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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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Cool 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: Phloof! (frosted off white), Brun (muted blackish-brown), Quarry (soft muted plum-brown), Dance in the Dark (black-brown), Mocha (soft plum pink), Hot Gossip (mid-tone pinky plum), and Emancipation (light pink). 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).

  • Phloof! is a pinked beige with a frosted finish; it has good color payoff and a smooth, soft texture. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Brun is a dark, cool-toned brown with a hint of gray and a subtle sheen in its finish. The pigmentation is nice and the texture is soft overall. It has a satin finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Quarry is a rosy mauve with a matte finish. It’s a bit dry and almost powdery with so-so color payoff. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Dance in the Dark is a purple-tinted brown-black with a satin finish. The color payoff is below average, and the texture is stiff and dry, which contributes to the uneven color application. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is very similar but more pigmented.
  • Mocha is a brightened pink plum with a matte finish. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. The color payoff is really nice, and I swear, this seems more vibrant than the permanent version (but I don’t currently own the permanent version to compare).
  • Hot Gossip is a plum-tinted pink with a frosted finish and mostly opaque color coverage. It has a cremesheen finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Emancipation is a pink-beige with soft white shimmer that yields semi-opaque color coverage. It’s a milkier-looking gloss, so it does have a tendency to settle into lip lines. It is a repromote. It’s similar to Feelign Dreamy, Runway Fave, and Bare Nesceessities.

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

Winter Cool 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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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


MAC Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Ice Parade: Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition holiday compact that features six eyeshadows: Lightfully (white with pink reflect), Trax (burgundy-plum with shimmer), Fun! (pink patina), Festive Delight (bordeaux wine), Black Tied (black with silver sparkle), and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum).  The MAC Ice Parade Collection launches October 27th, 2011 in-stores.

  • Lightfully is a sheer, icy white with little color payoff and a stiff, dry consistency.  It’s supposed to be pink-toned, but it’s difficult to tell with the sheerness of the shade.  This has a lustre finish and is a repromote. It’s even sheerer than MAC Snowball. I recommend perusing these white eyeshadows for something better.
  • Trax is a gold and copper shimmered burgundy-red. This has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range. It has good color payoff, but the shimmer is prone to some fall out. It’s not quite as brown as MAC Star Violet. It did seem a little redder than what I remember Trax being.
  • Fun! is a barely-there copper. This has a lustre finish. I don’t even know what to say about this one, because the amount of disappointment I felt when I swatched this cannot even be quantified. I pretty much gawked at my arm (and later, my eye).
  • Festive Delight is a rich, berry wine with a shimmer-sheen. This has a lustre finish. It has some sparkle, but it doesn’t have much, so it isn’t as likely to fall out as many lustre-finished eyeshadows are. MAC Cranberry is a bit lighter. Inglot #452 is darker. Make Up For Ever #131 has a similar feel but ends up being darker.
  • Black Tied is a dry, chalky black with silver sparkle. This has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range. It was even dryer and sheerer than my pan version of Black Tied. It seemed less like a silver-speckled matte black as it did a shimmered black with a silver sheen. This version doesn’t compare to the permanent pan I have.
  • Shadowy Lady is a blackened burgundy with purple edges and a matte finish. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. It has redder undertones than MAC Graphology.

This palette had three poor performing shades and three better performing shades, but when it was disappointing, it was spectacularly disappointing. Lightfully and Fun! barely show up, and boy, I really tried–I later tried to test them on the eye (over primer), but it was a big mess. No color payoff plus noticeable fall out! Trax, Festive Delight, and Shadowy Lady were lovely here; good pigmentation and textures, but two of those are permanent.

The Glossover

palette

Sultry Snowglobe

C-
This palette had three poor performing shades and three better performing shades, but when it was disappointing, it was spectacularly disappointing. Lightfully and Fun! barely show up, and boy, I really tried--I later tried to test them on the eye (over primer), but it was a big mess. No color payoff plus noticeable fall out! Trax, Festive Delight, and Shadowy Lady were lovely here; good pigmentation and textures, but two of those are permanent.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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