Wednesday, December 21st, 2011


Blueblood, Endless Night, Hyperion

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Nail Lacquers

MAC Daphne Guinness Nail Lacquers ($15.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include three limited edition shades (all to be launched on December 26th in-stores): Blueblood (deep eggplant), Endless Night (pale gray pink with iridescent pearl), and Hyperion (light gray blue-green).

  • Blueblood is a deep burgundy with a cream finish. It’s opaque in two coats. It’s a little darker compared to China Glaze Velvet Bow. It’s similar to Urban Decay Wrecked and Zoya Anja.. MAC Purple Majesty is a little purpler.
  • Endless Night is a pale beige with iridescent pink shimmer. It’s not opaque in two coats, but with three, you’d probably get there (swatches are with two, so there is some visible nail line). It’s a bit grayer and has shimmer compared to MAC Quiet Time.
  • Hyperion is a pale aqua blue with more blue than aqua. It’s opaque in two coats, but the formula was harder to work with; it seemed to pull easily, and I think a ridgefiller might be necessary–you can see the lines of my natural nail and I rarely see those through polish. It’s more opaque and bluer compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom. China Glaze Sea Spray is darker. Chanel Riva is bluer.

Blueblood applied easily and without trouble; the formula was on the thinner side but not problematic. Endless Night was on the sheerer side, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on how you like your nudes–the iridescent shimmer makes it more interesting, though. Hyperion was the hardest to apply, as the initial coat streaked, and even though I waited between coats, the second one still seemed to pull at the first coat. MAC Nail Lacquers typically wear a week on me with minor tip wear but no chips.

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MAC for Daphne Guinness: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Blueblood is really dupeable, while Endless Night and Hyperion are less so. Hyperion had the most troublesome formula, while Blueblood had the best one.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d'Armani Lipstick
Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich, deeper red with a blue-base. It yields opaque color coverage in a creamy finish with a natural shine. It’s a beautiful red, though you’re bound to find shades similar in our red lipstick gallery. Of some more recently reviewed shades, it is close to NYX Chic Red, Guerlain Liu, MAC Ruby Woo, and Guerlain Garconne. This just happens to be a red encapsulated in an exceptional formula.

The Rouge d’Armani formula is a good one. It’s a long-wearing formula (supposed to be up to eight hours!) with intense color, comfortable to wear, no fading/feathering, and moisturizing. The intensity of this red wears for at least eight hours but, while slightly more matte by eight hours, could be worn without reapplication for a few more hours. It has a creamy texture that makes for effortless application and easy glide, but it’s lightweight and adheres well without clinging. I haven’t had it bleed or feather, and it is nicely hydrating. This formula is scent- and taste-free. I also like that it has a magnetic enclosure.

The Glossover

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#406

A+
This lipstick does everything well--from the functional packaging to the long-wearing, moisturizing formula. The only thing left to decide is whether the color is the right one from you!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Plum Gold High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Plum Gold High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Plum Gold High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “plum with bronze pearl.” It’s like a deep, berry red with gold shimmer. The color coverage is semi-opaque, and this particular shade does settle into lip lines a bit and doesn’t apply perfectly even, unfortunately, though I think both things are less noticeable at a normal viewing distance. For someone who loves the color, you could also consider layering it over a lipstick, which will minimize both issues. Chantecaille Patina is not as berry, more of a red. MAC Lasting Achievement is more opaque and berry hued. It’s very similar to Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst but Plum Gold has the gold shimmer.

I am kind of IN LOVE with Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipglosses, actually. They have such an amazing sparkle-factor–all dazzle without any tackiness and shine from miles away. Really glossy, shimmery, and comfortable to wear as they’re fairly moisturizing and wear around four hours–even the lighter shades. You may have felt I was more lukewarm than ecstatic in my initial review, and I was, but as I’ve been wearing several of the shades throughout the past couple of months, I’m now ready to tell you that I’m loving them.

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Plum Gold

B+
Even though I love the formula and this particular shade, it does have issues applying evenly, which affected both the pigmentation and application scores.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow
Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a deep, dark purple-burgundy with a soft, frosted finish and tiny flecks of ruby red shimmer. It is darker than MAC Deceit. The base of Deep Garnet is similar to MAC Shadowy Lady.  I think the intensity and depth of this particular shade is what really makes it sing.

The texture is divine; silky smooth, finely-milled, and so soft it almost feels like a cream. With a fabulous texture comes intense color payoff. It wears well without any concerns over an eyeshadow primer/base, but these are touted as being long-wearing with good adhesion on their own, which is where I’ve encountered a couple of issues. With Deep Garnet, it wore for eight hours without creasing, but there was slight fading.

The Glossover

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Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Luster Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A
The eyeshadow is richly pigmented with a decadent texture that's soft, smooth, and easy to blend. As long as you wear an eyeshadow primer, you won't have any problems with this shade.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eye Dream Hyperliner
Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eye Dream Hyperliner

Tarina Tarantino Spark of Envy Eye Dream Hyperliner ($15.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “metallic peacock green.” It’s a rich shade of teal with a hint of blue. It doesn’t lean green and just barley leans blue, but it’s a cooler-toned teal with a metallic finish. It’s less green compared to Urban Decay Clinic and Urban Decay Covet (both of those are almost the same).  I’ve been reaching for this a lot lately, because it looks great paired with a neutral eye as it gives some oomph without dominating.  The product is creamy, so it glides on easily and smoothly without tugging at the lash line.  It yields really good color payoff in a single pass.

In my original review, I really raved about these eyeliners, and then I had more good things to say about three more shades. I’m still missing one (Tommy Jet), but Spark of Envy brings me one step closer to completing the set.  I encourage you to read my original review for a full-length post on these, but to sum it up: these are soft and creamy enough to glide-on easily across the lash line without dragging or tugging while delivering a fair amount of pigmentation in a single pass (and opaque in two). They don’t budge, fade, or smudge during the day, and they wore through a shower for me.  I’m really most impressed by the payoff of these pencils in one stroke, and the excellent wear is icing on the cake.

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Spark of Envy

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Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Holiday 2011: #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette ($59.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a new and limited edition holiday compact that includes a “beige pearl, metallic gold, [and] light green pearl.” You can use this on the face or on the eyes–it’s more like a highlighter for the face, and then the eyeshadows can be used to create a soft look.

The compact first includes a small portion of a pale, muted beige with gold shimmer. It has a soft, smooth texture and applies with good color payoff. It’s a little less peach compared to Urban Decay Booty Call. MAC Baby It’s Cold is similar, perhaps a touch lighter. Shades like Urban Decay Skimp, MAC Butternutty, and Bare Escentuals Serendipitous are a few more that look similar.

In the middle, which is the largest section, is a warm, yellow gold with a frosted finish. The color payoff is a bit sheer, but the texture is fairly soft. There is a lot of similarity in this hue to shades like theBalm Snobby, Chanel Blazing Gold, Urban Decay Eldorado, and Urban Decay Blunt.

The bottom shade, also a small portion (same size as the top shade), is a muted, almost antique-like, gold with a more metallic finish. Like the middle shade, this is a little on the sheer side but still feels smooth and soft. Tarina Tarantino Dreamy has a hue that’s a bit lighter. I think MAC Retrospeck comes rather close, perhaps a little darker.

Applied as a highlighter, it results in a muted champagne-gold shimmer-sheen. It’s more gold than not, but it’s not yellow or orange–it has more of a hint of antique gold without being too dark. It works as a highlighter, but it did emphasize my skin’s texture just slightly. The wear was good, though, with the highlighter mostly intact after eight hours.  I swirled over the entire compact, but you could swirl more towards the upper or lower half to get a lighter or darker golden shade–the middle color will dominate, just because of how large its surface is. Whether you look at it as a highlighter or eyeshadow palette, it comes with a good amount of product.

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Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla Face & Eye Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I like it but don't love it; of all the holiday highlighters we've seen, this one isn't the best on the market, so if that's your aim, you might consider this season's other releases. I think it performs better as a highlighter than as a set of eyeshadows, just because the underlying sheerness gives it more of a faded look when applied. If you have really fair skin, it might work, but light-medium and deeper may find this doesn't show up as well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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