Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

Reader Dilyana wanted to see more top picks for corals… so here’s my current top ten list of coral lipsticks, lipglosses, and blushes! (See them in the Swatch Gallery here.) What are your favorites right now?

  1. Hourglass Radiant Magenta — a warm-toned, pinky-coral with a satin finish
  2. Too Faced Bon Bon — a bright, warm-toned coral
  3. Chanel Reflexion — a shimmering, coral-red gloss
  4. Clinique Peach Pop — a muted, coral-orange with a luminous finish
  5. Maybelline Caramel Infused — a soft, pink-coral gloss
  6. Urban Decay Streak — a glossy coral-pink
  7. Tom Ford Love Lust –a shimmering, dark coral
  8. Burberry Camel Pink — a peachy-gold shimmered coral-pink gloss
  9. Givenchy Rose Dressing (202) — a vibrant, pink-coral
  10. MAC Be a Lady –a brightened, pink-coral
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eyeshadow Quad
Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eyeshadow Quad

Tom Ford Orchid Haze Eyeshadow Quad ($78.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a warm-toned palette that features a champagne, brown, rosy plum, and deep plum. Yesterday, I mentioned that I have a hit or miss relationship with Tom Ford’s quads, and this is one of the better ones I’ve tried (I also thought it would show that not all of the brand’s quads are like Ice Queen). It was only the darkest shade that I had any significant issues with–though I think for most, near-perfection is a prerequisite to consider something at this price point.  I can see this being a real workhorse of a palette for some with the color combination being a good mix of light and dark, matte and shimmer, so I disappointed that the last shade was such a miss.

Orchid Haze #1 is a warm-toned, golden peach with a frosted, almost metallic, finish. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was incredibly soft, smooth, and finely-milled. It wore well for eight hours before starting to fade. Too Faced Marzipan (P, $16.00) is less frosted, darker. bareMinerals Ball Gown (LE) is more golden. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #2 (LE) is less frosted but very similar. theBalm Stubborn (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. theBalm Third Eye Blinded (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. Estee Lauder Pink Zinc (P, $24.00) is a cream product. bareMinerals Custom Made (LE) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Orchid Haze #2 is a warm-toned, medium brown with warm, orange undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. The texture was soft and finely-milled but slightly powdery. It’s a shade I thought was easier to apply with a dampened brush, as it gave it a smoother application and minimized excess fall out. It did wear well for eight hours before it showed signs of fading. Sleek MakeUP Python (P, $9.99) is darker. MAC Pink Sensibilities #1 (LE, $21.00) is similar. Urban Decay Liar (P, $18.00) is less warm-toned. Clarins The Essentials #9 (LE) is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Champagne Shimmer (P, $28.00) is a cream product. CoverGirl Melted Caramel (330) (P, $4.99) is darker, less frosted. Clinique Ample Amber (P, $17.00) is a cream product. See comparison swatches.

Orchid Haze #3 is a softened rosy plum with a pearly finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and velvety. There was a very slight powderiness to it. When I wore it, the color lasted for almost eight hours before looking faded along the edges. Chanel Quadrille #1 (LE) is darker, less shimmery. Urban Decay Buzz (P, $18.00) is lighter, warmer. theBalm Just This Once Jamie (P, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. Make Up For Ever #141 (P, $20.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Orchid Haze #4 is a muted, blackened burgundy with neutral-to-cool undertones and a matte finish. It had seemingly good color payoff, but the texture is very powdery, so it sheers away as soon as you blend or touch the product–it doesn’t really seem to bind or adhere well to the skin. On the lid, it looked dry and slightly uneven/patchy and was difficult to blend. The color wore well for seven and a half hours. Tarte Plums Up (LE) is lighter, warmer. Tarina Tarantino Deep Dahlia (LE) is brighter, shimmery. Kat Von D Fur Elise (P) is lighter. theBalm Sexy (P, $16.00) is darker. theBalm Moderato (P, $16.00) is similar. MAC Blackberry (P, $15.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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palette

Orchid Haze

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Orchid Haze #1

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Orchid Haze #2

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Tom Ford Ice Queen Eyeshadow Quad
Tom Ford Ice Queen Eyeshadow Quad

Tom Ford Ice Queen Eyeshadow Quad ($78.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a cool-toned palette that features shades of white, gray, silver, and bluish-gray. I feel like I’m in the minority, but generally, I’m not over-the-moon with the brand’s eyeshadow formula or their quads. I thought this review would be a nice companion to yesterday’s palette review to show that products can miss at any price point. Though every shade feels like silk and lightness, they don’t apply well. The texture just doesn’t seem to adhere well and each one yields a soft wash of color, and the darkest shade looked uneven and dry on my lid. I’ve been on-and-off testing Tom Ford’s eyeshadow primer, and so as this was under-performing on its own, I also wore it over that and was equally unimpressed. That dry, patchy application of the darkest shade didn’t improve at all over the brand’s primer, which did surprise me somewhat. Sometimes the glittery shade works well for me, other times they do result in fall out–this one had some fall out, but most of it occurs during application and only some occurs during wear (but enough to be noticeable). All four eyeshadows looked faded after seven hours of wear, and the frosted silver showed some creasing. I have loved some of Tom Ford’s quads, but I have also been burned by a few, and this one was a miss for me.

Ice Queen #1 is a brightened, neutral-to-cool white with a frosted, almost metallic, finish. This was the best-performing shade in the palette, as the texture was soft, smooth, and adhered to the lid. The color payoff was fairly good, but this is such a basic shade (so it’s good to have it somewhere ni your stash), there are a lot of dupes — see comparison swatches.

Ice Queen #2 is a sparkly, light-medium silver with a glittery, metallic finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, but it’s best applied as a sheer wash as it gets chunky and clingy when layered. I would highly recommend applying your eye makeup first so that the glittery excess can be cleaned up prior to applying your base products. It did have some fall out during wear (beyond what occurred during application). Much like the previous shade, this, too, is a shade that has been done a lot in the beauty world — see comparison swatches.

Ice Queen #3 is a light-medium gray with a soft, pearly sheen. It had so-so color payoff, and I did not find it buildable on the lid. The texture is soft, finely-milled, and velvety. The finish of this shade made it difficult to dupe. Chanel Fascination #2 (P) is much lighter. Guerlain Les Gris #2 (P) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Ice Queen #4 is a muted, dark bluish-gray with a matte finish. The texture, while undeniably soft and silky, was quite powdery and chalky in application. It seemed to cling to the skin and apply unevenly–it looked dry and patchy on my eyelid, even when applied over primer. It was extremely difficult to blend, because the more I blended, the drier and more uneven it looked. NARS Mandchourie #2 (P, $24.00) is bluer. MAC Typographic (P, $15.00) is grayer. Guerlain Les Gris #1 (P) is darker. bareMinerals Amnesia (P) is darker. bareMinerals Maven (LE) is bluer. MAC Plumage (P, $15.00) is less gray. Inglot #389 (P, $6.00) is bluer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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palette

Ice Queen

D+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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P
product

Ice Queen #1

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Ice Queen #2

C-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Tom Ford Sugar Dune (01) Nail Lacquer
Tom Ford Spring 2014 Nail Lacquers

Tom Ford Sugar Dune (01) Nail Lacquer ($32.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is a slightly cool-toned, light beige with a cream finish. This went on rather streakily on the first coat, but the second coat seemed to smooth over and fill in the streaks so the end result was even and opaque (after two coats). L’Oreal Never Lacque-ing (LE) is cooler-toned. Rescue Beauty Lounge Thank You (LE, $20.00) is more shimmery, sheerer. MAC Endless Night (LE, $16.00) is darker. Chanel Frenzy (P, $27.00) is darker. Cult Nails Let’s Get Dirty (P, $12.00) is purpler. Essie Sand Tropez (LE, $8.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Incandescent (02) Nail Lacquer ($32.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is a warm-toned, metallic, medium bronze with threads of shimmer. It almost looked like fairy lights were coursing through the polish. A lot of the brush strokes disappeared as the polish dried down, but they did not go away entirely. I typically get a week of wear out of Tom Ford’s nail lacquer formula, which is standard for me across most brands. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $15.00) is warmer, more yellow. Tom Ford Beauty Burnt Topaz (LE, $32.00) is darker, browner. Chanel Delight (LE, $27.00) is lighter, less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Coral Beach (03) Nail Lacquer ($32.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is a light-medium, orange-coral with a cream finish–that is almost a little plush like a jelly finish. It was opaque after two coats, and it applied evenly and smoothly. I typically get a week of wear out of Tom Ford’s nail lacquer formula, which is standard for me across most brands. Rescue Beauty Lounge Kellie Gonzo (LE, $20.00) is darker. Essie Sunday Fun Day (P, $8.00) is darker. Chanel Starlet (LE, $27.00) is pinker. Butter London Trout Pout (P, $15.00) is similar. MAC Razzledazzler (LE, $16.00) is more orange. MAC Play Day (LE, $16.00) is lighter, more orange. See comparison swatches.

Indiscretion (04) Nail Lacquer ($32.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is a brightened, medium-dark fuchsia pink with subtle cool undertones and a hybrid cream-jelly finish. It was opaque after two coats, and it was very easy to apply and richly pigmented–best shade of the four. I typically get a week of wear out of Tom Ford’s nail lacquer formula, which is standard for me across most brands. Dior Darling (653) (P, $24.00) is more muted. Formula X A+ (P, $12.50) is very similar. MAC Toco Toucan (LE, $16.00) is cooler toned. MAC Girl About Town (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned. L’Oreal Members Only (P) is also cooler-toned, brighter. See comparison swatches.

I bought mine at Nordstrom, which is showing three of the four as backordered (they’re all limited edition), but you can also find them at Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, and Saks.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sugar Dune (01)

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Incandescent (02)

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Coral Beach (03)

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheers ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) are available in eight limited edition shades. The formula is new (but limited edition!) for spring. Here’s a visual comparison of the eight shades together, and you’ll notice that the range leans quite warm-toned. Incorrigible (08) is the only shade that is cool-toned, and on some complexions, In the Buff (01) might lean pinker (less beige). The big takeaway from the reviews for these is that they are far more pigmented than the formula’s name or description let alone; if you were going to stay away because sheer lip color isn’t your thing, you might still want to check them out. If, on the other hand, you really wanted sheer color, you might want to look at the Lip Color Shines instead (or else use these very lightly!). You can read full reviews, get shade descriptions, dupes, ratings, and all that good stuff here: part one and part two.

