Monday, April 9th, 2012

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette
Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette

Milani Primary Runway Eyes Palette ($8.99 for 0.32 oz.) contains six shades arranged as thin strips inside a clear, plastic compact. It comes with a dual-ended sponge-tipped applicator (not particularly useful). The product can be used dry for a sheerer, shimmery color, or it can be used damp for greater intensity.

The last time I tested one of these palettes, I wasn’t particularly impressed (see this review), but I was pleasantly surprised with Milani’s latest addition to their Runway Eyes line-up. Primary packs a lot more color payoff both wet and dry! It’s an excellent buy if you’re looking for really bright pops of color and don’t want to spend a lot.

The first shade is a primary canary yellow with warm undertones and a shimmery finish. It has good color payoff both dry and wet–when it’s wet, it’s just slightly brighter, but it’s opaque color either way. MAC Bright Sunshine is similar, slightly lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is a bit darker, almost more orange-y (but not orange at all). Inglot #370 is matte and not as sunshine-yellow.

The second shade is a shimmery red with subtle orange undertones. When it’s applied dry, it has more of a brick red hue, whereas when it is applied damp, it appears redder and the orange tones become muted. Milani I Heart You is similar to the dry swatch. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm isn’t as shimmery.

The third shade is a medium orange with a tangerine orange shimmer and sheen. The color payoff when it is applied dry is a bit faded/muted, and when it is applied damp, it’s better, though it is one of the softer shades in the palette. MAC Fresh Daily is similar but a touch darker. MAC Rule has a matte finish and is a bit darker.

The fourth shade is a blue-based purple with a soft, shimmery finish. When applied dry, there’s a noticeable sheerness to the color, which does improve when applied damp. Urban Decay Ransom is similar, slightly cooler. MAC Pink Union is richer, more intense. MAC Parfait Amour is bluer.

The fifth shade is an aqua-teal with a shimmery sheen. This was one of the sheerer shades both wet and dry, though it does intensify to get to good color payoff when used wet. MAC Shimmermoss is a bit greener, more opaque. Make Up For Ever #302 is very similar but more metallic in finish. MAC Rain Drop is darker.

The sixth (and final!) shade is a medium-dark blue with a hint of violet. It looks more navy blue when applied dry, because the sheen disappears and there’s some sheerness in the hue. When applied damp, the color intensifies tremendously and has a lovely sheen that’s glowy without being metallic. MAC Love Cycle is darker, bluer, no violet in sight. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is lighter. MAC Blue Storm is darker. NARS Outremer is matte.

I don’t love the overall setup of the palette, because each strip of color is too thin. I usually use MAC’s 239 eyeshadow brush to apply eyeshadows, but it was a little too big–I ended up using the MAC 213, which worked better.  Each strip is fairly soft–if you pressed your finger against it, you could flatten it out with medium pressure, so the palette is a little fragile.  The texture of the eyeshadows is soft and smooth, and the color payoff is fairly good to great when applied damp.

When I tested this palette, it wore well both with and without a primer, though it did perform better with a primer–no creasing though very subtle fading around the edges with a primer after eight hours, but there was minor creasing after seven hours without a primer.  What I did really like was how much intensity remained when using these wet!  Typically, when you use a product wet, it often loses some of its vibrancy as it dries back down, but these really retained their color. Milani didn’t mention that these were long-wearing, crease-resistant, etc. on their own, so longevity is based on wear with a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Primary

A-
This is one of the better pigmented products I've found at this price point for shades like these--it's not always easy to find really vibrant yellows, reds, or purples. Milani does each shade fairly well to exceptionally well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes six shades of neutral eyeshadows. These include: Chino (light cool beige), Praline (nude with golden pearl), Pink Chandelier (warm pink with golden pearl), Stone (neutral grey brown), Champagne Truffle (warm pink beige), and Cocoa Berry (rich brown plum).

  • Chino is a soft, gray-tinted light-medium brown with a mostly matte finish. This has a matte finish (officially). It was smooth and soft with good color payoff. Chanel Beige Lame is similar but has shimmer. Urban Decay Naked is browner.
  • Praline is a warm medium brown with a champagne-gold shimmer and sheen. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. As such, the color payoff is good but there is an underlying sheerness that’s intentional with this finish. The shimmer seems to be more integrated with the base color, so it didn’t have a lot of fall out issues. MAC Love Connection is darter, more coppery. Urban Decay Chopper is more of a coppery-orange. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is darker. MAC Moleskin is close but doesn’t have shimmer.
  • Pink Chandelier is gold and copper shimmered beige. This has a Metallic finish. For whatever reason, this shade was horrible. The color payoff was beyond sheer, and the texture was dry and gritty. Absolute miss! I couldn’t even give you a dupe, because it’s hard to determine what this color is actually supposed to be.
  • Stone is a medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones. This has a matte finish. MAC Lie Low is a bit darker and redder in tone, plus it has a shimmery finish. MAC Texture is darker, more yellowed. Inglot #357 is the closest, though slightly warmer.
  • Champagne Truffle is a medium coppery brown. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. It has good color payoff overall. Wet ‘n’ WIld Comfort Zone is slightly darker. Urban Decay Blaze is similar.
  • Cocoa Berry is a burgundy-brown with a satiny sheen. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. It’s very, very dry and difficult to work with, because it doesn’t want to apply. It’s supposed to be sheer, so even though it looks awful in the payoff department, that’s what it’s supposed to be! Inglot #378 is a bit darker and matte. Chanel Ebloui is similar but more burgundy.

