MAC Swiss Chocolate Blush

MAC Swiss Chocolate Blush

MAC Swiss Chocolate Blush ($17.00 for 0.21 oz. pan-only) is described as a “soft cocoa [with a Matte finish].” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm, red undertones and a matte finish. MAC Raizin (P, $21.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). MAC Pressed Amber (LE, $27.00) is more shimmery, more muted, cooler (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC’s Powder Blush formula is supposed to be easy to apply, long-wearing, and have “fantastic colour.” It’s hard to generalize for MAC’s blush formula, because it varies a lot from shade to shade, even within different types of finishes! Some of them are very good, others are so-so, and a few are complete misses. The more frosted/shimmery shades tend to have the softest and smoothest textures and are easier to apply and blend out on the skin, while more satin and matte shades can sometimes be powdery, firm, or stiff, which makes blending more challenging. The wear is typically between six and nine hours but closer to seven to eight hours on average. Swiss Chocolate had good pigmentation, though not fully opaque unless layered, with a slightly dry, noticeably powder consistency that did make it a bit harder to work with. A lot of the color gets on the brush but seems to disperse in a wider arc than intended, so I would recommend using a denser, more tapered blush brush and tapping excess off, prior to applying to the skin. It blended out decently, but there was a slight unevenness to it overall. The blush lasted for eight hours on me before I noticed fading. It’s nowhere near as silky as the eyeshadow by the same name.

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MAC Powder Blush Swiss Chocolate
B-
Product
8
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7
Longevity
8.5
Application
4
Total
81%

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Christian Louboutin Eton Moi Velvet Matte Lip Colour

Christian Louboutin Eton Moi Velvet Matte Lip Colour

Christian Louboutin Eton Moi Velvet Matte Lip Colour ($90.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a purpled berry with subtle, cool pink undertones and a satin finish. MAC Prince Noir (LE, $17.00) is darker, warmer (95% similar). MAC Soulfully Rich (P, $18.00)(90% similar). MAC Smoked Purple (LE, $17.00) is darker, cooler, less glossy (90% similar). NARS Train Bleu (P, $25.00) is cooler, less glossy (90% similar). Kat Von D Damned (P, $20.00) is warmer, less glossy (85% similar). Urban Decay Blackmail (P, $22.00) is darker (85% similar). MAC Living Legend (LE, $17.00) is warmer (85% similar). Kat Von D Motorhead (P, $21.00) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Velvet Matte finish is supposed to have “intensely rich color” (in “one stroke” even!) for “full coverage” and has a “soft touch matte finish.” It is also supposed to have “non-drying comfort” for lips and have an “excellent appearance without feathering” for four hours (that’s a nice, reasonable claim). I purchased four shades–one of this finish, one of the Sheer Voile, and two of the Satins, reviews to come–and this was the first one I tried. I decided to buy one of the deeper shades in the range, because these types of colors are often problematic, so it would be a good test whether the formula was really superior to others on the market or not. The consistency was lightly creamy and didn’t tug on the lips, and it was easy to apply straight from the tube without streaking, as there was some slip. Coverage was good but not fully opaque and there was a veil of translucency. It was comfortable to wear, neither drying nor hydrating, but it pulled into lip lines within an hour and a half of wear. The color lasted for six hours in all, left a stain behind, and I didn’t experience any feathering/bleeding. The formula has a rosy scent to it, and I tasted the perfume periodically for the first two to three hours of wear. Ultimately, it performed a lot like other similar-hued shades.

Each lipstick is housed in a glossy, black cardboard box with a red velvet shell that holds the lipstick, sheer, silk case, and the lipsticks have a shimmering, gold ribbon that loops around the top. The ribbon has two crimped ends, and you’re supposed to simply tie them into a knot, but I wish it had some sort of clasp for better hold. It has moderate heft; not as heavy as Guerlain’s Rouge Gs but certainly not so light that it feels “cheap.” They don’t stand up, and they don’t have the shade name printed on them at all; there is a number printed on the interior tube, but the numbers aren’t readily available online. The packaging itself has a lot of details, and it’s a unique shape and style relative to what we see on the market, but I imagine you have to appreciate the packaging to justify the rest of it. I wish they stood up, because then you could really display them (like the polishes), or perhaps if the top was a removable cover, rather than a lid on a “hinge,” then you could remove the cover and display in the boxes.

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Christian Louboutin Beaute Velvet Matte Lip Colour Eton Moi
B+
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
9
Application
5
Total
88%
Permanent

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette for Holiday 2015

Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette
Smashbox Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette

Art. Love. Color. Master Class Palette ($65.00) (Limited Edition)

Inspired by painter Yago Hortal’s one-of-a-kind, vivid artwork, this set features 40 shades of color for cheeks and eyes. The pans easily pop in and out, making it perfectly portable for holiday trips. Smashbox partnered with breakthrough artist Yago Hortal to create these mega-vibrant, limited-edition kits featuring all of their bestsellers in a range of shades—from bold pops of color to always-flattering neutrals.

