Category Archives: Eyeshadow (Cream)

Maybelline Summer 2013 Duochrome Color Tattoos: Swatches & Quick Review

Maybelline Summer 2013 Duochrome Color Tattoos

Top: Waves of White // Blue Paradise
Bottom: Cool Crush // Seashore Frosts

Among the many new limited edition items Maybelline has just released for Summer 2013 items are eight LE color tattoo eyeshadows. I purchased the four shades that appear to be duochromes.

Maybelline Waves of White

Waves of White is white with a very strong blue iridescence when applied.

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Laura Mercier Khaki & Sand Glow Caviar Sticks Review & Swatches

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Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks

After hearing many postive things about Laura Mercier’s Caviar Sticks ($24 at Sephora with 12 shades available or Nordstrom with 16 shades available), I decided to try one for myself, and purchased the shade Khaki. I loved it so much that I now have two, with several more shades on my wishlist!  If you’re not familiar with them, Caviar Sticks are pigmented, long-wearing cream eyeshadow in stick form – they can be used as a base for eyeshadow, as eyeshadow, or an eyeliner.

laura mercier khaki caviar stick


Laura Mercier Sand Glow Caviar Stick

Sand Glow

The packaging is simple – a twist up pen (that also twists down) in a plastic casing.  However, Becca over at The Beauty Sample noticed something interesting; the two Caviar Sticks she bought had slightly different packaging and one appeared to have more product than the other.  It turns out that mine are the same.  Khaki, which is one of the original shades, has a purple inner casing, product that goes to the edges of the tube, and appears to have more product when twisted all the way up.  This is identical to Becca’s experience with Amethyst, also an original shade.  Sand Glow, a newer shade, has a black inner plastic, product that does not touch the inside of the tube, and the product is shorter when twisted all the way up. This is the same as Becca’s Caviar Stick in Grey Pearl, also a newer shade.

Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks - packaging differences

Khaki above, Sand Glow below

Laura Mercier Caviar Stick - packaging

Sand Glow, Khaki

 Note that in the above photo, Sand Glow has been used 2-3 times and Khaki has been used 5-6 times.

So, it seems that the packaging has been silently changed to include less product with no change of the label (both say 1.64g / .05oz); my guess is that the older packaging actually had some extra product, and the new packaging does not.

Now, let’s move on & discuss the product!

Laura Mercier Khaki Sand Glow Caviar Stick Swatches

Khaki // Sand Glow
click to enlarge

Laura Mercier Khaki Sand Glow Caviar Stick Swatches-2

Khaki // Sand Glow – blurred to show the finish
click to enlarge

In the photos above, I have a single swipe of the caviar stick on the left (the pigmentation is impressive!) and a blended out swatch on the right.

In terms of texture, the caviar sticks very soft and smudgeable at first, but after about 30 seconds they dry down to a completely immovable finish. They’re actually a bit too drying for me to use as eyeshadow base at this time of year when my skin, including eyelids, is dry. I hear they work well as bases for those with oiler eyelids, and I’ll have to revisit them in the summer when my skin is more normal.  I’ve mostly been using Khaki as an eyeliner – it lasts all day long on my upper and lower lashline, and several hours on my waterline.  I’ve also worn each of the caviar sticks as an eyeshadow, and they last all day on me (they’re not too drying alone; it’s the addition of powder eyeshadow on top that doesn’t work for me in terms of texture.)

Overall, I really love these. The packaging thing is weird, but it’s not like I finish color makeup very often, so it doesn’t bother me much, and the product itself is fantastic – pigmented, gorgeous finish, creamy and blendable but quickly sets to a long-lasting finish. Highly recommended!

*I purchased the product(s) featured in this post.   This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Flower Time Willow Tell Color Play Creme Eyeshadow: Review & Swatches

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Flower Time Willow Tell Creme Eyeshadow

I recently purchased two items from the Walmart-exclusive Flower by Drew Barrymore makeup line (available online and in some stores), and I’ll be reviewing both for you today.  First up – Color Play Creme Eyeshadow in the shade Time Willow Tell, which retails for $8.

First: Packaging. Part of the premise behind Flower Makeup is that it is prestige-quality makeup in high quality, more luxurious packaging for an inexpensive price.  As with any makeup line, the quality of the items vary, but packaging wise, I personally think they completely missed their goal. To me, the packaging looks and feels extremely cheap and tacky – white plastic? Really? It is reasonably functional and sturdy, but not only is it not luxe, it’s some of the least attractive drugstore packaging I’ve ever seen.  Additionally, they neglected to label the plastic with the shade names of the products; only the peel-off labels (which seal the products closed) have shade names.

Flower Time Willow Tell Creme Eyeshadow

Texture-wise, this is a really interesting product.  I first read about it on Nouveau Cheap, and I was intrigued by G.’s detailed review – a whipped mouse that never dried down, but didn’t crease, even on her oily skin?   I suggest reading her review, as she had a totally different experience with this product than I did (it creased for me; more on this later).  I do agree with her about the texture in the pot; it’s sort of cool-whip-esque, and totally different from any other eyeshadow I have tried.

