April 30, 2013

MAC Extra Dimension Blushes - Flaming Chic, Blazing Haute, Fiery Impact

Out of all the items I picked up from the MAC Extra Dimension Collection, my favourites by far are the blushes. I love that MAC did something different with the finish here, while staying true to the texture of the gelée formulation.

I wanted great colours for summer, so I opted to get Flaming Chic, Blazing Haute and Fiery Impact. And they are honestly all fantastic.

MAc Extra Dimension Blushes Flaming Chic, Blazing Haute, Fiery Impact
Top: Flaming Chic
Bottom: Blazing Haute, Fiery Impact

MAc Extra Dimension Blushes Flaming Chic

MAc Extra Dimension Blushes Blazing HauteMAc Extra Dimension Blushes Fiery Impact

I was delighted to see that these were all a satin finish, as I hadn't relished the thought of a super shimmery blush - despite my magpie love for all things shiny. All three have that dry to the touch feel, and are super smooth and blendable upon application, so no surprises there. They have a teeny amount of sheen that does what it does to make skin look healthy and radiant without adding any overt shine or glitz.

Flaming Chic is a beautifully bright but wearable blue-based pink. Blazing Haute comes on far less orange than I feared, more of a peachy tan. It should be perfect for the fair but warm-toned, for that sun-touched effect. Fiery Impact is also far more wearable than the terracotta tones might suggest. I suspect it would be stunning on those with medium, olive-toned skin. It is the most pigmented out of the bunch so should be applied softly at first, until you have layered to your satisfaction. All of them are buildable, and because of the soft, fine texture they don't get cakey or powdery on the skin.

MAc Extra Dimension Blushes Flaming Chic, Blazing Haute, Fiery Impact
Flaming Chic, Blazing Haute, Fiery Impact
One thing I did find odd was that Flaming Chic seemed to have some sort of very fine layer on top. It's difficult to explain, but when I first tried to apply it, my brush picked up nothing at all. I thought I had gotten a dud, but then I remembered that something similar had plagued my Guerlain Terra Azzura Powder. I rubbed off the top layer with a tissue, and then had no problems. Very strange. Ultimately it didn't affect the performance, but I thought I should mention it in case anyone else experienced the same thing.

In terms of wear, all of these had a slightly less than average wear for me - six hours, with a very small amount of fading after that.

Availability: Gone, pretty much, unless you luck out and find something in the store. Price is 29.50$ CAD.

Pros: Beautiful pigmentation that can be blended out and worn sheerly, or built up for high impact with no caking. Very blendable.

Cons: Not the longest wear overall. That bizarre hard layer on Flaming Chic.

(I purchased these items from MAC.)

April 26, 2013

Marcelle Velvety Eye Shadow and Primer - Primer Rose

Like Alton Brown, I love an item that serves more than one function. The Marcelle Velvety Eye Shadow and Primer claims to do just that, all while providing creaseless, waterproof wear for 12 hours or more.

Marcelle Velvety Eye Shadow and Primer - Primer Rose

The packaging is sleek, simple and practical, with a doe-foot applicator to dap on the product where needed and a transparent tube to see exactly how much product is left.

Marcelle Velvety Eye Shadow and Primer - Primer Rose

This is truly both a primer and a liquid-to-powder eyeshadow. This particular shade is a pale, shimmery pink-beige that covers redness and discolouration while adding a natural blush tone and shimmer to the lid. It has a thinner, wetter texture compared to something like Urban Decay Primer Potion, which is more creamy-silicone. The Marcelle Eye Shadow and Primer feels more liquid initially, and seems to feel that way on the lid for a good 15 seconds, even though it's not actually fluid anymore. It's a little disconcerting, but it does dry to a perfectly set powder finish, no tackiness or budging. This wore the promised 12 hours without fading or creasing, both by itself and as a base under powder eyeshadow.

Using this all over the lid with just a touch of medium brown or taupe in the crease is also an incredibly fast and easy way to look polished and work-ready.

Marcelle Velvety Eye Shadow and Primer - Primer Rose

The swatches above show what it's like swiped directly from the tube and then sheered out a fair bit with a finger. The swatch below is a blended in but not sheered out, and you can see the gorgeous shimmer.

Marcelle Velvety Eye Shadow and Primer - Primer Rose

I'm really pleased by how well this performed and how flattering it looked. It reminds me a bit of the Vincent Longo Liquid Shadows, except that those crease tragically and need a separate primer to be useable. This particular shade was sent to me, but I will be picking up the Chameleon and Velvety Beige shades very soon!

