Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC Little Rock Dazzleglass
MAC Little Rock Dazzleglass

Phiff Off, MAC! I Stalked All Night and All That Was Left Were Dazzleglasses?!!

MAC Marilyn Monroe Dazzleglasses ($21.50 for 0.06 fl. oz.) include these two shades: Little Rock (soft sheer white with pearl) and Phiff (sheer yellow peach). Phiff is a repromote.  I will mention it until I’m blue in the face, but MAC puts a very, very little amount of product in the tubes for Dazzleglasses–a wee 0.06 fl. oz. compared to a normal Lipglass, which contains 0.17 fl. oz.

Little Rock is mostly colorless–at best, pale, sheer white–with white and silver shimmer. It added mostly shine and shimmer without altering my natural lip color. This shade lasted an hour and a half on my lips.

Phiff is also mostly colorless–at best, pale, sheer golden beige–with silver and gold shimmer. Again, it really added a shiny, glossy look to my lips along with simmer. This shade lasted an hour and a half on my lips. I did see some stray glitter particles outside my lips.

When it comes to glosses as sheer as these, dupes abound. As far as comparable formulas, the two I think are most comparable in regards to the shimmer are Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipgloss and Chanel’s Glossimers. Those two are actually non-sticky, thinner, and longer-wearing for me than Dazzleglass, which is a thicker, tacky formula. They are vanilla-scented but taste-free and come in large, round tubes with glossy black screw-top lids and a clear (well, and then printed with Marilyn Monroe’s image) around the bottom of the tube. It comes with a brush-type applicator.

In all honesty, unless you’re buying for the packaging, I really think you should check out Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipglosses as an alternative; they’re one of my all-time favorite formulas, because they sparkle like the most glittery treasure, and they have 0.24 fl. oz. of product for $23–you’d be getting four times the product for $1.50 more! Try Star in place of Little Rock aned Bare Sparkle in place of Phiff.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

LE
product

Little Rock

B-
At least MAC described these as sheer, so we knew what to expect! Little Rock essentially lightens lips just a bit, while Phiff brightens and warms them up; then both provide shimmer and a glossy shine.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4/5

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Dupes
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Monday, September 10th, 2012

MAC Boundless Beige Pro Longwear Lipglass
MAC Boundless Beige Pro Longwear Lipglass

The Goldilocks of Long-Wearing Lipgloss

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglasses ($19.50 for 0.06 oz.) sees the introduction of six new shades and two repromoted shades: Boundless Beige (light warm beige with pearl), Driven by Love (red-blue with slight pearl), Everlasting Nude (mid-tone warm nude), Forever Rose (mid-tone neutral rose), Long Love Love (light cool pink), Next Fad (mid-tone cool pink), Patience Please (light pink-blue), and Persistent Peach (light warm peach). The only shade that is limited edition is Everlasting Nude.

MAC describes these as, “A longwearing Lipglass that goes on smooth and lasts for up to six hours! Envelops lips with shine and colour and pro-longs the hours between re-application.”

Boundless Beige is a semi-sheer pale beige with gold and beige shimmer. This is the one shade out of the eight launched that doesn’t look much like the rest of the range (which is more opaque). It wore four hours on me. MAC Jana is less warm. MAC Almond Blossom is less shimmery.

Driven by Love is a rich, blue-based medium-dark red with brightened ruby red micro-shimmer. It has opaque color coverage, and it applies beautifully–even, smooth, and it doesn’t seem to bunch up on itself if you happen to press your lips together. It continues to be one of the best-performing shades from this formula. It wore six hours and still looked rather good at that point. MAC Restless is similar but doesn’t have the shimmer. MAC Russian Red is slightly less deep.

Everlasting Nude is a warm peach with a hint of beige and no shimmer. It delivered mostly opaque color, and I was able to get even color overall, but it did move and bunch up on itself if I pressed my lips together even fleetingly. This shade lasted five hours. MAC Whoops! is darker. MAC Temper Tantra is just a smidgen darker and less glossy. MAC Fold and Tuck Lipglass is shimmery. Korres Natural Purple is similar in color.

