Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Bobbi Brown Cool Party Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Cool Party Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Cool Party Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.33 oz.) consists of six eyeshadows: White (pure white), Iced Blue (pale icy blue), Rockstar (medium metallic grey), Sterling (medium silver blue), Gunmetal (dark charcoal blue), and Onyx (black sparkle). The palette has approximately $73 worth of eyeshadows inside, if you were able to purchase them individually (and with the exact same quantity; full-sized Bobbi Brown eyeshadows are typically larger when sold individually).

  • White is a cool-toned snow white that’s so cool-toned it almost reads bluish white. It has a matte finish and good color payoff; despite its starkness, it’s not chalky. It’s similar to Bare Escentuals Cheers and Inglot #373.
  • Iced Blue is a pale silvery white with a mere hint of blue. It’s more silver than it is blue. It has a metallic finish, which comes off as part metallic, part frost. It has good color payoff. It’s similar to Inglot #447.
  • Rockstar is a soft, mushroomy brown with a touch of gray. It has a metallic finish that looks a bit frosted. The color payoff of this shade was dismal, though; sheer and soft–not much like it looks in the pan. NARS Grand Palais is deeper.
  • Sterling is a medium-dark gray with a subtle silver sheen and blue tone. It has a Shimmer Wash finish. It has decent color payoff but slightly dry in texture. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit is a bit lighter.
  • Gunmetal is a silver shimmered brown-black. It had nice color payoff and applied very smoothly. It has a Shimmer Wash finish. Estee Lauder Black Chrome is similar but not quite as dark. theBalm Inspirational is a little lighter, grayer.
  • Onyx is a mostly matte black base color with silver and multi-colored sparkle on top. It’s a brown-based black. Like many silver sparkled blacks, it is dry with uneven and sheer color payoff.

Two of the six shades were less than impressive in this palette: Rockstar was a bit dry and sheer, while Onyx was extremely dry, sheer, and uneven–plus the sparkle was prone to fall out. The other four shades were good, though, and they all work together with strong, cool undertones and a smoky bent. It will work well on cooler complexions, especailly those looking for a solid smoky eye palette.

The Glossover

palette

Cool Party

B+
Two of the six shades were less than impressive in this palette: Rockstar was a bit dry and sheer, while Onyx was extremely dry, sheer, and uneven--plus the sparkle was prone to fall out. The other four shades were good, though, and they all work together with strong, cool undertones and a smoky bent. It will work well on cooler complexions, especailly those looking for a solid smoky eye palette.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Bobbi Brown Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.28 oz.) consists of four Sparkle Shadow shades: Pink Rose (pink multi-colored pearl), Crushed Silver (light diamond pearl), Black Ruby (black plum with pearl), and Onyx (plum charcoal with pearl). Onyx is the only shade that isn’t new (and exclusive) to the palette, and the palette itself is limited edition. Sparkle eyeshadows is Bobbi Brown’s take on glitter; it uses shimmer and fine glitter in a creamy, translucent base that is supposed to apply smoothly and never crease or travel. From what I understand, these are not opaque in color but should provide some color punch.

  • Pink Rose is a semi-sheer light pink with subtle yellow undertones and darker rose and white shimmer and sparkle. It’s similar to Cle de Peau #207 but glittery. Giorgio Armani #8 is less pink.
  • Crushed Silver is a sheer pale white with iridescent pink and white shimmer and glitter. Chanel Fantasme is whiter.
  • Black Ruby sheer is a brown-burgundy color base with iridescent pink and plum shimmer and sparkle. I couldn’t think of a shade quite like this one with all the shimmer/glitter it has going on. The base color here is a little dry, though, so it has an uneven look.
  • Onyx is a gray-mauve brown with silver sparkle. The color actually reminded me of Illamasqua’s Bacterium Nail Varnish, because of the way it shimmers. Urban Decay Bust is somewhat similar but less purple in the shimmer.

These eyeshadows feel almost wet and creamy, but they’re not like a cream. They have a wet-looking finish, because of how high the shine is. While they have a lot less fall out compared to your traditional glitter eyeshadow in powder form, there are still a few stray glittery bits found along the under eye area after eight hours. I don’t find glitter on my nose from it, though! Generally, the color payoff is semi-sheer but can be built up a bit if used wet or patted on.

Bobbi Brown’s formula could be more consistent, because I initially loved these when they first debuted, but I wasn’t impressed by last year’s holiday palette that included these. This year’s holiday palette is much better and more in line with the ones I do like.  The palette contains around $51.69 worth of Sparkle Eyeshadows (normally $24 for 0.13 oz.).

The Glossover

palette

Black Ruby

B+
These are some of my favorite glitter eyeshadows, because they do stick and stay much, much better than glitter eyeshadows in powder form. Though sheerness seems to be part of the design, some of it seems to result in unevenness, not just softer color.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Holiday 2011: Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new shade for the holidays described as a “gold-infused denim” and “rich navy.” It will be added to the brand’s permanent range. 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 first shade is a medium-dark navy blue with indigo undertones and golden shimmer. It had decent color payoff, but it wasn’t perfectly opaque, though the softness of the powder itself made it extremely easy to blend. The hue reminded me instantly of MAC Blue Spruce, though the two are noticeably different; Blue Spruce is greener and has more of a copper-colored sparkle, whereas Mandchourie is golden and distinctly blue.

