Thursday, October 13th, 2011

MAC Matchmaster Foundation
MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation ($32.50 for 1.18 fl. oz.) is a buildable, medium-coverage liquid foundation with a “moisturizing demi-matte finish.” It’s supposed to have “line-reducing soft-focus powders” and “translucent pigments to enable a fully personalized finish influenced by the subtleties of your own skin’s undertone.”

It carries a SPF 15 rating, and the active ingredients are octinoxate (3.4%) and titanium dioxide (1.0%). With the low amount of titanium dioxide, you should be able to get away with it in photographs, though for really big, special occasions (e.g. weddings, graduations, etc.) you might opt for a more photography-appropriate formula. I didn’t notice sufficient change when I took numerous photos wearing it.

I tested shade 3.0 initially, which is supposed to suit NC30s, but it was a third to half a shade too dark and yellower than I needed. I think 2.0 is a better match, especially as we get into winter, but in some lighting, it seems a touch too light. Usually, if a foundation runs light, I’ll opt for the slightly too-light variation and use a setting powder in a shade that’s a closer match–because then it tends to come together as a solid match all around. From what I’ve heard from other readers, 1.0 may match those who are lighter than the traditional NC/NW15 shades.

I was testing this when my skin felt drier than normal (it’s typically normal-to-dry but closer to normal), and I felt like it emphasized the visible pores on my cheeks and had clingy feeling. If you have drier patches (I sometimes get them around my temples), it is not forgiving at all. The result was not entirely unexpected, given the demi-matte finish–the rule of thumb has always been dewier finishes for drier skin, matter finishes for oilier skin. I wanted to wait until my skin normalized to try it again, which is why the review took longer than normal, and I liked it better when my skin was at its usual normal-to-dry character.

The coverage is light to medium, but medium coverage takes a little more product to achieve, so it is less comfortable and heavier to wear if you need medium coverage. It has a good consistency where it doesn’t feel thick, but it’s not watery or loose. I used about a pump to pump and a half for total application. I tried various applicators, from sponges to brushes (109, 130, 187, 193), and I preferred the 109 or 193 (really like how it gets into the nooks and crannies so well!).

I get around eight hours of wear with this foundation, which is solid. I wore it longer, and by the tenth hour, it was a little faded and had moved around a touch, but it was still mostly intact (a little powder would have brought it back up to par). There is a faint chemical scent that I noticed when I first applied the product to my skin, but I did not detect it as I wore it throughout the day. I’d recommend this foundation more for those with normal, combination, or oily skin types. If you have dry skin but not patches or flakes, then you might like this one still–but I’d say it’s not a good match if you do suffer from drier patches/flaking.

While it’s not appropriate for me when my skin is on the drier side, I didn’t have those issues when I tested it for a second run with normal skin.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it; it wasn’t my holy grail formula.  It’s worth checking out, and overall, a welcomed addition to MAC’s foundation line-up.

The Glossover

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MAC Matchmaster Foundation Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It should be a good foundation for normal, combination, and oily skin types. I caution it for those with very dry to dry skin types, because it is less forgiving around larger pores, unevenness in skin texture, and dry patches. It's light to medium coverage, wears comfortably, and doesn't feel heavy when worn.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss
Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss

Illamasqua Violate Sheer Lipgloss (£13.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “dark green shimmer.” The brand’s Sheer Lipgloss is rather self-explanatory–it’s a sheerer gloss that adds shine. This is definitely not as opaque as the Intense Lipglosses, but I’d say it’s more pigmented than it is sheer. I initially thought it was an Intense Lipgloss that suffered from unevenness in application, because it runs semi-opaque.

It’s a dark, forest green shimmer with a really cool, blue-based tone to it, so it almost looks like a teal-green than a true green. The shimmer is layered with a black-brown color base. I don’t have anything like this, and I expect the general reaction will be similar to Kontrol Lipstick. You’ll either love it or hate it. It’s not a color you’d describe as universally wearable and palatable, but again, it’s nice to have options.

The overall darkness in the hue means that any unevenness becomes more apparent, even from afar, but I did keep in mind this is supposed to be a sheer gloss (and deducted a point because it’s more than “sheer wash”). I just don’t think that works so well with really deep, dark shades if you want to avoid obvious lip lines, unevenness, and the like. It didn’t bleed or feather, which was nice, and it wore for five hours before needing to be reapplied. The formula had no scent and didn’t feel tacky.  To get a more even appearance, try layering a black lipstick underneath.

The Glossover

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Violate

B+
If this is the kind of color you've been looking for, I think you'll like it, despite some of its shortcomings. For the right look, it could be worth the extra effort for perfect application.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Monday, October 10th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Do Ya Think I'm Sexy Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Do Ya Think I’m Sexy Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Holiday 2011: Do Ya Think I’m Sexy Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Do Ya Think I’m Sexy Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) contains hexagonal red-hued glitter suspended in a fairly thick, clear base. It’s something that would work better for layering than alone, because I couldn’t get near to opaque in two coats. You’ll really have to move and finagle with the glitter so that it is spaced evenly across the nail. I tried to work it across and into areas where there were no glitter but still had some bunch-up.

