Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes these four shades: Stratus (light pink), Bruised Sky (dark lavender gray), Interior Life (mid-tone gray blue), and Heather Belles (dark charcoal/carbon).  It’s new and limited edition for MAC for Daphne Guinness, which will launch in-stores on December 26th.

  • Stratus is a pale iced pink with a matte finish. I couldn’t get this product to swatch at all–I literally took a metal spatula to the pan and gouged product out to just get enough visible color in the swatch so you could see it. The swatch you see is the equivalent of swatching something five times, if not more! I later tried to apply this to the lid–over primer–and it was invisible. Maybe on the lightest and on the darkest of skin tones this will show up better, but the texture is still unforgivably dry and difficult to use. MAC Taupeless is a little warmer and shimmery. MAC Seedy Pearl is shimmery but similar in hue. Inglot 319 is more blue-based.
  • Bruised Sky is a mauve-brown with a satin finish. This shade was a little dry, but it yielded decent color payoff. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off has a more shimmery version of this shade. It’s similar to MAC Tendersmoke. MAC Shale is much browner.
  • Interior Life is a blue-tinted medium-dark gray with a veluxe finish, which means it has a mostly matte finish but the texture is different from their matte finish. This is one of the best matte eyeshadows I’ve come across by MAC, and ironically, there are only two veluxe finishes available in the permanent range (Samoa Silk and Brown Down). This feels much more like a Matte2 than a veluxe–it’s so dense and buttery that’s nearly creamy in feel. The color payoff is really good, too, though it does easily blend away so go easy on blending.  I don’t want to say this, but this fades a lot when applied.  It was half faded after five hours.  It’s a matte version of MAC Howzat. Chanel Gris Exquis is more neutral.
  • Heather Belles is a charcoal black with a satin finish. The good news is this shade is the same as it was when it launched with Tartan Tale; the bad news is that it’s still just as terrible. I got a little smarter with this shade, so I managed to scrape product off and apply it to the middle but left some parts still in their original, disappointing state. It’s sheer, dry, and nearly chalky because of how dry and stiff it is. Nehru is a little blue/teal. It’s a bit like theBalm Serious. It ended up looking a lot like MAC Black Tied, since neither works well. I tried applying this to the crease, but it just wasn’t applying or blending well, so I ended up using Nebula (pigment) instead.

I’ve been underwhelmed by MAC’s eyeshadow quads for quite awhile now, and I had some hope after Cindy Sherman, Interior Life really disappointed. Many brands come out with quads and palettes, and there are few high-end brands that seem to flop as spectacularly as MAC has in the past year when it comes to their quads/palettes. MAC can do an excellent eyeshadow, so I don’t know why this doesn’t translate into their eyeshadow quads any more.

The Glossover

palette

Interior Life

F
There are too many problems with this eyeshadow quad: poor pigmentation, drier/stiffer textures, and fading. At $38, there are so many better options out there. Build your own MAC quad of proven eyeshadows!

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) is an upcoming new and permanent quad that features an “iridescent blue, matte navy, velvety turquoise, and glacier metallic blue.” This is one of the better eyeshadow quads I’ve tested from Guerlain since they reformulated and relaunched their eyeshadow range, so it was a welcome surprise. The pigmentation is good across the board, and it applies easily. I did find that without a primer, there was some fading after eight hours, but over a primer, it was fine.

The left most shade is a semi-matte, dark teal-blue with a grayish overcast and sparse teal shimmer. The base color is more matte, but there is definitely some sparkle to the shade. It has good color payoff, though the texture feels a little dry. Illamasqua Android seemed similar, though it is much more metallic and frosted. It has a similar base color to MAC Blue Spruce but doesn’t have the copper sparkle.

In the center, the top shade is a aqua teal with an iridescent gold shimmer-sheen. It does flash more golden depending on the angle. The color payoff of this shade was really nice, and the texture was silky soft and applied smoothly. Milani Caribbean Sea is similar but has less golden shimmer. Make Up For Ever #83 is much more intense. theBalm Open to Offers Olwen is darker. Inglot #415 is more vibrant.

Below that shade is a medium-dark bold blue with a soft, metallic shimmer-sheen. The pigmentation is excellent, and the texture feels soft to the touch and smooths out easily. I find Guerlain’s more frosted shades to have the best color payoff and feel compared to some of their mattes, satins, etc. MAC Pure Creation is a touch lighter. MAC Deep Truth is a bit darker. MAC Freshwater is comparable. Inglot #426 is also similar.

