Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Sahara Dust (light neutral beige), Cactus Thorn (mid-tone brown bronze), Desert (shimmering warm taupe), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Sand Storm (soft sheer warm caramel).

Sahara Dust is a pale beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a satin finish, officially. The color payoff is decent, and it works well as a highlighter on the brow bone or inner tear duct. Illamasqua Slink is similar, slightly frostier. MAC Brule is more matte. Giorgio Armani Madreperla has a frostier finish. MAC Baby, It’s Cold is a smidgen yellower. MAC Vanilla is a touch lighter.

Cactus Thorn is a softened bronze-shimmered medium-dark brown. It has a frost finish. The pigmentation is good, though the texture was a bit dry. Dior Golden Savannaha is darker, browner. Giorgio Armani #26 is more shimmery. Urban Decay Chase is warmer and more metallic. theBalm Schitzo is very similar, but more pigmented and slightly more golden-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is richer.

Desert is a gray-tinged brown with a hint of plum. It has a satin finish. It has decent color payoff but had a dry, stiffer texture. Bobbi Brown Slate is softer, more matte. MAC Aurora is lighter, more frosted. Dolce &G abbana Jewels is grayer. Inglot #360 is similar but matte.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. I feel like every time I swatch Carbon, it gets worse. And I’m not swatching the same one! This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt! Because I happened to also have a really rich black that I was swatching (completely unplanned!) that was insanely pigmented, I took a comparison photo, just so you can see why Carbon is such a disappointment.

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Sand Storm is a warm, orange-tan with a soft, barely dewy finish (it read mostly matte when it dried down and set). There’s a yellowy-orange undertone that comes through. MAC Lush-Light is darker, browner. MAC Refined Golden is browner. MAC Tan Tint is a smidgen darker. It can be used sheerly with ease, and it can be built up a bit, though I’m not sure it will show up well on darker complexions–it just barely shows on mine (I’m about NC30 at the moment). It may add warmth without adding noticeable color. Yesterday, when I was testing the wear, my cheeks were slightly dry, and this wasn’t forgiving, unfortunately. I was hoping that the creamy consistency would help and was happy that I was testing a cream blush instead of a powder one, LOL! After six hours, it had separated and faded noticeably.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

It’s a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole.  The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with.  Sand Storm didn’t have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially.  These eyeshadows were less stellar without a primer–they were less blendable and faded after six hours. Over a primer, I saw some minor fading of Desert and Carbon.  

It’s hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal. I keep hoping for a stellar launch from MAC, but they aren’t making it easy at all.

I’ll have my review for the Jungle Camouflage palette up soon, but as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more shimmery, while Jungle Camouflage is more matte.

The Glossover

palette

Desert Camouflage

B-
It's a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole. The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with. Sand Storm didn't have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially. It's hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, August 27th, 2012

Illamasqua Complement Eyeshadow Palette
Illamasqua Complement Eyeshadow Palette

These Shades Definitely Complement Each Other

Illamasqua Complement Eyeshadow Palette ($42.50 for -0.20 oz.) contains four shades: Slink (soft champagne shimmer), Focus (cool brown metallic), Forgiveness (rich chocolate plum), and Queen of the Night (blackened plum).

Slink is a pale champagne beige with a frosted finish. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. It’s not an uncommon shade, though, so you may find you have several similar shades in your stash. Just a few shades to consider: Tarina Tarantino Elektron, MAC Call Me Bubbles, Giorgio Armani Madreperla, Urban Decay Booty Call, MAC Baby It’s Cold, MAC Dazzlelight, and many more.

Focus is a medium-dark brown with a gray-ish tinge and a soft, metallic finish. This is a Liquid Metal, so it’s like a cream eyeshadow in feel. When I used it alone, it was prone to creasing after a few hours. When I used it underneath other eyeshadows in the palette, it didn’t crease. Bare Escentuals Most Requested has more plum in it. Tom Ford Platinum has less red-orange tones. Urban Decay YDK is more golden. Urban Decay Wreckage is grayer.

