Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

MAC Green is Green Mascara
MAC Green is Green Mascara

MAC Colored Zoom Lash Mascara

Though MAC’s Flighty Collection has stirred up buzz over the Big Bounce Shadows, there are also four shades of colored Zoom Lash Mascara. I have Green is Green ($14.00 for 0.28 oz.) to review for now (the rest to follow once I have them–probably not late this week or early next). This shade is described as “jade green,” and it’s a dark, cool-toned green with a little hint of teal. The actual tube is similarly colored.

Zoom Lash is supposed to “build density,” while the “ultra-sculpted brush has three-sided fibres to embrace and separate each lash.” My favorite MAC mascara is Plushlash, but I used to use Zoom Lash for quite a bit (because Plushlash didn’t exist). I like how it’s a really thick formula–thick as in it really coats each lash really well in the formula but without clumping. Zoom Lash, being a thicker consistency, will clump if you start going beyond two coats, though. (In my experience, you shouldn’t need more than two.) Zoom Lash separates and defines lashes while thickening them for me. I didn’t have any issues with the mascara flaking or smudging on me.

Green is Green is rather similar in color to Army of Amazons, which launched in Wonder Woman. The color of Green is Green seems a little richer in color, more depth. The Zoom Lash formula works better than Opulash for the color, though, because with colored mascara over black lashes (which mine are), I need the thickness of the Zoom Lash formula to really have a chance of my lashes looking green.

They look green from up close and afar, but the effect is still subtle from afar. Colored mascara will also stand out more with a lighter background–like neutral/light eyeshadows on the lid. You can also use a white-colored lash primer to enhance colored mascara. The color coverage here is good but not totally opaque over my black lashes.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Green is Green Zoom Lash Mascara Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you love colored mascara but already have Army of Amazons, I'd skip this one and perhaps consider one of the other three in this launch, because they are rather close in color.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, April 25th, 2011

MAC Big Bounce Shadow
MAC Black Diamond Big Bounce Shadow

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Review

MAC Big Bounce Shadows ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a brand new product launching with MAC’s Flighty Collection (which will hit counters/stores on May 5th). I don’t have all sixteen at this time, and I will, of course, purchase the remaining shades as soon as they are available, but for now, I hope these five shades will suffice: Black Diamond (black with gold pearl), The Cool Elite (white with silver pearl), Count Your Assets (rich blue purple with multi-color pearl), Reward Yourself (bright peach coral with gold pearl), and Spread the Wealth (dirty olive with gold pearl.

Updated @ 6:00PM on 4/25: (Consider re-reading the review, as I changed up about 60% of it!)  The hardest part about evaluating these new shadows is trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do (and conversely, what one shouldn’t expect them to do).  After obtaining more information (see this Q&A), these are supposed to “last for hours” along with “luminescent washes that build from sheer to medium easily.”

Once you throw that little piece in, however, it really does change the efficacy of these, because they do not wear for hours on their own.  I tried four of the five shades alone on the lid, and I spent three days working through them trying to find techniques that would make them work.  I couldn’t find a way to make these work well all alone or as a wash.  Over primer, they still creased (just less creasing than if they were applied to bare lids), but the real zinger is how quickly they crease.  It’s not creasing after four, eight, twelve hours but within an hour.

To achieve the best wear alone, a brush (like the 242) seems to work the best for applying the product without sliding it all over the place.  Just like with any really slippery product, you’ll want to work a little slower and pat the product on and gently smooth out the color or else it will slip and slide and result in uneven color coverage.

  • Black Diamond is a dark charcoal black with teal and silver shimmer.
  • The Cool Elite is a brightened white with a shimmery finish.
  • Reward Yourself is a muted copper with a golden champagne shimmer-sheen.
  • Count Your Assets is a cool-toned purple with silver and gray.
  • Spread the Wealth is a dirty olive green with multi-colored micro-shimmer and metallic sheen.

The texture is very wet and more like a liquid than a cream or mousse–it has a watery feel, though not runny, but a bit like a gel. Initially, I tried applying it to the lid with my finger (but first getting product out with a metal spatula), but I found it did not work well to create a smooth, even layer of color. It’s so very emollient that it glides on easily, but the color slides around and looks rather messy.

The collection does promote the 242 brush (which is part of the permanent range), so I figured I’d try that, and it did work much better. I used other brushes (194, 239, 249), and the 194 and 249 didn’t work as well as the 239 and 242, so the key seems to be some fluffiness in the brush shape (as the 194 and 249 are flatter and firmer) and a patting motion.

Worn alone: I couldn’t wear the Big Bounce Shadows alone without experiencing creasing. I tried three different shades alone (Black Diamond, Reward Yourself, and Spread the Wealth), and Reward Yourself was the only one that didn’t crease immediately. Based on working with the formula for a few days, I think it’s the long dry down time that makes these difficult to wear alone. Unless you keep your eyes closed and lids perfectly taut, the product will settle into any creases while it’s drying down. The dry down time for me was about 45 seconds to a minute. Once they dry down, they do seem to hold on fairly well, but there is some shimmer fall out that occurs.

