Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Dior Swimming Pool Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Swimming Pool Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Swimming Pool Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Swimming Pool Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.24 oz.) is one of two limited edition summer eyeshadow palettes from the brand, and while Aurora soared, Swimming Pool sinks (couldn’t resist!).

The upper left shade is an iridescent pink-peach with sheer color. It had a powdery texture, though it wasn’t as bad as other shades in the palette. Tarina Tarantino DIamond Dusk is similar but has no peach. Bobbi Brown Black Ruby ends up looking similar because it’s also very sheer. Make Up For Ever #940 is very similar but has a much stronger duochrome.

The upper right shade is a pale silver with sheer color payoff and a powdery finish. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a similar silver but has a more frosted finish. Guerlain Les Aquas is similar but has a more metallic finish.

The center shade is a light-medium sky blue with a mostly matte finish. It is very powdery, and it’s one of the most pigmented out of the five–but it’s still on the sheer side and impossible to build up on the lid. I wore this in the crease, and I kept going back (four times!) to get mediocre color payoff. The powdery texture makes this extremely easy to blend into oblivion–it just disappears as soon as you attempt to soften the edge. Buxom Husky is a smidgen lighter. NYX Cool Blue is darker. MAC Styledriven is very similar but has a frosted finish. Inglot #367 is lighter.

The lower left shade is a seafoam green to the eye, but when applied, it’s a sheer iridescent aqua that seems to bunch up on itself and disappear in sections. It doesn’t like to blend, and it doesn’t apply evenly. Giorgio Armani Airy Jade was the most similar, though it’s more metallic. Cle de Peau #112 doesn’t have the same finish. Lancome Fashion Forward is greener.

The lower right shade is a pale, frosted beige–the high metallic finish makes it appear almost white, though. This was the other more pigmented shade in the palette, though it’s still on the sheerer side. The texture was also the least powdery. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels seemed the closest.

This palette is characterized by two things: sheer and chalky. Let’s throw in powdery, too, because nearly every shade kicks up a ton of excess powder even when you barely touch your brush to the pan. When I applied these eyeshadows to the lid over a primer and over bare lids, I still couldn’t get much color payoff, and they didn’t want to blend. The aqua shade disappeared and looked so uneven. The blue shade insisted on looking like a pale, pasty blue. I’m about medium in color, but it’s horrific on me–the chalkiness is just emphasized and exacerbated with the genuine chalky base of the shades. I think the only people who could possibly wear this would be really pale skin tones.  What little manages to apply to the lid wears so-so; it seems a little faded after six hours or so both with and without a primer.

Swimming Pool may be one of the worst palettes I’ve come across from Dior. I can’t get over how powdery the finishes are, how sheer the colors were, and how they didn’t want to stick to the eye at all. I can only think of one compliment: it was a nice combination of colors in theory, but the execution was awful. I typically don’t return products I buy for review, since I get my “use” out of them, but this makes me want to reconsider that policy and get my $60 back.  I’ll have to settle for letting all of you know to check this out in person first!

The Glossover

palette

Swimming Pool

F
Chalky, powdery textures abound in this palette--accompanied by pitiful pigmentation! The eyeshadows are soft, but they are difficult to blend together, partially because they tend to disappear and blend to nothingness with little effort. I think the only hope this palette has is on really pale complexions and for someone who wants only sheer washes of color.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Monday, April 30th, 2012

Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette
Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00 for 0.54 oz.) consists of six full-sized eyeshadows inspired by The Emerald City. They include: Glinda’s Kiss (iridescent white), Silver Shoes (pearlized silver), Dandy Lion (pearlized olive green), Saw Dust Heart (matte deep brown), Ozma (pearlized aqua blue), and Very Wicked (pearlized emerald green).

Glinda’s Kiss is a pale white with a white gold sheen. It has great color payoff, but it is a shade that is dupeable–and Tarina Tarantino has already put similar shades in a few of her palettes. Bare Escentuals One Hit Wonder is creamier, less frosted, slightly yellower. Tarina Tarantino Delightful and Tarina Tarantino Dreamy are more frosted, less metallic, subtler yellowness. MAC Manila Paper much yellower. MAC Nylon is yellower. Bare Escentuals Breathtaking is very similar, slightly less white. Urban Decay Zephyr is less yellow-toned.

