Monday, September 5th, 2011

OCC Femme Nail Lacquer
OCC Femme Nail Lacquer

OCC Femme Nail Lacquer

OCC Femme Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “shimmering flamingo pink.” It is designed to match Femme Lip Tar. It’s a softened yellow-toned pink with pearly white shimmer. The finish ends up slightly metallic with minor brush strokes that look like strands of shimmer pulled through the color. Femme appears warmer and contains shimmer when compared to China Glaze EmpowermentChanel Mistral is a closer dupe, but it has larger, but sparsely placed, sparkles.

I used two coats of polish for swatches, and there is a hint of visible nail line showing. I don’t typically like the way brush strokes look (sometimes it can be well-done–like brushed metal), but this reminds me of cotton candy; there is an airiness to the color and interplay between the micro-shimmer and larger shimmer particles.

OCC’s formula is four-free (it does not include DBP, formaldehyde, toulene, or formaldehyde resin), and it wears a full week on me with minor tip wear (but no chipping). Femme had a good consistency, where it wasn’t watery but it wasn’t too thick, so it flowed easily across the nail during application.

The Glossover

P
product

Femme

B+
It's a totally unexpected shade for fall! There's a lighter-than-air feel with the color and shimmer. It has a springtime feel, but I know many of us don't let seasons dictate what we reach for!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, September 3rd, 2011


Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Mariposa Eyeshadow Palette ($39.00 for 10 x 0.03 oz.) is a limited edition, Sephora-exclusive eyeshadow palette for the holidays. It comes in a metal tin with a hinged lid with ten eyeshadows and a travel-sized eyeshadow brush. These are the shades included: Rockstar (deep eggplant with metallic base), Gunmetal (gunmetal grey with silver glitter), Skimp (pale nude with gold shimmer), Infamous (shifty mauve), Wreckage (shimmery dark taupe), Haight (shimmering mermaid blue), Money (silvery pale green), Mushroom (shimmering fawn), Spotlight (medium taupe with gold sparkle), and Limelight (bronze with gold glitter). New shades include Infamous, Limelight, Spotlight, and Wreckage. All other shades are repromotes.

The exterior of the palette is nice; it’s a good size, too–small enough to travel with but large enough to be easy to use with regular, full-sized brushes. There is no mirror in this palette, which is unusual for Urban Decay’s palettes. It’s not as slim as their six-pan palettes (like Dangerous, Feminine, etc.), but it is significantly smaller than the Book of Shadows volumes. It stays shut quite well, as the lid is kept on by hinges. The brushed metal finish of the tin hides fingerprints well. I don’t love the interior; it’s cardboard that shifts around a bit when you’ve plunk a brush into one of the eyeshadow wells. It just feels a little… cheap to me, and I generally don’t have issues with cardboard-based packaging so long as it feels sturdy.

  • Rockstar is a smoky eggplant purple with very subtle red undertones; it’s not a fully neutral purple, but it’s close. Giorgio Armani #3 is darker, less purple. theBalm All the Way Annie and Make Up For Ever #142 are similar but neither has the blackened base. theBalm Kissy, Kissy is closer but not quite as red-toned.
  • Gunmetal is a dark charcoal gray with silver glitter. This shade is part of the permanent range. If you feel like you’ve just seen this shade, it’s true–it’s also in the BoS 4. It is similar to Inglot #451 but a bit darker.  Because it does have glitter, it may have some fall out (I have found it less so than some of the really glittery shades).
  • Skimp is a beige-peach with a pearled sheen. It, too, was most recently in the BoS 4. It is similar to Bare Escentuals Serendipitous but lighter than MAC Brule. The quality seemed better here–it didn’t feel dry at all.
  • Infamous is a bright, plum-tinged fuchsia pink with a satiny sheen. This had a slightly drier texture than a lot of the other shades in the palette but the color payoff was still decent. It isn’t the same as Urban Decay Woodstock, which is much redder, brighter, and deeper. This is more like Woodstock and Fishnet got together and had baby. It is closer to Make Up For Ever #52 but muted and slightly purpler.
  • Wreckage is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle yellow undertones and a subtle golden sheen. The color payoff was decent but not as dense as most Urban Decay eyeshadows. It is very similar in color to Bare Escentuals A-Ha. It is reminiscent of Urban Decay Toasted but not as warm.
  • Haight is a teal-tinged, medium-dark blue with a frosted finish. This shade is part of the permanent range, but it is a little duller than my individual pot of it. It will take on a more of a teal appearance when near greens. I can’t think of a great dupe for Haight.
  • Money is a silvery green-gray with a cool-toned gold sheen. It’s a really cool, complex color. It does have silver sparkles in it, so there may be some fall out. I find Money has less sparkle than really glittery shades like Midnight Cowboy, though. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade either.
  • Mushroom is a dark taupe–a little silvery, brown, and gray. It is a little less brown compard to Giorgio Armani #4 and grayer compared to theBalm Come Hither Heather.
  • Spotlight is a pale champagne-bronze with gold glitter and a rather chunky texture. This was the worst shade in the palette–it was dry and chunky, not just from the glitter, but the powder itself didn’t adhere smoothly. It resulted in poorer color payoff and lots of fall out. Bare Escentuals Magnetism is a touch darker (and doesn’t have glitter).
  • Limelight is a lightened coppery bronze with a warm golden shimmer and glitter. It’s more orange than Urban Decay Blunt but not by much. It’s a lighter version of Urban Decay Half-Baked. Funny enough, some of the lightness of the shade is due to the drier texture and uneven color payoff (which is decent but not great). I had similar issues with this shade as I did with Limelight, just not to the same degree.

