Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee
MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee

MAC Fashion Flower: Lipgelees

The collection features three shades of Lipgelee (each $14.50 for 0.10 oz.) — Budding Beauty (pale coral with pearl pigment), Fashion Flower (pale pink with pearl pigment), and Now in Season (pale yellow with pearl pigment).

  • Budding Beauty is a coral melon with pink and gold shimmer.  It has more of a shimmery finish than the glittery texture of Fashion Flower and Now in Season.  When applied, it has a very milky melon look–semi-sheer for sure, though.  Love Nectar lustreglass seems like the closest permanent dupe.
  • Fashion Flower is a pink-tinged gloss with lots of pink and silver glitter. It’s a lot like the previous launches of Lipgelees (Lillyland, Cham-Pale) — super glittery, little color, lots of sparkle. I’d say it’s most like Luxure, but applied, Fashion Flower pulls pinker.
  • Now in Season is a pale yellow gold with multicolored shimmer of teal, gold, and silver.  This felt so sticky, which is uncharacteristic of lipgelees.  When worn, it doesn’t deliver much color, just lots of shimmer/glitter.  It’s surprisingly similar to Bubble Lounge when worn, since the color base doesn’t show up.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipgelees are moisturizing, easy to apply, and last three to four hours on me. They are a thicker formula, more like a gel, and come in squeeze tubes. They have a non-sticky texture, are vanilla-scented, and a sheer formula, but these are noticeably sticky. There is some glitter migration (maybe four or five flecks), but it didn’t seem like rapid migration nor did it stray into the far reaches of my face or hair or somehow wander to my feet. I have always loved that the Lipgelees come with 0.5 oz. of product–nearly double even large-sized glosses. After they wear away, they can sometimes feel gritty, because of the abundance of glitter.

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product

MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelees Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
If you love your lips to sparkle beyond belief, you'll likely enjoy these Lipgelees--they are sparkle-tastic! Though the glitter doesn't seem to travel and migrate throughout the day, it may feel gritty after the gloss wears away and the glitter remains.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Benefit Cha Cha Tint
Benefit Cha Cha Tint

Benefit Cha Cha Tint

Coming in June, Benefit Cha Cha Tint ($29.00 for 0.42 fl. oz.) is described as a “mango-tinted lip & cheek stain.” It has the same feel and formula as Posietint (in contrast to Benetint, which doesn’t look creamy or milky). Though it looks rather bright and orange when you initially remove the applicator, it’s a much subtler color when used. It’s a very gentle blushing of peach with orange underpinnings (no pink here!). I patted the color on my cheeks with about three light pats, then lightly blended with my fingertips.

This is a great product for summer months when the weather gets hot, activities head outdoors, and traveling picks up. It wears all day (12 hours) as a soft, peachy flush and really does look natural–just as a stain should. What’s nice about Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint formula is that there is just enough to blend it out without having to worry about waiting for it to dry. It works well over or underfoundation as well as on bare skin. If you plan to wear it under foundation, just remember you’ll want to build the color up to slightly more than what you want, as foundation over it will mute some of the color, depending on the coverage level of your foundation.

The texture is that thickened water–it’s relatively thin and liquidy. The color is buildable by layering the color or applying more (again, I used three soft, tiny dots of color on my cheeks). It won’t get quite as intense as the color looks in the heavier swatch, but the formula is supposed to be sheer and add just a flush to skin.

It can also be used on lips, and it works well there–better than Posietint for me. It added a surprising amount of color to my lips, though; kind of a brighter, apricot pink. Because of my natural lip color, the color it tints my lips isn’t quite the same as my cheeks! It wore well on lips, too–about eight hours.

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product

Cha Cha

A
For quick and easy summery color, Cha Cha will make a nice addition to your makeup bag.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

MAC Green is Green Mascara
MAC Green is Green Mascara

MAC Colored Zoom Lash Mascara

Though MAC’s Flighty Collection has stirred up buzz over the Big Bounce Shadows, there are also four shades of colored Zoom Lash Mascara. I have Green is Green ($14.00 for 0.28 oz.) to review for now (the rest to follow once I have them–probably not late this week or early next). This shade is described as “jade green,” and it’s a dark, cool-toned green with a little hint of teal. The actual tube is similarly colored.

Zoom Lash is supposed to “build density,” while the “ultra-sculpted brush has three-sided fibres to embrace and separate each lash.” My favorite MAC mascara is Plushlash, but I used to use Zoom Lash for quite a bit (because Plushlash didn’t exist). I like how it’s a really thick formula–thick as in it really coats each lash really well in the formula but without clumping. Zoom Lash, being a thicker consistency, will clump if you start going beyond two coats, though. (In my experience, you shouldn’t need more than two.) Zoom Lash separates and defines lashes while thickening them for me. I didn’t have any issues with the mascara flaking or smudging on me.

