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Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette

Take Me to the Violet Underground

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.15 oz.) consists of five shades ranging from pink to black to brown. The formula is long-wearing and is not supposed to crease while still blending easily.

The first shade is a vibrant fuchsia pink with a subtle metallic sheen. When applied dry, it’s slightly sheer and looks like it has a soft frost finish. When applied damp, it is incredibly opaque and vibrant with a soft metallic finish. MAC Moon Rose is just a little less fuchsia. MAC Tease With Ease is softer. NARS Caravaggio is darker. Urban Decay Woodstock is very similar. MAC Bright Fuchsia is also close.

Next to the fuchsia shade is a chocolate bronze with a metallic sheen. When applied dry, it still retains a subtle metallic finish and has excellent color payoff. When applied damp, it becomes more intense but doesn’t change too much. NARS Surabaya is similar but has a less metallic finish. Make Up For Ever #14 has less red in its base. theBalm Tres Moi is less red-toned and a smidgen lighter. Le metier de Beaute Bordeaux has a stronger red undertone. Chanel Ebloui is grayer.

Moving on, we arrive at a light beige-peach with soft, warm undertones and a frosted finish. It’s nearly the same whether it is used damp or dry, though it becomes just slightly more metallic when it is used wet. The pigmentation is full and opaque both ways. Bare Escentuals Stealth is more matte in finish and a little lighter. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels is a fraction lighter. MAC Say Yeah is frostier and has a subtle golden sheen. theBalm Luscious Lani is noticeably lighter and more metallic in finish.

In the middle is a dark black with subtle shimmer that’s just barely noticeable. It has good color payoff when used dry, though it is more intense when applied damp. When applied, it does intensify better with a brush than just in a swatch even when applied dry. It’s not quite as dark as MAC Dark Dare or Milani Pitch Black. It is darker than MAC Carbon.

The final shade is a rich violet with hints of blue and an underlying dark base. It had good pigmentation dry but had less depth, whereas when applied damp, it took on a much more intense, deeper look, though both dry and damp had similar metallic finishes. I felt that this was the least dupeable shade in the palette, because it is a darker purple with only a hint of blue. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl is lighter, less blackened. MAC Starless Night is darker, not really blue–more black in its base (so you lose some of the purple). MAC Imaginary has no blue. Givenchy Lune Mordoree is bluer. Urban Decay Frigid is the closest but it lacks the blackened base.

I think this is one of the most stunning eyeshadow palettes that has launched in the past few years. It’s utterly breathtaking–whether or not these are the kind of hues you’d feel comfortable wearing or not, it’s a showstopper. What I love is that it does deliver on the color, and all five shades work well together; not just in one color combination but multiple ones. If you prefer subtle pops of color, there are two more neutral shades (beige and bronze) that can be accented by the richer shades (pink and violet) or darkened (black).

These wore impeccably, too!  I had no problem achieving nine hours of wear with no fading or creasing with or without a primer, and I used four of the five shades in the look (no black).  They were easy to blend, didn’t have any fall out, and applied with full color without having to pack it on.  It comes in a purple metallic case with a mirror on the inside and two dual-ended sponge-tipped applicators. The only criticism I could come up with was the pink shade could be better pigmented dry.

Estee Lauder Violet Underground Eyeshadow Palette

A+
10
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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Milani Gold Dust Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Gold Dust Powder Eyeshadow
Milani Gold Dust Powder Eyeshadow

Follow the Trail of Gold Dust to Find Your Way Home

Milani Gold Dust Powder Eyeshadow ($4.49 for 0.11 oz.) is a warm gold with orange tones and a frosted, metallic finish. Giorgio Armani #1 is similar, slightly darker. Clarins Enchanted Summer contains a gold that is similar but also a little darker. Dior Couture Gold has a slightly lighter shade. Milani Drenched in Gold is less orange-toned.

