Friday, October 28th, 2011


NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Holiday 2011: Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

Likely one of the most eye-catching pieces from the holiday collection, NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) looks more complex in the pan than it is on the lid. It consists of three shades: black with red pearls, black with purple pearls, and black with gunmetal shimmer. After reading the color description, the colors pretty much live up to the expectations, but they look more interesting in the pan because the colored pearls are more dominant, while applied, they’re all mostly black.

The first shade is a deep, dark burgundy black-brown with wine red shimmer. It’s a better textured MAC Beauty Marked. It’s soft and smooth with good color payoff; it’s the best shade in the palette.

In the middle, there is a deep, dark blue-based black with violet purple flecks of sparkle. The sparkle seemed to stick better than expected in the swatch, but once applied, the sparkle didn’t translate–it ended up just looking like a deep, dark black. This shade is extremely soft, which makes it blendable, though it is prone to sheering out more than desired as well. I recommend patting it on and then softly blending the edges away. I couldn’t think of a decent dupe for this, because it’s not really purple but none of the blacks I’ve swatched that I can remember seem similar.

The last shade in the trio is a chalky, dry, sheer black with silver sparkle. Compared to the pigmentation levels of the other two shades, it’s beyond disappointing! It just doesn’t belong. It’s an inferior NARS Night Breed. Lancome The New Black is one of the better silver-sparkled-black shades I’ve come across to-date.

I didn’t encounter fall out from the first two shades, though the last shade had some issues with fall out, particularly because there was little base color for the sparkle to cling to. I tested out the wear of the middle shade on the lower half of the lid with the first shade on the upper half of the lid and slightly in the crease. They both applied well with opaque, even color and a smooth texture, and I didn’t have any issues with fading or creasing over eight hours (no primer).

With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn’t recommend this palette–when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades. This is also a palette you’d mix and match with other products you own, since they’re all very, very dark. Even though there is certainly a difference in color between the first and second shades, it’s even subtler when applied to the lid.

The Glossover

palette

Arabian Nights

B-
With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn't recommend this palette--when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Golden Flurry (beige with sparkle), Soft Brown (soft golden peach brown), Omega (soft muted beige-taupe), Carbon (black), Seasonal Appeal (orange brown), Mellowarm (peach), and Join the Party (pale peach). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Golden Flurry is a white with iridiescent pink shimmer. The color payoff is low–it’s sheer and sparkly, but it is prone to fall out. This has a lustre finish. Bare Escentuals Muse is more pigmented and less iridescent. theBalm Safe Bet Annette is a touch pinker.
  • Soft Brown is a medium brown with red-orange undertones and a matte finish. It has nice color payoff and a smooth, soft feel. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Omega is a lightened taupe with subtle beige-yellow tones and a matte finish. The pigmentation is nice, and it has the texture soft. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Carbon is a medium-dark black with brown undertones. It’s a little dry and stiff to work with but it does work better applied with a brush on the lid, though it can be a touch chalky. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Seasonal Appeal is a brownish peach with a soft, pearly sheen. This has a satin finish. The pigmentation is good, but it is a more orange-toned blush, so it may not work on really cool-toned complexions.
  • Mellowarm is an orange-coral with a hint of red with a frosted shimmer. It has mostly opaque color coverage. This has a frost finish. CoverGirl Rapture is less red. Milani Coral Bora Bora is pinker.
  • Join the Party is a peach-tinted beige with soft, white shimmer. It’s creamy and milky, so it does settle into lip lines, but the color coverage is semi-opaque. It’s similar to MAC Lust.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Warm Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Phloof! (frosted off white), Brun (muted blackish-brown), Quarry (soft muted plum-brown), Dance in the Dark (black-brown), Mocha (soft plum pink), Hot Gossip (mid-tone pinky plum), and Emancipation (light pink). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Phloof! is a pinked beige with a frosted finish; it has good color payoff and a smooth, soft texture. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Brun is a dark, cool-toned brown with a hint of gray and a subtle sheen in its finish. The pigmentation is nice and the texture is soft overall. It has a satin finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Quarry is a rosy mauve with a matte finish. It’s a bit dry and almost powdery with so-so color payoff. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Dance in the Dark is a purple-tinted brown-black with a satin finish. The color payoff is below average, and the texture is stiff and dry, which contributes to the uneven color application. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is very similar but more pigmented.
  • Mocha is a brightened pink plum with a matte finish. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. The color payoff is really nice, and I swear, this seems more vibrant than the permanent version (but I don’t currently own the permanent version to compare).
  • Hot Gossip is a plum-tinted pink with a frosted finish and mostly opaque color coverage. It has a cremesheen finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Emancipation is a pink-beige with soft white shimmer that yields semi-opaque color coverage. It’s a milkier-looking gloss, so it does have a tendency to settle into lip lines. It is a repromote. It’s similar to Feelign Dreamy, Runway Fave, and Bare Nesceessities.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Winter Cool Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


