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Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)
Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)

Everything Old is New Again

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition) ($34.00 for 10 x 0.03 oz.) includes ten of Urban Decay’s bestselling eyeshadows, which are: Smog (deep coppery bronze shimmer), Mildew (mossy green shimmer with gold shift), Oil Slick (black matte with silver micro-glitter), Last Call (metallic plum shimmer), Chopper (copper shimmer with silver micro-glitter), Maui Wowie (metallic golden beige shimmer with silver glitter), Shattered (turquoise shimmer with a gold shift), Polyester Bride (white snow shimmer with silver micro-glitter), Grifter (sheer lavender shimmer with silver micro-glitter), and Sin (champagne shimmer).

Smog is a warm, medium-dark bronze with orange undertones and a frosted finish. It had excellent color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. bareMinerals Ritzy is slightly darker. MAC Mulch is redder. MAC Bronze is more metallic.

Mildew is a mossy green with an olive undertone and subtle forest green shimmer over a frost finish. It seemed a little less pigmented here than I remember the full-size pot, but when I applied it to the lid, I didn’t notice any pigmentation level differences. L’Oreal Golden Emerald is darker, greener, less yellow-toned. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is yellower. theBalm Makeout Mary is very similar. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #2 is a cream version but similar in color.

Oil Slick is a dark black with a teal micro-shimmer–it looks mostly gray-black on the lid and blended out; the shimmer so fine and sparse that it isn’t visible. The color payoff was good, though, and the texture was soft though a little drier than the other shades. bareMinerals Penthouse is a touch darker and more matte. Buxom Black Lab is similar in color but a cream product. MAC Cinderfella has more shimmer. Bobbi Brown Lava is more matte and has larger sparkle.

Last Call is a pinky-plum with red undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. It had great pigmentation and applied smoothly. Chanel Harmonie du Soir #3 is more muted, less pink. L’Oreal Glistening Garnet is lighter, redder, less plum. MAC Stylishly Merry is much pinker.

Chopper is an orange-copper with a frosted, metallic finish. It is supposed to have micro-glitter, which is visible in the pan, but when I swatched it, all of the glitter was swept away. The color payoff of the underlying shade was full and opaque, and it had a smooth texture. bareMinerals Louder is a touch browner. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning #6 is a bit more orange, less metallic. Urban Decay Penny Lane is a touch more orange.

Maui Wowie is a pale, not-quite-dirty gold with dark gold micro-glitter and a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation, and it was soft and smooth to the touch, but like Chopper, the majority of the micro-glitter disappears. bareMinerals First Class is darker, browner. Chanel Apparence is a cream product, and it is darker. bareMinerals Chart Topper is more muted.

Shattered is a bluish-teal with a green-teal sheen. It has a frosted, somewhat metallic finish. The payoff felt a little weaker here than I remember it being in the past. L’Oreal Endless Sea is similar. Guerlain Les Aquas #2 is lighter.

Polyester Bride is a brightened, creamy white with a frosted, metallic finish and silver micro-glitter. Again, the micro-glitter disappears as you smooth out the color. This shade was less pigmented than the others. bareMinerals Silhouette is very similar, slightly less metallic. Cinderella Midnight Hour is very close in color. Cinderella Ball Gown is also similar.

Grifter is a pink lavender with a frosted, metallic finish and silver micro-glitter. The micro-glitter tends to move around and disappear as you blend out the color. The pigmentation was decent, though Urban Decay did describe it as “sheer,” so it was as expected. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur #4 is less metallic. NARS Marie-Galante #1 is more iridescent.

Sin is a warmed-up champagne beige with a high-shine, metallic finish. It had great pigmentation, and it applied very smoothly and evenly. This color is the closest to a highlight shade in the palette, but it is very, very metallic/frosted on the brow bone. bareMinerals Libation is warmer. Giorgio Armani #8 is pinker. Inglot #397 is comparable.

If you have the original Ammo palette, you’ll have the exact same shades; this palette has a new design and includes all of the same shades but in Urban Decay’s revamped eyeshadow formula. Also, all ten shades are part of the permanent range, so they can be purchased individually if desired. You are almost never better off purchasing singles, because the palette is less than the cost of two individual shades. Chances are low that you’ll actually finish an entire pot of eyeshadow, though the individual eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. and each shade within the palette is 0.03 oz.

If you don’t want to deal with glitter and its fall out, you may want to skip this palette, as five of the ten shades have Urban Decay’s signature micro-glitter. What I will say in regards to the fall out is that 90% of it occurs while you apply it, so after you’ve finished the look, you can remove it and while you will see some stray glitter particles throughout the day (I found some on my nose, below it, and elsewhere on my under eye/upper cheek area), it’s not much.

