Saturday, November 19th, 2011

MAC Strada Blush
MAC Strada Blush

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Strada Blush

MAC Strada Blush ($30.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone nude.” It’s a pink-beige on me but looks less pink once applied on the face. MAC Brit Wit is a bit pinker but similar, just in a cream form.  It’s a good shade for contouring if you’re light to medium in skin tone, and it will also work as a cheek color on light to light-medium skin tones. On medium skin tones, you might find you’re really piling it on to get enough of an effect on the cheeks. It has a matte finish, which is yet another reason why it works well for contouring without looking muddy. It wore for about eight hours. The texture is soft enough to be blendable and buildable, but it doesn’t kick up powder or look dry on the skin.

The compact is black metal, and it’s quite heavy. It is a small compact, but it has more heft to it than you’d expect given the size. The top of the powder is also patterned, which is also something you wouldn’t get if you bought it normally.  On the top of the palette, you’ll find the signature logo from the collection, and there is a mirror on the inside of the lid.

It’s part of the permanent range at PRO stores (I had originally thought it was discontinued), so you can only buy it pan form these days, but if you like the color of Strada, you can visit a MAC PRO store OR you can place a phone order–even with shipping, you’ll still spend less than the price tag of this product and you’ll get over double the amount of product. You should also be able to place an order via phone with online last I heard. It looks like there is a TON of confusion – some stores say this is discontinued, others told me it’s permanent. When MAC puts out their “couture” collection each year, the prices skyrocket, but this is the first time I’ve noticed how much they’ve skimped you on the product. Full-sized MAC powder blushes contain 0.21 oz. and retail for $19.50 a pop, while this variation of Strada is over $10 more and contains almost a mere one-third of a full-sized blush! It’s like they’re squeezing you on both ends.

The Glossover

LE
product

Strada

A-
Strada is certainly worth a look, but I'd recommend going for the regular PRO pan, because the significant reduction in quantity plus 30% increase in price for packaging is rather painful if you're just in love with the color itself and don't want the packaging.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, November 19th, 2011

MAC for Gareth Pugh Collection
MAC for Gareth Pugh Collection

Sneak Peek: MAC for Gareth Pugh Collection

Here are a few product packaging photos as well as photos of the lashes. I was not able to buy the Metal-X Cream Eyeshadows, because the stores’ shipments were delayed. They’re not sure when they will have it in stock, so here’s hoping that it’ll be in all stores next week in time for launch. As soon as I can purchase them, I certainly will. I originally thought the larger powder in this collection was a regular pressed powder (so I didn’t see a need to spend $60 on it if it is like every other year’s Mystery Powders, which are very sheer!), but it is a beauty powder, so I will also try to grab that when I am able to buy the eyeshadows. Thanks for your patience!

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Friday, November 18th, 2011

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color
Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a coral-orange with a soft shine. It’s not matte exactly–it’s more semi-matte–but the shine disappears within the first hour, and you get a much more matte look at that time. It looks a bit like a subtly frosted matte after the shine wears off. Bobbi Brown Sweet Nectar is a bit darker, Chanel Teheran is very similar but a touch pinker and frosted, and Milani Cora Bora Bora is fairly similar but also frosted.

The new Rouge Allure Velvet formula is supposed to yield rich color with a soft velvet matte finish that’s non-drying and glides on. La Ravissante is opaque, and the texture of these feels amazing when you first apply; it’s soft, comfortable, and glides across lips like skates on ice. It also wears for hours and hours–with this particular shade, the color was still quite intact after four hours and a lunch. It continued to linger on like a heavyweight champ for another four hours. The wear on these is between six and eight hours, and while they’re not transfer-proof (did not pass the kiss test at all), the majority of the color hangs around.

There are a lot of things to like about this lipstick, but there is one glaring characteristic that I really dislike–borderline loathe–this is so, so drying. I just feel like it’s sucking the very life out of my lips after an hour or two of wear. Testing this product was painful after six hours, because my lips felt dry, cracked, and beyond chapped. When I hit the eight hour mark when testing La Ravissante, I removed it ASAP and applied half a tube of balm on my lips (not really, but you get the picture!). I’ve been testing out various shades from the new range since my order arrived from Nordstrom about a week and a half ago, and all the shades I’ve tried have had the same drying characteristic.

