Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Nubar Midnight Glory Nail Lacquer
Nubar Midnight Glory Nail Lacquer

Nubar Duochromes: Midnight Glory Nail Lacquer

Nubar Midnight Glory Nail Lacquer ($7.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a duochrome-finished shade. It shifts from blue to gold to pink, while the polish itself is very sheer. I swatched showing three coats, and there is still a lot of visible nail line. The base color is more of a robin’s egg blue while the shimmer is pink, copper, and almost gold. The base color isn’t as opaque or as intense as Nubar Blue Hydrangea but bluer than Chanel Riva. I don’t have anything like this, because of the duochrome finish.

Nubar’s polishes are formaldehyde-, toluene-, and phtalate-free. The rubberized cap is one of my favorites, because it’s very comfortable to hold and provides good grip for more precise application. I typically get a week of wear with minimal tip wear from Nubar’s polishes–they’re some of my favorites. The formula on Midnight Glory is on the thinner side, which fits given the sheerness overall.

The Glossover

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Midnight Glory

B-
Nubar does not provide much of a description for this shade, so I don't know if it was designed to be particularly sheer (many of the other duochromes are opaque!). If you like layering shades, it's certainly worth checking out!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #940 Star Powder
Make Up For Ever #940 Star Powder

Make Up For Ever #940 Star Powder

Make Up For Ever #940 Star Powder ($19.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a loose powder that shifts color at different angles and lighting situations. It moves from a cooler-toned beige-white to a coppery pink shimmer-sheen. It seems like it is similar to MAC’s Vanilla pigment but perhaps with a less pronounced sheen–more yellow in it than copper.

This is actually the shade that Nick Lujan patted onto the center of the lid in this look. The texture is very, very finely milled; it practically melts against the skin because of how silky smooth it is. #940 is particularly useful for layering over other eyeshadows to add more dimension to the shade, though it can be used alone just as easily.  It can be applied dry or damp, and the metallic sheen will be more pronounced if it applied damp.

The Glossover

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#940 Star Powder

A-
Surprisingly, the silkiness of the loose powder doesn't give way to chalkiness or even lots of dusty flare-ups when you open the container. It settles just enough to be easy to use while still having a really soft feel.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011


Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.17 oz.) contains a gilded gold, violet, and softened copper.  It’s decent, but where it disappoints, it really disappoints.  At this price point, for two good colors, it’s still worth considering, of course.  Sometimes it makes you wonder what happened, though!  I can see this color combination working well together, but I don’t expect most to use it as each shade is labeled.

The gilded gold shade was beautiful to work with; it was soft, buttery, and so very pigmented. It reminded me of Urban Decay Maui Wowie without the fall out. Bare Escentuals Gold Medal also compares favorably. I was disappointed in the violet shade, beause the texture was dry and stiff, which yielded sheer, uneven color payoff. The violet shade is similar to MAC Violet and MAC Beautiful Iris. The final shade of the trio is a softened coppery brown with a frosted finish. It wasn’t as buttery as the gold shade, but it was still nice overlal and had good color payoff with a smooth application. It’s not as metallic as MAC Tan, and it’s not as intense as Urban Decay Baked. It seems rather similar to Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone, actually!

The Glossover

coming-soon

Wet 'n' Wild Dancing in the Clouds Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B+
The purple shade is a total dud, but the other two shades are almost good enough to make up for it. If you tend to spend more than less on cosmetics, then it's still worth checking out!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011


Chanel Blue Boy Le Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Chanel Les Jeans de Chanel Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews

Chanel Les Jeans de Chanel Collection features three new and limited edition shades of lacquer (each retailing for $29.00 and containing 0.4 fl. oz., which is $4 more than the polishes are normally). Blue Boy (deep, rich blue denim), Blue Rebel (dark wash jeans), and Coco Blue (muted blue) make up the collection of blue-hued lacquers.

  • Blue Boy is a slightly faded, medium-dark blue with a cream finish. I needed three coats for opaque color, though it was more opaque than not at two.The closest dupe I could think of was Essie Lapis of Luxury, which is significantly lighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H. has a similar faded quality but the multi-colored shimmer makes it look rather different.
  • Blue Rebel is a dark, navy blue with a cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color coverage, and I felt like the formula was better than it was on Blue Boy and Coco Blue. Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm is deeper, richer. Though still more intense, China Glaze First Mate comes closer.
  • Coco Blue is a light-medium sky blue with barely-there white micro-shimmer. I used three coats for mostly opaque color, but I found the formula to be prone to streaks. The drying time was longer, too, so the polish pulled in places. Chanel Riva is much, much lighter and has less blue tones. Nubar Blue Hydrangea is more similar than Riva, but it’s more vibrant and more of a robin’s egg blue.

What struck me most about this collection had more to do with a slight case of sticker shock. I understand the luxury/designer brand model, and by no means is Chanel lacquer–dollar for dollar–any better than a polish at a fraction of the cost, but what’s with the $4 increase? I was expecting Chanel to add some marketing jargon about a rare ingredient, mixing technique, etc. that would justify the price increase, because Le Vernis jumped from $23 to $25 from the end 2010 to early 2011 already.

The formula on Blue Rebel was the best; really good flow, pigmentation, and no streakiness. Coco Blue was the worst as it was streaky and needed three coats, while Blue Boy was in the middle–no streakiness and decent flow but needed three coats for opaque color. I normally get a week of wear with minor tip wear out of Chanel’s polishes.

I’m always surprised when seemingly simple colors aren’t ones I can easily find dupes of. I’m sure many of you have already picked these polishes up, so I’d love to hear from you if you’ve found any dupes!

The Glossover

product

Chanel Les Jeans de Chanel Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
I couldn't think of perfect dupes for these shades, but at the same time, the imperfections in the formula leave me feeling underwhelmed about the three shades overall.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011


Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad

Just in time for fall, Dolce & Gabbana’s Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) offers a seemingly perfect mix of hues for the cooler temps and falling leaves.   The first shade is soft peachy beige with a matte finish. It has a slightly powdery texture that may not work so well with drier skin types and lends itself to a sheerer application overall. The shade reminded me of Inglot #328 (which is a touch darker) and, to a lesser degree, Inglot #330 (which is lighter).  To the right of that is a medium-dark orange with a matte finish. It has a similar feel and texture as the peach shade, which is a little powdery and sheer in places. MAC Rule is similar but has better color payoff.

On the bottom left, there is a warm, red-toned medium-dark brown with a soft golden bronze shimmer and satiny sheen. It has good color payoff and has a soft, silky smooth texture. I felt it was the best out of the four shades in the palette. MAC Lie Low is similar but a step darker. MAC Faux Gold is similar but more intense. MAC Texture is less red-toned.  Beside the medium-dark brown, there is a burgundy-brown with a satiny sheen but less-than-stellar color payoff. The texture is on the drier side, which makes it harder to blend and achieve the intensity as seen in the pan. It’s too bad, because I think the mix of burgundy and brown makes it the more complex shade of the four. MAC Twinks is browner and darker. Chanel Ebloui is darker. Bare Escentuals’ Kismet is very similar but matte in finish.

A lot of the issues are really emphasized during application than when they’re swatched. I have more trouble working with Dolce & Gabbana’s matte and semi-matte eyeshadows than I do with their shimmery shades (especially when the texture is dense and feels buttery to the touch). They have a tendency to apply in a chalky, uneven way and require a fair amount of color-packing to achieve decent color payoff. Fluffier brushes (think MAC’s 222) work better with the dry texture of the bottom right shade, while a flatter and firmer (think MAC 249) brush will work better with the powdery shades. I’d recommend tapping the brush lightly against your forearm before applying to the lid or else be prepared to do some clean-up.

This is a palette more suited towards warmer complexions (with peach, red, or yellow undertones), because of the abundance of peach, orange, and red here. None of these shades are cool-toned, and two shades have fairly strong red undertones, so it may turn muddy or lean too strongly in the red/orange direction to be as flattering on cooler complexions. I am an advocate of wearing whatever you like, though, because it’s in the way one wears it and ultimately outweighed by the confidence to wear it. If you’re cooler-toned, you might try pairing it with ashy browns, grays, or blue-based pinks.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad Swatches, Photos, Review

C+
Unfortunately, only one shade applies as well as it swatches (the bottom left), while the other three require more finesse. The two matte finished shades need to be packed on, because they are powdery and don't build well.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Monday, September 26th, 2011


Dolce & Gabbana Candied Crayon Intense Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Candied & Green Almond

Dolce & Gabbana’s fall collection–Sweet Temptations–includes two new shades of their Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.04 oz.). The new shades are Candied (light gold) and Green Almond (olive).

  • Candied is a metallic finished pale yellowed gold. The pigmentation on this shade is sheer; you definitely won’t get an opaque line of color in one pass. I couldn’t really build it up to opaque color for the heavier swatch. Make Up For Ever #9L is a darker yellow, while tokidoki Unicorno is less yellow and has coppery glitter in it.
  • Green Almond is a dark forest green over a olive brown base. Again, the color payoff leaves something to be desired–it loses a lot of depth because it doesn’t deliver much color in a single pass (or even a couple of them–you really have to go back and forth several times to yield decent color payoff). It’s a dead ringer for Urban Decay Mildew. MAC Jade Way is a little greener.

I’m not a huge fan of this eyeliner formula because of the texture; it’s stiff and dry, so it doesn’t glide on easily and can pull and tug at the lid. The wear is so-so, where I get around six hours with a darker and drier shade like Green Almond but lighter shades like Candied seem to vanish after four or five hours (this is on the lower lash line, not water line!). Some shades are creamier (like their White) but the majority don’t wear longer than six hours. It’s frustrating when a formula is so inconsistent, because you can’t bank on it performing as good as previous shades.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Candied & Green Almond Crayon Intense Eyeliner Swatches, Photos, Reviews

F
The flaws in this product render it rather unacceptable, and with the $29 price tag, nearly unbelievable. There are so many formulas available that perform well, but this is not one of them. Normally, a drier eyeliner would wear better than a creamier one but that is not the case here.

Product

5.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

Results
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