Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

2013 was good year for lipsticks, particularly if you loved yours bold, bright, and/or matte. There were new formulas to fall in love with, and plenty of new and limited shades released from my favorite formulas. This was a tough list to compile! Because I really do believe variety is the spice of life, I tried to pick across a variety of formulas!

What lipsticks did you fall in love with this past year?

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?

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Too Faced Red Stiletto La Creme Lipstick
Too Faced Red Stiletto La Creme Lipstick

Too Faced Red Stiletto La Creme Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “classic red.” It’s a slightly muted, medium red with warm, orange undertones and a luminous sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and the consistency was very emollient and creamy. I did notice some feathering after four hours of wear, and the color lasted for four and a half hours well. It was lightly hydrating during that time. Revlon Provocateur (135) (P, $8.99) is more matte. Anna Sui Minnie Mouse (01) (LE) is brighter. Chanel Dialogue (P, $34.00) is slightly more muted, more matte. See comparison swatches.

Sweet Maple La Creme Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “plum brown.” It’s a plum-tinged, medium brown with a natural shine. It had semi-opaque color coverage with some translucency all-over, so if you have naturally pigmented lips, this may look quite different on you as it is not fully opaque. The texture was lightly creamy though it had less slip compared to other shades of the La Creme formula, which was reflected in the finish–a soft sheen but not quite glossy. It wore well for three hours and was just a smidgen moisturizing while worn. bareMinerals Break Away (LE) is lighter, more matte. Givenchy Brun Cachemire (104) (P, $36.00) is a touch lighter. Urban Decay Strip (P, $22.00) is rosier. Bobbi Brown Soft Nude (P, $24.00) is more plum. MAC Glamour Era (P, $22.00) is warmer, browner. MAC Double Shot (P, $15.00) is darker, browner. Guerlain Avarice (P, $49.50) is more matte, slightly rosier. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Red Stiletto

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Sweet Maple

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Too Faced Universal Brunette Bulletproof Brows
Too Faced Universal Brunette Bulletproof Brows

Too Faced Bulletproof Brows ($30.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a cream-to-powder clay formula (it’s really supposed to be “a powder, gel, pencil, and setting wax all in one”) that’s “sweat-proof” and “water-resistant.” It’s available in two shades, Universal Taupe and Universal Brunette, and the latter is the shade featured in this post (I don’t have the other one, so I’m not sure how much lighter it is in comparison). It claims “24-hour Bulletproof Brows,” after you give the product a minute to set. Each shade comes with a dual-ended brush–an angled brush on one end, a spoolie on the other.

Universal Brunette is a medium-dark, neutral-to-warm brown with a matte finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage; it doesn’t really build to more than that, even if I waited a few minutes between layers. The consistency is lightly creamy, somewhat waxy, and medium-thick. I found application more challenging than I expected. The thicker, waxier consistency made it so the product got trapped and clumped in the angled brow brush (I used the included brush as well as two other angled brushes of varying thickness). I felt like a lot more product was caught in the bristles than was getting on my brows. Because it’s waxy, it has a tendency to cling to the brow hairs more than the skin beneath. If you have sparser brows, I think it’s easier and applies better, but if you have fuller brows, a lot of stuck to the brow hairs and left little behind on the skin. It doesn’t look even, smooth, or generally, defined or well-groomed.  There wasn’t much information or particulars regarding intensity of the color in the press release, so if this was designed to give really soft, natural looking color, then it is closer.  If you want more defined brows, it’s not buildable/pigmented enough.

It sets within thirty to forty seconds, and it is budge- and water-resistant after that. I would almost say water-proof, as it’s really not going anywhere when water hits it. You really have to rub quite vigorously (I did that against the back of my hand, not my brow bone!), and you’ll get a couple of flakes, but it doesn’t smear, bleed, or the like. My brows felt soft, not crunchy, but I could feel that there was some waxiness to them, which helped to keep them in place. It lasted through a shower and blow drying my hair, so of all the claims, I would definitely concur that it’s long-wearing, “bulletproof,” and should hold up to sweat and water.

As another note, if you have darker brown or black-brown (or black!) brows, this is too light. It seems fine up-close, but in the full face photo, you can see how it’s not a match (the color not being a match didn’t impact the rating).

The Glossover

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product

Universal Brunette

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Too Faced Peach Beach Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush
Too Faced Peach Beach Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush

Too Faced Peach Beach Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush ($29.00 for 0.19 oz.) is described as a “shimmering peach,” “rose pink,” and “shimmering light golden bronze.” Swirled together, it creates a light, champagne-shimmered, medium brown with a soft, rosy tint. It had a lightly frosted finish. Charlotte Tilbury First Love (P) is slightly darker, warmer. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is browner. MAC Seasonal Appeal (LE, $21.00) is darker, less shimmery. MAC Margin (P, $21.00) is warmer, more shimmery. MAC Barefaced (LE, $21.00) is warmer. Chanel Espiegle (P, $43.00) is pinker, lighter. See comparison swatches.

