Monday, November 28th, 2011

NYX Lime Nail Lacquer
NYX Lime Nail Lacquer

NYX Lime Nail Lacquer

NYX Lime Salon Formula Nail Polish ($4.00 for 0.52 fl. oz.) is a bright lime green with chartreuse shimmer. It’s vibrant and the right mix of shimmer and metallic, because you get some of the brush strokes of a metallic finished polish but they’re easy to control to get into straight line. China Glaze Cha Cha Cha is much greener, while Butter London Dosh is a darker green. China Glaze Electric Pineapple is similar in color but has a cream finish. Illamasqua Radium is a touch greener and while it also has shimmer, it’s much subtler and green rather than chartreuse.

Unfortunately, this shade was not opaque after two coats, which was a bummer! It’s such a pretty shade (and will be perfect for summer), but it needs some help in the pigmentation department. The consistency isn’t too thick or thin, but I didn’t love the way three coats felt–they did feel a bit heavy. When I initially tested out NYX’s new formula, this was one of the shades I specifically tested for wear, and after a week, I had no chipping, just minor tip wear (which is par for the course).

The Glossover

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product

Lime

B-
If this was just a bit more pigmented, it'd be a solid shade to check out! Even though the price point is more budget-friendly, there are numerous polish brands at similar price points (like China Glaze) that may have a better alternative available.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Sunday, November 20th, 2011

MAC Guise Pigment
MAC Guise Pigment

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Guise Pigment

MAC Guise Pigment ($32.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “frosty grey.” It’s more like a bright silver with a part-frost, part-metallic finish. What’s noteworthy about the color is that it doesn’t lean cool, it’s more of a neutral silver. It was fairly pigmented when used dry and more metallic and opaque when applied wet. The texture is much chunkier compared to Deceit, and I did experience some fall out when an hour after it was applied to the eyelid. MAC Misty is a bit darker and cooler-toned. It’s smoother and grayer than Bobbi Brown Tinsel. I didn’t find anything exactly like it.

Like the blush in this collection, MAC is again squeezing you on both ends: a full-size pigment contains 0.15 oz. and retails for $20.00 each (and they already reduced the amount of all full-size pigments across the board a year or two ago). The packaging looks sleek, but it’s a bit messy. Guise had loose pigment all over the exterior packaging and inner lip upon arrival–I hadn’t even opened it yet! These are entirely plastic, too; there’s no heft from the metal compact like there is with the blush. On the upside, most other high-end brands that have similar loose products typically give around this amount of product (e.g. Illamasqua Pure Pigment is $24.00/0.04 oz. and Make Up For Ever Star Powder is $19.00/0.09 oz.).

MAC actually describes the formula as having ingredients that help it adhere to the skin so it is long-lasting. Pigments are best when combined with other products, whether it’s simply water or more like MAC Mixing Medium, to adhere to skin. I get decent wear out of pigments without a base (six to eight hours, then there is minor fading and at times, subtle creasing), but I would recommend using a base or mixing them with an adhesive base product like Mixing Medium. Guise did have some fall out when applied dry, because of the chunkier texture and sparkle.

The Glossover

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product

Guise

B-
The texture is harder to work with and more prone to fall out; compared to the silky smooth feel of Deceit, it's a bit of a let down! I did like that it was more usable dry than Deceit, though.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, November 19th, 2011

MAC Gareth Pugh Lipstick
MAC Fervent Lipstick

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Lipsticks

MAC Fervent Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “glossy blackened berry” with a satin finish. Fervent is a slightly red-toned purpled berry with semi-opaque color coverage. It’s lighter and more berry compared to MAC Faultlessly F/W. MAC Smoked Purple is darker, more opaque, and more matte in finish. It’s interesting that they describe the finish as satin but also glossy, because it looks and feels a bit more like a glaze finish. With a color as dark as this, it’s really obvious when it doesn’t apply evenly, and Fervent is a real trickster. It does not apply evenly, disappears into lip lines, and even when you manage to get it just right, the minute your lips touch and pull away, you’re back to square one!

MAC Restrict Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “creamy grayed nude” with a cremesheen finish. It’s a pink-based nude that is very, very pale and light. I find the texture a bit dry, so it’s a little unforgiving on the lips close-up. It’s much lighter and cooler-toned compared to MAC Innocence, Beware!. It’s more like a cooler-toned MAC Fleshpot. MAC Close to Real is similar in lightness but peachier. The color coverage is mostly opaque with a subtle frosted shine. Over time, I have found the cremesheen finishes to be a bit drying.

MAC lipsticks typically last four hours on me, and they’re vanilla-scented but taste-free. These are the same size as a regular MAC lipstick, but they are housed in square black tubes with the signature logo on the top and the label on the bottom.

The Glossover

product

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B-
Neither of them were exceptional. With Fervent, I had issues both applying and maintaining an even layer of color, and it had a tendency to settle into lip lines. Restrict had good color payoff, but the texture was on the drier side (and the lipstick formula is a bit drying for me during wear) so it is more unforgiving.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 18th, 2011

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color
Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color

Chanel La Ravissante (32) Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a coral-orange with a soft shine. It’s not matte exactly–it’s more semi-matte–but the shine disappears within the first hour, and you get a much more matte look at that time. It looks a bit like a subtly frosted matte after the shine wears off. Bobbi Brown Sweet Nectar is a bit darker, Chanel Teheran is very similar but a touch pinker and frosted, and Milani Cora Bora Bora is fairly similar but also frosted.

The new Rouge Allure Velvet formula is supposed to yield rich color with a soft velvet matte finish that’s non-drying and glides on. La Ravissante is opaque, and the texture of these feels amazing when you first apply; it’s soft, comfortable, and glides across lips like skates on ice. It also wears for hours and hours–with this particular shade, the color was still quite intact after four hours and a lunch. It continued to linger on like a heavyweight champ for another four hours. The wear on these is between six and eight hours, and while they’re not transfer-proof (did not pass the kiss test at all), the majority of the color hangs around.

There are a lot of things to like about this lipstick, but there is one glaring characteristic that I really dislike–borderline loathe–this is so, so drying. I just feel like it’s sucking the very life out of my lips after an hour or two of wear. Testing this product was painful after six hours, because my lips felt dry, cracked, and beyond chapped. When I hit the eight hour mark when testing La Ravissante, I removed it ASAP and applied half a tube of balm on my lips (not really, but you get the picture!). I’ve been testing out various shades from the new range since my order arrived from Nordstrom about a week and a half ago, and all the shades I’ve tried have had the same drying characteristic.

They don’t claim that it’s hydrating, but they do claim it’s non-drying, and I was fussing with my lips after an hour. I went to lunch with a friend, and she noticed how uncomfortable I seemed to be with my lipstick and asked if I was testing something new (but of course!). Because it’s so drying, the lines on my lips become more and more noticeable with more product welling into them. It’s not just drying after you wear it for six or eight hours, but my lips felt dry and chapped after an hour. I’ve worn hundreds of lipsticks and glosses over the years, and very few products cling and dry out my lips like this. There are many matte formulas and shades I’ve worn over the years and few have been as drying as I found these.

I know a lot of readers seemed to express good experiences with these, too, which had me excited, but I would never reach for one of these lipsticks. I could only test one every couple of days because of the toll they took on my lips. If you don’t mind layering with lip balm, which often defeats the look of a matte finish, the long-wearing color may make it worth it.  Claims (such as being non-drying) are encompassed by the overall product rating, but this product excelled in pigmentation and longevity, which cushioned the impact of how drying it was (how drying it was also impacted the texture score).  I would not recommend this product, based on my experience, but the grade would lead one to believe a less harsh recommendation. If only they felt more like they do when they’re initially applied, because it’s soft, smooth, and comfortable.

The Glossover

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product

La Ravissante

B-
I would NOT recommend these based on my personal experience. I know a lot of readers seemed to express good experiences with these, too, which had me excited, but I would never reach for one of these lipsticks. I could only test one every couple of days because of the toll they took on my lips. If you don't mind layering with lip balm, which often defeats the look of a matte finish, the long-wearing color may make it worth it.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Lancome Color du Jour Color Design Eyeshadow
Lancome Color du Jour Color Design Eyeshadow

Lancome Color du Jour Color Design Eyeshadow

Lancome Color du Jour Color Design Eyeshadow ($18.00 for 0.042 oz.) is described as a “metallic golden eggplant.” It’s a reddish-burgundy with copper sparkle. The color payoff is decent but on the sheerer side. I’d love it if the texture was denser, because it feels a bit dry here. It’s redder, less plum, compared to MAC Trax. The color is more like MAC Star Violet but with gold shimmer and less frost.   I briefly tested this for a few hours to check on whether there would be fall out, and I’m happy to report that there was none after five hours of wear.

Lancome’s eyeshadows are actually formulated to be long-wearing with “pigment-packed color.” I don’t typically get quite so long in practice, though it’s not bad without a primer. I tend to get subtle creasing after eight hours without a primer, but when I use a primer, I have no issues at all, even after twelve hours.

The Glossover

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product

Colour du Jour

B-
I like Lancome's version much better than Trax, which can be a pain to work with. It's nice that the sparkle in this shade does translate onto the lid and doesn't end up underneath the eyes.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) is the last pigment kit from MAC Dazzlesphere. It contains four shades: White as Snow (snowy white), Silver Sleet (medium gray), Wintersky (purple blue), and Dark Moon (charcoal). Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • White as Snow is a silver-tinged white with a very chunky, metallic finish. I had similar issues with this shade as I did with Light Violet. Despite pressing the color against the skin, I could not get it to fully smooth out and bind, so there was some loose product prone to fall out, plus sheerness in both the dry and damp applications. It reminded me of Chanel Fantasme.
  • Silver Sleet is a darkened gray with a brighter, metallic silver sheen. It has great color payoff whether applied dry or wet. Inglot #448 is less metallic and a bit lighter.
  • Wintersky is a purple-tinted blue with silver sparkle and shimmer. It’s fairly sheer and muted when applied dry and picks up intensity when applied damp. MAC Royale is a bit bluer.
  • Dark Moon is a charcoal black with lots of silver sparkle. This isn’t a shade I’d advocate using dry, because the sparkle is chunky enough that it doesn’t completely meld with the base color without some dampness. When it’s applied damp, the sparkle adheres and mixes better with the underlying color. The color payoff when it’s applied dry is slightly sheerer. It reminded me of Chanel Mirifique but less black. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle has more multi-colored shimmer.

In my experience, these pigments wear well as long as you ensure you’ve really “crushed” them against the skin/lid. I’ve worn them with and without a base and the difference is minimal. There is some noticeable but relatively minor fading after eight hours when applied without a base (or mixing medium). For more on how they wear, please see this post where I went in-depth on that particular characteristic.

White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky is a more unique color but could use a little more oomph in pigmentation. Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry (without a sticky base), so have a care or else use it wet. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort. Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky could use a little more oomph in pigmentation, while Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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