Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4

Sneak Peek: Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Swatches

Full review, photos, and swatches to come. Please hold ALL questions until I have had a chance to review.

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Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Nails Inc. Connaught Square Nail Lacquer

Nails Inc. Connaught Square Nail Lacquer ($9.50 for 0.33 oz.) is described as a “clear with blue glitter and chunky purple glitter” shade. It’s part of Nails Inc.’s Special Effects 3D Glitter line-up where each shade uses two different-sized glitter particles to create a “3D effect” as well as give full coverage. Connaught Square is predominantly blue–lots of medium-dark blue small-sized glitter with larger, larger fuchsia-purple glittery bits that are strewn throughout.

By the nature of the polish, it has a rough, uneven texture–which is essentially by design, hence the “3D effect”–the texture has more to it than a single-sized particle glitter polish, because that tends to have a more uniform unevenness, while this one has more of a bumpy feel. It doesn’t bother me, and again, it’s what Nails Inc. was going for with these polishes.

The coverage is good but not completely opaque in places, and it took three coats to get to the coverage level as pictured. It is important–as with most glitter polishes–to let each coat dry enough so that the next coat doesn’t pull at the glitter from the previous coat. This helps give you more opaque coverage and better distributed glitter. For a glitter suspended in a clear base, the coverage is still rather impressive.  Because it has a clear base, you could definitely use it to layer, too.

Removal is at par in regards to glitter polishes–it will take more elbow crease and patience than creams and shimmers. I use Zoya’s Remove+ on felt, and then I press it against the nail for 30 seconds or so. I then move on to the next nail, and I do this for the rest of the hand, before going back to the first fingernail and removing the glitter. This gives the remover some time to breakdown the polish.

Over a week, I did not experience any chipping, but tip wear seemed a bit more than norm, which makes sense, because it’s difficult to wrap a clear polish with lots of glitter over the edge of the nail.

The Glossover

P
product

Connaught Square

B
Though I do look forward to the day when glitter polishes are a cinch to apply and remove, until then, we just have to find shades pretty enough to be worth the extra effort. I think the mix of sizes and colors in Connaught Square make it a bold, standout shade that--for me--is worth it.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Giorgio Armani #402 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #402 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #402 Gloss d’Armani ($28.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is an orange-red with lots of gold shimmer. When worn, it’s semi-opaque–there is a translucency that allows the natural lip color to peek through, but the gloss imparts a fair amount of color. For those with more pigmented lips, it will likely brighten and enhance but provide seemingly sheerer coverage. It’s not quite as red as Chantecaille Glaze. It is rather similar to Hourglass Primal. Chanel Imaginaire is similar but doesn’t have the gold shimmer.

Gloss d’Armani is supposed to last for eight hours (without fading), be moisturizing, and have a smooth, non-sticky texture. Color payoff is indeterminant, because on one hand, Giorgio Armani says “concentrated, high definition color” but then later describes some shades as “sheer chiffon.” For a more in-depth review of Gloss d’Armani, please read my original review here.

Even though I can’t say I’ve experienced the full eight-hour wear Giorgio Armani claims, I do get an impressive five to six hours of wear with every shade I’ve reviewed so far (I think we’re up to three–two more pigmented shades, one sheer shade). #502 wears a solid six hours, but if you desire a really glossy shine, you’ll need to refresh the shine after three hours or so.

The gloss starts off as almost gel-like and non-sticky, but over time, it gets tackier and tackier. It’s not thick and sticky, but I wouldn’t describe it as non-sticky. The initial non-sticky phase allows for the gloss to be evenly distributed across the lips without becoming splotchy, though. I didn’t detect any fragrance or scent.

The Glossover

P
product

#402

B+
It may not be as non-sticky and as long-wearing as it claims, but it is one of the longest-wearing glosses I've come across that isn't more of a liquid lipstick. This is truly a gloss from the way it looks to the way it feels.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

bareMinerals The Truth Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Truth Eyeshadow Quad

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Quads: the Truth

bareMinerals The Truth Eyeshadow Quad ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.) contains four shades: Serendipitous, Magnetism, Fate, and Apropos. This quad launches in October, and it’s touted as a solid eyeshadow with SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that is “creamy, silky smooth” with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color” that is long-wearing when worn alone without creasing or budging. When worn alone, I was able to wear several of the new duos (which have the same formula for pressed eyeshadows) for 10 hours without an eyeshadow primer. For more details on packaging, please read my original review.

Serendipitous is a soft, warm beige with a hint of peach. The finish is a soft frost–shimmered but not too much. The color payoff is good with a dense, buttery texture. It’s not as peach as MAC Double Feature 5 or as warm as MAC Brule. It is warmer and less white compared to Chance. It is less yellow comapred to Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone. It’s reminiscent of MAC Butternutty is a pressed eyeshadow form.

Magnetism is a dirty brown with a subtle gray-cast. The finish has a more reflective sheen, but it has less obvious shimmer than with Serendipitous. The texture is very smooth, and it applies well and lies nicely over skin, but it is a touch sheer. It’s similar to MAC Era, which appears slightly browner. It’s less gray than MAC Caviar Dreams. It has a higher sheen and a grayer cast than Burberry Almond.

