Saturday, January 14th, 2012

NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow
NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow

NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow

NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow ($5.00 for 0.088 oz.) is a light-medium sky blue with a matte finish. MAC Styledriven is lighter, less cool-toned. The color payoff is decent to good, though there is an underlying sheerness. theBalm Great Gonzo is less cool-toned and brighter. MAC Sky Blue is paler, less blue. Inglot #367 is lighter. Make Up For Ever #118 is much more vibrant and less cool-toned.

Surprisingly, the shade holds it own in a sea of sky blues, because it’s darker than most sky blues (which tend to have an airy, ethereal blue quality to them) but not vibrant enough to be similar to brighter blues. The lightness in the color with the matte finish does give the texture a chalky feel, and the texture is more powdery compared to other NYX eyeshadows. It’s very soft and powdery, so while it blends easily, it fades and sheers out just as easily. When worn, even over a primer, I felt it had faded a bit after six hours of wear.  Without a base, it doesn’t crease (probably because of the drier texture!) but does look faded after four hours or so.

The Glossover

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NYX Cool Blue Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

C
The color was surprisingly unique from many other sky blues I've come across, but the texture is powdery, making it somewhat sheer when applied, and it fades before the day is over.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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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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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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Thursday, January 12th, 2012

NARS Paramaribo Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Paramaribo Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Spring 2012: Paramaribo Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Paramaribo Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “metallic shades of brass and bronze.” For whatever reason, this is one of the few limited edition shades for spring, which is totally too bad–it’s a gorgeous product and my favorite from the spring collection.

The first shade is a rich golden brass with a metallic-frost finish. It’s really smooth, opaque, and easy to work with. The way it binds together makes for a really adhesive, longer-wearing product, too. Make Up For Ever #11 is less golden in a way. OCC Cruising is darker, less yellow. Le Metier de Beaute Chameleon is browner. It also reminded me of the golden tones from MAC Golden Gaze. Urban Decay Rush is much browner.

The second shade is a softened bronze-shimmered brown. This shade is extremely soft and finely-milled, so it feels like silk against the skin and melts like butter once applied. Urban Decay Rush is not quite as dark. Giorgio Armani Khaki Pulse is less warm-toned. MAC Romp is more orange-toned. Urban Decay Deeper is similar. Urban Decay Smog is slightly less golden shimmered.

This eyeshadow formula is supposed to be crease-resistant, long-wearing, and highly pigmented.  Without a primer, they do look a little faded and have minor, but noticeable, creasing after eight hours of wear.  I don’t encounter those problems, typically, over a primer.  Some of the lighter, more powdery shades do fade a bit over a primer, but neither of these shades are like that.  The powders for both shades really bind together well, so they adhere better to the skin.

The Glossover

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NARS Paramaribo Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
Both shades have excellent color payoffs and beautiful, workable textures that feel soft as silk against the skin. They're warmed-up but not overly warm; there's an edge about them that keeps them from being your more traditional gold and bronze pairing.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Spring 2012: Douce France Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “shimmery icy pink, shimmery rose petal pink, and matte deep rose.” The trio is a limited edition shade from this spring’s collection.

The first shade is a very light ivory with a hint of pink and a touch of white sparkle. It’s almost a bit on the chalky side, which is partially because of how light the color is, and how the texture has more of a matte finish underneath the sparkle. I had a tough time getting this shade to adhere well to the lid, and I noticed it seemed to fade away, even over a primer, after eight hours. It’s similar to a shade in Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse. MAC Golden Flurry is pinker and more iridescent. Bare Escentuals Muse is frostier and brighter.

The center shade is a rosy pink with subtle yellow undertones. The finish is satiny; not too matte, but not shimmery or frosted. It has a very, very soft feel, but it will blend out easily if you are not careful. The color payoff is good but could use a little more (or else bind together a bit better). Inglot #359 and MAC Rose are slightly pinker.

The right-most shade is a matte, muted dark red. It’s not red red, but it’s not really berry or burgundy. There’s a muted quality to it that really makes it ring true to its description–it looks like the dark hues of a real rose. The texture of this shade is so soft and finely-milled without being powdery, and the color payoff is very good (the best out of the palette). It blends out well, too, because of the soft texture. Inglot #450 has more of a berry hue, plus it has a shimmery finish. I couldn’t think of any other potential dupes.

I love that NARS created their trios with individual pans, but it’s a bit of a let down that the price/quantity ratio makes the trios more expensive (by the ounce) than duos (but less than individual eyeshadows). Typically, there’s a bit of a “discount” when you buy duos, trios, quads, etc. Each eyeshadow is still a healthy amount (just over 0.05 oz. each), so you won’t run out of any shade easily.

NARS designed their powder eyeshadow formula to be crease-resistant, long-wearing, and highly pigmented, but I do experience some light fading and noticeable creasing afiter seven to eight hours of wear. The lightest shade in this palette was really faded after eight hours, but the other two shades were more intact. I still experienced a fair amount of fading with the lightest shade over a primer as well, which was disappointing. Thankfully, because it’s so light, the average onlooker wouldn’t have noticed it.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Douce France Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The fading is a big issue for me; it really affects the usefulenss and wearability of the palette. Who wants a shade that disappears even over a primer? The combination of hues work together exceptionally well, though, and on light and much deeper skin tones, this will work nicely. I felt like these shades got a little lost on my skin tone personally (which is not reflected in the grade).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow
NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow

NARS Spring 2012: Lhasa Eyeshadow

NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “shimmery lavender-gray.” It’s gray, just slightly brown, with a stormy, smoky purple brewing in it. The color payoff is good, though just a touch sheer, but it has a really silky-smooth feeling to the texture. It also adheres really well to the lid. Urban Decay Bust is browner. theBalm Come Hither Heather is grayer, more cool-toned. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is lighter. Bare Escentuals Rowdy is a touch lighter. MAC Shale is similar but a touch darker.

NARS’ pressed eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing, crease-resistant, and highly pigmented on their own, and they do a good job of staying in place without fading or creasing, but only for around eight hours without a primer, at which time there is very slight fading and noticeable (but not deep) creasing. With a primer, I have no concerns as they last until I take off my makeup.

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NARS Lhasa Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
Admittedly, it seemed more unique when I first swatched it, but there are a fair number of shades that come close to it! If you don't have a shade like it, though, it is extremely versatile. It can be used in a neutral eye as well as a more dramatic, smoky eye.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, January 9th, 2012

NYX Orange Eyeshadow
NYX Orange Eyeshadow

NYX Orange Eyeshadow

NYX Orange Eyeshadow ($5.00 for 0.07 oz.) is tangerine orange with a lighter peach-orange shimmer. The finish is more of a frosted, but it doesn’t read heavy. It’s a very wearable orange because of the softness in the color. Surprisingly, I couldn’t find a dupe among all of these orange eyeshadows. Givenchy Candide Garden was the closest but still darker. Most shades that were in similar in lightness had a pink-tone or really gold sheen (think MAC Melon).

The color is true-to-pan and opaque on the skin, while the texture is dense, buttery, and very soft without being powdery or loose (which is probably the most common issue of NYX’s eyeshadow line–but many shades are just fine, such as this one).  Without a base, this shade wore for seven hours, but with a base, I had no wear problems after eight hours.  This is definitely one of the better NYX eyeshadows I’ve tried, and personally, I’m always in awe when I can’t think of dupes for a shade!

The Glossover

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Orange

A-
This is definitely one of the better NYX eyeshadows I've tried, and personally, I'm always in awe when I can't think of dupes for a shade!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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