The palette starts out on a good note, but once you reach the third shade, it starts going downhill.  Pink Chandelier and Cocoa Berry were both troublemakers, though the former was truly an awful shade to work with.  These eyeshadows all felt a little drier than Bobbi Brown’s usual formula.   Ultra Nude is a decent palette but with two under-performers, it’s not the best bang for your buck or one of the top five neutral palettes on the market.  When I test drove this palette, I used Chino, Praline, Stone, and Cocoa Berry together, and they wore fairly well with only minor fading after eight hours when applied without a primer–with a primer, there were no problems with the wear.  Cocoa Berry made me want to tear my hair out, because it was so difficult to blend.

The Glossover

palette

Ultra Nude

B
One-third of the palette is a let-down, and I think it's better to buy individual shades that you really love and would use than a palette that's just so-so. I did appreciate that Bobbi Brown included multiple finishes within a single palette, though.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Call Me Bubbles (light tan), Fresh Daily (orange), Full of Flavour (coral), and Brash (frosty reddish copper).

  • Call Me Bubbles is a light beige with a shimmery finish. The color payoff is decent but there is some underlying sheerness. It has a satin finish–it has more of a frosted look than your average satin. This shade will be a nice highlighter on light-medium to medium skin tones especially. It’s a bit like the shade in Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla. Urban Decay Skimp is similar but lighter. MAC Bisque is a touch darker and matte.
  • Fresh Daily is a medium orange with a tangerine shimmer-sheen. It has a frost finish that looks a little bit like a satin, too (not quite as shimmery as most frosts). The pigmentation is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa has a similar orange but matte and slightly darker. MAC Rule is similar but matte.
  • Full of Flavour is a brightened coral-pink. It has a matte finish. The texture is soft, just the tiniest bit powdery, and delivers good color payoff. It’s very similar to MAC Early Bird but a tiny bit darker. MAC Free to Be is also similar.
  • Brash is a molten copper with a frosted metallic sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture is so soft and smooth, and the resulting color payoff is excellent. Tarina Tarantino Dreamy has a shade that’s a bit more orange, less red. Shades like Urban Decay Baked and MAC Bronze aren’t similar because they’re more gold and bronze, while this is distinctly copper without being too red. This shade is a repromote.

It reminded me a bit of MAC Spring Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad, which has the same really warm, sunset-ish feel, but it’s definitely different.  This is the warmest palette out of the three.  If you don’t like the way orange tends to look on your skin tone, this is the quad you could easily skip, since two shades have a fair amount of orange in them.  Like the other two quads, the shades included really mesh well.  I like the inclusion of different finishes so you can get more depth out of a look if you only wanted to use the shades included.  You should be able to make a pretty sunset-like eye out of this, though it will have a fair amount of brightness out of it.

 

The Glossover

palette

Call Me Bubbles

A-
The quality of this eyeshadow palette is much more in line with the quads of yesteryear, and it is the best quad out of the three. None of the textures are dry or stiff, and the color payoffs are good or better overall.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Sugar Snack (light pink), Hypnotizing (frosted greyed mauve), Power Boosted (violet), and Shop & Drop (deep blue).

  • Sugar Snack is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a matte finish. It’s a really soft, almost buttery, matte so the color payoff is good without being powdery. It reminded me of MAC Pen ‘n’ Pink, which is a touch lighter. Inglot #356 is lighter. MAC Paradise Island is similar, perhaps darker, with inferior color payoff.
  • Hypnotizing is a dark mauve-brown with high shimmer. It has a frost finish. It’s soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. It’s similar to a fair amount of shades, including Tarina Tarantino Fantastical, MAC Winterized, Bare Escentuals Romp, and MAC Tendersmoke.
  • Power Boosted is a fuchsia violet with a pearly sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It has decent color payoff, though it is a little sheerer and drier compared to other shades in the palette. NYX Violetta is similar but less iridescent. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is pinker. Urban Decay Purple Haze is similar in color, but it has a matte finish.
  • Shop & Drop is a deep smoky blue with hints of purple with a pearled sheen. It has a satin finish. The color payoff is decent to good, but the texture is a touch dry. Inglot #321 is similar in color but matte. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar but a touch purpler. MAC Blue Storm is brighter.

This is a good palette–none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC’s eyeshadow quads).  Both Sugar Snack and Hypnotizing are really nice and easy to work with, while Power Boosted and Shop & Drop are decent to good but could be more pigmented or softer.  Shop & Drop looks less nuanced when worn, especially if you’re using a neutral base, because it does have a blackened-blue base.  Hypnotizing is a shade we’ve seen before, but the other three are new and exclusive to this palette.

