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NARS Transvaal, Solomon Islands, Ubangi Eye Paints

NARS Transvaal Eye Paint
NARS Transvaal Eye Paint

NARS Transvaal Eye Paint ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “grey.” It’s a medium-dark, neutral-cool gray with a mostly matte finish. It was intensely pigmented and very creamy. NARS Madison Ave. is bluer, darker. Maybelline Audacious Asphalt is shimmery, warmer. See comparison swatches.

Solomon Islands is described as “turquoise blue.” It’s a medium-dark blue with a hint of teal/green to give it a more turquoise coloring. It has a matte finish and rich color payoff. MAC Mountain Air is darker and pearly, but it was the only turquoise-ish cream eyeshadow/eyeliner I could think of to compare. See comparison swatches.

Ubangi is described as a “black with blue shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned black with medium blue and navy blue micro-shimmer. This particular shade had a very slippery consistency–it was wetter than the others–and the color payoff was less intense as it had a tendency to sheer out. Urban Decay Sabbath is bluer. MAC Night Trail is similar. MAC Petrol Blue is lighter, bluer. MAC Waveline is lighter, less shimmery. bareMinerals Noon is more muted. See comparison swatches.

Please refer to my original review here for a more in-depth look at the formula as a whole. To recap, Eye Paints are designed to be a long-wearing, highly-pigmented gel formula that can be used as an eyeshadow or as an eyeliner. I applied each shade using NARS’ #38 brush to mimic applying it as an eyeliner (narrow swatch) and then applied the same color with the horizontal edge of the #38 to mimic applying it as an all-over lid color (wide swatch). The formua’s strength is its creaminess and intense color payoff, but it dries and sets very quickly so it can be difficult to blend the shades together or soften the edges if you do not work quickly.

As a cream eyeshadow, the wear is just okay; there is some fading apparent after six to seven hours, and Ubangi seemed more prone to fading than the other two shades. I did not experience creasing with any of these shades. When worn as an eyeliner, Solomon Islands did not fade or migrate, and it seemed to last quite well over a nine-hour period. These definitely perform best as eyeliners, less so as cream eyeshadows. If you want to use them as a base, they wear well with powder eyeshadow on top–no creasing or fading after ten hours of wear.

NARS Eye Paint Transvaal
Transvaal
NARS Eye Paint Solomon Islands
NARS Eye Paint Ubangi
Ubangi

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NARS Iskandar, Mesopotamia, Snake Eyes Eye Paints

NARS Iskandar Eye Paint
NARS Iskandar Eye Paint

NARS Eye Paints ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is supposed to be a long-wearing, highly-pigmented gel formula that can be used as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The consistency is very creamy, and just about every single shade I tried was incredibly pigmented. These dry down very, very quickly, so you have to work fast, and they take some work to blend with each other as a result. Using one or two isn’t so bad, but add a third into the mix, and it can be troublesome. The edges need to be blended almost immediately, or else layered with a similar-colored eyeshadow to help diffuse the drier edge. Yesterday, I wore these primarily as eyeshadows (but also two as eyeliner on the lower lash line) over bare lids. I experienced very slight creasing after seven hours of wear as well as some slight fading, which worsened and was noticeable after eight and a half hours of wear. As an eyeliner, they lasted better and did not fade or migrate over a nine hour period.

Iskandar was the easiest to apply and blend out, while Mesopotamia was the one that set the quickest and was most difficult to blend. I like a fairly flat, somewhat narrow, brush with a little thickness and a domed edge for applying these (I used MAC’s 242), because it’s useful for placing dense color but also has enough density and thickness that it can blend out the edges, too. Today, I’m testing a couple other shades for wear (alone) but as well as with eyeshadow on top (so more as a base) to see how they perform that way. Tomorrow, I’ll try them over NARS’ Smudge Proof Primer to wrap everything up with a neat little bow.  One last thing: the size on these is slightly smaller than average gel eyeliners (usually around 0.10 oz. or so).

Iskandar is described as “gold.” It’s a rich, medium-dark gold with orange and bronze undertones and a copper and gold shimmer. It has a frosted, metallic finish. The color payoff was rich and opaque whether applied as an eyeliner or as an eyeshadow–I used NARS’ #38 brush for the thinner swatch and then turned it horizontally for the larger swatch. NARS Campo de Fiori is similar. Maybelline Bold Gold is less warm-toned. MAC Going for the Gold is darker. Illamasqua Alchemy is yellower. See comparison swatches.