Worn over a primer: When worn over a primer but with nothing to set it on top, I still experienced creasing within the hour. I found that using it over more opaque primers like MAC Soft Ochre or Urban Decay Eden helped to avoid creasing as soon as it was applied, because the creaminess of the opaque primer helped to fill in some creases, but I still had creasing after an hour of wear.

Set with shadow: They work much better as eyeshadow bases–I had the nearly the same wear regardless of using the Big Bounce Shadow as a base or using an eyeshadow primer, then applying Big Bounce Shadow, and finally setting with eyeshadow. I would say that those with oilier lids may find that the primer, Big Bounce, and powder shadow sandwich would work better for them, as I have normal lids. After twelve hours, I noticed very slight creasing on the inner lid when used without a base, but used with a base, there was none of that slight inner lid creasing.

BOTTOM LINE

SET WITH POWDER. Like most cream products, to prolong wear, set with a powder product.  USE A BRUSH. Fingers seem to create very uneven finishes, and it’s difficult to build up color that way–the color always seems sheer.

Pigmentation varies from shade to shade, and so does the buildability. For instance, Reward Yourself applies semi-opaque from the get-go, but Spread the Wealth needs two to three layers to achieve the same result. I found Spread the Wealth to be the most finicky shade of the five I tried, because it was difficult to apply evenly (even when using a brush!) and build up color.

The packaging is similar to Paint Pots, and the Big Bounce Shadows contain the same amount of product as Paint Pots as well (0.17 oz.).  Big Bounce Shadows come with a thin, plastic insert, but I don’t know if you’d want to dispose of it, even though it is rather flimsy.  The shadow does move around and lots of gets stuck to the insert, so it’s probably better to keep it than to toss it.

I just think the texture of these gives to more uneven application, and the dry down time is too long.  I might consider grabbing shades that really appeal to you to use as a colored eyeshadow base, because they work well for that purpose, but with some of the texture issues, I wouldn’t necessarily feel driven to grab ‘em all.

These wear well if set with powder and made to last all day (8-12 hours).  Are they worth the effort?  Personally, I don’t mind, because they work well enough as a colored base, which is how I would use them myself, but it’s not how I need/want them to work that plays into the actual rating but whether it works the way it’s supposed to.

At the end of the day, these seem to take more work/experimentation that most customers will want to put in.  If you don’t mind some layering and really wanted to like these, buy from a retailer with a generous return policy–if they work for you, I’m a happy camper, and if they don’t, you can return.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Reviews, Swatches, Photos

D-
It's really too bad that there is so little wear time when worn alone (Reward Yourself had maybe a half hour of nice wear, but the others I tried were done in fifteen minutes), because I feel like these don't deserve such a low score. If you intend to set with powder shadow, these perform much, much better and would see a B- rating instead.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

/10

Application

3.5/5

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Monday, April 25th, 2011

NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette
NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette

NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette

NYC Union Square IndividualEyes Custom Compact ($4.99 for 0.33 oz.) is an excellent choice for an affordable, neutral-themed palette. Though it’s marketed as for “brown eyes,” I think it would work well with a variety of eye colors and skin tones. It contains four eyeshadows, an illuminator, and eyeshadow base.

The eyeshadow base worked a treat when I wore it under these eyeshadows — no creasing or fading for the twelve hours I tested the product out for. The texture was creamy without being slippery and the product more opaque than not, so it worked well to create a solid base for the eyeshadows. I didn’t find the illuminator as useful, as it is a little glittery and almost tacky, so it was a miss for me. Both of the products are cream-based, so you may find that excess powder from the eyeshadows travels over as a result of the palette’s design.

All four eyeshadows were really pigmented and soft to the touch. They were a touch stiff to blend, but I was still able to blend them out for the most part–not perfect but good. The shades included are: an eggplant purple with red undertones and soft silver sparkle, bronzy brown with a golden bronze shimmer-sheen, medium-dark neutral brown with a matte finish, and warmed ivory beige with a satin sheen.  I did a look with this palette here.

The Glossover

nycUnionSquare

NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I love that it's an all-in-one palette but I love that the products work well in it. It's nice to have an eyeshadow base included in the palette, because it makes it more travel-friendly.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, April 25th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Moonlight (12) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani Moonlight (12) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Pretty in Pink Turns Silver!

Giorgio Armani Moonlight (12) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright, metallic silver with a subtle blueness.  It’s interesting how it looks pink and silvery-blue in the pot, but once applied, it’s this grayer silver but still with noticeable blue in it.

