Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Naval Blue Pigment
MAC Naval Blue Pigment

MAC & Chen Man – Love & Water Collection: Naval Blue Pigment

It’s the lone pigment in the upcoming Love & Water Collection, but MAC Naval Blue Pigment ($20.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a great pick to repromote, as it is part of the permanent PRO range (and it’s been in a few sets before, if I remember correctly!). MAC describes it as a “deep smoky blue.” It’s a dark navy blue with a hint of purple–all of the blues in this launch seem to have this kiss of purple–that makes it a real pain to photograph, because sometimes it looks purpler than it ought! It’s similar to MAC Blue Storm, which came out this past fall (and was a repromote then). It’s also similar to Givenchy Lune Mordoree.

Pigments can be used wet or dry, but they tend to perform their best when applied damp or with MAC’s Mixing Medium (which is a clear liquid with an adhesive base, so it adheres and smoothes out better when you go to apply it). MAC actually says that the pigment itself contains ingredients that will make the pigments adhere to the skin and are long-lasting. Pigments tend to apply a little muted and can be more prone to fall out (given that it is a loose product) when applied dry, and it really needs to be used damp to have it adhere to the lid at all. When I tested out pigments based on how MAC described their formula, I was able to get eight hours of wear with minor creasing and fading only if I used them damp (over bare skin). If I used them with MAC’s Mixing Medium, then there were no fading or creasing issues even after twelve hours or if used over an eyeshadow primer.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Naval Blue Pigment Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
MAC makes an excellent loose color product if you combine it with a wet or adhesive base, because they have a good formula that enables the color to bind well when damp and stay vibrant all day--but when used dry or alone, they tend to under-perform.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 3)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The last four shades I’m reviewing are: Saint Bernard (deep sea green), Schnauzer (vivid violet plum), Sheepdog (frosty white), and Shih Tzu (gilded lime green).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Saint Bernard is a pop of green-based teal that’s semi-sheer. This shade did not build up color as well as some of the other shades–it was more like Black Lab in that respect. Maybelline Edgy Emerald is similar but a little less green. NYX Seafoam Green is slightly darker. NARS Misfit is darker and more opaque. MAC Aquadisiac is slightly less green.
  • Schnauzer is a brightened eggplant purple with red undertones and a fine violet shimmer. Like Saint Bernard, it’s not as buildable in color as other shades, so semi-opaque is the highest opacity I was able to achieve. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is similar but a touch darker. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is deeper and browner. MAC Fig. 1 is a bit darker and has a matte finish. Inglot #445 is lighter and has a frosted finish.
  • Sheepdog is a frosted white with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s similar to a lot of other white eyeshadows.
  • Shih Tzu is a springy green with a chartreuse shimmer-sheen. MAC Lucky Green is brighter, more intense. Inglot #412 is lighter, more olive. Make Up For Ever #304 is brighter and greener.

The Glossover

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Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 3)

A-
They're not quite as buildable as they seem like they should be, because for some, you really can't get much more color than what one layer of product yields (like Saint Bernard). The wear is really great, though, and if you like using sheer color as a base or as a wash for quick looks, you'll enjoy these.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 2)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The next five shades I’m reviewing are: Golden Retriever (vibrant copper red), Husky (baby blue), Mutt (bronzed taupe), Poodle (pale yellow gold), and Pug (smoky pewter).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Golden Retriever is a warm, slightly red-tinted bronze brown. It can be applied sheer or as mostly opaque color coverage. Benefit Dandy Brandy is slightly darker. Maybelline Bad to the Bronze is darker and less red-toned. Urban Decay YDK is less brown.
  • Husky is a pastel baby blue with a silvery white shimmer. The color coverage can be built to opaque color coverage with ease. MAC Styledriven is slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Illusion is whiter, more aqua. Inglot #367 is similar but matte.
  • Mutt is a muted brown with a gilded bronze sheen. It doesn’t read taupe to me–it’s too warm and golden for that. Like the previous two shades, it can be built to opaque color coverage or applied as a sheer wash of color with less product. Urban Decay Suspect is a little more yellow-toned. MAC Magical Mist is a bit grayer. Urban Decay Juju is less red-toned. Urban Decay Spotlight is lighter.
  • Poodle is a pale yellow gold with a soft, metallic sheen. It, too, can be opaque or sheer, depending on application, but it doesn’t take much product to get opaque color. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is a little lighter. theBalm Wild Child is very close. Givenchy Lune is also similar. MAC Nylon is slightly whiter.
  • Pug is a dirty gray-brown; it’s kind of taupe, but I feel like it’s too gray to be taupe. It’s such a cool shade, though, and it works well as a wash of color that’s more than just beige or brown. MAC Keep Your Cool is darker, less reflective. Urban Decay Mushroom is similar but a touch darker. Chanel Illusoire is darker, almost more purple-tinted.

