Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet Sheer Color Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet Sheer Color Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet Sheer Color Lip Gloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer violet pink.” It’s a sheer pop of purpled pink with cool, berry-like undertones. This formula is supposed to be sheer, so the color is just right; it’s noticeable but not dominating and lets the natural lip color come through. I couldn’t think of a perfect dupe for the color, though. Illamasqua Move has similar coloring but it’s opaque, so it looks very different.

The formula feels non-sticky initially, but there is a subtle tackiness that develops over the two-and-a-half hour wear time (which never amounts to enough tackiness to call it sticky, though).  The gloss adds a little color with a lot of shine–the real selling feature of the gloss is that juicy shine it gives off.  It has a thinner consistency, so it feels lightweight once applied to lips.  Like Bobbi Brown’s other glosses, it has a mint scent and comes in a square tube with a doe-foot applicator.

The Glossover

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product

Ultra Violet

B
Having a ton of sheer glosses like this is probably unnecessary for most, but having a few in your arsenal is always a good idea. They're great to keep in your bag for a little color and shine that will go with anything, and they work well to add a glossy layer to any lipstick. Just remember: they're supposed to be sheer, so if you only like opaque glosses, this isn't designed with you in mind!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Cosmic Pink Sheer Color Lip Gloss
Bobbi Brown Cosmic Pink Sheer Color Lip Gloss

Bobbi Brown Cosmic Pink Sheer Color Lip Gloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer neon pink.” If the formula name didn’t give it away: this gloss is designed to be sheer. It may look neon pink in the tube, but it gave my lips a tinted pink look–just a more intensified pink of my natural lip color (which looks like a corpse’s lips). Chanel Pink Pulsion is a bit more pigmented. MAC Electro Lush is more pigmented and shimmered.

The formula is mostly non-sticky, but I did detect a slight tackiness that developed over the time that I wore this shade (which lasted for just under three hours). Like the brand’s other glosses, it is mint-scented. The gloss adds a lot of shine without a lot of product; it has a lightweight look and feel–doesn’t look like you’re wearing a layer of gloss.  It’s so-so as far as hydration goes; no chapped or dried out lips post-use, but it doesn’t seem to have any moisture once it disappears.

Having a ton of sheer glosses like this is probably unnecessary for most, but having a few in your arsenal is always a good idea. They’re great to keep in your bag for a little color and shine that will go with anything, and they work well to add a glossy layer to any lipstick. Just remember: they’re supposed to be sheer, so if you only like opaque glosses, this isn’t designed with you in mind!

The Glossover

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product

Cosmic Pink

B
Having a ton of sheer glosses like this is probably unnecessary for most, but having a few in your arsenal is always a good idea. They're great to keep in your bag for a little color and shine that will go with anything, and they work well to add a glossy layer to any lipstick. Just remember: they're supposed to be sheer, so if you only like opaque glosses, this isn't designed with you in mind!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee
Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee ($40.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as “high polish for your skin.” It’s a liquid, powder, and gel formula all-in-one. Estee Lauder says it “smooths on as an all-over soft sheen” and “builds for luminous pearl highlighting.” I wouldn’t describe it as an all-over powder or really so much a highlighting product–maybe a highlighting bronzer. The product is very, very intense. The pigmentation is insane; one tap of the brush, and it’s more than enough color to add a bronzed look to my cheeks. To achieve mere highlighting, I found that a fan brush and a very, very light hand (think of just a tap) was the only way to get just a faint sheen. If you use a regular blush or highlighting brush, and you use your typical method, you’ll probably find there’s too much for just a highlighted sheen.

This is a product that would be really lovely on deeper, golden-toned skin. It’s a rich coppery bronze with red undertones and a molten gold shimmer and sheen. theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer is browner, less orange and red. Urban Decay Gilded is a little lighter, more orange and less red-toned, but compares to the softer swatch of Topaz Chameleon.  If you want to bring out the metallic sheen, you can use the powder with a wet or damp brush.

I feel like this product is too pigmented if its aim is to be an all-over highlight.  Even on darker skin tones, I can’t imagine using this all over.  It’s very metallic and frosty, so it does emphasize the texture of the skin slightly.  The brush that Estee Lauder includes applies this more heavily if you aren’t careful (light hand, tapping away excess).  As a bronzer, it should work on warmer skin tones.  There are strong copper and orange tones, so I’m not sure if this would work as well on cooler complexions.  Estee Lauder just doesn’t call this product out as a bronzer, when it just feels and looks so much like one.

It can be used as a highlighter, but the application is more difficult and takes some practice.  It looks very dirty on my skin tone as a bronzer, but with a fan brush, a light hand, and a buffing brush, it can yield a softer, more manageable golden sheen.  The texture is soft but has this dry feel; it’s a different texture compared to most powders, but it is similar to Estee Lauder’s recent formulas like this.  When I wore this as a bronzer, it lasted for seven hours before beginning to fade.  I wish it would blend out more easily, because it’s just too easy to over-apply, so a more blendable texture would make for a more forgiving application.