The right most shade is a bright, metallic silver. Of all the shades in the palette, it had the weakest color payoff–there was some underlying sheerness but it felt smooth to the touch. IT is similar to MAC Misty and Bobbi Brown Iced Blue.

The palette initially bears resemblance to Les Ombres de Nuit, but this is a brighter, warmer palette. None of the shades actually overlap in terms of color, but here, we have a vibrant aqua teal instead of a muted grayish teal; vibrant medium-dark blue instead of a navy blue; the other two shades are not similar.

The Glossover

palette

Les Aquas

A-
The color combination works together, though if you're not a fan of blues, you may find this palette too bold! You don't see too many bright colored palettes by high-end/designer brands, so I definitely appreciate Guerlain going out of the box with this color scheme.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Spring 2012: Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse Eyeshadow Palette ($85.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette for spring. It contains six eyeshadows, with the long, skinny shade on the right designed to be used as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The palette is hefty with a metal compact and filigree lid. There’s an interior mirror that flips open that’s connected to the lower portion of the palette. Inside, there is also a small, dual-ended brush that is serviceable but not better than the average full-size brush. The shades are described as soft pink, tea rose, pearl mauve, soft violet, luminous pink, and intense plum. I’m not entirely sure which description goes with which, to be honest! I know that the luminous pink shade is the center shade and the intense plum is the eyeshadow/liner shade on the far right of the palette.

The upper left eyeshadow is a pale white pink with a satiny shimmer. It has surprisingly good color payoff for as pale and light as it is, and it doesn’t look chalky against my skin tone. It’s similar to Tarina Tarantino Delightful (more shimmer), MAC Fresh Ice (more shimmer, purpler), and Bare Escentuals Muse (a touch darker, pinker).

The bottom right (or side right) eyeshadow is pale pink-tinted mauve with a pearly sheen. It’s soft and light with nice pigmentation and a smooth, silky soft feel. It didn’t seem like something different, but I couldn’t find a dupe for it; there’s the mauve in it that separates it from shades like Bare Escentuals Giddy, which is similar in lightness and finish but is much pinker.

In the center, there is a vibrant medium, subtly blue-based pink with a white, frosted finish. The color payoff is nice, and it has a really dense, buttery texture. Make Up For Ever #85 is less blue-based. It is fairly similar to Urban Decay Hot Pants. MAC Feather Pink also compares well in regards to hue, but it is bluer and matte.

To the right of the center pink eyeshadow, there is a medium-dark purple with a pearly sheen. It could be more pigmented; there is some softness there that makes it appear less like it does in the pan when applied to the skin. Make Up For Ever #142 is a darker, deeper version. Bare Escentuals Encore is darker and less red.

The bottom shade is a rosy brown with a satin finish; it almost appears matte. The color payoff is so-so, and on deeper skin tones, I’m not sure it would show up well. Inglot #344 is browner, while Inglot #359 is pinker.

On the right side, there is an eggplant purple with a pearled finish. It’s supposed to be an eyeshadow/eyeliner shade, so I did swatches of it dry and wet. This shade was finicky to work with; the texture was drier and stiffer compared to the other shades in the palette, so the resulting color payoff was sheerer and a bit uneven. When it is used wet, it is a lot easier to use. MAC Hyperviolet is deeper and less purple. Bare Escentuals Nightcap is darker, more matte, and browner. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is deeper and browner. MAC Fig 1 is a little darker and matte. Inglot #445 is a touch lighter and more frosted.

Overall, the palette is decent but not great–the color payoff could be improved. This was really my major issue with this palette, because three shades had pigmentation issues to some degree, with the eggplant shade having the most (as well as texture issues). Even though pink eyeshadow can sometimes be difficult to wear, Guerlain’s incorporated a lot of mauve, rose, and plum to dial back the pink; the only genuinely pink shade in the palette is the center shade. Both the pink mauve and rosy brown work well as neutrals. The wear of these eyeshadows is better over a prime and so-so without; they wear about eight hours before I start noticing some slight fading. I find Guerlain’s eyeshadows a tiny bit powdery overall.

