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

product

Put a Lid On it

A
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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Sunday, April 7th, 2013

MAC Fancy Frosting Pro Longwear Paint Pot
MAC Fancy Frosting Pro Longwear Paint Pot

MAC Fancy Frosting Pro Longwear Paint Pot ($18.50 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “frosted white.” It’s a silvery white with a sparkly, frosted finish. MAC Virgin Silver is a touch darker. MAC She’s Got Class is more frosted. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #3 is brighter. MAC Angelic is very similar (no glitter). Chanel Fantasme has more sparkle (less metallic).

MAC’s Paint Pot formula is supposed to be “long-wearing,” “highly-pigmented,” and have “seamless coverage without weight or caking.” Fancy Frosting is more like the glittery Paint Pots that MAC has released more frequently in the past couple of years, and so it is nowhere near as smooth, pigmented, or as long-wearing as the creamier (and typically, less shimmery) shades. This one builds to semi-sheer coverage, but you really have to build layer by layer and give each layer time to dry, or else it will turn caky and bunch up on itself. It’s best used as a sheer wash of sparkle. When I wore it, there was some fall out–a few stray sparkles had managed to get loose, though it wasn’t too noticeable. I didn’t see any creasing or fading over an eight hour period.

The Glossover

LE
product

Fancy Frosting

C-
Fancy Frosting is more like the glittery Paint Pots that MAC has released more frequently in the past couple of years, and so it is nowhere near as smooth, pigmented, or as long-wearing as the creamier (and typically, less shimmery) shades.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Benefit Stay Don't Stray in Medium/Deep
Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in Medium/Deep

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in Medium/Deep

Benefit Stay Don’t Stray in Medium/Deep ($26.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a liquid product that can be used an eyeshadow base to keep eyeshadow in place and keep the color looking true as well as to keep concealer in place. I reviewed the formula when it originally debuted, and as I said then and can reiterate now: it is a fantastic product. The major downside was the packaging, which Benefit had used a pump-type dispenser that dispensed far and away too much product. Like the amount you’d need to cover your face, rather than just underneath your eye or on the lid.

In January (yes, of 2013), Benefit will debut new packaging and a new shade in Medium/Deep, which is about the color of NC35/NC40 I’d say. My arm is right around NC20, while my face around NC25/NC30. There’s a definite warm tone to the Medium/Deep shade (the original shade is closer to neutral). The finish was completely matte. It is a liquid, but it has a very thin, lightweight consistency that spreads easily, evenly, and dries down quickly.

It worked well at keeping crease-prone eyeshadows on the lid and prevented the creasing. When I layered it under my concealer, it also helped prolong the wear by another hour or so. On me, this was a bit too dark to use underneath my eye–mixed with the original shade, and it was a better match.

The new packaging features a twist-open cap with a doe-foot applicator attached to it. For me, it’s a major improvement over the pump. After trying and using primers that come in a tube, I’m not in love with them. I find that the product separates or will squirt out (causing waste). I’m not convinced doe-foot applicators are the very best, but it’s the type of applicator I’ve have liked the most from what I’ve used so far.  Tubes are just slightly under them in my experience.  I like both, not sold on either, but huge, huge improvement from the pump system they had before.  I also appreciate when a brand listens to their customer base–both by creating a darker shade and tackling problematic packaging.

The Glossover

P
product

Medium/Deep

A
It worked well at keeping crease-prone eyeshadows on the lid and prevented the creasing. When I layered it under my concealer, it also helped prolong the wear by another hour or so.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, October 15th, 2012

Chanel Destination Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Destination Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Destination Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “pale-satin shade [that] adds a silver-blue accent to eyes.” It’s a subdued, silver-ish blue with a frosted, metallic finish. When sheered out, it’s almost more silver-white with just a hint of blue. MAC Bright Moon is darker, grayer. Buxom Husky is bluer and lighter–more sky blue. Urban Decay Strip is a bit darker. Urban Decay Mary Jane is also similar, a bit bluer–richer. Inglot #429 is more periwinkle.

I’ve been wanting to review this for awhile, but it’s been sold out online (sold out before I even received mine!) and though it was supposed to be available at regular counters/retailers, I’ve yet to see it pop up online. Luckily, when I checked this weekend, it’s back in stock on Chanel.com. Sometimes I love Illusion d’Ombres, and sometimes, they’re a bit of a miss. Destination is more of a miss for me, unfortunately.

The downfall of Destination is that it doesn’t apply opaque, even if you make an attempt to build it, because it doesn’t apply very evenly. It’s a little splotchy and patchy. As a result, it works better as a base color or applied very sheerly as a wash of shimmer. I think other shades within the formula do a better job of merely illuminating eyes if that was your goal. Destination wore for six hours well, but by eight hours, there was noticeable fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Destination

C+
I'm a fiend for this type of color normally, but the problems with wear and pigmentation make this a no-go. I'd rather pay $36 (double!) for another Urban Decay Strip or Mary Jane!

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime
Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

New Primer on the Block

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime ($22.00 for 0.18 oz.) is described as a “light nude” primer that “reinforces eyeshadow hold and intensifies its color.” It’s supposed to help your eyeshadows look more true-to-color and prevent them from creasing and fading. While it appears to be a pale beige if you swatch it on your skin, once blended onto the skin as a thin layer, it’s invisible against my skin tone. I would only imagine seeing the slightest lightness on darker complexions, because it pretty much blends to an invisible layer of product. For the purpose of this review, I used “pigmentation” as the metric to measure whether the primer made colors look true-to-pan or not.

As a result, this formula is most comparable to popular primers Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Both have a similar consistency and look. The differences are negligible, and I don’t think most would notice unless you were really looking for them. Make Up For Ever Eye Prime seems a little wetter and more emollient in a way, as it slides across even dry areas well without emphasizing them. It helps lids look smoother, and it does prevent eyeshadow from creasing and fading. I tested some eyeshadows that typically crease and fade if worn alone over this, and I saw improved wear–none of the creasing/fading that would have occurred had I applied them over my bare lids. I don’t think it necessarily amped up my eyeshadow, but it didn’t subdue it, either, which some primers can do, depending on their coloring.

You might know this already, but Urban Decay’s Original Primer Potion creases on me after six hours or so–sometimes it holds up better, sometimes it doesn’t. Too Faced I haven’t had problems with, and I can use other shades of Urban Decay’s (like Eden). I would also say it compares favorably with NARS Smudgeproof, which looks white when swatched and goes on invisible once blended out. NARS has a slightly more velvety feel after it dries down.

Make Up For Ever’s is the most expensive of the bunch at $122/oz. Urban Decay is $54/oz., Too Faced is $51/oz., and NARS is $92/oz. Both Make Up For Ever and NARS come in an opaque tube with a doe-foot applicator, while Urban Decay and Too Faced come in squeeze-tubes.

Which of these primers have you tried? Does one work better than the other?

The Glossover

product

Eye Prime

A+
As always, your mileage may vary. I know the original Urban Decay Primer Potion works for many, many people. I've heard some readers say NARS was one of the worst. Others love Too Faced. Make Up For Ever is the most recent primer added to the line-up. If you've never tried any of them, all four are worth considering.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Berry Noir Long-Wear Cream Shadow
Bobbi Brown Berry Noir Long-Wear Cream Shadow

Bobbi Brown Berry Noir Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “brown shimmer berry.” It’s a burgundy-shimmered plum with red undertones. When it’s sheered out, it has a redder, browner look, and the plummy tones disappear. If you apply more color or build up the intensity, you’ll see it turns more purple. There were a surprising number of cream-based products like this that were very similar in color! NARS Calabria is comparable to the more opaque swatch. Maybelline Pomegranate Punk is slightly redder. Make Up For Ever #17 is a smidgen lighter. MAC Rich Core is similar but a powder formula. Chanel Eclosion is more intense. Make Up For Ever #311 is a bit darker.

Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Cream Shadow is supposed to be a smooth, easy-to-apply cream eyeshadow that will last all day long without creasing or smearing. The brand recommends using a short brush (like the Cream Shadow Brush) to apply or use fingertips to blend out shade for a sheerer effect.  I prefer blending it out with fingertips or a fluffy brush, but initial application works well with her Cream Shadow Brush, which is just a flat, firm brush.  It takes 15-20 seconds to set in place, and once it dries down, it doesn’t budge. I don’t have any creasing and only very, very minor fading issues after eight hours when I’ve worn it over bare lids (and over a primer works the same!).

The Glossover

P
product

Berry Noir

A
If you like dark plums, berries, or wines, you might like this shade. Because it does have stronger red undertones, it can sometimes make the eye look bruised, depending on your undertones and how sheer/opaque the application.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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