Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Stance Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “fuchsia violet with a glossy finish.” It’s a rich, vibrant magenta with a near-neon brightness. The closest shade I could think of was Urban Decay Miss T, which is very close but has shimmer and a touch pinker. The next closest would be China Glaze Senorita Bonita, which is much darker, purpler, and has shimmer. Illamasqua Obsess is pinker, less purple. Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee is more fuchsia.

It’s opaque in two coats, and it does dry down to a semi-glossy finish. For a really high-shine result, I’d still recommend using a top coat.  The formula was a little thinner than other shades I’ve tried from Illamasqua, though I would not describe it as thin.  It was neither thick nor thin, so I didn’t have any trouble applying the color to the nails.  I didn’t experience any bubbling, pooling, or streaking, and Stance applied evenly and fluidly across each nail.  If you’re more used to Illamasqua being closer to a one-coater, you may find this one seems less pigmented, but it’s definitely opaque after two coats.

Illamasqua’s formula always yields impeccable wear for me; it’s one of the longest-wearing polishes.  I can wear a shade for ten days without a single chip and very minor tip wear.  I so often reach for an Illamasqua hue before traveling, because I know it will hold up to all the demands of a trip!

The Glossover

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product

Stance

A+
I didn't experience any bubbling, pooling, or streaking, and Stance applied evenly and fluidly across each nail. If you're more used to Illamasqua being closer to a one-coater, you may find this one seems less pigmented, but it's definitely opaque after two coats. Illamasqua's formula always yields impeccable wear for me; it's one of the longest-wearing polishes.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, April 20th, 2012

Cult Nails Manipulative Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Manipulative Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Manipulative Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque pale blue with a hint of green” with a cream finish and subtle shimmer. It’s a dusty aqua blue with bluish-white shimmer. It really does hide in certain light, but with enough light, the shimmer is noticeable. OCC Pool Boy is similar but brighter, more vibrant. Nubar Blue Hydrangea is bluer. It’s actually really cool to see Cult Nails put out shades that I haven’t seen on the market–it just seems more often than not they’re creating a shade that meets an unmet need (though I certainly haven’t seen every shade by every brand ever made, so there may be closer dupes out there).

It’s opaque in two coats, and the formula was absolutely flawless–not too thick or too thin, flowed fluidly across the nail, no drag, pull, or pooling to the edges. Cult Nails’ formulas tend to wear a full week on me with no chipping and very minor tip wear.  It’s a gorgeous color for summer; would look really lovely on toes for those days at the beach or at the swimming pool (I have a thing for aqua/blue-polished toes against a blue pool).

The Glossover

LE
product

Manipulative

A+
It's actually really cool to see Cult Nails put out shades that I haven't seen on the market--it just seems more often than not they're creating a shade that meets an unmet need.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Cult Nails Scandalous Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Scandalous Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Scandalous Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “pastel coral” with a jelly finish, which is buildable in color. It’s an orange-coral with a just-muted quality to the overall color. The bottle looks a bit brighter than how it appears on the nail. There’s an inkling of pink in the color, but it’s hard to see. I think against skin tones with pink undertones, it will be more apparent, but paired with my warm undertones, it pulls more orange. I don’t have any similar shades with a jelly finish, which is such a distinctive finish that similar hues don’t look the same because of that difference alone. Essie Tart Deco is a little paler, creamier. Barielle Blossom is much lighter.

There’s visible nail line after two coats (which is what I have on in the swatches), and three coats is nearly opaque–a hint of nail line comes through at certain angles. According to the brand, it’s “almost opaque” at two to three coats, which seems to be what I experienced. I think Maria does an excellent job at setting expectations with her shades. This dried a lot quicker than most polishes for me; I just applied it while editing the photos to ensure color accuracy, and it was mostly dry on its own after a couple of minutes–no top coat or anything–you’ll pick up fingerprints, so it wasn’t 100% dry, but enough to maneuver. The formula is of the typical thickness for a jelly; it had that slightly gel-like consistency. Cult Nails’ formulas tend to wear a full week on me with no chipping and very minor tip wear.

The Glossover

DC
product

Scandalous

A+
It has a really lovely squishy look to it, and I love that it's buildable--you can have the more common translucent jelly-look, but you can also go opaque without having to do four layers.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Canary High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Canary High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Canary High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “pure gold with gold pearl.” I’d like to call it sparkling lipgloss gone absolutely, positively insane. This is quite possibly one of the most shimmering, glittering, glimmering, dazzling, so on and so forth glosses I’ve ever used. The base color is really a pale gold that yields little color, but it’s full of yellow gold, molten gold, and copper shimmer, so it brings the coverage up to semi-sheer to semi-opaque. The overall effect is very shimmery, metallic, and it gives lips a browner look. Though it appears “sheer,” there is a marked difference between my bare lips and this on.

MAC Straight to the Head is very brown, there’s no real gold in it. Make Up for Ever M6 is bronze and the shimmer is finer. NARS LusteR is such a tame, tame version–it looks so flat in comparison. MAC Gold Dust is a bit better, but it still doesn’t catch the light as well.  This is a shade that looks fine on its own, but it will be the perfect way to add glossiness and warmth to your favorite lipstick (try it over a red).

