Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

bareMinerals The Next Big Thing Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Next Big Thing Eyeshadow Quad

bareMinerals Remix: The Next Big Thing

bareMinerals The Next Big Thing Eyeshadow Quad ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette for spring that features these four shades: The Rising Star (sunlit gold), Smash Hit (vibrant peach), Hoopla (glowing copper), and Ensemble (smoked-out plum).

The Rising Star is a lightened, yellow gold with a frosted, metallic finish. It almost looks cool-toned, as much as a yellow gold can. It had good color payoff in a single pass, and the texture was soft, dense, and buttery.  Too Faced Spun Sugar #5 is lighter. NYX Hot Yellow is less shimmery. bareMinerals Standing O is a bit lighter but still rather similar. MAC Treasure Hunt is less yellow and a cream product.

Smash Hit is a brightened coral-orange with a matte finish. The texture was soft, finely-milled but not powdery, and it had excellent pigmentation. MAC Coral is more orange and darker. MAC Dynamo is similar with some shimmer, and it is a cream product. Guerlain Les Fauves #3 is darker, redder. Make Up For Ever #5 is richer, darker.

Hoopla is a warm, coppery brown with a very frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was mostly smooth. Tarte Tuscan Sun has a more metallic finish. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning #6 is a touch browner. Urban Decay Penny Lane is less brown.

Ensemble is a dark, purple-burgundy with a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, but it wasn’t quite as dense or as pigmented as many other bareMinerals’ matte eyeshadows. It was not as easily blended on the eye as a very good matte would be, and with such dark color, blendability is really key. MAC Sketch is lighter and has subtle shimmer. Tom Ford Enchanted #4 is more shimmery. MAC Deep Damson is very similar in color.

I think the color composition is a very warm-toned mix, and there’s a nice variety of contrast and finish here so there are several combinations to play around with. Generally, all four shades were more dupable than not, so you may find you have similar shades already in your stash (particularly Hoopla, which is a popular shade found in most ranges).  The other three shades were soft, easy to apply, and blendable.  When I wore all four shades together, they wore for eight full hours with no fading or creasing (no primer).

The Glossover

palette

The Next Big Thing

A-
I think the color composition is a very warm-toned mix, and there's a nice variety of contrast and finish here so there are several combinations to play around with. Generally, all four shades were more dupable than not, so you may find you have similar shades already in your stas.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, January 21st, 2013

Too Faced The Secret to No Makeup Makeup Face Palette
Too Faced The Secret to No Makeup Makeup Face Palette

The Secret to No Makeup Makeup is Makeup

Too Faced The Secret to No Makeup Makeup Face Palette ($39.00 for 0.65 oz.) includes a bronzer, cream blush, powder blush, concealer, luminizer, and brightener.

Bronzing Veil is a beige-brown with a soft shimmer; it’s definitely not even close to being orange. For very fair complexions, it’ll be well-received. For medium to dark, it will hardly show up (better as a highlighter than anything else). It has a soft, finely-milled feel, but it is a little powdery. On its own, it wore for six and a half hours. MAC Sun Dipped is warmer and browner.

Creme Blush is a cool-toned, blue-based cotton candy pink with a semi-matte finish. There’s very little sheen/shimmer in this, so it looks natural on the cheeks, and it does blend out well. The cream blush only lasted four hours on me, and I have normal-to-dry skin (and I was on the drier side at the time of testing). MAC I’m the One is darker and powder-based. NARS Gaiety is a touch bluer and powder-based. MAC Peony Petal is darker and powder-based.

Blush is a cool-toned, bule-based cotton candy pink with a light dusting of silver shimmer over a matte finish. It is very, very close in color to the cream blush in the palette. The pigmentation was good, and it blended well on the skin. It wore for seven and a half hours. MAC I’m the One is darker. NARS Gaiety is a touch bluer. MAC Peony Petal is darker.

Conceal is a light beige with subtle warm undertones. It’s very creamy and wet, and it’s thin with semi-sheer coverage. The dry down time was a little long, and it tended to get caught in fine lines and settle there. For anyone who regularly uses concealer, I don’t think this will be your go-to; if you rarely use concealer or only in emergencies, it might work. Because of the lighter shade, it will be better for lids and under eyes for more complexions, whereas light-medium complexions may find it works all over.

Luminize is a shimmering beige. It’s very, very sheer and more of a faint, dustnig of sheen/shimmer. I tried wearing it on cheeks as well as on the brow bone–you couldn’t really see the brow bone getting highlighted. It seemed a little better on the cheek.

Brighten is a pink-toned, very pale beige. It has a thin, creamy consistency. I used this lightly on the lid and patted over the concealer (that I used beneath my eye). This had more impact on brightening/covering my under eye area more than the concealer.