Like Something About Berry, powderiness characterized the texture of this powder. That powderiness resulted in sheerer, softer color–it’s just prone to sheering out as soon as you go to blend it–and didn’t contribute happily to wear time, either, as this was noticeably faded after the six-hour mark. I have had this experience with a lot of baked products, so if you have experienced better wear out of baked blushes and the like, consider your own experience as a good starting point. This particular shade will work best on light-medium skin tones or fairer complexions, as it was nearly lost against mine; there is a subtle brown-ish warmth but it’s very, very subtle. This shade was a lot less pigmented compared to Something About Berry, which contributed heavily to why it was rated even lower.

The Glossover

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product

Peach Beach

D+

Like Something About Berry, powderiness characterized the texture of this powder. That powderiness resulted in sheerer, softer color--it's just prone to sheering out as soon as you go to blend it--and didn't contribute happily to wear time, either, as this was noticeably faded after the six-hour mark.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette
Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette

Too Faced The Chocolate Bar Eye Palette ($49.00 for 0.62 oz.) contains sixteen eyeshadows from pale beige to deep bronze, from matte to frost. The smaller eyeshadows are 0.03 oz. each, while the two larger ones are 0.10 oz. each. This palette will launch exclusively at Sephora on December 19th (though it is listed online now, but it is not in stock, and it was previously available for sale–I believe my mistake a couple of weeks ago). As far as I can tell, it’s permanent.  The entire palette smells like sweet cocoa when you open it. The quality varies from shade to shade, with some being beautifully rich in pigment and soft, buttery, and dense in texture, and then there are a couple of misses that are rather powdery, sheer, or a combination of the two. Overall, the palette is more of an adventure in darker, smokier neutrals with a couple of curve balls (pale pink, deep purple), so depending on your stash of neutral palettes, this may be superfluous.  Most of the eyeshadows wore well for around eight hours, with some of the powdery ones fading sooner.

One thing I wish Too Faced would change about how they do their palettes is either include truly, all-brand-new shades or not be afraid to include a shade from a previous release. I’d rather know it’s the same (or have it just be the same) than a 1/4 of a shade different with a new name. When you release large eyeshadow palettes frequently, I know you’re going to have a repeat; that’s okay! just tell us about it! We don’t want to see the same five shades regularly repeated, but it’s not a deal-breaker if a couple make a reappearance.

Gilded Ganache is a dark chocolate brown with warm, caramel undertones and a yellowed bronze shimmer. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft without being powdery. I had minor fall out when I wore this shade. Makeup Geek Utopia (P, $6.99) is more glittery. Too Faced Yule Log (LE) is very similar. MAC Brownluxe #4 (P) is more muted. Urban Decay Snakebite (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Chanel Topkapi #1 (LE) is not quite as warm-toned. See comparison swatches

White Chocolate is a warm-toned, pale beige with a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft, blendable, but not powdery. There are so, so many shades just like this, including many by Too Faced as they’ve released their palettes. See comparison swatches.

Milk Chocolate is a medium-dark, subtly warm-toned brown with reddish-yellow undertones and a matte finish. It had nice pigmentation, applied smoothly, and was easy to blend out on the lid. Makeup Geek Frappe (P, $5.99) is warmer. Chanel Charming #2 (LE) is slightly cooler-toned. Too Faced Chocolate Milk (LE) is a touch lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild To Muse and Carouse #2 (LE) Urban Decay Beware (LE, $18.00) theBalm Allegro (P, $16.00) MAC Moleskin (LE, $15.00) Inglot #357 (P, $6.00) See comparison swatches.

Black Forest Truffle is a burgundy-brown with burgundy and bronze sparkle and shimmer. It had a drier, slightly gritty, texture while the color payoff was semi-opaque. Makeup Geek Burlesque (P, $5.99) is lighter, warmer. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #7 (P, $9.99) is more metallic. Disney by Sephora Chateau (LE) is browner. theBalm Alice Copper (P, $16.00) is cooler-toned, brighter. Urban Decay Roach (P, $18.00) is very similar. Estee Lauder Violet Underground #2 (LE, $21.00) is richer. Le Metier de Beaute Bordeaux (P, $30.00) is slightly brighter, more metallic. See comparison swatches.

