January 23, 2012

REVIEW: LORAC Close Up: Real Life to Red Carpet Eye Tutorial

I've wanted to share this with you guys FOREVER! Ok, here's the story: the very first LORAC product I purchased was a matte brown eyeshadow from a department store about 10 years ago. The pigmentation and texture were okay but nothing mind blowing. I used it on occasion but it wasn't a favorite so after some time I tossed it. Well, as things go my indifference toward the product generated an indifference toward the brand and I never made another purchase. Fast forward a few years and I became curious about the brand again. Then I saw this kit. What sold it for me was the value. You get four (4) FULL SIZE products and a double-ended brush for $36. The price of a single LORAC eyeshadow trio, similar to the one included in this set, is $26. You can purchase the kit at Ulta and Sephora locations as well as Ulta.com and Sephora.com. I highly recommend it and it's a great way to try several products from the line for the first time. Now, I'm going to go through the different elements in the kit and give you my opinions.

The kit includes:

- 0.53 oz Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
- 0.15 oz Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Movie Star
- 0.35 oz Special Effects Mascara in Black
- 0.02 oz Front of the Line PRO Eyeliner in Black
- Double Ended Blending/ Smudging Brush
- Wire-Bound Instructional Guide

Kit packaging - FRONT

Kit packaging - BACK

LORAC Close Up: Real Life to Red Carpet Eye Tutorial Kit

Instructional Guide
The instructional guide provides information about each of the products in the kit as well as tips on using them. It also has removable clings that attach to your mirror. Each cling provides step-by-step instruction on completing one of three (3) eyeshadow applications - "Natural Eye", "Sexy Cay Eye" and "Signature Smokey Eye"I have to be honest and say that I don't really use the instructional guide or the brush. I think the guide is actually very good. The instructions are clear and the pictures are great. I just tend to do my own thing. 

Instructional guide - "Signature Smokey Eye" look  

Instructional guide - pro tips on using the products

Double Ended Blending/ Smudging Brush
Simply put: this brush is horrible. It feels like goat hair but it's a poor quality brush that is scratchy and lacks density. I like the shape of the blending side because it reminds me of the MAC 217, which is a phenomenal blending brush. But, it's nowhere near as great as the 217. The smudging side is way too large, long and fluffy to effectively smudge anything. It reminds me of a thinner version on the MAC 222, another good blending brush.

Double Ended Blending/ Smudging Brush (Blending End) 
Double Ended Blending/ Smudging Brush (Smudging End) 

Front of the Line PRO Eyeliner
I love the Front of the Line PRO Eyeliner. I like liquid eyeliner, Boot Black by MAC and L'Oreal Lineur Intense being previous favorites. But, I wanted to try an eyeliner pen and I really do love this one. I suggest it to everyone I know and I have purchased two (2) backups. The color is rich, it's waterproof and it has a brush tip whereas most pens I've seen have a felt tip. I find that felt tips clog easily over time and brushes don't. The tip on this pen is also very fine but the brush is flexible. This means that you can get a very sharp, fine line with light pressure or apply a bit more pressure and change the angle and get a thicker, fuller line. It wears well throughout the day without smudging and it removes easily with makeup remover or a good makeup wipe.

 Front of the Line PRO Eyeliner in Black

 Front of the Line PRO Eyeliner applied

Behind the Scenes Eye Primer
The texture of the Behind the Scenes Eye Primer looks and feels pretty much like your standard eye primer. It's a translucent, milky beige cream that blends easily and dries invisible. It creates a smooth base so that shadows/pigments apply more smoothly and with more impact. I found that this performs better for me than a lot of the other primers I've tried. Why? I can't be sure. But, I have gotten easily eight (8) plus hours of wear without creasing. It's also a better value. Like most high end primers it costs around $20. But, at 0.53 oz, each tube of the LORAC primer surpasses the value of the others, namely Urban Decay Primer Potion (0.37 oz), Too Faced Shadow Insurance (0.35 oz), and NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (0.26 oz ).

Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

Behind the Scenes Eye Primer

Behind the Scenes Eye Primer (Blended & Dried)

Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Movie Star
The Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio is a great baked eyeshadow. It has a smooth texture - it's not too shimmery or sparkly. The pigmentation seems sheer at first but it's easily buildable. Depending on your application (applied directly to the skin, over a primer, or wetyou can easily get three (3) different levels of intensity. I love the bronze shade in particular. I apply the eye primer and then sweep shadow over the lid. It's the perfect nothing, but something shadow. It looks effortless but pretty

Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Movie Star

Starry-Eyed Baked Eye Shadow Trio in Movie Star
Top Row: Applied directly to skin
Bottom Row: Applied over Behind The Scenes Eye Primer

Special Effects Mascara in Black
Now, other than the brush this was the only other disappointing product in the kit. It isn't horrible but it doesn't perform as I expected. The Special Effects Mascara is a dual end product with a primer at one end, which is Step 1, and a mascara at the other end, which is Step 2. I didn't find the primer or mascara to be amazing and certainly nothing worthy of the "special effects" title. The primer made it more difficult to apply the mascara, actually. It made my lashes rigid and spikey which resulted in pitiful spider lashes when I coated them with the mascara. The mascara itself didn't give amazing volume or length and is a pretty basic formula. The brush on both is a thin rubberized material and the formula on both the mascara and the primer is middle of the road - not too liquid, not too thick. It's also not a formula that you can layer because it clumps very easily. I use the mascara by itself on days when I just want a natural look with a little definition.

Special Effects Mascara in Black
Special Effects Mascara in Black (Primer End)

Special Effects Mascara in Black (Mascara End)

Naked Eye

Special Effects Mascara applied (Primer Only)

Special Effects Mascara applied (Primer + Mascara) 

So, that's everything. Like I said, I would highly recommend it. The price is unbelievable and you'll find that a lot of LORAC kits tend to be a great price for the value of the product that you get in them. I think I'll do a separate post to show you my version of the three looks featured in the instructional guide. So, stay tuned for that. :)


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