Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Urban Decay Summer 2014 Collection
Urban Decay Bondage Weightless Makeup Adhesive

Urban Decay Bondage Weightless Makeup Adhesive ($14.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “clear, water-based adhesive [that] sets and holds glitter.” It’s supposed to help the brand’s new Heavy Metal Loose Glitter apply “for a full-on jewel-encrusted effect that lasts all day (with very little fallout).” It’s a good thing they added that little bit “with very little fallout,” because I tried two different shades of the new glitters on top of the adhesive, and there was still some fall out. It seemed like one or two glitter particles fell per hour, but in general, the glitter adhered well and was comfortable to wear over the adhesive. The consistency is very much weightless, and it doesn’t feel tacky or thick, so it’s easy to spread across the lid, but I found you needed a fair amount of it on the skin if you wanted a solid glitter effect. If I spread out the adhesive, the glitter tended to apply in a sheer, sparse layer. The adhesive definitely breaks down easily with water, though getting all the bits of glitter off is a different story (more on that below).

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Loose Glitter ($12.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as an “easy-to-use loose glitter.” Each shade had the same instructions included on a separate pamphlet in the box, which said to lay down a layer of their adhesive first, then with fingertips or brushes, apply the glitter. I didn’t like using fingertips, because the majority of the glitter stuck to my finger and only a smattering adhered to the lid.

The jar has a plastic sifter that is level with the top of the jar, so you have to tap out the glitter into the lid, which makes closing it a glittery mess. I wish the sifter was dropped, so that there was a couple millimeters of space for the glitter to sit on top of the sifter but still inside the jar. When I used a brush, a lot of the glitter didn’t stick to my brush–there is a very small window of how you make the journey from jar to eyelid and keeping your brush just so, and then patting it on the lid and hoping that most of it sticks to the lid. I had three or four times the amount of glitter underneath my lid as on it unless I really slathered on the adhesive, and I had to put adhesive straight onto the brush, too.

The included instructions said to brush away any excess during application, and while those glitters might not stay on the lid on their own, they weren’t easy to remove them from the skin. I tried several different methods, but I ended up resorting to tape. Urban Decay’s loose glitters aren’t really any more difficult or easier to use than most loose glitters available–they’re simply not an improvement on the status quo. With the particle size of these, I prefer using something like Lit Cosmetics’ adhesive base, because I can easily apply it to the lid and my brush to really minimize the fall out during application and get a much more glitter to adhere at once.

ACDC is described as a “bright purple glitter.” It’s a medium, cool-toned purple glitter.

Catfight is described as a “pink glitter.” It’s a medium-dark, pinky-red glitter. MAC Pink (P, $21.00) is finer. See comparison swatches.

Goldmine is described as a “yellow-gold glitter.” It’s a medium-dark yellow-toned gold glitter.

Loaded is described as a “bright, deep green glitter.” It’s an emerald green with cool undertones glitter. Lit Cosmetics Yoda (P, $12.95) is lighter, finer. See comparison swatches.

Pyrotechnics is described as an “iridescent glitter.” It’s a multi-colored mix of iridescent pink, lilac, and gold glitter.

Reverb is described as a “bright, deep blue glitter.” It’s a medium-dark blue glitter. Lit Cosmetics Bar Star (P, $12.95) is finer, more multi-dimensional. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Bondage Weightless Makeup Adhesive

It seemed like one or two glitter particles fell per hour, but in general, the glitter adhered well and was comfortable to wear over the adhesive. The consistency is very much weightless, and it doesn't feel tacky or thick, so it's easy to spread across the lid, but I found you needed a fair amount of it on the skin if you wanted a solid glitter effect. If I spread out the adhesive, the glitter tended to apply in a sheer, sparse layer.
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ACDC

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Catfight

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Saturday, August 24th, 2013

NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil
NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil

NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil ($4.49 for 0.18 oz.) is a stark, cool-toned white with a matte finish. Maybelline Too Cool is shimmery. Buxom Sheep Dog is shimmery, less cool-toned. Make Up For Ever #32E is shimmery, warm-toned. Make Up For Ever #4 is shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Milk is fairly creamy, slightly thick, and applies with mostly opaque color in a single pass. It layers and builds up well, so you can get a crisp, opaque white all-over the lid, which is why it boosts the color of any product with weak pigmentation. The pencils come in a whole slew of shades, too, but the white hue works well to amplify color without muting or really altering the color of any product you layer over it.  It doesn’t set immediately, so it’s a good idea to lightly blend the color across the lid, which helps to even out the application and ensure it’s not too thick and settles into creases while setting.

If NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils wear well on you, Milk can be a life-saver, as it instantly boosts the performance of even terrible products. If you’ve tried them and they have a tendency to crease on you, then it won’t be as useful as a product for you. I know that readers have long reported both excellent and dismal wear. I’m in the camp where these wear quite well on me without fading or creasing for eight hours (but show faint signs of creasing after nine hours), and if layered with powder, perform even better.  NYX also gives you quite a bit of product–0.18 oz. as compared to the more typical 0.10 oz. (Urban Decay, Clinique) or. 0.14 oz. (MUFE, NARS) found in these jumbo-sized pencils. Now, the only downside is that it requires sharpening, and because of how creamy it is, there is waste–which is common across this type of product, not just with NYX.

