Monday, April 2nd, 2012

NARS Charade Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Charade Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Charade Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Charade Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “matte smoky plum” and “muted mauve.” NARS fans that prefer duos with more contrast may like this one, because the shades differ from each other noticeably but still complement each other well.

The left shade is a pinky-plum brown finished with a satiny sheen. I found the color rather hard to describe, because I can see a hint of plum, but it seems pinker yet toned down by a lot of beige/brown. It has pretty good pigmentation, and it applies smoothly across the skin. The texture was slightly powdery, though. MAC Jete is similar but has a more metallic finish, and it’s warmer, not as neutral. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is slightly pinker, less brown. Giorgio Armani Sweet Fire is pinker and more metallic.

The right shade is a smoky, played-down purple with subtle red undertones. It’s almost a neutral purple. Like the left shade, the color payoff is good, though it could be slightly improved. This shade had a soft, smooth feel and wasn’t as powdery as the other hue. theBalm Curvy Cami is redder in undertone. MAC Azuki Bean is slightly darker. Paul & Joe Purple Clover is fairly similar.

NARS touts their eyeshadows as long-wearing and crease-resistant, though they’re not quite impervious to creasing/fading over an eight hour period. They do just fine over a primer (no problems after as long as ten hours), but there was subtle but noticeable fading after eight hours with this duo.  Charade is a wee bit powdery but certainly easy to work around (tap excess off the brush and use a lighter touch against the powder itself when you use your brush), and there’s no fall out problems once it is applied.

The Glossover

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NARS Charade Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Charade is a wee bit powdery but certainly easy to work around (tap excess off the brush and use a lighter touch against the powder itself when you use your brush), and there's no fall out problems once it is applied.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Dynamic Duo 1 Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Dynamic Duo 1 Eyeshadow Duo

MAC Reel Sexy Eyeshadow Duos Reviews, Photos, Swatches

There are four different MAC Eyeshadow Duos ($27.50 for 0.09 to 0.10 oz.), which includes: Dynamic Duo 1 (coral with yellow pearlized pigments/purple), Dynamic Duo 2 (violet duochrome with pearlized pigments/violet), Dynamic Duo 3 (mid-tone purple/teal blue), and Dynamic Duo 4 (mid-tone pink/blackened violet).

On the left side of Dynamic Duo 1, there is a peachy-orange with a golden peach shimmer-sheen. It has decent color payoff but it is on the sheerer side. Urban Decay X is similar but has a stronger sheen. MAC Melon is a bit more golden. MAC Expensive Pink is darker and pinker. On the right side, there is a dark purple berry with red undertones that has a matte finish. It has a dry texture, so it applies in patches and looks chalky on the skin–it does apply slightly better on the eye. NARS Caravaggio is less red. MAC Vintage Grape is purpler. MAC Plum Dressing is similar but shimmery.

On the left side of Dynamic Duo 2, there is a pale, icy lilac with a hint of white-gray in its base. It’s very iridescent and has decent color payoff. MAC Silverwear is less iridescent and less lilac. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is very similar but has more frost in its finish. Oh the right side, there is a blue violet–it looks blue, then it looks violet–but it has a matte finish and applies decently. It needs to be layered in order to be opaque; it was a little tough to blend out when I used it on the eye. MAC Royale is bluer. MAC Cobalt is a bit bluer and brighter but close. Inglot #388 is bluer.

On the left side of Dynamic Duo 3, there is a grayish-taupe with a hint of brown underneath. It has a softly frosted finish with good color payoff. Urban Decay Mushroom is browner. MAC Keep Your Cool is less frosted, less gray. Chanel Illusoire is similar but more metallic. On the right side, there is a blue-based teal with a matte finish. It has good pigmentation, and it actually applies easily and blends out nicely on the eye. Bare Escentuals Water is much bluer. I couldn’t think of anything that was that similar.

On the left side of Dynamic Duo 4, there is a light-medium pink with a satiny sheen and barely-there blue undertones. This had pretty mediocre color payoff–I had to layer four or five times to get it to even show up. MAC Miss Piggy was very similar in color and in quality. MAC Feather Pink is a bit darker and bluer. On the right side, there is a deep, dark purple with neutral undertones and a matte finish. It has decent to good color payoff, but it is a bit dry in texture. MAC Indigo Noir is bluer. Urban Decay Rockstar is a tough lighter, red-toned, and has a shimmery finish. MAC Indian Ink is very similar but darker.

