Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Revlon Neptune Star Diamond Lust Eyeshadow
Revlon Neptune Star Diamond Lust Eyeshadow

Revlon Neptune Star Diamond Lust Eyeshadow

Revlon Neptune Star Diamond Lust Eyeshadow ($4.99 for 0.028 oz.) is a muted dark navy blue with multi-colored shimmer (preodminantly blue, green, and violet). The color payoff is sheer and looks almost muddied when it is applied dry, and when it’s applied wet, the navy blue starts to bubble forth. Dry, it has a similar color as Dior Smoking Blue, though it doesn’t have the same shimmer/glitter. Make Up For Ever #147 is closest in terms of overall color but lacks the glitter component.

This eyeshadow takes a LOT of work to get to work well (or decently, I suppose). It suffers from poor color payoff, poor blendability, and fall out (both during application and later on while it is worn). When I saw this, it looked so beautiful and shimmering in its compact, so I had to buy it. I thought it was going to be a finer shimmer application, but it’s fairly large, chunky glitter–the texture actually feels gritty to the touch. This is a product that I’d say is best used patted lightly on top of some other, better performing eyeshadow. It just doesn’t deliver enough pigmentation to be used easily on its own.

The fall out is pretty bad, but I had the most frustration dealing with how difficult this shade was to blend. It is dry and stiff to work with, and when you finally manage to blend it out, there’s a really muddied look to it. It does not play well with others for that reason.  Fall out during application is one problem, and there’s fall out because you’re heavier handed and then there’s fall out because the product is too powdery or doesn’t bind together well, but fall out that continues throughout the time you wear it is the kind I focus most on and am most concerned about.  You will absolutely need to bring out your arsenal of tricks to use with the glitter-bomb–a sticky, adhesive base (like MAC Mixing Medium, Too Faced Glitter Glue, etc.) is a must.

Revlon may describe this has having “rich, refined pigments” and a “velvety smooth texture” that “glides on smoothly, blends effortlessly,” but I didn’t find that any of those things were true.  What is true is that yes, this will provide a really gorgeous dimension to the lid with the high sparkle content, but it will take some patience and additional products to get it to behave (which solves the fall out issue the most, but not so much the pigmentation or the blendability).  It ends up being a novelty purchase for me; something to work with for a very specific type of look when you have enough time to prep and clean up after it. If you like a glittery effect and don’t mind the work to create the look, you may find this is worth checking out. I recommend it as a layering shade over a coordinating eyeshadow.

The Glossover

LE
product

Neptune Star

F
If you like a glittery effect and don't mind the work to create the look, you may find this is worth checking out. I recommend it as a layering shade over a coordinating eyeshadow.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

2/5

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer
Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer

Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer

Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer ($1.99 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a bright pop of chartreuse–a light-medium yellow and green hue–with a creamy finish. NYX Lime is a chartreuse as well but has a lot of shimmer. China Glaze Electric Pineapple is similar but a touch greener. Illamasqua Radium is a bit darker and greener, plus it has a very fine shimmer. Zoya Mitzi is also similar, but it’s a little greener.

First and foremost, this polish WILL stain nails a very ugly shade of yellow-green. I’m a huge fan of chartreuse, but the stained version of the shade is too close to looking jaundiced. It’s not overly surprising, because this kind of shade has a tendency to do so, but buyer beware.  Sinful Colors is a very hit-and-miss line–some shades are amazing, but there are a lot of sub-par shades within the line.  It seems to be my luck that the majority of the ones I’ve swatched have been the latter!

Staining aside (which isn’t indicative of a poor product–even chartreuse-hued eyeshadows can stain when used wet!), the formula was difficult to work with.  It was thick, almost goopy, and had a tendency to pull and pool to the sides.  It was very streaky on the first coat, and the second coat didn’t manage to smooth out all of the streakiness.  The drying time was also on the longer side, which I suspect is due in part to the unusually thick consistency.  I don’t have any wear issues with Sinful, but I can’t think of any polish that has chipped on me aside from matte polish when worn without a top coat.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Sinful Innocent Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
If you want to try a chartreuse-colored shade but know you're unlikely to wear it or have the patience to work with the disappointing formula, it may still be worth the $2 (or $1, if you can find it on sale). If you're only interested in a top-quality polish, this isn't it.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter
Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter ($10.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a multi-colored highlighter that features five strips of color that can be swirled together or used in parts to create an illuminated look. This is an online exclusive to sleekmakeup.com. Each strip is fairly narrow, so they’re not shades you would use singularly as a blush, though you could certainly try or go for a very precise look by using eye brushes instead. The five individual shades consist of a shimmering white gold with a strong yellow gold sheen, peachy beige with a softer shimmer, coppery orange with a shimmery finish, golden peach-pink with a frosted finish, and a dirty beige with a champagne frosted shimmer. Together, they create a warm bronze with a golden shimmer-sheen and slight red undertones. It’s a bit like a shimmery version of Urban Decay’s Toasted. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is similar but more orange-y.

The texture of the powder is very soft and feels finely-milled, and the payoff of each individual shade was lovely. I didn’t have any problems with pigmentation while swatching or during application. This is the kind of over-the-top highlighter than some will absolutely love but others will struggle to perfect. It has a strong frosted, borderline-metallic, finish, which emphasizes pores, skin imperfections, and any natural texture you may have to your skin. For those lucky enough to be owners of perfect complexions, this is beautiful on, but for the rest of us, it can be a little too much.  I did like how soft the powder was, because it made it very easy to blend and soften against the skin.  I was disappointed in the wear, though; it started to look patchy and faded after a mere six hours.

