Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Onyx & Silver Eye Paint Palette
Bobbi Brown Onyx & Silver Eye Paint Palette

Bobbi Brown Onyx & Silver Eye Paint Palette ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) contains four shades of Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Eye Paints. They’re designed to not only wear for hours but are “densely pigmented” and “can be applied wet or dry” with a “lustrous, highly-reflective finish.”

It includes these shades: Tinsel (light silver), Silver (blue silver), Lava (black with silver pearl), and Blue Onyx (deep indigo blue)

  • Tinsel is a bright silver with silvery-white glitter and a metallic finish. It’s sheer both dry and wet, and it doesn’t come together smoothly even when applied wet–I had a lot of fall out with this shade. It’s a bit lighter than MAC Filament.
  • Silver is a dark silver-shimmered gray with subtle brow undertones and a bluish sheen. It has decent color payoff when applied dry but becomes opaque, deep, and smooth when applied damp. It reminded me of theBalm Muppetational, which is a bit lighter. MAC Tundra is also similar in both color and finish.
  • Lava is a matte black with silver sparkle and teal shimmer layered on top. It’s a better version of Bobbi Brown Onyx. It’s in the same vein as shades like MAC Black Tied and Lancome The New Black (which is the best of this type). When applied dry, the sparkle is less noticeable, and it appears as more of a black-brown with a dry, almost chalky look. When applied damp, it’s much more intense, more like a black, and the sparkle comes out more. I did experience some fall out with this shade.
  • Blue Onyx is a blackened blue with an indigo blue shimmer and sheen. It’s more of a satiny finish than metallic as described. This shade was very, very sheer when applied dry, and it doesn’t look all that blue either. When I dampened the product, it came out more vibrant and the blue came to the forefront. It reminded me of MAC Blue Storm. Givenchy Lune Mordoree is also similar but a touch purpler.

If you’re a fan of MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows, you’ll probably like Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Eye Paints, because they’re really similar. They have the feel, look, and wear of baked eyeshadows. If you use them dry, expect sheerer color payoff, while dampening the shade will greatly intensify the pigmentation and smooth out the texture. The colors are prone to fading during wear if you use them damp/wet during application; of course, they will always dry a little more muted than when they are initially applied wet since it does not stay perpetually wet, but it fades even more.

Tinsel had a ton of fall out; it was difficult to apply from the get-go because of the amount of excess that littered my under eye area, but I had continual fall out throughout the day because it just doesn’t bind together. You’d really need a sticky base to get it to adhere to minimize the fall out. I had similar issues with Lava but to a lesser degree; I didn’t have too much fall out during application, but I did find the silver sparkles transferred to parts unknown as the day wore on.

The Glossover

palette

Bobbi Brown Onyx & Silver Eye Paint Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
Fading and fall out -- two big no-nos when it comes to eyeshadow, and they're too prevalent in this palette to make it worth recommending. As far as baked eyeshadows go, these are some of the more basic shades, so I think using pressed alternatives is your best bet.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011


China Glaze Nail Lacquers in Blue Year’s Eve, Glittering Garland, Twinkle Lights, Icicle

China Glaze Let It Snow: Blue Year’s Eve, Glittering Garland, Twinkle Lights, Icicle

To round out China Glaze’s Let It Snow Collection, we have the final four: Blue Year’s Eve (shimmering blue), Glittering Garland (glittery green), Twinkle Lights (mix of glittery shades), and Icicle (silver shimmer).

  • Blue Year’s Eve is a medium-dark blue with lighter blue shimmer. It almost has a violet edge to it. It was mostly opaque in two coats–there was a hint of visible nail line at certain angles. MAC Ming Blue was the closest dupe I could think of, but it is a bit darker.
  • Glittering Garland is a deep, dark blackened-green base with lighter forest green shimmer–it almost looks like flakes of sparkle to me. It was opaque in two coats. The base color reminded me of China Glaze Jolly Holly but mixed with the shimmer from ORLY It’s Not Rocket Science.
  • Twinkle Lights is a mix of gold, emerald green, and ruby red glitter suspended in a clear base. It was surprisingly opaque at two coats, and I’d expect a third to have made it opaque or just nearly. I couldn’t think of any dupes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a few.
  • Icicle is a bright silver foil with slightly darker silver micro-glitter. It dries super quick and was opaque in two coats. It looked a lot like China Glaze Cheers to You, but Icicle is slightly less metallic but not by much and a touch lighter.

