Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer
MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep blood red.” It’s a dark, brown-based red with a cream finish. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies is much darker. China Glaze Velvet Bow is several shades darker. Essie Size Matters is lighter, less brown. China Glaze City Siren has less brown. MAC Sly as a Fox is browner. Chanel Rouge Fatal is a smidgen browner. Essie Limited Addiction is very comparable.

It is mostly opaque after two coats, but there’s a small level of translucency–almost because it doesn’t look quite even.  The consistency was thin but not watery; each coat seemed to deliver a fair amount of color payoff, but there was some streakiness that impaired the overall result.  I don’t have problems with the wear of MAC’s polish formula (I get a week with minor tip wear but no chipping), but a lot of the shades don’t have stellar formulas.

P.S. — I didn’t think MAC polish could get more expensive this year, but I was wrong.

The Glossover

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Underfire

B+
Not bad, not great--of course, at this price point, it really needs to be a top notch polish. The color is dupeable enough that there doesn't seem to be much reason to settle for an under-performing high-end shade.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

NARS Lovejoy Highlighting Blush
NARS Lovejoy Blush

Celebrate the Joy of Love with NARS!

NARS Lovejoy Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “shimmering bronzed rose.” It’s rosy-red with a little brown thrown in paired with a golden shimmer-sheen. MAC Ring of Saturn is more orange-red, brighter–the two look a little more similar if used softly. Tom Ford Savage is similar but seems a smidgen lighter and has a mostly matte finish. MAC Buddy Up seems fairly close but doesn’t have the golden sheen. MAC Stratus is darker, a little redder.

The finish is noticeably sparkly and has a bit more shimmer than some of the more recent shades we’ve looked at. It did emphasize pores just slightly; not enough where it was too noticeable or really took away from the finish. Though there is a subdued quality to the overall color, there is enough red in it that it may give some skin tones a sunburned look. It had a slightly dry texture, but the color payoff was still good, and the color was blendable and buildable during application. This shade wore for seven full hours and started to have noticeable fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

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Lovejoy

B+
Though there is a subdued quality to the overall color, there is enough red in it that it may give some skin tones a sunburned look.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, August 24th, 2012

Hourglass Muse Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick
Hourglass Muse Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick

Don’t Be Such a Loudmouth!

Hourglass Muse Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick ($28.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “coral red.” It’s a vibrant coral-red with a neon quality that gives it this really bright, bold look. This is a color that says, “Hey! You! Did you see THIS lip color?!” It has a strong warm, orange pull to it. Illamasqua Mistress is the closest dupe I could think, even though it’s a gloss–color-wise, they’re very similar with Muse being slightly more intense. Wet ‘n’ Wild 909D is similar but a bit softer. Dolce & Gabbana Cosmopolitan is lighter, less red.

This formula is supposed to be extremely pigmented, last 14 hours without flaking or drying out the lip, and have a matte finish.  While it feels and looks like a liquid lipstick initially, this dries down like a second-skin onto the lips.  It takes about thirty seconds or so for the color to dry down and set to a matte finish.  It’s not 100% transfer-proof, but it’s about 90% there.  I’ve found that once I’ve had a meal, that’s really when the breakdown of the lip product begins and ramps up to the point where you’ll see more and more transfer and flaking of the lip color (as well as the lip color breaking apart).  I’m not surprised, given that most cosmetic products breakdown from oil, and many meals will have some sort of element that can contribute to it.

When I tested out the wear of Muse, I made sure to put it on and wear it for as long as I could before subjecting it to a meal, which ended up as five hours, and then it continued to have decent-looking color/texture for a few more hours to the sound of nine hours.  As we neared the 10-hour mark, it wasn’t looking so good, and definitely needed to be removed and reapplied. Not the 14 hours as touted, but it was better than Raven.  As it wears down, I found bits of lipstick on my teeth throughout the evening, so it’s something to be aware of.  I’m still impressed that the formula isn’t at all drying and really must help locking in the moisture, because despite wearing just this for eleven hours, my lips didn’t feel any need for lip balm.

The Glossover

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Muse

B+
If you're looking for a lip product to last mostly through a work day (applied after breakfast, able to make it through lunch, and then needs to be removed at dinner time), you might still consider Hourglass' Opaque Rouge. If you truly need nearly-perfect wear for 10+ hours, this might not be the option.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Zoya FeiFei Nail Lacquer
Zoya FeiFei Nail Lacquer

Sheer is Not the New Opaque!

Zoya FeiFei Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “medium steel blue base with heavy gold, blue, and pink iridescent metallic sparkle.” It’s a cool-toned, purpled blue with a hint of steely gray skies, then coated with blue, green, and dark pink sparkle. I don’t have anything quite like it. Zoya Skylar has one or two similarities, but it is largely different. China Glaze Skyscraper is a similar blue, but the base color is darker, and it has mostly silver sparkle.

