Friday, January 3, 2014

Elizabeth Arden Red Hot Croc Holiday Color Collection Review

**all items purchased by me

Part of my blogging goals was to do more reviews (other than monthly Project "Finish" reviews) so I'm going to try to do a review on something every Friday.  Let's see how that works out, shall we?

Now let's get started!  Back in November I attended the "Red Door" event at the Elizabeth Arden counter in my local Dillards.  I've taken my pictures of the Red Hot Croc Holiday Color Collection kit I bought and now that I've played with nearly everything in the kit, I'm ready to write my review.  All swatches are over bare skin.
~I lost track of how many times I had to go back and build up to get them to show up this much for the pictures.  They aren't much better when working with using a brush to do an eye look.~
~the blushes also needed to be built up~

Overall, I'd say unless you like to work with dry, lightly pigmented eye shadows, skip this.  There's a total of 12 shades.  Only one shade needed 2 trips to the pan to get it to show (the dark teal in the upper right corner of the right picture); the rest required returning to the pan multiple times to get it built up enough to be seen in pictures.  The shadows are all a satin finish, with just one showing the extra interest provided through a more sparkly finish added to the base satin.  It takes quite a while to get the colors to show up halfway pigmented on the eyes, which is unfortunate since some of the shades look so pretty in the pan.  For my oily lids, primer underneath is a must.  These would benefit from either a white or coordinating colored base (Milani Shadow Eyez, Jordana's version, Rimmel's version, Maybelline Color Tattoos...).  The 2 blushes are also on the less pigmented and drier side; the one on the left is matte while the other has a touch of shimmer and is the more pigmented of the 2.  I've found I have to be heavy handed to get anything to show up on my cheeks.  If I had to pick between lightly pigmented blushes versus eye shadows, I'd rather have the less pigmented blush since it's easy to overdo blush on very fair skin (but I'd still prefer something easier to work with).
~left picture is lip liners in Taupe and Plumrose ~ right picture is eye liners in Smoky Black and Espresso~
bottom of the eye liners is one thin swipe from the pencil, above is built up/using the side

All of the liners apply easily without tugging on the lips or the eye lids.  I have not tried either of the eye liners in the waterline since I haven't been applying anything there lately (I was having an allergy to a brush cleaner I was trying for in between deep cleanings so I've been doing more minimal looks lately).  They are nice and apply more easily than the majority of my pencil style liners, but since I prefer using liquid, gel or automatic pencils as much as possible I'm not getting a whole lot of use out of them.  When I do use a pencil style, it's normally in a brighter color (like teal or copper).  As for the lip liners, I almost always forget to even use them, so once again I'm not getting a whole lot of use out of them.  But I do have them for if/when I need it.

I'd say the best parts and what I'll get the most use out of are the lipsticks, glosses, and the shimmer powder.
Ceramide Ultra Lipstick in Coral, Casis, Tulip
~Coral took 3 swipes while Casis and Tulip took 2 to build up~
~I'm not good at lipstick finishes, but I'd call these a satin finish~

The Ceramide lipsticks are a comfortable formula to wear, and I didn't notice any fragrance with these.  I don't need to start with a chapstick/lip balm under these (like might be necessary with a matte formula).  My lips don't feel dried out after these have been on.  They look smooth on the lips and I didn't notice any settling into lines or accentuating chapped lips.  They don't have a really long-wear time so they do have to be reapplied every few hours if you want to stay looking fresh.  I believe they wore off fairly evenly with no real "ring around the lips" look like some lipsticks leave you with.  Most likely combining these with one of the lip liners underneath would lead to a longer wear time, although I never tried.  Although slightly hydrating, I didn't notice the lipstick feathering/traveling (but I typically don't have that issue).
Beautiful Color Luminous Lip Gloss in Red Door Red and Diamond
~these swatches were just one pass~

