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Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow
Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow (£15.50 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “rich black.” It’s a medium-dark black with brown undertones and a mostly matte finish. MAC Dark Dare is comparable. theBalm Serious is a smidgen lighter. MAC Carbon has a similar intensity though it tends to be sheerer.

The texture is soft but not powdery, and it blends easily on the lid.  I think with black eyeshadow blendability is even more important, because you may just want to darken an existing color and other times, you’ll want the color to play a central role in the look.  It had good color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. It’s not the blackest black eyeshadow I have seen, but it has a nice level of darkness that can also be used without looking dramatic right off the bat.  When I wore this shade, it managed to stay on for eight hours (without a base) with no creasing or fading.

Illamasqua Obsidian Eyeshadow

A
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
98%
Total

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MAC Double Shot, Mehr, Tabla, Yash Lipsticks

MAC Double Shot Lipstick
MAC Double Shot Lipstick

Plus 4 — MAC Middle Eastern Collection Adds 4 Lipsticks to Permanent Range

MAC Lipsticks ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) are getting four new and permanent shades: Double Shot (full bodied mocha cream), Mehr (dirty blue pink), Tabla (chocolate brown), and Yash (deep neutral). Mehr and Yash are repromotes from MAC + Mickey Contractor from spring 2011. They’re available online now and will be at stores/counters on September 13th (North America). PLEASE NOTE THAT MAC HAS TITLED THIS SET OF FOUR LIPSTICKS AS MIDDLE EASTERN, NOT ME. If you have problems with how they’re titling the collection, please contact them and voice your complaints–I did not come up with it! 🙂 You can view the collection information here.

Double Shot is a subdued brown with a hint of rose and mauve. It just has the barest tinge of pink/mauve. It has an amplified finish, so the color coverage is opaque while the texture is smooth and creamy.  This shade wore for six hours.  CoverGirl Smolder is warmer, more red-orange. MAC Mocha is a smidgen more orange. MAC Kraft is browner.

Mehr is a subtly blue-toned medium pink. It has a matte finish. The color coverage is opaque, and the finish is mostly matte. The texture was soft and creamy, so it didn’t pull or tug at lips when applied. This shade wore for five and a half hours.  Tom Ford Indian Rose is darker. Chanel Paradis is shimmery, sheerer, and cooler-toned.

Tabla is an orange-toned brown with a hint of red. It has an amplified finish. This had mostly opaque color coverage, and it felt a little “wetter” than the usual amplified finish–very creamy but slicker.  This shade wore for five hours. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this, though I don’t think that means there isn’t one. MAC On the Prowl was the closest in the gallery, but it’s browner, less orange, sheerer.

Yash is a neutral peach–doesn’t read warm or cool. It has a matte finish. The color coverage is opaque, and the texture was smooth and creamy but not slick.  This shade wore for five hours. MAC Delectable is darker, more orange. MAC Peachstock is lighter, more beige. MAC Deletcable is similar, slightly darker. Cle de Peau Calliope is a smidgen darker, glossier.

MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste.  The range is rather large, and things like wear time, texture, hydration, and so on depend more on the finish of the lipstick.  Ampflieds tend to be creamier, more opaque in color, while mattes tend to be more opaque, a bit drier. None of the four were drying, though I wouldn’t say any of them were really hydrating.

MAC Double Shot, Mehr, Tabla, Yash Lipsticks

A
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

Zoya Suri Nail Lacquer

Zoya Suri Nail Lacquer
Zoya Suri Nail Lacquer

A Decadent Royal Purple

Zoya Suri Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “royal purple metallic.” It’s a rich, royal purple with violet and amethyst micro-shimmer. I couldn’t recall anything from past reviews that compared that closely with this shade. China Glaze Fault Line has similar coloring, but it’s a crackle polish. Zoya Mimi would be the next closest, though it’s a bit more blue-based and has much larger shimmer. Do you have any dupe suggestions? I’d love to hear them!

This shade was fully opaque in two coats, and the formula was wonderful; not too thick, not too thin. It flowed evenly and fluidly across the nail while delivering rich color. There are ultra faint brush strokes only visible in the brightest of light , and they’re still rather subtle then.  The drying time was average, and it dried down to a somewhat shiny finish, though a top coat is a must for a truly glossy finish. Zoya typically wears a full week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

Zoya Nail Lacquer Suri
Suri
Suri
A+

Permanent

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

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MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipglass
MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipglass

Support Viva Glam with the Newest Release!

MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipglass ($15.00 for 0.17 fl oz.) is described as a “hot pink.” It’s a brightened medium pink, kind of strawberry-pink like, with subtle yellow undertones. It’s not quite bright enough to be a true hot pink–at least not on lips, though it’s brighter in the tube than on. MAC Please Me is lighter, while Illamasqua Indulge is darker and brighter.

