Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo

Can’t Say I Fancy This Whim

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Performance Art (platinum silver) and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum).  The last of the four new and limited edition eyeshadow duos in MAC’s fall collection Styleseeker, it leaves me less inspired. I think the duos are cute, and they could be easy ways to combine colors for quick looks, but there always seem to be one shade that doesn’t perform that well. The duo price point is too steep to permit one shade to be a disappointment!

Performance Art is a mauve-tinged silver with a hint of gold and silver shimmer. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It didn’t seem too sheer initially, but it definitely is–I had to go back and pack it on three times to get it to show up on me. There was also some fall out during and post-application, even though the sparkle didn’t seem to be too large. For a veluxe pearl, it’s not as smooth as I’d expect, and the color didn’t bind together as well. It’s like a lighter, less pigmented version of Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo. MAC Heirloom is similar but has a stronger sheen. Cle de Peau #207 is similar but has more sparkle. Giorgio Armani #8 is more metallic.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened plum with brown-burgundy undertones. It has a matte finish. The texture is dry, a little stiff. I thought it would be easier to use on the lid, but I found it was harder to work with (both in depositing color and blending it out) than Indie Spirit (which swatched even more poorly!). This shade is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Rockstar has a similar base color/tone but it is much more purple and has shimmer. MAC Indian Ink has less red tones, more purple ones.

Performance Art has this oddly sheer, fall out-prone texture that makes it harder to work with, while Shadowy Lady didn’t want to blend out as evenly or as easily as other MAC matte eyeshadows. I don’t remember Shadowy Lady being hard to work with (I remember it not always swatching well), but in this duo, it wasn’t great.  None of the duos were out of this world–I think you’re better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own.  For something similar, though not exact, I’d suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

The Glossover

palette

Whims & Fancies

B-
None of the duos were out of this world--I think you're better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own. For something similar, though not exact, I'd suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo
MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo

Continuing on the Hunt for Fall Eyeshadows

MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Star Myth (bronzed violet) and Raving Mad (bronzed red).  Very fall-like with these two shades; reminded me of leaves as they change colors.

Star Myth is a coppery brozne with a high frost finish. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The color payoff was good, but it was not perfectly smooth–there was a very minor level of grit from the amount of sparkle in the shade. I did not see fall out from this post-application, though. MAC Brash is more copper. NARS California is slightly darker. MAC Mythology is browner. Urban Decay Chopper has less red/orange tones.

Raving Mad is a burnt but muted red with a little hint of orange. It has a subtle sheen in its finish, though it is listed as a frost. The color payoff is so-so; it’s definitely not as pigmented as it looks in the pan, and you have to build it up to get a decent level of color, which I suspect is because the texture is a little stiff/dry. Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a new Realm has less orange in it. Milani Primary Runway Eyes is similar when used dry. MAC Spicy Smoke is more shimmery but close in color. Milani I Heart You has a more metallic finish but is similar in color.

The wear of both of these shades was nice; a full eight hours without primer and no signs of creasing or fading.  I didn’t experience fall out with Star Myth, which was a potential worry. Raving Mad requires more patting of color to retain some of the color you see in the pan, but it is workable. On the whole, while neither shade is a slam dunk, they both are easier to work with than the one less-stellar shade in the previous duos I’ve posted about today.

The Glossover

palette

MAC On the Hunt Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
On the whole, while neither shade is a slam dunk, they both are easier to work with than the one less-stellar shade in the previous duos I've posted about today. I'd recommend Amber Lights or Antiqued paired with Cranberry for something similar but better in quality.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo

March on Past This One

MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Chessa (mid-tone golden orange) and Indie Spirit (chestnut brown).  This is a new, but limited edition (aren’t they always?) duo from the latest Styleseeker collection.

Chessa is a bright pop of tangerine-orange with golden orange sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture was soft, so it applied smoothly and evenly, while the color payoff was good. OCC Mimosa is very similar. Dior Aurora has a shade that’s more golden. Maybelline Fierce & Tangy is a smidgen lighter and has less shimmer.