Mesopotamia is described as “brown.” It’s a deep brown with subtle warm, red undertones and a matte finish. It is richly pigmented and applied smoothly. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is warmer. Urban Decay Demolition is similar. MAC rich Experience is also similar. Buxom Two by Four is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches.

Snake Eyes is described as “black with green shimmer.” It’s a deep black with brown undertones with emerald green pearl. It had fairly good color payoff but to make the pearl stand out, two layers are needed. Urban Decay Loaded is lighter. MAC Dark Envy is greener. MAC My Next Indulgence is lighter. See comparison swatches.

NARS Eye Paint Iskandar
Iskandar
NARS Eye Paint Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia
NARS Eye Paint Snake Eyes
Snake Eyes

L’Oreal Florid Pink & Pucker-Up Pink Colour Riche Le Glosses

L'Oreal Florid Pink Colour Riche Le Gloss
L’Oreal Florid Pink Colour Riche Le Gloss

L’Oreal Florid Pink Colour Riche Le Gloss ($7.99 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a cool-toned, blue-based cotton candy pink with a creamy finish. It had semi-sheer color coverage, and it did settle slightly into lip lines. Edward Bess First Kiss is warmer. MAC Next Fad is warmer, more shimmery. MAC Saint Germain is cooler-toned, lighter. MAC Pink Nouveau is more opaque, slightly cooler-toned. MAC Petite Indulgence is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Pucker-Up Pink Colour Riche Le Gloss ($7.99 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a sheer pink with pink and silver shimmer. The gloss really appears mostly colorless applied, but there is a lot of visible shimmer. Urban Decay Trashed has finer shimmer. MAC Fashion Fanatic is milkier. MAC Demure is lighter. MAC Floating Lotus is similar. Bobbi Brown Pastel is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Colour Riche Le Gloss has a very smooth, jelly-like texture that is comfortable to wear and non-sticky.  It is creamy, glossy, and the pigmentation seems to vary from shade to shade.  They have a strong, sweet,burnt caramel scent but no discernible taste (it reminded me of the older Urban Decay Lipsticks).  Florid Pink lasted two hours on me, and Pucker-Up Pink a shorter one and a half hours.  The formula is moderately hydrating, so if you don’t mind reapplying often, you may still like the formula.

Both shades are part of a limited edition collection that I’ve only seen in stores–I was personally hoping it would go online, because none of the lip products have any type of seal in-store. After I checked three or four glosses/lipsticks and found them tested, I walked away without buying anything. I really wish L’Oreal (and all brands) would seal products that sit on displayers for any and all to grab.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss Florid Pink
Florid Pink
Florid Pink
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
4
Application
80%
Total
L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Gloss Pucker-Up Pink
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
5
Longevity
5
Application
80%
Total

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Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation

Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation
Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation

Guerlain Parure de Lumiere Foundation ($59.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be moisturizing, light-diffusing, and have medium coverage with a “sheer satin” finish. It’s available in a mere eight shades (which continues to be Guerlain’s biggest weakness with their foundations–a lack of shade range). It is recommended for normal, dry, and combination skin types (note, oily was not listed).

I’m usually between 02 Beige Clair and 03 Beige Naturel in Guerlain’s foundations, and it was no different with Parure de Lumiere. I used one pump of each shade for light-medium coverage all-over on my normal-to-dry skin. To get more medium coverage, I used one and a half pumps of each shade. 02 Beige Clair is mostly neutral with beige undertones, whereas 03 Beige Naturel has moderately strong yellow undertones. When 02 Beige Clair is blended out on my skin, it actually looks almost pink-toned. I really wish the shade range was larger, but I don’t expect so (their newest foundation just popped up on Nordstrom with only six shades!).

Parure de Lumiere is a lightweight, long-wearing, skin-smoothing foundation that makes skin appear natural, radiant, and luminous without looking oily or greasy. The coverage is buildable from sheer to medium, though it lends itself naturally to a light-medium to medium application. For sheer coverage, I spritz my brush with a little water, and then I work the foundation across the skin; this enables me to get the sheerest coverage all-over and then build up coverage in the areas I need it most. I’ve been using this foundation on and off since November 2012, so I’ve had ample opportunity to use it under various skin conditions, seasons (though “seasons” in California are obviously less meaningful), and with many tools. I like applying it with fingertips quite a bit, and sponges work well, too. I really liked using Tom Ford Cream Foundation Brush with this, as well as Hourglass #2 Foundation Brush. There hasn’t been a brush I’ve used with this that hasn’t done an admirable job of applying it, really; it’s not a tricky product to apply at all.