Fate is a warm, red-toned bronze-brown with a satiny sheen. It has good color payoff (but could be a touch more intense), and it has the same softness and smoothness that Magnetism does. Milani Rich Java is darker with more gold shimmer. MAC Twinks is darker and redder, while MAC Sable is a bit darker but also redder. Laura Mercier Cedar is warmer, with less red, and darker.

Apropos is a taupe brown–kind of a mushroom brown–with a flecks of silver shimmer over a semi-matte finish. It has nice pigmentation, and the texture is silky smooth and soft, but the shimmer doesn’t translate very well whether swatched or applied to eyes. Somewhere between the brush and the lid, it disappears–must be into some glittery fairyland–which means there’s no real fall out concerns, since most of it doesn’t make it to your lid in the first place, but at the same time, the shade doesn’t come out as true-to-pan. Apropos not as dark as MAC Concrete, but it is more pigmented, less warm, and slightly darker than MAC Double Feature 3. It’s a touch cooler than NARS Bali. Urban Decay Shakedown is very similar.

Overall, it’s a solid neutral eyeshadow quad, but it does mix warm and cool-tones, so depending on your skin tone, you may find it more or less workable.  I think Serendipitous is only barely warm, while Fate has a distinct red tone, which gives it that warmer, richer feel.  Both Magnetism and Apropos are cool-toned.  I like that there is a variety of finishes, too–even though Apropos is supposed to have more shimmer, it still has a near-matte finish, so it will add a lot of depth to a look (it would work well in the crease).

The Glossover

palette

The Truth

A-
Overall, it's a solid neutral eyeshadow quad, but it does mix warm and cool-tones, so depending on your skin tone, you may find it more or less workable. I like that there is a variety of finishes, too--even though Apropos is supposed to have more shimmer, it still has a near-matte finish, so it will add a lot of depth to a look (it would work well in the crease).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Dior DiorAddict Crystal Gloss
Dior DiorAddict Sweet Peach Crystal Gloss

Dior DiorAddict Crystal Gloss – Where’d you go?

Dior launched a new gloss for summer, and it actually prompted today’s question about sheer lipgloss. Dior DiorAddict Crystal Gloss ($27.00 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is described as a “jelly gloss” that is “lightly tinted in vivid summer shades for shiny, radiant lips.” The “vinyl texture” is supposed to deliver volume to lips along with long-lasting hydration. There are four shades, two are translucent (Sweet Peach and Sweet Rose) while two are sparkling (Luminescent Peach and Luminescent Rose).

The description in itself is a contradiction, because there is no tint to these when swatched or worn. First, these are “lightly tinted” (but they’re not) and translucent (kind of, but not quite).  These are more transparent than translucent–it should be sheer and allow light to pass through but in a diffused manner. I specifically tried Luminiscent Peach (037) and Sweet Peach (047), and except for the shimmer in Luminiscent Peach, the two are the same in color (or lack thereof). They are completely clear when worn (I didn’t even bother with lip swatches, because as soon as I tested them, I could tell!).

Crystal Gloss is a scent-free formula with a very thick consistency–it has a thick, gel-like feel that’s cushiony on the lips but a little tacky. Despite the thickness, it does not feel as heavy as you would expect, but it is more noticeable on and heavier than your average lipgloss. It slides around quite a bit, and I find I need to reapply every two hours (glosses usually wear an average of three to four hours on me). They are comparable to Chanel’s Gloss Fluos from last year, but I didn’t find these to wear as well or as long–and at least the Gloss Fluos were tinted.

The glosses are moisturizing while you wear them but don’t impart as much hydration as I’d like over time (lip balms, generally, seem more effective than this gloss at that). They do deliver impeccable high-shine whether worn alone or layered over a lipstick–just don’t expect any color if you happen to pass by them, because they look rather different in the tubes than when swatched or applied.

This product lost points pretty much across the board, because it didn’t fully meet its moisturizing claims, falls short of “lightly tinted,” and wears away after two hours (which is below average).  A sheer gloss that’s not even sheer but clear always makes for a difficult rating experience!

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dior DiorAddict Crystal Gloss Review, Photos, Swatches

C
The best part of this gloss is the high-shine finish it has when applied, but it is not moisturizing enough to impart the "long-lasting" hydration as promised. I'm not a fan of misleading tubes--I'd rather it be sheer in the tube than fluorescent orange if it's actually going to be sheer!

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Makin' Whoopee Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “clean, modern opalescent rose” with an opaque finish. It’s a neon, fuchsia-pink shot through with iridescent violet and white shimmer.

Essie’s Super Bossa Nova is similar in brightness but it’s much redder. Similarly, Urban Decay Woodstock lacks the fuchsia element of this shade, plus it has a cream finish. SpaRitual Imaginarium comes the closest–it is slightly lighter and, arguably, brighter.

It’s not quite opaque in two coats (which is what I swatched with, because you can just barely see the nail line), but the light has to hit the polish in a certain way for that to be apparent. The formula is on the thinner side (but not watery), so one could easily do a third coat or go for a thicker second coat. It has an interesting natural finish, which I wanted to capture, so I did not use a top coat with these swatches. The finish is a satiny matte–it reminded me of Orly’s Plastix collection but not as dense. I usually see a week of wear with Deborah Lippmann’s polish with minor tip wear by the end of seven days.

The Glossover

LE
product

Makin' Whoopee

A-
If you're still on the hunt for a vibrant pink for summer, Makin' Whoopee would make a nice choice -- summer isn't over yet!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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