Wednesday, July 27th, 2011


MAC Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow Swatches – Neutrals (Part 2)

More neutral MAC Eyeshadows! There will be one more set of neutrals, and then I only have the grays/blacks after that.

Grain is a soft, warm beige with a satin finish. It’s like a lighter version of MAC Arena.
Orb is a soft, pink-peach with a satin finish. It is pinker than Urban Decay Virgin. It is similar to Inglot #397, but it has a softer look and therefore looks darker/more pigmented.
Naked Lunch is a warm, peach-beige with a frost finish. Chanel Emerveille is similar in color.
Hush is a peach-pink with a subtle iridescence and frost finish.
Jest is a light-medium peach with a frost finish. theBalm Luscious Lani is a touch lighter.
Say Yeah is an apricot pink with a golden shimmer-sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it was a limited edition shade.
Ricepaper is a soft, warm yellow champagne with a frost finish. Inglot #393 is the closest but it has a more reflective finish.
Retrospeck is a paled gold with a lustre finish. It has a slightly gritty texture. Milani Beach Sand is slightly similar.
Femme-fi is a warm, yellow-toned white with a veluxe pearl finish. theBalm Devilish Danielle is similar, slightly more reflective.

Hush has sheerer color than one would expct, while Retrospeck has glitter in it, so it has a grittier texture and is prone to fall out. The other shades were true-to-color with good color payoff and smooth textures overall.

The Glossover

P
coming-soon

Hush

B+

Like I mentioned last time, MAC has a solid range of neutrals--lots of variations on beige, nude, and peach--that are worth checking out.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, July 25th, 2011


NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner

NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner ($23.00 for 0.02 oz.) is a new (and permanent) long-wearing pencil eyeliner that is available in nine shades (though two have not yet been made available online). They’re touted to have 12-hour wear with no smearing or caking. Each eyeliner twists up and also has a built-in sharpener.

I posted sneak peek swatches a couple of days ago, and I’ve spent the time since then testing different shades out to see how they wear. I had high hopes for this product, especially because the initial wear test (which had only been four hours or so) made it seem promising. First, these are infinitely better than NARS Eyeliner Pencils. When I had these on the back of my hand, I can’t smudge them after they set–really vigorous rubbing will cause them to flake a bit, though.

  • Santa Monica Blvd. is a pure white a matte finish. This one applied a bit unevenly, and it seemed less opaque than the other shades. It seems similar to MAC Pure White.
  • Rue Bonaparte is a soft beige with a matte finish. This works well to give eyes a more awake appearance when used on the waterline–the problem is getting it to stay there, though. It seems a touch lighter than MAC NC15/NW20.
  • Abbey Road is a blue-teal with soft blue shimmer. It seems similar to Urban Decay’s Covet.
  • Rue Saint-Honore is a royal purple with strong blue pull–it’s described as a deep royal blue but looks more purple than blue on me.
  • Via Appia is a dark, copper-shimmered brown. It’s not as dark (or as warm) as Urban Decay Corrupt.
  • Madison Ave. is a medium-dark gray with a matte finish.
  • Via Veneto is a deep, dark black with a matte finish. It reminded me of Urban Decay’s Perversion and MAC Black Black.

I’m not sure if these are waterline-safe or not–the press release nor the website indicate that they are–but typically, matte shades are usually suitable for the waterline while shimmery/glittery shades may not be. I wore Via Veneto (which is a deep, dark black) on my lower waterline and lash line, and I get about an hour of wear on the waterline before the majority has faded away.

The eyeliner on the lash line lasts much longer, and what I noticed is when I wore foundation, the eyeliner wore better and had no smudging eight hours later.  By 12-hours (the claimed wear time), there was very, very faint smudging underneath the lash line, and the eyeliner wasn’t as intense or as thick as it was originally.  When I wore no foundation, by the sixth hour, there seemed to be a faint, but noticeable, darkness beneath the line–a subtle smudging.  I don’t have oily eyelids, and when it’s not allergy season (and it is not), I don’t have very watery eyes.

The built-in sharpener is best used when you twist-up the pencil a good amount, because you really need to get a good portion of it into the sharpener to get it to work.  You do lose some pencil in the process in order to achieve the slanted, pointed tip.  It seems a bit less than a traditional pencil eyeliner per sharpening, but I’m not sure it’s significant enough that one would be persuaded solely by that–after all, most pencil eyeliners are 0.04 oz. and this is half the size at 0.02 oz. and you do still waste some when sharpening.  It is more than most mechanical eyeliners (which are around 0.01 on average), though.

