Archive for the 'eyeshadow' Category

Guerlain #407 Bal de Nuit Eye Shadow Palette Ombre Eclat Quad for ‘Imperial Holiday’ 2009 Review & Swatches

November 2, 2009

The Limited Edition Guerlain ‘Bal de Nuit’ Eyeshadow Palette for Holiday 2009 ($58) juxtaposes softness and intensity in a rich, smoky, luminescent quad of shadows to create a modern smoky eye for this holiday season.

The golden palette comes sheathed in a black boudoir-style pouch that wears the black lace logo present on almost all of the 2009 holiday pieces, and while the exterior is gorgeous, the interior is really a sight to behold!

See my close-up shots of the shadows, swatches, and more on the palette after the jump!

As you can see, the beautiful scroll design is carried through to the interior of the palette which houses 2 beautiful silver applicators. Even the housing for the shadows is unique – a shimmering midnight black that really highlights the shimmer in the shadows themselves.

Clockwise from the top left we have a shimmering white that contains the softest tinge of gold, a pale pale lingerie pink, the perfect shade of taupe and a deeper taupey brown. The top two shades run a little sheerer than the bottom two, which I’m sure comes as no surprise, but the lower two shades really pack quite a punch.

I’ve literally been using this palette non-stop since receiving it, primarily for some of the more formal events that I’ve been going to. All four shades are so classic that they’re really perfect for an elegant evening eye. I like to wear the white on the inner corner of my eyes, then sweep the pink all over, outline my outer V with the taupe (this is seriously the prettiest taupes I’ve seen and so so flattering!) and then finish with the brown as liner.

While the shades are definitely dupeable, I love having these four coordinating shades in one palette for easy portability. I’ve been wearing the Bal de Nuit quad layered over my Jill Stuart Jelly in Moon Shadow as a base (for some added shimmer and drama) and have been receiving so many compliments on my eyes as of late!

I wouldn’t say this is a must-have for those of you who already have shades that are quite similar to these (which I’m sure many of you do), but I definitely see the Bal de Nuit quad serving me well throughout the holiday season and beyond. I’ll be sure to be back with some Bal de Nuit EOTD’s for you to check out!

This product was a press sample sent to ABS by the lovely people over at Guerlain for blog consideration. Guerlain’s holiday collection is always amongst my favorites so needless to say I was absolutely ecstatic when Guerlain’s PR people reached out to little old me!

This review contains an affiliate link. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at

DEX Mineral Pressed Eyeshadow Review & Swatches

October 19, 2009
DEX Modern Minerals Mineral Pressed Eye Shadows ($18)

With insanely pigmented shadows ranging from pure shimmery whites to rich sparkling sapphires and available in both satins and mattes, DEX’s mineral pressed eyeshadows have risen amongst the ABS shadow ranks to become one of my favorites, and definitely the best mineral shadows that I’ve tried to date.

The shadows are fortified with the anti-aging DEX Peptide Complex which is supposed to diminish fine lines and wrinkles by promoting cellular turnover in your delicate eye area (and as an added bonus they’re both cruelty-free and paraben-free), and while I can’t say that I’ve noticed any anti-aging benefits from using these shadows (I don’t really have any upper-eye wrinkles so to speak), the shadows really are amazing in and of themselves.

The DEX Mineral Pressed Eyeshadows come in plastic clamshell form, and are meant to be popped into one of DEX’s many palettes (the one shown above will run you $10 and holds 4 shadows or 2 blushes or 1 blush and 2 shadows), making them eco-friendly as well.

Read on after the jump to find out why I love these so much and to check out the swatches!

  • Harlem Nights Sapphire: A seriously intense matte midnight blue that will knock your socks off. Amazing as a liner or as a smoked-out blue eye for evening.
  • Boat House Sky Blue: A matte baby blue with gray undertones. A little sheerer than the others but stunning layered over my Jill Stuart Eye Jellies.

  • Ms. Liberty Green: By far my favorite shade of the bunch, this olive green with golden pearl offers intense pigmentation and is just insanely flattering. I can wear it to work, for an evening out, and it plays so well with other shades. Plus I just love the name!
  • Off Broadway Copper: A pearled copper that’s reminiscent of a shiny new penny.

