This review is a long time coming. I’ve always been a fan of By Terry’s Ombre Blackstar pencil shadows. They are my ‘go to’ formulations for looks that call for the product. I know that everyone from NARS to Laura Mercier make them as well, but By Terry has always had my heart in this department. Recently, the company released a shimmer brown shade, and a matte black. I went home with the shimmer brown.
They also released an eye pen, that blows some of the best brands out of the water (Kevyn Aucoin, I’m looking at you). Observe:
Here’s what it looks like in practical application:
The color is a sheer shimmer brown, but can be built up to a strong deep brown. It sets in about 30 seconds and once it’s on… it’s ON. No smudging and no creasing, even on my oily eyelids.
Same with Ligne Blackstar. First, it’s insanely easy to use. The felt tip makes for incredible precision. And unlike some of its felt-tipped counterparts (NARS… do better), it doesn’t dry out as soon as the air hits it. The formula is strong and thick, and goes on true with the first swipe. It sets to a latex finish, and you’ll need a pretty strong makeup remover to get it off once it sets.
Both of these are must haves for me. I find them perfect for Holiday makeup looks… and beyond. And although I have more Black shadows than ever a girl should need, I’m sure I’ll be headed back to Space NK in the near future for the ebony-colored mate to Brown Perfection.
You can find out more about Ombre Blackstar and Ligne Blackstar HERE.
The Chanel Infinie de Nuit Collection meant the addition of two new Illusion d’Ombres… which would be perfect if there hadn’t been so much ‘universal trouble’ with the formulation this time around.
The Illusion d’Ombre formula is supposed to be light and spongy. But an increasing number of customers (including myself) ended up with dried out ‘hockey puck’ pellets, shoved up against the side of the glass pot. This was a particular problem with the ‘Initiation’ color (silvered bronze). We expect better from Chanel (particularly at 30+ bucks a pop), and hope they decide to get it together sooner rather than later.
Initiation is on the left, and Fatal (burgundy) is on the right.
I had to exchange my Initiation at a local Nordstrom store (and checked the pot before I accepted the exchange), because the one I received in the mail was completely dried up and had no color transfer. The one that I ended up with (pitctured) is still a little dry, but it’s much better than my original, and I’m able to pick up color. So I’m just going to move on.
This is single finger swatch. I’ve always found that the Illusion d’Ombre formula works best with fingers, at least for me. I’ve also found that it stays better on the eyelids (with no creasing) if you put it over a neutral powder color to set the lids, or a traditional primer. My lids are very oily, so if I use this formula with no primer, it will crease on me. But with primer or powder, it sets nicely and wears all day.
If you’ve been lucky enough to get two perfect pots of these shadow colors, I am truly happy for you. In a perfect world, they are absolutely wonderful. But if you’re like the countless others who got a dried up little rock of a product, return it immediately and demand a refund. No one should be stuck with sub-standard product… even (and particularly) if it comes from Chanel.
The final two Eyes to Kill Silk Eyeshadows (Autumn 2013) finally made their way to me (Thank you Emma!), from Las Vegas. We didn’t have them locally, so I had to hunt them down out of state.
Gold Hercule (32) and Blue Beetle (34)
Gold Hercule is a greenish gold shimmer, and Blue Beetle is a much more ‘blue’ and pigmented version of June Beetle (which leans a bit teal)
Like all Eyes To Kill formulas… these have absolutely amazing staying power. I also noticed that the formula seemed ‘upgraded’ a bit. Previously, it was pretty challenging to pick this color up out of the pot with a brush, but I’ve found that it’s no longer a problem. You can pick up the color and blend it beautifully as you would any powder eyeshadow. That’s impressive.
Armani continues to blow the competition away with this formula. It is simply unmatched in terms of ease of use, layering, and staying powder.
The single shadow in Gri Gri is one of my favorites from the new Chanel Superstition Collection. The neutral mauve shimmer is flattering on a wide range of skin tones. I’ve heard some people describe it as taupe, but I definitely get more of a mauve from this finish. It tends to pull more purple than brown… which would be a more accurate description of taupe.
Gri Gri is likely dupeable, but I instantly fell in love with the texture and finish of this shadow. I also love that I can layer it over or under another creme or powder formula, to increase the intensity. I did a smoky eye on a client with Gri Gri and matte black… and it came out stunning.
