Monday, September 3rd, 2012


NARS Flowers 3 Eyeshadow Palette

And All the Flowers Fall Away

NARS Flowers 3 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.45 oz.) features four shades, which are described as “white, pink champagne, and dark brown against a shimmering lavender grey background and black overspray.”

The first shade is a bright silver-white with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a bit powdery. It’s the same color as the silver-white in the previous two palettes, though the finish seems more metallic and less powdery (but still powdery). There are several similar shades, including MAC Crystal Avalanche (slightly cooler-toned), Buxom Sheepdog, Maybelline Too Cool (a bit cool-toned and more metallic in finish), theBalm Sassy, MAC Forgery (has a grittier texture), and theBalm Tempting Tara.

The shade in the background (which has the black powder overlay) is a gray-ish purple with a pearled finish. This shade is exactly the same in all three palettes, though it seems more metallic in finish in this palette–but more powdery. It was also a bit more pigmented in this palette. Urban Decay AC/DC is similar but more pigmented and less subdued. theBalm Matt Patel is darker, grayer. NARS Charade is matte and has less gray in it. MAC Joy & Laughter is a smidgen grayer. MAC Winterized is a touch darker.

The third shade is a medium-dark warm-toned amber brown with a pearly sheen. It had good color payoff, felt smooth and soft to the touch, and was not powdery. MAC Coil is darker, more copper. MAC Aurora is similar, slightly more matte. Bobbi Brown Champagne Truffle is similar. MAC Love Connection has more of a frost finish. Buxom Golden Retriever is a bit darker. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa is more red-toned.

The last shade is a burgundy-brown with a satiny sheen–more brown than burgundy in coloring. This, too, had nice pigmentation and was fairly smooth and soft. It was a smidgen powdery but barely compared to some of the other shades in these palettes we’ve seen. theBalm Sexy is more burgundy. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is very similar, slightly redder. Bare Escentuals Most Requested is similar but slightly more burgundy.

Of the three Flowers’ palettes, I think this is the best one. It wore slightly better overall, and pigmentation isn’t a major problem with this palette. I don’t think it’s great, and it’s not something I could recommend purchasing. The way the silver-white and gray-purple wear and apply makes up over half the palette, so they bring the other two shades (which performed better) down.  Here, the gray-purple was powdery when used, and it had a tendency to fade compared to the other shades.

The Glossover

palette

Flowers 3

B-
I think if you're a big fan of NARS and Andy Warhol, then it might appeal as a collectible. I think if you're just concerned about the overall quality, then it's something I would skip over.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Monday, September 3rd, 2012


NARS Flowers 2 Eyeshadow Palette

Another Flower Blossoms and Fades

NARS Flowers 2 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.45 oz.) features three shades, which are described as “white and heather blue against a shimmering lavender grey background and black overspray.”

The first shade is a bright silver-white with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a bit powdery. It is exactly the same shade that is in all three palettes, so note that you will have overlap if you were to purchase all three of at least two colors (the silver-white and gray-ish purple); the finishes of the third palette are slightly more metallic. There are several similar shades, including MAC Crystal Avalanche (slightly cooler-toned), Buxom Sheepdog, Maybelline Too Cool (a bit cool-toned and more metallic in finish), theBalm Sassy, MAC Forgery (has a grittier texture), and theBalm Tempting Tara.

The shade in the background (which has the black powder overlay) is a gray-ish purple with a pearled finish. This shade is exactly the same in all three palettes, though it seems more metallic in finish in the third palette. The pigmentation was decent, but it was powdery and on the sheerer side. Urban Decay AC/DC is similar but more pigmented and less subdued. theBalm Matt Patel is darker, grayer. NARS Charade is matte and has less gray in it. MAC Joy & Laughter is a smidgen grayer. MAC Winterized is a touch darker.

The third shade in this palette is a blue-toned icy lavender with a satiny sheen. It had disappointing color payoff, as it was on the sheerer side, but the texture was also stiff and dry, which made applying it more difficult. MAC Blue Orbit is similar but a smidgen darker. MAC Water & Ice is less blue-based. MAC Beautiful Iris is less blue-hued. MAC Digit is lighter.

I would skip this palette and pick up one of the other two, because this only has three shades and two of them overlap with the other ones. (Though, I recommend none, as none of them have high enough quality to merit a purchase.)  This palette was a nightmare to apply and looked horrific after a mere six hours (both over and without primer, but the photo is over a primer, showcasing the best it looked).  The silver shade faded and separated, while the purple shade required a lot of packing to get decent color payoff, but it was hard to blend and faded unevenly.  The gray-purple shade almost disappeared entirely after six hours.

