Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Raffinement Eyeshadow Quad ($58.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a palette of “rich mauve, pearly pink beige, shimmering lilac, and deep eggplant.”  It’s a new for spring but will be joining the permanent range.

The first shade (top, left) is a medium-dark brown with hints of plum/mauve and a frosted finish. It had nice color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. Chanel Variation has a darker brown. MAC Smut is a richer version of this shade. Urban Decay Stray Dog is similar, perhaps a bit warmer.

The second shade (top, right) is a pale, peachy beige with a frosted sheen and subtle warm undertones. The pigmentation was lovely, and it applied nicely. MAC A Natural Flirt is warmer, more shimmer. MAC Double Feature #5 is similar but less frosted. Urban Decay Sellout is similar–a little darker. Illamasqua Slink is a touch warmer.

The third shade (bottom, left) is a medium-dark cognac brown–a little orange-red to it but very, very subtle and slight, so it doesn’t take on an overly warm coloring. It had fantastic color payoff, and it was really soft, finely-milled, and smooth when applied. Too Faced Hot Cocoa is lighter. Illamasqua Focus is a cream product, and it is redder. Tom Ford Platinum is similar but a cream product. Urban Decay Wreckage is less red-toned.

The fourth shade (bottom, right) is a deep, dark reddened brown with a satiny sheen–just a step or two above matte. This shade packed quite the punch of pigment; really don’t need much to define the crease at alL! It blended out easily, which is absolutely necessary with anything that’s very pigmented and/or dark in color. Make Up For Ever #162 is matte, slightly richer/more intense. theBalm Presto is a bit darker. MAC Embark is matte and browner. Chanel Ebloui is more shimmery, a touch lighter, and a cream. It compares favorably with Tom Ford Enchanted.

I can see some looking at this quad and going, “Borrrrring!” and others reaching for it all the time. That’s the problem with basics and essentials–they tend to be kind of boring, but they work well and are still shades that most core collections have. I think it is wearable on both cooler and warmer complexions, and the colors offer a good range of light/dark for contrast.  The depth and richness of the darkest shade makes this quad as wearable for work as it does for evening, because it’s so rich, it can really add definition, darkness, and general smokiness for an evening look.

The quality of the quad is lovely, with all four shades having great color payoff, soft, smooth textures, and tip-top wear of eight hours (without a primer) and no signs of fading or creasing.  There was only a very, very slight excess of powder in a couple of shades but so slight–it’s really being nit-picky. All in all, while dupable, a very wearable, easy-to-use quad that will be a nice travel pick as well as a go-to for anyone who is need of more work-friendly shades.

The Glossover

palette

Raffinement

A
All in all, while dupable, a very wearable, easy-to-use quad that will be a nice travel pick as well as a go-to for anyone who is need of more work-friendly shades.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, December 24th, 2012

Guerlain Attrape-Coeur (501) Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Attrape-Coeur (501) Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Wants You to Embrace Purples for Spring

Guerlain Attrape-Coeur (501) Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) is described as “mauve, violet, white, and purple.” It’s a mix of purples, really, with varying finishes from iridescent to frosted to satin (no mattes here, though). I wore the lightest shade as an inner corner highlight, then used the mauve shade on the inner half of the lid with the lavender shade on the outer half of the lid, and used the darkest purple shade to define the crease.

The first shade (left) is a pale, icy mauve with an iridescent, frosted finish. It had so-so color payoff; it is buildable, but it does have some sheerness. Bobbi Brown Cool Lilac is more mauve.

The second shade (top, middle) is a frosted, metallic cool-toned white. This shade, too, had some translucency but performed better on the lid than it swatched. It is really similar to any number of metallic white eyeshadows, but MAC Crystal Avalanche (less metallic) and Cinderella Midnight Hour (slightly brighter) were quite similar.

The third shade (bottom, middle) is a medium-dark, red-toned purple with a satiny shimmer and sheen. It had excellent color payoff, but it was slightly powdery. This shade was particularly impressive when applied, because it blended out so easily and well. Urban Decay Freakshow is a bit darker. MAC Grape is very similar in color–more metallic. MAC Plush is more muted, less red-toned.

The fourth shade (right) is a pink-lavender with a subtle cool undertone and a satiny finish. It had good pigmentation and was very soft and finely-milled. Inglot #346 is slightly purpler and has a matte finish. OCC Datura is lighter, more metallic. Benefit Fancy Pansy is a touch purpler.

