Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss (£13.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “dark green shimmer.” The brand’s Sheer Lipgloss is rather self-explanatory–it’s a sheerer gloss that adds shine. This is definitely not as opaque as the Intense Lipglosses, but I’d say it’s more pigmented than it is sheer. I initially thought it was an Intense Lipgloss that suffered from unevenness in application, because it runs semi-opaque.

It’s a dark, forest green shimmer with a really cool, blue-based tone to it, so it almost looks like a teal-green than a true green. The shimmer is layered with a black-brown color base. I don’t have anything like this, and I expect the general reaction will be similar to Kontrol Lipstick. You’ll either love it or hate it. It’s not a color you’d describe as universally wearable and palatable, but again, it’s nice to have options.

The overall darkness in the hue means that any unevenness becomes more apparent, even from afar, but I did keep in mind this is supposed to be a sheer gloss (and deducted a point because it’s more than “sheer wash”). I just don’t think that works so well with really deep, dark shades if you want to avoid obvious lip lines, unevenness, and the like. It didn’t bleed or feather, which was nice, and it wore for five hours before needing to be reapplied. The formula had no scent and didn’t feel tacky.  To get a more even appearance, try layering a black lipstick underneath.

The Glossover

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product

Violate

B+
If this is the kind of color you've been looking for, I think you'll like it, despite some of its shortcomings. For the right look, it could be worth the extra effort for perfect application.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

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Monday, October 10th, 2011

Illamasqua Kontrol Lipstick
Illamasqua Kontrol Lipstick

Illamasqua Fall/Winter 2011: Kontrol Lipstick

Illamasqua Kontrol Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “blue-violet” by Illamasqua, while Sephora lists it as a “matte deep lavender.” The texture of Kontrol is actually quite different from Illamasqua’s line of lipsticks–it’s very, very creamy. It’s not dry at all, and the reality is the finish isn’t exactly matte either. It’s has a noticeable shine though it wears off in an hour or so, and then it takes on a more satiny, semi-matte finish. I was utterly shocked by how creamy the consistency was! It glided on like butter with mostly opaque color coverage.

The color is a dark purple, which doesn’t read “blue violet” to me, though it’s not red-toned either. It’s more cool-toned than warm, especially as it brings out the yellow undertones in my skin. I felt like I had seen this color before, but I couldn’t think of anything and nothing matched in the Swatch Gallery. When it comes to lipstick, most purples lean red, so if you’ve always wanted something truer, this might be the one.

Illamasqua’s lipsticks wear well, usually four to six hours because of the drier, mostly matte formula, but some of the darker shades wear as long as eight hours before reapplication becomes necessary. Kontrol wore about five hours on me, but it was more comfortable to wear compared to other Illamasqua lipsticks. I don’t find the formula to be drying, but the lack of slip does decrease overall comfort a tad. The lipsticks are unscented and taste-free.

The Glossover

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product

Kontrol

A-
This is a love it or hate it kind of color; some will love the artistic freedom and slant on it, others will know they'll never wear it. It's always nice to have choices!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011


MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

MAC Styledriven: Pro Longwear Lip Pencils (Part 2)

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil ($18.00 for 0.04 oz.) is supposed to glide-on and “adhere instantly” with “rich, saturated color.” Unlike the other new Pro Longwear formulas, the description didn’t call out a specific wear time–it says that it will “[prolong] the hours between re-application” and transfer-proof. There are ten shades releasing in this new formula (part of Styledriven), all of which are permanent. This post features these five: More to Love (intense bluish pink), Morning Coffee (mid-tone rose), Nice ‘n’ Spicy (pink cinnamon stick), Staunchly Stylish (pinky beige), and What a Blast! (bright orange).

  • More to Love is a bright fuchsia pink with most opaque color coverage and blue undertones. It has a very subtle frosted finish but reads more matte to me. It’s not as bright as MAC Rare Exotic or NARS Carthage. It is similar to Illamasqua Welt but pinker.
  • Morning Coffee is a rosy peach-brown with a hint of shimmer. I found this one to be less pigmented than the rest, so it was more difficult to get even and opaque color coverage on the lips. It reminded me of MAC For Keeps. It is a little browner than MAC One of a Kind.
  • Nice ‘n’ Spicy is a medium-dark brown with warmer, almost peach undertones in a matte finish. It had nice pigmentation and covered evenly and opaquely on the lips. It’s not as orange as MAC Touch.
  • Staunchly Stylish is a soft rosy brown. It’s very slightly lighter and more beige compared to Morning Coffee, but this shade had better pigmentation. It reminds me a bit of Guerlain Grace.
  • What a Blast! is a brightened orange with a mostly matte finish. The pigmentation is good, so it goes on opaque and evenly. It is similar to MAC Morange, MAC Neon Orange, and MAC Good to Go.

For more on how these wear, please read part one.

The Glossover

product

MAC Styledriven Pro Longwear Lip Pencils Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 2)

A-
This is a good lip liner for layering and prolonging the wear of your lip products--I just don't recommend wearing these alone, because they are less-than-flattering.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011


MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

MAC Styledriven: Pro Longwear Lip Pencils (Part 1)

MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil ($18.00 for 0.04 oz.) is supposed to glide-on and “adhere instantly” with “rich, saturated color.” Unlike the other new Pro Longwear formulas, the description didn’t call out a specific wear time–it says that it will “[prolong] the hours between re-application” and transfer-proof. There are ten shades releasing in this new formula (part of Styledriven), all of which are permanent. This post features these five: Absolutely It (soft burgundy), Bittersweet (intense brown), Etcetera (creamy beige), In Anticipation (soft yellow pink), and Kiss Me Quick (yellow red).

  • Absolutely It is a burgundy rose with a soft, frosted finish. It has good color payoff but could use a little more pigment.
  • Bittersweet is a really rich, dark chocolate brown with a semi-matte finish. This was one of the best performing shades–excellent color payoff and creamy enough to yield even coverage with little work.
  • Etcetera is an orange-y beige nude with a mostly matte finish. It has good color payoff and applies evenly. It’s similar to Korres #36 Natural Brown. MAC Kraft is darker.
  • In Anticipation is a brightened pink with yellower undertones. It delivers nice even, opaque color. Bobbi Brown Mod Pink is similar but brighter.
  • Kiss Me Quick is a subtly blue-based red. It goes on opaque and evenly. It is similar to a myriad of red lipsticks.

These have a nice waxy base that gives them a good glide that makes it fairly easy to apply the color, and they have nice pigmentation which means you don’t have to wear the pencil down to a nub to get full color coverage. The creamier shades tend to have the best color payoff, especially when they’re darker (like Bittersweet). Be careful about rubbing your lips together initially, because I found that doing so would cause unevenness–almost like there is a slight tackiness to it before it sets.

Even though there is no specific wear time given for these, they do wear a lot like iron. Alone, these wear around eight to ten hours, but they are drying over time–like my lips were pleading with me, “No more, stop testing, I need balm, STOP, DO NOT PASS GO.” I wouldn’t want to wear these alone, because it really shrinkwraps around the lips (that’s the “adhere instantly” characteristic, I’d say) but the drier texture and shrinkage make them less than flattering on the lips.  I don’t expect lip liner to be moisturizing, especially since one of the major reasons to go through the added step of lining is to increase the wear of your gloss/lipstick, and MAC doesn’t say that they are.  Underneath a lipstick, it seems to add an hour or two of additional wear.

Just swatching these on the lips for photos was a rather brutal experiment in pain over beauty (I’m normally more than capable of 10-15 products back-to-back, but my lips were dying after three pencils). When I went to remove these, it wiped off in chunks almost; you will need a little bit of elbow grease to remove, so I recommend using a separate remover as it will allow you to be gentler on your lips during the removal process.  If you’re familiar with MAC’s Superslick Liquid Liners–it removes kind of like that.

If I find out there is a specific length of time these are supposed to wear, this review may be adjusted to take into account how well (or poorly) these meet that mark.  

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Styledriven Pro Longwear Lip Pencils Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

A-
This is a good lip liner for layering and prolonging the wear of your lip products--I just don't recommend wearing these alone, because they are less-than-flattering.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglasses
MAC Pro Longwear Lipglasses

MAC Styledriven: Pro Longwear Lipglasses (Part 2)

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglass ($18.50 for 0.06 oz.) is supposed to last up to six hours with lots of shine and color. There are nine shades released as part of the Styledriven collection, and all nine are permanent. This post features these four: Patience, Please (light pink-blue), Ready or Not! (neutral light coral with slight pearlized pigments), Show Me! (mid-tone neutral plum), and Whoops! (bright coral).

