Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Urban Decay Vice Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Vice Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Wants to Put a Vice Grip on Your Wallet

Urban Decay Vice Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.60 oz.) contains 20 never-before-seen shades of eyeshadow for the holidays. Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz. (a full-sized Urban Decay eyeshadow is 0.05 oz.), and the palette also includes a double-ended eyeshadow brush (about a $20 value). Readers have reported seeing it at select Macy’s stores already, but it will be available officially on September 27th and on Urban Decay’s website mid-September.

I’m still working on writing up the review for this (and figuring out dupes), but I didn’t want to delay the swatches, so here you go :)

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Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Milani Just Perfect Eyeshadow
Milani Just Perfect Eyeshadow

Not Quite Perfect

Milani Just Perfect Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.11 oz.) is described as smoky, muted bluish-teal with a gray cast and a frosted finish. It’s one of those fun colors to review, because it’s blue, it’s teal, it’s green, it’s gray! MAC Rain Drop is more teal colored, less gray. Urban Decay Hijack has a blacker base color, so it appears darker. MAC Emerald Dusk is darker and bluer. L’Oreal Endless Sea is a smidgen bluer. MAC Sky has gold shimmer. Urban Decay Shattered is very similar, but it also has gold shimmer.

Milani describes their latest powder eyeshadow formula as “super pigmented, easily blendable, crease-proof, [and] silk-like.”  I’ve been loving their new powder eyeshadows lately, but Just Perfect is a little less than that.  The texture is on the drier, stiffer side, so the color payoff is decent to good, but it’s definitely not super pigmented.  I worried it was going to be difficult to apply and blend, but it performed better on the lid.I did have to build up the color, but I did not have trouble blending the color and softening the edges.  It wore for eight hours without creasing both over a primer and just on bare lids–there was a smidgen of fading.

The Glossover

P
coming-soon

Gold Dust

B+
I wish this shade was a bit softer and more pigmented, then it would really be Just Perfect (ha!) -- the wear is still good, and I was able to build up the color enough on the lid.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime
Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

New Primer on the Block

Make Up For Ever Eye Prime ($22.00 for 0.18 oz.) is described as a “light nude” primer that “reinforces eyeshadow hold and intensifies its color.” It’s supposed to help your eyeshadows look more true-to-color and prevent them from creasing and fading. While it appears to be a pale beige if you swatch it on your skin, once blended onto the skin as a thin layer, it’s invisible against my skin tone. I would only imagine seeing the slightest lightness on darker complexions, because it pretty much blends to an invisible layer of product. For the purpose of this review, I used “pigmentation” as the metric to measure whether the primer made colors look true-to-pan or not.

As a result, this formula is most comparable to popular primers Urban Decay Primer Potion and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Both have a similar consistency and look. The differences are negligible, and I don’t think most would notice unless you were really looking for them. Make Up For Ever Eye Prime seems a little wetter and more emollient in a way, as it slides across even dry areas well without emphasizing them. It helps lids look smoother, and it does prevent eyeshadow from creasing and fading. I tested some eyeshadows that typically crease and fade if worn alone over this, and I saw improved wear–none of the creasing/fading that would have occurred had I applied them over my bare lids. I don’t think it necessarily amped up my eyeshadow, but it didn’t subdue it, either, which some primers can do, depending on their coloring.

You might know this already, but Urban Decay’s Original Primer Potion creases on me after six hours or so–sometimes it holds up better, sometimes it doesn’t. Too Faced I haven’t had problems with, and I can use other shades of Urban Decay’s (like Eden). I would also say it compares favorably with NARS Smudgeproof, which looks white when swatched and goes on invisible once blended out. NARS has a slightly more velvety feel after it dries down.

Make Up For Ever’s is the most expensive of the bunch at $122/oz. Urban Decay is $54/oz., Too Faced is $51/oz., and NARS is $92/oz. Both Make Up For Ever and NARS come in an opaque tube with a doe-foot applicator, while Urban Decay and Too Faced come in squeeze-tubes.

Which of these primers have you tried? Does one work better than the other?