The Glossover

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Milk

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, August 23rd, 2013

NARS Mozambique Eye Paint
NARS Interstellar Eye Paint

NARS Interstellar Eye Paint ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “silver.” It’s a bright, metallic silver. It had fairly good color payoff, but it was more prone to sheering out than some of the other shades. This is one of the less unique shades in the range, and you can find many silver eyeliners/cream eyeshadows on the market. Maybelline Cool Crush is slightly cooler-toned. Bobbi Brown Chrome is similar. Urban Decay Cuff is darker. Maybelline Silver Strike is similar. MAC Tundra is darker. Buxom Chihuahua is similar. See comparison swatches.

Mozambique is described as “olive.” It’s a mossy, yellow-toned, medium-dark green with a mostly matte finish. It was very, very creamy and pigmented. I felt like this one was prone to sheering out, though, on the lid because of how much slip it had.  I couldn’t think of any eyeliner or cream eyeshadow dupes for this shade–everything was either much darker or much less yellow.

Black Valley is described as “black.” It’s a rich, deep dark black with a matte finish. It is, obviously, a shade that you can find in many brands’ gel eyeliner ranges, so it’s not unique. It just comes down to whether the formula is better for you than others, so while it’s not particularly exciting, it makes sense for every brand to do their version of it since it is a basic. Here are many black eyeliners/black cream eyeshadows from other brands.

Please refer to my original review here for a more in-depth look at the formula as a whole. To recap, Eye Paints are designed to be a long-wearing, highly-pigmented gel formula that can be used as an eyeshadow or as an eyeliner. I applied each shade using NARS’ #38 brush to mimic applying it as an eyeliner (narrow swatch) and then applied the same color with the horizontal edge of the #38 to mimic applying it as an all-over lid color (wide swatch). The formua’s strength is its creaminess and intense color payoff, but it dries and sets very quickly so it can be difficult to blend the shades together or soften the edges if you do not work quickly.

I’m waiting on Tatar in the mail, so I’ll have a review of that shade later next week, but these are the least three shades I tested and found they were in line with the rest of the range. I layered powder eyeshadow over Iskandar and Mozambique (an Inglot gold eyeshadow and MAC Velvet Moss, which I believe is discontinued–I was just aiming to get as close to the base color). Layering powder over the Eye Paints seemed to be the best way to use them all over the eye, as it maximized the wear time–ten to twelve hours with very minimal fading and no creasing–while creating a perfectly even surface once the powder eyeshadows were layered on top. Alone, I had noticeable fading with Mozambique after six and a half hours (Iskandar holds up better–the shimmery shades have been slightly more fade-resistant for longer compared to the more matte shades) but no creasing. It was significantly faded after ten hours. Black Valley and Interstellar wear best as eyeliners, getting to eight hours of wear with no fading or migrating. On the lid, Black Valley manages well for seven hours but starts to fade from there, and it did crease just slightly after eight hours, while Interstellar lasts with just slight fading at eight hours but no creasing.

The Glossover

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Mozambique

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Interstellar

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Black Valley

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, August 23rd, 2013

NARS Transvaal Eye Paint
NARS Transvaal Eye Paint

NARS Transvaal Eye Paint ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “grey.” It’s a medium-dark, neutral-cool gray with a mostly matte finish. It was intensely pigmented and very creamy. NARS Madison Ave. is bluer, darker. Maybelline Audacious Asphalt is shimmery, warmer. See comparison swatches.

Solomon Islands is described as “turquoise blue.” It’s a medium-dark blue with a hint of teal/green to give it a more turquoise coloring. It has a matte finish and rich color payoff. MAC Mountain Air is darker and pearly, but it was the only turquoise-ish cream eyeshadow/eyeliner I could think of to compare. See comparison swatches.

Ubangi is described as a “black with blue shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned black with medium blue and navy blue micro-shimmer. This particular shade had a very slippery consistency–it was wetter than the others–and the color payoff was less intense as it had a tendency to sheer out. Urban Decay Sabbath is bluer. MAC Night Trail is similar. MAC Petrol Blue is lighter, bluer. MAC Waveline is lighter, less shimmery. bareMinerals Noon is more muted. See comparison swatches.

Please refer to my original review here for a more in-depth look at the formula as a whole. To recap, Eye Paints are designed to be a long-wearing, highly-pigmented gel formula that can be used as an eyeshadow or as an eyeliner. I applied each shade using NARS’ #38 brush to mimic applying it as an eyeliner (narrow swatch) and then applied the same color with the horizontal edge of the #38 to mimic applying it as an all-over lid color (wide swatch). The formua’s strength is its creaminess and intense color payoff, but it dries and sets very quickly so it can be difficult to blend the shades together or soften the edges if you do not work quickly.

