Thursday, June 7th, 2012

OCC Mimosa Loose Colour Concentrate
OCC Mimosa Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Mimosa Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Mimosa Loose Colour Concentrate ($12.00 for 0.088 oz. / 2.5 grams) is described as a “orange with strong gold shimmer.” It’s a brightened light-medium orange with an orange-gold shimmer and sheen. Milani Primary is darker. Maybelline Fierce & Tangy is fairly similar, but because it doesn’t have a strong gold sheen, it appears a little darker, more yellow-toned. Chanel Tigerlily is a softer, lighter orange.

This was easily one of my favorite shades out of the brand’s recent collection. It’s just such a happy, uplifting kind of color. Whether it’s used dry or wet, it yields opaque color payoff. When it’s applied wet or damp, it darkens slightly–but I appreciated how opaque it was no matter how it was used.  The texture is ultra-finely milled, so it feels soft as silk against the skin, and it applies evenly, smoothly, and blends out beautifully.  I’m always impressed by how well these eyeshadows hold up, even without a primer: a full eight hours with no creasing or fading!

The Glossover

P
product

Mimosa

A
Mimosa is such a perfect color for the spring/summer, and it's one of the best eyeshadows I've tried from OCC! The texture and color payoff is excellent, and it just applies so easily to the lid.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Make Up For Ever #24 Aqua Cream
Make Up For Ever #24 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #24 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #24 Aqua Cream ($23.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “matte vibrant yellow.” It’s an intense, bright sunshine yellow with a yellow-orange undertone. Illamasqua Hype is a darker yellow. MAC Goldenrod is more orange. Inglot #323 seems nearly identical.

The texture of Aqua Creams is creamy, slightly thick, and pretty opaque from the get-go. You don’t need a lot of product to get an even, opaque layer of coverage, but it is possible to sheer out the color to more of a semi-opaque look if so desired. Aqua Creams are, as touted, long-wearing, waterproof, and intensely pigmented. It’s a formula that dries down fairly quickly and then stays and stays and stays. It doesn’t budge, smudge, or fade at all during the day. They can work alone, as eyeshadow bases, or as eyeliners (some shades are designed for lips/cheeks and not eyes, however, so you’d use those as lip/cheek products!).

I love the the intensity of this shade; it’s really vibrant without being neon. It’s warm without venturing into goldenrod/orange-territory, but it’s warm enough that it’s a yellow that can be worn more easily, since it won’t look sallow against the skin.

The Glossover

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product

#24

A
I love the the intensity of this shade; it's really vibrant without being neon. It's warm without venturing into goldenrod/orange-territory, but it's warm enough that it's a yellow that can be worn more easily, since it won't look sallow against the skin.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Tarina Tarantino Mr. Gold/Mr. Silver Eyedream Highlight Duo
Tarina Tarantino Mr. Gold/Mr. Silver Eyedream Highlight Duo

Tarina Tarantino Mr. Gold/Mr. Silver Eyedream Highlight Duo ($19.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as a “yellow gold” and an “icy silver.”  Each eyeshadow is 0.13 oz., which is over double the average-sized eyeshadow (0.05 oz.), and the price point is very palatable for two shades.  A lot of the duos, though, are more basic than not, so whether any are must-haves depends on the size of your stash.

  • Mr. Gold is a medium yellow gold with a soft, frosted shimmer finish. The color payoff is good, but it could be a little denser in texture to give it really excellent color payoff. MAC Sweet & Sour is less yellow. Bare Escentuals Remix is slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Aspire is similar. MAC Goldmine is very similar.
  • Mr. Silver is a medium silver with a frosted, metallic finish. As with Mr. Gold, the color payoff was just good — it wasn’t as intense or as pigmented as Tarina Tarantino’s line has been in general. MAC Misty is similar, slightly more metallic. Giorgio Armani #12 is a smidgen lighter.

