Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Revlon Cupcake Colorburst Lip Butter
Revlon Cupcake Colorburst Lip Butter

Revlon Cupcake Colorburst Lip Butter

Revlon Cupcake ColorBurst Lip Butter ($7.49 for 0.09 oz.) is a pale, yet brightened, lilac pink with cool, blue undertones and a naturally glossy sheen. MAC Snob is a bit paler, not as vibrant, and more opaque. MAC Saint Germain is paler, more opaque. MAC Pink Nouveau is more vibrant, opaque, and pinker. Revlon Strawberry Shortcake is less lilac, almost gray-ish (in comparison), and more opaque. MAC Pink Popcorn is darker, pinker. MAC Naughty Saute is more opaque and slightly pinker. MAC Dress It Up is less lilac, more opaque. MAC All Styled Up is a little lighter and more opaque. MAC Viva Glam Gaga is pinker, lighter.

The sheerness of the formula (and this range is supposed to be sheer to medium in coverage) actually makes this type of color infinitely more wearable than its opaque counterparts! It has a thin, slick consistency that glides easily onto lips, but it does wear away quickly–Cupcake only managed to stay on my lips for an hour and a half (as opposed to the average lipstick lasting four hours on me). It contains a little less product than the average lipstick (typically 0.10 to 0.12 oz.) and requires frequent reapplication, but it is a more moisturizing formula.

The Glossover

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Cupcake

B+
It wears away a little too quickly, but otherwise, it's a great product--so if you don't mind reapplying every hour or so, then it might still be a formula you'd enjoy. If you've ever wanted to rock a lilac pink but found more opaque versions to be too much, this is a nice alternative.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick
MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick

MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick

MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “clean poppy blue pink.” It’s a vibrant medium-dark pink-red with a subtle blue undertone and a soft, natural sheen. MAC Impassioned is much more vibrant, more coral. MAC Party Parrot is much more coral. MAC Moxie is darker, more intense. MAC Full Fuchsia is more vibrant, brighter.  Against my skin tone, it doesn’t read as cool-toned as it is in the tube.

It has mostly opaque color coverage, and it’s one of the creamier Cremesheens I’ve used. It glides on better than others within the finish, though it’s not as creamy as an Amplified finish. What’s interesting about this color is that it’s the more muted sister of a lot of the really vibrant, nearly-neon shades that have become immensely popular/sold out. I wouldn’t described it as muted generally, though, as it is fairly bright on the face.  Speak Louder wore for a solid five hours when I tested it.

I’m not a huge fan of the Cremesheen finish–it’s a bit drying (some shades more so than others).  I’d also love a slightly creamier consistency so that it would really glide easily and evenly across the lips.  Speak Louder wasn’t drying but neither was it moisturizing.  It is vanilla-scented but has no discernible taste (same scent as other MAC lipsticks and lip products).

The Glossover

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product

Speak Louder

B+
With its subtle cool undertone and brighter color, this shade will flatter a wide range of skin tones. It's not as bright as a lot of the recent peony pinks on the market, but it's still plenty vibrant.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, April 30th, 2012

Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Extrait de Rose (262) Shine Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “fuchsia pink.” It’s a brightened medium pink with silver and fuchsia sparkle. Revlon Lollipop is much more fuchsia and brighter. MAC Pink Burst is similar but a bit brighter. Chanel Belgravia is lighter. It’s almost a neutral pink; it’s very subtly cool-toned, but the brightness counteracts that so it should be wearable across many skin tones.

The formula is supposed to be moisturizing, long-wearing, and full of shine. It’s supposed to be the “sheer and sparkling side” of the Rouge Automatique range, which has a more subdued finish and more opaque color. It is very reminiscent of Guerlain’s Rouge G de Brilliant formula, actually–but with more color payoff.

The sparkling shimmer in Extrait de Rose is fantastic; it looks wet and glistening and eye-catching on the lips. It really is stunning, and it’s something that’s worth seeing in person for that effect alone. It’s reminiscent of Chanel’s Glossimers in that half of what is so appealing is hard to capture in a photo! I can feel all of the sparkle and shimmer from the very beginning of application until the very end. It’s not coarse and gritty, but I do feel it–it feels flat and micro in size but noticeable every time I lightly pressed my lips together. There is a little bit of traveling after three hours of wear.

