra brushes, this will definitely be worth the investment. (4.5/5)

Overall:
Rose Gold Caviar Stick is an awesome product. I hadn’t tried any Laura Mercier products before, but this was a great introduction to the brand. The shadow performed fantastically and looked great for an incredible amount of time and gave me no issues. (4.8) A

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Would I repurchase?
Yes.

Availability:
-lauramercier.com
-Sephora
-Nordstrom
-Lord and Taylor
-Selfridge’s
-Bloomingdale’s
-Bergdorf Goodman
-Macy’s
-Neiman Marcus
-Saks Fifth Avenue

Useful Information:
-Caviar Stick Eye Color comes in 11 shades.
-Caviar Sticks are dermatologist tested.
-By many people’s standards, Laura Mericer is not cruelty free–they sell their products in China and cannot guarantee their ingredients’ suppliers are not animal testing.
-This product was purchased by me.

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NARS Duo in Kauai Review + Swatches + Dupes

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Color:
NARS describes the colors as “gold lame” and “iridescent smoky orchid.” That description is spot on: the left shade is a rich, warm metallic gold, and the right shade is a cool, shimmery grey-based plum. Neither of these shades is the most unique. Urban Decay Maui Wowie is slightly yellower, but similar to the gold. As for the purple, Urban Decay Gravity is similar. However, the gold is lushly pigmented, with the metallic effect coming through. The purple is semi opaque, but even with primer, it needs to be built up a bit. (3.5/5)

Wear:
When it comes to wear, the gold was excellent, lasting a full 8 hours looking flawless. The purple didn’t do as well: it only made it 5 hours before it looked faded (even with primer). (4/5)

Formula:
The gold applies soft, smooth and opaque, even without primer, and has great textural intensity (the foiled effect, naturally, looks enhanced over a base). However, it was a pain with fallout, the kind of shadow where you’d want to apply your face makeup afterwards to avoid looking glittery on the cheeks. The purple also went on smoothly and blended easily, and didn’t suffer from fallout. But, the pigment wasn’t as intense as I’d have liked, and needed to be built up. (3.5/5)

Packaging:
The duo comes in traditional NARS rubberized packaging with a great full-size mirror included. The rubber texture is great for absorbing impact from a fall or during travel. Also, the compact is sleek and thin, and stays secure when shut, making it easy to store. It also has that nice feel you expect from more expensive products. The two pans of shadow have a nice distance between them, and they don’t kick up much product to begin with, so there isn’t much worry of powder crossover. However, this kind of rubber packaging is prone to showing fingerprints. (4.5/5)

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Price:
A NARS duo is $35 USD, and contains 0.14 oz of product. That’s $250 an ounce. (Comparatively, one MAC shadow is $15 for 0.05 oz, which is $300 per ounce.) This is another great example of spending a little more to get more (in this case, 2 shades instead of one, with 0.9 oz more product), and having it add up to less money in the long run.

In terms of quality, it’s not the best, but it doesn’t do so poorly that I’d say it isn’t worth the money. The gold is fabulous and the fallout can be contained. The purple could’ve been improved a bit more. But the shades work so well together and look fabulous enough that I’d say $35 isn’t an outrageous cost, especially if you don’t already have something similar. (4/5)

Wow Factor:
If it isn’t clear by now, the gold definitely grabbed my attention in a positive way. The metallic, high shine finish is lovely and sets it apart from the other golds I own. The purple has been done before, but I like the rich smokiness and how it pairs well with the brighter gold. Yellow and purple are complimentary colors, so it’s not the most unique combination, but I like the way Kauai turned out. (3.5/5)

Overall:
Kauai is a rich, plush looking duo that draws the eye. It looks lovely in the pan and on the lid. However, there were some technical issues (fallout and lack of vibrancy) that disappointed me. My makeup collection is not super large, but still I was able to find dupes for both shades. If you like the shades and don’t mind working with their respective difficulties, go for it. However, there are cheaper options available if you like the effect and not the price tag. (3.8) C+

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Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-NARS is cruelty free, but their parent company, Shiseido, is not.

Availability:
-narscosmetics.com
-Sephora
-Nordstrom
-ASOS
-Barney’s
-Macy

BareMinerals READY 4.0 Eyeshadow Quad in The A-List Review + Swatches

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I had been eyeing these beautiful shadows from BareMinerals for so long. I had heard amazing things about the formula and pigmentation, and the color combinations were lovely as well. For my first foray into this line of eyeshadow (and with BareMinerals products as well), I settled on The A-List, a girly quad.

