Sunday, August 17th, 2014

NARS Audacious Lipstick -- Vanessa, Julie, Marisa, Kelly, Carmen
NARS Audacious Lipstick — Vanessa, Julie, Marisa, Kelly, Carmen

Here are five of the ten Barneys’ exclusive shades of NARS Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.), which are also available online at narscosmetics.com. These also launched early, so you can purchase them online now. The new formula is supposed to be highly pigmented with a formula that makes lips appear smoother while also hydrating. The consistency has a light creaminess to it that enables it to glide on evenly and smoothly. It seemed particularly forgiving when applied, as it didn’t catch on imperfections, yet it doesn’t slide around easily. The formula wears longer on me than the average lipstick, and they’re really comfortable to wear for most of the time–it’s the last hour or so of wear that seems drier, though often not drying, just dry in feel. I have found a couple of shades to be a little drying with few actually being hydrating. They’re scent- and taste-free.

Vanessa Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “mauve nude.” It’s a neutral-to-warm-toned, muted pink with a satin finish. It had rich, opaque color coverage that went on smoothly and evenly without bunching up at all. It wore well for five hours, and it was neither drying nor hydrating. NARS Anita (P, $32.00) is slightly warmer, but the two are surprisingly similar. Guerlain Rosy Boop (369) (P, $37.00) is lighter. Givenchy Nude Guipure (106) (P, $36.00) is warmer. Givenchy Rose d’Exception (206) (LE, $36.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Julie Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “nude pink.” It’s a brightened, coral-pink with warm undertones and a soft shine. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but the consistency had more slip compared to other shades in the formula, which made it apply not quite as evenly. You will get faint “lines” if you press your lips together as the product moves around more. On me, this shade wore well for four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. NARS Brigitte (P, $32.00) is slightly darker but similar. MAC Modern Wow! (LE, $16.00) is brighterr. MAC Reel Sexy (LE, $16.00) is more matte. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Marisa Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm pink.” It’s a medium pink with cool, blue undertones (it doesn’t look warm at all) and a satin finish. It had intense color payoff in one stroke, while it applied evenly and smoothly. The color lasted for five hours, and it was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Boutique Pink (LE, $22.00) is cooler-toned. Marc Jacobs Beauty Pop-arazzi (606) (P, $28.00) is more matte, brighter. Givenchy Hibiscus Exclusif (302) (P, $36.00) is warmer. Givenchy Rose Perfecto (209) (P, $36.00) is brighter. Guerlain Geraldine (77) (P, $51.00) is more shimmery. Estee Lauder Powerful (P, $30.00) is lighter. L’Oreal Pink Flamingo (180) (P, $8.95) is a touch darker. NARS Goodbye Emmanuelle (LE, $26.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Kelly Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “coral hibiscus.” It’s a bright, coral-red with warm undertones and a satiny sheen. It had fully opaque color coverage in a single pass, while the color stayed on well for six hours and left a slight stain behind. It was neither drying nor hydrating over time. NARS Grace (P, $32.00) is brighter. Guerlain Rouge Kiss (325) (P, $37.00) is darker. Chanel La Malicieuse (46) (P, $34.00) is brighter, cooler-toned. Estee Lauder Defiant Coral (P, $30.00) is brighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty Shout (138) (LE, $30.00) is pinker. Chanel Melodieuse (136) (P, $34.00) is pinker. Givenchy Rose Dentelle (203) (P, $36.00) is warmer, more muted. Maybelline Shocking Coral (P, $7.49) is pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Carmen Audacious Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “geranium.” It’s a bright, medium red with subtle, warm undertones and a glossy sheen. It had incredibly rich color payoff, and the consistency of this shade had more slip (and resulting shine) than others in the formula. It applied very evenly, and the color wore well for eight hours overall, but I found it a bit drying over the last two hours of wear. NARS Rita (P, $32.00) is darker, more muted. NARS Annabella (P, $32.00) is a smidgen more muted. Bite Beauty Grandifolia (LE, $28.00) is lighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty Showstopper (134) (P, $30.00) is darker, browner. NARS Future Red (LE, $26.00) is similar. Maybelline Infra-red (LE, $7.49) is similar. Giorgio Armani #402 (P, $32.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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product

Vanessa

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Julie

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Marisa

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, August 15th, 2014

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour
Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour

Christian Louboutin Rouge Louboutin Nail Colour ($50.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a medium (almost medium-dark), subtly cool-toned red cream with a high gloss finish. NARS Torre del Oro (P, $20.00) is lighter. Tom Ford Beauty Trophy Wife (LE, $32.00) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Shameless (LE, $32.00) is warmer. NARS Lost Red (LE, $20.00) is brighter. Chanel Cinema (P, $27.00) is more muted. MAC Touch of Red (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Stage Red (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Russian Red (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is slightly pinker. Dior Marilyn (LE, $26.00) is brighter. Butter London Pillar Box Red (P, $15.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It is modeled after the iconic red sole of Louboutin’s shoes. I can’t weigh in on how close of a match of it, as I do not own any Louboutin shoes myself. From the bottom of the bottle to the very top of the handle, it measured exactly eight inches (as intended to match the tallest shoe ever designed by Louboutin, the Ballerina Ultima). The long-handled cap is also supposed to be “perfectly weighted to ensure the utmost ergonomic comfort and control.” The formula is supposed to be “highly pigmented, chip-proof” with a “brilliantly shiny finish that mimics the reflection of patent leather.” It comes in a small, square box that the cap comes out of (so nothing keeps the cap boxed in, just the glass portion).

It was nearly opaque after one coat, though it looks more pinkish-red at times with only one coat. I applied two coats for swatches (except the one as noted, to show you opacity after one). I think it lives up to the highly pigmented claim, and it has a high shine finish without the need of a top coat. It dries down faster than the average polish, though you can still dent it if you’re not careful for about a half hour to forty-five minutes after application. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it was well-balanced, easy to apply, and didn’t streak, bubble, or pool along the edges.

Everything about the actual formula was quite nice (aside from wear, which I’m testing), but I didn’t really like the brush or the way the handle/cap felt in my hands. I didn’t find it ergonomic, and it made applying polish with my non-dominant hand even more tedious than usual. It is rather weighty, and I found myself having to hold it nearest to the base (closest to the brush itself), and the thickness of the cap at that point is large, which I think is why it seems less comfortable. The brush itself is shorter and seems almost narrower than some, which I didn’t have any issues with other than it does take more strokes to get an even coat of polish across the entire nail, but that will depend on the width of your nails. If the brand has any more metallic shades in their line-up, I will be curious to see if it is problematic applying those finishes and managing brush strokes. The “is it worth it” question is really personal–there are plenty of red creams on the market, so if it’s the color you’re after, there are other options, but if Louboutin makes your heart sing, it might be right up your alley.

This is part sneak peek, part review, as the wear test will take take as long as ten days (really depends on what it looks like after seven). I’ll update this post after wearing it with a full rating, but the clock has started!  I bought mine from Sephora, but it seems like most places are out of stock and/or on backorder (Nordstrom, Saks).

Update: For the most part, I had a decent amount of tip wear after seven days of wear. It is actually more tip wear than is normal for me with most polishes, but I also had chipping on my right index finger that started after five days, while the left index finger was also in worse shape compared to other shades. It’s very rare that I get chipping, so I was really disappointed to see it here. For reference, I didn’t use any base or top coat, and I used two coats of the polish (this is the same way I wear other polish to test wear). I didn’t have any staining, and it was easy to remove.

The Glossover

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product

Louboutin Rouge

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette

Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Eyeshadow Palette ($29.00 for 0.30 oz.) contains six eyeshadows; five have matte finishes, one has a more satiny finish. The palette leans cool-toned, but I didn’t find it to be strongly cool-toned across the board. The palette is the same size as the previous Naked Basics palette, though this one has a slightly different color and has lighter lettering. The quality is good overall, but the darkest shade is under-pigmented and a little harder to blend, and most of the matte shades were a little powdery, though they’re soft and didn’t look dry or powdery on the lid.

It will launch on Urban Decay’s website on August 19th, but it will be available at the usual suspects like Sephora, ULTA, Macy’s, Beauty.com on August 28th.

