Category Archives: Eyeshadow Reviews

Jordan Dunn

Right Now: Electric Blue

Of late I’ve been cruising on YouTube for obscure 80’s hits – one hit wonders and bad Australian songs have been featuring prominently. So today when I came across a CLASSIC Australian pop song (prompted by hearing a delivery man playing it in his truck yesterday – you know it’s fabulous music when that’s where you hear it!) the epic “Electric Blue” by Icehouse, I just knew I had to introduce it to all my MM readers. Or re-introduce it for those lucky enough to remember it first time around (c 1987).

Obviously the first thing you notice about the video is the lead singer’s hair, or mullet. I can tell you right now from all the YouTube-ing I’ve been doing that mullets were a key part of 80’s Aussie music. Uncanny X Men, Wa Wa Nee, Pseudo Echo – all the (supposedly) hot boys at the time had a delicious, bouffant and flowing back section and preferably a neat groomed (and highlighted, if you really wanted to impress the ladies) fore section. Forget business at the front, party at the back – it was party at the front, a nightclub at the back and a full on  rave all over.  Looking at the men in these videos it’s a wonder Aussies managed to reproduce at all and all the women didn’t run away screaming overseas. ANYWAY…

I digress. The reason I’m introducing you to this classic piece of vintage Australiana is the return of 80’s blue shadow and liner, except it’s being worn with a 90’s grunge sensibility. Since the whole natural grunge makeup seam has been pretty much mined to exhaustion over the last few seasons, during this season’s shows makeup artists are bringing back flashes of block colour and liner that were also a mainstay of 90’s makeup.

Pat McGrath put a sky blue on a few of the girls at Prada this week in Milan and Lucia Pieroni did a gorgeous electric blue liner at Giles in London. Which harked back to the 80’s. So it’s a post-modern, modern look if you will, that looks totally fresh. Here’s my picks for the best blue liners and shadows to give you a bit of colour-blocked 80’s/90’s/now goodness. Mullet optional, but not recommended.

 Best Blue Eyeliners

  • NARS Kitty pencil – a gorgeous electric blue
  • MAC Hi-Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil – used on the Giles show by Lucia Pieroni last week, this is pretty much the perfect blue
  • Bourjois  Regard Paillete in Bleu Etincelant – Sparkling eyeliner basically, but it sounds so much nicer in French! This is a gorgeous metallic bright blue liner. New to my kit this week. I love this and can’t wait to give it a workout.
  • Essence 2 in 1 Kajal pencil in Destination Sunshine -  the colour is a slightly off electric blue. It’s a bit of a weird colour which is why I like it. Essence are a German brand and Europe’s biggest selling range apparently, but new to me. At a bargain price point, I have to say I’m impressed with the colour pay off.
  • Barry M SuperSoft Eye Crayon in Matte Blue - Barry M. Always. Another bargain too.
  • Illamasqua Eye Pencil in Debonair – delicious bright blue with great pigmentation
  • TopShop Makeup  – If liquid liner is more your thing, TopShop do a deep blue liner called Yonder which looks quite delish.

Best Blue Shadows

  • NARS Outremer – amazing cobalt blue. Incredible
  • Illamasqua Victim  - is a full-pigment intense azure blue, and one of my favourites
  • Illamasqua Sadist – matte cobalt (cause you can never have too much colour blocked cobalt)
  • MAC Electric Eel - a total classic
  • MAC Freshwater  - if you don’t want your electric blue without a bit of sheen. I’ve had it in my kit forever, but right now I’m channeling a matte finish.
  • MAC Deep Truth  - a beautiful dark navy. Because sometimes you need to take the electric down a level, to well, normal.

 

PS: What’s with the clothes in 80’s videos?  Sweatshirts, singlets, a jumper that their nan knitted them – really it’s like most of them rolled out of bed that day and just pulled on whatever was in their washing pile. In the dark. The 80’s, truly the decade that style forgot.

