Tuesday, September 27th, 2011


Chanel Blue Boy Le Vernis / Nail Lacquer

Chanel Les Jeans de Chanel Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews

Chanel Les Jeans de Chanel Collection features three new and limited edition shades of lacquer (each retailing for $29.00 and containing 0.4 fl. oz., which is $4 more than the polishes are normally). Blue Boy (deep, rich blue denim), Blue Rebel (dark wash jeans), and Coco Blue (muted blue) make up the collection of blue-hued lacquers.

  • Blue Boy is a slightly faded, medium-dark blue with a cream finish. I needed three coats for opaque color, though it was more opaque than not at two.The closest dupe I could think of was Essie Lapis of Luxury, which is significantly lighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Catherine H. has a similar faded quality but the multi-colored shimmer makes it look rather different.
  • Blue Rebel is a dark, navy blue with a cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color coverage, and I felt like the formula was better than it was on Blue Boy and Coco Blue. Rescue Beauty Lounge Dead Calm is deeper, richer. Though still more intense, China Glaze First Mate comes closer.
  • Coco Blue is a light-medium sky blue with barely-there white micro-shimmer. I used three coats for mostly opaque color, but I found the formula to be prone to streaks. The drying time was longer, too, so the polish pulled in places. Chanel Riva is much, much lighter and has less blue tones. Nubar Blue Hydrangea is more similar than Riva, but it’s more vibrant and more of a robin’s egg blue.

What struck me most about this collection had more to do with a slight case of sticker shock. I understand the luxury/designer brand model, and by no means is Chanel lacquer–dollar for dollar–any better than a polish at a fraction of the cost, but what’s with the $4 increase? I was expecting Chanel to add some marketing jargon about a rare ingredient, mixing technique, etc. that would justify the price increase, because Le Vernis jumped from $23 to $25 from the end 2010 to early 2011 already.

The formula on Blue Rebel was the best; really good flow, pigmentation, and no streakiness. Coco Blue was the worst as it was streaky and needed three coats, while Blue Boy was in the middle–no streakiness and decent flow but needed three coats for opaque color. I normally get a week of wear with minor tip wear out of Chanel’s polishes.

I’m always surprised when seemingly simple colors aren’t ones I can easily find dupes of. I’m sure many of you have already picked these polishes up, so I’d love to hear from you if you’ve found any dupes!

The Glossover

product

Chanel Les Jeans de Chanel Collection Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
I couldn't think of perfect dupes for these shades, but at the same time, the imperfections in the formula leave me feeling underwhelmed about the three shades overall.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, September 24th, 2011

bareMinerals Bare Minerals The Paradise Found Eyeshadow Duo
bareMinerals Bare Minerals The Paradise Found Eyeshadow Duo

Debuting at the beginning of October, bareMinerals Bare Minerals The Paradise Found Eyeshadow Duo ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a mix of orange and green with Nirvana and Utopia. The new pressed eyeshadow formula has a SeaNutritive Mineral Complex that gives the shadow a “creamy, silky smooth” texture with “seamless blendability” and “stay-true color.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing whether worn alone or with primer–you shouldn’t see any creasing or fading. I’ve tested various combinations of shades from the duos and quads, and I’ve happily achieved ten hours of solid wear without a primer underneath. For a review of the packaging, please read my original review.

Nirvana is a softened orange with a frosted finish. It’s not a full-on orange but it’s more orange than peach. It has good pigmentation and the texture is smooth, but it’s not as buttery as other shades in the range. theBalm Mischievous Marissa is a bit more copper. Inglot #368 is more orange and matte in finish.

Utopia is deep, dark forest green with subtle olive-brown undertones. It has a satiny finish with a drier texture that’s still smooth but not as buttery or as dense. Despite the dryness, it yields good color payoff. It’s browner compared to shades that seem similar, like OCC Poison. However, it’s less green compared to shades like MAC Femme Noir and MAC Diana Undercover.

The Glossover

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bareMinerals Paradise Found Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The duo is still good, but it's one of the weaker duos I've tried from Bare Escentuals' new pressed line-up. It is, however, a very unusual pairing of colors!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, September 20th, 2011


Giorgio Armani #3 Smooth Silk Eyeliner

Giorgio Armani #3 Smooth Silk Eyeliner

Giorgio Armani #3 Smooth Silk Eyeliner ($27.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described simply as “navy.” The Smooth Silk formula is supposed to be soft with rich color. The pencil also includes a tapered sponge for smudging on the opposite end of the pencil tip.  The smudger is flexible and soft without being rough.

It’s a gorgeous blackened navy blue with a hint of indigo in it. It could be more pigmented, because it takes a couple of passes to get solid, intense color; a single pass yields color but nothing opaque. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this, even after looking at all these navy blue eyeliners–it is much darker with less blue in it than many potential dupes.

