Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

OCC Datura Loose Colour Concentrate
OCC Datura Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Datura Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Datura Loose Colour Concentrate ($12.00 for 0.088 oz. / 2.5 grams) is described as an “opalescent pink/lavender.” It looks pink in the jar, but it is much more lavender once applied; it really has an opalescent finish so it flashes both pink and lavender. When it’s applied damp, the lavender color gets pulled to the forefront, while when it’s applied dry, it looks a bit pinker, softer, and less metallic. It’s more opaque when applied damp as well. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 has a more silvered shade. MAC Light Violet is pinker. theBalm Curtain Call is pinker and darker.

The formula is described as “lightweight, ultra-refined, [and] densely pigmented” that can be used on the eyes, face, and body.  Datura has an incredibly fine-milled consistency that’s softer than silk.  It applies smoothly for the most part, but it seems to have a definite sweet spot if you want to use it wet–it can’t take too much dampness or else it seems to clump up.  I tried using it wet on the inner corner, and it did this to me a bit.  If you want a sheerer look, I would recommend using it dry, rather than wet, and if you wanted to layer this over another shade to add iridescence, that’s also another good way to use this.

Of the five shades that launched with their spring/summer collection, Datura was the only one that was sheer when applied dry.  I had no problem with the wear, though, and there was no residual fallout during the day.  It wore about seven hours over bare skin without fading or migrating; after eight and a half hours, it was very slightly faded.

The Glossover

P
product

Datura

B
If you want a sheerer look, I would recommend using it dry, rather than wet, and if you wanted to layer this over another shade to add iridescence, that's also another good way to use this.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Chanel Empreinte Rouge Coco Shine
Chanel Empreinte Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Empreinte Rouge Coco Shine

Chanel Empreinte Rouge Coco Shine ($32.50 for 0.10 oz.) is a pale beige-rose with a subtle gray cast. There’s also a very subtle gold shimmer. Cle de Peau #129 is similar, though it applies pinker and warmer. MAC Win-Win has a totally different texture but appears a bit similar. MAC Lazy Day has a similar gray cast but is more opaque. Benefit Jing-a-ling is also pink with a gray cast but is also more opaque.  I caution you on comparison colors, though, because there’s enough translucency that and subtlety to this shade that I expect it to look a bit different person to person.

It has semi-sheer color coverage; at first glance, it will appear sheer or almost colorless, and that’s because it is nearly the exact color of my lips, and I don’t mean that in a my-lips-but-better kind of way–because I don’t like my natural lip color much (very corpse-like), so the result is just a more evened out corpse-like color. So it’s not my take on MLBB myself, but it could work for someone with more naturally pigmented lips looking for a way to mute them here and there. If you’re scratching your head thinking, “No way this is semi-sheer,” I encourage you to look very specifically at the freckle on my lip–you can see how prominent it is on my bare lips, but you’ll see how much of it is covered/appears faded with this product on.

There are a lot of readers who love this formula, and while I like it, I’m not in love for two reasons: it’s not really moisturizing in my experience, and it wears off too quickly. It’s not drying, but it doesn’t hydrate my lips during the short time it lasts on my lips. I’m lucky if these last two hours (and I typically get four hours of wear out of lipsticks).  Empreinte lasted a whopping hour and a half.  What I like most about the formula is the consistency; it’s very soft, smooth, and has a lot of slip, so it glides on lips easily and feels really comfortable to wear. A small downside to slippery formulas is that it’s easy to over-apply and they do have a tendency to disappear faster than less slippery formulas.

The Glossover

LE
product

Empreinte

B
If you don't mind frequent reapplications, you may like the Rouge Coco Shine more than I did. It's not hydrating like it says for me, but it isn't drying. This shade will work across skin tones, just because it's subtle and semi-sheer.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl Eye Palette ($95.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette that contains four distinct shades of eyeshadow. It’s described as “a harmonious blend of deep sea blue, algae, lagoon turquoise, and shimmering, crest-of-a-wave white.” The reason why it’s a whopping $95 is because the lid of the compact is decorated with mother-of-pearl. To put the price in context, Giorgio Armani’s comparable palettes retail for $59, so the packaging upgrade is really coming in at a $36 price tag. I know in the past, Giorgio Armani has made a regularly-packaged version available, but I haven’t seen it online and don’t have confirmation that it is even available.

