Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Ultra Nude Eye Palette ($45.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes six shades of neutral eyeshadows. These include: Chino (light cool beige), Praline (nude with golden pearl), Pink Chandelier (warm pink with golden pearl), Stone (neutral grey brown), Champagne Truffle (warm pink beige), and Cocoa Berry (rich brown plum).

  • Chino is a soft, gray-tinted light-medium brown with a mostly matte finish. This has a matte finish (officially). It was smooth and soft with good color payoff. Chanel Beige Lame is similar but has shimmer. Urban Decay Naked is browner.
  • Praline is a warm medium brown with a champagne-gold shimmer and sheen. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. As such, the color payoff is good but there is an underlying sheerness that’s intentional with this finish. The shimmer seems to be more integrated with the base color, so it didn’t have a lot of fall out issues. MAC Love Connection is darter, more coppery. Urban Decay Chopper is more of a coppery-orange. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is darker. MAC Moleskin is close but doesn’t have shimmer.
  • Pink Chandelier is gold and copper shimmered beige. This has a Metallic finish. For whatever reason, this shade was horrible. The color payoff was beyond sheer, and the texture was dry and gritty. Absolute miss! I couldn’t even give you a dupe, because it’s hard to determine what this color is actually supposed to be.
  • Stone is a medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones. This has a matte finish. MAC Lie Low is a bit darker and redder in tone, plus it has a shimmery finish. MAC Texture is darker, more yellowed. Inglot #357 is the closest, though slightly warmer.
  • Champagne Truffle is a medium coppery brown. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. It has good color payoff overall. Wet ‘n’ WIld Comfort Zone is slightly darker. Urban Decay Blaze is similar.
  • Cocoa Berry is a burgundy-brown with a satiny sheen. This has a Shimmer Wash finish. It’s very, very dry and difficult to work with, because it doesn’t want to apply. It’s supposed to be sheer, so even though it looks awful in the payoff department, that’s what it’s supposed to be! Inglot #378 is a bit darker and matte. Chanel Ebloui is similar but more burgundy.

The palette starts out on a good note, but once you reach the third shade, it starts going downhill.  Pink Chandelier and Cocoa Berry were both troublemakers, though the former was truly an awful shade to work with.  These eyeshadows all felt a little drier than Bobbi Brown’s usual formula.   Ultra Nude is a decent palette but with two under-performers, it’s not the best bang for your buck or one of the top five neutral palettes on the market.  When I test drove this palette, I used Chino, Praline, Stone, and Cocoa Berry together, and they wore fairly well with only minor fading after eight hours when applied without a primer–with a primer, there were no problems with the wear.  Cocoa Berry made me want to tear my hair out, because it was so difficult to blend.

The Glossover

palette

Ultra Nude

B
One-third of the palette is a let-down, and I think it's better to buy individual shades that you really love and would use than a palette that's just so-so. I did appreciate that Bobbi Brown included multiple finishes within a single palette, though.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, March 19th, 2012

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder
Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powders for Eyes and Cheeks

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder< ($95.00 for 0.53 oz.) is described as a highlighter for both cheeks and eyes. It’s part of the online exclusive (and at select boutiques) Las Vegas de Chanel collection and easily the pricest piece of the launch! It has six stripes of color, though the medium orange and gold shades seem to have been done twice, which resulted in four unique shades.

When blended together, the result is a warm, orange-tinted gold with a glowy shimmer-sheen. It looks a lot like Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City, actually! Perhaps not quite as dark, but when blended out, the differences nearly disappear. Lucky Stripes has a less metallic finish. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is more golden, less orange. MAC Sun Rush is similar but in liquid form. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel also is similar, perhaps a little less golden.

There’s a medium-dark brown with red-orange undertones and a subtle satiny sheen. Urban Decay Chopper is similar but slightly redder. NARS Isolde is deeper. MAC One to Watch is a touch lighter. Bare Escentuals Fire is similar but a little more orange.  To the right of that is a medium orange with a golden shimmer-sheen. MAC Fresh Daily is darker, more intense. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa is similar but a bit darker and matte. Inglot #368 is lighter.

