Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Nail Lacquers
Ice Cream Cake, Little Girl Type, Mischievous Mint

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Nail Lacquers

MAC Quite Cute Collection ($14.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) features three light shades of limited edition nail lacquer. They include: Ice Cream Cake (creamy blue pink), Little Girl Type (creamy pale lavender), and Mischievous Mint (creamy pale blue mint).

  • Ice Cream Cake is a darkened cotton candy pink with a strong blue base with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is similar to Essie’s Splash of Grenandine–slightly more blue-based.
  • Little Girl Type is a light lavender with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is similar to China Glaze’s Light as Air.
  • Mischievous Mint is a bluish mint green with a cream finish. I used two coats. It is bluer but similar in lightness to China Glaze’s Re-Fresh Mint. This is much, much lighter than last year’s Peppermint Patti, and it is a blue-based mint green.

my thoughts on the formula: The consistency was thick but watery–not terribly so, but noteworthy nonetheless. I used two coats on all, because it was difficult to get thin to medium-thin coats because of how the brush splayed out. In all three polishes, the bristles of each brush were a bit wonky, which made it more difficult to get really clean, even coats. I recommend being patient, because the slight wateriness in the formula will cause streaking if you apply before the coat dries down.

The Glossover

macQuiteCuteNail

MAC Quite Cute Nail Lacquers Swatches, Photos, Review

B-
The formula wasn't too difficult to work with, but it could be improved. Make sure you roll these before applying, because these definitely needed some mixing to minimize the watery consistency.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, March 21st, 2011


Revlon Carnation (025) ColorBurst Lipstick

Revlon Carnation ColorBurst Lipstick

Revlon Carnation (025) ColorBurst Lipstick ($8.99 for 0.13 oz.) is a medium-dark, blue-based pink with a soft, frosted finish and subtle fuchsia-magenta shimmer. It’s nearly opaque in color, and it doesn’t feel heavy to wear, despite the creaminess and pigmented formula.

my thoughts on the formula: Revlon’s ColorBurst lipsticks glide on easily, have decent color pay off (inevitably, pigmentation does vary from shade to shade–some are semi-sheer, others more opaque), and are scent-free. They are comfortable to wear without clinging to lips, though I don’t find them moisturizing. The biggest downside is they only last two to three hours (lipsticks wear an average of four hours on me), so the wear time could be improved.

The lipstick is packaged in a matte black case with a quilted pattern on the front and the Revlon logo/print embellished on the lipstick itself.  I like the matte finish, because it doesn’t hold fingerprints, and because it’s not rubberized (like NARS), it doesn’t hold onto dust and powder remnants either.

The Glossover

DC
product

Carnation

B-
I wish these wore a little longer!  The length of wear is the most glaring downside to the product, and it's a shame, because I love how these are unscented (no cloying, synthetically sweet scent that so often plagues more affordable lipstick brands).  I will admit that I personally had trouble shelling out $8.99 for one, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blending Brush
Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blending Brush

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blending Brush

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Blending Brush ($16.00) debuted in the past couple of months, and it is a very small, domed pencil brush designed to blend and feather products like Urban Decay’s Shadow Pencils. It is made out of PET (recycled plastic bottles), so the bristles are synthetic and vegan-friendly. The brush itself is small–around 6mm or so in length–and it can be used in the crease, smudging of colors (on the lash line or elsewhere).

I found the brush wasn’t tapered enough to be a really great crease brush but too dense to blend out colors with ease. The fluffiness was lacking, and so while it could deposit color well enough, it didn’t provide the soft, airy feel that seems to make blending nearly effortless. I also wish the tip itself was a little more tapered and had a touch more give.

Funny enough, I didn’t find it useful in softening the edges of the 24/7 Shadow Pencils much; it worked better with powder eyeshadows. I felt like the creaminess of the 24/7 Shadow Pencils got eaten up by the brush and the result was more of a smeared look, rather than something feathered at the edges.

final thoughts: I’ve liked Urban Decay’s new brushes, but this one was a bit of a miss for me. It was designed to blend out the 24/7 Shadow Pencils, which I felt is where it performed the worst, and it didn’t excel in the other ways I tried it either.

where to buy: Urban Decay

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer
MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer

MAC Jeanius: Frayed to Order

MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “white matte with soft pink duochrome pearl” and has a matte finish. As hard as I try to only provide accurate photos, Frayed to Order was a tough shade to capture. The photos are definitely accurate in terms of color and all that, but they really miss the way the duochrome sheen plays with light. It is a semi-sheer pale white with pink iridescent sheen strewn through it. If you have Vanilla pigment, Frayed to Order is just like that, but in a matte polish form.

It dries down as fast as any matte does, but it does show brush strokes quite easily, so you’ll want to do wider strokes and one pass, rather than multiple ones, if you can help it. I did three coats for swatches, to see if it would go opaque, but as you’ll see, it never quite gets there. The formula was a little thinner than medium but not watery at all.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If it applied a little smoother, I could give it a better quality score. As I mentioned in the Biker Blue review, MAC’s nail polish prices are coming far too close to high-end brands, while many of MAC’s other products have not.  For me, the “cool” factor of this polish is enough for me to want it, even if it does have streaking problems.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Jeanius Eyeshadows
MAC Diva in Distress Eyeshadow

MAC Jeanius: Eyeshadows

MAC Jeanius Eyeshadows ($19.50 for 0.10 oz.) are larger, over-sized eyeshadows (think Tartan Tale or Peacocky-sized, or else the size of Cream Colour Bases) embossed with shading and overspray detailing to mimic the look of jeans. This is an overspray/sheen, which will disappear after the first use or so (all swatches are of the product underneath, after the overspray was wiped away). The four shades include: Diva In Distress (mid-tone gray with silver pearl), Motorhead (mid-tone blue with copper pearl), Stovepipe Black (black with copper pearl), and White Jeanius (white with silver pearl).

  • Diva in Distress is a sheer icy blue-tinged white with a frosted finish. This one was both sheer and a little gritty–not gritty as in huge chunks of glitter, but it didn’t stick. Lots and lots of fall out and the color itself did not bind well.
  • Motorhead is a brightened navy blue with a satin sheen. This shade was more pigmented but not richly pigmented. It’s comparable to Deep Truth, which is part of the permanent range.
  • Stovepipe Black is a taupe-tinged charcoal gray with a metallic-frost finish. This was the nicest of the four; pigmented and smooth, and the color itself a bit unlike the permanent range.  I can’t think of a permanent dupe for this shade; Satin Taupe would be the closest but not as black.
  • White Jeanius is a bright, frosted white. It has good color pay off. It’s comparable to Gesso but with a frosted finish.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula is hit or miss, it seems.  It’s very consistent across the four within this collection, and they do feel similar to the Tartan Tale eyeshadows from 2010.  They have a slightly powdery feel, but for the most part, apply smoothly and don’t have a powdery consistency once applied.  Diva in Distress suffers from both poor color pay off and fall out, while the other three didn’t have fall out issues.

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  • Product: 24/30*
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: *There is a reason why I prefer and often do review products individually, even if they are from the same formula, because there can be enough variance in the quality that the grades would differ individually than they would as some kind of group grade. Diva in Distress’ quality is 15/20, which gives it an overall D rating. Stovepipe Black, on the other hand, is the best of the four, and the quality is 27/30, which moves it to a B+ rating.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Lancome Midnight Rush Eyeshadow Palette
Lancome Midnight Rush Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Midnight Rush Eyeshadow Palette

Lancome Midnight Rush Eye & Shadow Palette ($48.00 for 0.141 oz.) is a blue-themed eyeshadow palette with five shades in total. It consists of an all-over base, lid, crease, highlighter, and liner color.

The all-over base shade is a creamy, muted white with a semi-matte finish; it’s very pigmented and so soft to use–not chalky at all. The lid shade is a navy blue with a low-frost finish; it is easy to overblend this shade into something very sheer. The crease shade is a grayish, black navy blue but really doesn’t yield much color when used; such a shame that it performs so poorly. The highlighter shade is a silvered pewter with a frost finish; nicely pigmented and smooth, with the metallicness of its finish accentuated when used wet. The liner shade is a dark black with a hint of blue and navy blue and silver shimmer; it worked well both wet and dry, though dry is a little more intense.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of Lancome’s eyeshadows are very smooth–soft, silky–and all of these shades were excellent in terms of pigmentation. I only had minor fall out concerns with the highlighter shade, so I would recommend using it with a damp brush.

I’m disappointed in the quantity provided in the palette, though. Lancome’s Color Design Quads come in at 0.16 oz. and their Color Design Eyeshadow singles at 0.0458 oz., which works out to be $263/oz. and $371/oz. respectively. This palette is $340/oz., which makes it more expensive ($48 vs. $42) with less product (0.141 oz. vs. 0.16 oz) than the Color Design Quads.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The crease shade gave me trouble, much as it did in the Teal Fury palette. I’m not sure what it is about the formula of that finish that results in poorer color pay off. Midnight Rush is reminiscent of Guerlain’s 2 Place Vendome Palette, with three of the five being quite similar.

where to buy: Sephora

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