I think you lose some of the interest from the hexagon-shaped glitter particles when they get layered over each other in an attempt to go opaque, because in this shade, they’re all the same color. As a holiday shade, it could easily be layered over golds and silvers for added oomph. I don’t have tons and tons of glitters in clear bases, so nothing came to mind to dupe it, but I bet you could find red glitter in a clear base–though it may be harder to dupe the shape.  (Would love to hear your potential dupes!)

The swatches do not include a top coat, because I wanted to show off the texture of the polish, so you have an idea.  It’s not going to be smooth–you’ll have some bumps and unevenness because of how the glitter pieces collide and lie on and near each other.  I’d recommend two thick layers of top coat if you wanted something smoother.  Removal is par for the course with a glitter polish and will take some extra patience and elbow grease.  I normally get a week or so of wear with minimal tip wear from Deborah Lippmann’s polishes.

The Glossover

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Do Ya Think I'm Sexy

B+
If you want it for layering, I think it could be fun. If you wanted it for an over-the-top, ruby red slippers look that's dazzling and opaque, this isn't quite it.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, October 7th, 2011


Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Zeitgeist Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “shimmering black.” It’s new for fall/winter and available at Sephora state-side, while the full line of Pure Pigments is available at Illamasqua (they do ship internationally!).

Pure Pigments are loose, colored powder that can be used alone or mixed with other products. I find they work best when used wet or with a mixing medium, but shades like Zeitgeist have a more matte base color, which allows it to adhere better without an additional product. However, when used dry, the intensity is lackluster; the shimmer stands out more, but the base black color gets a little lost. It looks sheer and almost chalky when it’s applied dry. I like it better over a primer–especially as a crease shade–and it darkens nicely.

When it’s applied damp (I used just water for the swatch), it’s much more intense–very rich and deeply black–but the shimmer is softer and less apparent. Trade-offs! If you want the intensity and the shimmer, you could apply it damp first, and then pat a little on top dry. This particular shade would work well as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The color reminded me of Lancome The New Black Eyeshadow but less shimmery.

The packaging looks sleek on the outside, and I appreciate that it has a smaller opening inside, but I think even smaller holes with a sifter would be more efficient.  Opening the “pot” can be finicky as well; it’s easiest to lift it up on all sides with the edge of something (like your nail), but it’s not the best.

The Glossover

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Zeitgeist

B+
If you're looking for a really sooty, dark black in loose form, Zeitgeist may be up your alley!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

NARS California Eyeshadow
NARS California Eyeshadow

NARS California Eyeshadow

NARS California Eyeshadow ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “rich copper.” It’s a warm, reddish copper with a frosted finish. The color payoff is good, though the texture seems on the drier side–but luckily, it still comes together with a smooth feel and even color. It seems a touch redder and deeper compared to MAC Mythology but not as red as MAC Coppering.

According to NARS, their eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. In my experience, they still need to be worn over an eyeshadow base for all-day wear, but alone, they wear seven to eight hours with subtle creasing. They don’t fall apart immediately after application, but an eyeshadow base is recommended for best results.

Oh, and p.s.? It’s available for $8 at Sephora.com.  Talk about perfect timing! :)

The Glossover

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California

B+
It's a lovely shade for autumn; burnt around the edges, fiery without being aflame, and rich in color. It won't wear all day without some noticeable wear, but over a primer, it's quite nice..

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, September 30th, 2011

NARS Rated R Eyeshadow Duo<
NARS Rated R Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Rated R Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Rated R Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “shimmering chartreuse” and “electric cobalt blue.” This is the first NARS product I ever looked at–back when I just started getting into makeup–though I did not purchase it at the time. I remember feeling like if you wanted to wear bright eye makeup, you had to have this.

The chartreuse is light-medium mix of yellow and green with a yellowy gold shimmer. It reminded me of MAC Double Feature 2 and Inglot #343 (this is matte). The color payoff is good, and the texture is very soft and finely milled.  The cobalt shade is described well by NARS; it’s blue, it’s purple–no, it’s a harmonious blend of the two with an icy blue shimmer. It is on the sheerer side and has a dusty feel, which is a bit of a bummer. It’s not as blue as Inglot #369 or MAC Winkle. On the other hand, MAC Cobalt is darker and purpler.

Per NARS’ website, their eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. In my experience, they still need to be worn over an eyeshadow base for all-day wear, but alone, they wear seven to eight hours with subtle creasing. They don’t fall apart immediately after application, but an eyeshadow base is recommended for best results.

The Glossover

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NARS Rated R Eyeshadow Duo Swatches, Photos, Review

B
Both shades are extremely vibrant and more in-your-face kind of shades, and while they can be used together, you could definitely pair them with other shades in your stash! I wish the cobalt shade was better, because it falls short of good.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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