As a cream eyeshadow, the wear is just okay; there is some fading apparent after six to seven hours, and Ubangi seemed more prone to fading than the other two shades. I did not experience creasing with any of these shades. When worn as an eyeliner, Solomon Islands did not fade or migrate, and it seemed to last quite well over a nine-hour period. These definitely perform best as eyeliners, less so as cream eyeshadows. If you want to use them as a base, they wear well with powder eyeshadow on top–no creasing or fading after ten hours of wear.

The Glossover

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Transvaal

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Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Solomon Islands

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Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Ubangi

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

NARS Iskandar Eye Paint
NARS Iskandar Eye Paint

NARS Eye Paints ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is supposed to be a long-wearing, highly-pigmented gel formula that can be used as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The consistency is very creamy, and just about every single shade I tried was incredibly pigmented. These dry down very, very quickly, so you have to work fast, and they take some work to blend with each other as a result. Using one or two isn’t so bad, but add a third into the mix, and it can be troublesome. The edges need to be blended almost immediately, or else layered with a similar-colored eyeshadow to help diffuse the drier edge. Yesterday, I wore these primarily as eyeshadows (but also two as eyeliner on the lower lash line) over bare lids. I experienced very slight creasing after seven hours of wear as well as some slight fading, which worsened and was noticeable after eight and a half hours of wear. As an eyeliner, they lasted better and did not fade or migrate over a nine hour period.

Iskandar was the easiest to apply and blend out, while Mesopotamia was the one that set the quickest and was most difficult to blend. I like a fairly flat, somewhat narrow, brush with a little thickness and a domed edge for applying these (I used MAC’s 242), because it’s useful for placing dense color but also has enough density and thickness that it can blend out the edges, too. Today, I’m testing a couple other shades for wear (alone) but as well as with eyeshadow on top (so more as a base) to see how they perform that way. Tomorrow, I’ll try them over NARS’ Smudge Proof Primer to wrap everything up with a neat little bow.  One last thing: the size on these is slightly smaller than average gel eyeliners (usually around 0.10 oz. or so).

Iskandar is described as “gold.” It’s a rich, medium-dark gold with orange and bronze undertones and a copper and gold shimmer. It has a frosted, metallic finish. The color payoff was rich and opaque whether applied as an eyeliner or as an eyeshadow–I used NARS’ #38 brush for the thinner swatch and then turned it horizontally for the larger swatch. NARS Campo de Fiori is similar. Maybelline Bold Gold is less warm-toned. MAC Going for the Gold is darker. Illamasqua Alchemy is yellower. See comparison swatches.

Mesopotamia is described as “brown.” It’s a deep brown with subtle warm, red undertones and a matte finish. It is richly pigmented and applied smoothly. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is warmer. Urban Decay Demolition is similar. MAC rich Experience is also similar. Buxom Two by Four is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches.

Snake Eyes is described as “black with green shimmer.” It’s a deep black with brown undertones with emerald green pearl. It had fairly good color payoff but to make the pearl stand out, two layers are needed. Urban Decay Loaded is lighter. MAC Dark Envy is greener. MAC My Next Indulgence is lighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Iskandar

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Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Mesopotamia

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Snake Eyes

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, June 3rd, 2013

theBalm Put a Lid On it Eyeshadow Primer
theBalm Put a Lid On it Eyeshadow Primer

theBalm Put a Lid On it Eyeshadow Primer ($18.00 for 0.40 oz.) is a translucent eyeshadow primer that has a medium-thick, spreadable consistency that applies evenly and smoothly. It’s supposed to help amplify your favorite eyeshadows as well as improve their staying power. It comes in a squeeze-tube with a needle nose applicator, so you can easily get just what you need out. The consistency was a bit thicker than I anticipated (thicker than Too Faced Shadow Insurance or Urban Decay Primer Potion), but it smooths out well so that it feels weightless once blended and spread over the lid. It feels a bit like a silicone-based face primer but not as heavy on the silicones. It takes a few seconds to dry down and “set,” and once set, it feels like almost nothing on the lid. One thing I loved was that this product didn’t separate as some tube-based primers can, so I didn’t have to worry about what I’d get upon first squeeze.

I nave normal-to-dry lids, but my eyelids are by no means impervious to products creasing or fading on me. Some products last all day without a primer, others start to crease or fade between six and eight hours into wear. As much as possible, I like to test eye products both with and without primer to get a better idea of how it wears overall, so I’ve been using this on and off for the past month. It’s easy to blend powder eyeshadows on top of it, and they don’t “stick” so you can soften and fade or blend with the shadow next to it. It also doesn’t mute my eyeshadow. For a weaker eyeshadow, it definitely helps it look more intense and apply more evenly. It seemed to prolong eyeshadows that would crease on me for an added two to three hours (so twelve to fourteen hours of wear, total). For cream eyeshadows, it only added an extra hour or two of wear (ten to twelve hours of wear, total).

The Glossover

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Put a Lid On it

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It's one of my new favorite primers--the only thing is I wish it performed as well for cream products as it did for powder, but it's pretty good all-around, and the texture really helps to smooth out the texture of the lid.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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