Preview: Spring 2013-Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal Cream Eye Shadow

Spring has sprung in the budget beauty department too!

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New for Spring 2013! Maybelline’s Metal-finish Color Tattoo Cream Shadows

Maybelline has come out with five (5) new metal finish cream eye shadows from the Color Tattoo collection. They are:

  • Inked In Pink – A shimmery warm-toned pink
  • Electric Blue – A deep dark blue
  • Silver Strike – Sparkly and very metallic bright silver
  • Barley Branded – Warm champagne beige
  • Gold Rush – Bright yellow metallic gold

Unlike with Maybelline’s Fall 2012 collection, the Spring 2013 Metal cream eye shadows are not limited edition. They are showing up in the likes of CVS, Target and WalMart. I am currently having fun testing these out and will post reviews as soon as I can.  I did not pick up Gold Rush as the bright yellow looks like death warmed over on my cool-toned skin.  However I can tell you that if you are medium-dark to dark-skinned, definitely pick up Inked In Pink and Barely Branded.  You’ll thank me later.

Any colors catch your fancy?

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Capri Eye Shadow Quad: The Rundown

Finally! I have gotten around to reviewing the Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzura Capri eye shadow quad from the delightful Summer 2012 collection. I’ve had a few weeks to road test this product and see how versatile it is and how the shadow formula behaves.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye Shadow Quad in Capri–French Riviera memories!

The Product Details

There are four (4) colors in this quad chosen to replicate a feeling of being in the French Riviera at summertime are as follow:

  • A shimmering ecru
  • A smokey brown
  • A satin pink
  • A semi-frosty peach coral

At first glance if you think you’ve seen a quad like this you probably have. MAC’s Call Me Bubbles quad that came out for Spring 2012 for Shop MAC/Cook MAC is almost identical at first glance. But unlike with MAC’s quad, I found all four colors in the Guerlain palette to be buttery smooth with amazing color payoff. More often than not I got too much product on the application with less effort than with my MAC shadows. For darker-skinned beauties NC/NW40+, these colors will definitely work for you however I would suggest using either a white eyeshadow on the lid, or a light color eyeshadow pencil such as Make Up For Ever’s Shadow Pencil in Pearly Peach (26E) or Urban Decay’s 24/7 Shadow Pencil in Sin.

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Guerlain’s new eye shadow palette by Emilio Pucci–Great for everyday!

The palette seems like it is all warm colors but there is enough neutrality for it to look nice on all skintones. Even with my screaming red undertones all of colors complimented me very well and I found myself reaching for this palette more often than not. Out of all of the colors, the cool dusty brown and peachy orange are my favorites for a surprisingly wearable summer smokey eye. The pink color is nice but as I have the Les Roses palette and this one is more matte, I use to enhance the peachy orange shade moreso than on its own. The beige color is fabulous as a highlighter or a light wash of shimmery ercu across the lids.

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (no flash/HDR)

I would highly suggest using the included custom applicator to apply the shadow. My MAC brushes didn’t seem to play very well with this. And if you have oily eyelids as I do, definitely use an eyeshadow primer like Too Faced Shadow Insurance and a cream shadow as a base such as MAC’s Quite Natural or Painterly paint pots, or Maybelline’s Color Tattoo 24hr cream shadow in Tough as Taupe or Pomegranate Punk. Total weight by volume of all four shadows is .24 oz which is a very healthy amount compared to MAC’s usual .17 oz total weight for a quad.

Final Recommendation

While the price point is quite high ($59), the different finish of the case and quality of the eyeshadows (and big mirror in it) more than qualify the price. For women of color, the shadows do not turn ‘ashy’ but to make them pop I would suggest using a cream shadow underneath either a few shades lighter than your coloring or use a white shadow pencil. All colors are easily blendable and while this pallete is showcased for Summer, it is a lovely one to have year-round for olive to dark-skinned beauties.