Color:
The four shades included in this quad are Icebreaker (“Pink Pearl”, top left), Fashionably Late (“Pink Sugar”, top right), Swanky (“Dazzling Plum”, bottom left), and Black Tie Optional (“Black Velvet”, bottom right). It’s a mostly girly palette with the darker colors adding versatility and depth to the super feminine pinks.
-Icebreaker is a light, frosty cool pink champagne with silver shimmer. It’s a great highlight shade, soft and shiny but not too stark for the brow. The sparkles kind of got everywhere, though. (4/5)
-Fashionably Late is a cool, baby pink satin. This one had great pigmentation, even without primer. Not the most unique shade under the sun, though. (4.5/5)
-Swanky is a dark matte plum base with golden sparkles. It goes on opaque, even without primer, but the golden shimmer doesn’t translate onto the eyelid. (4/5)
-Black Tie Optional is a matte, medium dark black. It has such rich, opaque pigmentation, great quality for a matte. (4.5/5)
The palette has a great mix of finishes that work well together and can be combined to give a variety of looks, ranging from soft and feminine to more edgy and evening. (4.25)

Wear:
The only shade that gave me any trouble was Swanky. It started wearing down at a mere two hours, and looked markedly faded at 6 hours. The three other shades looked fresh by the end of the 8-hour testing period. (4.25)

Formula:
All four shades yielded great pigmentation that was opaque on the lid. They were also easy to apply and gave me no issues with dryness or blending. They didn’t feel as soft to the touch as I had imagined (Swanky was the worst offender, feeling a bit gritty), but this is inconsequential, since it doesn’t impact application. The sparkles in Icebreaker were a bit messy, but remained contained to the eye area, so it wasn’t too much of a mess. No other shades had any fallout problems. (4/5)

Packaging:
BareMinerals delivered with more luxe packaging that one tends to expect from brands in this price range. The compact is sleek and rubberized, absorbing impact from falls and making it more resilient during travel, but holds fingerprints like none other! It feels nice and not cheap in the hands. Also, the mirror inside is full-sized, making it functional to take along with you. I do feel like there is a bit too much plastic, and that the size could’ve been minimized a bit in proportion to the shadows inside, but it’s not too large or tricky to store. I don’t know if it was just my quad, but the clasp was fussy on mine as well–it stays firmly shut, to the point where I accidentally dropped it trying to get it open! (Thank goodness for that rubber packaging!) So that is an area for improvement. (4/5)

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The rubber packaging can be a bit hard to keep clean!

Price:
One of these quads is $30 USD, for 0.17 total ounces of product. That’s $176.47 per ounce. For context, 1 MAC eyeshadow is 0.05 oz and sells for $16, a total of $320 per ounce. Each pan of product in this quad is a little more than 0.4 oz, which a little bit of a drawback. But 4 MAC shadows would cost you $64, $34 more than what you get here for only 0.3 more oz of product. In that regard, I would say this palette is a steal. (You could get two of these for cheaper than 4 MAC eyeshadows, and end up with more product weight!)

In terms of quality for the price, BareMinerals didn’t skimp. Each of these shadows is stellar. While Icebreaker is a bit less than neat, it’s a unique highlight shade with fab texture and looks gorgeous on. While pink and black may seem like boring shades, both were rich, easy to apply, and long-lasting. And while the plum didn’t impress on wear time, it still looked gorgeous added depth and interest to a palette that could’ve otherwise been one-note. (5/5)

Wow Factor:
I had high hopes for this quad, and it rose to the occasion! Icebreaker definitely impressed as an unusual but well-performing highlight. Fashionably Late looked sweet and feminine without straying into childish or eye infection territory. Swanky could’ve done better, but works well with the others. And Black Tie Optional is a perfect, rich black matte. The formula of BTO is what pushes it over the edge–black mattes are common, and too often are they patchy or dull. This was neither. (4.5/5)

Overall:
At a first glance, it’s not the most unique quad under the sun: just about everyone owns a matte black, pinks can be tricky and highlight shades can be dull. The A-List turned those notions on it’s ear. Each shade impressed me in one way or another! The quality is top of the line, and I think the pigmentation and mix of textures and shades creates awesome versatility. That’s what hooked me the most with this quad: you can create a soft, girly eye or a more dramatic edgy eye, or mix the two for something elegant, or pop-punk–the looks are quite endless, more so than they initially appear! (4.3) B+

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Availability:
-Sephora
-Ulta
-bareescentuals.com
-QVC
-ASOS

Useful Information:
-This product was purchased by me.
-BareMinerals is cruelty free, but their parent company, Shiseido, is not.
-The A-List MAY be in the process of being discontinued :/
-Ready quads are made without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOS, or Triclosan.

