Wednesday, August 31st, 2011


OCC Pool Boy Nail Lacquer

OCC Pool Boy Nail Lacquer

In a very unlikely hue for fall, OCC Pool Boy Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) nevertheless makes its debut in OCC’s Pretty Boy Collection. Given that fall launches start rolling out halfway through our real summer, this beautiful blue is still quite welcome. It’s described simply as a “creme blue.” It’s not quite neon, but it’s not a softer, robin’s egg blue either. There’s a vibrancy in the hue that borders on cyan but still it is tempered by the creaminess of the color overall. It’s more like a sky blue with a hint of aqua in it. I think the yellow tones of my skin make it appear less sky blue–perhaps in cooler skintones you’ll find the blue tones are pulled out of it more.

The formula on this particular shade wasn’t perfect–it was on the thicker side, and with a color like this, you definitely need two coats. The first coat always looks uneven and almost streaky, but the second coat turns it into near perfection. I found that a thinner primary coat followed by a regular (but with the consistency of the formula, still thick) coat, which spread and flowed over the nail to give it a smooth look with nearly opaque color coverage.

The Glossover

product

OCC Pool Boy Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I think the color is gorgeous, but the formula has a few issues, so it's not quite perfect. I love how it's bright without being a full-on neon shade, and the nice part about that is how it dries to a glossy finish even without a top coat.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, August 21st, 2011


MAC Shadesticks in Butternutty, Cakeshop, Heirloom, Street Cool

MAC Me Over: Shadesticks

MAC Shadesticks ($17.50 for 0.05 oz.) may have been discontinued from the permanent range, but occasionally, MAC brings them back for a limited edition stint.  MAC Me Over includes five shades:  Butternutty (frosted light neutral), Cakeshop (frosted pewter), Heirloom (light icy pink), Street Cool (mid-tone grey violet taupe), and Tundra (icy silver).

Shadesticks are twist-up eyeshadows that can be worn alone or as a base. They are more like a cream eyeshadow than a powder, but the formula does set quickly and dry down so it wears well on its own without creasing (in my experience). The texture is creamy enough to deliver decent color payoff on the lid, but it is on the drier side, so you may feel some tugging and drag. After using a multitude of products over the years, Shadesticks are not a product I’d reach for regularly, just because they’re not as comfortable to use. I’d recommend applying with fingers or a brush, rather than straight from the tube.

  • Butternutty is a warm beige with a hint of peach. It has a frosted finish. The color is a bit like MAC Brule but frostier and a tad lighter.
  • Cakeshop is a dirty green-gray with a frosted, metallic finish. I don’t find that this goes on as evenly as you’d like a cream shadow to go out–there is a little grittiness from the size of the shimmer particles in it. It reminded me–ever-so-slightly–of theBalm Run Around Rebecca, which is greener.
  • Heirloom is a soft, grayish pink with a frosted finish. It a gray-toned version of Giorgio Armani #8. It’s darker and grayer than MAC Et Tu, Boutquet?.
  • Street Cool is a purple-tinged taupe brown with a soft, frosted finish. It has the least frosted finish of the shadesticks. It is very similar to Inglot #402 and NARS Grand Palais. It is a lighter version of MAC Satin Taupe.
  • Tundra is a bright silver with a metallic finish. It is similar to Inglot #448.

MAC Me Over is a 51-piece collection for fall, which will launch in North America on August 25th, 2011 and internationally in September 2011. It will launch online approximately August 23rd but there is no concrete online launch date. All products–unless otherwise noted–are limited edition.

The Glossover

product

MAC Me Over: Shadesticks Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
The drier formula keeps this from being a standout product, because the dryness results in drag and tugging on the lid, and the color does not deposit evenly or opaquely as a result.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

Here is the review for the second half of the Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 ($64.00) limited edition makeup palette. For an overall review of the product, along with packaging, please see part one. Because there are differences in quality for each shade, I have listed a pigmentation and texture score for each (both scores are out of 10), which I then averaged across all sixteen shades to give the scores found in The Glossover below.