Silver Shoes is a dark charcoal gray with a frosted shimmer-sheen. It has excellent pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. Maybelline Audacious Asphalt is very similar though in a cream form. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a pretty similar gray shade. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is slightly darker and bluer-toned. Urban Decay Gunmetal is bluer-toned. theBalm Inspirational is also similar but bluer-toned.

Dandy Lion is a deep olive green with a dirty gold shimmer-sheen. It has intense color payoff and a really soft, smooth texture. Dior Garden Pastels has a lighter, more green shade. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful has a much darker, more cool-toned green. Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here has a browner, less green-toned version. MAC Sumptuous Olive is browner, less green. Inglot #433 is more golden, less green.

Saw Dust Heart is a dark burgundy chocolate brown with a matte finish. It has rich pigmentation (it applies even better on the lid). It has a similar color to NARS Ponderosa, without the shimmer. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is less brown. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is a little lighter and has shimmer. MAC Smut is a little darker and has shimmer.

Ozma is a blue-teal with a metallic shimmer-sheen. The color payoff is rich and intense, and the texture feels like butter. MAC Rain Drop is darker. Milani Primary Runway Eyes has a shade that’s a bit bluer. Milani Teal the Truth is more teal. theBalm Open to Offers Olwen is more frosted, less metallic, but the colors are very similar. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter.

Very Wicked is a dark brownish-green–it has this murky olive brown base with dusted forest green sheen. The pigmentation was spot on. OCC Poison is the closest dupe, though it has a much darker, blacker base color. Make Up For Ever #84 is greener.

Tarina Tarantino’s eyeshadow formula is AMAZING! — seriously one of my absolute favorites on the market and one of the more affordable formulas, too. The color payoff is excellent across the board, and the texture is buttery, dense, soft, and silky smooth. These apply as beautifully as they swatch, too. I wore Glinda’s Kiss, Dandy Lion, Ozma, and Very Wicked together to test out the wear–both with and without a primer–and after twelve hours, I didn’t have any creasing or fading either way. I applied them all dry, though her eyeshadows can be used both wet and dry.

Now, there is one glaring downside to this product, and it bothered me from the moment I opened up the palette: the size is unnecessarily large. There is a lot of wasted space in this palette, and while it’s slim, it’s still obnoxiously large. I was bummed about the packaging, because if it had been tighter and more like her other palettes (or just smaller), this would have been an A+ product all day long. Know that the contents are A++++ and its the size of the palette that holds it back.

It’s made out of heavy-duty cardboard, so it’s not the same plastic compacts that her other eyeshadow palettes and duos have been packaged in. Cardboard has its advantages and disadvantages–it’s much, much better if you’re prone to dropping products, because the cardboard will absorb more of the impact compared to plastic. Cardboard can be tossed around more easily without causing breakage of the eyeshadows, but it will show scuffs, dents, scratches, and wear and tear around the edges while plastic compacts won’t.

P.S. — Both Sephora and the back of the palette itself list the product weight as 6 x 0.9 oz. but also as 2.5g–2.5g is actually 0.09 oz. Based on the size of the eyeshadows compared to her other palettes and the various eyeshadows on the market, 0.09 oz. makes sense. Most eyeshadows are around 0.05 oz. (like MAC and Urban Decay), so six shades at nearly double that size for $36 is a great deal.

The Glossover

palette

Emerald Pretty

A+

Tarina Tarantino's eyeshadow formula is AMAZING! -- seriously one of my absolute favorites on the market and one of the more affordable formulas, too. The color payoff is excellent across the board, and the texture is buttery, dense, soft, and silky smooth. These apply as beautifully as they swatch, too. You may or may not have similar shades, though, as more than a few shades are dupeable.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, April 30th, 2012

Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #20 Obsidian Black Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) has just launched four new and limited edition shades for summer.  I bought these shortly after they became available, and I’ve been testing them out over the past week.  I’m a big fan of this formula, so I’m always eager to see how new shades perform and compare to existing shades.  I will admit that I haven’t been overly wowed by some of the newer shades, though they’re not by any means awful! Just… less impressive, but on the whole, still good.

