Monday, September 10th, 2012

MAC Stay By Me Pro Longwear Blush
MAC Stay By Me Pro Longwear Blush

Still Powdery, but Better Color

This review focuses on three new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Blushes ($23.50 for 0.21 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Stay By Me (light peach coral), Stay Pretty (light bright blue pink), and Whole Lotta Love (light blue pink).

Please see part one for a more in-depth review of the formula. I echo those sentiments overall. Stay Pretty and Whole Lotta Love had better color payoff compared to the other five I’ve reviewed. Stay By Me lasted for three hours well, then had disappeared by the sixth hour. Stay Pretty started to look a smidgen faded around the edges after four hours and had disappeared after seven hours. Whole Lotta Love didn’t look faded until five hours, and there was still a glimpse of color after eight hours. It’s less wear than I typically get out of a MAC blush (normally, I’d see six to eight hours with some fading but the majority of the color is still there).

Stay By Me is a pale peach with a barely-there shimmer. It looks mostly matte on the skin. This shade was noticeably powdery and dusty, so it did not look natural against the skin (kind of cake-y). I needed to apply four layers of product to get the color to show up in the swatch (my forearm is around NC20 in color; I did the same on cheeks, but my face is darker (around NC30), so it didn’t really show up. NARS Sex Appeal is slightly lighter.

Stay Pretty is a light-medium blue-based pink with a subtle golden shimmer. This shade wasn’t quite as powdery as the other six shades I tried. I applied three layers of product to get it to show up on my arm and four layers of product on my face. MAC Lovecloud has a stronger sheen. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink is bluer-based. NYX English Rose is similar, perhaps a bit lighter.

Whole Lotta Love is a brightened pop of medium-dark pink with a subtle sheen. I only needed to use two layers to get the color to show up on the arm, and I layered it three times on my face. The texture was a little drier compared to the other six shades, which actually was good, because it wasn’t as powdery. MAC Full Fuchsia is slightly darker. MAC Her Blooming Cheek is more fuchsia, more blue-based. Tom Ford Wicked has a smidgen of plum in it. MAC Supernova is darker, redder.

The Glossover

product

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

D-
This trio performed better (on average) than the other four. Specifically, Stay Pretty and Whole Lotta Love wore slightly better and required less layering of product for visible color.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, September 10th, 2012

MAC Baby Don't Go Pro Longwear Blush
MAC Baby Don’t Go Pro Longwear Blush

Where’s Your Blush?

This review focuses on four new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Blushes ($23.50 for 0.21 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Baby Don’t Go (light cool beige), Blush All Day (light dirty rose beige), Eternal Sun (warm brown), and Rosy Outlook (light yellow pink).

This is a new product that has been added to the permanent range. MAC describes it as, “A lightweight blush with extreme colour perfection and non-fading, eight-hour wear. Ultra fine, silky powder glides on and blends easily to provide a moist, flawless, natural finish or with layering, a brighter, more dramatic look.”

Baby Don’t Go is a light beige brown with a barely-there sheen. It’s sheer when applied, and I can only see this showing up on very fair-skinned individuals–even that you may require some layering! In the full face photo of me, I applied about four layers of blush–and I’m not even sure you can really see it on. The texture is so soft, but it is powdery. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane is slightly pinker. Burberry Russet is a bit darker, browner.

Blush All Day is a soft pink with subtle yellow undertones and a golden shimmer. On the skin, the shimmer isn’t very noticeable. This shade is on the sheerer side and required layering, but it wasn’t as powdery as Baby Don’t Go. I did have to apply four layers of product to get noticeable color on my skin tone, so again, this is a color better suited for someone with very fair skin. MAC Brit Wit is grayer. Chanel Pink Cloud is lighter. MAC Pet Me has a stronger yellow undertone.

Eternal Sun is a subdued orange with a satin-like finish. It looked more matte on the skin. This one seemed to swatch better than the others, but when applied to the cheeks, it still took four layers of product to achieve noticeable color, so it’s a shade that would suit very light complexions. MAC Worldly Wealth is browner, less orange. MAC Sun Power is very similar.

Rosy Outlook is a pale pink with subtle yellow undertones and a gentle sheen. Even though I see there’s shimmer in the product, it doesn’t translate onto skin. I think that’s because these have a powdery texture, that it tends to look more matte on the skin. Illamasqua Naked Rose is darker. MAC Crew is very similar. Chanel Brompton Road is more blue-based. Chanel Horizon de Chanel is darker. MAC Stunner is comparable.