The Glossover

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Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A
I really love these five in particular, because they represent some of the best shades of the Stay-There range. They're sheer, they're opaque, they're truly buildable, which makes them incredibly versatile products.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.21 oz.) has four shades: Moon Rose (bright dark pink), Rose Light (metallic yellow pink), Star Crystal (pink champagne), and Strawberry Patch (light blue pink).

  • Moon Rose is a bright medium-dark pink. There’s a subtle red base to it, so it does not turn fuchsia. Urban Decay Woodstock is brighter and cooler toned. MAC Bright Fuchsia is redder and brighter. Inglot #450 is a bit more burgundy.
  • Rose Light is a light-medium rose pink with yellow undertones. It looks very different from the pot–it almost looks like a coral in the pot. Definitely a shade you have to swatch! Inglot #399 is fairly similar. Giorgio Armani Sweet Fire is less pink.  This shade is a repromote from holiday.
  • Star Crystal is a peach-tinted white. It’s a bit darker compared to MAC Pearl. MAC Snow Season is darker. Urban Decay Midnight 15 is cooler-toned.
  • Strawberry Patch is a light-medium pink with lilac shimmer-sheen. This was really, really chunky and harder to work with compared to the other three shades in the stack. Urban Decay Hot Pants is a bit similar though the finish is very different. MAC Swish is not as blue-based.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience.  The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

The Glossover

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MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience. The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Aloha (dirty cocoa brown), Campfire (rich copper), Lantern Light (metallic gold/bronze), and Shifting Sands (metallic champagne).

  • Aloha is a medium-dark bronze with almost neutral undertones; it’s not quite your typical warm bronze, but it doesn’t seem like a genuine cool-toned brown either. This one had a really smooth, soft texture that was easy to work with and apply. MAC Seasonally Cool is similar but more red-toned. Make Up For Ever #15 has a warmer base. Bare Escentuals A-Ha is similar.
  • Campfire is a warm copper with a golden copper sheen. This shade also had a soft, smooth feel that made application easy. It’s a lot like MAC Amber Lights, theBalm Meep Meep, Make Up For Ever #12, and so on and so forth. This is a shade that we see often.
  • Lantern Light is a yellowed gold-shimmered copper-orange. It looks darker in the pot, but the gold sheen really lightens the color when swatched. It’s similar to Bare Escentuals Louder with a weaker golden sheen.
  • Shifting Sands is a soft champagne beige with a metallic sheen. It’s similar to MAC Summer Haze. Make Up For Ever #13 is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Sin is pinker.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones–which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

The Glossover

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MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones--which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Butterfly Party (bright lilac), Desert Cloud (deep blue purple), Moss Garden (metallic silver green), and Rain Drop (metallic teal). FYI, none of the stacks from this collection are safe for lip use.

  • Butterfly Party is a red-toned violet with a lilac shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is blue-based. MAC Violet is similar but not quite as red-toned.
  • Desert Cloud is a dark blue-based purple with a silver sheen. This one has a slightly grittier texture compared to Butterfly Party. It’s kind of like MAC Parfait Amour with a cool-toned sheen. MAC Imaginary is darker.
  • Moss Garden is a dirty green with a bright metallic sheen. It has a yellowy brown base with a cool-toned green-teal color that dominates. MAC Cake Shop is a warmer green. MAC Lady Grey is also a little warmer.
  • Rain Drop is a darkened blue-teal with a minted teal shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of Urban Decay Aquarius, which is a bit lighter. theBalm Bossy Bobbi is a bit darker but similar.

These really need to adopt some kind of stopper a la Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, because it needs to come with some sort of device so you can press and “crush” the pigments here. I tried doing so as I was applying, but it wasn’t working out as well as I’d like.  I usually try to use from the plastic insert when I swatch (because I then throw it away), since the product on it is already fairly loosened and not in a large chunk.  These all have a highly metallic sheen, so if you like your frosts and metallics, you’ll like the finish on these as well.

Because these are a loose formula, they can be used both wet and dry.  When applied dry, it actually tends to apply smoother–at least more easily–as it tends to clump together when it is applied wet.  There’s a fine line where it becomes too wet (which isn’t sopping, by the way, it’s still more damp than it is wet) and leads to clumping.  The metallic sheen will become more pronounced when it is applied damp/wet, though.

Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”  The wear of the formula is surprisingly good–with as much shimmer, chunkiness, and the like, you would think these wouldn’t hold together on the lid, but they do.

So long as you apply a solid, smooth layer of product (so no clumping!), it wears about the same whether used alone (no primer) as it does with a primer (I typically use MAC’s Mixing Medium, which is an adhesive base).  It’s just vital that you really press and crush those pigments before applying to ensure the best results.  There’s very little fall out after it’s applied; I do tend to get more fall out than normal when initially applying these, because they are a loose formula.  If you have a metal mixing palette, you may want to mix and crush it there before applying, which will minimize application fall out.

The Glossover

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MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's an interesting product, and if you've never tried it, it's worth checking out in-store. It takes a little more technique and patience than your average product. This particular set felt a little chunkier overall than past iterations of the formula.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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