The Guerlain by Emillio Pucci Capri eye shadow palette is a limited edition item and is available at Nordstrom, Sephora.com and NeimanMarcus.com

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Back of Capri eyeshadow palette by Guerlain by Emilio Pucci

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The velvet sleeve for the eye shadow palette–a true identifier of luxury cosmetics

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Eye shadow quad – Flash

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Guerlain by Emilio Pucci swatches from bottom: Kohl Kajal, Eye shadow palette (flash)

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Deborah Lippmann Mirrored Chrome Finish Lacquer: The Rundown

How intense are the new Deborah Lippmann Mirrored Chrome finish polishes? So intense that each time I open a bottle of it I hear the legendary Grace Jones belting out, “Pull up to the bumper, baay baayyy!”. Don’t know the song? I suggest watching the below clip first:

As regular readers will know, I’ve already posted a preview of these polishes. I’ve had a little while to play with the three colors of this collection which are Sugar Daddy, Private Dancer and Swagger Like Us. So let’s pull up to these chrome bumpers, shall we?

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Deborah Lippmann’s new Chrome finish polishes in Sugar Daddy, Private Dancer and Swagger Like Us.

Sugar Daddy (antiqued champagne/mirrored chrome)

A sweet, young light pinkish beige chrome with eyecatching pink shimmer. This has more of a warm yellow cast as compared to the cooler pink cast of Glamorous Life. For those who want the chrome look but not so ‘in your face’ this is the color for you. It is opaque in two coats but I think it looks darling with just one light coat on the nails. Definitely a great color choice for a conservative office, church services or the bride wearing a cream-colored gown who wants her nails to look just a little bit different than the usual.

Private Dancer (gilded ultra violet /mirrored chrome)

This deep purple shade is efinitely darker than Wicked Game without the green duochrome.  Even without the duochrome it has a wicked chrome finish that will appeal to purple polish fans. As nice as this is, it just can’t compete with Baptiste by Illamasqua (hardly any metallic finish purple nail can). Still, this is more violet where where Baptiste is more purple. Still I had to have this color as the name reminds me of a song by one of my favorite rockers, Miss Tina Turner.

Swagga Like Us (oxidized copper teal (mirrored chrome)

At first glance this Chrome finish shade reminds me a little of Chanel Peridot but upon closer inspection Chanel Peridot reflects more green while Swagger Like Us is more copper-teal.  In addition to the finish, it is  because of this close comparison which makes this color my favorite out of the three.  For those who hauled the color en masse, Chanel Peridot is definitely unique and eyecatching, and so is Swagger Like Us. Wear this color with your favorite pair of jeans and heels for a casual yet edgy appeal and ‘swagga’.

In Conclusion

In general, all three colors perform as well as I’ve come to expect from Deborah Lippmann.  As with her other metal finish polishes I own, drying time is speedy and the finish is eyecatching.  If you’re a shiny metal polish junkie like me, you’ll want these for your stash.  Definitely consider using one of her topcoats to punch up the shine and wear.  Deborah Lippmann polishes usually wear about a week on me with some tip wear but absolutely no major flaking or peeling.

The Chrome polish collection from Deborah Lippmann retails for $18 each for .4oz bottle and is available at Bloomingdales , NeimanMarcus.com and LippmannCollection.com.

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Deborah Lippmann’s Glamorous Life vs. Sugar Daddy (no flash/HDR)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Glamorous Life vs. Sugar Daddy (flash)

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Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (no flash/HDR)

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Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (flash)

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Private Dancer Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (no flash/HDR)

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Private Dancer Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (flash)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Wicked Game vs Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (no flash)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Wicked Game vs Sugar Daddy Chrome Finish nail lacquer by Deborah Lippmann (flash)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Swagga Like Us Chrome Lacquer (no flash/HDR)

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Deborah Lippmann’s Swagga Like Us Chrome Lacquer (flash)

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Chanel Peridot vs. Swagga Like Us by Deborah Lippmann (no flash/HDR, fashion kitteh in background)

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Chanel Peridot vs. Swagga Like Us by Deborah Lippmann (flash, fashion kitteh in background)

Preview: Deborah Lippmann Mirrored Chrome Nail Polishes

Let me just give a HUGE shout-out to Neiman Marcus customer service. These polishes would up shipping way earlier than planned and were headed straight for my old address. One call to NM and they were rerouted safely to my new doorstep.

And here are photos and swatches of these new chrome finish colors from Deborah Lippmann! Review to follow at a later date but let me just say if you are a fan of the metal finishes, you need these in your stash. They are now available for order at NeimanMarcus.com and LippmannCollection.com.

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Deborah Lippmann's new Chrome finish polishes in Sugar Daddy, Private Dancer and Swagger Like Us.

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From top: Sugar Daddy, Private Dancer and Swagger Like Us. 2 coats.

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Deborah Lippmann Chrome Finish polish in Sugar Daddy

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Deborah Lippmann Chrome Finish polish in Private Dancer

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Deborah Lippmann Chrome Finish polish in Swagger Like Us

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butterLONDON Spring 2012: The Rundown

Spring 2012 has indeed sprung for butterLONDON. Check out the display I saw at Ulta Beauty this past week:

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Butter London's Spring 2012 Polishes displayed at Ulta Beauty

butterLONDON’s Spring 2012 consist of the following shades (description from butterLONDON.com):

  • Disco Biscuit — Tropical hot pink with an undercurrent of tiny iridescent glitter particles.
  • Trout Pout — An opaque shade of cantaloupe, pale and retro.
  • Slapper — A truly teal lacquer, bold and very bright.
  • Bossy Boots — Light, opaque pistachio green. A beautiful take on neutral for this season.
  • Knackered — A sheer, twinkling oyster shade flecked with micro glitter particles.

I picked up Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit because those colors personally appealed to me. I passed on Slapper as I already have Artful Dodger, Deborah Lippmann’s To The Beach and Sally Hansen’s Brisk Blue. Trout Pout is a color I think to be easily dupeable. Knackered almost got me to buy it but I’d already picked up Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid’s Dream.

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Two of butterLONDON's Spring 2012 offerings: Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit

Disco Biscuit is bright, pink and has glitter so I had to pick it up even though I wasn’t pleased with butterLONDON’s glitter polishes of late. It goes on sheer yet bright and takes about 3 coats to reach some opacity. And by some I mean I still had the dreaded VNL (Visible Nail Line) after all that. I honestly feel this color would work better over a bright white or pink cream polish first to solve the VNL problem but even by itself it is a fun color to wear. As pretty as it is, even with a base and top coat (butterLONDON’s Tops & Tails set) I had tip wear the first day and chipping the second day (more insight to follow at the end of this review).

Now you know me being the geek that I am I had to find out what Disco Biscuit meant, right? Turns out it’s something to keep you ‘dancing at the disco’. So this could range from a cup of Starbucks, a can of Red Bull or something to get you in hot water with local law enforcement and/or the DEA.

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Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. 3 coats with flash.

Bossy Boots is a nice interpretation of a neutral color. Unfortunately it does remind me of the linoleum floor my Memaw had in her 1950’s style kitchen in North Florida. Still, the pastel looks very nice as a contrast against dark skin like mine though because it has more of a yellow undertone instead of blue, the color looks a bit washed out next to my skintone.  Regardless,  I got lots of compliments on the color. Most folks thought it was OPI and had never heard of butterLONDON until I informed them of it. It is lighter than Illamasqua’s Milf which is a deeper pastel green with blue undertones. While the first coat was streaky (a usual hazard with most cream polishes) and it took about 3 coats to make the finish look even. Another ding against the color is it started to chip after two days and chip like crazy it did.

