Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Bite Beauty Watercolor Lipgloss Library
Bite Beauty Watercolor Lipgloss Library

Bite Beauty Watercolor Lipgloss Library ($49.00 for 12 x 0.05 oz. / 0.60 oz. total) is a set of twelve lipglosses “inspired by watercolor’s ethereal beauty.” The gloss formula is supposed to be sheer and hydrating. The pigmentation actually varies a lot within the set; some shades are sheer, others are more semi-opaque and almost opaque at times. The formula is medium-thick, very tacky, and has a citrus-like scent but no discernible taste to me. I think the set has a lovely presentation, but the formula is all over the place, and inconsistency is one of the worst things to find in a range. Some shades went on smoothly and evenly, while others were streaky, clung to any and all imperfections, and looked messy applied. I found the majority to be so tacky that it was difficult to spread out the gloss across the lips without pulling at the lip. I wish more brands would describe their colors individually, and use descriptors like “sheer” and “full coverage” to indicate colors that are a little different than the standard shade in the formula. This set was a total miss for me, and I really wish I could have said otherwise.

One (Watercolor) is a pale, light yellow that almost has a green tinge. It had a creamy, glossy finish with a heavier consistency that still managed to settle into every single line on my lips. It had sheer pigmentation but applied horribly. It lasted for three hours and was lightly hydrating. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Two (Watercolor) is is a very light pink with cool, blue-gray undertones and a cream finish. It was semi-opaque, but it settles into lip lines and almost “clumps” at times. It wore well for four hours and was lightly hydrating, but it progressively settled into lip lines as it wore. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Three (Watercolor) is a muted, light-medium pink with gray tones and a cream finish. It had semi-sheer pigmentation that went on somewhat evenly–better than the previous two–but still looked a bit streaky. It wore well for three hours and was lightly hydrating. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Four (Watercolor) is a brightened, light-medium purple lavender with cool undertones and a cream finish. It’s such a shame–it is such a cool color that you don’t see often, yet it applies so poorly, with streaky, uneven color that migrates into lip lines from the initial application and simply worsens as it wears for the next three hours. At least it was a little hydrating! See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Five (Watercolor) is a light, minty green with subtle, cool undertones and a cream finish. It had sheer coverage on the lips, but it was thicker and milky enough where it tended to sit in lip lines, though it wasn’t as bad as some of the other shades. It wore well for two and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Six (Watercolor) is a brightened, pink-coral with warm undertones and a cream finish. This was far from sheer, as it was nearly opaque on the lips. It applied fairly evenly and smoothly with only a little bit of gloss getting into the lip lines. The gloss itself lasted for almost six hours on, but it did pull into lip lines towards the last two hours of wear. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Seven (Watercolor) is a brightened red with warm undertones and a cream finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that went on fairly evenly and smoothly. This shade lasted for five hours on me and was moderately hydrating. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Eight (Watercolor) is is a muted, medium orange with warm undertones and a cream finish. It had semi-sheer color coverage that went on smoothly for the most part. It lasted for four hours and was hydrating. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Nine (Watercolor) is a pink-tinted berry with subtle, warmer undertones and a cream finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, but it didn’t apply evenly. It looked splotchy on me, though it lasted for four hours and was moisturizing. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Ten (Watercolor) is a brightened, medium pink with warm undertones and a cream finish. This shade had semi-opaque color coverage that went on fairly evenly and stayed on for four and a half hours. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Eleven (Watercolor) is a bold, bright fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a cream finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation–you can tell there’s still some translucency, but it appears more opaque to the eye at a glance because it is so bright, I think. It applied evenly for the most part, but the application could still have been better. The color lasted for five hours on me. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Twelve (Watercolor) is a medium-dark purple with a hint of pink and a cream finish. It had sheer coverage, but it looked so uneven/blotchy on the lips. It lasted for three hours on me. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Watercolor Library

C

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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LE
product

One (Watercolor)

D+

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Two (Watercolor)

D+

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

NARS Parallel Universe Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Parallel Universe Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Parallel Universe Eyeshadow Duo ($35.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a mix of a light rose with copper sparkle and pinky-lavender with violet and teal sparkle. Both shades are jam-packed with sparkle, so there is fall out while they are worn, and I would suggest a lightly tacky base or glitter adhesive to combat it. If you love your sparkle, don’t mind a slightly sheerer look, then you may really like these. They have a lot of the same downfalls as we’ve seen with similarly sparkly eyeshadows, so while they’re definitely pretty on, the formula itself isn’t perfected. I think they could also work well layered over cream eyeshadows and bases.

