Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream
Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream

Fresh Brown Sugar Hand Cream ($18.50 for 2.5 oz.) is described as an “ultra-rich formula customized for the most dehydrated hands that offers supreme moisture, leaves hands soft, and promotes healthy-looking cuticles.”

Now, despite the usage of “brown sugar” in the title, it’s referring to the inclusiom of brown sugar crystals in the formula itself, but it has nothing to do with the scent. I know when I first tested this product out, I expected something sweet and food-ish, but the scent is actually a stronger, herbal-ish lemon. Distinctly lemon, but it almost borders on cloying and synthetic. I’m actually a fiend for lemon-y scent (seriously, I love all lemon-scented kitchen soaps!), but this smelled a little off.

ingredients: Water (Aqua), Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot), Kernel Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Sucrose, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Beeswax (Cera Alba), Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Caramel, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Sterols, Fragrance (Parfum), Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate Triethanolamine, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Behenyl Alcohol, Isohexadecane, Lecithin, Sorbitan Oleate, Bisabolol, Panthenol, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Xanthan Gum, BHT, Benzoic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Caprylyl Glycol, Polysorbate 80, Phenoxyethanol, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Geraniol.

As a hand cream, it’s a decent product: a very thick, luxuriously textured cream that absorbs in a few minutes without leaving behind any greasy residue. It moisturizes well if you have normal skin, but when my hands are at their driest, I don’t find that it to outperform some of my favorites (like Jack Black Hand Healer). It just leaves my hands shy of feeling truly soothed and infused with moisture. This seems to do better at locking in existing moisture while imparting some but not quite enough.

It’s not bad, and it’s better than average, but I don’t think it will work well for those with particularly dry or cracked hands.  I did like the texture and how quickly the product absorbed (which can always be an issue in thicker creams like this one).   If your hands are in better shape and the scent catches your fancy, I think this will do the trick for you.

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Gamma Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “neon orange.” They really mean neon, too, because this is a medium-dark, neon orange–it’s traffic cone orange, construction orange, whatever you want to call it–it’s bright and in-your-face orange. It’s opaque in nearly one coat, though I did two for swatches, and it dries to this pleather-like finish–a little shiny, kind of matte, but not quite.  The finish reminded me of Orly’s Plastix, though Gamma is more neon and deeper than Orly’s Old School Orange.  Illamasqua’s formula is richly pigmented, smooth, and easy to apply.  I typically get a full week of wear with Illamasqua Nail Varnishes with minimal tip wear and no chips.

The Glossover

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product

Gamma

A
If you love your neons, Gamma is an excellent orange to put on your list. The polish flows so well, coverage is phenomenal, and it wears beautifully.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Bacterium Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as an “opalescent beige” with a shimmer finish. It is a really intriguing shade, and I think those who tend to collect nail polishes may appreciate this shade in particular. It’s just weird–in a good way–it’s this cross of green, beige, and brown with threads of silver and iridescent opal. The base color reminds me most of khaki–brown with this murkiness–but the way the opal shimmers and reflects light adds interest to the shade.

Illamasqua’s formula is richly pigmented, smooth, and easy to apply. I did notice very slight brush strokes in the finish under really bright light–the kind common in more metallic finished polishes. Bacterium was opaque in two coats. I typically get a full week of wear with Illamasqua Nail Varnishes with minimal tip wear and no chips.

The Glossover

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product

Bacterium

A
It's almost office-friendly... but with a little kick. The quality of Illamasqua's Nail Varnishes is excellent--they apply so fluidly and evenly, and the colors themselves are nicely pigmented and wear well.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

NARS Kismet Nail Lacquer
NARS Kismet Nail Lacquer

NARS Summer 2011: Kismet Nail Lacquer

NARS Kismet Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “metallic sunflower.” It’s a very deep marigold kind of color–warm, yellow, orange, and gold all wrapped into one. It has a slightly metallic finish, so there are some brush strokes in the final result. I was able to get nearly opaque color in two coats (which is what is shown in the swatches). I usually get a week of wear out of NARS’ lacquer formula, and Kismet is a thicker polish, but it applies evenly.

The Glossover

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product

Kismet

A-
The color of Kismet is really deep and luxurious, which makes the fingertips look like they're dripping in molten gold. I see it working well on those with slightly warmer complexions.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer
NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer

NARS Summer 2011: Ecume Nail Lacquer

NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque white.” The description is dead-on–this is a pure snow white polish that’s opaque in three coats. It’s streaky with just one, and to even it all out, I felt a full three were needed. It dries to a semi-glossy finish, though the swatches are with a top coat (Zoya Armor). I typically get a week of wear with NARS’ polish, and despite NARS’ formula being on the thicker side, this one seemed normal and not thick at all.

The Glossover

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product

Ecume

B
I can see this being a color you'll either love or hate, because it is startlingly white and bright at that. It's not surprising that it is streaky with just one coat, as whites often are, and it does have really opaque, even coverage after three coats.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Chanel Beige Petale Le Vernis
Chanel Beige Petale Le Vernis

Chanel Summer 2011: Beige Petale

Chanel Beige Petale Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a sheer, barely beige tinted polish. Over my nails, it just neutralizes some of the natural pinkness of my nails, but honestly, that’s really a stretch–I could hardly tell if there was any color deposited after two/three coats (swatches are shown with four coats). The only way I knew I had polish on was that the ones with it were glossy! Maybe there is a slight milkiness, but this is really, really sheer. I found the formula a little thick and did not flow as easily as the other two shades from this launch as well, but since there was little color, it didn’t seem to impair the results.

There is certainly room for sheers–in fact, lots of lines do them–but based on my experience, it takes sheer to clear, rather than providing soft, delicate color.  It provides virtually none until you’ve slathered on four coats–and before that point, it’s the faintest hint of color that is only picked up in direct light.

The Glossover

LE
product

Beige Petale

C+
You may want to try this before purchasing, because I could see very little color, even after four coats (which is what is shown). This crossed that subtle line between "sheer" and, well, just clear.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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