Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 1)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. There are fourteen shades in total, and I will review all of them, but this post focuses on: Black Lab (shimmering black sky), Bulldog (intense royal blue), Chihuahua (bright silver), Cocker Spaniel (opalescent pink), and Collie (sparkling champagne).

I went to Buxom’s site to see if they had a more accurate description of the product’s pigmentation (at least, what it should be), and each shade actually gets a breakdown, which includes listing the type of coverage. All of the shades in the range are described as “sheer, buildable.” They’re vibrant in the pot, but the vibrancy doesn’t translate as much on the lid, so if you’ve steered clear because these look daunting in the pot, then don’t worry about it. If you’ve seen the pot and went, “Whoa!” and wanted opaque color coverage, you’ll be disappointed, as these are true-to-description: they’re sheer. They’re slightly buildable but not enough where you could get opaque color as it looks like in the pan but it varies between shades.

The formula is fun to play with, just because the consistency is unlike most products on the market. These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything!

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Black Lab has a semi-sheer, semi-matte black base with multi-colored shimmer; you get flecks of green, blue, violet, and silver for the most part. Chanel Mirifique looks similar in the pot, but they’re not very alike swatched. Bobbi Brown Onyx is similar. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle is a bluer-tinted base.
  • Bulldog is a semi-sheer medium purple-tinted blue with soft micro-shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is more intense and slightly purpler. Inglot #336 is somewhat similar but darker and matte.
  • Chihuahua is a bright, foil-like silver with a metallic finish. This was a really opaque color, actually. MAC Electra is similar but less metallic. Inglot #448 is slightly darker.
  • Cocker Spaniel is a pale peach with a subtle iridescent finish. It’s not pink on me, but I can see some of a pearly pink in the pot, so I think this is a shade that will look pinker/peachier depending on your undertones (with my yellower undertones, it leans peach). MAC Double Feature 5 is a bit like this but more of a true peach. Make Up For Ever #940 is quite similar but has a stronger iridescent sheen.
  • Collie is a peachy gold with a frosted, metallic sheen. This was one of the more opaque colors as well. It’s not quite as orange as Dior Couture Gold or as yellow as Urban Decay Blunt.

The Glossover

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Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A
They're not quite as buildable as they seem like they should be, because for some, you really can't get much more color than what one layer of product yields (like Black Dog). The wear is really great, though, and if you like using sheer color as a base or as a wash for quick looks, you'll enjoy these.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Maybelline Audacious Asphalt Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow
Maybelline Audacious Asphalt Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadow

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadows (Part 1)

Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadows ($6.99 for 0.14 oz.) are a cream/gel eyeshadow that’s supposed to yield 24-hour wear without creasing or fading and have intense color payoff. There are currently ten shades in total, with five being reviewed in this post.

  • Audacious Asphalt is a brownish silver with a shimmery, metallic finish. It was almost pewter-like. It reminded me of Inglot #444.
  • Bad to the Bronze is a subtly warmed-up bronze with a smooth, metallic finish and sheen. It’s very opaque with little product. It’s similar to Urban Decay Suspect, which is a touch lighter. Make Up For Ever #15 is darker and more red-toned. Inglot #406 is slightly more golden. The color is reminiscent of MAC Genuine Treasure, but the texture is very, very different. From this old swatch that I have (I don’t have it any more), MAC Indianwood is warmer, a little more orange.
  • Bold Gold is a shimmery, medium-dark gold. It’s one of the more shimmery shades, so it’s not quite as smooth and not fully opaque but is buildable. Make Up For Ever #11 is similar in color but smoother–more metallic in finish than shimmery. Urban Decay Rush is browner.
  • Edgy Emerald is an aqua-teal with a shimmery finish. It is nearly opaque on the lids without having to build up the color, and it works well as an eyeliner, too. NYX Seafoam Green is similar but a touch darker. MAC Shimmermoss is slightly bluer. MAC Aquadisiac is similar. Urban Decay Minx is similar, perhaps just the tiniest bit bluer.
  • Fierce & Tangy is a brightened tangerine orange with a satiny finish. It applies so, so smoothly; this is one of the best shades in terms of texture and color payoff. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade. Make Up For Ever #10 is much darker, more of a true orange.

I tested several shades (though not every single shade individually) from the range for twelve to sixteen hours. I wore each of them alone, not with other products, primers, or eyeshadows. I didn’t experience any budging, creasing, fading, or smudging. The shades I specifically tested were: Audacious Asphalt, Bad to the Bronze, Edgy Emerald, Fierce & Tangy, Painted Purple, and Tough as Taupe.  These can also be used as an eyeshadow base or as an eyeliner, depending on what you’re looking for.   I tried these as bases and liners, and they worked and performed well.  It’s always nice when a cream eyeshadow can double as a cream eyeliner!

I didn’t test these for a full 24-hours, because I am really, really loathe to wear makeup for that long. Adverse reactions can be a job hazard from product tester, and the last time I did that kind of test, my eyes paid for it for another few days (dry, flaking), so I’m not keen on doing it again :( I apologize in advance. I think that a product that wears as long as sixteen hours without any issues is likely to continue in the same vein.