Skimp is described as a “pale nude satin.” It’s a light, peachy-beige with a satin finish. It is warmer and has a peach tone to it that wasn’t present when this was released in the Feminine palette (which looks pink-ish). The difference is subtle, and once applied to the skin, blended out, and so forth, it isn’t noticeably different–but it may be more noticeable if you are very cool or very warm-toned. It had good color payoff, and the texture was blendable but thinner than is typical for Urban Decay (and less dense/buttery compared to the previous version I have). It lasted for eight hours before fading on me. LORAC Navy #1 (LE) is darker. YSL Saharienne #1 (P) is similar. Divergent Serene Vanilla (LE) is lighter. MAC Warm Breeze (P, $15.00) is slightly darker. Clarins The Essentials #1 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Magnate (LE) is lighter. MAC Shroom (P, $15.00) is more beige. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Stark is described as a “nude-pink matte.” It’s a muted, peachy-beige with a matte finish and soft, warm undertones. It may be hard to see against my skin tone, as it is very similar to it, but it had good pigmentation, though it was slightly powdery. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. Tarte Peach for the Stars (LE) Bobbi Brown Truffle (LE, $22.00) is darker. Anastasia Cream (LE) is warmer. Urban Decay Habit (LE, $18.00) is slightly cooler-toned. Urban Decay Freestyle (LE, $18.00) is a touch darker. MAC Malt (P, $15.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Frisk is described as a “warm gray matte.” It’s a light-medium taupe with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish. The pigmentation had potential, but the somewhat powdery consistent made it so a lot of the pigment didn’t adhere to the skin, which resulted in decent color payoff but not great. If you normally use a primer, you should be okay. It lasted for eight hours on me before fading. Dior Mirage (761) (P, $30.00) is darker, cream. Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $18.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Cover is described as a “muted red-brown matte.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned taupe brown with a matte finish. This shade was excellent: great pigmentation, a beautifully soft but buttery and blendable texture, and lasted for just over eight hours before fading. Dior Mirage (761) (P, $30.00) is darker, cream. Kat Von D Renholder (P) is more shimmery, warmer. Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $18.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Brains & Brawn (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Fashion Fix (P, $21.00) is darker, less matte. Bobbi Brown Slate (P, $22.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Primal is described as a “muted brown matte.” It’s a muted, medium-dark brown with soft, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft, blendable, and only a smidgen powdery. It wore well for eight and a half hours before fading. LORAC Navy #3 (LE) is darker. Urban Decay Rewind (LE, $18.00) is similar. bareMinerals Get Ahead (LE) is warmer. theBalm Sultry (P, $16.00) is similar. Urban Decay Secret Service (P, $18.00) is darker. Urban Decay Faint (P, $18.00) is warmer. MAC Omega (P, $15.00) is lighter. bareMinerals Namaste (P) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Undone is described as a “deep, smoky brown matte.” It’s a dark brown with subtle, cool undertones and a matte finish. It had poorer color payoff, and it had a thinner, more powdery consistency that just didn’t apply well. I had trouble blending this shade with the others when I used it in the crease. It lasted for almost eight hours on me before fading. Tarte Don’t Turn A-Brown (LE) is darker. LORAC Cool Gray (P) is lighter, cooler-toned. Kat Von D Shadow Box (P) is darker. Tarte Dream in Chocolate (LE) is darker. Too Faced Triple Fudge (P, $16.00) is darker. Laura Mercier Espresso (LE, $23.00) is darker. Chanel Charming #5 (LE) is similar. Too Faced Dark Chocolate (LE, $16.00) is warmer. Tom Ford Beauty She Wolf #1 (LE) is darker. NARS Bali (P, $24.00) is warmer. MAC Dance in the Dark (LE, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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palette

Naked2 Basics

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Skimp

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Stark

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Kat Von D Lullabye Studded Kiss Lipstick
Kat Von D Lullabye Studded Kiss Lipstick

Kat Von D Lullabye Studded Kiss Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “sparkling iridescent magenta violet.” It’s a vibrant, fuchsia pink with cool-toned, magenta-fuchsia shimmer/sheen that gives it a slightly metallic sheen over a matte finish. Melt Cosmetics Shady Lady (P, $19.00) has no shimmer. Too Faced Melted Fuchsia (P, $21.00) has no shimmer, brighter. MAC Pink Poodle (DC, $16.00) is glossier. MAC Midnight Mambo (LE, $22.00) is less matte. Revlon Lollipop (P, $7.49) is sheerer, glossier, more muted. Milani Violet Volt (P, $5.49) is purpler, more shimmery. MAC Show Orchid (P, $16.00) is less matte. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Yaoi (P, $18.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The consistency was very lightly creamy-just enough that it didn’t tug or drag and the color went on evenly–and yielded rich, opaque color coverage. The texture was lightweight, thin, a little clingy (but not in an uncomfortable way), and I didn’t feel the shimmer/sparkle in the shade while I wore it. The color wears and wears like iron; I managed to get eight hours of wear with a fairly noticeable stain that lingered for a few more hours (but it’s supposed to last for 10 hours). It was a little drying towards the last two hours I wore it, but it was moderately comfortable to wear overall.

The Glossover

P
product

Lullabye

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, August 8th, 2014

Dior Trafalgar (876) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Trafalgar (876) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Trafalgar (876) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a mix of pinks, golds, and plums. It’s one of the five new (and permanent) variations added to the 5 Couleurs range. It was a lot better than Pied de Poule, so my experience with the range is mixed (I only bought two, and I don’t have plans to buy others at this time) but consistent with my experience using Dior’s eyeshadow palettes in general. Some are amazing, some are completely and utter disappointments, and some are in-between. Trafalgar didn’t have any major misses; all five shades had fairly good pigmentation, wore well without fall out or fading issues, and were easy enough to use.

