Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Dior Garden Pastels Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Garden Pastels Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Spring 2012: Garden Pastels Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Garden Pastels Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as “pale pink, buttercup yellow, and luminous greens.” It’s new and limited edition just in time for spring. It’s slightly lighter compared to the usual Dior eyeshadow palette, which has 0.21 oz., while this palette only has 0.16 oz. I suspect it is due to the consistency difference somehow, since it doesn’t seem less full or smaller compared to other Dior eyeshadow palettes.

The shade on the upper left of the palette is a yellowy green with a soft, frosted finish. The color payoff is good, and the texture is very smooth, though there’s a little dryness to it. If you’ve played with Estee Lauder’s Cyber Eyes eyeshadows, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s dry, but still very soft and smooth, and while dry, it’s not powdery. It’s a yellower and more subdued version of MAC LUcky Green, but it’s much darker than MAC Juxt. Inglot #412 is similar but more metallic, so it appears lighter.

On the upper right of the palette, the shade is a bright frosted white with good color payoff and a smooth, soft feel. There’s not a lot to the color–it’s a neutral white, not too cool- or warm-toned, so there are a fair amount of white eyeshadow dupes.

The center shade is a soft pastel pink with a silver shimmer. It has decent to good pigmentation, but there is some underlying sheerness. The texture is nice and smooth, though. It’s similar to Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk and is just barely darker than Tarina Tarantino Delightful. MAC Fresh Ice has more lilac in it. MAC Seedy Pearl is a bit darker and purpler.

On the bottom left, there is a pale yellow with a frosted finish that’s just slightly metallic. This shade had the best color payoff of the five shades; really dense and opaque. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is less yellow, less frosted. theBalm Wild Child is more golden. MAC Nylon is a bit lighter and more golden.

The last shade on the bottom right of the palette is a green-tinted blue with a green-gold shimmer-sheen. It has decent color payoff, but like the center shade, it has underlying sheerness. It’s greener than Urban Decay Aquarius. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is similar but a touch darker and doesn’t have the same golden sheen. Make Up For Ever #302 is more teal.

The texture of this palette is definitely different compared to previous iterations of Dior’s five-pan palettes. I don’t think it’s a departure from their typical formula but something in particular for the spring collection. Part of it may have been necessary to incorporate the design, but it’s certainly not an unwelcome or bad different! The drier consistency feels off at first, but it works well on the lid.

I like it, though perhaps not am not in love with it, since there are some sheerer shades in the palette. Everything has a fairly shimmered finish, so you may want to mix and match with other finishes to create more dimension. When worn together, it can feel like frost overload, depending on which shades you use! I went for the most obvious combination for testing: yellow, green, and blue/teal.

The new palette for spring doesn’t have much in the way of a description, but based on Dior’s other five-pan palettes, their eyeshadows are supposed to have rich, versatile colors that are “designed for easy application and long wear.” The drier consistency definitely helps these wear longer without creasing (without the aid of a primer), though I did find there was some slight fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

palette

Garden Pastels

B+
I like it, though perhaps not am not in love with it, since there are some sheerer shades in the palette. Everything has a fairly shimmered finish, so you may want to mix and match with other finishes to create more dimension. When worn together, it can feel like frost overload, depending on which shades you use! I went for the most obvious combination for testing: yellow, green, and blue/teal.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

NARS Gaiety Blush
NARS Gaiety Blush

NARS Spring 2012: Gaiety Blush

NARS Gaiety Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “bright candy pink.” It’s a light-medium cotton candy pink; it has a strong blue base, so it reads cool-toned. It has decent to good color payoff, but it tends to need layering and building to achieve color if you are light-medium or darker. Compared to some of NARS’ other blushes, which may be considered hyper-pigmented, it is rather soft and you won’t need a light hand with it.  It has a natural matte finish, which means it doesn’t look totally flat but still looks mostly matte against the skin. MAC Azalea Blossom is darker and purpler. I don’t think I own NARS Desire, which seems like it may not be quite as cool-toned. NARS Angelika has less of a blue-base, is more of a medium pink, and includes sparkle.

The texture is very soft and finely-milled, and the lightness in color certainly saves it from looking too cool-toned against my skin tone, so I don’t think the blue-base would make it a no-go for warmer skin tones. It will definitely flatter cooler complexions, though. When I tested the wear of NARS’ newest blush, it wore for eight hours and looked fairly good at that point.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Gaiety Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This spring certainly has a theme: light pink blushes--and they tend to work best on light to light-medium skin tones. Though many of NARS' blushes, even their lighter shades, tend to be very, very pigmented, this one is not particularly intense. I would recommend medium-dark to dark skin tones check it out in store.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Chanel Brompton Road Poudre Tissee / Highlighting Powder and Blush
Chanel Brompton Road Poudre Tissee / Highlighting Powder and Blush

Chanel Brompton Road Poudre Tissee / Highlighting Powder and Blush

Chanel Brompton Road Poudre Tissee / Highlighting Powder and Blush ($80.00 for 0.50 oz.) is a limited edition powder from Chanel’s Knightsbridge collection. It’s supposed to “bring a radiant flush and iridescent shimmer to the face.” Like a lot of recent Chanel highlighters, this is one that seems well-suited for lighter complexions. It’s certainly not a blusher on light-medium or darker skin tones–on me, it gives my cheeks a bit of a washed out appearance when I used it as a blush.