The color payoff is decent to good, and it will apply mostly opaque to lid with a little packing of color but not too much is required.  In my use of this shade, what I liked least was the texture, which was on the powdery side with some dryness (it’s quite apparent in the swatch).  I wish it had a better or more binding ingredients, so it would stick together better.  This would make it apply more smoothly, though the powdery texture makes it easy to blend–but there is a little fall out during application, and the color can be sheered out too easily if you are not careful.  It managed eight hours of wear without a primer and only showed some very subtle fading along the inner corner.

Milani Eyeshadow Caramel Brown
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
84%
Total

Zoya Daul Nail Lacquer

Zoya Daul Nail Lacquer
Zoya Daul Nail Lacquer

I’d Haul Daul If It was More Opaque

Zoya Daul Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “medium red-toned purple base with heavy purple and gold iridescent metallic sparkle.” It’s a medium violet purple with red undertones and plenty of pale gold sparkle. The sparkle particles are fairly large, bordering on micro-glitter but flatter and smoother. Zoya Tru has a similar base color but less shimmer and copper-red-colored shimmer at that. Zoya Dannii is lighter, more lavender.

It’s supposed to be fully opaque (Zoya lists it as intensity five, which is the equivalent of opaque). After two swatches, it’s semi-opaque but there is a lot of visible nail line and an underlying sheerness for the majority of the nail bed as well. It would take at least three coats for opaque color. I think it has a really cool reflective sheen, and it did dry to a naturally shiny finish with some metallic shimmer/sheen, though the texture isn’t completely smooth because of the larger-sized shimmers.

The formula wasn’t not too thick or too thin, and it applied fluidly and fairly evenly–definitely no streaking or pooling along the edges.  I typically get a week of wear out of Zoya’s formula with no chipping and minor tip wear.

Zoya Nail Lacquer Daul
Daul
Daul
B+

Permanent

8.5
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4
Application
87%
Total

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Hourglass Raven Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

Hourglass Raven Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick
Hourglass Raven Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

Not Nearly for 14 Hours–Maybe for 8 Hours

Hourglass Raven Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick ($28.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as an “orange-red.” It’s a vibrant, bold orange-red that’s much more orange than red. Nonetheless, it is extremely bright and attention-grabbing! The color is not that unusual; there are numerous orange-red lipsticks. MAC Strut Your Stuff is a smidgen lighter. Guerlain Genna is very similar but has a sheen. Estee Lauder Extravagant Red is similar but has gold shimmer. MAC Ruffian Red is less orange. OCC Stalker is quite similar.

This is a new product from the brand, and it’s, in essence, a liquid lipstick. It’s supposed to be extremely pigmented, have a matte finish, and last 14 hours (with “continuous wear without flaking or dryness.” I’m usually impressed by Hourglass’ products, but I had a sinking feeling about the wear as soon as I read “14 hours.” That’s a really, really long-time for a lip product. Most (maybe all? I’m no cosmetic scientist) makeup breaks down with oil, which means eating oily food will contribute to faster breakdown of long-wearing products even in this kind of formulation.

Hourglass’ liquid lipstick creates a second-skin feel and look on the lips, almost like cling wrap but far more comfortable. The formula is one of the best-feeling I’ve worn to-date, because it’s not drying at all. I wore this shade for ten full hours, and I didn’t have to run for the lip balm, which is something I typically have to do with these formulas. It starts off glossy but sets after thirty seconds to a minute. I recommend trying to keep lips slightly parted while it’s drying, because as it drying, it gets a smidgen tacky, so it can cause unevenness if you press your lips together during the setting time. The color was totally opaque with one pull of product.

There was minor transfer throughout the day. I let it set for a full half hour before I tested it for transfer (note, the description of this product does not indicate it is transfer-free or -resistant), and there was a few stray marks on my coffee cup; very little but some. I put this on after breakfast around 10AM, then had lunch at 1PM, where there was some loss of color but it looked about 90% there. After eating dinner at 6PM, it had definitely worn away significantly and was flaking in places. I did not experience any feathering or bleeding, though. I did, unfortunately, find stray bits of lipstick on my teeth throughout the day, which is not normal standard operating procedure. It removed easily when I used my shu umeura cleansing oil to remove all of my makeup. There was no residual staining post-removal either, which is nice!