The best part of this palette is how well the four shades coordinated with each other–they just naturally went together in a rather effortless kind of a way.  The white wasn’t so stark or cool-toned that it looked odd against the pinker purples, but it was still bright and shimmery enough to highlight/contrast.  On my skin tone, it is too bright to be used as a brow bone highlight, so I only used it on the inner corner and along the lower half of my lash line.  The darker purple was the best-performing shade in the palette; it had fantastic color payoff and blended well.  All four shades lasted for eight hours without creasing or fading both with and without a primer.  Two of the four shades had some sheerness, though, and the darker purple shade did kick up some excess powder when used.

I’m hoping Coup de Foudre is better–I just purchased it this weekend online from Nordstrom, so hopefully I get it sometime this week!

The Glossover

palette

Attrape-Coeur

B
The colors coordinate well, but two of the four had some pigmentation concerns, while one shade was a bit powdery, even if it was very pigmented.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette
NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette

Quick Review: NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette

NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.31 oz.) was a limited edition eyeshadow palette that included six of the Night series eyeshadows: Night Star (sheer peach shadow with pearls), Night Clubbing (black with pearls), Night Porter (black with green pearls), Night Rider (soft plum with glitter), Night Flight (black with cobalt pearls), and Night Breed (black with glitter).

  • Night Star is a subtly, warm-toned light peach with a mostly matte finish. It actually had more pigment than you’d expect for something described as sheer.
  • Night Clubbing is a dark black with brow undertones and a very fine dusting of bronzy micro-shimmer that’s really not visible on the lid.
  • Night Porter is a darkened forest green with a metallic sheen. This shade had the best color payoff and texture of the six shades.
  • Night Rider is a pinky-mauve with massive, chunky shards of glitter. This might be the largest glitter size I’ve ever come across in an eyeshadow. It’s horrible–it doesn’t sit on the lid well at all, as it just falls out immediately.
  • Night Flight is a blue-tinged black with very fine navy blue shimmer that all but disappears on the lid. The underlying black shadow is very dry and chalky.
  • Night Breed is a dark black with silver sparkle. Again, the sparkle doesn’t translate well, though it’s more apparent than the other shades here. The single is softer and more pigmented than the version in the palette.

Generally, I didn’t like this palette.  The Night series is hit-or-miss, and the shades can be very redundant, as they tend to look more differentiated in the pan than on.  With mostly blackened bases, they tend to look black on and the colored pearl/sparkle disappears or isn’t visible.  Night Rider is a monstrosity of an eyeshadow; the chunky glitter doesn’t stick at all but doesn’t even look flattering on the eye, should you manage to get a few bits to stay on long enough to look!  Night Clubbing, Night Flight, and Night Breed had drier, firmer textures that made blending difficult.

You can find the palette are third-party retailers, like Amazon and Izzy’s, but I didn’t spy it available at regular retailers (like NARS, Nordstrom, etc.). All of the eyeshadows, however, are available individually from NARS at $23 a pop.

** A Note on Quick Reviews: In an effort to be more on-the-ball for 2013, I’m digging through my photo folders and getting as much posted as I can. These are not full-length, in-depth reviews, and instead, I’m writing brief reviews. For dupes, I highly suggest checking out The Swatch Gallery; it’s my first stop whenever I am looking for possible dupes. All of the swatches in this post are automatically added to the gallery, so you can compare them for yourself.

The Glossover

palette

Night Series

C-
There were too many shades with dry, chalky textures that were difficult to apply and blend to make this palette a must-have. They also tended to look too alike on, because the nuances from the shimmer didn't translate on the lid.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, December 21st, 2012

bareMinerals The Cocktail Hour Eyeshadow Palette
bareMinerals The Cocktail Hour Eyeshadow Palette

Quick Review: bareMinerals The Cocktail Hour Eyeshadow Palette

bareMinerals The Cocktail Hour Eyeshadow Palette ($24.50 for 0.28. oz.) is a holiday palette from last year, but it’s actually still available through bareMinerals at a discounted price of $24.50–it originally retailed for $40.00–and it is a truly fantastic palette. I’m a huge fan of the Ready eyeshadow range, and this palette is and was excellent. This palette contains these shades: Black Tie Optional (black velvet), Icebreaker (pink pearl), Swanky (dazzling plum), Spiked (copper blush), Elixir (luxe lilac), Invite Only (taupe slate), Libation (sugared cinnamon), and Shaken Not Stirred (jeweled envy).

