Thursday, November 24th, 2011

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00) is described as a “pale gold frost” and “gold-infused pewter.” The left side is a pale white gold with a frosted finish; it’s a bit sheer, and this kind of color is found in a lot of brands. The right side is an olive green with a dirty gold shimmer-sheen. It has good color payoff and a really smooth feel. I was half-hoping it was similar to Giorgio Armani #14, but it’s much greener. It’s a touch cooler-toned compared to theBalm Wocka, Wocka. Lancome Designer has a softer golden sheen, so it appears almost darker, but they’re very similar. Inglot #419 is also really close in color.

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 Glossover

palette

NARS Taiga Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The green shade is killer, but the lighter golden shade could use more pigmentation--if it was, this would be a dynamite duo. The two shades play off of each other well, and you can do a lot of different intensities/gradients between these two.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

The One that Got Away: Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

With Giorgio Armani #14 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow (€36.50 for 0.14 oz.) in my hot hands, my collection of Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows is now complete. Major thanks to Amira for offering to ship me one from Sephora France. FRANCE. If you haven’t bought anything in Euros lately, let me say I just shelled out $64 for a product that costs $32 here in the states. Talk about you snooze, you lose! This shade came out last holiday season, which was before I discovered the awesomeness in a pot that is Eyes to Kill Intense. I took one look at photos online, and I knew I had to have it. It’s ANTIQUE GOLD. It’s so me!

It looks more like gold in the pot, sprinkled over black, but the black gives it this beautiful antique gold hue, and when it’s used dry, it almost has a slight green tint. It’s super, super sparkly. I spent all day yesterday continually admiring it over and over again, because it really dazzles. Kind of like Chanel Glossimer or MAC Dazzleglass… but on eyes. The best part about this is there’s no residual fall out during the day like more glittery products often are, because this doesn’t feel like a glitter (it’s very soft and smooth) but has that look. It’s pretty opaque when applied dry, but when it’s applied damp, it takes on a much more metallic characteristic with a deeper color.

Out of all these gold eyeshadows, the closest one is actually Giorgio Armani #6, which is darker and much warmer (they’re not dupes). Urban Decay Maui Wowie is much lighter. Bare Escentuals Spectacular is warmer, more olive green.  I think it actually would compare well with MAC Rye, which I have three or four of, because it was so my shade when it came out (it was limited edition, of course).

I’ve reviewed this formula several times (sixteen, to be exact!), and I’m continually impressed by its claims. I’ve worn it up to twenty-four hours with no fading, fall out, or creasing–and that is without a base. Yes, really, twenty-four hours. I had to do it eventually, you know, test their really ridiculous twenty-four hour claim even though I was so, so loathe to wear makeup to bed. I felt like I was going against all that was good in beauty.

What lengths (or prices) have you gone to for that one product you just had to have? Share your stories in the comments! :)

The Glossover

LE
product

#14

A+
If you can get your hands on it, #14 was definitely worth the money, but hopefully this helps some of you who still have access to this particular shade! And if I'm really lucky, Giorgio Armani will repromote it someday. The quality of the Eyes to Kill Intense line is phenomenal, and c'mon, twenty-four hour wear? That is bananas!.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, November 21st, 2011

Video Review: theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette First Impressions & Swatches

A short (at least, for me!) video with preliminary commentary and swatches of theBalm’s Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette (link will take you to full written review).

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

MAC Guise Pigment
MAC Guise Pigment

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Guise Pigment

MAC Guise Pigment ($32.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “frosty grey.” It’s more like a bright silver with a part-frost, part-metallic finish. What’s noteworthy about the color is that it doesn’t lean cool, it’s more of a neutral silver. It was fairly pigmented when used dry and more metallic and opaque when applied wet. The texture is much chunkier compared to Deceit, and I did experience some fall out when an hour after it was applied to the eyelid. MAC Misty is a bit darker and cooler-toned. It’s smoother and grayer than Bobbi Brown Tinsel. I didn’t find anything exactly like it.

Like the blush in this collection, MAC is again squeezing you on both ends: a full-size pigment contains 0.15 oz. and retails for $20.00 each (and they already reduced the amount of all full-size pigments across the board a year or two ago). The packaging looks sleek, but it’s a bit messy. Guise had loose pigment all over the exterior packaging and inner lip upon arrival–I hadn’t even opened it yet! These are entirely plastic, too; there’s no heft from the metal compact like there is with the blush. On the upside, most other high-end brands that have similar loose products typically give around this amount of product (e.g. Illamasqua Pure Pigment is $24.00/0.04 oz. and Make Up For Ever Star Powder is $19.00/0.09 oz.).

MAC actually describes the formula as having ingredients that help it adhere to the skin so it is long-lasting. Pigments are best when combined with other products, whether it’s simply water or more like MAC Mixing Medium, to adhere to skin. I get decent wear out of pigments without a base (six to eight hours, then there is minor fading and at times, subtle creasing), but I would recommend using a base or mixing them with an adhesive base product like Mixing Medium. Guise did have some fall out when applied dry, because of the chunkier texture and sparkle.

