Friday, October 17th, 2014

Chanel Volage (227) Rouge Allure Lipstick
Chanel Volage (227) Rouge Allure Lipstick

Chanel Volage (227) Rouge Allure Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a light, muted pink-peach with a luminous finish. NARS Raquel (P, $32.00) is more opaque, lighter.MAC Dream Daze (LE, $22.00) is darker. Chanel Satisfaction (89) (P, $34.00) is lighter. Chanel Cheri (61) (P, $34.00) is warmer. Chanel Charmeuse (142) (LE, $34.00) is similar. MAC Fleur d’Coral (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty Dizzy Spell (104) (P, $30.00) is darker, warmer. MAC Touche (LE, $20.00) is warmer. MAC Shy Shine (P, $16.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It is one of the stranger lipsticks I’ve encountered, as it looks quite warm and peach in the tube, and then swatched, it retains that warmth, but applied, it lightens my natural lip color and the end result is more pink than peach. It had semi-opaque color coverage (you can tell by my lip freckle) with a light sheen. The texture was thin with a fair amount of slip, so it glided on without tugging, but it can look streaky. It lasted two hours on me, and it was drying on me. It felt more like a Rouge Coco Shine than a Rouge Allure to me, and it looked it, too, with its sheerer coverage. It’s the only new shade of Rouge Allure from the holiday collection, and I skipped

The Glossover

LE
product

Volage (227)

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 9th, 2014

NARS  Hardwired Lipstick
NARS Hardwired Lipstick

NARS Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a new, limited edition formula created for the holiday collection that’s supposed to have a “rich texture” while “deliver[ing] brilliant, glossy shine with full coverage.” The formula felt less clingy and more comfortable to wear than NARS’ permanent range, though it isn’t like their Audacious range, which has a lot more slip and is heavier. The finish has a light shine (like a satin), but it’s not what I would describe as glossy. Two of the three shades have good color payoff (but not fully opaque).

NARS Deadly Catch Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “crimson.” It’s a rich, medium-dark red with cool, blue undertones and a satin finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage, a light creaminess, and lasted for seven and a half hours. It was lightly hydrating while worn. I doubt it’s a real surprise that it being a medium red that there is a slew of dupes out there. Guerlain Rouge Parade (820) (LE, $51.00) is pinker. MAC Sparks of Romance (LE, $16.00) is more muted. MAC Dangerously Chic (P, $23.00) is more muted, darker. MAC Oblivion (LE, $16.00) is slightly pinker. MAC Frank-n-furter (LE, $16.00) is darker. Too Faced Melted Ruby (P, $21.00) is brighter. Estee Lauder Vengeful Red (P, $30.00) is similar. Bite Beauty Rioja (P, $28.00) is more muted. NARS Future Red (LE, $26.00) is a touch glossier. Givenchy Grenat Initie (307) (P, $36.00) is glossier. Marc Jacobs Beauty Neo-Noir (126) (P, $30.00) is brighter. Urban Decay F-Bomb (P, $22.00) is similar. Buxom Provocateur (P, $21.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Femme Fleur Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “shimmering brick red with gold pearl.” It’s a muted, medium-dark copper brown with warm undertones and a soft dusting of gold shimmer. It had mostly opaque color payoff, which went on evenly and smoothly. The color lasted for five hours, and it was lightly moisturizing over time. Kat Von D Gothica (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter. Kat Von D Thin Lizzy (P, $21.00) is more metallic, redder. Guerlain Gaetane (16) (P, $51.00) is glossier, lighter. Revlon Sandstorm (LE, $7.99) is more shimmery. Maybelline Maple Kiss (925) (P, $7.49) is lighter. Chanel Synopsis (P, $34.00) is more shimmery. Maybelline Mochachino (P, $7.49) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Adriatic Hardwired Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “glistening soft cream.” It’s a light, pink-tinged beige with metallic shimmer. It had semi-opaque color coverage, but this one didn’t apply as evenly as the other two. It didn’t seem to have more slip, but it sure looked as if it did. The color pulls into lip lines over time, so it is a very high maintenance color to wear. It lasted for three and a half hours on me and was neither drying nor hydrating. Kat Von D Agatha (P, $21.00) is more matte, less shimmery. MAC Peach Beige (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, more opaque. MAC Strip Poker (LE, $16.00) is less shimmery, more opaque. MAC Siren Song (LE, $16.00) is sheerer. Maybelline Bare All (910) (P, $7.49) is lighter. NYX Fortune Cookie (P, $4.00) is more metallic. MAC Annelie (LE, $22.00) is darker. MAC Crème d’Nude (P, $16.00) is less shimmery. Buxom Nudist (P, $21.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Deadly Catch

