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Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette

This’ll Make You Do a Double Take

Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition palette for the holidays that consists of five shades of eyeshadow. It will be available in October.

The first shade is a warm, subdued white-beige with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff and was very soft, smooth, and finely-milled. This shade was a little stark as a highlighter against my medium-colored skin (no effect on rating, just a note). MAC White Frost is similar but not as warm-toned. theBalm Tempting Tara is more metallic. theBalm Envious Erin is a smidgen golden. Tarina Tarantino Lovely is similar.

Next (on the upper right), there is a light-medium copper-shimmered bronze with a strong metallic finish and larger shimmer particles. It almost looks wet when applied and smoothed out. It had decent to good pigmentation. When I applied it on the lid, I didn’t experience any post-application fall out and only had some fall out during application. Urban Decay Penny Lane is more orange, slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Golden Iris is darker and more orange. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is darker. Bare Escentuals Louder is a touch more bronze.

The center shade is a rich, burgundy-tinged deep brown with flecks of champagne sparkle. The color was very intense and easy to apply, and it went on smoothly. Guerlain Emilio Pucci is a bit darker, richer. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is browner, less burgundy. Urban Decay Busted is a bit lighter. Dior Couture Gold had a shade that looked similar but performed much worse. NARS Ponderosa is similar but a cream. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is more purple. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar. MAC Smut is a touch blacker.

The fourth shade (on the lower left) is a lightened yellowy gold with a frosted, metallic finish. The texture was soft, buttery , and it applied smoothly with excellent color payoff. MAC Sweet & Sour is a bit darker. Dior Couture Gold is similar. Urban Decay Blunt is similar, perhaps a touch lighter.

The last shade (on the lower right) is a pale champagne-bronze with a metallic finish. It looks almost taupe-like in the pan, but it doesn’t seem to have much gray in it when swatched. It had a soft, finely-milled texture that translated into a nicely pigmented shade. Dior Couture Gold is darker. Bobbi Brown Bronze is more antique gold-hued. Urban Decay Echo Beach is darker, less golden. Dior Couture Gold is more yellow/orange. Bobbi Brown Desert Sand is similar.

All in all, this palette is definitely similar to last year’s Couture Gold — dupe for dupe? No, not exactly, but there are certainly some overlapping shades and similarities. At a glance, the only difference is instead of a sparkly light gold, there’s a sparkly copper. I like this year’s better, as the quality across the five shades is much higher across the board with none of these shades having problems.  When I tested the palette on the eye, it wore for eight hours with no creasing or fading.

Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

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Buxom Swept Away True Hue Blush

Buxom Swept Away True Hue Blush
Buxom Swept Away True Hue Blush

Fair Maidens Get Swept Away with Buxom

Buxom Swept Away True Hue Blush ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “peachy nude.” It’s a pale peach with a hint of pink and a subtle sheen. MAC Stay By Me is actually a bit similar. NARS Sex Appeal is a bit more peach, less pink.  It has a lot in common with Sex Appeal, as it’s the kind of shade that isn’t universal but works really well for some.

Buxom’s True Hue formula is supposed to be “silky, sheer, and ultra-buildable.” It’s both sheer and very, very light in color, period, which means it’s not really an appropriate shade for my coloring (it’s just hard to see it!). From what I was able to see and gather from trying it out was that it’s mostly buildable, but it did seem to be just shy of true-to-pan color even when layered heavily. This was actually more likely due to the slightly dry texture, which made getting color more difficult than had it had a softer, creamier texture. Applied to my skin, it worked more as a highlighter; there was a soft, barely-there shimmer-sheen–nice and glowy–without much color. It looked nice, and the glowy sheen lasted a full eight hours on me. I would only recommend this shade for fairer complexions, though.

Buxom Swept Away True Hue Blush

B+
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
88%
Total

Tom Ford Aphrodisiac Lip Color

Tom Ford Aphrodisiac Lipstick
Tom Ford Aphrodisiac Lip Color

Tom Ford Aphrodisiac Lip Color ($48.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a bright pop of blue-based medium-dark pink that has a subtle sheen in its finish. MAC Moxie is matte and slightly redder. NARS Carthage is bluer-based. Guerlain Champs-Elysees is redder. MAC Full Fuchsia is very similar, slightly more shimmer. Tom Ford Pure Pink is only a little lighter. NARS Funny Face is redder.

It’s a high-quality lipstick formula–opaque in one pass, long-wearing (six hours), hydrating, and doesn’t bleed or feather on me. It’s comfortable to wear and easy to apply, as it’s very nice on and wears well and fades evenly. It is lightly scented with a sweetened vanilla (very similar to MAC’s) but has no detectable taste. Is it gorgeous? Absolutely. Is it dupeable? Yes, definitely. Whether the formula is worth the luxury price tag is up to you, but if the color appeals to you and the price makes you cringe, there are several permanent dupes available (listed above).

Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color Aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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Guerlain Lou-Ling Nail Lacquer

Guerlain Lou-Ling Nail Lacquer
Guerlain Lou-Ling Nail Lacquer

Dig Your Nails Into a Juicy Plum

Guerlain Lou-Ling Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.38 fl. oz.) is described as a “stunning plum for a spellbinding look.” It’s a deep berry-burgundy with strong red wine undertones and a very subtle dusting of subdued red shimmer. There are a lot of similar shades on the market–the biggest difference is going to be that smattering of shimmer, but it’s not very visible in most lighting. MAC Gadabout Girl is darker. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies is redder. MAC Blueblood is a smidgen darker, no shimmer. China Glaze Velvet Bow is a touch redder. Urban Decay Wrecked is similar but darker. MAC Purple Majesty is also a fair bit darker. Zoya Anja is fairly close (no shimmer, though). China Glaze Loft-y Ambitions is the closest–it has subtle shimmer and is a tiny bit lighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter is similar but has no shimmer.

Lou-Ling performs well; it’s fluid, flowing, and completely opaque in two coats.  The consistency was on the thinner side but not watery.  It dried down a little faster than average, and there was a natural shine to the end result.  In the past, I’ve had no problem getting a week of wear out of Guerlain’s polish, but they haven’t released a lot of shades. I’ll be testing this one fully, and if there are any deviations from that, will update.  (But heads up, next to nothing chips on me, even if I go without a base and top coat!)

Guerlain Le Vernis Nail Lacquer Lou-Ling
Lou-Ling
Lou-Ling
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total

Dior Diva Diorific Vernis

Dior Diva Diorific Vernis
Dior Diva Diorific Vernis

She’s a True Diva!

Dior Diva Diorific Vernis ($26.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a deep, dark black with just a hint of brown and multi-colored flecks of shimmer in fuchsia, gold, and bronze. China Glaze Midtown Magic is browner and has more shimmer. Dior Czarina Gold is also browner and has a lot more shimmer–also has a few bits of green sparkle. Chanel Strong almost similar in natural light, but it has a berry tone to it.

Now this shade is one that just might be worth picking up to get your hands on the packaging and feel good about doing so.  I think the way it looks in the bottle is gorgeous–all dark and foreboding with lots and lots of shimmer catching the light.  More importantly, it performs beautifully.  The consistency is just right, so it’s not so thick that it pools or bubbles, but it’s not so thin that you have to sacrifice pigmentation. It’s fully opaque after two coats, and it dries down a bit faster than average and finishes with a natural shine.  (For really glossy nails, I would still use a top coat.)  I typically get a full week of wear out of Dior’s polishes with no chipping and just minor tip wear.  It’s not a cinch to apply with the little cap of a handle, but at least what’s inside the bottle is quite nice.

P.S. — I know a few readers asked for brush photos, and I’m working on it, but this is what (usually) happens: I take too long and the review doesn’t go up. So, hoping to snap one next photo/swatch session, but until then, the ever-lovely Musings of a Muse has some! 🙂

Dior Diorific Vernis Diva
Diva

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams

MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream
MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream

If It Matches, Sculpt Away!

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams ($20.00 for 0.17 oz.) are described as a “cream-to-powder formula for sculpting and shaping key features … [s]ilky-smooth, easy-to-blend and neutrally-shaded.” It’s supposed to have sheer-to-medium buildable coverage.

  • Accentuate is a pale white beige with mostly neutral undertones–it almost pulls a smidgen pink on me.
  • Coffee Walnut is a gray-ish medium-dark brown with subdued, orange-tan undertones. It has a slight green-cast.
  • Copper Beach is a medium-tan with strong orange undertones. If anything, this shade seemed more appropriate as a bronzer.
  • Naturally Defined is a light-medium beige with mostly neutral undertones–perhaps a smidgen warm.
  • Pure Sculpture is a softened tan brown. It’s not as orange as Copper Beach–more subdued.
  • Richly Honed is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertones.

I think the shades in MAC’s Sculpting powder range (which is permanent at PRO stores) are better-colored for contouring, because they’re much more shadowy, and these tended to be rather warm-toned. When you contour, you’re emphasizing or adding shadows, and when you highlight, you’re shaping and sculpting by adding light/sheen. If one of these shades is the right color, it can be a really great product. I’m just not sold that this is the right set of shades–I would have loved to have seen them take the existing Sculpting range and make them into cream form.  Accentuate, Coffee Walnut, and Naturally Defined are the closest to neutral, while Copper beach, Pure Sculpture, and Richly Honed are very much warm-toned.

The texture is lightly creamy, not too thick or too thin.  I’d almost describe it as a stiff cream, but in the best way.  All six shades had buildable coverage, so you could get sheer-to-light color easily, but you could layer just once or twice for more intensity.  While I did try using the new 163 brush that came with the launch, I preferred the 193 or finger tips (using a clean spatula to remove product, then warming it up between finger tips and blending it out on the skin).  It dries down and has a natural finish.  I tested all six of the shades (though used together, not individually), and I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear with no noticeable fading.

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams

A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
91%
Total

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