I recommend prepping lips for application; it’s not drying, but the matte finish is a less forgiving finish if you have any dry or flaking areas on your lips. It’s also imperative that you remove any lip balm that you may have been wearing prior to applying this–lip balm will absolutely impair the wear as well as the application, because it will cause uneven color and shorter wear. If you have dry lips, apply lip balm beforehand, let it sink in, and then blot. I always apply to the bottom lip first, and then the upper lip going around the cupid’s bow first. Then, I press lips together and look for any unevenness.

At best, this would wear better for eight to ten hours if you had a relatively oil-free meal (when I tested another shade of this formula, I timed it better and only had it on for one meal, so it lasted closer to 10 hours).  It will last through many, many cups of whatever you happen to drink.  Meals will test it, and the oilier the meal, the less likely it will make it to the end fully intact.  I wish the claim wasn’t so extravagant–14 hours is a very long time!–because the way it looks at eight hours is discouraging (note, the brand said 14 hours of continuous wear).

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Raven
Raven
Raven
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
5
Longevity
4
Application
83%
Total

Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner

Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner
Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner

An Intense Black Eyeliner That Lasts All Day

Giorgio Armani Black Eyes to Kill Waterproof Liner ($28.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a rich, deep black. If you want an intense, no-bones-about-it kind of black, that’s exactly what this. It joins the likes of MAC Black Black and Urban Decay Perversion when it comes to richness.

The formula is soft and creamy–almost too creamy, because I worried about the wear of the product as I applied it–that it glides on like silk and melts against the lash line like butter, filling in any minuscule gaps. It sets after about a minute, and after testing it twice, it held up quite nicely for a full eight hours without migrating or smudging. It still looked 90% after twelve hours.  It doesn’t wear for a full eight hours on the water line, but it does look pretty good. From afar, the water line still looks mostly lined, though up-close you can see some gaps and areas where it has worn away. There isn’t a whole lot of information on this formula online, so I didn’t actually see whether this was water line safe or whether it was intended to be used there (so the assumption is that it is not water line safe).

It’s supposed to be water-resistant and long-lasting with a soft, creamy texture. All true: water-resistant to a point, such that water won’t make it smudge or smear, unless you go rubbing your eyes, then you will get subtle smudging, but sweat, steam, and a little “rain” (well, I closed my eyes and sprayed water on my eyes) don’t cause the eyeliner to fade, smudge, or smear.

Too bad this is limited edition! Why do brands put out limited edition products like this? It’s not like it’s an electric blue eyeliner that maybe won’t do so well. It’s black–it’s such a basic, staple item!  Boo!

Update:  The version I have will be released in October for the holidays. The pencil will be permanent and will come with a smudge-tip on the end when it launches in October. This information has come from Giorgio Armani.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Acqua Waterproof Eyeliner Black (01)
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

Chanel Fleur de Lotus Joues Contraste / Blush

Chanel Fleur de Lotus Joues Contraste / Blush
Chanel Fleur de Lotus Joues Contraste / Blush

Chanel Fleur de Lotus Joues Contraste / Blush ($43.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “joyful color.” It’s a warm coral with a hint of pink and a satiny sheen. This is definitely a color we’ve seen pop up several times over the year. MAC Fleet Fast is similar, slightly darker and has a more golden sheen. Tom Ford Flush is brighter, more matte in finish. theBalm Frat Boy is pinker. Tarte Blissful is a touch pinker, brighter, and more matte.

This shade is a Nordstrom exclusive, and it’s a very pretty, summery coral with a lovely sheen that gives the face a warm, ethereal glow.  While it seems pigmented enough, it’s hard to build up color on the cheeks, so it’s not a blusher I’d recommend for medium-dark to dark skin tones. It delivers both subtle and more medium color, so for those with paler complexions, it is easy to use without fear of going overboard.  The texture is soft, finely-milled, and not powdery.  It feels like silk against the skin and lies beautifully once applied.  Fleur de Lotus is also extremely blendable and wore for eight hours without fading.

Chanel Joues Contraste Blush Fleur de Lotus
9
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

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