Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Giorgio Armani #27 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #27 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Oh, Giorgio! That’s Just Mauve-velous!

Giorgio Armani #27 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a subdued mauve with hints of plum and muted gold shimmer. MAC Universal Appeal is lighter, pinker. MAC Hypnotiznig is grayer, less pink. NARS Lhasa is darker, smokier. NARS Charade has more purple in it, less plum/mauve, and has a matte finish. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical is almost the same, slightly less plum. MAC Circa Plum has more purple, less red tones. MAC Tendersmoke is similar but less plum.

Looking at the color overall, I think it’s less nuanced than some other shades by the brand (but more nuanced than some of their least impressive–color-wise–shades, too). It’s somewhere in-between full of depth and more readily duped. It’s a gorgeous shade, but judging by the number of similar shades I was able to pull out, it’s not uncommon.

I love when these types of products apply with full color coverage both dry and wet. It just makes it a much more versatile product. When it’s used dry, it is lighter, less burgundy-tinted. When it’s applied damp, it smooths out a wee bit more, and it takes on a deeper mauve/plum coloring.

The texture is finely-milled, soft, and applies smoothly both wet and dry, though slightly smoother when applied wet as the product pulls together better.  When I tested it out for wear, it lasted a full twelve hours with no fading or creasing.

The Glossover

LE
product

#27

A+
Looking at the color overall, I think it's less nuanced than some other shades by the brand (but more nuanced than some of their least impressive--color-wise--shades, too). It's somewhere in-between full of depth and more readily duped. It's a gorgeous shade, but judging by the number of similar shades I was able to pull out, it's not uncommon.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, July 27th, 2012

Essie Off the Shoulder Nail Lacquer
Essie Off the Shoulder Nail Lacquer

Pop of Pink to Keep Your Summer Bright

Essie Off the Shoulder Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “a bold hot pink.” It’s a brightened medium pink with subtle cool undertones with a cream finish. Cult Nails Untamed is similar but has a jelly finish and contains shimmer. MAC Pink Nouveau is darker. Chanel May is several shades lighter and more yellow-toned. MAC Ice Cream Cake is much, much cooler-toned. MAC Galore Pink is a smidgen lighter. Zoya Jolene is brighter.

What a happy, perfect-for-summer pink cream!  It has an immaculate formula, too–naturally glossy, full color coverage in two coats, and applies evenly without a fuss. I didn’t experience any bubbling, streaking, or pooling of the polish along the edges of the nail. I typically get a full week of wear with Essie’s formula with some minor tip wear but no chipping to speak of.  When I was swatching through some Essies last week, I was reminded of how much I love their cream formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Off the Shoulder

A+
What a happy, perfect-for-summer pink cream! The formula was top notch with opaque color in two coats. Not terribly original, but a very fun shade to wear this summer.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Giorgio Armani #24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Falling in Love Once More with Eyes to Kill Intense

Giorgio Armani #24 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a blackened olive with olive gold and soft copper shimmer. It kind of looks green at certain angles. Bare Escentuals Speaker Box is greener. Estee Lauder Cyber Green is cooler-toned, darker. theBalm Wocka, Wocka is more olive. Inglot #419 is greener, less brown. Bobbi Brown Black Gold is browner, cooler-toned, with no green. Urban Decay Cobra is less intense and less shimmery. Urban Decay Darkhorse is browner but seemed the closest overall. If you want to compare this against other shades of Eyes to Kill Intense, check out this gallery. It was like a darker, blackened version of #14 to me.

The first time I tried this formula, I was beyond impressed. I fell in love! While there are lots of products I love and like, I don’t fall head-over-heels-in-love with formulas all. the. time. I’m one of those people who find it hard to pick favorites! Anyway, huge fan of the formula, love lots of shades, but a few of the more recent released shades have left me a little cold. Not that they were awful, they just weren’t as excellent.

Ahh, but #24 kicks off the new set of six Eyes to Kill Intense shades with a bang! It’s decidedly complex with a delicious mix of khaki, olive, green, brown, copper, and brown. It’s a shade that will change based on what you pair it with; pair it with strong greens, it’ll pull out the green tones, but pair it with a bronze, and you’ll see the copper shimmer surface.  I was thrilled that I was finally seeing a more nuanced shade.  I think the formula is fantastic, but the price point is painful, so the more original the color, the softer that blow to the wallet is.

I tested #24 for sixteen hours, and it was pristine. I wore a few of these in Vegas, in 110-115 degree heat, walking around, no primer, and they were still immaculate–no fading, creasing, fallout, or the like. This particular shade has excellent color payoff wet and really good pigmentation dry; it takes on a more metallic finish and looks more green than brown when it is used damp/wet.  The texture is soft, finely milled, but buttery and dense. It’s tightly compacted loose powder that almost feels like it still has some moisture in it.  For those who haven’t seen past posts, the texture and feel are similar to L’Oreal Infallibles (L’Oreal also owns Giorgio Armani, FYI!) – the color ranges have seemed to be more different than the same, which is great if you love the formula – more shades to have!

