Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel
Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel

For this spring, Dior’s released six limited edition shades of polishes, and I picked up three of the ones that were available at Nordstrom (I didn’t get Porcelaine). There is also Bouquet (available online at Sephora) and Bloom (I saw online at Saks). I wasn’t overly impressed by the three I chose, and I’m normally a fan of Dior’s polishes. Pampille was a milky disaster that applied unevely, looked almost goopy when applied (but wasn’t so thick that it was actually goopy), while Blossom was sheer and a little thick to work with. Perle was interesting, but it almost seemed too pigmented/densely packed with shimmer to be a really versatile top coat.

Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a soft, pastel peachy-orange with muted, yellowed gold sparkle. It seems like it has an almost jelly-like finish, though it didn’t quite have that really plush, juicy texture/look of a true jelly polish. It was semi-sheer with noticeable nail line. I concede it’s possible this was intentional, since it is spring and pastel and sheer seem to be keywords that are rarely ignored during the season, but without an actual description that affirms (without one, expectations based on an online photo would be that it is like the rest of the range!), I err against giving the brand the benefit of the doubt (but if sheer is cool with you, then the rating breakdown would be 8.5, 10, 8.5, 9, 4.5). I don’t have a dupe for this, due to the translucency and shimmer content. NARS Wind Dancer (LE, $19.00) is a lot darker, more orange, and has no shimmer. MAC Sweet Pop (LE, $16.00) is a cream finish and more orange. MAC Pep Pep Pep (LE, $16.00) and MAC Life & Beth (LE, $16.00) are closer in color but are creams. Chanel June (LE, $27.00) has a slight plushness to the finish, but it is darker, more orange, no sparkle. See comparison swatches.

Dior Perle (187) Vernis Nail Enamel ($25.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “matte pearly white with iridescent purple glimmer.” It’s an iridescent mix of lavender, fuchsia, and pink with a white-ish frosted matte finish. This is a matte top coat, though it’s fairly pigmented/dense so it’s not the most versatile top coat. I think it’s one that would work best on pinks and reds, as well as lighter shades in general. I tried it over black, which was all right, but it didn’t seem to work as well as I expected! I also tried it with just two coats over nails, and alone, it’s semi-sheer–but this a top coat, so that’s as expected. On its own, it wore well for five days on me (I normally get a week), and as a top coat, it wore a full week. MAC Frayed-to-Order was the only dupe I could think of, and it’s a bit whiter. See comparison swatches.

Dior Pampille (192) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a milky, mint-tinged white with iridescent green shimmer. The consistency was thicker, and it applied unevenly and showed streakiness on the nail. It was semi-opaque after two coats. Guerlain Star Dust (862) (LE, $23.00) is the only comparable shade I have, but it has more of a clear base than a milky one, so they end up looking quite different applied. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blossom (132)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Perle (187)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Pampille (192)

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes

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Thursday, January 16th, 2014

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette ($100.00 for 0.68 oz.) contains fifteen eyeshadows with a cool-toned theme. Aside from some of the quality issues, one of the things I noticed as I used this palette was that it wasn’t that cool-toned. Not only is it labeled a cool palette, but it is the counterpart to the Warm Neutral palette, which was very warm-toned. I thought the pigmentation was weaker in this palette overall, and there were some shades with texture issues (most of them Lustres, though). In general, these shades wore well for eight hours without fading or creasing, but one of the Lustres did have noticeable fall out during wear. This palette also contained a few of repromotes/permanent shades: Blackberry, Brun, and Black Tied are part of the permanent range, while After Dusk, Deception, and Silver Fog were repromotes. I thought Cumulus was a repromote, but it’s a totally different shade than the past limited edition release (from several years ago).

Flounce is described as a “chalky white pink [with a Matte finish].” It’s a cool-toned pink–almost a little lavender to it–with a matte finish. MAC was right about a chalkiness to it, too; I’m not sure it will work well on deeper complexions due to the chalky, white base. The consistency was a little dry and powdery, but soft and blendable, and yielded semi-opaque color payoff. bareMinerals Velvet Lavender (LE, $14.00) is more lavender. Too Faced Strawberry Bon Bon (P) is pinker, less cool-toned. Urban Decay X-Rated (LE, $18.00) is darker, pinker. LORAC Light Pink (P) is similar. NARS Bouthan #1 (P, $24.00) is pinker. Benefit Pinky Swear (P, $20.00) is also pinker. Inglot #319 (P, $6.00) is darker, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Sweet Allure is described as a “soft light pink [with a Satin finish].” It’s a soft, pinky-beige with a soft, frosted finish and subtle warm undertones. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable but a bit powdery. Laura Mercier Sparkling Dew (LE, $23.00) is more beige. Laura Mercier Guava (P, $23.00) is warmer. Urban Decay Dope (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Chanel Delicatesse #3 (LE) is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Newport Nights #2 (LE) is darker, warmer. MAC Orb (P, $15.00) is less pink, more beige. See comparison swatches.

