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

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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

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette
theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

Rock Out with Your Shadows Out

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette ($39.50 for 0.76 oz.) includes twelve eyeshadows (0.38 oz., which is just over 0.03 oz.), one highlighter (0.14 oz.), one blush (0.10 oz.), and two lip colors (0.14 oz.). It will launch today on theBalm’s website.

Metal-ica is a silvery-white with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, though the texture was on the powdery side; very soft and dense. We’re definitely seeing a lot of these shades for the holidays; here are a few that compare favorably: MAC Crystal Avalanche, Buxom Sheepdog, NARS Flowers 1-3, and theBalm Sassy.

Adagio is a pale neutral beige with a matte finish. It had nice color payoff, and it was smooth and soft without being powdery. It works well layered over some of the more shimmery shades to tone down the finish if so desired. MAC Brule is very similar. theBalm Matt Smith is slightly pinker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame is pinker. MAC Blanc Type is lighter. Inglot #390 is darker.

Blink 1982 is a muted burgundy with a hint of plum/mauve and a golden shimmer. The texture on this shade was a bit dry, so the color payoff was not quite opaque. Lancome Color du Jour is darker but similar. MAC Trax is more purple.

Iron Maid-in is a dirty gold with a metallic, frosted finish. It was not fully opaque, but it had good pigmentation overall. The texture wasn’t as buttery as other theBalm eyeshadows. Chanel Eclaire is more golden. MAC Sweet & Sour is darker. Giorgio Armani #1 is similar, less metallic. theBalm Snobby is more matte and yellow.

Allegro is a medium brown with yellowed undertones and a matte finish. It’s soft enough to be easy to blend, but not so soft as to be powdery. It had good color payoff. Dior golden Savvanah is a bit darker, slightly grayer, but similar. Urban Decay Naked is less yellow. These were the only two shades that really fit the bill out of all. these. browns.

The Stroke is a dark navy blue with a satiny finish. It had so-so color payoff, because it was on the drier side. It performed better on the lid, and it blended out easily. Bare Escentuals Shaken Not Stirred is similar but a bit darker. MAC Lunar is bluer. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar. This is not an uncommon shade of blue.

Lead Zeppelin is an olive green with olive and green shimmer over a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and while very soft and smooth, it was a smidgen powdery. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is greener, lighter. Bare Escentuals Speaker Box is darker, less olive. theBalm Wocka, Wocka is more metallic but similar in color. Inglot #419 is a bit greener.

Moderato is a purple-burgundy with a matte finish. The texture was a little dry, and the resulting pigmentation was so-so. It performed a lot better on the eye, and I didn’t have any trouble with the pigmentation there–I hardly had to use any to get deep color. theBalm Sexy is browner. MAC Real Drama is similar. MAC Rich Core is similar but frosted.

rem is a smoky medium purple with gold-copper shimmer-sheen. It’s an interesting, complex color. It had good color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. Bobbi Brown Black Violet is similar when sheered out. Bare Escentuals Romp is less pink.

Alice Copper is a rich burgundy-red with orange-brown undertones and a frosted finish. It had really rich pigmentation and was somewhat powdery. Chanel Eclosino is less shimmery. Maybelline Pomegranate Punk is more burgundy. Make Up For Ever #17 is more metallic. Inglot #452 has a more metallic finish but is very similar.

Presto is a dark brown with burgundy-ish undertones and a hint of warmth. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff is good. It’s just soft enough to be blendable and pigmented, but it’s not at all powdery. Bobbi Brown Cocoa Berry is similar. Bare Escentuals Foreshadow is a little darker. theBalm Mahna-Mahna has more of a sheen and less red in it.

Third Eye Blinded is a warm, light peach with a fairly frosted finish. The pigmentation was excellent, and the texture was so soft and easy to blend. This worked well as a highlighter. theBalm Swedish Pancakes is less frosted, more metallic, but fairly similar. MAC Naked Lunch has more beige in it. MAC Jest is less peach. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is darker. Chanel Complice is close.

Solid Gold is a slightly paled, warm gold with a shimmer-sheen finish and a hint of beige coloring. It has plenty o’ color, so it will show up on all skin tones. This shade wore for eight hours without fading or separating. MAC Chez Chez Lame is the closest I could think of, but it is a little lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer is a bit yellower.

Don’t You Want Me is a warm coral-pink with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff, and it is somewhat buildable. The texture was a little dry, but it seemed to blend out easily enough. It wore for eight hours with minor, but noticeable, fading at that point. MAC Supercontinental is more orange. MAC Fleet Fast has shimmer. Tom Ford Flush is more orange. MAC Immortal Flower is softer, just barely pinker.

Milly is a pale pink with a neutral-gray undertone. It had a matte finish and opaque color coverage. When I tested it, it lasted four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Pure Zen is less pink. MAC Lazy Day is grayer.

Vanilly is bright red with a mostly matte finish and a barely blue undertone. It was richly pigmented and had opaque color coverage. This shade lasted six and a half hours and left behind a soft stain. MAC Eden Rouge is similar. Edward Bess Midnight Bloom is bluer and darker. MAC Ruffian Red is similar. It’s a fairly common shade of red lipstick.

Overall, it’s a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There’s a good mix of textures–matte, frosts, shimmers–and very fall-appropriate colors.

