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

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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

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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

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Nomad Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright jade” with a glossy finish. It’s a vibrant aqua-green with just a little too much green and aqua in it to be a true mint green. It’s like the lightest, brightest jade. China Glaze Re-Fresh Mint is much, much lighter. MAC Peppermint Patti is the closest shade I could think of, though it’s not as bright. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is bluer.

Illamasqua makes one of my favorite polish formulas, not just because the formula itself is excellent with impeccable wear (it’s one of the longest-wearing formulas on me–I’ve literally wore a color for 10-14 days with minor tip wear), but they often set and create trends and do so at a much more palatable price point than some higher-end brands like MAC, NARS, Dior, Chanel, and so forth.  Nomad is no exception.  I wore this shade for seven days with barely any tip wear and no chipping.

Nomad turns opaque in two coats, and the formula is a dream to work with–not too thick or too thin.  It flowed fluidly across the nail and yielded even color, though it did take a little longer to dry than the average polish.  The finish is slightly glossy, but I’d still recommend using a shiny top coat for a truly glossy finish.

The Glossover

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product

Nomad

A+
Nomad is a gorgeous shade that's appropriate for both spring and summer (though, perhaps, an edgy spring shade!). The formula is every bit as lovely to work with as the color is.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) won’t be available until May, but hang onto your seats, because it’s such a lovely duo. This is one of the best eyeshadow formulas on the market, and bareMinerals didn’t let us down with their expansion of their Ready line-up. Alter Ego consists of two shades: Wicked and Daring.

Wicked is a springy yellow-tinted green with a frosted finish. It has excellent pigmentation and goes opaque with very little product needed. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is darker, more olive green. MAC Juxt is yellower, a bit darker. Inglot #364 is very similar but a matte variation. It’s a warm, yellow-based green, but subtly done–it’s not as yellow or as warm as other shades that might be similar.

Daring is this rich, smoky purple with subtle red undertones and almost bluish tint. The color payoff is amazing–I couldn’t believe it–it was so soft, smooth, and rich. MAC Indigo Noir is similar but matte. MAC Imaginary is purpler and brighter. MAC Starless Night is similar but more shimmered, less muted.

What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery.  This texture and payoff translates seamlessly to the lids during application.  They’re soft and blendable.  Without a primer, it wears for over eight hours with no noticeable issues–after ten, there is the faintest fading around the crease.  With a primer, I have no problems even after ten hours.  The price point is palatable, too–two full-sized eyeshadows for $20.

The Glossover

palette

bareMinerals The Alter Ego Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
What makes the formula impressive is the pigmentation; both shades in this duo were intensely pigmented with a soft, smooth texture that was dense and buttery without being so soft it was crumbly or powdery

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color
Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color ($55.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a soft raspberry pink with a rosy pink shimmer and sheen. For better or for worse, Tom Ford’s blush range (from the three shades I’ve seen so far) is very core, which means the shades themselves are more basic, so you may have similar shades in your stash already. At the same time, they’re the kind of shades that become go-tos, because they work with a variety of looks. MAC Pink Tea is just a little softer, while MAC Lovecloud is a touch yellower–mix the two together, and you’d get pretty close. Tarte Dollface is lighter, more pastel. MAC Feeling Flush is a hint darker.

More and more, as a reviewer as well as a consumer, I really, really appreciate consistency. I’d rather a consistently poor performing product than one that is sometimes good but other times downright awful–and the very best is when you find a product range that is consistently excellent. Right now, I’m finding this to be true with Tom Ford’s blush range. First with Lovelust, now with Wicked. It has that same soft, smooth, buttery texture that’s dense and ultra finely-milled, so it melts against the skin and looks effortlessly natural. That silky smooth texture enables superior blending–you won’t need to worry about buffing for days; feather-light strokes will gently soften the edges of any application. I love that it can be applied softly or more intensely, but it’s never a shade you have to pack on.

The real reason that I am truly in love with Tom Ford’s blush formula is how well and long it wears. I thought perhaps it was a fluke or restricted to the shade, but Wicked wears a solid ten hours and looks nearly immaculate. I can’t think of a blush that wears longer at the moment! The texture, color, blendability, and wear are all fantastic. I don’t even know if there is room for improvement with the formula–it’s that good.

A little disclaimer or note, as this is a luxury brand and product: each person has their own rationalization process to justify whether something is worth it or not. What is affordable to you may be a luxury for someone else and vice versa. Price never affects quality; it affects whether it’s worth buying to you, but price doesn’t indicate a higher or lesser degree of quality (in an ideal world, it might), which is why the rating system specifically excludes it.

The Glossover

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product

Wicked

A+

The texture, color, blendability, and wear are all fantastic. I don't even know if there is room for improvement with the formula--it's that good.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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