Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

MAC Blacklit Electric Cool Eyeshadow
MAC Blacklit Electric Cool Eyeshadow

Breakdown of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow – Part 1

The first six shades of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow ($18.50 for 0.07 oz.) that we’re going to go through are: Blacklit (black with multi-dimensional pearl), Brilliantly Lit (bright acid yellow green), Coil (copper bronze), Dynamo (mid-tone coral), Electroplate (cool gunmetal grey), and Fashion Circuit (bright kelly green). Please read my review for how these feel, wear, etc.

The Glossover

product

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

B-
If you really, really love shimmering, sparkling finishes, you might consider checking out the formula and seeing if it's worth the effort. If you want to wear them alone as washes of color, they're definitely worth a look.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow
MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow

All That and Then Some on the Matter of Electric Cool Eyeshadows

There are twelve shades of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow ($18.50 for 0.07 oz.), which is a new formula (though rumor has it is the concept is Big Bounce Eyeshadows reformulated). There’s not a whole lot of information on these; the texture is described as soft and lightweight, it will deliver rich color, there is “sensational blending power,” and has “medium-to-high coverage.” The press release mentioned also wearing it as a wash of color. I think I managed to wear all twelve shades over eight different tests (a mix of with and without primer, different primers).

This post is only the review portion.  There will be two follow-up posts featuring a breakdown of all of the shades along with photos, swatches, possible dupes, and the like.  This post includes 26 photos from the tests I did to see how these applied and wore.

First, I don’t think I’d ever attach Big Bounce to these. From a texture standpoint, they’re nothing alike, and from the way they look and wear, they’re also nothing alike. No more than one eyeshadow to the next, at least. I think it does them a disservice and sets up expectations as being almost leery. When I originally tested out Big Bounce Eyeshadows, the only way I could get them to work was as an eyeshadow base, which meant they had to be set with a powder eyeshadow, and once that happened, they were fine.

The texture of Electric Cool is spongy; it’s more moveable than putty, lighter than sludge. These felt a lot like Buxom Stay-There and Chanel Illusion d’Ombre eyeshadows, both have a spongy, lightweight texture.  Buxom has more spring, as it returns more to its original shape upon pressure, while Electric Cool will just retain whatever shape you mold it into. When I stabbed at one pan with an eyeliner brush, there were all these little burrows where the brush had gone. MAC’s formula is more buildable, overall, compared to Buxom’s (which are supposed to be sheer). There is also a lot of shade overlap between MAC and Buxom’s ranges. Chanel’s formula feels similar but has a slightly wetter feel initially. There is less overlap with Chanel’s color range, but the few that do overlap, Chanel’s seem to have slightly more depth, which is going to be even more negligible once applied.  The texture is completely unlike products like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense and L’Oreal Infallible, which are very powder-based products.  You might liken the finish to them, as it has a very shimmery, sparkly end result.

The wear of Electric Cool was hit-and-miss. Some shades performed better than others, as not all shades were as dry or as wet as the next one. These actually don’t crease easily; for the most part, they didn’t crease over time–if there was any creasing, it seemed to happen shortly after application. What I did have problems with was fading–I routinely went back to pack on more product during application. I’d apply one shade to one eye, then apply the same shade to the other eye, and when I went to apply another shade, the original eye already seemed to have faded somewhat. This was particularly true with some of the brighter shades like Dynamo, Fashion Circuit, Highly Charged, and Switch to Blue. I did not experience fall out with the shades when I used them on the lid*; when I tried using Fashion Circuit on the lower lash line, it did have a tendency to migrate downwards.

These have a beautiful finish; it’s very sparkly and shimmery in an interesting way. It’s not frost, not metallic, but a complex combination thereof. I think the neutral shades are exceptionally lovely as a wash of color (and honestly, the best results with this product were when these eyeshadows was worn that way). Some of them play well with others; some really did not want to be in the company of others.

Applying them evenly, smoothly, and opaquely, was more of a challenge. I tried an assortment of brushes and tools, mostly firmer, flat bristled brushes, along with fingertips and sponge-tipped applicators. I liked MAC’s 242 the best, because it is just slightly fluffy at the edge, so it worked well to pat the color into place (and you must pat, don’t sweep, or else it will be a mess) and then using the edge to lightly blend the color into the next one or diffuse it for a wash.