  • Patience, Please is a pale pink-beige with a very creamy, milky look. It does settle a bit into lip lines (but not as bad as some recent lipglasses). It’s lighter than MAC Good Times. It’s more opaque than MAC The Wee Coquette but pinker than MAC Glamour for All.
  • Ready or Not! is a light-medium peach with soft white micro-shimmer. I couldn’t get this shade to go on evenly (and again, this was just one pass of gloss!). It’s a little bit lighter and less pink compared to MAC Frankly Fresh but more orange than MAC 2N. It is very similar to MAC Illicit.
  • Show Me! is a medium-dark peach-orange brown. I’m going to have to give a big clueless, “Huh?” because it’s not what I’d call a “neutral plum.” It applies fairly evenly and definitely has opaque color. Paul & Joe #4 is lighter. Korres #33 Nude is a bit similar but not as opaque. It also resembles MAC Temper Tantra.
  • Whoops! is a coral-orange with a creamy finish. It’s mostly opaque and goes on fairly evenly but settles into lip lines a little. It’s like a shimmer-free version of MAC Geo Pink. MAC Exxhibitionist is brighter. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is lighter and a touch pinker. Illamasqua Mistress is more intense.

Please see part one for a full review of the formula! :)

The Glossover

product

MAC Styledriven Pro Longwear Lipglasses Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 2)

C+
This is a high-maintenance lipgloss; it takes patience and some effort to get the right amount of product to yield (mostly) even color coverage--and it takes a second of carelessness (aka pressing lips together) to erase that hard work.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglasses
MAC Pro Longwear Lipglasses

MAC Styledriven: Pro Longwear Lipglasses (Part 1)

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglass ($18.50 for 0.06 oz.) is supposed to last up to six hours with lots of shine and color. There are nine shades released as part of the Styledriven collection, and all nine are permanent. This post features these five: Dark as Night (deep mid-tone purple with slight pearlized pigments), Driven by Love (red-blue with slight pearlized pigments), Full Speed Ahead (bright pink-magenta), Infinitely Likeable (light pink), and Lasting Achievement (mid-tone purple with slight pearlized pigments).

  • Dark as Night is a dark burgundy-wine with subtle gold and burgundy shimmer. It’s semi-opaque but this was one of the more difficult shades to apply evenly (I did not succeed). I can’t think of a dupe for this particular shade though; nothing I think of is dark enough.
  • Driven by Love is a rich red with gold shimmer. It’s a touch blue-based. This was the best performing shade out of the nine–not only is it intensely pigmented but delivers opaque color evenly. It is similar to several other red lipglosses, though.
  • Full Speed Ahead is a creamy bright pink with blue undertones. It’s mostly opaque and applies evenly if you’re patient. It is a touch darker than MAC True Babe. It is similar to OCC Pageant.
  • Infinitely Likeable is a light-medium pink with a good deal of milkiness to it. This one seemed thicker than the others; the swatch as shown is a single pull of gloss. It’s a bit darker than MAC Enchantee.
  • Lasting Achievement is a deep red with a hint of berry and gold shimmer. It has semi-opaque color coverage, but it goes on evenly. It is similar in color to Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst but more opaque.

These are long-wearing, and I do get a five to six hours of wear out of them–even the lighter shades (like Ready or Not!). The darker shades (like Driven by Love) look really good at six hours, while lighter shades (like Ready or Not!) are still noticeably on and give decent color but look faded compared to when it was first applied. They have a nice dose of shine in the finish, and the shine hangs on for longer than the usual gloss.

They’re thick and almost goopy, and they get sticky very quickly. The texture didn’t seem sticky when I swatched, but on lips, it feels akin to glue (the stickiness is emphasized by the thicker consistency of the gloss). They are more pigmented than your average gloss, but I had some issues getting even color because of the thicker consistency. If you smush your lips together, forget about even color, because the color will pull and drag and you’ll get unevenness.

Overall, the formula needs improvement. Some shades apply well and deliver both opaque and even color, but others have major issues with evenness. The ones that do apply evenly are rather high-maintenance; you don’t want to be pressing and sliding your lips together, because the gloss will move and look uneven.

I’m also frustrated at how little these tubes contain–0.06 oz. (which is as much as Dazzleglass–I’ve regularly complained about the amount in those, too) and yet how large they seem.  They’re long, thick tubes with a pinched sponge-tipped applicator that doesn’t bother me.  It doesn’t hinder or really help application.  I can see it being too large and hindering application for those who have naturally thin lips.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Styledriven Pro Longwear Lipglasses Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

C+
This is a high-maintenance lipgloss; it takes patience and some effort to get the right amount of product to yield (mostly) even color coverage--and it takes a second of carelessness (aka pressing lips together) to erase that hard work.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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