Sunday, July 24th, 2011


NARS Outremer Eyeshadow

NARS Outremer Eyeshadow

NARS Outremer Eyeshadow ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “bright true blue,” but it leans a little indigo–there is a touch of purple there. It’s not quite a true blue. It has a matte finish, and it definitely qualifies as an intense shade of blue. MAC Cobalt is a touch more indigo (and it has even more texture issues), while MAC Atlantic Blue is a touch bluer. Inglot #388 is very similar but has a smoother, silkier texture. Make Up For Ever #159 is bluer.

Outremer has some initial texture issues–it is dry, almost chalky, and stiff to work with when swatched. It’s easier to use when applied with a brush to the lid, but the drier texture requires more finesse when blending, because it’s not as blendable as a smoother, silkier matte would be. For me, it doesn’t work well applied without a base (as NARS eyeshadows are touted to be long-wearing and crease-resistant when worn)–it’s was somewhat uneven and difficult to diffuse. It works infinitely better over a base, and to be honest, I’ve never found a matte in this particular hue that’s a dream to work with (Inglot #388 being the closest). At least it gives brands a challenge, I suppose…

Again, this is a shade that applies better than it seems when first swatched. I wouldn’t rely on the results of a swatch definitively–trying it on is really the way to go. It ended up being much like NARS Daphne (but it did have a softer texture in comparison), which looked pitiful swatched but lovelier in practice.

It is a fussier eyeshadow, though, and it tends to live up to the stubborn reputation of mattes rather than disprove it.  One of my favorite eyeshadows is MAC Atlantic Blue (which is similar but a touch bluer), and it has a lot of the same downsides as Outremer–and for me, the resulting color makes the effort worth it, but it is purely a personal preference and doesn’t minimize the shortcomings in texture of this product overall.

The Glossover

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product

Outremer

C+
This eyeshadow is not for someone who is looking for a one-and-done kind of product. It's fussy enough that it takes some patience to apply well and blend out. The color, undoubtedly, will sell itself, even if the texture is less impressive.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011


MAC Honesty Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches – Neutrals (Part 1)

  • Back with more MAC Eyeshadows–almost through the permanent shades I have–and this set features neutrals, including browns as well as beiges.
  • Honesty is a soft coppered brown with chunky gold and copper glitter. It has a lustre finish. It’s not the chunkiest lustre I’ve come across, but it doesn’t make my list of must-haves. Urban Decay Blaze would be a good alternative.
  • Patina is grayish-brown (almost taupe) with a pale, golden sheen. It has a frost finish.
  • Wedge is a warm-toned, medium brown with a matte finish. It is warmer and brown compared to MAC Omega but softer than MAC Cork.
  • Soba is a yellow-ed brown with a subtle golden sheen and satin finish. It’s yellower than Wedge, and the finishes are different, but they are similar.
  • Era is a darkened beige with a champagne sheen. It has a satin finish. It is lighter (and shimmery) than Burberry Almond.
  • Malt is a pinked brown-beige with a matte finish. It’s a bit powdery. Inglot #344 is similar.
  • All That Glitters is a lightened copper-gold with a veluxe pearl finish.The texture is rather gritty for a veluxe pearl.  Urban Decay Blaze is similar.
  • Bisque is a soft beige with a matte finish. Inglot #390 is similar.
  • Brule is a soft, warm beige with a satin finish.
  • Blanc Type is a pale white-beige with a Matte2 finish. Inglot #355 is similar but may turn more peach on some complexions.

Eyeshadows like Honesty and All That Glitters–tend to have chunkier textures with glitter fall out.  I will buy a new All That Glitters, even though mine was brand new as of a month ago, since many of you say I have a bad batch, but please give me some time to do so. Shades like Bisque, Brule, and Blanc Type are very light, and I know that on me Blanc Type photographs ashy (on me) when I’ve used it as a highlighter. Patina is a fun shade, because it’s almost like a neutral duochrome, and I couldn’t think of a real dupe for it.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches - Neutrals (Part 1)

B-

Two shades brought down the overall grade of an otherwise average to good set of eyeshadows. They're good--not the best on the market--but reliable and easy to work with (excepting Honesty and All That Glitters).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, July 17th, 2011


Urban Decay Baked Bronzer

Quick Review: Urban Decay Baked Bronzer

Urban Decay Toasted Baked Bronzer ($26.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as a “bronze shimmer.” It is a warm, medium tan with a champagne shimmer and sheen. This shade completes Urban Decay’s trifecta of bronzers (the other two are Gilded and Toasted). It has a very smooth texture, but the shimmer and sheen may be too much for those who prefer a subtler or semi-matte bronzer. I’m only able to get an average of six hours of wear with this shade, though, which is below average.