The Glossover

palette

Flowers 2

D+
The quality is completely lacking here; not just in pigmentation and texture, but the actual wear was surprisingly awful. Whether used over bare lids or over NARS' own primer, the eyeshadows wore away well before the six hour mark.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

4/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, September 2nd, 2012


NARS Flowers 1 Eyeshadow Palette

The First of Three Flower Palettes

NARS Flowers 1 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.45 oz.) features five different shades with a black overlay over one shade (the background shade). The palette is a variation on Warhol’s painting Flowers (1965), and this one is described as a “white, brown rose, dark lavender, and gold against a shimmering lavender grey background and black overspray.”

The first shade is a bright silver-white with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a bit powdery. There are several similar shades, including MAC Crystal Avalanche (slightly cooler-toned), Buxom Sheepdog, Maybelline Too Cool (a bit cool-toned and more metallic in finish), theBalm Sassy, MAC Forgery (has a grittier texture), and theBalm Tempting Tara.

The shade in the background (which has the black powder overlay) is a gray-ish purple with a pearled finish. The pigmentation was decent, but it was powdery and on the sheerer side. Urban Decay AC/DC is similar but more pigmented and less subdued. theBalm Matt Patel is darker, grayer. NARS Charade is matte and has less gray in it. MAC Joy & Laughter is a smidgen grayer. MAC Winterized is a touch darker.

One flower is purple, and when swatched, it is a sheer violet purple with a soft satiny sheen–it is really quite stiff as far as the texture went, and the color payoff was dismal. I really had to pack it on to get any color to show up on the lid, and it had to have a base used under it to get any visible color. Clarins Enchanted Summer is more intense, stronger red undertone. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is brighter, more opaque. MAC Plush is more pigmented and a smidgen more red-toned.

Another flower is a rusty red with subtle warm, orange undertones and a soft, frosted finish. This shade had the best pigmentation out of the five shades in the palette. MAC Spicy Smoke is comparable. Milani Primary is a bit redder. MAC Raving Mad is more orange. Urban Decay Gash is more burgundy.

The third flower is a bright pop of sunshine yellow with a soft sheen. This had good color payoff, but it was somewhat powdery and loose. It’s best to pat it on, rather than sweep. Illamasqua Hype is similar but matte. Make Up For Ever #24 is a little darker, warmer. MAC Bright Sunshine is a smidgen lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is slightly softer. Inglot #323 is a bit darker and has a matte finish.

I know a lot of readers are really excited for the collaboration between NARS and Andy Warhol, and I wanted to like the palette, but I didn’t.  Some shades were sheer, others were powdery, and a couple of them were less blendable than I’d like (or even expect from NARS).  The silver is kind of chunky; it adheres in a way that emphasizes the texture of the skin, while the yellow needs to be patted on to avoid a powderiness (and blending it is difficult, because it disappears).  The purple was the most disappointing shade out of the five, because it was sheer, stiff, and dry–it didn’t want to apply (and faded almost instantly), and it was hard to blend it once on the lid. I had to use primer (NARS’) underneath the purple shade just to get color to show up.  The best-performing shade was the rusted red, which had good color payoff, fairly smooth texture, and was easy to blend.  The wear was all over the map; the purple faded so quickly (even over a primer!), while the rusted red shade was slightly faded after six hours, and the silver-white shade had some post-application fall out (minor but noticeable), and the yellow shade didn’t seem to fade too much after six hours.

NARS gives you plenty of product in the compact, which is over-sized (larger than their blushes), so for your $55, you’re getting nearly half an ounce of eyeshadow, which works out to be ~$122/oz., while a duo works out to be ~$243/oz. (Trios are the worst value at ~$265/oz.) You’re just not getting the highest quality product.  For the most part, each color is accessible enough to work with when using eyeshadow brushes, but you will get excess powder kicked up, so you may find that some of the colors mix.  I recommend using a large face brush to brush off the black overlay, because it just makes everything kind of sooty the first time you use it.

The Glossover

palette

Flowers 1

C
I think if you're a big fan of NARS and Andy Warhol, then it might appeal as a collectible. I think if you're just concerned about the overall quality, then it's something I would skip over.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 31st, 2012


Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

Oh, a Touch of a Feminine Edges

Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012) ($36.00 for 0.18 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Bordello (pale mauve with gold micro-glitter), Skimp (light peachy pearl), AC/DC (smoky greyish purple), Gunmetal (dark metallic grey with silver micro-glitter). Hijack (deep metallic teal), and Lost (medium metallic brown) and one Lip Junkie in Wallflower (nude creamy pink).

