Monday, July 30th, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Faraway Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Faraway Nail Lacquer

Cloudless Skies Aren’t Such a Faraway Dream

Rescue Beauty Lounge Faraway Nail Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “serene, cloudless desert sky.” It’s a warm, welcoming light-medium sky blue with softer aqua blue micro-shimmer in a very creamy finish. China Glaze Splish Splash is cooler-toned, bluer. Deborah Lippmann On the Beach is a smidgen lighter and has no shimmer. NARS Koliary is barely lighter and has no shimmer. Zoya Phoebe is fractionally darker and has a matte finish. Zoya Robyn is just a wee bit lighter and has no shimmer.

The consistency of Faraway is just slightly thickened, but it is incredibly pigmented–two coats is totally opaque, but it’s very nearly opaque after one. There was very slight pooling along the side if you’re not somewhat mindful about how thick a coat you’re using. The play of the micro-shimmer seems to be a real hallmark of a Rescue Beauty Lounge polish–it is for the person who loves a hint of shimmer but never wants it to be the first thing you notice. For someone who prefers lots of shimmer, this won’t be noticeable enough for you. I typically get a full week of wear with no chipping and only very minimal tip wear out of the brand’s formula–it’s one of the longer-lasting formulas I’ve come across.

The Glossover

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product

Faraway

A-
At this price point, I'm really expecting the formula to be absolutely flawless, and this one is a little thick, even a little thicker compared to the brand's formula normally (which can be just barely thick compared to average). It has excellent color payoff, and it's not difficult to work with, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Freehand Cremestick Liner
MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated: Freehand, Totally Fab, Must Be Red!

MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag ($39.50) includes three products plus a small makeup bag: Freehand Cremestick Liner (new and exclusive), Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme (repromote), and Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick (new and exclusive).  This set is limited edition and exclusive to Nordstrom for their anniversary sale, but it is available in-store and online.

Freehand Cremestick Liner is a medium yellow-based red that’s not too blue-based. It has good color coverage. The Cremestick Liner formula is fairly creamy without being something that would slip and slide–it will stay in place on its own or help your favorite lipstick last just that much longer. When I tested Freehand on its own, it lasted for an impressive eight hours, but my lips were noticeably parched after that.

Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme is an ornage-red with pink and white sparkle. Chanel Triomphal is blue-based and darker. MAC Russian Red is more opaque and blue-based. MAC Sonoran Rain has mor gold shimmer. YSL Golden Red is comparable but the gold shimmer is larger. MAC Wonder Woman is similar. Dior Little Red Dress is also comparable. It has semi-opaque color coverage. It wore for four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. There was some settling into lip lines, but the color coverage helped to hide it.

Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick is a subtly yellow-toned red with barely-there gold micro-shimmer. MAC Ruffian Red is a little more orange-toned. MAC Red Racer less yellow-toned, but they are similar. CoverGirl Hot is similar but more opaque. Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood is also comparable. It’s mostly opaque, but you can still see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through. This applied more easily than a lot of other Cremesheen lipsticks–it seemed a bit creamier. It wore for six hours and was slightly drying.

Whenever MAC releases lip kits like these, it’s actually one of the few true value sets they launch. You’re getting three full-sized products for $39.50, and if they were available individually, would set you back $48.50.  This set was definitely better than the pink set, though Must Be Red! was still a little drying (not as bad as Vivid Imagination, though!).  Even though all three reds are lovely shades, they seem rather dupeable, so you may already have similar reds in your stash.

The Glossover

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MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This set was definitely better than the pink set, though Must Be Red! was still a little drying (not as bad as Vivid Imagination, though!). Even though all three reds are lovely shades, they seem rather dupeable, so you may already have similar reds in your stash.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Chanel Caractere Rouge Coco Lipstick
Chanel Caractere Rouge Coco Lipstick

Chanel Caractere Rouge Coco Lipstick ($32.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “rose brown.” It is a rosy plum with subtle gold micro-shimmer. There’s a soft, muted quality to the overall color. MAC Offshoot is pinker, redder. MAC Oh Oh Oh is redder and has more obvious gold shimmer. MAC Sophisto is sheerer but similar in color. Clarins Blackberry is a bit darker, less pink. Chanel Stunt is a touch less pink and lighter.

It has full color coverage, and the finish is just barely frosted–a little sheen, a hint of shimmer.  The texture is creamy without being thick or slippery–there’s enough give so it slides and doesn’t pull or tug at lips.  Rouge Coco isn’t the most hydrating formula I’ve tried, but this particular shade was moderately moisturizing–not drying at all but it felt like I needed hydration shortly after this wore off.  Caractere wore for four and a half hours.  Chanel’s lipstick is perfume-scented (maybe rose?) but I didn’t detect any taste.

The Glossover

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Caractere

A-
Caractere is such a beautiful color for fall! It's dark and sultry without being vampy. It doesn't dominate a look, but it certainly helps to add definition. The formula had great color coverage and wore well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, July 14th, 2012

China Glaze Love's a Beach Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Love’s a Beach Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Love’s a Beach Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Love’s a Beach Nail Lacquer ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sizzling hot pink.” It sizzles, all right! It’s a brightened neon pink with subtle yellow undertones and fine white shimmer. MAC Girl About Town is darker, blue-based, and has no shimmer. Zoya Reagan is purpler, cooler-toned, and has a cream finish. MAC Toco Toucan is darker and bluer. Essie Super Bossa Nova is more fuchsia and a bit darker. Urban Decay Woodstock is similar but a cream finish. Illamasqua Collide is a cream finish and doesn’t have shimmer–so it doesn’t look as pink.

