Month in Review | January 2016

Here’s a look at the top 25 products reviewed in the month of December, plus a summary of how many products and brands were reviewed and a break out of ratings! :)
01

Anastasia Brownie

Permanent. $12.00/0.06 oz.

Anastasia Brownie Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a medium-dark, golden bronze with warm undertones and a pearly sheen.

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

02. Anastasia Chiffon

Anastasia Chiffon Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a medium, golden bronze with a metallic sheen. It is a lighter version of Brownie with less khaki/olive tones. Read full review.

A+

03. Anastasia Chocolate Crumble

Anastasia Chocolate Crumble Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a dark, taupe brown with warm, reddish-brown undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. Read full review.

A+

04. Colour Pop Porter

Porter is described as a "warm burgundy with gold multi-dimensional gold glitter on top [of] a metallic finish." Read full review.

A+

05. Colour Pop Telepathy

Telepathy is described as a "bright gold with a green undertone in an ultra-metallic finish." It's a bright, light-medium yellow gold with an almost "cool" undertone (compared to most golds, which are often orange-based) paired with a metallic sheen. Read full review.

A+

06. Tom Ford Beauty Honeymoon #4

Honeymoon #4 is a deep plum with soft, warm, brown undertones and a satin finish. It was the least shimmery shade, which is something the quad needed for better cohesion, I think. Read full review.

A

07. Guerlain Mythic

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder ($59.00 for 0.30 oz. / $179.00 for 0.30 oz. Read full review.

A

08. Anastasia Fudge

Anastasia Fudge Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a medium-dark, rich brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. Read full review.

A

09. Bite Beauty Blood Orange

Bite Beauty Blood Orange Matte Creme Lip Crayon ($24.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a bright, medium coral-red with warm undertones and a satin finish. Read full review.

A

10. Bite Beauty Rosehip

Bite Beauty Rosehip Matte Creme Lip Crayon ($24.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a bright, medium red with warm undertones and a satin finish. Read full review.

A

11. Tom Ford Beauty Honeymoon #2

Honeymoon #2 is a medium-dark, coppery bronze with warm, reddish-orange undertones and a frosted sheen. Read full review.

A

12. Anastasia Henna

Anastasia Henna Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a bright, medium-dark copper with warm undertones and a metallic finish. Read full review.

A

13. Urban Decay Spiderweb

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Spiderweb Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a "satin red cream." Read full review.

A

14. Urban Decay Wonderland

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Wonderland Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a "dark pink-red cream." Read full review.

A

15. Bite Beauty Pink Lady

Bite Beauty Pink Lady Matte Creme Lip Crayon ($24.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a bright, medium-dark fuchsia with cool, blue undertones and a satin finish. Read full review.

A

16. Formula X Alchemy II

Formula X Alchemy II Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a "platinum-infused ... Read full review.

A

18. Colour Pop Weenie

Weenie is described as a "pinky rose gold in a pearlized finish." It's a slightly muted, medium-dark coppery bronze with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. Read full review.

A

19. Anastasia Chocolate (Titanium)

Anastasia Chocolate (Titanium) Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a rich, dark brown with warm, reddish undertones and a pearly sheen. Read full review.

A

20. Anastasia Macaroon

Anastasia Macaroon Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is light-medium, pinky lavender with subtle, warm undertones and a metallic sheen. Read full review.

A

21. Tom Ford Beauty Honeymoon

Honeymoon #4 is a deep plum with soft, warm, brown undertones and a satin finish. It was the least shimmery shade, which is something the quad needed for better cohesion, I think. Read full review.

A

22. Anastasia Peacock

Anastasia Peacock Eyeshadow ($12.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a deep, forest green with warm, brown undertones and a pearly sheen. Read full review.

A

23. Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon

Chanel Sunkiss Ribbon Harmonie de Blush ($70.00 for 0.38 oz.) is a soft, medium pink-coral with fine golden sheen. Read full review.

A

24. Urban Decay Firebird

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani Firebird Lipstick ($18.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a "deep fuchsia cream." Read full review.

A

25. Bite Beauty Red Velvet

Bite Beauty Red Velvet Matte Creme Lip Crayon ($24.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a deepened red with neutral-to-cool undertones and a semi-matte finish. Read full review.

Breakdown |
Jan 1, 2016 — Jan 31, 2016

81%

Average Score
A
89
B
108
C
34
D
13
F
33

Total Reviews (277) — Brands Reviewed (20)

Surratt Beauty Scandal Eyes Prismatique Eyes

Surratt Beauty Scandal Eyes Prismatique Eyes

The following was previously written for my first review on this formula, as all three I tried were very consistent in performance: Surratt Beauty Prismatique Eyes ($38.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a two-part compact that twists to reveal a glittery, more powder-like eyeshadow on the lower level, and then on the upper level, the lid twists off and reveals a cream eyeshadow. The brand states that the cream eyeshadow is a long-wearing, “water-proof shadow base” that can be used underneath the glittery eyeshadow or as an eyeliner. The glittery eyeshadow is called a “prismatic top coat.” The two only work well when used together, but neither works that well alone. Together, they’re pretty, but the cream eyeshadow is fussier than ideal for a cream-based product, so blending and getting even coverage were quite challenging.

Based on the fact that the cream eyeshadow is the long-wearing part and has the most claims, I rated this as a standalone product plus how well it did hold the glitter eyeshadow, but the wear considers it on its own as well as when worn with the glitter eyeshadow. On the other hand, the glitter eyeshadow’s wear is based on how long it wears over the cream base (there seem to be next to no claims made for the eyeshadow, other than calling it a top coat and it designed to be very sparkly!). The cream eyeshadow worked decently as an eyeliner without the glittery eyeshadow on top of it, but on the lid, it had a tendency to crease before it had a chance to set due to a longer dry-down time. If I applied the glittery eyeshadow on top of the cream base as it was drying down, the glitter was fairly locked on and seemed to prevent any initial creasing. Then the whole layer cake of product lasted for nine hours before I noticed faint creasing. The cream eyeshadow was fairly crease-resistant, but the longer dry down time meant keeping the lid close and lightly patting the cream eyeshadow back into place after 15-20 seconds until it was fully dried at about 45 seconds. I recommend a flat, slightly narrow, synthetic brush to pat on the glitter eyeshadow for best results.

The glitter eyeshadow will get everywhere without the cream base to lock on, and the glitter seemed like flecks, which were a pain to remove from the skin (it is always amusing that glitter won’t stick to the lid, but it’ll stick to your nose no problem!). The cream eyeshadow was generally pigmented but had a fair amount of slip to it without being really thick, so it tended to look patchy and uneven on the lid, especially the more I blended out the edge. It is the type of product that is easier to use as a base on the lid and then use traditional powder eyeshadow to do crease work. The packaging felt flimsy to me, and I’ve too often swiveled open the lower level and nicked the edge of the pan as a result. I had consistent results across the three shades I purchased inasmuch as wear and application went.

Scandal Eyes (Cream) is described as a “deep black.” It’s a very dark, inky black with neutral-to-cool undertones and a natural sheen. It was intensely pigmented–the most pigmented of the three–and had the least slip, so it also applied the best out of the ones I purchased. The color was only slightly streaky but remained mostly opaque on the lid. The color didn’t take as long to dry down, but I still had to be careful about keeping the product out of creases while it was drying down. Once it set, the color was crease-resistant for eight and a half hours. When I patted the glitter eyeshadow on top, the wear was over nine hours with minimal fall out. The edges were difficult to diffuse; I tried fingertips, synthetic flat and fluffy brushes, as well as natural brushes. Make Up For Ever S102 Onyx (P, $21.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Giorgio Armani Obsidian (01) (P, $38.00) is lighter (95% similar). NARS Black Valley (P, $25.00) is less glossy (95% similar). NARS Filbuste (P, $28.00) is cooler (95% similar). theBalm #9 (P, $6.50) is less glossy (95% similar). Le Metier de Beaute Onyx (LE, $30.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Makeup Geek Corrupt (P, $6.00) is less glossy (95% similar). MAC Nehru (Guo Pei) (LE, $16.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Kat Von D Black Metal (LE) is less glossy (90% similar). Illamasqua Zeitgeist (P, $25.50) is more shimmery, darker (90% similar). Urban Decay Blackout (P, $18.00) is cooler, less glossy (90% similar). Too Faced Stiletto (LE, $16.00) is less glossy (90% similar). Make Up For Ever M100 Black (P, $21.00) is warmer, less glossy (90% similar). Milani Pitch Black (P, $5.99) is cooler, less glossy (90% similar). Tarte Fashionista (LE) is less glossy (90% similar). Sugarpill Bulletproof (P, $12.00) is less glossy (90% similar). NARS Sycorax (P, $29.00) is less glossy (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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Surratt Beauty Prismatique Eyes Scandal Eyes
B+
Product
8
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8
Longevity
9
Application
4.5
Total
87%
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Clinique A Pink Honey Affair All About Shadow Palette

