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theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette
theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

Rock Out with Your Shadows Out

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette ($39.50 for 0.76 oz.) includes twelve eyeshadows (0.38 oz., which is just over 0.03 oz.), one highlighter (0.14 oz.), one blush (0.10 oz.), and two lip colors (0.14 oz.). It will launch today on theBalm’s website.

Metal-ica is a silvery-white with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, though the texture was on the powdery side; very soft and dense. We’re definitely seeing a lot of these shades for the holidays; here are a few that compare favorably: MAC Crystal Avalanche, Buxom Sheepdog, NARS Flowers 1-3, and theBalm Sassy.

Adagio is a pale neutral beige with a matte finish. It had nice color payoff, and it was smooth and soft without being powdery. It works well layered over some of the more shimmery shades to tone down the finish if so desired. MAC Brule is very similar. theBalm Matt Smith is slightly pinker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame is pinker. MAC Blanc Type is lighter. Inglot #390 is darker.

Blink 1982 is a muted burgundy with a hint of plum/mauve and a golden shimmer. The texture on this shade was a bit dry, so the color payoff was not quite opaque. Lancome Color du Jour is darker but similar. MAC Trax is more purple.

Iron Maid-in is a dirty gold with a metallic, frosted finish. It was not fully opaque, but it had good pigmentation overall. The texture wasn’t as buttery as other theBalm eyeshadows. Chanel Eclaire is more golden. MAC Sweet & Sour is darker. Giorgio Armani #1 is similar, less metallic. theBalm Snobby is more matte and yellow.

Allegro is a medium brown with yellowed undertones and a matte finish. It’s soft enough to be easy to blend, but not so soft as to be powdery. It had good color payoff. Dior golden Savvanah is a bit darker, slightly grayer, but similar. Urban Decay Naked is less yellow. These were the only two shades that really fit the bill out of all. these. browns.

The Stroke is a dark navy blue with a satiny finish. It had so-so color payoff, because it was on the drier side. It performed better on the lid, and it blended out easily. Bare Escentuals Shaken Not Stirred is similar but a bit darker. MAC Lunar is bluer. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar. This is not an uncommon shade of blue.

Lead Zeppelin is an olive green with olive and green shimmer over a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and while very soft and smooth, it was a smidgen powdery. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is greener, lighter. Bare Escentuals Speaker Box is darker, less olive. theBalm Wocka, Wocka is more metallic but similar in color. Inglot #419 is a bit greener.

Moderato is a purple-burgundy with a matte finish. The texture was a little dry, and the resulting pigmentation was so-so. It performed a lot better on the eye, and I didn’t have any trouble with the pigmentation there–I hardly had to use any to get deep color. theBalm Sexy is browner. MAC Real Drama is similar. MAC Rich Core is similar but frosted.

rem is a smoky medium purple with gold-copper shimmer-sheen. It’s an interesting, complex color. It had good color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. Bobbi Brown Black Violet is similar when sheered out. Bare Escentuals Romp is less pink.

Alice Copper is a rich burgundy-red with orange-brown undertones and a frosted finish. It had really rich pigmentation and was somewhat powdery. Chanel Eclosino is less shimmery. Maybelline Pomegranate Punk is more burgundy. Make Up For Ever #17 is more metallic. Inglot #452 has a more metallic finish but is very similar.

Presto is a dark brown with burgundy-ish undertones and a hint of warmth. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff is good. It’s just soft enough to be blendable and pigmented, but it’s not at all powdery. Bobbi Brown Cocoa Berry is similar. Bare Escentuals Foreshadow is a little darker. theBalm Mahna-Mahna has more of a sheen and less red in it.

Third Eye Blinded is a warm, light peach with a fairly frosted finish. The pigmentation was excellent, and the texture was so soft and easy to blend. This worked well as a highlighter. theBalm Swedish Pancakes is less frosted, more metallic, but fairly similar. MAC Naked Lunch has more beige in it. MAC Jest is less peach. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is darker. Chanel Complice is close.

Solid Gold is a slightly paled, warm gold with a shimmer-sheen finish and a hint of beige coloring. It has plenty o’ color, so it will show up on all skin tones. This shade wore for eight hours without fading or separating. MAC Chez Chez Lame is the closest I could think of, but it is a little lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer is a bit yellower.