The color coverage is mostly opaque with a little translucency here and there. It does settle into lip lines somewhat. Lipglasses feel a little thick, and they are definitely tacky, so they are not everyone’s cup of tea. They are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste. Viva Glam Nicki lasted five hours on me.  It’s a little lighter, not quite as yellow-toned, as its lipstick counterpart. Since it’s been awhile, and I did want to show the gloss layered over the lipstick, I also included standalone lipstick swatches as well as the two layered.

MAC fan or not, Nicki Minaj fan or not, MAC’s Viva Glam campaign helps fund an organization that does a whole lotta good–the MAC AIDS Fund. Every cent of the selling price of Viva Glam products goes towards MAF. From the press kit they currently have available on their website, they were heading towards a $250 million goal for this past July–but as of February 2012, they had raised $235 million from the Viva Glam Lipstick and Lipglass shades. 100% of the sale price–not proceeds, profits, or an ambiguous figure–every cent. MAF provides financial support to organizations across the world to provide a range of services that include preventative care for HIV/AIDS as well as care for those with HIV/AIDS.

Fun facts: What 1 Viva Glam Lipstick (or Lipglass) can do…

  • Purchase 254 condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV
  • Provide 32 Safer Sex Kits which include condoms, lubricant and instructions
  • Provide a clean, safe place to sleep for two nights for one resident living with HIV/AIDS
  • Provide 45 minutes of lifesaving HIV prevention skills to a group of 75 women and girls
  • Buy eight individually tailored, nutritious meals for a person affected by HIV/AIDS
  • Prevent one mother from transmitting HIV to her baby
  • Keep an injection drug user HIV and HCV free for one year by providing sterile syringes
  • Purchase one rapid oral HIV test
  • Test four babies to determine their HIV status
  • Provide crisis counseling to a person living with AIDS who is also struggling with drug addiction, mental illness and homelessness
  • Provide a new job interview shirt and tie for one resident at an HIV/AIDS housing organization
  • Purchase 151 safer injection kits (cooker, cotton, tourniquet)
  • Provide 30 minutes of training for 20 medical providers on integrating HIV prevention and reproductive health
  • Provide a move-in kit for a client moving into new housing, including cleaning materials, toilet paper, laundry soap, dishes for one person, lightbulbs, etc.
  • Buy 24 female condoms which are distributed by the DC Department of Health to prevent HIV, sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy

Other available Viva Glam shades include Viva Glam VI and V Lipglasses; Viva Glam Ricky Lip Conditioner; and Viva Glam I, II, III, IV, V, VI, and Nicki Lipsticks.

MAC Lipglass Viva Glam Nicki
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush
Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush

Delightfully Subtle Rosy Cheeks

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as as “soft neutral pink.” It’s a light-medium rosy pink with a mostly neutral undertone (against my warmer complexion, it seems to pull just barely cool-toned). It has a mostly matte finish and true-to-pan color. MAC Crew is lighter, yellower. Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel is lighter, more yellow-toned, a bit brighter. MAC Stunner is more yellow-toned and has a strong sheen. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink is a bit cooler-toned. MAC Dame has a smidgen of plum in it.

The color goes on as it looks in the pan and in any variation lighter than that; it is, obviously, not a dark pink or the like, so the effect on deeper complexions may be subtle. There’s enough actual product and pigmentation for it to show up on a wide variety of skin colors, though. What’s nice about this shade is it works throughout the year and with many different looks. It can be used to complement a soft, barely-there face, but it can work to add color without overwhelming a more dramatic eye/lip (or combination thereof).

It has a soft, blendable texture that’s finely-milled.  Not dry nor powdery, it applies easily to the skin, and the color is buildable.  When I trialed the blush on my cheeks, it lasted a solid eight hours with very minor fading along the edges of the color. Had I not been looking, I don’t think anyone else would have noticed, it was that subtle.

Illamasqua Powder Blusher Naked Rose
Naked Rose
Naked Rose
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
94%
Total

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette
theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

Rock Out with Your Shadows Out

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette ($39.50 for 0.76 oz.) includes twelve eyeshadows (0.38 oz., which is just over 0.03 oz.), one highlighter (0.14 oz.), one blush (0.10 oz.), and two lip colors (0.14 oz.). It will launch today on theBalm’s website.

Metal-ica is a silvery-white with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, though the texture was on the powdery side; very soft and dense. We’re definitely seeing a lot of these shades for the holidays; here are a few that compare favorably: MAC Crystal Avalanche, Buxom Sheepdog, NARS Flowers 1-3, and theBalm Sassy.

