First, the palette includes sixteen eyeshadows. The new and exclusive shades are AC/DC, Nylon, Mushroom, Sphynx, Jinx, Homegrown, Misdemeanor, and Perversion. The existing shades are Sellout, Gunmetal, Ecstasy, Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, Twice Baked, Half Baked, Flipside, and YDK. Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz., compared to single eyeshadows that are 0.05 oz. and retail for $16.00 and the deluxe eyeshadows that are 0.09 oz. for $18.00. All of the existing shades are single eyeshadows (not deluxe), so it’s best to compare to that. Just to put it in perspective, by the ounce, these are about half the price (by ounce!) as the full-sized versions.
Perversion is a nearly matte charcoal black with just a tiny dust of silver sparkle. (I know Urban Decay says it’s matte, but it seemed like it had some sparkle to it every time I looked at it.) This shade was also included in last year’s palette.
Gunmetal is a frosty, silvery-gray with lighter silver sparkle.
Ecstasy is a shimmery cool-toned medium purple with lighter pinky-purple shimmer.
AC/DC is a burgundyish-plum with a dirty silver sheen.
Nylon is a medium bronzy-brown with softer bronze shimmer and has a frosty finish.
Sellout is a frosty, intensely pigmented champagne-nude. I really liked the color pigmentation of this shade in particular, and it felt very, very smooth.
Mushroom is a dark, cool-toned taupe-y brown with cool bronze shimmer. This is sort of similar to the cream eyeshadow of the same name.
Sphynx is a lightly brightened cotton candy pink with an icier pink sheen.
Half Baked is a coppery bronze with a golden bronze metallic sheen and shimmer.
Twice Baked is a dark, semi-matte chocolate brown with just a light dusting of bronze.
Midnight Cowboy Rides Again is a glittery confection of light taupe brown and champagne. This eyeshadow had the worst texture of the bunch — very gritty, very glittery.
YDK is a medium-toned cool-toned brown with a reddish tone and a frost finish.
Jinx is a bright, medium freshwater blue that goes on very pigmented and smooth.
Flipside is a green-teal, mermaid-esque shade with a frost finish.
Homegrown is a bright, grassy green with a golden-green sheen.
Misdemeanor is a dark, blue-green shade that is reminiscent of peacock feathers with a soft, green micro-shimmer.
At first glance, I thought the two palettes were too similar for my liking, but after comparing them side-by-side, that was definitely not the case. The only repeated shade is Perversion, but otherwise, the shades are different. Some of the shades themselves are similar, but there are no obvious repeats. I always like Urban Decay’s palettes, because they are always high on value and variety. I like being able to try out a bunch of shades without having to actually purchase all of those individual shades (particularly since it’s very hard for me to finish an eyeshadow, so I don’t actually need a whole pot of it!).
I also like that Urban Decay mixes about half in new shades and half in existing shades. With sixteen shades in total, there are many different eyeshadow combinations one could come up with within this palette. I will say I wish Urban Decay had a better highlighter shade included in this palette or found elsewhere in this, because the closest we come is Sellout, which has a very high metallic/frost finish so it can be garish on the brow bone at times. I could also go with seeing a few matte or semi-matte shades for more texture variety.
These are all minor complaints, mind you, because for the price, it’s a great deal whether you want to travel with it or just use it at home. (If you’re using it at home, the highlight and matte complaints are worthless — just mix it with products you already have.)
The shades are well-pigmented, smooth, and nearly all of them have a frost/shimmer finish. (If you don’t dig that, you won’t dig this.) The only shade I had any real issue with was Midnight Cowboy Rides Again, because it is extremely glittery, so it has fall out issues. Otherwise, the shades were impressive, and clearly there is a lot of color to play around with in this palette. This makes a great gift for yourself or a friend, too.
The packaging is just so-so; I found last year’s packaging prettier and more cohesive. I found both palettes to be a little bulky, and I wouldn’t mind something that just open and shut, rather than pulling out a drawer of eyeshadows. The inclusion of a miniature sized UDPP as well as Zero and Bourbon eyeliners is just icing on the cake–all three are handy in application and for travel.