  • Black Tie Optional is a dark charcoal black–there’s a hint of gray there. It has cool undertones, excellent color payoff, and has a mostly matte finish.
  • Icebreaker is a pearly pale pink with subtle warm undertones and a frosted finish. Super soft, smooth, and intensly pigmented.
  • Swanky is a red-toned medium-dark purple with a satiny finish. It had nice color payoff and was soft and smooth to the touch.
  • Spiked is a warm, medium orange with a hint of reddish-copper and a frosted sheen. Good pigmentation and smooth texture.
  • Elixir is a pink lavender with a frosted finish. It was very soft and had good pigmentation.
  • Invite Only is a soft, metallic finished taupe–a great balance of gray and brown. Nice color payoff, smooth finish.
  • Libation is a beige-copper with a champagne metallic sheen. It has a very, very reflective finish with good pigmentation.
  • Shaken Not Stirred is a darkened navy blue with fine navy blue shimmer over a matte base. This had good color payoff, especially when applied, but the shimmer isn’t very noticeable on.

This is a fantastic palette, and at $24.50? a total steal. The quality is excellent across the board; there are no duds in this palette. These wear well, apply beautifully, and blend out easily. If you love soft, buttery eyeshadows with rich color payoff, this palette has your number.

** A Note on Quick Reviews: In an effort to be more on-the-ball for 2013, I’m digging through my photo folders and getting as much posted as I can. These are not full-length, in-depth reviews, and instead, I’m writing brief reviews. For dupes, I highly suggest checking out The Swatch Gallery; it’s my first stop whenever I am looking for possible dupes. All of the swatches in this post are automatically added to the gallery, so you can compare them for yourself.

The Glossover

palette

bareMinerals The Cocktail Hour Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
This is a fantastic palette, and at $24.50? a total steal. The quality is excellent across the board; there are no duds in this palette. These wear well, apply beautifully, and blend out easily. If you love soft, buttery eyeshadows with rich color payoff, this palette has your number.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette
Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette

Spin, Spin Sugar

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette ($22.00 for 0.418 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows (0.03 oz. each), one highlighter (.076 oz.), one bronzer (0.076 oz.), and one lipgloss (0.026 oz.). It’s a holiday palette designed to include a range of “holiday metallics.”

#1 is a shimmering champagne gold with a bright, metallic finish. It has a similar effect to a glittery shade without the mess. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. Tarte Sunshine State is yellower. MAC Retrospeck is warmer, yellower. Chanel Apparence is also warmer, darker. bareMinerals Chart Topper is darker.

#2 is a softened orange with gold shimmer. It had good pigmentation and applied smoothly. bareMinerals Golden Iris is darker. Tarte Golden Gate Bridge is a touch darker. Tarte Canary Diamond is browner. Guerlain Turandot is slightly more orange. Milani Gold Dust is very similar.

#3 is a sparkling pink-tinted white. It had so-so color payoff, but I didn’t have any fall out problems with it. MAC She’s Got Class is less pink-tinged but similar in finish. Tarte Iceland Air is similar in color but less sparkly. MAC Crystal Avalanche is similar, less metallic. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is a bit darker.

#4 is a gray-ish mauve with a bright, metallic sheen. It had decent pigmentation and applied smoothly. Tarte Next Level Lilac is more matte, so it is also darker in appearance. MAC Cloudy Afternoon is darker. Urban Decay Bust is several shades darker.

#5 is a shimmering, pale yellow. It had good color payoff and went on smoothly without being powdery. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is more sparkling, a little darker. Buxom Poodle is more metallic and in a cream form. Bobbi Brown Gold is very similar.

#6 is a medium-dark chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones and a bronze shimmer. It had great pigmentation and felt smooth and soft to the touch.Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a touch darker, less shimmery. MAC Carbonized has less shimmer, slightly darker. NARS Galapagos is a bit less bronze.

#7 is a light-medium gray with a silver sheen. It had so-so color payoff, and it was a touch dry to work with. Giorgio Armani #12 is darker, but it is similar when sheered out.

#8 is a soft black with fine silver shimmer. The pigmentation was weak in this shade, and it looked dry, slightly chalky, when applied. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is darker. Bobbi Brown Onyx is similar. MAC Black Tied is also similar.

The Highlighter is a white gold with a shimmer-sheen finish. Tarte Angelic is a smidgen yellower but not by much. Illamasqua Aurora is a touch lighter and in a cream form. NARS Albatross has a similar sheen, but it has a whiter base.

The Lipgloss included in the palette is pretty much clear and there’s almost no visible shimmer when applied. It made me do a double-take, because at least in the pan, you could see shimmer. Being next to two face powders is unfortunate, as it’s easy to kick up excess powder with larger blush/bronzer brushes (with eyeshadow brushes, it’s just as possible, but I think you have more control). So, you can use any clear gloss as a substitute, really!

The Bronzer is a medium-dark tan with strong orange-brown undertones and a sprinkling of gold sparkle. The texture was a little powdery but dry–I had a tough time getting this shade to deposit color, let alone blending it out. Tarte Park Ave. Princess is similar but has more golden shimmer/sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but has no shimmer/sparkle.