Flower Time Willow Tell Creme Eyeshadow

Time Willow Tell is a very sparkly icy sage green.  In the swatches below, I’ve applied it two ways; the left swatch is a single thin, blended layer, and the right swatch is multiple layers.  As you can see, one layer gives a lot of sparkle and very little color; multiple layers give a little color, but it’s still quite sheer. I found that it was not possible to build it to an opaque color.

Flower Time Willow Tell Creme Eyeshadow Swatch

Natural light: one layer, multiple layers

Flower Time Willow Tell Creme Eyeshadow

With flash: one layer, multiple layers

I tried wearing this on my eyes several ways.  As an extremely sheer wash of sparkle only it works well enough and doesn’t crease – there really isn’t enough product there to crease.  Layered about as heavily as in the second swatch – which is really quite sheer and not very heavily layered at all – it creases very badly within a few hours on me, either alone or over primer.  If worn the same way but set with face powder or eyeshadow (I chose a sheer shade, but I imagine layering on an opaque eyeshadow would work as well), it works for me and does not crease. It has a little fallout throughout the day, due to the sparkle.

Overall, I found this product mildly disappointing.  I was hoping that I would be able to get a richer, more opaque color out of it; instead, it’s quite sheer.  I don’t really mind using a primer and setting it with powder, though of course I would prefer it if I could use it alone.  I won’t be purchasing any more of these shadows, and I don’t recommend them.

*As noted in this review, I purchased the featured product. This post contains an affiliate link. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Shadow Stick Review & Swatches

rimmel scandaleyes shadow sticks

A few days ago, I reviewed the Rimmel Scandal Eyes eyeliners. I love them so much that I decided to try another product from the Scandal Eyes line – the shadow sticks. Like most shadow sticks, you’re supposed to be able to use these multiple ways – as eyeliner, as eyeshadow base, or eyeshadown (worn alone).  There are nine shades available (or at least there are nine shades on the Ulta website – which may not have all of them) and I purchased two, Bulletproof Beige and Bad Girl Bronze.

rimmel scandaleyes bulletproof beige bad girl bronze swatches

Bulletproof Beige // Bad Girl Bronze

Above, I’ve swatched each shadow stick two ways. On the left, I have a heavy swatch, and on the right is a blended out swatch.  If you use the shadow stick as eyeliner you’ll get something more like the heavy swatch – if you use it as an eyeshadow base or an eyeshadow, you’ll get something more like the blended swatch. Unfortunately, even if you use multiple layers, it doesn’t seem possible to build up the color to the opaque swatch level when you’re using it as an eyeshadow.

Edit: I like these enough that I went back and bought a third, Paranoid Purple.  Here’s a quick swatch.

rimmel scandaleyes shadow stick paranoid purple swatch

Rimmel Scandal Eyes Paranoid Purple

In terms of texture, these are very soft and creamy.  I have some of the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils, and the Rimmel pencils are noticeably more creamy – the UD ones are much drier and more difficult to blend.  I actually rarely use the UD ones because I have difficulty blending them – I much prefer the Rimmel texture!

I’m sure these will be compared to the Milani Shadow Eyez as well, but I haven’t tried those.  From looking at reviews, it appears that the Milani shadow sticks may be more opaque. I’m not sure how the texture compares. I may need to buy one to compare myself! If you’ve tried the Milani ones, how would you describe the texture?

I’m sure everyone’s main question is how the Shadow Sticks last and whether they crease, and I’m happy to report that they last all day on me (10+ hours) with no creasing at all.  Do note that I have slightly dry skin, so I can’t test how these would fare on someone with oilier skin.

Overall, I really like these – they’re creamy, blendable, and last all day.  They’re good for a sheer wash of color and shimmer or as a base.  The major downside is that you can’t build them up be opaque.

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Shu Uemura Travel Palette Review & Swatches

shu uemura travel palette

Shu Uemura GWP Travel Palette / Art of Travel Palette

Recently, Shu Uemura online offered a travel palette as a gift with purchase. The required purchase was pretty steep – $100 – but since I needed to repurchase my favorite cleansing oil, which is $67 and lasts me about a year, I decided to add some false lashes to my order and go for it!

shu uemura travel palette-3

This palette is an incredible value; the palette itself is reusable as a freeform eyeshadow palette, and it contains four eyeshadows (each half the size of Shu’s regular eyeshadows), two cream eyeshadows/eyeliners, and a full-sized glow-on blush.

Additionally, it appears from googling that this exact same palette has been sold as the Art of Travel palette for around $50 in airport duty free shops (reviews here & here).

shu uemura travel palette-2

I believe that this palette does not have Shu Uemura’s current eyeshadow formula (known as the 3rd generation of Shu eyeshadow); instead, it has the previous eyeshadow formula (the 2nd generation formula). Unfortunately, the shadows are nameless, but I have checked with some lovely people who own some Shu eyeshadows, and to the best of my knowledge, from left to right, the eyeshadow shades are:

  • ME800 (beige with slight pink sheen; satin/shimmer)
  • Unknown (pink; satin/shimmer)
  • ME850 (taupe; satin/shimmer)
  • P990 (black; matte with sparkle)
shu uemura travel palette swatches-2

Shu Uemura ME 800, Unknown, ME850, P990

The eyeshadows all have a really lovely texture – very soft, smooth and creamy.

The eyeliners are also quite nice. I was surprised to realize that the black eyeliner/cream shadow has a subtle purpley-pink sparkle – it doesn’t show at all when used as a liner, but is slightly visible when used as a cream shadow. The other cream shadow looks white in the pan, but is a soft, shimmering gold when applied. Unfortunately, I did experience some creasing after about 5-6 hours when I used it as a base.

shu uemura travel palette swatches The blush is soft and silky, but not a great shade for my skintone; it was very difficult to get the swatch to show up in a photograph! It did show up on my face, but was quite subtle. It would be a good everyday / easy shade for a fairskinned, cool-toned person, but I don’t see it working on anyone even a touch darker than I am.

shu uemura travel palette swatches-3 In the following photo, I’m wearing the blush – it was more visible in person, but if you look carefully you can see it in the photo. I’m also wearing the taupe eyeshadow.

shu uemura travel palette applied-2

And here’s a closeup of my eye; I have the beige eyeshadow in the inner corner, the taupe eyeshadow on the lid, and I’ve lined with the black liner, then gone over the line with the black eyeshadow. I then used Burberry Trench to blend out the edges; the one fault of the palette is that it doesn’t have a matte highlight / blending shade, which I consider essential.

shu uemura travel palette applied

Overall, I think it’s a really lovely palette.  I’ve seen it offered as a GWP on two occasions on the Shu website, and if they offer it again, I think it’s worth a purchase to get it! It’s not a standalone travel product for me – I need a separate blush and a separate blending/highlight shade, not to mention the rest of my makeup – but the eyeshadows alone make the palette worthwhile.   I may, however, decide to take it apart; I’d use the palette as a freestyle eyeshadow palette, keep the eyeshadows, and give away, swap, or sell the blush to someone with a lighter complexion.

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Maybelline Color Tattoo Metals Review, Swatches, Photos

Maybelline Color Tattoo Metals - Inked in Pink, Silver Strike, Gold Rush; Barely Branded, Electric Blue

Inked in Pink, Silver Strike, Gold Rush;
Barely Branded, Electric Blue

Maybelline has just released five new “Metals” Color Tattoo cream eyeshadows, new for 2013.  I believe they are permanent – unlike last fall’s neutral color tattoos, they do not say limited edition anywhere on the display or the packaging.  They have been out in Canada for a little while, but are just hitting the US now.

Note: I can’t find a place to buy these online yet, but they’re listed at, which includes a tool to locate them at a store near you.

I think just about everyone reading this is familiar with Color Tattoos, so I’m going to move straight to the swatches!

Inked in Pink swatch

Inked in Pink

Inked in Pink is a medium toned pink with a slightly frosty finish. I know there is a UK shade called Pink Gold, so I was hoping this would have some gold reflection – but it definitely does not. The texture of this one is good, and it is fairly opaque (though it can easily be sheered out).

Silver Strike swatch

Silver Strike

Silver Strike is a very shimmery pale silver. It is a little bit gritty (due to all the shimmer), but still very blendable.  It is on the sheer side, and I don’t think it would be possible to get it to be fully opaque. I don’t love this one.

Gold Rush swatch

Gold Rush

Gold Rush is an extremely yellow gold.  It is very sparkly, and very gritty in texture. If you apply two layers, it bunches up – it works best as a sheer layer of sparkle.

Barely Branded swatch

Barely Branded

Barely Branded is a very creamy, shimmery beige.  It has the best texture of the five – very silky and smooth.  Please see below for a comparison to Barely Beige from last fall’s collection.

Electric Blue swatch

Electric Blue

Electric Blue is a smooth shimmery blackened blue. Like several of the colorful Color Tattoos, it can get patchy – the best way to get vivid color is to apply a thin layer, wait, then apply another thin layer.  It’s a really lovely shade, but I foresee the patchiness being hard to work with, so I plan to use this as a base rather than on its own.

The pink, silver, gold, and blue are all very different from any other Color Tattoos I own, but Barely Branded is quite similar to last fall’s Barely Beige.  Side by side, Barely Branded is the tiniest bit lighter and more yellow toned, while Barely Beige is a bit more neutral – perhaps with a tiny touch of pink.  They are identical in terms of texture and finish. I have a very slight preference for Barely Branded, but I doubt I could tell which was which unless I had both in front of me!

Barely Branded / Barely Beige

Barely Branded / Barely Beige

Will you be looking for or buying any of the new Color Tattoos?