Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC Flaming Rose Nail Lacquer
MAC Flaming Rose Nail Lacquer

If You Can Get Your Nails on ‘Em…

MAC Marilyn Monroe Nail Lacquers ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include five shades: Flaming Rose (true red), Kid Orange (coral), Rich, Rich, Rich (glittery gold), Stage Red (dark berry red), and Vintage Vamp (rich deep retro wine). Both Flaming Rose and Vintage Vamp are permanent, so they can be purchased at a later date or in regular packaging (for $16.50).

Flaming Rose is a medium-dark red with subtle blue undertones. It has a cream finish, and it is part of the permanent range. The consistency was thin but not watery, and it was opaque in two coats. It dries down quickly and finishes with a fairly shiny result. Dior Marilyn is similar, slightly lighter. Cult Nails Evil Queen is a bit brighter. MAC Touch of Red is similar, a bit more jelly-like. MAC Russian Red is very comparable. Zoya Sooki is lighter. butter LONDON Pillar Box Red is very close.

Kid Orange is a brightened, medium-dark orange with subtle red undertones. It has a cream finish, but it almost looks a little squishy like a jelly to me. The consistency was thin without being watery, and it was mostly opaque after two coats. This shade was released previously. Chanel Holiday is lighter, less red-toned. NARS Lal Mirchi is similar. MAC Morange is a bit lighter. MAC Oriele Orange is more subdued. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is similar but a bit redder. Essie Braziliant is similar.

Rich, Rich, Rich is a golden bronze with a micro-glitter/large shimmer finish. It dries down pretty quickly, and it was fairly opaque after two coats. This is/was an online exclusive, and I’m not sure if that means only to maccosmetics.com or not. Chanel Delight is warmer, browner. MAC Soiree is almost more of a peach-brown.

Stage Red is a deepened red with a cream finish. It’s opaque after two coats, and it had a thin (but not watery) consistency that made it easy to apply. butter LONDON Pillar Box Red is lighter. MAC Obey Me is a bit lighter. MAC Asiatique is lighter. Zoya Burke is similar. MAC Get Noticed is a bit darker.

Vintage Vamp is a medium-dark brown with burgundy and red undertones. It has a cream finish, and it is part of the permanent range. This shade was very streaky, and it didn’t look opaque after two coats (which seemed more the result of the streakiness of the polish). Guerlain Lou-Ling is darker. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies is also darker. China Glaze Velvet Bow is more opaque and darker. Zoya Anja is darker and more purple.

I only had problems with Vintage Vamp, which was streaky and significantly sheer after two coats.  For such a dark, vampy color, I’m surprised–the market is flooded with similar shades that are all easy to work with and opaque.  The formulas of Flaming RoseKid Orange, and Stage Red had a great thin consistency that made each coat dry faster but without sacrificing ease of application or opacity.  I typically get a week of wear out of MAC’s polish formula.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

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MAC Marilyn Monroe Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
Worth noting, Vintage Vamp brought down the overall rating significantly--if not for it, the other four would have received As.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Dior Marilyn Diorific Vernis
Dior Marilyn Diorific Vernis

Nails the Color of Hollywood Red

Dior Marilyn Diorific Vernis ($26.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a rich, medium red cream with mostly neutral undertones. If pressed, I’d say blue-based but it’s very, very neutral. There’s a very fine ruby shimmer that’s really not visible in most lighting conditions. Frankly, I didn’t even know it existed until I was editing photos. Cult Nails Evil Queen is a smidgen lighter. China Glaze Poinsettia is not as rich. Chanel Rouge Carat is darker, bluer-based, and has more noticeable shimmer. Zoya Sooki is similar. Zoya Tamsen is very comparable. Butter London Pillar Box Red is a smidgen darker. MAC Touch of Red is lighter and warmer.

The formula is thin but not watery, and while the color looks opaque in two coats, under brighter lighting (like flash), it’s not quite–there is a shadow of visible nail line.  Because of the thinner formula, three coats is do-able and doesn’t feel too thick or take forever to dry.  It even dries down to a nice, shiny finish that doesn’t have to have a top coat, but it does look a little better with one.  I typically get a week of wear with Dior’s polishes with no chipping and only minor tip wear.

P.S. — I know a few readers asked for brush photos, so, the ever-lovely Musings of a Muse has some! :)

The Glossover

LE
product

Marilyn

A-
This is a beautiful color that really evokes a feeling of glamorous Hollywood--from the classic color to the vintage packaging.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Dior Fairy Golds Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Fairy Golds Eyeshadow Palette

Take Flight with These Fairy Golds

Dior Fairy Golds Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition palette for the holidays that consists of five shades of eyeshadow. It will be available in October.

The first shade (on the upper left) is a pale pink-tinged beige with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and finely-milled. Urban Decay Sellout is similar. Milani Champagne Toast is a bit warmer, darker. MAC Summer haze is browner. Urban Decay Booty Call has more of a matte finish.

The next shade (on the upper right) is a dirty champagne with a sparkly, almost glittery, finish and a metallic sheen. It was fairly true-to-pan in color and payoff. Despite its glitter-content, it applied well enough (could have been a little smoother) and didn’t have much fall out during application, and I only saw one or two stray particles after eight hours of wear. Urban Decay Echo is darker. Giorgoi Armani #1 Madreperla is more muted, less metallic. MAC Retrospeck is similar.

The center shade is a pink-tinged white with a bright, metallic finish and some larger shimmer/glitter particles. It had decent to good pigmentation and applied smoothly. This shade has less glitter compared to the golden shade. I did not experience any fall out with it. Dior Garden Roses is a less metallic variation. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is darker, pinker. MAC Fresh Ice is a bit darker. Giorgio Armani #11 is very comparable.

The fourth shade (on the bottom left) is a lightened, pink-mauve with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff and applied easily. Urban Decay Provocateur is darker, glittery. MAC Invincible Light is pinker. MAC Star Crystal is very similar. Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy

The last shade (on the bottom right) is a medium-dark brown with red-orange undertones and a pearly finish. It had excellent pigmentation, and it was soft and finely-milled. Urban Decay Lost is a bit darker. MAC Havana is warmer but very close. Benefit Dandy Brandy is just a touch lighter. MAC Roasted Chestnut is similar but frosted. MAC Buckwheat is very comparable.

I was surprised to find this palette rather warm-toned, as the other holiday palette was very warm-toned as well. This isn’t cool-toned at all, though it’s not as warm as Night Golds. However, it is frostier, because it has two sparkly/glitter shades. I think it could benefit from having one matte or near-matte finish in it. When I tested the wear, I had no fading or creasing after eight hours (both with and without primer), and there were only a couple of stray particles from the glittery shades below my lid.

The Glossover

palette

Fairy Golds

A-
The palette is very shimmery, and I think it could use at least one matte shade to add more variation in texture/dimension when the products are used together. There's also not enough contrast within the five shades.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, September 21st, 2012

Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette

This’ll Make You Do a Double Take

Dior Night Golds Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition palette for the holidays that consists of five shades of eyeshadow. It will be available in October.

The first shade is a warm, subdued white-beige with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff and was very soft, smooth, and finely-milled. This shade was a little stark as a highlighter against my medium-colored skin (no effect on rating, just a note). MAC White Frost is similar but not as warm-toned. theBalm Tempting Tara is more metallic. theBalm Envious Erin is a smidgen golden. Tarina Tarantino Lovely is similar.

Next (on the upper right), there is a light-medium copper-shimmered bronze with a strong metallic finish and larger shimmer particles. It almost looks wet when applied and smoothed out. It had decent to good pigmentation. When I applied it on the lid, I didn’t experience any post-application fall out and only had some fall out during application. Urban Decay Penny Lane is more orange, slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Golden Iris is darker and more orange. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is darker. Bare Escentuals Louder is a touch more bronze.

The center shade is a rich, burgundy-tinged deep brown with flecks of champagne sparkle. The color was very intense and easy to apply, and it went on smoothly. Guerlain Emilio Pucci is a bit darker, richer. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is browner, less burgundy. Urban Decay Busted is a bit lighter. Dior Couture Gold had a shade that looked similar but performed much worse. NARS Ponderosa is similar but a cream. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is more purple. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar. MAC Smut is a touch blacker.

The fourth shade (on the lower left) is a lightened yellowy gold with a frosted, metallic finish. The texture was soft, buttery , and it applied smoothly with excellent color payoff. MAC Sweet & Sour is a bit darker. Dior Couture Gold is similar. Urban Decay Blunt is similar, perhaps a touch lighter.

The last shade (on the lower right) is a pale champagne-bronze with a metallic finish. It looks almost taupe-like in the pan, but it doesn’t seem to have much gray in it when swatched. It had a soft, finely-milled texture that translated into a nicely pigmented shade. Dior Couture Gold is darker. Bobbi Brown Bronze is more antique gold-hued. Urban Decay Echo Beach is darker, less golden. Dior Couture Gold is more yellow/orange. Bobbi Brown Desert Sand is similar.

All in all, this palette is definitely similar to last year’s Couture Gold — dupe for dupe? No, not exactly, but there are certainly some overlapping shades and similarities. At a glance, the only difference is instead of a sparkly light gold, there’s a sparkly copper. I like this year’s better, as the quality across the five shades is much higher across the board with none of these shades having problems.  When I tested the palette on the eye, it wore for eight hours with no creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

Night Golds

A-
If you have Couture Golds from last holiday, you might skip this, because the two are fairly similar. Overall, it's very warm-toned and will tend to flatter warmer complexions more.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream
MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream

If It Matches, Sculpt Away!

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams ($20.00 for 0.17 oz.) are described as a “cream-to-powder formula for sculpting and shaping key features … [s]ilky-smooth, easy-to-blend and neutrally-shaded.” It’s supposed to have sheer-to-medium buildable coverage.

  • Accentuate is a pale white beige with mostly neutral undertones–it almost pulls a smidgen pink on me.
  • Coffee Walnut is a gray-ish medium-dark brown with subdued, orange-tan undertones. It has a slight green-cast.
  • Copper Beach is a medium-tan with strong orange undertones. If anything, this shade seemed more appropriate as a bronzer.
  • Naturally Defined is a light-medium beige with mostly neutral undertones–perhaps a smidgen warm.
  • Pure Sculpture is a softened tan brown. It’s not as orange as Copper Beach–more subdued.
  • Richly Honed is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertones.

I think the shades in MAC’s Sculpting powder range (which is permanent at PRO stores) are better-colored for contouring, because they’re much more shadowy, and these tended to be rather warm-toned. When you contour, you’re emphasizing or adding shadows, and when you highlight, you’re shaping and sculpting by adding light/sheen. If one of these shades is the right color, it can be a really great product. I’m just not sold that this is the right set of shades–I would have loved to have seen them take the existing Sculpting range and make them into cream form.  Accentuate, Coffee Walnut, and Naturally Defined are the closest to neutral, while Copper beach, Pure Sculpture, and Richly Honed are very much warm-toned.

The texture is lightly creamy, not too thick or too thin.  I’d almost describe it as a stiff cream, but in the best way.  All six shades had buildable coverage, so you could get sheer-to-light color easily, but you could layer just once or twice for more intensity.  While I did try using the new 163 brush that came with the launch, I preferred the 193 or finger tips (using a clean spatula to remove product, then warming it up between finger tips and blending it out on the skin).  It dries down and has a natural finish.  I tested all six of the shades (though used together, not individually), and I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear with no noticeable fading.

The Glossover

product

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like the formula, but I don't think the shade range is ideal for contouring. If you're looking for good contouring shades, try MAC's PRO Sculpting powders - they are a fantastic product that I rarely hear about!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, September 17th, 2012

Guerlain Altoum Nail Lacquer
Guerlain Altoum Nail Lacquer

A Splash of Gold for Your Nails

Guerlain Altoum Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.38 fl. oz.) is described as a “gleaming gold for precious glow.” It’s a pale golden beige with a metallic finish. I don’t have anything quite like it in my stash, so I’d love to hear if you know of any potential dupes. China Glaze White Cap is more of a white gold and has chunkier sparkle/glitter. China Glaze Fast Track is much, much darker and browner. Zoya Minka is more beige and much lighter.

The color coverage is opaque after two coats, and it applied smoothly and evenly. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, which enabled the polish to flow easily over the nail without bubbling, streaking, or pooling along the edges. Because of the metallic finish, there are visible brush strokes. I found them to be easily controlled, so they go on fairly straight, rather thank wonky has some polishes do. I get a full week of wear out of Guerlain’s polish with minor tip wear and no chipping. It dried faster than average.

The Glossover

LE
product

Altoum

A-
This is a great take on gold that's more wearable and less obviously holiday-inspired--it could be worn at any time. The metallic finish does show some brush strokes, which may be a deal-breaker for some.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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