Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette

For Every Neutral & Matte Eyeshadow Lover Out There

Urban Decay Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette ($27.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains six full-sized eyeshadows: Venus (soft, off-white demi-matte), Foxy (very light yellow/beige matte), Walk of Shame (very light pinky nude matte), Naked 2 (rosy taupe matte), Faint (warm, dusty brown matte), and Crave (deepest, darkest brown/black matte).

You’ve been pleading with Urban Decay to release a matte version of the Naked palette, and Naked Basics is their answer. You may be familiar with shades like Foxy (available individually, also in Naked 2) and Walk of Shame (exclusive to Build Your Own Palette), which have shown up in other palettes.

Venus is a white-shimmered creamy white. It’s not a full-on frost, but it is more than a satin on me. When I used this on the brow, it added quite a bit of sheen against my skin tone. The color payoff was excellent, and the texture was soft, smooth, and buttery. Urban Decay Kinky is matte. bareMinerals Silhouette is more metallic.

Foxy is a yellowed beige with a matte finish. It had good color payoff and was soft and smooth to work with. Urban Decay Booty Call is a frosted version–a little more orange. bareMinerals Serendipitous is frosted. MAC Brule is more beige.

Walk of Shame theBalm Adagio is less pink. Urban Decay Virgin is frosted. Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine is comparable. theBalm Matt Smith is similar. Inglot #390 is more beige.

Naked 2 is a soft taupe–a little brown, a touch of gray–with a matte finish. It had nice pigmentation and a soft, smooth texture. Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige is shimmery. MAC Omega is darker. MAC Camo is browner, darker.

Faint is a medium-dark brown with a hint of warmth and a matte finish. The pigmentation was perfect, and it was very soft to the touch. theBalm Sultry has a satiny sheen. bareMinerals Namaste is similar, slightly grayer. MAC Wedge is warmer.

Crave is a dark black with brown undertones and a matte finish. It was very soft, smooth, and nicely pigmented. Le Metier de Beaute Fin has micro-shimmer, which isn’t very visible applied. Giorgio Armani #1 is very similar. MAC Dark Dare has micro-shimmer.

The palette itself feels and looks tiny. It’s minimalistic (and I don’t think I’ve ever described any packaging by Urban Decay as such!) and perfect for travel. It could fit in your wallet–it’s delightfully compact and lightweight. I couldn’t believe there were full-sized eyeshadows in it. The soft, almost rubberized (but not quite like NARS’ packaging) case should hold up well to travel abuse, and it is easy to wipe down.

Now, the only warning I have is if you already have both Naked palettes, you have one shade exactly, and then Crave is similar enough to Blackout (2), while Venus is similar to Bootycall (2) and Naked 2 is a tiny bit darker/grayer than Naked (1) and Faint is a bit darker than Buck (1). See individual shade descriptions above for dupes. There are also three light shades in the palette, though they each have a different tone so they’ll work differently for cool, warm, and neutral looks but can feel repetitive.

If you’re a fan of neutrals, OR you know someone who loves (or perhaps, has to wear) neutrals, this is a must-have palette. The texture of these eyeshadows is phenomenal; silky, smooth, finely-milled, but not even a smidgen powdery. They’re densely pigmented with true-to-pan color payoff.  I test-drove them over the weekend, and they lasted eight hours without fading and stretched into the ninth hour the same way–without a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Naked Basics

Temptalia Recommends
A+
If you're a fan of neutrals, OR you know someone who loves (or perhaps, has to wear) neutrals, this is a must-have palette. The texture of these eyeshadows is phenomenal; silky, smooth, finely-milled, but not even a smidgen powdery. They're densely pigmented with true-to-pan color payoff.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

Not Quite as Tempting as Touted

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes four shades: Look at the Eyes (light violet), Stay Sultry (deep navy), Naval (navy blue), and Carbon (intense black).  It’s a limited edition palette that will launch with Taste Temptation, due for release in-stores on December 13th.

Look at the Eyes is a pale lilac with a frosted finish. It has decent color payoff, though when I used it, I really packed it on to get it to show up. It was the best performing shade out of the four. MAC Creative Whim is similar–a bit purpler. MAC Silverwear is lighter. OCC Datura is more iridescent, brighter.