The powder has a similar look as Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees, though the underlying colors are different and set-up in another design. The finish seems subtler, though, as I found Beiges Ombres Tissees to be almost too frosted.  The wear is similar; around seven to eight hours before fading, which is good.

It has a silver glitter overlay, which is actually really, really annoying. I would highly recommend taking a big fluffy brush and really decimating that top layer and brushing it off. The glitter looks atrocious on the skin, even in tiny bits. Underneath, there are two colors: a pink-coral and pale ivory. Both of these have a subtle shimmer-sheen, while the pink-coral has a subtler finish–not quite matte but nearly. It’s not practical to use the colors individually (you would need to use an eyeshadow brush), so the swirled look is a pale petal pink with yellow undertones and a shimmer-sheen.

It is much, much lighter compared to Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel, though the finish (amount of shimmer/sheen) is the same. I think Blush Horizon de Chanel is more versatile and flattering. Chanel Pink Cloud is yellower. Benefit Hervana is sheerer and yellower. Illamasqua Katie is blue-based but just as light.

This powder is one of the pricest powders I’ve purchased in the past couple of years. Even for Chanel, there was some sticker shock. The compact that’s most similar to this was Beiges Ombres Tissees–and it was $75 in August–four months later, add another $5.  The powder is hefty at 0.5 oz., which is nice, but this is certainly not a wallet-friendly blush/highlighter.

The Glossover

LE
product

Brompton Road Poudre Tissee Highlighting Powder

B+
The color and effect, while pretty, is most suitable for fairer complexions. For light-medium to dark skin tones, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Zoya Fleck Effects
Zoya Fleck Effects in Maisie, Opal, and Chloe

Zoya Spring 2012: Fleck Effect

Zoya Fleck Effects include three shades that feature mylar flecks, which can be worn alone or layered over another polish: Maisie (blue tint with mylar green fleck effect), Opal (green tint with mylar green fleck effect), and Chloe (pink tint with mylar green and gold fleck effect).  Each shade retails for $8.00 and will be available online on January 13th.

I swatched all three shades alone (two coats each) and then each shade over a darker base color for layering. The formula on these is thicker, more jelly-like, similar to many glitter polishes on the market. It distributes the flecks evenly for the most part, and you won’t find yourself doing really wacky things with the brush, like dabbing and laying it flat across the entire nail and swirling it.

  • Maisie consists of green mylar flecks suspended in a blue-tinted clear base. The flakes shift from iridescent green-blue to green to purple, depending on the angle, and then at more of a head-on look, some of the flecks look pink-ish (and under flash, you’ll see what I mean). Layered, it’s a deeper green and shifts to blue around the edges.
  • Opal consists of green mylar flecks suspended in a green-tinted clear base. The flakes in this are just like Maisie. When worn alone, you can see the difference between the two, as this tints the nail bed green, but the color and shift of the flecks are the same. Layered, it’s the same story as Maisie as well, but it’s even harder to detect a difference.
  • Chloe consists of mostly coppery-gold mylar flecks with the occasional green fleck (which I didn’t notice in natural light when worn alone, but layered, I saw a few) suspended in a pink-coral-tinted clear base. This one was the most wearable alone, because it gives the nail a healthy tint, whereas the blue and green look unnatural with such a soft tint (but nothing is to say you can’t wear either of those alone!). Layered, it looks almost orange, rather than gold, and you can see the green flecks show up. This seems softer compared to popular layering shades like Essie Shine of the Times, but I haven’t swatched that myself yet so I can’t say for sure.

Alone, Maisie and Opal look different, but when they’re layered over another polish, I couldn’t tell the difference. I suspect over a really, really light base color, you might see the blue vs. green tint come into play, but if you anticipate layering over mostly darker bases, having both is superfluous.  Because of the thicker, jelly-ish consistency, I felt like these took longer to dry down.  I tested the wear of Chloe layered over Zoya’s Tru, and I had minimal tip wear after a week with no chips.

The Glossover

product

Zoya Fleck Effects Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B+
Alone, Maisie and Opal look different, but when they're layered over another polish, I couldn't tell the difference. I suspect over a really, really light base color, you might see the blue vs. green tint come into play, but if you anticipate layering over mostly darker bases, having both is superfluous. Because of the thicker, jelly-ish consistency, I felt like these took longer to dry down.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, December 30th, 2011

MAC for Iris Apfel Nail Lacquers
MAC for Iris Apfel Nail Lacquers

MAC for Iris Apfel: Nail Lacquers

There are three limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) , which include: Oriele Orange (bright orange coral), Sandpiper (creamy pale stone beige), and Toco Toucan (bright blue-fuchsia).

