Saturday, April 30th, 2011


MAC Packed to Go: Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Packed to Go: Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Packed to Go Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes: Seedy Pearl (chilled lavender pink), Tendersmoke (muted silver lilac), Satin Taupe (taupe with silver shimmer), A Brown Suit (rich deep red), Beauty Marked (black.red with sparkle pearl), and Carbon (intense black).

  • Seedy Pearl is a pale, cool-toned iridescent lilac pink that is a touch sheer. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Tendersmoke is a muted, grayish purple with plum. It had a really smooth texture and was nicely pigmented. It has a frost finish and is a palette exclusive. It is a grayer, less red-toned Satellite Dreams–no dupe in the permanent range.
  • Satin Taupe is a cool-toned, medium-dark brown. It had excellent color pay off with a really smooth feel. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range, but this seems lighter and more golden.
  • A Brown Suit is a berried red with a soft frost finish. It has a frost finish and is a palette exclusive. It resembles Cranberry quite a bit, slightly less berry.
  • Beauty Marked is a semi-sheer blackened brown with flecks of burgundy and silver glitter. It has a rather dusty texture and not very pigmented. It has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Carbon is a dark, blue-based black. It’s a finicky shade that doesn’t always swatch well but works better when applied. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.

If you’re familiar with MAC’s holiday palettes from last year, the packaging is very similar–this palette is just all black and has no special design on the outside. The palette contains $55.10 worth of eyeshadow ($14.50 for 0.05 oz. for individual eyeshadows), so unlike the lip/face palette, this one is a much better deal.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Packed to Go Cool Smokey Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
With the exception of Beauty Marked (and to a lesser extent, Carbon--but Carbon works decently applied, while Beauty Marked is still a miss), the eyeshadows were pigmented and smooth. The palette is definitely cool-toned, and the shades themselves coordinate well with each other.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, April 30th, 2011


MAC Packed to Go: 4 Lips & Pressed Powder

MAC Packed to Go: 4 Lips & Pressed Powder

MAC Packed to Go was originally a duty free launch, but it’s landed online at maccosmetics.com now. It features several sets of products, and I’m reviewing three of the offerings. The reason I am not reviewing the rest is because they contain products I’ve reviewed in the past or are permanent shades. 4 Lips & Pressed Powder ($38.00) contains four lipglasses: Riviera Ready (warm light nude), Poetic License (pale apricot), Rosehips (mid-tone rosy pink), and Quick Change (mid-tone cool blue rose) along with one powder:  Belightful (gilded peach bronze). Poetic License, Rosehips, and Belightful are repromotes.

  • Riviera Ready is a warm, yellow-based nude with soft gold shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. C-Thru is the closest permanent gloss, but it is less warm and creamier.
  • Poetic License is a milky peach-pink with subtle pink and gold micro-shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. It seems closest to Florabundance.
  • Rosehips is a rosy plum with a creamy finish. It is semi-opaque on lips. It is lighter than Lust.
  • Quick Change is a rpasberry pink with lots of golden shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips. I can’t think of a permanent dupe in MAC’s line for this, but it is similar to Korres #18 Peach lipstick.
  • Belightful is a champagne bronze with flecks of bronze glitter. The glitter is noticeable on skin but not chunky. I did feel it emphasized the texture of my skin, though. Try theBalm’s Mary Lou-manizer as a dupe.

If you’re familiar with MAC’s holiday palettes from last year, the packaging is very similar–this palette is just all black and has no special design on the outside. Each lipglass well contains 0.049 oz. of product (total of 0.196 oz.), while the powder is 0.17 oz. In the palette, you’re getting $16.72 worth of lipglass and $13.96 worth of powder (I believe the Iridescent Powder retailed for $23 for 0.28 oz.). The palette is actually more expensive than the amount of product you actually get, though you do get to try five different products for $38.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Packed to Go 4 Lips & Pressed Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The lipglasses are always sheerer in the palettes than they are in tubes, which makes application frustrating. Belightful was sheer and difficult to apply evenly.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Summer 2011: Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “pink cantaloupe,” while the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is all about “rich pigment” delivered via a “jumbo-sized crayon” that imparts a “velvet matte finish.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing without being drying, while still being creamy. This shade has been added to NARS’ permanent range.

I thought the color was closer to that of grapefruit, but I guess if cantaloupe was pink, it might look something like this (and then kind of like grapefruit, ha!). It’s a lightened pink with just a hint of coral. It looked more coral swatched than it did once I applied it to my lips, though.  It actually bears a lot of similarity to MAC Ever Hip, though ever-so-slightly paler and, obviously, the finish is different as Bolero is matte.

