Friday, April 27th, 2012

MAC Myth
MAC Myth Nail Lacquer, Lipglass, Lipstick

MAC Myth Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Myth 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 Europe/Africa portions of the collection, so it will be available both online and in-store. Myth is described as “light neutral nude.”

When you layer the lipgloss over the matching lipstick, the end result is a milky peach-beige with very subtle silver micro-shimmer and pink undertones. The two don’t work especially well with each other, and it seems to cause some unevenness. The gloss and nail lacquer don’t match the lipstick at all–both of them are far warmer and peachier. I remember when I applied the gloss, I double-checked the label, because I thought perhaps I grabbed Peachstock! The gloss and nail lacquer do match fairly well, though.

Myth Lipglass is a milky peach beige with subtle silver sparkle. It’s mostly opaque but does settle into lip lines. The consistency of this shade was particularly thick–more so than most MAC Lipglasses. MAC 2N is slightly more orange and darker. MAC Ready or Not is darker. MAC Orange Tempera is pinker. MAC C-Thru is lighter, less peach. MAC Scottish Lilt is very similar but sheerer. (8, 8.5, 8, 8.5, 3, 4; B-)

Myth Lipstick is a pale pink-tinted beige nude with a creamy consistency. It has a satin finish, and it is part of the permanent range. There’s something about the consistency that makes this harder to apply just right; it sometimes tugs a bit. MAC Restrict is grayer. MAC Fleshpot is cooler-toned. MAC Happy Hibiscus is lighter. MAC Innocence, Beware! is a bit pinker and darker. (8.5, 9, 8.5, 8.5, 4, 4; B)

Myth Nail Lacquer is a pale peach beige with a cream finish. It’s opaque in two coats, but it is streaky on the first coat, so you’ll want to pay attention to how you apply the second coat to help cover the initial coat of polish. Rescue Beauty Lounge Sheer Nude is less warm, a little more beige. MAC Hangin’ Loose is a little darker and has shimmer. MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 is browner. MAC Sandpiper is lighter, less peach. (8.5, 9, 8.5, 9, 4, 4; B)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Satin finishes like Myth typically wear four to six hours on me, with lighter shades like this one wearing closer to four hours. I find Myth to be slightly on the drying side, especially if I wear it for four hours or more. 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 Myth Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I'm not overly enthused with the quality of these three--I don't think any of them are of high quality, and while they're not the worst in their category, they're not the best. The gloss is the hardest to work with, and I did not like the way the gloss and lipstick layered together. It was a battle working with both!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows Review & Photos

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new product that’s supposed to be a “smudge-proof, long-lasting eyeshadow pencil that enhances and intensifies the eyes.” It’s also “intensely pigmented, “waterproof,” “will not smudge, crease, or fade,” “glides effortlessly,” and “blends easily.” This review is disappointing for me to write, because I love Make Up For Ever as a brand, and they have some really incredible long-wearing products, but these are so-so to good–they’re not excellent and they don’t raise the bar.   Photos, swatches, and individual color descriptions/reviews will follow in two separate posts.

There are twelve shades in total, with five shades being creams (no shimmer) and seven shades having a very frosted, almost metallic-like finish. I’ve been testing these shades for the past two weeks, part of that is because they did not perform flawlessly as I expected them to. These are the ways I have tested the product: alone, three pencils together (but over bare lids), over primer (NARS Smudgeproof, Too Faced Shadow Insurance), as a base (with powder eyeshadow on top), and as eyeliners.   Each pencil is packaged in a plastic pencil, and they are meant to be sharpened–they do not twist-up.  I used Urban Decay’s Grindhouse, and I didn’t have any problems sharpening the plastic exterior off.  In fact, when I tried it, I had nearly no waste.

The creamy shades will crease after four to five hours and be majorly crease and flaking after eight hours, and worse yet, there’s a noticeable amount of smudged product underneath my lid, along my lower lash line, along with flakes of product trickling down my cheeks. It’s creamy yet dry; it applies fairly easily and evenly, but I do recommend going back for a couple of touch-ups because there is slight skipping depending on where your eyeball maneuvers itself while you’re applying the product. It has a quick setting time, and it’s a pain to blend out the edges even if you do so immediately, it will still slightly crease if you don’t let it set for about 5-10 seconds. Over a primer, the creasing was lessened over eight hours, but there was still some noticeable creasing. The best way I found to use the matte shades was as a base with powder eyeshadows layered on top–then I didn’t have any creasing after eight hours.

