Monday, August 13th, 2012

China Glaze Exotic Encounters Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Exotic Encounters Nail Lacquer

Take a Walk on the Wild Side with This Teal

China Glaze Exotic Encounters Nail Lacquer ($3.00 to $7.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “lush green creme with blue undertones.” It reads as a dusty green-teal with a cream finish on me. Not a dupe, but reminiscent in the kind of color family, Rescue Beauty Lounge Jack has a similar green-teal coloring but is much, much darker. MAC Screening Room is much bluer. Though blue, Illamasqua Muse had a similar dusted quality.  I was surprised to find that I could not discover any dupes within polishes I’ve reviewed–none of three I mentioned in the post are dupes.

The color was mostly opaque in two coats (there is just a shadow of the nail line visible at times), and it had a really great consistency: creamy, not too thick or too thin, and flowed well across the nail without pooling along the sides, bubbling, or streaking.   I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with China Glaze’s formula.  The polish retails for $7, but you can find it at various e-tailers for under $4 (the one linked in the post sells this shade for $3).

The Glossover

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Exotic Encounters

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If you've been on the hunt for a green-based teal, I think you may really enjoy this new-for-fall shade by China Glaze. It had a good formula and applied well.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Firefly High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Firefly High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Firefly High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “gold ivory with opal flecks.” It’s a virtually colorless gloss with warm white and iridescent opal shimmer–looks like a wintry mix of silver, white, and lilac. There’s no real color in the base, just lots and lots of shimmer, but on, it’s definitely apparent you’re wearing something–it’s highly reflective and looks a little pink-ish. MAC She-zam is more silver-shimmered. NARS Luxor is similar in color and sheen, though it is milkier. MAC Frozen Lame has a lot more white shimmer.

Long-time readers will know that this is one of my favorite formulas–it has a ridiculous amount of sparkle and dazzle combined with a non-sticky and comfortable to texture that’s not too thick or too thin.  These glosses typically last a full four hours and sometimes longer on me; Firefly wore for a full four hours, which is noteworthy for a gloss that’s fairly sheer in color.  The shimmer is so high that it’s almost semi-sheer to semi-opaque in color because of the coverage the shimmer yields.  It’s moisturizing, and I like that it doesn’t get sticky over time.  Bobbi Brown’s glosses come with a doe-foot applicator, slightly more gloss than the average gloss, and are mint-scented.

The Glossover

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Firefly

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This shade is shimmery enough to be worn alone, but it can also be layered over your favorite lipstick to add a different dimension. It will be particularly flattering paired with plums, burgundies, berries, and reds.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, August 9th, 2012

NARS Gilda Highlighting Blush
NARS Gilda Blush

Gilda the Good Blush

NARS Gilda Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “perfect coral with a hint of red.” It’s an orange-coral with a little burnt red tinge and matte finish. NARS Exhibit A is much more intense, deeper, and redder. MAC Modern Mandarin is brighter with a satin finish. Make Up For Ever #5 is richer in color but similar in color. MAC Out for Fun is a cream blush but very comparable in color.

The hint of red is readily apparent in this blush, and for some, it may bring out any underlying redness and give that sunburned look that’s less-than-lovely.  If you don’t have a lot of natural redness in your cheeks, this should read prettily on your skin.  The texture is soft, finely-milled, and looks natural against the skin. Despite the matte finish, it doesn’t look dry or flat, and it never accentuates pores or skin imperfections.  Gilda has good color payoff, though you don’t have to fear too much about overdoing it–you don’t need a feathery hand like you do with Exhibit A. It’s buildable, blendable, and a good alternative to Exhibit A if it just seems too intense for you. When I wore this, Gilda lasted for a full eight hours and didn’t have any fading at all.

The Glossover

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Gilda

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It's buildable, blendable, and a good alternative to Exhibit A if it just seems too intense for you. If you already own Exhibit A, you can always just use it really, really lightly, because the two look fairly similar when applied.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Santa Fe Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Santa Fe Nail Lacquer

Take a Seat and Enjoy the Hues of Santa Fe

Rescue Beauty Lounge Santa Fe Nail Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “an aerial view of Santa Fe; the baked earth tones of ocher with shimmering, glistening ubiquitous dotted greens.” It’s a slightly subdued, terracotta-tinged medium orange with light-medium orange-gold shimmer. Though the description mentions dotted greens, there’s nothing that really represents that concept in the polish itself (the brand’s descriptions are often more inspirational than they are one-for-one descriptions, at least with this launch). I don’t have anything in my stash that seems to look this–it’s definitely orange, but it’s not really bright, and there’s no red in it. Zoya Myrta is darker and red-orange. Nails Inc. Porchester Place is more orange, brighter. Illamasqua gamma comes the closest, but it’s brighter–reads more Halloween orange than desert orange. I’d love for you to suggest any potential dupes!