They don’t claim that it’s hydrating, but they do claim it’s non-drying, and I was fussing with my lips after an hour. I went to lunch with a friend, and she noticed how uncomfortable I seemed to be with my lipstick and asked if I was testing something new (but of course!). Because it’s so drying, the lines on my lips become more and more noticeable with more product welling into them. It’s not just drying after you wear it for six or eight hours, but my lips felt dry and chapped after an hour. I’ve worn hundreds of lipsticks and glosses over the years, and very few products cling and dry out my lips like this. There are many matte formulas and shades I’ve worn over the years and few have been as drying as I found these.

I know a lot of readers seemed to express good experiences with these, too, which had me excited, but I would never reach for one of these lipsticks. I could only test one every couple of days because of the toll they took on my lips. If you don’t mind layering with lip balm, which often defeats the look of a matte finish, the long-wearing color may make it worth it.  Claims (such as being non-drying) are encompassed by the overall product rating, but this product excelled in pigmentation and longevity, which cushioned the impact of how drying it was (how drying it was also impacted the texture score).  I would not recommend this product, based on my experience, but the grade would lead one to believe a less harsh recommendation. If only they felt more like they do when they’re initially applied, because it’s soft, smooth, and comfortable.

The Glossover

P
product

La Ravissante

B-
I would NOT recommend these based on my personal experience. I know a lot of readers seemed to express good experiences with these, too, which had me excited, but I would never reach for one of these lipsticks. I could only test one every couple of days because of the toll they took on my lips. If you don't mind layering with lip balm, which often defeats the look of a matte finish, the long-wearing color may make it worth it.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color
Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles Rouge Dior Lip Color

Dior Versailles (527) Rouge Dior Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) has a pinky-coral base color with peachy-gold shimmer finished with a glossy shine. The color coverage is semi-opaque–there’s some translucency but looks better from afar (the translucency is harder to detect). It does have a bit of a frostier finish, but there is also a fair amount of shine to it. MAC Mellowarm is more orangeand lacks the golden sheen, Dior Coral is a bit more orange with less of a sheen, Korres #18 is much pinker but has a golden sheen, Guerlain Gems is a touch more coral (less pink) and has the same golden sheen, and (finally!) MAC Fresh Salmon is much pinker.

I liked that the color glided across my lips easily and pretty evenly (especially given how much shimmer it has!). Versailles wore for four hours well enough not to need an reapplication, but it did need one by the sixth hour. I wouldn’t call it a long-wearing shade, which is what the Rouge Dior line-up is supposed to be. It’s good, solid wear, though, and what is really important is that it’s comfortable and hydrating to wear–no chapped lips after it fades away.

On a personal note, this is one of my favorite coral lipsticks (it’s very similar to my all-time favorite,  Guerlain Gems), so as one coral fiend to another, I definitely recommend it on the basis of color alone.

The Glossover

LE
product

Versailles

B+
As far as the color goes, it's a great coral--not too bright or orange or pink--and I don't find many that are just right like this, but the length of wear doesn't live up to the brand's marketing, which is really the biggest flaw of this particular product.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer
Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Merveille Vernis Nail Lacquer

Dior Merveille (651) Vernis Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) looks like a fiery orange-red in the bottle, but it turns out a little less fiery and more coral-orange on the nails. Nubar Pink Flame is closer to the shade I expected from the way Merveille looked in the bottle (it appears redder on the nails than Merveille). There is faint golden-copper shimmer, but it doesn’t show up much in natural light–only in really bright lighting does it arrive (fashionably late) to the party.