I’m a big fan of Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipgloss formula–it has an amazing high gloss shine that’s ridiculously glossy, shimmery, and all-around dazzling. If you’re a fan of Chanel Glossimers or MAC Dazzleglasses, you really should check out this formula, because (and in my opinion only, of course) these are even better. The formula is lightweight, comfortable to wear, glide on easily but never slip around, and wear for four to five hours–and the best part? The shimmer never feels gritty and doesn’t travel. When I wore Canary earlier this week for a wear test, it wore for four hours. These are mint-scented, taste-free, and non-sticky. It’s moisturizing, though it won’t replace your lip balm.

The Glossover

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product

Canary

A
If you're a fan of Chanel Glossimers or MAC Dazzleglasses, you really should check out this formula, because (and in my opinion only, of course) these are even better.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, April 13th, 2012

Shiseido Fuchsia RS 320 Perfect Rouge Lipstick
Shiseido Fuchsia RS 320 Perfect Rouge Lipstick

Shiseido Fuchsia RS 320 Perfect Rouge Lipstick

Shiseido Fuchsia RS 320 Perfect Rouge Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a magenta fuchsia with a creamy finish and a natural sheen. The way this shade differs from your more typical fuchsia is that there’s magenta mixed in, so it has more blue in it, enough that it starts looking a little purple-like. It’s still more pink than it is purple, which is kind of how I think of magenta! MAC Zen Rose is a bit darker and pinker. MAC Candy Yum Yum is pinker and more vibrant. MAC Pink Pigeon is pinker and a little more vibrant. MAC Love Forever is a touch lighter. NYX Pink Lyric is pinker. NARS Schiap is more fuchsia, less magenta. MAC Petals & Peacocks is a touch lighter. MAC Gladiola is also a bit lighter.

I don’t hear a lot of love for Shiseido’s Perfect Rouge formula, but it’s always a joy to wear one. It’s unscented, and there is no discernible taste. The formula keeps lips feeling soft and moisturized while you wear it, and the hydration extends for a few more hours after most of it has worn away. When I tested this particular shade for wear, it was there for the long haul–six and a half hours. The consistency is soft, creamy, and glides on easily and evenly while delivering opaque color coverage in nearly one stroke. It has some slip, but it doesn’t feel heavy, so it doesn’t bunch up on itself or slide around. As a nice bonus, it’s one of the larger-sized lipsticks on the market (most are 0.10 oz. or 0.12 oz., with the occasional formula at 0.14 oz.).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Shiseido Fuchsia RS 320 Perfect Rouge Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
I don't hear a lot of love for Shiseido's Perfect Rouge formula, but it's always a joy to wear one. It's comfortable, doesn't bleed or feather, and wears well.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, April 13th, 2012

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer purple/red jelly top coat polish loaded with red and blue multichromatic flakes.” The base color is a red-violet jelly that’s semi-opaque after two coats. If you did three, you should still have some translucency, which is expected given the shade’s description. It has that squishy, plush look of a jelly finish, so I like it a lot with just two coats. The flakes deposit evenly across the nail for the most part, and they apply smoothly; there are no rough edges or finishes here. I applied two coats of it alone, and then I applied two coats of it over black. The flakes shift from coppery-orange to pink-red to red to violet purple. Over black, the flakes take on a deeper, more intense appearance–more red and purple than gold, pink-red, and violet.

I couldn’t think of any dupes for the base color–none of the purples that came close in hue had the jelly finish. Deborah Lippmann is nothing like this–it’s a deep, dark indigo with less shift in the flakes. Zoya Chloe has the orange/red flakes but lacks the purple ones.  If you have a wider stash of holographic top coats, you may find you have something that you could layer to yield similar results (I just couldn’t find anything from what I remember and have tried!).

If you’ve been thinking on this shade, you won’t want to let yourself think too long, because it’s limited edition–and for a reason–Maria said that the ingredients used to create it are no longer available as a U.S.-made commodity, so once it’s gone, it’s gone. I remember Maria wanted to bring back Clairvoyant, but she wasn’t able to, due to unavailability of ingredients.

The formula was a pleasure to work with; it had that thicker consistency expected of a jelly texture, but it’s not the kind of thick that it’s goopy or anything like that.  I’d almost rather describe it as plush.  It applied easily and evenly across the nail without pooling, bubbling, or streaking.  Cult Nails’ formula wears exceptionally well with very minor tip wear after a week of wear and never any chipping–and I’ve tested six shades from their range (across different finishes). Since this just arrived and I wanted to make sure I reviewed before it was sold out (which I wasn’t able to do when Clairvoyant came around–a shade I did test for wear), I did not specifically test the wear on this shade.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Cult Nails Seduction Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
If you've been thinking on this shade, you won't want to let yourself think too long, because it's limited edition--and for a reason--Maria said that the ingredients used to create it are no longer available as a U.S.-made commodity, so once it's gone, it's gone.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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