Sunday, November 18th, 2012

L'Oreal Sparkle Frenzy Infallible Lipgloss
L’Oreal Sparkle Frenzy Infallible Lipgloss

A Budget-Friendly Sparkling Red Gloss for the Holidays

L’Oreal Sparkle Frenzy Infallible Lipgloss ($9.99 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is a bright red with gold and ruby red shimmer and sparkle. The underlying color is blue-based, but the addition of fiery gold shimmer makes it appear almost orange-toned at times. Dior Ceremony Red is bluer-based. MAC Ready to Roam is redder. MAC Totally Fab is more orange-toned. YSL Golden Red is similar but more orange-toned.

This is a new and limited edition shade for the holidays, which I grabbed at my local CVS a couple of weeks ago. I have a love/hate relationship with L’Oreal’s Infallible Lipglosses, because initially, I love, love them. They’re delightfully sparkly and pretty on, but they’re thin and have a tendency to feel gritty because of the thinness and high sparkle content. I feel like I fuss with my lips a bit more whenever I test one of these. There’s also this medicinal smell that sometimes reads “something sweet and fruity” or like menthol (honestly, it gives me an Icy/Hot kind of vibe, just more muted).

Sparkle Frenzy is semi-opaque and went on fairly evenly.  The tapered applicator holds a lot of product and allows for precision along the edges of the lip and the cupid’s bow.  This shade wore well for six hours, and it was in need of a touch-up after seven hours.  It can handle some drinking, but it won’t make it through a meal.  I love the way it looks, but I’m not keen on how it feels on: gritty, sticky, and a bit drying. While it wears well compared to the average gloss, L’Oreal advertises these as having eight-hour wear.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sparkle Frenzy

B
I think these look spectacular on; the way the shimmer sparkles and catches the light is really lovely. The wear isn't as long as advertised, but it wears longer than most glosses. The grit of the sparkle, combined with the thin, sticky, and slightly drying texture, make it hard to love.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Chanel Variation Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Variation Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Variation Eyeshadow Quad ($58.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a cool-toned palette that featuers shades of “light rose, silver-grey, deep purple, light shimmering plum.” It will be released sometime this month online and at Chanel retailers, and it joins the permanent range (according to the press release).

The first shade is a pale pink with a soft, frosted finish. It is nicely pigmented, but it does have a very slightly powdery texture. Chanel Harmonie du Soir is yellower. theBalm Matt Chung is similar but matte in finish. Dior Aurora is frostier. MAC Young Venus is more shimmery. Dior Garden Pastels is similar.

The second shade is a dirty gray-brown with a frosted finish. It had so-so color payoff, but it was definitely on the sheer side. When I wore this shade, it gave me some trouble with fall out during wear. NARS Vent Glace is warmer. Buxom Pug appears darker, as it is more opaque. theBalm Selfish is browner. NARS Grand Palais is similar, a bit warmer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is lighter.

The third shade is a medium-dark brown with reddish undertones. It had decent pigmentation, but it was powdery. It is best applied patted against the lid. MAC Smut is similar. theBalm Presto is a bit redder. Urban Decay Barlust is shimmery. Urban Decay Busted is a touch darker.

The last shade is a burgundy-purple with a pearly sheen. It had great color payoff, and it applied evenly and smoothly. MAC Round Midnight is more purple, less red. MAC Rich Core is more shimmery but the color is dead-on. Make Up For Ever #311 is very close in color, but the finish is more frosted.

Like Intuition, this quad is a mix of more basic shades, but the quality is not there across all the shades, so what could have been a classic, go-to palette, ends up looking weak when it’s so dupable.  All four shades were finely-milled and extremely easy to blend, but the pigmentation was too varied (ha!) and the fall out from the taupe shade was disappointing.  When I wore this palette together, it lasted eight hours with no fading or creasing without a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Variation

B
Like Intuition, this quad is a mix of more basic shades, but the quality is not there across all the shades, so what could have been a classic, go-to palette, ends up looking weak when it's so dupable.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, November 9th, 2012

Chanel Intuition Eyeshadow Quad
Chanel Intuition Eyeshadow Quad

Chanel Intuition Eyeshadow Quad ($58.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a warm-toned palette that features shades of “light pink, gold, chocolate brown, and brown-grey.” It will be released sometime this month online and at Chanel retailers, and it joins the permanent range (according to the press release).

The first shade is a soft pink-beige with a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and it was fairly smooth. Urban Decay Freebird is pinker. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle is similar in color but has a sparkly finish. MAC Hush is more matte but close in color. Urban Decay Sin is more metallic.

The second shade is a yellowed gold with gold sparkles. You could and feel the glittery bits in this shade, which gave it a sheerer appearance, and it made it difficult to apply. I had a great deal of fall out during application as well as during wear with this shade. Cinderella Gus Gus is brighter, yellower, less orange. Milani Gold Dust is more orange. Tarina Tarantino Mr. Gold is slightly less orange. Bare Escentuals Remix is yellower. Chanel Blazing Gold is a smidgen yellower. MAC Goldmine is more metallic.

The third shade is a subtly warm-toned dark brown with bronze shimmer. It had good color payoff, though the texture was a touch dry. Cinderella Jaq is darker. Urban Decay Muse is darker and more red-toned. Make Up For Ever #15 is warmer. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is similar.

The fourth shade is a warm-toned, copper-brown with a shimmer-sheen finish. It had nice pigmentation, and the texture was a smidgen powdery but applied really smoothly on the eye. MAC Mulch is a touch lighter. MAC Havana is similar, perhaps a little darker (when used wet). Benefit Dandy Brandy is similar. MAC Roasted Chestnut is comparable.

The gold is particularly troublesome, and at this price point, harder to accept as-is; the sparkly finish resulted in noticeable fall out during wear, and it made application more difficult, as it had to be packed on and worked into the skin to smooth it out.  Both the darker brown shades are lovey, though together they can get a little lost.  I like it, but I don’t love it.  If the gold shade was improved, it would be more versatile and easier to use.

The Glossover

palette

Intuition

B+
I like it, but I don't love it. If the gold shade was improved, it would be more versatile and easier to use.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

MAC Nicely Nude Lip Gloss Set
MAC Nicely Nude Lip Gloss Set

Four Variations on Nude Lipgloss

MAC Nicely Nude Lip Gloss Set ($32.50) includes four shades: Fashion Whim (light beige), Satin Slip (soft beige with gold pearl), Get Rich Quick (warm yellow brown), and Kiss Don’t Tell (warm chocolate creme).  Fashion Whim and Get Rich Quick are part of the permanent range.

Each Dazzleglass contains 0.09 oz., while each Dazzleglass Creme/Cremesheen Glass contains 0.07 oz. Of all MAC’s holiday products, their lipgloss sets are one of the best in terms of value. The Dazzleglasses in the kits are larger (in quantity) than the full-sized versions. In this set, there is $29.25 worth of Dazzleglass, $34.13 worth of Cremesheen Glass, and $15.17 worth of Dazzleglass Creme, which is a total of $78.55 in lipgloss.

Fashion Whim is a peach-beige with very, very fine (and sparse) shimmer. It is semi-sheer to semi-opaque. As it is a lighter color, it does settle into lip lines somewhat.  It lasted two hours on my lips. MAC Peachstock is more opaque. MAC Illicit is darker. MAC Ready or Not is a bit darker and more opaque–also creamier in finish.

Satin Slip is a warm-toned, peach-orange with gold and pink shimmer. It is semi-sheer on lips; it darkens my natural lip color and adds a fair amount of shimmer.  I really felt the grit of the sparkle in this particular shade right off the bat, which was unexpected.  It wore for three hours.  Revlon Sunset Peach is a smidgen darker. MAC Spirits-a-flyin’ doesn’t have pink shimmer.

Get Rich Quick is a rosy, medium-dark brown with pink sparkle. It has semi-sheer color coverage and lasted for four hours. Revlon Rosegold is less brown. MAC Blessedly Rich has a lot more shimmer. Bobbi Brown Beach is browner.

Kiss Don’t Tell is a medium-dark rosy brown with a cream finish. It has mostly opaque color and wore for two and a half hours. Bobbi Brown Uber Suede is a little browner and has gold shimmer. NARS More is a touch lighter (more orange-brown than rose-brown) and less glossy.

All four glosses are vanilla-scented, but the Dazzleglasses have a brush-type applicator, while the Cremesheen Glasses have a doe-foot applicator.  Cremesheen is a lighter-weight, non-sticky formula, while Dazzleglasses are thicker and have a tacky texture.  Dazzleglasses tend to wear longer on me as compared to Cremesheen Glasses, which is a formula that is lucky to last two hours on me (I normally get three to four with glosses!).

The Glossover

product

MAC Nicely Nude Lip Gloss Set Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The longevity of this set of glosses was weak, which did bring down the overall rating noticeably. The grit of Satin Slip was unexpected, while Fashion Whim did settle into lip lines.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

MAC Sweetly Smoky Crushed Metallic Pigments Set
MAC Sweetly Smoky Crushed Metallic Pigments Set

Pink and Purples Abound in This Set

MAC Sweetly Smoky Crushed Metallic Pigments Set ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) consists of four shades: Maribu (lilac frost), Prettified (mauvey frost), Femininity (cool pink frost), and Dusty Desire (rich purple frost).

Maribu is a pale, soft pink with a frosted, metallic finish. The color payoff is decent, and it is the same both wet and dry. MAC Ready to Party is cooler-toned. Dior Fairy Golds is similar but warmer. MAC Invisible Light is warmer. MAC Young Venus is a touch cooler-toned.

Prettified is a barely mauve-tinged, medium brown with subtle burgundy tones. It has a very, very metallic finish and chunky sparkle. Applied dry, there was very little color, but it did pop a lot more when applied damp. Bare Escentuals Most Requested is similar to the base color but is mostly matte. MAC Supersweet is similar but a bit darker, less metallic.

Femininity is a vibrant fuchsia magenta with an iridescent purple shimmer-sheen. It is a bit sheer when used dry, but it comes together better when applied damp. Urban Decay Infamous is pinker and doesn’t have the iridescence. Wet ‘n ‘Wild Shimmer the Night Away is similar with a subtler sheen. Urban Decay Fishnet is less metallic. MAC Stars ‘n Rockets is very similar. MAC Aurora is less brown and metallic but similar.

Dusty Desire is a rich, dark purple with a subtle cool undertone. It was smoother than the other three shades, so it was more forgiving on the lids. It had good color payoff dry, but it had excellent pigmentation when applied damp. MAC Drawn to Drama is darker. L’Oreal Perpetual Purple has a stronger red undertone. Urban Decay Psychedelic Sister also has a stronger red undertone.

Prettified is really hard to work with, and I had problems with fall out during wear, even when I used it wet.  Dusty Desire was the easiest to use and smooth out.  Maribu and Femininity are somewhere in-between; noticeably chunky and need a fair amount of smoothing to be manageable, but they didn’t have fall out problems like Prettified.  You can see how it really accentuates the texture on my lids when I wore this set for testing, unfortunately!  I find this product tends to work best when paired with mattes and satins; use one or two as your focal point, then build around it with less metallic and frosted textures.

The Glossover

product

MAC Sweetly Smoky Crushed Metallic Pigments Set Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Using these can be tricky and getting them to smooth out and look flattering on the lids is another challenge. The chunky, almost gritty textures, really don't help this product shine.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

MAC Brilliantly Cool Crushed Metallic Pigments Set
MAC Brilliantly Cool Crushed Metallic Pigments Set

A Cool-Toned Set of Chunky, Metallic Pigments

MAC Brilliantly Cool Crushed Metallic Pigments Set ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) consists of four shades: She’s Got Class (silver frost), Moss Garden (light green blue frost), Spruced (teal frost), and I’ve Got a Crush on You (browned teal frost).  This set will launch early next week online and in-stores on November 8th.

She’s Got Class is a silver-tinged white with a frosted, metallic finish. It’s sheer when applied dry, and it comes together and yields better payoff when applied damp. There are a number of shades that are comparable, including Wet ‘n’ Wild Shimmer the Night Away, Cinderella Ball Gown , MAC How to Marry, theBalm Metal-ica, and Maybelline Too Cool.

Moss Garden is a pale, dirty green with a gray-rown base. It’s a very interesting color, though it is a repromote from the Butterfly Party (Vera, ’12). Lancome Enduring Vert is greener. Chanel Rivere is lighter, greener. MAC Water is much, much darker. Urban Decay Money is similar, but it is darker.

Spruced is a rich emerald green with a hint of teal. It had good color payoff both wet and dry, and it was less metallic/frosted compared to the other shades in the set. Just a heads up, this shade stains incredibly easily. I would absolutely recommend using a base underneath it to minimize it. I had major staining on my arm (and it wasn’t on for longer than five minutes there) and my eye when I wore it in the crease. Tom Ford Emerald Lust is greener, lighter. MAC Jealousy Wakes is greener, less teal. MAC Double Feature 4 is darker. Urban Decay Minx is lighter.

I’ve Got a Crush on You is a strong red-toned, medium-dark brown with a green-teal duochrome. It’s like a jacked up version of MAC Club, MAC Blue Brown, and Too Faced Label Whore. When it’s applied dry, it’s much redder and has less of a duochrome–the duochrome mostly comes out when it is applied damp.  The texture on this shade was a bit finer than She’s Got Class or Moss Garden.

I always feel rather torn over these sets. The colors are often gorgeous, but the finish, which looks fun and sparkly and glitzy on my arm, looks spectacularly awful on my lids. I find they have to be used very sparingly and take some patience to work with, because they give my lids a very wrinkled, crepe-y appearance. All the frost and metallic just tends stick against itself and accentuate any texture on the lids. I used these wet for the look, as it tends to be the easiest way to minimize fall out, amplify color, and get each shade to smooth out.

I want to love these so bad, but they’re a product I never return to, for as beautiful as the colors are, they are difficult to use and are unflattering on my eyes.  They are similar to MAC Pigments, but the texture is much chunkier–think of the chunkiest MAC pigment (Kitschmas always comes to my mind), and these are going to be chunkier.  They wear well, though, and used damp, there is very minor fall out during wear, and they do not crease or fade even if used alone (without a primer or base).

Something really cool: these sets have always been a really good value, and the holiday sets are actually $1.50 less than the sets released in February ($34.00).

The Glossover

product

MAC Brilliantly Cool Crushed Metallic Pigments Set Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Using these can be tricky and getting them to smooth out and look flattering on the lids is another challenge. The chunky, almost gritty textures, really don't help this product shine.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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