Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Illustrated - Smoky Eye Plum Kit
MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

New from MAC – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit ($49.50) includes three eyeshadows, two travel-sized brushes, Technakohl Eyeliner, and a travel-sized Zoom Lash mascara. It’s a Nordstrom exclusive set and available both in-stores and online. There is another palette available, but it contains all permanent shades, so I only purchased this one for review.

  • Creative Whim is a pale lilac with subtle cool undertones and a soft white frost. It has a satin finish. The color payoff was just so-so–there was obvious sheerness. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 is similar but more metallic in finish, slightly less pink. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is paler, cooler-toned. MAC Silverwear is lighter.
  • Drawn to Drama is a darkened violet purple with a blue shimmer-sheen. The texture was on the dry side, which you can even see in the swatch, which resulted in decent pigmentation but nothing to get excited over. Urban Decay Ransom is lighter. MAC Pink Union is brighter, more red-toned. MAC Parfait Amour is lighter. Urban Decay Frigid is nearly the same. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is more subdued.
  • Moody is a brown-tinged medium-dark gray with a satiny sheen. It is a veluxe pearl, and it is also a repromote. The texture of this is not at all like your typical veluxe pearl, because it lacks the buttery, dense feel. The color payoff is lacking, and it’s not usually the case with veluxe pearls that pigmentation is a problem. Instead, Moody feels dry and applies that way, making it difficult to blend out. Shocker of shocks! — it’s from an old nemesis, Evil Eye, where I actually made the same observations then as I did today. MAC Hint of Sapphire and Inglot #434 are most similar to this.
  • Purple Dash is a red-toned plum with subtle shimmer-sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. Make Up For Ever #4L is just like this shade.  Technakohls tend to wear between six and eight hours on me.

All three eyeshadows are full-sized ($45.00 value), and the eyeliner is also full-sized ($14.50 value). The travel-sized mascara is half the size of a full-sized one ($7.50 value), and it’s hard to put a value on the travel-sized brushes. The brushes were scratchy when I tried using them, and I’m not a huge fan of the 212 as a good multi-purpose/general brush. It’s more of a specific action brush, so I don’t think it makes sense to include it in a set like this (you’d probably one brush to apply eyeshadow and another to blend it out). Though Nordstrom lists the value at $100, I’d put the value around $67 realistically.

While I personally like the collection’s illustrations, this palette is unwieldy. It’s just unnecessarily large, and it really does so in order to hold the brushes, eyeliner, and mascara. This might be something that would have worked better if they had made it a double-decker palette and hidden the brushes and eyeliner underneath the eyeshadow and mascara.  Too bulky to be a great travel palette!

I tried wearing the three shades together, and the nice thing about them is they coordinate well with each other.  The downside is that none of them are good eyeshadows; they’re all disappointing in some way or another.  All three shades suffer from lack of pigmentation, and Drawn to Drama and Moody are very dry and are difficult to blend during application.  Without a primer, they wore seven hours before looking a bit faded. With a primer, they lasted a full eight hours without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Illustrated's Smoky Eye Plum Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
I don't know if I've ever given so many D+ grades in a week, but here's another one for you! I imagine most will be interested in the palette for the eyeshadows over the travel-sized brushes, mascara, and eyeliner, so go out and buy three good MAC eyeshadows individually and save $4.50. It's not a value if the products included are sub-par.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Chanel Infini Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow
Chanel Infini Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow

Chanel Infini Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow ($28.50 for 0.05 oz.) is described as “silver.” It’s a light silver with a frosted, metallic finish. Guerlain Les Aquas is similar but more metallic, slightly darker. MAC Misty is very similar. MAC Filament is a bit darker. Bobbi Brown Tinsel is similar in color but chunkier in texture.

The color payoff was disappointing, and I absolutely had to use it wet in order to get a somewhat smooth finish. I tried to apply it to the lid, and it was sheer and patchy, despite trying to pack on the color. It feels so soft to the touch, but it just doesn’t come together for me. I still attempted to wear it, even if it did look awful from the get-go, and it was slightly creased after eight hours when worn alone or over a primer.  When I wore it over a primer, the pigmentation was better, but it still wasn’t great.  The texture, for as soft as it is, doesn’t seem to hold together, which is what causes sheerer color payoff and patchy application.

I was excited for my order to arrive, but this is a far cry from the excellence that was Complice.  It’s surprising to see a silver shade like Infini fall so flat, because I feel like there are so many silver eyeshadows on the market and plenty of them have rich pigmentation.  The metallic nature of silvers also means they often go on smoothly, too.

The Glossover

P
product

Infini

D
I was excited for my order to arrive, but this is a far cry from the excellence that was Complice. It's surprising to see a silver shade like Infini fall so flat, because I feel like there are so many silver eyeshadows on the market and plenty of them have rich pigmentation.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Guerlain Les Fauves L'Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette
Guerlain Les Fauves L’Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Fall 2012: Les Fauves L’Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Fauves L’Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) is new (and permanent!) for fall and will debut at Guerlain counters and retailers in August (though I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw it pop up in the next week or two). This is a very warm-toned palette with distinct orange/red undertones. The one thing I’ve noticed across fall palettes this season is that the colors within them are very similar to each other.