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Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. 2 coats with flash.

So by now you probably think my opinion is that butterLONDON is a lousy polish. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am very, very, very hard on my nail polishes as I type over 120wpm (which causes crazy shear forces on the nail edge), am constantly typing all day (a hazard of working as an Software Engineer/Business Analyst), use a lot of hand sanitizer as I am a serious germaphobe, then add to that the usual daily hazards and my nail situation is, to put it in statistical terms, an outlier. I’m in the tail to the right of the bell curve. Because of my occupation and personal habits I need a nail polish that performs above and beyond the norm. butterLONDON polishes are very pretty, very trendy and have a great color assortment but the consistency across formulas is not there…yet. I love my frost finishes (Wallis and Fairy Lights wear like iron), have a love-hate relationship with the others (Artful Dodger, Tart With A Heart, Black Knight), and you will have to pry the gorgeous pearly blue-gray Lady Muck from my cold, undead fingers.

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I'm not a bug, I'm a feature! :-)

The truth is, butterLONDON polishes need more work on the wear longevity across the range before I can recommend them against the likes of Illamasqua. Illamasqua is the same price (though not as widely available in brick and mortar locations) yet out of the 20+ polishes of theirs I own I have yet to run across one that chips as easily as my butterLONDON polishes I’ve indicated. And cheaper brands such as Sally Hansen and even the awesome indie brand Cult Nails have a longer wear time under my use conditions. So until the consistency improves (and I will continue to buy colors that appeal to me), I wil consider this line to be in ‘Beta’–which in software geek lexicon means the code is right but it’s not ready for use by the general public until the ‘bugs’ are worked out.

butterLONDON polishes retail for $14 USD and are available at Ulta Beauty boutiques and online store, SkinStore.com and Beauty.com. Skin Store has a lot of 20% off sales so definitely check that site out first for butterLONDON polishes to see if they have the color that sparks your interest.

So what have your experiences with this polish line been?  Ping me in the comments!

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Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. Pretty but a very 'dupeable' color.

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Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. A pretty tropical pink with sparkles.

Shop MAC / Cook MAC Lipsticks: The Rundown

My mission was to get three of the lipsticks from the Shop MAC collection. I managed to pick up Watch Me Simmer (Amplified) and Quick Sizzle (Matte). Dish It Up (Lustre) I’m waiting on to arrive as it is on backorder from Nordstrom.com. As soon as I receive it I will post the review here.  This collection is on sale in North America right now and scheduled for International release in March of 2012.

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Get ya Shop MAC on!! And don't forget the 1980's Dynasty hair!

Quick Sizzle (Matte) is a surprisingly smooth pink-fuchsia lipstick. It goes on much nicer than MAC’s usual dry matte texture lippies I skip on general principle. Whatever smooth formula they put in the Iris Apfel collection matte lipsticks (of which I have a few and I love them) it’s obvious it’s been used in this shade. But like all matte lipsticks you need to make sure your lips are well hydrated/exfoliated or else this color will cling to every scrape, flake, bump, dent and pothole on your lips. It is very well-pigmented and quite stunning on cool skin tones. Quick Sizzle has more of a flat finish and more of a purple tinge as compared to Something New (Amplified/Stylishly Yours). Pink Pigeon (Matte/Iris Apfel) is definitely pinker and cooler in tone. The only lipstick color I can think of from the permanent range that comes close to this color is probably Girl About Town (Amplified) but it isn’t a matte finish.

