Friday, September 30, 2011

Smashbox Glam Box 9 - Luxe Metallics Kit Fall 2011

Smashbox has a new kit out for fall and it's so ridiculously pretty. The theme of the kit is Luxe Metallics, so each shade has a little bit of sparkle or metallic shine to it. I think the star of the show is the amazing looking Fusion Soft Lights, but I'll get to that in a minute. The name of the kit is Glam Box 9 Luxe Metallics and is limited edition.

The Luxe Metallics kit is really packed with stuff. Everything you need for a complete look, from shadow to liner to mascara, even an eyeliner brush to go along with the gel liner in the kit.

Full size Smashbox Eyelights Quad in Luxe.

Full size Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Luster. Can NOT get over how pretty this thing is. It is actually faceted like a gemstone!

Mini (4ml / .14 fl oz) Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black.

Full Size Smashbox Blush Rush in Surge.

Mini (4.2 ml / 0.14 fl oz) Lip Enhancing Glosses in Gilded Nude and Rose Quartz.

Full size Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Liner in Vamp, plus Smashbox Arced Liner Brush #21.

Swatches over bare skin (no primer):

Eyelights Quad in Luxe. A brassy gold metallic, a plum-bronze metallic, a pale rose gold metallic and a soft ivory satin.

Fusion Soft Lights in Luster. All shades blended together apply as a sheer golden wash.

Blush Rush in Surge (applied very heavily). A sheer hot pink matte with a hint of coral.

Lip Enhancing Gloss in Rose Quartz and Gilded Nude. Please enlarge these; Rose Quartz has the most unbelievable rainbow (possibly even holographic) shimmer in it, you have to see it!

Jet Set Waterproof Liner in Vamp. Vamp is a dusty greyed purple matte with tiny iridescent shimmer.

Here's a look I did using a few of the products:

This is:
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Smashbox Luxe Eyelights Quad, rose gold shade on lid
Smashbox Luxe Eyelights Quad, plum bronze shade in crease and on lower lashline
Smashbox Luxe Eyelights Quad, ivory shade on browbone
Smashbox Jet Set Waterproof Liner in Vamp applied with Smashbox #21 brush
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara in Jet Black

If you look closely at the second (blurred) picture, you can see the little multicolored microshimmer in the Vamp eyeliner.

My thoughts?

I'm really impressed with the Eyelights shadow quad. It's absolutely nothing like that Smashbox Classifeyed palette I tried a while back.... They don't even seem like they're from the same planet, let alone the same brand. The Luxe Eyelights quad is nicely pigmented, goes on super smooth and shiny (love the metallic finish), blends well without becoming muddy, not a lot of fallout, wears well... I like pretty much everything about it. Maybe I really do like Smashbox eyeshadows.

The Fusion Soft Lights in Luster is amazing. It was painful for me to disturb that beautiful design to swatch it. It's so beautiful to look at, all that texture and sparkle. It's nice on the skin, too; it adds just a subtle warm glow without looking glittery or greasy. I've always liked the Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights, so no surprise there.

The two glosses, Rose Quartz and Gilded Nude are pretty nice. Rose Quartz is obviously my favorite of the two due to the fantastic rainbow sparkle. It's a sheer gloss, but that sparkle is just too awesome. Rose Quartz also seems to have a bit of a vanilla scent to it. Gilded Nude is nice, it too has some pretty sparkle, but Gilded Nude's sparkle is just gold, not rainbow. It has a faint cinnamon-like scent. I like the formula of both. Smashbox glosses are smooth and almost a little slippery, not thick or sticky at all.

The mascara was pretty good for me. I like that style of brush. It gave me pretty good volume and length and didn't flake on me. I believe it's supposed to have fibers in it like my favorite Urban Decay lash primer. It also contains all sorts of moisturizing ingredients like olive oil, panthenol (aka provitamin B5) and cholesterol (!). I like it enough to finish the tube, and I'd probably buy it in full size if it wasn't $19.

The blush I didn't really care for. I only tried using it once, but it was really powdery and sat on top of my skin instead on blending in like the Soft Lights do. I like the color and I like that it's sheer, but it's too talc-y / dusty. I'll have to try it again with a different brush.

