Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection
Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection

Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection ($175 for 10×0.21 oz.) is a limited edition set housed in a snake print metal tin. It contains these ten Aqua Creams: #1 Anthracite (silvery charcoal shimmer), #2 Steel (silver gray shimmer), #4 Snow (white pearl shimmer), #11 Gold (yellow gold shimmer), #12 Golden Copper (soft copper shimmer), #13 Warm Beige (champagne shimmer), #14 Satin Brown (warm brown shimmer), #15 Taupe (taupe brown shimmer), #16 Pink Beige (pinky beige shimmer), and #17 Plum (burgundy plum shimmer). It also includes #5N Brush. All of these products are available individually; each Aqua Cream retails for $22 and the #5N Brush is also $22. The set may retail for $175, which is a chunk of change to lay down, but the products inside would cost you $242 if you purchased them separately. The shades include in the collection are safe for eyes and cheeks (but not lips).

  • #1 Anthracite is a dark, charcoal gray with a silverish sheen. It has more of a brown base, which is more apparent when you use it as a wash. It’s similar to Bobbi Brown Gunmetal, Estee Lauder Black Chrome (less frosted), and Urban Decay Gunmetal (slightly cooler toned).
  • #2 Steel is a gray-tinted taupe brown with hints of warmth. It’s similar to Giorgio Armani #4.
  • #4 Snow is a bright frosted white. It’s not really cool-toned, but it isn’t overly warm (no yellow in it). It’s whiter and brighter than MAC Forgery. It is similar to Inglot #453.
  • #11 Gold is a medium-dark molten gold with a metallic finish. When it’s sheered out, it looks more like your usual yellow gold, but if you build it up, the darkness in the base gives it that molten look. I couldn’t think of similar shades for this particular hue of gold.
  • #12 Golden Copper is a rich copper with a heavy metallic sheen. Being a copper. it has a reddish orange tone to it, so it tends to suit warmer complexions more than cooler ones. It is similar to several shades: theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, MAC Amber Lights, and Giorgio Armani Gold Blitz.
  • #13 Warm Beige is a subtly warmed-over medium-dark beige. It’s frosted enough that it will add a fair amount of shimmer to any eyeshadows you apply over it, so it’s not my favorite neutral base color. It is really pretty as a wash of color, though. MAC Sweet Satisfaction is a bit browner.
  • #14 Satin Brown is a deep burnished brown with hints of copper. theBalm Tres Moi is similar in color but not as deep. Le Metier de Beaute Bordeaux is redder. MAC Antiqued is browner.
  • #15 Taupe dark chocolaty bronze with a lighter bronze sheen. It’s a bit similar to Bare Escentuals A-Ha and Urban Decay Lost.
  • #16 Pink Beige is a light-medium rosy pink with a hint of beige to neutralize it. It has a metallic-frost finish. It’s darker than shades like Urban Decay Sin. It’s pinker than Giorgio Armani #8.
  • #17 Plum is a reddened plum with red-brown undertones. It has a fairly metallic finish when it’s used more heavily. It reminded me of MAC Star Violet and Inglot #452.

I wish they had included a few of their brighter Aqua Creams in the kit; it’s a very neutral set overall, and it seems to align with their Wild & Chic theme, but I can’t help but feel like they chould have included at least one real pop of color (like #22 Emerald Green). Otherwise, these swatched and felt like the Aqua Creams I’ve reviewed individually.  None of my Aqua Creams have dried out since I’ve had them (and I’ve had 5-10 of them since they originally launched).  They come in plastic containers, which is nice for the lightweight and portability that provides.

Aqua Creams are creamy to the touch and apply easily with a flat, firm-bristled brush (like the included #5N, though mine was a bit frayed). They dry down quickly and stay put all day (12 hours) on the eyes. On cheeks, they work well and wear for eight hours, but you may find that some of the frostier finishes tend to accentuate pores if you use too much. None of these are listed as lip safe, and my experience in the past has been that these will wear for four to six hours, some staining the lips, but they get to be drying after a couple of hours.

P.S. — Sephora has 20% off with code VIBDREAM for VIBs, expires 11/14.

The Glossover

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Make Up For Ever Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I'm a big fan of Aqua Creams, because they wear like iron on the eyes and do hold up fairly well on cheeks/lips. They're creamy enough to provide good, even coverage, but they dry quickly and set for the rest of the day.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2011: Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a limited edition holiday offering described simply as “mink.” NARS describes their cream eyeshadow formula as lightweight, blendable, buildable, and it can be worn alone or paired with a powder eyeshadow for “longer-lasting wear and added dimension.” I’m glad NARS mentioned using a powder eyeshadow for longer-lasting wear, because without a powder on top, I only achieved an hour of wear before it was a creased mess of brown on my lid–and I don’t have oily lids at all.