Now, the reason there actually isn’t much fall out during wear is simple: hardly any gets transferred to the lid! Ahh, the secret! The reality is that if you like the idea of glittery bits on the lid, you’re just not going to get the effect–they end up looking like the base color sans the glitter applied. The sparkle just doesn’t bind with the eyeshadow, so it sits on top and easily gets brushed elsewhere.  If you want the glitter, your best bet is to use a firm, flat brush and pat it over a sticky base.

Overall, the pigmentation of the shades was good to great, with only Polyester Bride coming in a bit short (Grifter isn’t opaque, but it is supposed to be sheer).  The textures are soft, buttery, and dense, with Oil Slick being a bit drier but seemingly softer/denser than previous iterations of it.  When I wore these shades for eight hours, I had a few sparkles of fall out, but I didn’t have any problems with fading or creasing.

Urban Decay Ammo Eyeshadow Palette (2013 Edition)

B+
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
87%
Total

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Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick

Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick
Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick

A Sheer Dance of Fuchsia Shimmer

Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick ($31.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “punch of pink.” It looks like a fuchsia pink in the tube, but it’s much tamer swatched and applied. It’s a lightly cool-toned, medium pink with iridescent shimmer. On my lips, it brightened and added some cool-toned pink coloring. Guerlain Rose Ensoleille looks similar on but is a bit warmer overall. Guerlain Rose Piquant is cooler-toned. The shimmer was reminiscent of Revlon cupcake, which is more lilac and pigmented.

This shade wore away in a mere two hours, which is quick for a lip product–a lot of this range lasts three hours, which is decent for something as balm-like in texture as this is.  The texture is slick, lightweight, and very comfortable on the lips.  It also applies evenly and slides on without tugging or dragging.  It is somewhat hydrating but not enough where I’d describe the formula as a moisturizing one.  The color is sheer, which is on par with the range and expected results (supposed to have a “veil” of color), so don’t let the color in the tube intimidate (or mislead) you!

Dior Addict Lip Color Espiegle
Espiegle

MAC Veluxe Brow Liners

MAC Strawberry Blonde Veluxe Brow Liner
MAC Strawberry Blonde Veluxe Brow Liner

MAC Stylish Brow: Veluxe Brow Liner

MAC Veluxe Brow Liner ($19.50 for 0.042 oz.) is a new and permanent range of brow pencils that can be used to fill, define, and shape the brow. It comes in five shades: Strawberry Blonde (soft muted beige-taupe), Redhead (soft brown), Brunette (muted mid-tone gray), Deep Brunette (muted blackish-brown), and Deep Dark Brunette (dark dirty chocolate).

  • Strawberry Blonde is a light-medium brown with a gray-ish cast.
  • Redhead is a light-medium brown with subtle warm undertones.
  • Brunette is a medium brown with a subtle gray tinge.
  • Deep Brunette is a medium-dark brown with subtle, warm undertones.
  • Deep Dark Brunette is a dark brown with subtle warm, undertones. It is only marginally darker than Deep Brunette and has less red undertones.

MAC described the pencil as a “rich powdery formula.”  It is kind of odd to think of an eyeliner as powdery, but there is a little powderiness to the pencil here.  That powderiness works well with the brow pencil, because it lends it a softer finish and feel, so it looks more natural and is more readily blended along the brow so it doesn’t create harsh lines.

After using the Brow Gelcreme, the Veluxe Brow Liner was less interesting.  It’s not too soft or hard; firm enough to give a full, opaque line of color, but not so firm that it drags or pulls.  Unlike a lot of pencil eyeliners, there is no dry-down–it’s like a pressed powder eyeshadow in pencil form.  When I wore Deep Dark Brunette, I felt it was a smidgen on the light side for my natural brow color (dark brown, slightly black)–I typically use Espresso or Brun eyeshadows to fill my brows in–and it was faded in places (about 80% remained) after eight hours.  Unlike the Brow Gelcremes, this range has more shades, though I think it is lacking a really dark shade and not enough ashy colors.

The five new pencils are permanent, per a Live Chat I did with MAC yesterday (and the website corroborates, as they aren’t listed as limited edition), so you can feel free to fall in love and make it a new staple in your routine.

MAC Veluxe Brow Liners

A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcremes

MAC Dirty Blonde Fluidline Brow Gelcreme
MAC Dirty Blonde Fluidline Brow Gelcreme

MAC Stylish Brow: Fluidline Brow Gelcreme

MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme ($15.00 for 0.10 fl. oz.) is a new, limited edition brow gel that’s supposed to be long-wearing, waterproof, and sets quickly. It comes in three shades: Dirty Blonde (soft taupe brown), Redhead (muted golden brown), and Deep Dark Brunette (rich brunette).

  • Dirty Blonde is an ochre-toned brown with a gray cast; it’s a bit yellow-brown to be a true taupe, but there’s a definite grayness to it that give sit a taupe-like coloring.
  • Redhead is a warm, yellowed, medium tan-brown.
  • Deep Dark Brunette is a dark brown with subtle, warm red undertones.

Ooh–I really like these.  They have the same consistency and feel of MAC’s Fluidlines, which is a fantastic formula.  It’s creamy, pigmented, smooth, and it sets efficiently–not so quick that you have no time to fix mistakes, blend, or the like, but not so long that it has time to move around.  I used Deep Dark Brunette to fill in my brow using the 208 (which is the brush promoted with this launch), and it was lovely.  The creamy consistency allowed for a really crisp line and edge along the upper and lower edges of the brow.  The color wasn’t too harsh against my skin tone and with my brow color, so on dark brown (with a bit of black) brows, it’s an appropriate color.

All three shades had incredible pigmentation; the color payoff in a single pass was opaque and didn’t skip or drag.  When I tested the shade closest to my brow color, it lasted all day long.  I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear, and even after twelve hours, 90% of it remained.  Mere water did not smudge or cause it to run, either, so it holds up to the waterproof claim as well.  I will be curious to see how suitable Dirty Blonde and Redhead are for those with lighter brows.  I wish this formula was permanent, and I could see a few more shades being added to round it out more.

MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcremes

A+
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator
MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator

Finally Permanent: MAC Volcanic Ash

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator ($28.00 for 3.4 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “foaming, cleansing, and exfoliating scrub” that combines volcanic ash with sugar crystals that is supposed to “leave skin feeling soft and comfortable clean.”  I’ve been using this exfoliator on and off since it originally debuted in 2008.  Why any brand rolls out limited edition skincare (or other basics, like eyeliners) is beyond my comprehension, but MAC has continued to re-release this exfoliator since 2008 in limited edition quantities.  However, it is now part of the permanent skin care range!

It’s a great sugar-based exfoliator that spreads evenly, easily, and foams and lathers up as you massage the granules against the skin.  It definitely leaves skin feeling softer and smoother in a few minutes.  I prefer using this in the shower–still, even after all these years!–because it also has black ash that creates a gray lather, so it’s easier to make sure it all washes off and doesn’t stay on the counter in the shower.  I haven’t used it in awhile, but I used it last night, and it is really a nice exfoliator.  It’s simple, effective, and is fun to use.

I was looking back on my previous reviews, though, and I was surprised to see the price of this change $8.50 over the past three years ($9.00 over the past four years, plus after it re-released the first time and they put it in a new tube and did some reformulation, quantity went down by about 25%).  It’s more observation than anything else, as I so rarely repurchase skincare that I’m not certain how much other brands increase skincare prices year-to-year.  MAC says it can be used on both face and body, but at this price point, it’ll just be a facial exfoliator for me!

See more photos!

MAC Pressed Pigments Part Deux

MAC Amethyst Pressed Pigment
MAC Amethyst Pressed Pigment

MAC Pressed Pigments Part Deux

MAC Pressed Pigments ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) includes nine new shades: Amethyst (purple with silver undertone), Angelic (off white), Blonde Streak (light cream), Blue Willow (light icy blue), Enlightening (deep silver), Flicker (pastel yellow), Jet Couture (charcoal black), Smoky (deep silver blue), and Sweet Acting (mid-tone pink). There are three repromoted shades: Day Gleam (high pearl powder in NC30 shade), Deeply Dashing (high pearl powder in NW55 shade), and Light Touch (high pearl powder in W10 shade). I reviewed those three shades just three months ago when they originally debuted.

Amethyst is a pale lavender with a metallic, sparkling finish. It’s sheer when used damp, more opaque when used wet. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels has a similar coloring but appears darker, as it does not have a metallic finish. MAC Light Violet is a darker lavender.

Angelic is a cool-toned white with a hint of silver. It has a frosted, metallic finish. It is a bit smoother and more metallic than it is sparkly–compared to other shades. The payoff dry is fairly sheer, while damp is better but not fully opaque. MAC She’s Got Class is very similar. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #3 is also similar.

Blonde Streak is a silver-shot off-white; it almost looks creamy at one angle, then looks silvered at another. It has a frosted, metallic finish. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #3 is whiter. MAC She’s Got Class is less metallic. Bobbi Brown Bone is yellower.

Blue Willlow is a bluish-green tinted white with a frosted, metallic finish. This one had a chunkier finish, and it never quite smoothed out, even when applied damp. The payoff was about the same whether used dry or damp. Giorgio Armani #10 is very similar in color.

Enlightening is a light-medium silver with a bright metallic sheen. This had a chunkier texture, so it did not lay down as smoothly as other shades did. Tarte Silver Burst is lighter, less metallic. Bobbi Brown Tinsel is lighter. MAC Misty is a touch lighter. Giorgio Armani #12 is a bit lighter.

Flicker is a yellow-tinged white, but it almost has this silver-ish sparkle. The color payoff was semi-sheer both wet and dry. This didn’t have a really gritty texture but did have a lot of sparkle. Bobbi Brown Bone is warmer. Too Faced Spun Sugar is darker. Tarina Tarantino Elektron is more metallic, less sparkly. Dior Khaki Design #4 is less metallic.

Jet Couture is a dark black with brown undertones and coppery-gold sparkle. It had fair pigmentation when used dry, and it was more intense when used damp. It applied more smoothly than some of the other shades. The only similar shade I cuold think of was Cinderfella, which has a silver sparkle instead.

Smoky is a muted, darkened blue with lots of silver sparkle. It had good pigmentation both dry and wet, though the wet version was smoother. MAC Love Cycle is darker, richer. theBalm Sensational is richer, deeper. MAC Moon’s Reflection is slightly brighter. Urban Decay Mary Jane is more metallic, darker.

Sweet Acting is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones. This one felt the grittiest/chunkiest in texture to me out of the nine new shades. It had decent color payoff both dry and wet, though, with wet making the pink appear darker. MAC Rose Light is a bit darker, less sparkly. Dior Fairy Golds #4 is lighter. MAC Love Power is darker, pinker. Giorgio Armani #7 is darker, more mauve.

I double-checked my press materials, and these are listed as “limited edition,” but the MAC website indicates they are permanent. I did a Live Chat with MAC online, and I was told that the Pressed Pigments are permanent. More interestingly, both the press release and the description online says, “Gorgeous eyes, from sheer and ethereal for day to intense and illuminating for evening.” It is further described as an “intensely creamy highlighter offering extreme pearlescence.” It can be applied dry “for a high shine” or dampened “for a dramatic wet look.”

They’re less of an utter and abject failure as a for-eyes-only product, than when they launched as the highlighter counterpart to MAC’s contouring Sculpting Creams. Some of these shades work better than others, and ultimately, it comes down to how smoothly they can be pressed into submission. The grittier, sparklier the shade, the worse it performs. With a really tacky base, you can absolutely get these to cooperate better. Dry, they’re a catastrophe of glitter fall out. I’m pretty sure more ends up below my eye than on it, no matter whether I’ve taken the 215 brush (which is what is sold alongside these shades) and done my utmost to “crush” and “press” the pigments on a separate stainless steel palette. The only way I can get the color to apply and transfer to some degree is with a fairly damp brush.

For testing, I used Blonde Streak on the inner lid and (lightly) on brow bone, Smoky on the middle of the lid, and Jet Couture on the outer lid. These are definitely products to be applied prior to foundation, because clean-up is absolutely necessary! I found that the fall out really need to be fully wiped away (I used Lancome Bi-Facil on a cotton round), rather than lightly dusted off. Throughout the day, over the course of eight hours, there was fall out. My eye was watering a lot while I wore these to test, because the fall out was getting into my eyes (or onto my lashes, and then into my eye). By the time I removed these, my eyes were bloodshot and a bit irritated.

If I use a glitter adhesive, it will hold on better and help to minimize the fall out, so if the finish of these is up your alley, I’d recommend doing something like that, rather than wearing it as MAC states–dry or damp–because neither work well. (But that is the criteria that I am rating on.) This is the type of product that is more specialized and will be loved by some, hated by others; I think they could be marketed better–and now would be a great time to make Mixing Medium available across counters and stores as a great side product. (Even with MAC opening Pro products online, it is not actually available to regular customers online at this time.) Though, Mixing Medium, from my experience, isn’t tacky enough with these guys–I like Lit Cosmetics, LA Splash, or lash glue better. You really need something wet and tacky that says, “COME TO MAMA!” to holds that glitter tight.

Loose glitter is rarely designed to be applied all on its own–this product just needs help in the form of major adhesion. A lot of glitter is like that but let’s call a spade a spade! But as is, these remain on my naughty list.  I love glitter and sparkle, especially on the eyes, but I want it to remain there!  I don’t want to find sparkle in my nose. The better performing shades were Angelic and Smoky, as they bound better and applied more smoothly; Jet Couture was the most unique.

P.S. — Does anyone else wonder what makes MAC decide to make a new formula permanent? Sometimes you’ll hear almost nothing but major raves for a new formula but you’ll never see it again… then a product like this, which is polarizing, is made permanent three months after it first launches (which likely means it was decided earlier on, though).

MAC Pressed Pigments Part Deux

D-
6
Product
8
Pigmentation
7
Texture
4
Longevity
2.5
Application
61%
Total

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