Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer
NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer

NARS Summer 2011: Ecume Nail Lacquer

NARS Ecume Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.5 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque white.” The description is dead-on–this is a pure snow white polish that’s opaque in three coats. It’s streaky with just one, and to even it all out, I felt a full three were needed. It dries to a semi-glossy finish, though the swatches are with a top coat (Zoya Armor). I typically get a week of wear with NARS’ polish, and despite NARS’ formula being on the thicker side, this one seemed normal and not thick at all.

The Glossover

LE
product

Ecume

B
I can see this being a color you'll either love or hate, because it is startlingly white and bright at that. It's not surprising that it is streaky with just one coat, as whites often are, and it does have really opaque, even coverage after three coats.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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 →

Friday, May 6th, 2011

MAC My Paradise Surf Baby Cheek Powder
MAC My Paradise Surf Baby Cheek Powder

MAC My Paradise Surf Baby Cheek Powder

MAC My Paradise Surf Baby Cheek Powder ($28.00 for 0.42 oz.) is described as a “peach pressed powder with gold hibiscus flower overspray.” I would consider it more like an overlay than an overspray, because it’s a significant amount of gold laid on top of the actual powder. I had to rub away a good deal to see whether it went through or not, and then wised up and dug out an actual chunk (as shown later in this post) to show that underneath is the darker orange-red. The base color of the blush is a brightened, medium-dark orange red, and the gold overspray mixes in to create a soft orange with an orange-gold shimmer and sheen.

The texture is decent but has this thin, dusty feel–despite being pigmented, the color dusts away easily, which means that it also blends out that way. Depending on how much of the overspray you get on the brush, the shimmer content will go up or down (and the less shimmer you get, the darker the color will be, too). I do recommend going easy on the overspray, because it adds up quickly.  You’re getting a good amount of product, though–nearly triple the size of your typical blush.

The Glossover

LE
product

My Paradise

B
The warmth of the gold overspray combined with the orangeness of the blush itself will make this blush more suitable for warmer skin tones but with enough of the gold overspray, it might just be peachy enough to work on cooler skin tones.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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 →

Friday, April 29th, 2011

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Summer 2011: Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “pink cantaloupe,” while the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is all about “rich pigment” delivered via a “jumbo-sized crayon” that imparts a “velvet matte finish.” It’s supposed to be long-wearing without being drying, while still being creamy. This shade has been added to NARS’ permanent range.

I thought the color was closer to that of grapefruit, but I guess if cantaloupe was pink, it might look something like this (and then kind of like grapefruit, ha!). It’s a lightened pink with just a hint of coral. It looked more coral swatched than it did once I applied it to my lips, though.  It actually bears a lot of similarity to MAC Ever Hip, though ever-so-slightly paler and, obviously, the finish is different as Bolero is matte.

The finish is completely matte, and with the lightness of the color, there is a touch of settling into lip lines and emphasis on any imperfections of the natural lip but really quite little overall and not noticeable from a normal viewing distance (you know, not close-up!). It does have enough creaminess in the texture to easily apply it, smooth it out, and get a nice layer of even color, and the pigmentation is excellent–really dense, opaque color without having to wear the pencil down to a nub.

With some of the really deep shades of the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil line-up, I can see six to eight hours of wear, but with a lighter shade like Bolero, it wore just over four hours (which is slightly above average for a light color like this, where I normally see three to four). The length of wear was good and above average, but it’s not excellent. I did find Bolero a little drying by the fourth hour.

These aren’t your best bang for your buck lip product, considering you only get 0.086 oz. for $24–a NARS lipstick contains 0.12 oz. but also costs $24.00. They do apply color more precisely than a lipstick, because it has a more chiseled tip, but the cap is not as secure on this jumbo-sized lip pencil than it is on a lipstick–such a game of trade-offs! I didn’t find that the cap was easy to come off, but I do acknowledge it is less secure by its nature than lipstick.

The Glossover

LE
product

Bolero

B
If the wear was more on par with long-wearing lipsticks (including other shades within this range, which tend to be six to eight hours), the product would have rated higher. I think the color is one that will appeal to many, and it should work well on both cool and warmer skin tones, as the pink dominates over the coral, making it flattering on both.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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, April 27th, 2011

MAC Summer Shower Lipstick
MAC Summer Shower Lipstick

MAC Fashion Flower: Lipsticks

The collection features four shades of Lipstick (each $14.50 for 0.10 oz.) — Ever Hip (bright creamy coral), Growing Trend (mid-tone taupe nude), Mlle (light white pink), and Summer Shower (light aqua).