Unfortunately, like Daul, this is supposed to be fully opaque (Zoya lists it has having an intensity of five, which is the equivalent to opaque), and it’s not. After two coats, there is still sheerness; I suspect after three coats, you would be pretty close to opaque color coverage.  The good news is the consistency isn’t thick, so three coats is doable without feeling like you have lots of polish on.  I typically get a week of wear out of Zoya’s formula with no chipping and minor tip wear.

The Glossover

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FeiFei

B+
This one wasn't as sheer as Daul, but it's a lot sheerer than Zoya describes it, which was its biggest downfall! It's a shame--the color is very interesting and complex!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Butter London Trustafarian Nail Lacquer
Butter London Trustafarian Nail Lacquer

Butter London Trustafarian Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “delightful sage green [with] a golden holographic finish.” It’s a subtly warmed up light-medium green with yellow undertones and holographic glitter. It reminds me of meadow-y greens for some reason, though I’m sure that brings up a totally different color in your mind! It’s a soft, pale green. Softer than sage but similar in some of the muted qualities of the color. Milani Hi-Tech is the only holographic green polish I could think of, but it’s much darker and less yellow-toned. Do you have any dupe suggestions?

Two coats wasn’t enough (which is what the swatches show)–it’s still noticeably sheer after two coats. I’d have suggest using a third coat if you really want this to sing, because it looks odd with the way it applies at two coats. The holographic shimmer is definitely noticeable as you move your fingers around, though–it’s not subtle or anything like that. If you like holographic shimmer and have always wanted it in a softer green, you might still check this out. Luckily, the consistency of the formula isn’t thick, so using three coats wouldn’t be problematic or impede the wear. I typically get a full week of wear out of Butter London’s polishes with very minor tip wear.

The Glossover

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Trustafarian

B+
If it was opaque in two coats, I'd love this! Alas, it is still visibly sheer (and not just barely sheer) after two coats, which means it absolutely is a three-coater.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, August 18th, 2012

MAC Gadabout Girl Nail Lacquer
MAC Gadabout Girl Nail Lacquer

Three Nail Lacquers for Style Seekers

MAC Styleseeker Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) come in three shades: Gadabout Girl (blackened plum), Mean & Green (purple with teal multi-changing pearl), and Styleseeker (duochrome orange-red). Quick note: the press release indicates these are $16, and normal polish price is $16 at MAC, but online, these three are listed at $15.

Gadabout Girl is a deep blackened burgundy with a hint of purple. The color wasn’t completely opaque after two coats, mostly because it had some streakiness, so the color just wasn’t even everywhere. As you can see, there’s no real visible nail line, but it’s not opaque. The formula was thin. China Glaze Urban Night is lighter, more eggplant-purple. Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche is cooler-toned. Rescue Beauty Lounge Atame is redder/browner in tone. Rescue Beauty Lounge Moulin Rouge is very similar but applies more opaque. Deborah Lipmann Single Ladies is redder. MAC Blueblood was rather close. China Glaze Velvet Bow is redder. Urban Decay Wrecked is a smidgen redder. MAC Purple Majesty is very similar. Zoya Anja is rather close. Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter is also quite similar.

Mean & Green has a murky blackened olive base color with green and purple sparkle/micro-glitter. It has a duochrome, so it flashes from pink-purple to olive-green.  This shade was originally released with Venomous Villains (which is the bottle I swatched here), and it has since been added to the permanent range. It wasn’t quite opaque after two coats. Orly Space Cadet is exactly the same.

Styleseeker is a rich orange-red with metallic threads of ruby shimmer. The duochrome on this is very subtle, and that’s partially because the colors are just so similar that it’s hard to see. It’s no Bad Fairy. There are some noticeable brush strokes, but they’re subtle, and it was opaque after two coats. It has a longer drying time. Nubar Bronzo is darker. I think Nubar might have a dupe of this, as they have several duochromes, but I wasn’t able to remember/find the shade that I’m thinking of.

Mean & Green is now part of the permanent range, so you don’t have to rush out to get it. Gadabout Girl seems extremely dupeable, so it’s not a shade that seems worth dealing with a thin formula for. Styleseeker was the best overall and the shade I couldn’t think of a great dupe for.  I typically get a week of wear with no chipping and just minor tip wear with MAC’s formula.  MAC’s polishes are more expensive than they seem they should be (for a mid-end brand), especially since you only get 0.34 fl. oz.

The Glossover

product

MAC Styleseeker Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Mean & Green is now part of the permanent range, so you don't have to rush out to get it. Gadabout Girl seems extremely dupeable, so it's not a shade that seems worth dealing with a thin formula for. Styleseeker was the best overall and the shade I couldn't think of a great dupe for.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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