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Illamasqua Facet & Hemlock Nail Varnishes

Illamasqua Facet Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Facet Nail Varnish

Illamaqua Facet Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “grey crystal.” It has a taupe (mix of brown and gray) base color with flecks of copper and molten gold sparkle and shimmer. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and the polish flowed well across the nail without pooling along the edges or streaking. It looked opaque most of the time, but sometimes the light would catch underneath and you could see the nail line slightly.
Urban Decay Gunmetal is darker, less shimmer. Urban Decay Barlust is warmer, browner. Essie Hot Coco is warmer, cream. See comparison swatches.

I’m not sure why, but Facet not currently showing up at all (not even as sold out or out of stock) at either Bloomingdale’s or Sephora, but as far as I know, the whole Sacred Hour collection was supposed to come state-side. It is available on Illamasqua’s website.

Hemlock is described as a “pale opal green iridescent.” It’s a pale, neutral beige with iridescent green threads of metallic shimmer. It’s semi-sheer–noticeable color but there is also visible nail line. The consistency was slightly thicker, and while I tried to layer it over Facet to see how the two would pair together, it did look somewhat thick. I reviewed this earlier in the year, and Illamasqua’s brought it back for fall, but the newer bottle definitely had a slightly thicker consistency compared to my original bottle. NARS Disco Inferno is cooler-toned, less green. Color Club Kismet is a full-on green with a holographic finish. See comparison swatches.

I typically get anywhere from seven to ten days of wear with Illamasqua’s formula with no chipping, just very minor tip wear (there is more nail growth than tip wear!).

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Facet
Facet
Facet
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total
Illamasqua Nail Varnish Hemlock
Hemlock
Hemlock
9.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

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Hare Polish The Tropics are Calling Collection

Hare Polish Neon Palm Nail Lacquer
Hare Polish The Tropics are Calling Collection

Hare Polish The Tropics are Calling Collection features five shades inspired by, you guessed it, the tropics. I received about a week ago, and I wanted to wait until today to share them with you, because Hare will be restocking their Etsy shop at 11AM PST today. They will also be launching their fall collection, The Coin Operation (I don’t have swatches, but the brand has shared theirs). Hare Polish retails for $10.00 and each bottle contains 0.50 fl. oz. I applied each shade as recommended by Hare (one of the benefits of indie brands!), which I’ve noted by each shade.

One of the reasons that I really enjoy Hare’s polishes is that they’re not top coats (or they don’t need to be used as such) and can be worn on their own. Most of them tend to have jelly bases, so two to three coats will get you where you need to be–but it depends on how opaque/translucent you want the polish to be. I typically get a week of wear out of Hare’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping. It is, of course, polish loaded with glitter, so removal will be more time-consuming than the average polish. The consistency of these made it easy to apply both thinner and light-medium (in thickness) coats, so three coats didn’t feel or look heavy and thick on (with the exception of Washed Ashore, which was a little thicker relative to the others, and Flight of the Flamingos was the tiniest bit thicker but less thick than Washed Ashore).

Neon Palm is described as a “dusty, muted green jelly base brimming with a mix of neon pink and copper glitter in several shapes/sizes.” It has a green-tinged gray jelly base with coppery-gold and fuchsia glitters in square and hexagon shapes in both medium, small, and micro sizes. There is a very faint dusting of copper shimmer in the background. I applied two light-medium thick coats (as recommended), and the coverage was semi-opaque with some faint translucency. The glitters dispersed somewhat evenly, but if you want a slightly more uniform look, it could use some minor adjustments from pulling some into place. I couldn’t think of anything similar to this shade in my stash.

Dancing Bird of Paradise is described as a “bright cherry red jelly base with a blend of various shapes/sizes of neon pink, satin white, gold glitter, flaky gold shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned, fuchsia-based red jelly base with larger fuchsia hexagon-shaped glitters, flecks of gold glitter in both smaller micro sizes as well as larger flakes. I applied two light-medium thick coats (as recommended) and had mostly opaque coverage with a faint translucency coming through. Each coat had a good amount of glitter, and I didn’t have to push or tug glitter into place, with the exception of one of the larger fuchsia hexagons. It has a lot of smaller-sized glitters, which spread easily across the nail. Hare Polish Leap Light Year has a similar base color (not quite as fuchsia), but the glitter composition is different–you have silver glitters as well as square-shaped glitters. Cult Nails Captivated has larger gold glitter and no large-sized glitter. Zoya Kimmy is more like a frost than a glitter, but it has a similar mix of red/gold, and the red is a bit warmer. See comparison swatches.

Mad Chill is described as a “royal blue jelly base with a mix of various shapes/sizes of neon blue, white and ice blue glitter.” It’s an icy, navy blue jelly base with brighter, almost cyan-hued, blue glitters in various hexagon (maybe square?) shapes), as well as silvery-white square-shaped glitters. The background is dusted in a fine silver-white micro-shimmer. I applied three thin coats (as recommended), which yielded semi-opaque coverage. The glitters spread evenly across the nail without having to be tugged into place. I couldn’t think of any similar shades.

Flight of the Flamingos is described as a “light grey jelly base with those striking neon pink glitters in various shapes/sizes, plus gold glitter and shimmer.” It has a cool-toned, beige jelly base with large square- and hexagon-shaped fuchsia glitters, as well as smaller fuchsia glitters, and a lot of paler gold glitter. It had mostly opaque coverage after applying two light-medium thick coats (as recommended). The larger fuchsia glitters could use some maneuvering to ensure they disperse evenly, though I did not find it necessary on all nails, but it did happen on two of the nails. I couldn’t think of any similar shades.

Washed Ashore is described as a “peachy pink jelly polish with an ethereal mix of ice blue glitter, purple/blue iridescent glitter and silver shimmer.” It’s a soft, light-medium peach with hints of pink jelly base with iridescent glitter in square and hexagon shapes (on the smaller side), along with bits of blue and silver glitters. I applied two light-medium thick coats (as recommended).   The consistency was just a bit thicker than the other shades.  Because of the glitter composition, I also wasn’t able to think of possible dupes for this shade!

Hare Polish Nail Lacquer Neon Palm
Neon Palm
Neon Palm
A

Limited Edition

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total
Hare Polish Nail Lacquer Dancing Bird of Paradise
A

Limited Edition

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total
Hare Polish Nail Lacquer Mad Chill
Mad Chill
Mad Chill
A

Limited Edition

9.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
Hare Polish Nail Lacquer Flight of the Flamingos
A-

Limited Edition

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
92%
Total
Hare Polish Nail Lacquer Washed Ashore
A-

Limited Edition

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner (Part 2)

Buxom Door's Unlocked Hold the Line Eyeliner
Buxom Door’s Unlocked Hold the Line Eyeliner

Buxom Door’s Unlocked Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “metallic purple.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark violet purple with fuchsia undertones and a satiny sheen. In a single pass, it had rather weak color payoff, and it was only buildable to about semi-opaque color (about 80%). The consistency was a bit drier compared to other shades, though it wore well for ten hours before starting to thin. Urban Decay Ransom is very similar. MAC Designer Purple is darker, less fuchsia-toned. See comparison swatches.

I’ll Be Waiting Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “sparkling gunmetal gray.” It’s a medium silver-shimmered gray with a pearly sheen. It’s a bit darker than most silvers, but it is more metallic than just a gray shade. It had so-so color payoff in a single stroke, and it was slightly drier (but I wouldn’t describe it as dry, it was still quite creamy and glided across the skin easily) and only layered to semi-opaque color. It lasted nine and a half hours on my lower lash line and then started to thin. Bobbi Brown Chrome is lighter, more silver. Chanel Gris Scintillante is darker. See comparison swatches.

Pick Me Up Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “sparkling denim blue.” It’s a brightened navy blue with a pearly sheen. It had semi-opaque color payoff in one layer, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color in two to three layers. This shade wore well for ten and a half hours before fading. MAC Blue Stripe is a touch darker. MAC Petrol Blue is darker. See comparison swatches.

Ring My Bell Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as an “emerald green.” It’s a medium-dark, blue-tinged green with a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff in a single stroke, but it was buildable to opaque color in two to three layers. It wore well for ten and a half hours and then began to fade. Revlon Emerald is a touch bluer. Sephora Good Mood is shimmery. Make Up For Ever #4K is similar. See comparison swatches.

Hold the Line Waterproof Eyelinersr ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) are supposed to “glide on like a gel” and wear for 14 hours. The formula is also supposed to be waterproof, transfer- and smudge-proof. I’ve been wearing these eyeliners on and off for the past few weeks, and while I like the formula a lot, a few of these shades could use more pigmentation, and of course, they don’t deliver on the 14 hours of wear as promised. They’re very long-wearing, relative to other eyeliners, at ten hours or so (on average), but it is significantly short of 14. The pencils had a creamy, glide-on consistency that didn’t skip or tug on the lash line.

Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner Door's Unlocked
C+

Permanent

8
Product
7
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4
Application
78%
Total
Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner I'll Be Waiting
C+

Permanent

8.5
Product
7
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
7
Longevity
4
Application
78%
Total
Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner Pick Me Up
Pick Me Up
Pick Me Up
B

Permanent

9
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
86%
Total
Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner Ring My Bell
Ring My Bell
Ring My Bell
B+

Permanent

9
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total

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Edward Bess Dusk Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow

Edward Bess Dusk Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow
Edward Bess Dusk Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow

Edward Bess Dusk Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow ($30.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “mossy grey.” It’s a warm-toned, medium-dark taupe–a mix of brown and gray–with a frosted finish. Disney Jaq is darker. Urban Decay Stray Dog is lighter. Urban Decay Lost is similar. See comparison swatches.

It had excellent color payoff that was true-to-color. The consistency was incredibly soft, silky, and finely-milled, so the eyeshadow applied smoothly and evenly. The texture was just ever-so-slightly powdery, but it was very minor.  Dusk blended beautifully on the lid, and it could also be softened and sheered out to wear more as a wash of color as well. Without a primer, it wore well for seven and a half hours, and after eight and a half, I could see some light fading and very faint creasing.

Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Eyeshadow Dusk
Dusk
Dusk
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

theBalm Pinstripe Instain Long-Wearing Staining Blush

theBalm Pinstripe Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush
theBalm Pinstripe Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush

theBalm Pinstripe Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush ($22.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “plum.” It’s a medium-dark, pink-plum with hints of fuchsia/red and a satiny, golden shimmer-sheen finish. NARS Realm of the Senses #2 is warmer, less fuchsia. NARS Oasis is more muted, more plum. NARS Outlaw is more muted. NARS Dolce Vita is similar but lacks the golden sheen. See comparison swatches.

Pinstripe was incredibly pigmented–a little goes a long way–so use a lighter hand to build up color gradually to ensure the level of intensity you desire. The texture is soft without being powdery, but it does have a tendency to apply where it lands, so blending out a lot of excess color can be problematic and result in somewhat uneven color application. The shimmer is somewhat frosty, but the more the color is buffed and worked into the skin, the more satin-like it becomes. At a higher frost level, it can emphasize pores slightly (not horribly but it was something I did notice). This shade lasted well for eight hours and was somewhat faded along the edges after nine hours, so it did not wear as long as some of the other shades in this formula have.

theBalm Instain Long-Wearing Staining Powder Blush Pinstripe
Pinstripe
Pinstripe
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
88%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner (Part 1)

Buxom Call Me Hold the Line Eyeliner
Buxom Call Me Hold the Line Eyeliner

Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a recently released formula that’s supposed to “glide on like a gel” and wear for 14 hours. The formula is also supposed to be waterproof, transfer- and smudge-proof. I’ve been wearing these eyeliners on and off for the past few weeks, and I really like the formula. I wouldn’t say it delivers fully on a full 14 hours of wear, but they are long-wearing (great wear for first ten hours, then there is fading–where the eyeliner appears thinner but not smudged). There is definitely visible color there 14 hours later, though, but it’s not at the same intensity or thickness as originally applied. The color payoff is good overall, but it does vary from shade to shade. The pencils had a creamy, glide-on consistency that didn’t skip or tug on the lash line.

There are eight shades in the formula, and this post features four of them, and I will be reviewing the other four soon! 🙂

Call Me Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “jet black.” It’s a rich, deep dark black with a barely-there satin sheen. It had excellent color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. It wore well for ten hours on my lower lash line. By no means an original shade but I would expect most brands to include a rich black eyeliner in any formula’s range, so this is just one more high-quality option to choose from. Because there is not much to say about the differences, I’ve just pulled several deep blacks but they’re all quite similar: See comparison swatches.

Come Over Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “sparkling bronze.” It’s a warm-toned, bronze and copper-shimmered bronze brown with a sparkly finish. It had decent to good color payoff in a single stroke, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage. It didn’t tug or pull at the lash line, but it wasn’t as creamy as the more matte/satin shades. This shade lasted for ten and a half hours on my lower lash line. Make Up For Ever #25L is matte and darker. Bobbi Brown Bronze is warmer, less sparkly. Urban Decay Hustle is less sparkly. MAC Lord It Up is darker. MAC Orpheus is much darker. Burberry Midnight Brown is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Here’s My Number Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “dark chocolate.” It’s a deep, dark brown with warm, orange-red undertones and a matte finish. It had good pigmentation in a single stroke, and it was very creamy and easily applied. It wore nicely for a full ten and a half hours before starting to thin. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is slightly less matte. Urban Decay Demolition is similar. MAC Rich Experience is very comparable. Estee Lauder Blackened Cocoa is darker. Bobbi Brown Mahogany is slightly less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Knock Twice Hold the Line Eyeliner ($17.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “metallic deep champagne.” It’s a soft, muted bronze with a champagne shimmer-sheen finish. It’s darker than champagne, but it’s not too dark–this shade gets completely lost against my skin tone, as a reference, and I would not recommend for anyone who has a similar skin tone (it just feels like it never shows up to the party) but it may work well on fairer and deeper complexions where there would be more contrast. I wish it was a champagne, though, as it would work well for brightening in particular! This shade was also sheer when applied in one layer, and it was buildable in three to four layers to about 80% opacity.  The consistency was very creamy, though, even if pigment was difficult to get out of it!  Knock Twice seemed to wear well for ten hours on me–I used a magnifying mirror and was able to at least see the shimmer and a slight darkening, but it wasn’t quite as easy to measure the wear compared to the other shades (on me). MAC Deliciously Rich is a gel eyeliner, and the color is darker and has more sparkle. Urban Decay Hustle is darker and warmer. See comparison swatches.

Buxom   Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner
B+

9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
89%
Total
Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner Call Me
Call Me
Call Me
A

Permanent

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner Come Over
Come Over
Come Over
B

Permanent

9
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
86%
Total
Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner Here's My Number
A

Permanent

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
Buxom Hold the Line Waterproof Eyeliner Knock Twice
Knock Twice
Knock Twice
C

Permanent

7
Product
6
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
76%
Total

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