Saturday, August 27th, 2011

bareMinerals The Enlightenment Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals The Enlightenment Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals The Enlightenment Eyeshadow Duo

New for October, bareMinerals The Enlightenment Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a neutral-hued compact that features Guru and Namaste. Bare Escentuals’ pressed eyeshadow formula contains SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that gives the shadow a “creamy, silky smooth” texture with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing whether worn alone or with primer–you shouldn’t see any creasing or fading. I’ve tested various combinations of shades from the duos and quads, and I’ve happily achieved ten hours of solid wear without a primer underneath. For a review of the packaging, please read my original review.

Guru is a soft, neutral light brown with only a hint of warmth–more of a champagne-beige warmth than truly golden. The finish has subtle shimmer, giving it a satin-like appearance. It’s only a couple of shades darker than my forearm (which is around NC20 I’d say). It reminds me of a yellower MAC Patina. The texture was soft and smooth without being powdery.

Namaste is a light-medium, cool-toned brown with a near-matte finish. It was a silky-smooth feel with great color payoff. It’s a bit darker than Burberry Almond and less warm compared to MAC Wedge.

The Glossover

palette

The Enlightenment

A-
For a soft set of neutrals, this duo would be great for quick, five-minute looks, especially when traveling. The finishes are softer, as are the colors themselves.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, August 25th, 2011

bareMinerals The Afterparty Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Afterparty Eyeshadow Quad

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Quads: The Afterparty

bareMinerals The Afterparty Eyeshadow Quad ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.) contains four shades: Cheers, Mingle, Rowdy, and Lights Down.  This quad launches in October, and it’s touted as a solid eyeshadow with SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that is “creamy, silky smooth” with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color” that is long-wearing when worn alone without creasing or budging. When worn alone, I was able to wear several of the new duos (which have the same formula for pressed eyeshadows) for 10 hours without an eyeshadow primer. For more details on packaging, please read my original review.

Cheers is a white with a soft, frosted finish. It has a reallyd ense, buttery texture that gives it great color payoff and smooth application. It’s not a particular unique shade, though, and as such, it is similar to several other white eyeshadows like: Cumulus and theBalm Lab Coat.

Mingle is a subtly blue-toned, light-medium gray with a silvery sheen. It has pretty good pigmentation, but the texture isn’t as dense or as buttery as Cheers–it’s still very soft and easy to work with. It’s a touch lighter than Inglot #448, lighter and less metallic compared to Deja Vu. It is closest to Inglot #324 but that has a matte finish.

Rowdy is a brown-gray-plum with a pearly sheen. It looks grayer swatched than it does in the pan. The texture is soft but less dense and creamy compared to Cheers (expected, given the more matte-like finish), but the color payoff is good. Generally, you want a matte eyeshadow that’s soft and pliable, so it’s not dry and stiff, but you don’t want it so soft that it becomes powdery, as this can often lead to chalky or uneven application. This hits a good balance between softness and blendability. It’s grayer than MAC Tendersmoke, but I couldn’t find anything else in the gallery that seemed to be very close.

Lights Down is a mostly matte black base with silver sparkle. The texture is good, and the matte base has nice color payoff. As expected, the silver sparkle doesn’t translate so much on the eye–it tends to get lost. This is the kind of color (and concept) that a lot of brands have done–think NARS Night Breed, Lancome The New Black, MAC Black Tied, etc. For as much shimmer as there is in the pan, you can see how there is very little visible in the swatch. The good part about that is there is less worry about fall out, since it doesn’t even make it to the eye!

Rowdy is one of the more unique shades in the quad, but it may be the odd one out, too–I can easily see the combination of white, gray, and black working, but Rowdy throws a wrench in there. It’s a blend of brown, plum, and gray but none of those really dominate. It’s almost like a burgundy-taupe. I like that included a variety of finishes in the quad, and as several of the other duos/quads have been, these are more basic, core colors than revolutionary shades (which is fine!).

The Glossover

palette

The After Party

B+
I like it, but I don't love it. For cooler skin tones, this could be nice for a very classic smoky eye palette, and Rowdy could be an interesting way to mix it up.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, August 21st, 2011

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Me Over: Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a limited edition set of four shades of rather cool-toned colors. It features Palace Pedigreed (deep berry with soft pink), Spellcaster (blackened violet), Evil Eye (deep yellow grey), and Moody (blackened green).

  • Palace Pedigreed is a blackened burgundy with a barely-there sheen. This has a satin finish. This shade was in the Palace Pedigreed Eyeshadow Quad from Fabulous Felines, and while the pigmentation wasn’t great then, it’s even worse now. It’s dry, sheer, and applies unevenly because of how dry and stiff the texture is. Make Up For Ever #131 is much more red-based. Bare Escentuals Passion is more similar but still has a stronger red-base. Le Metier de Beaute is richer and more red-based. MAC Fig. 1 is similar but possibly darker.
  • Spellcaster is a dark, dark purple with cool undertones. This has a matte finish. Similarly, this shade is dry, stiff, and terribly sheer. Lancome Zip Me Up is the only shade that seems to come close, and though it’s not great, it looks so much better in comparison.
  • Evil Eye is a murky gray with a green tinge. It’s splotchy, sheer, and dry. This has a matte finish. Make Up For Ever #84 is similar in color but has gold shimmer and a frosted finish. Make Up For Ever #47 is greener and less gray (same with MAC Femme Noir.
  • Moody is a purple-tinged gray with soft sheen. This has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s the most pigmented shade of the four, and though it’s better than the other three, it does feel a bit dry for a veluxe pearl. It doesn’t have the same dense, buttery texture come to veluxe pearls and the payoff is still a touch sheer. It is reminiscent of MAC Hint of Sapphire. Inglot #434 is similar but purpler.

This is quite possibly the most disappointing eyeshadow quad I’ve ever had the displeasure of trying by MAC. I think the only MAC product I’ve been more disappointed by were their Suite Array duos from years ago. Even the Big Bounce Eyeshadows, despite not meeting claims, were a product that worked well as a base. At $38, this kind of quality is a slap in the face to a buyer. Three of the four shades have barely-there pigmentation, and those same three have dry, stiff textures that make application frustrating–it doesn’t get better with a brush or on eyes. I appreciate matte and satin finish eyeshadows, but these mattes are exactly why many opt for shimmers and the like.

Side note: I triple-checked the press release, and Moody is described as both a veluxe pearl (and it is listed last on the back of the quad) but it’s certainly not a blackened green–while Evil Eye is that. I think there is a mix-up here, but I can’t confirm it until the work week starts. Since you can’t buy them separately, the determination shouldn’t affect purchasing decisions.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

F
There is nothing that warrants paying $38 for this product. The only way I was able to achieve any color for swatching was by scraping off the product. The textures are so dry and stiff, it renders these eyeshadows extremely difficult to use.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

3/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Thursday, August 18th, 2011


theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

This is part two of our review for theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette ($44.50), which includes 16 eyeshadows (1.0 oz. total), two lip/cheek stains (0.14 oz. total), and one lip gloss (0.07 oz.. It is a limited edition palette to-be-related (late September/early October) and only 1,000 will be available (each one is numbered). Check out part one for the overall review as well as a review on packaging and the first eight eyeshadows.