The Glossover

product

Eye Prime

A+
As always, your mileage may vary. I know the original Urban Decay Primer Potion works for many, many people. I've heard some readers say NARS was one of the worst. Others love Too Faced. Make Up For Ever is the most recent primer added to the line-up. If you've never tried any of them, all four are worth considering.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, September 9th, 2012

MAC Bloom On Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Bloom On Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

Three Pinks to Think Twice About

This review focuses on three new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Bloom On (light burnt rose), Endless Passion (mid-tone rose), and More Amour (mid-tone red).

Bloom On is a pale rose-beige with neutral undertones and a matte finish. The color applies rather sheer; I had to layer it just so the swatch would show up. It requires a lot of product on the lid, and I had to use it over a primer to boost the impact (or else it wasn’t visible). It was very dusty. MAC Pink Frontier has a stronger yellow undertone and a shimmery finish. MAC Hush is lighter.

Endless Passion is a pinky-mauve with a soft, satiny finish. It had so-so color payoff when layered, but it was on the softer side, so it was prone to disappearing if you made any sweeping motions. It just didn’t sit well on the lid–imagine a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging off your lid when you wear this. This shade also darkened when it was applied (compared to how it looked in the pan). NARS Douce France is lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is more shimmery. MAC Rose is a smidgen lighter and more shimmery.

More Amour is a muted pink-red with a matte finish. This was the most pigmented shade out of all the ones I’ve seen so far. It was also the least powdery, though it still had a fair amount of dustiness. MAC Passionate is a bit brighter. MAC Sushi Flower is quite similar.

Here’s how MAC describes these: “A unique longwearing Eye Shadow with a silky, creamy texture formulated for maximum colour impact. Easily blendable and buildable; lids are visibly smooth no matter how intense the application. Lasts 8 hours.” These should have a great texture, be nicely pigmented and blendable, while wearing for eight hours.

Out of these three shades, More Amour was the only one that was visible after six hours of wear (both over a primer and directly on bare lids); Bloom On and Endless Passion both looked faded after three hours and were missing in action after six hours.  These three had the same dusty, powdery texture that makes them difficult to use.  When you apply the color, it’s barely there, and when you attempt to layer or build the color up, it disappears very easily. The more you attempt to build the color, the more powdery it looks, which resulted in lids looking kind of dry.  More Amour may have been the best out of a bad hand, but it’s still just a so-so eyeshadow. It was somewhat powdery, and it faded substantially after six hours.

To reiterate:  when MAC released this formula originally (about a year ago), it was a lovely formula that was nicely pigmented, blendable, and long-wearing (seriously, they lasted 12-hours without a primer). The texture of these doesn’t feel like the ones from last year. They feel like different formulas entirely.

The Glossover

product

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Eyeshadow Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

F
If you like sheer eyeshadow, you might consider purchasing some feathery brushes--most eyeshadows can be used sheerly, with the right tool. Because these disappear after six hours (as in, nothing remains), even as sheer eyeshadow, I could not recommend them.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Sunday, September 9th, 2012

MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Always Sunny Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

What a Difference a Year Makes

This review focuses on four new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Always Sunny (light yellow brown), Ever Ivory (pale ivory), Fashion Fix (dark cool slate grey), and Linger Softly (light frosted grey blue).

Always Sunny is a muted orange with a matte finish. It had so-so pigmentation an felt soft to the touch, but it was on the powdery side. This was one of the “best” performing shades out of the four. Chanel Tigerlily is brighter, more tangerine. Inglot #368 is a bit lighter. MAC Samoa Silk is a smidgen lighter.

Ever Ivory is a pale white with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff, but it disappears if you attempt to blend it out. It was very powdery. MAC Laundry Daze is darker, less ivory. Bobbi Brown White is cooler-toned. Inglot #351 is similar, slightly less beige.

Fashion Fix is a gray-tinged brown–taupe–with a mostly matte finish. It had some powderiness, but the color payoff was the best out of the four. Chanel Premier Regard is browner. MAC Satin Taupe is darker and frostier. Inglot #363 is darker and more pigmented–if used lightly, I think you would get rather close.

