Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Red Hot Copper Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Red Hot Copper Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) will launch nine limited edition shades on December 26th (in-stores), and they include: Cyber (metallic silver with silver pearl), Fusion Gold (light pinky beige with gold pearl), Gold Carbon (metallic taupe), Palladium (metallic ash), Red Hot Copper (warm copper), Rusty (dirty peach gold), Venetian Tarnish (golden tarnished bronze), Vintage Coin (metallic olive green), and Virgin Silver (white with silver pearl).  This post features the first five (we split posts primarily to manage the image load, so instead of almost 50 photos being downloaded at one time, we have only 25 ).

  • Cyber is a dark silver-shimmered gray. This one felt like it had larger sparkle particles, so it may be prone to fall out. MAC Silver Sleet is similar but a little darker–however, it has a much more of a metallic finish, whereas Cyber has more of a frosted one. MAC Tundra is a little lighter.
  • Fusion Gold is a peachy rose with good color payoff. This is one of the more versatile shades–I liked it best as a highlighter. MAC Nubile is pinker. Chanel Emerveille is very similar.
  • Gold Carbon is a really deep, dark intense neutral-cool brown with hints of gray and copper. It reminded me a lot of NARS Ponderosa. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is a bit purpler. MAC Legendary Black isn’t as dark but still similar.
  • Palladium is a dirty gold-silver; kind of pewter-like. It’s a little more silvered than Giorgio Armani #19. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is a touch darker. I think MAC Cash Flow is a bit darker.
  • Red Hot Copper is a reddened copper with a metallic sheen. It’s a bit redder compared to theBalm Racy Kacy. It’s very similar to MAC Coppering.
These five had good color payoff overall, which is where this particular product excels in, but these shades definitely have good pigmentation and can be sheered out and blended if desired.  The wear, of course, did not pan out for me despite trying several different methods, and as I have drier lids, I caution those with oilier lids on these.  As with a lot of cream products, wear can vary from person to person, but generally, the oilier your skin type is, the less likely a cream product is to wear well (as oil breaks down makeup).  The finishes on these is not nearly as metallic as you might expect from a product named “Metal-x” but some are better than others.

For the full review, please see this post.

The Glossover

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MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

C-
If you're really into editorial looks and you don't mind extra effort, you might still enjoy snagging one of these. The only characteristic they really nail is pigmentation--the majority of shades are really well-pigmented and buildable--but it's just not a very functional product.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) may sound new to some, but it originally debuted way back in 2007 (see my original “review” here–and I called that a review? For shame!) and were repromoted in 2008 as “Brushed Metal-x.” I kind of think the shades from the first launch were more fun–I still have Plum Electric (vibrant grape purple), though I don’t think I used it but a couple of times, because it looks nearly new. Cyber, Fusion Gold, and Virgin Silver have been relaunched as part of this year’s offerings.

In two separate posts, I will go through the individual shades regarding their pros/cons, possible dupes, and so forth, but I did as much testing as I could in time that I’ve had these, which is about 24 hours by the time this post is published. Lucky for me, because these crease nearly instantaneously, it was easy to test multiple shades.

Worn alone, none of the shades I tested (two are photographed below–Palladium and Venetian Tarnish–but I also tested Fusion Gold, Rusty, and Vintage Coin) could make it from application to camera (and I hurried!) without some creasing, and then, after fifteen minutes or so, significant creasing. Worn over an eyeshadow base (I used MAC Paint Pots and NARS Smudgeproof), it didn’t seem to make much of a difference–still creased within minutes and worsened by fifteen.

I did, however, have luck when I wore a single shade layered over an eyeshadow base with several powder eyeshadows on top. I used all MAC products, for the sake of giving MAC the best chance it could, and for me, everything managed to wear well enough for five hours. There was some fading of the colors overall, but I didn’t experience creasing up until that point. By eight, though, it had faded a bit more and had some noticeable creasing. However, a word of caution, I have drier lids, and I really packed on the powder products.

I also tested the wear on both cheeks and lips. They had a funny taste, so I don’t think I’d wear them again as a lip product, and they are very drying. They’re like a matte frost finish–the drying, clingy feel of a matte coupled with a really high frost finish. On the lips, I tried Red Hot Copper, which only lasted for an hour (no eating/drinking) before fading unevenly.  It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t wear well.