The texture of these is very different from their regular blush formula. It’s incredibly soft and feels silky, but all four shades were also incredibly powdery. There was just a lot of excess powder that billowed in the wind and sat upon the skin. If you have oilier skin, it might not be as noticeable on, but on my normal cheeks (at least, when swatching and testing these), they looked almost caked on and visibly powdery. Part of that is undoubtedly due to how much product I have to apply to get any color to show up on my medium skin color. If you have really fair skin, you should be able to get away with (somewhat) less product.

It feels lightweight, even though it doesn’t look that way on. The finsh is more matte than natural on; the powderiness contributes to giving it a mostly matte appearance. Though MAC says you can layer these, I did not find them very buildable, because they disappeared so readily. When you applied the product and went to layer on more product, it just swept away what you originally put on, so despite going through the steps, the result looks about the same as when initially applied.  I have to emphasize:  every swatch (whether on the arm to on the face) is layered three or four times for visible color payoff–this is three or four times the amount of product I use for 95% of swatches.

I’ve been testing the wear on these for a few days now, and the wear was disappointing. I had similar problems with the blushes that I did with the eyeshadows. Baby Don’t Go wore visibly for three hours and was gone by six; Blush All Day managed not to fade until the fourth hour, but by six, it, too, had disappeared. Eternal Sun started to fade after five hours, and it had gone into the ether after seven hours (best-wearing so far!). Rosy Outlook started to fade after four hours and was totally missing after six hours.

Not every color is going to be as wearable on every skin tone, which isn’t unexpected. What’s odd is that some of these colors I’ve come across before (by other brands) and have been able to get those to show up on my skin tone (which is medium, around NC30), but you can’t really see any of these on me except Eternal Sun.  Even in cases of lighter shades (including other blushes by MAC), I can get the same color payoff in one sweep of color as I did with four sweeps of color of these. For all of the swatches, I had to pile on the product; it’s not just a normal swatch but a swatch of desperation. The first round of swatches I took, you couldn’t even see, so I had to re-do them and really pack each one on.

I can only see these working (as far as payoff goes) on very pale skin tones (NC/NW15 or lighter)–again, Eternal Sun was more buildable, so light to light-medium complexions could get it to show up with enough packing on of the color.  And that’s assuming that you’re able to get a better wear-time out of them than I did. Unfortunately, they wore consistently poor and faded faster than many other blushes I’ve reviewed. I usually find blushes last between six and eight hours to varying degrees, but so few of them actually disappear entirely.

The Glossover

product

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

F
These wore marginally longer (on average) than the eyeshadows from the collection, but they suffered from a similar set of problems: poor payoff that required multiple layers of product just to yield visible color, very powdery/dusty textures (despite the softness), and an inability to build/layer the color to true-to-pan color. MAC's permanent blush range is much, much better.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush
Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush

Delightfully Subtle Rosy Cheeks

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as as “soft neutral pink.” It’s a light-medium rosy pink with a mostly neutral undertone (against my warmer complexion, it seems to pull just barely cool-toned). It has a mostly matte finish and true-to-pan color. MAC Crew is lighter, yellower. Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel is lighter, more yellow-toned, a bit brighter. MAC Stunner is more yellow-toned and has a strong sheen. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink is a bit cooler-toned. MAC Dame has a smidgen of plum in it.

The color goes on as it looks in the pan and in any variation lighter than that; it is, obviously, not a dark pink or the like, so the effect on deeper complexions may be subtle. There’s enough actual product and pigmentation for it to show up on a wide variety of skin colors, though. What’s nice about this shade is it works throughout the year and with many different looks. It can be used to complement a soft, barely-there face, but it can work to add color without overwhelming a more dramatic eye/lip (or combination thereof).

It has a soft, blendable texture that’s finely-milled.  Not dry nor powdery, it applies easily to the skin, and the color is buildable.  When I trialed the blush on my cheeks, it lasted a solid eight hours with very minor fading along the edges of the color. Had I not been looking, I don’t think anyone else would have noticed, it was that subtle.

The Glossover

P
product

Naked Rose

A
This is the type of blush that I keep close by, because when in doubt, it almost always works with whatever I'm wearing. I love neutral pinks and soft beiges and browns for their versatility.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette
theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

Rock Out with Your Shadows Out

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette ($39.50 for 0.76 oz.) includes twelve eyeshadows (0.38 oz., which is just over 0.03 oz.), one highlighter (0.14 oz.), one blush (0.10 oz.), and two lip colors (0.14 oz.). It will launch today on theBalm’s website.