Admittedly, I was a little torn on how to effectively rate this product, because “it can be worn alone” seems rather ill-advised if you end up with an irreparable makeup faux-pas on your eyes in an hour or less. I decided to meet NARS halfway; I wouldn’t expect or rate with the expectation of eight-hour wear but would expect it to last through a casual dinner at the very least! I also would not recommend wearing this as an eyeliner, because it smudged and migrated into the under eye area.

It’s a complex shade of brown, because it’s a cool-toned deep, dark brown with burgundy and bronze micro-shimmer. MAC Legendary Black reminded me of this color but not as deep or as cool-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone also has a similar shade that’s a bit warmer. MAC Smut is comparable but seems a smidgen darker. It comes together nicely, and there is plenty of pigmentation.

The consistency is extremely creamy, so it glides and applies well, but it sheers out easily. I recommend applying it layers rather than applying a lot at once if you want really rich, opaque color. By building in layers, you’ll also give each layer to set a bit so it will hold together better overall. It’s completely wearable and certainly more durable with a powder on top to set; you can try a translucent powder, which will give it a slightly more muted look, but it will enhance the wear to eight hours without creasing or smudging.

The Glossover

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coming-soon

Ponderoa

B-
It doesn't work well alone, because it does seem to crease very quickly (even with a sheer layer of product), but if you use it in conjunction with a powder (translucent or otherwise), it holds up much better.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, October 20th, 2011

MAC For Effect Paint Pot
MAC For Effect Paint Pot

MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pots Reviews, Photos, Swatches

MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pots ($18.50 for 0.17 oz. each) include three limited edition shades for the holidays. These will hit stores on October 27th, 2011. The three shades are: For Effect (black with pearl), Let’s Skate (pale pink with pearl), and Morning Frost (shimmering champagne taupe).

  • For Effect is a dark charcoal black with silver sparkle.  The sparkle gives it a grittier texture, though not as gritty as Buried Treasure. I tried wearing it as an eyeliner, and it was such a pain to use. It did not want to apply opaque, and a few hours later, I had silvery bits underneath my eye. Chanel Mirifique is similar but has less fall out and goes on more opaque.
  • Let’s Skate light-medium pink with yellow undertones and gold shimmer. It actually doesn’t very shimmery in the pot, but it packs a fair amount of shimmer when swatched. It’s a little like a pink version of MAC Chilled on Ice.
  • Morning Frost is a smoky brown–a little bit taupe but more brown than gray–and a frosted finish. It’s not quite as warm as Make Up For Ever #13. MAC Vintage Selection seems fairly similar–a little lighter.

The fall out from For Effect was annoying, while Morning Frost works really well as an all-over wash of color (and as a base).  I did like the way it looked alone–it blended well and looked shimmery but not metallic.  Let’s Skate has a texture more like For Effect but the sparkle isn’t as large, so there was less concern about fall out.  These paint pots are creamy without being all over the place; they dry down quick enough not to crease immediately but not so quick that you don’t have time to blend away any harsh edges.  I wore Morning Frost alone, and I didn’t encounter any creasing or fading.

The Glossover

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MAC Glitter & Ice Paint Pots Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B
I like paint pots, but the really shimmery ones that border on glittery tend to have fall out issues (and I encountered it with For Effect to a high degree), which makes the wear less stellar. Morning Frost is the best of the three and the most wearable.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Video Review: MAC Posh Paradise Paint Pots + Mattenes

First impressions/overview of the new shades of Paint Pots and Mattenes! I filmed a portion of this prior to going to NYC and the rest when I got back, and inadvertently (I was operating on about three hours of sleep!) did not film an intro. By the time I realized it, I discovered how many shades had sold out already and wanted to get the video up ASAP, so I hope you understand.

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

MAC Genuine Treasure Paint Pot
MAC Genuine Treasure Paint Pot

MAC Posh Paradise Paint Pots Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Paint Pots ($17.50 for 0.17 oz.) are included in the Posh Paradise collection which hits stores tomorrow. I’m not sure how some shades sold out so quickly on maccosmetics.com, but all but Half-Wild are in stock at Nordstrom (free shipping). It doesn’t look like it’s launched at Bloomingdales, Dillard’s, or Macy’s (free shipping over $50), but all of these retailers should also launch the collection today or tomorrow.

There are six shades featured in this post: Genuine Treasure (reflects antique gold), Half-Wild (mid-tone purple), Idyllic (mid-tone copper bronze), Nubile (light peachy nude), Pure Creation (mid-tone frosty blue), and Treasure Hunt (light pearled yellow). All products and shades from this collection are limited edition.

