Monday, November 28th, 2011

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “frosted ginger” and “shimmering copper.” This is one of the best NARS duos I’ve tried when it comes to quality, but I will readily admit that as far as the shades themselves go, they’re not unique, so you may already own similar shades. It’s a great basic duo for someone who hasn’t already added a few coppers to their stash, though! This is part of the brand’s permanent range, so I think it’s a nice core product to have.

The left side of Isolde is a medium copper with a frosted gold sheen. It has an incredibly soft, smooth texture that’s buttery and dense without being powdery. It delivers excellent color payoff, too! This shade is similar to: Bare Escentuals Louder, MAC Amber Lights, and theBalm Meep Meep.

On the right side, there is a deeper copper with burnished brown undertones and a frosted golden sheen. Like the left side, the texture is amazing–soft, smooth, rich–with intense pigmentation. It’s has more copper compared to Make Up For Ever #12, while MAC Bronze is too brown. Giorgio Armani #5 comes closest but is a touch browner.

Isolde adhered really well to the lid without base, and it wore longer than most of NARS’ eyeshadows do for me–I was able to get eight hours without creasing and to ten with very faint creasing, which is really good. Of course, with a base, there wasn’t any issues at the twelve-hour mark.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
One of NARS' best duos in regards to quality--excellent color payoff, good wear with or without a base, and a divine texture that's soft and silky smooth.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, November 27th, 2011

bareMinerals The Playlist Holiday Eyeshadow Palette
bareMinerals The Playlist Holiday Eyeshadow Palette

bareMinerals The Playlist Holiday Eyeshadow Palette

bareMinerals The Playlist Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00 for 0.28 oz.) includes eight shades: Pumped (cocoa sparkle), Chart Topper (pewter silk), Max Volume (smoky jade), Louder (burnished copper), One Hit Wonder (butter chiffon), Most Requested (burgundy sparkle), Remix (burnished gold), and Speaker Box (shimmering gunmetal).

  • Pumped is a warm, red-toned chocolate brown with gold sparkle. The undelrying color is more matte in finish. I don’t find the sparkle translates 100% on the lid, but some of it does show up. NARS Galapagos is similar but has more of a yellow undertone. Laura Mercier Cedar is very similar in color but doesn’t have the gold sparkle (though since it doesn’t show up much, they’re more similar than not).
  • Chart Topper is a neutral-cool tarnished gold with a frosted, metallic shimmer-sheen. It’s a touch sheer and a wee bit powdery. It’s not as silvered as Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds, but it is cooler-toned than MAC Retrospeck. Urban Decay Maui Wowie is the closest, but it’s a bit darker and has silver sparkle (and the accompanying fall out!).
  • Max Volume is a deep forest green over a blackened base. OCC Poison is greener, less teal. Inglot #414 is also a bit greener and lighter. theBalm Jealous Jordana is much more similar but is a touch greener. Make Up For Ever #80 is also a touch greener but has the same blackened base.
  • Louder is a medium-dark copper with a metallic finish. This is a fairly common color, so you may have something similar already–like Urban Decay Limelight, theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • One Hit Wonder is a white gold with noticeable yellow undertones and a frosted finish. It’s a really dense shade with amazing payoff for a white gold. It is similar to bareMinerals Breathtaking, though. MAC Nylon is a touch yellower.
  • Most Requested is a brownish burgundy with ruby red flecks of sparkle over a satiny finish. It’s a bit browner compared to Lancome Color du Jour but still quite close.
  • Remix is a bright yellow gold with a frost-metallic finish. It’s a little less orange compared to MAC Goldmine. It’s nearly the same as Make Up For Ever #10.
  • Speaker Box is a dark olive green over a black-brown base with gold shimmer and a pearly finish. Lancome Designer is a little lighter. Inglot #419 has a more metallic finish.

Overall, this eyeshadow palette is good–the color payoff for almost all of the shades was excellent with really soft, smooth textures and blendable colors. Pumped’s sparkle doesn’t translate as well on the lid as it looks in the swatch or the pan, and there was a few sparkles that had fallen by the end of the day (like three). Chart Topper was on the sheerer side with a slightly powdery feel. I’ve been impressed with Bare Escentual’s entry into pressed eyeshadows, because they’ve done a good job with the texture and pigmentation, and they also wear well with or without a base.

