Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

Urban Decay Eldorado Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Eldorado Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Eldorado Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Eldorado Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “bright gold with gold sparkles.” It’s a yellow gold with a lightness that seems to tone down some of the brightness. It has gold micro-glitter strewn through the golden base color, which does have a tendency to cause fall out when used without a really tacky base. I had trouble getting an opaque, even layer of product, though–the pigmentation is lacking, and the texture is too dry, which seems to be the cause of uneven application.  On the lid, you really have to pack it on just to get decent color payoff.

It’s a disappointment, because El Dorado 24/7 Liner is a gorgeous true yellow gold, but this is a very faded variation of that. Inglot #403 is a much more intense version of what this looks like in the pan, while Make Up For Ever #10 is a little darker. I find that MAC Goldmine is significantly darker and almost looks orange.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Urban Decay Eldorado Eyeshadow

D-
This is a real miss -- it's not very pigmented, has glittery fallout, and applies unevenly.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

NARS Orgasm Highlighting Blush
NARS Orgasm Blush

NARS Orgasm Blush

NARS Orgasm Blush ($27.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “peachy pink with shimmer.” This is a cult product–and NARS knows it–that has been replicated across their product range (e.g. Orgasm lipgloss, nail polish, etc.) and by other brands. It seems like nearly every brand has a shade that is similar to Orgasm (just check out the dupes for it on The Dupe List.

I’ve always found Orgasm to be more pink than peach. It’s more of a light-medium, strawberry-pink color base with peach-gold shimmer and sheen. It applies softly, as the shade itself is not particularly intense. The color payoff is decent but there seems to be some inherent sheerness in the product itself. It’s interesting, because on NARS’ website, they describe their blush as “provi[ding] a sheer, natural hint of color” but many of NARS’ blushes are well-known for their intensities.

I think the color is what drives this product’s popularity; it’s a warmer pink with that golden sheen that gives a hint of color, warmth, and a subtle glow. It has a soft, smooth texture with only the tiniest bit of powderiness, which I expect is more because some of the shimmer seems to pull away from the color (but the shimmer is rather fine, so it doesn’t look or feel chunky).  I get about eight hours of wear with NARS’ blushes, while a softer color like Orgasm wears seven to eight hours (which is around average).

From products I’ve reviewed, shades like Guerlain Blush G (similarity depends on how much of each of the shades you use), Rock & Republic Call Me (less pink, more orange), Lancome Mandarin Sky (less pink, more orange), Smashbox Paradise (less pink, sheerer), Benefit Sugarbomb (more peach, lighter), MAC Springsheen (more shimmer), Benefit CORALista (less peach), and Le Metier de Beaute Echo (more orange) all show some resemblance to Orgasm. Of all of those possibilities, I find MAC Springsheen to be most similar.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Orgasm Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you like coral, especially pinker ones, I don't think Orgasm will disappointment. It's popular for a reason, and Temptalia readers regularly show it love in the Readers' Choice Awards.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

MAC Semi-Precious Brushes: 128, 179, 234, 235 Review

Above is a video review and comparison of the upcoming Semi-Precious brushes. I thought that a video would better illustrate size and how they stack up (both in size and shape) to existing brushes.

My overall take on these brushes is that they’re nice but unnecessary. The split effect is unusual but doesn’t seem to be all that useful. I don’t think that these were meant to be gimmicky, but after using them, that’s how the split fibre technique seems.   If you’re expecting one of these brushes to revolutionize your makeup routine, you may be disappointed.  If you’re looking for a particular size/shape and one of these matches that, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  You won’t enjoy much of the split effect if you tend to use the point or edge of your brush, rather than the side.

They feel well-constructed from me, but I can’t vouch for longevity, given I have only had these for a few days.  The ferrules seem sturdy and tight around the bristles.  I had some bristles splayed around the edges of the 179, but the other three brushes were fine.  I did not experience any bleeding dye or post-wash smells.  All four brushes felt exceptionally soft, and none of them felt scratchy during application.  On the handles, all four have “China” imprinted, compared to Japan or France for many (if not all) of the permanent brushes.