Triple Fudge is a deep, dark brown with subtle neutral-to-warm undertones and a matte finish. It had fairly good color payoff that’s more buildable when applied to the lid than it seems to appear initially. Laura Mercier Espresso (LE) is slightly cooler-toned. bareMinerals Boardroom (LE) is also a bit cooler-toned. Inglot #326 (P, $6.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Salted Caramel is a warm-toned, muted, medium orange with hints of brown and a matte finish. It had excellent color payoff, but the texture was so soft that it turned powdery. MAC Tete-a-Tint (P, $15.00) is darker, warmer. Makeup Geek Creme Brulee (P, $5.99) is similar. MAC Layin’ Low (P, $18.50) is lighter, cream product. MAC Soft Brown (P, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Marzipan is a warm, peachy-orange with a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and fairly smooth. As a FYI, Too Faced included a shade called “Marzipan” in their Bon Bons palette, but this isn’t the same–the previously-released Marzipan was matte. bareMinerals Ball Gown (LE) is slightly lighter. Makeup Geek Cinderella (P, $5.99) is less frosted. MAC All That Glitters (P, $15.00) is more golden. See comparison swatches.

Semi-Sweet is a medium-dark brown with warm, reddish undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft, but a little dry and a smidgen powdery, and the pigmentation reflected that as it was semi-opaque. Laura Mercier Truffle (P) is very similar. NARS Self Portrait 3 #1 (LE, $24.00) is darker. MAC Brown Script (P, $15.00) is redder in tone. Inglot #360 (P, $6.00) is similar. Inglot #357 (P, $6.00) is yellower in tone. See comparison swatches.

Strawberry Bon Bon is a cool-toned, light-medium pink with a matte finish. It was soft, blendable, and had good color payoff. NARS Bouthan #1 (P, $24.00) is lighter. Benefit Pause for Applause (P, $20.00) is slightly purpler. Benefit Pinky Swear (P, $20.00) is similar. Inglot #319 (P, $6.00) is brighter, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Candied Violet is a smuted, smoky violet with cool undertones and multi-colored shimmer. It was very dry and stiff to work with, and the color payoff was sheer. It didn’t work better on the lid either–harder to blend and not buildable at all. Too Faced Jingle All the Way Eyeshadow #6 (LE) is brighter. Sleek MakeUP Romance in Rome (LE, $9.99) is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Voodoo (LE, $18.00) is also cooler-toned. theBalm Lavish Latoya (LE, $16.00) is similar. Urban Decay Half Truth (LE, $18.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Amaretto is a warm-toned, medium-dark brown with reddish tones and a frosted sheen. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and buttery to the touch. Clarins The Essentials #9 (LE) is very similar. Too Faced Brown Sugar (LE) is darker, less red-toned. MAC Her Cocoa #4 (LE, $15.00) is nearly identical. MAC Divine Decadence (LE, $15.00) is darker, richer. Disney by Sephora Chateau (LE) is less warm-toned. MAC Twinks (P, $15.00) is lighter, yellower in tone. MAC Sable (P, $15.00) is similar. Benefit Dandy Brandy (P, $18.00) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Hazelnut is a medium-dark, golden bronze with a soft, frosted sheen. The texture was soft but slightly powdery, and it had good color payoff. Chanel Charming #3 (LE) is less frosted, slightly warmer-toned. MAC Her Cocoa #3 (LE, $15.00) is very similar. Illamasqua Dart (P) is a cream product, darker.Urban Decay Ambush (LE, $18.00) is more frosted. Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss #4 (P, $30.00) is similar. Dior Golden Savannah #2 (LE) is also similar.See comparison swatches.

Creme Brulee is a darkened gold with warm undertones and a rich, metallic finish. This shade had excellent pigmentation, and the texture was soft and buttery–one of the best shades in the palette. Maybelline Downtown Brown (P, $6.99) is less metallic. Benefit Thanks a Latte (P, $20.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches.

Haute Chocolate is a slightly muted, dark chocolate brown with warm, reddish undertones and a frosted finish. It had fantastic color payoff, and the texture was so rich and smooth. Too Faced Brown Sugar (LE) is similar, less metallic. theBalm B4 (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned, less frosted. MAC Friendly (LE, $15.00) is warmer. Inglot #421 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Cherry Cordial is a warm-toned, plummy brown with flecks of sparkle over a matte base. It had semi-opaque color payoff, and the texture was a bit dry and powdery. bareMinerals Stiletto (LE) is darker. Laura Mercier Kir Royal (P) is similar. Too Faced Soiree (LE) is slightly darker. NARS New York (P, $24.00) is more muted, matte. See comparison swatches.

Champagne Truffle is a brightened, pink-tinged white with a golden sheen and metallic finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was fairly soft. Too Faced Coquet (LE) is very similar. Kat Von D Instaglam (LE) is also similar. Disney by Sephora Treasures Untold (LE) is also comparable. bareMinerals Glitterati (LE) is slightly pinker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

palette

The Chocolate Bar

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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P
product

Gilded Ganache

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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P
product

White Chocolate

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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