Wet ‘n’ Wild Eyeshadow Trio in No Scalpers Allowed Review + Swatches

I was so excited to pick up some limited edition trios from Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Summer Collection last month. The theme of the collection is summer music festivals, which I thought was such a cool idea. The first that I tried is No Scalpers Allowed, which goes right along with that bohemian feel that’s common at music festivals.
Color:
The eyelid shade is a soft, shimmery blue-based violet. The crease is a mid-tone matte lilac, and the brow shade is a matte shell nude. While these are lovely to look at swatched, their performance on the lid isn’t a stellar. The eyelid shade has the most pigmentation, but without primer, it can only be built up to medium opacity and even then it fades within minutes. I was able to achieve full opacity and true to pan color with primer. The crease shade is more of a pinky lilac on the eye, and can never quite achieve full opacity. The brow shade performed the best as it was opaque and smooth both with and without primer.
While the eyelid shade was the most unique, it still doesn’t seem remarkably uncommon. I have dupes for the other two shades in my collection, so this trio isn’t winning a lot of points on shade originality. The crease shade is much lighter than the lefthand definer shade in Wet ‘n’ Wild’s I Heart Matte and the brow shade is lighter and cooler than the righthand brow shade in the same palette. The brow shade is sheerer, less stark and warmer than Urban Decay Righteous, and cooler and sheerer than Urban Decay Skimp (3/5)


Wear:
This trio looked really washed out after just an hour without primer. With primer, the shadows made it to the 8 hour mark just fine. The crease shade stayed in tact, but it didn’t look nearly as poppy on the eye as it does when swatched. (4.5/5)

Formula:
This trio is pretty inconsistent. The brow shade has a soft, smooth texture and full opacity, whereas the eyelid shade is semi-opaque and a bit dry at best, and the crease shade is pretty fussy, lacking pigment, kicks up a good amount of product when touched with a brush, and doesn’t stand out on the eye. I needed to go back for more color when applying the lid and crease shades to get the most out of the pigment. However they all blended well and I didn’t have any problems with fallout. (3/5)


Packaging:
The packaging is pretty standard for WnW: thin enough rectangular compact with a clear lid. It doesn’t feel bulky or cheap, and I like that the packaging is white for the limited edition release instead of the standard black. However there’s a lot of stickers on the compact, and that makes it hard to open initially. A sponge tipped applicator and small brush are included. The brush felt softer than I imagined, and while it won’t replace my Sonia Kashuk brushes, it would get the job done in a pinch if you were, say, travelling and lost all your brushes en route. It’s small and thin enough to store easily, and while I don’t think think it’ll survive a lot of fall damage, it’s not the worst pick for travel. The lids on WnW compacts don’t always stay closed though, and with how powdery these can be, I’m not sure this is the first thing I’d reach for to put in a travel makeup bag. (4/5)

Price:
I picked this trio up at Walgreen’s for about $2.99, which is a steal no matter how you look at it: It’s about a dollar a shade, or $24.92 per ounce (and there’s 0.12 oz in the trio). So sure it’s a bargain, but getting your money’s worth is just as important as the amount spent. I don’t think the quality is good enough to where I’m thrilled it’s so affordable, but it’s not bad enough that I think the price tag is unreasonable either. (3/5)

Wow Factor:
This trio definitely fits the girly bohemian vibe common at music festivals, and I thought the pops of color with the neutral brow would be interesting. However, the execution was poorer than I’d hoped. The color payoff was just so disappointing, and the feel of the shadows was inconsistent, leaving me less than impressed. (2/5)

Overall:
It’s a pretty, affordable trio, but the weak pigment is a deal breaker for me. Plus, the colors wash away in an hour without primer, which makes me wonder how well they’ll realistically be able to hold up to the heat at the outdoor concerts that inspired them, even with a base. The colors aren’t so rare that it warrants hunting these down. I recommend opting for better performing dupes. 3.25 (C-)

Availability:
-Drugstores
Useful Information:
-Wet ‘n’ Wild is completely cruelty-free and mostly vegan.
-This product was purchased by me.
-This collection is limited edition and won’t be around much longer.