The wear is good, though, despite shortcomings in payoff (at least it’s buildable), lasting nine hours on the lower lash line before it begins to look a little faded. It’s soft, creamy, and glides on well. I find the texture rather comparable to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners; creamy enough to move along the lash line with ease and without tugging or pulling on the lid but not so creamy it migrates everywhere.

The Glossover

P
product

#3

B
I wish it sported more pigmentation in one pass, because then it would be a real contender for regular rotation!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, September 17th, 2011

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Fall Colour: Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish ($28.00 for 0.35 oz.*) is described as a “soft candlelit beige with multi-dimensional shimmer.” It is limited edition, but it did previously launch. It is part of the MAC Fall Colour Collection, which debuts in North America on September 29th, 2011 and will roll out internationally in October. Mineralize Skinfinishes are more akin to highlighters than anything else, but depending on the shade of the product and your skin tone, it may be used as a bronzer, blush, or highlighter. Lightscapade is definitely in the highlighter camp, as it is virtually colorless.

On me, it’s a pale beige-tinted white with mostly warm champagne shimmer. There is an underlying warmth, but it’s not truly golden, so it should be wearable on cooler and warmer complexions. Worn alone, it does lighten where I put it, so I would personally wear it in conjunction with a blush, so it doesn’t wash me out or give me corpse-esque cheeks. You can lightly dust it with a stippling brush (like the 188) for a very soft, more shimmer than powder, look as well. The texture is soft and the powder feels finely-milled. The shimmer particles aren’t too large, so it shouldn’t emphasize pores or skin imperfections.

This is likely the most anticipated item of the collection, so I do expect it to sell quickly (and probably sell out). It’s a nice highlighter, and if you like the general texture and feel of mineralize skinfinishes, you’ll like this one, too. It definitely has that softer feel with less powderiness and chunky glitter than some other shades are known for. I don’t find that the mineralize blushes or skinfinishes wear all day; I usually notice some fading around six hours (and I have normal-to-dry skin).

Lightscapade is similar in overall lightness to MAC Truth & Light and MAC Too Chic, but both of those shades are a touch more golden.

* I have a sample of Lightscapade with sample labeling, which means it does not have size information on it as saleable version would have. The mineralize skinfinishes from Semi-Precious were 0.22 oz. and the overall appearance looked the same. Mineralize skinfinishes, previously, were 0.35 oz. MAC still lists the weight as 0.35 oz. on their website–until I can confirm it is less, I’m making the assumption that the special design of the Semi-Precious mineralize skinfinishes affected the weight.

The Glossover

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MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
For me, mineralize skinfinishes don't wear all day, which is their biggest drawback. I tested out Lightscapade recently and had the same wear (six hours) that I normally do. But if it's something you've had your eye on, you probably won't have time to hesitate with how MAC often under-stocks their limited edition shades.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, September 17th, 2011


MAC Fall Colour

MAC Fall Colour: Pigments

MAC Fall Colour Pigments ($20.00 for 0.15 oz.) include four limited edition shades and one permanent repromote in the MAC Fall Colour Collection, which debuts in North America on September 29th, 2011 and will roll out internationally in October. These include: Blue Storm (rich metallic blue), Emerald Dusk (deep yellow blue with white pearl), Golden Olive (high frosted green-gold), Magenta Madness (intense neon blue-pink), Neo-Orange (intense neon salmon), Starless Night (deep black purple with light purple pearl), Tan (muted pinky brown bronze), and Violet (vivid bright violet purple).

  • Blue Storm is a dark navy blue with a purplish tint and silver sparkle. It gets a little darker and more cohesive when used damp as compared to dry. This shade has come out before, and yet I don’t have the original version (I’m at an utter loss as to why). It is similar to Givenchy Lune Mordoree. It’s not as dark as MAC Later.
  • Emerald Dusk is grayish blue with green-teal shimmer. When dry, it has a dustier look to it with less sheen, while when used damp, a silvery metallic sheen comes to the forefront. The color is similar to Urban Decay Hijack and Bare Escentuals Vapor.
  • Golden Olive is a medium grassy green with a hint of olive but mostly golden shimmer and sheen. This (along with Violet) were some of my very first pigments. I looked through the gallery but didn’t feel anything was very similar (and I couldn’t think of anything).
  • Magenta Madness is a neon fuchsia pink. It reads more fuchsia than magenta to me, though I wouldn’t debate you on that ’til the death. This shade is not to be used in the eye area per MAC’s safety insert. Inglot #362 is pinker, while Make Up For Ever #75 is closer but darker. MAC’s Neon pigments take a fair amount of work, and I can see why they’re a pro product. It’s better mixed with other base products (e.g. creams, mixing mediums, etc.) than applied straight to the skin. It has a matte finish, so it ends up looking chalky just swatched dry. The texture is silky soft–very finely milled–but it means it can look patchy when applied damp.
  • Neo-Orange is just shy of being a full neon orange. It looks rather dusty and softened when applied dry to the skin. This shade is not to be used in the eye area per MAC’s safety insert. The texture and issues with this shade are the same as Magenta Madness (see above). Make Up For Ever #5 is very close but in an easier format.
  • Starless Night is a violet purple over a blackened-purple base with silver and blue sparkle. It does well applied dry (binds together nicely) but takes on a more cohesive look when used damp. It’s similar to MAC Imaginary, if it were over a black base. It also reminds me of a purpler MAC Later.
  • Tan is a warm, red-toned medium brown with a gilded champagne shimmer-sheen. It looks more metallic when it is used damp. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone and Urban Decay Blaze are similar.
  • Violet is a softened violet purple with subtle red undertones and a frosted finish. Like Golden Olive, it was one of my first MAC products. Urban Decay Delinquent is darker. Urban Decay Ecstasy is less red-toned. Inglot #441 is more intense.