Midnight Cowgirl is a warm, pale, peach-gold with a frosted finish. The color payoff is really lovely, as it is rich and buttery, though it does have flecks of gold micro-glitter. This shade is part of the permanent range. I find the majority disappears before you even apply it, but you may find that some fall out underneath the eye. It is a bit lighter than Bobbi Brown Desert Sand. It’s similar in color but lighter compared to Urban Decay Blunt. It’s also a lighter, less brown version of MAC Retrospeck. (9, 8.5)

Sin is a pink-tinged champagne with a frosted finish and rather metallic sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Scratch is much pinker. Giorgio Armani #8 is similar but more metallic in finish. Inglot #397 is similar in color, less pink-tinged. (9.5, 9)

Midnight Rodeo is a sparkly taupe brown. It does have glitter, but it’s subtle and doesn’t seem as large as Urban Decay’s other glitter-finished eyeshadows but may still have some fall out. The color payoff is good, and the texture is fairly smooth. I thought Urban Decay Toasted might be similar, but it’s not–much browner, less of a taupe. theBalm Insane Jane is grayer (more cool-toned), while Inglot #402 is nearly indistinguishable from Midnight Rodeo. This shade is a repromote from the 15th Anniversary Palette. (9, 8.5)

Crystal is a bluish-purple gray with a silvered sheen. It lacks pigmentation, and the texture is dry and stiff to work with–you’ll have to pack it on to achieve the color you see in the pan. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. Inglot #420 is similar but darker and lacks the bluish tones. Urban Decay Stripped has less purple and is much, much darker. (5, 7)

Bust is a softened, gray-tinged taupe brown with a soft, frosted finish. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. It has a really smooth application with a buttery texture, while the shade itself has excellent color payoff. NARS Grand Palais is slightly browner, MAC Street Cool is darker and browner, MAC Satin Taupe is much, much darker, and Inglot #402 is warmer and less gray. It’s like a frosted version of Urban Decay Shakedown. (9.5, 9)

Missionary is a soft, beige-taupe with a frosted finish. It’s like a lighter version of Sin. It has good color payoff, but it’s not fully opaque. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. It is pinker than MAC Butternutty. It’s a little lighter and has more of a sheen compared to Urban Decay Virgin. (9, 9)

Skimp is a beige-peach with a pearled sheen. The color payoff here was a bit sheer, and the texture surprisingly dry. This shade is a repromote. It is similar to Bare Escentuals Serendipitous. It is a little lighter than MAC Brule. (8, 8.5)

Zephyr is a warm white with a golden sheen. It has good color payoff, but it is a bit powdery. This shade is new and exclusive to this palette. It less yellow compared to Urban Decay Vanilla and MAC Nylon, but it is comparable to Bare Escentuals Breathtaking. (9, 8.5)

The Glossover

palette

Book of Shadows Vol. 4

B
If one wants a neutral palette, Urban Decay's Naked palette does it better. If one wants pops of color, the 15th Anniversary Palette does it better. This palette lacks the quality level of previous Book of Shadows--it's not the colors but the color payoffs and textures that make this palette less than stellar.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See photos & swatches!  Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 ($64.00) is a limited edition makeup palette slated for a September launch. It contains 16 eyeshadows (0.03 oz. each), one Liquid Eyeliner (0.058 fl. oz.), Original Primer Potion (0.13 fl. oz.), and Supercurl Mascara (0.18 fl. oz.). The palette also contains a mini-speaker along with QR codes so that one can watch video tutorials designed for the palette. The value breakdown goes like this: $163.20 worth of eyeshadow, $18.00 worth of liquid eyeliner, $6.68 worth of Primer Potion, and $12.00 worth of mascara. Though you cannot purchase the items separately even if you wanted to, it amounts to the equivalent of $199.88.

Because of how photo-heavy this review is, and how long it is, the first eight eyeshadows are reviewed in this post, while the second set of eight will follow. The overall review for the palette along with packaging is included in this post.  Because there are differences in quality for each shade, I have listed a pigmentation and texture score for each (both scores are out of 10), which I then averaged across all sixteen shades to give the scores found in The Glossover below.