Stay Sultry is a blackened purple with a bluish shimmer. It’s supposed to have a satin finish. It had a stiff, dry texture when I attempted to swatch it, and it performed similarly on the lid. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is purpler. MAC Indian Ink is also purpler, but it is similar. MAC Spellcaster is a touch redder.

Naval is an indigo blue; there’s just this purplish tint that keeps it from being as blue as it seems. It seemed even less blue when I was working with it on the eye. It looks like a matte, though it is listed as a velvet finish on the label. OCC Technoir is brighter, bluer. NARS Self Portrait 3 is lighter. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is shimmery. NARS Self Portrait 1 is more vibrant. This shade is part of the permanent (PRO) range.

Carbon is a matte black. It has sheer color payoff with a stiff, dry texture that makes blending difficult. It’s part of the permanent range, and it’s been repromoted more than a few times recently. Shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine, NARS Self Portrait 2, Milani Pitch Black, and other black eyeshadows are all similar. Matte black is a basic enough color, so it’s really about finding the texture and richness of black that you like best. Carbon is a softer black (I’d describe it as a medium black).

The best part of the quad was inviting one to use the set of four shades together. It’s a very dark set of colors, aside from the one light one, so it was interesting trying to come up with something that used all four. The best shade was Look at the Eyes, which was softer than the other three, and it proved to have the most color payoff. You might say to yourself, “But it looks pigmented in the how-to,” but since the images are static, let me tell you that in order to develop the intensity of the crease color (Naval), I put brush to pan five times. Then, three times a piece for all three shades I used on the lid (Stay Sultry, Look at the Eyes, Carbon). In comparison, for a good eyeshadow, once is usually enough.  I’ve been wearing all four eyeshadows over a primer as well as on bare lids–and you absolutely need a primer to get decent color payoff–for the past six hours, and everything looks good thus far. If I experience any fading/creasing, I’ll update the post later tonight to reflect that.

I don’t think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don’t need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow.  There’s absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.  For a similar (but these are not exact dupes!) composition by MAC with higher quality shades from their permanent range, try Beautiful Iris, Indian Ink, Atlantic Blue (for a brighter blue) or Contrast (slightly darker), and Typographic (or your preferred matte black).

The Glossover

palette

Taste Temptation

D
I don't think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don't need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow. There's absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, November 19th, 2012

bareMinerals The Happy Place Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Happy Place Eyeshadow Quad

This Happy Place is Warm and Cozy

bareMinerals The Happy Place Eyeshadow Quad ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.) includes four shades: Peace (muted apricot), Imagine (rose gold), Exhale (smoky taupe), and Euphoria (eggplant).

Peace is a soft peach with a mostly matte finish. It had excellent color payoff and was very soft and smooth. bareMinerals Stealth is a touch more orange. Urban Decay Freestyle is more beige. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is comparable, just more shimmery. MAC Nubile is a touch more beige and is a cream product. MAC Orb is more pink-toned.

Imagine is a muted, medium copper with a golden shimmer-sheen. It had good pigmentation and was fairly soft and smooth. MAC Star Myth is darker. MAC Mythical is darker and redder.

Exhale is a mauve-tinged taupe with a matte finish. It had great color payoff, and while it was very soft, it wasn’t powdery. This kind of color can be really versatile and easy-to-use in more dramatic looks as well as more natural ones. bareMinerals Suspense is lighter, grayer. MAC Cloudy Afternoon is lighter and frosted. Urban Decay Bust is grayer, frosted.

Euphoria is a reddened brown with warm, orange undertones. It had fantastic pigmentation and was very soft and smooth on the lid. Cinderella Rococo is more burgundy. bareMinerals Most Requested is more matte and muted. MAC Star Violet is pinker. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is browner, warmer.

All in all, The Happy Place is a well-made quad with nicely pigmented eyeshadows and soft, smooth textures that feel finely-milled, buttery, and dense.  Imagine was the “weakest” of the bunch, as it was slightly less pigmented compared to the other three, and a wee bit powdery.  I really do mean slight and bit–they’re so minor that one might not normally notice, but among truly stellar eyeshadows, it stood out.  When I wore all four shades together, they wore without fading or creasing for a full eight hours without a primer.

