Friday, August 19th, 2011

bareMinerals The Epiphany Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals The Epiphany Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Duos: The Epiphany

bareMinerals The Epiphany Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) contains two shades: A-Ha and Foreshadow. This duo launches in October, and it’s touted as a solid eyeshadow with SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that is “creamy, silky smooth” with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color” that is long-wearing when worn alone without creasing or budging. When worn alone (without an eyeshadow primer), the new pressed eyeshadows wear around ten hours. For more details on packaging, please read my original review.

A-Ha is a warmed-over gray-tinged brown with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was dense and buttery, which allowed for a smooth application. It is a bit less red-toned compared to Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo. It is similar to Bobbi Brown Sandy Rose, just more intense.

Foreshadow is a dark, red-toned brown with a near-matte finish. The powder is so finely milled–it has a soft, silky texture that gives it a very crisp, smooth application with excellent color payoff. It’s less red compared to Make Up For Ever #162, but it’s softer than MAC Embark. It is closest to Inglot #378 but better pigmentation.

The Glossover

palette

bareMinerals Epiphany Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
This is a lovely duo of neutrals--with a slight warmth, but not too much--and I'm quite surprised at how well both shades work. Even the matte finished shade is a dream to apply; it has such a silky texture that's clearly been milled a few times, which makes it easy to blend while still having good color coverage.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, August 18th, 2011


theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

This is part two of our review for theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette ($44.50), which includes 16 eyeshadows (1.0 oz. total), two lip/cheek stains (0.14 oz. total), and one lip gloss (0.07 oz.. It is a limited edition palette to-be-related (late September/early October) and only 1,000 will be available (each one is numbered). Check out part one for the overall review as well as a review on packaging and the first eight eyeshadows.

  • Woman, Woman is a softened forest green with golden shimmer. The finish is a soft frost. Urban Decay Bender is several shades darker, while MAC Humid is a touch greener. It’s a bit greener than theBalm Makeout Mary.
  • Curtain Call is a pink lilac with a white, frosted shimmer. This is one of two shades I had issues with–it’s a little sheer in places, and the texture isn’t as smooth as the other shades. It just feels looser overall, like it doesn’t stay bound together. It’s a bit pinker than Milani Royalty and MAC Lotusland.
  • Great Gonzo is a brightened sky blue with a white shimmer-sheen. It is bluer than NARS South Pacific and Inglot #415, but it is lighter than Make Up For Ever #83. It is closest to Make Up For Ever #118 but lighter.
  • Kissy, Kissy is a medium-dark purple with very subtle red undertones. It doesn’t lean too red or blue, which is nice. It is less red-toned compared to Bare Escentuals Encore but purpler than Lancome Zip Me Up. Urban Decay Gravity is purpler as well. It is rather similar to theBalm All the Way Annie.
  • Wild Child is a pale yellow gold with a soft, frosted finish. It’s a frosted version of Make Up For Ever #102. It is also quite close to Givenchy Lune Mordoree.
  • Lab Coat is a creamy white with a high frosted sheen. It has a smoother finish but is similar in color to theBalm Envious Erin. Inglot #447 is a slightly cooler white, while Givenchy Lune Mysterieuse is warmer.
  • Hiii-Yaaa! is a softly warmed-up beige with a metallic-frost finish. The color is similar to Cle de Peau #207 though less metallic. Urban Decay Sin is darker and pink-tinged. It is similar to NARS Delphes but has more payoff.
  • Swedish Pancakes is darker peach-beige with a frosted finish. This was the other shade I had some issues with–it has a slight grittiness from the large flecks of glitter, but the color payoff was decent to good. It’s similar to Inglot #397. MAC Jest is a touch browner. MAC Naked Lunch is also a bit browner but closer than Jest. Urban Decay Sin is a tad darker.

Now, if you know me, the eyeshadows in this palette were far and away what would have driven me to purchase one. The lip/cheek stains are surprisingly effective, and I couldn’t believe how pigmented the gloss was. The stains are creamy and blendable without being oily, and they dry down quick enough to keep your makeup routine slimmed down but not so quick you can’t blend out the color. The wear was good, too — about eight hours of flushed cheeks. The gloss was mostly opaque with a nice shine to the finish and wore for three hours.