I didn’t have any notable issues with the formula on these four.  Blue Year’s Eve was less pigmented than anticipated but still was just about opaque in two coats; I could only detect visible nail line faintly at certain angles under a fair amount of lighting.  Icicle seems the most dupeable out of this set, while Glittering Garland was the shade I felt stood out the most; there’s something about the way the shimmer is shaped and set in the base color.  These polishes weren’t too thick or too thin, had good, even flow, and applied easily.  I typically get a week of wear with minimal tip wear with China Glaze’s formula.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze Let it Snow Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 3)

A
China Glaze's Let It Snow collection is classic holiday that still manages to put forth a few shades that are a bit different from polishes I already have. I like that they mixed a few layering shades along with creams and shimmers.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Video Review: MAC Dazzlespheres First Impressions & Swatches

We’re going through MAC’s Dazzlespheres collection, which features lipgloss kits, pigment sets, and even a mini nail set!  First impressions/thoughts along with live swatches!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner
Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner

Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner ($24.00 for 0.02 oz.) is described as a “dark brown” and “golden chocolate.” Why a brand comes out with a limited edition eyeliner formula will never make sense to me, but Bobbi Brown’s done it this season with a dual-ended eyeliner that’s long-wearing, pigmented, and silky smooth. One shade is designed to brighten while the other to define.

  • Chocolate is a dark chocolate brown with warm, red undertones. It’s fairly opaque in a single go, but it delivers full color coverage with two passes. It’s similar to MAC Brown Border and Chanel Brun-Teak.
  • Bronze is a medium-dark coppery brown with flecks of bronze and copper shimmer. It’s nearly opaque in one pass. It’s similar to Urban Decay Bourbon, but this has a redder base. Chanel Brun-Cuivre seems similar.

I’m totally peeved these are limited edition, because the formula on these is excellent! These are easily some of the softest eyeliners I’ve ever come across, but here’s where they excel: they’re actually long-wearing. Typically, the creamier the eyeliner, the less likely it is to actually remain on the lash line by the end of the day. Bobbi Brown’s new and limited edition dual-ended eyeliners stay put extraordinarily well but still have that ultra creamy, oh-so-soft texture that makes application dreamy. These glide on like butter, feel like silk on, and don’t budge, smudge, or migrate.

Besides the limited edition nature of the eyeliner, these are half the size of your average pencil eyeliner. Most pencil eyeliners are 0.04 oz., while this one is only 0.02 oz. Plus, Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Eyeliner (which is 0.04 oz.) is only $20. Up the size (or lower the price) and make these permanent, please!

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Bobbi Brown Chocolate/Bronze Dual-Ended Eyeliner Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
Up the size (or lower the price) and make these permanent, please! Surprisingly long-wearing for such a creamy formula--definitely work checking out next time you're near a Bobbi Brown counter.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

theBalm Nude 'tude Eyeshadow Palette
theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette

theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette

theBalm Nude ‘tude Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00 for 0.382 oz.) contains twelve eyeshadows inside a slim palette with a dual-ended eyeshadow/liner brush. There are two variations, though both have the same eyeshadows inside–one is “Feeling Naughty” (which is the one pictured in this post) which features nude women with eyeshadows covering various parts, while the other is “Feeling Nice” that has no nude women at all. Each eyeshadow is about 0.032 oz.

  • Sassy is a frosted white with good color payoff and a buttery, smooth texture. It reminded me of MAC Forgery but with a much, much better texture. theBalm Lab Coat is also similar but has a more metallic finish.
  • Stubborn is a light-medium peach with a soft frost finish. It looks lighter swatched than in the pan because of the frosted finish. It’s a frosted version of MAC Nubile. Urban Decay Scratch is pinker.
  • Snobby is a gold shimmered medium-dark yellow. This shade was a bit sheer and dry, yet powdery; it didn’t bind as well as I’ve come to expect from theBalm. It’s a lighter version of Chanel Blazing Gold. It is similar to Urban Decay Eldorado.
  • Stand-offish is a light-medium bronze-shimmered brown with warm, red undertones and a frost-metallic finish. It was smooth and had good color payoff. Urban Decay Spotlight is similar in lightness but is much cooler-toned–way less golden.
  • Selfish is a frosted taupe–it’s brown and gray; very mushroom-like. It was very smooth and easy to work with, plus it had good pigmentation. It’s much warmer and browner compared to Urban Decay Mushroom. It’s more like a frostier version of Bare Escentuals Wanderlust. NARS Grand Palais is a bit warmer. MAC Satin Taupe is redder and darker.
  • Sophisticated is a dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a bronze shimmer. It had nice pigmentation and applied smoothly. It is a bit cooler-toned compared to Urban Decay Darkhorse with less of a gold shimmer/sheen, but they are similar.
  • Sultry is a warmed-up, medium brown with a satiny finish. It has a very soft texture, which makes it easy to blend, but it is just on the edge of being too soft so it can sheer out if you are heavy-handed. It is a little lighter than Urban Decay Buck. Bare Escentuals Namaste is darker and redder. MAC Moleskin is more red-toned. MAC Wedge is a touch darker.
  • Schitzo is a warm, golden bronze-brown with a soft, pearly finish. It’s less than a frost, more than a satin. The texture is very, very smooth with good color payoff. MAC Amber Lights is a shade that gives me a similar vibe in terms of color, but the finish makes them so distinct (plus, Amber Lights has much more copper). MAC Tempting has a darker overall color but similar golden bronze sheen. The brown shade from Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar, actually.
  • Sexy is rich burgundy with hints of red and brown and a matte finish. It has good color payoff (especially for a matte); the texture is a good balance between soft and matte–not too dry that it’s stiff, but not so soft that it’s powdery. MAC Festive Delight is much redder and lighter. Make Up For Ever #131 is less brown.
  • Serious is a medium-dark black with a matte finish. It had surprisingly good pigmentation for a matte black, though it could be more intense–it looks much blacker in the pan than it does swatched out. MAC Carbon is less pigmented/intense. Make Up For Ever #4 is much darker.
  • Silly is a red-tinted brown with flecks of copper sparkle. This shade was the most disappointing in the palette–the payoff was very soft and sheer; it seemed more like a layering shade than something that could stand on its own. This was the only shade I had concerns with fall out. Bobbi Brown Black Ruby Sparkle Eye Palette has a slightly similar shade, though it’s glittery and more ruby-shimmered.
  • Sleek is a dark black-brown with a matte finish. It is more intense than Serious, actually! It had good color payoff and was soft enough to blend but not powdery. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this–I had a lot of darker browns but nothing as dark as this.