It’s not long-wearing–this has a very creamy, slippery consistency that allows for easy application and excellent glide, but it is definitely prone to disappearing. On me (and keep in mind, non-long-wearing lipsticks wear four hours on me), it wears for three and a half hours. I’ve also tested some of the lighter shades, and those disappear as quick as two and half hours. Guerlain doesn’t indicate a specific hour of wear claim, but they do say this is long-lasting; by signaling it’s a product meant to be longer-wearing, it should last longer than regular lipsticks. Rouge Automatiques last four to eight hours, depending on the shade.

Shine Automatique has a fair amount of slip–reminiscent of a lip balm. Thankfully, it actually is moisturizing while you wear it; my lips always felt good after wearing these, and I wore several shades back-to-back.  Lately, I’ve come across too many of these high-shine formulas that claim to hydrate but end up leaving my lips dehydrated, so I’m very glad to see that there’s no lack of moisturizing elements in this formula.  The lipstick feels lightweight and comfortable to wear, and it’s the kind of product that is easily worn alone–it already has the high-shine of a gloss.  These have the same scent as Rouge Automatiques and come in the same type of packaging.

Ingredients

Polyglyceryl-2, Triisostearate, Diisostearyl Malate, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polydecene, Synthetic Wax, Methyl Hydrogenated Rosinate, Phenylpropyldimethylsiloxysilicate, Polybutene, Trimethyl Pentaphenyl Trisiloxane, Ozokerite, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Trimethylolpropane Triisostearate, Silica, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Polyethylene, Parfum (Fragrance), BHT, Tin Oxide, Propyl Gallate, [+/- Mica, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, (Iron Oxides), CI 15850 (Red 6, Red 6 Lake, Red 7, Red 7 Lake), CI 15985(Yellow 6 Lake),CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake) CI 42090 (Blue 1 Lake), CI 45380 (Red 21 Lake), CI 45410 (Red 28 Lake), CI 73360 (Red 30 Lake), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet)].

The Glossover

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Extrait de Rose

B+
As long as you don't mind that it isn't long-wearing, it's still worth checking out. The way the sparkles dance and play with the light is exceptionally lovely--shimmer-lovers will know what I'm talking about!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, April 29th, 2012

MAC Russian Red Trio
MAC Pink Nouveau Lipglass over Lipstick; Nail Lacquer

MAC Fashion Sets: Nail Lacquer Review Round-up

MAC is not known for an excellent nail polish formula. Sometimes they do it right, but they often create some major misses that tend to suffer from too thin/too thick consistencies, streaking, and poor pigmentation. As is generally the case, the set of sixteen matching nail lacquers was a mixed bag but with more winners than real losers. Pigmentation wasn’t a problem with most of the shades, but I found several of them to be on the streakier side with some more readily covered with a thicker second coat. There were also a handful of shades that were lovely to apply!

The other downside was that a few of the nail lacquers did not match well with the lipstick/lipgloss (Angel, Impassioned, Razzledazzler, Rebel, Snob, and Spice were among the least matching, particularly in tone, not just slightly lighter/darker).

I think MAC has accelerated the price point of their nail lacquers far too quickly–$16 is more than a lipstick or a gloss! It’s $2 less than NARS, the same or $2 less than Deborah Lippmann (depending on the type of polish, as some of hers are $16 and others are $18), $2 MORE than Illamasqua (one of the best polish formulas I’ve ever tried), and $2 more than Butter London. And frankly? At that price tag, MAC is giving you less than the brands I just mentioned–0.34 fl. oz. vs. 0.50 fl. oz. 0.50 fl. oz. is the standard lacquer size (China Glaze, Essie, OPI, etc. all have this size as well). This formula needs to be on point to command a $16 price tag when there are nail polish niche brands where all they do is nail polish have excellent formulas.  The nail lacquers have increased in price faster than other comparable price points at MAC (e.g. lipsticks, glosses, and eyeshadows go up $0.50 every year).

I very specifically removed price from the overall rating so that a $30 formula can be compared to a $3 formula with no boost/decrease because of the price–you are the only one who can decide what is too expensive, just right, or not worth it. As a buyer, I’m most interested in quality, and then I’ll figure out if the quality-to-price-ratio is worth it to me or maybe the color is so original that I’m willing to pay a higher price — or maybe it’s so cheap that I’ll accept that it streaks or is powdery. I try to shed light on situations where the price seems out of line with the brand’s position in the market, against competitors, or if the price/quantity ratio is unusually low or high.