The liner was good- very easy to apply, nice color, waterproof is just a bonus. It has a very firm texture, much firmer than a MAC Fluidline or Stila Smudgepot, but this is really good for doing winged liner cause it's so much harder to mess up with a stiff formula like this.

The brush wasn't the quality I had expected from Smashbox. Smashbox brushes have been some of my favorites ever since I bought my first brush from them. This #21 liner brush has scratchy bristles and isn't precise. The bristles aren't tight; they don't come to a point or taper. It just kinda poofs out at the end. It's fine for applying the Jet Set liner because it's so thick, but for applying a thinner texture liner, it's terrible. Since the bristles are rough and splayed out, the brush doesn't give a fine line and it can't draw a clean point. This one is made in China and doesn't resemble any of my other Smashbox brushes in terms of quality.

Overall, I really love the makeup items in the kit. The shadows are excellent, the glosses and Soft Lights are gorgeous and the liner is a unique color with an easy application. It's not pictured here, but this kit comes with instructions for creating two different looks using the products in the set. I haven't tried them yet, but they look really pretty on the models.

This kit is $68 ($190 value) and is available directly from Smashbox .

(This was sent to me for review.)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Leaves Mani

Can I quickly share with you the stamping design I'm wearing today? 'Cause I'm really liking it. And I actually remember what I used this time!

This is a base of SpaRitual Howl (three coats) with Bundlemonster plate BM04's leaf design stamped in China Glaze Hi-Tek. I did the other hand a little differently to see which way I liked it better:

This way the leaves are facing up, but the other way the leaves are tilted. I think I like the first way better because it looks like the leaves are blowing in the wind and falling to the ground.

September has been fantastic. It went by way too fast and I'm a little sad to see it go. But, like I always say, I wish it was October all year round, so I'm ready for it!

Maybelline Eye Studio Color Explosion Luminizing Eyeshadow in Amethyst Ablazed

Not to long ago I posted a review of that Maybelline Color Explosion Pink Punch palette and didn't really care for it... Yet, for some reason I decided to buy all but one of the Color Explosion palettes anyway? Okay, it was for the awesome glitter, but still... stupid decision. Anyway, here's another one of the Maybelline Color Explosion palettes- this one's called Amethyst Ablazed.

Maybelline EyeStudio Color Explosion Luminizing Eyeshadow Palette in Amethyst Ablazed.

Man, that looks SO PRETTY, doesn't it? Can't deny how insanely gorgeous this looks in the palette.

Here it is swatched heavily over Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion.

And here's a look I did using it:

I used the light shade on the inner lid, medium shade on the rest of lid and in the crease and on the lower lashline and the glitter on the center and inner lid with Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy.

This palette is slightly better than the Pink Punch in terms of color payoff, but I still don't think it's good. It's patchy as hell no matter what primer I use it over and the colors just don't want to stick to the skin or blend at all. You can see how patchy it looks on my eye up there. The glitter is really the best part of this palette. It's amazing; it has silver and pink and blue and purple and it goes well with pretty much anything... So at least the $10 I spent on this palette isn't a total waste.

This is honestly some of the worst quality drugstore shadow I've used in years. After my shockingly good experiences with Wet n Wild and L'Oreal HIP, I had assumed that all drugstore brands had improved their formulas, but I guess I was wrong!

But, if you think the Maybelline palette is beautiful, take a look at this...

This is the Lancôme Color Design palette in Amethyst Glam. They look pretty similar, don't they? In fact, all the Maybelline Color Explosion palettes seem like dupes of the Lancôme Color Design palettes. Except... the Lancôme palette rocks. Sure, it's like $30 more than the Maybelline, but it actually is good instead of just looking good.

Ah, well... at least I'll get a lot of use out of the glitter. Should I even bother reviewing the other Color Explosion palettes I bought? I already took pictures and swatched them but haven't felt like writing anything about them...

Nubar Moonshadow

Took a little bit of a break from posting my Nubar duochromes... But here's another one that I love a whole lot. Only a few more left to post!

Nubar Moon Shadow. This is one amazing looking multichrome polish. It starts off purple but then flashes through a range of colors. Bronze, red, orange, gold, green. Really, really cool.

Last time I was on Nubar's website I didn't see this listed, but I did see a polish called Moon Eclipse that looked kinda similar... I don't have that one. Anyone know if they did a little name change, or if Moon Eclipse is a completely different polish altogether?