Wednesday, July 6th, 2011


Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani

Giorgio Armani #505 Gloss d’Armani ($28.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a blue-based, raspberry-pink with iridescent fuchsia shimmer. It’s semi-opaque and upon application yields good color coverage for a gloss (that’s not closer to a liquid lipstick), but you do still see my lip freckle peeking through.

I feel the need to preface this review with: I LOVE these lipglosses. I am personally impressed and think these are an excellent new gloss on the market, but just because I personally think a product is great for my needs does not mean I can disregard what the product is supposed to do. I think they over-promise on the gloss, but the gloss itself is better in certain ways than your average lipgloss.

Gloss d’Armani makes a surprising amount of claims, many of them seemingly lofty, including: “concentrated, high definition color,” “stay-fast color is like a second skin that remains true for eight hours without fading or migrating,” and “hydrated, silky smooth feeling without any stickiness.” It sounds like we should expect a long-wearing gloss (8 hours, as specified–and more importantly, that is when it should start to fade) that’s rich in color (“concentrated, high definition color”), hydrating (‘hydrated, silky smooth”), and not sticky (“without any stickiness”). Although, later on in the product description, Giorgio Armani describes the “nude beiges” as “draping the lips in a sheer chiffon-like veil” and further describes shade #400 as a “sheer version for an astonishing, explosive effect” of one of their signature reds. This seems to say that the color range is ultimately going to vary in pigmentation, because “sheer” doesn’t mean “concentrated,” and “chiffon” is certainly not opaque. Talk about making things confusing!

The texture of the Gloss d’Armani’s is really complex, and I say this because it changes over time as you wear it. Initially, it feels thick without being heavy or goopy, and glides on much like a gel would. It feels squishy on the lips but doesn’t slip and slide around. Within fifteen minutes, I find it feels less like a gel and a little tacky. After two hours, it’s definitely a tackier lip product. It’s not thick and sticky like MAC Lipglass, but there is definitely a sticky quality to it. I find removal is best with a makeup removing wipe or cotton round (or the like) in eye/lip makeup remover.

It doesn’t quite wear for eight hours for me, and certainly not without noticeable fading. It lasts about five hours before beginning to fade, but by the sixth hour of wear, there is some fading. When I drink, some of the gloss did transfer onto the edge of the cup, but the gloss remains mostly intact. I think if one doesn’t drink or eat, six hours of decent wear is more attainable, but it’s not very realistic (I could not get to eight without fading). The good news is that six hours is still a long period of time to wear a single lip product, and you’ll certainly be able to tell if it wasn’t hydrating–this gloss is definitely moisturizing. After wearing nothing but this gloss on my lips for eight hours (including some of their lighter shades), my lips did not feel cracked dry afterward.

This product fell short of the eight-hour wear claim made, which hurts the rating of this product in longevity. I appreciate they specified what “long-wearing” meant, though. Many brands will say “long-wearing” but never give you any kind of time frame to expect, and thus, it can be difficult to determine where one marks normal wear and long-wear. I also found this product noticeably tacky; while it feels like a non-sticky gloss when swatched and initially worn, it becomes sticky over time for me. I thought maybe I was delusional on that point, so I actually tested out three colors several times just to determine the tackiness.

The three I have are scent- and taste-free. They come in rounded, slightly oval tubes and look a lot like the Rouge d’Armani Lipsticks. It has a slanted, doe-foot applicator (see photo below), that’s long and easy to maneuver across the lips. I did find that the applicator doesn’t get a lot of gloss on it, so it’s difficult to apply one full layer on lips with a single pull of gloss. It contains a good amount of gloss, too; it’s not all tube and little product inside.

Again, I loved this lipgloss, and it’s one I intend to purchase additional shades in. I am impressed by the length and quality of wear overall, but I review based on what a brand claims their product can do, not what I want it to do (or what I’m willing to forgive). While I have no problem with stickier glosses, since these are said to be non-sticky, it affected the texture rating, while the shortcomings in wear are reflected in the longevity (I considered 8 hours = perfect 10, so 5-6 hours of good wear means the brand fell short by about 30%). Characterstics of a product not specifically addressed quantify the overall product quality rating, which made sense to give 10, since it’s very moisturizing/hydrating, comfortable to wear, and had great shine.

The Glossover

P
product

#505

B+
If you're a gloss fiend and are on the lookout for moisturizing, longer-wearing glosses, you might like Gloss d'Armani--if you don't mind some tackiness.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like

Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “playful periwinkle.” It’s a really rich, dark periwinkle, and to me, I see indigo–that perfect mix of blue and violet that gives you something different. I used two coats for swatches, and there is a hint of visible nail line, so I would say three is likely the ideal strategy here. It’s described as a cream finish, but it is more like a cream meets jelly–it has that slightly squishy look of a jelly.

Deborah Lippmann’s cream polishes last about a week on me with a good top/base coat (I prefer Zoya’s for both). The formula on this is a little watery, but I wouldn’t say it ended up being sheer or runny, as it still applied evenly and didn’t pull in places. Essie Smooth Sailing is lighter and has shimmer but reminded me of it nonetheless. SpaRitual Illume has a jelly-like appearance, but it leans more purple.