The consistency of Santa Fe wasn’t too thick or too thin, though if I had to say it leaned one way or the other, it would be just barely thick.  It was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and I didn’t experience any bubbling, streaking, or pooling of the polish along the edges of the nail.  The micro-shimmer in this shade definitely shows up in natural light as well as brighter light, so I really thought it added more depth to the base color.  There were very slight brush strokes visible under brighter light (like diffused flash).  I typically get a full week of wear with Rescue Beauty Lounge’s formula and very minimal tip wear (but no chipping).

The Glossover

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Santa Fe

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The micro-shimmer in this shade definitely shows up in natural light as well as brighter light, so I really thought it added more depth to the base color.  There were very slight brush strokes visible under brighter light (like diffused flash).

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 3rd, 2012

L'Oreal Smoldering Plum Infallible Eyeshadow
L’Oreal Smoldering Plum Infallible Eyeshadow

A Very Sultry, Smoldering Plum

L’Oreal Smoldering Plum Infallible Eyeshadow ($7.95 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, dark, and wickedly intense red-toned burgundy purple with a subtle frosted sheen. It’s a more intense versino of Urban Decay Rockstar. MAC Young Punk is purpler, less burgundy. MAC Dynamic Duo 4 is reminiscent, but less red-toned and matte. MAC Indian Ink is a matte version. Giorgio Armani #2 is slightly richer, blacker, and has red and blue-violet shimmer–so it translates a bit differently. Giorgio Armani #3 has a very reflective sheen that’s more silvery–the purple is a bit grayer, less red-toned.

I love the intensity of this shade, and it even had a fair amount of darkness even when applied dry.  It’s definitely smoother and richer-looking when applied damp/wet, though, but what’s worth noting is that the color will stay that intense even after it dries so long as you use a damp brush to apply the color initially.  The texture is soft, smooth, and finely-milled. It’s not dry at all, and it really has that creamy-powdery feel that’s a hallmark of the L’Oreal Infallible/Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense ranges.

Smoldering Plum wore very well–a solid twelve hours without fading or creasing. The newest released shades seem to have a lot better wear than a couple of the other shades I had tried previously (notably, Perpetual Purple, which was more like a perpetual disappointment).

For a comparison against Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, please see this post. As a quick summary, L’Oreal’s colors can be less nuanced/have less depth, and then the wear seems to be a little more inconsistent with L’Oreal (some wearing fantastically, others creasing/fading more rapidly). The way I look at it (assuming you wear primer, because then the wear is usually fine), the more the merrier!  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of overlap between the color ranges, though–they’re not putting out dupes so much as different shades in a similar formula.

The Glossover

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Smoldering Plum

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This is a perfect pick for fall--it's rich, dark, and on-trend for the purple-hued fall/winter season we'll be seeing in the next few months.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Rescue Beauty Lounge Jack Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Jack Nail Lacquer

One Sultry, Smoldering Mix of Green, Blue, and Teal

Rescue Beauty Lounge Jack Nail Lacquer ($20.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a mix of “greens, blues, [and] teals.” It’s an inky, not quite murky, green with a flash of teal and blue-teal iridescence that looks like it’s swirled in the green base color. Urban Decay Mars is similar but lighter and much, much more sparkly/glittery. MAC Deep Sea is darker, less green, and has a cream finish. Rescue Beauty Lounge Teal is blue-teal and has a cream finish. Illamasqua Viridian is more shimmery and less green (more teal). Butter London British Racing Green is greener. MAC Jade Dragon is darker and greener.

Totally opaque after two coats and nearly opaque after one, this is a really rich, intensely pigmented color. I did experience staining with this shade after wearing it for a week to test the wear.  Jack had a good formula, a smidgen thicker than your average polish, but the right consistency for the brand overall. It’s thick without being problematic–it’s almost like richness than thickness (which sounds bad).  The shimmer in this is very subtle under most lighting conditions, and I wish it was just a bit more amplified.  When I wore this, I had very minimal tip wear after eight days and no chipping.

The Glossover

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Jack

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The staining does make this shade a bit annoying to wear, depending on how often you polish or change your polish your nails. You might want to wear a full coat of white underneath on top of a base coat to help prevent staining.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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