Clinique A Pink Honey Affair All About Shadow Palette

Clinique A Pink Honey Affair All About Shadow Palette ($40.00 for 0.41 oz.) contains eight shades of warm, pinky neutrals. Three shades are from other palettes (duo/quad/palette, actually), and then five are from the singles range. I half-hoped that this was going to be a cooler-toned neutral palette, but it ended up quite warm-toned overall. The All About Shadow formula is supposed to be long-wearing, crease-resistant, fade-resistant, and have “creamy colour [that] glides on in one smooth stroke.” The formula is more what you might associate with Clinique: subdued, sheerer, better for those who like exactly that type of application and look, but if you want intense coverage, you’ll want to look elsewhere. The colors have some overlap within the palette, which makes it easy to use and blend everything together, but it could be more contrasting and versatile.

Jammin #1 is a light, subtly pink-tinted beige with warm undertones and a pearl shimmer. It had semi-opaque coverage with a firmer press, which made it seem thinner in consistency and a little dusty on the lid. I could see it working for those who prefer a sheerer wash or want something less opaque for highlighting the brow bone. The color lasted for seven hours on me before fading. Tarte Blush Stilettos (LE) is more shimmery (95% similar). Make Up For Ever S522 Pinky Nude (P, $21.00) is less shimmery (95% similar). Tarte Chantilly Lace (LE) is warmer (95% similar). Tarte In a Flurry (LE) is lighter (95% similar). MAC Pretty (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). theBalm #14 (P, $6.50) is darker (90% similar). MAC Sahara Dust (LE, $16.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). MAC Smokeluxe #1 (P) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Chanel Tisse Venitien #2 (P) is darker (90% similar). IT Cosmetics Transforming Pearl (P) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Skimp (P, $18.00) is less shimmery, darker (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Ballet Flats is a light-medium peach with warm undertones and a pearly sheen. It had nice color payoff with a soft, blendable texture that was a little soft and looser to work with, but I didn’t notice it sheer out much on the skin. The color started to fading after seven hours. Urban Decay Sin (P, $18.00) is lighter (95% similar). LORAC Champagne (P) is less shimmery, cooler (95% similar). NYX Girl Talk (P, $6.00) is cooler (95% similar). Stila Rose Quartz (P)(95% similar). Tarte Champagne Bubble Bath (LE) is lighter (90% similar). Cle de Peau Baby Universe #2 (P) is darker (90% similar). Too Faced Cheers! (LE, $16.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). theBalm #4 (P, $6.50) is cooler (90% similar). MAC MACnificent Me (LE, $16.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). bareMinerals Custom Made (LE) is more shimmery (90% similar). Urban Decay Sellout (P, $18.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Lover #2 (LE) is cooler (90% similar). Kat Von D Precious (LE) is more shimmery (90% similar). bareMinerals Enjoy (LE) is less shimmery, warmer (90% similar). LORAC Peony (LE) is lighter (85% similar). Viseart Pont des Arts (P) is darker (85% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Orchid Haze #1 (P) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar). MAC Pure Bred #2 (LE, $21.00) is darker (85% similar). Inglot #397 (P, $6.00) is darker, brighter, cooler (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Lucky Penny is a light-medium, peachy beige with warm undertones with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation with a soft, lightly dense, blendable texture that applied well to the bare skin and wore for almost eight hours. Zoeva Sweeter End (P) is more shimmery (90% similar). Tom Ford Beauty Orchid Haze #1 (P) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). Inglot #397 (P, $6.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Last Sin (LE, $18.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). bareMinerals Custom Made (LE) is more shimmery, lighter, cooler (90% similar). Lancome My French #5 (LE) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Urban Decay Sin (P, $18.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Pure Bred #2 (LE, $21.00)(90% similar). Hello Kitty Apple Pie (LE) is lighter (90% similar). Too Faced Cheers! (LE, $16.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Make Up For Ever #30E (P, $20.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Give Me Fire (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). theBalm Third Eye Blinded (P, $16.00) is less shimmery, cooler (90% similar). Colour Pop Koosh (LE, $5.00) is cooler (85% similar). Viseart Pont des Arts (P) is lighter, warmer (85% similar). Divergent Humble Sheen (LE) is lighter (85% similar). MAC Jete (LE, $16.00) is darker (85% similar). Milani Bella Champagne (16) (P, $4.49) is warmer (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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Clinique All About Shadow Palette A Pink Honey Affair
B-
Product
8
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
7.5
Application
4.5
Total
81%
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Tell us what you love and hate about...

