Friday, October 28th, 2011


NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

NARS Holiday 2011: Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio

Likely one of the most eye-catching pieces from the holiday collection, NARS Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Trio ($45.00 for 0.17 oz.) looks more complex in the pan than it is on the lid. It consists of three shades: black with red pearls, black with purple pearls, and black with gunmetal shimmer. After reading the color description, the colors pretty much live up to the expectations, but they look more interesting in the pan because the colored pearls are more dominant, while applied, they’re all mostly black.

The first shade is a deep, dark burgundy black-brown with wine red shimmer. It’s a better textured MAC Beauty Marked. It’s soft and smooth with good color payoff; it’s the best shade in the palette.

In the middle, there is a deep, dark blue-based black with violet purple flecks of sparkle. The sparkle seemed to stick better than expected in the swatch, but once applied, the sparkle didn’t translate–it ended up just looking like a deep, dark black. This shade is extremely soft, which makes it blendable, though it is prone to sheering out more than desired as well. I recommend patting it on and then softly blending the edges away. I couldn’t think of a decent dupe for this, because it’s not really purple but none of the blacks I’ve swatched that I can remember seem similar.

The last shade in the trio is a chalky, dry, sheer black with silver sparkle. Compared to the pigmentation levels of the other two shades, it’s beyond disappointing! It just doesn’t belong. It’s an inferior NARS Night Breed. Lancome The New Black is one of the better silver-sparkled-black shades I’ve come across to-date.

I didn’t encounter fall out from the first two shades, though the last shade had some issues with fall out, particularly because there was little base color for the sparkle to cling to. I tested out the wear of the middle shade on the lower half of the lid with the first shade on the upper half of the lid and slightly in the crease. They both applied well with opaque, even color and a smooth texture, and I didn’t have any issues with fading or creasing over eight hours (no primer).

With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn’t recommend this palette–when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades. This is also a palette you’d mix and match with other products you own, since they’re all very, very dark. Even though there is certainly a difference in color between the first and second shades, it’s even subtler when applied to the lid.

The Glossover

palette

Arabian Nights

B-
With as much of a dud as the last shade is, I couldn't recommend this palette--when you shell out this much for a trio, you should be able to expect three high quality shades.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag

MAC Ice Parade: Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag

MAC Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag ($36.00) includes Hang Up (deep berry), Frozen Lame (frosty nude), and Vintage Vamp (deep black wine). The lipstick and lipglass are full-sized, but the nail polish is miniature-sized (0.09 fl. oz.).

  • Hang Up is a deep, reddened berry with semi-opaque color and a glossy shine. It has a cremesheen finish, though I find it creamier than your average cremesheen finish lipstick. It is part of the permanent range.
  • Frozen Lame is a silver shimmered beige-white. It looks mostly like silver shimmer on my lips. It has a finer shimmre than MAC Sin-tillation.
  • Vintage Vamp is a deep reddened wine with a cream finish. I needed three coats for opaque color, and the first coat was on the streakier side. Please see my swatches from last year.

The value of the the smaller kits is decent–you get two full-sized lip products (~$30) plus some additional product, like the nail lacquer here, which works out to be about what you’d expect to pay if you could buy them individually. I’m not a fan of the quality of the polish–it’s too thin and not pigmented enough in two coats (and for such a dark shade, it should be).  Cremesheens tend to be drying on me, so the formula doesn’t get the highest marks from my experience.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Pure Drama Iced Delights Nail & Lip Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
I'm not a fan of the quality of the polish--it's too thin and not pigmented enough in two coats (and for such a dark shade, it should be). Cremesheens tend to be drying on me, so the formula doesn't get the highest marks from my experience.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder
Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder

Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder

Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder ($72.00 for 0.46 oz.) is an intricately embossed illumatinating powder that “gently highlights the skin with a sheer blend of tender pink and pearlescence.”  Of all the products I purchased from the holiday collection, I figured this was the one readers would be most interested in.

On me, it swatches as a pale beige with a soft shimmer and sheen–but it’s so light against my skin tone that it reads powdery. It applies much lighter than it looks in the pan.  When applied on cheek bones, I felt the powderiness of the product was further emphasized. I had to use either an extremely light hand and barely dust on product or blend, blend, blend it away so it looked less ghost-like. It catches the light well and seems to photograph better than it looks in real life, which emphasizes my pore size and just seems to sit on the top of skin, rather than really melt into it.

For lighter complexions, it would work better–as compared to my medium skin tone–because it will be similar to your natural skin tone and will highlight without lightening. I don’t like the powdery, almost chalky appearance it has on my skin. It wore for six hours before beginning to fade, and by the eighth hour, it was no longer noticeable.

