Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

MAC Unconventional Blush
MAC Unconventional Blush

Unconventional May Be More Conventional Than You Thought

MAC Unconventional Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “pale shimmering lavender” with a frost finish. It’s a pale pink with a hint of lavender and cool under-tones; there is an almost gray pull to the color that gives it a very cool, muted appearance. For a blush listed as a frost, it is softer, more shimmer-sheen than full of shimmer; more like a mix of frost and satin. MAC Lazy Sunday is warmer, pinker. MAC Full of Joy is a touch more lavender and less frosted–but the two are very similar. Make Up For Ever Smooth Talker is a touch pinker and less shimmery.

What was really noteworthy about this blush is that despite its light and cool coloring, it didn’t turn ashy against my medium complexion as some shades in this family are prone to doing. On my complexion, it ended up looking like a cool-toned pink highlighter–so a little shimmer, sheen, and a touch of color.  It had excellent color payoff and was very finely-milled, soft, and smooth to the touch and when applied.  It blended out beautifully.  The texture and application were both some of the best I’ve seen from MAC.  The blush wore for seven and a half hours well with some light but noticeable fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

LE
product

Unconventional

A
It had excellent color payoff and was very finely-milled, soft, and smooth to the touch and when applied. It blended out beautifully. The texture and application were both some of the best I've seen from MAC.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette
Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette

Not Enough Smoke in This Smoky Eyed Palette

Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette ($88.00 for 0.41 oz.) is a face palette that contains one highlighter, two eyeshadows, and one lip color. The shades are described as, “White shimmer highlighting powder is paired with a gradation of grey eyeshadows to create a wash of color, finish with the red lip wax for a sophisticated winter style.”

The highlighter is a pure snowy white with a silver-white shimmer. This one was a bit more sparkly compared to the Moonlight Beige palette. The texture, while finely-milled and soft to the touch, wasn’t as blendable–perhaps easier to notice given how stark this looked against my skin tone in particular. It will look best on very, very pale complexions. The closest dupe I could think of was Benefit High Beam, which is pinker.

The lip wax is a darkened pink-red with a natural sheen. On lips, it looks more red than pink and yielded semi-opaque color coverage. It has a thin consistency, so it looked a lot like a stain when applied to the lips. MAC Fire Sign is a little brighter, but it has a similar look and feel on. NARS Flamenco is also very similar, perhaps a touch more pigmented.

The first eyeshadow is a light-medium gray with a soft shimmer. It had decent to good pigmentation, and while finely-milled, was just a bit powdery. NARS Self Portrait 2 is darker. NARS Ramatuelle is shimmery and lighter. Guerlain Les Gris is more frosted. MAC Silver Gull is similar. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit is frosty.

The second eyeshadow is a medium-dark, faded gray with a mostly matte finish, though it is sprinkled with sparkle–you just don’t see it show up or at a distance. The color payoff here was weak; it had a faded, almost dry quality to the end result. bareMinerals Chateau is more pigmented, more matte. MAC Scene is very similar, just more pigmented. Chanel Gris Exquis is similar but has no sparkle.

My biggest problem with this palette is in the composition, all quality comments aside. There’s simply not enough contrast between the two eyeshadows for a really great smoky eye. I felt like the colors together ended up looking so much like the other–instantly muddied (if mud was gray). I was originally interested to see how Giorgio Armani took a rather bold pairing (smoky eyes and red lips), but I can see now that the grays are subdued enough that the lips are more of a focal point.

The highlighter lasted just over seven hours, and after eight, there was some slight fading.  The lip wax lasted four hours, but it was a little drying to wear. Both eyeshadows were prone to blending out and disappearing (the lighter shade did this in a particularly frustrating fashion!), but once applied, they didn’t seem to fade much more. The eyeshadows appeared a little faded after eight hours without a primer (but no fading with a primer).

The Glossover

palette

Moonlight White

C+
At this price point, the quality needs to be upped quite a bit! Even if the quality was better, though, I don't think it's as versatile as it could be. Maybe with more pigmentation, you could achieve greater contrast between the two eyeshadows, but as is, they run together.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette
Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette

Let the Moonlight Bathe You in Beige

Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette ($88.00 for 0.41 oz.) consists of a highlighter, two eyeshadows, and lip wax housed in a glossy black compact with a mirror and two sponge-tipped applicators. Giorgio Armani describes the shades as, “Beige shimmer powder joins taupe eyeshadows that intensify gradually, along with Beige lip wax for sheer, natural elegance.”