The consistency isn’t too thick or too thin, and it spreads well across the skin and looks very natural when it dries down. It’s not so dewy that it looks oily or wet, but it is definitely a more luminous finish, which is why I can see it not being recommended for oilier skin types. It is also somewhat hydrating, but it certainly wouldn’t replace your full-time moisturizer; it is one of the more forgiving foundations on dry patches and flakiness–especially after a half hour or so, as it absorbs into the skin. It lasts eight and a half hours well on my skin, but if I set with powder, I get closer to ten hours of wear.  The only downside (which isn’t that bad) is that it takes a little longer to dry down on its own if you don’t apply powder.

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 2.37%, Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 5.49%

Aqua (water), isododecane, glycerin, hydrogenated polyisobutene, methyl trimethicone, pentylene glycol, polyglyceryl-6 polyricinoleate, disteardimonium hectorite, butylene glycol dicaprylate/dicaprate, maris aqua (sea water), phenoxyethanol, chondrus crispus (carrageenan), polyglyceryl-2 isostearate, silica, dimethicone, calcium sodium borosilicate, PEG-10 dimethicone, stearic acid, sodium myristoyl glutamate, parfum (fragrance), alumina, silica silylate, propylene carbonate, aluminum hydroxide, butylphenyl methylpropional, linalool, citronellol, BYHT, alpha-isomethyl ionone, benzyl benzoate, geraniol, tropaeolum majus extract, tocopherol, limonene, citral, ethylhexylglycerin, [may contain: ci 77891 (titanium dioxide), ci 77492, ci 77491, ci 77499(iron oxides)]

Guerlain   Parure de Lumiere
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation
Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation

Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation ($62.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a lightweight foundation with buildable coverage and a natural finish. Giorgio Armani Beauty really pushes that it is about getting the least amount of product with the most amount of bang; it’s supposed to “[look] invisible and [make] skin appear luminous.” It’s available in twelve shades. The brand says #2, 3, and 4 are best for fair skin tones; #4.5, 5, 5.5, 6.5, 7, and 8 for medium complexions; and #10, 11.5, and 12 for darker skin tones.

I’ve used up an entire bottle of #5.5, having first used it around late November/early December, and recently finished it about a week ago. It usually takes me quite awhile to really determine if I love or just like a foundation. #5.5 is slightly light on me (but forgiving enough to be worn), while #7 is definitely too dark.  There are some I fall in love with right away; others I never want to wear again, but usually I fall in the middle and waffle. Maestro had a unique texture (to me), because it almost felt like a silicone primer and foundation in one; it has that velvety-smooth, mostly matte finish and feel once applied to the skin. The actual texture is thin and very liquid, so it is easy to apply a very sheer layer of coverage or build up without getting too much coverage (if undesired). It feels a bit like a dry oil, so synthetic brushes, sponges, and fingertips tended to be best for application in my experience. It is lightly scented with something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it; I did not notice the scent when applied or as I wore it, but it’s not scent-free in the bottle.

The brand recommends applying three drops in the palm of your hand, though I’m not certain what constitutes a drop, because you can fill the entire stem with product and really get all of it out, or you can do small squeezes and get small drops out. Three drops arhalf of what I need, and a whole stem-full is more than enough–so don’t be afraid if you’re bewildered and find yourself needing more than three drops! I’m not keen on the droplet applicator. I’d rather a pump or an open bottle, as the cap with the stem attached to it wobbles around if you just want to get some directly out of the bottle, so you can get bits of foundation on the surface it’s lying on. Dropping it directly on the face was also a 50/50 proposition where it would dribble down my face and land on my shirt. So, most of the time, I filled the stem and then squeezed it on the back of my hand. I would have much preferred a pump, though. I haven’t traveled with mine at all, but I have heard some people have had issues with the packaging surviving travel.

