Monday, February 28, 2011

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencils Spring 2011

Urban Decay has just announced the newest member of the 24/7 family: the 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil. The 12 shades of waterproof eyeshadow are new for Spring 2011 and I have them to review, so I'm going to do my best to show you how pretty they are!

Like their eyeliner counterparts, these come in pencil form with a shiny silver cap. They're chubby pencils, about twice the diameter of a 24/7 eyeliner. They are actual pencils (not twist-up/automatic) so will need to be sharpened, but if you have the Urban Decay Grindhouse sharpener, they fit perfectly in the large side.

The shades are:

Barracuda, black with silver glitter.

Clash, a bright aqua blue with a hint of green, iridescent sparkle and a subtle purple sheen.

Clinic, a medium blue-toned emerald green with shimmer and subtle silver sparkle.

Delinquent, an amazing jeweltone purple with iridescent sparkle.

Lit, a light bronzy gold shimmer.

Mercury, a grey-silver shimmer.

Midnight Cowboy, a light peachy-beige gold with silver microglitter, just like the powder eyeshadow.

Morphine, a light lilac purple with blue duochrome and shimmer.

Narc, a mossy, olivey yellow-toned green shimmer.

Rehab, a light brown/taupe shimmer.

Sin, a delicate champagne shimmer.

Wasteland, a chocolate brown shimmer.

And, on my arm, applied straight from the tube, no base:

Sin, Midnight Cowboy, Lit, Morphine. If you enlarge this, you'll be able to see the gorgeous glitter in Midnight Cowboy. Also note how awesome and glowy Morphine looks. It has really strong blue iridescence so it looks like it's glowing blue. It's amazing.

Delinquent, Clash, Clinic, Narc. I tried to capture the sparkle in these, you may need to view it full size to see it. Delinquent is incredible, look at that rich purple color and all that electric purple shimmer in it!

Mercury, Barracuda, Wasteland, Rehab. Barracuda really stands out here, doesn't it? I love that glitter. And I'm not sure if you can see it very well, but Rehab has a really pretty reddish-gold duochrome sheen to it. It's subtle, but when you catch it just right, it's so pretty.

The texture of these pencils is really similar to the 24/7 eyeliner. They're soft, silky and extremely smooth. They really do glide on, no tugging or skipping. They're very opaque and pigmented and you really don't need more than one or two swipes of color.

You can apply them as eyeliner or eyeshadow. You'd think with such a chubby pencil, you wouldn't be able to get a nice line, but that's not the case. The thickness of the tip actually makes a really even line that isn't too thick. If you prefer a super thin line, you can always sharpen the tip before using it to line.

I've been testing them out over the past week to see how they hold up, and these are a few of the ways I've used them:
(All of these looks use Too Faced Shadow Insurance as a base.)

This is Lit on the lid and on the lower lashline, a green Anastasia shadow in the crease, Delinquent as liner and a tiny bit of Clinic on the outer edge of the lower lashline. Isn't Delinquent amazing?

This is a silvery smoky eye using Lap Dance and Stilletto from the Too Faced Naked Eye palette and Urban Decay Delinquent 24/7 shadow as eyeliner. Seriously... just look at that purple! It's so awesome! I can't get enough of it.

This is Morphine on the lid with Kat Von D Prague (from the Truth palette) in the crease and on the lower lashline and MAC Blacktrack Fluidline as liner. Morphine has that amazing blue glow that I love all by itself, but it does something cool when you layer with it. When other shadows are layered over Morphine, they become duochrome! Prague is a matte formula, but you can see in this picture that it takes on a red pearl duochrome effect everywhere it touches Morphine.

Now that I've used these a few times, I have a few observations.

First and foremost, when they say 24/7, they mean it! This is by far the longest wearing eyeshadow I've ever used. At first I was afraid that they'd crease due to the creamy texture, but that is absolutely not the case. They are bulletproof. No amount of rubbing or sweating or crying or rain will make these run or crease. Once they're on, they're on. They're so hardcore that they're even a little hard to remove- they don't come off easily with soap and water. I'd recommend an oily makeup remover to take these off- I use pure jojoba oil.

Because of this long-wear formula, you have to work quickly. They set extremely fast. Faster than the 24/7 pencils. Because they set so fast and don't budge when they're dry, you can't really blend them. I've tried and failed. There's literally no time to try to smudge your lines or blend out the colors, and if you try to blend after they're starting to set, it causes some uncomfortable tugging on the lid. Lightning fast. That's why I'm sticking to using these as a lid color or a liner.

The slight tackiness/stickiness (disappears after a few seconds) of these when they're freshly applied makes them a great shadow base. You can lay down a base of 24/7 and then pat your powder shadow on top while the 24/7 is still sticky to intensify the colors and smudge/crease/fade proof them. Also makes a good base for glitter if you work quick enough!