The palette is housed in a metallic gold compact with a mirror inside and a dual-ended brush. The outer case does hold fingerprints, which is a common drawback for metal or metal-like packaging. The brush is so-so; it’ll get the job done, but it’s a bit scratchy. Remix was a bit drier than other bareMinerals eyeshadows, but it still had good color payoff.

The Glossover

palette

The Playlist

A
It's festive without being over-the-top, and the mix of shades is good with bolds, neutrals, and pops of colors to give the palette versatility and variety. The quality is quite good overall, and you get a good amount of eyeshadow for your money.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad
Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) is part of the Precious Stones collection, just in time for the holidays. Everything is inspired by the “sumptuous shades and textures” of precious stones and gem colors. It’s not exactly the interpretation I would expect when one is looking at jewels and gems–I always think turquoise, sapphire, ruby, but there are certainly lighter, less dramatic stones, too.

The first shade in the palette is a pale pink-lilac with a soft, frosted finish that is just slightly sheer. theBalm Curtain Call is purpler. It’s actually very, very similar to MAC Seedy Pearl. Make Up For Ever #303 is pinker and frostier. Next to that is a softened orange–kind of like a peach shimmered pale orange with a frosted finish. Like the first shade, it’s a touch sheer. The hue is similar to theBalm Stubborn Eyeshadow.

On the bottom left, we have a frosted, cool-toned white. It’s just shy of being silver-tinted. The theme of the quad is definitely softer color, because this one was also a little sheer. theBalm Sassy is similar in color. MAC Forgery is also similar but has a chunkier texture. Inglot #453 is similar but more opaque and has a more metallic finish.  The last shade is medium-dark red-tinted brown with a champagne sheen. This was the most pigmented shade of the four. Bare Escentuals Vow is similar in color but has a satin finish, so it doesn’t look quite the same.

From Dolce & Gabbana’s press release on this collection, this quad is supposed to be a contrast between highlighting and shading, though I’m not sure where they’re getting “light jet” or “dark topaz.” I’m going to assume “light jet” is somehow the white shade. At some point in the press release, they describe the eyeshadow colors of the collection as “soft pearl hues to vibrant jewel shades.” Nothing about the Jewels quad is at all vibrant. They’re all very soft and muted. If you want intense color, look elsewhere, but if you like your eyeshadow soft and more natural, this should be right up your alley.

The confusion as to the pigmentation level aside, the texture of these was a bit powdery, with the peach-orange shade being the least powdery . It’s a very soft formulation, but it’s too soft, because it creates a lot of excess product without enough binder. I find I have to pack and pack and pack on the color to get a noticeable, even layer of color. They don’t just blend but disappear. You have to use a heavy hand to get enough color to show on the lid, but then you have to use the lightest hand to blend away any edges.  It’s marginally better when they’re used wet, but not by much, because the color still fades–there’s just a little less fall out.

I always find Dolce & Gabbana eyeshadows require more work and patience than an eyeshadow ought to.  I think these can work for someone who only sweeps on a single color and loves the idea of variety in color but really loves the idea of barely-there color on the lid (I have a friend just like this!) and is happy to see a visual difference in the pan but doesn’t mind the actual results.  They just don’t cooperate well when they’re used together.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
I haven't been impressed with a lot of Dolce & Gabbana's eyeshadows lately, which is a shame. They can do an excellent lipstick, but their range of eye products has been full of misses.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, November 25th, 2011

Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a deep, dark blackened-brown olive green with forest green and olive green micro-shimmer. It’s blacker and sootier when it’s applied dry, and it takes on a more metallic finish with a stronger green tone when it is applied wet. The pigmentation is good dry but great wet. I couldn’t think of a dupe for it–it’s really, really dark but not quite black. Milani Melange is the closest, but it is is more like a blackened-brown with gold shimmer, rather than green. Always a bonus when I can’t think of a dupe!

Estee Lauder’s new Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadows are a highly metallic eyeshadow that fan be used wet or dry. It’s a “tri-blend” formula that’s gel, powder, and liquid all-in-one. It’s also supposed to be high in pigmentation, blend easily, and long-lasting without fading. The powder is soft, almost powdery, and feels very, very dry in a way. Like some eyeshadows are soft and buttery and more like a cream (but still a powder), but this feels almost dry, even though it’s not stiff or chalky. The texture is definitely interesting–it reminded me of baked/mineralize eyeshadows, actually, except super compacted.