  • The Dakota Spice: A matte taupey milk chocolate that’s another one of my favorites. It makes for a fabulous understated smoky work eye.
  • Tudor City Plum: A plum with brown undertones and soft sheen to it. Honestly wasn’t too crazy about this particular shade on its own as the purple/brown mix just doesn’t work too well on me, but with a light dusting of Rockefeller Gold over it (see swatch below) it’s really pretty.

The Review: So I’m sure by now you’re wondering what it is about these shadows that makes them such a must-have for me. Well to me, a shadow is only as good as its texture and pigmentation, and these happen to be absolutely top notch. DEX’s mineral shadows are seriously outrageously pigmented (just a light tap is enough color for your whole eye and then some) and blend beautifully. I do wish that there were a few more fun shades available, but in terms of the quality of shades that they do carry, well I’d say I’m pretty wowed.

Swatches (L to R):
Tudor City Plum, Ms. Liberty Green, Boat House Sky Blue, Harlem Nights Sapphire

Swatches (L to R):
Penn Station Chocolate, The Dakota Spice, Rockefeller Gold, Off Broadway Copper

I’ve been wearing these almost exclusively since I received them, as not only as they intensely pigmented, but they’re also seriously crease- and fade-free shadows, meaning I can get away with not wearing any eyeshadow primer on a good day (which is unheard of as I have terribly oily eyelids). Plus I like knowing that I’m doing something good for my lids while prettifying them as well.

Availability: DEX Modern Minerals are available online at as well as at the Dex Beauty Atrium flagship location in NYC (224 West 30th Street). The line is also carried at select Maria Martin boutiques around the country and at PIR in Canada.

This review contains a press sample sent to ABS by the brand’s PR representative for blog consideration. If you have any questions regarding the foregoing, please feel free to contact me at

Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color Packaging: Old vs. New

October 7, 2009
New Packaging (left) vs. Old Packaging (right)

I’m a creature of habit and very very rarely do I do even remotely well with change. Case in point: when the Bloomies in SoHo decided to up and change their layout on me, moving things onto different floors and creating new departments and all that jazz, I stopped shopping there. I used to literally go there at least 2 – 3 times a week, but since the change I’ve been shopping elsewhere. I know it’s stupid and irrational, and the old layout probably wasn’t the most efficient, but what can I say, I don’t like change.

Which is why, while the shift in packaging on these Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Colors were initially disconcerting to me, I’m shocked to find that I actually quite adore the new, even girlier pot!

Older Jill Stuart Eye Jelly packaging (click for more photos).

I do miss the simplicity and sleekness of the old design, and how the top resembled a faceted jewel, but even an obstinate, change-hating person like me can recognize the beauty of the new design. Yes it’s a little frilly and a little more ornate than what I would have gone for, but it’s really pretty nonetheless.

Newer Jill Stuart packaging (click for more photos).

I love that they’ve kept the weighty glass bottoms to these little pots (they feel so great in your hands) but have added the scalloped edges for a little more aesthetic appeal. All in all, job well done packaging designers at Jill Stuart!

Up Close & Personal with Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color N in Platinum Satin

October 7, 2009
Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color N ($24)

While I love to babble about cosmetics with the best of them, the old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ really rings true when it comes to Jill Stuart cosmetics. These products are so unbelievably gorgeous that words really don’t do them justice, so for this morning I’ll be letting my photos do the talking for me. Hope you enjoy!

Interior view of JS Jelly Eye Color N in 03 Platinum Satin.

See more close-up shots and read just a few words after the jump!

Close-up of Platinum Satin in the pot.

03 Platinum Satin is a gorgeous, multi-dimensional champagne pink shade that can flash taupe in certain light that, per the usual Jelly Eye Color formula, has a delicious fruity scent and contains a multitude of shimmery bets. For a full review of the product see my initial Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color review. I love to layer these under shadows for more subtle shimmer, over them for some dramatic sparkle, and of course I also wear them on their own for a soft shimmery eye.

Photos of the other products I picked up during my Jill Stuart boutique visit coming shortly!

Availability: Currently only at the Jill Stuart boutique located at 100 Greene Street in NYC and via telephone by calling (212) 343-2300 (flat shipping rate of $15 ~ ouch!).