Matte Eyeshadow

I NEED them to be blendabable and have enough binder in them to adhere without getting sheer or uneven! When they’re good, they’re great, but when they’re lower quality, I find they’re one of the harder products to “make work.”

-- Christine

Kat Von D Sid + Nancy Shade + Light Blush Duo

Kat Von D Sid + Nancy Shade + Light Blush Duo

Kat Von D Sid + Nancy Shade + Light Blush Duo ($25.00 for 0.317 oz.) is a new, permanent set that features a darker pink-coral paired with a peachy-pink. The blush formula is supposed to “stay vibrant for a full 24 hours of wear” with “silky powders” that “blend effortlessly into skin for a flawless, buildable finish.” The marketing makes it unclear what level of pigmentation these should be on Sephora, but per the brand’s Instagram, they are “highly pigmented.” As we’re now at the seventh and final blush duo to review, I must sound like a broken record, but the darker shade is dismal and difficult to blend due to sheer pigmentation and chalky texture. The lighter shade was more powdery and less chalky, but it was at least more pigmented.

Sid (Shade) is described as a “bright tulip.” It’s a medium, pink-coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It was disappointingly sheer (a far cry from “highly pigmented”) and incredibly chalky, thin, and difficult to blend. It’s the type of texture that tends to stick to wherever there are natural oils on the skin and then doesn’t want to blend or move, which results in fairly uneven, patchy application. I have tried these blush duos countless ways (beyond what I would normally test), and even applying them over a powdered face still requires two to three times the amount of effort to blend them out than even so-so blushes. The color wore well for eight hours, which is good, just not close to the marketed claim. Tarte True Love (P, $26.00) is cooler (90% similar). NARS Amour (P, $30.00) is darker (90% similar). Too Faced How Deep is Your Love? (P, $26.00) is lighter, brighter (90% similar). NYX Pinched (P, $5.00) is cooler (90% similar). Guerlain Coral Blush (LE) is warmer (90% similar). Tarte Bashful (LE, $26.00) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Tarte Pampered (LE, $26.00) is lighter, more muted (90% similar). Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) (LE, $43.00) is darker, brighter (90% similar). NYX Summer Peach (P, $5.00) is lighter (90% similar). NYX Apricot (P, $5.00) is lighter (90% similar). Gucci Beauty Coral Flower (P, $49.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Smashing (LE, $26.00) is lighter (90% similar). MAC Autoerotique (LE, $25.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar). MAC Fleeting Romance (P, $23.50) is warmer (90% similar). NYX Tuscan (P, $6.50) is darker, brighter (85% similar). Clinique Peach Pop (02) (P, $21.00) is more shimmery (85% similar). Colour Pop Never Been Kissed (LE, $8.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Too Faced Melt Into Spring (LE) is lighter, brighter, cooler (85% similar). NARS Savage (LE, $30.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Chanel Intonation (69) (LE, $38.00) is brighter, glossier (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Nancy (Light) is described as a “ballet pink.” It’s a light, warm-toned pink with a matte finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff paired with a lightly dusty texture that was blendable. I found the shade to darken slightly on the skin compared to the majority of the other light shades, which while I expected them to, did not darken against the skin as much. The color faded after seven and a half hours of wear. Kat Von D Mallory (Light) (P) is warmer (95% similar). Laura Mercier Sunset (LE, $24.00) is darker (95% similar). NARS 413 BLKR (Highlighter) (P, $30.00) is more shimmery (95% similar). MAC Blush Pink (LE, $35.50) is lighter (95% similar). NARS Sex Appeal (P, $30.00) is warmer (90% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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Kat Von D Shade + Light Two Tone Blush Duo Sid + Nancy
F
Product
4
Pigmentation
5
Texture
5
Longevity
3
Application
3.5
Total
46%
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