Adagio is a pale neutral beige with a matte finish. It had nice color payoff, and it was smooth and soft without being powdery. It works well layered over some of the more shimmery shades to tone down the finish if so desired. MAC Brule is very similar. theBalm Matt Smith is slightly pinker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame is pinker. MAC Blanc Type is lighter. Inglot #390 is darker.

Blink 1982 is a muted burgundy with a hint of plum/mauve and a golden shimmer. The texture on this shade was a bit dry, so the color payoff was not quite opaque. Lancome Color du Jour is darker but similar. MAC Trax is more purple.

Iron Maid-in is a dirty gold with a metallic, frosted finish. It was not fully opaque, but it had good pigmentation overall. The texture wasn’t as buttery as other theBalm eyeshadows. Chanel Eclaire is more golden. MAC Sweet & Sour is darker. Giorgio Armani #1 is similar, less metallic. theBalm Snobby is more matte and yellow.

Allegro is a medium brown with yellowed undertones and a matte finish. It’s soft enough to be easy to blend, but not so soft as to be powdery. It had good color payoff. Dior golden Savvanah is a bit darker, slightly grayer, but similar. Urban Decay Naked is less yellow. These were the only two shades that really fit the bill out of all. these. browns.

The Stroke is a dark navy blue with a satiny finish. It had so-so color payoff, because it was on the drier side. It performed better on the lid, and it blended out easily. Bare Escentuals Shaken Not Stirred is similar but a bit darker. MAC Lunar is bluer. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar. This is not an uncommon shade of blue.

Lead Zeppelin is an olive green with olive and green shimmer over a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and while very soft and smooth, it was a smidgen powdery. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is greener, lighter. Bare Escentuals Speaker Box is darker, less olive. theBalm Wocka, Wocka is more metallic but similar in color. Inglot #419 is a bit greener.

Moderato is a purple-burgundy with a matte finish. The texture was a little dry, and the resulting pigmentation was so-so. It performed a lot better on the eye, and I didn’t have any trouble with the pigmentation there–I hardly had to use any to get deep color. theBalm Sexy is browner. MAC Real Drama is similar. MAC Rich Core is similar but frosted.

rem is a smoky medium purple with gold-copper shimmer-sheen. It’s an interesting, complex color. It had good color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. Bobbi Brown Black Violet is similar when sheered out. Bare Escentuals Romp is less pink.

Alice Copper is a rich burgundy-red with orange-brown undertones and a frosted finish. It had really rich pigmentation and was somewhat powdery. Chanel Eclosino is less shimmery. Maybelline Pomegranate Punk is more burgundy. Make Up For Ever #17 is more metallic. Inglot #452 has a more metallic finish but is very similar.

Presto is a dark brown with burgundy-ish undertones and a hint of warmth. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff is good. It’s just soft enough to be blendable and pigmented, but it’s not at all powdery. Bobbi Brown Cocoa Berry is similar. Bare Escentuals Foreshadow is a little darker. theBalm Mahna-Mahna has more of a sheen and less red in it.

Third Eye Blinded is a warm, light peach with a fairly frosted finish. The pigmentation was excellent, and the texture was so soft and easy to blend. This worked well as a highlighter. theBalm Swedish Pancakes is less frosted, more metallic, but fairly similar. MAC Naked Lunch has more beige in it. MAC Jest is less peach. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is darker. Chanel Complice is close.

Solid Gold is a slightly paled, warm gold with a shimmer-sheen finish and a hint of beige coloring. It has plenty o’ color, so it will show up on all skin tones. This shade wore for eight hours without fading or separating. MAC Chez Chez Lame is the closest I could think of, but it is a little lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer is a bit yellower.

Don’t You Want Me is a warm coral-pink with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff, and it is somewhat buildable. The texture was a little dry, but it seemed to blend out easily enough. It wore for eight hours with minor, but noticeable, fading at that point. MAC Supercontinental is more orange. MAC Fleet Fast has shimmer. Tom Ford Flush is more orange. MAC Immortal Flower is softer, just barely pinker.

Milly is a pale pink with a neutral-gray undertone. It had a matte finish and opaque color coverage. When I tested it, it lasted four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Pure Zen is less pink. MAC Lazy Day is grayer.

Vanilly is bright red with a mostly matte finish and a barely blue undertone. It was richly pigmented and had opaque color coverage. This shade lasted six and a half hours and left behind a soft stain. MAC Eden Rouge is similar. Edward Bess Midnight Bloom is bluer and darker. MAC Ruffian Red is similar. It’s a fairly common shade of red lipstick.

Overall, it’s a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There’s a good mix of textures–matte, frosts, shimmers–and very fall-appropriate colors.

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

A-
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total

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