Sunday, April 13th, 2014

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) contains a copper and brown eyeshadow with a black eyeliner. The Studio Sculpt Shade & Line Eyeshadows can be used wet “for a defined look with super-saturated colour” or dry for “medium buildable coverage.” The copper eyeshadow was the least troublesome, though it wasn’t a boon of an eyeshadow, and the shade itself is one that so many brands do over and over again (MAC included!)–and they do them quite well. The eyeliner shade was stiff, dry, and a real nuisance to blend dry or wet. The brown eyeshadow as drier and stiffer, though not as tough to use as the eyeliner shade. When worn, they lasted eight hours on me.

Espresso Blend #1 is described as a “rich penny-copper.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned copper with a frosted sheen. It had semi-sheer color payoff when applied dry, while the texture was a bit dry to work with. Applied damp, it was nicely pigmented and much smoother. Kat Von D Dog Roses (LE) is darker. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful #3 (P) is less coppery. Makeup Geek Glamorous (P, $5.99) is similar. NARS Isolde #1 (P, $24.00) is also similar. MAC Amber Lights (P, $15.00) is slightly brighter. Guerlain Calligraphy #2 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Bragging Rights (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Espresso Blend #2 is described as a “charcoal black.” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned black with a satin finish. If you’ve been reading the last couple of reviews, you’ll notice that there’s a trend with the eyeliner shade: it’s very difficult to use dry, if you can manage to use it at all, as the texture is incredibly stiff and doesn’t apply with much color and is a challenge to blend. With a very damp brush, it can work with more color payoff, but the blendability is still poor. I tried using it as an eyeliner as well as an eyeshadow, but performance was the same either way. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Espresso Blend #3 is described as a “warm brown.” It’s a medium-dark, subtly warm-toned brown with a satin finish. It had semi-sheer pigmentation when applied dry, but the texture was difficult to work with as it didn’t want to blend–just kind of stuck where it landed and didn’t move from there. Applied with a dampened brush, it was more pigmented and slightly easier to work with, but only for the first couple of seconds. Divergent Bold Espresso (LE) is darker. Laura Mercier Rich Cocoa (P, $22.00) is similar. Sleek MakeUP Flora (P, $9.99) is more matte. MAC Dark Brew (P, $15.00) is slightly lighter. Dior Golden Flower #5 (LE) is a touch lighter, warmer. Chanel Seduction #4 (LE) is darker. LORAC Sable (P) is more matte. NARS Flowers 3 #4 (LE, $24.00) is redder in tone. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Espresso Blend

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Espresso Blend #1

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Espresso Blend #2

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, April 13th, 2014

MAC Ebony Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Ebony Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Ebony Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) contains a white and charcoal gray eyeshadow with a black eyeliner. The Studio Sculpt Shade & Line Eyeshadows can be used wet “for a defined look with super-saturated colour” or dry for “medium buildable coverage.” The eyeshadow shades were somewhat powdery when applied dry, and less so when used with a dampened brush, while the the color coverage noticeably improved with a damp application for the gray eyeshadow and eyeliner shades. The black eyeliner shade was barely-there when applied dry, and the texture was very stiff to work with, even when dampened. You really need to wet the brush to get any sort of blendability with this shade, but once it dries down, it doesn’t blend well. Worn, the colors seemed to wear well for eight hours.

Ebony Blend #1 is described as a “white frost.” It’s a neutral-to-warm-toned white with a frosted finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage applied dry or damp–I really didn’t feel like damp application improved intensity, just minimized the powderiness. It’s a more basic color, so there are plenty of similar shades out there: see comparison swatches / view dupes.

Ebony Blend #2 is described as a “carbon black.” It’s a medium-dark, neutral-to-warm-toned black with a satin finish. It was almost non-existent when applied dry, and with a fairly damp brush, it had semi-opaque pigmentation, but it was a struggle to work with due to a very stiff, dry consistency. I tried using it as an eyeliner as well as an eyeshadow, but performance was the same either way. It was only somewhat manageable once the brush was wet enough. Again, another shade we’ve seen often, so there are many alternative options to consider: see comparison swatches / view dupes.