I see the 234 being the most popular of the bunch, just because it shares a lot of similarities with the 217, which is one of the more popular brushes.  The 128 is a good size to add to one’s stash of cheek brushes, but it doesn’t replace anything I already have (and I don’t see myself reaching for it).   I am curious to see if that will cause each side to separate a little over time.  Right now, the split is really seamless.

These seem more like specialty brushes, which mean that they function but for particular purposes.  I see them less as becoming a new staple brush in your collection as something you buy with an exact purpose in mind.  MAC has other brushes with well-defined purposes in their permanent line-up, so I would think of these in a similar way.   One doesn’t need every brush MAC makes, but you might find a certain brush more useful than another based on what your needs are.

  • 128 Split Fibre Cheek Brush is a nice brush for smaller cheeks, though it feels a little too dense to apply blush as well as I like the application from the 116. It is very similar in size to the 109 and even to an extent, the shape, but obviously flattened. It’s a densely-packed brush.
  • 179 Angled Split Fibre Buffer Brush is incredibly soft and moves well across the skin. It also feels huge when I use it. I’m not sure just how much utility there is here, compared to a normal buffing brush. I did notice more-than-expected splaying of bristles around the edges after two washes.
  • 234 Split Fibre Eye Blending Brush seems to be the most useful of the four brushes. I could see using both sides separately but with the same color–say picking up the product with the natural side and then blending with the synthetic side. It is reminiscent of the 217 but not quite as fluffy or as rounded.
  • 235 Split Fibre All Over Eye Brush is like the 214 and 239 had an over-sized baby. Personally, I find the brush too big to be of much use for my eye area. I wouldn’t say I have particularly small eyes (I wouldn’t say I have large ones, either!). It could work well for applying a wash of a single color; perhaps laying down a cream eyeshadow with one side and blending the edges with the other.

To view still photos of these brushes, please see this post.

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011


Chanel Quartz Le Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Chanel Fall 2011:  Quartz Le Vernis

Chanel Quartz Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is described as a “silver beige.” This is shade that is difficult to describe. In natural light, it tends to look like a champagne beige with threads of silver shimmer. In brighter and more direct light, it looks like a beige-taupe with multi-colored shimmer and a metallic, silver, shimmer. This is a more office-friendly shade as comapred to the other two shades in the fall collection.

I used two coats, and it seemed a touch sheer but manageable. For me, the formula didn’t apply quite as evenly as I would have liked, but it wasn’t particularly troublesome. In the past, Chanel polishes have tended to last about a week on my nails with some minor tip wear (with a base/top coat).

It reminded me of Illamasqua Bacterium, which is a yellower brown.

The Glossover

LE
product

Quartz

B-
For something that's work-safe but still has some oomph, Quartz is a nice shade. It is that mix of beige, taupe, champagne, and then all that multi-colored shimmer, which makes it more interesting than a beige cream.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, July 1st, 2011

MAC Eyeshadow
MAC Sketch Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches – Burgundy & Brown

I’m trying to get these up sooner rather than later so that I can be sure to include permanent MAC dupes when and where possible, as it’s the most requested brand when someone is looking for a dupe. MAC Eyeshadows ($14.50 for 0.05 oz.) are so numerous, and the amount of browns and neutrals the brand has is insane.

