Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Adorned with Grace Minerals Spring Collection:Bright, Airy and Sheer

Hi ladies,

How are you doing today? I hope you’re bursting with energy and ready to tackle anything heading your way. Yours truly, on the other hand, is very much under the weather with some headache, urgh! Anyways, don’t worry too much about me: some Tylenol and lots of water will do me a lot of good.

Last week, Franchesca from Adorned with Grace minerals surprised me with samples of her spring collection. This really got me when I saw what came in the mail. This time, Franchesca outdid herself with a collection of 10 brand new eye shadows! With the first glance, I was ecstatic to see such bright and cheerful colors. Knowing AwG since the beginning, I realize this must be a big switch for Franchesca to formulate such bright colors. Often times, her colors are whispery soft and nudes, very lady-like.

Adorned with Grace Spring 2009 limited edition eye shadows

Still life of stilled arm, aka the whole skin swatch!

As I happily opened up the vacuum-sealed pack and did some swatches, I was surprised at how sheer the colors are. It took me some trials and errors to figure out the bases to make the colors pop. Here is a short summary of how things went inside my “studio”:

Trial numero uno: using Bare Canvas as a base

Bare Canvas paint pot is my go-to base. I use it with virtually everything and most times it makes colors look very vibrant. The colors look like makeup on steroid whenever I use it. However, these colors had a hard time showing up on my eyelids regardless how much pigment I packed on my brushes. Strange, huh?

AwG eye shadows are really pigmented. I even did a double check with regular eye shadows applied to one eyelid and the spring LE colors on the other. The result: regular ones are more pigmented. So what’s the deal?

Trial numero dos: using Cash Flow as a base and got no better luck!

After this point, I got quite frustrated. It’s been a while since I use sheer eye colors. The last one of its short is Clinique and although I like their eye shadows, I hate to layer multiple times to get the intensity that I want. The only advantage of sheer colors is they are much easier to blend.

Trial numero tres: using Painterly as a base

Ding ding ding! Some colors finally showed up, which means this LE set loves pink bases. Usually, I do not care so much for Painterly as it is matte and kind of dull. However, a lot of makeup artists love it and I can understand why: the paint pot works well with many different colors.

At this point, I started to ask myself if Franchesca used a different base while formulating her eye shadows. Although the colors are really bright in the package, they are really muted and sheer upon application. It’s like something just toned down the intensity of the pigments.

Last trial: Perky paint pot, my savior!

After Painterly, I pretty much got exhausted of all the scrubbing and cleaning so I emailed Franchesca to asked her for some tips. She confirmed my hunch in one of her blog entries: the base is indeed different (damn, I’m good!). This time, Franchesca used a premium base to formulate her new eye shadows to make it look sheer and airy. The eye shadows indeed came from spring fashion editorials as the colors are more muted.

Since Perky is a LE paint pot, you can substitute it with Fresco Rose in MAC regular lineup.

Now, here’s the break down of the colors:

First row, L-R: Optimistic and Thoughtful
Second row, L-R: Sensitive, Honorable, and Amusing

Skin swatch of the above colors

Optimistic is a soft matte yellow eye shadow that can perks up your tired eyes. Franchesca told me that it’s her own version of Well Rested from Bare Essentuals. This color is kind of strange to me as it is very sheer but I do love to apply it to the inner corner of my eyes.

Thoughtful is a soft shimmery nude color that is perfect as a contouring color for fair skin ladies or a highlighter for those who are NC/NW 35 and above. Among the eye shadows, this is one of my favorites.

Sensitive is a very strange color: although it looks really bright in the bag, it comes out as a soft peachy pink with some shimmer. At first, I was really happy to see this color, as I wanted to use it as a blush. I guess this color could have made a pretty shade of blush if it is not too sheer.

Honorable is also another favorite of mine. It is a very light eggshell lavender color with soft shimmer. Like Thoughtful, this color is suitable to use as a contouring color as well.

Amusing is a matte pale lilac eyeshadow. Until I applied it on top of Perky paint pot, it did not show up very well on other bases.

First row, L-R: Dignified, Carefree, and Considerate
Second row, L-R: Dedicated, Resolute

Skin swatch of the above colors

Dignified is a shimmery lavender color which is very pretty when foiled. If you were in a cheerful mood, Dignified would make wonderful eyeliner.

Carefree reminds me a lot of MAC Parrot (you know, that eyeshadow that drove people to a frenzy two Christmases ago?) except it is not as blue. I actually wore it (with other colors) to lunch once and people did not winch => color is just right!

Considerate is a matte Kelly green eye shadow that pairs well with Carefree. This color is very sheer so you need to pack it well for the color to show.

Dedicate is a semi-matte blue that reminds me of the sky on a sunny day. When paired with Carefree and Considerate, they make a very nice blue-green eyeshadow combo.

Last but not least, Resolute. This color is soft shimmery light gray and I absolutely adore it! I’ve been using Resolute for some days and it goes well with other colors in this collection.

The last revelation upon swatching and reviewing this collection: although these colors are fine to use by themselves, they are better used as accent colors to the more pigmented eye shadows. If you have the regular AwG colors, you can get a few eye shadows from this collection to use as highlighters or contouring colors rather than using them on their own. My favorites are Thoughtful, Honorable, and Resolute. Also, those who are new in makeup or want sheer colors to practice blending, this collection serves those purposes well. The pigments are 100% natural, Franchesca did not use any dyes in formulating these eye shadows, which is a treat since some bright mineral colors need a little bit of synthetic colors to boost. For me, being spoiled with some very pigmented eye shadows from AwG’s regular lineup and previous collections, these eye shadows take some work and time to get used to.

That’s all, folks! I hope you’re having a nice day and please check Franchesca’s company out. Her products are very good and feel like high-end department store ones. Also, she’s very friendly and knowledgeable in mineral makeup. If you get makeup from her, just tell her you read from here (there’s a chance that she may throw in some samples!)

Take care and stay gorgeous,
Your Makeup Blogger

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  2. Hi Kia,

    Ok, I'll get my way over to see the tag. Thanks for tagging me!


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