Bordello is a pinky plum with a frosted finish and barely-there gold micro-glitter. This shade had good color payoff but it wasn’t great–slightly sheer in comparison to other shades in the palette. The micro-glitter wasn’t very noticeable, so there was very little fall out after it was applied. NARS Charade is darker, more matte, less plum. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is more matte and pinker. Inglot #399 is very similar, just slightly pinker. Giorgio Armani #7 is also very similar.

Skimp is a pale, light beige with subtle warm undertones and a satiny sheen. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. It was a smidgen powdery. Urban Decay Sellout is more frosted. MAC Sahara Dust is quite similar. Illamasqua Slink is slightly pinker. theBalm Hiii-Yaaa! is more shimmery.

AC/DC is a medium-dark purple with a slight smokiness and noticeable red undertones. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly overall. Urban Decay Gravity is a smidgen darker. MAC Highly Charged is darker, less frosted. MAC Grand Galaxy is cooler-toned. Dior Garden Roses is very similar. Esete Lauder Cyber Lilac is a bit darker.

Gunmetal is a dark silver-shimmered charcoal gray with a frosted finish. This particular shade has been in a ton of palettes (I think it shows up in the Swatch Gallery three or four times). It’s nicely pigmented with a fairly smooth texture, though there is some micro-glitter there–a lot of disappears before it gets to the lid, though. Urban Decay Asphalt is less silvery. Tarina Tarantino Silver Shoes and Tarina Tarantino Lovely are both similar. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is more matte and slightly blue-tinged.

Hijack is a charcoal teal with a hint of green and a very frosty finish. It has good pigmentation, and it applies smoothly for the most part. Illamasqua Android is darker and more nuanced. Bare Escentuals Vapor is similar but more metallic in finish.

Lost is a warm coppery bronze with a frosted metallic sheen. It was the smoothest, softest shade of the six, and it had excellent color payoff. MAC Havana is a bit darker, warmer. NARS Surabaya has a stronger red undertone and more of a matte finish. Benefit Dandy Brandy is lighter. MAC Roasted Chestnut is has a softer sheen. MAC Make Your Mark is similar but mostly matte. Inglot #421 is more coppery.

Wallflower is a neutral pink with milky/creamy finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque, and it does settle into lip lines a bit, though not too noticeably from a distance. MAC Deelight is a bit pinker. This shade wore for three hours when I tested it.

Last year’s Feminine Palette included Stray Dog, SWF, Midnight Cowboy, Aquarius, Darkhorse, and Ecstasy, plus it came with an eyeliner and primer potion. It had a total value of $80.83 and retailed for $34. This year’s palette six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows and a 0.11 fl. oz. Lip Junkie. The value of this year’s palette is $64.80 worth of eyeshadow and $6.15 worth of gloss, which results in a total value of $70.95. There are surface similarities (e.g. both palettes contain a teal, brown, purple, and lighter color), but the only shade that’s somewhat duped is Lost (by Stray Dog/Darkhorse).

Overall, this palette has two shades with micro-glitter, which does mean that two shades were more prone to having some fall out both during and after application.  It’s more noticeable with Bordello than Gunmetal, and there wasn’t a lot, but I did spot a few stray glitter particles.  Bordello was also the weakest in pigmentation, though still good.

P.S. — Like the giant gouge in Lost? Courtesy of my thumb slipping while trying to remove the eyeshadow portion to show the clutch, LOL!

The Glossover

palette

Feminine

A-
Overall, this palette has two shades with micro-glitter, which does mean that two shades were more prone to having some fall out both during and after application. It's more noticeable with Bordello than Gunmetal, and there wasn't a lot, but I did spot a few stray glitter particles. Bordello was also the weakest in pigmentation, though still good.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 31st, 2012


Urban Decay Dangerous Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

What’s That Dangerous Glint in Your Eyes?

Urban Decay Dangerous Eyeshadow Palette (2012) ($36.00 for 0.18 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Gravity (deep violet with multi-colored micro-glitter), Loaded (deep metallic emerald), Evidence (deep navy blue), Deeper (metallic dark brown with bronze pearl), Mushroom (warm pale grey), and Ace (deep grey/blue shimmer) and one Lip Junkie in Naked (pinky neutral).