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Femme Fleur

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Adriatic

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Hello Kitty Pop-Up Party Eyeshadow Palette
Hello Kitty Pop-Up Party Eyeshadow Palette

Hello Kitty Pop-Up Party Eyeshadow Palette ($52.00 for 0.70 oz.) includes twenty eyeshadows in an array of colors and neutrals with a variety of finishes. I love the concept–colors, neutrals, mattes, satins, shimmers–but I think the quality is missing. Often, you’ll see collaborations or non-beauty brands put out makeup, and the first thought is, “This is going to suck, it’s just a gimmick.” Sometimes you’re surprised, and sometimes, you’re not at all. The eyeshadow formula used here feels cheap, because they’re loaded with fillers that make these powdery, chalky, prone to fading, and under-pigmented. There’s no reason this shouldn’t perform at least decently–the price tag certainly leaves plenty of room to use quality ingredients and formulas. It is packaged similarly to Urban Decay’s Book of Shadows with a bulky, cardboard container with a pull-out drawer. The drawer doesn’t extend fully, so the top row of eyeshadows sits a little underneath the lip of the exterior cover.

This is a quick review. In this instance, I have only tested twelve of the twenty shades for wear, and I have used an average wear time for the remaining shades. In an effort to cover more products during the holiday season, some palettes and sets will be given quick reviews. I’m still doing full reviews of products throughout the holiday season, but instead of having 20 palettes/sets photographed, swatched, and half-tested but never written up come January, my goal is to share photos and swatches and shorter reviews where it makes sense to. I use your reactions as a community to prioritize what gets fully tested and what may get a shorter review.

Happy is a medium, pink lavender with cool undertones and a subtle sparkle. It was powdery, prone to fading, excessive fall out, wears six hours. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Playdate is a muted, medium-dark gray with subtle neutral-to-cool undertones and a matte finish. Powdery, semi-sheer, faded after five and a half hours of wear. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Dear Daniel is a brightened, medium-dark periwinkle blue with an aqua micro-shimmer over a matte finish. It was powdery, sheer, dry, chalky, prone to fading after five and a half hours of wear. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Milk is a cool-toned white with a satin finish. It had semi-sheer pigmentation, lightly powdery, seven hours of wear. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Celebrate is a medium-dark, burgundy-brown with warm, reddish undertones and a pearly finish. It had mostly opaque color payoff, lasted for seven and a half hours, and was a touch powdery. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Supercute is a medium-dark, cool-toned purple with a soft, pearly sheen. It had a very dusty, dry consistency that was prone to fading along with semi-sheer color coverage. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Friendship is an iridescent, peachy-pink with a frosted sheen. It had so-color payoff, some powderiness to the texture. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Kitty-Chan is a dark, navy blue with a metallic sheen and copper sparkle. The copper sparkle made it more unique, but it didn’t bind and just fell underneath the lid during application. The consistency wasn’t powdery. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Apple Pie is a light, peach with a hint of beige, warm undertones, and a frosted finish. It had good color payoff and was easy to blend, but it was somewhat powdery. One of the better shades in the palette, though. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Bow is a medium-dark, coral-red with warm, orange undertones and a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation but was very powdery, so it adhered poorly to the skin and immediately looked faded applied to bare skin. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

