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Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Freckle Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled tan.” It’s a light-medium beige brown cream base color paired with small black glitter and larger, hexagon-shaped black glitter. Zoya Minka is a lighter, more beige-hued color. It was the only shade that came to mind that might be similar to the base color of Freckle (and it’s not close).

Like the other shades in the speckled family, it was a breeze to apply and work with.  The color coverage was fully opaque after two coats, but one coat still had a surprising amount of opacity.  It flowed well across the nail without pooling along the edges, bubbling, or streaking.  I didn’t have any streaking on the first coat with this shade, though it was not too surprising given it is not nearly as light or pastel as the other colors in the range.  I usually find that Illamasqua’s polish wears exceptionally well on me with ten to fourteen days of wear with minimal tip wear but no chipping.

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Freckle
Freckle
Freckle
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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Urban Decay Radium Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Radium Eyeshadow
Urban Decay Radium Eyeshadow

Urban Decay Radium Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “peacock blue shimmer.” It’s a bold, bright medium blue with cool undertones and a frosted finish. Buxom Bulldog is a touch darker and is a cream product. NYX Kiss in Casablanca is less frosted but very similar in color. MAC Pure Creation is darker, more muted, and a cream product.

This shade was once a palette-exclusive, but when Urban Decay reformulated their eyeshadows, it made it into their permanent range. It was one of my favorite shades then, and it’s one of my favorite shades now. The texture is soft, buttery, and dense; so smooth and intensely pigmented, Radium is a dream to work with. Whether you want rich color or need to blend it out to soften, both are easily achieved. It lasted a full nine hours on me without creasing or fading.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Radium
Radium
Radium
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Keep Calm, Paint On Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sea foam green.” It’s a pale, sea foam green (or aqua green, if you prefer) with very fine white micro-shimmer. Butter London Fiver is the closest shade I have to this, but Fiver is a cream finish (no shimmer) and a touch lighter. MAC In the Limelight is bluer, darker, and a cream.

The formula was slightly on the thicker side but still rather manageable, so it wasn’t troublesome to work with when I applied it. Keep Calm, Paint On was full opaque in color after two medium coats of polish. Despite its pale coloring, I didn’t have issues with streaking, which tends to be something that pastels are prone to.  It applied fairly evenly and smoothly, and it didn’t bubble or pool along the edges.  The drying time seemed a bit faster than the average polish with this color.  I usually get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with China Glaze’s formula.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Keep Calm, Paint On
A-

Limited Edition

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
92%
Total

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Benefit It’s Complicated Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

Benefit It's Complicated Longwear Powder Eyeshadow
Benefit It’s Complicated Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

Benefit It’s Complicated Longwear Powder Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “golden peach.” It’s a warm-toned, medium pinky-peach with a gold shimmer-sheen finish. Chanel Complice has no golden shimmer. MAC Say Yeah is darker. Urban Decay Freebird is pinker. Lancome Kitten Heel has the golden sheen but is pinker. MAC Expensive Pink is darker, redder.

The pigmentation of this shade was on the weaker side, and I found that at best, I could build up the color to semi-opaque but it wanted to be semi-sheer to semi-opaque. It’s disappointing, because most of the shades that are similar tended to be darker, so this would have offered a subtler way to achieve the color–and on cooler skintones, would be less prone to looking orange. It’s Complicated had a soft texture that was finely-milled and was easy to blend out on the lid. It lasted seven hours well on me, but after nine hours, I did see some faint creasing.

For reference, it also appears in Benefit’s Most Glamorous Nudes Ever Palette–I make a point to mention that, because the palette itself is $30 but contains three other eyeshadows along with two Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows; more or less, unless you really hate the other products, it’s hard to justify $20 for one eyeshadow when you could be paying $30 and receiving six different products.

Benefit Longwear Powder Shadow It's Complicated
8.5
Product
8
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
83%
Total

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NARS Palais Royal Satin Lip Pencil

NARS Palais Royal Satin Lip Pencil
NARS Palais Royal Satin Lip Pencil

NARS Palais Royal Satin Lip Pencil ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as “sangria.” It’s a dark, berry-red with a satin finish and slight cool undertones. Rimmel #107 is slightly less cool-toned. Chanel L’Impatiente is darker, more berry-hued. Guerlain Orgueil is similar but shimmery. MAC What Joy is a touch darker. Giorgio Armani #408 is a town redder (less berry).

Of all the shades, this was my least favorite. It was the least pigmented, as there was definite translucency to the overall color (it looked like an intense lip stain), but the color settled and migrated into lip lines within two hours of wear. Then, the settling continued to worsen for the next three hours of wear. It lasted with some color for as long as five hours, and then there was residual staining that remained for at least another hour. The settling was really noticeable and looked crumbly between the lines (so if you smiled). The consistency felt like the other pencils–soft, lightly creamy–and it didn’t tug or pull on the lips. It was neither drying nor hydrating while I wore it.

NARS Satin Lip Pencil Palais Royal
Palais Royal

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Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Scarce Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled pink.” It starts off with a creamy, light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones base layered with small pieces of black glitter and larger hexagon-shaped pieces of black glitter. The way it’s all mixed together makes some pieces appear blacker/grayer. I couldn’t think of a similar base color; Nubar Pink Lily is lighter and cooler-toned, while Rescue Beauty Lounge Plie is more beige, less pink. Deborah Lippmann has shade that has pink with black glitter debuting in April.

It was fully opaque in two coats, but it was very nearly opaque in a single coat. The truly remarkable feature of the formula is how evenly it applies; I found that this shade was almost streak-free on the first coat. A second coat completely evened out what little streaking there was so that the end result was creamy, smooth color. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and the drying time was average. I typically get at least a full week of wear with minimal tip wear but no chipping with Illamasqua’s formula, but I’ve tested some shades and have had no chipping for as long as two weeks (which is extraordinary, even for me).

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Scarce
Scarce
Scarce
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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