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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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

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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

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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

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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

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Friday, July 20th, 2012

Guerlain Gisela Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Gisela Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gisela Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gisela Rouge G Lipstick ($48.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a warm-toned rusty red with subtle ruby and gold micro-shimmer offset by very subtle orange-brown undertones. Guerlain Habit Rouge is less orange-toned, redder. CoverGirl Burn is darker, redder. Clarins Red Prodige is brighter. Chanel Excessive is brighter, more orange. Guerlain Geisha is similar but a bit more orange. Make Up For Ever #44 is less orange and has no shimmer.

New but also permanent, Gisela is reminiscent of those gold-shimmered reds you see pop up around the holidays, but there’s a little more orange in the red that it reads more autumnal. I think of the changing colors of leaves and fireplaces when I see this color.  The color coverage is opaque with little product, and the consistency is creamy without being heavy or slick.  I didn’t have any feathering or bleeding, and Gisela wore for six and a half hours.  The formula was hydrating and kept my lips feeling hydrated for a few hours post-wear, too.

Guerlain’s lipsticks have a perfume-y scent but no discernible taste and come packaged in a heavy metal case with a flip mirror. It’s elegant to look at, and initially, very luxe and lovely, but practically speaking, it’s almost too heavy, and they’re a pain to store–plus, it’s hard to read the tiny print on the back of the lipstick to see which shade is what. Oh, and they do hold fingerprints. They can take a beating, though. It’s one of my favorite lipstick formulas ever, but I’ve yet to master storage of them!

The Glossover

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product

Gisela

A+
It's balanced between fall and holiday, which means it's a more versatile red-orange-gold number that you can downplay or amplify as you wish. The color coverage is fantastic, and the formula itself is comfortable, long-wearing, and hydrating.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

NARS Storm Bird Nail Lacquer
NARS Storm Bird Nail Lacquer

NARS Fall 2012: Storm Bird Nail Lacquer

NARS Storm Bird Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “moody gray.” It’s a medium-dark blue-toned gray with a cream finish. Deborah Lippmann Stormy Weather is darker, less blue-tinted. Zoya Kelly is a smidgen darker, almost purple-tinged.  I think this shade is named perfectly; it’s such a stormy kind of color.  What makes it stand out is that it isn’t super dark, like a lot of grays can be.

It was completely opaque after applying two coats.  The consistency had a nice balance; it wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it applied fluidly without bubbling or pooling along the sides.  I think NARS has become one of the more consistent high-end producers of polishes–and I love that they still give you a full 0.50 fl oz. This is pretty much the typical nail polish size, but some high-end brands have cut the size down to 0.30 to 0.40 fl. oz.  The handle isn’t as comfortable or as natural to hold, because it’s rather wide and square.  I have larger hands/longer fingers, but it doesn’t feel right to hold.

The Glossover

LE
product

Storm Bird

A+
I think this shade is named perfectly; it's such a stormy kind of color. What makes it stand out is that it isn't super dark, like a lot of grays can be.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Untamed Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bubblegum pink sheer jelly polish with subtle multi-colored shimmer.” It’s a light-medium cotton candy pink with subtle blue undertones and light glitter (looked mostly white to me). MAC Saint Germain is a bit lighter and has a cream finish. MAC Vagabondage is a bit lighter as well and also has a cream finish. Zoya Rory looks a bit lighter because it has a ton of shimmer in it–cooler-toned, too. Zoya Lara is much darker. MAC Ice Cream Cake is a smidgen bluer-based and has a cream finish. MAC Galore Pink is less blue-based and has no shimmer.

It has that squishy, plush look of a jelly finish, and it is designed to be sheer, though it’s mostly opaque after two coats. If you wanted opaque color, I would recommend doing three coats. The consistency is just shy of being on the thicker side but typical to jelly finishes. Untamed isn’t dominated by the glitter, so it still looks mostly like a pink jelly polish more than anything else.  It does dry down to a naturally glossy finish and does so faster than the average polish. I typically get a full week or more with Cult Nails’ formula, which is absolutely stellar as far as wear goes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Untamed

A+
The jelly finish really works with this color, especially because when this type of color is done in a cream finish, it is prone to streaking and running on the thicker side. You can get the color you want here but without the streaky mess.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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