Saturday, May 5, 2012

Review: Napoleon Perdis Part 2, Lash Patrol, Brushes, China Doll Eyeliner, Khol Eyeliner, Pro Palette

I have a story to tell you. I warn you. It's not that interesting! Once upon a time I bought NP's 9a brush with their 16b brush. 9a was slim and the perfect eyeshadow brush for my weird shaped eyes. I used it always when doing my eye makeup, and costing $20 it was made into a workhorse to justify its despicable price! One day it disappeared. I lamented that I probably left it on a table and accidentally flicked it off into a bin. Oh woe! I tried to think if I should buy it again and justify yet another time why I should spend another $20... Was this the end to my relationship with my perfect brush?

So far I've reviewed a fair share of NP eyeshadows. Of course it didn't end there when you go to meet the pushy saleswomen who try to decide what you should or should not buy (not that there was any limit to you buying the whole lot!).

What I bought:
  • Lash Patrol Eyelashes - Individual Black Medium
  • Khol Eyeliner Onyx $18
  • Khol Eyeliner Denim $18
  • Pro Palette Concealer $40
  • China Doll (Gel) Eyeliner in Equinox $25
  • 16b Brush $26
  • 9a Brush $20
The Product and Results

I bought the Lash Patrol Eyelashes when I fell in love with falsies. Falsies back then were pricy! Unfortunately these were pricy... I wanted to accent the outer corner of my eyes and I had never seen demis (by the way, this was before the new NP lash bars). These were natural hair (made in Indonesia) on a thin base and could be cut to shape. The problem with individual lashes is that you have to apply each one, it's time consuming to fill up all the spaces and the 'v' shape makes it hard to get even coverage. They're decent but easy to lose. I only wore them a few times with a tonne left over!

 Cute packaging, really smart one liners. This has got to be the cheesiest packaging I've come across!

Here comes another (short) story! I remember flicking through Vogue. I saw a beautiful advertisement by Swarovski in 2007. It wasn't the jewellery I was looking at, it was the beautiful eyes jewelesque and pigmented. I wanted to replicate this but had no idea how to do it. Back then I was a 'n00b' at makeup! I was told by NP that this could be done with eyeliner underneath and eyeshadow above.

This led to me buying Khol Eyeliner in Denim which was a rich turquoise blue, and to put on top the Turquoise loose shadow.

Above Flash, Below without Flash: Onyx and Denim eyeliner, Pro Palette Concealer smudged out.

The Khol Eyeliners were so pigmented, blendable, smooth and lasted pretty decently. I loved using this as an eyeshadow rather than an eyeliner and used it to grab onto eyeshadows. The eyeliners are just regular sized thin pencils. They were really worth it, though they didn't specify any 'extras' like being smudgeproof, waterproof, etc.

I don't buy concealer much and I have no idea why I would pay $40 on concealer. This one's decent. It doesn't create dry patchiness. It's best suited for flat areas of skin with medium discolouration rather than pimples. It is very creamy, almost oily and it's easy to accidentally blend off. I think concealer should be put on last (or both first and last) and this one especially. Fortunately because it has 3 colours to choose from you can mix up a match so that putting on concealer last blends in easily, and then finished with powder. The lightest shade is very yellow toned and the darkest very warm, maybe because they wanted to suit a range of skintones since the shades seem ethnically associated.

I bought the China Doll Eyeliner for a special occasion because I wanted a long lasting eyeliner. I initially wanted to buy Manic Panic's Gel 'Spider' Liner but the shop was closed. This was nice and rich, pigmented and matte. It lasted all day but was a little stiff and would crack a little throughout the day. I can't say that it's that much different to normal gel liners. The only problem was that it was in a plastic pot that wasn't air tight quickly turning the liner into a rock. Within a year it was dead and you had to dig in the middle to get bits of the slightly moister eyeliner (I think they are now in glass pots).

Rock anyone? I've read you can revive these with baby oil but don't take my word for it.

Lastly the brushes. 9a was the perfect brush for my eye shape. The small curved side fits into the inner corner of my eye perfectly. I actually prefer my brushes to be slightly stiffer than a normal eyeshadow brush and the sable fur (which grabs eyeshadow well) on this brush is packed flat together.

16b was suggested to me as a blending brush. It's loose, large and a struggle to blend when using strong sticky eyeshadow. I think it's still a great brush but is suited for brushing away excess eyeshadow as well and softening eyeshadows especially on the brow bone (too soft to be a concealer brush). Trying to blend away harsh stubborn lines leads to damaging the bristles so you have to be extra careful. Both these brushes don't shed and are excellently made.

But what happened to my 9a? I did rebuy it as much as it was a pain to hand over the money and many months later I found the old one wedged deep in my couch! When I compared the two I noticed a difference between them. The new one was shorter and didn't have a country of origin, perhaps to hide the fact that this was NO longer made in France! The ferrules were also differently shaped.

Now I have 2 faithful 9a brushes at my disposal!

Would I buy these products again?
No, No, No to the gel eyeliner. It looks to me that they are in a glass pot now but gel eyeliners from various brands don't differ much in my experience and NP's does the job at one heck of a price ($32 now!!!). The pencil eyeliners have also jumped to new dollar heights and while I've had a good experience with them there are many comparable products. Concealer and lashes are fine if you are into these but probably wouldn't repurchase. The brushes do get a big tick though and are comparable to other big brands (think MAC). NP Set also has another range of cheaper brushes at Target.

NB: This may all be a little outdated but I think the products here are similar or at least reincarnated into another form.

Love Porcelaine.

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