Thursday, December 8th, 2011

NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “shimmering ecru” and “rich emerald green.” The lighter shade is a pale yellow beige with a mostly matte finish, but it has a really soft, silky texture with a buttery, dense feel. It’s similar in color to Make Up For Ever #102 with better color payoff. The darker shade is a greenish-teal; it’s a little tealer/bluer than emerald green, but it’s very close. It has more of a matte color base with pale gold shimmer-sparkle on top. It’s the closest shade I have to Jealousy Wakes, which is greener; I think if you wanted more of a teal and found Jealousy Wakes too green on you, then Misfit would be more up your alley. It reminded me more of MAC Surf USA, which is a touch more teal. It’s soft, smooth, and very pigmented.

Both shades have excellent color payoff, and the two pair well with each other. There’s a good amount of contrast, so you can take it from light to dark and everything in-between. Plus, with the yellow in the beige, you can pull this shade to look greener when they’re used together. The wear of this duo was nice, too; normally, when I wear these without a base, it doesn’t quite last for a full eight hours, but Misfit wore for nine without fading or creasing, though the green shade did stain somewhat, so I took off half of point from application (which does include removal!).

The Glossover

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NARS Misfit Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
One of the best NARS eyeshadow duos I've tried to-date, and the fact that it also happens to have an emerald green (slightly teal!) shade in it is only an added bonus. Those who prefer their NARS duos to offer contrast will find this one does that, too!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

NARS Flamenco Lipstick
NARS Flamenco Lipstick

NARS Flamenco Lipstick

NARS Flamenco Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sheer candy apple red.” It’s a faded watermelon red. Milani Bing Cherry is a bit more vibrant and redder but similar. It is very close to Guerlain Grenade with less of a creamy finish.

It’s not really sheer–you can see my lip freckle peeking through, but it’s still hidden a fair amount. This lipstick’s color coverage is closer to semi-opaque, so it’s not the sheer it’s described as. It’s part of the Sheer Lipstick formula, which is designed to be sheer and long-wearing with a healthy shine in the finish. This is my only issue with the product; it’s great in every other way, and ultimately, whether it’s not sheer enough or just pigmented enough for you, is just part of your rationalization process.

For me, however, I have to look at what the product is supposed to do, because personally, I love more opaque lipstick, but this just shouldn’t be, since it should be sheer as described. While we often have pigmented products that are sheer, this is a sheer product that’s too pigmented! It’s not totally opaque, and there is some translucency to the finish, but if you’re wondering why the pigmentation score is low, now you’ll understand. Thankfully, the extended wear of this shade helps this shade bounce back.

The formula is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-wearing for as sheer as some of the shades can be. The wear with Flamenco was six hours, which is great wear, though not entirely unexpected with the redness of the shade. While it’s not very moisturizing (and it does claim to be), it’s also not drying, and you can always tell just how bad a lipstick is if you only wear that for six hours! It stains ever-so-slightly after wearing for more than a couple of hours. I did not notice any scent or taste, which is such an improvement from NARS’ lipsticks a couple of years ago that had a very waxy scent. Flamenco should be flattering across skin tones; the pinkness will make it workable on cooler complexions while the red will be workable on warmer complexions.

The Glossover

P
product

Flamenco

A-
The formula is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and surprisingly long-wearing for as sheer as some of the shades can be. The wear with Flamenco was six hours, which is great wear, though not entirely unexpected with the redness of the shade. While it's not very moisturizing (and it does claim to be), it's also not drying, and you can always tell just how bad a lipstick is if you only wear that for six hours!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Several readers asked me how this compares to Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, in terms of the overall grade/rating. This product is available, but you won’t find it online; you’ll have to track it down in stores. Saks seems to be the only distributor (at least in the U.S.) that has some stock left. If you click the link above, it’ll take you to the defunct product page on Saks, but it will allow you to “find in store.”