Long-time collectors and fans will find this palette with too many repromotes/similarly done shades. I think Urban Decay might want to cut back on creating more browns/bronzes, because they’re starting to run together. I don’t want more Half-Baked eyeshadows, but if you’re going to just make one-offs of it, I’d rather the original so I know I’m not getting anything new. They could consider doing more browns, even in the same tones and shades, but with different finishes–like satins or mattes.

I had major issues with Spotlight and Limelight and minor issues with Infamous. I would say that two of the ten eyeshadows were misses, but the other eight were varying degrees of good to great. Like other Urban Decay palettes, though, it’s a good deal–it has $102 worth of eyeshadows, plus a travel-sized version of the shadow brush ($26), so I’d approximate the value of the whole shabang for around $120.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Mariposa

B+
The total value of the palette makes it a good buy, and as always with a palette, a lot of whether it's something that strikes your fancy or not will depend on how large your stash is (and how many Urban Decay palettes you may already own).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, September 3rd, 2011


Urban Decay Holiday 2011 Nail Kit: Mars, Gunmetal, Hot Mess, Ziggy, Wrecked, Barlust

Urban Decay Holiday 2011 Nail Kit

Urban Decay Holiday 2011 Nail Kit ($28.00 for 6 x 0.17 fl oz.) is a set that features six miniature-sized bottles of polish with colors designed with the season in mind. Urban Decay’s formula is free from toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP. The applicator brush is still full-sized, even if the rest of the packaging is not. The six shades included are: Mars (emerald green with green and silver micro-glitter), Gunmetal (shimmery dark grey), Hot Mess (bright fuchsia with fuchsia micro-glitter), Ziggy (gold and multi-colored glitter), Wrecked (deep red wine), and Barlust (whiskey brown with brown shimmer).  It is a limited edition set that will only be available at select Macy’s in-store and online at urbandecay.com around October.

  • Mars is a greenish teal with teal shimmer and silver micro-glitter. It was opaque in two coats. It reminded me of Illamasqua Viridian, which has a blacker base and no chunky shimmer. Other shades I considered ended up looking too green in comparison (like MAC Jade Dragon, Duri Paparazzi).
  • Gunmetal is taupe brown with silvery micro-shimmer strewn through the creamier base color. I used two coats for opaque color. I have no idea why this is described as a dark gray, because it’s barely gray on me at all. It does not resemble the Gunmetal eyeshadow shade at all (which is a dark gray with silver shimmer). I couldn’t think of a good dupe, though – I thought maybe China Glaze Ingrid, but it’s lighter and browner.
  • Hot Mess is a fuchsia-red with fuchsia micro-glitter. The formula on this was really nice and very pigmented. It looks like there is gold shimmer in the bottle, and there seems to be the tiniest reflectio of it if you angle your nails just right. I used two coats for opaque coverage. It’s pinker compared to China Glaze Ahoy! and Nubar Prize. Zoya Gilda is pinker with less red.
  • Ziggy is multi-colored glitter suspended in a clear base–it’s dominated by gold, blue, and pink. It’s actually rather opaque; I did swatches with just two coats, and it was nearly opaque. I blanked when trying to think of a dupe; I was reminded of Deborah Lippmann’s Happy Birthday, but they’re nothing alike.
  • Wrecked is a deep, dark brown-red with cream finish. It’s nearly opaque in two coats, but the formula was a touch on the thin side. This is the most dupeable shade of the six to me, as all of these shades are similar: Zoya Anja, MAC Purple Majesty, Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter, and MAC Vintage Vamp.
  • Barlust is a dark brown with bronze and green-teal shimmer threaded through the shade. I used two coats for opaque color coverage. China Glaze Goin’ My Way was the closest I could think of, but it’s a warmer brown–more bronze in it.