The Glossover

palette

The Happy Place

A
The Happy Place will surely make someone very happy indeed, so long as the colors are ones you'd wear! The quality is top notch, and they're so easy to blend and intensely pigmented. The four shades work well together, too.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette
Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette

Not Enough Smoke in This Smoky Eyed Palette

Giorgio Armani Moonlight White Palette ($88.00 for 0.41 oz.) is a face palette that contains one highlighter, two eyeshadows, and one lip color. The shades are described as, “White shimmer highlighting powder is paired with a gradation of grey eyeshadows to create a wash of color, finish with the red lip wax for a sophisticated winter style.”

The highlighter is a pure snowy white with a silver-white shimmer. This one was a bit more sparkly compared to the Moonlight Beige palette. The texture, while finely-milled and soft to the touch, wasn’t as blendable–perhaps easier to notice given how stark this looked against my skin tone in particular. It will look best on very, very pale complexions. The closest dupe I could think of was Benefit High Beam, which is pinker.

The lip wax is a darkened pink-red with a natural sheen. On lips, it looks more red than pink and yielded semi-opaque color coverage. It has a thin consistency, so it looked a lot like a stain when applied to the lips. MAC Fire Sign is a little brighter, but it has a similar look and feel on. NARS Flamenco is also very similar, perhaps a touch more pigmented.

The first eyeshadow is a light-medium gray with a soft shimmer. It had decent to good pigmentation, and while finely-milled, was just a bit powdery. NARS Self Portrait 2 is darker. NARS Ramatuelle is shimmery and lighter. Guerlain Les Gris is more frosted. MAC Silver Gull is similar. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit is frosty.

The second eyeshadow is a medium-dark, faded gray with a mostly matte finish, though it is sprinkled with sparkle–you just don’t see it show up or at a distance. The color payoff here was weak; it had a faded, almost dry quality to the end result. bareMinerals Chateau is more pigmented, more matte. MAC Scene is very similar, just more pigmented. Chanel Gris Exquis is similar but has no sparkle.

My biggest problem with this palette is in the composition, all quality comments aside. There’s simply not enough contrast between the two eyeshadows for a really great smoky eye. I felt like the colors together ended up looking so much like the other–instantly muddied (if mud was gray). I was originally interested to see how Giorgio Armani took a rather bold pairing (smoky eyes and red lips), but I can see now that the grays are subdued enough that the lips are more of a focal point.

The highlighter lasted just over seven hours, and after eight, there was some slight fading.  The lip wax lasted four hours, but it was a little drying to wear. Both eyeshadows were prone to blending out and disappearing (the lighter shade did this in a particularly frustrating fashion!), but once applied, they didn’t seem to fade much more. The eyeshadows appeared a little faded after eight hours without a primer (but no fading with a primer).

The Glossover

palette

Moonlight White

C+
At this price point, the quality needs to be upped quite a bit! Even if the quality was better, though, I don't think it's as versatile as it could be. Maybe with more pigmentation, you could achieve greater contrast between the two eyeshadows, but as is, they run together.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette
Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette

Let the Moonlight Bathe You in Beige

Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige Palette ($88.00 for 0.41 oz.) consists of a highlighter, two eyeshadows, and lip wax housed in a glossy black compact with a mirror and two sponge-tipped applicators. Giorgio Armani describes the shades as, “Beige shimmer powder joins taupe eyeshadows that intensify gradually, along with Beige lip wax for sheer, natural elegance.”

The highlighter is a pale white-beige with a silver-ish sparkle. There is definitely an overlay of silver glitter that dusts away within the first use (and likely, for the better, since the glitter particles are large). I removed this overlay before I swatched and applied the product. It has a shimmer-sheen finish where a little bit of shimmer is detectable, but it creates mostly a glow-y sheen on the skin. The texture was soft and finely-milled, so it blended easily and sat well on the skin without emphasizing pores or the natural texture. NARS Albatross has more of a golden sheen. MAC Lightscapade is similar but has a stronger sheen. MAC Truth & Light is a touch warmer. MAC Too Chic is frostier.

