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

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Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Giorgio Armani #19 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #19 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #19 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #19 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is exactly as it sounds–it’s #17 and #18 mixed together. Even in the pot, you can see the pale yellowy gold with the grayish silver intertwined. Together, they create a metallic pewter that reads more silver than it does gold. When applied dry, it’s almost opaque, and when it’s applied damp, it’s more opaque with a more obvious metallic sheen. I thought it was just the tiniest bit sheer, but when I applied it to my lid (no base), it was opaque in one go. This was the best of the three new and limited edition shades released for the holidays. I couldn’t think of a dupe for it; it’s in the same color family as Urban Decay Maui Wowie and Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds but is much, much lighter. MAC Dalliance is more golden.

Eyes to Kill Intense feels and looks like compacted powder (which means it can be loosened, but it’s relatively solid and becomes more solid if you press on it, whether with a brush or the included presser). Giorgio Armani describes it as a hybrid, not a powder but not a cream–it feels more like a cream but looks like a powder. It’s a long-wearing eyeshadow whether you use it with or without a base (I achieved 24 hours of wear with #14 and over 12 hours of wear with numerous other shades). I tested out this shade for 12 hours, and it held up without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

#19

A
The most unique shade out of the three, and it's the best performing one, too! If you combine #17 and #18, you do get something similar to #19, but it depends on how you layer and intensify (since these are almost blended from the get-go, as compared to layering them individually).

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Giorgio Armani #18 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #18 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #18 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #18 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a pale yellowy gold with a metallic sheen. This would work well to brighten the lower lash line and on the inner tear duct to open up eyes. It is similar to Bobbi Brown Gold, which is a bit yellower; Bare Escentuals Standing O and MAC Buried Treasure are more opaque and a touch darker. theBalm Wild Child is similar in hue but has a frosted finish instead of a metallic one. MAC Nylon is lighter.

Like #17, this one isn’t as intense as other shades from the range. It can be built up, but it doesn’t have the one pass pigmentation you’d expect from the line or from a pigmented eyeshadow. It swatches about the same whether used dry or damp–it has a more metallic sheen when it is applied damp.

Eyes to Kill Intense feels and looks like compacted powder (which means it can be loosened, but it’s relatively solid and becomes more solid if you press on it, whether with a brush or the included presser). Giorgio Armani describes it as a hybrid, not a powder but not a cream–it feels more like a cream but looks like a powder. It’s a long-wearing eyeshadow whether you use it with or without a base (I achieved 24 hours of wear with #14 and over 12 hours of wear with numerous other shades).

The Glossover

LE
product

#18

B+
It's surprisingly sheer, though I will say it is buildable. The texture is still smooth and finely-milled (so no fall out like #17). This is one of the more dupeable shades from the range, so you may want to splurge on other shades first!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #17 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #17 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #17 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #17 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a silvered gray with darker gray sparkle. I was worried that it would resemble #12 too much, and while they’re similar (and unless you wear a lot of silver, you don’t need both), they’re not dupes. #12 is bluer, lighter, and much more metallic (go figure), while #17 is more neutral and gray with a subtler silver sheen and shimmer. It almost looks pink-tinted in comparison. MAC Misty was the closest shade I could think of, but it’s pinker and lighter.

The pigmentation was good but not great with this shade; when it’s applied dry, it’s semi-sheer and definitely has some silver sparkle fall out, while when it’s applied damp, it’s smoother and holds together better with more color payoff, there’s still a smidgen of fall out.  Even though it’s not a dupe for #12, I would have loved to have seen a shade they hadn’t done before instead!

Eyes to Kill Intense feels and looks like compacted powder (which means it can be loosened, but it’s relatively solid and becomes more solid if you press on it, whether with a brush or the included presser). Giorgio Armani describes it as a hybrid, not a powder but not a cream–it feels more like a cream but looks like a powder. It’s a long-wearing eyeshadow whether you use it with or without a base (I achieved 24 hours of wear with #14 and over 12 hours of wear with numerous other shades).

The Glossover

LE
product

#17

B
This is one of my least favorites from the Eyes to Kill Intense range; it just doesn't have the same oomph as many other shades do. The sheerness in both the dry and damp swatches is not what you'd expect from this formula, and the fall out, though fairly minor, is a drawback, too.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette
theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette ($28.00 for 0.59 oz.) is a limited edition follow up to Vol. 1 (which is still available, but I don’t have it and haven’t seen it myself). It includes one highlighter, four eyeshadows (or liners), lip/cheek color, and a lipgloss.

As other theBalm products are packaged, this one is also in cardboard packaging with a full-sized mirror on the interior of the lid. The palette opens about two-thirds of the way down so that one side covers or reveals the powder products and the other side covers or reveals the cream products–this is a really nice feature, because it helps to limit any loose powder from contaminating the cream products. It contains a good amount of product and is a good value overall.

  • Promiscuous Pearl is a pale beige with champagne shimmer. It adds a soft glow on cheeks without being overwhelming. If you like Mary Lou-manizer, you’d like this one, just as a more neutral version. The texture is still really buttery and soft, so it is blendable and finely-milled and doesn’t emphasize pores. It reminded me of Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees.
  • Jinxy Jasmyne is a sooty black that looks morre intense in the pan than it does on the skin. It has a mostly matte finish, but it’s rather dry and ends up being chalky and uneven. When applied, it can easily darken the crease, but you really need to use a fluffy brush (remember to tap off any excess!) to make this one work. Application is better with a damp brush, like one might use if you were to use it as an eyeliner. It’s similar to a lot of matte blacks, like MAC Carbon.
  • Manic Maribel is an orange-y copper with a frosted golden sheen. The pigmentation is opaque with soft, blendable color. It’s almost the same as Bare Escentuals Louder. It’s a little lighter than shades like theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • Open to Offers Olwen is a muted teal-blue shot through with silvery-blue shimmer. This shade is also in the Shady Lady Vol. 3 palette. It has good color payoff and a dense, buttery texture. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter but similar.
  • Lavish Latoya is a medium-dark purple with subtle red undertones and a frosted finish. It was on the sheerer side, though. Urban Decay AC/DC is quite similar with a slightly more metallic sheen. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar. Milani Purr-fect Purple is a little lighter. theBalm All the Way Annie is a bit darker but still close.
  • Strawberry is a poppy red that can be applied opaque or blended out for a sheerer look. On lips, it’s much pinker–more like a slightly coral-pink with a creamy finish. The color coverage is mostly opaque. It’s not as dark as MAC Ultra Darling. NARS Niagara is more coral. It’s pretty close to Bobbi Brown Pink.
  • Nude is an opaque beige nude with a cream finish. MAC C-Thru is similar in color, but this is much more opaque.

It’s not my favorite palette by theBalm; I think it has promise and potential, but it’s not fully there.  The color combination is off for me–this is not a palette that lends itself to a lot of versatility.  I feel like you really need to pull in products from your stash to make the palette really pop.  The cheek/lip color is pretty but vibrant enough that it doesn’t pair well with the eyeshadows.  I was disappointed in the texture and payoff of Jinxy Jasmyne and Lavish Latoya was just slightly under-performing.   Shades like Manic Maribel and Lavish Latoya are found in a lot of brands, so this wouldn’t be a palette for long-time beauty aficionados.  As a face palette, I’d have liked to see a powder blush, rather than a mega-sized black eyeshadow.

The Glossover

palette

Balmbini Vol. 2

B+
The overall quality of the palette is there, but the color combination doesn't resonate as well with me--as a face palette, it needs more in the cheek department; it's too eye-heavy.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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