Trafalgar #1 is a light, warm-toned pink with a frosted finish. It had decent color payoff, and the texture was fairly soft but a little powdery/dry. It wore well for eight hours before fading on me. MAC Eggplant Blend #1 (LE) is darker, less shimmery. Ulta Pink (P, $10.00) is smoother. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm #2 (LE) is lighter. MAC A Party of Pastels #2 (P, $21.00) is similar. Too Faced Coquet (LE, $16.00) is warmer. Kat Von D Instaglam (LE) is similar. MAC Invincible Light (LE, $21.00) is similar. bareMinerals Glitterati (LE) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Trafalgar #2 is an iridescent, pink and gold-tinged white–almost like a duochrome (but it is fairly subtle) that has a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation that applied well enough and was easy to blend. It lasted well for seven and a half hours before I saw fading. Kat Von D Lunar Lights (P) is lighter. Tom Ford Beauty Ice Queen #1 (P) is cooler-toned. Dior Golden Snow #1 (LE) is less pink. MAC Winterscape (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Solar White (LE, $15.00) is warmer. Make Up For Ever #940 Star Powder (P, $20.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Trafalgar #3 is a rich, brightenred red-berry with warm, orange-red undertones and a pearly sheen. It had fantastic color payoff that went on smoothly and evenly. I was really surprised at how lovely this shade was, and it really made me wonder why the satin/matte finishes in Pied de Poule were so poor in comparison. On me, the color stayed true for eight and a half hours before creasing. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Siren #2 (LE) is more orange, more muted. MAC Crimson Tryst (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Cranberry (P, $15.00) is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Fire Lily (P, $30.00) is darker, more shimmery, redder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Trafalgar #4 is a muted, medium-dark gold with warm undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It had good pigmentation that went on fairly evenly, which wore well for eight hours. MAC My Fantasy (LE, $15.00) is lighter, cooler-toned. LORAC Navy #4 (LE) is darker. theBalm #41 (P, $6.50) is lighter. Makeup Geek Bleached Blonde (P, $5.99) is warmer. Sleek MakeUP Meet in Madrid (LE, $9.99) is more shimmery. Urban Decay Strike (LE, $18.00) is more shimmery. bareMinerals Kudos (LE) is cooler-toned, less yellow/gold. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Trafalgar #5 is a dark, burgundy brown with soft, warm undertones and a satin finish. It had excellent color payoff with a soft, blendable texture that was just a smidgen dry. The color didn’t show any fading or creasing until after eight and a half hours of wear. NARS Subra (P, $29.00) is darker.Too Faced Soiree (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery. Tom Ford Beauty Enchanted #4 (LE) is darker. Inglot #423 (P, $6.00) is slightly browner. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

Trafalgar (876)

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Trafalgar #1

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Trafalgar #2

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Kat Von D Backstage Bambi Studded Kiss Lipstick
Kat Von D Backstage Bambi Studded Kiss Lipstick

Kat Von D Backstage Bambi Studded Kiss Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “matte vivid hot pink.” It’s a brightened, medium fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and an ultra-matte finish. This is no longer an uncommon color, so I’ve tried to zero in on really similar shades that have a more matte finish (so I didn’t consider satins, but there are other shades that are similar in color with a glossier finish as well). Marc Jacobs Beauty Pop-arazzi (606) (P, $28.00) is more muted, less blue-based. Melt Cosmetics Stupid Love (P, $19.00) is brighter, cooler-toned. Melt Cosmetics Shady Lady (P, $19.00) is darker. Chanel La Diva (44) (P, $34.00) is brighter. MAC Quick Sizzle (LE, $16.00) is darker. MAC Candy Yum Yum (P, $16.00) is less matte, brighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

This shade has been the best-wearing of the matte finishes I’ve tried from the Studded Kiss range. It isn’t really creamy, so there’s a bit of tugging when the color is applied from the tube, but it doesn’t drag or apply unevenly–it also starts to glide a little better as it warms up against the lips. The color goes on and looks smooth and even, and it doesn’t feel thick or too clingy, despite how matte it is. It wears almost nine hours on me and leaves a stain behind, and it was neither drying nor hydrating. There’s no dreaded ring around the lip where the color has faded from the center, so even as it wears away, it is still wearable. It isn’t the most comfortable lipstick formula to wear, but it is fairly comfortable for such a long-wearing, matte product.

The Glossover

P
product

Backstage Bambi

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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