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Almay Softies Eyeshadow in Honeydew Review

Image via Drugstore

**Unfortunately, my camera is broken! Since money is tight right now, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get a new one. Personal images/swatches will be up ASAP, but that could take a while. I’m so sorry for and disappointed by this inconvenience. Thank you beauties for being patient with me in the meantime.

I was curious about Almay products. I’ve seen the line loads of times at the drugstore, and wondered what they were like. I know they’re supposed to be gentle and great for sensitive skin, but I hadn’t heard anyone rave about this or that from Almay. So I decided to some detective work myself, and test out their new(ish) Softies Eyeshadow in the shade Honeydew.

Color:
I picked up Honeydew because I thought it would be this gorgeous green. While it looks like a lovely cool melon green with gold shimmer in the pan, that’s not what the reality is like at all. On the eye, it’s large gold glitter. That’s it. The green is nearly imperceptible, but there, on a swatch, but there’s nothing mildly green about it on the eye. Granted these do claim to give “a sheer wash of color,” but sheer doesn’t mean invisible, and there was no color, definitely not the “pure color” they promised. (1/5)

Wear:
While there was little to monitor, the gold shimmer that made it onto the eye stayed in place, with and without primer, for a full 8 hours. I didn’t have any issues with fallout. (5/5)

Formula:
To the touch, this shadow feels smooth but less soft. It’s not dry, but it’s not as blendable or buttery as my nicer shadows. It swatches sheer, but goes on even less visible. There’s no pigment here. The glitter/shimmer stays put, but it’s subtle, and doesn’t add any brightness or lift to the eyebrow/inner corner, so I wouldn’t even recommend it for a highlight. (2/5)

Packaging:
The product comes cased in a sleek, matte light black compact, with a mostly round shape (the bottom right edge is squared off). The ingredients and shade name are typed on the back, but it doesn’t actually say “Softies” anywhere on the packaging. It’s nice looking, especially for drugstore. It feels light, but not super cheap (although I don’t think it could survive much in terms of drops). The packaging is smooth and flat, so these are very easy to store (face up or on it’s side), and if you’re into depotting, I imagine this format won’t give you too much trouble. (4.5/5)

Price:
This shadow contains 0.07 oz of product and retails for $4.99 USD. That is both more product for less price than average, although I’d say it’s on par with other drugstore brands. (You’re getting 0.02 more oz for 3 times less than what you’d pay for a MAC shadow). However, I would recommend literally any other eyeshadow I’ve tried than this. I love a bargain as much as the next girl, but it has to be worth something still. And I don’t think this product provides any bang for any amount of buck, no matter how inexpensive. (3/5)

Wow Factor:
I wouldn’t say I’m fussy with shadows–I can usually find some way to work them and get great use out of them. The only way I see Honeydew working is maybe as a highlight. But even then, it’s too dull for the eye and too shimmery for the face. I hate to say it, but I see this as one product I feel I can do nothing with. I had high hopes for Almay’s new shadows, but this left me totally underwhelmed. (1/5)

Overall:
Save your money. I don’t think this particular shade is worth it, and I’m not exactly dying to go out and try the others in the line. There’s no pigment, and while the staying power on the glitter is good, I don’t have much use for wild shimmer. If you’re craving a pigment packed shadow, or natural eye highlight, you won’t find it here. (2.75) D+

Availability:
Almay products are available at drugstores and Ulta.

Useful Information:
-Almay formerly sold their products in China, but as of this year has pulled out of the Chinese market for financial reasons. It’s not publicly known yet if they’re “truly” cruelty-free now, and as always, I leave that decision up to the consumer.
-This product was purchased by me.

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L’Oreal 24HR Infallible Eyeshadow in Glistening Garnet Review

Image via Amazon

**Unfortunately, my camera is broken! Since money is tight right now, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get a new one. Personal images/swatches will be up ASAP, but that could take a while. I’m so sorry for and disappointed by this inconvenience. Thank you beauties for being patient with me in the meantime.