Metal-ica is a silvery-white with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, though the texture was on the powdery side; very soft and dense. We’re definitely seeing a lot of these shades for the holidays; here are a few that compare favorably: MAC Crystal Avalanche, Buxom Sheepdog, NARS Flowers 1-3, and theBalm Sassy.

Adagio is a pale neutral beige with a matte finish. It had nice color payoff, and it was smooth and soft without being powdery. It works well layered over some of the more shimmery shades to tone down the finish if so desired. MAC Brule is very similar. theBalm Matt Smith is slightly pinker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame is pinker. MAC Blanc Type is lighter. Inglot #390 is darker.

Blink 1982 is a muted burgundy with a hint of plum/mauve and a golden shimmer. The texture on this shade was a bit dry, so the color payoff was not quite opaque. Lancome Color du Jour is darker but similar. MAC Trax is more purple.

Iron Maid-in is a dirty gold with a metallic, frosted finish. It was not fully opaque, but it had good pigmentation overall. The texture wasn’t as buttery as other theBalm eyeshadows. Chanel Eclaire is more golden. MAC Sweet & Sour is darker. Giorgio Armani #1 is similar, less metallic. theBalm Snobby is more matte and yellow.

Allegro is a medium brown with yellowed undertones and a matte finish. It’s soft enough to be easy to blend, but not so soft as to be powdery. It had good color payoff. Dior golden Savvanah is a bit darker, slightly grayer, but similar. Urban Decay Naked is less yellow. These were the only two shades that really fit the bill out of all. these. browns.

The Stroke is a dark navy blue with a satiny finish. It had so-so color payoff, because it was on the drier side. It performed better on the lid, and it blended out easily. Bare Escentuals Shaken Not Stirred is similar but a bit darker. MAC Lunar is bluer. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar. This is not an uncommon shade of blue.

Lead Zeppelin is an olive green with olive and green shimmer over a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and while very soft and smooth, it was a smidgen powdery. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is greener, lighter. Bare Escentuals Speaker Box is darker, less olive. theBalm Wocka, Wocka is more metallic but similar in color. Inglot #419 is a bit greener.

Moderato is a purple-burgundy with a matte finish. The texture was a little dry, and the resulting pigmentation was so-so. It performed a lot better on the eye, and I didn’t have any trouble with the pigmentation there–I hardly had to use any to get deep color. theBalm Sexy is browner. MAC Real Drama is similar. MAC Rich Core is similar but frosted.

rem is a smoky medium purple with gold-copper shimmer-sheen. It’s an interesting, complex color. It had good color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. Bobbi Brown Black Violet is similar when sheered out. Bare Escentuals Romp is less pink.

Alice Copper is a rich burgundy-red with orange-brown undertones and a frosted finish. It had really rich pigmentation and was somewhat powdery. Chanel Eclosino is less shimmery. Maybelline Pomegranate Punk is more burgundy. Make Up For Ever #17 is more metallic. Inglot #452 has a more metallic finish but is very similar.

Presto is a dark brown with burgundy-ish undertones and a hint of warmth. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff is good. It’s just soft enough to be blendable and pigmented, but it’s not at all powdery. Bobbi Brown Cocoa Berry is similar. Bare Escentuals Foreshadow is a little darker. theBalm Mahna-Mahna has more of a sheen and less red in it.

Third Eye Blinded is a warm, light peach with a fairly frosted finish. The pigmentation was excellent, and the texture was so soft and easy to blend. This worked well as a highlighter. theBalm Swedish Pancakes is less frosted, more metallic, but fairly similar. MAC Naked Lunch has more beige in it. MAC Jest is less peach. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is darker. Chanel Complice is close.

Solid Gold is a slightly paled, warm gold with a shimmer-sheen finish and a hint of beige coloring. It has plenty o’ color, so it will show up on all skin tones. This shade wore for eight hours without fading or separating. MAC Chez Chez Lame is the closest I could think of, but it is a little lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer is a bit yellower.

Don’t You Want Me is a warm coral-pink with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff, and it is somewhat buildable. The texture was a little dry, but it seemed to blend out easily enough. It wore for eight hours with minor, but noticeable, fading at that point. MAC Supercontinental is more orange. MAC Fleet Fast has shimmer. Tom Ford Flush is more orange. MAC Immortal Flower is softer, just barely pinker.

Milly is a pale pink with a neutral-gray undertone. It had a matte finish and opaque color coverage. When I tested it, it lasted four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Pure Zen is less pink. MAC Lazy Day is grayer.