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you’ve always wanted to try Urban Decay eyeshadows, their palettes are always a choice way to do so. You get great value and good variety!
Of course, I’m not going to leave you without lip swatches! I also included side-by-side comparisons of my natural lips vs. the lipgloss — let me know if you like the inclusion of these. I still included the full-size close-ups of each shade, though.
Amorous, Creme Allure, Totally Fab, Do It Up, Perfectly Unordinary, My Favourite Pink, Soft Dazzle, Luscious Spark, Sublime Shine
MAC Dazzleglass Creme Collection: Review, Photos, Swatches
MAC’s Dazzleglass Creme Collection features nine shades of their newest gloss formula–dazzleglass creme. The new formula is kind of like the pigmentation of a lipglass with the texture of cremesheen glass and the shimmer of dazzleglass. It’s non-sticky, fairly thick (but not overly so, just not thin or feels sheer like dazzleglass–more like cremesheen glass, but perhaps touch thicker) and doesn’t feel heavy, and the majority of the shades are more pigmented. I think they deliberately made some shades sheerer than others to offer customers variety, so I don’t knock the sheerer shades for lacking pigmentation.
Amorous is a deep, rich red with subtle gold and red shimmer that applies semi-opaquely. I get a decent amount of color, but I still see my natural lip color peeking through, so it’s not 100% solid in color. It’s very holiday-esque to me.
Creme Allure is a creamy, lightly shimmered hot pink that goes on semi-opaque with noticeably coloring and darkening of my natural lip color. The shimmer is almost a fuchsia-purple.
Totally Fab is a orange-y red with slight gold sparkle and has a creamy look to it (like Creme Allure vs. Amorous). I found this one went on nearly opaque on my lips.
Do It Up is a lighter, slightly more lemonade-y bright medium pink compared to Creme Allure (which has a bit of fuchsia tone to it). This one has a silvery sparkle and goes on semi-opaque.
Perfectly Unordinary is a milky pale pink with pale gold sparkle. It looks milky on lips, but it does show up and pale down lips.
My Favourite Pink is a slightly pinker, but still milky, shade compared to Perfectly Unrodinary, but it has a silver sparkle in it. It’s a little rosy in comparison. When going through the photos, I almost didn’t distinguish the differences between the two.
Soft Dazzle is a softer, paler milky pink compared to Perfectly Unordinary but it has brighter and more shimmer (which is pale gold).
Luscious Spark is an orangey coral with gold sparkle. It reminded me of a less sparkly, less red Lychee Luxe (with a less gritty texture). It applies semi-opaque with some color without being solid.
Sublime Shine is a sheer, peachy-nude with golden shimmer. This is the sheerest shade of the nine, and it looks a lot like Bare Necessity in the tube, but I think it is actually peachier and has more color pay off.
I’m actually VERY pleased with the Dazzleglass Creme collection! I’d actually recommend checking these out if you enjoy dazzleglass or lipglass, because you get enough color and pigmentation that they’re not just sheer shimmery concoctions. They have a lot of the sparkle and oomph of dazzleglass but the intensity of lipglass. There are lots of shades to love, though there are a few that feel too redundant to really merit getting all nine (unless you’re addicted, like yours truly!).
Must-Haves: Amorous, Creme Allure, Do It Up, Luscious Spark Nice-to-Haves: Perfectly Unordinary, Totally Fab Skip: No need to get Perfectly Unordiniary, My Favourite Pink, AND Soft Dazzle — they’re SO similar!
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you like a gloss that’s not sticky, has lots of shimmer, and decent pigmentation, definitely try out a dazzleglass creme!
OVERALL, Style Black puts out an interesting mix of products all that take inspiration from shades of black. There’s such a wide mix of different types of products — from mattenes to mineralize eyeshadows to the new greasepaint stick. I think some will love it, others will be leery of it, and still others will be unimpressed. I’m kind of in the middle; I appreciate the collection for its uniqueness amongst prior MAC launches, and I do like seeing a variety of products. I also like how a lot of the colors coordinate across product types (e.g. Glimmerglasses and Nail Lacquers). If you like mineralize eyeshadows, you’ll likely fall for these (I recommend using them wet!), and if you like jelly-esque glosses, Glimmerglass might catch your eye. My favorite part of the launch was easily the two new nail lacquers (Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl)!
Edited: If you want something from this collection, I think you can make it work for you. Not every product is perfect right out of the box/tube, so if something about it calls to you, don’t be afraid to see how it works for you. Use a concealer base (or MAC Lip Erase) to help combat some of lipstick unevenness/application issues; lip liner to prevent intense lip colors from bleeding; sheer glosses over more intense lip color to add dimension; and so on. It’s just a matter of what you’re looking for, whether you want to experiment to see what works best, etc. Personally, I like things to work well with little effort, but that’s just me.
Must-Haves: Seriously Hip Nail Lacquer, Bling Black Glimmerglass, Volcanic Ash Exfoliator, Black Greasepaint Stick Nice-to-Haves: Baby Goth Girl Nail Lacquer, Night Violet Mattene, Midnight Media Mattene, Blackfire Glimmerglass, Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask Skip: Black Knight Lipstick, Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer
P.S. – I will do a review of the Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and Thermal Mask after using both for a week or two I LOVED VAE when it first came out, so if it’s the same stuff… I will love it equally as much. I would recommend snatching both up if you’re leaning towards yes, because I know a ton of people are stocking up on both so sell-out risk seems high!
Tsarina includes four shades: a coppery peach, an amber-copper, a raspberry burgundy, and a cool-toned purple-wine. The first three shades have great color pay off, but the darkest purple shade is on the sheerer side (but I wouldn’t call it sheer–it does give me decent color, just not great like the other three). All four have Guerlain’s amazing texture: soft, silky, and so, so easy to blend. The shimmer is subtle and not too frosty–very wearable. I found the mix of shades very appropriate for the fall season, too.
Some might not like that there’s not a real highlighter shade within the palette; the lightest shade is much bolder than most would choose for a highlighter. It’s not a big deal to me, because I very rarely use palettes by themselves unless I’m trying to show what you can do with *just* the palette.
Value wise? The eyeshadows are, by the ounce, the same price as MAC eyeshadows are. In a Guerlain eyeshadow palette, you get about 6.7 oz. of actual eyeshadow product for your money. Like their mega-giant single shadows, they’re a good value by weight, but they do require a larger up front investment. The packaging is luxe and solid; it doesn’t feel cheap, and there’s some heft to it. I love the design on the velvet pouch and on the case itself, which is special to this collection.
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: Guerlain fans will not be disappointed in the quality of this eyeshadow palette–if you enjoy these shades, I recommend it!
Maybelline Collosal Volum’ Express Mascara($5.99) boasts that it creates 9x the volume in one coat without clumping. I tried it out in Glam Black, hoping for some volume-tastic lashes with a nice black color. Unfortunately, my experience wasn’t nearly as exciting as “9x the volume.” Not even with multiple coats!
What Colossal did for my lashes was add just a touch of length/thickness and blackness so they stood out jmore, but in terms of volume, there wasn’t much. When I look at my natural lashes compared to the lashes with the mascara on them, the biggest difference is that they’re blacker. On all other points (lengthening, volumizing, thickening, curling), I didn’t notice much, if anything. I was really disappointed in the results of this mascara, particularly since it was supposed to volumize and didn’t even see that. I could be more forgiving if it at least did what it said to do (I mean, 9x is a bit OTT for me, but noticeabe more volume is good enough for me).
The best thing I can say for this mascara is it doesn’t clump and the level of black pigmentation is decent–it definitely darkened my lashes and made them stand out more, but they just looked like natural lashes really. If you’re looking for a more natural mascara, perhaps this might be something to consider. I just wouldn’t have expected “natural” out of Colossal. I’ll also point out this mascara is very budget-friendly!
One of my all-time favorite mascaras is by Maybelline (Full ‘n Soft), so I was really looking forward to trying this one out and hoping for the best. What are your favorite Maybelline mascaras?
Ease of Use: 7/10
Recommendation: Pass on this one and opt for one of Maybelline’s more proven formulas like Full ‘n Soft!