The Glossover

palette

Boulevard du Montparnasse

B-
If you like palettes that deliver softer color, you may still enjoy this one, as the colors tend to be a little more muted compared to how they look in the pan. If you like true-to-pan results with denser, more buttery textures, you may want to skip this. At $85, I expect all shades to perform excellently, so it would be a skip for me.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Video Review: Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Swatches & Dupes

First impressions video, including swatches of the Naked 2 palette as well as all the comparison swatching I did between Naked 1 and Naked 2 :)

Thursday, December 1st, 2011


Urban Decay Naked 1 vs. Naked 2 Palette Dupes & Comparison Swatches

  • Foxy doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.
  • Half Baked is a repeat from Naked 1, so yes, there is a dupe–in fact, it’s 100% the same!
  • Booty Call is a peachier version of Virgin (Naked 1), but they’re really, really close. It’s just slightly warmer.
  • Chopper is more orange than Sidecar (Naked 1); I wouldn’t say they’re dupes, but they’re not totally different.
  • Tease doesn’t have any dupes, because it’s matte, so it doesn’t really appear the same as contenders like Sin and Toasted (both from Naked 1).
  • Snakebite is not as golden as Smog (Naked 1), but it’s nowhere near as dark as Darkhorse (Naked 1); however, if you mix both Smog and Darkhorse together, you get something rather similar.
  • Suspect is just a little more beige compared to Sidecar (Naked 1).
  • Pistol doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.
  • Verve doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.
  • YDK looks pretty similar to both Sidecar and Toasted (both from Naked 1), and Sidecar is closer.
  • Busted is very, very similar to Hustle (Naked 1); at best, it might be a little less red-toned. It’s not like Darkhorse (Naked 1), though.
  • Blackout doesn’t have any comparable shades in Naked 1.

See comparison swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette Swatches, Photos, Reviews

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette ($50.00 for 0.71 oz.) contains twelve eyeshadows: Blackout (blackest black with matte finish), Booty Call Shimmery cork), Busted (deep brown with shimmery finish), Chopper (copper shimmer with silver micro glitter), Foxy (cream bisque with matte finish), Half Baked (golden bronze with shimmery finish), Pistol (light greyish brown with shimmery finish), Snake Bite (dark bronze shimmer with metallic base), Suspect (pale golden beige with shimmery finish), Tease (creamy pale brown with matte finish), Verve (oyster with shimmery finish), YDK (cool bronze shimmer with metallic base), and Lip Junkie Naked (sheer shimmery pinky neutral) and Good Karma Shadow/Crease Brush. The brush is good; it’s like Urban Decay’s full-sized brushes–same size, feel, density, and softness.

  • Foxy is a pale yellowed beige with a matte finish. It’s on the sheer side and a bit powdery. On my forearm (around NC20), it’s almost invisible. It could work for highlighting the brow on light to medium complexions. It’s similar to Bare Escentuals Daydream, Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone, and MAC Brule.
  • Half Baked is a coppery brown with a golden shimmer-sheen. It’s very frosty but has good color payoff and a smooth texture. It’s part of the permanent range and is also in the Naked 1 palette. This shade is similar to a whole slew of others: theBalm Manic Maribel, Bare Escentuals Louder, MAC Amber Lights, theBalm Meep Meep, and Inglot #405 (and there are probably more).
  • Booty Call is a peach-tinted white-beige with a frosted finish. It’s new for this palette. It’s just a little peach compared to Urban Decay Virgin. It’s also similar to shades like MAC Vanilla, MAC Baby It’s Cold, Urban Decay Skimp, Inglot #353, and MAC Brule.
  • Chopper is a medium orange-red toned rown with coppery flecks of shimmer. This shade is permanent. It has good color payoff, but the sparkle is prone to fall out. It’s similar to shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds, Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa, and Make Up For Ever #12 (sheered out). Sidecar from Naked 1 is browner, not as orange.
  • Tease is dirty mauve-brown with a matte finish. It’s an interesting shade, but the color payoff is mediocre and texture is very dry and stiff. You really have to jab at it with the bristles of your brush to loosen enough product in order to apply it. It’s similar to MAC Quarry, which is truer-to-pan color than Tease, actually, plus it has more pigmentation. It doesn’t compare favorably to either Sin or Toasted (the two closest shades from Naked 1), partially because the difference in payoff and finish is too dramatic.
  • Snakebite is dark bronze with a dirty golden shimmer-sheen. It has a really lovely dense, buttery texture with excellent color payoff. It is deeper than MAC Tempting but warmer than Inglot #409. It looks similar to Smog, which is warmer, but not so much Darkhorse, which is more of a blackened brown; however, mix the two together, and you pretty much get Snakebite–both Smog and Darkhorse are in Naked 1 (and even right next to each other!).
  • Suspect is a soft champagne-bronze with a frosted, metallic sheen. It has good color payoff but felt a touch powdery. theBalm Schitzo is more golden and smoother. Sidecar (from Naked 1) is just pinker.
  • Pistol is a dirty gray-brown with a frosted finish. I’m hesitant to call it a taupe, because it has a lot of brown in it. The payoff is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. It’s similar to theBalm selfish and NARS Bali (but matte). It doesn’t compare to any shades from Naked 1.
  • Verve is a pale beige-gray with a pink tinge. This was in the Rollergirl palette. It doesn’t have a dupe or similar shade in the Naked 1 palette. NARS Grand Palais is several shades darker, while Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is more golden and gray (less pink). Urban Decay Ruthless is more beige.
  • YDK is a warm, coppery red-toned medium brown with a frosted finish. The color payoff is good with a smooth texture. Inglot #421 is deeper and more intense. Urban Decay Shag has more copper. Urban Decay Wreckage is a little less warm. MAC Buckwheat is a bit darker. It is very similar to Sidecar and just a little less warm compared to Toasted from Naked 1.
  • Busted is a burgundy-tinted, deep brown with warm, golden undertones. It has a soft, frosted finish. The color payoff was good and the texture smooth, though a little less dense than other shades. It’s almost the same as Hustle from Naked 1. MAC Midnight Flurry is a bit more burgundy. theBalm Mahna Mahna is more intense, more red-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is darker, as is MAC Smut.
  • Blackout is a really intense, deep dark black with a matte finish. It has really great payoff and goes on very black. It doesn’t have a comparable shade in Naked 1. Make Up For Ever #4 and Sugarpill Bulletproof are also very deep dark blacks with matte finishes.
  • Naked is a sheer neutral pink with white micro-shimmer. The gloss is non-sticky and mint-scented.

