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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Monday, November 28th, 2011

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “frosted ginger” and “shimmering copper.” This is one of the best NARS duos I’ve tried when it comes to quality, but I will readily admit that as far as the shades themselves go, they’re not unique, so you may already own similar shades. It’s a great basic duo for someone who hasn’t already added a few coppers to their stash, though! This is part of the brand’s permanent range, so I think it’s a nice core product to have.

The left side of Isolde is a medium copper with a frosted gold sheen. It has an incredibly soft, smooth texture that’s buttery and dense without being powdery. It delivers excellent color payoff, too! This shade is similar to: Bare Escentuals Louder, MAC Amber Lights, and theBalm Meep Meep.

On the right side, there is a deeper copper with burnished brown undertones and a frosted golden sheen. Like the left side, the texture is amazing–soft, smooth, rich–with intense pigmentation. It’s has more copper compared to Make Up For Ever #12, while MAC Bronze is too brown. Giorgio Armani #5 comes closest but is a touch browner.

Isolde adhered really well to the lid without base, and it wore longer than most of NARS’ eyeshadows do for me–I was able to get eight hours without creasing and to ten with very faint creasing, which is really good. Of course, with a base, there wasn’t any issues at the twelve-hour mark.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
One of NARS' best duos in regards to quality--excellent color payoff, good wear with or without a base, and a divine texture that's soft and silky smooth.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, November 27th, 2011

bareMinerals The Playlist Holiday Eyeshadow Palette
bareMinerals The Playlist Holiday Eyeshadow Palette

bareMinerals The Playlist Holiday Eyeshadow Palette

bareMinerals The Playlist Eyeshadow Palette ($40.00 for 0.28 oz.) includes eight shades: Pumped (cocoa sparkle), Chart Topper (pewter silk), Max Volume (smoky jade), Louder (burnished copper), One Hit Wonder (butter chiffon), Most Requested (burgundy sparkle), Remix (burnished gold), and Speaker Box (shimmering gunmetal).

  • Pumped is a warm, red-toned chocolate brown with gold sparkle. The undelrying color is more matte in finish. I don’t find the sparkle translates 100% on the lid, but some of it does show up. NARS Galapagos is similar but has more of a yellow undertone. Laura Mercier Cedar is very similar in color but doesn’t have the gold sparkle (though since it doesn’t show up much, they’re more similar than not).
  • Chart Topper is a neutral-cool tarnished gold with a frosted, metallic shimmer-sheen. It’s a touch sheer and a wee bit powdery. It’s not as silvered as Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds, but it is cooler-toned than MAC Retrospeck. Urban Decay Maui Wowie is the closest, but it’s a bit darker and has silver sparkle (and the accompanying fall out!).
  • Max Volume is a deep forest green over a blackened base. OCC Poison is greener, less teal. Inglot #414 is also a bit greener and lighter. theBalm Jealous Jordana is much more similar but is a touch greener. Make Up For Ever #80 is also a touch greener but has the same blackened base.
  • Louder is a medium-dark copper with a metallic finish. This is a fairly common color, so you may have something similar already–like Urban Decay Limelight, theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • One Hit Wonder is a white gold with noticeable yellow undertones and a frosted finish. It’s a really dense shade with amazing payoff for a white gold. It is similar to bareMinerals Breathtaking, though. MAC Nylon is a touch yellower.
  • Most Requested is a brownish burgundy with ruby red flecks of sparkle over a satiny finish. It’s a bit browner compared to Lancome Color du Jour but still quite close.
  • Remix is a bright yellow gold with a frost-metallic finish. It’s a little less orange compared to MAC Goldmine. It’s nearly the same as Make Up For Ever #10.
  • Speaker Box is a dark olive green over a black-brown base with gold shimmer and a pearly finish. Lancome Designer is a little lighter. Inglot #419 has a more metallic finish.

Overall, this eyeshadow palette is good–the color payoff for almost all of the shades was excellent with really soft, smooth textures and blendable colors. Pumped’s sparkle doesn’t translate as well on the lid as it looks in the swatch or the pan, and there was a few sparkles that had fallen by the end of the day (like three). Chart Topper was on the sheerer side with a slightly powdery feel. I’ve been impressed with Bare Escentual’s entry into pressed eyeshadows, because they’ve done a good job with the texture and pigmentation, and they also wear well with or without a base.

The palette is housed in a metallic gold compact with a mirror inside and a dual-ended brush. The outer case does hold fingerprints, which is a common drawback for metal or metal-like packaging. The brush is so-so; it’ll get the job done, but it’s a bit scratchy. Remix was a bit drier than other bareMinerals eyeshadows, but it still had good color payoff.

The Glossover

palette

The Playlist

A
It's festive without being over-the-top, and the mix of shades is good with bolds, neutrals, and pops of colors to give the palette versatility and variety. The quality is quite good overall, and you get a good amount of eyeshadow for your money.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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