This wasn’t my favorite set, mostly because of the quality.  It’s good, but it’s not great, and so many of Tarina Tarantino’s eyeshadows are fantastic. The texture on these was a little drier–not quite as creamy or as dense–so the pigmentation was less than many other shades. I felt that it performed just as nicely on the lid as other shades, and both shades were buildable to fully opaque color on the lid with or without a base. When I wore the shades to test the wear, I achieved seven hours with no fading or creasing (with slight fading around the edges after eight) when applied over bare lids, but I didn’t have any problems after eight hours when applied over a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Mr. Gold/Mr. Silver

A-

This is a really basic duo, and depending on how you like to use your duo eyeshadows, this one isn't so workable together. They're very contrasting colors, and I liked them better mixed with other shades in my stash rather than together.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, June 4th, 2012

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci Terra Azzurra Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a limited edition, warm-toned summer quad that features a pale white gold, medium-dark fuchsia, coppery orange-coral, and deep, dark molten brown. It’s packaged in a metallic bronze case with a dual-ended sponge-tipped applicator and full-sized mirror inside.  The packaging feels and looks luxe, and despite its metallic finish, seemed to keep fingerprints pretty well-disguised.

The left shade is a pale white gold with a frosted, sparkly finish–it almost looks more white than gold. The color payoff was decent to good, but it was a little sheer and not as smooth as I’d like, so there was very minor fall out while I wore this shade. theBalm Sassy is whiter. Givenchy Lune Mysterieuse is yellower. theBalm Tempting Tara is similar.

In the upper middle, there is a medium-dark fuchsia pink with a mostly matte finish. It’s very slightly powdery, but it had surprisingly good color payoff. A lot of higher-end brands tend to sheer out these brighter colors, so it was nice to see Guerlain go for the gusto here. MAC Tease with Ease has more red in it. MAC Passionate is significantly redder. NARS Caravaggio is darker. Urban Decay Junkshow is more fuchsia and purple. Inglot #362 is bluer-based and a little lighter.

In the bottom middle, there is a coppery orange-coral with gold shimmer. This, too, was very slightly powdery, but the color payoff was nice. Le Metier de Beaute Innocence is more orange. Make Up For Ever #5 is similar, but it’s entirely matte. Urban Decay Free Love is very similar but has a stronger golden sheen.

The last shade, on the right, is a very deep,d ark brown with subtle warm undertones. It had amazing pigmentation despite its thinner texture. Tarina Tarantino Saw Dust is similar but less warm. MAC Embark is lighter and redder-toned.

It’s a very classic color combination for the summer, but it’s well-balanced with the different textures, finishes, and overall intensities of each shade.  It works extremely well together, which I think is part of a palette’s appeal, especially when they’re more compact like this one. Terra Azzurra is warm overall, though I think the only shade that’s very warm-toned is the orange-coral–the pink is very slightly yellow in undertone, and the brown isn’t cool-toned, but the depth of it makes it more wearable across skin tones. I felt the deep brown was the most impressive shade out of the four; it just has incredible depth and intensity, so it looks great in the crease or as an eyeliner.

The textures are similar to other Guerlain palettes–I find them a little dry, a little powdery–they’re not as dense, creamy, or as buttery as a really excellent eyeshadow tends to be.  Fortunately, I felt the powderiness didn’t translate when the colors were applied to the lid.  I only had some minor fallout during application with the white gold shade, which was a looser, sparkly texture that never seems to bind together perfectly well, and then while there was a wee bit of fall out throughout the day from that shade, it was very minor. Had I not been specifically looking for it, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.  When I wore the palette altogether in a look, it wore for eight hours with no fading or creasing with or without a base, which is stellar wear.

The Glossover

palette

Terra Azzurra

A-
It's a very classic color combination for the summer, but it's well-balanced with the different textures, finishes, and overall intensities of each shade.  It works extremely well together, which I think is part of a palette's appeal, especially when they're more compact like this one.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, June 1st, 2012

MAC Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liner
MAC Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners

MAC & Beth Ditto: Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners

MAC Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners ($22.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a brand new product type for the brand that launches specifically in this collection. There was originally five shades in the collection, but one was pulled out of production (no reason given). According to the very nondescript blurb online, it’s a dual-ended product with an eyeshadow on one end and a Greasepaint liner on the other end to create “the perfect smoky eye.” If you read through the color description that MAC gives, it’s easy to figure out which side is supposed to be the shadow and liner.