I had heard a lot about L’Oreal Infallible shadows, and was especially intrigued since they seemed similar to some high-end shadow formulas that have come on the market in the past few years. I don’t have any experience with the designer products, but this L’Oreal shadow left a good impression.
Color:

Glistening Garnet is a lot more pink (and a lot less garnet) than the name or online swatch would have you think. It’s a cool, jewel-toned medium pink-burgundy with a satin finish and a slight gold sheen. (It was slightly more rich and true to pan with primer). It’s pretty, but not the most unique shade on the market. For a makeup junkie, my stash is comparatively light, and I have 3 lookalike shades (you can see comparison swatches at the bottom of this post). (4/5)

Wear:
Whether or not you use a primer doesn’t matter with this one! Either way, it wore beautifully for a solid 8 hours. This makes it a viable option for slap-on-and-go color if you’re in a rush. (5/5)

Formula:
To the touch, the powder is soft and smooth. When applied over bare lids, it was smooth, opaque, and even, like a MAC shadow. This went on a wee bit stiffer over primer–I needed to go back for more product to cover the whole lid because it didn’t want to budge from where I initially laid it down (this made blending a bit less dreamy, but still not problematic). This shadow was still vibrant, gorgeous, and easy to use, even with a base. There was also no fallout, fading or creasing. (4.5/5)

Packaging:
Infallible shadows come in sturdy plastic jars with screw on lids. It doesn’t feel expensively heavy, but could probably take a beating, although it doesn’t seem immune to cracks if accidentally dropped. The window that shows the color is actually the bottom of the product. The packaging is square, but the pan is round. There’s also a plastic stopper included, which I thought was a luxe and functional touch. (4.5/5)

Price:
Drugstore shadows are known for their bargain prices, and this line is no exception. It sells for $7.99 USD each, and contain 0.12 oz of product (so $66.50 per ounce). That’s more product for less price! For reference, an average shadow is about 0.05 oz, and a MAC shadow could cost you $300 an ounce. Plus, the quality is very high for drugstore, at half the price of more expensive brands. Definitely a solid deal! (5/5)

Wow Factor:
What’s unique about this shadow is the powder: it’s not wholly pressed, but it’s not loose either. It won’t fall out if you turn the jar upside down, but when you dip a brush in, it separates in a way that’s reminiscent of a loose powder (so more kickup than your standard pressed powder). Plus, the color payoff and texture are all high quality, given the price. (4/5)

Overall:
I really like this shadow! While the one I picked up wasn’t the most unique, there’s enough variety in the collection–and good enough quality from the one I’ve seen–that I’d want to try others from the range too. The powder is smooth, soft, long-wearing, and opaque. (4.5) A-

Availability:
-L’Oreal is available at drugstores and specialty shops, like Ulta.

Useful Information:
-There’s 18 shadows in this range, including Glistening Garnet. There’s a good mix of neutrals and brights.
-All the shadows seem to have the same satin finish, so on this end, there’s not much variety.
-L’Oreal is notorious for their staunch opposition to cruelty-free practices. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Mary Jane (DISCONTINUED)

Image via Amazon

**Unfortunately, my camera is broken! Since money is tight right now, I don’t know when I’ll be able to get a new one. Personal images/swatches will be up ASAP, but that could take a while. I’m so sorry for and disappointed by this inconvenience. Thank you beauties for being patient with me in the meantime.

Blue eyeshadow is a double edged sword for me, because on the one hand, I tend to find the shades so beautiful in the pan, but on the other hand, they can be difficult for me to wear. Urban Decay’s Mary Jane strikes a great balance.
Color:
 It’s a pigmented frosty sky blue. The shadow goes on 90% opaque over bare lids, and flawlessly opaque with primer (a base brings out the frost finish as well). This shade is so lovely, and plays well with warm toned shades as well as similar hues. (5/5)

Wear:
The wear was great but not excellent. If you never go without primer, then this shadow will have you covered for over 8 hours with a flawless, freshly-applied look. However, if you’re in a rush and need to slap on some color, this will show some wear and tear: after 5 hours, the color migrated around the tear duct, looked a bit faded after 6 hours and was noticeably faded by 8. (4/5)

Formula:

This shadow was part of Urban Decay’s old formula, which I actually prefer. It feels so smooth and soft. Even a swatch gives full pigmentation with a high textured finish. There was some powder kickup with the brush, but the shadow was not powdery to apply. There was no fallout, and it blended like a dream without sheering out. This shadow could also be used wet for extra oomph. (5/5)


Packaging:

I don’t have any experience with UD’s new pans, but I quite liked the old version. It was a sturdy plastic that didn’t feel too heavy (or cheap) with a flip-top lid, a clear window to see the shade within, and the color name stamped on the bottom. The shadows are small enough to store easily and feel secure enough to not take any damage during travelling. (5/5)


Price:

This shadow contains 0.05 oz of product, which is on par with other brands. It was $18 USD when I bought it (making it $360 an ounce, $60 more per ounce than MAC). For the beauty junkie, this is a pretty reasonable cost, especially given the quality (which is top notch). However, Mary Jane is discontinued, which means if you’re desperate to get your hands on it, reliable sellers on sites like Amazon and Ebay know they can jack up the price (I saw this shadow going  for 99 British pounds!). Be very careful of resellers who are out to make a large profit off of a shade’s rarity. But the score reflects the shade’s intended sticker price, in relation to my perceived value/quality of the product. (5/5)


Wow Factor:
Sky blues aren’t uncommon at any price point. But Mary Jane is special with it’s opacity, pigmentation, and high texture. I think that’s what sets it apart and really makes it worth a second look. When foiled, it can be so dramatic, which I love. When dry, it looks soft enough for a bold day look (if that makes sense!) It works all over the lid or as a pop of color on the lash line. It looks great with a ton of other colors as well. (4.5/5)

Overall:

This was one of UD’s better shadows and I’d totally recommend it to anyone who happens to have it buried away in their stash somewhere. It’s pigmented, opaque, versatile, flattering, and such good quality. I’ll never understand why UD cut it from their lineup! (4.75) A

Useful Information:
-This shadow is no longer available at official retailers.
-This shade was purchased by me.
-Urban Decay uses cruelty-free/vegan practices, but their parent company, L’Oreal, does not.

Check out Sephora to browse UD’s current eyeshadow shade range! medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio in Cool as a Cucumber Review

Image via Beautylish

Anyone in the beauty blogosphere last year, either as a reviewer or a reader, couldn’t escape the rave impressions of long-time drugstore line Wet ‘n’ Wild’s new line of Color Icon eyeshadows. They come in single pans, trios, and 8-pan palettes, and everyone seemed smitten. Well, you can add me to that list. While Cool as a Cucumber is the first to be reviewed on PV, it definitely isn’t the last. 
As the word “trio” implies, the compact features three distinct shades: a clearly-labeled eyelid, crease, and browbone color. Now, first off, I want to clarify that the photo above could NOT be any more inaccurate when it comes to capturing what the shades really look like. The eyelid shade is a dark forest green. Great news for dupe hunters-this is an exact match for MAC’s Humid, and is only a pinch less pigmented than Urban Decay’s Bender. The crease shade is a gorgeous, brown-based burgundy/plum. This was a dupe for my beloved Urban Decay Rockstar. Finally, the brow shade is a cool-toned green-tinted off-white. Don’t be fooled by the photo! It is undeniably green, not a stark white.
On the lid without primer, the lid shade was true to pan in color. It wasn’t very powdery, but it was a drier shade, and I had to go back to the pan a few times to get enough color for the whole lid. This dryness translated into application by skipping. It did blend easily, though. When used with primer, it appeared more emerald. 
The crease shade was less fussy, only needing one return to the pan for enough color. The crease shade appears to have gold shimmer in the pan, and looks lighter than it actually is, so once again, don’t be deceived by appearances. This appeared more plum when a primer was used, and there was more of a noticeable sheen. However, it was a little stiff to blend.
The brow shade, sadly, was unlike anything I have in my stash (so no upscale dupes to compare it to). It kicked up quite a bit of powder when touched with a brush, but I had no fallout issues, with or without a primer. This shade was also true to pan. This is cool-toned and unmistakably green, moreso with primer. It makes an unusual choice for a highlighter, but it ended up surprising me. Paired with the other shades in the trio, it made sense and worked well. It didn’t sheer out easily when blended. Also, this was the softest, creamiest, and least dry of the three-the browbone shade wasn’t dry at all.
Not only does this trio have some good colors and affordable dupes, it wears well on top of it. I achieved 9 hours of solid wear. The brow shade looked a touch faded when a primer wasn’t used after 2 hours, and looked markedly faded by 6 hours (but was still there by the end). When a primer was utilized, the brow shade wore flawlessly. The lid and crease shades gave me no sign of letting up, with or without a primer, by the time testing finished, and each maintained a nice sheen throughout the wear. I had no problems with creasing or fallout with any shade at any time as I wore this, with or without a base.
Wet ‘n’ Wild trios come in rectangular plastic containers with black bases and a clear, flip-top lid. There’s handy instructions on how to use the palette on the back, which makes it a great option for newbies. Two tools are included, a sponge-tip applicator and a small brush, neither of which are ideal for product application. While not the sleekest or chicest packaging, the compact feels sturdy enough that I wouldn’t fear travelling with it (although if it drops on the floor, you might be in trouble). 

Wet ‘n’ Wild products are pretty easy to find, often stocked at every local drugstore for a palatable price. This trio costs a meager $2.99 USD for three shades, 2 of which are awesome dupes, with a total fill weight of 0.12 oz. That’s only $24.92 per ounce, compared to one MAC shadow ($300 per ounce) or one Urban Decay shadow ($360 an ounce). With Cool as a Cucumber, you’re getting 2 great dupes, plus a bonus shade, for far, far less than the price of one high-end product. In terms of value, this is incomparable. The great news is, Wet ‘n’ Wild is truly cruelty-free and independently owned, unlike MAC, which sells it’s cosmetics in China, and Urban Decay, which is, itself, cruelty-free, but profits it’s animal-testing parent company, L’Oreal. Not only is this trio cheaper and somewhat more accessible, it escapes the wishy-washy attitude a lot of more expensive brands cop-which is sure to please the animal-friendly consumer.

EYELID SHADE:
Color:
5/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 3/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.3 (B+)

CREASE SHADE:
Color: 4.5/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)

BROWBONE SHADE:
Color:
5/5
Wear: 4/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 4/5
Price: 5/5
Wow Factor: 5/5
Overall: 4.5 (A-)

Combined Scores: 4.4 (B+)
Recommend: Absolutely. Cool as a Cucumber is an affordable, cruelty-free way to play around with color.

Wet ‘n’ Wild products are available from local drugstores. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister Review

Image via Beautylish

Purple is one of my favorite colors, and I find that not only does purple shadow often look pretty in the pan, but it can translate nicely to the lid as well. Sadly, purple fundamentally has issues to work with (or so I hear). Urban Decay eyeshadow in Psychedelic Sister is a perfect example of “pretty but kind of fussy.” The brand describes is as a “deep amethyst shimmer,” and once again, I find that’s not quite accurate. PS looked more like a warm-toned, medium royal purple to me. 
On the lid without primer, the shadow went on richly and opaquely, but it got everywhere-under my eye and on my browbone-not where I placed it. Even when blended, it’s still an annoying mess. Also, the purple tinge drew negative attention to my undereye circles, since the powder fell all over the underye area. When a base was used, the pigment didn’t appear any brighter or richer, but the color was more controlled and detained to where I had originally placed it . In both instances the shadow blends easily. However, when worn without a primer, it blends a little too easily, and ends up sheering out pretty quickly. The powder also ended up feeling a bit dry.
But Psychedelic Sister didn’t stop disappointing me there. After just an hour, the shadow was so, so faded. Without a primer, it was completely sheer and nearly invisible, except for a bruise-like tinge. With primer, the color was more purple and there was more product intact, but it still looked considerably faded compared to the initial application-it also looked almost gone. By 2 hours the shadow also looked bruise-like when a primer was used. Strangely, when a base wasn’t used, the color remained consistently like a bruise for 8 hours. When a primer was used underneath, the color faded more rapidly, looking undetectable unless under very bright light at only 6 hours. That was the first (and so far only) time primer has made a product’s wear worse. 
Psychedelic Sister used to be confined strictly to the Book of Shadows III. However, with UD’s recent shadow relaunch, PS was added to the permanent range. It can now be purchased solo, in the brand’s new packaging. The containers are small, circular plastic with flip-top lids. The lids have a clear window, and are flat, making organizing, storing, and travelling with easy. I love that the minimal plastic in the packaging doesn’t take up extra space in makeup storage. The product pans also pop out, making transfer to a magnetic palette much simpler and safer than it used to be.
UD shadows retail for $18 USD (or $360 an ounce) for 0.05 oz of product. This is very important to consider when purchasing an item. PS in particular is far too problematic (and common of a color) to justify at that price tag. MAC has a variety of purples to choose from at $14 USD ($300 an ounce), and Wet ‘n’ Wild makes an 8-pan palette featuring many purple hues for only $4.99 USD ($16.60 an ounce). Both of these brands consistently have better quality, and are much more wallet-friendly, than this fussy eyeshadow. What could make it worth the purchase to certain consumers is that Urban Decay is somewhat animal-friendly. The brand itself is cruelty-free, however it’s parent company, L’Oreal, does perform animal testing.  