MAC Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Ice Parade: Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition holiday compact that features six eyeshadows: Lightfully (white with pink reflect), Trax (burgundy-plum with shimmer), Fun! (pink patina), Festive Delight (bordeaux wine), Black Tied (black with silver sparkle), and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum).  The MAC Ice Parade Collection launches October 27th, 2011 in-stores.

  • Lightfully is a sheer, icy white with little color payoff and a stiff, dry consistency.  It’s supposed to be pink-toned, but it’s difficult to tell with the sheerness of the shade.  This has a lustre finish and is a repromote. It’s even sheerer than MAC Snowball. I recommend perusing these white eyeshadows for something better.
  • Trax is a gold and copper shimmered burgundy-red. This has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range. It has good color payoff, but the shimmer is prone to some fall out. It’s not quite as brown as MAC Star Violet. It did seem a little redder than what I remember Trax being.
  • Fun! is a barely-there copper. This has a lustre finish. I don’t even know what to say about this one, because the amount of disappointment I felt when I swatched this cannot even be quantified. I pretty much gawked at my arm (and later, my eye).
  • Festive Delight is a rich, berry wine with a shimmer-sheen. This has a lustre finish. It has some sparkle, but it doesn’t have much, so it isn’t as likely to fall out as many lustre-finished eyeshadows are. MAC Cranberry is a bit lighter. Inglot #452 is darker. Make Up For Ever #131 has a similar feel but ends up being darker.
  • Black Tied is a dry, chalky black with silver sparkle. This has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range. It was even dryer and sheerer than my pan version of Black Tied. It seemed less like a silver-speckled matte black as it did a shimmered black with a silver sheen. This version doesn’t compare to the permanent pan I have.
  • Shadowy Lady is a blackened burgundy with purple edges and a matte finish. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. It has redder undertones than MAC Graphology.

This palette had three poor performing shades and three better performing shades, but when it was disappointing, it was spectacularly disappointing. Lightfully and Fun! barely show up, and boy, I really tried–I later tried to test them on the eye (over primer), but it was a big mess. No color payoff plus noticeable fall out! Trax, Festive Delight, and Shadowy Lady were lovely here; good pigmentation and textures, but two of those are permanent.

The Glossover

palette

Sultry Snowglobe

C-
This palette had three poor performing shades and three better performing shades, but when it was disappointing, it was spectacularly disappointing. Lightfully and Fun! barely show up, and boy, I really tried--I later tried to test them on the eye (over primer), but it was a big mess. No color payoff plus noticeable fall out! Trax, Festive Delight, and Shadowy Lady were lovely here; good pigmentation and textures, but two of those are permanent.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


MAC Warm Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Ice Parade: Warm Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Warm Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition holiday compact that features six eyeshadows: Winterscape (bright taupe pearl), Magical Mist (sparkle concrete), Patina (taupe brown with golden pearl), Buckwheat (bark brown), Gaelic Gold (gold), and Midnight Flurry (dark warm black).  The MAC Ice Parade Collection launches October 27th, 2011 in-stores.

