Friday, February 10th, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection: Colours from the Capitol

China Glaze Colours from the Capitol Collection is slated for March launch. It features twelve shades with each shade being named after a different district. This post features these six: Hook and Line, Luxe and Lush, Mahogany Magic, Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold. Reader Kim did an excellent job explaining the names-to-district component.

  • Hook and Line is a warm gray with threads of pale silver. This shade is named after District 4 for fishing. It’s opaque in two coats, but this is a little thick, streaky, and has a ton of brush strokes. The color is a little reminiscent of Zoya Dove but it’s darker and warmer.
  • Luxe and Lush is a duochrome top coat with various sizes of flakies that reflect gold and pink with a little blue. This shade is named after District 1 for luxury. I applied two coats so you could see it on its own as well as over Smoke and Ashes. I don’t have a dupe for this shade. The closest I could think of were Zoya’s Fleck Effects.
  • Mahogany Magic is a warm brown with a yellow base. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 7 for lumber. Illamasqua Taint is a cooler-toned brown. Chanel Khaki Rose is lighter.
  • Riveting is a vibrant orange with orange-tinted gold shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 3 for technology. Zoya Tanzy is a little lighter and has more shimmer/glitter. Nubar Arencia is similar but a touch darker. Milani Metal Gear is darker and the shimmer doesn’t appear as light.
  • Smoke and Ashes is an inky blue-based black with green and blue shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 12 for mining. The base color reminded me of Zoya Cynthia a bit, but it’s blacker. Cult Nails Living Water has a similar look but the shimmer is more dominant and leans bluer.
  • Stone Cold is a soft black with silver shimmer–and it’s matte. This shade is named for District 2 for masonry. It’s similar to Nubar Midnight and MAC Butterfly. Orly Iron Butterfly should also be a dupe.

The consistency of Hook and Line was the worst; a little thick, not quite goopy but close, which all resulted in a streaky finish. I had better luck with Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold, which were easy to apply and didn’t have any consistency concerns–they weren’t too thick or too thin and applied evenly without bubbling or pooling along the sides. Luxe and Lush has a thicker consistency, which actually helps the flakies distribute fairly evenly over the nail.  Mahogany Magic was on the thicker side, but it wasn’t as problematic as Hook and Line.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A-
This set of six was better overall compared to the six from part one--only two shades gave me problems, while the other four were easy to work with and had a good formula.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow
Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows (Part 3)

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadow ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a cream-gel-mousse formula that’s designed to have a lightweight texture, yield “vivbrant, lively, buildable” color, be waterproof, and long-wearing. Just for fun, Bare Escentuals made a charitable contribution to Canine Companions for Independence when this product launched. They are also exclusive to Sephora. The last four shades I’m reviewing are: Saint Bernard (deep sea green), Schnauzer (vivid violet plum), Sheepdog (frosty white), and Shih Tzu (gilded lime green).

According to the brand, these are supposed to have sheer color coverage, but they are buildable to an extent. The five featured in this post are very true to that creed–they can easily be used as a sheer wash of color, but they can also be used opaque by either initially applying more color or by applying a second layer of color on top of the first. Stay-There Eyeshadows have a spongy quality that reminds me of memory foam; you can press it, and it will slowly spring back to form. You can jab at it with a pencil, and you’ll end up shifting it around more than anything! These actually launched well before Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, which have a similar texture.

I like using a really stiff, firm, and flat brush with these, but I’ve had the best luck applying these with fingertips. Once applied, they dry down to a powder finish in just the right time–not instantly but not so long that it’s creased before you’ve finished applying product to the other eye. I’ve tested several shades without primer as washes, including Black Lab, Bulldog, Chihuahua, Collie, Mutt, Pug, Saint Bernard, and Shih Tzu, and I haven’t had any issues with the shades creasing, fading, or smudging. I’ve even worn a few of them during showers to test waterproof claims, and they haven’t budged.

  • Saint Bernard is a pop of green-based teal that’s semi-sheer. This shade did not build up color as well as some of the other shades–it was more like Black Lab in that respect. Maybelline Edgy Emerald is similar but a little less green. NYX Seafoam Green is slightly darker. NARS Misfit is darker and more opaque. MAC Aquadisiac is slightly less green.
  • Schnauzer is a brightened eggplant purple with red undertones and a fine violet shimmer. Like Saint Bernard, it’s not as buildable in color as other shades, so semi-opaque is the highest opacity I was able to achieve. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is similar but a touch darker. Le Metier de Beaute Fig is deeper and browner. MAC Fig. 1 is a bit darker and has a matte finish. Inglot #445 is lighter and has a frosted finish.
  • Sheepdog is a frosted white with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s similar to a lot of other white eyeshadows.
  • Shih Tzu is a springy green with a chartreuse shimmer-sheen. MAC Lucky Green is brighter, more intense. Inglot #412 is lighter, more olive. Make Up For Ever #304 is brighter and greener.