The first eyeshadow is a soft taupe that leans gray. It has a satin-like finish, and the color payoff is good. Chane Variation is grayer, darker. NARS Vent Glace is warmer, browner. bareMinerals Suspense is darker, grayer. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is darker.

The second eyeshadow is a subdued medium-dark brown with just a hint of gray. It has a mostly matte finish with a touch of satiny sheen. The color payoff seemed so-so, but on the lid, it was better–good overall. MAC Omega is lighter. Chanel Premier Regard is a smidgen darker and grayer. MAC Camo is lighter.

The lip wax is sheer, as described; it is a warm peach-beige with a soft, frosted sheen. When applied, it really just lightened my natural lip color and added a soft, frosted sheen. As far as dupes go, any sheer beige lipstick will get you close, assuming you have a natural lip color similar to mine. It had more color than MAC Tropical Mist. RevlonC reme Brulee is comparable in color, though it is a bit more pigmented.  I didn’t love the formula of this, as it is very unforgiving on the lips, since the texture is on the drier side.

The eyeshadows wore for eight hours without fading or creasing (without a primer).  They were incredibly easy to apply and blended out beautifully.  The highlighter lasted for eight hours with minor fading along the edges.  The lip wax lasted two hours on me from what I could tell–something as sheer as this harder to determine!

Overall, I like the palette, but I’m not in love.  The price point is heart-wrenching, and so I need to be in love with the entire palette to get excited about it.  The eyeshadows performed better when I was applying them, and as they’re finely-milled and very, very soft, they can become sheer if blended out enough (which is what happened when I swatched them).  The whole look this palette creates is soft and natural; very work-friendly and nearly foolproof to create.

The Glossover

palette

Moonlight Beige

B+
The whole look this palette creates is soft and natural; very work-friendly and nearly foolproof to create.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Tom Ford Enchanted Eyeshadow Quad
Tom Ford Enchanted Eyeshadow Quad

Tom Ford Enchanted Eyeshadow Quad ($75.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition palette described as “neutral.” It contains a pressed powder formula that can be used wet and dry, and the formula is different than the original quads released with the line. It is the same formula as Emerald Lust.

The first shade is an icy, cool-toned pink with a frosted sheen. It had good pigmentation both wet and dry. MAC ready to Party is pinker. MAC Fresh & Mint is comparable. Dior Garden Roses is less frosted. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk has a pink iridescence. MAC Fresh Ice is a bit whiter.

The second shade is a pink-tinged peach with a frosted, metallic finish. It had good color payoff dry, but it had excellent payoff when used damp/wet. MAC Pink Frontier is less frosted. Chanel Abstraction is darker, more coral. bareMinerals Custom is warmer, less pink. Le Metier de Beaute Nouvelle is warmer.

The third shade is a gray-tinged mauve with a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation both wet and dry, though the frosted finish was more pronounced when used wet. NARS 413 Blkr is pinker. NARS Flowers 1 is a bit darker. MAC Joy & Laughter is darker. MAC Hypnotizing is darker, more mauve.

The last shade is a burgundy-brown with a soft, frosted finish. The color payoff was amazing–incredibly rich–and the texture was so, so smooth. MAC Sketch is less shimmered. Cinderella Rococo is lighter, less intense. MAC Rich Core is purpler. theBalm Sexy is matte. Make Up For Ever #311 is plummier.

I was not in love with Tom Ford’s original eyeshadow quads, but the formula used in the two fall palettes is phenomenal (Enchanted is one of them). The shades are nicely pigmented with soft, finely-milled textures that apply smoothly and even, and the formula adheres and wears all day long without a primer.  It has such a creamy, buttery texture that it just makes you go, “oooh!” as you touch it.  I thought the composition of this palette was more versatile in Enchanted than in Emerald Lust, because this had less over-the-top frosts.

The Glossover

palette

Enchanted

A

It has such a creamy, buttery texture that it just makes you go, "oooh!" as you touch it. I thought the composition of this palette was more versatile in Enchanted than in Emerald Lust, because this had less over-the-top frosts. Though, this color combination is more dupable.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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