Saturday, February 19th, 2011


China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Black Mesh, Cracked Concrete, Lightning Bolt

China Glaze Crackle Glaze: Part 1

China Glaze Crackle Collection ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) consists of six shades, and I wanted to break it into two parts because of how many photos the collection ended up being. Crackle nail polish is just that, polish that cracks. It’s a layering polish, so it is something you apply after you have applied your base color/coat. All the shades dry to a matte finish, so if you want a shiny finish, just use a shiny top coat (I used Seche Vite for swatches).

  • Black Mesh is a matte, deep black. This was the easiest shade to work with out of the six, and it cracks really well. The formula was thin but very pigmented.
  • Cracked Concrete is a matte, medium-dark gray. It’s definitely the color of freshly poured concrete. The formula was thin but pigmented and cracked well without having to trial it.
  • Lightning Bolt is a matte, bright white. I recommend using a medium-thick coat of this if you want it to look more opaque, as thinner coats, while they will show more splintering, also show a lot of the base coming through, so it has a streaky look to it. I used a a fairly thick coat for swatches, and while it splintered, it didn’t do as much as I’d like.

Half of the fun of these Crackles is finding good base colors to layer underneath one of the Crackle Glazes. I can’t compare the formula to any other brands, past or present, as I really don’t have any experience with them. I vaguely remember CoverGirl Crackles, but I don’t think I owned any (I wasn’t allowed to wear nail polish until I was in my late teens). I like these, and they were easy enough to work with–hey, the look itself is edgy and a little messy, so minor mistakes are easily forgiven. Lightning Bolt might take one or two attempts, but I think I just went too thick.

Tips

  • Do 2 coats maximum of your base color and let it dry completely.
  • Apply the Crackle Glaze in one coat and as quickly as possible as it dries down very fast!
  • Use a thicker coat of Crackle Glaze for more opaque color or thicker cracks (but less of them).
  • Use a thinner coat of Crackle Glaze if you want a very crackled, piece-y look.

P.S. — I’ll be posting a video later today showing the polish as it crackles, because I found it pretty cool.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If you dig the effect, definitely worth picking up a couple of shades.  I think Black Mesh performed the best out of the six, followed by Cracked Concrete.

where to buy: Sally’s

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011


Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Spring 2011: Sea Turtle Palette

Chantecaille Sea Turtle Palette ($79.00 or 0.42 oz.) is a limited edition color palette for spring. It is a refillable palette, and the eyeshadows are easily removed if one desires. Inside, there is a base color, eye color, cheek color, and eye definer. There is a raise turtle design on each shade, and the turtle itself has a metallic sheen overlay (which disappears upon first swatch).

The base color is a pale, gilded beige with pale gold shimmer-sheen. The eye color is a medium-dark brown with slight warm undertones finished with a soft satin sheen. The cheek color is a pink-peach with a peach-gold sheen–think shades like MAC Springsheen, NARS Orgasm, etc. but less shimmer, less golden, and pinker. The eye definer shade is a charcoal forest green with a frosted finish. All four shades were silky smooth and nicely pigmented; there were no issues with the textures or the colors at all.

The three eye colors can all be used wet or dry, though I had no issues with pigmentation and they went on so prettily dry I didn’t even think to use them wet until I read the description of Chantecaille’s eyeshadows online! Funny enough, this palette is cheaper (by the ounce, at $188/oz.) than MAC ($290/oz.), Make Up For Ever ($238/oz.), NARS ($228/oz.), and Urban Decay ($340/oz.).

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

final thoughts: I think it’s a really well-done palette with not just a lovely set of colors presented with beautiful decor, but the quality of the eyeshadows and blush is fantastic.  Very smooth, soft, and easy to use.  They blend effortlessly and pack quite a bit of pigment.  I’m also happy to see how much product was included in the palette and love that it is refillable.

where to buy: Nordstorm

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Friday, February 18th, 2011

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette
Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Bronze Amour Shadow & Liner Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) consists of four eyeshadows and one eyeliner shade, though the eyeliner shade is equally available for use as an eyeshadow. I’ve found that the shimmery shades can be used wet or dry, while the satin and matte shades are better used dry.

The all-over base is a pink champagne with a frosted sheen of a finish. The lid shade is a metallic finished copper with strong orange undertones. The crease shade is a medium, warmed up brown with soft red-orange undertones and pale copper shimmer-sheen. The highlighter shade is a pale yellow gold that’s almost cool-toned; I found this shade had some fall out and worked best applied wet. The liner shade is a rich, dark chocolate brown with subtle red undertones and burgundy-bronze shimmer–best liner shade yet, because it works beautifully wet or dry.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of Lancome’s eyeshadows are very smooth–soft, silky–and all of these shades were excellent in terms of pigmentation.  I only had minor fall out concerns with the highlighter shade, so I would recommend using it with a damp brush.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This is a very warm palette, perhaps the opposite of Taupe Craze, with its dosage of amber, orange, and red undertones. I actually think this is the best palette I’ve tried so far from the line-up. Really bold, intense color and smooth finishes, with just the highlighter shade having some fall out.

where to buy: Sephora

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “light warm beige.” It’s a peach-tinged pale beige-nude with an amplified finish. The amplified finish gives is a creamier consistency, more color pigmentation, and a semi-matte finish. I did find this shade a little on the drier side, so I would recommend prepping lips accordingly (keep the moisturized, exfoliate prior).

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, but with lighter shades like Viva Glam Gaga 2, I expect around four.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The warm undertones are very slight and subtle; they’re not overwhelming, so this nude will still work on cooler skin tones. It’s like a peach version of Creme d’Nude; lighter version of Peachstock. I wish it was more forgiving on lips–perhaps less dry–because it tends to show imperfections on the lips.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “light neutral pinked beige.” In reality, I found it more of a neutral light-medium beige with subtle white micro-shimmer. The finish was creamy, not quite milky, but as such, there was some settling into lip lines. It is a thicker gloss, too, so be careful when applying it to ensure an even finish (also avoiding smooshing your lips together too much, as it will push around the gloss and making it look uneven).

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipglasses are vanlla-scented, and they are typically thick and sticky. However, because of their tackiness, they do tend to wear better and longer (four hours for me).

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The color itself is a great neutral nude; I do see it working for most skin tones and under tones, assuming you like nudes. It’s not too pale, not too deep that it’s more brown than beige. Surprisingly, I couldn’t come up with a great MAC dupe for this shade; it is closest to Illicit but it’s less orange.  C-Thru would be your closest within the permanent range but much paler.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick
Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau Extra Rich Lipstick: Calliope

Cle de Peau Calliope (T4) Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a peach nude with a creamy finish and soft champagne micro-shimmer. The finish has a slightly glossy look but not too much shine. Extra Rich Lipsticks have a faceted lipstick, with more defined edges, which does allow for crisper lines.  This is a suitable nude for warmer skin tones, especially for those who find that nudes too often wash them out.

my thoughts on the formula: The color applies opaque in a single pass with a smooth, even finish. Extra Rich Lipsticks are absolutely a luxury item; they are pure decadence. The texture is incredibly smooth and creamy without being slippery or heavy. It imparts a nice level of moisture on lips and never feels drying. The formula also de-emphasizes lip lines after about fifteen minutes of wear. I get between four and six hours of wear.

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

final thoughts: Cle de Peau is absolutely a luxury brand, and it is most certainly not masquerading as anything else. This is a brand and product that will not appeal to everyone and isn’t meant to, which I think is important to remember. If budget isn’t a concern, I have always really enjoyed Cle de Peau’s formulas and shade range. It is better to invest in a color you will wear everyday with joy than two shades that you are only so-so.

where to buy: Saks

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