Availability: At most drugstores, as well as from the Marcelle website. Price is 15.95$ CAD and USD.

Pros: Long-wearing without creasing or fading. Natural, flattering shade, works well as both a primer and an eyeshadow.

Cons: None that I can think of, aside from maybe that initial feeling as the product sets.

(The item was sent to me by the brand to consider for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)

April 24, 2013

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows - Opalesse, Triple Impact, Smoky Mauve

I have quite a few of the gelée-textured eyeshadows from MAC from the previous two outings, so I really wanted to be choosy with the current MAC Extra Dimension collection and buy only the shades that I felt were the most unique or interesting. Smoky Mauve just looked like an amazing alternative to taupe (and you know I love me some taupe!), while both Opalesse and Triple Impact seemed like they might have some duochrome happening.

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows - Opalesse, Triple Impact, Smoky Mauve
Top: Smoky Mauve
Bottom: Opalesse and Triple Impact

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows Smoky Mauve

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows OpalesseMAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows Triple Impact

Smoky Mauve is a silvered-taupe-mauve, and exactly what I've come to expect from this formulation - a metallic/frost finish, beautiful pigmentation both wet and dry, and that strangely dry texture that applies smoothly and blends like butter. It's the kind of shade that can be swept all over the eye for a natural wash of subtle color, or worked into the crease with a touch of taupe or brown for depth.

The other two shades are different altogether, and remind me a bit of some of the Estée Lauder Vivid Shine eyeshadows from a couple of seasons ago. They are sheerer in a way that seems intentional, as they also have a duochrome finish that works beautifully over a darker base. The finish also has more microglitter/shimmer than frost. The texture of both seems a little drier in some way, comparable to the way a mineralized eyeshadow feels, and they don't last quite as well as Smoky Mauve or the other Extra Dimension eyeshadows I've tried in the past - though if you're going to layer them over a cream base to highlight that duochrome effect, that's not really a concern.

The duochrome was really hard to capture, but in the picture below you can see a tiny bit of the effect.

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows - Opalesse, Triple Impact
Triple Impact and Opalesse

In the picture below, that effect is next to invisible. Triple Impact reads as a pale, pastel lilac, and Opalesse as a light gold. In reality, Triple Impact has an almost bluish iridescence, while Opalesse has a blush pink undertone.

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows - Opalesse, Triple Impact, Smoky Mauve
 Smoky Mauve, Opalesse, Triple Impact

However, over a darker base (l'Oréal HIP Cream Eyeliner in Eggplant), the undertones are more visible.

Top to bottom: Opalesse and Triple Impact

I have to say that I'm really glad I got these. The sheerness surprised me, as did the sparklier finish, but they are beautiful and I love the layering potential.

Availability: Slim, as they are sold out on the MAC website, though the stores may still have some in stock. Price is 25$ CAD.

Pros: Smoky Mauve has that fabulous gelée mixture of strong pigmentation, smooth, blendable texture and high-impact metallic shimmer. Opalesse and Triple Impact have a sheerer finish that makes them wonderful for layering, and a lovely shifting iridescence.

Cons: The lighter shades are not as long-lasting, and have a drier texture that doesn't really impact application, but does make them more prone to flying away.

(I purchased these items from www.maccosmetics.com.)

April 22, 2013

Flower Beauty Shadow Play Eyeshadow Quad - Smoke and Mirrors

NOTE: I've had to amend this review after continued use over different primers and bases, as that altered the wear and payoff more than usual.

The Shadow Play Quads are currently offered in four versions, though the Wal-Mart I went to only had two of them in stock. (Seriously, the display was pillaged. The only items that they had in any kind of reasonable quantity were the lipsticks.) I opted to try the cool-toned neutral quad, called Smoke and Mirrors.

Flower Beauty Shadow Play Eyeshadow Quad - Smoke and Mirrors

Flower Beauty Shadow Play Eyeshadow Quad - Smoke and Mirrors

Flower Beauty Shadow Play Eyeshadow Quad - Smoke and Mirrors

The cream shade is by far the most problematic - sheer, powdery, thinner textured, it makes for an ok base or subtle browbone highlight, but otherwise it's altogether unimpressive. The other shades are generally better.