The shade on the left is a medium-dark copper-shimmered red-toned brown with a soft frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation with a soft, almost buttery texture. Tom Ford Ilicit is redder. NARS Surabaya is a little darker and more red-toned. Make Up For Ever #14 is darker, browner. theBalm Tres Moi is very similar, slightly less warm-toned. MAC Antiqued is almost a dead-ringer except its finish is slightly more metallic.

Next, there is a medium brown with strong orange-red undertones with a mostly matte finish. It was soft to the touch and had great pigmentation. MAC Soft Brown is lighter, more subdued. MAC Brown Script is darker, less orange.

Below that shade is a warm orange with hints of red and coral and a mostly matte finish. This shade had nice color payoff, but it was a little powdery. MAC Neo Orange is brighter but similar. Make Up For Ever #5 is very comparable.

The final shade on the right-hand side of the palette is a warm-toned light-medium copper with a champagne sheen–very metallic in finish. It had a soft, smooth texture with good pigmentation. Bobbi Brown Champagne Truffle is browner. MAC Love Connection is also browner. MAC Rusty is similar but darker. Urban Decay Chopper is more copper. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is similar, slightly more orange-brown. Urban Decay Blaze is less coppery.

When I was on vacation last week, I took this palette along and wore the coral, medium brown, and light-medium copper shades together.  The colors wore without fading or creasing for a full ten hours, both over and without a primer–quite impressive.  Three of the four shades had beautiful textures and superb pigmentation; the only shade that was mildly disappointing was the coral shade, which was a little powdery.  The palette is housed in a gold-tinted metal compact (lovely and sturdy to hold, but it does show fingerprints) and contains a full-sized mirror and sponge-tipped applicator inside.  It has a good amount of product, too; a full-sized eyeshadow is typically around 0.05 oz., and each of these is just over 0.06 oz.

The Glossover

palette

Les Fauves

A
Three of the four shades had beautiful textures and superb pigmentation; the only shade that was mildly disappointing was the coral shade, which was a little powdery.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, July 16th, 2012

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio
NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Fall 2012: High Society Eyeshadow Trio

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as “lavender,” “matte forest green,” and “iridescent amethyst.” It’s new and limited for fall. I love that NARS has individual wells for each shade of the trio, but it’s a little disappointing that the amount of product is only 0.03 oz. more than a duo yet $11 more. Their eyeshadow formula is described as highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant.

The first shade is a smoky light-medium purple with noticeable pink–it’s almost too smoky/dark to be lavender, though it looks a little lighter in the pan than how it does applied. It has a slight powderiness to it when you press your brush against the surface, and it’s a little sheer. I did have to pack it on somewhat to get opaque color. Bobbi Brown Cool Lilac is lighter and pinker. MAC Daylight is more mauve. Bare Escentuals Azure is purpler.

The second shade is a smoky medium-dark brown-toned green. Kind of like a muted army green to me. The texture was soft, just barely powdery, but applied fairly smoothly. Like the first shade, it was a little sheer. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is greener, brighter. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is slightly more intense. Bare Escentuals Utopia is cooler-toned. MAC Flourishing is greener, warmer. Make Up For Ever #84 is rather similar but has a shimmer finish, so the two aren’t as close as they seem.

The third shade is a darkened purple with subtle red-brown undertones and a satiny finish. It had a drier, stiffer texture than I’d liked to have seen, but it was easier to use on the eye with a brush–it wasn’t as blendable as the other two shades, though. Urban Decay Rockstar has a more metallic finish and has less purple (almost more mauve/plum). Bobbi Brown Black Violet is comparable but less smoky. Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac is more frosted. theBalm All the Way Annie is a hint lighter. Make Up For Ever #142 is a smidgen brighter.

I love the color combination; it’s dark and sultry but it really works. The colors and tonal differences flatter each other immensely!  I’m less impressed by the overall texture and quality of the trio, though.  Two shades were powdery, while the other was dry and stiff.  They were easy enough to work with on the lid, but I did have to pack on the lavender shade during application.  Without a primer, I had noticeable fading after six hours, especially of the lavender shade.  With a primer, the results were better, but there was still enough fading after eight hours to be disappointing.

The Glossover

palette

NARS High Society Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
It's frustrating to have problems with the colors fading even over primer (and NARS' primer, to boot!), especially when the formula is supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant on its own merits. It's a shame as the color combination is perfect for fall in an unusual way.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Fall 2012: Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “platinum” and “silver smoke.” It’s new for fall but will stay in the permanent range.  NARS’ eyeshadow formula is supposed to be “highly pigmented, long-wearing, and crease-resistant.”