MAC’s lacquers are packaged in a cylindrical bottle (though it has some tapering) and a rubberized cap, and this type of cap normally brings packaging scores up to 5/5, but because it’s awkward to hold (it’s stubby and oddly shaped when gripped), it ends up being a wash. Though it has been an issue in the past, I didn’t have any problems with the brush–they all seemed fine and didn’t have any splaying issues.

The best shades were: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Morange, Pink Nouveau, and Russian Red (A). A good but not great shade was Impassioned (A-). The most under-performing shades were: Saint Germain (C+) and Snob (B-). The rest were middle-of-the-road shades with mostly Bs and a few B+s.

Availability: Based on the information I have received from MAC, the distribution of these shades is regional. I cannot confirm the extent of non-regional shades being available online for your region (e.g. whether all of these will be available on the UK website). I can confirm only that for North America, all shades are available for purchase online. Only the North America-specific shades will be available in-stores on May 3rd, 2012. Select Macy’s will also carry Latin America & Middle East region-specific shades.

North America: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Snob, Spice; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town and Snob to the permanent range in July
Asia Pacific: Angel, Morange, Impassioned, Peachstock, Ravishing, Razzledazzler, Saint Germain; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Saint Germain, and Snob to the permanent range in July
Europe & Africa: Impassioned, Morange, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Saint Germain, Spice; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Impassioned, Morange, and Saint Germain, to the permanent range in July
Latin America & Middle East: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Pink Nouveau, Please Me, Russian Red, Snob; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, and Snob to the permanent range in July

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Fashion Sets: Nail Lacquer Review Round-up

B+
One major downside was that a few of the nail lacquers did not match well with the lipstick/lipgloss (Angel, Impassioned, Razzledazzler, Rebel, Snob, and Spice were among the least matching, particularly in tone, not just slightly lighter/darker). I think this is important, because the concept of the collection is very matchy-matchy, you know? Being a little lighter/darker is acceptable, but getting the undertone wrong is less so.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Please note that the photos included in this post are for summary purposes only–there are four additional photos for each lipstick shade that have been excluded in this post but are available in the set’s original post: one product photos, one swatch (diffused flash), and two swatches (studio lighting).

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Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Rebel
MAC Rebel Lipstick Nail Lacquer, Lipglass

MAC Rebel Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Rebel Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) has been such a top-seller that it has now inspired a Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) and Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) to complement it. This shade is part of the North America and Europe/Africa regions of the collection, so it will only be available both online and in-stores. Rebel is described as “mid-tone cream plum.”

The color of the lipgloss matches the lipstick extremely well; at worst, it’s slightly less red-toned, but it’s hard to tell. The only major difference that’s easy to see visually is in the opacity–the gloss is less opaque than the lipstick. Once again, however, the nail lacquer is not much of a match for the lipstick nor lipgloss. It’s much, much darker–it’s a very vampy shade. It looks more like Rebel does in the tube, but I’d still say it comes out darker. It doesn’t have enough red undertones to really match and complement the lip products. When you apply the lipgloss on top of the lipstick, the end result is a very even, semi-opaque berry-red with a glossy shine.

Rebel Lipglass is a berry-red with a little purple tint. It applies semi-opaque, but it doesn’t apply completely evenly; there are some splotches in the end result. If you were hoping for a MAC All My Purple Life dupe, this is definitely not it–it is very red and berry in comparison. Tom Ford Wet Violet is purpler, less red. Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst is redder, less berry. NARS Bougainville is just a little lighter and redder. MAC Ban This! is a bit redder. (9, 9, 9, 9, 4, 4; B+)

Rebel Lipstick is a berry-red with a slightly frosted sheen. The color coverage is mostly opaque, but there’s a little sheerness. It has a satin finish, and it is part of the permanent range. Guerlain Nuit d’Amour is a bit redder. It’s darker and more vibrant than Guerlain Bee but deeper than Dolce & Gabbana Orchid. YSL Forbidden Burgundy is lighter, redder. (9, 9, 9, 10, 4, 4; A-)

