Friday, December 7th, 2012

Clinique Heftiest Hibiscus (04) Chubby Stick Intense
Clinique Heftiest Hibiscus (04) Chubby Stick Intense

What is a Hefty Hibiscus Anyway?

Clinique Heftiest Hibiscus (04) Chubby Stick Intense ($16.00 for 0.10 oz.) is an orange-coral with hints of red. It has a subtle glossy sheen. MAC Scarlet Ibis is brighter and redder. Tom Ford True Coral is lighter and brighter. YSL Blood Orange is similar but sheerer. MAC Sail la Vie is more orange. Urban Decay 5150 is a touch redder. MAC Hibiscus is a touch lighter and pinker.

This winter, Clinique launched a more pigmented version of their Chubby Sticks, which are supposed to be a moisturizing lip balm. This richer version is described as a “nourishing tinted balm halfway between sheer and opaque.” The color of Heftiest Hibiscus is mostly opaque with some translucency where the natural lip color comes through–if you have naturally redder lips, this will turn redder on you as a result. It has a creamy, balm-like consistency that enables easy glide-on application and feels comfortable to wear.  This shade lasted four hours on me, and it was hydrating while worn. What I like best about the Chubby Sticks, both these and the original ones, is the twist-up packaging–no sharpening required (so, no waste).

The Glossover

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Clinique Heftiest Hibiscus (04) Chubby Stick Intense Review, Photos, Swatches

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It's fairly opaque, rather than the "happy medium" Clinique described the opacity as, which can be easily overlooked by those eager for richer color payoff from their Chubby Sticks.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

MAC 3N Lipstick
MAC 3N Lipstick

Two Well-Loved Lipsticks Make a Return in New Clothes

MAC Making Pretty Lipsticks ($28.00 for 0.15 oz. each) are available in two shades: 3N (milky pastel pink) and Runaway Red (rich red-blue).  Both shades are repromotes, though they were well-received shades.  The collection online yesterday, and I immediately placed my order and overnighted everything, but unfortunately 3N has already sold out.  To find it, you’ll have to find a MAC freestanding on December 13th or Pro store on December 6th.

3N is a pale pink with neutral undertones. It has a lustre finish. The color payoff is semi-opaque with some translucency. It lasts just over two and a half hours on me.  theBalm Milly is a bit pinker. MAC Pure Zen is darker, pinker. Chanel Empreinte is sheerer. Cle de Peau #129 is pinker. MAC Lazy Day is grayer.

Runaway Red is a darkened blue-based red with a natural sheen. It has a satin finish and opaque color payoff.  This shade lasted right around six hours and left a stain behind.  Dior Diorling is similar. MAC Deeply Adored is a touch darker. Guerlain Gwen is lighter. MAC Digna is less red, more berry.

Of all products available during these couture releases, the lipsticks are typically the best value, as they contain more product than the standard lipstick–by a lot. Normal MAC lipsticks retail for $15.00 and contain 0.10 oz., which is equivalent to $150/oz. These specially packaged lipsticks are $187/oz. I believe the lipsticks are packaged in thin metal with faux shagreen wrapped around the tube. I kept trying to clink it with other known plastics and metals, and the cap tinkled nicely, but the inner tube not so much (but there is a plastic insert within it, which might have contributed to the lack of metal-like sound).

MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented, and the coverage, wear time, and hydration level depends largely on the finish.  Lustres like 3N are slightly drying for me, and they have a tendency to wear around two hours.  Satin finishes like Runaway Red are neither drying nor hydrating, but they tend to wear longer than the average lipstick.

The Glossover

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MAC 3N & Runaway Red Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Making Pretty)

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Of all products available during these couture releases, the lipsticks are typically the best value, as they contain more product than the standard lipstick--by a lot. Normal MAC lipsticks retail for $15.00 and contain 0.10 oz., which is equivalent to $150/oz. These specially packaged lipsticks are $187/oz.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder
MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder

Is This Packaging Worth an Extra $41?

MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder ($65.00 for 0.51 oz.) is described as a “pinky beige with silver shimmer.” It’s a mix of soft pink and silver shimmer, though when applied to my cheek as a highlight, it read more like a delicate silver shimmer. It’s similar to products like Chanel Reverie. Lots of loose sparkle and shimmer, so depending on your threshold for sparkle, you may love or loathe this product. MAC recommends building it up gradually, and also notes that it is a multi-tasking product that can be worked into foundation, moisturizer, and so on.

Oh, and if you don’t care about the packaging? You can purchase it in a plastic jar any time of the year for a mere $24 (you get 0.42 oz., which is a little less).  The exterior of the bottom portion of the “jar” is made out of cardboard, while the lid is covered in faux shagreen and has a plastic metallic rose bow.  It also contains a soft, fluffy pouf, which is great if you plan to dust it onto your body, but for smaller areas, it’s not practical.  When MAC originally launched their couture collections, I was In. Love. Couture was back in ’06 I believe, and it culminated in me purchasing my first MAC brush (see it here).

There are always cheaper products that perform as well or better than products marked up five, ten, twenty times.  I absolutely will and have paid this price or more for a beauty product.  Like any brand name, I know that part of what I pay is for the name–especially with higher-end/luxury brands.  MAC has already told me that it’s powder is worth $24, so for this packaging upgrade, they’re adding $41 (and giving you an extra 0.09 oz. of product).  One of Guerlain’s bigger complaints in regards to their Meteorites was the use of cardboard (and a couple of years ago, they changed it to metal), though even Meteorites cost less and contain more (currently $58/1.05 oz.).  I like Silver Dusk as a loose, iridescent powder.  It’s a nice highlighter (though I like it better on cooler complexions), and it doesn’t emphasize pores.   It’s worth checking out at $24.

You don’t even have the ability to attempt to rationalize that the product is worth paying extra; you know, that the effect of it is just that much better and worth the steeper price tag compared to other iridescent powders, because you know you can get the exact same product for far less. Not a dupe, not close enough–exactly the same.  If MAC wants to show us that they can do couture, they need to do it, because this is not it.

The Glossover

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product

Silver Dusk

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If you're interested in this product, I highly recommend checking it out in its normal, permanent packaging for $24--rather than shelling out over double just for packaging, when it's cheap packaging at that.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick
Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick

A Pale, Warm Pink Not to Be Missed

Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “marshmallow pink.” It’s a soft, light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones. A lot of lighter pinks like this one tend to have cool undertones, so it’s nice to see one with some warmth. MAC Vivid Imagination is darker by several shades. MAC Angel is less warm–almost gray-ish in comparison. Cle de Peau #106 is a smidgen lighter.

Too Faced’s La Creme formula is supposed to be rich in color, creamy, and hydrating.  It definitely nails the creamy part; it is so slick and wet, that it almost feels like a lipstick-balm hybrid.  Despite the slick texture, it wears rather well for this type of texture:  three and a half hours.  It is nicely hydrating both during and post-wear, too.  The one downside is it has a thicker feel on the lips, so it can easily bunch up or show lines if you press your lips together.  Bunny was opaque on lips with a soft frosted sheen.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

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If you've been on the hunt for a warm, light pink, Marshmallow Bunny is worth a look-see. It's not the longest wearing formula, but it is very comfortable to wear and hydrating, too.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, November 26th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Nail Lacquer
Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Nail Lacquer

Interesting Color, But Brush Strokes Rain on the Parade

Bobbi Brown Black Pearl Shimmer Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.37 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering rich brown graphite.” It’s a deep blackened-brown with a hint of plum and fine threads of shimmer. Chanel Strong came to mind, but it is more burgundy–quite a bit redder in shimmer; and Bobbi Brown Twilight is a lot like Strong, so it’s not much like this one. Chanel Vertigo is a bit grayer, and it has less shimmer. China Glaze Bogie is more red-toned.

The color was fully opaque after two coats, but there were visible brush strokes in both natural and brighter lighting, which may or may not be a deal-breaker for you. It had a great consistency that wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it flowed beautifully across the nail without streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges of the nail. I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chips with Bobbi Brown’s formula.

The Glossover

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Black Pearl

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If the brush strokes were less visible and easier to get to pull straight, this would be a very interesting color that I don't know of a perfect dupe for!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, November 15th, 2012

SpaRitual Slate Nail Lacquer
SpaRitual Slate Nail Lacquer

Start Off with a Clean State

SpaRitual Slate Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “gray metallic shimmer infused with rhyolite.” It’s a gray-shimmered olive-tinged brown. I’d almost say it looks like taupe, but there’s this green hue that keeps peeking through, which makes me hesitate. When I was looking for dupes, the category that ended up resembling this most, because of the lighter antique golds (like Illamasqua Swinger and its own slew of dupes), but they were all quite lighter. Anyone have a dupe suggestion?

The consistency was a smidgen on the thinner side, but it didn’t have much of an impact on the application–needed to be a little more careful as it spread easily.  Slate was fully opaque after two coats.  There were noticeable brush strokes in the end result; they were very minimal under natural light, but they were apparent in brighter light.   The unique color and generally straight brush strokes (when you see ‘em) are forgivable, but it will depend on your tolerance for them (it did impact the ratings).  I typically get a full week of wear out of SpaRitual’s formula with very minor tip wear and no chipping.

The Glossover

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product

Slate

A-
The unique color and generally straight brush strokes (when you see 'em) are forgivable, but it will depend on your tolerance for them!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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