The powder itself is soft and finely-milled, though the larger shimmer is merely an overlay, so underneath is a more refined, less shimmery, more sheen kind of finish. Because of the silkiness in texture, it is easy to blend but just doesn’t seem to lay as well on the skin as other Chanel powder products have in the past.  It’s soft but powdery and kicks up a fair amount of excess product when you go to use it.

It reminded me of a lot of the lighter highlighters I’ve come across, like MAC Lightscapade, Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees (significantly more metallic), and MAC Too Chic.

The Glossover

LE
product

Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder

B-
The texture of this may be soft, but it's also powdery and looks that way on the skin. Despite the fine shimmer and sheen, it emphasized the pores on my cheeks.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Friday, October 14th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Stairway to Heaven Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) contains multi-colored square (mostly) glitter suspended in a clear base color. The polish is thicker, not quite gel-like, but it’s thick enough that after two coats (which is what is shown here) that I wouldn’t go for a third and expect excellent wear. There are large, square-shaped glitter in greenish-teal, bluish-green, light-medium purple, and golden orange. There also appears to be hexagon-shaped glitter in the same golden orange color.

This shade could be used for layering, but I really liked it alone. It was fun and whimsical; not your most obvious choice for holidays, but it has a wintry vibe to it. I could see it seeming more appropriate for spring, because of some of the overall lightness in color, but I just keep thinking “winter wonderland.”

Though glitter polishes are often difficult to remove, this seemed extra difficult, so it will require patience and plenty of your favorite remover. The key is to let the remover soak through the layers of polish, which will make it easier to remove. Generally, I get a week of wear with Deborah Lippmann’s polishes with minimal tip wear. Nothing comes to mind as a dupe, but maybe Temptalia readers know of one to share! :)

The Glossover

LE
product

Stairway to Heaven

B-
It's tricky to apply and remove, but I still really like and would likely have purchased it despite all the shortcomings--which really tells you how important color can be!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

NYX Apricot HD Blush
NYX Apricot HD Blush

NYX Apricot HD Blush

NYX Apricot HD Blush ($16.50 for 0.25 oz. ) is medium-dark coral-red with a soft, satiny shimmer-sheen. The color initially reminded me of Chanel Rouge, which is certainly redder and more intense–with a light hand, they’re comparable. It also reminded me of the original MAC Posey and MAC Mighty Aphrodite. Benefit Bella Bamba is pinker.

What I’ve loved most about NYX’s line of HD blushes is their soft, super finely-milled powders; they’re silky, blendable, and fairly buildable. It’s a formula that makes it difficult to overdo it on; you have to be deliberate about greater intensity if that’s the color you desire, but it’s not difficult to achieve a more pigmented cheek. The downside to these blushes is the wear time, which is around six hours, at which point I start noticing it fade.

For an in-depth commentary on the packaging, please see my original review.

The Glossover

P
product

Apricot

B-
Surprisingly, despite its shortcomings, there is something about this product I like. It's a product I would reach for, but I recognize that it's below-average wear is a major issue. The packaging is less functional than it seems, and it's likely you're paying part of the higher price tag for that.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011


Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Enter a New Realm Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.17 oz.) is such a visually striking palette! It’s a very classic color combination (generally speaking), but it looks stunning. It’s silver, black, and red. And I really do mean red–it’s not a red masquerading as fuchsia or pinky-red or coppery-red. It looks candy apple red in the pan.

The first shade in the palette is a medium-dark silver with a metallic finish. It’s definitely similar in color to Inglot #448. The color payoff is decent to good, but the texture makes it so it doesn’t come together as well so the appearance is less than smooth (which gives it slightly uneven color payoff).

In the middle, there’s a mostly matte black with brown undertones. It’s not the worst I’ve tried (and Wet ‘n’ Wild has had worse mattes in their palettes), but it’s not stellar. It has a drier texture so the pigmentation suffers; it’s not as opaque or as dense as I’d like. It performs better on the eye when it comes to pigmentation but did find there was slight fading after six hours (even over a primer). Not quite as bad as Wet ‘n’ Wild Fly me to the Moon but not as lovely as Make Up For Ever #4.

The final shade is is an orange-based red with a satiny shimmer-sheen. It has decent color payoff, though not as vibrant swatched as it appears in the pan. Sugarpill Love+ is more intense (though matte). Make Up For Ever #99 is matte, and more intense, while Make Up For Ever #158 is matte and more intense but also darker. Inglot #366 is similar but seems more orange. For $3, it’s a rather impressive red from a drugstore brand when many higher end brands do not have reds in their lines.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Wet 'n' Wild Enter a New Realm Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
For the red alone, I'd still recommend it -- particularly if you've always wanted to try red eyeshadow but know you'd never use it often enough to justify some of the higher end options. The black is the worst performing shade here, while the silver is the best and the red is decent.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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