Neal’s Yard Organic Eyeshadows

Right Now: Neal’s Yard (Amazing!) Organic Eyeshadows

So today is a red letter day for me – or rather yesterday was. I wore eye makeup. Um, what the what? I hear you ask? That’s not exciting, that’s just normal. Well maybe for all you lucky people out there with well behaved eyeballs, but for me over the last two years due to an auto immune disease I haven’t been able to wear it. As in, at all. As in one swipe of mascara, or eyeliner, and my eye feels like someone is scratching it with ground glass, and I want to rip it out. So for the last two years I have patiently sucked it up, put on more blush, made my skin as radiant as possible (thank you, Bobbi Brown BB Cream), and ensured that my eyebrows were groomed to within an inch of their lives. Apart from the odd foray into red lipstick, that’s been it. And just FYI, I look like an egg without eye makeup (pale and blonde, even my eyelashes are fair).

Until yesterday! That’s right, I have finally found an eye makeup I can wear. So all you sensitive souls who struggle with chemical additives in makeup and skincare need to listen closely. Neal’s Yard. It’s an English organic line that started with skincare (all the way back in 1981 when anyone who was into natural products was considered to be a total beardy weirdy), and they now have a makeup line. All of their makeup has been created using the finest natural ingredients, and most of it is so pure you could quite literally, eat it without having ill effects. Kay Montano sent me some of their eye makeup to try when I explained my egg-faced predicament, and hallelujah! It works. I used their Cocoa and Wild Plum eyeshadows mixed together, smudged along my lashlines and applied it wet at the roots of my lashes to make a non-irritating eyeliner. No mascara (we’re not there yet baby), but let me tell you, that little bit of eyeshadow made me feel transformed. I had eyes! That you could see! That are actually quite blue when I put eyeliner on! And it felt life changing.

So thank you Neal’s Yard for your lovely, edible (OK not really but it’s very reassuring to know you almost could), wonderful makeup that even the most sensitive of eyes can wear. And thank you Sisley, for your gorgeous Eau Micellaire liquid which has currently booted my Bioderma Crealine off my bathroom shelf (never thought that would happen, EVER), and took off every skerrick of eye makeup, without any eye irritation whatsoever.

Thank you Kay, for thinking of me and, as always, being the ultimate beauty resource.

And thank you to makeup in general for reminding me of the power that a lick of colour, a few strokes of powder can wield. That eyeshadow did a lot more than just bring out my eyes – it raised my spirits and gave me hope there is life after autoimmune.

www.nealsyardremedies.com

Tom Ford Color Quad

In My Kit – Tom Ford Eye Colour Quads

Can we just talk for a minute about how FREAKING amazing these eyeshadows are? Let’s. (This is a makeup blog after all).

I can’t fault these, I love everything about them. There are four generous eyeshadows in each compact, and each colour is gorgeous in it’s own right, as well as a beautiful mix together. The other thing I love is that they have a mix of shimmer and matte in each compact which is perfect as when building a beautiful eye, that’s exactly what you want – matte to create the architecture and the shape, and shimmer to make it all sizzle and pop.

The texture of the shimmer shadows is exceptional as well – they are very similar to the MyFace Blingtones (another MM fave, as long-time readers will know). The line was actually created in consultation with über-makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury who also consulted on the development of the MyFace line, so you can see her influence in the Tom Ford shadows.

On a side note, Charlotte is working on her own line at present which will be released in September. She has also got a fabulous new website with lots of videos and Tips and Tricks which you should definitely have a look at, www.charlottetilbury.com.

Here’s Charlotte using the Tom Ford Eyeshadow quads on lovely Laura Bailey.

And back to Tom Ford! The Silvered Topaz quad has been in heavy rotation in my kit for a smoky eye as it’s just gorgeous – subtle and dreamy and oh so flattering. Even though I have hundreds of shadows in my kit and in my Vault, I still feel that I need more of these delicious goodies. They are very soft, buttery smooth, with an impeccable colour selection – although be warned – the shimmery ones can create fallout, probably my only gripe.