The dove-wing light brown in the top left is nicely pigmented, with a dense, smooth texture that is unusual for mattes, let alone drugstore mattes. It's a good blending or crease shade. The greyed plum in the top right has an equally lovely texture, though it is less pigmented. The gold-flecked medium brown at the bottom right is on par with the dove brown in terms of texture and payoff, though it loses all those pretty flecks once you start working it. Which could be a good or bad thing, depending on your preference.

This is an easy palette for a soft, neutral, work-appropriate eye, though you might be better off using a different eyeshadow to sub in for the cream. Over a primer, all the shades wore 6-8 hours with little fading, and no creasing. One thing to keep in mind is that the texture is quite soft, so these will kick up tons of debris if you use a stiffer brush or a heavier hand, and they are best over a primer as they are so soft and therefore don't bind too well. They actually remind me a lot of the Inglot mattes in terms of how they feel to the touch, though their performance is not comparable.

EDIT: I originally tested these with a stickier primer - a cream eyeshadow. Over a primer that has a drier finish, I found that they had a harder time binding and blended out too easily, which could work for a very diffused effect, but could also look muddy and indistinct. On bare skin, the effect was even more pronounced, and they dusted off very easily. These are best patted on over a sticky, creamy base and gently blended. The diffusing effect and easy blendability works best for the dove brown, which is beautiful as a natural contour when applied with a fluffy brush into the crease.

Flower Beauty Shadow Play Eyeshadow Quad - Smoke and Mirrors
Clockwise in palette, starting with the cream shade at the bottom left. Bare skin.

Availability: Only at Wal-Mart, and in select US locations for the moment. Price is 9.98$ USD.

Pros: Dense, smooth texture that is very blendable, and good pigmentation over primer. 

Cons: Powder fallout requires care in application. The cream shade is particularly disappointing in both texture and payoff. EDIT: Depending on the primer, the overall blending can be tricky, as the shades diffuse easily and can look muddy and faded. Double that for bare skin.

(I purchased this item at Wal-Mart.)

April 18, 2013

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine - #9 Nude in Private

I love the gloss-lipsticks hybrids that are currently dominating the market, especially the ones that are an even mix of bright pigmentation and transcluscent shine. They are such a great option for when you want to wear something really punchy, but without the fuss of precise application. The YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipsticks are the latest contender in this increasingly saturated market.

I was sent one of the more demure shades to try out - #9 Nude in Private - which is billed as a "spicy warm beige" on the Sephora site.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine - #9 Nude in Private

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine - #9 Nude in Private

The packaging is the same as that of the regular Rouge Volupté, which is ten kinds of fancy. There's just something about the detail of the interlocking logo letters and how they feel under your thumb that feels ultra-glam. It makes the price tag a little easier to swallow when there are similar products available from YSL's drugstore cousins in the l'Oreal family.

The formula is lovely - it feels hydrating going on, and the hyaluronic acid (seriously, what doesn't have this ingredient these days?) helps to achieve that smooth, plumped look. Though it is glossy initially, it fades to a soft, healthy shine as it's worn, and it doesn't travel or bleed. Compared to the Rouge Volupté formula, which can feel quite slippy, this feels lightly balmy. It's less thick than the Revlon Lip Butters, and not as creamy as the Dior Nude collection. It's not an innovative product, but it is a very well executed version.

I don't find this emphasized lines or settled, and it lasted a couple of hours before it started to fade, which is around the ballpark for these kinds of lipsticks. It does have a fruity scent, something like watermelon, which is not overpowering but definitely noticeable.

The shade itself is more pink than I anticipated from the description, though with enough of a beige undertone to register as a My Lips But Better shade. It pulls even rosier on my lips, but looks so completely natural, in a heightened way. Like an airbrushed, fantasy version of my actual lips.

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine - #9 Nude in PrivateYSL Rouge Volupté Shine - #9 Nude in Private

I really love this for an everyday, super-wearable lipstick that doubles as a light balm. I'm definitely going to snag some of the brighter, on-trend shades on the range, like #5 Fuchsia in Excess. (Nudes and hot pinks, what else? Ha!)

Have you guys tried any of the shades yet? What do you think of the formula?

Availability: At Sephora, Nordstrom, the Bay. Price is 34$ USD and 39$ CAD.

Pros: Hydrating formula, translucent yet pigmented, feels smooth and lightly balmy. This shade in particular is very easy to wear.

Cons: Fragrance may not be to your taste.