  • Oriele Orange is a rich reddened orange–it looks more orange on me at a lot of angles, but sometimes, it does look more fiery, redder, more of that orange-coral that MAC describes. It was a hard shade to photograph for some reason! It’s opaque in two coats and was easy to work with. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is redder. Essie Braziliant is closer. China Glaze Life Preserver is redder. MAC Scorcher is redder but similar.
  • Sandpiper is a pale neutral ivory beige. I used two coats for swatches, but there was still visible nail line. This was thick and streaky; it also had a longer than average drying time. Zoya Minka is yellower and has shimmer. Chanel Beige Petale is kind of similar, but since it’s really sheer, hard to tell!
  • Toco Toucan is a brightened, medium-dark fuchsia cream that’s nearly opaque in one coat, though I did two for swatches. Essie Super Bossa Nova is brighter and has more of an iridescence. Urban Decay Woodstock is more magenta. China Glaze 108 Degrees is a touch redder and has shimmer. Orly Fiesta is not quite as dark. Zoya Dana is similar but less blue-based.

MAC Nail Lacquers have worn well on me; I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping. The formula on Oriele Orange and Toco Toucan are lovely–really good consistency, not too thick or thin, and they are very pigmented. Sandpiper was harder to work with and really requires a deft hand to navigate the thicker, pooling consistency and the longer drying time as a result.

The Glossover

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MAC for Iris Apfel Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Oriele Orange and Toco Toucan are more like A- polishes, while Sandpiper was the shade that brought down the overall score, because it was thick, almost goopy, and sheer.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, December 30th, 2011

MAC Diamond Dove Eyeshadow
MAC Diamond Dove Eyeshadow

MAC for Iris Apfel: Eyeshadows

There are five limited edition shades of MAC Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.05 oz.) in the Iris Apfel collection: Diamond Dove (deep gray-brown), Early Bird (bright coral), Howzat (deep gray with silver sparkle), Robin’s Egg (mid-tone teal), and Silver Gull (blue-gray with sparkle).

  • Diamond Dove is a dark brown with subtle cool undertones. It has good color payoff, but it is definitely a drier matte, so you may or may not like that type of texture (it’s more like most of MAC’s matte finishes–not at all like the Matte2 finish). This has a matte finish. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is a slightly less gray brown in the palette. MAC Brun is grayer. MAC Copperplate is a bit lighter and much grayer. It’s a bit darker than MAC Double Feature 3.
  • Early Bird is a medium coral-pink. This has a matte finish. The color payoff is good, but again, it is a drier matte, which you may love or hate. If you didn’t like working with MAC Free to Be (which is a bit darker but otherwise very similar), I doubt you’ll like this one. They’re both fairly dry. I actually found this to need more packing on the lid (I think to apply it to my inner third of the lid, I applied five or six times to get true-to-pan intensity). Inglot #361 is also similar.
  • Howzat is a bluish gray with a sheen. This has a satin finish. I didn’t like it the first time it came out, nor the second, and I still think it’s subpar. The color payoff is terrible with a really dry, stiff texture that’s just not worth the effort. MAC Interior Life is similar but more matte.
  • Robin’s Egg is a bluish-teal. This has a matte finish. This is the type of color that’s going to look bluer/greener depending on the colors you pair it with but your underlying skin tone will have an affect, too. For instance, warmer complexions will probably see this as more of a teal shade, while cooler complexions may find it turns bluer. The texture of this is different than the other matte eyeshadows–it’s much softer, not quite as soft as Matte2 finishes, but still softer and much easier to work with. It’s similar to MAC Double Feature 3 and Inglot #372.
  • Silver Gull is a pale, neutral-toned gray with silver sparkle. This has a velvet finish. The base color has more of a matte finish, while the sparkle lies on top of the product, which does cause significant fall out (even just swatching, the sparkle doesn’t bind with the actual color). It’s also on the sheerer side and a bit powdery. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit has a slightly similar gray. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of any other dupes.

These are some of the better single eyeshadows I’ve seen from MAC since Surf Baby (which was an exceptional set!). I think what will sway you is simply how you prefer your matte finishes–if you like them drier, more consistent with most of MAC’s matte range, you’ll like these. If you prefer softer, denser, almost buttery mattes, these are not like those. In my experience, drier mattes perform just as well as more buttery ones once you apply them, but it’s in a quick swatch that you might find the major discrepancy. I wore Early Bird, Robin’s Egg, and Silver Gull to test out the wear of these, and I did have fall out issues with Silver Gull (which also required packing of color to get it to show). Robin’s Egg is the easiest to work with, because it’s soft and very pigmented–so you don’t need a lot of it, and you can easily blend it out, too.

The Glossover

product

MAC for Iris Apfel Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you like them drier, more consistent with most of MAC's matte range, you'll like these. If you prefer softer, denser, almost buttery mattes, these are not like those. In my experience, drier mattes perform just as well as more buttery ones once you apply them, but it's in a quick swatch that you might find the major discrepancy. I do not recommend Silver Gull for it has fall out and pigmentation issues.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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