The quads come in about 10 different and lovely combos, ranging from blues to purples to gorgeous burgundies and an amazing collection of browns and coppers. The hardest bit is choosing which one to buy next.

I also love the Tom Ford packaging as it’s super lightweight which is perfect for makeup artists. It’s all about what’s inside, not the packaging that counts!

Another winner from Mr Ford’s makeup line. You’ve got yourself a fan-girl, sir.

Tom Ford is available from David Jones in Australia, Neiman Marcus in the US and Selfridges in the UK.

Burberry Eyeshadow

Right Now: Burberry Complete Eye Palette In Mocha

OK it’s official. Burberry can do no wrong in my eyes. They have new eye quads that are, in a word, divine. Buttery soft, smooth and the colour combinations are just perfection.

It comes housed in a sleek gunmetal case which I am THRILLED to say, is lighter than the single eyeshadows I own. Because if I had one gripe with Burberry Beauty, it was the weight of their beautiful products. For the lady at home carrying a lippy and a blush they would be OK (still heavy, but just about manageable). But if you’re a makeup artist and you have a stack of those bad boys you want to carry, it’s just death. And then you have to choose which ones to take on a job. And then it’s MORE death because they’re all so lovely, and you can’t choose. And then you have to hack them up with a pallet knife which makes you want to stick the palette knife in your eye because it’s so sacrilegious to hack up those gorgeous Burberry eyeshadows to put in teeny plastic cases so you can carry them all. Can you tell I’ve been there? More than once?

So now the packaging feels lighter, and Burberry have given you not one, but FOUR lovely shades to choose from. I have Mocha, which is rich, yummy golden browns (you know, the browns that are surprising hard to find in other ranges? Yeah, those). There is a cream, a golden brown, a nutmeg/caramel colour and a rich brown that’s perfect for lining eyes. These babies can go natural and nothing, or very, very glamorous. What I love about the Burberry shadows is they are matte but they still have a sheen to them, so they don’t look flat on the eye.

The eye quads are called the Compete Eye Palette and come in 6 different shade variations, ranging from Plum Pink to Smokey Grey. I for one will be needing more of these new lightweight! Burberry goodies.

And here’s a video which has very little to do with Burberry, except it’s the Burberry model, Cara Delevigne, rollerskating in an elf hat. Shot by Angelo Pennetta for Love magazine, I thought it was super cute. And it’s Christmas, and who doesn’t love rollerskating elves at Christmas? Especially ones as pretty as Cara Delevigne.

www.burberry.com

Current Obsession: Blue Velvet

“She wore blue velvet, bluer than velvet were her eyes…”

I couldn’t tell you why but for the last couple of months I have had two obsessions – deep blue eyeshadows, and David Lynch. Maybe it’s from being hypnotized by Isabella Rosellini’s performance in his extraordinary film Blue Velvet at an impressionable age (not to mention her blue eyeshadow in the movie!) or maybe it was my recent purchase of NARS Outremer cobalt eyeshadow that sparked my latest obsession. Whatever it is, it’s got me channeling Blue Velvet. Unfortunately the scene where Isabella Rossellini sings Blue Velvet  has been deleted on YouTube for copyright reasons (SO annoying when that happens!), but this video gives you an idea of why I’m so inspired:

 

And these are the shadows I’ve found to give me the velvety blue goodness I’ve been after. Just to be clear, it’s not a baby blue, or a pastel blue (although Lord knows I dug up enough of them when I was rummaging in the makeup Vault for this story), it’s rich, decadent otherworldly blue eyeshadows, from inky navies to brighter sapphire shades. Here are my picks:

Tom Ford Cobalt Rush – Tom Ford shadows (here I’m going to wax lyrical again) are absolutely beautiful. Soft, buttery-smooth, pigmented and come in quads of four colours that are gorgeous individually or used together. Cobalt Rush is his quartet of blues with a navy, a teal, a shimmering white and a beautiful grey-blue. Like all Tom Ford products it’s sophisticated and luxe. Do be careful when applying though as I find there’s quite a bit of shimmer fall-out, but the finish is so beautiful it’s well worth it. Pop a tissue under the eye whilst you’re doing your eye makeup to catch any fall-out.