Linger Softly is a pale medium-dark blue with silver micro-shimmer. It had so-so color payoff, and it was rather dusty. This shade had a tendency to disappear when you applied and blended it. MAC Bright Moon is similar. MAC Frozen Blue has a more frosted finish.

Here’s how MAC describes these: “A unique longwearing Eye Shadow with a silky, creamy texture formulated for maximum colour impact. Easily blendable and buildable; lids are visibly smooth no matter how intense the application. Lasts 8 hours.” These should have a great texture, be nicely pigmented and blendable, while wearing for eight hours.

These shades are not very pigmented, and they’re barely buildable. Trying to layer the color on doesn’t intensify the color, but it does add a layer of powdery dust to your lid that serves to make the lid look drier and drier. I couldn’t yield visible color with the majority of shades without some sort of eyeshadow base/primer underneath, which is really a shame. To show you the products in action, I had to use them over a primer. When I tested the wear, I wore them without and with a primer. Funny enough, you wouldn’t even believe I had applied eyeshadow–after six hours, it looked like I had bare lids–so the reality is they wear for about three to four hours in sum. It was the same wear for alone or over primer.

I actually quite enjoyed MAC’s Pro Longwear Eyeshadow formula! Most of the shades from Styledriven were excellent–rich color payoffs, soft, blendable textures, and long-wearing. The previous shades lasted a full 12-hours (without primer!). I don’t know what MAC did here. The texture feels different; these have a very thin, dusty texture that kicks up so much powder. They’re prone to fall out during application (because it’s so powdery), and often with powdery eyeshadows, they fade once applied–and these do that. Entirely, completely. I’m so puzzled, because I thought I could count on these being pretty good, as they were a surprise to see last year.

At least, because of how soft and powdery the shades are, they are blendable. It could be worse; they could yield patchy payoff with a stiff, dry texture that didn’t want to budge (a la Carbon from Carine Roitfeld). But these are a poor showing after MAC seemed to do so well when they introduced the formula last year. The finishes of all of these is nearly matte, whereas last year’s were more satin to frost. I don’t know if they had to muck around with the formula to accomplish the finish, but something was lost in the translation. At this price point, you can grab top notch matte eyeshadows by brands like Make Up For Ever and Illamasqua (not to mention, at a lower price point, Inglot and Sugarpill).

Sheer eyeshadow has its place, and the most important thing that a brand has to do is make sure to let buyers know that it’s sheer. Then, they still need to deliver color that applies evenly, easily, blends well, and stays in place. Sheer eyeshadow doesn’t have to be bad eyeshadow–these just leave so much to be desired (but of course, these aren’t described as sheer). I’m devestated that what was once a great formula was manipulated into something very different. I don’t think these feel, look, or perform at all like the ones released last year (which are permanent, so you can still grab ’em).

The Glossover

product

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

F
If you like sheer eyeshadow, you might consider purchasing some feathery brushes--most eyeshadows can be used sheerly, with the right tool. Because these disappear after six hours (as in, nothing remains), even as sheer eyeshadow, I could not recommend them.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

4/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, September 7th, 2012

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow
Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow (£15.50 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “rich black.” It’s a medium-dark black with brown undertones and a mostly matte finish. MAC Dark Dare is comparable. theBalm Serious is a smidgen lighter. MAC Carbon has a similar intensity though it tends to be sheerer.

The texture is soft but not powdery, and it blends easily on the lid.  I think with black eyeshadow blendability is even more important, because you may just want to darken an existing color and other times, you’ll want the color to play a central role in the look.  It had good color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. It’s not the blackest black eyeshadow I have seen, but it has a nice level of darkness that can also be used without looking dramatic right off the bat.  When I wore this shade, it managed to stay on for eight hours (without a base) with no creasing or fading.

The Glossover

product

Obsidian

A
It's not the blackest black eyeshadow I have seen, but it has a nice level of darkness that can also be used without looking dramatic right off the bat.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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