This is a palette that would be best suited for lighter complexions; I think darker skin tones will find the bronzer to be better as a highlighter, while the concealer and brightener may not be useful at all. Similarly, if you don’t like cool-toned blushes on you, both are very, very blue-based. As a comment for all, I wasn’t overly impressed by the concealer, luminizer, or brightener–I think there are definitely better standalone products on the market that will do a lot more for your complexion. Sometimes palettes knock it out of the park because you get a ton of fantastic products for the price of just a few, and other times, palettes perform decently, but individual products out-perform them. With staples like concealer, brighteners, and the like–I would spend my money on the right shades for your skin tone in excellent formulas.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Too Faced The Secret to No Makeup Makeup Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The bronzer and two blushes are the better part of the palette, but the concealer, luminizer, and brightener are really so-so. They're best for someone who rarely uses these types of products and doesn't have standalone versions.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, January 5th, 2013

bareMinerals The Wild Thing Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Wild Thing Eyeshadow Quad

bareMinerals Remix: The Wild Thing

bareMinerals The Wild Thing Eyeshadow Quad ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a limited edition palette for spring that features these shades: Sensational (iridescent aqua), Icon (electric chartreuse), Elitist (bronzed taupe), and Controversy (deep marine blue).

Sensational is a pale aqua–that leans a little sea foam green–with an iridescent gold sheen. It had pretty good pigmentation, and it was very soft. It seemed like it might be a smidgen powdery when I swatched it, but I didn’t have any fall out or powderiness when I applied it to my lid. Chanel Riviere is darker, grayer. Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 #2 is lighter. Lancome Fashion Forward is very comparable.

Icon is a yellowed chartreuse with a satiny finish. It had great color payoff and applied smoothly. MAC Brilliantly Lit is a touch brighter (and a cream product). Dior Garden Pastels is darker, greener. NARS Rated R is greener–brighter, less yellow-toned. MAC Bitter is a bit lighter and matte in finish.

Elitist is a subdued khaki brown with a satiny shimmer-sheen. It was finely-milled, smooth when applied, and nicely pigmented. MAC Soba is similar but more matte. theBalm Schitzo is more golden. Giorgio Armani #26 is similar–a bit browner. Dior Golden Savannah is warmer, lighter. (This shade was also in The Star Treatment.)

Controversy is a darkened blue with a frosted, metallic finish. This shade was a bit powdery, but I didn’t encounter any powdery fall out when applied to the lid. Tom Ford Emerald Lust #4 is darker, more of a navy blue. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl #1 is a touch greener in its base. MAC Pre-packaged is a bit brighter. bareMinerals Water is similar in color but has more of a satiny finish.

The color composition gave me a summery vibe, but from questions we’ve asked here, most readers don’t seem bound by colors on a season-by-season basis.  The four shades work well together, and Elitist makes it more approachable as a way to tone down some of the colors in it.  When I wore all four shades together, they lasted for nine hours without fading or creasing (no primer required).  I did experience a very slight powderiness in Sensational and Controversy when I swatched them, but it didn’t impact application as there was no powdery fall out or difficulty in achieving smooth, opaque color.

The Glossover

LE
palette

The Wild Thing

A
The color composition gave me a summery vibe, but from questions we've asked here, most readers don't seem bound by colors on a season-by-season basis.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)
Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)

Everything Old is New Again

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition) ($34.00 for 10 x 0.03 oz.) includes ten of Urban Decay’s bestselling eyeshadows, which are: Smog (deep coppery bronze shimmer), Mildew (mossy green shimmer with gold shift), Oil Slick (black matte with silver micro-glitter), Last Call (metallic plum shimmer), Chopper (copper shimmer with silver micro-glitter), Maui Wowie (metallic golden beige shimmer with silver glitter), Shattered (turquoise shimmer with a gold shift), Polyester Bride (white snow shimmer with silver micro-glitter), Grifter (sheer lavender shimmer with silver micro-glitter), and Sin (champagne shimmer).

Smog is a warm, medium-dark bronze with orange undertones and a frosted finish. It had excellent color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. bareMinerals Ritzy is slightly darker. MAC Mulch is redder. MAC Bronze is more metallic.

Mildew is a mossy green with an olive undertone and subtle forest green shimmer over a frost finish. It seemed a little less pigmented here than I remember the full-size pot, but when I applied it to the lid, I didn’t notice any pigmentation level differences. L’Oreal Golden Emerald is darker, greener, less yellow-toned. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is yellower. theBalm Makeout Mary is very similar. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #2 is a cream version but similar in color.

