Friday, September 14th, 2012

China Glaze Want My Bawdy Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Want My Bawdy Nail Lacquer

Do You Dare to Be Deviant?

China Glaze Want My Bawdy Nail Lacquer ($3.00 to $7.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “sexy sapphire blue.” It’s a blue-shimmered violet-blue with a metallic finish. Guerlain Riviera is more purple. SpaRitual Blue Moon is darker, less metallic. ORLY Lunar Eclipse is similar in color but slightly more purple. MAC Hyper is bluer. Le Metier de Beaute Noble Passion is similar.

The formula was mostly opaque after two coats, but if you tend to do really thin coats, you’ll probably need three.  The consistency was not too thick or too thin, and the polish spread evenly and smoothly across the nail.  I noticed it’s very unforgiving you don’t let each coat dry, because it will drag a bit.  Drying time was average, and the finish had a slight shine but needed a top coat for a glossy finish.  It has very noticeable brush strokes, though.  I typically get a full week of wear with China Glaze’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Want My Bawdy

A-
The formula was good overall, but it could use a little more pigmentation, and it you have to be a little more patient and precise with the application of this shade to avoid wonky brush strokes showing and preventing drag.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

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.

The Glossover

palette

Balm Jovi

A-
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.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, September 4th, 2012


NARS Candy Says Larger Than Life Lipgloss

These Lipglosses Might Surprise You

NARS Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) comes in five hues for the holidays: Candy Says (shimmering strawberry pink), Hollywoodlawn (bright orange-red), International Velvet (pink glace), Penny Arcade (raspberry), and Viva (rich rose). In the press release, these are described as having “brilliant shine” that “stays in place for hours” with “intense color” in a formula that keeps lips feeling “protected and moisturized.” NARS’ website describes these as “high-shine,” “long-lasting,” and “nourish[ing].”

Candy Says is a light-medium warm pink with subtle yellow undertones and a large dose of white micro-shimmer. It provides semi-opaque color coverage that is close to opaque, but the natural lip color does come through and will be more apparent the more pigmented your natural lip color is. This shade was hard to dupe, because of the more opaque color–most glosses that might be similar lacked the color in the background. It wore for five and a half hours. MAC Sewet Bean is sheerer and has multi-colored shimmer. MAC Karin has pink shimmer. Bobbi Brown Pastel is sheerer and has larger sparkle.

Hollywoodlawn is red-orange (more red than orange) with no shimmer. It yielded semi-opaque color coverage, but more importantly, it was very even, smooth-looking color that didn’t settle too noticeably into lip lines (and certainly, not noticeable from a normal viewing distance!). It lasted for six hours on my lips. NARS Wonder is similar, a smidgen darker, and has shimmer. MAC Knockout is creamier looking, slightly more orange. Illamasqua Temper is more orange.

International Velvet is a pale, milky pink with almost a neutral undertone–it looks almost cool-toned in the tube, but it doesn’t look very blue-based on. It is incredibly milky, though, which resulted in uneven color application and noticeable color settling into lip lines. This was my least favorite out of the five, because of the application problems. It lasted for four and a half hours. MAC Pagoda has shimmer. MA Angel is more opaque and has shimmer. Tom Ford Sugar Pink is darker and yellower. Bobbi Brown Pink Sorbet is darker, more yellow-toned, and has shimmer. MAC Japanese Spring is bluer in undertone.

Penny Arcade is a raspberry pink with no shimmer. It doesn’t apply as nicely as Hollywoodlawn did, but it was better than International Velvet. The color isn’t quite as even, and there is minor settling of color into the lip lines. The latter wasn’t so noticeable from afar, but the unevenness was. The color coverage was semi-opaque. It wore for five and a half hours. MAC Cherry Electric is lighter and has glitter. MAC Galaxy Rose is less fuchsia. NARS Mexican Rose is rather similar. Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss is similar but sheerer and has shimmer. Illamasqua Petulant is more opaque, brighter, less raspberry–more fuchsia.