The first shade is a muted, dark blue with a hint of teal. It has a frosted sheen and so-so color payoff–the pigmentation improves a bit when it’s applied to the lid but not significantly. It was soft to the touch and felt really smooth. MAC Pre-packaged is more intense, bluer. Guerlain Les Gris is darker. Bare Escentuals Water is very similar with less sheen. MAC Bold Babe is a little lighter.

The second shade is a blue-based violet purple with blue shimmer. The pigmentation is decent but not fully opaque. It had a fairly smooth texture with a finely-milled feel. Urban Decay Ransom is less blue-toned. MAC Deserty Cloud is similar but a little less blue-toned. Urban Decay Blue Bus looks very similar. MAC Parfait Amour isn’t quite as blue-based.

The third shade is an aqua-blue with a green-gold iridescence. This shade had good color payoff. The texture was soft and finely-milled, so it applied smoothly. Milani Caribbean Sea is lighter. Urban Decay Aquarius is darker. Guerlain Les Aquas is bluer. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is greener and darker.

The fourth and final shade is a warm white with both shimmer and glitter–it had a chunkier texture with more obvious sparkle. It had some fall out both during application and during wear. When I applied it to the lid, it skipped a bit, too–it did not want to apply so opaquely there. It’s similar to a slew of shades, including MAC Pearl, Buxom Sheepdog, theBalm Sassy, and MAC Forgery.

Ecailles Black Pearl is a decent-to-good palette, but it’s not exceptional in quality. The pigmentation leaves something to be desired as the bold, intense pans don’t quite translate when applied to the lid.  Interestingly enough, I did not like it over NARS Smudgeproof–it did not want to blend and seemed to skip and just apply unevenly.  It was better over bare lids, where it did blend better and apply more evenly.  I also had no problems applying or blending these shades over Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Shadow.

I’m always disappointed in how little Giorgio Armani’s eyeshadow palettes contain–just 0.06 oz., when the average full-sized eyeshadow (yes, just one!) is 0.05 oz. (like MAC, Urban Decay, etc.). Seriously, I do a double-take every time I read the pack of the palette! I’m like, “No, it’s a typo!” But in the interest of playing devil’s advocate, it’s unlikely that you’ll make it through the wells here unless you’re using these shades on a daily basis. Just consider how long it takes you to get through the few eyeshadows you’ve hit pan (or even finished) on!

The Glossover

palette

Ecailles Black Pearl

B
Ecailles Black Pearl is a decent-to-good palette, but it's not exceptional in quality. I'd like to have seen better pigmentation with softer and more blendable textures. I think the color combination is gorgeous, though.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, April 29th, 2012

MAC Russian Red Trio
MAC Girl About Town Lipglass over Lipstick; Nail Lacquer

MAC Fashion Sets: Lipglass Review Round-up

Of the sixteen Lipglasses in this launch, it ended up being a mixed bag. A lot of the common problems seen from the thicker formula of Lipglass came up, and these tend to be seen more often in lighter, milkier shades. These lighter shades tend to apply unevenly and settle into lip lines. Darker shades tended to be more opaque and less problematic, though the less opaque they were, the more unevenly they applied.

Lipglass is a heavier, thicker, and very sticky formula (it is often my benchmark for how sticky a gloss is–many readers have experience with the formula, so it often works as a global reference point), which doesn’t mean that it’s bad, but I know that it specifically does not appeal to some for those very reasons. I think the thickness could probably be improved upon as more and more glosses have come out and have a lighter feel that’s more comfortable and wears just as long and as well–it’s more a sign of improved and more refined formulas in the past decade. MAC has shown it themselves with their gloss extensions and limited edition formulas.

This opinion does not change or have any impact on the overall rating, which is about the product and its quality and relevant metrics in relation to quality. I don’t think the lipglosses are necessary if you own or love the lipstick version and do not typically wear gloss alone or are only really seeking out the gloss to pair with the lipstick. The lipsticks are very opaque on their own, so they do not need a semi-opaque or opaque gloss on top to help it along. What the glosses really do is add glossiness, which can be achieved with clear gloss. If you want to mix your favorite lipstick-now-gloss shade with other lipsticks or wear it on its own, then some of the shades can certainly be worth purchasing.