The consistency is creamy and smooth, though some shades are smoother than others due to the finish (the more shimmery ones are less smooth, while the more matte ones are the smoothest). The texture is similar to MAC Paint Pots (Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams aren’t quite as thick and dry down faster). These dry down quick but too quickly, so there is some time to work, but if you want to blend out the edges really seamlessly, I would recommend working on one eye at a time.  Color payoff varies from good to great over these five shades, with Audacious Asphalt and Bold Gold being buildable but not completely opaque in one go.  The other three are nearly opaque without layering.

What’s kind of funny about the range is the lack of really neutral eyeshadows. There are lots of fun, colorful shades, but there is a lack of one-and-done eyeshadows. That’s usually not how a brand launches a product like this, but hopefully with the success of the initial ten, they’ll roll out some softer/lighter shades that will work great for those mornings you have five minutes or less to put on your makeup.

Each shade is housed in a heavy glass jar with a screw-on black lid.  The glass gives it more heft, so it doesn’t feel cheap when you hold it, but it’s not the most travel-friendly as a result (and it is more breakable–one of mine arrived with a superficial crack on the bottom).  Also, be careful if you have more than one open, because the product’s name is actually on the lid, not the bottom of the jar, so if you can easily mix them up.  Thankfully, the shade range is pretty diverse and there aren’t shades that look too similar to each other, so it is possible to look them up if you forgot.

P.S. — They are currently buy one, get one 50% off at Ulta.

The Glossover

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Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A
They're the best performing cream eyeshadow I've tried from a budget brand, and they're an excellent cream eyeshadow, period. The formula compares best to MAC Paint Pots, especially some of the more recent finishes. The best shades are those with less shimmery finishes.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, January 13th, 2012

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “navy blue.” It’s a dark navy blue with a shimmery finish. I feel it necessary to do a full copy-and-paste from spring’s press release regarding this product, because too often I receive comments and emails saying I’m being unduly harsh and unfair, all because NARS “meant” for this product to crease; that this is supposed to have that “creased” look.  I’m harsh, but I don’t think unduly so; this is an atrocious product, and from a high-end brand that can and does put out quality products, it’s appalling. I don’t make excuses for brands, least of all when they create products that perform this poorly.

This is what the press release states: “The navy blue Soft Touch Shadow Pencil complements any warm-weather look. Use the creamy, long-wearing formula alone, as a base for layering with powder shadow, or to line and sculpt the eye.” This product is long-wearing by itself, can be used as a base beneath powder eyeshadow, as well as an eyeliner. There is nothing about this product creasing, migrating, moving, turning to sludge, or otherwise indicating it’s supposed to look like this on the lid.

Whenever I wear/experiment NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, I notice my eyes are a bit irritated; there’s a burning sensation (not on the lid but of my eye), especially when I use these as eyeliners. I’ve tried Dark Rite in the three methods that NARS states: alone, as a base, and as an eyeliner. None of these methods was successful. The good news is this product creases so quickly that it takes very little time to go through all those tests!

Alone, it fades, smudges on the beneath the lower lash line (from the lid!), creases, and pools into creases. It isn’t dry to the touch after a half hour of wear, which is obviously going to be a problem–if it doesn’t dry, it doesn’t set, so it won’t stay in place. It applies somewhat evenly but does have problems; if you apply with a finger, it seems to just slide around but I wasn’t able to get a really even look with it using my fingers. I had the best luck doing one pass and doing my best not to layer.

As a base with powder eyeshadows on top, it’s both a pain to use (because it’s wet, the powder eyeshadow tends to clump and stick to it but not blend out well; the darker hue also has a tendency to “eat” the eyeshadow) and wear (because it creases after five minutes, just not as bad as it was alone). In the past, I have tried several of these pencils over/under various bases, with/without eyeshadow, and the results are dismal  (See Celebrate.).  I tried the same methods with this one as well with the same disappointing results, whether it’s used alone, underneath eyeshadow, or over a primer, it’s a one-way trip to Crease City.

Finally, as an eyeliner, it smudges and travels further and further away from the lash line. I don’t need any help making my under eye circles look any darker, but this product excelled at it.

The only reason it earns any points is that it is pigmented, but the pigmentation is patchy and uneven, which does impact the overall pigmentation score.  The texture is creamy enough that it glides on the lid without too much tugging or pulling, which accounts for some points.  But you’ll notice that when it comes to overall product score and longevity, there are none.  These continue to be one of the worst formulas I’ve come across.  At $24, it’s a slap in the eye.

If you want a shadow pencil that actually works, consider Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencils, which not only wear all day long without trouble, they’re four bucks cheaper. Here are some navy blue eyeliners to consider as well.

The Glossover

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product

Dark Rite

If you're been looking for a product to deliver a creased, glossy look, perhaps for an editorial, maybe this is up your alley. I suspect you could find a cheaper cream product to do something similar or else pat Vaseline or gloss over your favorite navy blue eyeshadow.
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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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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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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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