Sunday, March 25th, 2012

NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “brown sugar” and a “chestnut.” This is an interesting duo that desperately needs to be swatched! I can’t emphasize that enough, because it looks very, very different swatched and in practice than it does in its pretty pans. Both shades are much darker–so much so that not only did I swatch this duo twice, but I googled and looked through dozens of other images and saw similar results. In my old school NARS Duo product photos and swatches, the products look lighter than they do when swatched.

The left side of the duo is a rich, orange-red-toned dark brown with a smattering of gold shimmer and finer burnt red micro-shimmer. It has such a beautiful, silky texture with excellent color payoff. NARS Galapagos is slightly darker, more of a yellow-toned brown. Bare Escentuals Pumped is similar but not as red-toned. MAC Roasted Chestnut is similar, just a touch lighter and more metallic in finish. MAC Make Your Mark is not quite as intense or as red-toned. Laura Mercier Cedar is slightly less red-toned. MAC Swiss Chocolate is very similar but matte and a bit browner.

The right side of the duo is a warm, red-toned medium-dark brown with red shimmer. Like the left shade, this has a soft, smooth texture that yields rich, opaque pigmentation. Make Up For Ever #14 is more metallic and a deeper brown. theBalm Tres Moi is similar but more frosted. MAC Take Root is less intense and red-toned. MAC Antiqued is browner. theBalm Racy Kacy is a bit lighter and less brown.

This duo represents what NARS is capable of:  soft, silky smooth textures combined with rich pigmentation.  Both shades blended out beautifully and with ease, though a little goes a long way.  These shades could be used together, but you’ll find they work even better when paired with a lighter shade for more contrast.  When applied over the lid without a base, it lasted for eight hours with very, very minimal fading but no creasing; and when applied over the lid with a base, there were no issues after ten hours.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Surabaya Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
Luxurious textures, intense color payoff, and beautiful colors to boot--NARS really nailed this duo. It's virtually an A+, if you always use an eyeshadow primer, since you shouldn't have any wear issues (NARS does, however, state these are long-wearing and crease-resistant).

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes six shades of neutral eyeshadows. These include: Chino (light cool beige), Praline (nude with golden pearl), Pink Chandelier (warm pink with golden pearl), Stone (neutral grey brown), Champagne Truffle (warm pink beige), and Cocoa Berry (rich brown plum).

  • Chino is a soft, gray-tinted light-medium brown with a mostly matte finish. This has a matte finish (officially). It was smooth and soft with good color payoff. Chanel Beige Lame is similar but has shimmer. Urban Decay Naked is browner.
  • Praline is a warm medium brown with a champagne-gold shimmer and sheen. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. As such, the color payoff is good but there is an underlying sheerness that’s intentional with this finish. The shimmer seems to be more integrated with the base color, so it didn’t have a lot of fall out issues. MAC Love Connection is darter, more coppery. Urban Decay Chopper is more of a coppery-orange. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is darker. MAC Moleskin is close but doesn’t have shimmer.
  • Pink Chandelier is gold and copper shimmered beige. This has a Metallic finish. For whatever reason, this shade was horrible. The color payoff was beyond sheer, and the texture was dry and gritty. Absolute miss! I couldn’t even give you a dupe, because it’s hard to determine what this color is actually supposed to be.
  • Stone is a medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones. This has a matte finish. MAC Lie Low is a bit darker and redder in tone, plus it has a shimmery finish. MAC Texture is darker, more yellowed. Inglot #357 is the closest, though slightly warmer.
  • Champagne Truffle is a medium coppery brown. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. It has good color payoff overall. Wet ‘n’ WIld Comfort Zone is slightly darker. Urban Decay Blaze is similar.
  • Cocoa Berry is a burgundy-brown with a satiny sheen. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. It’s very, very dry and difficult to work with, because it doesn’t want to apply. It’s supposed to be sheer, so even though it looks awful in the payoff department, that’s what it’s supposed to be! Inglot #378 is a bit darker and matte. Chanel Ebloui is similar but more burgundy.

The palette starts out on a good note, but once you reach the third shade, it starts going downhill.  Pink Chandelier and Cocoa Berry were both troublemakers, though the former was truly an awful shade to work with.  These eyeshadows all felt a little drier than Bobbi Brown’s usual formula.   Ultra Nude is a decent palette but with two under-performers, it’s not the best bang for your buck or one of the top five neutral palettes on the market.  When I test drove this palette, I used Chino, Praline, Stone, and Cocoa Berry together, and they wore fairly well with only minor fading after eight hours when applied without a primer–with a primer, there were no problems with the wear.  Cocoa Berry made me want to tear my hair out, because it was so difficult to blend.

The Glossover

palette

Ultra Nude

B
One-third of the palette is a let-down, and I think it's better to buy individual shades that you really love and would use than a palette that's just so-so. I did appreciate that Bobbi Brown included multiple finishes within a single palette, though.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Tarina Tarantino Jasper/Agate Eye Dream Highlight Duo
Tarina Tarantino Jasper/Agate Eye Dream Highlight Duo

Tarina Tarantino Jasper/Agate Eye Dream Highlight Duo ($19.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as a “soft golden beige” and “muted light fawn.” The compact doesn’t seem too large, though it’s certainly bigger than most eyeshadow duo compacts, but each eyeshadow is over twice the size of your average full-sized eyeshadow at a whopping 0.13 oz. each. I can’t envision running out of either shade in a hurry!