The first shade is a pale silvery white with a shimmery, frosted finish. It has so-so color payoff, which does improve slightly when applied to the lid, but I did pack it on to get an opaque layer. If you like sheerer eye color, you’d like the way this applies, as it’s a general all-over sheerness, rather than patchy. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is a smidgen lighter. Dior Garden Pastels is slightly green-tinted. MAC Misty is darker and more metallic.

The second shade is a dirty beige-shimmered brown with a hint of gray. It’s an interesting color and hard to describe, though it gets lost against my skin tone so it might sing better on a lighter or deeper complexion. The pigmentation is good, and the texture is soft without being powdery. It reminded me of a much lighter theBalm Selfish. MAC Vex has a duochrome and is grayer, less brown. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar but slightly frostier. MAC Patina is darker, browner. MAC Hazy Day is much darker.

I wore the duo with the lighter shade all over the lid and just into the inner crease and applied the darker shade into the crease with a fluffy brush.  I highlighted the brow bone with my trust Burberry Trench and lined the lower lash line with Tarina Tarantino Ammunition Eyeliner.  I didn’t have any fall out during application or later on while I wore the products.  Over a primer, there wasn’t any creasing and only a little fading of the crease color after eight hours.  Without a primer, I did get faint creasing and more noticeable fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Vent Glace Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I personally like the duo a lot, because it's a very easy to use set of colors that are subtle but still noticeable. The pigmentation was a little lacking in the lighter shade, and the fading (even over a primer!) of the darker shade was unexpected.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, July 13th, 2012


Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette ($49.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes ten eyeshadows: Kinky (soft ivory peach with a matte finish), Freestyle (light pantyhose nude with matte finish), Mushroom (warm grey with shimmery finish), Back Door (true dark brown with matte finish), Blackout (blackest black with matte finish), Barlust (dark golden brown with metallic finish), Rockstar (deep aubergine with shimmery finish), Evidence (deep navy blue with shimmery finish), Loaded (deep emerald shimmer with metallic base), and Asphalt (deep gunmetal with silver micro glitter and metallic base); one eyeliner in Perversion (blackest black); and a mini Primer Potion (in Original).

Overall, it’s a good palette; the best performing shades were Mushroom, Barlust, Rockstar, and Loaded. The “worst” (which weren’t bad!) performing shades were Evidence and Asphalt, which were both a little dry.  Kinky and Freestyle were a marginally powdery but applied well and had good color payoff, despite being lighter in hue, which was impressive.  Three of top Urban Decay eyeshadows are in the palette, too (Mushroom, Rockstar, and Loaded) along with the lovely rich black Perversion eyeliner.  I tried a few different combinations (none of which I ended up liking, but for testing purposes, still worked), and I averaged around eight hours of wear with minimal fading but no creasing over bare lids. With a primer, the wear was perfectly intact after eight hours of wear.

One thing I disliked about the palette was the composition. This has no impact on the rating at all, because it’s very subjective and doesn’t affect the quality of the product. Like The Black Palette, it has lots of dark, smoky colors–totally appropriate for the palette–but it seems like this is a palette you’d tote around with you, as if it was an all-in-one palette for great smoky looks. There are too many dark shades to build more diverse looks. I would have loved to have seen one or two more shades (perhaps something cool-toned–maybe a silver, silver-blue–hey, Strip would have been a great addition to the palette).

Kinky and Freestyle are the lighter shades in the palette, but it’s missing a genuinely cool-toned one, and perhaps one with some shimmer/satin in it, rather than matte. I tried layering Kinky over a few shades, but it seemed to make more of a mess than lightened the underlying color. Freestyle read a bit too warm against most of the colors when I tried playing with it. If you want a one-and-done palette, maybe this isn’t it. If you want lots of Urban Decay eyeshadows, it could be a great choice.

Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz. (compared to 0.05 oz.), which means the palette contains $108 in eyeshadow, plus a full-sized eyeliner, which normally retails for $19, and then a small primer potion containing 0.13 fl. oz., which is worth $7. The palette contains $134 worth of products for the $49 price tag. It’s still a great deal–it’s just not as good as previous palettes, such as Naked and Naked 2, which both contained 12 full-sized (as in 0.05 oz. each, so 0.60 oz. worth of eyeshadow–double this palette) eyeshadows, plus two comparable extras (brush and primer).

Honestly, I don’t mind that the eyeshadows aren’t full-sized; it’s hard to get through a full-sized eyeshadow, especially some of the darker shades, of which there are plenty of in this palette, but at this price tag, it’s a little tougher to swallow, given that they’ve done much more value-packed palettes.  It’s something to pay attention to in case this a trend of things to come, but the palette on its own is still a good value and well worth the price tag–assuming you want more than 3 shades!

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
If you want a one-and-done palette, maybe this isn't it. If you want lots of Urban Decay eyeshadows, it could be a great choice. The palette on its own is still a good value (but not as good as palettes have been in the past) and well worth the price tag--assuming you want more than 3 shades!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →