Friday, October 28th, 2011


NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Holiday 2011: Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

Likely one of the most eye-catching pieces from the holiday collection, NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) looks more complex in the pan than it is on the lid. It consists of three shades: black with red pearls, black with purple pearls, and black with gunmetal shimmer. After reading the color description, the colors pretty much live up to the expectations, but they look more interesting in the pan because the colored pearls are more dominant, while applied, they’re all mostly black.

The first shade is a deep, dark burgundy black-brown with wine red shimmer. It’s a better textured MAC Beauty Marked. It’s soft and smooth with good color payoff; it’s the best shade in the palette.

In the middle, there is a deep, dark blue-based black with violet purple flecks of sparkle. The sparkle seemed to stick better than expected in the swatch, but once applied, the sparkle didn’t translate–it ended up just looking like a deep, dark black. This shade is extremely soft, which makes it blendable, though it is prone to sheering out more than desired as well. I recommend patting it on and then softly blending the edges away. I couldn’t think of a decent dupe for this, because it’s not really purple but none of the blacks I’ve swatched that I can remember seem similar.

The last shade in the trio is a chalky, dry, sheer black with silver sparkle. Compared to the pigmentation levels of the other two shades, it’s beyond disappointing! It just doesn’t belong. It’s an inferior NARS Night Breed. Lancome The New Black is one of the better silver-sparkled-black shades I’ve come across to-date.

I didn’t encounter fall out from the first two shades, though the last shade had some issues with fall out, particularly because there was little base color for the sparkle to cling to. I tested out the wear of the middle shade on the lower half of the lid with the first shade on the upper half of the lid and slightly in the crease. They both applied well with opaque, even color and a smooth texture, and I didn’t have any issues with fading or creasing over eight hours (no primer).

With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn’t recommend this palette–when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades. This is also a palette you’d mix and match with other products you own, since they’re all very, very dark. Even though there is certainly a difference in color between the first and second shades, it’s even subtler when applied to the lid.

The Glossover

palette

Arabian Nights

B-
With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn't recommend this palette--when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Sultry Iced Delights Lip Bag

MAC Ice Parade: Sultry Iced Delights Lip Bag

MAC Sultry Iced Delights Lip Bag ($38.00) includes three full-sized lip products: Deelight (mid-tone neutral), I Love Winter (passion fruit), and Boldly Bare (dirty red brown). I’m not sure how they managed it, but the lip pencil is listed as 0.05 oz., which is full-sized!

  • Deelight is a fleshy pink with semi-sheer color; it mostly gives my lips a pinker, lusher look overall without a lot of color. This is part of the permanent range.
  • I Love Winter is a medium-dark pink with a hint of coral (just the barest amount!) with opaque color coverage. It has a cremesheen finish, which I do find to be a little drying and less creamy. Chanel Empire is brighter and more vibrant. Giorgio Armani #507 is a touch lighter. MAC Mehr is less glossy and a bit lighter.
  • Boldly Bare is a orange-toned neutral brown.

The value of the the smaller kits is good–you get three full-sized lip products (~$42), so you’re getting more than what you’d receive if you purchased them individually (assuming you could). The Cremesheen Glass formula is not very long-wearing (two hours or so with a shade like Deelight), while the Cremesheen lipstick formula is a bit drying and doesn’t have as much glide as is ideal.

The Glossover

LE
coming-soon

I Love Winter

B
Cremesheens tend to be drying on me, so the formula doesn't get the highest marks from my experience. I wish Cremesheen Glasses had better staying power, but they seem to disappear within two hours usually.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag

MAC Ice Parade: Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag

MAC Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Hang Up (deep berry), Frozen Lame (frosty nude), and Vintage Vamp (deep black wine). The lipstick and lipglass are full-sized, but the nail polish is miniature-sized (0.09 fl. oz.).

  • Hang Up is a deep, reddened berry with semi-opaque color and a glossy shine. It has a cremesheen finish, though I find it creamier than your average cremesheen finish lipstick. It is part of the permanent range.
  • Frozen Lame is a silver shimmered beige-white. It looks mostly like silver shimmer on my lips. It has a finer shimmre than MAC Sin-tillation.
  • Vintage Vamp is a deep reddened wine with a cream finish. I needed three coats for opaque color, and the first coat was on the streakier side. Please see my swatches from last year.