WITH PRIMER:
Color:
3/5
Wear: 1/5
Formula: 2/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 1/5
Wow Factor: 2/5
Overall: 2.3 (D-)

WITHOUT PRIMER:
Color: 3/5
Wear: 1/5
Formula: 1/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 1/5
Wow Factor: 1/5
Overall: 2 (D-)

Combined Scores: 2.2 (D-)
Recommend: No way. Psychedelic Sister is way too fussy and poorly-wearing to justify at $18. Many other brands are more affordable and do much better.

Urban Decay products are available at department stores, and at cosmetic retailers, like Ulta and Sephora. medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect Review

Image via Beautylish

Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Suspect is described as a “pale golden beige shimmer.” In person, that description doesn’t really translate. It appeared to be a slightly tarnished gold with a sheen when swatched. It was a lot less neutral than a beige, and it was by no means pale. On the lid without primer, this goes on much more subtly than it swatches. It appears as a softer gold on the lid with less opacity. With primer, the tarnished effect is more noticeable. 
When applying Suspect, I had to go back to the pan a few times to build up the color. I had to do this less when I used a primer, but it still didn’t go on opaquely in one swipe. It blended easily, both with and without a base, and I had no issues with fallout. There wasn’t a lot of powder kickup when I used my brush, but Suspect was by no means dry. The powder feels soft when touched, but wasn’t overly creamy or powdery. 
Like most Urban Decay eyeshadows, I noticed some discoloration (with primer) after just an hour. When a primer was used, the tarnished effect was more subtle, but still darker than when used without a primer. Without a base, Suspect lasted very nicely, for a full 8 hours. When a base was used, this achieved 12 hours of good wear (the tarnished effect transitioned into more of a shimmery style). Either way, I had no problems with fallout, fading, or creasing. 
UD shadows come in small, circular plastic containers. The lids are flip-top, with a clear plastic window that allows the owner to see the color inside. The lids are flat, also, so if need be, one can stack these on top of each other. The pan pops out quickly and easily, for seamless transition into a magnetic palette if the owner desires. The containers are small and sturdy enough to organize neatly and travel with safely. 
UD shadows sell for $18 USD for 0.05 oz. The product amount is on par with MAC shadows. However, the price per ounce is considerably steeper with Urban Decay ($360 vs $300 for MAC). This is important to consider with the quality of the shade in question. With Suspect, it is a neutral hue, but the tarnished gold effect makes it more special than your run of the mill beige. It wears excellently as well; I experienced no fallout or wear issues, for 8-12 hours, which is impressive. I only had slight issues applying this, as it had to be built up to full opacity (but it was doable). Urban Decay is a cruelty-free brand, but it’s parent company, L’Oreal, does perform animal testing.
WITH PRIMER:
Color:
4/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 4.5/5
Wow Factor: 4/5
Overall: 4.4 (B+)

WITHOUT PRIMER:
Color:
3/5
Wear: 5/5
Formula: 4/5
Packaging: 5/5
Price: 3/5
Wow Factor: 3/5
Overall: 3.8 (C+)

Combined Scores: 4.1 (B-)
Recommend: Suspect is a neutral with some extra pizzazz. The tarnished gold effect makes it versatile as both a lid wash and inner corner highlight. Also, without primer, it functions as a softer beige. It’s long-wearing, but takes a touch of extra time to apply. 
Urban Decay products are available at department stores and at cosmetic retailers, such as Ulta and Sephora.

medianet_width=’600′; medianet_height= ‘250’; medianet_crid=’228266391′;