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OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate
OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate ($12.00 for 0.088 oz. / 2.5 grams) is described as a “sleek, regal gold.” It’s a rich, vibrant shade of yellow gold with a frosted, metallic finish. The metallic finish comes out more strongly when it is applied damp/wet. Tarina Tarantino Mr. Gold/Mr. Silver is less metallic, less yellow. NARS Paramaribo is darker. Bare Escentuals Remix is less yellow. MAC Goldmine is more orange. Inglot #430 is slightly darker. Urban Decay Honey is very similar but less metallic.

I’m all over this kind of color.  Urban Decay’s Honey is one of my all-time favorite golds, and it’s been discontinued, so having a dupe is excellent.  The texture is so, so soft–the powder of OCC’s Loose Colour Concentrates is extremely finely-milled.  It applies well both wet and dry, and it gets a little smoother and more metallic when applied wet as compared to the dry application.  This shade is lovely with warm browns, coppers, and burgundies.  Triptych wears really well, too, without primer–a solid eight hours without creasing or fading.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Colour Concentrate Triptych
Triptych
Triptych
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
98%
Total

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China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright sky blue shimmer.” This is a brightened medium sky blue with fine, pale white-blue shimmer. It’s a very swimming pool-inspired blue, I’d say. It’s not quite bright enough to be called a neon, but it’s certainly not subdued. I thought this would be readily duped, but out of all these blues, nothing came close enough. At a glance, China Glaze Blue Iguana seemed like a possibility, but upon closer inspection, it’s much, much darker, and it has purple shimmer. I’d love to hear from you if you have any dupe possibilities!

The color was opaque after two coats, but the formula was on the thicker side, so I actually had some pooling polish along the edges of the nail.  I haven’t had this issue very often, so I’ll clarify so we’re all on the same page:  I’m certain there’s a textbook definition of “pooling,” but here goes:  when the polish seems to gather along the edges of the nail, so it looks thick and rounded.  A good visual is thinking of slime or sludge as it covers more and more surface area.  It’s not a good thing.  I did two coats for swatches, and it took a long time for the initial coat to dry enough to apply the second coat, and a surprisingly long time for it to dry after that.  Neon shades typically dry incredibly quickly, but this one took its sweet time.  Once it did, it did dry to a mostly matte finish–you’ll want a really shiny top coat to get a glossy finish (I used Seche Vite).

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Splish Splash
C+

Limited Edition

7.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
6
Texture
9
Longevity
3
Application
79%
Total

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush
NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sheer, light golden sheen.” The base color is a a pale, almost cool-toned ivory and then it has a healthy dose of light-medim gold shimmer-sheen. MAC Lightscapade doesn’t have as strong of a golden sheen, and it has a slightly pinker base color. MAC Chez Chez Lame is more golden and beige. MAC Too Chic is more beige and uniform. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer is much more golden.

I swear, I thought I reviewed this product previously, but I couldn’t find one! I’m in the process of reviewing all of NARS’ permanent blushes (including re-reviewing some shades), and Albatross is the first one up. It’s part of the Highlighting Blush series, which are blushes designed to illuminate the skin rather than add lots of color. This shade has won numerous distincts, even winning awards in Temptalia’s Readers’ Choice Awards over the years, for its highlighting prowess.

On my skin tone (about medium in color with warmer, yellower undertones), Albatross isn’t the most flattering on its own–that cooler ivory base color gives me a washed out look. On the flip side, cooler skin tones from light to medium could wear this alone and have it be much more flattering. When it’s paired with another blusher, it is more flattering across a greater number of skin tones, because that lighter base color mixes with your blush color, so it doesn’t look as pale or as cool-toned.

There’s a nice balance of glow and sheen without emphasizing pores and the natural texture of the skin.  The way it reflects gives it a very creamy, luminous look–definitely more along the lines of a sheen than a frosted or shimmery look.  It can be used as a barely-there highlighter or more intensely, depending on whether you’re going for a low-key cheek or wearing it alone.  When I wore Albatross to test out the wear, it managed seven and a half hours of excellent wear and looked a bit faded after eight and a half hours.

The texture is soft and silky without being too dense or dry–you don’t have excess powder being kicked up when you go to use it, but you don’t have to stab at it to get enough product onto your brush.  I like using a small stippling brush to apply it lightly, or a small, tapered face brush for a more concentrated application.

NARS Highlighting Blush Albatross
Albatross

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Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a light-medium dusty blue with a subtle pink-copper shimmer. Chanel Coco Blue is darker, bluer. Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle is darker, grayer. Butter London Lady Muck is darker, grayer, and has silver shimmer. Chanel Riva is lighter, less blue.  None of these comes close, though–not even in the base color–let alone having the coppery shimmer. A lot of times you’ll find something that has a similar base color, but I couldn’t think of anything that was even close to being a dupe.

I’m definitely a fan of the Cult Nails brand, particularly because Maria keeps coming out with shades where I get to say, “I couldn’t think of a dupe for this!” as part of my review.  It’s tough to be original in such an over-saturated industry, so it is very much appreciated.  The formula is long-wearing–a full seven days or longer–with very minor tip wear and no chipping.  Princess was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and it had good flow and wasn’t too thick or too thin.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Princess
Princess
Princess
A+

Discontinued

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

Bobbi Brown Black Ruby High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Black Ruby High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Black Ruby High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Black Ruby High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “crimson with gold pearl.” It’s a semi-opaque, vibrant ruby red base with gold shimmer. Chanel Triomphal is more opaque and has pink shimmer. MAC Sonoran Rain is warmer. MAC Driven by Love is rdder, less sparkly. YSL Golden Red is warmer.  I can’t wait to wear this during the holidays–I can be very traditional sometimes, and in the case of the holidays, I love a red lip with gold shimmer).  I love how the red is a deeper kind of red–it’s not a bright, cherry red, and it’s not strongly blue-based, yet it isn’t orange-based, either. It’s just barely cool-toned, with a berry/wine kind of pull, and it can be harder to find gold-shimmered reds that aren’t orange-based.