Next, there’s a medium yellow gold with gold shimmer–it’s actually not quite as refined, soft, or as pigmented as the other shades. It’s similar to golds like MAC Goldmine, Urban Decay Blunt, and Bare Escentuals Remix. The last shade is a pale white with larger white shimmer. It’s similar to MAC Winterscape and MAC White Frost.

It adds a warm, golden reflective quality to the cheek without emphasizing the skin’s texture.  More glowy than metallic, but it’s still a more noticeable highlighter overall (which may or may not be to your liking!).  I think it performs best as a cheek product, but it can be used on the eyes, too.  There it blends out too easily; the colors seem to disappear as you blend, which can be frustrating.  The texture of the powder is soft, finely-milled, and not at all powdery.  On cheeks, it wore for seven hours and looked patchy after eight hours.  On eyes, without a primer, it wore for seven hours with some fading, but with a primer, I didn’t have any wear issues.

I cannot figure out just what about this powder gave Chanel the gall to price this at $95. It’s like with every ultra limited edition launch, they tack on another $10 (and it may just feel that way). There’s nothing about this powder that feels different than other Chanel highlighting powders (or other high-end/designer powders for that matter). It’s gorgeous to be sure, and it’s a pretty design on the interior, but it’s still a plastic black compact on the outer edge. Hey, at least Dior and Guerlain will often give you limited edition, specially-designed packaging with their high price tags! (Dior often has signature limited edition pieces that come out in the $80+ range, and Guerlain has debuted similar products in the $60+ range.)

The Glossover

LE
product

Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder

B
I suspect that for most readers, the price alone will be a major turn-off. For me, a product at this price point needs to perform immaculately. This is a good product but falls short of greatness. It's too similar to both past Chanel powders but also to recently released Guerlain Sun in the City--which is $25 cheaper.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, March 18th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow
Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow

Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow ($21.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as an “electric purple.” It’s a red-toned violet purple with purple flecks of shimmer. MAC Power Boosted is similar but frosted. NYX Violetta is also similar but has gold flecks. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is frosted and lighter. Urban Decay Purple Haze is purpler, a bit darker. Urban Decay Fishnet is brighter, more shimmered.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow formula, it’s designed as a “sheer, lightly pearlized shadow.” There is an underlying sheerness with this shade, so it can easily be used as a wash of color. It is somewhat buildable to semi-opaque color coverage, but the faded quality of the wash is always there in the background unless you layered this over a white or purple base–I think you could get really full coverage that way (true with most sheer products).  There is some fall out from the sparkle, unfortunately!  Not that much translates from pan to eye, so there is less to contend with as fall out, but there is still some.  This wears just around eight hours with very, very subtle creasing without a primer, and it wears all day with a primer.

The Glossover

product

Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Fall out is a big no-no for me, so I'm not a fan of this type of eyeshadow texture, where the shimmer/glitter sits more as an overlay than really interwoven with the base product, because it results in fall out.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer
Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer

Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer

Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer ($29.00 for 0.04 oz.) is an molten gold designed to line the center of the lips to add a “touch of light.” The color is similar to Urban Decay Eldorado, which is an eyeliner. I can’t think of any lip liners that I own that are similar, but NYX Gold might work (I haven’t seen it, so I couldn’t tell you for sure) as it turned in my search for “gold lip liner.”

I can imagine this working really well with reds, berries, and plums, actually. The combination of the orange-gold tone with red would be fantastic.  It applies fairly well, though it does pull and tug just a tad, and the shimmer has a slight grit to it.  It’s not the best lip pencil I’ve used, but it’s certainly one of the more unique shades I’ve come across.  It yielded good color payoff in a single pass, though on lips it’s a bit harder to get those results as the surface area is much larger! I found it was a little dry on its own.  Overall, the formula and feel leave a little to be desired, but there’s something about the color itself as a lip product that draws me in.