#20 Obsidian Black is a blackened navy blue with teal-green and navy blue shimmer. It’s not nearly as black or as intense as Giorgio Armani #13. Giorgio Armani #1 is also lighter, grayer, and generally doesn’t look much like this. I do think you could mix the two and come fairly close, though. #20 works best wet; when it’s used dry, the color payoff wasn’t there (and it usually is with this formula). More of the shimmer comes through, as the base color looks mostly like a faded black, when it is applied dry–and it does apply with a little more oomph to the lid with a brush. Some of the complexity gets lost when it’s applied to the lid–it’s very subtle and more noticeable in-person than it is in a still photo (which isn’t completely unexpected given the nature of shimmer and how it plays with the light). Oddly enough, it actually reminded me of Revlon Neptune Star in color and shimmer. It also reminded me of Urban Decay Loaded, which is a little bluer. (9, 8.5, 9.5, 10, 4.5, 4; A-)

#21 Obsidian Grey is a medium-dark gray with a silver shimmer and sheen. It has decent color payoff dry but still works best applied damp.  This shade read more dupeable to me; it doesn’t have as much dimension to it compared to some of the other shades in the range.  That’s not something that affects the overall rating, but it’s a point worth considering if you can’t (or don’t want to) grab all four.  MAC Warm Thunder is similar, perhaps a little less gray. Tarina Tarantino Lovely is slightly darker. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk has a purple tint to it.  This shade applied the smoothest out of the four on the lid. (9.5, 9.5, 10, 10, 5, 4; A)

#22 Ecailles is a pale bluish silver with a metallic finish. It applied about the same both dry and wet, which is decent but not great. I did find it applied better to the lid when I used a brush to do so–more like good pigmentation there. Bare Escentuals Mingle is bluer and a bit darker. MAC Water & Ice is cooler-toned. Lancome Style Section is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm is a bit darker. It is a bit similar to Giorgio Armani #12, which is brighter, lighter. (9, 8, 9, 10, 4.5, 4; B+)

#23 Madre Perla is a pale, iridescent warm white with a frosted metallic finish. It has flashes of blue, green, pink, and purple. It applies better wet than dry with more color payoff and a smoother texture. This one was a little chunky in texture; it wasn’t as smooth as the other shades. It felt like this was more designed to layer over other shades. Illamasqua Beguile is very similar. MAC If It Sparkles… is almost the same as well.  This is the most wearable shade on its own (Ecailles would the the runner-up).  (9, 9, 9, 10, 4.5, 4; A-)

I’ve only tested one shade within the range for a full twenty-four hours, but I have tested several others for twelve to sixteen hours. I did a look using all four of the limited edition shades and wore it for sixteen hours. These wear and wear and wear. No creasing, fading, or fallout during wear, not even after sixteen hours. Because these have an interesting texture and consistency–they are much like a loose powder product that has been compacted by the accompanying plastic insert–it can be easy to use more than you really need and end up with some minor fall out.  The fall out I’m concerned and dock points for is major fall out or fall out that occurs while you wear it (aka during the day); and there isn’t any of that with these.

I think Eyes to Kill Intense is an excellent formula, but it’s not necessary to own every single one of them either. There are some unique and transformative shades, but there are a few that are more basic or end up looking similar to another shade.  These four create a beautiful gradient effect when used together, though Madre Perla is the most versatile of the bunch.  I think it can work as a wash, inner corner highlighter, or as a layering shade that will change-up whatever is underneath it.  The one that is most visually stunning at first is Obsidian Black, but like a lot of ultra dark shades, some of that loveliness gets swallowed up once applied.

The Glossover

product

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow in #20, 21, 22, 23 Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I think Eyes to Kill Intense is an excellent formula, but it's not necessary to own every single one of them either. There are some unique and transformative shades, but there are a few that are more basic or end up looking similar to another shade. These four create a beautiful gradient effect when used together, though Madre Perla is the most versatile of the bunch.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows: #22E, 24E, 26E, 28E, 30E, 32E

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #22E, 24E, 26E, 28E, 30E, 32E

Please see my first post on the Aqua Shadows for a detailed review, along with photos, of texture, consistency, wear, and so forth. This post is specifically looking at the seven shimmer finish Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.).  Because of the shimmery finish, these are just slightly drier, but as a result, they also wear really well alone over bare lids, over primer, and as a base with powder eyeshadows on top.