Oil Slick is a dark black with a teal micro-shimmer–it looks mostly gray-black on the lid and blended out; the shimmer so fine and sparse that it isn’t visible. The color payoff was good, though, and the texture was soft though a little drier than the other shades. bareMinerals Penthouse is a touch darker and more matte. Buxom Black Lab is similar in color but a cream product. MAC Cinderfella has more shimmer. Bobbi Brown Lava is more matte and has larger sparkle.

Last Call is a pinky-plum with red undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. It had great pigmentation and applied smoothly. Chanel Harmonie du Soir #3 is more muted, less pink. L’Oreal Glistening Garnet is lighter, redder, less plum. MAC Stylishly Merry is much pinker.

Chopper is an orange-copper with a frosted, metallic finish. It is supposed to have micro-glitter, which is visible in the pan, but when I swatched it, all of the glitter was swept away. The color payoff of the underlying shade was full and opaque, and it had a smooth texture. bareMinerals Louder is a touch browner. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning #6 is a bit more orange, less metallic. Urban Decay Penny Lane is a touch more orange.

Maui Wowie is a pale, not-quite-dirty gold with dark gold micro-glitter and a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation, and it was soft and smooth to the touch, but like Chopper, the majority of the micro-glitter disappears. bareMinerals First Class is darker, browner. Chanel Apparence is a cream product, and it is darker. bareMinerals Chart Topper is more muted.

Shattered is a bluish-teal with a green-teal sheen. It has a frosted, somewhat metallic finish. The payoff felt a little weaker here than I remember it being in the past. L’Oreal Endless Sea is similar. Guerlain Les Aquas #2 is lighter.

Polyester Bride is a brightened, creamy white with a frosted, metallic finish and silver micro-glitter. Again, the micro-glitter disappears as you smooth out the color. This shade was less pigmented than the others. bareMinerals Silhouette is very similar, slightly less metallic. Cinderella Midnight Hour is very close in color. Cinderella Ball Gown is also similar.

Grifter is a pink lavender with a frosted, metallic finish and silver micro-glitter. The micro-glitter tends to move around and disappear as you blend out the color. The pigmentation was decent, though Urban Decay did describe it as “sheer,” so it was as expected. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur #4 is less metallic. NARS Marie-Galante #1 is more iridescent.

Sin is a warmed-up champagne beige with a high-shine, metallic finish. It had great pigmentation, and it applied very smoothly and evenly. This color is the closest to a highlight shade in the palette, but it is very, very metallic/frosted on the brow bone. bareMinerals Libation is warmer. Giorgio Armani #8 is pinker. Inglot #397 is comparable.

If you have the original Ammo palette, you’ll have the exact same shades; this palette has a new design and includes all of the same shades but in Urban Decay’s revamped eyeshadow formula. Also, all ten shades are part of the permanent range, so they can be purchased individually if desired. You are almost never better off purchasing singles, because the palette is less than the cost of two individual shades. Chances are low that you’ll actually finish an entire pot of eyeshadow, though the individual eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. and each shade within the palette is 0.03 oz.

If you don’t want to deal with glitter and its fall out, you may want to skip this palette, as five of the ten shades have Urban Decay’s signature micro-glitter. What I will say in regards to the fall out is that 90% of it occurs while you apply it, so after you’ve finished the look, you can remove it and while you will see some stray glitter particles throughout the day (I found some on my nose, below it, and elsewhere on my under eye/upper cheek area), it’s not much.

Now, the reason there actually isn’t much fall out during wear is simple: hardly any gets transferred to the lid! Ahh, the secret! The reality is that if you like the idea of glittery bits on the lid, you’re just not going to get the effect–they end up looking like the base color sans the glitter applied. The sparkle just doesn’t bind with the eyeshadow, so it sits on top and easily gets brushed elsewhere.  If you want the glitter, your best bet is to use a firm, flat brush and pat it over a sticky base.

Overall, the pigmentation of the shades was good to great, with only Polyester Bride coming in a bit short (Grifter isn’t opaque, but it is supposed to be sheer).  The textures are soft, buttery, and dense, with Oil Slick being a bit drier but seemingly softer/denser than previous iterations of it.  When I wore these shades for eight hours, I had a few sparkles of fall out, but I didn’t have any problems with fading or creasing.

The Glossover

palette

Ammo

B+
Overall, the pigmentation of the shades was good to great, with only Polyester Bride coming in a bit short (Grifter isn't opaque, but it is supposed to be sheer).  The textures are soft, buttery, and dense, with Oil Slick being a bit drier but seemingly softer/denser than previous iterations of it.  When I wore these shades for eight hours, I had a few sparkles of fall out, but I didn't have any problems with fading or creasing.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of three new shades and one repromote: Lithe Spirit (palest white pink), Inner Strength (light cool mauve taupe), Fabulous Fit (mid-tone cool grey), and Heatherbelles (deep charcoal).  This is a rather cool-toned quad, more so than All Woman, with the only warmth coming from Inner Strength, which isn’t all that warm, so if you like cooler tones, you’ll be in luck with this color composition!