On the other hand, the frostier finishes hold up much better. They dry very quickly, don’t crease from the get-go, and they don’t crease after eight hours. All of the shades are stiff and more difficult to blend, but with enough elbow grease, it can be done. I wore three shades (#32E, #20E, #2E) together to see just how blendable they were, and I think I managed to get a fairly well-blended look. It’s much more difficult than using three eyeshadows together, though. The frostier shades wear the same whether they were applied to bare lids, over a primer, or underneath eyeshadows (no creasing).

The matte shades are more water-resistant than waterproof, while the frostier shades are pretty waterproof. I took a shower with these on (tests both the effects of humidity as well as waterproofing claims) and had a little smudging from the matte shade I used (#6E) but the frosted shade was fine (#24E). There is a touch of transfer if you press your fingertip against your lid, but it’s very, very subtle. The fact that blending is difficult because the product doesn’t want to budge is both a blessing and a curse! As eyeliners, these are good, though #6E and #8E were more prone to slight smudging and some fading after six to eight hours, but #0E and #2E were fine. It’s not my favorite use for these, because the tip is so large and the formula isn’t as creamy as the Aqua Eyes Pencil, so it doesn’t glide on as smoothly.

These are nicely pigmented with some shades having excellent color payoff and a few having decent to good color coverage, but nearly of the ones I tried were buildable with little trouble–#32E was a trouble maker, though. It was very dry, seemed to apply unevenly, and did not want to build up at all. I was going to use it as a base, but it was horrific that way. The only way I could use it was alone, but even that looked like my lids were dry and flaky.  I recommend MAC #242 and Make Up For Ever’s #14S with these–you want really firm, stiff brushes so you can move these around (at least a little).

Overall, these aren’t flawless.  They don’t provide for immaculate wear–I have normal-to-dry lids, not at all oily–and I do get immaculate wear out of Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream formula, which is a bit easier to use because it’s more blendable.   The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear.  I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.  Please note that the rating is based on an average of all twelve shades; you will see that there’s a difference in the ratings when the finishes are separated, which you’ll see when the next two posts are published.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows Review & Photos

B
The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear. I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

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Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer
NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer

NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer

Thakoon for NARS will debut on May 1st at NARS’ website, and the collection features six shades.   NARS Kutki Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “powder blue.” It’s a pale, pastel sky blue–a little more muted than the perfect sky blue, I’d say–it does have a powdery/dusty quality to it. Nubar Blue Hydrangea is a richer blue, less white in its base. Chanel Riva is very similar in color, but it is more translucent and has shimmer.

Kutki is mostly opaque after two coats, but it is streaky, and even after two coats, it’s still noticeable in places, so I would recommend a third coat or ensuring your second coat was on the thicker side.  For me, it was one of the worst performers in the six-shade collection.  The consistency was just a smidgen on the thicker side, but I wouldn’t describe as thick.  It flowed easily across the nail and didn’t pool–just streaked.  The drying time was about average.  NARS nail polishes typically last a week on my nails with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Kutki

B+
If you don't mind the streakiness of such a pale shade (it's not uncommon), you may enjoy Kutki. Once you even out the streakiness, it is lovely on the nails, but it will require a little more patience to apply.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, April 23rd, 2012

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss
NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss

NARS Odalisque Larger Than Life Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.19 fl. oz.) is described as “cantaloupe.” It’s a beige peach with a creamy, almost milky, finish. MAC Woo Me is pinker. MAC Super is browner, darker. MAC Lust is a bit darker. MAC Pretty Quick is warmer, peachier.

It’s in the nude family, but it’s very different from Spring Break. This is actually a more wearable nude because it is darker–less pastel, less pale. So while the color is lovely and a nude that suits a lot of skin tones, the way it looks and applies leaves something to be desired. Because of the creamy/milky finish, it settles into lip lines quite a bit, and there is some streakiness to the application.  I think this gloss is best worn over a lipstick than it is on its own, because it just doesn’t look that great alone.

This particular shade had a slightly thicker consistency, though still best described as gel-like, as it slides around and feels smooth. It develops a tackiness over time (non-sticky for the first half hour or less, then progressively stickier as it wears). Odalisque wore for four and a half hours. It’s scent- and taste-free.  The color coverage is semi-opaque, and it’s really the overall streaky feel that gives it that less-than-opaque look.  It is hydrating while worn, though, as my lips never feel like they’re in need of balm post-wear.