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Shop MAC Lipstick in Quick Sizzle (Matte)

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On NW43 skin from left: Pink Pigeon (Matte), Quick Sizzle (Matte), Something New (Amplified)

Watch Me Simmer (Amplified) is well worth the hype behind its quick disappearance. A strong pink-coral, it is very pigmented and goes on smooth the way I’ve come to expect from all of the Amplified finish lipsticks I own from MAC. It is very easy to ‘overdo’ applying an Amplified lipstick so I advise using a lip brush if you are wary about this being too bright on your lips. This shade is pinker than my favorite coral lipstick of all time, Vegas Volt (Amplified/Permanent) so if you own Vegas Volt, picking up Watch Me Simmer won’t result in a duplicate. I’ve heard some people compare Watch Me Simmer to Full Speed (Sheen Supreme) and while it may look similar in the tube, on my NW43 skin it is obviously a more reddish-pink coral with more sheen. For me personally this shade of coral lipstick is more suited to cool skintones like mine where Vegas Volt seems to require I wear cooler-toned eyes to balance out the look.

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Shop MAC Lipstick in Watch Me Shimmer (Amplified)

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On NW43 skin from left: Vegas Volt (Amplified), Watch Me Simmer (Amplified), Full Speed (Sheen Supreme)

Of the two lipsticks, Watch Me Simmer is definitely the most ‘on trend’ shade to have for Spring 2012. Unfortunately it is sold out in a lot of places. MacCosmetics.com has it as ‘coming soon’ so stalk the website if you haven’t gotten your hands on a tube yet. But if you can’t get this shade don’t worry–it’s scheduled to be repromoted in the upcoming So Reel / Reel Sexy collection scheduled for release in early April. Also try pairing Vegas Volt with a light to medium pink lipglass as a ‘color hack’ of Watch Me Simmer.

MAC Viva Glam Niki Minaj Lipstick: The Rundown

You know you’ve ordered too much MAC when you get a ‘private’ invitation to purchase this:

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MAC's Niki Minaj for Viva Glam lipstick

Described as a bright yellow-pink, this Satin finish lipstick is hip-hop artist Niki Minaj’s second collaboration with MAC (the first was the uber-fail hot mess known as Pink Friday). Benefiting those living with AIDS, this particular collaboration is part of the latest Viva Glam offering along with a lip conditioner ‘signed’ by Ricky Martin. Little side note: I went to junior high school w/ his stepsister when he was in Menudo. Yes, I know I am dating myself but I digress.

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Closeup of MAC Niki Minaj for Viva Glam (no flash)

Niki Minaj for Viva Glam is a very bright color which I feel is not easily wearable. It is definitely an ‘impact’ color so if you are looking for something daring, or if bright lipstick is already your style (I’m firmly in both camps) this color is right up your alley. On warmer skintones this color wouldn’t stand out as much as it would on cooler skintones. Compared to the closest lipsticks in color that I own, Niki Minaj for Viva Glam is more yellow than the porn-star pink of Pink Friday (Satin), which is cooler, and is lighter but still on the yellow side as compared to Chatterbox (Amplified).

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From left: MAC Chatterbox, Niki Minaj for Viva Glam, Niki Minaj Pink Friday (flash)

While I do like the color of this lipstick, as with most Satin finish lipsticks by MAC, I absolutely loathe the formula. Like with matte lipsticks if my lips are not completely smooth this stuff will wedge itself into every groove, crack and flake on my lips. It doesn’t feel very moisturizing and the wear time is much less than those of my beloved Amplified finish lipsticks. The use of a lip primer like MAC’s Prep + Prime or Too Faced’s Lip Insurance is a must before applying this lipstick. Using a lip pencil wouldn’t hurt either. This isn’t a must-have and I do think MAC has better bright yellow-pink lipsticks (Impassioned, Chatterbox) but the color is very nice and the proceeds go to a great cause.

Niki Minaj for Viva Glam retails for $14.50 is scheduled to go on sale to the general public on February 14th in most MAC locations and on MacCosmetics.com. All proceeds from the sale of this lipstick goes to the MAC AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS.

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From left: MAC Chatterbox, Niki Minaj for Viva Glam, Niki Minaj Pink Friday (no flash/HDR)

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MAC's Niki Minaj Viva Glam lipstick--not for the faint of heart!