Naked 2 is a phenomenal value ($204 worth of eyeshadow, $24 worth of brush, $6 worth of lipgloss–$234 total), just like Naked 1, but I don’t think you need both. There are too many similar shades to merit both (seriously, why even include Half Baked again?). Like the original palette, this is a warm-toned neutral outlay of shades. I’m really not sure why they went with warmer shades (over neutral or cool) when Naked 1 encompassed mostly warm-toned shades already. I know that several readers with cooler complexions felt like Naked 1 wasn’t as flattering on them.

It’s packaged in a metal tin that closes shut really well, but it is a bit heavier than Naked 1; it’s the same size in terms of length and width. I’ve traveled with the Naked 1 palette many, many times, and I haven’t had any issues with it opening, ripping, looking worn, etc. I expect that the packaging of Naked 2 will appeal to others, though, as it feels more secure and hefty. If you’re less inclined to have a dual-ended brush, an Urban Decay 24/7 Liner will fit in the slot as well.

The color payoff of Tease is really disappointing; it’s dry, stiff, and applies unevenly. It takes a lot of packing and blending to make it work, which is a real shame given that mattes in Urban Decay palettes can be hard to come by! Foxy is also on the sheerer side but not terribly so, but it has some powderiness to it. Chopper has that micro-glitter texture Urban Decay loves but is prone to fall out.

Half-Baked is a repeat, Bootycall is just warmer than Virgin, Snakebite is similar to Smog (and exactly the same as Darkhorse + Smog together), Suspect is just a touch less warm than Sidecar, YDK is quite close to both Sidecar and Toasted, and Busted is almost the same as Hustle. The shades that didn’t have comparable shades already in Naked 1 were Foxy, Chopper, Tease, Pistol, Verve, and Blackout; that’s five of twelve.

I don’t know how this really measures up to Urban Decay’s “12 Taupe + Greige Neutrals” remark on the product page, because I don’t really see those shades well represented in this palette. The quality, overall, is good; I don’t think it’s as good across the board as the first palette, but for $50 and twelve full-sized eyeshadows, it’s certainly worth taking a look at. I just don’t think it lives up to the hype here, and again, if you have Naked 1, Naked 2 isn’t much of a leap.

I will have comparison swatches in a separate post.

The Glossover

palette

Naked 2

A-

If you have Naked 1, I don't think you need to have Naked 2. Naked 2 is a solid palette, but it is a lot like Naked 1, and both palettes are permanent, so it's really a matter of what colors you prefer and how often you wear neutrals. The palette would have benefited from making it more complimentary to Naked 1 rather than being so comparable, perhaps with a mix of cooler tones and less shimmery finishes.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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