(The item was sent to me by the brand to consider for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)

April 16, 2013

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes - Definitely Defined and Shape the Future

If you've been reading this blog for a while, then you know what a fan I am of the gélée tribrid texture that both Estée Lauder and Mac have starting featuring in the last couple of years. (If you're new to this blog - welcome! -  and feel free to take a gander at my previous reviews featuring these types of products here.) So of course I had to snatch up the more interesting looking items from the MAC Extra Dimension collection as soon as it was available to order. And seeing as how disappointed I've been with some previous MAC collections, you have to know that ordering sight-unseen indicates a lot of faith that these would be awesome.

These are two of the three Skinfinishes available in this collection. (The third is more golden bronze, and I already have a few highlighters in that family, and for once I exercised restraint.)

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes - Definitely Defined and Shape the Future
Right to left: Definitely Defined, Shape the Future

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes - Definitely Defined MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes -  Shape the Future

These are definitely beautiful to look at, and I love that MAC has expanded upon the aesthetic that they introduced with the last Extra Dimension collection in a way that makes the duo colour feature both functional and pleasing to the eye. The wear time is good one both of these, about 8 hours or so, and they are highly pigmented, with that peculiar dry-soft texture that applies smoothly and blends or buffs out beautifully. If you are inclined to wear these wet (perhaps for an eye look), the metallic or frost finish is amplified, as well as opacity.

The finish varies somewhat between the two parts of each Skinfinish. Definitely Defined two parts have a more similar finish across the board. The flat portion is a highly metallic silver-pink white that has to be used judiciously as a complexion product, as it emphasizes skin texture dramatically. I personally prefer to use it as an inner eye corner highlight, rather than on my cheekbones, unless I'm going for a particular look. The raised portion is a pale pink that is less metallic, and works a little more easily as a highlighter. Both of them can be applied very lightly with a small fluffy brush for a more discreet effect - but discreet is relative. This is distinct shimmer, not a micro-sheen. Absolutely beautiful, regardless.

Swatches below are in natural light and in the sun.

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes - Definitely Defined

Shape The Future has an equally shimmery flat portion, a pale peachy pink that is very similar in effect to the raised portion of Definitely Definied. The raised portion is less shimmery, and applied to the skin, it actually reads a lot more satiny. It is also pigmented like CRAZY. This is a shade that is bound to look stunning on deeper, warmer skin tones. If you are paler, use a light hand and a fluffy brush to buff it in, unless you prefer a bolder look. The colour can be a little harder to pull off if you have pinkier undertones, a brick shade that can look like sunburned skin.

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes - Shape the Future

I have to say that all of the shades are unique in my collection, especially when combined with both the pigmentation level and the finish.  I pulled a few other gélée-textured highlighters, as well as a couple of MAC MSFs, to see if there was anything comparable.

MAC Definitely Defined,MAC  Suberb, Estée Lauder Shimmering Sands, MAC Redhead MSF, MAC Stereo Rose MSF, MAC Shape the Future
Clockwise from top left corner: MAC Definitely Defined,MAC  Suberb, Estée Lauder Shimmering Sands, MAC Redhead MSF, MAC Stereo Rose MSF, MAC Shape the Future.

MAC Definitely Defined,MAC  Suberb, Estée Lauder Shimmering Sands
Left to right: Superb, Definitely Defined (flat and raised), Shimmering Sands.

 MAC Redhead MSF, MAC Stereo Rose MSF, MAC Shape the Future
Left to right: Shape the Future (flat and raised), Redhead MSF, Stereo Rose MSF.

Shimmering Sands and Superb are actually both closer to each other than anything else here. Both Redhead and Stereo Rose are somewhat similar to a mix of the two sides of Shape the Future, but neither of them blend as smoothly or last as long.

Availability: Currently on the MAC website, as well as in stores. They are selling quickly, however. Price is 35$ CAD.

Pros: Intense pigmentation, smooth, very blendable and variable texture. Unique shades, depending on your collection. Shape the Future is excellent for warm to deep tones, both as a highlight and blush.

Cons: High frost/metallic finish may limit application, as it will emphasize skin texture.

(I purchased these items from MAC.)

April 14, 2013

Pupa Vamp! Mascara

I like volumizing mascara - but I need the feathery, "natural" sort of volume, not the dozens-of-spider-legs volume. In other words, I want that mythical creature of mascaras, the one that will give me thickness, separation and length, while still looking completely natural.

You can laugh. It's ok. I know I live in Crazy Town on this one.

I'll tell you though...the Vamp! Mascara that I received from Pupa comes fairly close to achieving all of my lash dreams.