Baked looks like a slightly lighter, more red-based version of Gilded. Gilded appears more orange-y, but the finishes are similar. I didn’t think they would be, given Gilded seems to have a rougher texture. MAC Golden is similar, a little more muted.

The Glossover

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product

Baked

B-
If you don't need a bronzer to wear longer than six hours, then you'll have less issues with this bronzer than I did. It has good color payoff without being difficult to apply and blend out. It's not more red-toned than the orange-toned Gilded, which makes it more suitable for cooler skin tones, but I still think it may be a bit too warm.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, July 2nd, 2011


Chanel Quartz Le Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Chanel Fall 2011:  Quartz Le Vernis

Chanel Quartz Le Vernis ($25.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is described as a “silver beige.” This is shade that is difficult to describe. In natural light, it tends to look like a champagne beige with threads of silver shimmer. In brighter and more direct light, it looks like a beige-taupe with multi-colored shimmer and a metallic, silver, shimmer. This is a more office-friendly shade as comapred to the other two shades in the fall collection.

I used two coats, and it seemed a touch sheer but manageable. For me, the formula didn’t apply quite as evenly as I would have liked, but it wasn’t particularly troublesome. In the past, Chanel polishes have tended to last about a week on my nails with some minor tip wear (with a base/top coat).

It reminded me of Illamasqua Bacterium, which is a yellower brown.

The Glossover

LE
product

Quartz

B-
For something that's work-safe but still has some oomph, Quartz is a nice shade. It is that mix of beige, taupe, champagne, and then all that multi-colored shimmer, which makes it more interesting than a beige cream.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, June 30th, 2011

MAC Warmth of Coral Mineralize Blush
MAC Warmth of Coral Mineralize Blush

MAC Semi-Precious: Warmth of Coral Mineralize Blush

MAC Warmth of Coral Mineralize Blush ($23.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “melange of coral and peach.” It’s more coral, peach, and orange to me–to stretch it, maybe a darkened peach? When mixed (not that you can really separate out veins in this blush), it’s a warm, medium peach-orange. I did notice that it doesn’t show up very well on my NC25/NC30 complexion; it blends out very easily and ends up looking so subtle that I wasn’t even sure I was wearing it.

The powder is very finely-milled with a silky smooth feel that works beautifully with the skin, because it sits naturally and the soft, satiny sheen allows for a subtle reflection of light without it being shimmery.  As previously mentioned, the wear time of mineralize blushes is below average from my testing–around six hours–while average is eight hours.

MAC Utterly Game is softer and has a powdery look to it in comparison. It seems a little more on the peach side than Illamasqua Lover. There is a subtle difference in depth as compared to My Highland Honey.

If you missed any of our previous Semi-Precious coverage, check out this round-up.

The Glossover

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Warmth of Coral

B-
I wish MAC's mineralize blushes did better in the wear department, because the finishes of the Semi-Precious Mineralize Blushes is really fantastic. Warmth of Coral seems most suitable for light to medium skin tones.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, June 24th, 2011


MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) includes twelve, limited edition shades: Blue Sheen (melange of navy, black, peach), Clarity (melange of light pink, off-white green, gold, and black), Dark Indulgence (melange of forest green and black), Faux Gold (melange of coral, gold, lime, bronze), Golden Gaze (melange of gold and black), Hint of Sapphire (melange of pink, violet, teal, copper, blue), Jade’s Fortune (melange of bright yellow, blue, lime, black), Mineral Mode (melange of white base with copper and gray), Quartz Fusion (melange of soft pink, silver, deep pink), Rare Find (melange of violet, brown, gold), Smoked Ruby (melange of burgundy and black), and Unsurpassable (melange of green, teal, purple, and copper). This post features Blue Sheen, Clarity, Golden Gaze, and Hint of Sapphire. I will post Jade’s Fortune, Mineral Mode, Rare Find, Smoked Ruby, and Unsurpassable in the next post. I do not currently have Dark Indulgence, Faux Gold, or Quartz Fusion, and I will post those when I am able to purchase them.