  • Ever Hip is a pink-based coral with a creamy, slightly glossy finish.  It’s semi-opaque to opaque on lips, depending on how much you layer it. It has a cremesheen finish.  MAC doesn’t have a comparable permanent dupe to it, unfortunately.
  • Growing Trend is a medium dark beige nude with a creamy finish.  It has an amplified finish.  It’s a shade or two darker than Viva Glam Gaga 2 and has less peach (this almost looks a touch pink next to it).
  • Mlle is a pale, blue-based light pink. It looks a little dry on lips (perhaps more like a frost finish, except it lacks the shimmer part of a frost), but it didn’t feel drying. It has a glaze finish, and it is a repromote–but from many, many years ago. It seems like a paler version of Pink Plaid, cooler version of Creme Cup. This would work best on cooler skin tones.
  • Summer Shower is very much a near-to-clear base with teal, fuchsia-purple, and white shimmer and sparkle. It’s more of layering lip product than one you’d wear on its own (in general). I can’t think of a permanent dupe for it. It has a glaze finish. This would work across skin tones.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

The Glossover

product

MAC Fashion Flower Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
Mlle doesn't look as flattering as worn as one would like--it has a drier look, even though the texture itself was smooth and applied evenly. Summer Shower looks fun in the tube but keep in mind it is more about the multi-colored reflective shimmer than the actual color!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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, April 27th, 2011

MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee
MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee

MAC Fashion Flower: Lipgelees

The collection features three shades of Lipgelee (each $14.50 for 0.10 oz.) — Budding Beauty (pale coral with pearl pigment), Fashion Flower (pale pink with pearl pigment), and Now in Season (pale yellow with pearl pigment).

  • Budding Beauty is a coral melon with pink and gold shimmer.  It has more of a shimmery finish than the glittery texture of Fashion Flower and Now in Season.  When applied, it has a very milky melon look–semi-sheer for sure, though.  Love Nectar lustreglass seems like the closest permanent dupe.
  • Fashion Flower is a pink-tinged gloss with lots of pink and silver glitter. It’s a lot like the previous launches of Lipgelees (Lillyland, Cham-Pale) — super glittery, little color, lots of sparkle. I’d say it’s most like Luxure, but applied, Fashion Flower pulls pinker.
  • Now in Season is a pale yellow gold with multicolored shimmer of teal, gold, and silver.  This felt so sticky, which is uncharacteristic of lipgelees.  When worn, it doesn’t deliver much color, just lots of shimmer/glitter.  It’s surprisingly similar to Bubble Lounge when worn, since the color base doesn’t show up.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipgelees are moisturizing, easy to apply, and last three to four hours on me. They are a thicker formula, more like a gel, and come in squeeze tubes. They have a non-sticky texture, are vanilla-scented, and a sheer formula, but these are noticeably sticky. There is some glitter migration (maybe four or five flecks), but it didn’t seem like rapid migration nor did it stray into the far reaches of my face or hair or somehow wander to my feet. I have always loved that the Lipgelees come with 0.5 oz. of product–nearly double even large-sized glosses. After they wear away, they can sometimes feel gritty, because of the abundance of glitter.

The Glossover

product

MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelees Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
If you love your lips to sparkle beyond belief, you'll likely enjoy these Lipgelees--they are sparkle-tastic! Though the glitter doesn't seem to travel and migrate throughout the day, it may feel gritty after the gloss wears away and the glitter remains.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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, April 24th, 2011

MAC Honey Rose Magically Cool Liquid Powder
MAC Honey Rose Magically Cool Liquid Powder

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powders

Relaunching on May 5th, Magically Cool Liquid Powders (each $29.50 for 0.84 oz.) will join MAC’s permanent range with three shade offerings: Honey Rose (sheer rosy beige with multidimensional shimmer), Cajun (sheer bronze shimmer with reflects gold), and Truth & Light (sheer shimmer that reflects silver and pink). Honey Rose is new, while Cajun and Truth & Light are repromotes from Venomous Villains.

  • Honey Rose is a pink-tinged champagne with a metallic-frost finish. It has very subtle cool undertones but should work well on warmer skin tones. On extremely pale skin tones, it might work as a blush, but overall, it is much more likely to be a highlighter.
  • Cajun is a medium tan with soft golden sheen and warm undertones. It gives my cheeks a tanned look.
  • Truth & Light is a soft, beige nude with a peach sheen. Like Honey Rose, this is best as a highlighter or possibly all-over powder. It’s more sheen than color.

Magically Cool Liquid Powder is a cool product–it does feel like liquid when you initially apply it, and it quickly transitions to a powder finish within mere seconds. It’s certainly a fun product to play around with and swatch. Personally, I find it more difficult to apply and blend out, because once it dries, it doesn’t like to move or diffuse. It’s less concerning with lighter shades like Honey Rose and Truth & Light, but with a more color-loaded shade like Cajun, yields a blotchy look.

I found the best application method was with a stippling brush and using a very feathery touch, because it gives you more room for error. Since they do not like to blend out once dried, they do wear well (eight hours).

When these are brand new, there is a black sticker that covers the entire inside portion of the jar, which keeps all of the product locked in. For photography purposes, I removed the entire label, but I would recommend only lifting it to reveal a few holes (perhaps 5 or so), and cutting the lifted area, but keeping the majority of the lid still sealed. The sifter just allows far too much powder to come through, and a lot of it will puff and disperse in the area each time you go to open it (my jeans were covered in micro-shimmer after opening Cajun, which I’ve had since September).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powders Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
These are permanent, so there is no need to rush on these! You can try them at your leisure. All three are rather versatile shades, so they should suit many skin tones. Honey Rose and Truth & Light are best used as highlighters or setting powders (if used lightly), while Cajun is more of a bronzer.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

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 →