The coverage is light to light-medium, with almost medium coverage possible with layering, but overall, light to light-medium coverage, and it had a semi-matte finish. It wasn’t a totally flat, dull matte finish, but it was still quite matte. Between the finish and texture, I felt this was most appropriate for normal to oily skin. On drier skin, especially if you have any visible signs dryness, it can accentuate dry patches or flakiness. I only experienced this when my normal-to-dry skin was at its driest and did not find it a problem for most of the time I wore it. The other thing to note is that when I did have some visible dry patches, while initially accentuated, after twenty to thirty minutes, they were less noticeable than they were initially, so there appeared to be some hydration coming from the formula itself. It has alcohol denat. as the fourth ingredient, which is drying in high concentrations (it is often used as an antiseptic and a solvent), but in my experience, appeared to be offset by the other ingredients as my skin did not get drier, so your mileage may vary and consider your skin and what it is/isn’t affected by (note: I am not a chemist, esthetician, or scientist!).

It’s a comfortable, long-wearing foundation, too, and you don’t always get supreme comfort with a longer-wearing product (which are often tight-feeling). With Maestro, it typically lasts me between eight and ten hours, without a primer or setting powder. With setting or finishing powder, the wear is usually more consistent and closer to ten hours with no patchiness or visible fading. Maestro photographs very well for me, and it performed well at evening out the complexion, hiding mild to moderate post-acne marks or scars, and refraining from settling into fine lines.  I would not recommend using this as your sole source of SPF; you’re not going to get the protection needed based on amount applied.

Ingredients

Active Ingredient: Octinoxate 3%

Cyclohexasiloxane, dimethicone, isododecane, alcohol denat, vinyl dimethicone/methicone silsesquioxane crosspolymer, phenyl trimethicone, acrylates/polytrimethylsiloxymethacrylate copolymer, peg-10 dimethicone, disteardimonium hectorite, fragrance, nelumbium speciosum flower extract, limonene, benzyl salicylate, synthetic fluorphlogopite, linalool, benzyl alcohol, propylene carbonate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, disodium stearoyl glutamate, water, citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) flower oil, butylphenyl methylpropional, aluminium hydroxide, hexyl cinnamal; may contain: iron oxides, titanium dioxide

Giorgio Armani   Maestro Foundation
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total

Inglot 18SS, 27P, 32T Eye Brushes Reviews & Photos

Inglot 27P Eye Brush
Inglot 27P Eye Brush

Inglot 18SS Eye Brush ($21.00) is made out of “squirrel substitute” (I honestly have no idea what that means, but it is listed as a natural brush) and can be used for “eye modeling” and “smoky eye[s].” It’s a dense, dome-shaped brush that’s stiff. The brush head is 9mm tall, 8mm wide, and 8mm in depth. The brush head is like a like a cynlinder with a domed edge, and it’s not too small, not too big, but it is wider and larger than your typical pencil brush. I find that that’s the way I use it most–as a stiffer crease brush to deposit more color. I actually liked it a lot with cream eyeshadows, as it applied them well with good opacity, while still fitting in the crease. Most of the time, it is soft while used, but if I’m doing short, but firm, taps, then there’s a few bristles that feel slightly sharp.

27P Eye Brush ($21.00) is a paddle-shaped brush with a slightly domed and tapered edge. The brush head is 16mm across, 17mm tall, and 6mm thick. The bristles are made out of pony hair, and Inglot simply describes the brush as “multi-functional.” It’s a very large eye brush, so it will lend itself best for things like laying down a wash of color, lightly patting on a primer or base, or as a more precise face brush. I found it most useful to pat on pressed powder underneath the eyes or to really apply highlighter precisely (but blend with something else). The brush felt soft, and it retained its shape after several washes.

32T Eye Brush ($14.00) is made out of Taklon (synthetic) bristles, and it is designed to be used with gel eyeliner or for precise lining. It is a very small brush at a mere 6mm tall, 4mm wide, and 2mm thick. It’s a flat, firm brush that comes to a tapered point. If you have smaller eyes and need something to apply cream or gel products, this might be useful. I don’t have Duraline, but I could see how this would be useful, as Duraline is a liquid product that “transforms any powder into an intense, easy to apply liquid,” so this would work well for mixing.

All three brushes are particular, and whether any of them are useful is going to be down to personal preference. The only one that I might continue reaching for is 32T to apply cream products on the very inner lid, and then possibly the 27P for setting concealer (but I often use a fluffier, more feathery brush for that).

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