Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Choosing my top ten favorite palettes from the ones I tested and reviewed in 2013 was a lot more difficult than I anticipated! To give you an idea on how stiff the competition was, there were 128 reviews filed under “makeup palettes,” so you can see there were plenty to choose from! (And if you were curious, I have 1,261 posts filed under “reviews,” and the majority of those posts feature more than one shade, for the past year.) I considered which ones gave me warm, fuzzy feelings, that were high quality, and that I could really reach for over and over again. With those things in mind, here are my favorites…

What were your favorite palettes that you tried this past year?

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Dior Darling (653) Vernis Nail Enamel
Dior Darling (653) Vernis Nail Enamel

Dior Darling (653) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark pink cream with cool, blue undertones. It was opaque after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. The formula applied evenly without pooling along the edges or streaking. It dried down to a naturally shiny finish, though a top coat would give it extra glossiness. Formula X A+ (P, $10.50) is a touch darker. Cult Nails Morning Glory (P, $12.00) is matte. MAC Toco Toucan (LE, $16.00) is bluer-based. MAC Girl About Town (LE, $16.00) is also bluer-based. L’Oreal Members Only (P) is very similar. See comparison swatches

Trafalgar (657) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark orange-red with a cream finish. It was intensely pigmented and fully opaque after two coats. The formula was easy to work with, and I didn’t have any issues with it streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges. The consistency was slightly thinner than average but worked well. NARS Tomorrow’s Red (LE, $19.00) is similar. MAC Kid Orange (P, $16.00) is a touch lighter. MAC Ablaze (LE, $16.00) is similar. Guerlain Nahema (P, $23.00) is lighter. Chanel Holiday (LE, $27.00) is more orange. Rescue Beauty Lounge Poppy (LE, $20.00) has pearl. China Glaze Life Preserver (LE, $7.50) is similar. Essie Meet Me at Sunset (LE, $8.00) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Both shades applied well to the nail, and I didn’t have any issues with achieving smooth, even, rich color. If you want to invest in excellent basic shades, you couldn’t go wrong here. On the other hand, if you prefer to purchase more unique shades at this price point, then these two are easily skipped–there are numerous dupes and similar shades on the market. I normally get seven days of wear with very minor tip wear with Dior’s formula. The brush is wider, slightly domed, so if you have narrower nail beds, it may feel too wide. Whenever I use it, I find it to be very easy to use, and the only nail that I have to watch a bit more is my pinky, but it still fits well there.

The Glossover

P
product

Darling (653)

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Trafalgar (657)

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, November 30th, 2013

The first Dior product I can remember falling head-over-heels in love with was their Diorskin Shimmer powders, specifically Amber Diamond. I spent a few hours yesterday reorganizing, and after seeing Amber Diamond, plus three others, I was left wondering why Dior hasn’t released any additional shades in so long.

  1. Rouge Dior Couture Colour Voluptuous Care Lipstick is a long-wearing, hydrating, nicely pigmented formula
  2. Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow — these are my new favorite cream eyeshadow for their pigmentation, shimmer, finish, and wear; favorites include Aventure and Millenium
  3. Dior Vernis — their more recent shades have a wonderful glossy shine and nice color coverage (most of my favorites are limited edition, unfortunately!)
  4. Diorskin Nude — lightweight, light-medium coverage, natural-to-dewy finish
  5. Diorskin Shimmer Star — a lovely all-over highlighter available in a bronze shade (Amber Diamond) or pink shade (Rose Diamond)

What are your favorite Dior products?

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick
Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sparkling cool red.” It’s a lightened, medium red with cool, blue undertones and a pink tinge, along with a soft, metallic shimmer. The shimmer is faint, so it has more of an overall effect of giving it a frosted sheen than over-the-top shimmer. MAC Prepare for Pleasure (LE, $15.00) is redder. MAC Relentlessly Red (P, $15.00) is more matte. NARS Luxembourg (P, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Love Goddess (LE, $15.00) is a touch pinker. Dior Marilyn (LE, $36.00) is quite similar–just a little darker/redder. See comparison swatches.

The Diorific formula is lightly creamy, richly pigmented, and comfortable to wear. The texture is creamy enough that it won’t pull or drag on the lips, but it stays put and doesn’t bleed or feather outside the natural lip line. Minuit is long-wearing, topping in at seven hours of wear, plus it leaves behind a residual reddish stain. It’s somewhat hydrating while worn, and it’s a really nice formula overall. It is lightly floral scented but has no discernible taste. I wish it wasn’t so close to last year’s holiday release Marilyn, though!

The Glossover

LE
product

Minuit

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Golden Snow Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a cool-toned palette that features five shades for the holidays. Overall, it was just all right; it had some powdery, slightly dry textures coupled with two glittery eyeshadows–so you have to love glitter to consider this one–and so-so color payoff. I had minor fall out (which is notable) with the two glitter eyeshadows, but they adhered better than the average glitter eyeshadow. The darker black eyeshadow was hard to blend, though.

Golden Snow #1 is a cool-toned, pink-tinged white with a frost finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was very soft. MAC 2x Dare #1 (LE) is more glittery. Kat Von D Instaglam (LE) is similar. Disney by Sephora Treasures Untold (LE) is golden. Tom Ford Beauty Enchanted #1 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Muse (P) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #2 is a warm-toned, muted gold with a glittery, metallic finish. It had good pigmentation, but the texture was a little chunky. I had minor fall out when I wore this. Dior Golden Flower #3 (LE) is lighter. MAC Greenluxe #2 (P) is lighter. Urban Decay Oz #1 (LE, $18.00) is darker. MAC Retrospeck (P, $15.00) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #2 (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #3 is a cool-toned white with a glittery, metallic finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and the texture was somewhat glittery but not as chunky as the golden shade. I did see some fall out with this shade during wear. MAC Angelic (P, $21.00) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #3 (LE) is slightly pink-tinged. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #4 is a cool-toned, taupe with a metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and applied smoothly. MAC Phresh Out #4 (LE) is darker. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #1 (P) is similar. Giorgio Armani Shimmer Greige (LE) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Snow #5 is a charcoal black–a little gray-ish–with a satin shimmer. It had decent to good color payoff, but the texture was on the dry side, and it was difficult to blend on the lid. theBalm A4 (LE, $16.00) is darker. Urban Decay Redemption (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Disney by Sephora Jetsam (LE) is similar. theBalm Sexy Stacey (P, $16.00) is also similar. Estee Lauder Black Chrome #2 (LE, $21.00) is blacker. bareMinerals Do Not Disturb (P) is similar. Inglot #451 (P, $6.00) is slightly cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Golden Snow (644)

B

Overall, it was just all right; it had some powdery, slightly dry textures coupled with two glittery eyeshadows--so you have to love glitter to consider this one--and so-so color payoff. I had minor fall out (which is notable) with the two glitter eyeshadows, but they adhered better than the average glitter eyeshadow. The darker black eyeshadow was hard to blend, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Golden Snow #1

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Golden Snow #2

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, November 8th, 2013

Dior Golden Flower Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Golden Flower Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Golden Flower Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette for the holiday season that features five, warm-toned eyeshadows. It’s a good palette overall, though it has some room for improvement. The one consistent issue I had was that all the shades were a little powdery–almost dry–but color payoff was still good throughout. The other downside is that it is a more dupable palette, so since it doesn’t perform at the top-level, it’s not compelling.  Four of the five shades wore well for eight and a half hours without creasing–the center shade, which is glittery, had some minor fall out over time.

Golden Flower #1 is a pale, pinky-peach with a yellow-y gold frost shimmer. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was very soft and finely-milled, though it was also somewhat powdery. Laura Mercier Guava (P) is less golden. Too Faced Ringleader (LE) is less shimmery. Urban Decay X (P, $18.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

Golden Flower #2 is a pale, golden ivory with a frosted finish. It had a soft, buttery texture, but it was a smidgen powdery, though the color payoff was good. This is an easily duped shade–there are just so many of these that have come over the years; nice color but you may already have something like it! Tarina Tarantino Taurella (LE) is darker. Kat Von D Galore (LE) is similar. theBalm C1 (LE, $16.00) is similar. Disney by Sephora Charming (LE) is also similar. Disney by Sephora Sea Shells (LE) is similar. Urban Decay Vanilla (LE, $18.00) is also similar. MAC Vanilla (P, $21.00) is similar. MAC Nylon (P, $15.00) is slightly more metallic. See comparison swatches.

Golden Flower #3 is a pale, glittering gold with a metallic, sparkling finish. These shades are always somewhat sheer, which seems to be how they’re designed–almost like a layering shade. This one didn’t give me much fall out, which is always a good thing when you’re dealing with a glittery finish–minor but not too noticeable. MAC Greenluxe #2 (P) is similar. MAC Retrospeck (P, $15.00) is similar. Dior Golden Savannah #3 (LE) is also similar. Dior Fairy Golds #2 (LE) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Golden Flower #4 is a medium-dark bronze with a warm, golden frosted sheen. It had excellent color payoff, wasn’t powdery at all, and had such a lovely, buttery texture that made blending a cinch. Maybelline Downtown Brown (P, $6.99) is lighter. MAC Cognac (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Museum Bronze (P, $21.00) is warmer, darker. MAC Tempting (P, $15.00) is somewhat darker. Dior Golden Savannah #2 (LE) is less golden. See comparison swatches.

Golden Flower #5 is a medium-dark, reddish brown with a satin finish. It had decent color payoff, but the texture was a little drier and powdery compared to the rest. NARS Flowers 3 #4 (LE, $24.00) is similar. Chanel Raffinement #4 (P) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

palette

Golden Flower (634)

A-

It's a good palette overall, though it has some room for improvement. The one consistent issue I had was that all the shades were a little powdery--almost dry--but color payoff was still good throughout. The other downside is that it is a more dupable palette, so since it doesn't perform at the top-level, it's not compelling.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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LE
product

Golden Flower #1

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Golden Flower #2

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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