Up Close & Personal with Barbie Loves Stila Smudge Pot in Purple Pumps

September 28, 2009

Purple Pumps was the one Stila Smudge Pot I had my eye on (before I discovered the amazingness that is Little Black Dress) and so I was understandably disappointed when I noticed that the display at Sephora was missing the tester ~ but the wonderful Tori (of Charm Candy, a fabulous Juicy Couture Charm Resource) was sweet enough to send me a product photo and swatches. Have I mentioned lately that I absolutely adore my readers?

Swatch of Purple Pumps with flash.

Swatch of Purple Pumps sans flash.

It’s just as gorgeous as I’d imagined it would be (check out the enlarged shot of Purple Pumps in the pot by clicking the photo above – it’s got gorgeous flecks of glimmer in it) but I’ve still got my heart set on acquiring Little Black Dress. Not that I’d mind owning all three of these beauties!

Be sure to check out the rest of my Barbie Loves Stila collection swatches, and of course don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win the All Doll’d Up Palette and L’Oreal Telescopic Explosion Mascara!

MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics Mini Haul w/ Reviews & Swatches!

August 26, 2009

I’ve been attempting to stay as far away from MAC as I can get, as every time I step foot in a MAC store I seem to walk away with a bunch of things I hadn’t intended to buy, but last night I decided to indulge in a little MAC-therapy, mostly because I really wanted to check out the MAC Make-Art Cosmetics As Seen By Maira Kalman collection. I really loved how whimsical and fun all her shades were!

I came home with Crest the Wave eyeshadow (a shimmery yellow the color of sunshine) and Colour Matter Technakohl liner (a bright lime shade that’s already sold out online and pretty much sold out in stores as well) from the As Seen by Maira Kalman line and a lipglass in Peresonal Taste (a dirty pinky rose with pink and gold shimmer – heavy on the shimmer) from the As Seen by Richard Phillips collection.

Review, swatches, and close-ups of everything below!

I’ve been looking for that perfect yellow for a long time, and hopefully I’ve found it in Crest the Wave. It has a beautiful satiny texture, nice pigmentation and shimmer, and really brightens my eye area.

Close-up of Crest the Wave in the pan (this one I definitely recommend clicking to enlarge – it’s beautiful up close!).

This is my first MAC Technakohl Liner and definitely my first lime green eyeliner. They didn’t even have the tester of this out anymore, but I decided to give it a shot since this was one of the last two Colour Matters my MAC store had and my SA promised I’d love it. I wasn’t fully expecting to like it, nor was I expecting it to be as wearable as it is. Who knew that lime green liner is actually pretty easy to pull off? It’s not fluorescent/super bright but rather gives the eyes a nice bright yet not too crazy pop of color. Love this for my waterline.

Close-up of Technakohl Liner in Colour Matters.

I had absolutely no intention of picking up anything else, but then I had a sudden urge to purchase a gloss, which is how this happened =X. Not that I’m complaining, since Personal Taste is different enough from the other glosses I own that I can justify the purchase. It’s a soft rose shade interspersed with copious shimmer that’s beautiful on its own for a soft shimmery lip (it’s a little paler than my natural lip color so tones everything down a bit) or over a pink lipstick for an extra burst of shimmer. Regardless of how you choose to use this shade, under the right lighting the multi-dimensional shimmer will really captivate you.

Swatches: Crest the Wave (top left), Colour Matters (top right), Personal Taste (bottom)

Have you picked up anything from the trio of MAC Make-Up Art Cosmetics releases?

Yves Saint Laurent Water-Resistant Eyeshadow in Shade 2 Amethyst Grey Review & Swatches

July 13, 2009
Yves Saint Laurent Water-Resistant Eyeshadow/Fard Lumiere Aquaresistant ($28.50)
Yves Saint Laurent FARD LUMIÈRE AQUARÉSISTANT Water-Resistant Eye Shadow dresses the eyelids with long-lasting, luminous, and water-resistant color. The aqueous-gel texture feels fresh upon application and dries down to a shimmering veil of color that can be layered for a look that’s as intense as you desire. The air-tight pot keeps the formula moist so that every application looks fresh and luminous.

Not to be gross, but I quite easily have the oiliest eyelids known to man. I’m talking oiliness that eats through any and all shadows, primers, liners, mascaras, and anything else you could think of to apply to the eye area. So when it’s comes to claims of budge-proof, smudge-proof eye products I’m always simultaneously intrigued and skeptical.