The highlighter is a pale white-beige with a silver-ish sparkle. There is definitely an overlay of silver glitter that dusts away within the first use (and likely, for the better, since the glitter particles are large). I removed this overlay before I swatched and applied the product. It has a shimmer-sheen finish where a little bit of shimmer is detectable, but it creates mostly a glow-y sheen on the skin. The texture was soft and finely-milled, so it blended easily and sat well on the skin without emphasizing pores or the natural texture. NARS Albatross has more of a golden sheen. MAC Lightscapade is similar but has a stronger sheen. MAC Truth & Light is a touch warmer. MAC Too Chic is frostier.

The first eyeshadow is a soft taupe that leans gray. It has a satin-like finish, and the color payoff is good. Chane Variation is grayer, darker. NARS Vent Glace is warmer, browner. bareMinerals Suspense is darker, grayer. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is darker.

The second eyeshadow is a subdued medium-dark brown with just a hint of gray. It has a mostly matte finish with a touch of satiny sheen. The color payoff seemed so-so, but on the lid, it was better–good overall. MAC Omega is lighter. Chanel Premier Regard is a smidgen darker and grayer. MAC Camo is lighter.

The lip wax is sheer, as described; it is a warm peach-beige with a soft, frosted sheen. When applied, it really just lightened my natural lip color and added a soft, frosted sheen. As far as dupes go, any sheer beige lipstick will get you close, assuming you have a natural lip color similar to mine. It had more color than MAC Tropical Mist. RevlonC reme Brulee is comparable in color, though it is a bit more pigmented.  I didn’t love the formula of this, as it is very unforgiving on the lips, since the texture is on the drier side.

The eyeshadows wore for eight hours without fading or creasing (without a primer).  They were incredibly easy to apply and blended out beautifully.  The highlighter lasted for eight hours with minor fading along the edges.  The lip wax lasted two hours on me from what I could tell–something as sheer as this harder to determine!

Overall, I like the palette, but I’m not in love.  The price point is heart-wrenching, and so I need to be in love with the entire palette to get excited about it.  The eyeshadows performed better when I was applying them, and as they’re finely-milled and very, very soft, they can become sheer if blended out enough (which is what happened when I swatched them).  The whole look this palette creates is soft and natural; very work-friendly and nearly foolproof to create.

The Glossover

palette

Moonlight Beige

B+
The whole look this palette creates is soft and natural; very work-friendly and nearly foolproof to create.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Guerlain Pink Punk Blush Duo
Guerlain Pink Punk Blush Duo

A Duo Featuring Coral and Plum

Guerlain Pink Punk Blush Duo ($50.00 for 0.21 oz.) contains a vibrant coral-pink with a mostly matte finish and subdued plum with a mostly matte finish.

If you have a cooler complexion with natural pink undertones, I suspect the brighter pink shade will look pinker, not quite as coral-like, on you. It looked pinker in the pan but on my skin, it was less so. Burberry Blossom is more orange. MAC Fleet Fast is similar but more subdued, plus it has gold shimmer. Tom Ford Flush is very comparable in color. Tarte Blissful is also very similar–perhaps a bit pinker (even on my skin tone). This shade was very, very pigmented. It has a dry but finely-milled texture that is best when used with a brush. I used the included brush to apply, and while I can’t say I prefer it to my full-sized brushes (I am partial to both the shapes and the longer handles!), it is soft and works well to apply and blend out the color. When I trialed for wear, it lasted eight hours without fading.

The plum shade seemed sheer when I swatched it, but with a blush brush (the one included), it was more pigmented than it seemed initially. It is not nearly as intense as the brighter coral shade, though. MAC The Perfect Cheek is more subdued, pinker, less warm-toned. Tarte Exposed is more neutral. Burberry Cameo is less pink, more plum. Chanel Rose Temptation is a touch darker and more plum. It had the same finely-milled, dry texture that wore well (eight hours).

