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China Glaze Sun-Kissed Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Sun-Kissed Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Sun-Kissed Nail Lacquer

Is That Highlighter All Over Your Nails?

China Glaze Sun-Kissed Nail Lacquer ($3.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot highlighter yellow.” It’s exactly the color of a yellow highlighter; it has that same oddly cool undertone that makes it look almost green-tinged at certain angles; there is a fine dusting of yellow micro-shimmer that’s just the right side of noticeable even under natural light. It’s vibrant, almost neon (to me, it doesn’t quite have the same impact as a true neon). None of the yellows that I’ve swatched in the past are remotely close to this–they’re all more traditonally yellow. Sinful Colors Innocent is more of a chartreuse and has a cream finish. NYX Lime is similar in composition/texture, but it is greener. China Glaze Electric Pineapple was the closest but still rather green–plus it is also a cream. I doubt that this is the first of its kind, though, so I’d love to hear your dupe suggestions!

Yellows can actually be notorious for being a pain to apply, but Sun-Kissed was one of the better-applying shades in the 12-piece summer collection!  It was mostly opaque after two coats, though there was definite nail line showing, especially under brighter light.  There were also some visible brush strokes.  The consistency was barely thick, but not quite the same as I’ve come to expect from China Glaze.  It flowed well and didn’t pool too much along the sides, though you’ll want to make sure to wait in-between coats–and the drying time was longer than usual, too.  I’ve tested several shades in the past, and the formula consistently yields a week of wear with no chipping but minor tip wear.

China Glaze Sun-Kissed Nail Lacquer

B+
8.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

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Giorgio Armani #28 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Giorgio Armani #28 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani #28 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

#28 is More Dazzling Than It Lets On

Giorgio Armani #28 Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is medium-dark, sparkling copper-tinged bronze. MAC Coil has more copper color in it. MAC Havana is darker. Benefit Dandy Brandy is similar but less shimmery. Make Up For Ever #15 is similar in color when sheered out. MAC Roasted Chestnut is a bit darker and more red-toned. MAC Buckwheat is a smidgen darker. Inglot #421 is richer, darker.

This particular shade had larger shimmer particles than a lot of the other Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows have, which results in a greater sparkle effect, though it’s not quite as smooth. When applied dry, it doesn’t bind together as well as I’d like to see, and it comes out looking a little faded compared to the pot color and the way it looks when applied dampened. It takes on a darker brown base color when it is applied wet, though the color will stay looking the same way even when it dries down.

#28 has a drier texture–you can even tell in the pot, as it arrived kind of crumbled along the edges.  You can use the plastic stopper included in the pot to press it back down, but it’s not as well-bound as the other shades.  As a result, the color just doesn’t adhere as well when used dry. It takes some added moisture to make it come together. When I wore it to test the wear, it managed a full eight hours without fading or creasing, and I didn’t see any fall out underneath my eye, despite the sparkly finish.

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Eyeshadow #28
#28
#28
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

Dior Khaki Design Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Khaki Design Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Khaki Design Eyeshadow Palette

Camouflage Your Eyes with These Jungle Hues

Dior Khaki Design Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of four eyeshadows and one cream eyeliner, and all of these are in hues of greens, khakis, and olives. This eyeshadow palette is designed to be layered, as each shade has a different texture. It comes with a plastic insert that shows the labeling of what each shade is. Four of the shades can be treated as eyeshadows, while the fifth shade is a cream eyeliner.

The first shade, located on the upper left, is a darkened olive green with a subtle gray-tint that gives it that subdued color. It has noticeable brown undertones and a soft dusting of shimmer. The color payoff was good, and the texture was soft and smooth. NARS High Society is duller, grayer. Girogio Armani #25 has a blacker base and a ton more shimmer. Bare Escentuals Speaker Box is more shimmered. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is similar but less pigmented. MAC Femme Noir is greener, richer. Make Up For Ever #47 is greener.

The second shade, located on the upper right, is a sheer golden shimmer, which is noted as a “shine.” It can be layered over one of the other eyeshadows to add shimmer/sheen. The shimmer in it is finer than Dior Golden Savannah. Giorgio Armani #1 is more pigmented but similar in color–perhaps a touch browner. Giorgio Armani #18 is yellower. Tarina Tarantino Dreamy is similar but more like a regular eyeshadow, so it is opaque.

The third shade, located in the center, is an olive brown with a hint of green and a golden bronze shimmer. It has so-so color payoff; it’s a bit sheer, and it doesn’t build color well. theBalm Wocka, Wocka is similar but looks richer, as it is more pigmented. Bare Escentuals Spectacular is similar but more metallic in finish. MAC Sumptuous Olive is yellower. Inglot #419 is similar but very frosted.

The fourth shade, located on the bottom left, is a pale white gold with a frosted, metallic finish. The color is semi-sheer–it delivers more payoff than the upper right shade. Dior Couture Gold is chunkier and a smidgen yellower. MAC Carefree is similar in color but has more of matte finish. Bare Escentuals One Hit Wonder is also similar but a bit starker. Bare Escentuals Breathtaking is similar but has a less metallic finish.

The final shade, located on the bottom right, is a cream eyeliner that’s a blackened brown with a hint of teal shimmer.  The cream eyeliner has good color payoff, and it has a creamy consistency once you break through the initial surface.  It had so-so wear; it seemed a little faded and definitely migrated after six hours.