The Glossover

LE
product

I Know What Boys Like

B
The color is interesting, which is why I think it will grab people's attention. At $16, it's certainly not an impulse buy, but at least the color isn't something we see all of the time. The jelly-cream finish may also be a draw!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, July 6th, 2011


Giorgio Armani White Punch (11) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani White Punch (11) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani White Punch (11) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a pale pink-tinged beige and white mix of colors that translates into a pink-tinged white with a high-shine metallic finish. The sheen is so reflective–this can really pop on lids if you apply it opaque. I did find that this shade did not apply as well as many of the other shades within the range–it was a little uneven, which led to some sheerness in places.  The color reminded me of MAC Et tu, Bouquet?, perhaps a little pinker.

The texture of the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows is interesting; it’s a really compacted loose powder, but it’s so finely milled that it almost feels like a hybrid cream-powder. Each pot contains 0.14 oz. worth of product, which is a good amount, given that most pressed eyeshadows average around 0.05 oz. I have worn around half of the range alone on lids with 12+ hours of wear without creasing, smudging, or fading.

The Glossover

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product

#11

B+
It does not apply as evenly or deliver as much color in one pass as the majority of the Eyes to Kill Intense line, so while it's still a nice product, it's not as great as others in the line.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, July 4th, 2011


Zoya Nail Lacquer in Anja, Cynthia, Dree

Zoya Mirrors Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

Zoya Mirrors Collection contains metallic nail lacquers, including: Jem (sparkly fandango pink metallic), Yara (sparkly olive green metallic), Neeka (sparkly amethyst purple metallic), Marina (smoky steel blue metallic), Tao (smoky slate gray metallic), and Nimue (smoky rich thistle metallic).

  • Jem is a rich, jewel-esque pink-shimmered purple-red. It has both pink and gold shimmer. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. It’s similar to Zoya Valerie but the base is less black.
  • Yara is an olive green base with green-gold and green flecks of sparkle. I used two coats for opaque color coverage.The sparkle portion is similar to the type in China Glaze Zombie Zest, but the base of that polish is very murky and dark olive in comparison. The base of Yara is similar to Dree (but greener) of the Smoke collection.
  • Neeka is a slightly dusted grape purple with flecks of gold shimmer and sparkle. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. I couldn’t think of similar shades for this one.
  • Marina is a steely blue with silver micro-shimmer. This one read the most metallic to me, because the shimmer threads through the color base. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. Butter London Lady Muck came to me first, but it’s much lighter.
  • Tao is a silver-shimmered medium gray. I needed three coats with this shade to get opaque color. NARS Full Metal Jacket is similar but darker.
  • Nimue is a silver-shimmered purple-mauve. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. Nubar Vaso is similar but more metallic and pinker.

Overall, the formula on these was on the thinner side but not difficult to use.  I needed three coats on Tao, but I felt two coats were appropriate for opaque color on the other five shades.  Marina, Tao, and Nimue have a stronger metallic finish than Jem, Yara, and Neeka, but they definitely all look more metallic in brighter light.  I wore Jem for a week to test out the wear, and I had only minor tip wear, which is consistent with my past experience with Zoya’s metallic formula.  The darker shades (like Jem) are very pigmented and almost opaque in one coat.  The metallic finish does result in brush strokes, which were easy enough to control but may be a turn-off for some. I used Zoya’s Anchor + Armor for base/top coats.

The Glossover

product

Zoya Mirrors Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

A-
Besides noticeable brush strokes, it's a nice collection of metallics for fall. Only Tao needed three coats, while the rest were opaque in two, and the formula flowed evenly and the shimmer/sparkle distributed well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, July 4th, 2011


Zoya Nail Lacquer in Anja, Cynthia, Dree

Zoya Smoke Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

Zoya’s Smoke Collection contains six cream nail lacquers, including: Anja (smoky palatinate purple cream), Cynthia (smoky Prussian blue cream), Dree (smoky camouflage green cream), Jana (smoky mauve quartz cream), Petra (smoky eggplant mauve cream), and Codie (smoky brown taupe cream).

  • Anja is a deep, burgundy-wine cream. It was opaque in nearly one coat, but I swatched it with two. It looks extremely similar to Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter. Zoya Stacy is redder and browner.
  • Cynthia is a deep, forboding gray-blue. It was opaque in two coats. I detected the faintest hint of micro-shimmer that only was noticeable under very, very bright light. The only shade I could think to compare it to was Chanel Steel, but it doesn’t have the same blue tone.
  • Dree is an olive green with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats. Chanel Khaki Vert is greener, less yellow-based, while Rescue Beauty Lounge No More War is darker and greener–Dree appears almost muted in comparison. Zoya Gemma is greener, less olive, and has lots of shimmer.
  • Jana is a muted mauve cream. It was opaque in two coats. China Glaze Below Deck is darker, while Essie Merino Cool is cooler-toned and grayer.
  • Petra is a dark, gray-casted purple with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats. China Glaze Below Deck is closer to Petra than it was to Jana.
  • Codie is a dark, cool-toned black-brown cream. It was opaque in two coats. Essie’s Little Brown Dress is similar but a little warmer and lighter.