Gravity is a subdued purple with a hint of smokiness and silver micro-glitter. It was soft, fairly smooth, and had decent to good color payoff–just slightly under-pigmented (relative to the rest of the shades). I experienced just a minute amount of fall out while it wore. Urban Decay Freakshow has a stronger redder undertone. MAC Highly Charged doesn’t have a strong red undertone, but it is there. MAC Drawn to Drama is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Rockstar is smokier, more subdued, less purple. Lancome Perpetual Purple is a bit more vibrant. Estee lauder Cyber Lilac is similar. theBalm lavish Latoya is grayer.

Loaded is a deep forest green with a hint of teal and brown undertones. The color payoff is excellent (almost to the point where a little goes a long way!) with a soft, smooth texture. Bare Escentuals Max Volume is a bit lighter and greener. OCC Poison is greener. theBalm Jealous Jordana is less intense, slightly greener.

Evidence is a medium-dark navy blue with a metallic sheen. It had decent to good color payoff, but it was a little dry compared to the other shades. This is part of the permanent range. It’s similar to a host of blues: Tom Ford Cobalt Rush, Bare Escentuals Climax, MAC Thru the Night, Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here, and Inglot #428–just to name a few.

Deeper is a dark, chocolate bronze with a lighter bronze shimmer-sheen. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth texture. This shade felt a smidgen powdery. NARS Paramaribo is more golden. MAC Venetian Tarnish is similar but a cream formula. Urban Decay Snakebite has less of a bronze sheen. MAC Tempting is just slightly lighter. MAC Bronze has a stronger orange undertone.

Mushroom is a gray-brown–it’s a very intense taupe. It had good color payoff, and a really soft, dense texture. This is part of the permanent range. MAC Keep Your Cool is more muted. Chanel Illusoire is less brown.

Ace is a dark charcoal gray with a hint of blue shimmer. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly and evenly. Urban Decay Asphalt is similar but a smidgen grayer and lighter. Tarina Tarantino Silver Shoes is lighter. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is extremely similar. Make Up For Ever #1 is similar. Urban Decay Gunmetal is a little frostier.

Naked is rosy light-medium brown with soft pink shimmer. It’s semi-sheer and emphasizes natural pink tones in the lips while adding subtle warmth and shimmer. Chanel Troublant is darker, plummier.  This shade wore for three hours when I tested it.

Last year’s Dangerous Palette included Haight, Mildew, Virgin, Oil Slick, Rockstar, and Gunmetal, plus it came with an eyeliner and primer potion. It had a total value of $80.83 and retailed for $34. This year’s palette six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows and a 0.11 fl. oz. Lip Junkie. The value of this year’s palette is $64.80 worth of eyeshadow and $6.15 worth of gloss, which results in a total value of $70.95. The palettes don’t really seem similar to me; there’s no highlighter shade in this one, and it’s generally darker, smokier. It is, however, similar to Urban Decay’s Smoked Palette–given that Smoked is $49 but contains 10 eyeshadows (plus a full-sized Perversion eyeliner), I’d probably opt for that one instead. It has three overlapping shades: Loaded, Evidence, and Mushroom, while Barlust will work as the bronze hue, Rockstar as a purple, and Asphalt for a gray.

Of the three palettes, I think this one is the least worth getting while the Smoked palette is around. You just get so much more (almost double the eyeshadow, plus the eyeliner) for $13 more.  The quality is absolutely there; the shades are soft, smooth, and pigmented across the board.  Gravity was the “least” pigmented with decent to good color payoff and did have minor, but noticeable, glitter fall out while worn.

The Glossover

palette

Dangerous

A
Of the three palettes, I think this one is the least worth getting while the Smoked palette is around. You just get so much more (almost double the eyeshadow, plus the eyeliner) for $13 more. The quality is absolutely there; the shades are soft, smooth, and pigmented across the board.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 31st, 2012


Urban Decay Fun Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

Have a Little Fun, Won’t You?

Urban Decay Fun Eyeshadow Palette (2012) ($36.00 for 0.18 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Maui Wowie (metallic golden beige with silver glitter), Deep End (bright teal shimmer), Sellout (pinky champagne), Fishnet (bright pink with purple shift), Stray Dog (cool metallic ash brown), and Freakshow (deep royal purple pearl) and one Lip Junkie in Midnight Cowboy (sheer nude sparkle).

Maui Wowie is platinum gold, not quite antique gold, with silver micro-glitter. It seemed less glittery than previous iterations of Maui Wowie that I’ve come across. The texture was soft, applied smoothly, and had excellent color payoff. Maybelline Bold Gold is darker and more golden, yellower. Giorgio Armani #14 is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is grayer. MAC Retrospeck is more golden.

