Thursday, November 11th, 2010


Nail Lacquer: Asiatique, Beyond Jealous, Nocturnelle, Vice is Nice, Vintage Vamp

MAC Tartan Tale: 5 Naughty Little Vices Nail Lacquer

This year, MAC has created a miniature set of nail lacquers, which includes two new (and exclusive) shades as well as three repromotes. The set itself is limited edition.

This includes: Asiatique (creamy classic red), Beyond Jealous (blackened blue green), Nocturnelle (black-as-night black), Vice is Nice (classic metallic gold), and Vintage Vamp (deep black wine).

  • Asiatique is a bright, cherry red cream. It applied opaque in two coats, and it went rather smoothly–not streaky at all. This is a repromote.
  • Beyond Jealous is a green-teal tinged black cream. This applied rather streakily; I needed three coats to get an even, smooth look. I think three coats was necessary just to achieve total opacity, too. This looks rather black regardless of the lighting, though. This is a repromote.
  • Nocturnelle is a dark black cream. Three coats. It’s come out a few times before.
  • Vice is Nice is a shimmering lightened gold with soft yellow tones. The finish looks like a metallic frost to me. It did need a full three coats to get an opaque result, and you can see some brush strokes. It is golder than China Glaze Midnight Kiss.
  • Vintage Vamp is a deep burgundy-red cream. Like several of the other shades, I did need three coats for this, and the first two layers applied on the streakier side.

Each vial contains 2.5g/0.09 oz., while a full-size polish contains 0.34 oz. There is a total of 0.45 oz. worth of polish in the set, which is just under a polish and a half worth of product. MAC’s Nail Lacquer retails for $38.24/oz., while this set works out to be $56.67/oz.  I would expect a bit more given the price tag.

Given some of the application issues and the overall uniqueness of the colors (low), I don’t know if this would be the best introduction to MAC’s nail lacquers or even a great deal. MAC has done some really interesting shades, but this set does not include those. A black, red, and dark red cream just feel too standard. There’s no reason to settle for streakier, less pigmented formulas at this price point when competitors in this price range do it better. Just from the quality issues I had, it’s not a must-have based on my experience.

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The formula on these is just so-so; the majority needed three coats, and a couple had streaky application.

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a pale, subtly warm-toned peach with a satin finish. Buxom Swept Away is pinker. MAC Stay By Me is a touch darker. MAC Peaches is darker and more orange.

It is absolutely a color and product that will work better on very, very pale skin tones. On my medium complexion, it just barely shows up, and it may turn chalky/ashy on deeper skin tones because of the light base color. For lighter skin tones, though, especially those with natural redness occurring in their cheeks, this will work quite nicely. The importance here is that the pigmentation is still good, as it appears true-to-pan; it’s just that the color won’t show itself to its full potential on my complexion. (Pale readers who’ve tried this, speak out!)

From what I could tell, the color lasted around six to seven hours on me, but it was even harder to see after eight hours (it’s so much harder to see wear when it’s barely visible to begin with!).  The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen on the powdery side but it lies nicely on the skin–it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and if you buff it into the skin, it turns just slightly luminous from that satin finish.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Sex Appeal Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This is a blush that will work best on lighter complexions, and it can help to reduce the appearance of redness from the peachy coloring.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Cle de Peau R4 Extra Rich Lipstick

The Sultry Season: Cle de Peau R4 Danse du Feu Extra Rich Lipstick

Cle de Peau R4 Danse du Feu Extra Rich Lipstick ($60.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deep coral-red with subtle golden shimmer. Pigmented, moisturizing, and long-wearing, Cle de Peau’s Extra Rich Lipsticks are a dream, but they come with a luxury price. (See R2 and T2 for full reviews.)  I love how Danse du Feu is this rich, lustrous shade of coral–it’s not orange, pink, but this decadent hue of fiery coral.

Is this the right deep coral for you? Would you wear it?

The Sultry Season is a series of posts featuring deep, rich shades of brown, berry, plum, and wine lipsticks and lipglosses — just right for autumn — that runs through October 2010.

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Monday, November 8th, 2010


Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Day to Night Warm Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains six shades of eyeshadow designed to take you from day to night with shades on the warmer side of the color spectrum.  Each eyeshadow has 0.05 oz. worth of product, so the palette’s total weight is 0.30 oz. of product.  It does also include a short-handled eyeshadow brush with actual bristles–it’s surprisingly nice, workable, though I don’t think it’ll replace any full-size brushes you may own, but it is one of the better included brushes I have seen this holiday season.

This palette includes: Ivory (creamy white), Oat (soft mocha beige), Espresso (dark chocolate brown), Burnt Sugar (deep golden brown), Velvet Bronze (warm golden bronze), and Black Plum (deep black plum).

  • Ivory is a creamy, muted white with a very rich, smooth texture.  It’s surprisingly pigmented–not chalky at all–and it’s not a stark, bright white, so it’s more wearable.  It has a nearly matte finish.  This is a permanent shade (and a popular shade that Bobbi Brown has used often in her palettes).
  • Oat is a light-medium brown with an extremely subtle sheen that barely glints even under flash photographer.  It’s smooth, nicely pigmented, and would work well on both warmer and cooler skin tones.    This shade reminded me of MAC’s Soft Brown.
  • Espresso is a darkened cool-toned charcoal brown with a touch of satin sheen.  It has good color pay off and applies smoothly.  Espresso is very reminiscent of MAC’s Brun or Showstopper eyeshadows, both cooler browns.   This is a permanent shade.
  • Burnt Sugar is a golden-toned warm medium-brown with a glinting, metallic gilded gold sheen.  It has a smooth texture with rich color pay off with a metallic finish.  This is a permanent shade.
  • Velvet Bronze is a medium red-toned brown with a soft golden sheen.  This was the least pigmented shade within the palette, but it was still nicely pigmented (just worth pointing out that it was a bit softer).  It has a metallic finish.  The color itself is similar to MAC’s Texture, but Velvet Bronze has a brighter sheen.
  • Black Plum is a smoldering, deep brown with flecks of bronze shimmer.  It is a really nice, smooth textured brown, which leans a bit warm, but it is rather neutral overall.  It has a shimmer wash finish.  This is a permanent shade.

I think this palette is a good mix of neutrals that do tend on the warmer side, but the palette is closer to neutral-warm than one with very strong, warm under tones running through it.  These shades are classic–they will serve one well when it comes to creating office-friendly looks or smoking those looks out for something a touch more dramatic in the evening.  I am particularly pleased with the pigmentation level of the palette, as everything was nicely pigmented and five of the six were excellent in pigmentation.  The texture is soft and smooth, with all of the shades applying evenly.  I also appreciate that Bobbi Brown often mixes finishes within her palettes so that users can create a variety of textured looks.

Bobbi Brown’s Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.), Metallic Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.10 oz.), and Shimmer Wash Eyeshadows retail for $20.00 (for 0.08 oz.).   In this palette, you are receiving $37.50 worth of Eyeshadow, $20.00 worth of Metallic Eyeshadow, and $12.50 worth of Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow.   This palette thus contains $70 worth of eyeshadows for $45.  FINALLY! a true value-oriented palette for the holidays!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION:

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow: Twilight Rose

Estee Lauder Twilight Rose Pure Color Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a softened pale pink-peach with a frosted shimmer. Estee Lauder describes this shade as a “cool light pink,” and it has a satin finish, which is means it has a “soft, lustrous sheen.” Nothing about this seems cool-toned, and the pink is quite subtle. It reads rather peach in the pan and still leans that way when swatched.

I actually think this would work really well as a cheek highlighter–I initially thought it was a blusher when I first swatched it! Similarly, it would be a nice all-over color on the lid to brighten up the eyes. I think it may be on the frostier side for a brow highlight, but it could work; it would depend more on personal preferences. It has a nice, smooth texture, but this is definitely a softer and sheerer color, so I don’t know if I’d call it a rich shade.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For quick looks, this could make a really nice lid color — and double as a cheek highlighter!

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Thursday, November 4th, 2010

MAC Sassy Pink Lassies Lipglass Sets
Lipglasses: Electro Lush, Fab Fun, Frozen Dream, Sassy Lassy, The Wee Coquette

MAC Tartan Tale Chapter 2: Sassy Pink Lassies Lipglass Set

This year, MAC has released three different miniature lipglass sets. Each set contains five limited edition shades of lipglass, each containing 0.08 oz. of product. Like the other sets from Chapter 2, they are housed in a metal tin that features the tartan pattern on the outside. They also have a plastic insert to keep the glosses standing up evenly within the tin, but it can be easily removed for more storage. Each set retails for $29.50.

Lipglasses are sheer to opaque in color, but they have a tackier, stickier texture. They are supposed to be vanilla-scented, but I did find a couple throughout the sets that smelled like plastic. These have the same sponge-tipped applicators that full-sized lipglasses have, but it seems less spongy and less gloss is pulled through on each pass (not necessarily a bad thing there!).

This set includes: Electro Lush (medium mauve), Fab Fun (pale crystal pink), Frozen Dream (medium pink rose), Sassy Lassy (bright pink fuchsia), and The Wee Coquette (naked neutral pink).

  • Electro Lush is a creamy medium-pink with a little plum to it and white micro-shimmer. This is a repromote from Flashtronic (2007). I can’t think of a great dupe in the permanent line for this one.
  • Fab Fun is a sheer, milky pink gloss base with large flecks of silvery-white shimmer and glitter. It looks a lot like Morning Glory (Lustreglass) or even Like Venus (Dazzleglass).
  • Frozen Dream is a semi-sheer, cool-toned lilac pink with lots of pale pink and white shimmer. This is a repromote from Chill (2008). It’s not quite as pale as Cultured, but they are similar.
  • Sassy Lassy is an opaque, creamy fuchsia that pulls very blue. It also has subtle pale pink shimmer. It’s a lot bluer and cooler-toned than Pink Poodle.
  • The Wee Coquette is a cool-toned, white-beige with soft white shimmer. It’s very milky, and it does settle into liplines. It’s a lot like Fleshpot lipstick in lipglass form. It’s so pale it makes my lips look a little purple.

A normal lipglass contains 0.17 oz. of product and retails for $14.50. In this set, you’ll receive 0.40 oz. worth of lipglass for $29.50. This works out to be $85.29/oz. for an individual [full-sized] lipglass and $73.75/oz. for the lipglass set. It’s also worth pointing out that for the price of two full-sized shades, you’ll have five shades to choose from. If you’re someone who doesn’t stick with one gloss long enough to finish, the sets will be more worthwhile for you.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I like the way these colors look together; it’s a good variation on pink, though they all lean rather cool-toned.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics (November 4th/11th — check your local store for availability)

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