Lithe Spirit is a cool-toned white with a matte finish. It is listed as a satin finish, but I didn’t see much sheen in it (or any). It had good pigmentation, but it was a touch powdery. Urban Decay Venus is a touch warmer and more shimmery. MAC Vanilla is warmer.

Inner Strength is a warm peach with subtle pink undertones and a barely-there sheen, though it is listed as a matte. It had good color payoff, and it was soft to the touch. Too Faced Peach Fuzz has gold sparkle. Urban Decay Freestyle has less pink. MAC Nubile is similar in color but is a cream product.

Fabulous Fit is a light gray with blue undertones and has a matte finish. It was a bit weak on pigmentation, and it had a drier texture that made blending harder. Estee Lasuder Modern Mercury is more metallic. MAC Scene is darker. Chanel Gris Exquis is also darker. Inglot #339 is somewhat darker but closest with respect to its cool undertone.

Heather Belles is a dark gray with a mostly matte finish but there’s a touch of sheen; the sheen becomes more apparent when blended out. It has a satin finish, and the color payoff is so-so–it is a stiffer, drier shade. Urban Decay Ace is more shimmery. Guerlain Les Gris is matte. Estee Lauder Black Chrome is darker.

The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average.  It’s not impressive, and it’s not the most heinous release we’ve seen from MAC.  It’s middle-of-the-road.  The problem with this palette is in the textures, which tended to be a bit dry and stiff (in the case of Fabulous Fit and Heatherbelles).  Lithe Spirit was somewhat powdery, which can have a tendency to make such a pale color look chalky on darker complexions.  Inner Strength was the best-performing shade here, as it wasn’t so soft that it was powdery, but it wasn’t too dry or firm that you couldn’t get color payoff out of it.  The shades lasted for seven and a half hours and looked just a smidgen faded after eight hours.

The Glossover

palette

Inner Strength

C
The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average. It's not impressive, and it's not the most heinous release we've seen from MAC. It's middle-of-the-road.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad
MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.19 oz.) consists of four new shades: Flawless Figure (pale warm shimmering white), Brains & Brawn (mid-tone taupe), All Woman (greenish dark grey), and Black Magique (deep, dark black with warm tones).  The color composition reads cool-toned to me, both at a glance and when applied, though it’s not overly cool-toned–closer to neutral-cool.

Flawless Figure is a bright white with a high frosted sheen. It has a veluxe pearl, officially, and it had great color payoff. Cinderella Midnight Hour is similar but warmer-toned. MAC Crystal Avalanche is very similar. Maybelline Too Cool is a touch more metallic, and it is also a cream product.

Brains & Brawn is a medium-dark taupe; a mix of gray and brown for a rather balanced taupe. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff was decent to good. It seemed to apply best with a fluffier brush. It is grayer than Urban Decay Naked 2. MAC Omega is browner, warmer. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is similar but a touch purple.

All Woman is a green-tinged dark gray with a dusting of shimmer, though it is mostly matte. This shade had rather weak color payoff, as the texture was dry and stiff. Tarte Stiletto almost looked a bit like this, just darker because it had more pigmentation. bareMinerals Earth is a bit lighter.

Black Magique is a brown-based dark black with a mostly matte finish, though it is officially a velvet finish. It reminded me a lot of Urban Decay Crave. Le Metier de Beaute Fin is darker, richer.

I think the inclusion of the ultra-shimmery shade Flawless Figure doesn’t make the most sense; it’s just very, very shimmery and ended up detracting from the overall composition of the palette. My gut was, “Don’t use it! Don’t use it!” but it’s a quad, so I really wanted to try and incorporate all four shades–and no, I should have went with my gut there!   A better use for it would be to lightly mix it with one of the other shades to create varying levels of shimmer/sheen and lightness.  It performed well, but it seemed out of place in this quad.  

All Woman was disappointing with its drier, stiffer texture, which made it difficult to blend as well as apply. Brains & Brawn is the kind of color I see anyone who wears neutrals getting a lot of use out of, and it’s a shame we don’t see more of these matte taupes in permanent, core ranges (across all brands).  It will work nicely for sculpting and defining the crease on light to medium (possibly medium-dark) complexions.  The eyeshadows wore for just under eight hours without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

All Woman

B
It can be amazing how one shade can make you go, "Ooh! I need this!" even if the rest do not sing out in the same way. Brains & Brawn draws me in, but All Woman kills the value of the palette.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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