The top-performing shades were: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Russian Red, and Spice (A- — no lipgloss received an A). Good but not great shades were: Angel, Please Me, Rebel (B+). The most under-performing shades were: Saint Germain (C); Chestnut and Myth (B-).

Availability: Based on the information I have received from MAC, the distribution of these shades is regional. I cannot confirm the extent of non-regional shades being available online for your region (e.g. whether all of these will be available on the UK website). I can confirm only that for North America, all shades are available for purchase online. Only the North America-specific shades will be available in-stores on May 3rd, 2012. Select Macy’s will also carry Latin America & Middle East region-specific shades.

North America: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Snob, Spice; only Russian Red is permanent
Asia Pacific: Angel, Morange, Impassioned, Peachstock, Ravishing, Razzledazzler, Saint Germain; all shades are limited edition
Europe & Africa: Impassioned, Morange, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Saint Germain, Spice; only Russian Red is permanent
Latin America & Middle East: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Pink Nouveau, Please Me, Russian Red, Snob; only Russian Red is permanent

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Fashion Sets: Lipglass Review Round-up

B
I would stay away from some of the lighter, milkier glosses that are on the opaque side (sheerer is better for lighter shades), but the more opaque, darker shades may be worth checking out if you want to wear it over non-matching lipsticks or on its own.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Please note that the photos included in this post are for summary purposes only–there are four additional photos for each lipstick shade that have been excluded in this post but are available in the set’s original post: two product photos, one lip swatch (diffused flash), and one lip swatch (studio lighting).

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Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Snob
MAC Snob Nail Lacquer, Lipglass, Lipstick

MAC Snob Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Snob Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) has been such a top-seller that it has now inspired a Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) and Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) to complement it. This shade is part of the North America and Latin America/Middle East regions of the collection, so it will only be available both online and in-stores for North American buyers. Snob is described as “light neutral pink.”

The lipgloss is a little warmer, not quite as gray/cool-toned, which is partially due to the semi-opaque color. It has a milkier, paler appearance, too. The nail lacquer is actually the closest to the description of “neutral pink,” as it appears just slightly warm against the lipstick and lipgloss, but it is closer to neutral than it is a warm pink. The nail lacquer doesn’t match the lipstick or lipgloss very well because of the change in undertone.

Snob Lipglass is light pink with a little gray-tinge to it; it looks a bit cool-toned to me, even though MAC describes it as neutral. It applies mostly opaque on lips, but it does settle into lip lines and doesn’t have perfectly even coverage. MAC Angel is much yellower. MAC Enchantee is similar but a little grayer. MAC Infinitely Likeable is grayer, more beige. (8, 8.5, 9, 8.5, 3.5, 4; B)

Snob Lipstick is a cool-toned light-medium pink with a subtle gray-tint. It has a satin finish, and it is part of the permanent range. It yields opaque color coverage, though the texture is just a smidgen drier than other satin finishes. Revlon Strawberry Shortcake is a little pinker and darker but fairly similar. MAC Enchantee is lighter and less blue-based. MAC Dress It Up is less blue-based. MAC All Styled Up is a bit pinker. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4, 4; B+)

Snob Nail Lacquer is a slightly warm, mostly neutral light-medium pink with a jelly-like finish, even though it’s officially a cream finish. It’s semi-opaque after two coats, but there is visible nail line. The formula on this was just okay; it was a little thick, and there was some streakiness. MAC Angel is darker and more yellow-toned. Chanel May is darker and more cool-toned. OCC Femme is similar, a touch more yellow-toned. (8, 8, 8.5, 9, 3.5, 4; B-)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free.  Snob wears around four hours, which is fairly typical of satin finishes–some of the deeper, more red/berry shades will last closer to six hours and often stain lips, but Snob’s lighter coloring means it doesn’t stain.  MAC Lipglasses are also vanilla-scented but taste-free. They are very sticky and have a thick, borderline-goopy consistency. If you prefer gel-like, cushion-y glosses that feel lightweight on, I don’t recommend MAC Lipglass. Because of the tackier texture, MAC Lipglasses do tend to wear a full four hours on me, with some of the darker shades lasting up to six hours (with mostly the color lingering at that point).

