Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Guerlain Quand Vient l'Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Quand Vient l’Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Quand Vient l’Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Quand Vient l’Ete (141) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a coral-orange with soft tangerine shimmer. Benefit Saucy is similar but with more shimmer. Dior Versailles is pinker. Cle de Peau Leonardis is a touch lighter but very similar. MAC Crosswires is close, though it doesn’t have the shimmer. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is darker, more vibrant.

The shade yields mostly opaque color coverage, but the color does bunch up somewhat in random places, so the coverage isn’t perfectly even.  It’s not as noticeable as Guet-Apens, though.  Quand Vient l’Ete had a soft, creamy consistency that glided across lips with ease and no tugging or pulling whatsoever.  There’s a healthy dosage of shimmer, enough to be noticeable but not enough to give it a frosted finish, plus a natural sheen.  When I tested out this shade for wear, it hung on for four hours, which is about average.  For more packaging photos, please see this post.

The Glossover

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Quand Vient l'Ete

B+
It's a lovely shade of coral for the summer that should flatter warmer skin tones in particular. It has a fair amount of orange in it, so it may not be the ideal coral for cooler complexions.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) won’t be available until May, but hang onto your seats, because it’s such a lovely duo. This is one of the best eyeshadow formulas on the market, and bareMinerals didn’t let us down with their expansion of their Ready line-up. Alter Ego consists of two shades: Wicked and Daring.

Wicked is a springy yellow-tinted green with a frosted finish. It has excellent pigmentation and goes opaque with very little product needed. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is darker, more olive green. MAC Juxt is yellower, a bit darker. Inglot #364 is very similar but a matte variation. It’s a warm, yellow-based green, but subtly done–it’s not as yellow or as warm as other shades that might be similar.

Daring is this rich, smoky purple with subtle red undertones and almost bluish tint. The color payoff is amazing–I couldn’t believe it–it was so soft, smooth, and rich. MAC Indigo Noir is similar but matte. MAC Imaginary is purpler and brighter. MAC Starless Night is similar but more shimmered, less muted.

What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery.  This texture and payoff translates seamlessly to the lids during application.  They’re soft and blendable.  Without a primer, it wears for over eight hours with no noticeable issues–after ten, there is the faintest fading around the crease.  With a primer, I have no problems even after ten hours.  The price point is palatable, too–two full-sized eyeshadows for $20.

The Glossover

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bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick
Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick

Illamasqua Apocalips Lipstick (£15.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “teal” with a matte finish. It’s an opaque blue-teal with a matte finish. It’s certainly not the shade you think of when you hear the word “everyday.” I’m sure it doesn’t come as much of a surprise when I say I don’t have anything quite like this. The closest would be Illamasqua’s Gender, which is a bluish lipgloss. I haven’t swatched or used it yet, but perhaps OCC’s Chlorophyll will be similar (but it looks more like a green-teal).

The formula is very dry, though it will slide over lips well enough to deposit opaque color without too much pulling or dragging (but there is some). The finish is entirely matte. It’s unscented, and there was no discernible taste when I tested it. Apocalips will wear and wear and wear–and it will stain, too. The stain is almost like frostbitten lips, to be honest! This shade wore for six hours with little fading, but because of the drier texture, you’ll want to ensure that you absolutely have perfect, moisturized lips prior to application. My lips felt a little dry after wearing this for six and a half hours. I wouldn’t describe the formula as drying, just dry, and naturally, lips without any hydration, will need some after several hours. My lips weren’t chapped or cracked, though–and that is how my lips react when a formula is truly drying.

The Glossover

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Apocalips

A-
Bold, unconventional color that applies neatly, stays in place, and goes on entirely opaque (no streaking!)--wear it with confidence!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Coeur Sucre Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering vibrant pink.” It’s a medium cotton candy pink with blue undertones and a silver-white micro-glitter/shimmer. I couldn’t think of too many shades that came close to this. MAC Vanity Fair is much lighter and has no shimmer (more like a liquid lipstick formula). NARS Angelika would be much closer, except it’s not as opaque and applies fairly streaky. MAC Sassy Lassy is darker and brighter.

The Larger Than Life formula is designed to give “intense color” with “brilliant shine” while being long-wearing. It also has moisturizing ingredients and “natural lip enhancers” that will plump lips. The consistency of Coeur Sucre isn’t too thick or too thin, and it’s not a gloss I’d call lightweight, but it doesn’t feel thick and goopy either. It has a gel-like texture initially, which is non-sticky, but after a half hour or so, it delivers a tackiness that gets rather sticky after an hour and a half (much as I experienced with Giorgio Armani Gloss d’Armani). It delivers semi-opaque color and applies surprisingly evenly for a gloss in this color–there is some minor settling into lip lines that is barely noticeable because of the high-shine finish.

Coeur Sucre wore for five and a half hours, which is longer than the average gloss wears (three to four hours; as little as two for lighter shades).  I found the formula to be hydrating–sometimes when you wear just gloss all day long, your lips can easily show signs of dehydration, but even after twelve hours of wearing the Larger Than Life formula, my lips felt lush and lovely.  I don’t see (or feel!) any plumping effect; the glossy shine does give lips a larger, more luminous appearance.

Here is what I loathe about this product–and I don’t use the word lightly–the applicator. It is like applying lipgloss with a toothpick, or nearly so. It’s just absolutely miniscule, and if you have very thin lips, I think this may be the applicator you’ve been looking for, but even you may find it takes several pumps of gloss to get enough product to cover your lips. I get that NARS is hoping this applicator will give you the precision you want, but it’s unnecessarily small. You can maneuver around the lip lines with something double the size. In order to cover my lips, I had to go back five times for color.

The Glossover

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Coeur Sucre

A-
It's not quite the "intense color" that NARS promises, and the applicator is too small--it makes applying this a more painstaking process than it should be. I think there is a happy medium available; something slightly larger (perhaps wider), that's still a bit tapered and smaller than a doe-foot gloss, could still achieve precision without taking so much time.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color
Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color ($55.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a soft raspberry pink with a rosy pink shimmer and sheen. For better or for worse, Tom Ford’s blush range (from the three shades I’ve seen so far) is very core, which means the shades themselves are more basic, so you may have similar shades in your stash already. At the same time, they’re the kind of shades that become go-tos, because they work with a variety of looks. MAC Pink Tea is just a little softer, while MAC Lovecloud is a touch yellower–mix the two together, and you’d get pretty close. Tarte Dollface is lighter, more pastel. MAC Feeling Flush is a hint darker.

More and more, as a reviewer as well as a consumer, I really, really appreciate consistency. I’d rather a consistently poor performing product than one that is sometimes good but other times downright awful–and the very best is when you find a product range that is consistently excellent. Right now, I’m finding this to be true with Tom Ford’s blush range. First with Lovelust, now with Wicked. It has that same soft, smooth, buttery texture that’s dense and ultra finely-milled, so it melts against the skin and looks effortlessly natural. That silky smooth texture enables superior blending–you won’t need to worry about buffing for days; feather-light strokes will gently soften the edges of any application. I love that it can be applied softly or more intensely, but it’s never a shade you have to pack on.

The real reason that I am truly in love with Tom Ford’s blush formula is how well and long it wears. I thought perhaps it was a fluke or restricted to the shade, but Wicked wears a solid ten hours and looks nearly immaculate. I can’t think of a blush that wears longer at the moment! The texture, color, blendability, and wear are all fantastic. I don’t even know if there is room for improvement with the formula–it’s that good.

A little disclaimer or note, as this is a luxury brand and product: each person has their own rationalization process to justify whether something is worth it or not. What is affordable to you may be a luxury for someone else and vice versa. Price never affects quality; it affects whether it’s worth buying to you, but price doesn’t indicate a higher or lesser degree of quality (in an ideal world, it might), which is why the rating system specifically excludes it.

The Glossover

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Wicked

A+

The texture, color, blendability, and wear are all fantastic. I don't even know if there is room for improvement with the formula--it's that good.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Spoiled by Wet 'n' Wild Designated Driver Nail Lacquer
Spoiled by Wet ‘n’ Wild Designated Driver Nail Lacquer

Spoiled by Wet ‘n’ Wild Designated Driver Nail Lacquer

Spoiled by Wet ‘n’ Wild Designated Driver Nail Lacquer ($1.99 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a bright sunshine yellow with slight orange tones and a cream finish. I think the color is so appropriate for the upcoming summer season, but you will need to be a little patient. The polish has a tendency to pull if you do not wait for each coat to completely dry before putting on another coat. Some polishes are more forgiving in this aspect, but with this one, you’ll be waiting about five to ten minutes between coats before you can go for the second. The color coverage is nearly opaque in two coats, but you can see a hint of visible nail line. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so I think you should be able to do a third coat to get totally opaque color and help hide any application issues.

Yellows are known for being notoriously difficult to apply–it’s hard to find a really excellent yellow that doesn’t suffer from at least some streaking or lack of pigmentation. For instance, MAC Al Fredo and Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road are both sheerer, more jelly-like yellows (and both are less orange-based compared to this shade). The best yellow I’ve come across has been Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever, which is just a little streaky on the initial coat, but the second coat goes on beautifully–it is very similar in color to Designated Driver except it does have subtle shimmer.

I actually used Designated Driver as one of the shades to test from this formula for wear, since I have never used this brand before.  I can’t really think of a formula that does chip on me, with the exception of matte polishes without a top coat, and Spoiled’s formula held up for a week with minor tip wear but no chipping.  Despite using a base coat, there was some very subtle staining after those seven days (not totally unexpected for a yellow hue).

The Glossover

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Spoiled by Wet 'n' Wild Designated Driver Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Yellows are known for being notoriously difficult to apply--it's hard to find a really excellent yellow that doesn't suffer from at least some streaking or lack of pigmentation. With a little patience, this one is definitely workable and one of the more pigmented yellows I've come across.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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