Don’t You Want Me is a warm coral-pink with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff, and it is somewhat buildable. The texture was a little dry, but it seemed to blend out easily enough. It wore for eight hours with minor, but noticeable, fading at that point. MAC Supercontinental is more orange. MAC Fleet Fast has shimmer. Tom Ford Flush is more orange. MAC Immortal Flower is softer, just barely pinker.

Milly is a pale pink with a neutral-gray undertone. It had a matte finish and opaque color coverage. When I tested it, it lasted four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Pure Zen is less pink. MAC Lazy Day is grayer.

Vanilly is bright red with a mostly matte finish and a barely blue undertone. It was richly pigmented and had opaque color coverage. This shade lasted six and a half hours and left behind a soft stain. MAC Eden Rouge is similar. Edward Bess Midnight Bloom is bluer and darker. MAC Ruffian Red is similar. It’s a fairly common shade of red lipstick.

Overall, it’s a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There’s a good mix of textures–matte, frosts, shimmers–and very fall-appropriate colors.

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total

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NARS Andy Warhol Larger Than Life Lipglosses


NARS Candy Says Larger Than Life Lipgloss

These Lipglosses Might Surprise You

NARS Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) comes in five hues for the holidays: Candy Says (shimmering strawberry pink), Hollywoodlawn (bright orange-red), International Velvet (pink glace), Penny Arcade (raspberry), and Viva (rich rose). In the press release, these are described as having “brilliant shine” that “stays in place for hours” with “intense color” in a formula that keeps lips feeling “protected and moisturized.” NARS’ website describes these as “high-shine,” “long-lasting,” and “nourish[ing].”

Candy Says is a light-medium warm pink with subtle yellow undertones and a large dose of white micro-shimmer. It provides semi-opaque color coverage that is close to opaque, but the natural lip color does come through and will be more apparent the more pigmented your natural lip color is. This shade was hard to dupe, because of the more opaque color–most glosses that might be similar lacked the color in the background. It wore for five and a half hours. MAC Sewet Bean is sheerer and has multi-colored shimmer. MAC Karin has pink shimmer. Bobbi Brown Pastel is sheerer and has larger sparkle.

Hollywoodlawn is red-orange (more red than orange) with no shimmer. It yielded semi-opaque color coverage, but more importantly, it was very even, smooth-looking color that didn’t settle too noticeably into lip lines (and certainly, not noticeable from a normal viewing distance!). It lasted for six hours on my lips. NARS Wonder is similar, a smidgen darker, and has shimmer. MAC Knockout is creamier looking, slightly more orange. Illamasqua Temper is more orange.

International Velvet is a pale, milky pink with almost a neutral undertone–it looks almost cool-toned in the tube, but it doesn’t look very blue-based on. It is incredibly milky, though, which resulted in uneven color application and noticeable color settling into lip lines. This was my least favorite out of the five, because of the application problems. It lasted for four and a half hours. MAC Pagoda has shimmer. MA Angel is more opaque and has shimmer. Tom Ford Sugar Pink is darker and yellower. Bobbi Brown Pink Sorbet is darker, more yellow-toned, and has shimmer. MAC Japanese Spring is bluer in undertone.

Penny Arcade is a raspberry pink with no shimmer. It doesn’t apply as nicely as Hollywoodlawn did, but it was better than International Velvet. The color isn’t quite as even, and there is minor settling of color into the lip lines. The latter wasn’t so noticeable from afar, but the unevenness was. The color coverage was semi-opaque. It wore for five and a half hours. MAC Cherry Electric is lighter and has glitter. MAC Galaxy Rose is less fuchsia. NARS Mexican Rose is rather similar. Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss is similar but sheerer and has shimmer. Illamasqua Petulant is more opaque, brighter, less raspberry–more fuchsia.

Viva is a rose-tinted brown with mostly neutral undertones. In some ways, it’s almost like a subdued, browned coral. It has a creamy appearance, but it doesn’t look milky on. It does take a little more patience to apply, because any unevenness is noticeable. The color coverage was semi-opaque–not fully opaque but close–and allowed some of the natural lip color to peek through. This shade wore for five hours on my lips. MAC Strictly Plutonic is sheerer, softer. MAC Whoops! is darker, more orange. Hourglass Nectar is brighter, more coral. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is lighter and has shimmer.