The Glossover

LE
product

Guise

B-
The texture is harder to work with and more prone to fall out; compared to the silky smooth feel of Deceit, it's a bit of a let down! I did like that it was more usable dry than Deceit, though.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, November 20th, 2011

MAC Deceit Pigment
MAC Deceit Pigment

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Deceit Pigment

MAC Deceit Pigment ($32.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “blackened plum with pink pearl.” When applied dry, it’s a burgundy brown with a satiny sheen that’s almost matte, but it’s on the sheer side. When applied damp, it comes together more better for a really rich color of burgundy tinted by purple with a pearly sheen. It’s opaque and smooth. It’s less frosted but similar in color to Illamasqua Queen of the Night. I think it’s also pretty close to MAC Deep Purple, which I don’t own so I can’t confirm 100%, which is permanent at PRO stores. Make Up For Ever #11 is redder. The dry swatch is a bit like MAC Shadowy Lady. The texture seemed very, very finely milled–it is probably one of the softest and most finely milled pigments I remember by MAC.

Like the blush in this collection, MAC is again squeezing you on both ends: a full-size pigment contains 0.15 oz. and retails for $20.00 each (and they already reduced the amount of all full-size pigments across the board a year or two ago). The packaging looks sleek, but it’s a bit messy. Guise had loose pigment all over the exterior packaging and inner lip upon arrival–I hadn’t even opened it yet! These are entirely plastic, too; there’s no heft from the metal compact like there is with the blush. On the upside, most other high-end brands that have similar loose products typically give around this amount of product (e.g. Illamasqua Pure Pigment is $24.00/0.04 oz. and Make Up For Ever Star Powder is $19.00/0.09 oz.).

MAC actually describes the formula as having ingredients that help it adhere to the skin so it is long-lasting. Pigments are best when combined with other products, whether it’s simply water or more like MAC Mixing Medium, to adhere to skin. I get decent wear out of pigments without a base (six to eight hours, then there is minor fading and at times, subtle creasing), but I would recommend using a base or mixing them with an adhesive base product like Mixing Medium.

The Glossover

LE
product

Deceit

B+
The color can be gorgeous when it's applied damp, and the texture is so, so soft--definitely one of the softest MAC pigments. It's also not frosty, which many MAC pigments are, so it's nice to see something different. It's just jarring to see half the size with a 30% price increase all in the name of packaging.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette
Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a cooler toned set of more neutral shades. I think we could hedge and say it’s more neutral-cool than really, truly cool-toned. The formula is designed to have intense color payoff, and the eyeshadows are long-wearing and can be used wet or dry (always good to know–more brands should note this!).

I reviewed Dreamy initially, which I was really digging, and I like this one a lot, too–it’s not my personal favorite just by preference, but the quality is lovely and lives up to my readjusted expectations for Tarina Tarantino’s beauty line. I think Sephora is doing these palettes an injustice by not even taking the time to describe each palette’s colors! You just get this ridiculously tiny photo of the palette, but I think with a smaller brand like this, more would be better. I noticed this mostly because I like to start off each review with the brand’s official description of the shade as well as the formula. It helps me to breakdown what I should be looking for and hit on in the review.

The top shade in the palette is a cool-toned medium-dark brown with a frosted finish; it’s almost taupe, but I don’t think it has quite enough gray tint to make it a true taupe. The pigmentation is excellent, and the texture is dense, buttery, and applies smoothly. It’s much lighter than the taupe-ish shade in Dreamy (just because at first glance, they seem similar). It’s a little darker than MAC Magical Mist, cooler-toned and less red-based than Urban Decay Wreckage, and it’s just a touch cooler-toned compared to Bare Escentuals A-Ha.

On the left, there is a bright, frosted gold-tinged white. It’s almost too light to call it a white gold. It has good color payoff and applies smoothly. It is extremely similar to the white gold shade in Dreamy, but it’s also similar to several other shades, including theBalm Envious Erin, theBalm Tempting Tara, Urban Decay Zephyr, and Bare Escentuals Breathtaking. It’s the warmest shade in the palette and definitely not neutral or cool-toned.

In the middle, there is a pale neutral pink with a white frost finish. The payoff is decent but could be better here (think 8/10); it’s not as intense as the other shades in the palette. MAC Fresh Ice is cooler-toned, almost lilac in comparison, while Bare Escentuals Muse is similar but less frosted and more opaque.

On the right, there is a barely warmed golden peach with a metallic finish. It’s smooth and soft, while the pigmentation is good. Inglot #330 reminded me most in terms of color, but it has a matte finish. I couldn’t think of anything else that was similar, though.

The last shade, on the bottom, is a slightly cool-toned dark brown with this slightly warm undertone peeking through. It’s interesting, because the sheen on this looks gray tinted, but the edging has a warmer tone to it. The texture is almost matte, kind of like half-matte, half-satin; and the color payoff is nice. It’s a bit grayer and lighter than MAC Charcoal Brown. MAC Double Feature 3 is a bit closer but not quite.

Looking at the general range, I think they could have made one or two of these colors more cool-toned, because then they’d have a genuinely cool-toned but fairly neutral palette to offer. This palette will work well universally, though, because it’s a mix of cool and warm but for the most part, nothing leans too far in either direction. The color payoff was good on all the shades except the center shade, which was so-so–better than average but not as good as the others. I tested out this palette without a primer (just used three shades on one eye), and it made it to eight hours without creasing or fading, but it had very subtle creasing after ten.

The Glossover

palette

Delightful

A+

Looking at the general range, I think they could have made one or two of these colors more cool-toned, because then they'd have a genuinely cool-toned but fairly neutral palette to offer. This palette will work well universally, though, because it's a mix of cool and warm but for the most part, nothing leans too far in either direction. The color payoff was good on all the shades except the center shade, which was so-so--better than average but not as good as the others.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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