The only shade I had real trouble with was #32E, which has the driest consistency of the seven shades, and this translated to uneven color during application, so it didn’t work well as an eyeshadow base and looked like my lids were flaking when used alone.  If they had a smidgen more creaminess to the texture or if #32E was more like the rest, these would have been an A- product, but they’re a really high B+ (89%).

  • #20E is a soft bronzy taupe–it’s just slightly taupe. The color payoff is good in a single pass. It’s much lighter compared to Urban Decay’s Rehab and Urban Decay Underground.
  • #22E is a warm coppery brown with a subtly metallic finish. It is the least shimmery of the seven shimmery shades. The color payoff is really good, too. Urban Decay Lucky is a bit darker.
  • #24E is a warm, yellow-toned light-medium pink with a shimmery finish. The color payoff is just so-so, but it is a bit buildable. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade.
  • #26E is a warm tangerine orange with a shimmery finish. It has good color payoff in a single stroke.
  • #28E is a warm medium brown with a subtle champagne sheen. The pigmentation is good overall. It’s lighter than Urban Decay Sin and more copper-based.
  • #30E is a soft champagne beige with a shimmered finish. The pigmentation is good, but it is a little drier texture compared to the other shades in this post. Urban Decay Sin is very similar to this.
  • #32E is a pale white gold with a near metallic finish. This had so-so color payoff, but I found it really uneven during application and rather dry. It’s not quite as yellow as MAC Gilded White. It’s lighter than Benefit Tattle Tale.

The Glossover

product

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #22E, 24E, 26E, 28E, 30E, 32E Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear. I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows: #0E, 2E, 4E, 6E, 8E, 20E

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #0E, 2E, 4E, 6E, and 8E

Please see my first post on the Aqua Shadows for a detailed review, along with photos, of texture, consistency, wear, and so forth. This post is specifically looking at the five matte finish Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.).

  • #0E is a rich black with a matte finish. It has good color payoff in a single pass, and it has a very subtle brown undertone. You’ll find it’s comparable to numerous black eyeliners so long as they’re deeper, richer blacks (instead of a soft black).
  • #2E is a dark red-toned brown with a matte finish. It has good color payoff in a single go, and it builds well. This shade had a creamier consistency compared to some of the other shades. Milani Brown is slighty lighter. Chanel Brun-Teak has similar red tones but is lighter. Urban Decay Demolition is a bit darker, less warm.
  • #4E is a medium-dark gray with a hint of brown and a matte finish. The pigmentation is only so-so in a single go–it’s a bit drier so it doesn’t fill in every space with really rich, even pigment. CoverGirl Silver Spark is a bit like this, but the finishes are very different, and it is also much lighter.
  • #6E is an intense navy blue with a matte finish. It’s very bold, and it has good color payoff, though it’s not as buildable as the other shades. MAC Marine Ultra is similar in finish but lighter. Urban Decay Binge is not quite as dark and has shimmer.
  • #8E is a darkened green-teal with a matte finish. This shade had the best color payoff in a single stroke, and it was a bit creamier than shades like #4E. This shade compares well to Prescriptives Blue Grotto. It’s a bit darker and greener compared to NARS Kaliste.  Urban Decay Clinic is lighter and shimmery.

To summarize my earlier review:  the matte shades are a bit creamier, and as a consequence, they do not hold up as well as the shimmery shades.  I do get significant and noticeable creasing, and it looks pitiful after eight hours, when I’ve worn these alone.  When I wear them with eyeshadow on top, they perform much better, and I didn’t have any creasing problems even after eight hours.  Over a primer but still with nothing on top, they wear marginally better but still have noticeable creasing over the eight hour period.  These are also prone to smudging on their own but also if water hits them, so they’re not quite waterproof or smudge-proof.