The Glossover

palette

Shop & Drop

A-
This is a good palette--none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC's eyeshadow quads). If you've been looking for a purple eyeshadow palette, this might be one to check out.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19. oz.) includes these shades: Laundry Daze (light yellow), Colour Added (bright yellow), Pre-packaged (muted turquoise), and Self-Serve (deep grey).

  • Laundry Daze is a pale white-yellow with this faint hint of green. There’s just something slightly green in it, but it doesn’t cast or really look green. Whatever it is, it actually works really well with the rest of the shades because it coordinates and blends into them. This shade has a satin finish and has good color payoff. It’s, perhaps, a much, much lighter version of Dior Garden Pastels. I couldn’t think of any other potential dupes.
  • Colour Added is a brightened yellow with a kiss of chartreuse. It had excellent color payoff and felt very smooth. It has a veluxe pearl finish. NARS Rated R is greener. MAC Double Feature 2 is noticeably greener but not as green as Rated R. MAC Bitter is closer but a touch greener. MAC Three Ring Yellow is pretty close.
  • Pre-packaged is a darkened navy blue with a hint of teal. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The color payoff is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. Bare Escentuals Water is a bit like it, but tealer and more matte in finish. Guerlain Les Gris has a similar blue but a little muted.
  • Self-Serve is a medium-dark gray-brown with a subtle pearled sheen. It has a satin finish. The color payoff is horrendous–it’s like a trick eyeshadow! The swatch I managed to capture is a layered swatch; that’s the color built up as much as I could muster. The texture is dry, stiff, and loathes to be blended. Guerlain Les Gris has a similar grayish-brown kind of shade with better color payoff, though it has more of a matte finish. MAC Scene is a bit similar but less brown. MAC Moody is darker and browner but seems to be kind of what they were going for.

Everything was looking SO promising until I swatched Self-Serve, and then the eyeshadow loving part of me died a little inside. I was like, “What? How could you be such a tease?” Of course, a mere swatch on the arm only tells a partial story, so I went to test it in a look. It doesn’t apply much better over bare skin with a brush, but it is slightly better. It definitely needs a primer to yield truer color payoff, but here’s the rub: it’s just as dry, stiff, and difficult to blend applied as it was swatched. This lack of blendability made it a really frustrating shade to work with.

I was loving the quad until I tried Self-Serve.  It has potential, and depending on your level of patience and whether or not you have similar shades to the other three eyeshadows, it may or may not be worth it.   The quality of the other three is much, much higher; the two veluxe pearls feel soft, smooth, and deliver so much color. If we ignore Self-Serve, the quad would have received an overall rating of an A. Unfortunately, Self-Serve is not just a little bad but really bad, which resulted in scores of 1, 4, 1, 9, and 1.5. (Packaging is a single score that isn’t averaged across the four shades since it’s not impacted by the individual shade’s performance.)

The Glossover

palette

Colour Added

C+
It has potential, and depending on your level of patience and whether or not you have similar shades to the other three eyeshadows, it may or may not be worth it.   The quality of the other three is much, much higher; the two veluxe pearls feel soft, smooth, and deliver so much color.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Dior Garden Roses Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Garden Roses Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Garden Roses Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Garden Roses Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a limited edition palette for spring that features five shades of pink, purple, and gray.  The new palettes for spring are slightly lighter (0.16 oz. vs. 0.21 oz.) compared to other five-pan palettes, though everything looks to be about the same visually.  The texture of the eyeshadows from spring have a drier feel to them, which might be an explanation for the discrepancy in quantity.  When I trialed these eyeshadows on the eye (without primer), I managed eight hours with slight fading but no creasing.

The first shade is a soft, frosted pink with gold shimmer. It’s a yellow-based pink with decent to good color payoff but does have some underlying sheerness and a drier texture. It’s similar to MAC Taupeless. Inglot #431 is a bit lighter, no golden shimmer. Make Up For Ever #303 is also a few steps lighter.

The second shade, which is on the top right, is a pale pink-tinted white with a golden-white frosted finish. The color payoff with this shade was good, and it applied very smoothly. It’s whiter than Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk. It has more of a frosted finish compared to Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse. It’s similar to MAC Defiance.

In the middle, there is a red-toned medium-dark purple with a satiny sheen. It has good color payoff and a soft, smooth consistency. Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac is several shades darker. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is less metallic. MAC Plush is more vibrant. theBalm Kissy Kissy is less red-toned. Bare Escentuals Encore is very similar.

The fourth shade, on the bottom left, is a golden pewter–a little silver, gray, and gold all mixed together–with a frosted, metallic sheen. Inglot #431 and Make Up For Ever #303 are a bit more yellow-toned.

The last shade, on the bottom right, is a pink lilac with a metallic shimmer-sheen. It has decent to good color payoff but seems a bit sheer. It’s similar to MAC Palladium. Giorgio Armani #19 is more golden, lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is more golden.

The Glossover

palette

Garden Roses

B+
Everything has a fairly shimmered finish, so you may want to mix and match with other finishes to create more dimension. When worn together, it can feel like frost overload, depending on which shades you use!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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