It’s packaged in theBalm’s usual cardboard outfit, which makes it lightweight and droppable (I dropped it from four feet over tile and everything was pristine). It has an outer sleeve of thick cardstock that has the exact same design as the actual palette, which can be kept or recycled; it’s kind of like a protector–think the jacket of a hardcover book. Inside, there’s a full-length mirror that spans the inside of the lid, and then below are the twelve eyeshadows and dual-ended brush. The palette has a strong enough magnet that the palette seemed to have no problem staying closed.

Overall, the quality is high and consistent with theBalm’s eyeshadow formula (which is one of my favorites). I only had major issues with Silly, which was much sheerer and drier than any of the other eleven shades, and then very minor issues with the softness (which led to slight sheerness) of Sultry. When applied, the concerns I had about Sultry disappeared, though, while Silly just never quite worked out. The other ten eyeshadows, though, were excellent–soft, smooth, buttery, and pigmented.

This palette is similar in size to Urban Decay’s Naked Eyeshadow Palette, and the theme of nudes/neutrals is similar, but there isn’t much overlap in the shades themselves. This palette is $12 less but each shadow is also less (0.032 oz. vs. 0.05 oz. in the Naked palette), and while you do get a brush in this palette like Naked, you don’t get a miniature-sized primer. Let’s just assume that you really care most about the eyeshadow portion and anything else is a bonus; Naked is $80/oz. while Nude ‘tude is $94/oz. They’re both great deals either way, but Naked is still more bang for your buck; note, of course, if you’re more concerned about total cost (for those who are unlikely to finish an eyeshadow pan), then Nude ‘tude is 25% less at $36.

I think a comparison between the two is valid, but the colors are not the same, so they are still two different palettes more than they are the same. Those who wished there was more color variation, less warm-toned shades, or more matte finishes in the Naked palette might find this one more to their liking.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Nude' Tude

A
This is a great palette that's neutral, not necessarily nude--it has really wearable colors but enough shade variation to yield many looks and not just ones that are all brown. The darker shades can also double as eyeliner in a hurry.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


China Glaze Nail Lacquers in Velvet Bow, Winter Berry, Poinsettia, Holly-day

China Glaze Let It Snow: Velvet Bow, Winter Berry, Poinsettia, Holly-day

The next four shades we’re reviewing from China Glaze’s Let It Snow Collection are: Velvet Bow (rich red creme), Winter Berry (creamy cranberry-red), Poinsettia (ruby red creme), and Holly-day (rich hunter green).

Of these four, Holly-day was the only shade I didn’t feel was dupeable. The other three seemed to have a fair amount of similar shades, so it made them less interesting. I think many of us have seen red creams for the holiday season, so there’s a good chance you may already own shades close enough to these new ones. For those who are just beginning to get into nail polish, the formula on these was excellent–the consistency was just right, not too thick or thin, and the flow was even and covered the nail without a fuss. All four were opaque in two coats, which is exactly as it should be. I typically get a week of wear with minimal tip wear with China Glaze’s formula.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze Let it Snow Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A
For those who are just beginning to get into nail polish, the formula on these was excellent--the consistency was just right, not too thick or thin, and the flow was even and covered the nail without a fuss. All four were opaque in two coats, which is exactly as it should be.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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