These would definitely be ideal if you're a swimmer or for a trip to the beach since they're waterproof and they don't melt. One color as a lid color, another color as liner and some waterproof mascara. Pool-proof makeup.

Besides being totally waterproof and crazy long wearing, another advantage of the 24/7 Glide On Shadow is that there's no glitter fallout. This is especially pleasing to me, as I've had a love-hate relationship with Urban Decay's glitter shadows. I am extremely happy that they've made Midnight Cowboy into a pencil. In pencil form, you can enjoy all the glitter in the iconic Midnight Cowboy without it ending up all over your face. The glitter stays on your eyelids and doesn't budge. Very, very happy about this.

I'm someone who never uses cream or liquid shadows because they're a pain, but these have changed my mind. They're creamy but they don't crease! They're easy to apply- just scribble all over your eyelid and you're done. They make nice, bold, even lines as eyeliner and they stay on all day. They're not really blendable, so I personally can't use them as a crease color, but as a lid color and a liner, they're great.

My top picks? Delinquent and Morphine are my must-haves from this collection. Delinquent is the purple pencil I've been searching for all my life. It is pigmented, sparkly and very obviously purple. Morphine is just insanely cool and you know I can't resist a duochrome. Midnight Cowboy is another top pick because it's a perfect neutral lid color and unlike the powder version, the pencil has no glitter fallout. Mercury is also great for an extremely fast, easy smoky eye look.

All the colors are gorgeous, vibrant and sparkly but I have a soft spot for purples and glitter. I really hope they do more glitter shades! I'm hoping for the old version of Oil Slick with the rainbow glitter. I'd also love to see SWF, Goddess, Kiddie Pool, Uzi and the other Midnight shades in pencil form. One can dream...

Have you tried these? I want to know what your experience with them was.

They're available now on Urban Decay's website, Sephora and Ulta.

(These were sent to me for review.)

Playing with China Glaze Crackle Glaze again...

I did this mani that I really hated, but I didn't feel like taking it off and starting over. No matter what I layered over it, I still hated it... So I figured, why not add one more layer just to see what it looks like? I didn't necessarily love what I ended up with, but it was at least better. I photographed the evidence:

Here's me playing with China Glaze Fault Line and Broken Hearted. I don't remember everything it's layered over, but it included Milani Magenta Metal as the base and Sally Hansen HD in Byte on top of everything. I liked the subtle crackle effect of Fault Line with little glints of duochrome sparkle from Byte peeking through. Fault Line still doesn't crack as well as the other shades, but I did get it to crackle more this time by applying it over completely dry polish and waiting 5 minutes before applying topcoat.

This one I actually liked. It's China Glaze Lightning Bolt over the random pink polish mess. I love the way the glass fleck sparkles in Byte shine through the cracks of the white polish. White crackle is really neat. I want to do it over neon yellow... think I'll try that soon.

So, there's that. Just thought I'd share a few more layering combinations with the crackles. I'm still a bit obsessed with crackle. I don't think I've done more than one or two manis in the past month that haven't had crackle on them...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Kiss Catwalk Nails Collection Decals

You may remember me mentioning these Kiss nail decals in my Valentine's Day post. They deserve their own post, they're so great. They might have replaced those Fing'rs EDGE skull designs as my favorite decals...

The only name I can find on the package for this style is "Action" so I'm going to assume that that's what they're called. There's a number on the front, so that could also be the name of the style. I have no idea. But this is what they look like:

It comes with four sheets of decals. Each clear sheet containing the stickers is placed on top of a square of pink paper so it makes this pretty colored stripe effect in the package.

On the back of the package there are some ideas for combining decals to create new designs. There's also some really obvious directions.

Click this to enlarge. There are four distinct styles on each of the four sheets. Skulls, crosses, flowers, hearts, squiggles. The skulls are really cool because...

...When you look up close, the banner across the heart says "Rock, Kiss, Love" in hologram lettering! You may have to enlarge that picture to see it. The writing is SO SMALL, I'm amazed that they included that tiny detail. I love them for it, even though rock kiss love makes no sense.

Some of the decals have little metallic "gems" (they're really just flat shiny areas) on them in addition to the matte coloring, another nice touch.

Here I am wearing one of the floral-squiggle-gem decals over Trind Caring Color CC134 (I'll be reviewing this line soon!). The top picture is after a day and a half of wear, the bottom picture is freshly applied.

One thing that I really love about these decals is that the clear backing portion is 1) small and 2) really clear. This allows the design of the decal to be the main focus; you don't see a thick clear-ish outline around the design to distract you.

The decals are very thin and delicate but they also adhere really well, a fantastic combination. They lie completely flat, blend in with your polish perfectly and don't peel or curl up.