The swatch is a single pass using just my finger. One of the cool things about this color is that you can vary intensity with brush density or size. I’ve been having a ball playing with different ways to wear this color.
You can find out more about Chanel Single Eyeshadow in Gri Gri HERE.
I’ve been trying to wait for the entire collection to review these, but the last two are taking their sweet time getting to me, so I’ll show you what I have so far. The Kaledescope Collection looks a lot more like Spring to me… but it seems the way of things of late (I recall a Chanel Spring Collection that looked better suited to Autumn, so there ya go).
I have four of the six (?) Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows. They remain my favorite ‘cream’ formulation, far surpassing formulas from Chanel, Lancome, and the like. Even Shiseido can’t hold a candle to these formulas. I also got the new Rouge d’ Armani lipstick in 300 (which remains my ever favorite shade from Armani). I have the sheer version in 300. But the Rouge d’ Armani formula (with a proven 9 hours of wear on these lips of mine) makes it so much better.
From the Left:
I’ll start with the lipstick:
Same fantastic formula as all of the other Rouge d’ Armani lipsticks. It really grabs the lips and holds on beautifully.
I’m missing Gold Hercule (which is coming in the post), and some mystery gold color that someone sent a picture of… I’m not sure what it is. Like all Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows, these best respond to application with fingers. I love to use my fingers to apply, and a soft brush to blend them out as needed. I swatched one layer with my fingers. You can layer these colors for a deeper result… and layer them over or under powder shadows for all manner of variations.
I love them… I do wish the colors had been a little deeper for Autumn, but overall they are completely gorgeous.
You can find out more about Armani Eyes To Kill Silk Eyeshadows HERE
Move over Suqqu… Anastasia has met your challenge on the ‘brow pen’ and exceeded some major expectations.
The Anastasia Brow Pen was a ‘why not’ purchase at the PHAMExpo… for a few bucks I wasn’t really going to break down if it wasn’t perfect. Turns out, it is.
This felt-tipped beauty comes in two colors: Universal Light and Universal Deep. Like the Suqqu pen, this one does not really show up on the skin. It is attracted to, and adheres to the ‘hairs’ on your brow (so you actually have to have hairs).
I also got the Brow Duality Pencil… but more on that later. As you can see, the brow pen is basically a saturated felt tip pen. I didn’t expect much, especially after I swatched it on my skin.
But then I used it on my brow, and I found out that you can ‘technically’ overdo it. This pen is amazing. But it’s Anastasia… of course it’s amazing. Brows are what they do.
That heart is covering a pimple… trust me, I’m protecting you guys’ vision. That thing is ugly, and I will not pick it! I’m being a good girl. But back to the brow… that was a quickie tryout. Took me five seconds. The pen naturally darkens the hairs of my brow without making them look overly made up. It actually makes my brow darker than the Suqqu version. AND it’s easier to get here in the United States.
I asked for the the Brow Duality Pen in Shell/Lace, but things apparently got mixed up at the show (there were a lot of people wanting stuff) and I ended up with the pinker version in Camille and Sand:
I had a Brow Duality Pencil that I wore down to a gross little nub, so a replacement was long overdue. And I’m glad I gave the Brow Pen a shot. It’s pretty awesome.
You can find out more about Anastasia Brow Pen and Dual Highlighter HERE.
Talk about the little company that could…
Haughty Cosmetics… the brand that brought you the weightless opaque lip gloss… has done it again. The company with the enormous heart (50% of all sales go to help prevent domestic violence), has released 12 new eyeshadows (6 matte… 6 shimmer) that challenge the quality of even the most established makeup brands!
There are pre-made eyeshadow quads and singles, and refillable versions as well. Haughty offers the MAC equivalent of ‘pro pans’ of shadow, to mix and match as you please.
Peace Grace Determination
Ambition Confidence Strength
Peace Ambition Grace Confidence Determination Strength
Awe Beauty Passion
Devotion Courage Bravery
Awe Beauty Passion Devotion Courage Bravery
Every single shadow is rich and creamy and pigmented. They blow some mid-end to luxury grade eyeshadows out of the water. Really. And with the addition of shopping for a good cause, you really can’t go wrong.