Parallel Universe (Left) is described as an “iridescent pink lilac.” It’s a brightened, light rosy pink with copper and teal flecks of sparkle and shimmer over a more metallic finish. This is a tough color to truly capture, because there are teal flecks that sparkle but seem to get lost entirely in photos. Instead, coppery-red flecks dominate in photographs but sit in the background in real life when there’s a fair amount of light coming into wherever you are, while in dimmer light (say walking down a hallway during the day, so there’s some natural light but little direct or flooded light), the red flecks take centerstage. The color itself isn’t really a duochrome (I tried angling my arm to capture the flecks, but the base color doesn’t shift). The texture is soft, lightly powdery, and I tried using it both wet and dry. NARS’ eyeshadow formula is touted as wet/dry, though I don’t find that true with all their finishes (e.g. mattes), but it seemed to be fine to use a damp brush with this product. It had semi-sheer pigmentation applied dry and was more sparkly with less of the base color coming through, and it was prone to fall out during application and wear. When I applied it damp, it was smoother and more pigmented, but it appeared lighter as the brighter base color was more noticeable; it was also easier to apply to the lid. I had seven hours of wear out of this shade before it creased. I can see this being a really pretty, sparkly wash of warmth over the lid for those who like one-and-done shades. bareMinerals Rose Gold (P, $14.00) is darker. MAC After Dusk (P, $16.00) is darker, less metallic. Tom Ford Beauty Enchanted #2 (LE) is less wamr-toned. Urban Decay Provocateur (LE, $18.00) is lighter.MAC Mineral Mode (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Rose Light (LE, $32.50) is cooler-toned. Giorgio Armani #29 (LE, $33.00) is less sparkly. Too Faced Mauvelous (LE) is similar. Get comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Parallel Universe (Right) is described as an “iridescent violet.” It’s a light-medium lavender with subtle, cool undertones and a mix of copper and teal sparkle. Applied dry, it had semi-opaque pigmentation that tended to sheer out more readily as the eyeshadow didn’t bind as much with itself, so it had a drier, more powdery appearance on the skin. Applied damp, it was smoother with a higher, more reflective finish and was easier to work with on the lid without losing intensity. On me, it showed signs of creasing after seven hours of wear and had some fall out over time. Maybelline Hibiscus Heartbreak (125) (LE, $6.99) is less sparkly, cream. Giorgio Armani #14 (P, $32.00) is warmer. Make Up For Ever D926 Blueberry (P, $21.00) is darker. Illamasqua Charm (P) is warmer, less sparkly. MAC A Party of Pastels #3 (P, $21.00) is less sparkly. Kat Von D Arcadia (LE) is cooler-toned, less sparkly. MAC Tropica (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned, less sparkly. L’Oreal With a Twist (LE, $7.99) is darker, cooler-toned. Urban Decay Grifter (P, $18.00) is cooler-toned. NARS Marie-Galante #1 (LE, $24.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Amethyst (P, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Kitschmas (P, $21.00) is less sparkly. Get comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Parallel Universe

C+

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Parallel Universe (Left)

C+

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Parallel Universe (Right)

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

MAC Amber Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Amber Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Amber Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00 for 0.18 oz.) is a warm-toned set of neutral eyeshadows with a mix of some of MAC’s long-time permanent options along with shades from past limited edition releases as well as new shades (that seem to be exclusive to this palette). Each eyeshadow is about the size of a dime and contains 0.02 oz., whereas a full-sized eyeshadow contains 0.05 oz. (or 0.04 oz. if it is a Veluxe Pearl eyeshadow). The compact is the size of MAC’s eyeshadow quads. I would consider this a palette that’s real value is in getting nine shades for $40, otherwise it’s about the same amount of product you get in a pre-made MAC eyeshadow quad (0.19 oz.). The quality seems comparable to MAC eyeshadows in general, and the shades available as singles seem to perform like their individual versions.

If there’s a lull in new products, I might go back and test out the shades for wear, but there are so many other limited edition MAC products to get through that this is definitely a lower priority at the moment — but here are photos and swatches with brief descriptions and initial thoughts! Hopefully this is still helpful! :)

Cozy Grey is described as a “cool grey [with a Matte finish].” It’s a light beige with a subtle gray tone and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque color payoff, soft but a little firmly packed into the pan. This was released previously in the 15-pan Cool Neutral palette.

Kitties is described as a “pale bronze [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium, yellowed gold with a frosted, metallic finish. The texture was soft, fairly smooth, and it was mostly opaque.

Georgia Peach is described as a “dirty rose pink [with a Matte finish].” It’s a muted, medium-dark peach-brown with a matte finish. The texture was on the firmer side but yielded decent color payoff.