The Glossover

product

Buxom Stay-There Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 3)

A-
They're not quite as buildable as they seem like they should be, because for some, you really can't get much more color than what one layer of product yields (like Saint Bernard). The wear is really great, though, and if you like using sheer color as a base or as a wash for quick looks, you'll enjoy these.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, February 6th, 2012

MAC Hot 'n' Saucy Tendertone
MAC Hot ‘n’ Saucy Tendertone

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Tendertones

In the collection, there are four limited edition shades of MAC Tendertone Lip Balm ($15.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.), which are: Hot ‘n’ Saucy (soft cherry red), Hush, Hush (sheer gold with yellow gold pearl), Purring (sheer tangerine with pearl), and Tread Gently (soft lime green with yellow pearl).

  • Hot ‘n’ Saucy is a watermelon pink once applied. It looks cherry red in the pot, but when it’s applied, it really just provides lips with a tint of red. Hourglass Primal looks similar when applied. Urban Decay Red Light is a bit similar but settles into lines more.
  • Hush, Hush is a golden beige with gold shimmer. There’s no real color, but it adds champagne and gold shimmer and a glossy sheen. A warm sheer gloss will provide similar color, so there are lots of dupes.
  • Purring is a sheer tangerine orange. I have no idea why MAC Described this as having pearl, because it doesn’t appear to have any shimmer–it has the same shimmer-less look as Hot ‘n’ Saucy. On my lips, it adds warmth and gives them a peach tint. MAC Kumquat looks a bit similar but more pigmented and it has orange-gold shimmer.
  • Tread Gently is a sheer green-shimmered balm. Like Hush, Hush, there’s no real color, just pastel green shimmer. I think the only shade that’s really going to be similar that I can think of is MAC Spring Bean, which may be a little more yellowing.

Tendertones have SPF 12 and are supposed to combine the glossiness of a gloss with the moisture of a lip balm. MAC describes their scent as “strawberry-kiwi.” It’s very, very sweet, and a little too synthetic for me, but it’s a sweet, fruit-based scent. The texture is like a gel-like balm that glides across lips easily and smoothes out if you press your lips together. It’s non-sticky, and these wore for three hours or less on me. I tried wearing some of these to bed, but they didn’t wear long enough so I woke up with slightly parched lips. They feel good when they’re applied, and they aren’t drying; they’re hydrating while they’re on but don’t seem to have prolonged benefits from the past few days I’ve been testing them.

I’m not a big fan of lip balms that are packaged in pots–it’s better than a dysfunctional squeeze-tube that splits in your pocket–but application on-the-go is more difficult. This is a product I’d only use at home, where I could use a clean spatula or brush to take the product out and then apply it. It’s housed in a glass jar with a screw-top lid (very much like Paint Pots).

I’ve been holding off on this review, because I really wanted to give this product a few days of testing, since it’s not a formula I’ve used in years. The way I review products today is ten-fold better than I did before; the process is much more systematic and technical. They’re good, and if they were in a tube, they’d be something I’d consider using more often. Lip balm is a tough category to crack with me–it’s hard for me to get enthused about a lip balm that’s good, or even really good, because I’ve found a holy grail lip balm that keeps beating out the products I try.

One thing I do really like about these is that they’re really comfortable to wear, are moisturizing for the time they’re on and maybe a wee bit after it wears away, and they provide a little extra oomph, whether it’s a tint of color or a hint of shimmer. They’re a good, solid product.  I’ll reach for something else when I want my lips to be totally hydrated and pillow-soft, but when I want a little extra color or shimmer, I’ll definitely keep it in mind.

The Glossover

product

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Tendertones Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
One thing I do really like about these is that they're really comfortable to wear, are moisturizing for the time they're on and maybe a wee bit after it wears away, and they provide a little extra oomph, whether it's a tint of color or a hint of shimmer. They're a good, solid product. I'll reach for something else when I want my lips to be totally hydrated and pillow-soft, but when I want a little extra color or shimmer, I'll definitely keep it in mind.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Aloha (dirty cocoa brown), Campfire (rich copper), Lantern Light (metallic gold/bronze), and Shifting Sands (metallic champagne).

