Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Lipsticks
MAC Quite Cute Lipsticks in Candy Yum-Yum and Quite Cute

MAC Quite Cute Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Quite Cute Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) feature four shades new and limited edition shades, plus one repromote (Saint Germain). The shades included are: Candy Yum-Yum (matte neon pink), Quite Cute (creamy bright whitened lavender), Saint Germain (clean pastel pink), Playing Koi (creamy white peach pink), and Playtime (creamy intense violet).

  • Candy Yum-Yum is a neon, magenta pink with a matte finish. It’s nearly glowing in its brightness. On me, the blue undertones seem to be pulled out. I feel like I’ve seen this color, but whenever I compare it to a possible dupe, it isn’t pink enough (purpler instead). It’s pinker than Madly Magenta cream colour base (from Stylishly Yours, ’10). It is surprisingly creamy and not at all clingy for a matte. The closest I found was Petals & Peacocks, which is several degrees brighter (Give Me Liberty of London, ’10).
  • Quite Cute is a semi-opaque pale lavender with a semi-glossy finish. It has a cremesheen finish, and it has the same texture, but the finish seems glossier to me. It’s a paler, sheerer version of Blooming Lovely (Give Me Liberty of London, ’10). Pinker than Lavender Whip.  On cooler skin tones, this is easier to work with, while warmer skin tones may want to pair with a more pigmented lipstick/gloss.
  • Saint Germain is a really pale, cool-toned pink that is blue-based. It’s been released several times, and you can see an older swatch here. It is best suited for those with cooler skin tones. The closest permanent dupe is Snob, but I believe this was mad epermanent last year.
  • Playing Koi is an opaque pinky peach with a satin finish. Honestly, this lipstick looked like garbage on my lips–it highlighted every single imperfection and amplified them ten-fold. I exfoliate my lips every few days, and for reference, I exfoliated right before doing this swatch! The color itself is like Angel and Hue had a baby.
  • Playtime is a semi-sheer magenta purple with soft sheen and shimmer. It has a cremesheen finish. It’s similar to Style Curve (from Stylishly Yours), but this is purpler, less fuchsia.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Quite Cute Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B-
They act and feel like your average MAC lipstick (according to its finish). Actually, the matte finish of Candy Yum-Yum was surprisingly comfortable (and not at all matte-like). Playing Koi’s texture brings out the imperfections of the lips and makes them look dry, even though it does not feel like a particularly dry lipstick.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Nail Lacquers
Ice Cream Cake, Little Girl Type, Mischievous Mint

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Nail Lacquers

MAC Quite Cute Collection ($14.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) features three light shades of limited edition nail lacquer. They include: Ice Cream Cake (creamy blue pink), Little Girl Type (creamy pale lavender), and Mischievous Mint (creamy pale blue mint).

  • Ice Cream Cake is a darkened cotton candy pink with a strong blue base with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is similar to Essie’s Splash of Grenandine–slightly more blue-based.
  • Little Girl Type is a light lavender with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is similar to China Glaze’s Light as Air.
  • Mischievous Mint is a bluish mint green with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is bluer but similar in lightness to China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint. This is much, much lighter than last year’s Peppermint Patti, and it is a blue-based mint green.

my thoughts on the formula: The consistency was thick but watery–not terribly so, but noteworthy nonetheless. I used two coats on all, because it was difficult to get thin to medium-thin coats because of how the brush splayed out. In all three polishes, the bristles of each brush were a bit wonky, which made it more difficult to get really clean, even coats. I recommend being patient, because the slight wateriness in the formula will cause streaking if you apply before the coat dries down.

The Glossover

macQuiteCuteNail

MAC Quite Cute Nail Lacquers Swatches, Photos, Review

B-
The formula wasn't too difficult to work with, but it could be improved. Make sure you roll these before applying, because these definitely needed some mixing to minimize the watery consistency.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush
MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Giggly Mineralize Blush

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new and limited edition duo-toned blusher from MAC’s Quite Cute Collection, which will launch in-stores on April 7th. It’s described as a “light pink with pearly plum heart.” The outer color is a darkened bubblegum pink with subtle blue undertones, while the heart itself is a frosted berry plum. When swirled together, the result is a heavily pinked plum with a soft, frosted sheen.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush Swatches, Photos, Review

C+
The pigmentation on Giggly was the best out of the three mineralize blushes, and while it, too, was powdery, it did not sheer out too much when applied, which was an issue the other two had.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 PA++ ($28.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is a new moisturizer from Benefit’s b.right! Radiant Skincare line. It’s designed to be lightweight while being oil-free. This moisturizer does have SPF 15 in it, and it uses chemical sunscreens (Octinoxate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, and Sulisobenzone).

my skin type: I have normal-to-dry skin that tends to be drier in the winter months but more normal during the rest of the year. I have minor breakouts with the occasional cystic acne spot that seem to be related to hormones/stress (and not typically products). I have some fine lines around my eyes but am not currently concerned about anti-aging (beyond religious use of sunscreen and generally taking care of my skin).

It is a simple moisturizer–it hydrates without leaving behind any greasiness, and it dries down within a few minutes so a semi-matte finish. The consistency is very thin–think a lightweight lotion–and a bit watery, though not runny. It’s housed in a glass bottle with a “cork” (not actually made out of cork) cap that you pull off to reveal a pump dispenser.

Unlike Stay Don’t Stray, which killed me with its pump, this pump works marvelously. I find I use anywhere from five to six pumps per use. What I like about pumps is you can figure out how many you need and be consistent with your usage–plus it’s more hygienic.  The glass bottle is lovely without being too heavy.

I’ve been using this for about four weeks, but I’m too sensitive to the scent of the product to continue using it personally. It has a very strong floral scent with some sweetness. To me, it is the scent I smell when I know my allergies are going to go haywire. I catch whiffs of it throughout the day and find it a little cloying. I’m not normally that sensitive to scents in products, and I wouldn’t consider my nose an excellent sensory device either–but I still detect this hours later. It seems to turn more sickeningly sweet as the day goes on. Scent is immensely personal, and for those who prefer subtle to no fragrance in their skin care, I would avoid this. For those who don’t mind scented skincare, it’s still worth checking out and deciding whether it’s a scent you enjoy or not.

good for: I would recommend it to normal-to-oily skin types, because it is such a lightweight moisturizer that it’s not going to provide enough hydratoin for drier skin types. I noticed that on my drier days (when I started using it, which was closer to winter), it didn’t quite seem like enough, but it was usually just fine.

final thoughts: Despite finding it unsuitable to me personally, I don’t think taking away points for scent (just because the scent doesn’t appeal to me) would be a fair assessment of the product. I’ve disclaimed it, my feelings on the fragrance, and it’s something personal enough that individual users will have to determine how that factor weighs in. It’s a nice lightweight moisturizer that spreads easily, moisturizes well on normal-to-oily skin types without feeling heavy or greasy.

where to buy: Sephora

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit
Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit ($28.00 for 6 x 0.17 fl. oz.) features six miniature-sized nail polishes. It includes these shades: Fame (champagne shimmer), Love Train (opalescent shimmer), Miss T (bright orchid fuchsia), Superfreak (gold shimmer base with gold micro-glitter), Woodstock (hot pink), and Xanadu (sheer purple base with purple glitter). Each polish is 0.17 fl. oz, so the total amount of polish in the kit is the equivalent of 1.02 fl. oz, or about two full-sized nail polishes.  I used Zoya’s Anchor & Armor as my base/top coats unless otherwise specified.