Finally, when the two shades are mixed, it becomes a rosy plum with a matte finish. It ended up looking very similar to NARS Amour. NARS Deep Throat is pinker, lighter, and has a golden sheen.  I wore the two shades layered together, and they lasted a full eight hours without any signs of fading.  If you’re a fan of Guerlain’s matte eyeshadows, you’ll like the texture and feel of the blushes, as they’re very similar.  If you prefer a softer, denser, more buttery texture, you may find these too dry/firm for your liking.

The Glossover

palette

Pink Punk

A-
If you're a fan of Guerlain's matte eyeshadows, you'll like the texture and feel of the blushes, as they're very similar. If you prefer a softer, denser, more buttery texture, you may find these too dry/firm for your liking.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit
MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit

Golden, What Happened to You?

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit ($49.50) contains seven products: Golden (Bronzing Powder, muted golden tan-beige with shimmer), Hearts-a-flutter (eyeshadow, warm pink with silver pearl), Romance Me (eyeshadow, warm plum with gold pearl), Shadowy Lady (eyeshadow, blackened plum), Barely Lit (lipstick, neutral pink withgold pearls), Headturner (lipstick, mid-tone cool cream plum), and a dual-ended 275SE/316SE brush.

Each Eyeshadow is approximately 0.033 oz. (total weight is 0.10 oz.), while the Bronzing Powder is 0.10 oz., and each Lipstick is 0.03 oz. There is a dual-ended brush that has the 275SE on one end and the 316SE on the other end. The kit contains $30.00 worth of eyeshadow, $6.86 worth of Bronzing Powder, and $9.00 worth of lipstick, for a total value of $45.86. You do get the dual-ended brush, but it really feels like a typical applicator that gets thrown into a lot of high-end palettes; the quality felt less than the usual SE brushes. The kit itself is packaged in a peach satin, but it’s smaller than the Divine Desire kits ($70.00), and it isn’t reusable from what I can tell–it’s more like the packaging used for the eyeshadow palettes.

Golden is a golden peach-brown with a peach shimmer-sheen. The texture was of this was very, very dry. It was so stiff, I had to jab layers of product off of it with a metal spatula. It was hard as a rock–I almost thought it was fake (this happened once, I received a MAC product that had a *plastic* replica of the powder in the compact). I’m not sure what happened, but the last time I swatched and reviewed Golden Bronzing Powder, I did not have the payoff and texture problems that I had with this one. This shade is part of the permanent range, so if you like how it looks in the pan, you might want to check out the full-sized version. MAC Nude on Board is a bit darker.

Barely Lit is a rosy beige with a little gold micro-shimmer to give it that “lit” effect. It has semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. It has a lustre finish. In the pan, it almost felt and looked more like a gloss–it was very squishy. It wore for two hours. Laura Mercier Sandcastle is more subdued. MAC Viva Glam V is pinker. MAC Martha is similar, less shimmery.

Headturner is a berry red with a purple-tinge. It is mostly opaque on lips, and it has a Cremesheen finish. It lasted for four hours on my lips. NARS Afghan Red is redder. MAC Rebel is richer, brighter. Guerlain Guet-Apens is redder. MAC Red Dwarf is a bit darker and more subdued. MAC Positively Dashing is similar, less shimmery.

Hearts-a-flutter is a pale pink-tinged white with a satin finish, so there is a noticeable sheen but nothing too frosted. It had so-so color payoff. It looks quite a bit like MAC Radial Pink from the eye kit! Chanel Harmonie du Soir is pinker. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is similar, slightly cooler-toned. Bare Escentuals Muse is less frosty. MAC Defiance is more iridescent.

Romance Me is a gray-tinged medium-dark brown with sallow brown undertones. It has a lustre finish, but it didn’t look or feel like one–seemed more like a frost, really. It didn’t have the loose sparkle that is a telltale sign of a lustre. It had decent color payoff, but the texture was a bit dry. MAC Earthly is lighter. Bare Escentuals Vow is darker. theBalm Celebrational is a smidgen grayer.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened purple with a matte finish. It’s dry, stubborn in texture, and the color is a bit uneven. When I applied it to the lid, it wasn’t as blendable as a really good matte eyeshadow is. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s an often-included shade in holiday palettes. MAC Spellcaster is more purple. MAC Indian Ink is more purple, richer.

