Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows: #22E, 24E, 26E, 28E, 30E, 32E

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #22E, 24E, 26E, 28E, 30E, 32E

Please see my first post on the Aqua Shadows for a detailed review, along with photos, of texture, consistency, wear, and so forth. This post is specifically looking at the seven shimmer finish Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.).  Because of the shimmery finish, these are just slightly drier, but as a result, they also wear really well alone over bare lids, over primer, and as a base with powder eyeshadows on top.

The only shade I had real trouble with was #32E, which has the driest consistency of the seven shades, and this translated to uneven color during application, so it didn’t work well as an eyeshadow base and looked like my lids were flaking when used alone.  If they had a smidgen more creaminess to the texture or if #32E was more like the rest, these would have been an A- product, but they’re a really high B+ (89%).

  • #20E is a soft bronzy taupe–it’s just slightly taupe. The color payoff is good in a single pass. It’s much lighter compared to Urban Decay’s Rehab and Urban Decay Underground.
  • #22E is a warm coppery brown with a subtly metallic finish. It is the least shimmery of the seven shimmery shades. The color payoff is really good, too. Urban Decay Lucky is a bit darker.
  • #24E is a warm, yellow-toned light-medium pink with a shimmery finish. The color payoff is just so-so, but it is a bit buildable. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade.
  • #26E is a warm tangerine orange with a shimmery finish. It has good color payoff in a single stroke.
  • #28E is a warm medium brown with a subtle champagne sheen. The pigmentation is good overall. It’s lighter than Urban Decay Sin and more copper-based.
  • #30E is a soft champagne beige with a shimmered finish. The pigmentation is good, but it is a little drier texture compared to the other shades in this post. Urban Decay Sin is very similar to this.
  • #32E is a pale white gold with a near metallic finish. This had so-so color payoff, but I found it really uneven during application and rather dry. It’s not quite as yellow as MAC Gilded White. It’s lighter than Benefit Tattle Tale.

The Glossover

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Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #22E, 24E, 26E, 28E, 30E, 32E Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear. I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Guerlain Riviera Terracotta Vernis
Guerlain Riviera Terracotta Vernis

Guerlain Riviera Terracotta Vernis

Guerlain Riviera Terracotta Vernis ($22.00 for 0.38 fl. oz.) is described as a “powerful electric indigo blue with subtly metallic finish.” It’s a rich, blue-based purple with threads of lighter violet metallic shimmer. SpaRitual Blue Moon is deeper, bluer, and not metallic. Essie Smooth Sailing is lighter, more periwinkle. SpaRitual Illume has a jelly-like finish, no shimmer.

Guerlain by Emilio Pucci is supposed to launch two shades of nail lacquers (officially, “Terracotta Vernis”). I didn’t see them online yet, except at The Bay (Canadian retailer), even though much of the collection has launched at Sephora. I haven’t seen Guerlain do polish before, though a quick Google search will show that they definitely have. It comes in a cylindrical glass bottle with a “wood” cap (matches the rest of the aesthetic for the launch). It’s actually pretty simple in design.

It was opaque in two coats, but the formula itself was a wee bit thick, though manageable on the nail. It does show brush strokes, as metallic finishes often do, which may or may not appeal to you.  The drying time was also a little on the longer side, probably because of the thicker consistency.  Since I’ve never used Guerlain’s polish before, I wore this on one hand for a week to test out the wear, and I didn’t have any trouble with chipping–just minor tip wear. I will say that no formulas, generally speaking, chip on me.  For the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with wearing a few formulas without a base or top coat, and I don’t experience chipping then (always testing for seven days).  I’m by no means gentle on my nails; I’ll dig at things and use them as tools whenever the need arises!

The Glossover

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Riviera

B+
The brush strokes are a bit heavy, and the thicker consistency seems to make it more difficult to get them straightened out, so they look even more obvious--worse because they're wonky.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

Tom Ford Burnt Topaz Nail Lacquer
Tom Ford Burnt Topaz Nail Lacquer

Tom Ford Burnt Topaz Nail Lacquer ($30.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a warm bronze with orange undertones and threads of metallic copper shimmer. It’s mostly opaque after two coats. China Glaze Mahogany Magic has a similar undertone but looks rather different otherwise. NARS King Kong is much redder. China Glaze Goin’ My Way is a bit darker.

There was a tendency for it to pull a bit, which I suspect is due partially to the longer drying time. Not much longer than average to me, but the formula is less forgiving if you’re trying to get your swatches done! Because it has a metallic finish, brush strokes are definitely present and noticeable, though they’re subtler than you’ll typically find in this type of finish. The formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it applied decently, but it could have gone on a bit smoother.  It also did this weird thing where it seemed to recede from the edge of the tips of my nails.

I wore this shade to test wear (I’ve tested the wear of the cream finishes, but not of the metallic ones), and it lasted seven days without any chipping and had minor tip wear–just keep in mind that I can’t remember the last formula that did chip on me other than matte polish.