This lipgloss formula has a really small brush-type applicator, which I find to be too small–I’d have liked to have seen a smaller brush, sure, but I think it could have met in the middle, rather than going to the opposite extreme. The idea behind the smaller applicator was to make application more precise, which it does, but the trade-off is that it takes much, much longer to apply it. I can’t apply this gloss nearly as well without a mirror as I can with others, and I feel like I’m going back three to five times to get enough color to cover my lips.

The Glossover

P
product

Odalisque

B+
While I'm not sold on the applicator (I think it's an interesting idea to go smaller, I just think they went too small--there's a happy medium to be achieved), I'm also not thrilled with the gloss itself. The settling, streaking, and milkiness work together to create a less appealing finish and result--the color doesn't look smooth and even. Such a shame, because the color itself would work well as a nude on many skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter
Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter ($10.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a multi-colored highlighter that features five strips of color that can be swirled together or used in parts to create an illuminated look. This is an online exclusive to sleekmakeup.com. Each strip is fairly narrow, so they’re not shades you would use singularly as a blush, though you could certainly try or go for a very precise look by using eye brushes instead. The five individual shades consist of a shimmering white gold with a strong yellow gold sheen, peachy beige with a softer shimmer, coppery orange with a shimmery finish, golden peach-pink with a frosted finish, and a dirty beige with a champagne frosted shimmer. Together, they create a warm bronze with a golden shimmer-sheen and slight red undertones. It’s a bit like a shimmery version of Urban Decay’s Toasted. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is similar but more orange-y.

The texture of the powder is very soft and feels finely-milled, and the payoff of each individual shade was lovely. I didn’t have any problems with pigmentation while swatching or during application. This is the kind of over-the-top highlighter than some will absolutely love but others will struggle to perfect. It has a strong frosted, borderline-metallic, finish, which emphasizes pores, skin imperfections, and any natural texture you may have to your skin. For those lucky enough to be owners of perfect complexions, this is beautiful on, but for the rest of us, it can be a little too much.  I did like how soft the powder was, because it made it very easy to blend and soften against the skin.  I was disappointed in the wear, though; it started to look patchy and faded after a mere six hours.

For the price point, the texture is amazing!  The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though.  I’d recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.  It’s a bit more of a bronzy glow on my skin tone than pure highlighter, so for lighter skin tones, you’ll find this more of a blush/bronzer, while deeper skin tones will find this to work well as a warm-toned highlighter. It does compare well with Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks, which also have a stronger, frostier finish.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

B
For the price point, the texture is amazing! The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though. I'd recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

MAC Shy Girl Lipstick
MAC Shy Girl Lipstick

MAC Shy Girl Lipstick

MAC Shy Girl Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “creamy neutral coral beige” and has a Cremesheen finish. It’s a soft beige peach with a hint of pink. I’d say it’s coral in the very vaguest kind of way. It’s not really peach, nor is it beige, so coral may be the easiest way to describe it, but it doesn’t have quite enough pink in it for it to be a real coral-like shade. There is a soft white shimmer and reflective sheen to the finish.  It’s one of MAC’s top-selling shades, and I can see why; the color isn’t too warm, so it should easily flatter a range of skin tones. MAC Gotta Dash is brighter, lighter. YSL Tender Peach is more opaque and peachier, while YSL Peach Passion is pinker and more opaque. Illamasqua Brink is brighter, more orange. MAC Fashion City is more orange.

The Cremesheen finish is supposed to yield full color coverage with a “soft and supple shine.”  The color coverage is mostly opaque, though you can see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through.  It applies evenly and fairly easily, though I find Cremesheens to be drier than they are creamy.  I wouldn’t describe the texture as dry, but it does catch occasionally on the lip when I pull the angled tip across.  There are a lot of shades with this finish that I think are gorgeous, but this finish is noticeably drying on my lips–not the worst and certainly not like a really dry matte finish, but it is drying.  My lips always feel worse-for-the-wear after wearing one.  Shy Girl wears three and half hours on me.  MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented.

The Glossover

product

MAC Shy Girl Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's one of MAC's top-selling shades, and I can see why; the color isn't too warm, so it should easily flatter a range of skin tones. If you have experience with the Cremesheen finish and don't find it drying, then it's worth checking out.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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