  • 8 x Cheek Colors: Rosy Pink, Persimmon, Sunset, Glow, Bitten, Plum, Prism, Shimmer
  • 32 x Photo-Op Eyeshadows: Java, Gypsy, Naked, Oxidize, Custard, Spruce, Charmed, Nutmeg, Torch, Zoom, Candy, Alabaster, Goldenrod, Sea, Framboise, Gold, Harbor, Ebony, Sky, Steel, Breeze, Smoke, Nile, Cement, Celestial, Silver Moon, Azure, Cosmic, Eggplant, Pacific, Orchid, (+1 that I can’t read the name of)

AVAILABILITY | Now at Sephora

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Urban Decay Urban Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Urban Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Urban Spectrum Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.75 oz.) includes fifteen, full-sized eyeshadows (0.05 oz. each); five new shades, four permanent shades, and six shades from other palettes. I really liked the palette, and I think that the majority of the shades applied well over bare skin and lasted for seven to eight hours before creasing and/or fading. The pigmentation was typically good with soft, blendable textures that were easy to work with. This palette is all shimmer, though, so if you like satins and mattes to vary the finishes that you use, you’ll need to incorporate another palette. The three worst-performers were either more glittery or firmer/sheerer. It is exclusively available at urbandecay.com on October 20th and is limited edition.

Protest is described as a “golden forest green shimmer.” It’s a medium-dark, olive green with warm undertones and a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation with a soft, blendable texture that applied well to the skin and lasted for eight hours. Anastasia Emerald (P, $12.00) is darker (95% similar). Inglot #418 (P, $6.00) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury The Rebel #3 (P) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). Gucci Beauty Malachite (Left) (P) is darker (90% similar). MAC Humid (P, $16.00) is darker (90% similar). Urban Decay Vortex (P, $20.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). MAC Greensmoke (P, $16.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). Sephora Collection Hidden Treasure (114) (LE, $13.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). Milani Bella Khaki (17) (P, $4.49) is warmer (85% similar). L'Oreal Golden Emerald (P, $7.99) is darker (85% similar). Sephora + Pantone Universe Dusty Olive (LE) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Urban Decay Bender (P, $18.00) is darker (85% similar). Anastasia Anaconda (LE, $12.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Fyrinnae Boot Season (P, $6.80) is darker (85% similar). Kat Von D Craft (LE) is less shimmery, darker (80% similar). NARS Night Porter (LE, $24.00) is less shimmery, darker (80% similar). Dior Bonne Etoile (384) #1 (LE) is darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Junkie is described as a “teal green shimmer.” It’s a brightened, dark blue-leaning teal with a frosted finish. It had great pigmentation with a dense, buttery consistency that applied nicely and wore for eight hours. Make Up For Ever I-20 (P, $21.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Urban Decay Arctic (LE, $18.00) is lighter (90% similar). Milani Teal the Truth (P, $6.99) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Fringe (P) is lighter (90% similar). Too Faced Too Glam (LE, $16.00) is darker, more muted, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Coconut (P, $5.00) is more shimmery, lighter, brighter (90% similar). Fyrinnae Sleepy Hollow (P, $6.80) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). Tarina Tarantino Ozma (LE) is cooler (90% similar). Sephora Collection Midnight Swim (16) (P, $13.00) is lighter (80% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Night Owl #5 (P) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Fyrinnae Sleepy Hollow (P, $8.25) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). Make Up For Ever ME230 Peacock Blue (P, $21.00) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Gucci Beauty Iconic Ottanio (P, $37.00) is lighter (85% similar). Urban Decay Haight (P, $18.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (80% similar). Urban Decay Deep End (P, $18.00) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Deep End is described as a “bright teal shimmer.” It’s a brightened, medium bluish-teal with a frosted finish. The pigmentation was fantastic, while the texture was smooth, soft, and buttery. The eyeshadow lasted for eight hours on me before creasing. Disney by Sephora Caspian Sea (LE) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Night Owl #5 (P) is more shimmery (95% similar). theBalm Open to Offers Olwen (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). Tarina Tarantino Ozma (LE)(95% similar). Gucci Beauty Iconic Ottanio (P, $37.00) is more shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Make Up For Ever I-20 (P, $21.00) is lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Coconut (P, $5.00) is darker (90% similar). Too Faced Too Glam (LE, $16.00) is warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Fringe (P) is lighter (90% similar). Too Faced Sequin (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery, warmer (90% similar). theBalm #23 (P, $6.50) is lighter (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Midnight Sea (Eye Color) (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Maybelline Never Fade Jade (P, $6.99) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Fyrinnae Gender Bent (P, $6.80) is lighter, warmer (80% similar). Urban Decay Junkie (LE, $18.00) is darker, cooler (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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Urban Decay 15-Pan Eyeshadow Palette Urban Spectrum
B+
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
8
Application
4.5
Total
87%
Limited Edition
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