Generally, if a product is hard to find or sold out, I don’t review it (my order for this arrived only two days before it sold out everywhere). There are always exceptions, but it’s definitely something I try to avoid doing–same with discontinued or really old limited shades. This is an exception and not a change in the rule! :)

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator ($42.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a gilded bronze with a champagne-bronze shimmer. MAC Rose Ole is a bit more peach but looks similar when applied. It’s also a bit like MAC Crystal Pink, depending on how you combine the two shades.

The texture is soft but firm, and the frosted metallic sheen goes all the way through. It’s not as frosted on as it appears in the pan or in a heavier swatch. It’s more than just a subtle glow, but it’s less than a full-on frost. I call it a shimmer-sheen, because there is noticeable shimmer within the overall glowy sheen. It doesn’t emphasize pores, though.

For me, the major difference between the two formulas is in the wear–with Rose Rendezvous, it wears great for around six hours, but it’s faded by eight.  When I bought the product, I was initially really hopeful about it, because it seemed to be getting great reviews, but the way it looked at the end of the day wasn’t ideal.  Guerlain Cruel Gardenia wore for a shocking ten hours without fading, which was far more than I expected and longer than average. I wore them both over the same foundation (Guerlain Lingerie de Peau). On a very minute scale, Guerlain’s is a little more refined–a smidgen more finely milled, softer, finer shimmer–but it’s such a close call.

They are really different shades (Cruel Garenia is pink, this shade is warmer, more champagne-bronze), even though the products are similar in formula, so it’s more about the kind of shade you prefer and would find more flattering against your skin tone. The price for Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia is $67, but you’ll get 0.31 oz. worth of product (50% more than Laura Mercier’s), so on an ounce-by-ounce comparison, Guerlain’s costs $216/oz. and Laura Mercier’s is $210/oz. I would expect this shade to flatter warmer skin tones more, while Cruel Gardenia will work well on both skin tones (as it is more neutral in undertone).

The Glossover

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Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If this wore longer and better on me (say eight hours), this would be more of an A- product, but unfortunately, the mere six hours of wear impacts the product's overall rating quite a bit. I do think the two products are comparable in texture and composition, but the shades and wear are significantly different.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush
Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Cream Blusher Rude ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm peach pink” with a dewy finish. I didn’t detect any pink in the pan, and on my skin, it seemed more orange than anything else. When blended out, it looks more peach-orange (and not to worry, it doesn’t have to be as fierce applied as it appears in the pan). Perhaps on those with more obvious pink undertones, it will look less peach-orange and more peach-pink. If you apply Rude very subtly, it compares to Urban Decay Indecent but without the shimmer (and I’d say Urban Decay Bang is too dark and orange-y).

It definitely has a dewy finish, and it’s almost on the wrong side of dewy, even on my normal-to-dry skin; luckily, it skates that thin line and manages to be a glowy dewy rather than an oily dewy. You can also take down the dewiness by dusting translucent powder on top. This product is buildable and very, very blendable; the creamy, melt-on-your-cheeks consistency enables that, so it is impossible to overdo it, but if you like your blush darker, you’ll likely do better by building up the color in layers.

The texture, despite its creaminess, feels featherweight against the skin; it’s thin, comfortable to wear, and doesn’t feel greasy. It wears around seven hours on bare skin before it seems to reach its limit at eight hours (where it appears faded). Over foundation, it wears five to seven hours, depending on the quality of my underlying skin; if it’s drier, then it tends to cling to patches over time, so it’s manageable for five hours or so, but if my skin is more normal, then it lasts just over seven hours. What I really liked was that it looked and felt good over and under foundation, and many cream blushes have a tendency to work best on bare skin–and let me tell you, my skin is nowhere near good enough to be wearing full makeup and skipping foundation.