Revlon 16 Hour Shadow quad in Serenity – Sky blue, glittery black navy, pale blue and a surprise pale gold for a highlight (which is what I love about it) make up this quartet of lagoon lovelies. Revlon’s new shadow quads come in all the colours of the rainbow and give long-lasting, crease-proof wear.

NARS Outremer – This is the shadow that got me on the Blue Velvet tip. It’s a bright, beautiful deep blue that has to be seen to be believed. It’s not like any other colour I’ve seen and makes other blues look flat and – just not blue enough. NARS China Blue is another of my favourite ways to sing the blues.

MyFace EyeTouch Eyeshadow Trio in BellBottom Blues and Silk Screen Art duo eyeshadow in Pop Culture – I’ve been a fan of the MyFace Trio eyeshadows since they were released, and I love this new addition to my collection. A beautiful shimmering cobalt, a pale white-blue and a navy Blingtone make this indispensable in my kit.

MyFace also have new Silk Screen Art duo eyeshadows in gorgeous colour combos dreamed up by celebrity makeup artist Kay Montano. Pop Culture is a bright vivid blue and a chartreuse green, and these are great eyeshadows for makeup artists to have in their kit as the colours are lovely but ones that are quite hard to find. Plus there is the ever-attractive MyFace price point – they aren’t expensive compared to a lot of other similar products.

Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Deep Night – I think this was my original navy shadow in my kit and one I still use to today. Just a beautiful, deep matte blue with a hint of black, so perfect for a smoky eye or for lining (if you’re so inclined).  Her cake eyeliner in Bleu Marine is also gorgeous.

Chanel Eyeshadow Quad in Bleu Celestes – Ah Chanel I can’t do a job without you so it’s only fair I talk about my first blue eyeshadow quad that despite my plethora of other options, I can’t bear to part with. Bleu Celestes has a deep navy, grey-blue, a brighter blue and a shimmering white with that perfect Chanel finish that I can’t go past.

“You wore blue velvet, bluer than velvet were your eyes…”

Tom Ford Cream Color for Eyes in Guilt

In My Makeup Kit: Tom Ford Cream Eyeshadows in Gilt and Spice

These are INSANE. It’s been awhile since I was this excited about an eye shadow – and let’s face it, I do get quite excited about eye shadows on occasion. Not since the launch of Chanel’s divine Ombre d’Illusions which are still in constant rotation at MM HQ have I gone crazy for a new eye product.

First off, the colours. The whole of Tom Ford’s Spring collection is all bronze-y golds, and no one does a bronze-y gold better than Mr Tom Ford (HE even looks bronze-y gold himself!) Like everything TF these eye shadows just look like money, an expensive shimmery whipped cream mousse confection that I can’t get enough of.

Gilt is a gorgeous gold cream that glides on the lid like a dream and can be used all over the lid as a wash or strategically placed for a pop of golden shimmer along the lash lines, or the tear duct. It’s not super-pigmented – there are other products you can buy if you want serious strong gilt territory (try Illamasqua, MAC or Ben Nye if you want to go a bit Goldfinger). But this Tom Ford shadow is so beautiful it doesn’t need to pack a pigment punch – it’s just the right amount of everything. Not too yellow gold, not too sparkly, it’s in a word, ravishing.

Spice is a browny-tobacco colour but warm enough to make eyes pop (not with that grey tone that makes even the shiniest of eyes look dead). It is more pigmented than the gold, and in fact they look absolutely gorgeous when worn together.

The texture of the shadows is like a whipped mousse, less spongy than the Chanel Ombres d’Illusion shadows and creamier, with more slip so they glide on easily with either a finger or a brush. I’ll be curious to see whether they dry out like most cream eyeshadows do, not matter how careful you are about securing the lids. The Tom Ford makeup range makes me think of Capri in the 70’s, private jets, hell, private islands – and hyper-real women who look like goddesses. Don’t mind if I do.