I’ve been testing out YSL’s Water-Resistant Eyeshadow in Shade #2 Amethyst Grey during the hot, humid, and overall stinky weather we’ve been having as of late. Read on to find out how it holds up!

Photo with no flash. See the photo below to get a pretty good idea of what Amethyst Grey looks like in person.

The Packaging: I must say that I love the sleek square packaging YSL’s got going on here. The screw top makes for an air-tight seal, ensuring that the product within doesn’t end up all dry and desiccated, and the lucite-like bottom gives the product a refreshing, cooling look to it which goes along with the whole theme of a light, fresh-feeling shadow that meant to hold up to splashing in the water. The brush that comes with this shadow stinks though, which was expected.

Close-up of Amethyst Grey in the pot.

The Color: Based upon Sephora’s swatch I was expecting a light lavendery amthyst hue with just a hint of underlying gray to it, and so was really disappointed upon opening up my pot to see this quivering blob of dark taupey gray matter looking back at me. But once I got past my initial chagrin, I succumbed to the prettiness that is Amethyst Grey. The shade is comprised of a light to medium grey with flashes of lilac that really makes for a beautiful, soft daytime smoky look, and the color really is buildable from just the sheerest wash of gray to a more pigmented lavender/grey with much more depth to it. Amethyst Grey has some soft shimmer and sheen to it and makes for an entirely appropriate work look.

Swatch of Amethyst Grey – it’s tough to capture on camera because of the sheen.

The Formula: YSL’s Fard Lumiere Aquaresistants are rather pricey at $30+ after tax, but the formula is spot on and really lives up to its name. Once dry this water-resistant formula truly resists all any smearing, smudging, creasing, and other unpleasantness all day and night without the aid of any base or primer.

The texture of Fard Lumiere is akin to a light whipped eyeshadow, albeit a bit more liquidy that I’d expected, and it applies easily and blends well using a smudge brush (or pretty much any dense brush you have lying around). I checked my eyelids periodically throughout the day and there wasn’t a crease to be seen for the 15 hours that I wore this — pretty remarkable I’d say!

I took a photo of my eye with only the YSL shadow in Amethyst Grey on so you can get an idea of what this looks like on the eye, although as I mentioned it’s very hard to capture and not nearly as nice on film as it is in person:

And while I liked the look I felt that it was lacking a little extra oomph so I topped it with my Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color in Moon Shadow (review HERE) which is essentially a much lighter, much much sparklier version of Amethyst Grey for some added fun:

The Conclusion: While YSL’s Water-Resistant Eyeshadow wasn’t 100% what I was expecting it to be, I’m really loving the formula and the ease of use. Most morning I just don’t have time to apply an eyelid primer and then eyeshadow, nor do I have the energy to be checking on my eye makeup throughout the day to ensure that it isn’t creasing, so YSL’s new waterproof release kills to birds with one stone. While the shade range is disappointingly limited (four in all), I highly recommend these if you’re looking for some long-lasting color this summer!

EOTD’s Using Stila’s Charmed Eye Shadow Palette

June 22, 2009

Remember that rich, velvety looking Stila Charmed Eye Shadow Palette (see review & swatches HERE) I picked up the other night for only $10? Here are a few EOTD’s using it, as promised!

While I knew that it was pigmented, I didn’t really quite how pigmented it was until I attempted to use it. These shadows are intense! Up first is the somewhat boring subtle look I did for the office using the pinky bronze shade on the inner third of my eye and the turquoise shade along the outer 2/3. I used a very very light touch and this is what I got:

Of course I felt the need to try something a little more colorful today to take full advantage of both the palette and the fact that I had nothing to do on this dreary, rainy Sunday. I again used the pinky bronze on the inner third of my eye, the turquoise shade on the center third, and then I used my MAC Pink Pearl pigment (swatch HERE) on the outer V for a fun pop of color. Have I mentioned how much I love my Pink Pearl pigment? It’s one of those things I dread running out of!

I topped the look off by layering Fresh’s Firebird and Supernova mascaras and lining my waterline with Urban Decay’s 24/7 liner in Zero. I kept the rest of my face simple with some Bobbi Brown Skin foundation topped with my La Mer loose powder in translucent and some shimmery Chapstick.

Stila Charmed Eye Shadow Palette Review & Swatches

June 19, 2009
Stila Charmed Eyeshadow Palette ($10!!!)
Stila Charmed Eye Shadow Palette with 24 Karat Gold features four highly pigmented shadow shades—all infused with genuine 24kt gold. Long revered for its skin-revitalizing properties, this luxurious metal helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and creates a rich, shimmering effect. Create countless looks with these silky-smooth, wet-to-dry shimmer shadows.

Did anybody else stop by Sephora last night to take advantage of the $10 Stila Charmed Eyeshadow Palette going on? These aren’t the types of shades I’d usually go for, but I just couldn’t resist the cute packaging and the great price.

The Charmed Eye Shadow Palette consists of four velvety smooth, almost creamy feeling eyeshadows that are infused with 24K gold (they’re very similar to the shadows in the Precious Pearl Eyeshadow Palette which I reviewed HERE). They’re intense, pigmented, pack just the right amount of shimmer and glide on smoothly. The palette includes a deep pinky bronze, and bronze/gold, a deep shimmery turquoise and a plum black. I was expecting to love the deep purplely shade but sadly it’s my least favorite as it looks a little flat in person. It needs a little more shimmer or just maybe some more purple to give it an extra oomph.

Swatches of the Charmed Eye Shadow Palette

And close ups of the shadows in their pans. The 24K gold interpersed throughout really makes for some gorgeous shimmer.

Pinky Bronze

Golden Bronze

Deep Turquoise

Blackened Plum

I haven’t had a chance yet to put together an EOTD, but once I do I’ll be sure to post if it’s halfway decent. What do you think of this palette? Was it worth the $10?

Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color in 09 Moon Shadow Review & Swatches

April 23, 2009
Jill Stuart Jelly Eye Color in Moon Shadow

Yet another gorgeous item that Cathy picked up for me from Japan (check out the rest of my haul HERE). I probably never would’ve chosen these for myself as I tend to avoid cream/non-powder shadows, but having tried this one I find myself wanting to amass more shades.

Jill Stuart’s Jelly Eye Colors are just that–jelly. Unscrew the gorgeous, solidly weighted glass & metal jar (which by the way has the letter J etched on top–it’s like this was made for me! =P) to reveal some deliciously floral-scented, jiggly, shimmery, glittery goodness inside. The whole glob of shadow jiggles like jello!

I’ve found that the best way to apply the Jelly Eye Colors is with your finger. The colors are most definitely sheer, but you can definitely build up a few layers for more opaque coverage. And just be forewarned that if you’re not a fan of shimmer or glitter, you’re going to hate these as the sparkle is rather intense.

Moon Shadow is a really gorgeous, multi-dimensional shade that I’ve grown to love. At first glance it looks to be a shimmery pale silvery/gray that borders on almost being white, but turn it this way and that and you’ll see it reflect pink, blue, and a rainbow of other shades~it’s a true chameleon!

Close-Up of Moon Shadow in Pot

Moon Shadow Jelly Eye Color works well as a stand alone glittery pale silver shade, but I also love to layer it under other shadows for added shimmer and staying power. Once dry these are decently creaseless, although if your eyelids are as oily as mine, you may notice a little movement/migration after a few hours.

The above photo contains two swatches of Moon Shadow: the top is what the Jelly Eye Color looks like when applied very sheerly, the bottom swatch is after another layer and less blending. And the swatch below is of Moon Shadow in different lighting–see how it changes colors? So pretty!

I really love everything about Jill Stuart products, from the embossed pretty pink boxes to the weighty faceted metal/glass and the delicate floral scent that emits from the makeup. The Jelly Eye Colors are definitely very heavy on the shimmer/glitter-factor so they’re definitely not for everybody, but if you’re as big a fan of glitter as I am, you’re sure to love these.

What Jill Stuart’s Jelly Eye Color in Moon Drop looks like on (using one quick swipe):

I’m also wearing this eyeshadow in my Fairy Drops Mascara Review which you can find HERE (long story short it’s a fabulous mascara with a really cool applicator for a great price!) so click on over!

Unfortunately these are pretty hard to come by stateside, and if you do happen to find them, you’ll be paying a decent mark-up, but if you do happen upon them at a decent price, snatch them up they’re beautiful!