Red Door Red is a raspberry-red that actually shows up on my well-pigmented lips; as it fades it looks a bit more pink.  Red Door Red requires 2 dips in the tube to look like the red color in the package.  Diamond is basically a clear gloss with shimmer to it - perfect for sparkling up a plain lipstick.  They do have a vanilla cake batter smell, but I found the scent faded fairly quickly.  These aren't sticky and do feel nice, but the wear time isn't super long wearing.  Again, a liner underneath might help.  I didn't notice any feathering (again, I don't typically have that problem).
Shimmer Powder in Nude Shimmer
~swatch is in the lightly outlined box~

A lovely light slightly golden shimmer that I have yet to see it look over-done.  This is my favorite product of the kit and has really helped on days when I felt like I looked particularly dull/tired/lifeless looking.  I don't feel this highlighter is too much for day wear, but still works for going to parties.

The polish is decent, although not terribly unique.
~2 coats of Candy Apple~
~raspberry red with gold shimmer that makes it look more glowy, although it's hiding in my picture~
~Elizabeth Arden doesn't normally make polishes - this was special for the kit~
~wasn't a fast-drying formula~

I haven't really used any of the 3 brushes included yet - they came in their own black patent snap-close case.  From just feeling them, the eye shadow brush is much more firm than what I normally use (but could be good for applying cream products).  I haven't opened the full size tube of Ceramide Lash Extending Treatment Mascara as I had a mini that came in a previous gift with purchase already open (review upcoming).  I would imagine that it would apply the same.

The other product included is a travel size make-up remover, which the counter manager claimed to be the best but I found otherwise.  If I used the Arden Ceramide mascara, it would take all my eye makeup off.  But if I used my current favorite mascara, the Rimmel Retro Glam, I struggled to get all the mascara off.  I wrote in more detail about the remover in my latest Project "Finish This Stuff" post.

Overall, I'd say that the best product from Elizabeth Arden for cosmetic products are the lip products (and the shimmer powder but I believe that's limited edition/only available at certain times of the year).

I have to wonder if those who work at the counter and think these shadows are all nice/great, have they ever touched or worked with a Too Faced, the Balm or Urban Decay shadow??  Have you ever used any of the cosmetics from Elizabeth Arden?

**all items purchased by me
**my opinions are my own
**not sponsored/affiliated


  1. I've never used any Elisabeth Arden cosmetics...and I don't think I will :p it really does make you wonder what experience the women peddling these products have, I agree. It's a bummer all the shadows were such a bust :( but the lipsticks do look good! The polish is pretty though! Even though its not terribly unique...especially with polish hoarders...*errr collectors* like us ;) by the way did you see the zoya 3/$12 shipped deal for the new year? If you're ordering can I ask what you're in for? I'm looking at payton and storm and then I'm stuck...which pixie dust do you think is the prettiest? Or zoya polish in general? Oh and on your empties post I'd like to say congrats and I would LOVE to see eotd or fotd posts...sometimes I need a little extra jnspiration when I get in a rut...if you could do some looks with the vice 2 I'd love that, I just got it for Christmas so extra ideas are always welcome :)

    1. Hey Ashley!
      The lipsticks were definitely the best part of the kit. It's so hard to come across unique polishes when you've got such a large stash ;)

      I did see the Zoya deal! Payton and Storm are both gorgeous colors! I'm still looking at swatches right now. I always feel like creme polishes are lacking in my collection so that's probably what I'll end up getting. Right now Louise and Kelly are catching my eye, since I think they would look great under a lot of different glitters. As for which PixieDust is the's hard to pick a favorite. Carter is gorgeous being a jewel toned purple with magenta pink shimmer, but it is more sheer than others. Chyna is super pretty and looks extra glowy red due to the brighter red shimmer. Chita is rather unique among the textured polishes as a whole since there aren't many greens. I'd love to know which Zoyas you end up picking!

      I'll definitely start playing around with figuring out how to get decent pictures for eotd posts. I need to play with Vice 2 again, I've been neglecting it lately. :-)