Sun Tweaked is described as a “soft frosty coral [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium orange with a frosted finish. It felt more like a Lustre, as it was soft but a little loose/powdery, and it didn’t bind together for great color payoff. This was a surprisingly warm-toned shade for a cool-toned palette. Too Faced Marzipan (P) is similar. Makeup Geek Cinderella (P, $5.99) is less frosted. LORAC Light Bronze (P) is more golden. Urban Decay Moonflower (P, $18.00) is darker. NARS Nepal (P, $24.00) is slightly browner. MAC Sweet Heat (LE, $19.50) is more metallic, browner. See comparison swatches.

After Dusk is described as a “mid-tone rosy pink with pearl [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a warm-toned, muted rose with reddish-orange undertones and a pearly sheen. It had really nice pigmentation, and the texture was soft and buttery. Urban Decay Buzz (P, $18.00) is very similar. MAC Mineral Mode (LE, $21.00) is less warm-toned and less pink. Chanel Abstraction (LE, $36.00) is more frosted. Inglot #399 (P, $6.00) is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Blackberry is described as a “muted burgundy-plum brown [with a Matte finish].” It’s a muted, plummy brown with subtle warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and velvety, while the color payoff was really nice–it was just a little powdery but still adhered well to bare skin and didn’t sheer away easily. Chanel Quadrille #1 (LE) is lighter. theBalm Sexy (P, $16.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Pick Me Up is described as a “pale ivory [with a Matte finish].” It’s a cool-toned, white-beige with a matte finish. It’s not quite as stark as a true white, but it’s not too beige either. It had fairly good pigmentation, and it applied evenly overall. It’s a more basic shade, so there are a lot of shades very similar to it — see comparison swatches.

Cozy Grey is described as a “cool grey [with a Matte finish].” It’s a light-medium taupe with a neutral-to-cool undertone and a matte finish. MAC Camel Coat (P, $18.50) is a cream product, darker, grayer. Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $18.00) is darker. MAC Brains & Brawn (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Inner Strength (LE, $15.00) is slightly darker. Inglot #390 (P, $6.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Crushed Clove is described as a “dirty gold olive [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium, golden bronze with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth overall. bareMinerals Hot Commodity (LE) is slightly darker. Too Faced Jingle All the Way Eyeshadow #4 (LE) is very similar. Sleek MakeUP Court in Cannes (LE, $9.99) is also similar. Maybelline Downtown Brown (P, $6.99) is darker. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $21.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Deception is described as a “chocolate gold [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium-dark, plum-tinged brown with gold sparkle. It felt more like a Lustre finish than a frost–it was glittery, grainy, and dry with sheer color payoff. This one had problems with fall out during wear. Too Faced Amaretto (P) is lighter. Urban Decay Liar (P, $18.00) is cooler-toned. Too Faced Brown Sugar (LE) is warmer. Too Faced Yule Log (LE) is darker. MAC Damson (LE, $21.00) is more glittery. Disney by Sephora Chateau (LE) is similar. MAC Roasted Chestnut (LE, $32.50) is browner. See comparison swatches.

Brun is described as a “muted blackish brown [with a Satin finish].” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned brown with a matte finish. It was soft but powdery, and it had semi-opaque color payoff. Too Faced Triple Fudge (P) and Laura Mercier Espresso (LE, $23.00) are darker. MAC Midnight Hour (LE, $15.00) is also darker. bareMinerals Boardroom (LE) darker, cooler-toned. Benefit Quick, Look Busy (P, $20.00) is similar. Inglot #363 (P, $6.00) is cooler-toned, slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Silver Fog is described as a “white with silver pearl [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a pale, silvery-white with a frosted sheen. The texture almost felt emollient, and it had semi-sheer color payoff. It’s so sheer and light, there are a fair amount of very similar shades — see comparison swatches.

French Clay is described as a “dirty grey charcoal [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium, golden taupe with a frosted sheen. It seems to be slightly warm-toned–just slightly–but you’d expect it to run cooler in this type of palette. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable. Clarins The Essentials #5 (LE) is darker. Clarins The Essentials #8 (LE) is less frosted. Urban Decay Juju (LE, $20.00) is a cream product. MAC Vintage Selection (P, $18.50) is slightly warmer, cream product. See comparison swatches.