On cheeks, I used Rusty to highlight and Red Hot Copper to add color. Because of the higher frost content, it does emphasize pores somewhat, and depending on the temperature of your workspace, these may be difficult to apply evenly. I found fingers to be the best applicator with these in general, because the cream surface is very hard and almost powdery–it balls up and takes the warmth from your fingertip to be able to work it out into a smooth, even finish. The wear was so-so; it was noticeably faded and, unfortunately, patchy, after three hours of wear without a setting powder and five hours of wear with a setting powder. Of all the ways I tried it, I liked it best on the cheeks, just because I didn’t have to worry about creasing.  It wears similarly on the brow bone and decolletage.

This is really not a consumer-friendly formula; it will take some effort, work, practice, and the right skin type to get these to work well. In 2007, maybe it was acceptable, maybe other brands hadn’t created technology to yield this kind of finish and color payoff, but in 2011, I don’t think it is. If you have drier lids or tend not to have problems with your cream products creasing on you, these may work out for you. If you have oilier lids, I really do recommend–if these are just tempting you beyond belief–to try one and see how it works for you or else buy from a store with a good return policy. These weren’t well-received in 2007, so I’m kind of baffled as to why MAC would bring thes back without some reformulation. Sure, they bring back a product that seemed to receive mostly negative reviews, but last year’s Mega Metals (just as metallic as these) were a complete homerun and those remain a one-time wonder.

At $20 a pop, if the only way I can use it is as an eyeshadow base, it’s not the most useful product in my stash. When you use a translucent powder on top, while you retain some of the original shade, you do mute it a bit and definitely tone down the frosted/metallic finish, so it seems to defeat the purpose of these–which is that really high-shine, metallic-like finish (though some of these read frosty, less metallic).  I could see picking up one or two for editorial work, though I think MAC’s Metal Pigments have a much better metallic finish and work better, plus some of their pigments that have more of a frosted/metallic shine.  Like Big Bounce, I don’t know why these are marketed towards consumers, because realistically, I’m not sure how one would wear it except if you 1) wanted your eye makeup to crease or 2) you were only going somewhere for an hour or so.

We’ve seen MAC put out metallic fluidlines and paint pots, which work fantastically alone or as an eyeshadow base. I’d much rather put my money towards products with similar textures, finishes, and even shades, that perform better like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows, Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, Bare Escentuals Stay-There Eyeshadow, or L’Oreal’s Infallible Eyeshadows (which finally hit the states!)–the latter two don’t wear as well as the first two, but they’ll manage to six hours to eight hours or so without an eyeshadow base.  Even Estee Lauder’s new eyeshadows have a really cool, metallic-like finish, but they’re powder (and I suspect we’ll see something similar by MAC in the next six months).

So while MAC doesn’t tout these as long-wearing, they still fall short of just wearing.  I thought long and hard about that one, but if it takes both an eyeshadow base, plus packing of powder eyeshadows on top, to make it more than fifteen minutes–we’re just not functioning.  I’d let it slide if it just didn’t wear to six or eight hours, because long-wear tends to be more like eight to twelve hours, but I can’t even achieve eight with all the bells and whistles without both fading and creasing on the eyes; fading and patchiness on the cheeks (after four hours) and lips (after an hour).  A C- feels generous to me, personally, but that is how the numbers worked out–I’m sure you can sense my disappointment and frustration on this product.  Did we really need two collections of crease city products this year?

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

C-
If you're really into editorial looks and you don't mind extra effort, you might still enjoy snagging one of these. The only characteristic they really nail is pigmentation--the majority of shades are really well-pigmented and buildable--but it's just not a very functional product.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Cyber Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Cyber Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Photos & Swatches

Review coming soon, please hold all questions until then! :) I spent all of yesterday and last night photographing, swatching, and testing, but I wasn’t able to get everything done before it was bedtime (midnight!). So for now, please take a gander at these eyeshadows but know two things 1) these have not been reformulated, so they have the same formula as the ones released in 2007 had; 2) they are NOT long-wearing and MAC doesn’t give any guidance on wear (read between the lines: it will crease).

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow
Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a deep, dark purple-burgundy with a soft, frosted finish and tiny flecks of ruby red shimmer. It is darker than MAC Deceit. The base of Deep Garnet is similar to MAC Shadowy Lady.  I think the intensity and depth of this particular shade is what really makes it sing.

The texture is divine; silky smooth, finely-milled, and so soft it almost feels like a cream. With a fabulous texture comes intense color payoff. It wears well without any concerns over an eyeshadow primer/base, but these are touted as being long-wearing with good adhesion on their own, which is where I’ve encountered a couple of issues. With Deep Garnet, it wore for eight hours without creasing, but there was slight fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Luster Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A
The eyeshadow is richly pigmented with a decadent texture that's soft, smooth, and easy to blend. As long as you wear an eyeshadow primer, you won't have any problems with this shade.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Holiday 2011: #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette ($59.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a new and limited edition holiday compact that includes a “beige pearl, metallic gold, [and] light green pearl.” You can use this on the face or on the eyes–it’s more like a highlighter for the face, and then the eyeshadows can be used to create a soft look.

The compact first includes a small portion of a pale, muted beige with gold shimmer. It has a soft, smooth texture and applies with good color payoff. It’s a little less peach compared to Urban Decay Booty Call. MAC Baby It’s Cold is similar, perhaps a touch lighter. Shades like Urban Decay Skimp, MAC Butternutty, and Bare Escentuals Serendipitous are a few more that look similar.

In the middle, which is the largest section, is a warm, yellow gold with a frosted finish. The color payoff is a bit sheer, but the texture is fairly soft. There is a lot of similarity in this hue to shades like theBalm Snobby, Chanel Blazing Gold, Urban Decay Eldorado, and Urban Decay Blunt.

The bottom shade, also a small portion (same size as the top shade), is a muted, almost antique-like, gold with a more metallic finish. Like the middle shade, this is a little on the sheer side but still feels smooth and soft. Tarina Tarantino Dreamy has a hue that’s a bit lighter. I think MAC Retrospeck comes rather close, perhaps a little darker.

Applied as a highlighter, it results in a muted champagne-gold shimmer-sheen. It’s more gold than not, but it’s not yellow or orange–it has more of a hint of antique gold without being too dark. It works as a highlighter, but it did emphasize my skin’s texture just slightly. The wear was good, though, with the highlighter mostly intact after eight hours.  I swirled over the entire compact, but you could swirl more towards the upper or lower half to get a lighter or darker golden shade–the middle color will dominate, just because of how large its surface is. Whether you look at it as a highlighter or eyeshadow palette, it comes with a good amount of product.

The Glossover

palette

Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I like it but don't love it; of all the holiday highlighters we've seen, this one isn't the best on the market, so if that's your aim, you might consider this season's other releases. I think it performs better as a highlighter than as a set of eyeshadows, just because the underlying sheerness gives it more of a faded look when applied. If you have really fair skin, it might work, but light-medium and deeper may find this doesn't show up as well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, December 16th, 2011

Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow
Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow

Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow

Lancome Fashion Forward Color Design Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.042 oz.) is described as a “warm minted green” with a metallic finish. It looks absolutely NOTHING! like the swatch/photo of it on Lancome’s website, which makes it look more like a vibrant neon lime green. Instead, what we have is a pastel mint green with a subtle iridescent sheen. The color payoff is decent but could use a little more oomph or better binders so it would apply more opaquely. I know shades like this have to exist, but I couldn’t find anything in the Swatch Gallery; MAC Aqua was the closest, but it’s darker and more aqua, less green. It might be a little lighter than something like MAC Aquavert (which is a few years old now). Sugarpill Lumi has more of a teal iridescence.

It has a smooth texture, even though the color payoff could use a boost, so it applies well. Because it’s a little sheer and very iridescent, it could also be used as a layering shade–I bet it would be gorgeous layered over a black. Lancome’s eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing (without a base), and while I don’t quite achieve all-day wear, I get around eight hours with subtle creasing, but I don’t have any creasing issues if I use a base underneath.

The Glossover

P
product

Fashion Forward

B-
It has a smooth texture, even though the color payoff could use a boost, so it applies well. Because it's a little sheer and very iridescent, it could also be used as a layering shade--I bet it would be gorgeous layered over a black.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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