The Glossover

LE
product

Vegas Gold

B
Overall, the formula and feel leave a little to be desired, but there's something about the color itself as a lip product that draws me in.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, February 24th, 2012

MAC Marcel Wanders 2 Lipgloss
MAC Marcel Wanders 2 Lipgloss

MAC Marcel Wanders 2: Lipglosses

There are four limited edition MAC Lipglosses ($22.50 for 0.15 oz.) in the new Marcel Wanders 2 Collection: Jana (creamy beige with gold pearl), Julia (light blue-pink with pearl), Karin (pink-mauve with pearl), and Kim (dirty plum with pearl). These lipglosses are designed to be “super sheer.”

  • Jana is a sheer pale, golden beige shimmered gloss that yields very little color (possibly, a touch of warmth) and mostly a healthy dose of shimmer. There are a lot of possible dupes. Honestly–the sheer lipgloss gallery is full of them. MAC Mary (from Marcel Wanders 1) is more golden.
  • Julia is a barely-there pink with pink and pale beige-gold shimmer. I have no idea how MAC got “blue-pink” out of this at all, because it’s not really cool-toned and there’s no blue undertones that I can spy. This shade has less shimmer compared to Jana. It looks a bit like MAC Beatrix on (from Marcel Wanders 1).
  • Karin is a plum-mauve with plum and pale pink shimmer. It has a healthy dose of shimmer, but I had some issues getting the shimmer to spread out evenly. MAC Comfort & Joy is rather similar but has more shimmer (less sparkle).
  • Kim is a softened red-berry with soft pink shimmer. It settles a bit into lip lines. The color coverage is semi-sheer here–this is the most pigmented of the four. Bobbi Brown Naked Plum is redder. Dior Mauve Accent is less shimmered. MAC Spanking Rich is similar with less shimmer.

The formula is cushion-y and thick without being goopy. They feel non-sticky when you apply them, so they do move a bit, but it doesn’t seem to gather or crease. Like other MAC lip products, these are vanilla-scented but don’t have any discernible taste. The formula is most comparable to the existing Cremesheen Glass but thicker (not in a bad way). Each tube has a “chrome” cap and a brush-type applicator. On me, these only wear about two hours and definitely need a reapplication after three. I don’t have any issues with my lips feeling dry post-wear, though.

The amount you get in these glosses is comparable to both Dazzleglass and Cremesheen Glass (and the overall style of the tube is also similar to these two glosses), which come in at $19 at present, so the price difference isn’t as startling as it is on the lipsticks.

The Glossover

product

MAC Marcel Wanders 2: Lipglosses Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's a decent to good gloss overall, though the shorter wear time was frustrating. The sheerer color is expected, though Kim is actually too pigmented given that MAC used the term "super sheer" to describe the color opacity of these!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Budding Love Lipglass
MAC Budding Love Lipglass / Force of Love Lipglass

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Lipglasses

There are two limited edition MAC Lipglasses ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection: Budding Love (pale lavender) and Force of Love (vivid honeysuckle pink). They, obviously, coordinate with the lipsticks–the descriptions are even the same.

Budding Love is a softly blue-based milky pink with soft white and pink shimmer. Because it’s a milkier shade, it does settle into lip lines and doesn’t always look perfectly even once applied. MAC Enchantee is very similar but streakier and has no shimmer. MAC Infinitely Likeable is a yellower pink. MAC Viva Glam Gaga is a bit lighter. MAC English Accents is pinker.

Force of Love is a yellow-based medium-dark pink with white sparkle. It has semi-opaque color coverage with some settling into lip lines. Chanel Pink Pulsion is darker, less opaque. MAC Electro Lush is darker. MAC If It’s Pink… is brighter, more fuchsia. Chanel Pink Teaser is similar but has gold shimmer.

MAC Lipglasses are a sticky, thick gloss, so they have a tendency to wear for four hours.  They’re vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste.  I’m not a big fan of this formula when the shade is more pastel, as it tends to settle or have a streaky application, which was the case with Budding Love, though it’s not the worst I’ve seen.  Force of Love has less coral in it compared to the coordinating lipstick, so if you layer this gloss over the lipstick, you’ll pull out more of the pink tones.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Lipglasses Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Budding Love settles noticeably into lip lines because of its lighter but more opaque color--it would be better over a lipstick than worn alone. Force of Love can be worn alone or paired with another product as there is a lot less settling.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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