The four shades are: Beth Mask (reddish brown bronze liner / golden peach pink shadow), Beth or Glory (deep brown liner / bright blue shadow), Drag, Strip (smoky navy liner / pale blue shadow), and Little Miss Moffet (true black liner / true white shadow). Each dual-ended pencil has a side with a rounded tip, which is supposed to be the liner, and a slanted tip, which is supposed to be a shadow, based on the color descriptions.

This is not a positive review, and this was an incredibly frustrating product to test. What I experienced with this product made me go, “Either it is one of the worst products MAC has ever launched to-date OR I’m doing it wrong.” The concept of using a product in such a wrong way that it doesn’t work is something I find very, very suspect–most of us are not new to the makeup game, and a lot of products are similar to ones we’ve used in the past. This product is called “Shadow/Liner,” so naturally, one would expect to use it as an eyeshadow and an eyeliner. This means actually applying it to the eyelid and on the lash lines. The results were so terrible (more on that in a second) that I decided I would reach out to MAC to ask them more about this product: what was it supposed to do and if they had any tips on how to use them. I was informed these are long-wearing and water-resistant.

MAC Senior Artist, Keri Blair had these application tips:

The tapered end is the “liner” so it’s better for more detailing and defining (I don’t recommend it for the water line) however the slant tip makes it easy to apply to the eye lid or inner corner of the eye. Use it to pop the lid and with a flip of the wrist you can use the rounded side to smoke out the outer and inner corner of the eyes. The rounded side is great for smudging and “smoking” out the eye. You can blend with your finger or a brush but work quickly because this long wearing, water resistant formula dries fast! My best advice is to work one eye at a time to achieve a perfect Smokey smudgy look.

On occasion, I get to utilize a very interesting test: I ask long-time reader, guest writer, and makeup artist Dustin Hunter if he managed to find a way to make something work. If there is ANYONE who will find some use for a product, it’s him. Me, on the other hand, I’m less likely to bother finding really creative ways to make a truly awful product work–I don’t have the time, desire, or energy to do so. There are too many excellent products waiting to be discovered and reviewed! We had a rather long exchange on both Twitter and via e-mail on the difficulty in using and testing this new formula, because it just wasn’t working.

The formula, regardless of which end, is dry. It is extremely dry, which results in poor color payoff and painful application. When I first tried applying Beth Mask to my lid (using the peach side as a lid color), it was so incredibly painful–there was so much tugging, pulling, and drag. For all of that, there was hardly any product on my lid, and what little there was ended up uneven and sparsely applied. I used several different tools in attempt to get color to transfer onto my lids: fingers, brushes (231, 208, 212, 316), and straight from the tube. I had the “best” results straight from the tube.

Some shades were more difficult to work with, but they were all poor performers. I couldn’t use any of these as eyeshadows, and a few of them were better as eyeliners, but the wear wasn’t there. On the lid, I had creasing after five hours. As eyeliner, the ones I tried (Beth Mask, Beth or Glory, and Drag, Strip) were smudged after four hours. When I used them on the lid, blending was futile–because they start out so dry, it’s already immensely hard to blend them out, and they do dry further after being applied. Trying to apply them over a bare lid wasn’t working, so I tried applying over a primer (I used NARS’ Smudgeproof), and it was easier to apply, but it was only marginally better. The result really speaks for itself.

I didn’t expect them to be as bad as they were, because when I swatched them, I was able to build up the color on most of the shades, but I did have to go back and forth several times with firm pressure–and that firm pressure just doesn’t translate well to the eyelid. When MAC has outstanding formulas like Shadesticks, Greasepaint Sticks, etc., how this product can fall so short, I’ll forever be baffled by. I’m also rather disappointed to see there was a measly 0.03 oz. in the product (the average regular eyeliner is 0.04 oz.).

