Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Earthy… weathered… how about five shades of stormy gray? Gray can be such a basic shade, but it can add a lot of dimension and depth, too, and sometimes it can look so modern and clean on its own.

  1. NARS Transvaal — can be used as an eyeliner or cream eyeshadow, it’s a medium-dark, creamy gray with neutral-cool undertones
  2. MAC Typographic — a classic, dark gray with a matte finish
  3. Illamasqua Raindrops — a smattering of silver flakes suspended in a bluish-gray
  4. Inglot #387 — a cool-toned, blue-tinted gray with a mostly matte finish
  5. Zoya Dove — a medium, warm-toned gray cream

What’s your current go-to gray shade?

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Illamasqua Reflection Eyeshadow Palette
Illamasqua Reflection Eyeshadow Palette

Illamasqua Reflection Eyeshadow Palette ($46.50 for 0.20 oz.) is new for fall, and it is supposed to contain four “highly pigmented” eyeshadows with a “water-resistant” and “long-lasting” formula that is “silky” and “effortless” when applying and blending (per Illamasqua’s website). This is really a product that I think translates better in real life, under normal use, than it does in photos. It’s just not something that looks phenomenal in a close-up; no matter how lovely it seemed in person, the camera made the shades look a little iffy. If you like shimmering, sparkling cream eyeshadows, and you’re not going to be taking macro photos of your eye, I suspect you’ll still enjoy it. If you want your makeup to be immaculate, you’ll want to pass.

Every time I checked it in the mirror, I was struck by how pretty and sparkling the eyeshadows looked, but close-ups show that the product has room for improvement. Primarily, as these blend out, there’s an unevenness in texture that creates an almost patchy-looking appearance at times. I noticed that this happened a lot with Graphica, whereas Acute and Dart were much easier and forgiving. Precipice was a little chunky at times and was always the quickest shade to crease of the four.  They are water-resistant, so they won’t immediately smudge and run if your eyes are watery or water splashes on them, but if you rub at them long enough, they will move.

Precipice is described as a “soft lemon.” It’s a soft, light yellow with a sparkling, shimmering finish. It was semi-opaque when applied, but it is shade that worked best when sheered out. If it was applied in layers or at more semi-opaque coverage (in a single layer), it was quick to crease (two to three hours), but if it was sheered out, it held up better and lasted six and a half hours before creasing. Maybelline Shady Shores is darker, yellower. NYX Hot Yellow is a powder. Make Up For Ever #102 is matte, powder. See comparison swatches.

Acute is described as an “ash taupe.” It’s a subtly warm-toned, taupe (mix of gray and brown, heavier on the brown) with a shimmery, sparkling finish. It had good color payoff, and it could be applied with mostly opaque color in a single layer. This shade wore well with only faint creasing visible after eight hours of wear. Edward Bess Dusk is less sparkly, powder. Urban Decay Lost is a powder. Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo is similar. Urban Decay Rehab is less sparkly. MAC Satin Taupe is darker, powder. Chanel Topkapi #2 is similar, powder. See comparison swatches.

Dart is described as a “toasted bronze.” It’s a medium-dark brown with bronze shimmer. It had mostly opaque color coverage in a single layer, which could be softened slightly. It wore well on without creasing for seven hours, but I saw some faint creasing just before the eight-hour mark. Urban Decay Ambush is more frosted, powder. MAC Divine Decadence is darker, powder. Bobbi Brown Golden Bronze is yellower. Too Faced Gangsta is similar, powder. See comparison swatches.

Graphica is described as a “graphite grey.” It’s a medium-dark gray with silver and teal micro-shimmer. This had semi-opaque color–it was weaker compared to the rest of the palette–and when sheered out tended to look a bit patchy. This shade creased after six hours of wear. Urban Decay Redemption is cooler-toned, powder. MAC Polished Jet is more sparkly. Urban Decay Asphalt is similar, powder. MAC Nighttrain is similar, powder. Make Up For Ever #1 is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

palette

Reflection

B-

This is really a product that I think translates better in real life, under normal use, than it does in photos. It's just not something that looks phenomenal in a close-up; no matter how lovely it seemed in person, the camera made the shades look a little iffy. If you like shimmering, sparkling cream eyeshadows, and you're not going to be taking macro photos of your eye, I suspect you'll still enjoy it. If you want your makeup to be immaculate, you'll want to pass.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Precipice

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

5.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Acute

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Illamasqua Sleek Velvet Blusher
Illamasqua Sleek Velvet Blusher

Illamasqua Sleek Velvet Blusher ($26.00 for 0.18 oz.) is described as a “dusky coral.” It’s a medium-dark coral with a hint of pink and subtle warm undertones; there is a dusty/muted element to it, which may make it a great coral for anyone who has tended to shy away from the brighter releases. MAC Passion for Colour is lighter, powder. NARS Soulshine is powder. Chanel Presage is more orange. Edward Bess Secret Affair is powder. Tom Ford Flush is pinker, brighter, powder. Aveda Hibiscus is a powder. Burberry Blossom is a powder. Dior Coral Glow is a touch darker, powder. See comparison swatches.