It is interesting that the pink shade has such a strong resemblance to Radial Pink, which is in the duo alongside Shadowy Lady! I’m also surprised to see Shadowy Lady repromoted twice in two different products, since it’s already a permanent shade as well. Golden was a complete miss here, unfortunately. It’s one of the more wearable bronzers across complexions, though I think MAC would have made this palette more appealing by including a blush rather than bronzer (maybe something pinky-plum).

I know there is a split on Lustres and Cremesheens–some find them drying (this is where I am) and others love them. Barely Lit was somewhat drying, and Headturner was just a wee bit drying over time. I didn’t have any fall out with Romance Me, in spite of its lustre finish, which was great news. The eyeshadows did have to be applied over a primer, because they were not pigmented enough to be used alone.

P.S. — This is the last of the MAC reviews until Guilty Pleasures launches (which is next week), so for the non-MAC fans, there is a reprieve on the horizon. :)

The Glossover

palette

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The two lipsticks help to keep the pigmentation score from falling totally flat, but they were slightly drying on me, which tended to neutralize their effect on the total palette. The bronzer was a huge let-down, and Shadowy Lady wasn't easy to work with.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit
MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit

More Peach Awaits You!

MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit ($70.00) contains Born to Love (blush, coral), In a Heartbeat (Lipstick, pale clean coral), and Pure Flattery (Lipglass, soft coral cream), and Photogravure (Technakohl Liner, deep chocolate brown).

The blush is 0.09 oz. (not full-size, it is about the size of the larger MAC eyeshadow pots), lipglass is 0.17 oz. (full-sized), lipstick is 0.10 oz. (full-sized), and eyeliner is 0.012 oz. (full-sized). The kit contains $53.00 worth of product, excluding the brush. The full-sized 129 retails for $35, but MAC does not sell SE brushes on their own (SE brushes are machine-made, while full-sized or SH brushes are handmade). The whole set is housed in a peach satin container with a glossy black trim and bow at the enclosure. You could use it as a very small clutch later on, as the plastic insert is removable. If it’s packaging you would reuse, then this set has more value to you than the products alone.

Born to Love is a coral-pink with a brown-ish tinge that is what gives it a subdued quality. There’s a delicate champagne-gold shimmer-sheen. The way this blush applies yields a very ethereal finish–a little glow but not a lot of frost, even it does have a frost finish officially. It is on the sheer side, though; it doesn’t add a lot of color to my medium complexion, and I layered three passes of color for swatches. For light to light-medium complexions, this will be lovely. MAC Legendary is lighter, pinker. Guerlain Peach Boy is very similar. Tom Ford Lovelust has a warmer, slightly pinker sheen, but they are similar.

In a Heartbeat is a soft, warm peach with a hint of pink–but it’s mostly peach. It has opaque color coverage, and it has Cremesheen finish. MAC Reel Sexy is a bit more coral. YSL Peach Passion is a touch darker. Illamasqua Brink is similar–more matte. is lighter.

Pure Flattery is a warm peach with multi-colored micro-shimmer (looks mostly white/champagne). On lips, it’s a soft, medium peach with semi-opaque color coverage. Guerlain Sable Show is lighter, more beige. MAC Naked Space is creamier, lighter. MAC Poetic License has less shimmer.

Photogravure is a dark chocolate brown with warm undertones. It has good payoff in a single pass and can be layered. Chanel Brun-Teak is similar. MAC Brownborder is also similar.

Born to Love is a shade I could see a lot of people wanting, and it’s a bummer that it’s part of this pricey kit and not a standalone item!  I wasn’t able to get true-to-pan color, though, so darker complexions will find it acts more as a highlighter than a blusher.  When I tested the wear, it lasted six hours but was noticeably faded by the seventh hour.  In a Heartbeat wore for four hours, and it was just a bit drying.  Pure Flattery lasted three and a half hours.  Photogravure is similar to other warm brown eyeliners on the market, but it lasted for eight hours without fading.

As stated before, the included 129SE brush is similar to the full-sized version, which is already a somewhat scratchy brush.  It is a little scratchier than the full-sized version, but I found it was more prone to shedding after two or three washes.  It also seemed to get scratchier after washing, too, than it was when I initially opened up the kit.

The Glossover

product

MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This is a kit where it makes the most sense if you love all of the products, but if you know you won't wear one or more items, it's not a good buy.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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