Blue Bus is a cool-toned, blue-based purple with a soft, frosted finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. The payoff is disappointing–it’s dry, stiff, and applies unevenly. It lacks the density of other Urban Decay eyeshadows along with the smoothness that comes from a softer powder product. The color is very similar to MAC Parfait Amour. Inglot #379 is similar in color but matte, so it has a darker appearance. (7/5)

Gunmetal is a darkened blue-based gray with a silver shimmer and sheen. This is a permanent shade. The color payoff is good, though it feels a touch less soft compared to the pot version of Gunmetal. Inglot #451 is similar but slightly darker–has more of a black base. (9/8.5)

Cobra is a dark, cool-toned brown with a mostly matte finish that’s layered with green-gold shimmer. This shade is a repromote from the Black Palette. It doesn’t reflect very green when I swatched it–more like a brown with gold shimmer. The color payoff is decent but it has a drier texture. If you wanted more of the color in the pan, Laura Mercier’s Pine Bronze is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone has a shade that is similar in the pan but also swatches browner–they are surprisingly similar. Milani Melange is also similar but has a blacker color base. (9/8)

Baked is a bright copper with a high frost finish. The color payoff is excellent, and it has a dense, buttery texture that applies very smoothly. This is a permanent shade. It is similar to Giorgio Armani Gold Blitz, Inglot #405, and MAC Amber Lights. (10/10)

Bender is a dark, forest green with a subtle green-gold sheen. The finish is a softened frost. This is a new and exclusive shade. It is one of the best performing shades in the palette–very buttery and smooth, while the pigmentation is tops. It is more yellow-based compared to Make Up For Ever #310. It has less green and more olive compared to Inglot #418. It is very similar to MAC Humid. (10/10)

Gravity is a plum-tinged medium purple with a frosted finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. It has decent color payoff, but it applies unevenly and splotch in places (see the bottom half of the swatch). Make Up For Ever #142 is similar in color but has a matte finish. theBalm All the Way Annie is a touch plummier. It is more pigmented than Milani Purr-fect Purple. It is not as intense as Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister, but it is darker (and plummier) than Urban Decay Ecstasy. (7.5, 7.5)

Lost is a dark bronze brown with subtle red undertones. It has a frosted finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. The color payoff is beautiful here–like Bender, it is one of the better quality shades in the palette. The texture is soft, smooth, and buttery. It is darker and browner compared to MAC Sable. It has slightly cooler tones compared to Inglot #422. There is a darker quality and a more reflective finish compared to Milani Rich Java. (10/10)

Hijack is a bluish-teal with a silvered sheen–a part frost, part metallic finish. This is a new and exclusive shade. The pigmentation in this shade was good, and it applies smoothly overall. The color is very similar to Bare Escentuals Vapor. It is darker and less teal compared to Urban Decay Aquarius. (9/9)

I’m usually really impressed by Urban Decay’s palettes, because the majority of the eyeshadows are high-quality with excellent color payoff, even if a few textures may be more prone to fall out because of the inclusion of glittery shades. I found Blue Bus, Crystal, and Skimp to be difficult to use, while Cobra and Gravity have a few concerns The standout shades were Baked, Bender, Lost, and Zephyr in terms of pigmentation and texture.    If one wants a neutral palette, Urban Decay’s Naked palette does it better.  If one wants pops of color, the 15th Anniversary Palette does it better.  Last year’s Book of Shadows Vol. 3 was much better (and still available at urbandecay.com).

The packaging is extremely bulky–it’s large and heavy. If you thought prior Book of Shadows editions were bulky, then you will loathe the size of this one, as it is 1 3/4″ wider (only marginally taller). I had issues sliding the drawer out, because the mini-speaker tends to get caught against the top. The drawer was not glued in, though, so it did pull out all the way for removal. The top flap opens up with pop-up butterflies, small-sized mirror, and a pocket for your phone along with instructions for using the QR codes. The upside of bulky cardboard packaging is that it will absorb impact better than a hard plastic case would if you were to drop it. I dropped mine a few times on the bathroom tile to no ill effects.