  • Genuine Treasure is a glittery bronze with flecks of antique gold, pewter, and a silvery-gray cast. It’s a very complex color, but the texture is less-than-desirable, because of the glittery finish, it’s gritty and rough. It’s harder to blend out and difficult to get a solid, opaque result in color. I also experienced some fall out after a couple of hours. It is a warmer, browner version of Benefit Skinny Jeans (and obviously, it has a glitter finish compared to a cream one!). I didn’t think it compared well with any of MUFE’s Aqua Creams, though. The finish is similar to those from Cham-pale. It seems a bit similar to Inglot #403 for an eyeshadow version.
  • Half-Wild is a red-toned medium-dark purple with subtle shimmer. It’s a grape-esque purple, but it’s not too bright and has significant red undertones. The closest cream shadow dupe I could think of was Benefit Purple Snap, which is lighter and less red-based. For powder eyeshadow dupes, it seems similar to Inglot #386.
  • Hyperviolet is reviewed here.
  • Idyllic is a burnished reddish-brown. It’s an interesting color, because it incorporates brown, burgundy, red, and copper together. It’s not copper, but it’s also not so dark or red that it’s burgundy. It seems like it would be comparable to MAC Artifact but with a frosted finish as well as Benefit stiletto. Illamasqua Resolute is a bit redder.
  • Imaginary is reviewed here.
  • Nubile is a lightly frosted peachy-beige. It’s a lovely shade that would work well as a general purpose eyeshadow base but also as a wash of color on the lid to brighten the eyes. It’s in the family of Painterly and Soft Ochre–not similar in color but in use–and it’s the most versatile of the eight. It’s lighter and less metallic compared to Benefit RSVP. It seems similar to theBalm Luscious Lani as far as a pressed eyeshadow version goes.
  • Pure Creation is a muted medium blue. It’s like a darkened sky blue to me; it doesn’t have the same lightness as a traditional sky blue would have but similar qualities. It’s not navy blue nor is it ocean blue. It’s much more muted compared to Make Up For Ever #20. It reminded me more of theBalm Sensational. It’s not as as silvered as MAC Moon’s Reflection.
  • Treasure Hunt is a pale yellow gold–but it’s not too gold. It’s not like Goldmine, which has a stronger orange tinge to it. This is so yellow that it almost reads like a cool-toned yellow; more comparable to Gorgeous Gold without the duochrome. It has the most metallic finish of the eight.

With the exception of Genuine Treasure, the texture of these was creamy with just the right amount of glide and slip to make for easy blending but not a long dry down time. Paint Pots wear well on me (twelve hours without budging, creasing, or fading) whether as an eyeshadow base or worn alone as a wash of color. They can be sheered out for softer color or applied heavily; the color payoff is more dependent on your application than the product, as the majority went opaque when applied and only sheered out with actual blending. Again, Genuine Treasure was the one that had the sheerest color overall; it reads more like a glittery layering shade.

Paint Pots come in heavy glass jars with a black, rubberized screw-top lid.  I haven’t had issues with Paint Pots drying out over time, and I’ve had some for more than two years.  The only one that has ever dried out was when I left the lid off for two or three days (aka my fault), and I microwaved it for about 10 seconds, stirred, and let it reset–and it was good as new (just make sure to remove the top before microwaving).  Each jar contains a good amount of product; you certainly won’t run through a jar in a month or two, even if you use it everyday.  I like the 242 or 249 to apply these best.  A fluffy brush like the 217 works well to blend out the edges if you are looking to wear it as a wash.

The Glossover

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MAC Posh Paradise Paint Pots Swatches, Photos, Reviews

A
This is a really solid release--they work well overall, and Genuine Treasure is the only finicky one that has a certain appeal but may take more patience and trial/error to get just right. These have a nice consistency and texture so they apply and wear well.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #15 Aqua Cream
Make Up For Ever #15 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #15 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #15 Aqua Cream ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “taupe brown shimmer.” It’s too bronzy to be a true taupe–there’s a darker, chocolately bronze as the base color with a lighter bronze sheen. The sheen is almost taupe-like but not grayed out enough. It’s subtly warm-toned but doesn’t read orange or red. #15 has good color payoff and texture–very soft and smooth. It has a more metallic finish, which translates into smooth application. Bare Escentuals A-Ha is similar to the sheererd out version though a little grayer, while Urban Decay Lost resembles the heavier swatch.

Aqua Creams have a quick dry down, and once they have dried, they stay on all day long for me–no budging, smudging, creasing, or fading. They can be worn alone, as a base, or as eyeliner (and some shades can be worn on cheeks/lips, too; a few aren’t meant for eyes but for cheeks/lips entirely).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Make Up For Ever #15 Aqua Cream Review, Photos, Swatches

A
#15 has good color payoff and texture–very soft and smooth. It has a more metallic finish, which translates into smooth application.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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