  • Woman, Woman is a softened forest green with golden shimmer. The finish is a soft frost. Urban Decay Bender is several shades darker, while MAC Humid is a touch greener. It’s a bit greener than theBalm Makeout Mary.
  • Curtain Call is a pink lilac with a white, frosted shimmer. This is one of two shades I had issues with–it’s a little sheer in places, and the texture isn’t as smooth as the other shades. It just feels looser overall, like it doesn’t stay bound together. It’s a bit pinker than Milani Royalty and MAC Lotusland.
  • Great Gonzo is a brightened sky blue with a white shimmer-sheen. It is bluer than NARS South Pacific and Inglot #415, but it is lighter than Make Up For Ever #83. It is closest to Make Up For Ever #118 but lighter.
  • Kissy, Kissy is a medium-dark purple with very subtle red undertones. It doesn’t lean too red or blue, which is nice. It is less red-toned compared to Bare Escentuals Encore but purpler than Lancome Zip Me Up. Urban Decay Gravity is purpler as well. It is rather similar to theBalm All the Way Annie.
  • Wild Child is a pale yellow gold with a soft, frosted finish. It’s a frosted version of Make Up For Ever #102. It is also quite close to Givenchy Lune Mordoree.
  • Lab Coat is a creamy white with a high frosted sheen. It has a smoother finish but is similar in color to theBalm Envious Erin. Inglot #447 is a slightly cooler white, while Givenchy Lune Mysterieuse is warmer.
  • Hiii-Yaaa! is a softly warmed-up beige with a metallic-frost finish. The color is similar to Cle de Peau #207 though less metallic. Urban Decay Sin is darker and pink-tinged. It is similar to NARS Delphes but has more payoff.
  • Swedish Pancakes is darker peach-beige with a frosted finish. This was the other shade I had some issues with–it has a slight grittiness from the large flecks of glitter, but the color payoff was decent to good. It’s similar to Inglot #397. MAC Jest is a touch browner. MAC Naked Lunch is also a bit browner but closer than Jest. Urban Decay Sin is a tad darker.

Now, if you know me, the eyeshadows in this palette were far and away what would have driven me to purchase one. The lip/cheek stains are surprisingly effective, and I couldn’t believe how pigmented the gloss was. The stains are creamy and blendable without being oily, and they dry down quick enough to keep your makeup routine slimmed down but not so quick you can’t blend out the color. The wear was good, too — about eight hours of flushed cheeks. The gloss was mostly opaque with a nice shine to the finish and wore for three hours.

  • Rainbow Connection is a brightened coral-red. It can be built up for more intensity, but when blended, it takes on a watermelon-like stain on cheeks or lips. It seems a bit redder than NARS Cactus Flower.
  • Le Diva is a softened fuchsia-pink with a subtle blue base and silver sparkle. This one will emphasize pores a bit more, because it has a shimmery finish, but it will complement cooler skin tones well. It seems like it might be similar to Illamasqua Laid.
  • Electric Mayhem is an opaque pink-nude with a glossy shine. It feels and looks more like a liquid lipstick than a lipgloss, though. It’s similar to MAC Super and MAC Lust.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Cast Your Shadow

A+
theBalm knocked this one out of the park--the shade includes neutrals as well as pops of color, while the finishes are mostly soft frosts and shimmers, there are a couple that are more semi-matte.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, August 18th, 2011


theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette ($44.50) includes 16 eyeshadows (1.0 oz. total), two lip/cheek stains (0.14 oz. total), and one lip gloss (0.07 oz.) and is a palette designed with The Muppets in mind. It is a limited edition palette to-be-related (late September/early October) and only 1,000 will be available (each one is numbered). The approximate value of this palette is $160.00 worth of eyeshadows, $17.00 worth of lip/cheek stains (I didn’t see a really comparable product, so I went with the value of lipsticks, since these can be used as lip stains!), and $7.00 worth of lipgloss–at the very least, this palette is worth $170+ with some uncertainty as to total value because of the lip/cheek stains (totally different formula compared to Stainiac).

I am splitting this review into two parts because of how photo-heavy it is. I will speak on the cheek/lip stains and gloss in the second part, along with the other eight eyeshadows.

Overall, the quality of the eyeshadows is fantastic. They are rich and buttery in texture, so they apply beautifully and smoothly across the skin, and the pigmentation is intense and true-to-pan. I only had issues with two of the sixteen shades: Curtain Call (slightly sheer in places, not as smooth) and Swedish Pancakes (slightly sheer, a bit rough)–but admittedly, I’m being nitpicky. Both shades are still good–just not excellent like the other fourteen. If you’ve had experience with theBalm’s Shady Lady palettes, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll find the same quality and textures in this palette as well. I really do appreciate consistency–I can write one paragraph rather than having to describe each individual shade and how it varies!

  • Tres Moi is just-barely warmed over bronzed brown with subtle red undertones. It is similar to MAC Twinks but the finish gives Tres Moi a more frosted appearance.
  • Wocka, Wocka is an olive green with a soft, golden sheen. The sheen is almost metallic. It is very similar to Bare Escentuals Spectacular. MAC Sumptuous Olive is browner and less green, while Inglot #419 is darker. theBalm Makeout Mary is a brighter green with yellowy gold sheen.
  • Meep Meep is a slightly played-down copper–it is not quite as intense as most coppery shades are–with a frosted finish. It’s similar to Urban Decay Baked, MAC Amber Lights, and Inglot #405, but it’s not quite as intense.
  • Mahna-Mahna is a deep, dark brown with subtle burgundy undertones and a satiny finish. It’s not quite as burgundy as MAC Sketch, but it is similar in color to Inglot #423 though the finishes are different enough to make the two less comparable, so Inglot #326 may be a better match.
  • Sensational is a muted, medium blue with a silvery sheen. It is similar to Urban Decay Mary Jane but slightly less cool-toned. It is darker and grayer compared to MAC Moon’s Reflection.
  • Inspirational is a dark gray with a frosted finish. It is similar to Urban Decay Gunmetal, though slightly warmer. It’s not quite as dark (and has a frostier finish) compared to theBalm Sexy Stacey. Inglot #451 is much darker.
  • Celebrational is a softened gray-tinged brown–it’s not quite what I’d call a taupe, but it’s somewhere near it. It has a satiny sheen for a finish. It’s cooler-toned than Bare Escentuals Magnetism and MAC Era. MAC Caviar Dreams is closer but Celebrational is less brown. theBalm Insane Jane is a touch warmer.
  • Muppetational is a soft gray shot through with silver. It’s right there on the border of gray and silver–there is enough metallic sheen to make it lean more silver, but it’s not the full-on metal finish you’d expect from a true silver. Inglot #339 is a bit darker and bluer-based, but MAC Swell Baby is very similar.

The palette is packaged in firm cardboard with an outer cover that slips off the revaeal the actual palette, though both have the exact same design (and both the sleeve and the palette are numbered). To open the palette, it actually splits towards the bottom fourth of the front. Most of the palette opens and reveals all of the eyeshadows along with a mirror, but the smaller bottom flap stays closed. When you flip open the smaller bottom flap, it reveals the two lip/cheek stains and lipgloss. I thought it was a rather clever way to prevent cross-contamination of the powder eyeshadows into the creamier lip/cheek products. Both flaps stay closed with magnets.  There is also a dual-ended bristle-based brush that is usable (not my first choice, but it is soft and not at all scratchy).

The quality of this palette is absolutely fantastic.  Even the two shades I had minor issues with couldn’t bring down the average scores for pigmentation/texture of the palette itself.  I had good luck working with the lip/cheek stains and gloss as well (more in the next post).  theBalm knocked this one out of the park–the shade includes neutrals as well as pops of color, while the finishes are mostly soft frosts and shimmers, there are a couple that are more semi-matte.

Depending on the size of your stash, the palette may be more dupable than original–I do see there are several shades that are similar to previous theBalm shadows from palettes as well as the permanent range.

The Glossover

palette

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A+
theBalm knocked this one out of the park--the shade includes neutrals as well as pops of color, while the finishes are mostly soft frosts and shimmers, there are a couple that are more semi-matte.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, August 18th, 2011


theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette

Sneak Peek: theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette Swatches

Took me until midnight last night to get the photos ready, so now I’m up bright and early to crank out the review :) As always, please hold all questions until I’ve had a chance to post the review! Thank you!

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