I was also surprised that this wasn’t opaque after two coats–it seems like such a rich shade, but there is a hint of visible nail line after two coats. Even though the flow was even and fluid, it just didn’t provide as much color coverage as a polish should, especially this kind of a shade! This shade was a little thinner than others but didn’t seem watery when I was applying–but by the underlying translucency, it might be a touch watery. I do typically get a week of wear with only minor tip wear with Dior’s formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Merveille

B+
I like this a lot against warmer skin tones, because it brings out the copper shimmer more. If you like the way it looks on the nail, it's definitely workable; if you want something more like the bottle, I'd skip.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette
Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette

Tarina Tarantino Delightful Jewel Eyeshadow Palette ($32.00 for 0.32 oz.) is a cooler toned set of more neutral shades. I think we could hedge and say it’s more neutral-cool than really, truly cool-toned. The formula is designed to have intense color payoff, and the eyeshadows are long-wearing and can be used wet or dry (always good to know–more brands should note this!).

I reviewed Dreamy initially, which I was really digging, and I like this one a lot, too–it’s not my personal favorite just by preference, but the quality is lovely and lives up to my readjusted expectations for Tarina Tarantino’s beauty line. I think Sephora is doing these palettes an injustice by not even taking the time to describe each palette’s colors! You just get this ridiculously tiny photo of the palette, but I think with a smaller brand like this, more would be better. I noticed this mostly because I like to start off each review with the brand’s official description of the shade as well as the formula. It helps me to breakdown what I should be looking for and hit on in the review.

The top shade in the palette is a cool-toned medium-dark brown with a frosted finish; it’s almost taupe, but I don’t think it has quite enough gray tint to make it a true taupe. The pigmentation is excellent, and the texture is dense, buttery, and applies smoothly. It’s much lighter than the taupe-ish shade in Dreamy (just because at first glance, they seem similar). It’s a little darker than MAC Magical Mist, cooler-toned and less red-based than Urban Decay Wreckage, and it’s just a touch cooler-toned compared to Bare Escentuals A-Ha.

On the left, there is a bright, frosted gold-tinged white. It’s almost too light to call it a white gold. It has good color payoff and applies smoothly. It is extremely similar to the white gold shade in Dreamy, but it’s also similar to several other shades, including theBalm Envious Erin, theBalm Tempting Tara, Urban Decay Zephyr, and Bare Escentuals Breathtaking. It’s the warmest shade in the palette and definitely not neutral or cool-toned.

In the middle, there is a pale neutral pink with a white frost finish. The payoff is decent but could be better here (think 8/10); it’s not as intense as the other shades in the palette. MAC Fresh Ice is cooler-toned, almost lilac in comparison, while Bare Escentuals Muse is similar but less frosted and more opaque.

On the right, there is a barely warmed golden peach with a metallic finish. It’s smooth and soft, while the pigmentation is good. Inglot #330 reminded me most in terms of color, but it has a matte finish. I couldn’t think of anything else that was similar, though.

The last shade, on the bottom, is a slightly cool-toned dark brown with this slightly warm undertone peeking through. It’s interesting, because the sheen on this looks gray tinted, but the edging has a warmer tone to it. The texture is almost matte, kind of like half-matte, half-satin; and the color payoff is nice. It’s a bit grayer and lighter than MAC Charcoal Brown. MAC Double Feature 3 is a bit closer but not quite.

Looking at the general range, I think they could have made one or two of these colors more cool-toned, because then they’d have a genuinely cool-toned but fairly neutral palette to offer. This palette will work well universally, though, because it’s a mix of cool and warm but for the most part, nothing leans too far in either direction. The color payoff was good on all the shades except the center shade, which was so-so–better than average but not as good as the others. I tested out this palette without a primer (just used three shades on one eye), and it made it to eight hours without creasing or fading, but it had very subtle creasing after ten.

The Glossover

palette

Delightful

A+

Looking at the general range, I think they could have made one or two of these colors more cool-toned, because then they'd have a genuinely cool-toned but fairly neutral palette to offer. This palette will work well universally, though, because it's a mix of cool and warm but for the most part, nothing leans too far in either direction. The color payoff was good on all the shades except the center shade, which was so-so--better than average but not as good as the others.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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