The other shade is a dark navy blue with subtle indigo undertones and a matte finish. Make Up For Ever #147 is the only shade that seemed to compare at all, but it is shimmery and not quite as dark. Like the first shade, the texture is silky soft and smooth, but it is so soft that it is a little powdery. It blends easily, and you can tap it on for better color payoff on the lid, but be wary of fall out. I’d recommend doing the eyes first and foundation after when using this particular duo.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Mandchourie Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
There's a fine line between soft and powdery, and this duo seems to be caught between the two. The softness gives a beautiful, smooth application that's easy to blend out, but it also makes it prone to sheering out and powdery fall out during application.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2011: Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a limited edition holiday offering described simply as “mink.” NARS describes their cream eyeshadow formula as lightweight, blendable, buildable, and it can be worn alone or paired with a powder eyeshadow for “longer-lasting wear and added dimension.” I’m glad NARS mentioned using a powder eyeshadow for longer-lasting wear, because without a powder on top, I only achieved an hour of wear before it was a creased mess of brown on my lid–and I don’t have oily lids at all.

Admittedly, I was a little torn on how to effectively rate this product, because “it can be worn alone” seems rather ill-advised if you end up with an irreparable makeup faux-pas on your eyes in an hour or less. I decided to meet NARS halfway; I wouldn’t expect or rate with the expectation of eight-hour wear but would expect it to last through a casual dinner at the very least! I also would not recommend wearing this as an eyeliner, because it smudged and migrated into the under eye area.

It’s a complex shade of brown, because it’s a cool-toned deep, dark brown with burgundy and bronze micro-shimmer. MAC Legendary Black reminded me of this color but not as deep or as cool-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone also has a similar shade that’s a bit warmer. MAC Smut is comparable but seems a smidgen darker. It comes together nicely, and there is plenty of pigmentation.

The consistency is extremely creamy, so it glides and applies well, but it sheers out easily. I recommend applying it layers rather than applying a lot at once if you want really rich, opaque color. By building in layers, you’ll also give each layer to set a bit so it will hold together better overall. It’s completely wearable and certainly more durable with a powder on top to set; you can try a translucent powder, which will give it a slightly more muted look, but it will enhance the wear to eight hours without creasing or smudging.

The Glossover

P
coming-soon

Ponderoa

B-
It doesn't work well alone, because it does seem to crease very quickly (even with a sheer layer of product), but if you use it in conjunction with a powder (translucent or otherwise), it holds up much better.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Friday, October 28th, 2011


NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Holiday 2011: Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

Likely one of the most eye-catching pieces from the holiday collection, NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) looks more complex in the pan than it is on the lid. It consists of three shades: black with red pearls, black with purple pearls, and black with gunmetal shimmer. After reading the color description, the colors pretty much live up to the expectations, but they look more interesting in the pan because the colored pearls are more dominant, while applied, they’re all mostly black.

The first shade is a deep, dark burgundy black-brown with wine red shimmer. It’s a better textured MAC Beauty Marked. It’s soft and smooth with good color payoff; it’s the best shade in the palette.

In the middle, there is a deep, dark blue-based black with violet purple flecks of sparkle. The sparkle seemed to stick better than expected in the swatch, but once applied, the sparkle didn’t translate–it ended up just looking like a deep, dark black. This shade is extremely soft, which makes it blendable, though it is prone to sheering out more than desired as well. I recommend patting it on and then softly blending the edges away. I couldn’t think of a decent dupe for this, because it’s not really purple but none of the blacks I’ve swatched that I can remember seem similar.

The last shade in the trio is a chalky, dry, sheer black with silver sparkle. Compared to the pigmentation levels of the other two shades, it’s beyond disappointing! It just doesn’t belong. It’s an inferior NARS Night Breed. Lancome The New Black is one of the better silver-sparkled-black shades I’ve come across to-date.

I didn’t encounter fall out from the first two shades, though the last shade had some issues with fall out, particularly because there was little base color for the sparkle to cling to. I tested out the wear of the middle shade on the lower half of the lid with the first shade on the upper half of the lid and slightly in the crease. They both applied well with opaque, even color and a smooth texture, and I didn’t have any issues with fading or creasing over eight hours (no primer).

With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn’t recommend this palette–when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades. This is also a palette you’d mix and match with other products you own, since they’re all very, very dark. Even though there is certainly a difference in color between the first and second shades, it’s even subtler when applied to the lid.

The Glossover

palette

Arabian Nights

B-
With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn't recommend this palette--when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Golden Flurry (beige with sparkle), Soft Brown (soft golden peach brown), Omega (soft muted beige-taupe), Carbon (black), Seasonal Appeal (orange brown), Mellowarm (peach), and Join the Party (pale peach). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Golden Flurry is a white with iridiescent pink shimmer. The color payoff is low–it’s sheer and sparkly, but it is prone to fall out. This has a lustre finish. Bare Escentuals Muse is more pigmented and less iridescent. theBalm Safe Bet Annette is a touch pinker.
  • Soft Brown is a medium brown with red-orange undertones and a matte finish. It has nice color payoff and a smooth, soft feel. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Omega is a lightened taupe with subtle beige-yellow tones and a matte finish. The pigmentation is nice, and it has the texture soft. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Carbon is a medium-dark black with brown undertones. It’s a little dry and stiff to work with but it does work better applied with a brush on the lid, though it can be a touch chalky. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Seasonal Appeal is a brownish peach with a soft, pearly sheen. This has a satin finish. The pigmentation is good, but it is a more orange-toned blush, so it may not work on really cool-toned complexions.
  • Mellowarm is an orange-coral with a hint of red with a frosted shimmer. It has mostly opaque color coverage. This has a frost finish. CoverGirl Rapture is less red. Milani Coral Bora Bora is pinker.
  • Join the Party is a peach-tinted beige with soft, white shimmer. It’s creamy and milky, so it does settle into lip lines, but the color coverage is semi-opaque. It’s similar to MAC Lust.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Warm Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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