I had a tough time trying to figure out exactly what Estee Lauder was going for here and whether this product should have been sheerer or if the pigmentation was on point.  I decided that since Estee Lauder said it was buildable (and it is) and didn’t mention it being sheer, the product would receive full marks for pigmentation.  Because achieving the highlighting the brand describes is more difficult, this was reflected in the application score.

The Glossover

LE
product

Topaz Chameleon

B
As a bronzer, it should work on warmer skin tones. There are strong copper and orange tones, so I'm not sure if this would work as well on cooler complexions. Estee Lauder just doesn't call this product out as a bronzer, when it just feels and looks so much like one.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

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Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer ($19.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is a dusty teal with a cream finish, though it dries to an almost vinyl-like finish. Illamasqua Muse is a richer, deeper teal that isn’t much darker but has more depth. Cult Nails Let Me Fly is a bit darker and has shimmer. Orly Viridian Vinyl is very close in color but has a pleather-like finish.

It’s not quite opaque after two coats, and it doesn’t apply completely evenly; there is a tendency to streak and pull. I’ve had good luck with Estee Lauder’s new Pure Color lacquers, but this one fell flat for me. The application was off; it wasn’t as pigmented as other shades, and it did not apply flawlessly. Estee Lauder bottles look big, but they’re deceptively small in actual product–there’s a lot of excess glass, which makes the bottle heavy and chunky (it takes up more space than your average bottle of polish).  I typically get a week of wear with very minor tip wear with Estee Lauder’s formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Teal Topaz

B
It's a really pretty shade, but the formula falls short--at this price tag, and with several other dupes available, it's unacceptable.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

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Monday, February 6th, 2012

NYX Stella Lipstick
NYX Stella Lipstick

NYX Stella Lipstick

NYX Stella Round Lipstick ($4.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a creamy medium pink with yellow undertones. The finish has a natural sheen to it that gives it a nice luminosity, and the color coverage is mostly opaque. MAC Joie-de-Vivre is slightly yellower. MAC Hot Gossip is darker.

Like Haute Melon, there was a fair amount of slip in the creamy consistency of this particular shade that made it slide around during application. It was also easy to move around the applied product and get lines of color. Again, this shade didn’t wear for long, about three hours, when I typically average four hours of wear on a regular lipstick (not one touted as long-wearing). Mine didn’t have any scent, but other NYX lipsticks I’ve tried have almost been vanilla scented. I’ve had this for some time before opening it, though, so it’s possible the scent faded away over time (a lot of my budget-friendly lipsticks lose their scent very quickly).

The Glossover

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product

Stella

B
The yellow undertones are subtle but noticeable, so if blue-based pinks don't work for you, this might be an option. If you like the idea of a warmer pink but often find they're too warm, this may also be something to consider.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Butterfly Party (bright lilac), Desert Cloud (deep blue purple), Moss Garden (metallic silver green), and Rain Drop (metallic teal). FYI, none of the stacks from this collection are safe for lip use.

  • Butterfly Party is a red-toned violet with a lilac shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is blue-based. MAC Violet is similar but not quite as red-toned.
  • Desert Cloud is a dark blue-based purple with a silver sheen. This one has a slightly grittier texture compared to Butterfly Party. It’s kind of like MAC Parfait Amour with a cool-toned sheen. MAC Imaginary is darker.
  • Moss Garden is a dirty green with a bright metallic sheen. It has a yellowy brown base with a cool-toned green-teal color that dominates. MAC Cake Shop is a warmer green. MAC Lady Grey is also a little warmer.
  • Rain Drop is a darkened blue-teal with a minted teal shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of Urban Decay Aquarius, which is a bit lighter. theBalm Bossy Bobbi is a bit darker but similar.

These really need to adopt some kind of stopper a la Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, because it needs to come with some sort of device so you can press and “crush” the pigments here. I tried doing so as I was applying, but it wasn’t working out as well as I’d like.  I usually try to use from the plastic insert when I swatch (because I then throw it away), since the product on it is already fairly loosened and not in a large chunk.  These all have a highly metallic sheen, so if you like your frosts and metallics, you’ll like the finish on these as well.

Because these are a loose formula, they can be used both wet and dry.  When applied dry, it actually tends to apply smoother–at least more easily–as it tends to clump together when it is applied wet.  There’s a fine line where it becomes too wet (which isn’t sopping, by the way, it’s still more damp than it is wet) and leads to clumping.  The metallic sheen will become more pronounced when it is applied damp/wet, though.

Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”  The wear of the formula is surprisingly good–with as much shimmer, chunkiness, and the like, you would think these wouldn’t hold together on the lid, but they do.

So long as you apply a solid, smooth layer of product (so no clumping!), it wears about the same whether used alone (no primer) as it does with a primer (I typically use MAC’s Mixing Medium, which is an adhesive base).  It’s just vital that you really press and crush those pigments before applying to ensure the best results.  There’s very little fall out after it’s applied; I do tend to get more fall out than normal when initially applying these, because they are a loose formula.  If you have a metal mixing palette, you may want to mix and crush it there before applying, which will minimize application fall out.

The Glossover

product

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's an interesting product, and if you've never tried it, it's worth checking out in-store. It takes a little more technique and patience than your average product. This particular set felt a little chunkier overall than past iterations of the formula.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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