Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush
NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush ($16.50 for 0.25 oz.) is one of eight shades of blush from NYX’s HD Studio line. According to NYX, by grinding a blush powder each use, you’ll avoid “oil trappings on powders, contamination, and cracking.” The blush formula itself is supposed to reflect light from the skin while giving pores a smaller and smoother look. Menage a Trois is a soft tangerine-peach with spun gold shimmer-sheen. It’s really a gorgeous shade and one that will work exceptionally well on warmer skin tones.

Next to the blush, you might recognize an elephant–the price tag. NYX is known as a brand with affordable options but still a wide variety and higher quality products than many other more affordable brands (overall). It’s obvious the HD Studio range is at a higher price point, but I think it might be outpricing the comfort zone of some of their customers. Their Powder Blushes are $6, Cream Bushes are $6.50, and Mosaic Powders are $8. The HD Grinding Blush is double the price of their more expensive blush. I’m not worried that NYX is going to change directions and move to mid-tier, but it’s an interesting move.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of the HD Grinding Blushes is very smooth–definitely finely milled. The colors themselves are a lot less intimidating when applied than they look initially–I did not find that you could quite get the level of intensity as see in the shavings themselves, but you can get close. The softness of the blush powder makes it easy to apply, blend out, and difficult to overdo. On me, it wears around six hours before there is some fading (over liquid foundation, set with loose powder).

Though I haven’t personally tested Smashbox’s Halo powders, the grinding mechanism of NYX’s HD Grinding Blushes reminded me of them. I’m not sure if Smashbox has put out Halo blushes, but they do have the twist ‘n’ shave mechanism for their Perfecting Powders, Perfecting Bronzers, and Color Correcting Powder. It’s neither a pro nor con but more for your reference.

I’m not keen on the grinding packaging, actually.  It’s cool, but any excess powder left inside inevitably seems to get everywhere else.  I had twisted and ground each blush for photos and carried them to my bathroom and left little blush shavings in my wake.  When I opened the blushes, the loose shavings had collected on the outer rim, where the cap screws on, and easily escaped to the freedom of my carpet, sink, and swatching pants!  (And that is exactly why one wears swatching pants…)  The only mitigating factor is that usually you do not twist too much excess, so there is an end in sight, unlike perhaps an entire jar of loose blush.

The Glossover

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Menage a Trois

B+
I’m not particularly surprised that I’m most drawn to this shade–after all, if it’s gold, peach, or coral, I’m already there. The whole grinding concept is more of a novelty for me, and the packaging could use some tweaks so that any excess shavings stay within the jar, rather than settle around the rim (outside of the recessed opening). It could wear a touch longer; most blushes last all day (eight to ten hours) on me.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Neiman Marcus Exclusive: Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

  • Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer is a medium-dark pink with gold micro-glitter and sheen; it is slightly cool-toned, though it seems to shift between cool and neutral depending on how the light hits it. It applies rather sheerly but can be intensified for a more obvious blush.
  • Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss is an ultra sheer gloss that really has a clear base with pink and gold shimmer. This shade is available individually.
  • Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a blackened burgundy brown. This shade is available individually.
  • Eye/Lip Brush is a miniature-sized brush with a glossy black cap that slips on and off. It’s not officially labeled, but it seems like a really narrow lip brush–not quite small enough to be a true eyeliner brush though it does seem to resemble the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush a bit.
  • Face Brush is a fluffy, dome-shaped brush that resembles the Face Blender Brush. It seems wider and less tapered, though. It was soft against the skin.

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cute kit, and if you like every product in it, the price tag doesn't seem so difficult to pay.  If you were hoping for a value-packed deal, this isn't quite it.  The kit will complement cooler skin tones.  I wish the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer was available individually!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette
Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette

Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette

Wet ‘n’ Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette ($4.99 for 0.30 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows spread over two columns. Each column seems to coordinate within itself more than the two columns do with each other. The tone of the palette is rather cool, with the first column being purple themed and the second column being more earth-toned.

The first column consisted of a pale, icy violet shimmered satin white; muted pink-lilac base with pale gold shimmer-sheen; darkened red-toned purple with a frost finish; and medium-dark violet-blue purple with silver sparkle. I found the pigmentation to be a little sheer in both of the lighter shades–a little dusty, too; not nearly as saturated as the two darker purples.

The second column includes a pale, high-frost pink-white; coppery rose mauve with red undertones in a soft frost finish; blackened burgundy brown with a satin finish; and a grayish black with subtle green sparkle and satin finish. The pale pink is extremely pigmented and smooth, while the copper rose shade is a bit sheerer and blends into a very sheer shade when applied. I found the burgundy shade to lean much browner when swatched than it looked in the pan. The darker grayish-black was more pigmented than previous variations I’ve seen in the Color Icon palette, which was nice, but it did fade a bit when worn (after six hours).

my thoughts on the formula: Color Icon Eyeshadows are definitely some of the best eyeshadows you’ll find in the drugstore, and this palette shows both the best and worsts of the formula overall. The frostier shades seem to work the best and have no problem wearing all day (over a base, of course), while the more matte shades tend to lack in pigmentation and fade after a few hours (they don’t disappear, but they do fade noticeably).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Wet 'n' Wild Petal Pusher Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B
For cooler complexions, I think this palette will work well.  Like the Blue had Me at Hello palette, there were a few shades that didn't quite hit the mark, but overall several shades worked really well.  I though the coppered rose shade was particularly beautiful in color and wished it had been more pigmented.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a semi-sheer champagne beige with white shimmer and almost metallic-like threads running through the color.  It’s officially described as, “shimmery, semi-transparent golden beige, as if you could dip your nails in nacre.”

my thoughts on the formula: Typically, Rescue Beauty Lounge’s lacquers are opaque, but this one is semi-sheer though deliberately so–you can’t fault something for being exactly what it claims.  It still applied smoothly and easily, while wearing a full week.

The Glossover

LE
product

Ani

A
I don't have a lot of beige polishes in my stash, so I can't think of many dupes for it, though I recognize that it may not be the most unique shade of Rescue Beauty Lounge's range.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, March 14th, 2011

Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner
Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner

Say Hello to New Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliners

Benefit BADgal Waterproof Eyeliner ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is now available in two new shades: Espresso and Charcoal. The BADgal Eyeliner formula is designed to glide-on without smudging or smearing, rain or shine. I’ve reviewed the original BADgal, which was in black, previously, and I didn’t have excellent results.

Espresso is a medium-dark brown with subtle red undertones, while Charcoal is a softened medium gray. They both applied very smoothly, practically gliding on, and they delivered enough pigment in one pass to give a nice solid line of color. Each pencil has a spongy smudger brush on the opposite end, and these do stay “wet” long enough to smudge as one desires.

These eyeliners wear decently, but I did not find them to be waterproof. I didn’t find that these created excessive raccoon eyes nor migrated terribly, but they do have a tendency to smudge and migrate noticeably when hit by water. You might wonder how does one do a tear test… one cuts onions and ensures to nick the bulb to send an onslaught of natural tear gas. I also wore it in the shower, because of the water element as well as the heat and humidity that tag along. There is some fading and smudging.

On an average day, these wear six to eight hours without any major concerns, but if my eyes tear up at any point (allergies, dry eyes, whatever). For a product that’s specifically touted as waterproof, it does not hold up to my waterworks! It’s unfortunate, because the texture and glide of the pencil is excellent–soft without being prone to breaking, smooth without being too creamy (and therefore too wet and not drying down!).

Have you tried the new shades, or perhaps the original Extra Black shade?  Weigh in!

The Glossover

product

BADgal Eyeliner

C-
I've seen enough mixed reviews on this particular eyeliner to know that for some it reaches holy grail status and for others, it is a mess. It's decent on me, but there are enough eyeliners that stay on all day without smudging even with some watering eyes in my stash that I never reach for this.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, March 14th, 2011

theBalm Luscious Lani Eyeshadow
theBalm Luscious Lani Eyeshadow

theBalm Luscious Lani Eyeshadow

theBalm Luscious Lani Eyeshadow ($16.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “pink champagne on ice.”  On me, the pink seems to disappear, but I feel like this is a shade that will be subtly different depending on your skin’s undertones–those with cooler and pinker complexions will see the pink come through, while those with warmer and yellower complexions will get more of a peach-champagne shade.  I found Lusicous Lani to be a glistening gilded peach champagne with a metallic-frost finish.

my thoughts on the formula: theBalm’s eyeshadows are soft, silky smooth, and packed with pigment. They apply evenly, blend out beautifully, and aren’t powdery at all (sometimes a side effect of really soft eyeshadows). I find they are so easy to use, because they apply without fall out and blend with other shadows effortlessly. Worth noting, too, is individual eyeshadows come with 0.12 oz., which is just over double the average eyeshdaow–and at a rather affordable price tag.

The Glossover

product

theBalm Luscious Lani Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I think this is a gorgeous neutral color--it's a shade that can be used in everyday looks as well as to anchor bolder looks.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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