Sunday, October 16th, 2011

NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish
NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish

NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish

NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish ($4.00 for 0.52 fl. oz.) is a holographic glitter polish with small particle glitter and larger hexagonal particles all suspended in a clear base. It looks almost silver, but then the particles give off a rainbow reflection. I wish the photos turned out better, because it’s so stunning in person–it dazzles and shimmers and shines. The effect is gorgeous!

This is a newly released formula by NYX, and if you have any Deborah Lippmann polishes, the bottle is going to seem more than familiar. The major difference is the cap; NYX has a glossy black cap, while Deborah Lippmann has a rubberized cap (so it has a matte black finish), and the latter is easier to hold. I tested out NYX’s formula this past week using two different shades (a shimmer on one hand, this glittery shade on the other), and I didn’t have any wear issues, just minor tip wear after seven days.

Ice Glitter has a thin consistency, which is different than a lot of other glitters like this one, because they tend to have thicker, almost gel-like bases, which often assist in giving the glitter better distribution on the nail. I felt like a thicker base would have helped pull the glitter more evenly, but I still felt like the distribution was decent overall with the thinner consistency. The thinner quality makes it easier to layer without building up too much thickness on the actual nail. As you’d expect, removal is no picnic, and you’ll want to give the remover some time to soak and break down the polish before actually pulling the polish off.

P.S. — Please forgive the random red glitters; this was the seventh or eighth glitter polish I swatched for photos.

The Glossover

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product

Ice Glitter

B+
I'm thrilled to see more budget-friendly brands putting out hexagonal glitter polishes, because they can be really fun and lovely on, but previous iterations have been less than affordable.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, October 14th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) contains multi-colored square (mostly) glitter suspended in a clear base color. The polish is thicker, not quite gel-like, but it’s thick enough that after two coats (which is what is shown here) that I wouldn’t go for a third and expect excellent wear. There are large, square-shaped glitter in greenish-teal, bluish-green, light-medium purple, and golden orange. There also appears to be hexagon-shaped glitter in the same golden orange color.

This shade could be used for layering, but I really liked it alone. It was fun and whimsical; not your most obvious choice for holidays, but it has a wintry vibe to it. I could see it seeming more appropriate for spring, because of some of the overall lightness in color, but I just keep thinking “winter wonderland.”

Though glitter polishes are often difficult to remove, this seemed extra difficult, so it will require patience and plenty of your favorite remover. The key is to let the remover soak through the layers of polish, which will make it easier to remove. Generally, I get a week of wear with Deborah Lippmann’s polishes with minimal tip wear. Nothing comes to mind as a dupe, but maybe Temptalia readers know of one to share! :)

The Glossover

LE
product

Stairway to Heaven

B-
It's tricky to apply and remove, but I still really like and would likely have purchased it despite all the shortcomings--which really tells you how important color can be!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, October 14th, 2011


Tom Ford Violet Blonde Eau de Parfum

Tom Ford Violet Blonde Eau de Parfum ($100.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a new pillar of Tom Ford’s signature collection for women. It joins Black Orchid and White Patchouli. The notes include: violet leaf, Italian Mandarin, baie rose, Tuscan orris absolute, Tuscian orris butter, jasmine sambac, benzoin, cedarwood, Haitian vetiver absolute, musk, and soft suede.

It opened with strong burst of floral notes with a sweetened, fruit-laced edge over a backdrop of peppery greens. There was an inkling of the greenness from the violet leaf when it opened, but it quickly transitioned to fragrant, floral jasmine, which was the prevailing note on my skin for some time. The jasmine blended with the rooty qualities of the orris (iris root), so it was cool and just softer than crisp; like the first few days of fall, where the air coolly caresses and you realize the seasons have just changed.

I appreciated the damp, mustiness the orris notes imparted–they enhanced the depth and added another layer of nuance.  It made it distinctly autumnal for me and suitable as the weather slinks into sunny but cool afternoons.  Autumn is my favorite season, especially the precious few weeks, because it’s blissfully temperate with leaves just beginning to change and no fireplaces have been switched on.  It’s fresh and green and lovely.

Violet Blonde encapsulates some of those qualities–the freshness and green crispness of autumn–but it is more floral than anything else.  It never turned achingly sweet, which is a direction that tends to remind me of youthfulness, and instead, it evolved to an earthy jasmine with soft, creamy woods that took away some of the edginess of the opening of the scent but made it more wearable.  Violet Blonde reads elegant, polished, and subtly feminine–ultimately, a sophisticated, layered scent that’s not as heavy or as daunting as Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection, but in some ways, more refined.

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

MAC Matchmaster Foundation
MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation ($32.50 for 1.18 fl. oz.) is a buildable, medium-coverage liquid foundation with a “moisturizing demi-matte finish.” It’s supposed to have “line-reducing soft-focus powders” and “translucent pigments to enable a fully personalized finish influenced by the subtleties of your own skin’s undertone.”

It carries a SPF 15 rating, and the active ingredients are octinoxate (3.4%) and titanium dioxide (1.0%). With the low amount of titanium dioxide, you should be able to get away with it in photographs, though for really big, special occasions (e.g. weddings, graduations, etc.) you might opt for a more photography-appropriate formula. I didn’t notice sufficient change when I took numerous photos wearing it.

