Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Suqqu Kaoribara 20 Eyeshadow Palette

I've tried a few Suqqu palettes now and have only wound up keeping one: limited edition EX-21. That's not a great track record for such pricey palettes, so with this one, Kaoribara, also being a disappointment, I think I may be done with the brand. I know that Suqqu shadows are supposed to be sheer, but if you look at the swatches above, I hope you agree that this goes beyond the level of acceptable. The palette includes a white cream base, a burgundy, golden peach, and cool silver taupe.  The cream base was fine but the colored powder shadows were so weak as to be barely perceptible on the lid. Especially disappointing was the burgundy shade, which appeared so vibrant in the pan. Of course, being this sheer, they don't last well at all, even with primer. I also found it very challenging to create any varied looks because they just blend together on the lid into something muddy. I can get some definition by really layering on the same color, but quite honestly, that's a pain in the butt, and I much prefer the other eyeshadows in my collection.  A big, fat, BOO, Suqqu.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Review: Ava Luxe Love's True Bluish Light EDP

Sometimes I'm just in the mood for something sweet and simple. Ava Luxe's Love's True Bluish Light fills that need. At its heart, this is a vanilla scent. And it is sweet, so if you are snobby about sugar, you've been warned. What I find unique about Love's True Bluish Light is its milky aspect. It brings to mind notes of sweetened condensed milk swirled with pure white cane sugar. There is vanilla, yes, but it is custardy vanilla rather than floral or syrupy. I bought this in the eau de parfum - she also sells an extrait - and it is incredibly tenacious. Two sprays last all day and would probably go longer if I didn't feel the need to shower daily.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Chanel Le Stylo Eyeshadow in Olivine and Campanule

 Top: Campanule, Bottom: Olivine

So enamored am I of my Chanel Le Stylo Eyeshadow in Laurier Rose that I bought two more, even though they are colors I don't normally wear. Then again, Laurier Rose is certainly not my norm, either!  Campanule is a bright blue lavender while Olivine is flat sage green. Both are surprisingly matte.  Given the gorgeous shimmer of Laurier Rose - see photo below for comparison - I was expecting colors with more impact.

There are other ways in which Campanule and Olivine seemed to fall a bit flat to me. They are a touch dry feeling and do not glide as easily onto the lids as Laurier Rose. They also got a bit streaky when I tried to blend them.  Overall, I was disappointed enough to send them back - if one is paying Chanel prices, one expects excellence.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Burnished Copper

Squee! My first Tom Ford cream eyeshadow.  I held out buying any for a long time because the best colors always seemed to sell out with every release, and they are so damn expensive ($42) I was bound and determined to get THE RIGHT ONES!  So this season, I preordered Burnished Copper and the much lauded Platinum. Platinum hasn't arrived yet, but of course I could not wait to dig into my Burnished Copper.  The shade is a lovely neutral.  Not really a copper at all, frankly, but rather an antiqued cool toned mossy bronze with some shimmer. It can be sheered out or layered for more intensity (see swatches above). I find that it applies nicely to the eyes and does indeed feel quite creamy.  It's very easy to blend.  The disconcerting thing is, I couldn't really get it to "set" so it did migrate a bit throughout the day.  On the other hand, that does make it easy to do my eye looks because I don't need to rush to work with it before it becomes impermeable. Longevity is surprisingly good for a cream eyeshadow that doesn't set and, weirdly, I get about the same results with and without primer.  With other cream eyeshadow, I often like to use them as a base for powder, but this is simply too slippery for that to be effective for me. It creates creasing and messiness. I think these are definitely best used on their own.  Are they nice?  Yes.  Will I purchase any more?  Probably not.  While lovely, I simply can't see how the performance justifies the price.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Pinrose Perfumes

Nordstrom sells a sampler pack of Pinrose fragrances that I couldn't resist. It's around $20 and the samples are--somewhat annoyingly--little moistened pads that are individually wrapped. I would have preferred glass vials. However, they do thoughtfully include 2 packets of each fragrance so you can test each one twice.  Here are some brief reviews of each fragrance:

Pinrose Eau de Parfum: Rose that is somehow jammy and powdery at the same time. A hint of suede and clove.
Campfire Rebel Eau de Parfum: Aptly named, as this is smooooooky.  Lots of burning embers and oud and vetiver.
Moonlight Gypsy Eau de Parfum: Musty, almost milky sweetness with a bit of cardamom in the opening. Woods more apparent in the drydown, with patchouli and gaiac.
Cuddle Punk Eau de Parfum: Sweet and plasticky vanilla with delicate apricot undertones
Tambourine Dreamer Eau de Parfum: Very high-pitched lily of the valley with an odd, jarring dash of tropical ylang ylang
Pillowtalk Poet Eau de Parfum: Rather abrasive powdery musk kept from going too baby powderish with a dose of amber. Gets a bit sweeter as it dries down.
Merry Maker Eau de Parfum: Lots of tart nectarine. Fruity but not sweet.
Treehouse Royal Eau de Parfum: Sultry greenness. Lots of fig in the opening, jasmine and moss grow stronger in the drydown.  This is a hit for me and is going on my to-buy list.
Garden Gangster Eau de Parfum: Blast of bitter citrus, very lime-y, with a soapy drydown
Secret Genius Eau de Parfum: Very pleasant floral vanilla with a hint of sandalwood and burnt sugar, but very, very faint

Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: NYX Lip Liners in Purple Rain and Nude Pink

I really like NYX Lip Liners - see my first review of this one in Nectar - and so was very excited when I bought something else from a blog sale recently and the dear lady sent me these two NYX liners in Nude Pink (left swatch) and Purple Rain (right swatch). Nude Pink is a medium nude pink with a matte finish; I took to it right away. Purple Rain scared me a bit with its vibrant cool purple.  I found applying to the lips toned it down quite a bit, though, because my pink lip pigment warmed and softened it. Nude Pink works as a base for any color in my lipstick collection, while Purple Rain works exceptionally well under MAC Plumful. These liners are creamy, longlasting, and nondrying - and cheap! You can't go wrong.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Food: Candy Cane Creme Brulee

Time to address the sadly neglected foodie aspect of this site. I'm snowed in today and have been contemplating the pile of leftover candy canes from Christmas. I already used some as hot chocolate stirrers, then made brownies topped with a few that I crushed. I was at a loss as to how to use them up and then...inspiration struck.  Candy cane creme brulee!  I figured I could just make a plain creme recipe and use the crushed candy cane in place of sugar for the brulee topping. And, to my delight, it worked.  I used this recipe and then made my candy cane sub as I described.  Sooooo good. You get just a hint of peppermint that works very well with the creamy vanilla custard.  You could also add peppermint extract to the custard but personally I think I would find that overwhelmingly minty. If you try it, let me know!