Ebony Blend #3 is described as a “dirty blue-grey.” It’s a cool-toned, purpled gray taupe with a muted, coppery gold shimmer-sheen. It’s an interesting, complex shade with a lot going on, and what a bummer the whole trio isn’t fantastic. It was semi-sheer when applied dry, and then it was pretty full coverage when applied damp. The texture was a little powdery but blendable. Laura Mercier Twilight (LE, $24.00) is a cream product. MAC Graphic Style (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Smokeluxe #4 (P) is darker, grayer. Urban Decay Armor (LE, $18.00) is browner. MAC Dangerous Cuvee (P, $18.50) is lighter, cream product. Giorgio Armani #4 (P, $33.00) is darker, warmer. Chanel Illusoire (P, $36.00) is a cream product, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Ebony Blend

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Ebony Blend #1

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Ebony Blend #2

F

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, April 11th, 2014

Kat Von D Monarch Eyeshadow Palette
Kat Von D Monarch Eyeshadow Palette

Kat Von D Monarch Eyeshadow Palette ($46.00) is a new, warm-toned palette that features twelve eyeshadows. I’m in the process of testing it, so I hope to have a review for you soon. Until then, here are some photos and swatches! :)

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Friday, April 11th, 2014

Kat Von D Chrysalis Eyeshadow Palette
Kat Von D Chrysalis Eyeshadow Palette

Kat Von D Chrysalis Eyeshadow Palette ($46.00) is a new, cool-toned palette that features twelve eyeshadows. I’m in the process of testing it, so I hope to have a review for you soon. Until then, here are some photos and swatches! :)

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Friday, April 4th, 2014

NARS Lost Coast Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Lost Coast Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Lost Coast Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo for summer. It’s an interesting mix of shades, but they do work together. One of my favorite aspects to trying out a NARS duo is seeing how the two work together, because you can discover combinations you never thought about before. I was less enamored with this duo as I was Tropical Princess, as the texture was more powdery in both shades here. The left side wasn’t as powdery as the right side, and the left side still applied more smoothly, evenly, and had better color payoff than the right side. I found the right side to be powdery, a little chalky, and a shade that really needs a base underneath to help it hold. The left side lasted for almost eight hours, while the right side was noticeably faded after six hours.

Lost Coast #1 is described as a “golden pewter.” It’s a warm-toned pewter with a bronzy gold sheen and a cooler, taupe-ish color underneath. It had a frosted finish, while the texture was somewhat powdery, though soft and blendable. theBalm #19 (P, $6.50) is very similar. bareMinerals Golden Pear (LE, $14.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Derailed (LE, $18.00) is darker. Dior Constellation (864) #2 (LE) is lighter. MAC Arctic Grey (LE, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Lost Coast #2 is described as a “lilac snow.” It’s a light, pink-toned lavender with a satin finish–matte with a soft shimmer-sheen. It had so-so color payoff, but it was quick to sheer out as the texture was drier, more powdery, so it just didn’t bind together or stick well to the skin. I highly recommend using a primer or cream eyeshadow base underneath this to get better color payoff and to avoid it looking dry/powdery on the skin. MAC Digit (P, $15.00) is cooler-toned, lighter. Inglot #346 (P, $6.00) is slightly darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Lost Coast

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Lost Coast #1

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Lost Coast #2

C-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

NARS Tropical Princess Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Tropical Princess Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Tropical Princess Eyeshadow Duo ($35.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo for summer. If you really liked the texture and application of Kauai, I think you’re going to be pleased with this duo as well! It felt very similar to me; soft, smooth, buttery, and silky with excellent color payoff. Both shades from this duo wore well for almost eight hours before starting to crease slightly (no primer). I would say this duo felt a little softer and not quite as “thick,” and it didn’t wear for quite as long as Kauai, but the texture is really lovely to work with (Kauai was just perfect!). This duo is slated for release on NARS’ website on April 15th, then it will roll out to other retailers beginning of May.

Tropical Princess #1 is described as a “neon lemon lime.” It’s a bright pop of chartreuse that leans green (not yellow) with warm undertones and a frosted sheen. The pigmentation was very nice and true-to-pan, while the texture was soft and buttery and very easy to use. MAC Chartreuse Bouquet (LE, $21.00) is slightly darker, less metallic. Kat Von D Birdcage (LE) is more muted. CoverGirl Lime Light (310) (LE, $4.99) is slightly greener. NARS Rated R #1 (P, $24.00) is less shimmery. Dior Garden Pastels #1 (LE) is darker, greener. Make Up For Ever #304 (P, $20.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Tropical Princess #2 is described as an “icy lavender.” It’s a very light, lavender-tinged white with a metallic finish. It applies a lot lighter than it looks in the pan due to the incredibly reflective, metallic sheen it gives off–it brightened the lid well, but on me, the “lavender” part of the color tended to get lost. On cooler complexions, or if paired with cooler eyeshadows, I think it may be more prominent. The color payoff was great, though, and the texture felt like butter and silk. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk #1 (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Aura #2 (LE, $18.00) is similar. MAC Fresh Ice (LE, $21.00) is less metallic. bareMinerals Flash (P, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Tropical Princess

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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LE
product

Tropical Princess #1

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Tropical Princess #2

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes

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