The Glossover

product

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #0E, 2E, 4E, 6E, and 8E Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear. I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows Review & Photos

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new product that’s supposed to be a “smudge-proof, long-lasting eyeshadow pencil that enhances and intensifies the eyes.” It’s also “intensely pigmented, “waterproof,” “will not smudge, crease, or fade,” “glides effortlessly,” and “blends easily.” This review is disappointing for me to write, because I love Make Up For Ever as a brand, and they have some really incredible long-wearing products, but these are so-so to good–they’re not excellent and they don’t raise the bar.   Photos, swatches, and individual color descriptions/reviews will follow in two separate posts.

There are twelve shades in total, with five shades being creams (no shimmer) and seven shades having a very frosted, almost metallic-like finish. I’ve been testing these shades for the past two weeks, part of that is because they did not perform flawlessly as I expected them to. These are the ways I have tested the product: alone, three pencils together (but over bare lids), over primer (NARS Smudgeproof, Too Faced Shadow Insurance), as a base (with powder eyeshadow on top), and as eyeliners.   Each pencil is packaged in a plastic pencil, and they are meant to be sharpened–they do not twist-up.  I used Urban Decay’s Grindhouse, and I didn’t have any problems sharpening the plastic exterior off.  In fact, when I tried it, I had nearly no waste.

The creamy shades will crease after four to five hours and be majorly crease and flaking after eight hours, and worse yet, there’s a noticeable amount of smudged product underneath my lid, along my lower lash line, along with flakes of product trickling down my cheeks. It’s creamy yet dry; it applies fairly easily and evenly, but I do recommend going back for a couple of touch-ups because there is slight skipping depending on where your eyeball maneuvers itself while you’re applying the product. It has a quick setting time, and it’s a pain to blend out the edges even if you do so immediately, it will still slightly crease if you don’t let it set for about 5-10 seconds. Over a primer, the creasing was lessened over eight hours, but there was still some noticeable creasing. The best way I found to use the matte shades was as a base with powder eyeshadows layered on top–then I didn’t have any creasing after eight hours.

On the other hand, the frostier finishes hold up much better. They dry very quickly, don’t crease from the get-go, and they don’t crease after eight hours. All of the shades are stiff and more difficult to blend, but with enough elbow grease, it can be done. I wore three shades (#32E, #20E, #2E) together to see just how blendable they were, and I think I managed to get a fairly well-blended look. It’s much more difficult than using three eyeshadows together, though. The frostier shades wear the same whether they were applied to bare lids, over a primer, or underneath eyeshadows (no creasing).

The matte shades are more water-resistant than waterproof, while the frostier shades are pretty waterproof. I took a shower with these on (tests both the effects of humidity as well as waterproofing claims) and had a little smudging from the matte shade I used (#6E) but the frosted shade was fine (#24E). There is a touch of transfer if you press your fingertip against your lid, but it’s very, very subtle. The fact that blending is difficult because the product doesn’t want to budge is both a blessing and a curse! As eyeliners, these are good, though #6E and #8E were more prone to slight smudging and some fading after six to eight hours, but #0E and #2E were fine. It’s not my favorite use for these, because the tip is so large and the formula isn’t as creamy as the Aqua Eyes Pencil, so it doesn’t glide on as smoothly.

These are nicely pigmented with some shades having excellent color payoff and a few having decent to good color coverage, but nearly of the ones I tried were buildable with little trouble–#32E was a trouble maker, though. It was very dry, seemed to apply unevenly, and did not want to build up at all. I was going to use it as a base, but it was horrific that way. The only way I could use it was alone, but even that looked like my lids were dry and flaky.  I recommend MAC #242 and Make Up For Ever’s #14S with these–you want really firm, stiff brushes so you can move these around (at least a little).

Overall, these aren’t flawless.  They don’t provide for immaculate wear–I have normal-to-dry lids, not at all oily–and I do get immaculate wear out of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream formula, which is a bit easier to use because it’s more blendable.   The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear.  I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.  Please note that the rating is based on an average of all twelve shades; you will see that there’s a difference in the ratings when the finishes are separated, which you’ll see when the next two posts are published.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows Review & Photos

B
The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear. I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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