It was fully opaque after two coats, though the consistency was surprisingly on the thick side (as were many of the shades from this collection–at least the ones I’ve swatched so far). Not so thick that it’s really gloppy and unmanageable, but thick enough where you do have to be more concerned about pooling around the edges. I didn’t experience it with this shade, partially because I was more aware of the potential for it. It took a bit longer than average for each coat to dry, and I really recommend waiting between coats to avoid drag.

The Glossover

LE
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Love's a Beach

A-
The polish could use a little thinner, I think, or else be very careful with how thick each coat is! It's very bright and perfect for summer, though there were some noticeable brush strokes under really bright light.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, July 13th, 2012


Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette ($49.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes ten eyeshadows: Kinky (soft ivory peach with a matte finish), Freestyle (light pantyhose nude with matte finish), Mushroom (warm grey with shimmery finish), Back Door (true dark brown with matte finish), Blackout (blackest black with matte finish), Barlust (dark golden brown with metallic finish), Rockstar (deep aubergine with shimmery finish), Evidence (deep navy blue with shimmery finish), Loaded (deep emerald shimmer with metallic base), and Asphalt (deep gunmetal with silver micro glitter and metallic base); one eyeliner in Perversion (blackest black); and a mini Primer Potion (in Original).

Overall, it’s a good palette; the best performing shades were Mushroom, Barlust, Rockstar, and Loaded. The “worst” (which weren’t bad!) performing shades were Evidence and Asphalt, which were both a little dry.  Kinky and Freestyle were a marginally powdery but applied well and had good color payoff, despite being lighter in hue, which was impressive.  Three of top Urban Decay eyeshadows are in the palette, too (Mushroom, Rockstar, and Loaded) along with the lovely rich black Perversion eyeliner.  I tried a few different combinations (none of which I ended up liking, but for testing purposes, still worked), and I averaged around eight hours of wear with minimal fading but no creasing over bare lids. With a primer, the wear was perfectly intact after eight hours of wear.

One thing I disliked about the palette was the composition. This has no impact on the rating at all, because it’s very subjective and doesn’t affect the quality of the product. Like The Black Palette, it has lots of dark, smoky colors–totally appropriate for the palette–but it seems like this is a palette you’d tote around with you, as if it was an all-in-one palette for great smoky looks. There are too many dark shades to build more diverse looks. I would have loved to have seen one or two more shades (perhaps something cool-toned–maybe a silver, silver-blue–hey, Strip would have been a great addition to the palette).

Kinky and Freestyle are the lighter shades in the palette, but it’s missing a genuinely cool-toned one, and perhaps one with some shimmer/satin in it, rather than matte. I tried layering Kinky over a few shades, but it seemed to make more of a mess than lightened the underlying color. Freestyle read a bit too warm against most of the colors when I tried playing with it. If you want a one-and-done palette, maybe this isn’t it. If you want lots of Urban Decay eyeshadows, it could be a great choice.

Each eyeshadow is 0.03 oz. (compared to 0.05 oz.), which means the palette contains $108 in eyeshadow, plus a full-sized eyeliner, which normally retails for $19, and then a small primer potion containing 0.13 fl. oz., which is worth $7. The palette contains $134 worth of products for the $49 price tag. It’s still a great deal–it’s just not as good as previous palettes, such as Naked and Naked 2, which both contained 12 full-sized (as in 0.05 oz. each, so 0.60 oz. worth of eyeshadow–double this palette) eyeshadows, plus two comparable extras (brush and primer).

Honestly, I don’t mind that the eyeshadows aren’t full-sized; it’s hard to get through a full-sized eyeshadow, especially some of the darker shades, of which there are plenty of in this palette, but at this price tag, it’s a little tougher to swallow, given that they’ve done much more value-packed palettes.  It’s something to pay attention to in case this a trend of things to come, but the palette on its own is still a good value and well worth the price tag–assuming you want more than 3 shades!

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay Smoked Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
If you want a one-and-done palette, maybe this isn't it. If you want lots of Urban Decay eyeshadows, it could be a great choice. The palette on its own is still a good value (but not as good as palettes have been in the past) and well worth the price tag--assuming you want more than 3 shades!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Burberry Midnight Blue Eyeshadow
Burberry Midnight Blue Eyeshadow

Burberry Midnight Blue Eyeshadow ($29.00 for 0.088 oz.) is a dark, navy blue with a satiny sheen and a barely-there purple tint. There are a few shades that are very similar, like MAC Naval Blue, MAC Blue Storm, and Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx.  There weren’t any distinguishable differences between those three and Midnight Blue, other than it’s pressed (unlike the two MAC products, which are loose pigments) and better quality than Bobbi Brown’s variation.  For those who are afraid of blues, I think purple-tinted blues make it less in-your-face blue and give the color a smokier effect.

The texture of Midnight Blue is a little on the drier side, though it’s still surprisingly blendable and easy to apply.  It has a soft, finely-milled feel, so it smooths out well and doesn’t have any problems with fall out or skipping.  It has good color payoff, but it could be a little more opaque–it applies best with a fluffier brush. The formula works well with and without a primer; when I tested out this shade, I had no problems getting eight hours of wear–no creasing or fading.  The eyeshadow is larger than the average full-sized eyeshadow (0.088 oz. vs. 0.05 oz.) and comes in a gunmetal container with a mirror and sponge-tipped applicator inside.

The Glossover

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Midnight Blue

A-
For those who are afraid of blues, I think purple-tinted blues make it less in-your-face blue and give the color a smokier effect. I wish it had a slightly denser, more buttery texture, but it performs well on the lid (though not perfectly).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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