The only duo that really had quality eyeshadows was Dynamic Duo 3--the others tended to have one decent to good shade, while its mate tended to be more finicky.  At least, the most unique shade (based on my inability to find dupes) was also Dynamic Duo 3!  I wish the duos were priced a bit better–they seem high for two eyeshadows.

The Glossover

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MAC Reel Sexy Eyeshadow Duos Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B-
The only duo that really had quality eyeshadows was Dynamic Duo 3--the others tended to have one decent to good shade, while its mate tended to be more finicky. At least, the most unique shade (based on my inability to find dupes) was also Dynamic Duo 3! I wish the duos were priced a bit better--they seem high for two eyeshadows.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Modern Pewter Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Modern Pewter Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 2)

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula that’s coming out in-stores April 5th.  It’s a hybrid powder that can be used wet or dry, with buildable color coverage, and wear for up to six hours.  If you’ve seen Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee eyeshadows, these are very similar in texture–but at least there is very little overlap in the shade range.

Here are official color descriptions for the five in this post: Modern Pewter (dirty olive gold), Rich Core (dirty aubergine), Sweet Heat (bright peach champagne), Warm Thunder (dirty silver grey), and Young Venus (pale white pink).

The good news is that these all felt and wore fairly consistently.  There weren’t major discrepancies from one shade to another.   Rich Core had one of the best textures–it felt extra smooth compared to the other shades–while Young Venus had a slightly grittier texture, though it would not be described as gritty.  Young Venus also had one of the frostier finishes.   Warm Thunder was the least pigmented (at least, when applied dry) of this set of five, while both Rich Core and Sweet Heat were quite pigmented both dry and wet.

From the previous review:  These are the shades that I have worn and tested for wear: Blue Orbit, Dark Dare, Havana, Modern Pewter, and Rich Core. I wore them alone over bare skin, over a primer, and used them both wet and dry.   Without a primer, they do hold up fairly well for six to eight hours when applied damp (with water), but if they are applied dry, they do seem to fade after three to four hours, with it looking rather sheer at the sixth hours. The worst thing is that when they are applied dry, they don’t stick as well, so if you rub your eye even briefly (oops!), it wipes away instantly.  Over a primer, they do very well; no fading or creasing even after ten hours of wear. I was definitely surprised at how well they held up over bare skin when used damp–there was only a little fading after six to eight hours, but it was not really noticeable from afar. My eyelids are normal-to-dry, but they’ve been closer to normal these past few days.

The texture of these is that same unexpected combination of dry, soft, and smooth. There’s just this inherent dryness to it and then a real softness so it ends up applying really smooth. These can be used wet or dry, so all swatches are dry and then wet (using just water). These will look more intense, opaque, and smoother when applied damp, but overall, they were fairly pigmented when used dry. Over a primer, you can get closer to the damp results, but I still liked using these damp best. I also liked that it retained a lot of the intensity even after it dried on the lid.

The Glossover

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MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A-
If you want to wear these without a primer, I strongly recommend using them damp during application, because when they are applied dry, they do fade within a few hours and are mostly gone by six, but damp, the results are much, much better. The payoff is a similar story--always more intense when applied damp.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Blue Orbit Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Blue Orbit Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 1)

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula for the brand, but it may seem and look familiar! Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula is very comparable to this one. Since Estee Lauder is the parent company of MAC, I’m not surprised! MAC says this is a buildable formula that can yield sheer to heavier coverage, and they state that it lasts up to six hours. These are ten shades in total, and this post looks at the first five (and the next post will cover the remaining five).

Here are official color descriptions for the five in this post: Blue Orbit (light iridescent purple), Dark Dare (charcoal black), Grand Galaxy (dirty mid-tone violet), Havana (dirty copper brown), and Lunar (royal blue).

  • Blue Orbit is a violet purple with blue undertones and a soft silvery-purple sheen. This was one of the sheerest shades out of the ten–it was fairly sheer when applied dry, and there was still some underlying sheerness when used damp. I tried to test this one dry, but it was difficult to get it to show up! MAC Wintersky is bluer, less purple. Urban Decay Blue Bus is darker.
  • Dark Dare is a medium-dark black with brown undertones and a very subtle silver and teal micro-shimmer (hardly noticeable, looks almost matte from afar). It has a slightly dry look when it is applied dry to the skin, but it takes on a smoother result when applied damp. This one has a “glow” finish, and though I don’t know what that means in MAC-speak, it has a low-level sheen compared to the other shades. It’s similar to a lot of other black eyeshadows.
  • Grand Galaxy is a medium purple with red undertones and a silvery metallic sheen. It is less metallic and almost redder-toned when applied dry, while when it is applied damp, it takes on a more metallic quality to the finish. theBalm Lavish Latoya and Urban Decay AC/DC are similar to the dry swatch of Grand Galaxy. Bare Escentuals Encore is in-between the dry and damp swatch.  Estee Lauder’s Cyber Lilac is not a dupe!
  • Havana is a medium-dark warmed-up amber brown with subtle orange undertones (but it doesn’t read red at all). This is one of the more pigmented shades, as it is opaque both dry and damp. The damp swatch makes the color appear a little darker, but there’s a very low-level sheen in the finish either way. MAC Buckwheat is very similar. MAC Make Your Mark is a touch red-toned. Laura Mercier Cedar is a little yellow-toned.
  • Lunar is a midnight navy blue with a subtle violet purple shimmer over a blackened navy base. The blackened base is most apparent when it is used dry, while it takes on a very smooth blue result when applied damp. It is rather sheer when used dry as well. MAC Naval Blue is purpler. MAC Blue Flame is similar but has a more intense black base. MAC Shop & Drop is darker and more purple-tinted. MAC Blue Storm is slightly purpler.

I’ve put off the writing of this post for the majority of the day for two reasons: 1) readers voted highlighters over eyeshadows first, and 2) I really wanted to test a few more shades for wear, since MAC made a very specific wear claim. These are the shades that I have worn and tested for wear: Blue Orbit, Dark Dare, Havana, Modern Pewter, and Rich Core. I wore them alone over bare skin, over a primer, and used them both wet and dry.

Without a primer, they do hold up fairly well for six to eight hours when applied damp (with water), but if they are applied dry, they do seem to fade after three to four hours, with it looking rather sheer at the sixth hours. The worst thing is that when they are applied dry, they don’t stick as well, so if you rub your eye even briefly (oops!), it wipes away instantly. Over a primer, they do very well; no fading or creasing even after ten hours of wear. I was definitely surprised at how well they held up over bare skin when used damp–there was only a little fading after six to eight hours, but it was not really noticeable from afar. My eyelids are normal-to-dry, but they’ve been closer to normal these past few days.

The texture of these is that same unexpected combination of dry, soft, and smooth. There’s just this inherent dryness to it and then a real softness so it ends up applying really smooth. These can be used wet or dry, so all swatches are dry and then wet (using just water). These will look more intense, opaque, and smoother when applied damp, but overall, they were fairly pigmented when used dry. Over a primer, you can get closer to the damp results, but I still liked using these damp best. I also liked that it retained a lot of the intensity even after it dried on the lid.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blue Orbit

A-
If you want to wear these without a primer, I strongly recommend using them damp during application, because when they are applied dry, they do fade within a few hours and are mostly gone by six, but damp, the results are much, much better. The payoff is a similar story--always more intense when applied damp.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, March 28th, 2012


Urban Decay New Eyeshadows (Reformulation) Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.05 oz.) has recently undergone a reformulation so that they’re “richer and smoother” with better color payoff. I compared the original and new formulas for the four shades I have, which were Last Call, Loaded, Mushroom, and Rockstar. Chase has only been released in the new formula, I believe. I could not find Shattered (and I tried to see if I reviewed it previously but only found the Loose pigment version).

  • Chase is a medium bronze with a subtle red undertone and a glitzy golden shimmer-sheen. Urban Decay Suspect is more subdued, less golden. Bare Escentuals Cognac is a bit darker, more red-toned. MAC Woodwinked is slightly more red-toned. Inglot #406 is deeper.
  • Last Call is a plummy burgundy with a hint of pink sheen. Inglot #450 is redder, less purple. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one–everything is either too red or too purple!
  • Loaded is a blackened green-teal. It goes on very, very dark–you will lose some of the strength of the overall green/teal if you blend it out, but it doesn’t look full-on black. Bare Escentuals Max Volume is a bit lighter and greener. OCC Poison is greener. theBalm Jealous Jordana is less intense, slightly greener.
  • Mushroom is a gray-brown–it’s a very intense taupe. MAC Keep Your Cool is more muted. Chanel Illusoire is less brown.
  • Rockstar is a dark, smoky purple with subtle red undertones. MAC Indian Ink is almost like a matte version, though it is a little darker. Lancome Zip Me Up is a bit lighter. Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac is a touch lighter.
  • Shattered is a silvered blue with a green-gold duochrome. Dior Garden Pastels is slightly greener. Urban Decay Aquarius lacks the duochrome.
  • Walk of Shame is a pink-tinted light beige nude with a matte finish. I imagine it will work as a nice highlighter on lighter, cooler complexions. When I tried to use this, it looked a little chalky. It reminded me of a matte version of MAC Phloof!.