Forever Rose is a strawberry-red with warm undertones. It’s not red, but it’s not quite pink–it’s almost coral-tinged. It applied mostly evenly, didn’t settle into lip lines too noticeably, and had opaque color coverage. This shade does not have any shimmer, and it lasted for six hours on my lips with some color still intact at that point. Revlon Strawberry is more muted, sheerer, so it’s not that close even though they seemed that way in the tube. MAC Star Quality is pinker, sheerer. MAC Galaxy Rose is pinker, less red.

Long Love Love is a blue-based light-medium pink. It has opaque color, but it’s a pain to apply, because it is very streaky and has a tendency to settle into lip lines. This one was really high maintenance, as the color so easily moved around and would look uneven. This shade wore for four and a half hours. MAC Snob is similar, perhaps a fraction darker. MAC Enchantee is grayer.

Next Fad is a light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones and white shimmer. This one has more semi-opaque color coverage, as the natural lip color does come through. It lasted for four hours on my lips. MAC Viva Glam Nicki is yellower. MAC Please Me is lighter and doesn’t have the shimmer.

Patience Please is a pale beige that has a hint of pink and has a creamy finish. It settles into lip lines and does not apply as evenly as I’d like. It has a tendency to bunch up on itself if you press your lips together. The color coverage is opaque, and it wore for five hours on me. NARS Spring Break has shimmer and is more beige. MAC The Wee Coquette is similar but sheerer.

Persistent Peach is a medium peach with a hint of pink. It has a creamy finish and mostly opaque color. It settles into lip lines somewhat, and it does have some unevenness issues. It will fold over itself if you press your lips together (even briefly). This shade lasted five hours. MAC So Vain is a bit darker. Benefit Spiked Punch is a smidgen darker and has shimmer. MAC Perennial High Style is lighter.

Some people will like the formula for its long-wearing properties, but I know a lot of people already dislike MAC Lipglass for its thick, tacky consistency. These are thicker, less movable, and sticky. It’s almost gluey when worn. There’s something about the texture that’s not quite comfortable. They come with a pinched foam applicator, which worked fine for me, but it is a bit large, so those with thinner lips may find it cumbersome.

One of the problems that seems to stem from the consistency is that these do not apply evenly and are even harder to keep even. This is a problem that varies in its intensity from shade to shade. Driven by Love applies and stays even, but shades like Patience Please (so aptly named) and Long Love Love are high-maintenance. Overall, these shades were an improvement over last year’s.

These wear about as long as advertised; the light shades tend to get between four and five hours, while darker shades get the full six. The wear is impressive overall, and I really appreciate that MAC only says six hours–they don’t go nuts and say something crazy like 14, you know? I think most consumers would be pleasantly surprised and happy to see six hours of wear with their gloss. Would we love longer? Sure. But only if they can deliver :)

They’re vanilla-scented but don’t have a discernible taste.  A (somewhat) hidden downside is these only have a measly 0.06 oz. of product in them; Lipglass contains 0.17 fl. oz. (almost three times as much) and costs $4.50 less. They don’t appear small, as the tubes look much larger than Lipglass.

The Glossover

product

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Lipglasses Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B-
For longer-wearing gloss, it seems like you have to sacrifice some evenness in color. It's going to be a personal preference as to what is or isn't a deal-breaker. Shades like Driven by Love and Forever Rose performed the best and were more low-maintenance.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, September 3rd, 2012


NARS Flowers 3 Eyeshadow Palette

And All the Flowers Fall Away

NARS Flowers 3 Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.45 oz.) features four shades, which are described as “white, pink champagne, and dark brown against a shimmering lavender grey background and black overspray.”

The first shade is a bright silver-white with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a bit powdery. It’s the same color as the silver-white in the previous two palettes, though the finish seems more metallic and less powdery (but still powdery). There are several similar shades, including MAC Crystal Avalanche (slightly cooler-toned), Buxom Sheepdog, Maybelline Too Cool (a bit cool-toned and more metallic in finish), theBalm Sassy, MAC Forgery (has a grittier texture), and theBalm Tempting Tara.