I have a soft spot for pigments, personally, as they were the product that made me fall in love with makeup. I prefer them with MAC’s Water-Based Mixing Medium (or 1/3 glycerin + 2/3 water for a DIY version) and have often used them as an eyeshadow base. There are only two new shades here and one more that is a repromote (so perhaps new to some); the rest of the shades are available permanently (Magenta Madness and Neo-Orange only at PRO stores, though currently available online to all!).

If you like pigments, the three new/limited edition shades (Blue Storm, Emerald Dusk, and Starless Night) are good and the latter two are reminiscent of the texture and formula of the Alice + Olivia pigments. The two neon shades (Magenta Madness and Neo-Orange) require more patience and likely better mixed with mediums/bases than alone. Pigments are technically multi-purpose products, which means you can use them on eyes, cheeks, lips, hair, nails, body, etc. (though some shades have safety restrictions). If you’re wondering where one might use the two non-eye safe shades, think cheeks or lips!

According to MAC, pigments “[contain] ingredients to help [them] adhere to the skin … easy to blend and long-lasting.” The way I review products is much, much more transparent to you as well as me (I have over fifty different characteristics I look at, though not all apply to each product). Nowadays, I try to be careful to read exactly how a brand describes their product/formula, because then I know what it’s supposed to do and then can review based on that. As much as I may like pigments, and I’m so used to using them with mixing medium, it’s almost mind-boggling to use them over bare skin!  I’m also surprised MAC doesn’t mention using these wet/damp or with a mixing medium.

The majority of colors do not apply intensely if you use them dry over bare skin. If you dampen the brush with even water, you’ll get a much better result. I also find that if I just use them damp over bare skin, they tend to fade a little (on me) after eight hours or so with minor creasing. I have no trouble with creasing or fading even after twelve hours if I use mixing medium instead of water. I have no problems with wear (whether dry or damp) if I use it over an eyeshadow primer.

The Glossover

product

MAC Fall Colour Pigments Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
What I like about pigments is that they feel like a more finished product than a lot of loose color products do--it doesn't just feel like mica but there is more to it, which is what helps it bind together and wear better.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC In the Abstract Highlighter

MAC Art of Powder: In the Abstract Highlighter

MAC In the Abstract Highlighter ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is the last of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). Like the other products, there is a good amount in the palette.

MAC describes the highlighter as a “soft pink base with yellow gold lines and lavender and mid-tone pink dots.” It’s mostly a very pale, barely-there pink-beige, especially once you’ve worn away the gold, which does not go all the way through. I have a video review we’ll have up later today, which will show that with more detail (along with the other two products). By just using a small eyeshadow brush, I was able to brush the gold away shortly–it’s thinner than the pink striping on the Optical Bronzer but has more of an effect on the product until it’s worn away.

You might find it works better as a finishing powder or an all-over highlighter because of its subtlety. It has a finely-milled texture that’s soft and silky against the skin. It wore for around eight hours on my cheek before it seemed to fade a bit. With the gold lines intact, it works nicely as a glowy highlighter on cheeks, and the warm gold shimmer translates more into a lovely sheen that’s not too much at all (and does not emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin). Once it is gone, it’s more like a finishing powder – the slightest sheen that’s barely visible. It has more of matte appearance at that point, which is why it can work as a finishing powder–at least on light to medium skin tones.

The Glossover

LE
product

In the Abstract

B
It's a soft, subtle highlighter--seems like a running theme in the collection--best suited for paler complexions. It worked well as a highlighter with the gold shimmer/lines but it seems to lose a lot of the sheen once that disappears.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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