For the price point, the texture is amazing!  The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though.  I’d recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.  It’s a bit more of a bronzy glow on my skin tone than pure highlighter, so for lighter skin tones, you’ll find this more of a blush/bronzer, while deeper skin tones will find this to work well as a warm-toned highlighter. It does compare well with Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks, which also have a stronger, frostier finish.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

B
For the price point, the texture is amazing! The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though. I'd recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss
Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss ($7.49 for 0.18 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot pink with hot pink shimmer.” It’s a bright, vibrant, nearly-neon fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a heavy dosage of lighter fuchsia shimmer. MAC Athena’s Kiss is a bit darker, not as neon. OCC Pageant isn’t as bright or as blue-based. The underlying base color is similar to MAC Quick Sizzle, which is a touch darker. The overall look is closer to MAC Pink Pigeon. MAC Show Orchid is a bit darker and more iridescent with less obvious shimmer.

Milani describes the formula as yielding full-color coverage with an extra glossy, non-tacky finish that won’t feather. It’s definitely rich in color–it’s opaque in one pass, and the finish is extremely shimmery and fairly glossy. The one characteristic I disagree on is the texture, because it’s incredibly sticky. It has a thicker consistency, so it’s not a lightweight formula, and the shimmer seemed to clump up in a few places. It feels very much like MAC Dare to Wear Lipglass, though. Swatched, it actually looks like it might be a potential dupe for Gimme That, but it’s very different–Gimme That is a rich fuchsia that goes on as more color and has less shimmer. Milani’s variation has much, much more shimmer. It also has a sweet vanilla scent.

Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile.  The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn’t always easy.

The Glossover

P
product

Flashy

B+
Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile. The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn't always easy.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Video Review: Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

The companion video to the written review :) This video also has the most epic auto-generated thumbnail–thanks YouTube!

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Monday, April 9th, 2012

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette
Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) contains six shades arranged as thin strips inside a clear, plastic compact. It comes with a dual-ended sponge-tipped applicator (not particularly useful). The product can be used dry for a sheerer, shimmery color, or it can be used damp for greater intensity.

The last time I tested one of these palettes, I wasn’t particularly impressed (see this review), but I was pleasantly surprised with Milani’s latest addition to their Runway Eyes line-up. Primary packs a lot more color payoff both wet and dry! It’s an excellent buy if you’re looking for really bright pops of color and don’t want to spend a lot.

The first shade is a primary canary yellow with warm undertones and a shimmery finish. It has good color payoff both dry and wet–when it’s wet, it’s just slightly brighter, but it’s opaque color either way. MAC Bright Sunshine is similar, slightly lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is a bit darker, almost more orange-y (but not orange at all). Inglot #370 is matte and not as sunshine-yellow.

The second shade is a shimmery red with subtle orange undertones. When it’s applied dry, it has more of a brick red hue, whereas when it is applied damp, it appears redder and the orange tones become muted. Milani I Heart You is similar to the dry swatch. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm isn’t as shimmery.

The third shade is a medium orange with a tangerine orange shimmer and sheen. The color payoff when it is applied dry is a bit faded/muted, and when it is applied damp, it’s better, though it is one of the softer shades in the palette. MAC Fresh Daily is similar but a touch darker. MAC Rule has a matte finish and is a bit darker.

The fourth shade is a blue-based purple with a soft, shimmery finish. When applied dry, there’s a noticeable sheerness to the color, which does improve when applied damp. Urban Decay Ransom is similar, slightly cooler. MAC Pink Union is richer, more intense. MAC Parfait Amour is bluer.

The fifth shade is an aqua-teal with a shimmery sheen. This was one of the sheerer shades both wet and dry, though it does intensify to get to good color payoff when used wet. MAC Shimmermoss is a bit greener, more opaque. Make Up For Ever #302 is very similar but more metallic in finish. MAC Rain Drop is darker.

The sixth (and final!) shade is a medium-dark blue with a hint of violet. It looks more navy blue when applied dry, because the sheen disappears and there’s some sheerness in the hue. When applied damp, the color intensifies tremendously and has a lovely sheen that’s glowy without being metallic. MAC Love Cycle is darker, bluer, no violet in sight. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is lighter. MAC Blue Storm is darker. NARS Outremer is matte.

I don’t love the overall setup of the palette, because each strip of color is too thin. I usually use MAC’s 239 eyeshadow brush to apply eyeshadows, but it was a little too big–I ended up using the MAC 213, which worked better.  Each strip is fairly soft–if you pressed your finger against it, you could flatten it out with medium pressure, so the palette is a little fragile.  The texture of the eyeshadows is soft and smooth, and the color payoff is fairly good to great when applied damp.

When I tested this palette, it wore well both with and without a primer, though it did perform better with a primer–no creasing though very subtle fading around the edges with a primer after eight hours, but there was minor creasing after seven hours without a primer.  What I did really like was how much intensity remained when using these wet!  Typically, when you use a product wet, it often loses some of its vibrancy as it dries back down, but these really retained their color. Milani didn’t mention that these were long-wearing, crease-resistant, etc. on their own, so longevity is based on wear with a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Primary

A-
This is one of the better pigmented products I've found at this price point for shades like these--it's not always easy to find really vibrant yellows, reds, or purples. Milani does each shade fairly well to exceptionally well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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