Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette
theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette ($28.00 for 0.59 oz.) is a limited edition follow up to Vol. 1 (which is still available, but I don’t have it and haven’t seen it myself). It includes one highlighter, four eyeshadows (or liners), lip/cheek color, and a lipgloss.

As other theBalm products are packaged, this one is also in cardboard packaging with a full-sized mirror on the interior of the lid. The palette opens about two-thirds of the way down so that one side covers or reveals the powder products and the other side covers or reveals the cream products–this is a really nice feature, because it helps to limit any loose powder from contaminating the cream products. It contains a good amount of product and is a good value overall.

  • Promiscuous Pearl is a pale beige with champagne shimmer. It adds a soft glow on cheeks without being overwhelming. If you like Mary Lou-manizer, you’d like this one, just as a more neutral version. The texture is still really buttery and soft, so it is blendable and finely-milled and doesn’t emphasize pores. It reminded me of Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees.
  • Jinxy Jasmyne is a sooty black that looks morre intense in the pan than it does on the skin. It has a mostly matte finish, but it’s rather dry and ends up being chalky and uneven. When applied, it can easily darken the crease, but you really need to use a fluffy brush (remember to tap off any excess!) to make this one work. Application is better with a damp brush, like one might use if you were to use it as an eyeliner. It’s similar to a lot of matte blacks, like MAC Carbon.
  • Manic Maribel is an orange-y copper with a frosted golden sheen. The pigmentation is opaque with soft, blendable color. It’s almost the same as Bare Escentuals Louder. It’s a little lighter than shades like theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • Open to Offers Olwen is a muted teal-blue shot through with silvery-blue shimmer. This shade is also in the Shady Lady Vol. 3 palette. It has good color payoff and a dense, buttery texture. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter but similar.
  • Lavish Latoya is a medium-dark purple with subtle red undertones and a frosted finish. It was on the sheerer side, though. Urban Decay AC/DC is quite similar with a slightly more metallic sheen. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar. Milani Purr-fect Purple is a little lighter. theBalm All the Way Annie is a bit darker but still close.
  • Strawberry is a poppy red that can be applied opaque or blended out for a sheerer look. On lips, it’s much pinker–more like a slightly coral-pink with a creamy finish. The color coverage is mostly opaque. It’s not as dark as MAC Ultra Darling. NARS Niagara is more coral. It’s pretty close to Bobbi Brown Pink.
  • Nude is an opaque beige nude with a cream finish. MAC C-Thru is similar in color, but this is much more opaque.

It’s not my favorite palette by theBalm; I think it has promise and potential, but it’s not fully there.  The color combination is off for me–this is not a palette that lends itself to a lot of versatility.  I feel like you really need to pull in products from your stash to make the palette really pop.  The cheek/lip color is pretty but vibrant enough that it doesn’t pair well with the eyeshadows.  I was disappointed in the texture and payoff of Jinxy Jasmyne and Lavish Latoya was just slightly under-performing.   Shades like Manic Maribel and Lavish Latoya are found in a lot of brands, so this wouldn’t be a palette for long-time beauty aficionados.  As a face palette, I’d have liked to see a powder blush, rather than a mega-sized black eyeshadow.

The Glossover

palette

Balmbini Vol. 2

B+
The overall quality of the palette is there, but the color combination doesn't resonate as well with me--as a face palette, it needs more in the cheek department; it's too eye-heavy.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick
Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a brightened tangerine orange with peach and white micro-shimmer and a glossy shine. On my lips, it looks a bit coral-orange. The color coverage is semi-opaque; it delivers a healthy amount of color, but there’s enough translucency that my natural lip color shows through, too.  While the texture was smooth overall, it did not apply as evenly as I’d like.  It reminded me of Guerlain Orange Euphorique, which is a little brighter and more opaque. Chanel Sari Dore is more opaque and darker. MAC Made to Order is similar but doesn’t have as much gold shimmer.

Rouge Prodige is a creamy lipstick that glides on easily and delivers an ultra glossy shine. Despite its creaminess, it has a lightweight feel, and it’s comfortable to wear for the three to four hours that it wears for. It’s supposed to be long-lasting, but unless it’s a really rich red, it’s average when it comes to wear (most lipsticks wear three to four hours on me). It has a berry-like scent but no taste; the scent is subtle and doesn’t read synthetic.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Clarins Sunset Rouge Prodige Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a flattering color on warmer skin tones, and as far as really orange shades go, I would expect it to work decently on cooler complexions because of the translucency in the color.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Glamorous Life Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as “Rolex rose gold” with a metallic finish. Deborah Lippmann said it took her three years to get the finish you see in Glamorous Life–always fun to read tidbits like that. It’s champagne, it’s beige, it’s rose gold–it’s really a mix of pink and champagne with threads of gold micro shimmer to give it that metallic finish.  It was opaque in two coats.   Zoya Pandora is less metallic, more shimmered, and not as pink. Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie has a similar softness but is a cream finish and has no gold.