Indie Spirit is a medium brown with red-orange undertones and a matte finish. This was fussy–it did not want to yield good color payoff, because it was really dry and stiff. When I applied it to the lid, it was easier to use and with enough product, I was able to get it to show up. It blended out better than I anticipated, given the stiffer texture. MAC Soft Brown is darker, less orange. MAC One to Watch is a smidgen less red-toned and shimmery. MAC Tete-a-Tint is very similar in color–slightly less red-toned.

Indie Spirit is such a let-down in texture and color payoff.  It’s a little better during application than when just swatched, but it really takes some effort to get it to show up properly.  I had to go back three times in order to get decent color; my best advice is to work in small areas at a time, because it doesn’t deposit and then blend out.  Chessa is very pretty and would work well for both summer and fall.  It also would pair well with reds, berries, and burgundies.  When I tested these shades, both lasted for eight hours without creasing, and I only had some minor fading with Indie Spirit that was just barely noticeable.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Marche aux Puces Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Indie Spirit is such a let-down in texture and color payoff.  It's a little better during application than when just swatched, but it really takes some effort to get it to show up properly. It was the downfall of this duo!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Culturalized Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Culturalized Eyeshadow Duo

Where Retrospeck is Not Actually Retrospeck… in Retrospect!

MAC Culturalized Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Brule (soft creamy beige) and Retrospeck (mid-tone neutral gold).  It’s a new and limited edition duo from Styleseeker.

Brule is a pale, white beige with very subtle warm undertones. It has a satin finish, though it reads more matte against the skin. It has good color payoff, and it blends really easily. Urban Decay Kinky is lighter, less warm. theBalm Matt Smith is pinker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame is grayer, pinker. MAC Vanilla is warmer, lighter, less beige. Urban Decay Skimp has more of a shimmer-sheen finish and is warmer in tone.

Retrospeck is a molten gold with bronze and gold shimmer. It’s supposed to have a lustre finish, but I’m not entirely sure, since the color is NOTHING like Retrospeck. The texture feels somewhat like a lustre, as it has a looseness of sparkle that is very true-to-lustre-finish. The payoff is much, much more than a lot of lustres, though. I did experience noticeable fall out both during and after application (and the latter is what I worry and look for). Clarins Enchanted Summer is lighter, less brown. Milani Gold Dust is lighter. Tarina Tarantino Amber is very similar but smoother.

I could go on a rant about the ridiculousness of including a shade called Retrospeck, a shade that’s part of your core permanent range, and making it entirely different, but I’ll restrain myself.  I wasn’t originally going to purchase this duo, just the other three, because both of these shades were permanent, but I figured, “Why not?” so I’m glad I did!

I like Brule. It’s a nice highlighter color for light to medium skin tones–it doesn’t look too chalky or pale.  It’s also a nice all-over-lid color; consider patting it all over the lid and carving out the crease with a brown or gray to define eyes.  I’m not loving Retrospeck (V2) due to the residual fall out I experienced during the day when I wore it.  Both shades wore for eight hours over bare lids with no creasing or fading, though Retrospeck had fall out.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Culturalized Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Put together your own duo of Brule and Amber Lights if you like these two colors but want two of quality. Buy them both in pans and put them in a palette you already own, and you'll even save $3.50.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Local Wares Fluidline
MAC Local Wares Fluidline

Not Quite Black, Not Quite Brown Eyeliner

MAC Local Wares Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “dirty olive with multidimensional pearl.” It’s a muted dark brown with a gray tinge and subtle gold sparkle. The sparkle isn’t really noticeable once it is applied. It reminded me of CoverGirl Brown, without the shimmer. This collection seems to lean on the warmer side, but this eyeliner reads cooler on me–it actually looks almost gray when I tried it out.

Fluidline is a gel eyeliner that’s supposed to be long-wearing and smudge-proof. It comes inside a clear glass jar with a black screw-top lid. Local Wares has a creamy, pliable texture that glides on and goes on mostly opaque (I used MAC’s 263 brush to apply to my lower lash line), though I did need to go back to get a fully opaque line.  There was no skipping or dragging, because it has a delightfully creamy consistency.  It wore for eight hours without smudging, migrating, or fading when I tested it yesterday.