Deep End is a blue-based teal with a frosted finish. It had a soft, smooth texture, applied well, and had great color payoff. MAC Rain Drop is similar but has more of a silver shimmer/sheen. Tarina Tarantino Ozma is quite similar. MAC Cool Heat is bluer and less frosted. theBaml Open to Offers Olwen is similar.

Sellout is a soft champagne with a frosted, metallic shimmer-sheen. The texture felt smooth and silky, while it yielded nice color payoff. Milani Champagne Toast is warmer. Giorgio Armani Madreperla is lighter. MAC Summer Haze is darker and browner. Urban Decay Booty Call is more matte. Urban Decay Skimp is a smidgen lighter, less metallic. theBalm Hiii-Yaaa! is comparable.

Fishnet is a fuchsia purple with violet iridescence. It had a soft texture that applied smoothly with good color payoff (the weakest shade of the set, but I’d say it was still good, just not great!). MAC Infra-violet is pinker. NYX Violetta doesn’t have the iridescence. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical is purpler. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is similar but less iridescent. MAC Stars ‘n Rockets is comparable.

Stray Dog is a barely gray-tinged brown with very subtle warm undertones. The pigmentation was nice, and the hue applied smoothly and evenly. Giorgio Armani #28 is warmer, no gray. MAC Havana is a bit darker. Benefit Dandy Brandy is warmer. Urban Decay YDK is lighter with no gray tinge. MAC Buckwheat is less frosted.

Freakshow is a medium-dark violet purple with subtle red-burgundy undertones and a frosted finish. The payoff was great, and it applied smoothly and softly. Worth noting, this applies much better in their new eyeshadow formula than it did when it was a deluxe eyeshadow. Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister is similar, just slightly less red-toned. Urban Decay Delinquent is lighter. L’Oreal Perpetual Purple has less red undertones.

Midnight Cowboy (Lip Junkie) is a sheer champagne beige with champagne shimmer. What it does is add a lot of shimmer and a glossy shine. Because there’s not a lot of color, any shimmery sheer gloss will dupe it. The way it sparkles is lovely, and it’s a slightly thicker formula (without feeling heavy or tacky) that’s mint-scented. I will say that I don’t care for the baby-sized packaging, because it makes it difficult to hold and apply (even the slanted tip feels odd to use).  It wore for three hours when I tested it this go-round.

Yes, yes, we’ve seen these palettes before–kind of. Last spring, Urban Decay released three palettes (all with the same names). Last year’s Fun Palette included Woodstock, Baked, Uzi, Sin, Flipside, and Psychedelic Sister, plus it came with an eyeliner and primer potion. It had a total value of $80.83 and retailed for $34. This year’s palette six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows and a 0.11 fl. oz. Lip Junkie. The value of this year’s palette is $64.80 worth of eyeshadow and $6.15 worth of gloss, which results in a total value of $70.95. The palettes are similar, but not exact; I think the most obvious similarities is that there is a pink-beige, teal, and purple included. This palette doesn’t have a hot pink or a coppery-bronze kind of color, so it’s actually more wearable in some ways (but perhaps less “fun”).

It’s packaged in a sparkly teal patent/vinyl zippered pouch, and you can remove the eyeshadows entirely, so then you’d have a clutch so-to-speak. It’s pretty small, so you could fit an ID, maybe a key or two, and that’s about it. All three palettes when stacked do stick to each other a bit.  I didn’t have trouble with the zippers on two of them, but the third wasn’t sewn/stitched perfectly, and it’s extremely hard not to catch the zipper on the excess fabric (I have to figure how to get scissors in there to trim it).  I preferred the packaging of the previous palettes, as they slimmer.

Overall, these smaller palettes that Urban Decay releases are some of their better ones, because there aren’t so many shades that you risk getting duds, and they’re more compact thank big palettes like their previous Book of Shadows volumes. It’s also more affordable at $36 than their larger palettes at $50+ (of course, if that’s within your budget, it’s typically cheaper by the ounce buying the larger eyeshadow palettes).  This is a high-quality palette packed with pigmented eyeshadows that are soft to the touch, blend easily, and apply smoothly. I didn’t have any problems with these shades, and I had barely any fall out with Maui Wowie.

The Glossover

palette

Fun

A
It's a lovely palette that has a few pops of color along with some neutrals, so you can go for different looks without being overwhelmed by color. If it wasn't for the small amount of fall out from Maui Wowie, this palette would have been an A.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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