The Glossover

P
product

Rude

B+
I can see why Illamasqua's Cream Blushes are popular; the wear is good (but it has some room for improvement), and the color is buildable and blendable, which are really two must-have characteristics of a cream blush.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Sagreena the Teenage Witch Nail Lacquer
Wet ‘n’ Wild Sagreena the Teenage Witch Nail Lacquer

Wet ‘n’ Wild Sagreena the Teenage Witch Nail Lacquer

Wet ‘n’ Wild Sagreena the Teenage Witch Nail Lacquer ($1.99 for 0.46 fl. oz.) is a vibrant emerald green with lighter green shimmer. It’s nearly opaque after two coats (which is what I have swatched)–there’s the barest hint of visible nail line at certain angles. This is a much better affordable version of emerald green! I tried Sinful Colors HD, which just didn’t have the payoff. Zoya Holly is a deeper emerald green. This shade is perfect for the holiday season, and it won’t break the bank :)  The consistency on Sagreena the Teenage Witch wasn’t too thick or thin, so it flowed across the nail evenly and didn’t feel too thick when dry.  I didn’t experience any bubbling or streaking during application.

I really like Wet ‘n’ Wild’s formula–it wears a week with minor tip wear–but it doesn’t try in sixty seconds like the brand claims (and it’s kind of a big claim, since the official name is Fast Dry!).  It takes more like two minutes or so for each coat to dry; it feels about average across brands.  I only find that thicker polishes tend to take longer to dry, but most will dry enough to apply a second coat within a couple of minutes.  You definitely won’t have fully dry nails within sixty seconds, though, and I’d say still use a fast drying top coat to ensure dry nails!

The Glossover

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Wet 'n' Wild Sagreena the Teenage Witch Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you don't care about how quickly it dries (or at least, that it doesn't dry down in sixty seconds but a couple of minutes longer), then I definitely recommend checking out this polish! The quality, aside from drying time, is great, and the shade is so festive and timely!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Estee Lauder Electric Teal Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner
Estee Lauder Electric Teal Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Electric Teal Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner

Estee Lauder Electric Teal Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a new pencil formula that’s supposed to be rich in color, creamy in consistency, and can be worn on the inner rim of the eyes. This particular shade is limited edition, but four other shades were introduced and will stay in the line. Electric Teal is a beautiful shade of rich, blue-teal with a matte finish, but it doesn’t look dry or chalky. The creamy consistency gives it great glide-on color that doesn’t skip or drag–you get excellent color payoff in a single pass. I’ve been really loving how much pop Electic Teal adds to any neutral look (teals pair exceptionally well with browns and neutrals). I don’t have any teals like it (see my many teal eyeliner swatches); one of the worst eyeliners I’ve used was NARS Kaliste, and I’d say this is the closest, but that shade doesn’t have as much blue and comes out darker.

I did come across something interesting, and Estee Lauder doesn’t say how long this formula will wear for; it’s not even vague–nowhere in the online descriptions is long-wear! I thought it was very interesting that they did not make a claim on how these would wear–they emphasized the creaminess and pigmentation of the product but not the wear. Thankfully, I come to you armed with the press release, which does tout these as “long-lasting, long-wearing, non-skipping and non-tugging.”

They more than deliver when it comes to non-skipping and non-tugging–these are effortless to apply. They slide smooth as silk across the lash line and deposit even color in one go. The wear is better than the average eyeliner on the water line and works well on the lower lash line. On the waterline, it lasts between four and six hours, depending on if my eyes get watery at some point while wearing it; so on a good day, six, and on a bad day, four. On the lower lash line, it wears for up to ten hours, though the line seemed the tiniest bit thinner than it was when I originally applied. It didn’t budge, smudge, migrate, or otherwise turn my under eye area some mutated shade of teal.

If you dig this shade, I recommend snapping it up sooner rather than later, as it’s sold out in a few places online, though I did find a major retailer that had it in stock for you :)

The Glossover

LE
product

Electric Teal

A
For as creamy as the consistency is, this formula wears long and well throughout the day--typically, such a creamy consistency would mean smudge city, but this hangs on for ten hours without giving you raccoon eyes (would that be peacock eyes, since it's teal?).

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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