Green is Green is rather similar in color to Army of Amazons, which launched in Wonder Woman. The color of Green is Green seems a little richer in color, more depth. The Zoom Lash formula works better than Opulash for the color, though, because with colored mascara over black lashes (which mine are), I need the thickness of the Zoom Lash formula to really have a chance of my lashes looking green.

They look green from up close and afar, but the effect is still subtle from afar. Colored mascara will also stand out more with a lighter background–like neutral/light eyeshadows on the lid. You can also use a white-colored lash primer to enhance colored mascara. The color coverage here is good but not totally opaque over my black lashes.

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MAC Green is Green Zoom Lash Mascara Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you love colored mascara but already have Army of Amazons, I'd skip this one and perhaps consider one of the other three in this launch, because they are rather close in color.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, April 25th, 2011

MAC Big Bounce Shadow
MAC Black Diamond Big Bounce Shadow

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Review

MAC Big Bounce Shadows ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a brand new product launching with MAC’s Flighty Collection (which will hit counters/stores on May 5th). I don’t have all sixteen at this time, and I will, of course, purchase the remaining shades as soon as they are available, but for now, I hope these five shades will suffice: Black Diamond (black with gold pearl), The Cool Elite (white with silver pearl), Count Your Assets (rich blue purple with multi-color pearl), Reward Yourself (bright peach coral with gold pearl), and Spread the Wealth (dirty olive with gold pearl.

Updated @ 6:00PM on 4/25: (Consider re-reading the review, as I changed up about 60% of it!)  The hardest part about evaluating these new shadows is trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do (and conversely, what one shouldn’t expect them to do).  After obtaining more information (see this Q&A), these are supposed to “last for hours” along with “luminescent washes that build from sheer to medium easily.”

Once you throw that little piece in, however, it really does change the efficacy of these, because they do not wear for hours on their own.  I tried four of the five shades alone on the lid, and I spent three days working through them trying to find techniques that would make them work.  I couldn’t find a way to make these work well all alone or as a wash.  Over primer, they still creased (just less creasing than if they were applied to bare lids), but the real zinger is how quickly they crease.  It’s not creasing after four, eight, twelve hours but within an hour.

To achieve the best wear alone, a brush (like the 242) seems to work the best for applying the product without sliding it all over the place.  Just like with any really slippery product, you’ll want to work a little slower and pat the product on and gently smooth out the color or else it will slip and slide and result in uneven color coverage.

  • Black Diamond is a dark charcoal black with teal and silver shimmer.
  • The Cool Elite is a brightened white with a shimmery finish.
  • Reward Yourself is a muted copper with a golden champagne shimmer-sheen.
  • Count Your Assets is a cool-toned purple with silver and gray.
  • Spread the Wealth is a dirty olive green with multi-colored micro-shimmer and metallic sheen.

The texture is very wet and more like a liquid than a cream or mousse–it has a watery feel, though not runny, but a bit like a gel. Initially, I tried applying it to the lid with my finger (but first getting product out with a metal spatula), but I found it did not work well to create a smooth, even layer of color. It’s so very emollient that it glides on easily, but the color slides around and looks rather messy.

The collection does promote the 242 brush (which is part of the permanent range), so I figured I’d try that, and it did work much better. I used other brushes (194, 239, 249), and the 194 and 249 didn’t work as well as the 239 and 242, so the key seems to be some fluffiness in the brush shape (as the 194 and 249 are flatter and firmer) and a patting motion.

Worn alone: I couldn’t wear the Big Bounce Shadows alone without experiencing creasing. I tried three different shades alone (Black Diamond, Reward Yourself, and Spread the Wealth), and Reward Yourself was the only one that didn’t crease immediately. Based on working with the formula for a few days, I think it’s the long dry down time that makes these difficult to wear alone. Unless you keep your eyes closed and lids perfectly taut, the product will settle into any creases while it’s drying down. The dry down time for me was about 45 seconds to a minute. Once they dry down, they do seem to hold on fairly well, but there is some shimmer fall out that occurs.

Worn over a primer: When worn over a primer but with nothing to set it on top, I still experienced creasing within the hour. I found that using it over more opaque primers like MAC Soft Ochre or Urban Decay Eden helped to avoid creasing as soon as it was applied, because the creaminess of the opaque primer helped to fill in some creases, but I still had creasing after an hour of wear.

Set with shadow: They work much better as eyeshadow bases–I had the nearly the same wear regardless of using the Big Bounce Shadow as a base or using an eyeshadow primer, then applying Big Bounce Shadow, and finally setting with eyeshadow. I would say that those with oilier lids may find that the primer, Big Bounce, and powder shadow sandwich would work better for them, as I have normal lids. After twelve hours, I noticed very slight creasing on the inner lid when used without a base, but used with a base, there was none of that slight inner lid creasing.

BOTTOM LINE

SET WITH POWDER. Like most cream products, to prolong wear, set with a powder product.  USE A BRUSH. Fingers seem to create very uneven finishes, and it’s difficult to build up color that way–the color always seems sheer.