Viva is a rose-tinted brown with mostly neutral undertones. In some ways, it’s almost like a subdued, browned coral. It has a creamy appearance, but it doesn’t look milky on. It does take a little more patience to apply, because any unevenness is noticeable. The color coverage was semi-opaque–not fully opaque but close–and allowed some of the natural lip color to peek through. This shade wore for five hours on my lips. MAC Strictly Plutonic is sheerer, softer. MAC Whoops! is darker, more orange. Hourglass Nectar is brighter, more coral. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is lighter and has shimmer.

Overall, I found all five lipglosses to be comfortable to wear, on the longer-side of wear, and hydrating.  International Velvet was the under-performer, both because of application, as well as wear.  The texture is gel-like initially, but it gets progressively tackier as the color wears (it’s noticeably tacky after a half hour or so).  It has a tiny brush-type applicator, and I find that if I use it to apply, I really end up using the hard plastic applicator above it, too.  I know NARS wanted to make it smaller to increase precision, but it seems to leave a lot of brush strokes behind.

The Glossover

product

NARS Andy Warhol Larger Than Life Lipglosses Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
Overall, I found all five lipglosses to be comfortable to wear, on the longer-side of wear, and hydrating. The one that I would skip would be International Velvet.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, September 3rd, 2012


NARS 15 Minutes Nail Lacquer

A Pop of Spring in Your Holiday Line-Up

NARS 15 Minutes Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “lemon yellow.” It’s a slightly pastel sunshine yellow. MAC Near Beth Experience is much lighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Yellow Fever is much darker. China Glaze Lemon Fizz is also much lighter. In the end, I couldn’t think of any dupes from previous shades I’ve reviewed.

This reads very springtime to me, though I can see why it’s a hue incorporated into this collection as a result of the collaboration with Andy Warhol.  Of all the five individually releasnig shades, 15 Minutes was the “worst” performing.  It is a bit streaky, and it did have a longer dry down time compared to the other four.  For a yellow, it’s rather good, though.  I think with a couple of practice applications, most of the streakiness can be dealt with. The color is opaque after two coats, though, and the formula doesn’t feel too thick, but it is on the slightly thicker side.  NARS’ polish typically wears well on me with very minor tip wear after seven days–some shades I’ve worn for as long as ten days.

The Glossover

LE
product

15 Minutes

A-
It's a color I couldn't think of a dupe for, so that always counts for something, but the formula isn't perfect. It's particularly good given how difficult it is to find a good pastel yellow polish, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 31st, 2012


Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

Oh, a Touch of a Feminine Edges

Urban Decay Feminine Eyeshadow Palette (2012) ($36.00 for 0.18 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Bordello (pale mauve with gold micro-glitter), Skimp (light peachy pearl), AC/DC (smoky greyish purple), Gunmetal (dark metallic grey with silver micro-glitter). Hijack (deep metallic teal), and Lost (medium metallic brown) and one Lip Junkie in Wallflower (nude creamy pink).

Bordello is a pinky plum with a frosted finish and barely-there gold micro-glitter. This shade had good color payoff but it wasn’t great–slightly sheer in comparison to other shades in the palette. The micro-glitter wasn’t very noticeable, so there was very little fall out after it was applied. NARS Charade is darker, more matte, less plum. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is more matte and pinker. Inglot #399 is very similar, just slightly pinker. Giorgio Armani #7 is also very similar.

Skimp is a pale, light beige with subtle warm undertones and a satiny sheen. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. It was a smidgen powdery. Urban Decay Sellout is more frosted. MAC Sahara Dust is quite similar. Illamasqua Slink is slightly pinker. theBalm Hiii-Yaaa! is more shimmery.

AC/DC is a medium-dark purple with a slight smokiness and noticeable red undertones. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly overall. Urban Decay Gravity is a smidgen darker. MAC Highly Charged is darker, less frosted. MAC Grand Galaxy is cooler-toned. Dior Garden Roses is very similar. Esete Lauder Cyber Lilac is a bit darker.

Gunmetal is a dark silver-shimmered charcoal gray with a frosted finish. This particular shade has been in a ton of palettes (I think it shows up in the Swatch Gallery three or four times). It’s nicely pigmented with a fairly smooth texture, though there is some micro-glitter there–a lot of disappears before it gets to the lid, though. Urban Decay Asphalt is less silvery. Tarina Tarantino Silver Shoes and Tarina Tarantino Lovely are both similar. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is more matte and slightly blue-tinged.

Hijack is a charcoal teal with a hint of green and a very frosty finish. It has good pigmentation, and it applies smoothly for the most part. Illamasqua Android is darker and more nuanced. Bare Escentuals Vapor is similar but more metallic in finish.

Lost is a warm coppery bronze with a frosted metallic sheen. It was the smoothest, softest shade of the six, and it had excellent color payoff. MAC Havana is a bit darker, warmer. NARS Surabaya has a stronger red undertone and more of a matte finish. Benefit Dandy Brandy is lighter. MAC Roasted Chestnut is has a softer sheen. MAC Make Your Mark is similar but mostly matte. Inglot #421 is more coppery.

Wallflower is a neutral pink with milky/creamy finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque, and it does settle into lip lines a bit, though not too noticeably from a distance. MAC Deelight is a bit pinker. This shade wore for three hours when I tested it.

Last year’s Feminine Palette included Stray Dog, SWF, Midnight Cowboy, Aquarius, Darkhorse, and Ecstasy, plus it came with an eyeliner and primer potion. It had a total value of $80.83 and retailed for $34. This year’s palette six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows and a 0.11 fl. oz. Lip Junkie. The value of this year’s palette is $64.80 worth of eyeshadow and $6.15 worth of gloss, which results in a total value of $70.95. There are surface similarities (e.g. both palettes contain a teal, brown, purple, and lighter color), but the only shade that’s somewhat duped is Lost (by Stray Dog/Darkhorse).

Overall, this palette has two shades with micro-glitter, which does mean that two shades were more prone to having some fall out both during and after application.  It’s more noticeable with Bordello than Gunmetal, and there wasn’t a lot, but I did spot a few stray glitter particles.  Bordello was also the weakest in pigmentation, though still good.

P.S. — Like the giant gouge in Lost? Courtesy of my thumb slipping while trying to remove the eyeshadow portion to show the clutch, LOL!

The Glossover

palette

Feminine

A-
Overall, this palette has two shades with micro-glitter, which does mean that two shades were more prone to having some fall out both during and after application. It's more noticeable with Bordello than Gunmetal, and there wasn't a lot, but I did spot a few stray glitter particles. Bordello was also the weakest in pigmentation, though still good.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 31st, 2012


Urban Decay Fun Eyeshadow Palette (2012)

Have a Little Fun, Won’t You?

Urban Decay Fun Eyeshadow Palette (2012) ($36.00 for 0.18 oz.) includes six eyeshadows: Maui Wowie (metallic golden beige with silver glitter), Deep End (bright teal shimmer), Sellout (pinky champagne), Fishnet (bright pink with purple shift), Stray Dog (cool metallic ash brown), and Freakshow (deep royal purple pearl) and one Lip Junkie in Midnight Cowboy (sheer nude sparkle).

Maui Wowie is platinum gold, not quite antique gold, with silver micro-glitter. It seemed less glittery than previous iterations of Maui Wowie that I’ve come across. The texture was soft, applied smoothly, and had excellent color payoff. Maybelline Bold Gold is darker and more golden, yellower. Giorgio Armani #14 is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is grayer. MAC Retrospeck is more golden.

Deep End is a blue-based teal with a frosted finish. It had a soft, smooth texture, applied well, and had great color payoff. MAC Rain Drop is similar but has more of a silver shimmer/sheen. Tarina Tarantino Ozma is quite similar. MAC Cool Heat is bluer and less frosted. theBaml Open to Offers Olwen is similar.

Sellout is a soft champagne with a frosted, metallic shimmer-sheen. The texture felt smooth and silky, while it yielded nice color payoff. Milani Champagne Toast is warmer. Giorgio Armani Madreperla is lighter. MAC Summer Haze is darker and browner. Urban Decay Booty Call is more matte. Urban Decay Skimp is a smidgen lighter, less metallic. theBalm Hiii-Yaaa! is comparable.

Fishnet is a fuchsia purple with violet iridescence. It had a soft texture that applied smoothly with good color payoff (the weakest shade of the set, but I’d say it was still good, just not great!). MAC Infra-violet is pinker. NYX Violetta doesn’t have the iridescence. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical is purpler. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is similar but less iridescent. MAC Stars ‘n Rockets is comparable.

Stray Dog is a barely gray-tinged brown with very subtle warm undertones. The pigmentation was nice, and the hue applied smoothly and evenly. Giorgio Armani #28 is warmer, no gray. MAC Havana is a bit darker. Benefit Dandy Brandy is warmer. Urban Decay YDK is lighter with no gray tinge. MAC Buckwheat is less frosted.

Freakshow is a medium-dark violet purple with subtle red-burgundy undertones and a frosted finish. The payoff was great, and it applied smoothly and softly. Worth noting, this applies much better in their new eyeshadow formula than it did when it was a deluxe eyeshadow. Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister is similar, just slightly less red-toned. Urban Decay Delinquent is lighter. L’Oreal Perpetual Purple has less red undertones.

Midnight Cowboy (Lip Junkie) is a sheer champagne beige with champagne shimmer. What it does is add a lot of shimmer and a glossy shine. Because there’s not a lot of color, any shimmery sheer gloss will dupe it. The way it sparkles is lovely, and it’s a slightly thicker formula (without feeling heavy or tacky) that’s mint-scented. I will say that I don’t care for the baby-sized packaging, because it makes it difficult to hold and apply (even the slanted tip feels odd to use).  It wore for three hours when I tested it this go-round.

Yes, yes, we’ve seen these palettes before–kind of. Last spring, Urban Decay released three palettes (all with the same names). Last year’s Fun Palette included Woodstock, Baked, Uzi, Sin, Flipside, and Psychedelic Sister, plus it came with an eyeliner and primer potion. It had a total value of $80.83 and retailed for $34. This year’s palette six 0.03 oz. eyeshadows and a 0.11 fl. oz. Lip Junkie. The value of this year’s palette is $64.80 worth of eyeshadow and $6.15 worth of gloss, which results in a total value of $70.95. The palettes are similar, but not exact; I think the most obvious similarities is that there is a pink-beige, teal, and purple included. This palette doesn’t have a hot pink or a coppery-bronze kind of color, so it’s actually more wearable in some ways (but perhaps less “fun”).

It’s packaged in a sparkly teal patent/vinyl zippered pouch, and you can remove the eyeshadows entirely, so then you’d have a clutch so-to-speak. It’s pretty small, so you could fit an ID, maybe a key or two, and that’s about it. All three palettes when stacked do stick to each other a bit.  I didn’t have trouble with the zippers on two of them, but the third wasn’t sewn/stitched perfectly, and it’s extremely hard not to catch the zipper on the excess fabric (I have to figure how to get scissors in there to trim it).  I preferred the packaging of the previous palettes, as they slimmer.

Overall, these smaller palettes that Urban Decay releases are some of their better ones, because there aren’t so many shades that you risk getting duds, and they’re more compact thank big palettes like their previous Book of Shadows volumes. It’s also more affordable at $36 than their larger palettes at $50+ (of course, if that’s within your budget, it’s typically cheaper by the ounce buying the larger eyeshadow palettes).  This is a high-quality palette packed with pigmented eyeshadows that are soft to the touch, blend easily, and apply smoothly. I didn’t have any problems with these shades, and I had barely any fall out with Maui Wowie.

The Glossover

palette

Fun

A
It's a lovely palette that has a few pops of color along with some neutrals, so you can go for different looks without being overwhelmed by color. If it wasn't for the small amount of fall out from Maui Wowie, this palette would have been an A.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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