The value of the the smaller kits is decent–you get two full-sized lip products (~$30) plus some additional product, like the nail lacquer here, which works out to be about what you’d expect to pay if you could buy them individually. I’m not a fan of the quality of the polish–it’s too thin and not pigmented enough in two coats (and for such a dark shade, it should be).  Cremesheens tend to be drying on me, so the formula doesn’t get the highest marks from my experience.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
I'm not a fan of the quality of the polish--it's too thin and not pigmented enough in two coats (and for such a dark shade, it should be). Cremesheens tend to be drying on me, so the formula doesn't get the highest marks from my experience.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Golden Flurry (beige with sparkle), Soft Brown (soft golden peach brown), Omega (soft muted beige-taupe), Carbon (black), Seasonal Appeal (orange brown), Mellowarm (peach), and Join the Party (pale peach). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Golden Flurry is a white with iridiescent pink shimmer. The color payoff is low–it’s sheer and sparkly, but it is prone to fall out. This has a lustre finish. Bare Escentuals Muse is more pigmented and less iridescent. theBalm Safe Bet Annette is a touch pinker.
  • Soft Brown is a medium brown with red-orange undertones and a matte finish. It has nice color payoff and a smooth, soft feel. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Omega is a lightened taupe with subtle beige-yellow tones and a matte finish. The pigmentation is nice, and it has the texture soft. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Carbon is a medium-dark black with brown undertones. It’s a little dry and stiff to work with but it does work better applied with a brush on the lid, though it can be a touch chalky. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Seasonal Appeal is a brownish peach with a soft, pearly sheen. This has a satin finish. The pigmentation is good, but it is a more orange-toned blush, so it may not work on really cool-toned complexions.
  • Mellowarm is an orange-coral with a hint of red with a frosted shimmer. It has mostly opaque color coverage. This has a frost finish. CoverGirl Rapture is less red. Milani Coral Bora Bora is pinker.
  • Join the Party is a peach-tinted beige with soft, white shimmer. It’s creamy and milky, so it does settle into lip lines, but the color coverage is semi-opaque. It’s similar to MAC Lust.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Warm Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Phloof! (frosted off white), Brun (muted blackish-brown), Quarry (soft muted plum-brown), Dance in the Dark (black-brown), Mocha (soft plum pink), Hot Gossip (mid-tone pinky plum), and Emancipation (light pink). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Phloof! is a pinked beige with a frosted finish; it has good color payoff and a smooth, soft texture. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Brun is a dark, cool-toned brown with a hint of gray and a subtle sheen in its finish. The pigmentation is nice and the texture is soft overall. It has a satin finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Quarry is a rosy mauve with a matte finish. It’s a bit dry and almost powdery with so-so color payoff. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Dance in the Dark is a purple-tinted brown-black with a satin finish. The color payoff is below average, and the texture is stiff and dry, which contributes to the uneven color application. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is very similar but more pigmented.
  • Mocha is a brightened pink plum with a matte finish. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. The color payoff is really nice, and I swear, this seems more vibrant than the permanent version (but I don’t currently own the permanent version to compare).
  • Hot Gossip is a plum-tinted pink with a frosted finish and mostly opaque color coverage. It has a cremesheen finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Emancipation is a pink-beige with soft white shimmer that yields semi-opaque color coverage. It’s a milkier-looking gloss, so it does have a tendency to settle into lip lines. It is a repromote. It’s similar to Feelign Dreamy, Runway Fave, and Bare Nesceessities.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Winter Cool Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


China Glaze Ring in the Red, Champagne Bubbles, Tinsel Town, and Snow Globe Nail Lacquers

China Glaze Let It Snow: Ring in the Red, Champagne Bubbles, Tinsel Town, Snow Globe

China Glaze Let it Snow contains twelve shades that can be purchased individually or in various pre-made sets. In this post, we’re looking at these four shades: Ring in the Red (glittering red), Champagne Bubbles (sophisticated gold metallic), Tinsel Town (silver, metallic glitter), and Snow Globe (frosty white with flecks of snowy color).  I’ll have the other eight shades swatched, photographed, and posted soon! :)

  • Ring in the Red is a pinky-red with ruby red shimmer and larger, darker red glitter. It was opaque in two coats. Nubar Fire Sparkle is the closest dupe I could think of, but it seems to be a little darker and more of an orange-toned red. Zoya Lisa is more of a blue-based red but less glittery.
  • Champagne Bubbles is a brightened, yellow gold with a subtle metallic finish and gold glitter sparkle. It was opaque in two coats. It does have a metallic finish, so brush strokes are more noticeable here, but they were manageable and with a steadier (and more patient) hand, you could get them to look fairly straight. Milani 3D was the closest shade — it’s not quite as yellowy and has holographic glitter.
  • Tinsel Town is a sooty gray-black base color with lots of silver glitter in small and larger particle size. It was opaque in two coats. I don’t have anything that looks like this; it looks like silver rocks on my nails or something. Nubar Midnight is silver shimmer over a black base, but it just doesn’t have the same effect on nails.
  • Snow Globe is a sheer color base with multi-colored glitter in gold, aqua, green, blue, and purple. I did just two coats for swatches. Snow Globe has a thicker, more gel-like consistency (but not as thick as some glitters). It’s very similar to MAC Unconditionally Fabulous, and to a lesser degree, Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven.

The official color descriptions for these shades really did not do them justice! I would not have envisioned these shades based on how they were described in the press release (they’re better!). The consistency of the formulas here were good; not too thick or too thin. Snow Globe was the only one that didn’t fit that bill–it had a thicker, more gel-like texture because it’s glitter suspended in a clear base (and the thicker consistency seems to help the glitter spread better).  I typically get a week of wear out of China Glaze with minimal tip wear, and I recently tested out Blue Year’s Eve with Snow Globe on top and was able to achieve those results yet again!

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze Let it Snow Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A
Glittery polishes are always harder to remove, and these are no exception (patience and a good remover are key!), they're well worth the extra effort! I felt like Tinsel Town was the most unique and Snow Globe the most fun.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →