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