1974 is a medium-dark gray with subtle, neutral undertones (almost looks warm on my skin tone) and a satin finish. It was dry, powdery, and semi-sheer. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Kawaii is a cool-toned, light-medium aqua-teal with a metallic sheen. It had decent pigmentation and was only a little dry. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

The Original is a deep brown with olive undertones and a soft, bronze shimmer. It had great color payoff, though the texture was still on the powdery side. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Hot Cocoa is a muted, medium-dark brown with neutral-to-cool undertones and a matte finish. It was drier, powdery, and somewhat chalky with semi-sheer color payoff. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Bright is a brightened, metallic white gold with warm, yellow undertones. It had good pigmentation but was still a little powdery and dusty to work with. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Three Apples is a muted, cool-toned emerald green with a subtle golden overlay. It had good color payoff with only a slight powderiness, but it wore better than a lot of the other shades. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Anniversary is a blackened navy blue with lighter blue sparkle over a matte finish. It had great color payoff, and it was only a little powdery. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Cookie is an ultra frosted, pewter gold with warm undertones and a metallic finish. It was very crumbly and powdery, though the pigmentation was good (it just didn’t stick). See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Mimmy is a muted, light-medium butter yellow with a soft, frosted finish. It was crumbly and powdery, a little chalky, and difficult to get to stick to the skin. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Chocolate Chip is a rich, golden bronze with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It was a soft, smooth shade that wasn’t powdery and was nicely pigmented. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Pop-Up Party

C-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Happy

D-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Playdate

F

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

4/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, August 21st, 2014

MAC x The Simpsions Lipglasses
MAC x The Simpsions Lipglasses

There are four new, limited edition shades of MAC Lipglass ($16.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) featured in the upcoming collaboration with The Simpsons, which releases online on August 28th and in-stores on September 4th.  I think seeing these made me long for lipsticks, too, as MAC often does lipgloss and lipstick pairing.  Over the years, it’s often their limited edition lipstick shades that sell out the quickest, and I kept thinking, “What would they have created to pair with yellow lipgloss?”

MAC Grand Pumpkin Lipglass ($16.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright creamy orange.” It’s a slightly muted, medium orange with warm undertones and a creamy, glossy finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage that just slightly settled into lip lines (but it wasn’t too noticeable). It lasted for four hours on me when I tested it. NYX Cherry Cheesecake (P, $5.00) is slightly brighter. NARS Wonder (P, $26.00) is darker, brighter. MAC Live It Up (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Cheerful (P, $22.00) is redder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Itchy & Scratchy & Sexy Lipglass ($16.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as an “electric blue violet.” It’s a brightened, fuchsia magenta with cool, blue undertones and violet shimmer. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly and smoothly. The color wore well for five hours. MAC Unlimited Style (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Pink Poodle (By Request) (LE, $15.00) is brighter. Urban Decay Crush (P, $19.00) is purpler. MAC Style Packed (LE, $15.00) is less shimmery. MAC Heroine (LE, $15.00) is less shimmery. MAC Embrace Me (LE, $15.00) is pinker. MAC Narcissus (LE, $20.00) is less shimmery, purpler. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Nacho Cheese Explosion Lipglass ($16.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright neon lime yellow.” It’s a bright, green-tinged yellow–like highlighter yellow–with faint yellow pearl. Applied, it turns my lips more of a yellow-orange kind of color, as it had semi-sheer color coverage. This applied horribly; it settled into lip lines, was impossible to even out, and in general, a very fussy lip color. If you apply a very small amount (less than one pull of gloss), you might get semi-decent evenness in the application. On me, it wore for three hours. I could only think of one other yellow gloss: MAC Bright Side (LE, $15.00), which is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Red Blazer Lipglass ($16.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright fuchsia.” It’s a bright, fuchsia-red with pink pearl and subtle, cool undertones. It had fairly opaque pigmentation, and it applied evenly and smoothly. It lasted for five hours on me. MAC Glam (LE, $15.00) is redder. Revlon Adorned (P, $7.49) is more opaque. Giorgio Armani #523 (P, $29.00) is redder. Milani Flashy (DC, $6.49) is cooler-toned, more shimmery. MAC Embrace Me (LE, $15.00) is lighter. Giorgio Armani #505 (P, $29.00) is redder. Burberry Pink Sweet Pea (LE, $27.00) is slightly cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Grand Pumpkin