This is one of the easiest metallics I’ve worked with; it’s not too thick and the brush strokes easily pull into straight lines–no wonkiness. There’s a lot of inherent shine in the finish even without a top coat (though I’d still recommend a top coat for prolonged wear).  The polish applies evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking.  I’ve had good luck with Deborah Lippmann’s formula–her shades typically wear for a week with minor to minimal tip wear.

The Glossover

LE
product

Glamorous Life

A
I hope more metallics apply as easily as this shade did! It was such a pleasant experience to see the threads of shimmer with a more uniform appearance, rather than having to be really meticulous and ensuring to only use the minimum brush strokes to apply the color!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, November 28th, 2011

Cle de Peau #129 Extra Silky Lipstick
Cle de Peau #129 Extra Silky Lipstick

Cle de Peau #129 Extra Silky Lipstick

Cle de Peau #129 Extra Silky Lipstick ($52.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a soft, yellow-toned pink with very fine pale peach-gold micro-shimmer and a glossy sheen. It’s such a soft color, but the color payoff is almost opaque–you can just barely see the shadow of my lip freckle. Dior Pinky Mauve is a bit darker. Estee Lauder Night Bloom is similar but pinker. Maybelline Warm Me Up is a bit darker and grayer. MAC Angel is pinker and has a creamier look. Urban Decay Naked is a darker pinker.

I’m a big fan of the Extra Silky Lipstick range; it’s lightweight, hydrating, and feels and looks incredible on. With lighter shades like #129, it wears for around four hours, but I have had longer wear (more like six or so) with some of the darker shades–about average for lipsticks for me. This formula is very, very emollient and creamy, so I recommend applying less than you think you need, because otherwise you’ll overapply. It doesn’t look bad, but you’ll waste product and at this price point (and for the quantity you get–about 30% less than the average lipstick), you don’t want to waste any! These are also scent- and taste-free from my experience.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Cle de Peau #129 Extra Silky Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I love how creamy and moisturizing these lipsticks are, and I'm always surprised how much color they impart, because they seem so soft at first, but they really do deliver on pigmentation, too.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, November 28th, 2011

NYX Lime Nail Lacquer
NYX Lime Nail Lacquer

NYX Lime Nail Lacquer

NYX Lime Salon Formula Nail Polish ($4.00 for 0.52 fl. oz.) is a bright lime green with chartreuse shimmer. It’s vibrant and the right mix of shimmer and metallic, because you get some of the brush strokes of a metallic finished polish but they’re easy to control to get into straight line. China Glaze Cha Cha Cha is much greener, while Butter London Dosh is a darker green. China Glaze Electric Pineapple is similar in color but has a cream finish. Illamasqua Radium is a touch greener and while it also has shimmer, it’s much subtler and green rather than chartreuse.

Unfortunately, this shade was not opaque after two coats, which was a bummer! It’s such a pretty shade (and will be perfect for summer), but it needs some help in the pigmentation department. The consistency isn’t too thick or thin, but I didn’t love the way three coats felt–they did feel a bit heavy. When I initially tested out NYX’s new formula, this was one of the shades I specifically tested for wear, and after a week, I had no chipping, just minor tip wear (which is par for the course).

The Glossover

P
product

Lime

B-
If this was just a bit more pigmented, it'd be a solid shade to check out! Even though the price point is more budget-friendly, there are numerous polish brands at similar price points (like China Glaze) that may have a better alternative available.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Monday, November 28th, 2011

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “frosted ginger” and “shimmering copper.” This is one of the best NARS duos I’ve tried when it comes to quality, but I will readily admit that as far as the shades themselves go, they’re not unique, so you may already own similar shades. It’s a great basic duo for someone who hasn’t already added a few coppers to their stash, though! This is part of the brand’s permanent range, so I think it’s a nice core product to have.

The left side of Isolde is a medium copper with a frosted gold sheen. It has an incredibly soft, smooth texture that’s buttery and dense without being powdery. It delivers excellent color payoff, too! This shade is similar to: Bare Escentuals Louder, MAC Amber Lights, and theBalm Meep Meep.

On the right side, there is a deeper copper with burnished brown undertones and a frosted golden sheen. Like the left side, the texture is amazing–soft, smooth, rich–with intense pigmentation. It’s has more copper compared to Make Up For Ever #12, while MAC Bronze is too brown. Giorgio Armani #5 comes closest but is a touch browner.

Isolde adhered really well to the lid without base, and it wore longer than most of NARS’ eyeshadows do for me–I was able to get eight hours without creasing and to ten with very faint creasing, which is really good. Of course, with a base, there wasn’t any issues at the twelve-hour mark.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Isolde Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A
One of NARS' best duos in regards to quality--excellent color payoff, good wear with or without a base, and a divine texture that's soft and silky smooth.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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