The Glossover

palette

Balm Jovi

A-
Overall, it's a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There's a good mix of textures--matte, frosts, shimmers--and very fall-appropriate colors.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Self Portrait 3 Eyeshadow Palette

One Out of Three Isn’t So Bad, Right?

NARS Self Portrait 3 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.42 oz.) features a variation on Warhol’s Self Portrait (1967) painting. This palette is described as “dark brown with shimmer overspray, rose pink, and heather blue.” It is the second of three palettes, and it will be available at department and specialty stores, NARS’ boutiques, and narscosmetics.com on November 1st (so you have some time to think about it, to the say least!).

Each of the Self Portrait palettes has a black overspray, which will disappear quickly. I recommend taking a large powder brush (I used MAC’s 134) to brush back and forth, up and down, to get the majority off. Now, I say that with the expectation that you’d actually like to use the colors in the palette. Assuming you only intended to keep it as a collectible, then I’d recommend not using it much and would say to avoid the silver-white to maintain the facial structure/details.

The first shade is actually a matte medium-dark brown with warm undertones. It had a stiff, dry texture and, subsequently, poor color payoff. However, when applied to the lid, it was able to pack a bit more color, and at least, it was buildable to mostly true-to-pan color. It required some extra effort to blend. Dior Aurora is more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Cocoa Berry is darker. Benefit Dandy Brandy has more shimmer. Urban Decay YDK has a frosted finish. MAC Lie Low is similar but more pearly.

The second shade is a softened, burnt orange with a faint satin sheen. It’s a little terracotta-like. It was soft without being powdery, smooth, and had good pigmentation. MAC Hot Paprika is a bit brighter.

The third shade is a dusty gray-tinged purple with a hint of blue. It had a matte finish, and it was a bit powdery, but the color payoff was good–some sheerness. It was harder to use on the lid, though, as it was prone to fading and disappearing. Blendable, yes, but so blendable that trying to blend it resulted in most of it billowing off the lid in a little puff of powdery smoke. As a result, it tended to look faded from the get-go. theBalm Matt Horowitz is darker.

Of the three shades, the only one I experienced major issues while wearing them was the purple shade, which faded quickly. The brown shade takes some extra effort, but it’s do-able, and it wears well. This, of course, shouldn’t be necessary at this price point. It’s better than the other palettes, but I don’t think it’s a fantastic palette overall. The color combination can work, but it’s an unusual one, so some may not feel it’s versatile enough.

The Glossover

palette

Self Portrait 3

C+
It's better than the other palettes, but I don't think it's a fantastic palette overall. The color combination can work, but it's an unusual one, so some may not feel it's versatile enough.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Self Portrait 2 Eyeshadow Palette

A Trio of Shades for a Fading Smoky Eye

NARS Self Portrait 2 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.42 oz.) features a variation on Warhol’s Self Portrait (1967) painting. This palette is described as “black, white, and silver.” It is the second of three palettes, and it will be available at department and specialty stores, NARS’ boutiques, and narscosmetics.com on November 1st (so you have some time to think about it, to the say least!).

Each of the Self Portrait palettes has a black overspray, which will disappear quickly. I recommend taking a large powder brush (I used MAC’s 134) to brush back and forth, up and down, to get the majority off. Now, I say that with the expectation that you’d actually like to use the colors in the palette. Assuming you only intended to keep it as a collectible, then I’d recommend not using it much and would say to avoid the silver-white to maintain the facial structure/details.

The first shade is a brown-based soft black that’s a bit dry, somewhat stiff, but it’s not nearly as difficult to use as the black shade in Self Portrait 1–even though they look exactly the same in color. The color payoff is noticeably sheer but such an improvement from the first that you’re almost impressed by comparison. As I mentioned in the previous review, there are numerous matte black eyeshadows that are comparable; finding the intensity you’re looking for is very personal. Brands like Urban Decay, Inglot, Make Up For Ever, and Sugarpill all make excellent rich blacks.

The second shade is a bright silver-tinted white with a frosted, metallic finish. It’s a bit sheer, but it has decent to good color payoff. The texture is soft, mostly smooth, and a little powdery. MAC Misty is slightly darker. MAC Filament is a smidgen darker. It is also a lot like the silver-white in NARS Flowers 1 (and 2 and 3). Buxom Sheepdog is similar.

The third shade is a medium silver-shimmered gray with a pearly sheen. The texture is on the drier side, and the color payoff is decent, though there it is not fully opaque. Chanel Furtif is similar. MAC Electra is more metallic. Inglot #448 is more silver.

From initial swatching, I had higher hopes for this palette, but I encountered some application and wear problems.  All three shades were prone to fading after six hours, both with and without a primer (photos show the look with primer, which was slightly better but still rather unruly).  The silver-white shade separated somewhat, while the gray shade faded more evenly.  The black hue faded quite a bit after being applied, though it was more blendable than the black shadow in the first palette.  The gray and silver-white shades were powdery.  I’d recommend applying your eye makeup first, and then cleaning up and applying your foundation afterward, with this particular palette.

The Glossover

palette

Self Portrait 2

C-
I wish this wore better and wasn't so powdery--it could have made for an easy, classic smoky eye. I think they had a good mix of finishes (matte, satin, frost) and wide range of colors (almost white to black), so you could have played with the intensity and drama of the smoky eye quite a bit.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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