MAC Instigator & Punk Couture Lipsticks

MAC Instigator Lipstick ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “deep blackened plum [with a Retro Matte finish].” It’s a deep, berry-wine with a satin finish. Officially, it’s labeled as a matte (not a Retro Matte), but it has a noticeable sheen for the first hour of wear. It had mostly opaque color coverage. This shade wore well for six hours and left behind a noticeable berry stain. It was neither drying nor hydrating. NARS Train Bleu (P, $25.00) is very similar–just more matte. MAC Potent Fig (LE, $16.00) is purpler. MAC Yung Rapunxel (LE, $16.00) is lighter, less matte. MAC Smoked Purple (LE, $16.00) is slightly purpler, less berry but comparable. See comparison swatches.

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MAC Instigator Lipstick
MAC Lipstick Instigator
A-
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
10
Application
4.5
Total
90%
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Chanel Quadrille (537) Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Quadrille (537) Eyeshadow Quad ($59.00 for 0.24 oz.) consists of a plummy mauve, golden beige, pink-coral, and dark brown. It’s generally warm-toned with a range of light to dark shades, and it certainly brings to mind the theme of spring. Every single eyeshadow has an incredibly soft, finely-milled texture that feels like silk, but they were also a little powdery as a result–you’ll find excess is easily lifted as you tap and press your brush to each pan (and the palette gets quite messy). I’d recommend lightly tapping excess off your brush to minimize any initial fall out, as well as pressing/patting the brush against the lid. If you use a dampened brush, it minimizes some of that powderiness while amplifying the pigmentation. When textures get more powdery, they don’t wear as long or as well on me, so I did notice signs of fading after seven hours of wear, even with some shades applied with a dampened brush (doesn’t live up to the “smudge-proof long wear” claim).

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Chanel Quadrille (537) Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Les 4 Ombres Eyeshadow Quad Quadrille (537)
B-
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
7
Application
4.5
Total
81%
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Milani Sparkling Top Coat Mascaras

Milani Sparkling Top Coat Mascara ($4.99 for 0.32 fl. oz.) is described as a “glamorous sparkling mascara top coat that adds a beautiful shimmer to lashes … the gel based formula allows for easy, even application.” It’s not shimmer, it’s glitter–it’s definitely larger and chunkier, which is really a good thing as shimmer would be harder to see, but in case you were thinking, “oh, fine shimmer!” it’s really glitter-sized particles. It’s also a top coat, which means it can be used over mascara, not just bare lashes, and it will perform better over mascara (more to cling to).
The formula is very wet, not too thick or too thin, but wet. When the glitter gets caught on a lash, it does adhere, and it doesn’t fall out during wear, but the glitter applies in a scattered, sparse way. If you apply it similarly to mascara, where you’re running the wand through the lashes, you’ll need three coats or more to get visible sparkle. Now, the problem with this, is it has a tendency to clump and pull lashes together, so you’ll also need a lash comb or clean spoolie to help bring back definition and lash separation. It’s a lot easier to just use the glitter that’s on the tip of the wand to sort of tap and press and slide through the lashes, as you’ll get a denser application and minimize how much of the gel base on lashes.

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Milani Golden Eyes Sparkling Top Coat Mascara
Milani Sparkling Top Coat Mascara Golden Eyes
B-
Product
8
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
10
Application
3.5
Total
81%
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China Glaze Just Be-Claws, Put a Bow on It, This is Tree-mendous Nail Lacquers

China Glaze Just Be-Claws Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “red with an aluminum-like mirror finish.” It’s a medium-dark, rich ruby red with subtle, cool undertones and a high-shine, metallic finish. There is a lot of depth to this color–China Glaze really knocked this one out of the park. It was mostly opaque after one coat, but I applied two coats to be sure, and you’ll find there’s a richness to the finish with two. The consistency of the formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it spread evenly and without bubbling or pooling along the edges. Cult Nails Annalicious (LE, $12.00) is warmer but similar in the finish. China Glaze Cranberry Splash (LE, $7.50) is very similar, slightly cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

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China Glaze Just Be-Claws Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Nail Lacquer Just Be-Claws
A
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
9
Application
5
Total
98%
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Makeup Geek Duchess, Envy, Galaxy Eyeshadows

Makeup Geek Duchess Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “matte cool purple.” It’s a medium-dark, muted purple with cool undertones and a mostly matte finish–you can see a sprinkling of micro-shimmer at times, but it’s not apparent on the lid. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft, not powdery, and easy to blend out on the skin. It lasted eight full hours on me before showing signs of fading. Disney by Sephora Mystical Wonder (LE) is shimmery, lighter. MAC Illegal Cargo (LE, $15.00) is similar from I can tell, but it’s so sheer it’s hard to say 100%! Inglot #379 (P, $6.00) is a bit brighter. See comparison swatches.

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Makeup Geek Duchess Eyeshadow
Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Duchess
B+
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
8.5
Application
4.5
Total
88%
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Anna Sui x Minnie Mouse Nail Colors

Anna Sui x Minnie Mouse Nail Colors ($16.00 for 0.27 fl. oz.) include five limited edition shades.  Two are glitter top coats, while the other three are colors.  The formula was decent to good, while the consistency wasn’t too thick or thin across the board.  I tested Midnight Purple for wear and saw seven days with some tip wear–a little more than usual but no chipping.  The selection of shades lacks some originality; the red and silver glitters just seem underwhelming with the plethora of glitter top coats on the market now.  Note, each bottle contains 0.27 fl. oz., which is half the size of most polishes (often 0.50 fl. oz., though there are certainly ones that are smaller).  It was somewhat awkward applying the polish due to the decorative handle, though I’m sure if you love Minnie Mouse that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker!

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Anna Sui x Minnie Mouse Midnight Purple (200) Nail Color
Anna Sui Nail Color Minnie Mouse Midnight Purple (200)
B+
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
8
Application
4.5
Total
87%
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