Overall, I found all five lipglosses to be comfortable to wear, on the longer-side of wear, and hydrating.  International Velvet was the under-performer, both because of application, as well as wear.  The texture is gel-like initially, but it gets progressively tackier as the color wears (it’s noticeably tacky after a half hour or so).  It has a tiny brush-type applicator, and I find that if I use it to apply, I really end up using the hard plastic applicator above it, too.  I know NARS wanted to make it smaller to increase precision, but it seems to leave a lot of brush strokes behind.

NARS Andy Warhol Larger Than Life Lipglosses

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total

Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012)


Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

Oh, a Touch of a Feminine Edges

Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012) ($36.00 for 0.18 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Bordello (pale mauve with gold micro-glitter), Skimp (light peachy pearl), AC/DC (smoky greyish purple), Gunmetal (dark metallic grey with silver micro-glitter). Hijack (deep metallic teal), and Lost (medium metallic brown) and one Lip Junkie in Wallflower (nude creamy pink).

Bordello is a pinky plum with a frosted finish and barely-there gold micro-glitter. This shade had good color payoff but it wasn’t great–slightly sheer in comparison to other shades in the palette. The micro-glitter wasn’t very noticeable, so there was very little fall out after it was applied. NARS Charade is darker, more matte, less plum. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is more matte and pinker. Inglot #399 is very similar, just slightly pinker. Giorgio Armani #7 is also very similar.

Skimp is a pale, light beige with subtle warm undertones and a satiny sheen. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. It was a smidgen powdery. Urban Decay Sellout is more frosted. MAC Sahara Dust is quite similar. Illamasqua Slink is slightly pinker. theBalm Hiii-Yaaa! is more shimmery.

AC/DC is a medium-dark purple with a slight smokiness and noticeable red undertones. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly overall. Urban Decay Gravity is a smidgen darker. MAC Highly Charged is darker, less frosted. MAC Grand Galaxy is cooler-toned. Dior Garden Roses is very similar. Esete Lauder Cyber Lilac is a bit darker.

Gunmetal is a dark silver-shimmered charcoal gray with a frosted finish. This particular shade has been in a ton of palettes (I think it shows up in the Swatch Gallery three or four times). It’s nicely pigmented with a fairly smooth texture, though there is some micro-glitter there–a lot of disappears before it gets to the lid, though. Urban Decay Asphalt is less silvery. Tarina Tarantino Silver Shoes and Tarina Tarantino Lovely are both similar. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is more matte and slightly blue-tinged.

Hijack is a charcoal teal with a hint of green and a very frosty finish. It has good pigmentation, and it applies smoothly for the most part. Illamasqua Android is darker and more nuanced. Bare Escentuals Vapor is similar but more metallic in finish.

Lost is a warm coppery bronze with a frosted metallic sheen. It was the smoothest, softest shade of the six, and it had excellent color payoff. MAC Havana is a bit darker, warmer. NARS Surabaya has a stronger red undertone and more of a matte finish. Benefit Dandy Brandy is lighter. MAC Roasted Chestnut is has a softer sheen. MAC Make Your Mark is similar but mostly matte. Inglot #421 is more coppery.

Wallflower is a neutral pink with milky/creamy finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque, and it does settle into lip lines a bit, though not too noticeably from a distance. MAC Deelight is a bit pinker. This shade wore for three hours when I tested it.

Last year’s Feminine Palette included Stray Dog, SWF, Midnight Cowboy, Aquarius, Darkhorse, and Ecstasy, plus it came with an eyeliner and primer potion. It had a total value of $80.83 and retailed for $34. This year’s palette six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows and a 0.11 fl. oz. Lip Junkie. The value of this year’s palette is $64.80 worth of eyeshadow and $6.15 worth of gloss, which results in a total value of $70.95. There are surface similarities (e.g. both palettes contain a teal, brown, purple, and lighter color), but the only shade that’s somewhat duped is Lost (by Stray Dog/Darkhorse).

Overall, this palette has two shades with micro-glitter, which does mean that two shades were more prone to having some fall out both during and after application.  It’s more noticeable with Bordello than Gunmetal, and there wasn’t a lot, but I did spot a few stray glitter particles.  Bordello was also the weakest in pigmentation, though still good.

P.S. — Like the giant gouge in Lost? Courtesy of my thumb slipping while trying to remove the eyeshadow portion to show the clutch, LOL!

Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total

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Urban Decay Dangerous Eyeshadow Palette (2012)


Urban Decay Dangerous Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

What’s That Dangerous Glint in Your Eyes?

Urban Decay Dangerous Eyeshadow Palette (2012) ($36.00 for 0.18 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Gravity (deep violet with multi-colored micro-glitter), Loaded (deep metallic emerald), Evidence (deep navy blue), Deeper (metallic dark brown with bronze pearl), Mushroom (warm pale grey), and Ace (deep grey/blue shimmer) and one Lip Junkie in Naked (pinky neutral).

Gravity is a subdued purple with a hint of smokiness and silver micro-glitter. It was soft, fairly smooth, and had decent to good color payoff–just slightly under-pigmented (relative to the rest of the shades). I experienced just a minute amount of fall out while it wore. Urban Decay Freakshow has a stronger redder undertone. MAC Highly Charged doesn’t have a strong red undertone, but it is there. MAC Drawn to Drama is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Rockstar is smokier, more subdued, less purple. Lancome Perpetual Purple is a bit more vibrant. Estee lauder Cyber Lilac is similar. theBalm lavish Latoya is grayer.

Loaded is a deep forest green with a hint of teal and brown undertones. The color payoff is excellent (almost to the point where a little goes a long way!) with a soft, smooth texture. Bare Escentuals Max Volume is a bit lighter and greener. OCC Poison is greener. theBalm Jealous Jordana is less intense, slightly greener.

Evidence is a medium-dark navy blue with a metallic sheen. It had decent to good color payoff, but it was a little dry compared to the other shades. This is part of the permanent range. It’s similar to a host of blues: Tom Ford Cobalt Rush, Bare Escentuals Climax, MAC Thru the Night, Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here, and Inglot #428–just to name a few.

Deeper is a dark, chocolate bronze with a lighter bronze shimmer-sheen. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth texture. This shade felt a smidgen powdery. NARS Paramaribo is more golden. MAC Venetian Tarnish is similar but a cream formula. Urban Decay Snakebite has less of a bronze sheen. MAC Tempting is just slightly lighter. MAC Bronze has a stronger orange undertone.

Mushroom is a gray-brown–it’s a very intense taupe. It had good color payoff, and a really soft, dense texture. This is part of the permanent range. MAC Keep Your Cool is more muted. Chanel Illusoire is less brown.

Ace is a dark charcoal gray with a hint of blue shimmer. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly and evenly. Urban Decay Asphalt is similar but a smidgen grayer and lighter. Tarina Tarantino Silver Shoes is lighter. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is extremely similar. Make Up For Ever #1 is similar. Urban Decay Gunmetal is a little frostier.

Naked is rosy light-medium brown with soft pink shimmer. It’s semi-sheer and emphasizes natural pink tones in the lips while adding subtle warmth and shimmer. Chanel Troublant is darker, plummier.  This shade wore for three hours when I tested it.

Last year’s Dangerous Palette included Haight, Mildew, Virgin, Oil Slick, Rockstar, and Gunmetal, plus it came with an eyeliner and primer potion. It had a total value of $80.83 and retailed for $34. This year’s palette six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows and a 0.11 fl. oz. Lip Junkie. The value of this year’s palette is $64.80 worth of eyeshadow and $6.15 worth of gloss, which results in a total value of $70.95. The palettes don’t really seem similar to me; there’s no highlighter shade in this one, and it’s generally darker, smokier. It is, however, similar to Urban Decay’s Smoked Palette–given that Smoked is $49 but contains 10 eyeshadows (plus a full-sized Perversion eyeliner), I’d probably opt for that one instead. It has three overlapping shades: Loaded, Evidence, and Mushroom, while Barlust will work as the bronze hue, Rockstar as a purple, and Asphalt for a gray.