They’re creamy and deposit mostly even color when applied (except Santa Monica Blvd., which is sheerer overall). They glide across the skin and lash lines with ease, so there is no tugging or pulling. The texture of these–overall–is really nice and easy enough to apply. The wear is good, and of course, when it comes to eyeliner, wear is the defining factor.

The Glossover

product

NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
They're shy of the 12-hour mark that NARS' claims, but they do wear fairly well for eight hours. The pencils glide on easily and deposit a good amount of color in one stroke.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, July 24th, 2011


NARS Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick

NARS Montego Bay Pure Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “rose pink.” It’s a soft pink with just a hint of coral to me–it has the warmth and lightness of pink but not the brightness of your typical coral. Montego Bay is muted without being dull or overly dusty and pale. It is, though, on the lighter side, so the creaminess in the texture is more noticeable.  I can see this color looking a little different depending on skin tone and natural pigmentation of the lips–it may look pinker on some, more coral on others.  It’s a little darker than MAC Ever Hip, pinker than MAC Gem of Roses, darker than Giorgio Armani #507, and more opaque than Shiseido PK327.

The Pure Matte formula is designed to be opaque and long-wearing in a base that glides on and wears comfortably–it also contains wild mango butter to moisturize lips. I found this particular shade to be creamier than most of the Pure Mattes, and this resulted in a noticeable sheen to the finish, though these are supposed to be “perfectly matte.” It helps the color glide on and apply evenly, but it wears four hours or so before it really begins to fade. The color itself is nearly opaque and delivers good color coverage without a lot of product.

Pure Mattes are mostly matte without being drying or uncomfortable to wear and deliver excellent color coverage with little product. It could be a touch more moisturizing over the time it wears, but for a matte, achieving “not drying” status is good.

The Glossover

P
product

Montego Bay

B+
Four hours on a lighter shade like this is good, but it's not quite long-wearing. It's less matte than expected, which may be a good thing, depending on your personal preferences, but it strays a little from NARS' claim of "perfectly matte."

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, July 23rd, 2011


NARS Grand Palais Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Grand Palais Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Grand Palais Eyeshadow Duo ($33.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “silver taupe” and “dusty rose.” The left side of the duo is a smoky taupe with a hint of brown, touch of gray, and frosted finish. The right side of the duo is a muted mulberry. It’s deeper than pink–almost like a really dusty rosy red.

The taupe is lovely in color payoff and texture–true-to-pan color with excellent pigmentation, while the texture is buttery and smooth and applies beautifully. Mattes are prone to being difficult, and the mulberry side, while not difficult outright, is a little dry and stiff with a touch of powderiness. It works better applied than it feels when swatched. It’s a touch on the sheerer side, with slight unevenness, but it blends well enough once applied.

MAC Satin Taupe is many shades darker, as is Giorgio Armani #4. Inglot #402 is warmer and browner. theBalm’s Come Hither Heather is the closest I could think of. I could not find anything similar to the mulberry side of the duo, though.

Per NARS, their eyeshadows are supposed to be long-wearing and crease-resistant. In my experience, they still need to be worn over an eyeshadow base for all-day wear, but alone, they wear seven to eight hours with subtle creasing. They don’t fall apart immediately after application, but an eyeshadow base is recommended for best results.

The Glossover

palette

NARS Grand Palais Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
If you've found pink eyeshadow to be difficult to wear, you might like this more muted, darker variation. It works well paired with the taupe within the duo, and a bonus is it also pairs well with the darker lip colors of the fall collection.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, July 22nd, 2011


Bobbi Brown Sand Tortoise Shell Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Sand Tortoise Shell Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Sand Tortoise Shell Eye Palette ($60.00 for 0.32 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows: Ivory (creamy white), Hot Stone (medium brown), Terracotta (warm golden nude), Desert Sand (golden beige), Antique Rose (warm pink nude), Black Chocolate (black brown), Sandy Rose (brown bronze), and Gold Bar (pale gold).

Here’s a quick breakdown of Bobbi Brown’s finishes: regular eyeshadows have a matte finish, which means no shimmer; sparkle eyeshadows are glittery and have a translucent base to allow it to glide onto the lid; metallic eyeshadows are richly pigmented with a bright sheen; and shimmer wash eyeshadows are sheer and lightly pearlized.

