Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad
Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) is part of the Precious Stones collection, just in time for the holidays. Everything is inspired by the “sumptuous shades and textures” of precious stones and gem colors. It’s not exactly the interpretation I would expect when one is looking at jewels and gems–I always think turquoise, sapphire, ruby, but there are certainly lighter, less dramatic stones, too.

The first shade in the palette is a pale pink-lilac with a soft, frosted finish that is just slightly sheer. theBalm Curtain Call is purpler. It’s actually very, very similar to MAC Seedy Pearl. Make Up For Ever #303 is pinker and frostier. Next to that is a softened orange–kind of like a peach shimmered pale orange with a frosted finish. Like the first shade, it’s a touch sheer. The hue is similar to theBalm Stubborn Eyeshadow.

On the bottom left, we have a frosted, cool-toned white. It’s just shy of being silver-tinted. The theme of the quad is definitely softer color, because this one was also a little sheer. theBalm Sassy is similar in color. MAC Forgery is also similar but has a chunkier texture. Inglot #453 is similar but more opaque and has a more metallic finish.  The last shade is medium-dark red-tinted brown with a champagne sheen. This was the most pigmented shade of the four. Bare Escentuals Vow is similar in color but has a satin finish, so it doesn’t look quite the same.

From Dolce & Gabbana’s press release on this collection, this quad is supposed to be a contrast between highlighting and shading, though I’m not sure where they’re getting “light jet” or “dark topaz.” I’m going to assume “light jet” is somehow the white shade. At some point in the press release, they describe the eyeshadow colors of the collection as “soft pearl hues to vibrant jewel shades.” Nothing about the Jewels quad is at all vibrant. They’re all very soft and muted. If you want intense color, look elsewhere, but if you like your eyeshadow soft and more natural, this should be right up your alley.

The confusion as to the pigmentation level aside, the texture of these was a bit powdery, with the peach-orange shade being the least powdery . It’s a very soft formulation, but it’s too soft, because it creates a lot of excess product without enough binder. I find I have to pack and pack and pack on the color to get a noticeable, even layer of color. They don’t just blend but disappear. You have to use a heavy hand to get enough color to show on the lid, but then you have to use the lightest hand to blend away any edges.  It’s marginally better when they’re used wet, but not by much, because the color still fades–there’s just a little less fall out.

I always find Dolce & Gabbana eyeshadows require more work and patience than an eyeshadow ought to.  I think these can work for someone who only sweeps on a single color and loves the idea of variety in color but really loves the idea of barely-there color on the lid (I have a friend just like this!) and is happy to see a visual difference in the pan but doesn’t mind the actual results.  They just don’t cooperate well when they’re used together.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dolce & Gabbana Jewels (142) Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
I haven't been impressed with a lot of Dolce & Gabbana's eyeshadows lately, which is a shame. They can do an excellent lipstick, but their range of eye products has been full of misses.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, November 25th, 2011

Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Cyber Green Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a deep, dark blackened-brown olive green with forest green and olive green micro-shimmer. It’s blacker and sootier when it’s applied dry, and it takes on a more metallic finish with a stronger green tone when it is applied wet. The pigmentation is good dry but great wet. I couldn’t think of a dupe for it–it’s really, really dark but not quite black. Milani Melange is the closest, but it is is more like a blackened-brown with gold shimmer, rather than green. Always a bonus when I can’t think of a dupe!

Estee Lauder’s new Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadows are a highly metallic eyeshadow that fan be used wet or dry. It’s a “tri-blend” formula that’s gel, powder, and liquid all-in-one. It’s also supposed to be high in pigmentation, blend easily, and long-lasting without fading. The powder is soft, almost powdery, and feels very, very dry in a way. Like some eyeshadows are soft and buttery and more like a cream (but still a powder), but this feels almost dry, even though it’s not stiff or chalky. The texture is definitely interesting–it reminded me of baked/mineralize eyeshadows, actually, except super compacted.

I find it’s a little powdery when it’s used dry, so I prefer to use it wet to minimize fall out (if you use it dry, make sure to tap your brush handle against your fore arm to loosen excess powder). I’ve used it both ways, though, without a primer, and the results have been good. I find it wears dry for six hours well, but it looks a bit faded by eight hours. When I wore it wet (again, without primer or a base!), it lasted longer–eight hours and then some subtle fading after ten hours.

Though these are listed as 0.03 oz. a pop, it doesn’t seem that small in the pan. It seems about the same as your average eyeshadow or slightly bigger. You don’t need a lot of product to achieve opaque color either, so I wouldn’t be overly concerned with it running out quickly.

The Glossover

LE
product

Cyber Green

B+
It's an interesting formula; I feel like it's a cross between your more traditional pressed powder eyeshadow and baked/mineralize eyeshadows. It's not quite the former, but it seems different from the latter!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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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

Results
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Dupes
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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

Results
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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

Results
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Dupes
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