  • Winterscape is a shimmering, sparkly white. It’s warmer than the white in the cool-toned palette, but they’re still similar–and they’re both sheer. This has a lustre finish. There are other white eyeshadows that are better.
  • Magical Mist is a grayish-toned brown with warm, reddish undertones. This has a lustre finish, and it is a repromote, though the good news is it seems to be more pigmented than last year. Urban Decay Wreckage is warmer and browner. Bare Escentuals A-Ha is similar but richer. MAC Era is lighter and not quite as grayish, but it is still similar.
  • Patina is a light-medium brown with a hint of gray and a golden sheen. This has a frost finish, and it is part of the permanent range. It has good color payoff and a very smooth, soft texture.
  • Buckwheat is a medium-dark brown with warm, red undertones and a shimmery finish. This has a frost finish, and it is a repromote. The pigmentation is good with a smooth texture. MAC Make Your Mark is similar but perhaps not as red toned.
  • Gaelic Gold is a vibrant, medium-dark gold with yellow undertones and a shimmer-sheen finish. This has a veluxe pearl finish, and it is a repromote. It also had good color payoff and a smooth feel. Le Metier de Beaute Chameleon is not as yellow and a bit darker. Inglot #404 is very similar but perhaps a touch darker.
  • Midnight Flurry is a dark, gray brown with a little burgundy hue. This has a matte finish. It’s dry and on the sheerer side. theBalm Mahna-Mahna is deeper and richer, though browner. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone has shimmer but the base color is similar. MAC Smut is blacker and has shimmer.

The Warm palette was the best of the three six-pan eyeshadow palettes from MAC’s holiday collection. It had the least amount of duds–the only total dud in this palette is Winterscape, which was sheer and not as smooth as the other shades in the palette. Midnight Flurry was a bit stiff to work with and lacked the intensity in the formula to yield true-to-pan color, but the other four shades were better with decent to good color payoff and smooth textures.

The Glossover

palette

Warm Snowglobe

B
This was the best palette of the three eyeshadow palettes from MAC's holiday collection this year. There is only one shade that really didn't work, while the others were more workable.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


MAC Cool Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Ice Parade: Cool Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Cool Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition holiday compact that features six eyeshadows: Snowball (frost white), Illegal Cargo (pale lavender), Idol Eyes (silvered violet with gold), Warm & Smoky (medium purple), Howzat (slate), and Set to Dance (dark royal blue). The MAC Ice Parade Collection launches October 27th, 2011 in-stores.

  • Snowball is a cool-toned white with a shimmery finish. It has a frost finish. The color payoff of this shade was lacking; it was sheer and didn’t apply smoothly. There are many other white eyeshadows that could work instead.
  • Illegal Cargo is a medium-dark, smoky purple with really poor pigmentation and a dry, stiff texture. It has a frost finish. MAC Parfait Amour is more vibrant and pigmented. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is closer in color but more pigmented.
  • Idol Eyes is an ultra sheer smoky purple with chunky gold shimmer and silver flecks. It has a lustre finish and is part of the permanent range. MAC Parlor Smoke is similar in the base color but doesn’t have the gold sparkle. I don’t like Idol Eyes, because it’s sheer, chunky, and when worn, results in a ton of fall out.
  • Warm & Smoky is a rich, vibrant violet purple with good color payoff and a smooth texture. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It has a redder undertone than MAC Parfait Amour. Urban Decay Frigid is similar. MAC Grape pigment might be comparable as well.
  • Howzat is a purple-tinted gray with so-so pigmentation but a smoother texture. It has a satin finish and is a repromote. MAC Moody is darker, while NARS Delphes is lighter.
  • Set to Dance is a deep purple-tinted burgundy-brown. It has a matte finish and is a repromote. I have no idea how it’s described as a “royal blue,” because I couldn’t detect any blue in it at all. It had good color payoff and was rather workable for a matte finish by MAC. MAC Celestial Black is similar in base color but has shimmer. MAC Beauty Marked is redder and warmer.

For the past few years, I’ve crossed my fingers that MAC has taken note of reviews and customer feedback on their holiday palettes and amped up the quality and pigmentation of the shades they include in their eyeshadow palettes. They stand to be such a good deal with fun, pretty colors that are fun to receive or to give. I know because I remember my first set of holiday palettes by MAC; they were fantastic. Some of my favorite shades came from them–they were often better than permanent variations!

Two of the six shades had decent to good color payoff, while the other four were sheerer, and often, textures were a miss–either dry or chunky (see individual shades for specifics!). MAC can–and should–do better.  It’s so painful for me to have paid $38.00 for this and have it be so lacking.

The packaging is all white with a “snowglobe” on the top of the compact. It will rain silver glitter (“snow”) if you shake and move the compact. I think it’s cute and fun, but I can’t help but point out that it makes the palette bulkier and harder to store (you can’t stack them).

The Glossover

palette

Cool Snowglobe

D+
I would skip this palette--you could buy two or three permanent shades from MAC or comparable brand for the price of this palette, but at least you would get high quality, high performing shades.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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