12.06.2012

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches
Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold
L-to-R:  Olive Gray, Starfish, Latte

Love the shades, hate the wear time.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold ($18) is a beautiful set of three mini nail polishes that create a lovely array of shimmering, festive shades. The colors include Latte, a gold shimmer, Olive Gray, a molten metallic green/grey, and Starfish, a gold glitter.

As is the case with all Sephora + Pantone products, the Opulent Lacquer Trio arrived in a sturdy, high quality case. The packaging has a modern look that could serve as a nice addition to someone's vanity. 

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches Latte Olive Gray Starfish
Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Swatches
L-to-R:  Latte, Olive Gray, Starfish

These shades don't provide that vinyl-like finish that I love in other polishes, but the polishes in Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold apply fairly smoothly and provide good coverage despite having a thin texture. Unfortunately, Latte and Olive Gray chip like crazy.

Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold Review and Swatches
Sephora + Pantone Universe Opulent Lacquer Trio in Gold

Look how festive! I'm wearing Latte on all of my nails, plus Starfish on my ring finger. I love this fun and sparkly combination. I've received lots of compliments on this look, particularly on the single blinged out accent nail. 

Honestly, I wish I didn't like this look so much, seeing as it only lasted one day! I'm talking really big chips too: about half of my index nail was bare by the next afternoon. Starfish has been lasting longer though, which I expected. Glitter polishes tend to last forever on me.

I really like the appearance of these polishes, but I would say that you probably shouldn't bother buying this set unless you definitely plan to pair these polishes with a good base and top coat. Even then, be prepared to do touch ups.

In related news: today Pantone announced the Color of the Year for 2013! This year's big shade is going to be......EMERALD! Get excited for limited edition, exclusive makeup releases for this shade to come in Spring 2013.

What do you think of this news? Are you excited for emerald makeup, clothes and accessories?


12.03.2012

Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches

Bare Mineral The Star Treatment Set
Bare Mineral: The Star Treatment Set

What an interesting neutral eyeshadow palette!

The limited edition Bare Minerals "The Star Treatment" Set ($40) includes 8 powder eyeshadows along with a mini version of Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer. All shades are in Bare Minerals new Ready eyeshadow formula. Rather than your typical neutral browns and taupes, this eyeshadow palette is packed full of unique and versatile shades.

As you can see, my Bare Minerals Star Treatment palette looks a little messy right now! The black shade, VIP, experienced some breakage during shipping and smudged over the other shadows. I was bummed out by this, but it's nothing that a little cleanup can't fix. Otherwise, the palette is very nice-looking. It has an attractive mirrored case with a large mirror inside. The set also includes a double-ended brush. The brush's bristles are stiff so I haven't been using it, but it would work in a pinch.

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment includes:
  1. VIP - a black shade with gold and silver glitter. This shadow is wonderfully silky to the touch and well-pigmented. Though it's not the inkiest black ever, it's still great for glam, smudgy smokey eyes. Watch out for fallout with this shade. 
  2. Connoisseur - a brassy, coppery gold shimmer. This shade has a particularly creamy texture. The color is one of my favs in this palette. I love applying it to my eyelid and my lower lash line! Killer pigmentation, not much fallout, but a little difficult to blend. Bonus points for teaching me how to spell "Connoisseur."
  3. Carte Blanche - a pearly ivory shimmer. This is pretty much the only highlight shade in the Star Treatment palette. Works well for me, but cool-toned people might wish there was a highlight shade without a yellow base.
  4. Ritzy - a deep brown with dense shimmer and great pigmentation. This shade is fairly neutral in tone and works well for contouring. Unfortunately, I notice fallout with this particular shade.
  5. Kudos - a pearly, icy mint. I think this shade is very interesting and I can imagine it being incorporated into a variety of creative looks. Quite a bit of fallout though.
  6. Bragging Rights - a "copper penny" shimmer. This shadow has a lot of red so it's difficult to wear, but I think it can look nice if you apply it in the crease rather than the eyelid. Red right next to the eye = tired bunny eyes! 
  7. Elitist - an olive green with gold glitter. Great for green eyeshadow lovers. I bet this would look gorgeous with brown eyes. What is up with these shade names though? Elitist, really?
  8. Extravagance - a pale, pearlized cornsilk. I think this shade looks nice swatched, but the pigmentation isn't stellar and I don't like how it looks on my lids. I also experience quite a bit of fallout with this shade. 
Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches VIP, Connoisseur, Carte Blanche, Ritzy
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set Swatches
L-to-R:  VIP, Connoisseur, Carte Blanche, Ritzy

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches Kudos, Bragging Rights, Elitist, Extravagance
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set Swatches
L-to-R:  Kudos, Bragging Rights, Elitist, Extravagance

Given my experiences with Buxom Stick Around Eye Primer (Buxom and Bare Minerals are the same company), I didn't have high expectations for Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer. Turns out I was pleasantly surprised! Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer provided a great base that increases color intensity and helps shadows adhere without losing blend time. The wear time was fantastic as well; I consistently get all-day wear with Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer.

For the below photo, I started off by spreading  Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer from my lash line to brow bone. I then applied Kudos to the crease and blended up to the brow bone. I added Elitist to the crease to contour. I covered my lids with Connoisseur and used Carte Blanche to highlight.

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set

I also used Bare Minerals Prime Time Eyelid Primer for this next look. This look incorporates Bragging Rights in the crease area for a "sunset" effect. I applied a dash of Ritzy to the outer corner of my crease, but it's not really visible in this photo. I again used Connoisseur on my lid and Carte Blanche on the brow bone. You can also see Connoisseur along my lower lash line. I apologize for the scary deer in the headlights expression!

Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set Review and Swatches
Bare Minerals: The Star Treatment Set

Bottom Line: I love the color selection in Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set. While I still consider it a neutral palette, the shades are a lot more unusual than what you see in other neutral palettes like Urban Decay Naked 1 and 2. Most of the shadows are well-pigmented and silky, and the mini primer works very well. However, I dislike the fallout, so-so pigmentation, and inferior blendability of some of the eyeshadows. Additionally, while I like the appearance of the mirrored case, it's prone to fingerprints and smudges that diminish the compact's attractiveness. The majority of shades (though not 100%) are warm-toned, so cool-toned folks should consider this purchase carefully.

What do you think of Bare Minerals The Star Treatment Set? Are you intrigued by the unique shades, or do you think this palette looks like nothing special?