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MAC Heroine Eyeshadow

MAC Heroine Eyeshadow
MAC Heroine Eyeshadow

MAC Heroine Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “bright cobalt blue [with a matte finish].” It’s a bluish-purple with cool undertones and a matte finish. Cinderella Fairy Godmother is several shades lighter. MAC Blue Orbit is more frosted. MAC Royale is deeper and darker. Urban Decay Blue Bus is pearly and purpler. NARS Self Portrait 1 #2 is somewhat similar in color. bareMinerals On the Rocks is bluer and iridescent. MAC Cobalt is brighter, slightly darker. Inglot #388 is darker.

It had so-so color payoff; it applied fairly evenly, but there was a general sheerness to the color that kept it from looking as rich applied as it did in the pan. The texture was soft, though, and it was easy to blend–and some of MAC’s recent matte eyeshadows have been more problematic in both payoff and texture. This one is somewhat buildable, and a good primer and/or white base both go a long way to improving the pigmentation, as both help the eyeshadow become more intense and to adhere better.  Without a primer, it had a tendency to look noticeably faded after six and a half hours, but over a primer, the wear was mostly intact after eight hours.

When MAC finally launched the eyeshadows on their website, this shade was quick to sell out, but Nordstrom has it on backorder and shipping on 5/4.

MAC Eyeshadow Heroine
Heroine
Heroine
7.5
Product
8
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7
Longevity
4
Application
79%
Total

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Illamasqua Venous Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Venous Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Venous Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Venous Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bold blue green.” It’s a medium teal with a hint of green in a cream finish. China Glaze Exotic Encounters is darker, greener. MAC Salad Dressed is a bit lighter and bluer. MAC Ocean Dip is very similar–perhaps a bit deeper. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is lighter and greener.

It was fully opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. It applied evenly, smoothly, and fluidly, which made it a breeze to apply. I didn’t experience any bubbling, streaking, or pooling of the color along the edges of the nail. Venous lived up to Illamasqua’s lacquer reputation–excellent in every way. I typically get at least a week of wear (as long as 10-14 days) out of Illamasqua’s formula with very, very little tip wear and no chipping.

Also, heads up: Illamasqua has raised their polish prices from $14 to $17 sometime in the past few days. This particular shade is actually coming as $14 (which as far as I can tell is merely an oversight/mistake), and some readers mentioned the price still being $14 in stores. I’m disappointed to see such a large increase (21% as compared to the 5-10% increases on other prices, within their range, which is more in line with most price increases) — I think it may shift the polish out of the comfort zone for some — even if it is a standout formula.

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

Milani Raspberry Rush Color Statement Lipstick

Milani Raspberry Rush Color Statement Lipstick
Milani Raspberry Rush Color Statement Lipstick

Milani Raspberry Rush Color Statement Lipstick ($5.49 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “raspberry metallic.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark fuchsia-shimmered pink-red with a frosted, metallic finish. NARS Jardin des Plantes is redder and less iridescent. Estee Lauder Demure is pinker, less iridescent. MAC Lickable has a similar base color but lacks the frosted finish and iridescence. MAC Quite the Thing is a touch more berry-hued. NYX Chloe is similar. Illamasqua Atomic is similar but matte. MAC Full Fuchsia is also similar in color but not as shimmery.

The lipstick was fully opaque–not quite in a single stroke (that’s how it’s advertised), but it doesn’t take too much to get there. It looks fairly good applied, but the texture is noticeably dry and stiff, so it doesn’t apply as well as I’d like. It just tugs and drags on the lips, so it takes several passes to even out the color and get full coverage. Because of the drier texture, it does settle and feel a bit clingy (not the clingiest texture I’ve come across, though), but the upside is it wears well and lasted six hours on me (and left a stain behind).  It has a very strong, sweet, fruity scent.

Milani Color Statement Lipstick Raspberry Rush
8
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
86%
Total

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Maybelline Brazen Berry ColorSensational Vivids Lip Color

Maybelline Brazen Berry ColorSensational Vivids Lip Color
Maybelline Brazen Berry ColorSensational Vivids Lip Color

Maybelline Brazen Berry ColorSensational Vivids Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is a creamy, fuchsia magenta with subtle, cool undertones and a semi-glossy finish. MAC Heroine is darker and purpler–plus nearly matte. MAC Seductive Intent is a bit more magenta but closer than Heroine. MAC Spitfire is similar. MAC Style Curve is also similar but has violet shimmer. MAC Love Forever is pinker. Dolce & Gabbana Violet is purpler and lighter. MAC Night Blooming is slightly brighter. Shiseido Fuchsia RS 320 is a touch more magenta.

It has semi-opaque color payoff, enough that it adds substantial color to the lip, but there’s a translucency that enables the natural lip color to peek through. The consistency of this shade was very, very slick and creamy–it did not apply quite as evenly as other shades I’ve tried have. Brazen Berry was moisturizing, wore well for six hours (and left a stain behind), and was comfortable to wear. You may get lines if you press your lips together, so it’s important to apply just enough for even coverage but not so much that there’s excess product. Because the color is brighter and bolder, the lines that do get created are harder to see.

Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids Lip Color Brazen Berry
Brazen Berry
Brazen Berry
9.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total

Cult Nails Let’s Get Dirty Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Let's Get Dirty Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Let’s Get Dirty Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Let’s Get Dirty Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “wax finish taupe.” It’s a mauve-ish taupe with a very faint shimmer that is barely visible if the polish is applied on its own, and then the shimmer is more noticeable if a top coat is applied. It has a waxy or rubbery finish–mostly matte but not a chalky, flat matte. Chanel Frenzy is browner and a cream, so it doesn’t have the wax finish. Barielle Belly Dance is very similar if Let’s Get Dirty has a top coat layered over it.

Let’s Get Dirty is opaque after two coats of polish, and it had a slightly thick consistency, but thanks to the wax finish, the drying time is quicker than the average nail lacquer. It can pool a bit along the edges if you aren’t careful, due to the thicker formula. I like that it has a versatile finish, because a top coat really does bring out the shimmer and gives it a different look. I usually get a full week of wear with very minor tip wear and no chipping with Cult Nails’ formula.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Let's Get Dirty
A

Permanent

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

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Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Eye & Face Palette

Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Eye & Face Palette
Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Eye & Face Palette

Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Eye & Face Palette ($88.00 for 0.37 oz.) contains a bronzer on the top level, and then three eyeshadows on the lower level, which are all housed inside a black compact with a full-sized mirror underneath the lid.

Summer 2013 Bronzer a medium-tan with warm, golden orange undertones and a faint golden shimmer bronzer on the top level. It is soft, finely-milled, and incredibly blendable. It sits beautifully on the skin while adding a glowing sheen but not emphasizing pores. Much of the shimmer/metallic finish seen is an overspray, while the underlying bronzer is much subtler.  It lasted for eight and a half hours on me, and after nine and half, there was very slight fading. MAC Double Definition is darker, browner, more frosted. Guerlain Terra Nerolia is slightly darker. Too Faced Bronzed & Poreless is more matte. Burberry Summer Glow is browner.

Summer 2013 Eyeshadow #1 is a warm, golden white with a frosted sheen. It had so-so color payoff but was very soft and smooth, and when I applied it to the lid, it was more buildable to opaque color (two layers). There is no shortage of similar shades, as it is a more basic color (versatile, lovely in many ways, but dupable), including: Tarte Bellini, which is slightly yellower; bareMinerals Carte Blanche, which is white; Guerlain Calligraphy #1 is more frosted; and Giorgio Armani #1 Easy Chic #2 is very comparable (from last fall).

Summer 2013 Eyeshadow #2 is a peachy orange with a pearly finish. It had rich color payoff, and the texture was incredibly soft and finely-milled (but a touch powdery). It blended out well on the lid and sat well on the skin. bareMinerals Peace is lighter, pinker. Urban Decay Moonflower is warmer, browner. bareMinerals Nirvana is lighter, more orange.

Summer 2013 Eyeshadow #3 is a medium-dark, golden brown with warm undertones and a pearly finish. It had fantastic pigmentation and was true-to-pan in color. The texture was soft and smooth, and it applied and blended easily on the lid. Giorgio Armani #10 #4 is very similar. Flower Beauty Foxy Browns #2 is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a smidgen lighter. Dior Godlen Savannah #2 is a touch darker.

This summer’s palette delivers on texture in a supremely divine fashion–every shade is blendable, melts against skin, and works together.  The downside is really that this palette is dupable, so you may have something similar.  It makes for a great basic, warm, bronzy palette if you have need for one.  If you’re not interested in the bronzer, but you like the warmer look of the eyeshadows, you might consider Giorgio Armani’s #10 Eyes to Kill Palette which will deliver a similar look but only contains eyeshadow (so it costs $59, rather than $88).   The eyeshadows lasted for nine hours without creasing or fading, without a primer, which was a happy surprise.

Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Eye & Face Palette

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