Pigmentation varies from shade to shade, and so does the buildability. For instance, Reward Yourself applies semi-opaque from the get-go, but Spread the Wealth needs two to three layers to achieve the same result. I found Spread the Wealth to be the most finicky shade of the five I tried, because it was difficult to apply evenly (even when using a brush!) and build up color.

The packaging is similar to Paint Pots, and the Big Bounce Shadows contain the same amount of product as Paint Pots as well (0.17 oz.).  Big Bounce Shadows come with a thin, plastic insert, but I don’t know if you’d want to dispose of it, even though it is rather flimsy.  The shadow does move around and lots of gets stuck to the insert, so it’s probably better to keep it than to toss it.

I just think the texture of these gives to more uneven application, and the dry down time is too long.  I might consider grabbing shades that really appeal to you to use as a colored eyeshadow base, because they work well for that purpose, but with some of the texture issues, I wouldn’t necessarily feel driven to grab ‘em all.

These wear well if set with powder and made to last all day (8-12 hours).  Are they worth the effort?  Personally, I don’t mind, because they work well enough as a colored base, which is how I would use them myself, but it’s not how I need/want them to work that plays into the actual rating but whether it works the way it’s supposed to.

At the end of the day, these seem to take more work/experimentation that most customers will want to put in.  If you don’t mind some layering and really wanted to like these, buy from a retailer with a generous return policy–if they work for you, I’m a happy camper, and if they don’t, you can return.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Reviews, Swatches, Photos

D-
It's really too bad that there is so little wear time when worn alone (Reward Yourself had maybe a half hour of nice wear, but the others I tried were done in fifteen minutes), because I feel like these don't deserve such a low score. If you intend to set with powder shadow, these perform much, much better and would see a B- rating instead.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

/10

Application

3.5/5

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Monday, April 25th, 2011

NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette
NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette

NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette

NYC Union Square IndividualEyes Custom Compact ($4.99 for 0.33 oz.) is an excellent choice for an affordable, neutral-themed palette. Though it’s marketed as for “brown eyes,” I think it would work well with a variety of eye colors and skin tones. It contains four eyeshadows, an illuminator, and eyeshadow base.

The eyeshadow base worked a treat when I wore it under these eyeshadows — no creasing or fading for the twelve hours I tested the product out for. The texture was creamy without being slippery and the product more opaque than not, so it worked well to create a solid base for the eyeshadows. I didn’t find the illuminator as useful, as it is a little glittery and almost tacky, so it was a miss for me. Both of the products are cream-based, so you may find that excess powder from the eyeshadows travels over as a result of the palette’s design.

All four eyeshadows were really pigmented and soft to the touch. They were a touch stiff to blend, but I was still able to blend them out for the most part–not perfect but good. The shades included are: an eggplant purple with red undertones and soft silver sparkle, bronzy brown with a golden bronze shimmer-sheen, medium-dark neutral brown with a matte finish, and warmed ivory beige with a satin sheen.  I did a look with this palette here.

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nycUnionSquare

NYC Union Square Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I love that it's an all-in-one palette but I love that the products work well in it. It's nice to have an eyeshadow base included in the palette, because it makes it more travel-friendly.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, April 25th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Moonlight (12) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani Moonlight (12) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Pretty in Pink Turns Silver!

Giorgio Armani Moonlight (12) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a bright, metallic silver with a subtle blueness.  It’s interesting how it looks pink and silvery-blue in the pot, but once applied, it’s this grayer silver but still with noticeable blue in it.

Recap:

This is a product that lives up to its claims–it wears all day without budging, creasing, or fading–and blends as well on its own as it does with other eyeshadows (or on top of an eyeshadow base). Giorgio Armani describes the Eyes to Kill Intense formula as neither powder nor cream but a hybrid that creates a “smooth, lasting color film” that can be applied wet or dry.  Giorgio Armani explains, “Each shade is intensified with a second pigment for a multi-dimensional effect. In just one swoop, create a wet, shimmering smokey eye … Base color covers eyelid, and second pigment adds drama to the contour.”

The texture of these feels almost like a cream eyeshadow, but it has the thinness of a powder eyeshadow while retaining some of the blendability of the hybrid cream-powder eyeshadow.  It also works well with other eyeshadow (see this look using #6).  It’s almost like a really dense loose powder that’s been pressed down, because if you dig at it, it loosens.

Though pricey, each shade comes with 0.14 oz. worth of product, which is a hefty amount (normal eyeshadow averages around 0.05 oz., no matter the price).  The only aspect I didn’t love was the little black stopper inside the jar (once you unscrew the black lid), because my longer fingers felt awkward grabbing it (so I just unscrew it upside down so it falls into the cap).

The Glossover

P
product

#12

A
It's an eyeshadow you can wear alone, as a base, or on a base, because it's budge-proof, crease-proof, and wears all day long.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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