Forgiveness is a soft plum with red undertones and a matte finish. This shade had decent pigmentation but was a little sheer and powdery. Lancome Color du Jour is a bit darker and has gold sparkle. Make Up For Ever #131 is darker and more intense. NARS Grand Palais is browner, less plum.

Queen of the Night is a dark, smoky purple with a blackened brown base and very fine shimmer (that doesn’t really translate). The texture was very, very dry and somewhat powdery, while the color payoff was good. Queen of the Night Pure Pigment is much better than the eyeshadow iteration. Bare Escentuals Romp is lighter. Urban Decay Rockstar is purpler. MAC Hypnotizing is lighter. NARS Lhasa is lighter and grayer. Bobbi Brown Black Violet is somewhat similar when sheered out.

All four shades work really well together, and it’s a very smoky, purple-themed look.  The quality, overall, is just okay.  The dryness and powderiness of Forgiveness and Queen of the Night were disappointing, especially because those are the two more interesting shades in the palette.  I really had to pack on Queen of the Night to get decent intensity, and it was prone to disappearing when you went to blend the color.  I noticed that after eight hours, Queen of the Night looked rather faded when applied over Focus.  I didn’t see creasing, but there was some fading.  However, I also layered Slink over Focus, and I didn’t see any fading there.

The Glossover

palette

Complement

C+
The quality, overall, is just okay. The dryness and powderiness of Forgiveness and Queen of the Night were disappointing, especially because those are the two more interesting shades in the palette. I really had to pack on Queen of the Night to get decent intensity, and it was prone to disappearing when you went to blend the color.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Chanel Riviere Illusion d'Ombre Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow
Chanel Riviere Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow

Chanel Riviere Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a pale shimmering green with subtle golden shimmer. A warmer, seafoam green, if you will. I couldn’t think of any shades that really were that similar. Urban Decay Money is darker, bluer. MAC Fresh & Mint is cooler-toned, almost bluish. Dior Garden Pastels was darker, more intense.

This formula is supposed to be shimmering and long-wearing with a soft, cushion-y gel texture. It can be worn as an eyeshadow or as an eyeliner.  Riviere is sheer to semi-opaque–I wasn’t able to build-up the color enough so that it was fully opaque.  Every shade I’ve come across within this range, except for Fantasme, has been opaque.  I also had some trouble getting an even layer of color, as this had a tendency to bunch up on itself, which would make it look uneven on the lid.  Whether or not a color is sheer or opaque, you still want an even layer of color.  The texture is soft, bouncy–definitely that “cushion-y” texture coming into play.  I was worried about the wear, given the problematic application, but it looked exactly as it did when initially applied ten hours later.

P.S. — This was originally a Nordstrom exclusive (that’s where I bought mine), but it has since been removed from Nordstrom–luckily, Chanel released it as an online exclusive to their own website as well, which is where you can purchase it at present.

The Glossover

LE
product

Riviere

A-
The wear continues to be impressive--not a crease, not even fading--but this particular color is a little fussy. If you only want to wear it as a sheer layer, then it'd be something worth considering. If you wanted to have a bit more color, I'd consider another shade.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo

Can’t Say I Fancy This Whim

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Performance Art (platinum silver) and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum).  The last of the four new and limited edition eyeshadow duos in MAC’s fall collection Styleseeker, it leaves me less inspired. I think the duos are cute, and they could be easy ways to combine colors for quick looks, but there always seem to be one shade that doesn’t perform that well. The duo price point is too steep to permit one shade to be a disappointment!

Performance Art is a mauve-tinged silver with a hint of gold and silver shimmer. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It didn’t seem too sheer initially, but it definitely is–I had to go back and pack it on three times to get it to show up on me. There was also some fall out during and post-application, even though the sparkle didn’t seem to be too large. For a veluxe pearl, it’s not as smooth as I’d expect, and the color didn’t bind together as well. It’s like a lighter, less pigmented version of Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo. MAC Heirloom is similar but has a stronger sheen. Cle de Peau #207 is similar but has more sparkle. Giorgio Armani #8 is more metallic.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened plum with brown-burgundy undertones. It has a matte finish. The texture is dry, a little stiff. I thought it would be easier to use on the lid, but I found it was harder to work with (both in depositing color and blending it out) than Indie Spirit (which swatched even more poorly!). This shade is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Rockstar has a similar base color/tone but it is much more purple and has shimmer. MAC Indian Ink has less red tones, more purple ones.