Ricepaper is described as a “peachy gold with shimmer [with a Frost finish].” It’s a lightened yellow with a frosted finish. It had a soft, blendable texture on the skin with good pigmentation. It seemed a smidgen yellower compared to my original.

Creative Copper is described as a “light beige [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a golden copper with hints of brown and a glittery, sparkly finish over a metallic sheen. Lustres are typically sheerer with noticeable sparkle/glitter and almost always have fall out. This has been released as a limited edition shade as well as in the 15-pan Warm Neutral palette, but it’s not as good as the one in the 15-pan palette–it is more like the limited version, as it is chunky and doesn’t hold together as well. I would use this one over a base for sure to help it bind.

Cork is described as a “muted golden brown [with a Satin finish].” It’s a muted, medium brown with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. It was semi-opaque with a soft but firmer texture. It was sheerer and noticeably lighter than my permanent pan.

Don’t Tell is described as a “sparkly brown [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a rosy brown with copper and champagne sparkle and shimmer. It had a sparkly texture that you could feel that seemed to blend out to semi-sheer coverage.

Aromatic is described as a “matte brown [with a Matte finish].” It’s a muted, dark brown with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was firm and dry, which resulted in semi-sheer, uneven pigmentation.

Pepper Please is described as a “sparkly bronze copper brown [with a Velvet finish].” It’s a muted, dark brown with subtle, reddish undertones and gold sparkles strewn through it over a matte finish. I’d expect this to look primarily matte once applied as the sparkles in Velvets rarely transfer to the lid unless you use a tackier base (which I would

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Monday, March 16th, 2015

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette
Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette ($40.00 for 0.68 oz.) is a set of highlighting and contouring powders. Two shades are most obviously contouring powders, while the other two lend themselves as more highlighters, but very fair skin tones may find they still have some color. The palette is very, very powdery–the interior is always covered in excess powdery dust and sparkle, and it can be frustrating when you get excess from the darkest shade with the lightest shade or sparkle from the highlighting shade mixed with the contouring shades. It is chocolate scented, which is noticeable when applied but wanes after two to three hours. The powders have a very soft, silky consistency with the highlighter shade having noticeable sparkle. All four shades were pretty pigmented and the silkiness made them easy to work with on the skin, and luckily, they didn’t look powdery applied. I also wish brands that released a palette like this would consider releasing at least two or three variations–this is very warm-toned and more mid-tone, so a lot of skin tones get left out.

Light Cocoa is a light, yellowed beige with a satin finish. It is a very, very subtle highlighter that I could only see marginally in person, but it doesn’t appear in photos at all. For my skin tone, it was more useful to blend out edges of the contouring shades. The texture was powdery though silky, and it lasted for seven hours before breaking down. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Medium Cocoa is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a semi-matte finish–there’s a smidgen of sheen but not a true satin or shimmery finish that ensures the powder looks natural but not flat on the skin. This looked more like a shadow that would fall on my face, though my guess is that it may be too warm-toned for those with rosier undertones. The texture was silky, very powdery, but blendable and easy to apply. It lasted for seven and a half hours before fading on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dark Cocoa is a medium-dark brown with warm, yellow and red undertones and a semi-matte finish. It had intense pigmentation and a little went a long way. The texture is very soft and powdery, so while blendable, it is harder to control the amount of product you apply. If you have medium or lighter skin, you may want to tap off excess prior to applying. This is a very, very warm-toned choice for contouring, which may work for those with a lot of golden undertones, but it is likely too warm to look like natural shadow on the face. It looks more like your typical bronzer as a result. On me, the color wears for almost eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Pop of Light is a light, peachy-beige with gold sparkle. It illuminates subtly, and then it just has a lot of larger sparkly bits that sit on the skin but don’t really do much as half of the sparkles get lost and the other half are randomly dispersed on the skin (and then travel during wear). I wish they had opted for a finer shimmer that contributed to the overall sheen of the underlying powder. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

Cocoa Contour

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Light Cocoa

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Medium Cocoa

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette
Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette

Too Faced #TFNoFilter Selfie Powders Palette ($36.00 for 0.42 oz.) contains three “lightweight, finishing face powders” designed to act like photo filters in real life. The powders have a dryness to them (even though they feel soft to the touch) that make them harder to really dust on evenly as all-over finishing powders. On my skin tone, only the bronzing powder worked well; the brightening one made my complexion look yellower, but in a jaundiced kind of way, while the illuminating powder smoothed out pores, it didn’t actually add radiance–quite the opposite, as it made my skin look very, very flat and matte.