I didn’t play around with the technology too much myself, as I relegated that duty to our resident tech guy (I was busy cropping photographs). I did watch some and saw how it all came together. I think it’s an interesting concept, but in reality, it ends up more gimmicky than useful. The drawer is so large to accomodate a mini-speaker, which does enhance the sound of the videos, but your phone would likely do an adequate job with its own speakers. The QR codes are a bit close together, but it is a minor concern. We have iPhones here, so that is what we tested it out with, and if you have a case around yours, you’ll need to remove it or else the plug will not connect properly.

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay Book of Shadows Vol. 4 Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

B
This palette lacks the quality level of previous Book of Shadows--it's not the colors but the color payoffs and textures that make this palette less than stellar.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See photos & swatches!  Continue reading →

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011


Nails Inc. Connaught Square Nail Lacquer

Nails Inc. Connaught Square Nail Lacquer ($9.50 for 0.33 oz.) is described as a “clear with blue glitter and chunky purple glitter” shade. It’s part of Nails Inc.’s Special Effects 3D Glitter line-up where each shade uses two different-sized glitter particles to create a “3D effect” as well as give full coverage. Connaught Square is predominantly blue–lots of medium-dark blue small-sized glitter with larger, larger fuchsia-purple glittery bits that are strewn throughout.

By the nature of the polish, it has a rough, uneven texture–which is essentially by design, hence the “3D effect”–the texture has more to it than a single-sized particle glitter polish, because that tends to have a more uniform unevenness, while this one has more of a bumpy feel. It doesn’t bother me, and again, it’s what Nails Inc. was going for with these polishes.

The coverage is good but not completely opaque in places, and it took three coats to get to the coverage level as pictured. It is important–as with most glitter polishes–to let each coat dry enough so that the next coat doesn’t pull at the glitter from the previous coat. This helps give you more opaque coverage and better distributed glitter. For a glitter suspended in a clear base, the coverage is still rather impressive.  Because it has a clear base, you could definitely use it to layer, too.

Removal is at par in regards to glitter polishes–it will take more elbow crease and patience than creams and shimmers. I use Zoya’s Remove+ on felt, and then I press it against the nail for 30 seconds or so. I then move on to the next nail, and I do this for the rest of the hand, before going back to the first fingernail and removing the glitter. This gives the remover some time to breakdown the polish.

Over a week, I did not experience any chipping, but tip wear seemed a bit more than norm, which makes sense, because it’s difficult to wrap a clear polish with lots of glitter over the edge of the nail.

The Glossover

P
product

Connaught Square

B
Though I do look forward to the day when glitter polishes are a cinch to apply and remove, until then, we just have to find shades pretty enough to be worth the extra effort. I think the mix of sizes and colors in Connaught Square make it a bold, standout shade that--for me--is worth it.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Glitter in the Air Nail Lacquer
Deborah Lippmann Glitter in the Air Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Glitter in the Air Nail Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Glitter in the Air Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sky blue confetti” with a sheer finish. It’s a sheer, milky pastel blue (it’s very, very light–there is only a hint of blue) with light-medium blue and pink glitter of various sizes. As described, the color coverage is sheer, and it looks a bit like a jelly to me.

Much of the concept and color was inspired by Pink’s performance of Glitter in the Air at the 2010 Grammy Awards, and I think the color came out exactly as Lippmann intended–whether it’s something that draws you in is a different story. I showed swatches with three coats, which is as heavy as I would go with this polish, because it has a thicker, jelly-like consistency. I don’t think it would be opaque in four, so those looking for a more opaque look would not find this to their liking. It could be used for layering as well. I typically get at least a week of wear (with minor tip wear) with no chipping with Deborah Lippmann’s polishes.

The key to applying glitter polishes like these–ones where the glitter isn’t packed into the polish–is dabbing bits of polish on the nail and pulling out lightly for even coverage, and then you want to wait for each layer to fully dry. By waiting, you’ll avoid dragging glitter particles from the first coat when you do a second (or third).

It’s not the most eye-catching or unique shade–I think if you were going to splurge on one of Deborah Lippmann’s glitter polishes, you’d be better off looking at some of the others.

The Glossover

LE
product

Glitter in the Air

B
The application will take more patience and effort than your average polish, so it's harder to use overall. The consistency of the formula is on the thicker side, too.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →