Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer (£13.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer light grey” with a jelly finish. I loved this shade from the moment I applied it; this was actually my nail color of choice when I went to NYC for Fashion Week this past September (it had been raining quite a bit, so it seemed totally appropriate). It’s a semi-sheer, light stormy gray with flakes of light gray shimmer. I used two coats for swatches, and as expected, you can see the nail line, but I have worn it with three and four coats, and it is more opaque at that level. I couldn’t think of anything like this shade.

Illamasqua’s formula is one of my top five favorites, because it wears like iron. I wore Raindrops for my trip, which means I was nowhere near nice or delicate with my nails, as I was hauling heavy luggage and heavier camera equipment over a week. I didn’t even end up removing the polish for ten days after I had applied it, and there was hardly tip wear, like just barely. The formula has a great consistency so it flows evenly across the nail bed, and it’s not thick at all, so if you prefer more opaque color, you can easily wear three or four coats without compromising the integrity of the wear.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
It's a great shade to wear during the fall/winter and even into spring, as it's light but stormy, and the name is totally appropriate during the rainy seasons! The wear is fantastic; no chips, barely any tip wear!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Video Review: MAC for Daphne Guinness First Impressions/Swatches

Not the full collection but certainly covers most of it! I will have the remaining lip products and nail polishes reviewed and photographed as soon as I can purchase it :)

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Aurora Pigment
MAC Aurora Pigment

MAC Daphne Guinness: Pigments

With the Daphne Guinness collection (due in-stores on December 26th), there are three shades of MAC Pigments ($20.00 for 0.15 oz.): Aurora (pinked taupe), Circa Plum (frosty dirty mid-tone lavender), and Nebula (dark greyed brown with pearl).

  • Aurora is a neutral-cool, rose-tinted brown with a frosted finish. It shimmers nicely, and it can be used wet or dry; when applied wet, you’ll have a smoother, more metallic finish. It kind of reminded me of how Urban Decay Tease looked like in the pan, so MAC Quarry is similar in hue but with a matte finish. MAC MaltL is like a lighter cousin. Urban Decay Toasted is a bit more bronze. Also reminded me of a less brown MAC Gold Stroke.
  • Circa Plum is a rosy plum with a frosted finish. The one I have and swatched is from when it launched previously, so it’s possible that it may vary in color compared to the new release. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is similar but less plum. MAC Tendersmoke is less pink.
  • Nebula is a deep, dark taupe with a little hint of brown around the edges, but it loses some of the brown you’d expect from taupe because of how dark it is–it’s still there, and when you apply it dry, it’s more noticeable. When applied damp, it has a more metallic finish and depth. Dry, it’s a bit like MAC Legendary Black. MAC Bloodline is lighter.

MAC Pigments are designed to be worn softly or more intensely as well as with a formulation that makes it apply to the lid.  It’s also supposed to be long-wearing.  These shades applied well whether dry or wet (and I tested Nebula on the eye, because it seemed sheer when swatched, but it was very intense–too intense, actually, for the look I was going for), as they all have good color payoff.  The textures are soft and smooth, which helps increase how blendable they are.  I don’t get perfect wear out of pigments without some sort of adhesive base (like MAC Mixing Medium) or an eyeshadow primer–after eight hours, there is some minor creasing and fading, but if I do wear some sort of base, I don’t have either issue.

The Glossover

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MAC Daphne Guinness Pigments Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
These are really wearable shades that can be used as washes, eyeshadows, or as an eyeshadow base, depending on the look you're going for. MAC Pigments are one of my favorite loose formulas because of how well the product binds together and how little poof! there is when you open the jar.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

Ozotic #529 Nail Lacquer
Ozotic #529 Nail Lacquer

Ozotic #529 Nail Lacquer

Ozotic #529 Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “glittering particles that shift from blue to purple to orange.” this is definitely more of a layering polish than one most would wear alone, though it still comes together nicely enough by itself. There’s a healthy amount of glitter coverage without leaving gaping holes or lots of bald spots, and it doesn’t take a lot of work to do that either, as the glitter distributes well and doesn’t require pulling and manipulation of the brush to get the glitter to sit just right. It’s predominantly purple with more of a coppery orange hue around the edges, and the glitter is suspended in a clear base. You could argue blue, too, perhaps more blue-violet, but to me, mostly purple and copper.

It’s not too thick, as some glitters can be when they’re in a clear base, and I used three coats for swatches, so you could see how opaque it could get. It didn’t feel too thick at all with three coats, and I wore this shade on my right hand (I usually keep my left hand naked for regular polish swatching) for a week with no issues. Removal was on par with most other glitters; more effort than your typical polish, but if you let your polish remover soak through the polish, it won’t be so difficult.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Ozotic #529 Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like it, though I don't think it shifts colors quite enough for my taste, so I probably wouldn't shell out for this particular shade (and would opt for something else by Ozotic, since I do like what I've tried so far!).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes these four shades: Stratus (light pink), Bruised Sky (dark lavender gray), Interior Life (mid-tone gray blue), and Heather Belles (dark charcoal/carbon).  It’s new and limited edition for MAC for Daphne Guinness, which will launch in-stores on December 26th.

  • Stratus is a pale iced pink with a matte finish. I couldn’t get this product to swatch at all–I literally took a metal spatula to the pan and gouged product out to just get enough visible color in the swatch so you could see it. The swatch you see is the equivalent of swatching something five times, if not more! I later tried to apply this to the lid–over primer–and it was invisible. Maybe on the lightest and on the darkest of skin tones this will show up better, but the texture is still unforgivably dry and difficult to use. MAC Taupeless is a little warmer and shimmery. MAC Seedy Pearl is shimmery but similar in hue. Inglot 319 is more blue-based.
  • Bruised Sky is a mauve-brown with a satin finish. This shade was a little dry, but it yielded decent color payoff. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off has a more shimmery version of this shade. It’s similar to MAC Tendersmoke. MAC Shale is much browner.
  • Interior Life is a blue-tinted medium-dark gray with a veluxe finish, which means it has a mostly matte finish but the texture is different from their matte finish. This is one of the best matte eyeshadows I’ve come across by MAC, and ironically, there are only two veluxe finishes available in the permanent range (Samoa Silk and Brown Down). This feels much more like a Matte2 than a veluxe–it’s so dense and buttery that’s nearly creamy in feel. The color payoff is really good, too, though it does easily blend away so go easy on blending.  I don’t want to say this, but this fades a lot when applied.  It was half faded after five hours.  It’s a matte version of MAC Howzat. Chanel Gris Exquis is more neutral.
  • Heather Belles is a charcoal black with a satin finish. The good news is this shade is the same as it was when it launched with Tartan Tale; the bad news is that it’s still just as terrible. I got a little smarter with this shade, so I managed to scrape product off and apply it to the middle but left some parts still in their original, disappointing state. It’s sheer, dry, and nearly chalky because of how dry and stiff it is. Nehru is a little blue/teal. It’s a bit like theBalm Serious. It ended up looking a lot like MAC Black Tied, since neither works well. I tried applying this to the crease, but it just wasn’t applying or blending well, so I ended up using Nebula (pigment) instead.

I’ve been underwhelmed by MAC’s eyeshadow quads for quite awhile now, and I had some hope after Cindy Sherman, Interior Life really disappointed. Many brands come out with quads and palettes, and there are few high-end brands that seem to flop as spectacularly as MAC has in the past year when it comes to their quads/palettes. MAC can do an excellent eyeshadow, so I don’t know why this doesn’t translate into their eyeshadow quads any more.

The Glossover

palette

Interior Life

F
There are too many problems with this eyeshadow quad: poor pigmentation, drier/stiffer textures, and fading. At $38, there are so many better options out there. Build your own MAC quad of proven eyeshadows!

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

2.5/5

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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Vintage Grape Blush Ombre
MAC Vintage Grape Blush Ombre

MAC Vintage Grape Blush Ombre

MAC Vintage Grape Blush Ombre ($26.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone violet pink.” Like Azalea Blossom, this is also a repromote but still limited edition, and it will launch on December 26th with the Daphne Guinness collection. It’s a dark reddened berry that is intensely pigmented–a little will go a long way; I would recommend using a stippling brush or a very, very light hand if you prefer subtle cheek color. If you like your blush deeper, you’ll love how little product you need to accomplish that with this shade. Bobbi Brown Plum is pinker, brighter. The darker side of MAC Band of Roses is similar but more shimmery.

I felt like the texture of this one, while soft to the touch, was stiffer on the skin, because it wasn’t as effortless to blend out the edges and diffuse the color. The gradient fades from cotton candy pink to a dirty red-plum, so depending on the area you grab color from, you may get a pinker or redder color. I swirled and tried to get an even amount of each side for swatching purposes. I wore this shade (yes, one shade on each cheek–always on a mission to scare the UPS man!) and it wore better, more towards seven hours with some fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

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MAC Vintage Grape Blush Ombre Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
For more dramatic cheeks, I think this could be a nice addition to your stash. If you tend to prefer lighter applications, you might go with a softer shade with better blendability.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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