The finish is completely matte, and with the lightness of the color, there is a touch of settling into lip lines and emphasis on any imperfections of the natural lip but really quite little overall and not noticeable from a normal viewing distance (you know, not close-up!). It does have enough creaminess in the texture to easily apply it, smooth it out, and get a nice layer of even color, and the pigmentation is excellent–really dense, opaque color without having to wear the pencil down to a nub.

With some of the really deep shades of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil line-up, I can see six to eight hours of wear, but with a lighter shade like Bolero, it wore just over four hours (which is slightly above average for a light color like this, where I normally see three to four). The length of wear was good and above average, but it’s not excellent. I did find Bolero a little drying by the fourth hour.

These aren’t your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00. They do apply color more precisely than a lipstick, because it has a more chiseled tip, but the cap is not as secure on this jumbo-sized lip pencil than it is on a lipstick–such a game of trade-offs! I didn’t find that the cap was easy to come off, but I do acknowledge it is less secure by its nature than lipstick.

The Glossover

LE
product

Bolero

B
If the wear was more on par with long-wearing lipsticks (including other shades within this range, which tend to be six to eight hours), the product would have rated higher. I think the color is one that will appeal to many, and it should work well on both cool and warmer skin tones, as the pink dominates over the coral, making it flattering on both.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Wonder Lipgloss
NARS Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Summer 2011: Wonder Lipgloss

NARS Wonder Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “shiny, sheer mandarin orange laced with pink and gold shimmer.” It was a very reddened orange with flecks of gold and pink shimmer but less distinctly orange when worn.

Funny enough, this is a product described as sheer but actually is rather semi-sheer to semi-opaque! It’s a very buildable gloss, so it can go from a sheerer wash of color to more medium coverage  (though you can still clearly see my natural lip color through the gloss–it has a lot of color but still a lot of translucence) without feeling like you have to apply half the tube to do so.  One pull of gloss gets you sheer, a second pull gets you to what you see here.

NARS Lipglosses have a thinner consistency that’s mostly non-sticky (though sometimes, there is the odd gloss out), and the past several shades I’ve tried, are also scent- and taste-free. (In the past, some NARS glosses had a plasticky scent.) Wonder applies smoothly and evenly, and it gives lips a really plump, juicy look with the high-shine finish. I typically get three to four hours of wear out of NARS glosses.

The Glossover

LE
product

Wonder

A

Surprisingly buildable, it is easy to wear at sheerer levels as well as more opaque levels. It wears well, evenly, and leaves lips looking really lush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, April 28th, 2011


MAC Flighty Collection: Overall & Recommendations

My general recommendation is not to purchase the Big Bounce Shadows if you want to wear them alone. If, on the other hand, you want to wear them as a colored eyeshadow base, then I think it may be worth considering a shade or two. I do think that with the plethora of cream products out there that are long-wearing, I would opt for some of the more unique shades within the sixteen or perhaps a shade you’d wear very often.

The colored mascaras, based on the two I have tested so far, seem worth checking out, but Zoom Lash is a thicker, denser formula, and those who prefer really defined, crisp, but long, lashes may find it too much.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

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Thursday, April 28th, 2011

NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio
NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Summer 2011: Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) has launched an Alpes-Maritimes inspired (and limited edition) trio featuring shades of icy sea form, silver grewen, and icy turquoise. Something that readers complained about before was the composition of NARS’ trios–a gradual fading of light to dark with each section a different size, but here, we have three separate pans with each being the same size. I definitely hope to see this design going forward–I think it is more practical.

Cap Ferrat is my favorite NARS trio to date (I know, there have only been three, including this one), but I think it’s much more in line with NARS’ typical textures. The lightest shade is a very pale, green-tinted silvery white with this very subtle undertone of yellow; it is a little sheer, so it’s not perfect, but it applies smoothly. The middle shade is a seafoam green with a teal pull and a frosted finish with excellent pigmentation and soft, smooth texture. The darkest shade is a vibrant, sea and sky mix of blue with a subtle silvery shimmer and sheen. Like the middle shade, it has beautiful color payoff that’s true-to-pan and a very smooth feel.

One thing I don’t love about the trios is the way they’re priced–usually, the more products in it, the more of a “value” it becomes. Instead, NARS singles are $328.57/oz., duos are $235.71/oz., while the trios are $264.71/oz. NARS’ eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. When I wear them alone, I tend to get around six hours of wear before there is a faint amount of creasing, so it’s pretty good and isn’t a huge mess, but I’d recommend a primer for all-day wear (especially for those with oilier lids).

The Glossover

narsCapFerrat

NARS Cap Ferrat Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
If we excluded the lightest shade, the trio would earn a full 10 on both product and pigment, but the sheerness of the first shade resulted in the drop (as the score is averaged out). It's a very summer-esque trio channeling ocean blues, and if it's in your budget, definitely something to consider.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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