I find it’s a little powdery when it’s used dry, so I prefer to use it wet to minimize fall out (if you use it dry, make sure to tap your brush handle against your fore arm to loosen excess powder). I’ve used it both ways, though, without a primer, and the results have been good. I find it wears dry for six hours well, but it looks a bit faded by eight hours. When I wore it wet (again, without primer or a base!), it lasted longer–eight hours and then some subtle fading after ten hours.

Though these are listed as 0.03 oz. a pop, it doesn’t seem that small in the pan. It seems about the same as your average eyeshadow or slightly bigger. You don’t need a lot of product to achieve opaque color either, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned with it running out quickly.

The Glossover

LE
product

Cyber Green

B+
It's an interesting formula; I feel like it's a cross between your more traditional pressed powder eyeshadow and baked/mineralize eyeshadows. It's not quite the former, but it seems different from the latter!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, November 24th, 2011

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00) is described as a “pale gold frost” and “gold-infused pewter.” The left side is a pale white gold with a frosted finish; it’s a bit sheer, and this kind of color is found in a lot of brands. The right side is an olive green with a dirty gold shimmer-sheen. It has good color payoff and a really smooth feel. I was half-hoping it was similar to Giorgio Armani #14, but it’s much greener. It’s a touch cooler-toned compared to theBalm Wocka, Wocka. Lancome Designer has a softer golden sheen, so it appears almost darker, but they’re very similar. Inglot #419 is also really close in color.

NARS line of pressed powder eyeshadows are supposed to be “highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant.” They don’t wear all day on me without a primer, though some perform better than others. I typically get around eight hours with subtle creasing and marginal fading, but the usage of a primer will get me to twelve hours without any creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The green shade is killer, but the lighter golden shade could use more pigmentation--if it was, this would be a dynamite duo. The two shades play off of each other well, and you can do a lot of different intensities/gradients between these two.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

The One that Got Away: Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

With Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow (€36.50 for 0.14 oz.) in my hot hands, my collection of Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows is now complete. Major thanks to Amira for offering to ship me one from Sephora France. FRANCE. If you haven’t bought anything in Euros lately, let me say I just shelled out $64 for a product that costs $32 here in the states. Talk about you snooze, you lose! This shade came out last holiday season, which was before I discovered the awesomeness in a pot that is Eyes to Kill Intense. I took one look at photos online, and I knew I had to have it. It’s ANTIQUE GOLD. It’s so me!

It looks more like gold in the pot, sprinkled over black, but the black gives it this beautiful antique gold hue, and when it’s used dry, it almost has a slight green tint. It’s super, super sparkly. I spent all day yesterday continually admiring it over and over again, because it really dazzles. Kind of like Chanel Glossimer or MAC Dazzleglass… but on eyes. The best part about this is there’s no residual fall out during the day like more glittery products often are, because this doesn’t feel like a glitter (it’s very soft and smooth) but has that look. It’s pretty opaque when applied dry, but when it’s applied damp, it takes on a much more metallic characteristic with a deeper color.

Out of all these gold eyeshadows, the closest one is actually Giorgio Armani #6, which is darker and much warmer (they’re not dupes). Urban Decay Maui Wowie is much lighter. Bare Escentuals Spectacular is warmer, more olive green.  I think it actually would compare well with MAC Rye, which I have three or four of, because it was so my shade when it came out (it was limited edition, of course).

I’ve reviewed this formula several times (sixteen, to be exact!), and I’m continually impressed by its claims. I’ve worn it up to twenty-four hours with no fading, fall out, or creasing–and that is without a base. Yes, really, twenty-four hours. I had to do it eventually, you know, test their really ridiculous twenty-four hour claim even though I was so, so loathe to wear makeup to bed. I felt like I was going against all that was good in beauty.

What lengths (or prices) have you gone to for that one product you just had to have? Share your stories in the comments! :)

The Glossover

LE
product

#14

A+
If you can get your hands on it, #14 was definitely worth the money, but hopefully this helps some of you who still have access to this particular shade! And if I'm really lucky, Giorgio Armani will repromote it someday. The quality of the Eyes to Kill Intense line is phenomenal, and c'mon, twenty-four hour wear? That is bananas!.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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