I think these are a poor imitation of some of the more cult classic finishing powders on the market. I ended up removing all of my base products and redoing it to finish out the rest of the photos I was taking for the day (for lip products and the like), since they really made me look worse rather than better and saved testing for another day entirely. (My husband actually asked, “Are you feeling okay?” when I popped into his office with the yellow powder on.)

Sunrise is described as a “brightening diffused warmth.” It’s a light-medium yellow with a satin finish. It is semi-sheer, but it’s actually more pigmented than merely translucent, and as a result, it actually turns my skin yellow. It’s not really warming on my skin tone, more sickly and either like I’m getting jaundiced or my foundation is a poor match for me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Totally Toasted is described as a “bronzed smoothing glow.” It’s a muted, medium gold-shimmered brown with warm undertones and a soft sheen. The top layer of the product was really soft and yielded more pigmentation than anticipated (what you’d expect from a bronzer, not a finishing powder), but after initially swatching it, the pan was firmer and harder, and then it had sheer color coverage. For those who like their bronzers more matte, once that top layer disappears, it applies with such translucent coverage that there’s almost no visible shimmer on the skin. The effect is subtle and does warm my skin up slightly, but if you are much darker than me, I don’t think it will do anything for your skin tone. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Moon River is described as a “cool ethereal light.” It’s a sheer, lavender-leaning white with a very subtle satin shimmer. It is translucent like you’d expect from a finishing powder, but it doesn’t provide an “ethereal glow” to my skin at all. It makes the skin appear smoother (but all of the powders did that to the same level) without adding any luminosity or glow–I actually felt like it flattened the skin to the point where you lost the natural radiance that helps done-up skin still look like skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

#TFNoFilter Selfie Powders

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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P
product

Sunrise

C

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Totally Toasted

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 13th, 2015

Chanel L'Intemporel de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette
Chanel L’Intemporel de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette

Chanel L’Intemporel de Chanel Eyeshadow Palette ($80.00 for 0.24 oz.) includes five shades of muted, smokier shades. It was a complete and utter disaster; not worth $8, let alone $80. Described as a “rich palette” with “an absolute black” and “brilliant green and plum shades,” I don’t know what palette they’re speaking of, because these were sheer, dusty, and uneven applied to the skin. One could probably salvage it to some degree by using a tacky, colored or white-hued base. The eyeshadows are just so powdery with little binder that they don’t adhere well to bare skin, sheer away as soon as you make any attempt to blend, and they look dry and patchy. As they end up showing up rather sheer and muted, the darker shades get lost in each other. The entire look had creased and faded after five hours of wear.

L’Intemporel de Chanel #1 is described as a “gold.” It’s a light-medium, yellow gold with a soft, frosted finish. It was very powdery, but it applied the best out of the five shades, as it at least looked fairly even. It was significantly faded after five hours of wear. See swatches of similar shades / view dupes side-by-side.

L’Intemporel de Chanel #2 is described as a “brilliant green.” It’s a faded, murky forest green with a lighter green satin shimmer. Thie texture was unbelievably powdery–it just doesn’t bind; instead, it flies away as you apply it to the skin. It needs some sort of tacky base to have a hope of adhering. It looked dry, blotchy, and was the worst eyeshadow in the palette. The color had such promise in the pan, but it turned out to be a huge disappointment. See swatches of similar shades / view dupes side-by-side.

L’Intemporel de Chanel #3 is described as an “absolute black.” It’s a soft black with neutral undertones and a smattering of ultra-fine silver shimmer. It was semi-sheer, powdery, difficult to blend, and short-wearing. See swatches of similar shades / view dupes side-by-side.

L’Intemporel de Chanel #4 is described as a “plum.” It’s a muted, medium-dark plum with subtle, warm undertones and a pearly sheen. This one was deceptive; it seemed to swatch well and held together on the skin better than the other shades, but it still was difficult to apply on the lid–it just tended to blend out too readily, which made it look sheer and uneven. See swatches of similar shades / view dupes side-by-side.

L’Intemporel de Chanel #5 is described as a “silver-white.” It’s a brightened, silvery-white with cool undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It was powdery and thin so it didn’t apply evenly or with more than semi-opaque coverage. It faded after five hours. This type of color is more basic, so there are a slew of alternatives out there. See swatches of similar shades / view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

L'Intemporel de Chanel

F

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5.5/10

Longevity

5.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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LE
product

L'Intemporel de Chanel #1

F

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

5.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

L'Intemporel de Chanel #2

F

Product

1.5/10

Pigmentation

2/10

Texture

1.5/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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