Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC’s Dazzlesphere Collection launches on November 10th, and the next set I’m reviewing is MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.), which contains four shades: Light Violet (pale violet), Grape (purple), Seasonally Cool (sparkling taupe), and Misty (pale silver). 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.”

  • Seasonally Cool is a subtly cool-toned bronze. The gray tint is minor, so it comes off as more of a brown than it does a taupe. This one has a fair amount of sparkle, so I did encounter some fall out when it was applied dry, but this was lessened when it was applied damp. Similarly, it’s sheerer when applied dry and much more intense when applied damp. It’s similar to Urban Decay Lost and Make Up For Ever #15.
  • Misty is a bright, lightened silver with a strong, metallic finish. It’s slightly sheer when applied dry and more opaque when applied wet. Giorgio Armani #12 is similar but cooler-toned.
  • Light Violet is a pink=lavender with a metallic shimmer-sheen. It’s very, very chunky; I did not find I could really “crush” these into becoming smooth, even on my arm. It reminded me of a much pinker Kitschmas. The color is also similar to theBalm Curtain Call. It’s warmer and pinker than Stacked 1.
  • Grape is a rich, red-toned purple with a softer but still metallic sheen. It had good color payoff both dry and wet, with the metallic finish coming out more when it was applied wet. It’s more vibrant and red-toned than Stacked 1. MAC Plush is similar but a touch darker and less metallic in finish. MAC Half-Wild is redder. Inglot #446 is less purple.

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.

I loved the smoothness and vibrancy of Grape, while Light Violet was one of the worst shades out of the three sets entirely. It was very gritty and chunky–it was much harder to work with and extremely prone to fall out. I also had some fall out issues with Seasonally Cool from the sparkle when used dry, but it was lessened if it was applied damp. 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

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

B-
This particular stack/kit had some drawbacks that Smoky Berry didn't have, which is a very finicky shade in Light Violet and slightly problematic Seasonally Cool.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011


Dior Or Divin Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Dior Or Divin Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Dior Or Divin (221) Nail Lacquer ($22.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is the brand’s take on your traditional holiday gold, which is part of its recently launched holiday collection. It’s new but limited edition. Or Divin is a pale yellow gold with a part metallic, part shimmer finish. It’s a bit warmer compared to NARS Versailles but much paler and less orange compared to Chanel Gold Lame.

You can see the threads of gold shimmer running through the color as well as visible brush strokes. I used two coats, and there was a fair amount of visible nail line; a third coat would have softened it still, but I don’t think it would have eliminated it. The color didn’t apply as evenly as I would have liked; it seemed to sheer out as it was pulled, even with waiting between coats.

Dior’s formula wears a week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping. The brush is larger than the average brush, and it’s tapered at the top, which works if you have larger nail beds, but if you have really petite ones, you may find it difficult. I like it, and it makes it easy to avoid too many brush strokes and do one or two pulls per nail.

The Glossover

LE
product

Or Divin

B-
I wasn't impressed by the color payoff or the general application for Or Divin. It's nice that it has a less metallic finish than many holiday golds, and it's not as orange-toned, so cooler complexions would be able to wear this one, too.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, October 30th, 2011

NARS Albatross Lipgloss
NARS Albatross Lipgloss

NARS Holiday 2011: Albatross Lipgloss

NARS Albatross Lipgloss ($24.00 for 0.28 oz.) is supposed to yield a “luminous glow” once slicked onto lips. I can get down with that; it’s virtually colorless but has a fair amount of white gold shimmer that deposits on the lips to give it a very glossy, shimmery look. It’s not quite as white as MAC Almondine or MAC A Quiet Roar.  It’s the kind of gloss I’d stow in a makeup bag for a quickie enhanced lip if I had nothing else on or add warmth and glow to a deeper shade (think red or berry).

While NARS describes their gloss formula as comfortable, glossy, and non-sticky, I can’t agree that they’re non-sticky. They’re not thick and sticky like some other glosses, but there is noticeable tackiness. They are comfortable to wear, though, and the gloss spreads evenly across the lips without being drying. In the past, some of NARS’ glosses have had a plastic-like scent, but I haven’t had that issue in the past six months or longer of their glosses (so maybe they fixed that under the radar!). With a lighter shade like Albatross, I get about two hours of wear before it needs a reapplication.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Albatross Lipgloss Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
I like the gloss formula overall, except it doesn't wear well--I typically get four hours of wear out of lipgloss, but Albatross needs a reapplication after two! It does last a wee bit longer over a lipstick but not by much.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow
NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Holiday 2011: Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow

NARS Ponderosa Cream Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a limited edition holiday offering described simply as “mink.” NARS describes their cream eyeshadow formula as lightweight, blendable, buildable, and it can be worn alone or paired with a powder eyeshadow for “longer-lasting wear and added dimension.” I’m glad NARS mentioned using a powder eyeshadow for longer-lasting wear, because without a powder on top, I only achieved an hour of wear before it was a creased mess of brown on my lid–and I don’t have oily lids at all.