If perfection could be potted in tiny jars, TF has managed it with his makeup line. Add to cart.

tomford.com

The new Tom Ford Spring collection will be available exclusively through David Jones for a limited time from March 25th.

MyFace EyeTouch Eyeshadow

In My Makeup Kit: MyFace EyeTouch Eyeshadow Trio in Whole Latte Love

I’m going to tell you a secret – it’s probably not that exciting unless you’re a proper makeup head, but if you’re on my blog then chances are good you might be – I love a good brown eyeshadow. So much so that I have to have regular meetings with myself and get quite stern in order to cull the tidal wave of brown shadows that seems to wash up into my kit on a regular basis. I sit there, surrounded by eyeshadows and argue with myself. The conversation goes something like this:

Really? Really Christabel? Another mid-toned brown eyeshadow with sparkle? Do you need it?” To which I reply (in my head of course, not out loud because that’s what crazy people do. Isn’t it?) “But that one is so good as a liner when you layer it with a pencil. I’ll get rid of the others.” Sure enough though, when sparkly brown eyeshadow 2, 3 and 4 roll around, what do I get but more justifications:

This one is perfect on green eyes as it has the right amount of red”.
I layer this one for editorial looks”.
This is good for a quick smoky eye when I don’t have time
That one’s in a palette that I like so I can’t get rid of it” And so on and so forth through shades of tan and camel, mid tone and dark, shiny and matte etc etc.

And yet, with all those brown eyeshadows (in the dozens, I’m ashamed to say, although I have my reasons to love all of them) I have a new one that I can’t get rid of either. It’s MyFace EyeTouch Trio eyeshadow in Whole Latte Love. It has a neutral matte cream colour (always handy in your makeup kit), and a great nutmeg-y colour which is perfect as a base shade, and then the piece de resistance which is a shimmering brown/plum taupe. It’s delicious on all eye colours although I’m yet to bust it out on a very dark skin tone. However it’s been in pretty heavy rotation in my makeup bag lately on private clients and beauty shoots.

This little gem has not had to justify my love. And just as an excuse to slide in a bit of vintage Madonna, here’s the clip for … well you know what it is.

myfacecosmetics.com

 

The. Best. Eyeshadow. Quads. Ever. Chanel

Chanel eyeshadow quadThis post is slightly cheating – really it should be “Best Eyeshadow Ever”, but I just couldn’t pick one brand. I have too many eyeshadows that I like – MAC and Dior and NARS and Illamasqua and Chanel and my old Stila ones and Myface and Laura Mercier – oh, and Bobbi Brown! It would be like Sophie’s Choice but with about 50 kids to choose from. Horrible, and too distressing to contemplate. So instead I decided to cheat and start with Eyeshadow Quads. Chanel win those hands down. I was doing makeup for a private client at the weekend and I got seriously back into them.

I have loads! I have at least nine that come with me on every job. Old ones that have been discontinued for years, and newer ones (like last year’s delicious Kaska Beige), and they all get a regular work-out. The colours are super-flattering and can be mixed beautifully, either from within the quad or with others in the Chanel range – or if you’re feeling crazy, from other brands!

Yes I know, the pigment pay off on other brands can be superior, but the finish is so beautiful! And the colour ranges are gorgeous, and go together so well. And yes they are expensive, but you wouldn’t expect to get a discount Ferrari would you?

One thing I have found though is that I much prefer the US versions of the quads – I just prefer the texture, and the texture is markedly different to their UK/European/Australian versions. But sill I love all of them, no matter where I bought them from. And the packaging, well, there is no substitute for that elegant black lacquer.

The only downside is that they have terrible tendency to encourage you to want more – as in new ones every season, as every new collection is more delectable than the last. Ombres Perlees de Chanel for Spring? Don’t mind if I do!

www.chanel.com