Note: I am reviewing each “set” together. After I’ve reviewed all sixteen sets, I will do round-ups for each product type (so all lipsticks together) to deliver an overall Glossover rating. This rating is more indicative of the product type, as the rating that follows this post is an average across three totally different types of products. You can also see the individual scores listed after each product, which are listed in the same order as they are in the Glossover.

The Glossover

product

MAC Snob Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I wish the nail lacquer performed better (the lack of opacity was one thing, but the streaky application is more difficult to overlook), because it's a very flattering shade across skin tones, and it is a work-friendly shade with a little more pop. The lipglass was the worst out of the three.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Razzledazzler
MAC Razzledazzler Nail Lacquer, Lipstick, Lipglass

MAC Razzledazzler Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Razzledazzler Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) has been such a top-seller that it has now inspired a Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) and Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) to complement it. This shade is part of the Asia Pacific region of the collection, so it will only be available online for North American buyers. Razzledazzler is described as “light cream peach.”

The lipgloss is noticeably lighter and pinker compared to the lipstick, which has a Lustre finish, so it has a sheerer, softer color. On the lips, the differences are still pronounced–you get a lighter, milkier coral-pink with the gloss but more of a peach-coral with the lipstick. The nail lacquer is much more orange in comparison–it lacks any pink-ish tone, so it comes off as more of a peachy-orange. When the lipgloss is layered over the lipstick, the resulting color is a pink-coral with a milky, creamy look and consistency. The gloss makes everything settle into lip lines, so it’s not the best look, even from a distance.

Razzledazzler Lipglass is a light-medium milky pink-coral with mostly opaque color coverage. It has a tendency to settle into lip lines. MAC So Vain is darker and less pink. MAC Tour de Fabulous is a little pinker and shimmery. Benefit Spiked Punch is more orange. (8.5, 9, 9, 8.5, 4, 4; B)

Razzledazzler Lipstick is a soft coral-peach with a nice sheen. It has a lustre finish, and while it’s permanent in Asia, it’s not here–though it came out as a limited edition shade in Raquel Welch (’07). The color coverage is semi-opaque, which is actually a lot of cover given the finish. Burberry Devon Sunset is very similar, though it’s a touch brighter. MAC So Vain is comparable, though a little warmer. MAC Flamingo is sheerer and pinker. MAC Ever Hip is pinker. (8, 9, 8.5, 7, 4, 4; B-)

Razzledazzler Nail Lacquer is a lightened medium orange with a soft, peachy quality to it, but it still reads more orange rather than peach. It’s opaque in two coats, but it had a streaky initial coat that I did have to use a thicker second coat to cover. It’s noticeably more orange compared to the lipstick and lipgloss. Cult Nails Scandalous is a little darker and has a jelly finish. Essie Tart Deco is a bit lighter. (8.5, 9, 9, 9, 4, 4; B+)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Lustre finishes like Razzledazzler typically wear two to three hours on me, and this is one of my least favorite finishes, because I find it very, very drying. Even just wearing the formula for two hours leaves my lips needing hydration. MAC Lipglasses are also vanilla-scented but taste-free. They are very sticky and have a thick, borderline-goopy consistency. If you prefer gel-like, cushion-y glosses that feel lightweight on, I don’t recommend MAC Lipglass. Because of the tackier texture, MAC Lipglasses do tend to wear a full four hours on me, with some of the darker shades lasting up to six hours (with mostly the color lingering at that point).

Note: I am reviewing each “set” together. After I’ve reviewed all sixteen sets, I will do round-ups for each product type (so all lipsticks together) to deliver an overall Glossover rating. This rating is more indicative of the product type, as the rating that follows this post is an average across three totally different types of products. You can also see the individual scores listed after each product, which are listed in the same order as they are in the Glossover.

The Glossover

product

MAC Razzledazzler Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B
If you like Lustre finishes, then consider that I find the formula drying and short-wearing, which are two major downsides that are reflected in the rating. The color should be flattering on many skin tones, because it's not too warm and lies within the well-liked coral family.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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