For a gloss that’s not quite opaque and this dark, it applied rather evenly–you don’t notice any unevenness at a normal viewing distance, just in the up-close and personal lip photos (which are, of course, larger than life).  I really can’t say it enough: these are my favorite glosses.  At the moment, I have three or four of them in my purse (I just came back from traveling).  When I went down to Irvine, CA for my sister’s graduation last weekend, I didn’t even bother pulling lipsticks for the trip–I knew I’d just wear these.  More often than not, if I’m not testing something, I’m probably wearing this formula.

It’s comfortable to wear, moisturizing, has the loveliest sparkle, and they wear well on me.  With Black Ruby, it lasted for four and a half hours.  The texture isn’t too thick or too thin, non-sticky, and have a mint-scented.  They come in black-capped clear tubes with a doe-foot applicator.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss Black Ruby
Black Ruby
Black Ruby
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total

MAC Nail Lacquers – Preview Photos & Swatches

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers

MAC Nail Lacquers — Preview Photos & Swatches

MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) has thirty-one new (well, some newer than others) shades being added to the permanent range. I don’t have any of the brand spankin’ new ones to share with you, but I did receive a press kit that included a set of swatches on plastic nails. Since I didn’t do the swatching, I have no idea how many coats were used or anything like that. As soon as I’m able to purchase the polishes, I’ll do so and have swatches for you at that time. For official descriptions, please see this post. For now, here are my descriptions of them based on the included swatches:

  • Deep Sea is a deep, dark blue-teal with a hint of green. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Midnight Tryst is a bluish gunmetal gray with fine teal and silver micro-shimmer–there appears to be some brushstrokes in the swatch. This is a new shade.
  • Formidable is a dark purpled burgundy base with a duochrome of blue-teal to fuchsia-purple. It has a pearl finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Mean & Green is a dark olive green base with a duochrome of rosy plum to golden olive green. It has a pearl finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Vintage Vamp is a dark burgundy-red cream. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here when it came out during the holidays.
  • Rougemarie is a medium-dark blue-based red. It has a cream finish. I believe this was always part of the permanent range, but I don’t think I have it.
  • Flaming Rose is a brightened medium red with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Sparks on Screen is a red glitter polish with multi-sized particles of ruby red, crimson, and lighter red. It has a pearl finish. It is a new shade.
  • Shirelle is a brightened orange-red cream. I believe this was always part of the permanent range, but I don’t think I own it.
  • Impassioned is an orange-coral with a cream finish. I reviewed it here, though it seems slightly pinker on the plastic nail (my natural undertones could make a color appear more or less warm). I’ll have to pick up a new bottle to see how they compare.
  • Morange is a brightened medium orange with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Fiestaware is a lightened tangerine orange with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Soiree is a champagne and copper shimmered shade with a frost finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Skin is a light peach-orange with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Faint of Heart is a soft ivory with a hint of warmth. It has a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Delicate is a pale white-pink with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Snob is a slightly warm, mostly neutral light-medium pink with a jelly-like finish (but it is a cream finish). I reviewed it here.
  • Girl Trouble is a silvered, pale purple with a pearl finish. This is a new shade.
  • Screaming Bright is a muted metallic gold-champagne–possibly a little pewter. This is a new shade.
  • Saint Germain is a light-medium pink with blue undertones. I reviewed it here.
  • Steamy is a medium-dark blue-based pink with a cream finish. I believe this has been part of the permanent range for sometime, but I haven’t reviewed it previously.
  • Girl About Town is a rich, nearly-neon fuchsia pink with blue undertones. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Quiet Time is a gray–tinted light-medium beige with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Coffee Break is a medium-dark gray-tinted brown with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Anti-Fashion is a subdued, smoky purple with subtle red-brown undertones. It has a frost finish. This is a new shade.
  • Dark Angel is a deep purple with red undertones and a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Spirit of Truth is a brightened navy blue with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Discotheque is a metallic light silver with silver shimmer. It has a pearl finish. This is a new shade.
  • Nightfall is a dark, gunmetal gray with silver shimmer. It has a frost finish. This was released previously, but I don’t think I have it.
  • Nocturnelle is a glossy black cream. I reviewed it here previously.

Some MAC nail lacquers are great, while others are less stellar (some being notorious for poor application).  The majority of these shades, from what I remember, were easy enough to apply. I know the lacquers from the recent Fashion Sets collection were fairly good overall.  Formidable and Mean & Green were two highly coveted shades from MAC’s Venomous Villains collection, even though both have several exact dupes on the market (Bad Fairy was the harder one to dupe).

I think the biggest issue I have with MAC’s nail lacquers is that they’re priced as if the brand were high-end, rather than mid-end. For example, NARS’ lacquers are $18 a pop, while their lipsticks are $24–MAC’s lacquers are $16 a pop, while their lipsticks are $14.50. Additionally, most high-end nail brands still give you 0.50 fl. oz., but MAC bottles contain only 0.34 fl. oz., so you’re really getting squeezed on both ends. For some reason, the price of MAC’s nail lacquers seems to have accelerated far faster than the rest of their product’s price tags. So without a stellar formula, they’re absolutely not worth it. If the formula is on point and the color up your alley, they’re certainly worth a look.

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