Sketch is a dark burgundy brown with a velvet finish.
Deep Damson is a dark burgundy brown with red undertones and a matte finish. It’s slightly richer in color with a stronger red undertone than Sketch, but ultimately, it’s a much better formula to work with. This is a PRO shade.
Star Violet is a frosted, medium-dark burgundy brown with a veluxe pearl finish.
Embark is a rich, intense brown with a red undertone. It has a matte finish.
Shale is a dirty plum-gray with a satin finish (though it feels more like a frost or veluxe pearl than it does a satin–the sheen is too frosted).
Brown Down is a dark, chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones and a veluxe finish. It has this grayish cast to it that makes it not quite your typical brown.
Twinks is a medium-dark, golden brown with bronzed shimmer. It has a veluxe pearl finish. MAC describes it as a deep plum with pearl, but it’s very brown on me–at most, a hint of plum.
Sable is a medium-dark, bronzy brown with a tinge of plum. It’s very similar in color to Twinks, but their finishes make them look different.
Antiqued is a rich, coppery brown with a veluxe pearl finish.
Swiss Chocolate is a warm, medium-dark brown with a matte finish.
Brown Script is a warm, red-toned, medium brown with a Matte2 finish.
Texture is a warmed-up, light-medium brown with a yellowness and a velvet finish. It is a bit like Inglot #357.

A lot of the shades featured in this post are really lovely to work with.  Sketch is the only so-so shade; it can be temperamental and not always blend out with ease, which makes Deep Damson a much better choice if one has access to a PRO store/willingness to purchase via phone.  Shale is a shade that often looks just a bit different, because skin tone often shifts it to gray, plum, mauve, or even brown.  I’m a big fan of Twinks, Sable, Antiqued, and Brown Script–all rich and smooth formulas.

See more swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, June 30th, 2011


MAC Dark Indulgence Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Semi-Precious: Mineralize Eyeshadows (Part 3)

There are three more MAC Mineralize Eyeshadows ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) included in the Semi-Precious collection: Dark Indulgence (melange of forest green and black), Faux Gold (melange of coral, gold, lime, and bronze), and Quartz Fusion (melange of soft pink, silver, and deep pink).

  • Dark Indulgence is a blackened forest green whether used dry or wet, but when it is applied wet, the metallic sheen is more pronounced, making the overall shade look a little brighter. MAC She Who Dares has a grittier texture because it is more of a glitter finish than shimmer finish, and it also has a lot of gold shimmer, which makes it more of a yellow-based green and more reflective. They’re not completely different, but there are some gaps. Inglot #414 is similar but more reflective, so the base doesn’t seem as black. It is also similar to MAC Greengrease Greasepaint Stick, but it is more pigmented.
  • Faux Gold is a muted coppery brown with warm undertones. It’s softer and sheerer when used dry. It is lighter than MAC Antiqued but darker than MAC Amber Lights (which appears more golden). Milani Fusion seemed similar but it’s not as coppery. It’s actually a bit like Urban Decay Shag, but it seems a touch redder in undertone.
  • Quartz Fusion is a sheer raspberry pink when used dry, and then it’s more of a raspberry pink when applied damp. It’s very, very gritty from the chunky glitter that dominates the pan. It tended to apply unevenly when I swatched it.

Quartz Fusion is an absolute miss for me; the chunky glitter gets everywhere. It’s also rather underwhelming when used dry–sheer, almost dirty looking, compared to the color achieved when used wet. Dark Indulgence is the best of these three:  great color payoff with a soft and smooth texture.  The wear would still be a concern even for a shade like Dark Indulgence, but it gets high marks on the other rating criteria.  Faux Gold is somewhere in the middle–slightly sheer when used dry but overall, the texture is smooth and payoff is decent to good.

In this overall review, Quartz Fusion really brings down the overall rating of the other two here, which is why I tend to review products individually so each can stand on its own merits, rather than being pushed down (or buffered by) other shades.

Please make sure you check out my full review on the eyeshadows, as this post does not fully address the pros/cons of the overall formula.

The Glossover

product

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 3)

C+
Dark Indulgence is certainly better than C+ overall (think B+), while Faux Gold is more like a B-, but it is Quartz Fusion, however, that brings the overall rating down, because on its own, it would be a F.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

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