Honestly, I can't think of anything I don't like about these. I love the designs, the construction of the decals, the coloring, the packaging, the wear time and removal... They're just really damn good decals.

I guess I can think of one thing I don't like- the confusion about the name! Is the name 54031 or is it Action? Is it neither? What is the name?!

And maybe I suppose they're a little close to Ed Hardy territory, but whatever, they're awesome looking skull nail decals!

I don't remember where I got these... It was either Walgreen's or Meijer, but they sell Kiss decals everywhere so you shouldn't have a hard time locating them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Nubar Spring Garden Collection

Have you seen this yet? If not, I'll post it here...

I can't help but think of this Chinese restaurant I used to go to when I see the name! Now I'm hungry!

Click to enlarge, of course...

The Spring Garden Collection

Take a leisurely stroll down the Earthen path through The Spring Garden, the scent of Pink Lily in the air. The fresh colors of early Spring abound, with the soft green of the Baby Sprout, gentle shade of Blue Hydrangea, delicate Yellow Primrose, silky Purple Aster, fresh White Peony, and the lively Honeysuckle, each enhanced with the elegant sparkle of Dewdrop.

Always free of formaldehyde, phthalate and toluene, the nail lacquers in nubar's The Spring Garden Collection are:

1. Pink Lily – vibrant pink creme

2. Earthen – subdued earthen grey creme

3. Baby Sprout – soft pastel green

4. Blue Hydrangea – muted pastel blue

5. White Peony – ivory creme

6. Yellow Primrose – delicate pale yellow

7. Purple Aster – dusty pastel purple

8. Honeysuckle – cheerful honeysuckle

9. Dewdrop – fine glitter top coat

nubar nail lacquers feature an ergonomically designed cap and a 299 bristle brush built for comfort and performance.

Essie Spring 2011 Collection

Essie's spring collection is pretty nice this year. Take look:

Essie Coat Azure. This is closer to bottle color in real life; my camera makes it look more vibrant than it really is. It's a soft, dusty looking sky blue with some subtle silvery shimmer. It's in the same vein as Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H finish-wise, with the light blue dustiness and subtle shimmer, but the colors are quite different.

Essie French Affair. You've seen this one on me a few times now! A pink that I actually like. This one is different because it has a bit of lavender in it, it's not too warm like a lot of pinks, but it's also not so cool that it just looks purple. Pretty close to my idea of a perfect pastel pink creme.

Essie Kisses And Bisses. This one is hard to capture because it's so sheer, but I can describe it. It's a sheer ivory tinted base with a duochrome pearl shimmer. The shimmer flashes between red and pink at one angle to gold, orange and even a tiny bit of green at an extreme angle. It is sheer, I'm wearing four coats here, but it's amazing for layering:

Left to right (pinkie to index):
Essie Kisses and Bisses, two coats, over Essie French Affair
Essie Kisses and Bisses, two coats, over Essie Sand Tropez
Essie Kisses and Bisses, two coats, over Essie Nice is Nice
Essie Kisses and Bisses, two coats, over Essie Coat Azure

It looks awesome over all the colors in this collection. It turns the cremes into red-pearl duochromes! I think it looks especially incredible over Sand Tropez. This is my new favorite layering polish. Love this color.

Essie Nice is Nice. This one was a little hard to capture, it's not as blue as it looks here. It's closer to the sunlight picture. It's a pastel lavender creme. Very soft and flattering.

Essie Sand Tropez. This shade is a beige sandy nude creme. It has a little bit of grey, a little bit of taupe, very much a 'mushroom' type of shade. It's lighter than a lot of the taupey putty mushroom shades in my collection and I'm very fond of it. Especially layered with Kisses and Bisses!

Essie Topless and Barefoot. This one is similar in feel to Sand Tropez, but it's a pink, fleshy nude instead of beige. It's putty colored. Like someone said about Borghese Almondine, this totally reminds me of Silly Putty! Now I have the urge to play with Silly Putty. Especially since it looks so nice on my nails!

The formula on these was nice and even. I didn't have any issues with the formula itself, but the opacity isn't what I was expecting. They're not sheer, but lately when you see colors like this, they're one-coaters. These needed two at the very least, but I did three just because. They do look best with three. Drying time is quick and these wear pretty well, too.

Overall, strong spring collection. Are the colors totally unique? No, we've all seen these before. Despite not being completely unique, the colors are all perfect. They're just really great pastels. They all look good on and they're all even better layered with Kisses and Bisses. I would wear every single one of these (and I have worn them all but Topless and Barefoot!), they go perfectly with my skintone, none of the dreaded lobster hands. They all have a soft, creamy look instead of a chalky white-out look. I don't mind the chalky look at all, but the creamier finish of these is easier to pull off for most people.

I like 'em. Do you?

(These were sent to me for review.)