Jasper is a warm, yellowy beige with a frosted finish. The color payoff is good (even better on the eye, though still good in the skin swatch), and the texture is soft, smooth, and very blendable. Cle de Peau #207 is slightly pinker, less yellow. Urban Decay Skimp is less yellow, more beige. theBalm Hiii-Yaaa! is less yellow, more peach.

Agate is a light-medium brown with warm undertones and a frosted finish.  It has the same soft, smooth texture I’ve come to expect from the brand, along with good pigmentation. MAC Arena is similar but a little darker. MAC Sweet Satisfaction is similar, a little less frosted. Chanel Eclosion has a slight pink tinge to it. MAC Grain is similar in color but not frosted.

Undoubtedly, this is a straight-forward eyeshadow duo–it’s not particularly unique or inspiring, but it is extremely useful for anyone who reaches for neutrals often. I think of all duos/palettes, the neutral ones tend to be the most successful, because they’re easy to use and versatile. I absolutely love Tarina Tarantino’s eyeshadow formula–it is one of the best on the market–so having go-to neutrals with such amazing textures is worth having. It’s not a must-have if you rarely wear neutrals or have a ton already, but if there’s a gap of neutrals in your stash, this is worth checking out.  Without a base, these two wore for eight hours without creasing/fading but did have some slight fading after ten hours.  With a primer, I didn’t have any issues.

The Glossover

palette

Tarina Tarantino Jasper/Agate Eye Dream Highlight Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A

Undoubtedly, this is a straight-forward eyeshadow duo--it's not particularly unique or inspiring, but it is extremely useful for anyone who reaches for neutrals often. I think of all duos/palettes, the neutral ones tend to be the most successful, because they're easy to use and versatile. I absolutely love Tarina Tarantino's eyeshadow formula--it is one of the best on the market--so having go-to neutrals with such amazing textures is worth having.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Estee Lauder Blackened Cocoa Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner
Estee Lauder Blackened Cocoa Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Blackened Cocoa Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Blackened Cocoa Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a deep, dark brown with warm, red undertones and a matte finish. It delivers good color coverage in a single pass, and it doesn’t pull or tug at the lash line during application. The consistency is creamy and soft, so it glides on easily across the lash line and water line. While some brown eyeliners are a softer alternative to black, the depth of this shade makes it nearly as powerful as a soft black eyeliner. CoverGirl Brown is similar, but not quite as intense.

Estee Lauder has been putting out a lot of new products with impressive formulas, and the Intense Kajal Eyeliner is no exception.  The creamy glide, rich color payoff, and long-wear make this a winner.  It wears five and a half hours on my lower water line but lasts for up to ten hours on my lower lash line–there’s no fading, smudging, or migrating during those ten hours either!

The Glossover

LE
product

Blackened Cocoa

A+
Estee Lauder has been putting out a lot of new products with impressive formulas, and the Intense Kajal Eyeliner is no exception. The creamy glide, rich color payoff, and long-wear make this a winner.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a duo of “iridescent storm blue” and “deep matte indigo.” It’s part of NARS’ permanent range of eyeshadow duos.  NARS’ eyeshadow formula is supposed to be long-wearing, highly pigmented, and crease-resistant.  They can also be used wet or dry.  I never get quite crease-resistant, long-wear out of NARS’ eyeshadow formula–typically about six to seven hours of good wear, but slight fading and/or creasing after eight hours.  I don’t have any problems over a primer, though.

On the left, there is a muted blue-based purple with a slightly frosted finish. There is some underlying sheerness to the color, so it doesn’t have a completely smooth appearance. It’s not as blue as MAC Wintersky. MAC Illegal Cargo is similar but not as blue. Urban Decay Blue Bus is brighter, less faded. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is a bit darker, less shimmered.

On the right, there is a dark, faded purple with a gray-ish overcast to it. It has a matte finish, and while it looks a bit sheer swatched, it actually performs very well. It applies with good color payoff and doesn’t disappear once you start blending. theBalm All the Way Annie is similar but not as dark or as faded. Urban Decay Rockstar is more eggplant-hued, not as dusty. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard has a similar shade that’s just a touch purpler.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Demon Lover Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cool-toned purple eyeshadow duo that will look really lovely against paler skin tones, though it should work for a variety of complexions. The quality is good overall, but it could be a bit more pigmented.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, March 19th, 2012

Estee Lauder Blackened Black Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner
Estee Lauder Blackened Black Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Blackened Black Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Blackened Black Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a rich black with a mostly matte finish. It has excellent color payoff in a single stroke. I love how creamy this formula is; it glides on easily, evenly, and delivers full color without having to go back and forth. Despite the creamy consistency, it stays put–it doesn’t smudge, budge, or migrate on the lash line during the day. It doesn’t wear quite as well on the lower water line, but it did hang on for five to six hours.

This deep of a black is not impossible to find, but not every brand makes it. Some notable shades that are going to be similar in depth would be MAC Black Black and Urban Decay Perversion.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blackened Black

A+
Blackened Black is a great choice for a rich, intense black eyeliner. The application is really lovely--soft, smooth, and easy to apply without tugging or pulling on the lash line.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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