Cumulus is described as a “dirty grey charcoal [with a Frost finish].” It’s a subtly cool-toned, dark taupe with an olive-brown base. It had nice pigmentation, and the texture was really soft and buttery. MAC A Glimmer of Gold #4 (P, $21.00) is less frosted. MAC Silver Dawn (LE, $19.50) is warmer. Urban Decay Vaporize (LE, $18.00) is more glittery. MAC Shale (P, $15.00) is browner. See comparison swatches.

Pearled Earth is described as a “deep blue-grey [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a cool-toned, muted medium-dark purple with a frosted sheen. It had fairly good color payoff but could have been more intense. Urban Decay Darkside (P, $18.00) is darker. Too Faced Bluff (LE) is similar. MAC Graphic Style (LE, $15.00) is grayer. MAC Dangerous Cuvee (P, $18.50) is a cream product. MAC Electroplate (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. Inglot #420 (P, $6.00) is more metallic, lighter. See comparison swatches.

Black Tied is described as a “black with silver sparkle [with a Velvet finish].” It’s a matte black base with silver sparkle. This is the best Black Tied I’ve ever tried, including a permanent single I’ve had forever. It was really quite pigmented, and the texture was very soft and finely-milled. It can take some extra effort to blend just right, but it’s pretty intense. This combination of matte black and silver sparkle is really common, so there are several very close shades — see comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
palette

Cool Neutral

B
Aside from some of the quality issues, one of the things I noticed as I used this palette was that it wasn't that cool-toned. Not only is it labeled a cool palette, but it is the counterpart to the Warm Neutral palette, which was very warm-toned. I thought the pigmentation was weaker in this palette overall, and there were some shades with texture issues (most of them Lustres, though).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Flounce

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Sweet Allure

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, January 13th, 2014

NARS Na Pali Coast Multiple
NARS Na Pali Coast Multiple

NARS Na Pali Coast Multiple ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) is described as a “shimmering rose peach.” It’s a gold and bronze-shimmered reddish bronze with strong, warm undertones and a frosted sheen. Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $43.00) is more muted, powder, and less warm-toned. MAC Sweet As Cocoa (P, $21.00) is browner, less red-toned, powder. MAC Stylish Me (LE, $21.00) is very similar but a powder product. MAC Stratus (LE, $25.00) is redder, powder. See comparison swatches.

If you’ve been a reader for awhile, you’ll know that my biggest issue with Multiples is that they’re not usually a great multi-tasker. They’re nice on cheeks, sometimes on brow bones, but they tend to be a disappointment on the lips. In all honesty, I have considered rating them purely as a cheek product, but for now, I’m continuing to review them exactly as they’re marketed: a “multi-purpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips, and body.” Multiples are supposed to give “sheer allover color, shimmering accents, contours and dynamic highlights.”

Na Pali Coast worked best for me as a cheek color, though with a really, really sheer and blended application, it could be used as a warming highlighter, too.  The color is sheer but buildable. I patted it onto cheeks using a stippling brush, and it looked luminous without emphasizing pores. As a blush, it wore well for six and a half hours on me before starting to look a little patchy. It worked well over foundation or on bare skin, but on bare skin it is easier to apply. As an eye product, it creases after six hours on me if applied on the actual lid, and then lasts almost seven hours on the brow bone. As a lip product, it’s extremely uncomfortable and unforgiving; it seems to crumble at times as it is applied, so it leaves lips looking flaky and dry (as the product clings). It is also quite drying as a lip color and wears about two hours. The consistency is just lightly creamy with a silicone-like feel, and it does dry down (it is a cream-to-powder product), so it doesn’t look too dewy/wet on the skin.

The Glossover

P
product

Na Pali Coast

B

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, January 13th, 2014

Urban Decay Lovechild Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss
Urban Decay Lovechild Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss

Here’s a look at the next three glosses from the new Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss range! You can see the first three here.  To recap, Urban Decay Naked Ultra Nourishing Lipgloss ($20.00 for 0.13 fl. oz.) is a new (and permanent) formula that’s supposed to be hydrating, comfortable to wear, high-gloss, and creamy. They have a light, creamy consistency that is non-sticky (but does gradually get a smidgen tacky after two to three hours of wear) and comfortable to wear. It’s hydrating, lasts between three and four hours, and is scented with sweet mint. The only downsides are that some glosses settle into lip lines or apply unevenly, but it depends on the shade.

Lovechild is described as a “medium pink.” It’s a medium pink with soft, blue undertones and a cream finish. This one settles into lip lines somewhat, and it doesn’t look even at all times–it’s prone to showing “lines” where you’ve pressed your lips together. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and it wore well for three hours on me. Maybelline Mauve Mystique (025) (P, $8.99) is darker. Tom Ford Beauty Sugar Pink (P, $45.00) is less cool-toned. Urban Decay Obsessed (P, $19.00) is lighter. MAC Going Casual (LE, $20.00) is similar. MAC Pagoda (LE, $20.00) is shimmery. Chanel Insolence (P, $32.00) is less cool-toned. See comparison swatches.

Naked is described as a “nude-pink with pearly pink shift.” It’s a warm-toned, medium brown with rose tonts and pink and white micro-shimmer. It was semi-sheer on lips and added warmth and shimmer. It applied evenly and wore well for three and a half hours. Revlon Peach (P, $7.49) is browner. MAC Sublime Shine (LE, $20.00) is similar. MAC Dynasty at Dusk (LE, $20.00) is also similar. MAC Double Happiness (LE, $20.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Naked is very similar. See comparison swatches.

Nooner is described as a “light neutral nude.” It’s a light-medium, muted coral with warm undertones and a mostly creamy finish. It had semi-sheer color coverage, and though it settled into lip lines just slightly, it did apply evenly otherwise. It lasted for three and a half hours on me. MAC Warm Embrace (P, $15.00) is more shimmery. MAC Summer Sweetheart (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Richer, Lusher (LE, $20.00) is similar. MAC Kiss Me Softly (LE, $20.00) is lighter. MAC Boy Bait (P, $20.00) is lighter, less pink. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Lovechild

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Naked

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Nooner

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Sunday, January 12th, 2014

NARS Khao San Road Larger Than Life Eyeliner
NARS Khao San Road Larger Than Life Eyeliner

The NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner ($24.00 for 0.02 oz.) range has two new shades releasing for spring. Khao San Road is permanent, while Puerta del Sol is limited edition.  They’re both really fun, bright pops of color that are perfect for adding oomph to any look, but I wish they were a little creamier and more pigmented.  They are buildable to varying degrees (Puerta del Sol more so than Khao San Road), and they were both long-wearing and didn’t smudge at any point (but gradually faded/thinned after eight hours).

Khao San Road is described as a “metallic aquamarine.” It’s a brightened, light-medium blue with silver sparkle. It had so-so color payoff in a single stroke and was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage. The formula is just lightly creamy, so it doesn’t smudge easily and dries and sets very quickly. It lasted for eight hours without fading or smudging on me. Sephora Collection Summer Cruise (23) (P, $9.00) is lighter. Chanel True Blue (57) (LE, $30.00) is similar. bareMinerals 4AM (LE, $15.00) is less sparkly. Tarina Tarantino Kanzashi is brighter. See comparison swatches.

Puerta del Sol is described as a “parrot green with shimmer.” It’s a grassy green with warm, yellow undertones and a frosted sheen. It is an eyeliner that really has to be layered and built-up in order to achieve more opaque color payoff. It wore well for eight hours before starting to thin. Ardency Inn Grass (P, $19.00) is warmer with no shimmer. Sephora Collection Indulge Yourself (22) (P, $9.00) is less shimmery. NARS Rue de Rivoli (P, $24.00) is much darker (included here more because it’s in the permanent range). See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Khao San Road

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Puerta del Sol

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Sunday, January 12th, 2014

NARS Adelaide Illuminator
NARS Adelaide Illuminator

NARS Adelaide Illuminator ($30.00 for 1.10 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering lavender pink.” It’s a lightly cool-toned, light-medium pink with pink and white shimmer/sheen, plus silver glitter. Giorgio Armani No. 08 (P, $59.00) is similar in type (also a liquid) but is a smidgen lighter and has no glitter. NARS New Order (P, $29.00) is a powder and appears lighter swatched, but the effect is similar on. Bobbi Brown Lilac Rose (LE, $42.00) is also a powder and is a darker, more noticeable rose with a stronger metallic sheen. See comparison swatches.

If you’re unfamiliar with NARS’ Illuminators, they’re supposed to “light the skin from within.” They’re “deceptively sheer, decidedly luminous.” The formula can be applied all-over the face, used as traditional highlighter, and can be worn mixed with, over, or under foundation. With the amount of glitter (plus, the size), I didn’t like it mixed with foundation, because the bits of glitter all over the face looked more like random dirt particles at a glance–unless you stood in the sunlight, and then you twinkled here and there. In order to keep the color from adding a pink tint, you use just a very, very little amount. I had the best results when patted over cheeks with my fingertip and blended, as it gave a very light pink flush, luminous sheen, and then glittery sparkles. There was some emphasis of pores. If you don’t like glitter in your blush or highlighter, then I would skip this shade, because it is a noticeable amount. On cheeks, it remained apparent for six hours and then started to disappear.

The Glossover

LE
product

Adelaide

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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