Tag Archives: neutrals

Canmake Jewel Star Eyes, Stone Gold and Illumination Nude eye shadow review

I’ve recently been on a cream eye shadow kick – whether it’s because they feel more convenient than powders, seem cooler for summer or there’s just some subliminal connection to ice-cream, I’m not sure! The latest victims of my cream eye-shadow binge? Canmake Jewel Star Eyes in 07 Stone Gold and 08 Illumination Nude.

Canmake is a Japanese cosmetics brand and like most Japanese cosmetics brands, glittery girliness is very much the order of the day! The Jewel Star Eye Shadows are no exception – all nine shades are packed to the hilt with shimmer, sparkle, pearl and lamé particles for a high-shine Hollywood finish.

The texture of these is somewhere between a cream, jelly and mousse (my friend Jenn reckons they’re cheaper versions of Jill Stuart’s Eye Jellies); not as thick as a typical cream eye shadows, yet not as bouncy as a jelly and without that light whipped feeling of a mousse. The shadow slides onto your fingertips easily, almost melting off in fact (yet more subliminal ice-cream connections!), and it feels slippery and light but dries to a smudge-proof finish almost instantly. One light swipe gives you a sheerer, stardust-like effect, with a few heavy smears required to build the shadow to a more vivid colour.

Stone Gold (07) is a light wash of champagne or white gold. It contains gold, silver and red pearl particles – more recognisable to you and me as glitter – and I’d say silver is most noticeable of these three. This is a great neutral that packs more of a punch than the average neutral and looks really beautiful layered over other colours for a stunning starlit shimmer. For me, however, it’s a little too insubstantial to use on its own.

Illumination Nude (08) is a pinky-peachy melon shade that’s yet another great neutral. Canmake recommends using this as a base and the colour is in the vein of Urban Decay’s Sin (which you can see swatched in this post) – except there’s a riot of glitter going on here too! Close-up, you can really see the mixture of gold, pearl and red particles, and in the light, they flash a whole rainbow of other colours too. This is a more strongly-pigmented, multi-dimensional colour than Stone Gold and the shadow’s texture is smoother than Stone Gold’s too (you can tell this from the banner photo alone!). This one is sensationally pretty, especially when it hits the sun.

I was worried that Illumination Nude was a dupe for one of my Urban Decay shadows, X, and from this angle, my worry was well-founded! Illumination Nude basically looks like someone emptied a jar of glitter into the Urban Decay!

However, X is an amazing eye shadow (full review… someday) that performs a chameleon number on the Canmake and turns to a pretty pink-gold from other angles. So not a dupe after all!

Canmake promises that the Jewel Star Eyes series is long-lasting, non-creasing and doesn’t shed glitter. I can get on-board with non-creasing, but used alone, I found that the shadows seemed to melt away after a few hours and Stone Gold in particular dispensed glitter around my eyes during its disappearing act! I also wish the packaging was a little more substantial – they’re in individual plastic pans that are small and easy to lose in the wilderness of my make-up bag. But since you have a smaller quantity of product, plus shadows that feel less wet and more compressed than typical creams and jellies, drying out shouldn’t be as much of a problem.

I enjoy the unique easy-to-use texture of Canmake’s Jewel Star Eyes and getting that super-starry effect from such a light feeling, non-gritty shadow is rather awesome. It’s a shame the other colours in the range aren’t more useable – bright playground purples, blues, greens and pinks bulk up the rest of the range. I like to use 07 and 08 blended together to create a look so multi-dimensionally sparkly that passing magpies squawk in approval but that’s still neutral, easily wearable and versatile.

If you’re a fan of glitters, these are a must; if you’re a fan of great-wearing cream eye shadows, perhaps not. Canmake’s Jewel Star Eyes are not quite the crown jewels in my book, yet make for some pretty fantastic costume jewellery nonetheless.

Canmake Jewel Star Eyes in 07 Stone Gold and 08 Illumination Nude, $64, City Super and selected Sasas

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils review

I recently paid a visit to Hong Kong’s annual Make-Up Fiesta (combined with one of their mill-annual Wedding Fairs) at Wan Chai’s Convention & Exhibition Centre, hoping for bargain beauty buys and the appearance of some elusive hitherto unfound-in-HK brands (yes, Nfu Oh, I’m looking at you). However, the term ‘Fiesta’ was generous. I’m thinking more ‘intimate gathering’, ‘impromptu shindig’ or even ‘quick drink down the pub with mates.’ Amidst the crowd of wedding gowns, photographers and men pestering my boyfriend as to when the big day was, there were all of about… three make-up stalls.

