Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bobbi Brown GWP Mini Eyeshadow Palette

I swear Bobbi Brown has the BEST GWPs.  I am addicted to these little things.  They are usually with a $125-$150 purchase on the Bobbi Brown or department store websites.  They are tiny, and I LOVE that.  I've photographed them next to my Sephora VIB rouge card so you can get an idea of size.  These little things are no bigger than a credit card in width and length and maybe the size of two or three together for depth.  But you get a decent amount of product in them.  They are perfect for tossing in your purse for make-up on the go or for taking for travel.  If you could just buy these, I would buy a ton of them.
Here's a photo of the inside:

The one on the left is all eyeshadows.  I got it at the Bobbi Brown website recently with a $150 min purchase.  That sale is over, but you can currently get one at Neiman Marcus with a $150 Bobbi Brown purchase.  This is an incredible deal because you get 8 Bobbi Brown eyeshadows for free!  The GWPs also usually include a free mini mascara and small eye cream (not photographed).  For me, it doesn't matter that you only get a small amount of eyeshadow.  I hardly ever hit pan on anything and this lets me try all of these colors I would normally spend $22 a piece to try each color. I also prefer mini mascaras over full size because even with daily use I won't run out before the 3 month expiration date on open mascara is up.

Colors in the all eyeshadow one are Ivory, Shell, Stone shimmer, Antique Rose, Mica sparkle (note the sparkle shadows are not Bobbi's best formula), Saddle, Petal, and Rich Caviar.  The Stone shimmer and Saddle (a cool brown) are ones I am going to have to buy the full size of because they are really nice.

The GWP on the right contains a blush too.  It contains all of my favorite every day Bobbi eyeshadows in one tiny compact and the blush, perfect for travel.  It's Ivory, Velvet Plum (metallic), Cement (my favorite light every day lid color), and Rich Caviar.  The blush is Desert Pink.  Desert pink is an intensely pigmented blush so a lot goes a loooong way.  Use a stippling brush or a fan brush and only get a tiny bit and it will look good. I use Ivory for all over color, Cement on the lid, and Rich Caviar wet as a liner for a great day look then pat Velvet Plum over the top to convert to evening.

Here's a look I did with Ivory, Stone shimmer, and Saddle:

I personally think these things are amazing.  Bobbi Brown, please consider making them available for individual sale!  The all eyeshadow GWP was my first palette I used in week 1 of my palette parade.  I used it every day for week and you can hardly tell it's been used, so you can get a lot of use out of these.  I also didn't get tired of it at all in that week, so there's a good variety of pretty colors in there.

SirenPrincessBeauty Ranking: A+
Disclaimer: These were GWPs but I did purchase the $150 minimum to receive them with my own money.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Balm Lou Manizer

Looking for a new highlighter?  My absolute favorite is The Balm Mary Lou Manizer.

First, I love the adorable packaging and theme.  All of The Balm products have cute names and packaging.  The Lou Manizer series show cute girls in their mug shots with crimes like highlighting and looking too cute.

Mary Lou is the palest and is a pure highlighter.  It has a soft golden color and is pure shimmer.  It is the first powder highlighter I've found that has high shimmer but no glitter.  I don't know why, but Laura Mercier shimmer block and Bobbi Brown's shimmer brick and brightening brick are all glitter, glitter, glitter on me and just don't look flattering on me.  You only need a tiny bit with Mary Lou, so I use a fan brush to pick up a tiny bit of product and brush it very lightly across the top of my cheek bones where I want a highlight. This gives me that Hollywood highlight/contour look I want without looking glittery and out of place in my everyday life.  Mary Lou is perfect for pale girls because the golden color really adds no color and just adds the shimmer highlight.  It's perfect.

Now the one I'm disappointed in.  Cindy Lou Manizer is new, and I was very excited about it.  It's supposed to be a peachy highlighter that isn't quite as shimmery as Mary Lou. I was hoping it would be good for a more general highlighter I could use in more places without looking like a light bulb.  Bad news, pale girls--it looks like a blush on me.  It's a pretty dark peach and would make a good shimmery blush, but it definitely would not work as a highlighter.  I also did not find it any less shimmery than Mary Lou.

Finally there is a Betty Lou Manizer that I do not have for pictures but did purchase for my mother.  It's a very warm, dark, shimmery bronzer.  I do not think this would work at all for us pale girls.  It's for darker skin tones that want a warm, glowing look and would not work for contouring.  Still, the packaging is adorable and I think it's a great product for darker skin tones.

Here's the pictures of Mary Lou Manizer (on the left) and Cindy Lou Manizer (in the middle).  To try to give an idea of the color and darkness of Cindy Lou, I tried putting it next to some products you might be familiar with.  I've included The Balm Frat Boy blush, Benefit Rockateur Blush, and a Pixi bronzer.

And here they are swatched on my arm:

1. Mary Lou Manizer, 2 Benefit Rockateur Blush, 3. Cindy Lou Manizer, 4. Frat Boy Blush, 5 Pixi Bronzer

You'll notice that my Cindy Lou swatch looks nothing at all like the swatch on the Balm site.  I adore the Balm products, but I have found their swatches somewhat inaccurate.  They must be taken with a very bright flash.