This may be one of the worst products I’ve seen from MAC or any brand. There are flops, and then there are products that make you wonder what kind of testing happened. You want to read those reports. I know Big Bounce was a flop, but at least there was a way to use them that wasn’t too far off from how one might use them anyway (as an eyeshadow base–you just couldn’t use them alone). I might as well write my to-do lists with these, because you won’t see me ever going through the pain of using one of these again.

The Glossover

palette

MAC & Beth Ditto Shade & Smoke Shadow/Liners Review, Photos, Swatches

If you enjoy a challenge and likely wasting your money, sure, try these! Make sure to let us know if you discover the key to unlocking the goodness in these! For anyone who wants their product to work easily, try almost anything else on the market.
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Thursday, May 31st, 2012

MAC Powder to the People Powder
MAC Powder to the People Powder

MAC & Beth Ditto Powder to the People Powder

MAC Powder to the People Powder ($38.00 for 0.35 oz.) is an odd product. At first, it seemed like a cheek product. It’s listed under Face > Powder on the brand’s website, but the description is, “Play with polka dots to create highlighting effects on your eyes by blending the colours of this ultra-fine, lightweight pressed powder with a velvet-smooth finish.” With all that said, it appears to be an eyeshadow “palette” so-to-speak, but I’m baffled as to why they put it under the powder category instead of under eyes/shadow, if that’s what this intended to be used for. Nevertheless, I tried it as an eyeshadow and swirled together as a cheek color.

I’m only rating this on the performance of the product as an eyeshadow because of how it is described by MAC specifically–I just wanted to cover all the bases and show you how it works and looks as a cheek color, too, because I know a lot of us thought that was what it was initially!

I’m not keen on the texture of the powder. It’s dry, powdery, and half of the shades look chalky applied. When applied as an eyeshadow, it was so-so, but it absolutely needed a primer underneath in order for the colors to show up (which is what I have shown below). The darker brown is the most pigmented shade out of the compact. As a blush, it left a powdery finish on my cheeks that wasn’t particularly flattering.  When I tested it on the eyes for application/color and wear, it lasted about six hours over a primer before fading around the edges (I couldn’t really get it to show up without a primer).  When I tested out the longevity of the product as a blush, it wore for seven hours and only looked a smidgen faded after eight.

The first shade I swatched was a medium-dark terracotta brown with orange undertones. It was the most pigmented of all the shades. It’s more orange and lighter than MAC Soft Brown. It has more brown in it compared to MAC Rule. The second shade is a pale peach-orange with a matte finish that’s sheer and powdery. NARS Ramatuelle was the closest dupe.

The next shade was a medium-dark blue that applied very sheer and chalky. It was darker than Dior Swimming Pool and NYX Cool Blue. MAC Winkle is darker and cooler-toned. The fourth shade was a sallow yellow with a sheer, chalky color payoff. MAC Three Ring Yellow is similar.

The last shade was a soft, light-medium yellow-toned pink that was fairly sheer and powdery. Inglot #359 is a smidgen darker. MAC Paradise Island isn’t as yellow-toned. MAC Launch Away is more pigmented. MAC Crew is a smidgen warmer. When swirled together, the effect is a dirty brown-tan with a mostly matte finish and ends up rather powdery. MAC Sun Dipped is so much better. Chanel Sable Beige is yellower and has a golden sheen.

As an eyeshadow palette, the packaging is a bit frustrating–dust and excess powder from the colors will mix, which means when you’re trying to get pure yellow, you might find brown-hued dust on top, which will give it a dirty look. You get a lot of product, but the price tag is rather steep, too. I imagine it would be more practical and useful to have put together a quad of four colors and priced it at $38 instead. I used MAC’s 239, and it felt almost too big for the polka dots.  At the end of the day, it feels and looks like a collector powder, and it exemplifies a common problem with multi-tasking products: they’re never as good in one as they are separate.

The Glossover

LE
product

Powder to the People

C-
Dry, chalky, powder, and sheer. You absolutely have to use a primer with this product in order to get decent color payoff! The dry texture makes everything a little stiffer and less blendable.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

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