Luckily, there was one that just about made the $20 entry fee worthwhile. NYX Cosmetics is a brand that I’ve not seen sold so far in Hong Kong, and judging by the storm of make-up hungry girls by its stand, not many other people had either. There were also plenty of bargains to be had, if you dared run the gauntlet of being without testers; I picked up… you’ll never guess… nail polish (what else!) at four bottles for $100, plus three NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils for $200. Having got these colourful chunky babies back to the safety of my own home, my only regret is that I didn’t pick up more!

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils are a very similar proposition to the recently-released Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils (see here for photos). They’re both chubby creamy crayons available in a rainbow of vivid hues, fat enough to use as eye-shadow but pointed enough to use as an eyeliner too. The crayon form makes it ultra-convenient, neater, quicker and simpler than getting your fingers and brushes dirty with powder or cream shadows, whilst the fatter-than-your-average pencil sweeps over the eyelid oh-so-easily in just one or two strokes. So for someone that (guiltily) uses her eyeliners as eye-shadows more often than she should, and for anyone who appreciates great make-up in general, they’re perfection.

In my opinion, these are actually softer and creamier than Urban Decay’s eye pencils – they glide onto the eyelid effortlessly, more effortlessly than the word effortlessly even implies, delivering a sweep of vibrant consistent colour that Urban Decay would be proud of. I don’t think they could be nicer about it unless they bowed and said ‘After you, ma’am’. Even after many hours wear, there was no sense of dryness at all, whilst the colour pay-off is so magnificent that it makes coating the eye-lid in a simple intense wash of colour easier than learning your ABCs.

Size comparison: NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils vs Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils ends in a draw!

The only downside of the NYX Jumbo Pencils? They crease. A lot. It’s such a shame as the colour itself certainly isn’t going anyway but that’s one area that Urban Decay has them beat at. Obviously, this is less of a problem if you’re using them as a liner, and I’m yet to try them with Urban Decay’s Primer Potion underneath.

Many of the colours are named after foods, which sounds fun until you get to the reality of make-up named Black Bean, French Fries and Cottage Cheese (now sadly more famous for being name-checked in thousands of doctor’s leaflets about thrush), which just sound a little… well, icky. After all, I detest Horseradish in real-life, so why would I want to put it anywhere near my face!

Yoghurt is my favourite of the three. It’s a beautiful neutral, a shimmering glimmering pink-leaning champagne. A gorgeous versatile colour for everyday use, it also comes into its own glowing and glistening for special occasions, and should suit just about every skintone and colouring. It’s also pretty much an exact dupe for Urban Decay’s Shadow Pencil in Sin which, given that Sin has received far and away the most use out of my five Urban Decays, can only be a good thing! Looks nothing like any yoghurt I’ve ever tried, that’s for sure.

Then again, Lemon is my favourite too. This has sensibly been re-named Lime as it’s a vibrant vivid almost acidic olive-gold that leans way more towards green than the name Lemon implies. It’s zingy, zesty and a total stand-out, different to anything else in my (Urban Decay dominated) stash. I’ve compared it here to UD’s Shadow Pencil in Narc and their 24/7 Eye Pencil in Mildew, yet as you can see, they’re far darker and mossier than Lemon.

Lemon is the perfectly-pitched balance between green and gold, where green still comes out on top yet but where gold has made it a far superior colour along the way. This gilded green makes me think of Cleopatra for some reason, it just has something luxuriously glamorous yet flattering about it. Stunning and surprisingly versatile, it looks amazing paired with browns or adding a nuanced punch to neutrals.

My final pick was the imaginatively-named Purple. This is actually the exact colour of the outside of Urban Decay’s 24/7 eyeliner in Ransom, with a shimmering silvery blue iridescence to it. However, it’s absolutely nothing like the actual colour of Ransom itself, which does have that same blue-purple iridescence but is a lot more dark and a lot more purple with it. NYX’s Purple is the colour of dreams, the colour of butterfly wings and the colour of a precious stone I always hoped existed when I was little, a lavender moonstone. I do love Ransom too, and I think you now realise I just love purples full stop, so NYX’s Purple is an excellent addition to my collection, for swooning purposes if for nothing else.

I’d definitely buy NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils again (let’s hope another make-up ‘casual get-together’ makes it to Hong Kong soon), as they’re such an obviously brilliant products. Far from competing against the Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils, they sit happily alongside them, creasing issue aside – NYX currently have a greater range of colours (since UD just launched theirs) and they boast all the same virtues that made me fall for the UD ones in the first place. I’ve got big… or should that be jumbo-sized love for them all!

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Yoghurt, Lime (aka Lemon) and Purple, $200 for three at Hong Kong’s Make-Up Fiesta