The Glossover

LE
product

#24

A+
I was thrilled that I was finally seeing a more nuanced shade. I think the formula is fantastic, but the price point is painful, so the more original the color, the softer that blow to the wallet is.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

Illamasqua Swinger Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Swinger Nail Lacquer

Stranger than Gold, It’s Swinger

Illamasqua Swinger Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “platinum gold.”  Yeah, I’d buy that.  To use my own words, I’d describe it as a champagne-gold with a little grit and dirt in it–it’s not a yellowy gold really, but it’s not quite dark and green-tinged enough to be an antique gold. Too gold to be a real pewter, but it’s all somewhere in there.  Revlon Gold Coin is a smidgen lighter and perhaps not as warm-toned, but they’re really quite close. Chanel Diwali is slightly warmer. Urban Decay Superfreak is lighter. Dior Timeless Gold is very similar. The only shade that I think is less similar is Diwali, which has a lot of warm undertones in comparison. Between the others, I don’t think one would really notice the difference if you weren’t really, really looking for them. Dior’s has the least amount of visible brush strokes (next to none), while Illamasqua and Revlon are tied with a few but hardly any really. I think Chanel shows the most out of the similar shades.

Swinger is fully opaque in two coats, and the formula was beautiful to work with.  It’s fluid, not too thick or too thin, and very easy to apply to the nail.  I didn’t experience any bubbling, streaking, or pooling of the polish along the edges of the nail.  There were a few visible brush strokes, but there were minimal ones overall for this type of finish. Illamasqua’s Nail Varnish is one of my top formulas, because it wears like iron.  When I go traveling, I regularly reach for a shade by Illamasqua, because I can count on them wearing for the length of the trip and not chipping with the abuse that comes from traveling.

The Glossover

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product

Swinger

A+
Between Chanel, Dior, and Urban Decay, I'd go Illamasqua. If I were on a tighter budget, I'd go Revlon. I don't think you'd be disappointed with any of the versions of this fantastic shade of gold. The wear of Illamasqua is what pushes it to the top of my list, though.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Essie Go Overboard Nail Lacquer
Essie Go Overboard Nail Lacquer

Let’s Go Diving with Essie’s Go Overboard

Essie Go Overboard Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “a limitless sea blue.” It’s a deep, almost inky, blue with subtle hints of teal–you might call it a very blue teal or a teal-tinged navy blue. MAC Deep Sea is greener and much, much darker. Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal is a bit darker and greener. Illamasqua Viridian is more of a teal.  Nothing I could think of was close; everything that was even remotely similar was significantly darker.

What I liked about Go Overboard was the blue is very apparent; it’s not so dark that it loses its color in natural light. The formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it applied fluidly and evenly across the nail without bubbling or pooling along the sides.  I only needed two coats for opaque color, though it was rather opaque after one.  I typically get very good wear out of Essie’s formula; a full week with no chipping and minimal tip wear.

The Glossover

LE
product

Go Overboard

A+
It works well as a transition color between summer and fall; it's not so dark that it won't fit with summer, but it's plenty dark to go well with the darker tones of fall.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, July 23rd, 2012

NARS Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick
NARS Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick

A Deep Red Lip for Fall Courtesy of NARS

NARS Amsterdam Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “garnet red.” It’s a medium-dark red with burgundy-brown undertones and a natural matte finish, which means there’s the barest of sheen but it doesn’t look flat. MAC Rocker is slightly darker, cooler-toned. MAC Runaway Red is brighter. shu uemura Rouge Luster is similar but has shimmer. MAC Such Flare is slightly redder and brighter. MAC Extended Play is a bit browner. NARS Mascate is cooler-toned and brighter. Make Up For Ever #48 is sheerer and a bit more intense. MAC Dark Side is similar but has a glossier finish.

NARS’ Pure Matte formula is supposed to be matte, ultra pigmented, long-wearing, moisturizing, and comfortable to wear.  Amsterdam is an excellent example of matte done superbly. The color coverage is fully opaque, and you don’t need a lot of product to yield full color coverage.  It has that mostly matte finish without being flat, or worse, terribly drying. It’s lightly moisturizing (it certainly won’t replace your favorite balm!) and fairly forgiving on the lips, even if your lips are slightly dry.  I wore this shade last week, and Amsterdam hung on for an impressive six and a half hours.

If you often find that reds look too bright, too bold, you might like Amsterdam. There’s a muted quality to the color that keeps it from being vampy, but there’s enough burgundy/brown in it to keep it from looking too red.

The Glossover

P
product

Amsterdam

A+
If you often find that reds look too bright, too bold, you might like Amsterdam. There's a muted quality to the color that keeps it from being vampy, but there's enough burgundy/brown in it to keep it from looking too red.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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