Pupa Vamp! Mascara

Pupa Vamp! Mascara

The packaging is cute, sassy and vaguely futuristic, with the kind of fat, curvy, natural-bristle brush that seems antithetical to its purpose. The fatter end works surprisingly well when it comes to to finding and coating those tricky little inner corner lashes, and the curved middle portion somehow makes it easy to wiggle the wand right into the base of the lashes without smearing my eyeball. It's really great for getting every last lash, root to tip. I think that's the key to the natural volume effect. It's not adding a thick layer of potentially clumpy goo to each lash, but really getting at all the lashes to make their presence felt.

With one coat, this gives me great length, a nice curl, good definition and clump-free, natural thickness. With two coats, some of the definition is lost as thickness is augmented, but that's perfect for the day-to-night transformation - from bright-eyed and feathery to vampy, indeed. With several coats, this achieves the effect of false lashes, with minimal clumping. The key is to do the wiggle at the base, and then sweep through the length.

The formula dries relatively soft, so the lashes don't end up spiky and crispy. They stay flexible to the touch, yet they hold that curl very well.

This would be in my personal top 5 mascaras, but for the fact that it does smudge in the outer third of my eye. Not terribly, but enough that I need to do a midday q-tip wipe. If your eyes are less watery/oily than mine, this may not be an issue for you.

Behold: scary up-close eyeball picture!

Pupa Vamp! Mascara
One coat on the left eye, top lashes only.

Availability: Most drugstores like Jean Coutu, in the prestige aisle. Price is 20$ CAD.

Pros: Great balance of thickness, length, curl and definition that still looks natural at one coat. Builds rapidly with multiple coats without becoming clumpy. Brush makes it easy to capture all the lashes.

Cons: Not smudge-proof on me.

(The item was sent to me by the brand to consider for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)

April 13, 2013

Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base and Pressed Powder

If you thought BB creams were a craze, just wait for the storm of CC creams to flood the market. Promising to deliver all the skincare benefits in a lighter finish formula, plus colour correcting properties, they're set to become the summer's biggest thing.

I admit to being late to the BB party, but most of the ones I have sampled have ranged from good to absolutely terrific, so I was very eager to try the next step forward in the skincare/makeup hybrid evolution. Luckily, I was offered a chance to test the CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base from Annabelle Cosmetics - a drugstore option for those looking to dip their toes into a new product type, without sacrificing their wallets for the privilege of being an early adopter.

Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base CC Cream

I have to say I was fairly confused by the product at first. With the words "colour correcting" in the name, I assumed a CC cream would actually have more coverage than a BB might offer. Since the North American versions of BB creams tend to have coverage equivalent to a tinted moisturizer, I assumed a CC cream would be akin to a medium level foundation, if not more. Sort of a concealer, in a featherweight formula. After consulting with my contact at Annabelle, and reading up online, I realized I was expecting the wrong thing - the purpose of a CC cream is not to offer coverage, per se, but to correct the overall tone and texture of the skin. The effect is meant to be both immediate and long-term with consistent use. The Annabelle CC Base in particular is meant to neutralize redness and the look of a dull and uneven complexion, reduce the appearance of pores and fine lines, and act as a primer for makeup.

My experience is that it does most of this very well. I do have a significant amount of redness in my cheeks, and I felt like this did not mute that colour as much as I would prefer, at least not in comparison to the Marcelle BB cream that I reviewed previously. For me personally, I need more coverage than the neutralizing effect offers. That said, there was an overall diffusing effect that smoothed and brightened my complexion, and visibly improved the tone of the skin. I think if you have significant discolouration you will probably need to reach for some kind of concealing product as well, but this does create the look of more even skin. And while it has a slight tint, there is no perceptible pigment left on the skin, which means that it is truly universal. I found it helpful to think of the difference between staining a fence and painting it. One changes the overall tone and texture while allowing the natural grain and base shade to show through, while the other covers the latter to a significant degree.

Below is a swatch of the Base unblended, and then blended into the skin.

Annabelle CC Colour Control Instant Perfecting Base CC Cream

It has a very lightweight texture that disappears into the skin - there's no heavy, overly slick or faux-powdery silicone feel, just silky-smooth skin. My pores and fine lines were indeed blurred, and overt shine was taken down a notch without creating an overly matte finish. I do recommend making sure skin is exfoliated, because dry, flaky patches will get picked up. This was lovely primer under makeup, keeping my foundation from seeping into my pores as the day passed. I also liked that it didn't interfere with the satin finish I prefer for my foundation.

