Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment (£15.50 for 0.04 oz.) is a limited edition shade launched to celebrate the brand’s first fragrance, Freak. It’s described as a “blackened plum shimmer,” which is an apt description! It’s a dark plum with a hint of brown underlying all the plummy purple goodness wrapped in a frosted finish. It’s sheerer when applied dry–the brown is more prevalent–and much more intense (and better!) when applied damp. The product binds together better with a little liquid, which yields a much more opaque, smoother color result. Bare Escentuals Romp is lighter, less blackened, and frostier–that was the only shade I felt came close, but it’s not a dupe.

Pure Pigments are loose colors that can be applied on the eyes, cheeks, face, or body. It can be used dry or applied wet for a “bolder colour pay-off.” Illamasqua recommends using it over a cream texture to intensify the color and hold the color in place. Queen of the Night will hold in place dry, but it lacks a lot of the intensity, so I’d recommend using it wet to achieve true-to-pan color.

The Glossover

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product

Queen of the Night

B+
It's just different enough to stand out in a sea of eggplant and plummy purples. I like the softer, frosted finish, which gives it shimmer and sheen without being metallic.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, November 7th, 2011

Tarina Eye Tarantino Dream Hyperliners
Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliners

Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner ($15.00 for 0.04 oz.) were recently relaunched at Sephora. The Eye Dream Hyperliner formula are supposed to be waterproof, soft, smooth, richly pigmented, and provide good coverage. There are thirteen shades in total, and I received eight for review, which are included in this post. The shades in this post are: Crystal Gun (shimmering frosty white), Locket Book (medium brown with gold shimmer), Ultraviolet (metallic almost-black plum), Amethyst Android (royal purple with silver shimmer), Broken Doll (shimmering frosty light pink), Sparkling Ammunition (deep olive with gold shimmer), Kanzashi (turquoise with silver shimmer), and Glamorous Thief (rich sapphire with blue shimmer).

  • Crystal Gun is a bright, metallic-finished white. It has decent color payoff in one pass but not fully opaque.
  • Locket Book is a warm medium-dark brown with gold shimmer. It delivered semi-opaque coverage in a single pass.
  • Ultraviolet is an eggplant purple with soft purple shimmer with a slightly metallic finish. One pass won’t get you full color coverage (about two passes), but it doesn’t skip at all and was still fairly pigmented, given the trouble with purple eyeliners.
  • Amethyst Android is a blue-toned violet purple with a shimmered, metallic finish. Like Ultraviolet, it’s not quite opaque in one pass.
  • Broken Doll is a pale, warm-toned pink that looks almost champagne against my skin tone. The finish is fairly metallic, and this would be a good color to brighten the eyes without being too stark. It has decent color payoff in a single pass.
  • Sparkling Ammunition is a rich olive green with golden shimmer. In a single pass, it reads less green and more brown, but if applied in two or three passes, the green starts to come out.
  • Kanzashi is a bright blue with silver sparkle. It’s so-so in pigmentation in one pass. It is one of the most vibrant shades I tried.
  • Glamorous Thief is a medium-dark blue with soft blue shimmer. This shade was the most pigmented in a single go–nearly opaque.

I actually reviewed Glamorous Thief and Amethyst Android when these originally launched here, and I liked them then–and I really love the Eye Dream Hyperliners generally, after trying several shades for the past few weeks. I’ve been digging Locket Book and Sparkling Ammunition for a defined eye that’s not as stark as black. These are so, so smooth.   They have the same softness and smooth application as Urban Decay’s 24/7 Liners, actually, which wasn’t how I felt originally.  They deliver a fair amount of pigmentation in a single pass, though I’d probably use the same back-and-forth method I typically use with eyeliners for a really rich, opaque line of color. They hold up well without budging, fading, or smudging. I’ve worn them during a shower (the easiest and quickest way to test out “waterproof” claims–plus, humidity!) and had no issues there.

The eyeliners had a slight packaging re-do, and they look more streamlined than they were previously, and I do like that the entire length of the pencil is done in the shade’s color, rather than the pink it was before. Curiously, the eyeliners actually came down in price; they’re $15 a pop, compared to $17 when they debuted–which makes these a better deal than my favorite eyeliners by Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever. I definitely want to check out the other five shades in the range, like Spark of Envy, which you know is calling to me.

The Glossover

product

Eye Dream Hyperliner

A
These are really good, and now that they're cheaper than mainstays Urban Decay 24/7 Liner and Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes, they're totally worth checking out next time you're at Sephora.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, November 6th, 2011

MAC for Missy Piggy: Miss Piggy Pink Eyeshadow

Video review/first impressions! :)

Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC for Miss Piggy
MAC for Miss Piggy

MAC for Miss Piggy Eyeshadow Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC for Miss Piggy is a small, online-only collection that will launch November 14th, 2011 both for North America as well as select international locations at maccosmetics.com. There is really only one new product, as the two other pieces from the launch include Rapidblack Penultimate Eyeliner (permanent) and #36 Lashes (permanent).

That new shade is Miss Piggy Pink, which MAC describes as a “mid-tone blue pink” with a frost finish. It’s a cool-toned, blue-based pink that has a little lilac in it; it does pull just a little purple in some lighting. The finish looks more like a satin than frost, because it’s a very subtle sheen rather than an overt frosted finish. Of course, the real issue is the dry, stiff texture that delivers sheer, uneven color that’s as difficult to work with as it is to swatch. It took about eight applications to achieve the color shown in the look pictured below; I don’t mean patting the brush once on the top of the shadow and flicking it against the lid–I mean swirling and jabbing the brush against the eyeshadow to loosen the powder and then patting, not sweeping, onto the lid to pack on the color. Possibly even taking a palette knife and scraping off a layer to pack onto the lid. I can get it to work, but boy, the amount of effort and unnecessary time spent on it, is disappointing when you’re shelling out $15 for it.

If you picked up MAC Angel Flame Eyeshadow Quad a couple of months ago, then Feather Pink is very, very similar but with better color payoff–it even has the same satiny sheen. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is lighter and more bubblegum-like.

In all honesty, this collection looks like something that happened at the last minute. I envision a scenario where MAC HQ gets a call from the Muppets HQ about, “Hey, we’d love to collaborate, can you turn this around in a few weeks?” We’ve seen MAC collaborate many, many times with iconic figures and celebrities, from Barbie to Wonder Woman to Disney’s Villains, and I felt like you could see the thought process, the theme, how things were intertwined. There’s no special packaging, no real MAC spin or take on Miss Piggy and everything she embodies. Pink for Miss Piggy seems expected, and if that is the only product you’re going to put out, it seems like a missed opportunity to do something really special.  Or at least knock-your-socks-off quality? I didn’t grow up with The Muppets, and without something more to pull me in, this is a total pass.

The Glossover

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product

Miss Piggy Pink

D
For fans of The Muppets, it might still be yet one more piece to add to your collection of memorabilia. With so many collaborations between brands and The Muppets, you might be better off finding another piece, though! For those who are not fans, there's no compelling reason to pick up such an under-performing eyeshadow.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) is the last pigment kit from MAC Dazzlesphere. It contains four shades: White as Snow (snowy white), Silver Sleet (medium gray), Wintersky (purple blue), and Dark Moon (charcoal). Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • White as Snow is a silver-tinged white with a very chunky, metallic finish. I had similar issues with this shade as I did with Light Violet. Despite pressing the color against the skin, I could not get it to fully smooth out and bind, so there was some loose product prone to fall out, plus sheerness in both the dry and damp applications. It reminded me of Chanel Fantasme.
  • Silver Sleet is a darkened gray with a brighter, metallic silver sheen. It has great color payoff whether applied dry or wet. Inglot #448 is less metallic and a bit lighter.
  • Wintersky is a purple-tinted blue with silver sparkle and shimmer. It’s fairly sheer and muted when applied dry and picks up intensity when applied damp. MAC Royale is a bit bluer.
  • Dark Moon is a charcoal black with lots of silver sparkle. This isn’t a shade I’d advocate using dry, because the sparkle is chunky enough that it doesn’t completely meld with the base color without some dampness. When it’s applied damp, the sparkle adheres and mixes better with the underlying color. The color payoff when it’s applied dry is slightly sheerer. It reminded me of Chanel Mirifique but less black. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle has more multi-colored shimmer.

In my experience, these pigments wear well as long as you ensure you’ve really “crushed” them against the skin/lid. I’ve worn them with and without a base and the difference is minimal. There is some noticeable but relatively minor fading after eight hours when applied without a base (or mixing medium). For more on how they wear, please see this post where I went in-depth on that particular characteristic.

White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky is a more unique color but could use a little more oomph in pigmentation. Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry (without a sticky base), so have a care or else use it wet. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort. Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky could use a little more oomph in pigmentation, while Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC’s Dazzlesphere Collection launches on November 10th, and the next set I’m reviewing is MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.), which contains four shades: Light Violet (pale violet), Grape (purple), Seasonally Cool (sparkling taupe), and Misty (pale silver). Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • Seasonally Cool is a subtly cool-toned bronze. The gray tint is minor, so it comes off as more of a brown than it does a taupe. This one has a fair amount of sparkle, so I did encounter some fall out when it was applied dry, but this was lessened when it was applied damp. Similarly, it’s sheerer when applied dry and much more intense when applied damp. It’s similar to Urban Decay Lost and Make Up For Ever #15.
  • Misty is a bright, lightened silver with a strong, metallic finish. It’s slightly sheer when applied dry and more opaque when applied wet. Giorgio Armani #12 is similar but cooler-toned.
  • Light Violet is a pink=lavender with a metallic shimmer-sheen. It’s very, very chunky; I did not find I could really “crush” these into becoming smooth, even on my arm. It reminded me of a much pinker Kitschmas. The color is also similar to theBalm Curtain Call. It’s warmer and pinker than Stacked 1.
  • Grape is a rich, red-toned purple with a softer but still metallic sheen. It had good color payoff both dry and wet, with the metallic finish coming out more when it was applied wet. It’s more vibrant and red-toned than Stacked 1. MAC Plush is similar but a touch darker and less metallic in finish. MAC Half-Wild is redder. Inglot #446 is less purple.

In my experience, these pigments wear well as long as you ensure you’ve really “crushed” them against the skin/lid. I’ve worn them with and without a base and the difference is minimal. There is some noticeable but relatively minor fading after eight hours when applied without a base (or mixing medium). For more on how they wear, please see this post where I went in-depth on that particular characteristic.

I loved the smoothness and vibrancy of Grape, while Light Violet was one of the worst shades out of the three sets entirely. It was very gritty and chunky–it was much harder to work with and extremely prone to fall out. I also had some fall out issues with Seasonally Cool from the sparkle when used dry, but it was lessened if it was applied damp. Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
This particular stack/kit had some drawbacks that Smoky Berry didn't have, which is a very finicky shade in Light Violet and slightly problematic Seasonally Cool.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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