  • Aloha is a medium-dark bronze with almost neutral undertones; it’s not quite your typical warm bronze, but it doesn’t seem like a genuine cool-toned brown either. This one had a really smooth, soft texture that was easy to work with and apply. MAC Seasonally Cool is similar but more red-toned. Make Up For Ever #15 has a warmer base. Bare Escentuals A-Ha is similar.
  • Campfire is a warm copper with a golden copper sheen. This shade also had a soft, smooth feel that made application easy. It’s a lot like MAC Amber Lights, theBalm Meep Meep, Make Up For Ever #12, and so on and so forth. This is a shade that we see often.
  • Lantern Light is a yellowed gold-shimmered copper-orange. It looks darker in the pot, but the gold sheen really lightens the color when swatched. It’s similar to Bare Escentuals Louder with a weaker golden sheen.
  • Shifting Sands is a soft champagne beige with a metallic sheen. It’s similar to MAC Summer Haze. Make Up For Ever #13 is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Sin is pinker.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones–which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

The Glossover

product

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones--which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Call Me Bubbles (light tan), Fresh Daily (orange), Full of Flavour (coral), and Brash (frosty reddish copper).

  • Call Me Bubbles is a light beige with a shimmery finish. The color payoff is decent but there is some underlying sheerness. It has a satin finish–it has more of a frosted look than your average satin. This shade will be a nice highlighter on light-medium to medium skin tones especially. It’s a bit like the shade in Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla. Urban Decay Skimp is similar but lighter. MAC Bisque is a touch darker and matte.
  • Fresh Daily is a medium orange with a tangerine shimmer-sheen. It has a frost finish that looks a little bit like a satin, too (not quite as shimmery as most frosts). The pigmentation is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa has a similar orange but matte and slightly darker. MAC Rule is similar but matte.
  • Full of Flavour is a brightened coral-pink. It has a matte finish. The texture is soft, just the tiniest bit powdery, and delivers good color payoff. It’s very similar to MAC Early Bird but a tiny bit darker. MAC Free to Be is also similar.
  • Brash is a molten copper with a frosted metallic sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture is so soft and smooth, and the resulting color payoff is excellent. Tarina Tarantino Dreamy has a shade that’s a bit more orange, less red. Shades like Urban Decay Baked and MAC Bronze aren’t similar because they’re more gold and bronze, while this is distinctly copper without being too red. This shade is a repromote.

It reminded me a bit of MAC Spring Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad, which has the same really warm, sunset-ish feel, but it’s definitely different.  This is the warmest palette out of the three.  If you don’t like the way orange tends to look on your skin tone, this is the quad you could easily skip, since two shades have a fair amount of orange in them.  Like the other two quads, the shades included really mesh well.  I like the inclusion of different finishes so you can get more depth out of a look if you only wanted to use the shades included.  You should be able to make a pretty sunset-like eye out of this, though it will have a fair amount of brightness out of it.

 

The Glossover

palette

Call Me Bubbles

A-
The quality of this eyeshadow palette is much more in line with the quads of yesteryear, and it is the best quad out of the three. None of the textures are dry or stiff, and the color payoffs are good or better overall.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Sugar Snack (light pink), Hypnotizing (frosted greyed mauve), Power Boosted (violet), and Shop & Drop (deep blue).

  • Sugar Snack is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a matte finish. It’s a really soft, almost buttery, matte so the color payoff is good without being powdery. It reminded me of MAC Pen ‘n’ Pink, which is a touch lighter. Inglot #356 is lighter. MAC Paradise Island is similar, perhaps darker, with inferior color payoff.
  • Hypnotizing is a dark mauve-brown with high shimmer. It has a frost finish. It’s soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. It’s similar to a fair amount of shades, including Tarina Tarantino Fantastical, MAC Winterized, Bare Escentuals Romp, and MAC Tendersmoke.
  • Power Boosted is a fuchsia violet with a pearly sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It has decent color payoff, though it is a little sheerer and drier compared to other shades in the palette. NYX Violetta is similar but less iridescent. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is pinker. Urban Decay Purple Haze is similar in color, but it has a matte finish.
  • Shop & Drop is a deep smoky blue with hints of purple with a pearled sheen. It has a satin finish. The color payoff is decent to good, but the texture is a touch dry. Inglot #321 is similar in color but matte. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar but a touch purpler. MAC Blue Storm is brighter.

This is a good palette–none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC’s eyeshadow quads).  Both Sugar Snack and Hypnotizing are really nice and easy to work with, while Power Boosted and Shop & Drop are decent to good but could be more pigmented or softer.  Shop & Drop looks less nuanced when worn, especially if you’re using a neutral base, because it does have a blackened-blue base.  Hypnotizing is a shade we’ve seen before, but the other three are new and exclusive to this palette.

The Glossover

palette

Shop & Drop

A-
This is a good palette--none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC's eyeshadow quads). If you've been looking for a purple eyeshadow palette, this might be one to check out.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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