The Glossover

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Burnt Topaz

B+

It's a so-so formula, but the color is pretty and if you're a fan of metallic finishes and prefer less brush strokes, you may find it worth dealing with. At this price point, I'd expect a better formula and more color coverage at two coats.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, April 20th, 2012

Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss
Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss

Tom Ford Sugar Pink Ultra Shine Lipgloss ($45.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a creamy finish. It’s mostly opaque in color coverage, but there is some translucency. The closest dupe I could come up with is Bobbi Brown Pink Sorbet, which is also a yellow-toned pink, though it reads a little beige-like compared to Sugar Pink, and it has shimmer. MAC Curvaceous is plummier.  What makes it harder to dupe is the amount of color coverage it has–a lot of glosses are sheer to semi-sheer.

This formula is supposed to have a high-shine finish with good color payoff. The texture is very smooth and slick; it slides onto lips easily with a slight tackiness (but not what I would describe as a full-on sticky gloss). There is some settling into lip lines, which is less noticeable from a normal viewing distance but visible upclose. It has a sweet vanilla scent but no discernible taste. It’s neither drying nor overly hydrating, though I would err on the side of slightly moisturizing. It’s comfortable wear while it lasts, which in Sugar Pink’s case was three and a half hours. The glossy finish does stick around for most of the time, which is longer than some other glosses.

The Glossover

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Sugar Pink

B+

It's a good gloss, but it's not the best gloss on the market. It's nice to see that it lives up to most of its claims--it has a nice texture and the color payoff is pretty good. There is some unevenness in application and settling into lip lines.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss
Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss

Milani Flashy Haute Flash Lipgloss ($7.49 for 0.18 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot pink with hot pink shimmer.” It’s a bright, vibrant, nearly-neon fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a heavy dosage of lighter fuchsia shimmer. MAC Athena’s Kiss is a bit darker, not as neon. OCC Pageant isn’t as bright or as blue-based. The underlying base color is similar to MAC Quick Sizzle, which is a touch darker. The overall look is closer to MAC Pink Pigeon. MAC Show Orchid is a bit darker and more iridescent with less obvious shimmer.

Milani describes the formula as yielding full-color coverage with an extra glossy, non-tacky finish that won’t feather. It’s definitely rich in color–it’s opaque in one pass, and the finish is extremely shimmery and fairly glossy. The one characteristic I disagree on is the texture, because it’s incredibly sticky. It has a thicker consistency, so it’s not a lightweight formula, and the shimmer seemed to clump up in a few places. It feels very much like MAC Dare to Wear Lipglass, though. Swatched, it actually looks like it might be a potential dupe for Gimme That, but it’s very different–Gimme That is a rich fuchsia that goes on as more color and has less shimmer. Milani’s variation has much, much more shimmer. It also has a sweet vanilla scent.

Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile.  The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn’t always easy.

The Glossover

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Flashy

B+
Flashy wore for three and a half hours, and as it faded away, the texture of the shimmer was more noticeable on the lips, so it had a slightly gritty consistency after awhile. The coverage is fantastic, though, and to get this really bright, neon pink in an opaque gloss isn't always easy.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

NARS Liberte Blush
NARS Liberte Blush

NARS Liberte Blush

NARS Liberte Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “burnished apricot.” It’s a burnt orange-red with a very subtle sheen. Fans of NARS Exhibit A will probably enjoy this–it’s just a bit darker, more muted compared to Exhibit A. It’s not as bright; it reads softer, and the subtle sheen gives it a more luminous look on the cheeks. MAC My Paradise has a similar feel, though it is a touch lighter.

Admittedly, it’s horrible on me, but I think this is something that will look absolutely stunning on deeper complexions. There’s just something about this color and my particular skin tone that makes it read “terribly sunburnt” rather than “gloriously blushing.” It is also an interesting shade, because it reinforced my feelings that this collection was more of a split personality than anything else–this blush would complement the Ramatuelle trio, but it doesn’t work at all with the Marie-Galante duo (similarly, Moscow looks awful with Marie-Galante but would work with Ramatuelle).

It can be used both intensely and more sheered out, depending on how heavy-handed you are and what brush you use.  I’d recommend a stippling or really fluffy brush if you wanted a softer look, because this powder is rather pigmented.  The texture is a little on the drier, powdery side, so blending wasn’t effortless–it did take some maneuvering to get the edges to diffuse properly.  I ended up cheating a bit and using a pat or two of foundation over the edges, because it just wasn’t getting there for me.  A good method to try is to apply a very soft layer first, diffuse that, and then apply a bit more exactly where you want it.  I wore this yesterday for wear, and it wore for seven hours with just a little fading along the cheekbones.

The Glossover

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Liberte

B+
If it was easier to blend, this would product would have been an A- product, but it takes substantial effort to get it to blend out and soften along the edges. The pigmentation is fantastic, and this will be lovely on deeper complexions.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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