Of the three palettes, I think this one is the least worth getting while the Smoked palette is around. You just get so much more (almost double the eyeshadow, plus the eyeliner) for $13 more.  The quality is absolutely there; the shades are soft, smooth, and pigmented across the board.  Gravity was the “least” pigmented with decent to good color payoff and did have minor, but noticeable, glitter fall out while worn.

Urban Decay 6-Pan Eyeshadow Palette Dangerous
Dangerous
Dangerous
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total
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MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “sheer translucent nude.” (I will also note that MAC’s website only describes it as “nude,” which is more misleading than the press release’s description.) It’s a wash of warm beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a lustre finish. For all intents and purposes, it looks like I put lip balm on, because it looks completely colorless on my lips. As far as dupes go, any lip balm that has more of a sheen than a glossy shine would substitute.

It was hard to judge how long this worn on me, truly, because the only thing I could see visually was that lustre-like finish, kind of frosted but barely. Instead, I took a napkin and pressed my lips against this after two hours (at which point, it seemed like it was gone), and there was nothing on the napkin.  I repeated this experiment twice more – the second time, after an hour and the third time, after three hours. There was a little bit of product visible on the napkin after an hour, and again, none after three hours. The fact that color is coming off shows that it’s not 100% clear or invisible, but because your lips are not invisible or clear, they tend to “absorb” the color so it’s less noticeable on. I’m not a big fan of lustre finishes, as I tend to find them drying, and Tropical Mist was no exception, as it was somewhat drying after wearing it for six hours (back to back).

It’s sheer. It’s translucent. It’s pretty much exactly as described by MAC, except it’s nearly invisible. Sheer doesn’t mean clear, right? Translucent is the adjective more likely to suggest clear, though after reading about ten definitions across various dictionaries online, it suggests something that allows light to pass through but in a slightly diffused manner (e.g. frosted glass).  On that note, I’m going to go with this needs a wee bit more color to give it a more diffused quality but only take off one point.  Since it’s somewhat drying, it’s not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that’s going to look virtually colorless and not hydrating. I imagine some will expect a lower grade, but remember: MAC said this was sheer and translucent, so that’s the starting point for discussion.

MAC Lipstick Tropical Mist
7.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
4.5
Application
80%
Total

Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss

Surround Me in Pink Tulle

Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot pink with pearl.” it’s a translucent light-medium pink with lots of silver sparkle. On my lips, it enhances the natural pink coloring found in my lips and gives them a truer pink look (less washed out, since my natural lip color is rather corpse-like). If you have more pigmented lips, it’s going to resemble clear gloss with a truckload of sparkle. MAC Floating Lotus is lighter and has finer shimmer. MAC Sweet Bean has finer shimmer. Bobbi Brown Pastel is much lighter, milkier. MAC Sueprglass has flaky shimmer instead.

Having a gloss like this in your stash is worthwhile, but it’s not necessarily a shade you need to have several versions of, because a lot of those differences get lost on the lips.  I’ve been reaching for this gloss often when I need something to wear for blush photos or in a video and don’t have a light enough lip color that might work, because a lot of the fall eye products have been pretty dark (as have the lip products; neither is a surprise). Super shiny, glossy enough to give lips a fuller look, and gorgeous sparkle that shimmers and dazzles.  It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque but there’s an obvious translucency, as the natural lip color most definitely will come through, but there’s a lot of sparkle–so the more light that catches the shimmer, the more opaque it looks (see the difference between the flash and studio lit photos).

Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipgloss is a staple product for me.  If you forced me to commit to a single gloss formula, I’d go here. I can say that without hesitation, and I really can’t do that with most products.  I will equivocate and hum and haw and tell you it depends on the shade or occasion or the like, because it’s usually true, and it’s hard to pick one favorite and commit to it.  This formula is high-shine, non-sticky, comfortable and hydrating to wear, wears well, and has shimmer that really wows. It never feels gritty, and Pink Tulle, despite its subtle color, lasts a solid four hours on me.  Bobbi Brown’s glosses are mint-scented and come with a doe-foot applicator. Bonus: also includes more gloss than the average one does.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss Pink Tulle

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