I tested shade 3.0 initially, which is supposed to suit NC30s, but it was a third to half a shade too dark and yellower than I needed. I think 2.0 is a better match, especially as we get into winter, but in some lighting, it seems a touch too light. Usually, if a foundation runs light, I’ll opt for the slightly too-light variation and use a setting powder in a shade that’s a closer match–because then it tends to come together as a solid match all around. From what I’ve heard from other readers, 1.0 may match those who are lighter than the traditional NC/NW15 shades.

I was testing this when my skin felt drier than normal (it’s typically normal-to-dry but closer to normal), and I felt like it emphasized the visible pores on my cheeks and had clingy feeling. If you have drier patches (I sometimes get them around my temples), it is not forgiving at all. The result was not entirely unexpected, given the demi-matte finish–the rule of thumb has always been dewier finishes for drier skin, matter finishes for oilier skin. I wanted to wait until my skin normalized to try it again, which is why the review took longer than normal, and I liked it better when my skin was at its usual normal-to-dry character.

The coverage is light to medium, but medium coverage takes a little more product to achieve, so it is less comfortable and heavier to wear if you need medium coverage. It has a good consistency where it doesn’t feel thick, but it’s not watery or loose. I used about a pump to pump and a half for total application. I tried various applicators, from sponges to brushes (109, 130, 187, 193), and I preferred the 109 or 193 (really like how it gets into the nooks and crannies so well!).

I get around eight hours of wear with this foundation, which is solid. I wore it longer, and by the tenth hour, it was a little faded and had moved around a touch, but it was still mostly intact (a little powder would have brought it back up to par). There is a faint chemical scent that I noticed when I first applied the product to my skin, but I did not detect it as I wore it throughout the day. I’d recommend this foundation more for those with normal, combination, or oily skin types. If you have dry skin but not patches or flakes, then you might like this one still–but I’d say it’s not a good match if you do suffer from drier patches/flaking.

While it’s not appropriate for me when my skin is on the drier side, I didn’t have those issues when I tested it for a second run with normal skin.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it; it wasn’t my holy grail formula.  It’s worth checking out, and overall, a welcomed addition to MAC’s foundation line-up.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Matchmaster Foundation Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It should be a good foundation for normal, combination, and oily skin types. I caution it for those with very dry to dry skin types, because it is less forgiving around larger pores, unevenness in skin texture, and dry patches. It's light to medium coverage, wears comfortably, and doesn't feel heavy when worn.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

NYX Apricot HD Blush
NYX Apricot HD Blush

NYX Apricot HD Blush

NYX Apricot HD Blush ($16.50 for 0.25 oz. ) is medium-dark coral-red with a soft, satiny shimmer-sheen. The color initially reminded me of Chanel Rouge, which is certainly redder and more intense–with a light hand, they’re comparable. It also reminded me of the original MAC Posey and MAC Mighty Aphrodite. Benefit Bella Bamba is pinker.

What I’ve loved most about NYX’s line of HD blushes is their soft, super finely-milled powders; they’re silky, blendable, and fairly buildable. It’s a formula that makes it difficult to overdo it on; you have to be deliberate about greater intensity if that’s the color you desire, but it’s not difficult to achieve a more pigmented cheek. The downside to these blushes is the wear time, which is around six hours, at which point I start noticing it fade.

For an in-depth commentary on the packaging, please see my original review.

The Glossover

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product

Apricot

B-
Surprisingly, despite its shortcomings, there is something about this product I like. It's a product I would reach for, but I recognize that it's below-average wear is a major issue. The packaging is less functional than it seems, and it's likely you're paying part of the higher price tag for that.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss (£13.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “dark green shimmer.” The brand’s Sheer Lipgloss is rather self-explanatory–it’s a sheerer gloss that adds shine. This is definitely not as opaque as the Intense Lipglosses, but I’d say it’s more pigmented than it is sheer. I initially thought it was an Intense Lipgloss that suffered from unevenness in application, because it runs semi-opaque.

It’s a dark, forest green shimmer with a really cool, blue-based tone to it, so it almost looks like a teal-green than a true green. The shimmer is layered with a black-brown color base. I don’t have anything like this, and I expect the general reaction will be similar to Kontrol Lipstick. You’ll either love it or hate it. It’s not a color you’d describe as universally wearable and palatable, but again, it’s nice to have options.

The overall darkness in the hue means that any unevenness becomes more apparent, even from afar, but I did keep in mind this is supposed to be a sheer gloss (and deducted a point because it’s more than “sheer wash”). I just don’t think that works so well with really deep, dark shades if you want to avoid obvious lip lines, unevenness, and the like. It didn’t bleed or feather, which was nice, and it wore for five hours before needing to be reapplied. The formula had no scent and didn’t feel tacky.  To get a more even appearance, try layering a black lipstick underneath.

The Glossover

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product

Violate

B+
If this is the kind of color you've been looking for, I think you'll like it, despite some of its shortcomings. For the right look, it could be worth the extra effort for perfect application.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

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