What I did find odd is that there is no sunscreen. Something claiming to correct skin colour falls a little short for me if it doesn't address the primary cause of unevenness in skin texture and tone.

I also had the chance to test the matching CC Colour Control Pressed Powder, which carries similar claims for neutralizing redness and dull skin, while caring for skin with antioxidants and vitamin E. The coverage is light and the finish is demi-matte - it takes down shine, but allows the skin to retain some natural luminosity. I believe the white strip actually has a very faint sheen that helps to maintain some of that glow. The powder itself is smooth and finely milled, and blends well into the skin. It can be worn by itself for some shine-control and light blurring, over the Base for a finished look with natural coverage, or to set your regular foundation without having an over-powdered look.

Annabelle CC Colour Control Pressed Powder

 Below is a swatch of the base colour and the white stripe, and then the two blended together.

Annabelle CC Colour Control  Pressed Powder

Availability: At most drugstores, including Pharmaprix/SDM and Jean Coutu. Prices vary, about 15-18$.

Pros: Base has a lightweight texture, diffusing effect on skin texture and tone,  and is a nice primer, particularly for preventing seeping into pores. Overall, this works more like a primer-with-benefits than anything else. Powder has a fine texture and a finish that controls shine and looks natural.

Cons: Some confusion over what the "colour correcting" function is - if you are expecting significant reduction in skin discolouration or redness, this will not match up to your needs. Dry patches need to be prepped or they will be emphasized. Lack of sunscreen in both products.

(The items were sent to me by the brand to consider for review. This post is not sponsored or compensated.)

April 10, 2013

Flower Beauty Color Play Crème Eyeshadow - Orchid-ing Around and Time Willow Tell

I adore Drew Barrymore. She is a beautiful, intelligent, successful lady who has managed to rise above the typical Hollywood child star story, and I admire both her commitment to her causes and her business savvy. I was incredibly excited when I heard about the launch of Flower Beauty, her cosmetics brand, and I took advantage of a road trip state-side to raid the nearest Wal-Mart display.

I tried to sample a little bit of everything (minus complexion products, as the store I went to had been ransacked and the colour choices left behind were poor). Across the board, I have to say that I have been more impressed than not by the items I picked up. A couple, however, were more problematic.

Such was the case with the Color Play Crème Eyeshadows.

Flower Beauty Color Play Crème Eyeshadow - Orchid-ing Around and Time Willow Tell
Under artificial light.
Orchid-ing Around and Time Willow Tell

That picture doesn't capture how beautiful those shades look in the pot. They are full of multi-dimensional shimmer that is absolutely stunning.

Swatched, you get that color impact, but it also becomes clear that these have a problematic texture. They are like whipped cream - soft, fluffy, and a little greasy. (They are also so goopy that at least one of the ones I tried came out in a chunk attached to the lid insert.)

The clump of product that was stuck to the insert.

They slide all over when you try to apply them to the lids, making it difficult to build depth. If you try to get them more opaque, they take a while to set, at which point they tend to crease all over the place. They do better over a primer, and better still when set with a powder overtop - but then you lose the impact of that shimmer.

When sheered out, and do give a nicely ethereal, sparkly effect. Like a fairy came and dusted your eyelids with her wings. It's pretty, but due to the texture it's easy for the product to thin out too quickly, and they still have a problem with fading and creasing. They can also be applied overtop of another eye product to give that sort of wet-shine finish.

Flower Beauty Color Play Crème Eyeshadow - Orchid-ing Around and Time Willow Tell
Natural indirect light.
Top to bottom: Time Willow Tell and Orchid-ing Around.

The Color Play Crème Eyeshadows can be worked with to create some beautiful effects, but for something that is marketed to have mass appeal, I don't think these measure up to the success achieved by many of the other items in the line. I'm surprised at how finicky they are considering the target audience.

They are also competing with some top-notch cream eyeshadow formulas at the drugstore, such as the Maybelline Color Tattoos and the l'Oréal Infallible range, which are easier to use, with more reliable results.

Availability: Select Wal-Mart locations in the US. No information yet about Canadian distribution. Price is 7.98$

Pros: Beautiful color and multi-dimentional shimmer. Has a bit of a wet-shine effect.

Cons: Difficult to built up to true colour, best when worn sheered out. Tends to fade and crease. Texture is gloopy and slippy, can be messy both in the pot and for application.

(I purchased these items.)