This shade performed similarly to Peaked when I test-drove it yesterday. It wore well for eight hours and started to show some signs of fading after nine hours of wear. The consistency feels like a very thin, lightweight cream initially, but once it touches the skin, it turns slightly powdery. I feels more like a powder but retains the blendability of a cream product. The surface of the blush, though, feels stiff and hard, but whether you use fingertips or a brush to get the color off of the surface, you’ll have no trouble doing so–the blush is incredibly pigmented. It is buildable, blendable, and as a result, you can sheer out just a couple of dabs on the skin for a subtle flush or pat on more before blending for a more intense look. The formula reminded me a lot of Chanel’s Le Blush Creme de Chanel (and Illamasqua’s version is both cheaper and contains more product).

The Glossover

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product

Sleek

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, September 16th, 2013

Illamasqua Peaked Velvet Blusher
Illamasqua Peaked Velvet Blusher

Illamasqua Peaked Velvet Blusher ($26.00 for 0.18 oz.) is described as a “dusky rose.” It’s a medium-dark, muted raspberry pink with a satin finish. Chanel Fantastic is brighter. MAC Hot Nights is powder, darker. NARS Mata Hari is brighter, powder. MAC Mocha is less pink, powder. MAC Restores Dazzle is darker. Illamasqua Seduce is similar. See comparison swatches.

The consistency is part powder, part cream; it does feel a lot like velvet in some ways. The surface is stiffer, harder, but it’s not difficult to get pigment out of it. It’s actually quite pigmented and a little goes a long way. Unlike some cream blushes, you can’t really push on the blush and see it move or create dips. The texture is lightweight, thin, but creamy and blendable on the skin. As soon as it starts being blended on the skin, it feels more powdery, less creamy. It sets quickly but remains slightly blendable (like a powder blush). The formula reminded me a lot of Chanel’s Le Blush Creme de Chanel (and Illamasqua’s version is both cheaper and contains more product). This shade wore well on me for a full eight hours, and after nine, I saw some light fading.

The Glossover

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Peaked

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, September 16th, 2013

Illamasqua Shard Lipstick
Illamasqua Shard Lipstick

Illamasqua Shard Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “red violet [with a matte finish].” It’s a deepened, slightly muted, raspberry wine with a matte finish. NARS Afghan Red is redder. NARS Valparaiso is a touch lighter. MAC Red Dwarf is lighter. Guerlain Flirt is less matte. Guerlain Bee is less matte. See comparison swatches.

It was opaque applied with rich, full color coverage. The consistency was very lightly creamy, but it was noticeably creamier compared to some other Illamasqua lipsticks in the range, which can sometimes drag or pull at the lip. It does tend to skip a little when I tried applying it from the tube, but it was barely noticeable. It wore incredibly well, topping in at six and a half hours, and then a stain that lingered for another two hours. While it had a distinct matte finish, it didn’t feel drying while I wore it (but not hydrating).  If you have drier lips, you’ll definitely want to prep by both exfoliating and laying down balm about twenty to thirty minutes prior to applying this shade, though, as the drier, matte finish can be unforgiving if there are any flakes or dryness on the lips.

P.S. — I don’t see it on Sephora yet, but it should release there soon (hopefully).

The Glossover

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Shard

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, September 16th, 2013

Illamasqua Facet Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Facet Nail Varnish

Illamaqua Facet Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “grey crystal.” It has a taupe (mix of brown and gray) base color with flecks of copper and molten gold sparkle and shimmer. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and the polish flowed well across the nail without pooling along the edges or streaking. It looked opaque most of the time, but sometimes the light would catch underneath and you could see the nail line slightly.
Urban Decay Gunmetal is darker, less shimmer. Urban Decay Barlust is warmer, browner. Essie Hot Coco is warmer, cream. See comparison swatches.

I’m not sure why, but Facet not currently showing up at all (not even as sold out or out of stock) at either Bloomingdale’s or Sephora, but as far as I know, the whole Sacred Hour collection was supposed to come state-side. It is available on Illamasqua’s website.

Hemlock is described as a “pale opal green iridescent.” It’s a pale, neutral beige with iridescent green threads of metallic shimmer. It’s semi-sheer–noticeable color but there is also visible nail line. The consistency was slightly thicker, and while I tried to layer it over Facet to see how the two would pair together, it did look somewhat thick. I reviewed this earlier in the year, and Illamasqua’s brought it back for fall, but the newer bottle definitely had a slightly thicker consistency compared to my original bottle. NARS Disco Inferno is cooler-toned, less green. Color Club Kismet is a full-on green with a holographic finish. See comparison swatches.

I typically get anywhere from seven to ten days of wear with Illamasqua’s formula with no chipping, just very minor tip wear (there is more nail growth than tip wear!).

The Glossover

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Facet

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Hemlock

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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