Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Benefit Hervana Boxed Powder
Benefit Hervana Boxed Powder

Debuting in January, Benefit Hervana Boxed Powder ($28.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “soft orchid-blossom flush.” It’s made of four individual shades in a pinwheel design, though as far as a blusher goes, you really couldn’t use these shades individually as each shade is fairly small. With a small blush brush, you might be able to use two or three shades in concentration, but I recommend swirling and sweeping all the shades taken together.

Lucky Shell is a soft, pale beige with a satiny shimmer. Divine Peach is a warm apricot-peach with soft golden shimmer. Heavenly Rose is a soft rosy peach with a satiny sheen. Berry Delight is a blue-based ppinky-plum with a satiny sheen. Together, they create a soft, warm pink with subtle peach undertones and a satiny shimmer-sheen. It’s not frosty or over-the-top, so the shimmer adds a distinct glow to the skin and doesn’t emphasize pores. The pigmentation here doesn’t impart loads of color–it’s a soft flush, which seems to be the theme of this particular powder. It has a really soft, smooth texture that sits well on the skin. It wore well for seven hours and looked a little faded around the edges after eight hours.

Chanel Pink Cloud is lighter, while MAC Stunner is more intense. Benefit Bella Bamba is much, much darker and has no peachiness. Burberry Peony is very similar but has more of a matte finish. It also reminded me of MAC Oh So Fair, though that has much more frost in its finish. Benefit Sugarbomb is much more golden with a golden sheen and less pink.

It’s not too warm for cooler complexions to wear it, and I actually think it’s one of those shades that will lean a little cooler/warmer depending on the underlying skintone. For instance, my natural yellowy undertones pull out the peachiness in the product, while someone with pinker undertones may find it turns pinker on them. When I applied it to my cheeks, it also appeared peachier because of the coral lip and olive green eyeshadows I paired it with.

The Glossover

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product

Hervana

A-
For a soft glowy flush, Benefit Hervana accoplishes just that; you won't find lots of color punch here but a wearable, everyday kind of blush that goes with everything.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, November 20th, 2011

MAC Inert Nail Lacquer
MAC Inert Nail Lacquer

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Inert Nail Lacquer

MAC Inert Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as a “creamy mid-tone greyed nude” with a cream finish. It’s a neutral light-medium gray with a cream finish. It’s mostly opaque after two coats, but the consistency of the formula is on the thicker side. It’s not quite goopy or gloppy, but it’s just a few steps before it. China Glaze Pelican Grey is similar but a little grayer and has shimmer. Zoya’s Dove is also grayer but has a cream finish.

Just to reiterate, this comes in a square glass bottle compared to MAC’s rounded jar, and the cap is a glossy black rather than a rubberized black. These are slightly smaller (0.30 vs. 0.34 fl. oz.) and $8.00 more because of the “couture” aspect of the launch. Though I have not tested the polishes specifically from this collection, MAC’s nail lacquer formula generally wears for a week with minor tip wear but no chips.

The Glossover

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product

Inert

A-
The formula could be thinner--it's a bit too thick, so it is easy to apply too much product on each nail. It does have good pigmentation, though. It's not exactly the same as other shades I have seen, but it seems dupeable enough.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, November 19th, 2011

MAC Strada Blush
MAC Strada Blush

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Strada Blush

MAC Strada Blush ($30.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone nude.” It’s a pink-beige on me but looks less pink once applied on the face. MAC Brit Wit is a bit pinker but similar, just in a cream form.  It’s a good shade for contouring if you’re light to medium in skin tone, and it will also work as a cheek color on light to light-medium skin tones. On medium skin tones, you might find you’re really piling it on to get enough of an effect on the cheeks. It has a matte finish, which is yet another reason why it works well for contouring without looking muddy. It wore for about eight hours. The texture is soft enough to be blendable and buildable, but it doesn’t kick up powder or look dry on the skin.

The compact is black metal, and it’s quite heavy. It is a small compact, but it has more heft to it than you’d expect given the size. The top of the powder is also patterned, which is also something you wouldn’t get if you bought it normally.  On the top of the palette, you’ll find the signature logo from the collection, and there is a mirror on the inside of the lid.

It’s part of the permanent range at PRO stores (I had originally thought it was discontinued), so you can only buy it pan form these days, but if you like the color of Strada, you can visit a MAC PRO store OR you can place a phone order–even with shipping, you’ll still spend less than the price tag of this product and you’ll get over double the amount of product. You should also be able to place an order via phone with online last I heard. It looks like there is a TON of confusion – some stores say this is discontinued, others told me it’s permanent. When MAC puts out their “couture” collection each year, the prices skyrocket, but this is the first time I’ve noticed how much they’ve skimped you on the product. Full-sized MAC powder blushes contain 0.21 oz. and retail for $19.50 a pop, while this variation of Strada is over $10 more and contains almost a mere one-third of a full-sized blush! It’s like they’re squeezing you on both ends.

The Glossover

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product

Strada

A-
Strada is certainly worth a look, but I'd recommend going for the regular PRO pan, because the significant reduction in quantity plus 30% increase in price for packaging is rather painful if you're just in love with the color itself and don't want the packaging.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, November 7th, 2011

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo
shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo

shu uemura for WKW: Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo ($32.00 for 2 x 0.168 fl. oz.) is a set of polishes that can be used together or alone. The first shade is a rich, midnight blue cream that’s opaque in two coats. It has just a hint of purple, making it nearly royal blue. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is lighter but similar in hue. Orly La Playa is a bit darker but similar as well. The second shade is a multi-colored glitter with large, hexagonal glitter suspended in a clear base. It similar to China Glaze Snow Globe and MAC Unconditionally Fabulous. Together, the two are stunning–multi-colored glitter with larger, hexagonal glitter over such a rich backdrop? It was designed to be lovely.

The application was nice; the formula had a good consistency that allowed for even flow across the nail, good color intensity for each coat, and never felt too thick. I tested out wearing the two layered (the blue as a base, the sparkling shade layered on top), and I didn’t experience any wear issues–the two wore for a week with minor tip wear and no chipping.

I’m a bit stunned at the price tag, though. I believe the full-sized shu lacquers are $16–the two shades together are the equivalent of a single bottle and yet the price tag is double. The smaller bottles are cute to look at but less functional than full-sized polishes because of the smaller, shorter cap, which can be less comfortable to use, depending on the size of your hands.

The Glossover

coming-soon

shu uemura Bleu Splendor Mini Nail Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
The formula was easy to work with, and I had no issues with wear (good week's worth of wear), but the price point seems higher than it should be, given the size of these polishes.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, November 3rd, 2011


Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Vice, Taint, Kink, Faux Pas

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless: Nail Varnishes

Illamasqua’s fall/winter collection, Theatre of the Nameless, included four new shades of their Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.), and they’re described as: Vice (deep cerise), Taint (stone brown), Kink (bottle green), and Faux Pas (blue violet). They have a “rubber finish.”

  • Vice is a reddened berry with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It reminded me of Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised, which has a shiny finish.
  • Taint is a yellow-tinted brown with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. Barielle Cowl of the Wild is similar but cooler-toned. China Glaze Street Chic is a bit lighter and grayer, plus it has a shiny finish.
  • Kink is a deep forest green with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It’s much bluer and cooler-toned than Rescue Beauty Lounge ORbis Non Sufficit, which also has a shiny finish. It’s greener and less blackened (and has that semi-matte finish) compared to MAC Jade Dragon.
  • Faux Pas is a blue-based violet with a rubber finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It is similar to Orly Purple Pleather but appears a bit more vibrant.

If you remember Orly’s Plastix Collection, then the finish to these may seem familiar. It’s a bit like vinyl; it’s not matte because there is a muted shine to the natural finish, but it’s not your traditional cream. This type of finish is tempermental; ensure that each coat is dry before applying the next one, and it’s best to wait as long as possible for the final coat to dry before doing anything else. These will pick up and show texture so, so much if you rush! They dry quicker than your standard polish but not as quickly as a matte finished shade.

The wear on this is less than the average Illamasqua Varnish, because in order to maintain the rubbery finish, you can’t use a top coat on top. I managed seven days with noticeable tip wear but no chips–I would have probably removed it after four or five days because of the tip wear, but I wanted to put it to the full week test.

The Glossover

product

Illamasqua Nail Varnish in Vice, Taint, Kink, Faux Pas Review, Photos, Swatches

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Because of the reduced wear time (and Illamasqua's Nail Varnishes wear like iron on me with a base/top coat), these seem more like a novelty--like matte polishes, which work well for a certain look but are less durable than traditional nail lacquers.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

shu uemura Rouge Luster Lipstick
shu uemura Rouge Luster Lipstick

shu uemura for WKW: Rouge Luster Lipstick

shu uemura Rouge Luster Rouge Unlimited Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “deep, tender red with delicate gold shimmer.” It’s a medium pink-tinted red with golden shimmer and lots of shine. CoverGirl Burn is more vibrant and intense. MAC Extended Play is deeper and less pink. MAC Digna is deeper and sheerer. MAC New York Apple is a bit darker and doesn’t have gold shimmer (ruby instead).

The color coverage is mostly opaque with very little of my lip freckle still visible (and even less visible from afar). The Rouge Unlimited formula has an excellent glide and creaminness that allows for easy application but not so much slip that it becomes prone to bleeding or feathering. This deeper shade wears a solid six hours on me, and then it begins fade and needs a reapplication after seven and half hours. It doesn’t quite reach the “up to eight hours” of wear that the Rouge Unlimited formula touts, though. I did not detect any scent or taste while wearing or swatching.

The Glossover

coming-soon

shu uemura Rouge Luster Rouge Unlimited Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It's a suitable holiday red that isn't a bright, showstopping red, which may be more your style. If you're looking for a really vibrant red, this one is more muted.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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