Disclaimer: I bought all of the products discussed in this review.

SirenPrincessBeauty Rating:
Mary Lou Manizer: A+, one of my favorite products, great for pale girls!
Cindy Lou Manizer: C, can only be used as a blush on paler girls

Mary Lou Manizer, available at the and select Kohl's stores, $24
Cindy Lou Manizer, available at the and select Kohl's stores, $24

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bobbi Brown Midtone Brown Eyeshadows

I have quite a lot of Bobbi Brown, so I thought I would take the opportunity swatch a bunch of her midtone brown eyeshadows from different palettes and singles all together so that they would be easier for people to compare.  Her palettes usually contain at least one cream or white shade, some midtone browns, and then a really dark brown that I only ever use as a liner.  So here is a comparison of the midtone browns I own swatched on my pale skin.  I'll do a separate post of some of the lighter shimmer colors another time.  Most of these are the matte browns.

1. Pale Rose 2. Stormy Grey 3. Barely There 4. Heather Brown 5. Saddle 6. Taupe 7. Stone 8. Cocoa 9. Frappe 10. Antique Rose 11. Cement 12. Naked 13. Slate 14. Downtown

A little closer:

1. Pale Rose 2. Stormy Grey 3. Barely There 4. Heather Brown 5. Saddle 6. Taupe 7. Stone 8. Cocoa 9. Frappe

7. Stone 8. Cocoa 9. Frappe 10. Antique Rose 11. Cement 12. Naked 13. Slate 14. Downtown

My favorites are Cement and Stone.  Cocoa is extremely close to Stone, so the Rich Chocolate palette is almost like getting double the Stone (which is fine by me since I love that color).  My least favorite color is Taupe, which oddly is the least taupey to me.

Also, I think I've finally figured out how to tell if a Bobbi palette will have good payout or not.  All of the mattes are the best, great payout.  The shimmers are all pretty good too.  The metalics are usually okay but starting to get to not so great.  It's the ones labeled sparkle that are horrible, crumbly, and no color payout.  So if a palette is mostly mattes and shimmers, it's going to be a good one.  If the palette has a lot of sparkles, I'd stay away.

What's your favorite matte brown eyeshadow?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

SirenPrincessBeauty Rating: Varies by shade, but in general Bobbi Brown mattes get an A from me.

Disclaimer--I bought these.  Saddle is from a GWP.  Taupe was sort of free because messed up my order and let me keep it.  Otherwise I paid for them all with my own money.

Take The Eyeshadow Palette Parade With Me

Thanks to a wonderful idea by Bombshell30 on Sephora Beauty Talk, I am going to be doing the Eyeshadow Palette Parade Challenge!  You can find the rules and a list of other participants here.

In short, I put all of my palettes and eyeshadow collections in a random number generator to create an order.  I will be wearing one palette every day of the week (except weekends) for one week and then moving on to the next palette.  This helps assure that all of my palettes get some love, helps me realize how many I have, and helps me decide when it might be time to give a palette away.  Weekends are cheat days and can be anything I want.  There is a rule that it's okay to add other colors to the palette specified so long as the main look is from the palette, but I've got a few on my list that are only trios, so those I will allow extensive use of other colors so long as the trio is used in some way.

I'm also making it a personal goal to try to blog about each palette the week after I experiment with it.  Come on this journey with me!

Here is my list:

Bobbi Brown Classic Eye
The Balm Nude Tude
Geek Chic True Blood
Bobbi Brown Pastel Shadow Options
Too Faced Chocolate Bar
Bobbi Brown Uber Nude
BH Cosmetics Galaxy Palette
Shiro Hunger Games
The Balm Singles
Naked Basics
Random Singles--Sephora, Lorac, Darla
Lancome Taupe Craze
Naked 1
Clinique Come Heather
Bobbi Brown Cream Eyeshadows-Browns
Lancome Ruby Affair
Too Faced Bodour Eye
UD Anarchy
Lancome Lavender Grace
Naked 3
Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate
Geek Chic Game of Thrones
Dior Stylish Move
UD Feminine
Stila Black Friday Set
Shiro Zelda
Dior Grege
Bobbi Brown Singles
UD Build My Own (Melt Palette)
Bobbi Brown Shadow Sticks
Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose
Naked 2
MAC Build My Own
UD Build My own (Rock Palette)
Bobbi Brown Cream Eyeshadows-Purples
Geek Chic Harry Potter
Too Faced Naked Eye
Dior Rosy Tan
Bobbi Brown Bobbi & Katie
Laura Mercier Artist's Palette 2013
Bobbi Brown Navy & Nude
Shiro Game of Thrones
Drugstore faves
Too Faced Glamour To Go
Drugstore non-faves

Are you participating in the Eyeshadow Palette Parade Challenge?  If so, then be sure to leave a comment and tell me about it or link me to your blog!