Performance Art has this oddly sheer, fall out-prone texture that makes it harder to work with, while Shadowy Lady didn’t want to blend out as evenly or as easily as other MAC matte eyeshadows. I don’t remember Shadowy Lady being hard to work with (I remember it not always swatching well), but in this duo, it wasn’t great.  None of the duos were out of this world–I think you’re better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own.  For something similar, though not exact, I’d suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

The Glossover

palette

Whims & Fancies

B-
None of the duos were out of this world--I think you're better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own. For something similar, though not exact, I'd suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo
MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo

Continuing on the Hunt for Fall Eyeshadows

MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Star Myth (bronzed violet) and Raving Mad (bronzed red).  Very fall-like with these two shades; reminded me of leaves as they change colors.

Star Myth is a coppery brozne with a high frost finish. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The color payoff was good, but it was not perfectly smooth–there was a very minor level of grit from the amount of sparkle in the shade. I did not see fall out from this post-application, though. MAC Brash is more copper. NARS California is slightly darker. MAC Mythology is browner. Urban Decay Chopper has less red/orange tones.

Raving Mad is a burnt but muted red with a little hint of orange. It has a subtle sheen in its finish, though it is listed as a frost. The color payoff is so-so; it’s definitely not as pigmented as it looks in the pan, and you have to build it up to get a decent level of color, which I suspect is because the texture is a little stiff/dry. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a new Realm has less orange in it. Milani Primary Runway Eyes is similar when used dry. MAC Spicy Smoke is more shimmery but close in color. Milani I Heart You has a more metallic finish but is similar in color.

The wear of both of these shades was nice; a full eight hours without primer and no signs of creasing or fading.  I didn’t experience fall out with Star Myth, which was a potential worry. Raving Mad requires more patting of color to retain some of the color you see in the pan, but it is workable. On the whole, while neither shade is a slam dunk, they both are easier to work with than the one less-stellar shade in the previous duos I’ve posted about today.

The Glossover

palette

MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
On the whole, while neither shade is a slam dunk, they both are easier to work with than the one less-stellar shade in the previous duos I've posted about today. I'd recommend Amber Lights or Antiqued paired with Cranberry for something similar but better in quality.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo

March on Past This One

MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Chessa (mid-tone golden orange) and Indie Spirit (chestnut brown).  This is a new, but limited edition (aren’t they always?) duo from the latest Styleseeker collection.

Chessa is a bright pop of tangerine-orange with golden orange sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture was soft, so it applied smoothly and evenly, while the color payoff was good. OCC Mimosa is very similar. Dior Aurora has a shade that’s more golden. Maybelline Fierce & Tangy is a smidgen lighter and has less shimmer.

Indie Spirit is a medium brown with red-orange undertones and a matte finish. This was fussy–it did not want to yield good color payoff, because it was really dry and stiff. When I applied it to the lid, it was easier to use and with enough product, I was able to get it to show up. It blended out better than I anticipated, given the stiffer texture. MAC Soft Brown is darker, less orange. MAC One to Watch is a smidgen less red-toned and shimmery. MAC Tete-a-Tint is very similar in color–slightly less red-toned.

Indie Spirit is such a let-down in texture and color payoff.  It’s a little better during application than when just swatched, but it really takes some effort to get it to show up properly.  I had to go back three times in order to get decent color; my best advice is to work in small areas at a time, because it doesn’t deposit and then blend out.  Chessa is very pretty and would work well for both summer and fall.  It also would pair well with reds, berries, and burgundies.  When I tested these shades, both lasted for eight hours without creasing, and I only had some minor fading with Indie Spirit that was just barely noticeable.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Indie Spirit is such a let-down in texture and color payoff.  It's a little better during application than when just swatched, but it really takes some effort to get it to show up properly. It was the downfall of this duo!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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