Vanilly is bright red with a mostly matte finish and a barely blue undertone. It was richly pigmented and had opaque color coverage. This shade lasted six and a half hours and left behind a soft stain. MAC Eden Rouge is similar. Edward Bess Midnight Bloom is bluer and darker. MAC Ruffian Red is similar. It’s a fairly common shade of red lipstick.

Overall, it’s a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There’s a good mix of textures–matte, frosts, shimmers–and very fall-appropriate colors.

The Glossover

palette

Balm Jovi

A-
Overall, it's a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There's a good mix of textures--matte, frosts, shimmers--and very fall-appropriate colors.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, September 1st, 2012


NARS Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush

Reach to the Stars for a Satellite of Love

NARS Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sparkling gold sand.” It’s a peachy brown with a hint of orange and pale gold shimmer and sparkle. It adds warmth, a little tan coloring, and noticeable sparkle and sheen to cheeks. Chanel Lucky Stripes is similar but more shimmery than sparkly. NARS Miss Liberty is lighter, more beige. MAC How Beautiful! is very light and beige. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is more golden, yellower.

The Highlighting Blush formula is supposd to impart a “luminous glow” that can be worn alone or paired with other cheek products.  This particular shade has a bit more sparkle than sheen, though a lot of the sparkle gets lost between the pan, your brush, and your cheek, but it did emphasize my pores just slightly.  It has decent color payoff (it’s about what you see in the pan) and buildable to the color you see in the pan.  Because it is a lighter shade overall, on deeper complexions, it is going to add very subtle warmth but not visible color–more a highlighter than anything else. Lighter complexions can use it as both a highlighter as well as a blusher (well, probably bronzer).  The texture was a bit on the dry side, but it was nice and blendable on the cheek.  It wore for seven hours before there was noticeable fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Satellite of Love

B
I think the color is a nice pop of warmth for most complexions, but the larger sparkle seems to emphasize pores to a noticeable degree, while the drier texture is less forgiving on cheeks. It is blendable and buildable, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Jungle Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Jungle Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Jungle Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Jungle Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Dew (soft creamy beige), Camo (muted grayish taupe), Bad Lieutenant (blackened deep brown), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Bootcamp Bronze (soft sheer chestnut).

Dew is a light warm beige with a subtle golden shimmer-sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s color payoff is decent, but it’s a little dry and noticeably sheer. MAC Sahara Dust is less warm, less golden. Tarina Tarantino Elektron is similar but more metallic. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone has a very similar shade.

Camo is medium brown with a barest hint of gray, but it has a noticeably warm undertone despite the inclusion of gray. It has a satin finish. The color payoff was the best out of the four shades–good overall, slightly dry in texture. Burberry Pale Barley is warmer with more of a shimmery finish. theBalm Sultry is very similar, just slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Namaste is grayer and darker. MAC Era is similar but more shimmery.

Bad Lieutenant is a blackened gray with a hint of burgundy. It has a matte finish. The pigmentation is poor, and the texture dry and stiff. On the lid, it was marginally better, but it was not very blendable. Guerlain by Emilio Pucci is more intense, more of a red undertone. Tarina Tarantino Saw Dust is very similar but more pigmented. MAC Dance in the Dark is comparable. MAC Midnight Flurry is marginally lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is more cool-toned.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt!

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Bootcamp Bronze is a medium-dark orange-tan with a strong orange undertone. It’s a bit darker than the shade in the other face kit, but when you apply it to the skin, the difference is minute. While the color is buildable, it’s only to a point, and I’m not sure how well it will show up on darker complexions, as it took some layering to get it to show up on me–and when it does, it’s very faint–and I’m medium in color.  The wear with this shade was the same as Sand Storm: six hours of wear, at which point, there was noticeable separation and fading–and it did not care for having my drier cheeks under it at all.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

Again, as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more matte, while Desert Camouflage is more shimmery. I think this one has less quality than Desert Camouflage, because three shades are lacking in color payoff, and the textures across the board were dry, with some being particularly stiff (like Bad Lieutenant and Carbon).  When I wore these eyeshadows together, they wore for six and a half hours over a primer before starting to look faded.  Without a primer, they were more difficult to apply and blend, but they wore about the same length of time.

The Glossover

palette

Jungle Camouflage

D+
I think this one has less quality than Desert Camouflage, because three shades are lacking in color payoff, and the textures across the board were dry, with some being particularly stiff (like Bad Lieutenant and Carbon).

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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