  • Blue Sheen is a blackened navy blue with a blue and violet sheen when applied dry, and it takes on a much bolder, brighter midnight blue with a slightly metallic sheen when applied wet. This is the kind of blue MAC has released several times in the past. It is very comparable to Inglot #428 and Make Up For Ever #308, while it is deeper than MAC Deep Truth. Make Up For Ever #81 is very similar to the dry swatch. It is deeper and has a richer blue than MAC Blue Flame or MAC She Who Dares.
  • Clarity is a barely-there green-tinged gray with flecks of green and gold shimmer-sparkle when applied dry. It’s not very useful when applied dry–there is just so little color payoff. When applied wet, it’s a deeper charcoal gray with green and gold shimmer and slightly metallic sheen. The most comparable shade I could think of was Inglot #444, but it’s browner and has no real green shimmer/sparkle.
  • Golden Gaze is a dark, molten gold with a black base peeking through. It’s very similar in color whether used dry or wet, and when used dry, it still has fantastic color payoff. It tends to bind better and therefore have a smoother, more metallic sheen when applied wet. Urban Decay Rush is a little bronzer, less gold. I saw some readers mention Giorgio Armani Khaki Pulse, but this is nothing like it. It has some of the same qualities as Make Up For Ever #148, but it is deeper, darker, richer. This is one of the standout shades of the nine I’ve seen. It’s most comparable to MAC Gilt by Association, but it has a stronger gold sheen and a much smoother texture.
  • Hint of Sapphire is a sheer purple-casted gray with multi-colored flecks of shimmer when used dry. Like Clarity, there really isn’t much to it when used dry. When applied wet, it is a deeper silvered gray with a purple cast and teal and copper shimmer. I found it applied a bit unevenly, though. It’s a darker version of the purple side of MAC Midnight Madness, while MAC Polar Opposites is less silvery but rather similar in color. Inglot #434 is very similar, without the multi-colored shimmer, while Giorgio Armani #1 does it better with more dimension that actually translates on the eye (and far better color payoff).

Every year, I fall prey to mineralize eyeshadows. Truly, I do. They always look spectacular in their pots, but I’m nearly always disappointed with the actual end results. I wish I could say I was really impressed by these, but overall, they’re decent to good, but they’re not the best eyeshadow I’ve ever used. Whenever I use mineralize eyeshadows wet, they do dry down to a color that’s in-between the dry and wet swatches. The majority do not retain the dimension, color payoff, or finish of the wet swatch after an hour or two. It’s not like the go from hero to zero, but it’s not quite the same.

I did two separate eye looks so I could test more eyeshadows within the same time span. I wore Jade’s Fortune, Golden Gaze, and Smoked Ruby on one eye with Hint of Sapphire and Blue Sheen on the other eye. After three hours, everything looked a little faded, with Hint of Sapphire being the biggest culprit. I also had a fair amount of fall out, and for me, the fall out was more annoying than the fading. The fading was noticeable to me, but it wasn’t over-the-top and it didn’t get much worse by the eighth hour.  One possible method to combat some of the fall out of these is to use a stickier base (I used Urban Decay’s Eden) or when using them wet, wet with MAC’s Mixing Medium.

With mineralize eyeshadows, I think it’s appropriate to expect that color payoff will tend to be sheerer/softer and overall less intense compared to when they are used wet or damp.  (On the other hand, the majority of MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows have decent color payoff when used dry.)  However, Clarity and Hint of Sapphire are barely showing up when used dry.  Over an eyeshadow base, Hint of Sapphire came together a little better but still needed to be packed on.  On pigmentation, Clarity would earn 4 and 10 (dry/wet), so an average of 7, while Hint of Sapphire would earn 4 and 7.5 (dry/wet), so an average of 5.75.  Both Blue Sheen and Golden Gaze would earn 10s across the board, which ends up with an average for the four at 8.2, which I rounded up to 8.5, because two of these are exceptionally well-pigmented.  I chose to round-up because these are on the edge of C+/B- as an overall rating, and I don’t think these are bad enough to earn a C+.

MAC continues to improve the overall formula of their mineralize eyeshadows each year, and I think picking up some of the more exceptional/complex shades may be worth it, these don’t out-perform your regular pressed powder eyeshadows to make the price tag for “baked” worth it.  I found the majority of these to be too marbled to use shades individually, so I only used them mixed.

The Glossover

macSemiPreciousMineralize

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadows Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

B-
Of these four, Blue Sheen and Golden Gaze are the best bets; Blue Sheen is more easily duped, while Golden Gaze may be harder--it also seems a little more complex. As much as I like the concept of Hint of Sapphire, I find it one of the worst in terms of quality. Clarity at least works when used wet.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

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