Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush
NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

For the holidays, NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush ($27.00 for 0.16 oz.) is designed to create “instant radiance” with a “soft, shimmering peach.” It’s new with the holiday collection but will become part of the permanent range. Miss Liberty is a sheer, peach-toned beige brown–it’s soft, light, but it’s not as pale as peach (like Benefit Georgia, which is very pale). It has silvery-white shimmer and sparkle, so the finish has a shimmer-sheen but there are larger flecks of sparkle, too.

On the skin, it gives the appearance of shimmering water, which may or may not be a look you want on your cheeks/face. I’m undecided on it; I think it’s too much on my skin type, which is certainly a personal preference. The larger sparkle does have a tendency to look too obvious on the skin and more like its just lying on top of it, whereas the shimmer-sheen is more natural and luminous. The way it looks almost wet is very interesting; it’s not something I’ve seen really and especially not in a powder product.

It’s a very sheer product, so I would not expect it to add much color to most skin tones but on lighter complexions, you may notice subtle warmth. On deeper complexions, I would expect shimmer and sheen but the underlying base color will keep it from turning ashy or looking powdery/chalky as some pale highlighters can appear. I was able to wear this for about seven hours before it started to fade; by eight hours, there was smidgen of luminosity lingering, but for the most part, it had worn away.

The Glossover

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Miss Liberty

B+

If you love your highlighters shimmery, almost frosty, and the opposite of subtle, I think you'll like NARS Miss Liberty! I really like that it can be worn on many skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, October 21st, 2011

MAC Silver Iced Delights Eye Bag
MAC Silver Iced Delights Eye Bag

MAC Ice Parade Silver Iced Delights Eye Bag

MAC Silver Iced Delights Eye Bag ($45.00) includes Silverwear (metallic lilac), Blue Spruce (celadon with violet sparkles), Graphblack (black), along with a full-sized Zoom Fast Black Lash Mascara and 275SE brush. There are three different Eye Bags and all three contain both the mascara and special edition brush, but the eyeshadow duo and eyeliner vary. MAC Ice Parade launches on October 27th, 2011 in-stores.

  • Silverwear is an icy lilac with a frost finish. The color payoff is so-so, as it’s sheer but not invisible. Make Up For Ever #151 is similar, though a touch pinker. This is a repromote.
  • Blue Spruce is a dark navy blue with a tealish-green edge and copper sparkle. It has a velvet finish. I thought this looked very unique from the moment I swatched it, and thankfully, it also had good pigmentation. I couldn’t think of a dupe.
  • Graphblack is a medium-dark black. It is part of the permanent range.

I’m not keen on the color payoff of Silverwear, especially as a frost finish, it shouldn’t be as sheer as it is. I do, however, appreciate and like the originality of Blue Spruce. Trade-offs! Graphblack is a long-time favorite, and I used to use it as my go-to black eyeliner for a couple of years.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Ice Parade Silver Iced Delights Eye Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I'm not keen on the color payoff of Silverwear, especially as a frost finish, it shouldn't be as sheer as it is. I do, however, appreciate and like the originality of Blue Spruce. Trade-offs! Graphblack is a long-time favorite, and I used to use it as my go-to black eyeliner for a couple of years.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, October 17th, 2011

Estee Lauder Bronze Dunes Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette
Estee Lauder Bronze Dunes Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Bronze Dunes Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette

Estee Lauder Bronze Dunes Pure Color Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.27 oz.) is filled with warm browns and golds. The general look and feel of the palette reminded me of Lancome Bronze Amour, though there are some differences.

The first shade is a pale, golden yellow with a soft, frosted finish. It has decent color payoff, but it is a touch sheer. The hue reminded me of Bare Escentuals Aspire, which has a more metallic-like finish as well as Urban Decay Blunt. Directly below, there is a warm white with a hint of yellow and frosted finish. It was also just a bit on the sheerer side, though the color reminded me of MAC Femme-fi (but whiter) and Urban Decay Zephyr (less frosted).

In the middle of the palette resides a warm, dark chocolate brown with subtle bronze micro-shimmer and a satiny sheen. It has nice pigmentation and applies smoothly. It is a great color to own, but it is similar to many other shades, including MAC Carbonized, Bare Escentuals Bronzed Twig, Inglot #422, and NARS Galapagos. To the right, there is a warm, clay brown with orange-red tones. It has a satin-like finish, and the color payoff was good. It’s similar to MAC Lie Low, Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa, and MAC Take Root. Finally, there is a light-medium copper-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen. I wish the pigmentation was higher, though, because it’s rather sheer and really needs to be packed on to deliver true-to-pan color. It’s lighter and less brown compared to MAC Amber Lights.

This is the type of color combination that will work well on warmer skin tones, like those with yellow undertones. None of the shades are too frosty, though all but one have noticeable shimmer/sheen. They coordinate and complement each other well, which you don’t always find in a palette (especially with five shades!). The shades also vary from each other, which makes this a more versatile and usable palette. I wasn’t impressed with the quality, though; some of the shades could have used more pigment, but if you prefer a softer look, you may still find this worth grabbing.

The Glossover

palette

Bronze Dunes

B+
This is the type of color combination that will work well on warmer skin tones, like those with yellow undertones. None of the shades are too frosty, though all but one have noticeable shimmer/sheen.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, October 16th, 2011

NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish
NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish

NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish

NYX Ice Glitter (209) Salon Formula Nail Polish ($4.00 for 0.52 fl. oz.) is a holographic glitter polish with small particle glitter and larger hexagonal particles all suspended in a clear base. It looks almost silver, but then the particles give off a rainbow reflection. I wish the photos turned out better, because it’s so stunning in person–it dazzles and shimmers and shines. The effect is gorgeous!

This is a newly released formula by NYX, and if you have any Deborah Lippmann polishes, the bottle is going to seem more than familiar. The major difference is the cap; NYX has a glossy black cap, while Deborah Lippmann has a rubberized cap (so it has a matte black finish), and the latter is easier to hold. I tested out NYX’s formula this past week using two different shades (a shimmer on one hand, this glittery shade on the other), and I didn’t have any wear issues, just minor tip wear after seven days.

Ice Glitter has a thin consistency, which is different than a lot of other glitters like this one, because they tend to have thicker, almost gel-like bases, which often assist in giving the glitter better distribution on the nail. I felt like a thicker base would have helped pull the glitter more evenly, but I still felt like the distribution was decent overall with the thinner consistency. The thinner quality makes it easier to layer without building up too much thickness on the actual nail. As you’d expect, removal is no picnic, and you’ll want to give the remover some time to soak and break down the polish before actually pulling the polish off.

P.S. — Please forgive the random red glitters; this was the seventh or eighth glitter polish I swatched for photos.

The Glossover

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Ice Glitter

B+
I'm thrilled to see more budget-friendly brands putting out hexagonal glitter polishes, because they can be really fun and lovely on, but previous iterations have been less than affordable.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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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

coming-soon

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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product

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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