Consistently, all four reformulated versions were better than the original versions, but the difference is minor. They’re better, but not so much better (because they were already rather good) that I’d rush out to replace them. Primarily, the difference is a softer texture that has a little more give, so it almost feels creamy to the touch. The softness can result in a little more powderiness, but it is such a small amount that it is a minor concern. With Walk of Shame, there was more powderiness than with the more shimmery shades–if you’re familiar with the softer matte textures, it’s as much as expected.

I tested the wear, specifically, of these shades: Chase, Last Call, Shattered, and Loaded. None of the shades I did in recent testing (in actually comparing the formulas) had Urban Decay’s famous (or, perhaps, infamous) micro-glitter, so I’m not yet ready to do a full review on that finish. The original launch date for this was supposed to be a week out yet, which was when I was going to do the bulk of my testing, so I’m really sorry for having to scramble a bit!  With a primer, I didn’t have any wear issues, and I didn’t have wear issues with the originals previously.  Without a primer, these did seem to adhere better to bare skin than the original formula, and after eight hours of wear, there was only minor fading (it wasn’t particularly noticeable except at a very close distance).

I’ll be testing additional shades in the next few weeks and will keep you informed on how the wear goes with those!  These particular shades are some of Urban Decay’s best, so they may represent that end of the spectrum, while other shades more prone to being troublemakers may not do so well in a wear test.

The Glossover

product

Urban Decay New Eyeshadows (Reformulation) Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I really appreciate the color accuracy between the original formula and the new formula--I couldn't detect any differences between the four I was able to compare side-by-side. The new formula does wear a bit better without primer, though the results were the same when used with a primer. These are softer, smoother, and as a result, more pigmented in a single pass.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, March 26th, 2012

shu uemura P Dark Brown (861) Eyeshadow
shu uemura P Dark Brown (861) Eyeshadow

shu uemura P Dark Brown (861) Eyeshadow

shu uemura P Dark Brown (861) Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.049 oz.) is a warm, reddish-toned medium-dark brown with a golden shimmer-sheen. The “P” stands for pearl finish, which is described as a “silky shimmer of light for luminous radiance.” It’s very similar to Urban Decay Snakebite, which is a touch darker and less red-toned. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is darker, less orange. Make Up For Ever #15 is darker. MAC Buckwheat is redder, less warm. MAC Bronze is similar but a little more golden. MAC Tempting has a stronger golden sheen.

The color coverage is great, with rich pigmentation. The texture is very, very soft–almost too soft–so it has a slightly more powdery feel as a result. It applies so opaquely onto the lid, though, and the powderiness didn’t seem to lead to fall out when I was testing it out in practice. The softness enables effortless blending, too. It’s a basic brown–certainly dupeable–but lovely to use and extremely flattering on warmer skin tones. When worn over a primer, it lasts for eight hours without creasing or fading (which is quite a feat!), and I didn’t have any issues at ten hours when used over a primer.

What is pictured is an eyeshadow refill, and refills are $15 a pop, while the compacts that contain them (from shu uemura) range from $8.00 for a single, $9.00 for a duo, and $14.00 for a quad. They’re similar to other pan eyeshadows, so you could fit these into other custom palettes (like Z-palettes and the like) as well. I have a shu palette, and the shades slide into the compact, which I haven’t seen before, and I did like it. It was lightweight, slim, and held the products inside easily. I did not take the palette into account for packaging score here – the packaging with this is so minimal, there’s nothing to complain about per se. These are designed to be put into a palette, so obviously this would not be practical to keep on its own. It does come with a plastic exterior case, which is good enough to hold it until you do have a palette.

The Glossover

coming-soon

shu uemura P Dark Brown (861) Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It's a really high-quality shimmering brown with warm undertones--you may have shades that are very similar already, but if you don't, this is the kind of shade that easily becomes a staple!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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