Recap:

This is a product that lives up to its claims–it wears all day without budging, creasing, or fading–and blends as well on its own as it does with other eyeshadows (or on top of an eyeshadow base). Giorgio Armani describes the Eyes to Kill Intense formula as neither powder nor cream but a hybrid that creates a “smooth, lasting color film” that can be applied wet or dry.  Giorgio Armani explains, “Each shade is intensified with a second pigment for a multi-dimensional effect. In just one swoop, create a wet, shimmering smokey eye … Base color covers eyelid, and second pigment adds drama to the contour.”

The texture of these feels almost like a cream eyeshadow, but it has the thinness of a powder eyeshadow while retaining some of the blendability of the hybrid cream-powder eyeshadow.  It also works well with other eyeshadow (see this look using #6).  It’s almost like a really dense loose powder that’s been pressed down, because if you dig at it, it loosens.

Though pricey, each shade comes with 0.14 oz. worth of product, which is a hefty amount (normal eyeshadow averages around 0.05 oz., no matter the price).  The only aspect I didn’t love was the little black stopper inside the jar (once you unscrew the black lid), because my longer fingers felt awkward grabbing it (so I just unscrew it upside down so it falls into the cap).

The Glossover

P
product

#12

A
It's an eyeshadow you can wear alone, as a base, or on a base, because it's budge-proof, crease-proof, and wears all day long.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, April 24th, 2011

MAC Honey Rose Magically Cool Liquid Powder
MAC Honey Rose Magically Cool Liquid Powder

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powders

Relaunching on May 5th, Magically Cool Liquid Powders (each $29.50 for 0.84 oz.) will join MAC’s permanent range with three shade offerings: Honey Rose (sheer rosy beige with multidimensional shimmer), Cajun (sheer bronze shimmer with reflects gold), and Truth & Light (sheer shimmer that reflects silver and pink). Honey Rose is new, while Cajun and Truth & Light are repromotes from Venomous Villains.

  • Honey Rose is a pink-tinged champagne with a metallic-frost finish. It has very subtle cool undertones but should work well on warmer skin tones. On extremely pale skin tones, it might work as a blush, but overall, it is much more likely to be a highlighter.
  • Cajun is a medium tan with soft golden sheen and warm undertones. It gives my cheeks a tanned look.
  • Truth & Light is a soft, beige nude with a peach sheen. Like Honey Rose, this is best as a highlighter or possibly all-over powder. It’s more sheen than color.

Magically Cool Liquid Powder is a cool product–it does feel like liquid when you initially apply it, and it quickly transitions to a powder finish within mere seconds. It’s certainly a fun product to play around with and swatch. Personally, I find it more difficult to apply and blend out, because once it dries, it doesn’t like to move or diffuse. It’s less concerning with lighter shades like Honey Rose and Truth & Light, but with a more color-loaded shade like Cajun, yields a blotchy look.

I found the best application method was with a stippling brush and using a very feathery touch, because it gives you more room for error. Since they do not like to blend out once dried, they do wear well (eight hours).

When these are brand new, there is a black sticker that covers the entire inside portion of the jar, which keeps all of the product locked in. For photography purposes, I removed the entire label, but I would recommend only lifting it to reveal a few holes (perhaps 5 or so), and cutting the lifted area, but keeping the majority of the lid still sealed. The sifter just allows far too much powder to come through, and a lot of it will puff and disperse in the area each time you go to open it (my jeans were covered in micro-shimmer after opening Cajun, which I’ve had since September).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powders Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
These are permanent, so there is no need to rush on these! You can try them at your leisure. All three are rather versatile shades, so they should suit many skin tones. Honey Rose and Truth & Light are best used as highlighters or setting powders (if used lightly), while Cajun is more of a bronzer.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Chanel Beige Petale Le Vernis
Chanel Beige Petale Le Vernis

Chanel Summer 2011: Beige Petale

Chanel Beige Petale Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a sheer, barely beige tinted polish. Over my nails, it just neutralizes some of the natural pinkness of my nails, but honestly, that’s really a stretch–I could hardly tell if there was any color deposited after two/three coats (swatches are shown with four coats). The only way I knew I had polish on was that the ones with it were glossy! Maybe there is a slight milkiness, but this is really, really sheer. I found the formula a little thick and did not flow as easily as the other two shades from this launch as well, but since there was little color, it didn’t seem to impair the results.

There is certainly room for sheers–in fact, lots of lines do them–but based on my experience, it takes sheer to clear, rather than providing soft, delicate color.  It provides virtually none until you’ve slathered on four coats–and before that point, it’s the faintest hint of color that is only picked up in direct light.

The Glossover

LE
product

Beige Petale

C+
You may want to try this before purchasing, because I could see very little color, even after four coats (which is what is shown). This crossed that subtle line between "sheer" and, well, just clear.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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