Blending was also an area I found seemed to hurt these rather than help these. When you blend it out, you get left with mostly shimmer and not much; the color seems to bunch up a little, which creates a slightly patchy result. I do want to note that it was hard to see it with my eyes (and even more so from a distance), but it’s obvious in the photos. To blend two colors together, it’s a very gentle process, and you really have to use a light hand to do so.

I liked them best of bare lids, and second to that, over a creamy, opaque primer like MAC Painterly Paint Pot. I tried these over NARS Smudgeproof Primer (awful over this base–made applying the color difficult to get even!), Too Faced Shadow Insurance (better than NARS for these), and MAC Painterly (best results for over a primer). I think the color adheres better over bare lids, but you can get more even color application when used over an opaque base (again, Painterly is what I tested these with). With or without a base, the wear didn’t seem affected.

The biggest problem I had with these had to with packaging.  Six of the twelve shades had loose pans, which meant that the actual metal pan that houses the eyeshadow would fall out of the container if turned upside down–which meant a lot of product was caught on the lid and lip of the product.  Second, despite overnighting these, several had moved significantly during shipment.  They were delivered before noon, and here, it’s only been getting to 80 degrees in the mid-afternoon–it’s not that hot.  The formula isn’t that moveable.  I set several of these on their sides for 48 hours, and they didn’t seem to move away from the edges.

They absolutely can be pushed back into place, but for some of them, it seemed like shrinkage or drying occurred because it didn’t fill the pan when pushed back into place, which leads me to my next point: these are tiny.  For this product category, we have two competitor formulas that are very similar:  Buxom contains 0.12 oz. ($17.00 and comes in a glass jar) and Chanel contains 0.14 oz. ($36.00 and comes in a glass jar).  These come in shiny black screw-top jars with a clear plastic window on top.  I thought it was worth pointing out that MAC has about half as much product as two similar formulas on the market and comes in cheaper packaging.  MAC Paint Pots, for example, contain 0.17 oz. and come in glass jars.  Even MAC Big Bounce was 0.17 oz. and also came in a glass jar (and also $2 cheaper just a year ago).

Overall, I can see some people loving the sparkling, shimmering finish of these eyeshadows. They really can look splendid as the light catches and plays with the dimension of the colors.  They take some work, some practice, and aren’t flawless. I feel like they’re a quirky, finicky product that can work but it has to be worth the effort to the individual who uses them.  If you intended to use them together, they’re hardest to use that way; if you just wanted to use them as a wash of color and don’t need 100% opaque color, they’re a lot easier.  For example, if you wanted a beautiful wash of color, Pure Flash is magic.  No creasing, some fading with the bolder/darker colors, not-so-blendable, and the colors can apply patchy at times (Love Power was the worst; it clung to itself like you wouldn’t believe and made my lid look so crepe-y).

* Any fall out you see in photos of single shades being tested was actually sparkle that didn’t get 100% removed when I removed the multi-shade tests (I would do one test for eight hours, and then I’d remove that and do a second test for eight hours).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Tests

B-
If you really, really love shimmering, sparkling finishes, you might consider checking out the formula and seeing if it's worth the effort. If you want to wear them alone as washes of color, they're definitely worth a look.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

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Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Chanel Furtif Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow
Chanel Furtif Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow

Chanel Furtif Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow ($28.50 for 0.05 oz.) is described as “silver-grey.” It has a light-medium gray base with a silverish shimmer-sheen; it almost looks a little brown-toned. Guerlain Les Gris is similar, perhaps more metallic. Giorgio Armani #22 is more metallic. Tarina Tarantion Mr. Silver is lighter. MAC Electra has more of a satin finish but is similar in color.

I wish I could say Furtif was better than Infini, but it’s only marginally so and infinitely worse compared to Complice. It’s noticeably sheer swatched, and it acts the same way when applied to the lid, with or without a base, wet or dry. It adheres better than Infini, and it doesn’t make the lid look dry almost by clumping up in places, but you have to pack on the color, and if you blend it, it easily fades to oblivion. It wears for about six and a half hours, and after seven hours, there’s noticeable fading.

There’s one more shade for fall, Eclaire, which I’m in the process of testing, so it is with fingers crossed that it fairs better than the last two!

The Glossover

P
product

Furtif

C-
It adheres better than Infini, and it doesn't make the lid look dry almost by clumping up in places, but you have to pack on the color, and if you blend it, it easily fades to oblivion.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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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

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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

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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

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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
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