  • Fame is a soft champagne with subtle pink undertones and white shimmer. I used three coats and still had a hint of visible nail line. China Glaze Hybrid is a bit darker and more opaque but similar.
  • Superfreak is a tarnished gold with micro-glitter and a metallic finish. It dries to a matte metallic finish (I didn’t use a top coat in the photos, to show you the natural finish). It is very similar to Dior Timeless Gold–maybe a smidgen lighter but they’re quite close. This shade was nicely pigmented so I only needed two coats.
  • Xanadu is a fuchsia-tinted jelly base with violet and fuchsia glitter. I used three coats, and it still had a sheerness in the base color, but it was expected based on the description (it is not meant to be opaque).  It’s like a red-toned version of Illamasqua Boo.
  • Miss T is a vibrant fuchsia magenta with subtle fuchsia micro-shimmer strewn through the base.  Essie’s Bermuda Shorts was the closest I could think of, but it is pinker (not as magenta).
  • Woodstock is a neon hot pink, and it dries to a matte finish–almost like patent leather. I used two coats–the flash photo is taken without a top coat to show the finish.  Zoya’s Gilda is similar in color but not in finish.  China Glaze Rich & Famous also seems similar but perhaps a bit darker.
  • Love Train is a sheer, muted white with subtle opal iridescence and micro-shimmer. Think Chanel Pearl Drop but cool-toned.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula on these was really easy to work with–it applied smoothly, evenly, and nothing took too long to dry. Both Xanadu and Love Train are sheerer shades but the descriptions say exactly that–can’t fault them there–while Superfreak, Miss T, and Woodstock have excellent color pay off.

I love the concept of miniature-sized nail polishes, because you get to try a variety of shades without committing to the price tag of full bottles.  However, as someone with longer fingers and bigger hands, it can take some getting used to holding the small-sized caps, even though the brush applicator is full-sized (thankfully!).

The Glossover

udRollergirlNail

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit Swatches, Photos, Review

A-
It seems like this year is bringing out quite a few cool-toned collections, and the new Rollergirl Nail Kit from Urban Decay definitely leans cool, but what I like about it is the finishes and vibrancies make them easy to wear against warmer skin tones, too.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette ($50.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a new and limited edition cool-toned palette for spring. The palette includes these shades: Opal (cool pale grey), Lavender (light lavender), Cool Ivory (grey-ish tan), Cobra (medium cool grey), Plum Orchid (deep black plum), and Eclipse (blackest black).

  • Opal is a soft, silvered gray with beige and a frosted finish. It was nicely pigmented.
  • Lavender is a pink-tinged lavender with a frosted metallic finish. This is a metallic eyeshadow. The pigmentation was spot-on.
  • Cool Ivory is a cool-toned grayish beige with a matte finish. It had a very smooth, silky texture and went on nicely.
  • Cobra is a slightly sheer bluish gray with sparkle. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow, which is supposed to be sheer.
  • Plum Orchid is a blackened, deep purple with a matte finish. Unlike many of Bobbi Brown’s mattes, I felt this one was chalky and not nearly as pigmented as I would expect. It reminded me of my issues with NARS Daphne, but I did not feel like this worked beautifully when applied–it was still a bit chalky.
  • Eclipse is a dark black with a matte finish. It, too, was not nearly as buttery as Bobbi Brown’s mattes usually are. Eclipse was not nearly as frustrating as Plum Orchid, though, as it was more pigmented and applied better.

The palette contains 0.24 oz. worth of eyeshadow, which is an equivalent value of $40.00 of eyeshadow, $10.00 of shimmer wash eyeshadow, and $8.00 of metallic eyeshadow–plus two miniature sized brushes. The value of the palette is no less than $58.00, but I would say it’s a bit higher, with the brushes.

When I tried using the palette in an eye look, I found the colors seemed rather stubborn–they really did not want to play together.  I felt like the resulting look was rather muddy and trying to go back and deepen certain shades only made it look worse.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

C
I went through and averaged the quality scores for the eyeshadows, which ended up being 22/30, even though two shades were below average. I think this palette is best for those with cool-toned skin, because of how cool the palette is overall.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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