The kit contains the equivalent of two full-sized polishes (the average polish is about 0.50 fl. oz.), and if Urban Decay sold individual, full-sized polishes (they don’t!), it probably breaks even or you come out a couple bucks ahead. Personally, I love mini nail kits; it’s rare that I fall so head-over-heels for a color that I’ll wear it for months on end, so more bottles for less money total works out for me. It is, though, a bummer if you do fall in love and aren’t able to buy a full-size of it.  Urban Decay actually mentions breaking up the set and giving out individual polishes to friends/family as stocking stuffers, and I actually love that idea.  How cute is it to receive a baby bottle of polish?

I have long fingers (must be from all that piano playing as a kid), so I’m often clumsy with really small bottles, but it’s not too awkward to hold and polish nails. The brush worked fine and did its job without murmur. In reality, a lot of higher end polishes have removable caps such that you’re actually polishing with something about the size of the full cap on this polish (think Chanel, Dior, etc. where the outer cap is large, but the one attached to the brush itself is significantly smaller).

As these just arrived in yesterday’s mail, obviously I can’t report on the wear of these specific shades. I have, however, tried various Urban Decay polishes since they started putting out the kits, and I have no issues with wear. I get around a week of wear with the expected tip wear (hey, I type all day and really have no regard for maintaining a chip-free manicure; I will totally pry something open with my nails) but no chipping.

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay Holiday 2011 Nail Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a solid set that offers a good variety of colors, though it is heavier on glittery finishes (just one cream; two with micro-glitter, one with full-on glitter). It's holiday-esque without being dominated by the traditional golds, ruby reds, and greens.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Wet 'n' Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.17 oz.) include shades of yellow, green, and pink.  It is a limited edition trio as part of the summer Dream Weavers Collection.  It’s available at local drugstore retailers, but not all have them and some sold out quickly of their stock so you might have to hunt around your local area for a displayer.

The Browbone shade is a sunshine yellow with a frosted finish. It has great color payoff with a dense texture that’s soft and smooth. It’s a little more golden and muted compared to MAC Bright Sunshine, but they are still rather close; it is also comparable (just a little darker) than MAC Double Feature #1.

The Crease shade is a cool-toned, medium grass green with a pale gold shimmer-sheen. It’s a fun shade, because the base color is cool-toned while the overlying shimmer is considerably warmer. The pigmentation is nice, and the texture is soft so it applies smoothly on the skin. It’s much lighter compared to Wet ‘n’ WIld Earth Looks Small From Down Here as well as Urban Decay Graffiti.

The Eyelid shade is a medium-dark pink with a hint of fuchsia iridescence in the finish. It’s the worst performing shade of the three–not fully pigmented so it applies unevenly (see the patchiness on the left portion of the swatch). The texture was a bit dry and not as dense as the other two shades. The color is similar to Milani Pink Twice. Make Up For Ever #83 is brighter and pinker.

Side note: While I appreciate the concept of identifying which colors go where, I don’t really see the labeling working in this particular trio. This set of colors is hard enough to wear together, let alone with bright yellow all over the brow bone. It could certainly work for a particular look, but overall, it’s a little much. None of this affects the rating, but it’s something I’ve seen more and more brands do. I think it takes away from some of the usefulness of guiding buyers on how to use a certain product. From a more creative stance, I appreciate the interesting pop of green amongst the other two colors (I would have expected copper, brown, or orange).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Wet 'n' Wild Bright Idea Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If the pink shade performed better, this palette would get a better overall score, but it dragged it down to a B+, which is still a good rating--and particular good given the price point.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, August 27th, 2011

bareMinerals The Promise Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals The Promise Eyeshadow Duo

bareMinerals The Promise Eyeshadow Duo

New for October, bareMinerals The Promise Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) features pressed eyeshadows in Aspire and Vow. The new pressed eyeshadow formula has SeaNutritive Mineral Complex for a “creamy, silky smooth” texture with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color.” It also supposed to be long-wearing whether worn alone or with primer–you shouldn’t see any creasing or fading. I’ve tested several combinations of shades from the duos and quads, and I’ve been able to get ten hours of solid wear without a primer underneath. For a review of the packaging, please read my original review.