  • Ivory is a pale, creamy white with a matte finish. There is a softness to it that keeps it from being powdery or chalky. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow and is part of the permanent range. Inglot #351 is similar but less warm.
  • Hot Stone is a medium-dark brown with a hint of gray. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow and is part of the permanent range. It’s a little darker than MAC Omega but lighter than MAC Charcoal Brown. Inglot #361 is less brown but similar.
  • Terracotta is a lightened orange with a matte finish. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow. MAC Samoa Silk is lighter and brighter. Inglot #368 is closer, but it’s more orange.
  • Desert Sand is a pale champagne-gold with a bright, metallic sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow. Urban Decay Blunt is similar but more golden. MAC Retrospeck also seems similar.
  • Antique Rose is a medium-dark peach-beige with a matte finish. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow. Inglot #337 is similar but not as pink.
  • Black Chocolate is a blackened brown with a matte finish–it looks more charcoal than brown, though. This is a regular (matte) eyeshadow and is part of the permanent range. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this, just because it’s more gray-black than black-brown, but it’s very, very dark.
  • Sandy Rose is a soft, light beige-taupe with a metallic sheen. This is a metallic eyeshadow. Inglot #402 is a bit darker but still similar.
  • Gold Bar is a sheer white gold with lots of fine gold shimmer. This is a sparkle eyeshadow. Sparkle eyeshadows are supposed to be sheer, but this felt a little dusty and uneven overall–not just sheer. MAC Nylon is similar but has a whiter base color.

Overall, I think this palette is better than the Bronze Tortoise palette, because it has a better variety in finishes as well as the shades are more diversified, which makes it a more versatile palette in comparison.  The only troublemaker was Gold Bar, which despite the Sparkle finish, seemed uneven, and it was prone to fall out.  Ivory and Terracotta seemed a touch under-pigmented but just barely.

Unfortunately, the product sample I received to review did not come with a box, and the label on the back of the compact had sample labeling, so I couldn’t get an ingredients’ list or how much product was in it. I called my local Bobbi Brown counter and asked, and they said that the regular eyeshadows (mattes) contain 0.04 oz., sparkle finishes contain 0.02 oz., metallic finishes contain 0.05 oz., and shimmer wash finishes contain 0.05 oz. This palette contains 5x regular, 1x sparkle, and 2x metallic, which ends up being the equivalent value of: $50 in regular eyeshadows, $3.69 in sparkle eyeshadows, and $20 in metallic eyeshadows. All in all, this palette contains $73.69 worth of product.

The Glossover

palette

Sand Tortoise

B+
There is a good mix of mattes and shimmers in this palette, which is always nice to see. If you've been looking for a neutral palette with more matte eyeshadows, you might consider this. It's cooler in overall tone compared to the Bronze Tortoise palette. The only eyeshadow that had real issues was Gold Bar.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011


Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “warm brown with shimmer.” The Sateen formula is designed to be a “lightweight eyeshadow with a creamy powder texture” with “intense, luminous color” that has “superior blending” and “long-wearing, crease-resistant application.”

First things first: yes, the eyeshadow is broken; it slipped out of the bubble wrap it was shipped in, and this was the result, but the damage was contained, so I could still give you some idea of the color and quality of the product, even if it might be hard to look at.

Cedar is a warm, medium-dark brown with subtle gold shimmer and satin sheen. It has excellent color payoff, and it applies smoothly and evenly. The wear is great over a primer with no fading or creasing, but the formula is described as long-wearing and crease-resistant without mention of a primer, so I did try it that way as well. I get about seven hours or so without a primer, which isn’t bad, but it’s not a full day of wear. The creasing is very subtle, but the fading is more noticeable. I would still recommend wearing it over an eyeshadow base to get solid wear throughout the day.

It’s a lot like MAC Swiss Chocolate, except Cedar has a little shimmer. NARS Galapagos is a bit darker, while Inglot #327 is a matte version. Milani Rich Java is a bit more red-based.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Cedar Sateen Eye Colour Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I would still recommend this--overall--as long as you wear an eyeshadow primer underneath, which I imagine most of us do already! This product lost the majority of points from failing to be long-wearing and crease-resistant on its own as claimed.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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