All six creams applied nicely–even flow, good color coverage (two coats used for all swatches), and the formula wasn’t too thick or thin. I tested out Jana for wear, and it wore for a week with minor tip wear, which is my normal experience with Zoya’s cream formula.  I used Zoya’s Anchor + Armor for base/top coats.

The Glossover

product

Zoya Smoke Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes

A
Oddly enough, I see the smokiness that Zoya went for with these polishes. It's most apparent in Cynthia, which ended up looking really complex despite its cream finish.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, July 4th, 2011


Bobbi Brown Bronze Tortoise Shell Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Bronze Tortoise Shell Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Bronze Tortoise Shell Eye Palette ($60.00 for 0.32 oz.) is new and limited edition for fall and contains eight eyeshadows: Banana (buttery cream), Olive (golden olive), Gold Nugget (yellow gold), Bronze (true bronze), Tiger’s Eye (golden copper), Copper Cocoa (light chocolate brown), Espresso (dark chocolate brown), and Amber (pink bronze).

Here’s a quick breakdown of Bobbi Brown’s finishes: regular eyeshadows have a matte finish, which means no shimmer; sparkle eyeshadows are glittery and have a translucent base to allow it to glide onto the lid; metallic eyeshadows are richly pigmented with a bright sheen; and shimmer wash eyeshadows are sheer and lightly pearlized.

  • Banana is a darkened butter yellow with a matte finish. This has a matte finish. It had nice color payoff and applied smoothly, softly, and didn’t feel powdery.
  • Gold Nugget is a sheer, yellowed gold color base with yellow gold glitter and shimmer. This has a sparkle finish. The color payoff is low here, which makes some sense if it’s supposed to have a “translucent base,” though I’m not entirely certain that these are supposed to be sheer. To me, this didn’t feel like a regular sparkle–it felt smoother. It’s a lot like MAC Goldmine.
  • Olive is a dirty khaki bronze with a metallic sheen. This has a sparkle finish. It’s noticeably more pigmented than Gold Nugget, yet it, too, has a sparkle finish. There is a little sheerness still. It is similar to Make Up For Ever #148 and a little less brown compared to Giorgio Armani #6.
  • Bronze is a red-toned bronze brown with a high-shine, metallic sheen. This has a metallic finish. This shade had nice color payoff. It’s a little less amber compared to Giorgio Armani #5. Inglot #406 is similar but richer. This seems like it would be similar to MAC’s Woodwinked.
  • Tiger’s Eye is an orange-y brown with a frosty finish. This has a metallic finish. It seemed less metallic, more frost to me. It had nice color payoff. Milani Bronze Doll is a lighter version but comparable in overall tone and color.
  • Espresso is a deep black-brown. This has a matte finish. It has really nice color payoff, but it looks a lot darker swatched than in the pan. This shade is part of the permanent range.  It seems comparable to MAC’s Showstopper.
  • Copper Cocoa is a warm, chocolate bronze with a subtle, pearly sheen. This has a shimmer wash finish. If shimmer washes are supposed to be sheer, this is quite off the mark. It’s one of the more pigmented shades in the palette. It’s a little warmer and lighter than Inglot #409.
  • Amber is a semi-sheer, orange-peach with gold and copper shimmer-sparkle. This has a shimmer wash finish. It’s sheer and has bits of sparkle that do leave some fall out when used. Urban Decay Blaze is similar but without the glitter/sparkle.

Unfortunately, the product sample I received to review did not come with a box, and the label on the back of the compact had sample labeling, so I couldn’t get an ingredients’ list or how much product was in it. I called my local Bobbi Brown counter and asked, and they said that the regular eyeshadows (mattes) contain 0.04 oz., sparkle finishes contain 0.02 oz., metallic finishes contain 0.05 oz., and shimmer wash finishes contain 0.05 oz. This palette contains 2x regular, 2x sparkle, 2x metallic, and 2x shimmer wash, which ends up being the equivalent value of: $20 in regular eyeshadows, $7.38 in sparkle eyeshadows, $20 in metallic eyeshadows, and $25 in shimmer wash eyeshadows. All in all, this palette contains $72.38 worth of product.

This is a warmer palette–very bronze indeed–that will suit medium to dark skin tones with yellow undertones best, but I do think it’s suitable for lighter complexions as a few of the shades are softer/sheerer.  There are at least two shades (Gold Nugget and Tiger’s Eye) that I could see turning rather orange on pinker complexions, though.  Fans of bronzes, earth tones, and metallic-like finishes will find this palette right up their alley, but those who prefer softer, subtler finishes may find this one too sparkly.

The Glossover

palette

Bobbi Brown Bronze Tortoise Shell Eye Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B
This palette is a good mix of finishes at first glance, but the finishes tend to run together and you're left looking for more satin/matte finishes. Not all of the shades are fully opaque when used, and some are designed that way, but whether that's a positive/negative is personal preference.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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