You can find these online at Nordstrom (only has three shades left), Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, and Saks.

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Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer
Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer

Here are the other four shades in the Tom Ford Lip Color Sheer ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) range, which is a new and limited edition formula for spring.  You can see the first four here. The funny thing about these is I think these should have been called “Lip Color Shines” and the actual Lip Color Shines (which came out previously and are permanent) should have been called “Lip Color Sheers,” as those are described as a “veil of color,” and are, in fact, sheer! These, however, are far more pigmented than either the name or formula description (“semi-translucent formula”) really let alone–you will see points deducted for being too pigmented (but if that’s what you’re after, just bump up the grades!). These four are quite pigmented and veer on mostly to fully opaque. For some, this is a good oops! but anyone actually expecting it to be as described may be disappointed. The formula itself is lightweight, lightly emollient (it glides on without tugging or dragging, but it doesn’t feather, migrate, or wear off quickly), moderately hydrating, and comfortable to wear. Like Tom Ford’s other lipsticks, they are vanilla-scented but did not have a noticeable taste.

I gotta tell you: these are flying off the virtual shelves–Nordstrom only has three shades left, but Bloomingdale’s, Neiman Marcus, and Saks still have a good selection.

Sweet Spot (05) Lip Color Sheer ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a muted, medium orange-coral with subtle pink leanings and warm undertones. The finish is softly luminous. It had mostly opaque color coverage, which may be a happy accident for some, but it seems out-of-touch with the description of the new formula (not to mention the name). This shade lasted for four and a half hours on me. MAC Dreaming Dahlia (LE, $16.00) is very similar in color but slightly pinker and sheerer. Givenchy Croisiere Coral (310) (LE, $36.00) is more matte. Revlon Tutti Frutti (P, $7.49) is darker. NARS Dolce Vita (P, $25.00) is pinker, more matte. NARS Lodhi (P, $25.00) is slightly lighter, warmer. MAC Style Surge (P, $22.00) is very similar. MAC Ravishing (P, $16.00) is a smidgen lighter, pinker. MAC Razzledazzler (LE, $16.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Firecracker (06) Lip Color Sheer ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a vibrant, rich, orange-red with warm undertones and a luminous shine. It had really rich, opaque color coverage. It wore well for six hours. Givenchy Carmin Escarpin (306) (P, $36.00) is slightly redder. NARS Short Circuit (LE, $26.00) is a smidgen more orange. Dior Trafalgar (844) (P, $34.00) is very similar. Giorgio Armani #300 (P, $32.00) is less glossy. Urban Decay Bang (P, $22.00) is a smidgen lighter. Maybelline Orange Edge (LE, $7.49) is very similar. Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin (P, $7.49) is also very similar–slightly redder. Maybelline Neon Red (P, $7.49) is very similar. MAC Sail La Vie (LE, $16.00) is more matte. MAC Lady Danger (P, $16.00) is more matte. Buxom Rogue (P, $21.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

Paradiso (07) Lip Color Sheer ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) is medium, warm-toned pink with a luminous shine. It had rich, opaque color coverage and wore well for five hours. Marc Jacobs Beauty Shout (138) (LE, $30.00) is darker, warmer. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur (171) (LE, $35.00) is a smidgen darker. YSL Caress Pink (9) (P, $34.00) is lighter. MAC Love Beam (LE, $20.00) is darker. Charlotte Tilbury Coachella Coral (P) is warmer, more matte. Givenchy Rose Taffetas (201) (P, $36.00) is lighter. MAC Hoop (DC, $16.00) is lighter, more matte. MAC Elegant Accent (P, $22.00) is slightly darker. MAC Watch Me Simmer (LE, $16.00) is brighter, warmer. MAC Heart to Heart (LE, $16.00) is pinker, darker. MAC Force of Love (LE, $16.00) is lighter, pinker. See comparison swatches.

Tom Ford Incorrigible (08) Lip Color Sheer ($49.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a brightened, medium-dark fuchsia pink with mostly opaque color that was slightly translucent, so the natural lip color came through. The color wore well for five and a half hours. The texture of this one was slightly more emollient than other shades. MAC Heavenly Hybrid (LE, $16.00) is more muted, less fuchsia. MAC Feeling Amorous? (LE, $20.00) is less cool-toned. MAC Pleasurefruit (LE, $17.00) is less fuchsia, pinker. Givenchy Croisiere Fuchsia (309) (LE, $36.00) is purpler, more muted. Revlon Fuchsia Shock (P, $7.99) is brighter. Revlon Lollipop (P, $7.49) is cooler-toned, darker. MAC Lickable (P, $16.00) is pinker. Buxom Exhibitionist (P, $21.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sweet Spot (05)

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Firecracker (06)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Paradiso (07)

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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