Aspire is a warm, orange-tinted yellow–less sunshine yellow, because of the underlying orange tint. It has a frosted finish with high sheen and shimmer. The color is reminiscent of Urban Decay Blunt, which is a little yellower. It’s not as yellow (nor does it have the pink duochrome) of MAC Motif or as dark as MAC Goldmine. It’s less gold compared to Milani Drenched in Gold.

Vow is gray-casted brown with a red undertone and a matte finish. There is a little sheerness to this color, so it applies uneven in places, if you aren’t careful. The color itself reminds me of a browner and matte version of MAC Shale. Inglot #363 is a touch redder, but it is similar.

The Glossover

palette

The Promise

B+
It's like a neutral eye with a kick--a little warmth of sunshine to pair with your otherwise toned-down brown. It's not my favorite of the duos (either in color combination or quality), but I do think that gold/yellow shade is warm in a less-than-usual way.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, August 25th, 2011

bareMinerals The Afterparty Eyeshadow Quad
bareMinerals The Afterparty Eyeshadow Quad

bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow Quads: The Afterparty

bareMinerals The Afterparty Eyeshadow Quad ($30.00 for 0.17 oz.) contains four shades: Cheers, Mingle, Rowdy, and Lights Down.  This quad launches in October, and it’s touted as a solid eyeshadow with SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that is “creamy, silky smooth” with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color” that is long-wearing when worn alone without creasing or budging. When worn alone, I was able to wear several of the new duos (which have the same formula for pressed eyeshadows) for 10 hours without an eyeshadow primer. For more details on packaging, please read my original review.

Cheers is a white with a soft, frosted finish. It has a reallyd ense, buttery texture that gives it great color payoff and smooth application. It’s not a particular unique shade, though, and as such, it is similar to several other white eyeshadows like: Cumulus and theBalm Lab Coat.

Mingle is a subtly blue-toned, light-medium gray with a silvery sheen. It has pretty good pigmentation, but the texture isn’t as dense or as buttery as Cheers–it’s still very soft and easy to work with. It’s a touch lighter than Inglot #448, lighter and less metallic compared to Deja Vu. It is closest to Inglot #324 but that has a matte finish.

Rowdy is a brown-gray-plum with a pearly sheen. It looks grayer swatched than it does in the pan. The texture is soft but less dense and creamy compared to Cheers (expected, given the more matte-like finish), but the color payoff is good. Generally, you want a matte eyeshadow that’s soft and pliable, so it’s not dry and stiff, but you don’t want it so soft that it becomes powdery, as this can often lead to chalky or uneven application. This hits a good balance between softness and blendability. It’s grayer than MAC Tendersmoke, but I couldn’t find anything else in the gallery that seemed to be very close.

Lights Down is a mostly matte black base with silver sparkle. The texture is good, and the matte base has nice color payoff. As expected, the silver sparkle doesn’t translate so much on the eye–it tends to get lost. This is the kind of color (and concept) that a lot of brands have done–think NARS Night Breed, Lancome The New Black, MAC Black Tied, etc. For as much shimmer as there is in the pan, you can see how there is very little visible in the swatch. The good part about that is there is less worry about fall out, since it doesn’t even make it to the eye!

Rowdy is one of the more unique shades in the quad, but it may be the odd one out, too–I can easily see the combination of white, gray, and black working, but Rowdy throws a wrench in there. It’s a blend of brown, plum, and gray but none of those really dominate. It’s almost like a burgundy-taupe. I like that included a variety of finishes in the quad, and as several of the other duos/quads have been, these are more basic, core colors than revolutionary shades (which is fine!).

The Glossover

palette

The After Party

B+
I like it, but I don't love it. For cooler skin tones, this could be nice for a very classic smoky eye palette, and Rowdy could be an interesting way to mix it up.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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