All of the shades had a soft, finely-milled texture that felt like butter and silk.  I liked the variation between finishes and light/dark within the palette, as it is more versatile–though I think it could have done with one more medium-colored eyeshadow instead of two pale/white golds that look more similar than not.  You would think that the Shine finish would have fall out problems, but it’s actually very easy to wear. I patted it over the darkest green eyeshadow, and I didn’t experience any fall out during the day.  When I wore the palette together, the eyeshadows wore for eight hours with very minor fading along the edges.

Dior Khaki Design Eyeshadow Palette

B+
9
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
89%
Total

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NARS Gaiety Blush (Updated)

NARS Gaiety Highlighting Blush
NARS Gaiety Blush

Once More with… Gaiety!

I reviewed this blush just seven months ago when it originally launched with NARS’ spring collection. This is mostly a summary and an update with newer, better quality photos along with the diffused flash/studio lighting for the full face photos along with an updated list of potential dupes (based on added product swatches).

NARS Gaiety Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “bright candy pink.” It’s a cool-toned cotton candy pink with strong blue undertones and a mostly matte finish. I remember some readers inquiring about its similarity to NARS Desire, which I did not own previously, but now that I do, I can say that it’s far, far different–Desire is darker, richer, much more intense overall. MAC Full of Joy is lighter, more purple. MAC Peony Petal is darker, pinker. MAC Azalea Blossom is more purple. MAC Briar Rose is pinker.

Gaiety has a soft, touchable texture that’s finely-milled but not powdery. It delivers decent color payoff, but with it being a lighter color, it will take some layering to achieve true-to-pan color on medium to dark complexions. On lighter skin tones, it’s a very wearable pale pink with blue undertones–perfect for those with similarly cool undertones. I re-tested the wear, and it still wore well; a solid eight hours with very minimal fading along the edges.

NARS Powder Blush Gaiety
Gaiety

MAC Cremesheen + Pearl: Lipsticks (Part 2)


MAC Cremesheen + Pearl

More Easy-to-Wear Lip Color by MAC

MAC Cremesheen + Pearl is a new collection now available online (and will hit stores on August 9th) that features eight lipsticks (all with Cremesheen finishes) and seven Cremesheen Glasses. All fifteen lip products are new, but here’s the surprising news: they’re also permanent! This post features these four lipstick shades: Pure Zen (frosted warm nude), Saigon Summer (frosted bright orange), Shanghai Spice (frosted neutral pink), and Sunny Seoul (frosted light warm pink).

Yesterday, I tested as many of the products for wear as I could fit into the day, and I will continue to test additional shades today (so you might see some updates or rating changes if anything performs significantly above/below past Cremesheens).  Cremesheen lipsticks typically wear between three and four hours on me, with some of the really dark shades lasting up to six hours (think Hang Up).  The formula is thin, barely creamy, and tends to deliver semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. It’s supposed to be a hydrating formula, but they’re typically not drying or somewhat drying on me.  They are vanilla-scented, like other MAC lipsticks, but have no discernible taste.

Of these four, I was only able to test Shanghai Spice yesterday, which wore for four hours.  I also tested two other shades from the new launch, Coral Bliss and Pink Pearl Pop, which wore three and a half hours and three hours respectively.  My lips were lacking in hydration after I wore these three shades in a row.  All four shades applied evenly, though, so you’ll notice an increase in the pigmentation score. Watch this space for any updates, as I plan to test a couple more shades later today.

MAC Cremesheen + Pearl: Lipsticks (Part 2)

B+
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
87%
Total

Chanel Troublant Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Troublant Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss
Chanel Troublant Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Troublant Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ($32.00 for 0.28 fl. oz.) is described as a “rose brown.” It’s medium-dark rose with a hint of brown and some mauve, along with multi-colored shimmer–I detected copper, gold, and flecks of teal. Bobbi Brown Naked Plum is pinker, plummier. NARS Oasis is darker, more plum. MAC Spice is like a browner, creamy, opaque variation. MAC Over Indulgence is less pink.

As a new and limited edition shade for fall, it’s a very easy shade to wear. There’s just enough color to change-up your natural lip color (unless you have really pigmented lips, then I think this might lighten a wee bit but will most likely get lost) with noticeable yet not overwhelming shimmer. It’s wearable and everyday in its overall hue. This might translate as boring to some and dupeable to others, but it’s a shade I could see someone using and finishing, especially if they’re looking for work-friendly lip color.

Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss is designed as a non-sticky, long-wearing, comfortable to wear, and shiny formula with “bold color. The gloss has a faint floral scent but no taste, and it come in a black lacquered square-tube with a tapered doe-foot applicator.  It has a gel-like texture that’s neither thin nor thick, which easily slides around the lips but doesn’t bunch up on itself.  Though relatively non-sticky, it gets a little tacky after the first half hour or so (but not enough that I’d describe it as sticky). Troublant manages to wear for four hours, which is about average for me, though certainly short of what I’d describe as long-wearing. The color coverage is only semi-opaque, so it’s not exactly bold color.

I like the formula as it stands, and the only area it needs improvement is wear: it’s just not long-wearing, but it does wear well, evenly, and comes in at four-hour wear, which is more typical of most glosses (that aren’t designated as long-wearing).  If the wear isn’t a deal-breaker, then the texture might sway you.

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss Troublant
Troublant
Troublant
9
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
89%
Total

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