Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Love Cycle Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Love Cycle Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos

There are three limited edition MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos ($20.00 for 0.10 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection: Love Cycle (light blue, white, dark blue melange/dark royal blue), Pink Union (taupe, lavender, brown melange/dark violet), and Supersweet (bronze, pink, gold melange/golden pink).

Don’t get too excited–two of these duos are repromotes with new names, which is one of the worst things a brand can do (unless they’re extremely transparent about it, e.g. Urban Decay and their Alice in Wonderland palette). Two of these duos come from Electroflash, which was out four long years ago, so it’s not a bad thing that they’re repromoted–just bad that it’s not clear! (Boy, we’ve come a long way since 2008.)

Love Cycle has a muted medium-dark blue with a silver-ish sheen and frosted finish paired with a rich, deep blue with a frosted metallic sheen. This duo is the same as MAC Sea & Sky. The marbled side is lighter than theBalm Sensational, much bluer than Urban Decay Strip, slightly darker than MAC Moon’s Reflection, and bluer than Urban Decay Mary Jane. The solid side is a more shimmered NARS Outremer and MAC Atlantic Blue, slightly less blue than Inglot #428. Both shades had fairly good color payoff both dry and wet, though when applied wet, as per usual, the color applied smoother, more opaque, and the metallic sheen became more pronounced.

Pink Union has a muted plum-mauve with a frosted, metallic finish paired with a medium-dark violet purple with very, very subtle red undertones. The marble side is, generally, pinker than a lot of mauves on the market. It is a touch pinker than MAC Circa Plum and a fair amount pinker than shades like MAC Tendersmoke. Inglot #445 is purpler and darker. theBalm Curvy Cami is slightly purpler. Inglot #399 is pinker. The solid side is darker than MAC Violet, not as red-toned as Urban Decay Delinquent, and a touch more red-toned compared to MAC Parfait Amour.  When used dry, the marbled shade goes on fairly well, though the solid side is much more muted and softened.  They both apply more intensely and with a smoother appearance when applied damp.

Supersweet has a muted brown with a hint of gray-taupe in it with a frosted finish paired with a pop of cotton candy pink with a golden sheen. This duo is the same as MAC Pink Split. The marbled side is a bit browner than it is most taupe eyeshadows. If you have more of the gray marbling, you may find it turns more taupe. Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo is similar but a touch lighter. Inglot #363 is darker and matte. MAC Aloha is less gray. MAC Aurora is a little lighter. The solid side is similar to pinks like Dior Garden Roses, MAC Taupeless, MAC Goody Goody Gum Drop, and Inglot #431, but those pinks lack the strong golden sheen. Both shades, though the pink shade more so, were really chunky–they had a rougher, almost gritty texture, so I would expect a healthy amount of fall out, especially if used dry.  The color payoff is so-so when they are both used dry and gets better when applied damp.

Long-time readers will remember that I am not a fan of MAC’s Mineralize formulas.  My major issues tend to be fall out and wear, which are both biggies as far as eyeshadows go!  As much as I’d like these to work, because they do offer some really gorgeous shades and always look gorgeous in the pan, I continue to experience fall out during application, which continues while its worn (if the shade has sparkles of any sort) and have noticeable fading even when used damp and over a primer.  MAC has definitely refined the formula over the years in regards to texture (though Supersweet didn’t seem to get that treatment), because they have felt softer and smoother (overall) each year.  I tested Love Cycle (which applied the best) and still had noticeable fading after five hours used damp and over a primer.  It faded after three to four hours when used dry and over a primer.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
If you tend to love Mineralize Eyeshadows, you'll probably like the texture of Love Cycle and Pink Union. Supersweet is chunky no matter how you slice it, so it has more than the usual amount of fall out for Mineralize Eyeshadows!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Waveline Fluidline
MAC Waveline Fluidline

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Waveline Fluidline

MAC Waveline Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a permanent product (and has been for awhile) that is getting repromoted in the new Love & Water Collection. MAC describes this shade as a “navy blue with low level gold pearl.” It’s a rich navy blue with just a touch of purple–it’s barely there but with the right combination of colors could be pulled out. It has good opacity in a single pass and is easily built up in color. MAC Prussian is similar, though perhaps a little more noticebly purple.

I love MAC’s Fluidline formula; it’s my favorite gel eyeliner, even though there are several excellent gel eyeliners, this one always tops my list because the formula is top notch and the price is considerably less than higher-end brands that have comparable formulas. For example, Bobbi Brown’s Gel Eyeliners are amazing, but ultimately wear the same (all-day) as Fluidlines–they’re just more expensive. To be fair, Bobbi Brown has a much better range of colors than Fluidline, which is sorely lacking in permanent shade selections. Fluidlines are creamy, easy to apply, and wear all day long without smudging or fading.

The Glossover

P
product

Waveline

A
Fluidlines are one of MAC's cult favorite products and for a good reason, because they work--they're long-wearing, creamy, pigmented, and apply seamlessly across the lid with an eyeliner brush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Naval Blue Pigment
MAC Naval Blue Pigment

MAC & Chen Man – Love & Water Collection: Naval Blue Pigment

It’s the lone pigment in the upcoming Love & Water Collection, but MAC Naval Blue Pigment ($20.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a great pick to repromote, as it is part of the permanent PRO range (and it’s been in a few sets before, if I remember correctly!). MAC describes it as a “deep smoky blue.” It’s a dark navy blue with a hint of purple–all of the blues in this launch seem to have this kiss of purple–that makes it a real pain to photograph, because sometimes it looks purpler than it ought! It’s similar to MAC Blue Storm, which came out this past fall (and was a repromote then). It’s also similar to Givenchy Lune Mordoree.

Pigments can be used wet or dry, but they tend to perform their best when applied damp or with MAC’s Mixing Medium (which is a clear liquid with an adhesive base, so it adheres and smoothes out better when you go to apply it). MAC actually says that the pigment itself contains ingredients that will make the pigments adhere to the skin and are long-lasting. Pigments tend to apply a little muted and can be more prone to fall out (given that it is a loose product) when applied dry, and it really needs to be used damp to have it adhere to the lid at all. When I tested out pigments based on how MAC described their formula, I was able to get eight hours of wear with minor creasing and fading only if I used them damp (over bare skin). If I used them with MAC’s Mixing Medium, then there were no fading or creasing issues even after twelve hours or if used over an eyeshadow primer.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Naval Blue Pigment Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
MAC makes an excellent loose color product if you combine it with a wet or adhesive base, because they have a good formula that enables the color to bind well when damp and stay vibrant all day--but when used dry or alone, they tend to under-perform.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Becca Majorca Automatic Eye Pencil
Becca Majorca Automatic Eye Pencil

Becca Majorca Automatic Eye Pencil

Becca Majorca Automatic Eye Pencil ($23.00 for 0.013 oz.) is described as an “intense black.” The formula is supposed to have intense pigmentation, be long-wearing, waterproof, and smudge-proof. The level of intensity is pretty good; it’s definitely a rich black–not a soft black here–but there are more intense blacks on the market. It is a cool-toned black, which means it doesn’t have any brown tones to it.

I really wanted to like the formula, because it feels very creamy going on–it applies easily with a nice glide across the lash line that never pulls or tugs–but it just doesn’t last for me. It migrates and smudges faintly below where I’ve put it after four hours or so. If you love an eyeliner that stays creamy and is incredibly smudge-able, this might be a formula you’d want to work with, but for long-wearing, stay-put eyeliner, not so much. As far as waterproofing goes, it doesn’t dissolve into tracks of gray-black down your face instantly, but it does breakdown a bit and smudges further.

Becca has usually been a quiet but well-done brand in my experience, but this product really fell flat for me. I’m definitely curious to hear if others had better results! I feel like maybe it’s just me, because the brand has nailed so many formulas, it’s hard to believe they’d put out such a disappointing eyeliner.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Becca Majorca Automatic Eye Pencil Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
After four hours, it's already migrated and smudged quite a bit--enough where I'd want to remove it entirely and start anew! It doesn't live up to the waterproof/smudge-proof claims it makes, unfortunately.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 3)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The last four shades I’m reviewing are: Saint Bernard (deep sea green), Schnauzer (vivid violet plum), Sheepdog (frosty white), and Shih Tzu (gilded lime green).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Saint Bernard is a pop of green-based teal that’s semi-sheer. This shade did not build up color as well as some of the other shades–it was more like Black Lab in that respect. Maybelline Edgy Emerald is similar but a little less green. NYX Seafoam Green is slightly darker. NARS Misfit is darker and more opaque. MAC Aquadisiac is slightly less green.
  • Schnauzer is a brightened eggplant purple with red undertones and a fine violet shimmer. Like Saint Bernard, it’s not as buildable in color as other shades, so semi-opaque is the highest opacity I was able to achieve. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is similar but a touch darker. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is deeper and browner. MAC Fig. 1 is a bit darker and has a matte finish. Inglot #445 is lighter and has a frosted finish.
  • Sheepdog is a frosted white with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s similar to a lot of other white eyeshadows.
  • Shih Tzu is a springy green with a chartreuse shimmer-sheen. MAC Lucky Green is brighter, more intense. Inglot #412 is lighter, more olive. Make Up For Ever #304 is brighter and greener.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 3)

A-
They're not quite as buildable as they seem like they should be, because for some, you really can't get much more color than what one layer of product yields (like Saint Bernard). The wear is really great, though, and if you like using sheer color as a base or as a wash for quick looks, you'll enjoy these.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 2)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The next five shades I’m reviewing are: Golden Retriever (vibrant copper red), Husky (baby blue), Mutt (bronzed taupe), Poodle (pale yellow gold), and Pug (smoky pewter).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Golden Retriever is a warm, slightly red-tinted bronze brown. It can be applied sheer or as mostly opaque color coverage. Benefit Dandy Brandy is slightly darker. Maybelline Bad to the Bronze is darker and less red-toned. Urban Decay YDK is less brown.
  • Husky is a pastel baby blue with a silvery white shimmer. The color coverage can be built to opaque color coverage with ease. MAC Styledriven is slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Illusion is whiter, more aqua. Inglot #367 is similar but matte.
  • Mutt is a muted brown with a gilded bronze sheen. It doesn’t read taupe to me–it’s too warm and golden for that. Like the previous two shades, it can be built to opaque color coverage or applied as a sheer wash of color with less product. Urban Decay Suspect is a little more yellow-toned. MAC Magical Mist is a bit grayer. Urban Decay Juju is less red-toned. Urban Decay Spotlight is lighter.
  • Poodle is a pale yellow gold with a soft, metallic sheen. It, too, can be opaque or sheer, depending on application, but it doesn’t take much product to get opaque color. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is a little lighter. theBalm Wild Child is very close. Givenchy Lune is also similar. MAC Nylon is slightly whiter.
  • Pug is a dirty gray-brown; it’s kind of taupe, but I feel like it’s too gray to be taupe. It’s such a cool shade, though, and it works well as a wash of color that’s more than just beige or brown. MAC Keep Your Cool is darker, less reflective. Urban Decay Mushroom is similar but a touch darker. Chanel Illusoire is darker, almost more purple-tinted.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A
I really love these five in particular, because they represent some of the best shades of the Stay-There range. They're sheer, they're opaque, they're truly buildable, which makes them incredibly versatile products.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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