Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Urban Decay Ransom Deluxe Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Ransom Deluxe Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Ransom Deluxe Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Ransom Deluxe Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “vibrant iridescent purple.” It’s a medium-dark blue-based violet purple with a frosted finish. MAC Pink Union is warmer, less blue-based. Urban Decay Blue Bus is bluer. MAC Parfait Amour is comparable but has more of an iridescence. Inglot #379 is a matte version. Urban Decay Ecstasy is less blue-based.

The Deluxe Eyeshadow is one of my favorite formulas, because it’s dense, silky smooth, and feels like butter against the skin.  Ransom is not the best example of the formula, though, because it doesn’t have the really rich color payoff that comes with this range.  The pigmentation is good (and it may even be great for a purple shade, generally speaking), but it falls short of excellence.  It doesn’t apply quite as smoothly as the rest of the range either.  When I wear this shade alone, it holds on well, and there wasn’t any creasing or fading after eight hours.  One of my favorite things about the Deluxe Eyeshadow range is that they’re nearly double the size of Urban Decay’s regular Eyeshadows at only a dollar more.

The Glossover

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Urban Decay Ransom Deluxe Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
Purple eyeshadow has a tendency to under-performing when it comes to color payoff, and this is definitely a shade that it is better than many other purples I've come across, but it doesn't excel like other shades in the Deluxe Eyeshadow range.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Burberry Pale Barley Eyeshadow
Burberry Pale Barley Eyeshadow

Burberry Pale Barley Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is a pale, almost cool-toned medium-dark brown with a wheaten gold shimmer and sheen. Think taupe meets gold–it’s warmer, less gray than a true taupe, but it’s the warmth comes from the shimmer rather than an undertone. Urban Decay Suspect is warmer, less gray. theBalm Sultry is similar but doesn’t have any shimmer. MAC Patina is grayer, less golden. MAC Era has less of a golden shimmer.

Pale Barley is an easy-to-wear shade; it’s flattering on warmer complexions in particular, but I think the lack of red undertones will make this a wearable warmer brown for cooler skin tones as well. It has a soft, finely-milled texture that applies smoothly on the skin and adheres well without a base (lasts around eight hours without creasing, very subtle fading).  This is a shade that seems “boring” on the surface, but it’s something I could see myself reaching for a multitude of neutral looks. It’s not too shimmery or too dark, so it can be used for softer, daytime looks or combined with darker shades for an evening eye.

Burberry eyeshadows aren’t easy on the wallet, but at least they give you a fair amount of product (the average eyeshadow contains 0.05 oz., Burberry’s contains 0.088 oz.).  My go-to highlighter is Trench, and I’ve used that since Burberry debuted their beauty range–there’s only a small amount of pan showing in the middle, but the sides are still full.  The packaging is gunmetal gray with reflective packaging and the signature check logo on the outside (which does hold fingerprints).  Each compact comes with a velvet black-and-check patterned case.  There’s a sponge-tipped applicator and mirror inside as well.

The Glossover

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Pale Barley

A
This is a shade that seems "boring" on the surface, but it's something I could see myself reaching for a multitude of neutral looks. It's not too shimmery or too dark, so it can be used for softer, daytime looks or combined with darker shades for an evening eye.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012


Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes ($7.99 for 25 or $0.32 each) are pre-soaked cloths that are designed to remove makeup, including waterproof mascara. Neutrogena says there’s no need to rinse after using one of these to remove your makeup. This kind of product is great for on-the-go removal (say at the gym), overnight bags/weekend trips (where you may not want to use liquid makeup remover or have it clogging up space in your quart-sized carry-on liquids’ bag!), or if you’re someone who isn’t so good at removing makeup before going to bed.

Generally, I use a liquid makeup remover to take off my makeup at night, because I usually enjoy my night time skin care routine, so it’s not a chore for me. However, I always pack wipes with me when I travel on short trips, whether by plane or car. I also use makeup wipes for spot makeup removal and if I’m wearing a really strong lip color, then I’ll use one to remove the majority of makeup and finish with a regular cleanser.

There are a lot of times where I will do several swatches in a row–say blush–and a wipe is easy and fuss-free to just remove the area I applied blush in. This keeps the rest of my face looking the same, and then I can just reapply foundation and then the blush on top. Neutrogena’s Towelettes do an excellent job at removing makeup and leaving the surface mostly matte and ready for the next swatch. The towelette is soft to the touch, and it’s thick enough to hold plenty of moisture (the cleanser) and stretches easily without tearing. I love that my skin doesn’t feel dry or tight after using it.

What’s shown in photos is technically a refill package, and you are expected to purchase your first batch of wipes in a plastic container ($8.99 for 25 plus the case). If you don’t use wipes often, you’ll want the case or to store these in a zip-top plastic bag to ensure they stay moist. I usually don’t have issues with the refill packaging staying sealed (it is adhesive), but over time, the adhesive can weaken. One thing I like to do is to store them upside down, because this helps to ensure the wipe that’s next in line to be used is very moist. If you do have a wipe that’s dried out or not as moist as it should be, you can add a little bit of your favorite cleanser or even just water to rejuvenate it a bit!  These are also heavily scented with a fresh, clean floral-like scent.

I really like these, and if you aren’t someone who uses wipes often, they’re a good, easy-to-find, budget-friendly option. I don’t buy these regularly, just because I like MAC’s Wipes better for my purposes (removing swatches usually), and I go through them frequently, so I buy the Bulk Wipes ($28.00 for 100 or $0.28 each). I prefer MAC Wipes for removing swatches, because they are more moisturizing, and when you’re removing makeup from the same patch of skin 10-20 times over a couple of hours, regular wipes often leave the area dry, scaly, and irritated. But what’s funny is that MAC Wipes do leave behind a slightly slick feeling after use–not really oily or slick per se, but what keeps my arm hydrated during a major swatch session is a noticeable feeling on the face, which you may or may not appreciate. I also can’t use MAC Wipes on the eyes (and they’re not recommended for use on the eye area last I checked!) without the skin feeling like it’s on fire.

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Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer
NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer

NARS Night Rider Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “soft plum with silver glitter.” It’s a pink-plum with silver glitter–but the way the glitter sits against the pink-plum makes it appear almost like a really pale, silvered lilac. I couldn’t think of any good dupes for it, but Nubar Treasure Nail (darker purple) and Milani Hi-Res (holographic, darker) were the closest–I wouldn’t say they’re close, though.

Night Rider is opaque in two coats and requires no patience at all during application, because the formula balances consistency with pigmentation, so it applies evenly, fluidly, and without a hitch.  I typically get a week of wear out of NARS’ formula with minor tip wear but no chipping.  I’m not unforgiving to my nails, but I don’t make any attempts to preserve a manicure, so I definitely use my nails as tools!

The Glossover

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Night Rider

A+
If you loved the way the other Night shades looked but felt they were just too dark, Night Rider gives you the same fun finish and nuance with a more spring-friendly color.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Folk Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick
Make Up For Ever Folk Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick

Make Up For Ever Folk Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick

Make Up For Ever Folk Rouge Artist Natural Lipstick ($19.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as an “iridescent red coral.” It’s a soft, semi-opaque coral-red with a natural sheen.  There is a very subtle iridescence.   Guerlain Nahema is similar but more opaque and has gold shimmer. Guerlain Chamade is darker, redder, and more opaque. Make Up For Ever #4 is pinker, rosier. Chanel Coquette is similar, perhaps a little lighter. NARS Niagara is pinker. MAC Crosswires is more orange. Laura Mercier Tangerine is less pink.

It’s a new, limited edition shade in a new, coming-soon formula. Make Up For Ever has taken their Rouge Artist formula but given it a softer, sheerer color and finish.  Folk wore for three and a half hours, which is just a little below average (four hours).  It has a lighter texture compared to Rouge Artist, and it seems a slightly more hydrating, though I wouldn’t describe it as a moisturizing lipstick.  It has a slicker consistency that gives it a bit more glide across the lips thank Rouge Artist, which has a creamier texture.  I think it’s great the the brand is branching out with the formula and going for something that still has color but isn’t as creamy or as dense as their Rouge Artist range.

The Glossover

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Folk

B+
It's comfortable to wear--while it's not moisturizing, it's not drying either--and yields noticeable color that doesn't feel bright or overwhelming. This is a really lovely shade of coral for spring.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Tom Ford Lavender Palm Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Lavender Palm Eau de Parfum

What makes perfume such an interesting subject is really how personal and intimate it is. Not only do we all have our personal scent preferences, but our body chemistry can alter the way a scent develops. Our associations of smell and memory also play a major role. As I’ve discussed before, I love lavender. I love it in earthy, herbaceous forms as much as I do in sweeter, more vanilla-laced ways. When I spied Tom Ford Lavender Palm Eau de Parfum ($195.00 for 1.7 oz.) at Nordstrom a few weeks ago, I knew I had to try it. Tom Ford’s Private Blend scents have worn really well on me (anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, depending on the scent), and it’s lavender-based, so it really had my name on it :)

Herbaceous. Clean. Stylish. This sparkling Eau de Parfum is Tom Ford’s take on the free-spirited ethos and chic elegance that evokes California. The seductive interplay of two varieties of Lavender forms the heart of this captivating fragrance. Bright citrus notes layered with a moist palm leaf accord, clary sage, sensual woods, and smooth tonka bean brilliantly elevate the earthy Lavender note into a surprisingly refined star.

When I first spritzed it on my wrist, I loved the combination of earthy lavender and lemon with an underlying leafy green note.  As Lavender Palm develops, it becomes more sensual and smoother. There’s lavender, but it’s not as present as it was in the beginning, vetiver, and a little sweetness tempered by the citrus notes. A hint of incense dances lightly in the very background, just barely there. It’s not earthy lavender, but it’s not sweet, vanilla-and-lavender. It fits somewhere in between.  Lavender Palm has little sillage so it wears rather close to the skin, and on me, it remains highly detectable on the skin for six hours or so, and then it continues to be detectable but to a lesser degree for up to ten hours.

It feels like a surprisingly straightforward scent; it’s not the most complex, but as a fan of lavender, it works for me. I tend to gravitate towards rich, heady, sultry scents, and sometimes, they do feel heavy for daytime wear.  It’s a unisex scent, though I have heard several sales associates say this is better on men than it is on women.  I couldn’t say I agree, only because I almost love it on me (I really, really like it, but I need more time to determine if it’s true love), and if I can convince the Tech Guy, I’ll get him to try it (he already steals Oud Wood).

I have been continually reaching for it since it first arrived and sometimes wear it before bed.  There’s a lighter quality to it compared to other scents in the Private Blend collection that makes so wearable and fresh–so perfect for spring.  At this price point, this should be a scent you love and reach for often.  It should do something to you, for you; should make you feel beautiful, powerful, lovely, or bring you back to a most cherished memory.  If you like to wear lavender, this is worth testing.  I love sites like The Perfume Court, where you can purchase small samples of scents to try or for scents you enjoy wearing but perhaps not enough to own a whole bottle. I didn’t see this scent up there yet, though.