This collection also includes Dark Diversion, which I’ve reviewed previously, and Rich Ground, which I did buy as well since I can’t remember reviewing it before–though Rich Ground is part of the permanent range.

The Glossover

LE
product

Local Wares

A
It's a nice alternative to black--it's not gray, not brown, and definitely not black. There's a soft quality to the color, but it still manages to retain enough depth to define the eyes.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette

Take Me to the Violet Underground

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.15 oz.) consists of five shades ranging from pink to black to brown. The formula is long-wearing and is not supposed to crease while still blending easily.

The first shade is a vibrant fuchsia pink with a subtle metallic sheen. When applied dry, it’s slightly sheer and looks like it has a soft frost finish. When applied damp, it is incredibly opaque and vibrant with a soft metallic finish. MAC Moon Rose is just a little less fuchsia. MAC Tease With Ease is softer. NARS Caravaggio is darker. Urban Decay Woodstock is very similar. MAC Bright Fuchsia is also close.

Next to the fuchsia shade is a chocolate bronze with a metallic sheen. When applied dry, it still retains a subtle metallic finish and has excellent color payoff. When applied damp, it becomes more intense but doesn’t change too much. NARS Surabaya is similar but has a less metallic finish. Make Up For Ever #14 has less red in its base. theBalm Tres Moi is less red-toned and a smidgen lighter. Le metier de Beaute Bordeaux has a stronger red undertone. Chanel Ebloui is grayer.

Moving on, we arrive at a light beige-peach with soft, warm undertones and a frosted finish. It’s nearly the same whether it is used damp or dry, though it becomes just slightly more metallic when it is used wet. The pigmentation is full and opaque both ways. Bare Escentuals Stealth is more matte in finish and a little lighter. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is a fraction lighter. MAC Say Yeah is frostier and has a subtle golden sheen. theBalm Luscious Lani is noticeably lighter and more metallic in finish.

In the middle is a dark black with subtle shimmer that’s just barely noticeable. It has good color payoff when used dry, though it is more intense when applied damp. When applied, it does intensify better with a brush than just in a swatch even when applied dry. It’s not quite as dark as MAC Dark Dare or Milani Pitch Black. It is darker than MAC Carbon.

The final shade is a rich violet with hints of blue and an underlying dark base. It had good pigmentation dry but had less depth, whereas when applied damp, it took on a much more intense, deeper look, though both dry and damp had similar metallic finishes. I felt that this was the least dupeable shade in the palette, because it is a darker purple with only a hint of blue. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl is lighter, less blackened. MAC Starless Night is darker, not really blue–more black in its base (so you lose some of the purple). MAC Imaginary has no blue. Givenchy Lune Mordoree is bluer. Urban Decay Frigid is the closest but it lacks the blackened base.

I think this is one of the most stunning eyeshadow palettes that has launched in the past few years. It’s utterly breathtaking–whether or not these are the kind of hues you’d feel comfortable wearing or not, it’s a showstopper. What I love is that it does deliver on the color, and all five shades work well together; not just in one color combination but multiple ones. If you prefer subtle pops of color, there are two more neutral shades (beige and bronze) that can be accented by the richer shades (pink and violet) or darkened (black).

These wore impeccably, too!  I had no problem achieving nine hours of wear with no fading or creasing with or without a primer, and I used four of the five shades in the look (no black).  They were easy to blend, didn’t have any fall out, and applied with full color without having to pack it on.  It comes in a purple metallic case with a mirror on the inside and two dual-ended sponge-tipped applicators. The only criticism I could come up with was the pink shade could be better pigmented dry.

The Glossover

palette

Violet Underground

A+
I think this is one of the most stunning eyeshadow palettes that has launched in the past few years. It's utterly breathtaking--whether or not these are the kind of hues you'd feel comfortable wearing or not, it's a showstopper.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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