Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Zoya Ray Nail Lacquer
Zoya Ray Nail Lacquer

A Dance Through an Evergreen Forest

Zoya Ray Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “dark blackened pine green with smooth, delicate silver and green frost shimmer.” It’s a deep forest green with great depth and enough vibrancy to ensure it looks more-green-than-black. It has silver threads of micro-shimmer running through it. NARS Night Porter is warmer. Butter London British Racing Green is similar in color but it has sparse shimmer. Illamasqua Kink is a bit lighter, duller, and has a rubbery finish. MAC Jade Dragon is a bit darker and has larger teal shimmer.

The inky darkness of Ray makes it so appealing, but the noticeable brush strokes from the metallic shimmer (I know it says frost) take away from it to degree. The brush strokes are subtle but there, so it really depends on your tolerance for them.  It was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and it flowed easily across the nail.  The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin (seemed a little thinner than the average Zoya, which is neither a pro or con, just an observation), and I didn’t have any problems with bubbling, streaking, or pooling.  I typically get a full week of wear with minor tip wear (but no chipping) with Zoya’s formula.

The Glossover

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Ray

A-
While it was nicely pigmented and had an easy-to-use consistency, the visible brush strokes definitely impacted the overall rating of the product. If they're not bothersome, it's definitely a worthwhile product to check out.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC Luxurious Pink Lip Look Bag
MAC Luxurious Pink Lip Look Bag

Rich, Luxurious Pinks Galore

MAC Luxurious Pink Lip Look Bag ($39.50) contains Lickable (lipstick, bright, clean blue pink), Call Me Gorgeous (Cremesheen Glass, bright fuchsia with gold pearl), and Great Catch (lip pencil, bright cream fuchsia).

The lipstick is 0.10 oz. (full-sized), Cremesheen Glass is 0.09 oz. (full-sized), and the lip pencil is 0.02 oz. (full-sized is 0.05 oz.). The value of the three products is $40.50, and then you also get a vinyl bag with leopard-print and pink satin that peeks through it.

Lickable is a bright blue-based fuchsia pink with mostly opaque color coverage and a natural sheen. This shade has a Cremesheen finish, and it is part of the permanent range. Tom Ford Aphrodisiac is darker, redder. MAC Insanely It is redder. MAC Gulabi is similar. MAC Catharina is lighter. MAC Full Fuchsia is a smidgen redder. Tom Ford Pure Pink is a touch darker.

Call Me Gorgeous is a blue-based, medium magenta pink with gold shimmer. It has semi-opaque color coverage and while it settles slightly into lip lines, it isn’t noticeable at a distance. MAC Full Speed Ahead is more opaque and a little cooler-toned. MAC Sassy Lassy is a lot lighter. MAC True Babe is more blue-based. YSL Pure Hibiscus is similar but has no shimmer.

Great Catch is a dark fuchsia-red with a modern matte finish (barest of sheens, but still, mostly matte).

When layered together, the result is a vibrant, medium-dark fuchsia pink with sparkle and a glossy sheen.  The whole combination wore for seven hours, though the glossy sheen wore off within an hour.  There was a slight stain left behind.  MAC really delivered on a luxurious pink lip look here.

I wish Cremesheens worked better on me!  Lickable lasts six hours on its own, and while I didn’t experience hydration, I didn’t find it particularly drying, which was a nice surprise (I usually find Cremesheens slightly drying!).  It does pull a little at lips when you go to apply the color, but it does eventually apply more fluidly as the temperature of your lips heat it up.  Call Me Gorgeous wore for two hours when I tested it, which is short for wear.  Great Catch wears long and well, but again, it’s not a very comfortable formula on its own as it tends to cling to lips and doesn’t add any moisture.

The Glossover

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MAC Luxurious Pink Lip Look Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
MAC really delivered on a luxurious pink lip look here! All three products have good color payoff, and while Cremesheens can be drying on me, Lickable was neither drying nor hydrating. Call Me Gorgeous wears off quickly, which may or may not be a deal-breaker for you.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, October 27th, 2012

MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit
MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit

Pretty in Pink & Coral

MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit ($70.00) contains Divine Desire (blush, bright pink), Heart to Heart (lipstick, mid-tone yellow pink), Warm Embrace (lipglass, cool rosy pink with pearl), Purple Dash (Technakohl, intense aubergine), and 129SE (blush brush).

The blush is 0.09 oz. (not full-size, it is about the size of the larger MAC eyeshadow pots), lipglass is 0.17 oz. (full-sized), lipstick is 0.10 oz. (full-sized), and eyeliner is 0.012 oz. (full-sized). The kit contains $53.00 worth of product, excluding the brush. The full-sized 129 retails for $35. The price point of this kit is rather high, and I don’t think that they’re really delivering on value here; at most, you’re getting what you pay for, but it’s not a value kit. Even if we give the brush $20 value, you’re only saving $3 by purchasing everything together. The whole set is housed in a pink satin container with a glossy black trim and bow at the enclosure. You could use it as a very small clutch later on, as the plastic insert is removable. If it’s packaging you would reuse, then this set has more value to you than the products alone.

Divine Desire is a cool-toned, medium pink with a shimmer-sheen finish. It has a frost finish. The texture was soft and blendable, and it lasted for eight hours without fading on my cheeks. MAC Whole Lotta Love is warmer, less blue-based. MAC Supernova is darker, pinker. MAC Weekend Getaway is a bit pinker. Tom Ford Wicked is very similar–it has a bit more of a pink sheen. MAC Feeling Flush is a bit darker.

Heart to Heart is a coral-pink with a soft, frosted sheen. It has a Cremesheen finish. This shade lasted five hours on me, but it was a little drying (Cremesheens typically are drying for me). Chanel Enjouee is darker. Guerlain Gracy is darker and brighter. MAC Force of Love is pinker. MAC Watch Me Simmer is very close, perhaps a smidgen brighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Hot Paris Pink is similar. Chanel Phoenix has a little more red in it.

Warm Embrace is a soft, yellow-toned light pink with subtle shimmer. It yields semi-opaque color coverage, and it lasted for three and a half hours on my lips. NARS Candy Says is pinker. Chanel Caprice has gold shimmer. MAC Razzledazzler is creamier.

Purple Dash is an eggplant purple that doesn’t have a strong red undertone. There is subtle gold sparkle and a gentle sheen. It’s weak on color, and even when layered, it doesn’t build well or evenly. Make Up For Ever #4l is similar.

129SE is a dense, slightly domed blush brush. Overall, it is okay; it’s a little scratchier than the full-sized 129, but the 129 isn’t the best blush brush (not the softest, it’s a bit rough on skin). It felt softer before I washed it; once I washed it a few times, I found it shed noticeably and felt scratchy against my skin. I didn’t even realize it came with a brush until I read the press release to get the official color descriptions! In case, you, too, haven’t discovered it, the brush is held in the pouch attached to the interior of the lid.

Three of the four color products worked well. Purple Dash isn’t as opaque in a single pass as it could be, and it doesn’t build up color well–and it’s a problem that a lot of purple eyeliners suffer from. The lipstick and blush were excellent, while the lipgloss was good.

The Glossover

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MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It's a good kit, but compared to a lot of holiday offerings, it may not have enough value packed into it to merit the $70 price tag. Purple Dash was disappointing, though expected since I've reviewed it before!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, October 25th, 2012

MAC Round Midnight Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Round Midnight Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Wants You to Travel to an Extra Dimension

MAC Glamour Daze Extra Dimension Eyeshadows ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.) includes eight shades, and this post highlights four of them: Round Midnight (dark burgundy), Stolen Moment (dark taupe), Stylishly Merry (mid-tone dusty violet), and Tall, Dark, & Handsome (black with pearl).

MAC first launched this formula this past March, which I reviewed here and here.  You can also read a more in-depth review regarding the new shades here (this post just has a recap and some tidbits regarding these four shades).  The formula feels like a cross between MAC’s regular powder eyeshadows and their Mineralize Eyeshadow formula, because it feels like a powder, but it’s a little dry in a way that’s characteristic of Mineralize Eyeshadows.  These bind and adhere better, though, and tend to apply more smoothly.  Of these four, Stylishly Merry was less smooth compared to the others, but Round Midnight was extremely smooth.  In my testing of five of the eight shades, they wear the six hours MAC claims, but when used dry, they are prone to fading somewhat.  When used damp or over a primer, I was able to wear these for eight hours without fading.

Round Midnight is a purple-burgundy with a soft frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation both dry and wet. It was also exceptionally smooth compared to several of the other shades. MAC Rich Core is a bit lighter, less purple. MAC Deceit is very similar. Make Up For Ever #311 is redder.

Stolen Moment is a plummy taupe with hints of brown and gray and a frosted finish. It had pretty good color payoff when used dry and was totally opaque when used wet. Urban Decay Armor is less plum. MAC Satin Taupe is similar, a little browner. theBalm Come-Hither is darker, grayer.

Stylishly Merry is a fuchsia pink with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation dry and better payoff when used damp. Urban Decay Noise is pinker. MAC Moon Rose is pinker and darker. Urban Decay Infamous is a bit more purple. Urban Decay Junkshow is more vibrant, less pink. Make Up For Ever #52 is darker, less frosted. MAC Infra-violet is similar, less frosted. Sugarpill 2AM is more purple and matte.

Tall, Dark, & Handsome is a soft gray-black with a soft, frosted finish. It has multi-colored shimmer that’s very fine, so it’s hard to see it on the eye. The color payoff was almost the same both wet and dry, though when used dry, it’s just a little softer. MAC Dark Dare is darker, blacker, less gray. MAC Cinderefella is similar when used dry. Buxom Black Lab is similar but in cream form.

The Glossover

LE
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Stylishly Merry

A-
They're good eyeshadows overall, but it really nags at me the way they decreased quantity and didn't do much in the way of making the price reflect that. Of these four, they were a lot smoother than the previous four.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, October 25th, 2012

MAC Divine Blue Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Divine Blue Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

When was the Last Holiday Collection Without Mineralize Eyeshadows?

MAC Glamour Daze Extra Dimension Eyeshadows ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.) includes eight shades, and this post highlights four of them: Divine Blue (mid-tone aqua), Evening Grey (steel silver), A Natural Flirt (soft peachy nude), and Ready to Party (pale lilac).

MAC first launched this formula this past March, which I reviewed here and here. The most important thing I wanted to address is that MAC is–again–squeezing customers on both ends; these were originally $20 each and contained 0.07 oz. of product. This was a mere seven months ago. Now, you’ll spend $19.50 and get 0.04 oz. This is a 43% decrease in quantity (0.03 oz. less) for a 2.5% decrease in product ($0.50 less). Say what? (And worse? MAC’s website is listing these as 0.07 oz., but the back of all of mine say 0.04 oz.)

The formula is an interesting hybrid of liquid and powder, though I couldn’t tell you where the liquid really comes into play (at least, by touch). It feels like a cross between MAC’s powder eyeshadows and their Mineralize Eyeshadows. MAC says the colors range from sheer to buildable coverage, and they can be used wet or dry. They’re supposed to last for six hours on the lids. I tested five of the eight, and after six, they were still in good shape–after eight hours, there was a little fading, so they’re true to the six hour claim. When used dry, they were a bit more prone to fading than if used damp or over a primer.

Something I noticed when I was swatching through these recently released shades was that they did not seem to be as smooth as the ten that were originally launched.  I wouldn’t say they were gritty, just not as smooth.  I think it might be that some of these have a more iridescent/shimmery finish, as Evening Grey and Ready to Party were two shades I noticed it in.  A Natural Flirt seemed more in line with the texture of the original shades.

Divine Blue is a bluish aqua with a frosted, slightly metallic finish. It’s an interesting color, because at a glance, it’s blue, but then there’s that play of aqua that turns blue on its side–it’s not enough to turn it teal, though. Make Up For Ever #25 is bluer. MAC Styledriven is bluer, but it is similar in lightness. Urban Decay Unhinged is several shades darker.

Evening Grey is a medium-dark silver-shimmered gray with subtle brown undertones. It had good color payoff both wet and dry, though it was a bit more intense when applied wet. MAC Warm Thunder is a bit darker, a little more blue-tinged. MAC Tundra is similar, though lighter/more metallic.

A Natural Flirt is a soft, light-medium peach with a golden shimmer-sheen. When applied dry, it’s a bit sheer, while it definitely turns more opaque when applied dampened. There’s a hint of duochrome-like sheen in this, though not a lot! Le Metier de Beaute Nouvelle is pinker. Dior Aurora is similar. MAC Pure Flash is darker, sheerer. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is warmer, darker. theBalm Luscious Lani is similar, a bit darker.

Ready to Party is a lilac pink with a bright metallic finish that comes out more when it is applied damp. It is very shimmery, almost iridescent. When applied dry, it’s very sheer. MAC likes these types of pinks: Fresh & Mint is a smidgen lighter, whiter; Young Venus is less metallic and iridescent; Joy & Laughter is darker; and Fresh Ice is just a bit whiter. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is similar but less metallic. Dior Garden Pastels is pinker.

The Glossover

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MAC Glamour Daze Extra Dimension Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A-
They're good eyeshadows overall, but it really nags at me the way they decreased quantity and didn't do much in the way of making the price reflect that. The texture is not quite as smooth as it could be with some of the shades.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, October 25th, 2012

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish
MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish

So Superb, It’s Been Reviewed Twice!

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “soft peach nude with multidimensional shimmer.” It’s a soft, medium champagne-shimmered peach-brown. It has a high-shine finish that’s almost metallic, depending on how heavily you apply it. Guerlain Terra Inca is similar, more metallic. Bobbi Brown Beach is lighter. MAC Redhead is pinker. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is a bit more frosted.

I reviewed Superb when it originally launched earlier this year in March. For a more in-depth review, I’d encourage you to read this post. I wanted to roll out improved photos, since I know this is a rather anticipated repromote. All of the photos and swatches are of the most recently released version (that came out with Glamour Daze), which is exactly the same as the originally released version. I re-tested the wear, and it lasted around eight hours with some minor fading along the edges (same as when I tested it before).

If you want to tone down the finish, I suggest using a stippling brush (like MAC’s 188) and lightly dusting it over the areas you want to highlight.  There’s enough color that it can be used as a blusher or bronzer (depending on your skin tone), but you’ll definitely get a greater sheen that way.  If you want a really metallic look, try applying it with a damp brush.

The Glossover

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MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
If you love shimmery, high-shine highlighters, you'll like enjoy MAC's Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. They are comparable in formula to Estee Lauder's Illuminating Gelees as well.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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