The shade in the background (which has the black powder overlay) is a gray-ish purple with a pearled finish. This shade is exactly the same in all three palettes, though it seems more metallic in finish in this palette–but more powdery. It was also a bit more pigmented in this palette. Urban Decay AC/DC is similar but more pigmented and less subdued. theBalm Matt Patel is darker, grayer. NARS Charade is matte and has less gray in it. MAC Joy & Laughter is a smidgen grayer. MAC Winterized is a touch darker.

The third shade is a medium-dark warm-toned amber brown with a pearly sheen. It had good color payoff, felt smooth and soft to the touch, and was not powdery. MAC Coil is darker, more copper. MAC Aurora is similar, slightly more matte. Bobbi Brown Champagne Truffle is similar. MAC Love Connection has more of a frost finish. Buxom Golden Retriever is a bit darker. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa is more red-toned.

The last shade is a burgundy-brown with a satiny sheen–more brown than burgundy in coloring. This, too, had nice pigmentation and was fairly smooth and soft. It was a smidgen powdery but barely compared to some of the other shades in these palettes we’ve seen. theBalm Sexy is more burgundy. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is very similar, slightly redder. Bare Escentuals Most Requested is similar but slightly more burgundy.

Of the three Flowers’ palettes, I think this is the best one. It wore slightly better overall, and pigmentation isn’t a major problem with this palette. I don’t think it’s great, and it’s not something I could recommend purchasing. The way the silver-white and gray-purple wear and apply makes up over half the palette, so they bring the other two shades (which performed better) down.  Here, the gray-purple was powdery when used, and it had a tendency to fade compared to the other shades.

The Glossover

palette

Flowers 3

B-
I think if you're a big fan of NARS and Andy Warhol, then it might appeal as a collectible. I think if you're just concerned about the overall quality, then it's something I would skip over.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Sahara Dust (light neutral beige), Cactus Thorn (mid-tone brown bronze), Desert (shimmering warm taupe), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Sand Storm (soft sheer warm caramel).

Sahara Dust is a pale beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a satin finish, officially. The color payoff is decent, and it works well as a highlighter on the brow bone or inner tear duct. Illamasqua Slink is similar, slightly frostier. MAC Brule is more matte. Giorgio Armani Madreperla has a frostier finish. MAC Baby, It’s Cold is a smidgen yellower. MAC Vanilla is a touch lighter.

Cactus Thorn is a softened bronze-shimmered medium-dark brown. It has a frost finish. The pigmentation is good, though the texture was a bit dry. Dior Golden Savannaha is darker, browner. Giorgio Armani #26 is more shimmery. Urban Decay Chase is warmer and more metallic. theBalm Schitzo is very similar, but more pigmented and slightly more golden-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is richer.

Desert is a gray-tinged brown with a hint of plum. It has a satin finish. It has decent color payoff but had a dry, stiffer texture. Bobbi Brown Slate is softer, more matte. MAC Aurora is lighter, more frosted. Dolce &G abbana Jewels is grayer. Inglot #360 is similar but matte.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. I feel like every time I swatch Carbon, it gets worse. And I’m not swatching the same one! This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt! Because I happened to also have a really rich black that I was swatching (completely unplanned!) that was insanely pigmented, I took a comparison photo, just so you can see why Carbon is such a disappointment.

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Sand Storm is a warm, orange-tan with a soft, barely dewy finish (it read mostly matte when it dried down and set). There’s a yellowy-orange undertone that comes through. MAC Lush-Light is darker, browner. MAC Refined Golden is browner. MAC Tan Tint is a smidgen darker. It can be used sheerly with ease, and it can be built up a bit, though I’m not sure it will show up well on darker complexions–it just barely shows on mine (I’m about NC30 at the moment). It may add warmth without adding noticeable color. Yesterday, when I was testing the wear, my cheeks were slightly dry, and this wasn’t forgiving, unfortunately. I was hoping that the creamy consistency would help and was happy that I was testing a cream blush instead of a powder one, LOL! After six hours, it had separated and faded noticeably.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

It’s a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole.  The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with.  Sand Storm didn’t have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially.  These eyeshadows were less stellar without a primer–they were less blendable and faded after six hours. Over a primer, I saw some minor fading of Desert and Carbon.  

It’s hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal. I keep hoping for a stellar launch from MAC, but they aren’t making it easy at all.

I’ll have my review for the Jungle Camouflage palette up soon, but as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more shimmery, while Jungle Camouflage is more matte.

The Glossover

palette

Desert Camouflage

B-
It's a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole. The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with. Sand Storm didn't have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially. It's hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “sheer translucent nude.” (I will also note that MAC’s website only describes it as “nude,” which is more misleading than the press release’s description.) It’s a wash of warm beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a lustre finish. For all intents and purposes, it looks like I put lip balm on, because it looks completely colorless on my lips. As far as dupes go, any lip balm that has more of a sheen than a glossy shine would substitute.

It was hard to judge how long this worn on me, truly, because the only thing I could see visually was that lustre-like finish, kind of frosted but barely. Instead, I took a napkin and pressed my lips against this after two hours (at which point, it seemed like it was gone), and there was nothing on the napkin.  I repeated this experiment twice more – the second time, after an hour and the third time, after three hours. There was a little bit of product visible on the napkin after an hour, and again, none after three hours. The fact that color is coming off shows that it’s not 100% clear or invisible, but because your lips are not invisible or clear, they tend to “absorb” the color so it’s less noticeable on. I’m not a big fan of lustre finishes, as I tend to find them drying, and Tropical Mist was no exception, as it was somewhat drying after wearing it for six hours (back to back).

It’s sheer. It’s translucent. It’s pretty much exactly as described by MAC, except it’s nearly invisible. Sheer doesn’t mean clear, right? Translucent is the adjective more likely to suggest clear, though after reading about ten definitions across various dictionaries online, it suggests something that allows light to pass through but in a slightly diffused manner (e.g. frosted glass).  On that note, I’m going to go with this needs a wee bit more color to give it a more diffused quality but only take off one point.  Since it’s somewhat drying, it’s not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that’s going to look virtually colorless and not hydrating. I imagine some will expect a lower grade, but remember: MAC said this was sheer and translucent, so that’s the starting point for discussion.

The Glossover

LE
product

Tropical Mist

B-
Since it's drying, it's not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that's going to be colorless and not hydrating.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo

Can’t Say I Fancy This Whim

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Performance Art (platinum silver) and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum).  The last of the four new and limited edition eyeshadow duos in MAC’s fall collection Styleseeker, it leaves me less inspired. I think the duos are cute, and they could be easy ways to combine colors for quick looks, but there always seem to be one shade that doesn’t perform that well. The duo price point is too steep to permit one shade to be a disappointment!

Performance Art is a mauve-tinged silver with a hint of gold and silver shimmer. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It didn’t seem too sheer initially, but it definitely is–I had to go back and pack it on three times to get it to show up on me. There was also some fall out during and post-application, even though the sparkle didn’t seem to be too large. For a veluxe pearl, it’s not as smooth as I’d expect, and the color didn’t bind together as well. It’s like a lighter, less pigmented version of Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo. MAC Heirloom is similar but has a stronger sheen. Cle de Peau #207 is similar but has more sparkle. Giorgio Armani #8 is more metallic.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened plum with brown-burgundy undertones. It has a matte finish. The texture is dry, a little stiff. I thought it would be easier to use on the lid, but I found it was harder to work with (both in depositing color and blending it out) than Indie Spirit (which swatched even more poorly!). This shade is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Rockstar has a similar base color/tone but it is much more purple and has shimmer. MAC Indian Ink has less red tones, more purple ones.

Performance Art has this oddly sheer, fall out-prone texture that makes it harder to work with, while Shadowy Lady didn’t want to blend out as evenly or as easily as other MAC matte eyeshadows. I don’t remember Shadowy Lady being hard to work with (I remember it not always swatching well), but in this duo, it wasn’t great.  None of the duos were out of this world–I think you’re better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own.  For something similar, though not exact, I’d suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

The Glossover

palette

Whims & Fancies

B-
None of the duos were out of this world--I think you're better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own. For something similar, though not exact, I'd suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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