Admittedly, I was a little torn on how to effectively rate this product, because “it can be worn alone” seems rather ill-advised if you end up with an irreparable makeup faux-pas on your eyes in an hour or less. I decided to meet NARS halfway; I wouldn’t expect or rate with the expectation of eight-hour wear but would expect it to last through a casual dinner at the very least! I also would not recommend wearing this as an eyeliner, because it smudged and migrated into the under eye area.

It’s a complex shade of brown, because it’s a cool-toned deep, dark brown with burgundy and bronze micro-shimmer. MAC Legendary Black reminded me of this color but not as deep or as cool-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone also has a similar shade that’s a bit warmer. MAC Smut is comparable but seems a smidgen darker. It comes together nicely, and there is plenty of pigmentation.

The consistency is extremely creamy, so it glides and applies well, but it sheers out easily. I recommend applying it layers rather than applying a lot at once if you want really rich, opaque color. By building in layers, you’ll also give each layer to set a bit so it will hold together better overall. It’s completely wearable and certainly more durable with a powder on top to set; you can try a translucent powder, which will give it a slightly more muted look, but it will enhance the wear to eight hours without creasing or smudging.

The Glossover

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coming-soon

Ponderoa

B-
It doesn't work well alone, because it does seem to crease very quickly (even with a sheer layer of product), but if you use it in conjunction with a powder (translucent or otherwise), it holds up much better.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS G-Spot Multiple
NARS G-Spot Multiple

NARS Holiday 2011: G-Spot Multiple

If you weren’t impressed by racy names like Orgasm and Deep Throat, NARS G-Spot Multiple ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) aims to work that much harder to make you blush–both literally and figuratively. NARS describes this shade as a “rich, gold-infused rose.” The Multiple formula is a cream formula that can be used on eyes, lips, and cheeks with a “sheer, natural finish.” The sheerer color payoff makes it “mistake-proof” and “quick and easy to apply,” according to the brand. It’s new for holiday but will join the permanent range.

For swatches, I did a heavier, layered swatch to show the actual color, but it would take several pats or swipes of color to achieve that kind of payoff (though it’s possible–options are always good!), along with a quick tap of product that was then blended out. The subtler color is more of a rosy plum with very little gold shimmer or sheen. In the heavier swatch, there is more noticeable god shimmer, but it was still rather downplayed. It was rosy with only a hint of plum in the heavier swatch. On cheeks, it yielded soft, natural color in a reddish-plum hue.

It applies easily enough with enough creaminess in the consistency for effortless blending but not so much slip that it sits on the skin and doesn’t dry down to a powdery finish. When I tested out this particular Multiple, it wore for six hours on my normal-to-dry skin type as a blush. I’m not keen on this on the lips, as I found it quite drying and uncomfortable to wear. My lips were painfully dehydrated after four hours, at which point I had to apply something else. I tested it alone on the eye lid, and it creased after four hours. It’s best used as a blusher, though it is marketed as a multi-tasking product (hence the name!).

The Glossover

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product

G-Spot

B-
I imagine a lot of people love Multiples as blushes/bronzers, but they are multi-tasking products - and they are under-performing on lips! It's one of the drier lip products I've used in the past year. It performs best as a blush (but doesn't last long).

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, October 28th, 2011


NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Campo de’ Fiori and St. Marks Place

NARS Holiday 2011: Campo de’ Fiori & St. Marks Place

For the holidays, there are two new shades of NARS Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner ($23.00 for 0.02 oz.), which are Campo de’ Fiori (antique brass) and St. Marks Place (bright violet). I reviewed this formula here originally.

  • Campo de’ Fiori is a brassy gold with a metallic shimmer and sheen. It’s mostly opaque in one pass, but it was drier than I expected. The consistency was not as creamy as previous iterations have been in this formula–there was a fair amount of tugging and pulling when I applied this on my lower lash line. It’s less golden and brassier than Urban Decay Honey. It’s more comparable to Stila Koi. (See gold eyeliner comparisons.)
  • St. Marks Place is a vibrant violet purple with semi-opaque color in a single pass. It’s creamier than Campo de’ Fiorio, but there is still a little pulling on the lash line that I wasn’t expecting. It’s closer to NARS Manon, but it’s not as blue-based as a lot of violet eyeliners.

On the upside, the drier consistenty helped these wear better; I had no problems at the eight hour mark when I used both of these shades on the lower lash line. There was no budging, smudging, or fading during that period. After twelve hours, both looked thinner and less vibrant than when they were originally applied. I didn’t apply these to my lower waterline, because the general dryness of the formula would have made it painful and difficult to achieve even, opaque color (and I’m not sure if these are safe for waterline usage). These are smaller than traditional pencil eyeliners but larger than the typical mechnical or twist-up pencil.

The Glossover

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NARS Campo de' Fiori and St. Marks Place Larger Than Life Eyeliner Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
If they were creamier, they would be easier to apply and more comfortable to apply. The wear is good, and despite the dryness in formula, they still deposit a fair amount of color in a single pass.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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