  • Rainbow Connection is a brightened coral-red. It can be built up for more intensity, but when blended, it takes on a watermelon-like stain on cheeks or lips. It seems a bit redder than NARS Cactus Flower.
  • Le Diva is a softened fuchsia-pink with a subtle blue base and silver sparkle. This one will emphasize pores a bit more, because it has a shimmery finish, but it will complement cooler skin tones well. It seems like it might be similar to Illamasqua Laid.
  • Electric Mayhem is an opaque pink-nude with a glossy shine. It feels and looks more like a liquid lipstick than a lipgloss, though. It’s similar to MAC Super and MAC Lust.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Cast Your Shadow

A+
theBalm knocked this one out of the park--the shade includes neutrals as well as pops of color, while the finishes are mostly soft frosts and shimmers, there are a couple that are more semi-matte.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, August 18th, 2011


theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette ($44.50) includes 16 eyeshadows (1.0 oz. total), two lip/cheek stains (0.14 oz. total), and one lip gloss (0.07 oz.) and is a palette designed with The Muppets in mind. It is a limited edition palette to-be-related (late September/early October) and only 1,000 will be available (each one is numbered). The approximate value of this palette is $160.00 worth of eyeshadows, $17.00 worth of lip/cheek stains (I didn’t see a really comparable product, so I went with the value of lipsticks, since these can be used as lip stains!), and $7.00 worth of lipgloss–at the very least, this palette is worth $170+ with some uncertainty as to total value because of the lip/cheek stains (totally different formula compared to Stainiac).

I am splitting this review into two parts because of how photo-heavy it is. I will speak on the cheek/lip stains and gloss in the second part, along with the other eight eyeshadows.

Overall, the quality of the eyeshadows is fantastic. They are rich and buttery in texture, so they apply beautifully and smoothly across the skin, and the pigmentation is intense and true-to-pan. I only had issues with two of the sixteen shades: Curtain Call (slightly sheer in places, not as smooth) and Swedish Pancakes (slightly sheer, a bit rough)–but admittedly, I’m being nitpicky. Both shades are still good–just not excellent like the other fourteen. If you’ve had experience with theBalm’s Shady Lady palettes, you won’t be disappointed. You’ll find the same quality and textures in this palette as well. I really do appreciate consistency–I can write one paragraph rather than having to describe each individual shade and how it varies!

  • Tres Moi is just-barely warmed over bronzed brown with subtle red undertones. It is similar to MAC Twinks but the finish gives Tres Moi a more frosted appearance.
  • Wocka, Wocka is an olive green with a soft, golden sheen. The sheen is almost metallic. It is very similar to Bare Escentuals Spectacular. MAC Sumptuous Olive is browner and less green, while Inglot #419 is darker. theBalm Makeout Mary is a brighter green with yellowy gold sheen.
  • Meep Meep is a slightly played-down copper–it is not quite as intense as most coppery shades are–with a frosted finish. It’s similar to Urban Decay Baked, MAC Amber Lights, and Inglot #405, but it’s not quite as intense.
  • Mahna-Mahna is a deep, dark brown with subtle burgundy undertones and a satiny finish. It’s not quite as burgundy as MAC Sketch, but it is similar in color to Inglot #423 though the finishes are different enough to make the two less comparable, so Inglot #326 may be a better match.
  • Sensational is a muted, medium blue with a silvery sheen. It is similar to Urban Decay Mary Jane but slightly less cool-toned. It is darker and grayer compared to MAC Moon’s Reflection.
  • Inspirational is a dark gray with a frosted finish. It is similar to Urban Decay Gunmetal, though slightly warmer. It’s not quite as dark (and has a frostier finish) compared to theBalm Sexy Stacey. Inglot #451 is much darker.
  • Celebrational is a softened gray-tinged brown–it’s not quite what I’d call a taupe, but it’s somewhere near it. It has a satiny sheen for a finish. It’s cooler-toned than Bare Escentuals Magnetism and MAC Era. MAC Caviar Dreams is closer but Celebrational is less brown. theBalm Insane Jane is a touch warmer.
  • Muppetational is a soft gray shot through with silver. It’s right there on the border of gray and silver–there is enough metallic sheen to make it lean more silver, but it’s not the full-on metal finish you’d expect from a true silver. Inglot #339 is a bit darker and bluer-based, but MAC Swell Baby is very similar.

The palette is packaged in firm cardboard with an outer cover that slips off the revaeal the actual palette, though both have the exact same design (and both the sleeve and the palette are numbered). To open the palette, it actually splits towards the bottom fourth of the front. Most of the palette opens and reveals all of the eyeshadows along with a mirror, but the smaller bottom flap stays closed. When you flip open the smaller bottom flap, it reveals the two lip/cheek stains and lipgloss. I thought it was a rather clever way to prevent cross-contamination of the powder eyeshadows into the creamier lip/cheek products. Both flaps stay closed with magnets.  There is also a dual-ended bristle-based brush that is usable (not my first choice, but it is soft and not at all scratchy).

The quality of this palette is absolutely fantastic.  Even the two shades I had minor issues with couldn’t bring down the average scores for pigmentation/texture of the palette itself.  I had good luck working with the lip/cheek stains and gloss as well (more in the next post).  theBalm knocked this one out of the park–the shade includes neutrals as well as pops of color, while the finishes are mostly soft frosts and shimmers, there are a couple that are more semi-matte.

Depending on the size of your stash, the palette may be more dupable than original–I do see there are several shades that are similar to previous theBalm shadows from palettes as well as the permanent range.

The Glossover

palette

theBalm Cast Your Shadow Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

A+
theBalm knocked this one out of the park--the shade includes neutrals as well as pops of color, while the finishes are mostly soft frosts and shimmers, there are a couple that are more semi-matte.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

bareMinerals The Scenic Route Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals The Scenic Route Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Duos: The Scenic Route

bareMinerals The Scenic Route Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) contains two shades: Breathtaking aned Spectacular. This duo launches in October, and it’s touted as a solid eyeshadow with SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that is “creamy, silky smooth” with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color” that is long-wearing when worn alone without creasing or budging. When worn alone, I was able to wear several of the new duos for 10 hours without an eyeshadow primer. For more details on packaging, please read my original review.

Breathtaking is a pale, creamy white with a golden shimmer and sheen. The color payoff is amazing with a really dense, buttery texture. It’s similar in color to Givenchy Lune and theBalm Envious Erin, but it has a more noticeable golden sheen. MAC Nylon is much yellower, so it is more comparable to MAC Manila Paper.

Spectacular is a green-tinted tarnished gold–it’s a little bronzy, but there is a hint of green there. It has a metallic-like finish, so it is more reflective than shimmery. The texture is very smooth and soft to the touch, while the pigmentation is solid. It is more metallic but similar in color to Make Up For Ever #148. It is greener compared to OCC Cruising, but it is not as green as MAC Sumptuous Olive. It is most similar to Inglot #433.

This is one of the best (quality-wise) duos I’ve reviewed so far from Bare Escentuals’ new pressed line of eyeshadows.  Both shades knock it out of the park.  Generally, the duos have been good and impressive, but this one really stands out.

The Glossover

palette

bareMinerals Scenic Route Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
This is the first Bare Escentuals duo where both eyeshadows have been fantastic--the texture is buttery, soft, and applies smoothly, while the color payoff is rich and opaque.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, August 13th, 2011


Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish

Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish

Illamasqua DWS Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “cement grey” with a cream finish. It’s a gorgeous shade of gray that doesn’t lean brown–it’s that perfect shade of gray skies. There’s a tinge of blue in it, but it’s very subtle and only picked up in really bright, direct light. Zoya’s Dove was the closest shade I could think of, but it leans browner–less blue.

The formula was exactly what I expect of Illamasqua: excellent. It’s thick without being goopy, so it delivers amazing color coverage–almost opaque in a single coat, though I did two here. It flows evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking. I typically get a week of wear without minimal tip wear with Illamasqua’s polishes.

The Glossover

P
product

DWS

A+
It's a permanent shade in their line-up, but it would work so well for fall, as we gear up for cooler weather, cloudier skies, and settle into some of the more muted but lush shades of the season.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, August 11th, 2011


Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Poke Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright violet purple” and has a shimmer finish. It’s a vibrant violet with a hint of fuchsia both in the base color as well as in the shimmer. The formula was a dream to work with–so pigmented it was nearly opaque in a single coat. It spread evenly across the nail, and the consistency was right on the money, because it wasn’t too thick or thin. I typically get a week’s worth of wear out of Illamasqua’s nail polishes.

I couldn’t think of any really similar shades! The closest I could come up with was Illamasqua Jo’mina, which has a similar brightness but lacks shimmer and is less pink.

The Glossover

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product

Poke

A+
Such a beautiful color but an even more standout formula -- definitely one of the easiest polishes I've worked with. The color coverage is excellent while the consistency allows the polish to flow evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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