Rebel Nail Lacquer is a deep burgundy with a little purple tone to it. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but it was surprisingly less pigmented for such a dark shade. I also found it streaky on the first coat and a little streaky on the second coat. The formula was very thin. Dior Graphic Berry is a closer match, as it has stronger red undertones and isn’t as dark. Illamasqua Vice is lighter and redder. China Glaze Loft-y Ambitions is very similar but has shimmer. Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised is lighter with redder tones. (8.5, 9, 8, 9, 3.5, 4; B)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Satin finishes like Rebel typically wear four to six hours on me, and Rebel wears anywhere from five to six hours on me (sometimes longer) as it does stain. MAC Lipglasses are also vanilla-scented but taste-free. They are very sticky and have a thick, borderline-goopy consistency. If you prefer gel-like, cushion-y glosses that feel lightweight on, I don’t recommend MAC Lipglass. Because of the tackier texture, MAC Lipglasses do tend to wear a full four hours on me, with some of the darker shades lasting up to six hours (with mostly the color lingering at that point).

Note: I am reviewing each “set” together. After I’ve reviewed all sixteen sets, I will do round-ups for each product type (so all lipsticks together) to deliver an overall Glossover rating. This rating is more indicative of the product type, as the rating that follows this post is an average across three totally different types of products. You can also see the individual scores listed after each product, which are listed in the same order as they are in the Glossover.

The Glossover

product

MAC Rebel Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+

Rebel is a great shade fall, and the lipstick is permanent (and the best of the three products that are in the set), so you might put it on the backburner if you think it's too vampy for right now. The lipglass is a nice complement to the lipstick, though!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Ravishing
MAC Ravishing Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Ravishing Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Ravishing Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) has been such a top-seller that it has now inspired a Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) and Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) to complement it. This shade is part of the Asia Pacific region of the collection, so it will only be available online for North American buyers. Ravishing is described as “mid-tone neutral peach.”

The lipgloss is a smidgen lighter and pinker compared to the lipstick, which has more orange in it and comes off brighter. The nail lacquer is just a bit more orange; it doesn’t have any coral or pink tones to it–just a barely-dusty orange. When the lipgloss is layered over the lipstick, the end result is a lightened medium orange with a hint of coral to it. You do have to be careful to apply this well, because the lighter gloss can look really obvious if it’s not blended well!

Ravishing Lipglass is a darkened coral-orange with soft white micro-shimmer. It has semi-opaque color coverage, and it does settle into lip lines a bit. NARS Happy Days is similar but a little dirtier. MAC Strange Potion is lighter, pinker. MAC Whoops! is darker. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is a little brighter. (8.5, 9, 8.5, 8.5, 4, 4; B)

Ravishing Lipstick is a medium-dark coral-orange with a soft shimmer-sheen. It has a Cremesheen finish, and it is part of the permanent range. The color coverage is opaque. It has a slightly drier texture, so it does tug a bit when it is applied–it just doesn’t glide on effortlessly. Chanel La Ravissante is much darker, but it is in a similar vein. CoverGirl Rapture is a bit darker. (8, 10, 8.5, 8.5, 4, 4; B)

Ravishing Nail Lacquer is a medium orange with a subtle dustiness to it. It has a cream finish that applied opaque in two coats, though the initial coat was a smidgen streaky. MAC Morange is brighter, more intense, darker. Nails Inc. Porchester Place is very similar. Illamasqua Gamma is brighter, more vibrant. (9, 9, 9, 9, 4, 4; B+)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Cremesheen finishes like Ravishing typically wear three to four hours on me, with this kind of color wearing about three and a half. I’m not a huge fan of the Cremesheen finish, because I find it drier, so it’s more difficult to apply evenly, and it is also drying over time. MAC Lipglasses are also vanilla-scented but taste-free. They are very sticky and have a thick, borderline-goopy consistency. If you prefer gel-like, cushion-y glosses that feel lightweight on, I don’t recommend MAC Lipglass. Because of the tackier texture, MAC Lipglasses do tend to wear a full four hours on me, with some of the darker shades lasting up to six hours (with mostly the color lingering at that point).

Note: I am reviewing each “set” together. After I’ve reviewed all sixteen sets, I will do round-ups for each product type (so all lipsticks together) to deliver an overall Glossover rating. This rating is more indicative of the product type, as the rating that follows this post is an average across three totally different types of products. You can also see the individual scores listed after each product, which are listed in the same order as they are in the Glossover.

The Glossover

product

MAC Ravishing Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This doesn't read "peach" on me; it's more orange, more orange-coral at best. It has strong, warm undertones, so I also wouldn't describe it as neutral! This set is just okay; none of the three products are top notch in quality.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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