OVERALL, this palette is best purchased if you like the eyeshadows.  The lipgloss and bronzer are disappointing, while the highlighter is better it was a touch dry in texture.  Too Faced’s Candlelight on its own is much better.  The eyeshadows are fairly pigmented, though the last two shades were on the weaker side, and the really sparkly white was a little sheer, too.  None were flops, though, and the other five shades were rather nice to work with.  If you cut the palette in half, you’ll see two very distinct quads of colors–one set is warm, the other is cooler-toned.  It’s like, not love.

When I tested out the eyeshadows, they lasted eight hours with very minor fading when used without a primer; with a primer, they lasted a full eight hours.  I didn’t have any fall out, despite using the sparkly shades, which was a pleasant surprise.  The highlighter wore for seven hours, while the bronzer was faded after six hours.  The price point is nice, though, because it’s not to pricey and makes for an easy gift to give without breaking the bank, but it still feels like a nice gift to give (more to it than just a lipstick!).  I just wish the whole palette performed better.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B
This palette is best purchased if you like the eyeshadows. The lipgloss and bronzer are disappointing, while the highlighter is better it was a touch dry in texture.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, December 3rd, 2012

shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette
shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette

Karl for Shu – The Smoky Velvet Palette

shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette ($65.00 for 0.245 oz.) consists of two silky smooth eyeshadows, three pressed eyeshadows, and one glow-on blush.

1 is described as a “glitter black” and comes in the “silky smooth eyeshadow formula.” It’s a soft black with very small silver glitter particles. It had a creamy but a very thin consistency–it was soft and just barely creamy, enough that it felt more like a really thin, cream eyeshadow than a powder one. It had good color payoff despite the thin consistency. MAC Tall, Dark, & Handsome is a bit softer, less glittery. Buxom Black Lab is similar but has multi-colored sparkle.

2 is described as a “deep khaki” and comes in the “silky smooth eyeshadow formula.” It’s an olive green with a soft, olive shimmer. This shade was creamier than #1, but it had a similar lightweight and thin feel. L’Oreal Golden Emerald is darker, greener. Lancome Designer is darker. MAC Sumptuous Olive is warmer, browner.

3 is described as an “elegant light silver” and is part of the “pressed eyeshadow formula.” It’s a sparkling silver-tinged white with a glittery, sparkly content that gives it a very sheer appearance. Cinderella Midnight Hour is less metallic. MAC She’s Got Class is similar both in color and texture. MAC Forgery is also quite similar.

4 is described as an “mint green” and is part of the “pressed eyeshadow formula.” It’s a pale green with soft yellow undertones and a smattering of gold micro-shimmer. It had good color payoff and a soft, finely-milled texture. Cinderella Cinderelly is darker. Too Faced Fantasy Island is yellower. bareMinerals Wicked is also yellower. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is very similar.

5 is described as an “glitter beige” and is part of the “pressed eyeshadow formula.” It’s a pale, yellow gold with a metallic sheen. The color payoff was so-so. Buxom Poodle is less yellow. Giorgio Armani #18 is similar, less metallic. Bobbi Brown Gold is yellower. MAC Treasure Hunt is similar but has more of a sheen.

6 is described as an “dusty rose” and is part of the “glow-on blush formula.” It’s a brightened, dark pink with gold shimmer. It packs plenty of pigment, so it can be used on all skin tones. The texture is incredibly finely-milled, so it is extremely blendable on the skin, so even pale complexions will be able to adjust the intensity to their liking. MAC Supernova is a bit redder. Tom Ford Wicked is pinker, more blue-based. Worth noting is it’s a pain to apply as a blush, since the pan is the size of an eyeshadow.

The palette is remarkable for its texture; the two cream eyeshadows had a beautiful, velvety-creamy consistency that felt like butter and silk came together, while the blush was finely-milled and easy to blend, despite its rich color.  The really sparkly white eyeshadow, though, while soft, did not apply as smoothly. I found it was best applied as a layering shade over another eyeshadow.  I experienced some fall out when applied alone, and significantly less (but still a little) fall out when patted over one of the cream eyeshadows. Shu can do incredible glitter eyeshadows sometimes, but the white in this palette wasn’t quite it. The gold shade was way, way less sparkly (and better bound together), so I didn’t have problems with that shade.  The cream eyeshadows wore well for six hours, but after eight full hours, they was some faint creasing.  The blush lasted eight hours without fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
The fall out from the two glittery shades along with the faint (but still there) creasing from the two creamier shades really hurt this palette overall. I'm still amazed by the textures of the products, but I wish the wear was better.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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