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Itchy & Scratchy & Sexy

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Nacho Cheese Explosion

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil

Recently, there have been five new shades of Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) released. The Velvet formula is “more powdery” than the regular formula, which is supposed to make it easier to blend and smudge out the eyeliner, if desired, for a smoky eye. Otherwise, it’s supposed to have all the long-wearing benefits of the original formula. The consistency definitely has that drier, more powdery feel that the brand talks about, and as a result, it doesn’t apply as evenly as the original pencils do. It just doesn’t glide-on as effortlessly. I find these apply best in short, small strokes and apply better as they warm up against the skin. Due to their dryness, getting really crisp, defined lines seems to be harder, so a smudging brush or tool helps to soften that edge so it looks better and more even. They wear fairly well on me, lasting at least eight hours, and either fade lightly or show some signs of smudging.

Urban Decay Cult 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “deep, smoky matte green.” It’s a muted, medium-dark green with subtle, warm undertones and a very matte finish. It had mostly opaque color in a single stroke and was easily layered. The consistency was soft and glided on fairly well, but I still find that this formula is best applied in short strokes, rather than in fluid motions. It wore well for eight and a half hours before starting to thin slightly. MAC Devotion (P, $20.00) is the only shade that is even remotely similar, but it is brighter and shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Urban Decay Lure 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “smoky matte charcoal.” It’s a dark gray with cool undertones and a matte finish. It was semi-opaque in one stroke, and it was buildable to rich, opaque color after two layers. On me, it wore well for eight and a half hours before lightly smudging. bareMinerals Mesmerized (LE, $14.00) is warmer. NARS Madison Ave. (P, $24.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Urban Decay Lush 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “rich smoky matte brown.” It’s a deepened, dark brown with a matte finish and subtle warm undertones. The consistency is drier (you can definitely feel what they mean by “more powdery”), so it had a tendency to skip/drag in coverage, though it didn’t really feel stiff or stubborn when I used it on my lower lash line. It wore well for nine hours before it started to smudge along the lower edge. Buxom Here’s My Number (P, $17.00) is less matte. Urban Decay Crave (P, $19.00) is less matte. Urban Decay Demolition (P, $19.00) is less matte. MAC Rich Experience (P, $20.00) is similar. Estee Lauder Blackened Cocoa (LE, $20.00) is darker. Bobbi Brown Mahogany (P, $24.00) is darker, less matte. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Urban Decay Minx 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “rich, smoky matte navy.” It’s a cool-toned, deep, dark purpled-blue with a matte finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage in one stroke, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color. Again, it had that drier, powdery-like consistency that made it harder to get really crisp, defined edges and even color coverage. The color wore well for nine hours before it had slight smudging. Urban Decay Sabbath (P, $19.00) is bluer, glossier. Giorgio Armani #3 (P, $29.00) is bluer. Estee Lauder Blackened Sapphire (LE, $20.00) is bluer. Estee Lauder Blackened Plum (LE, $20.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Urban Decay Plushie 24/7 Velvet Glide-on Eye Pencil ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “rich, smoky matte purple.” It’s a medium-dark, plum-tinged purple with a matte finish. It had semi-opaque color in one go, but it wasn’t very buildable as the consistency of this shade was drier than the rest, so it tended to skip and apply unevenly, which made layering the color difficult. Once on, the color did stay on well for eight and a half hours before starting to show signs of fading. Laura Mercier Violet (P, $24.00) is cooler-toned, less matte. MAC Snow Shadow (P, $20.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
product

Cult

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Lure

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Lush

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Laura Mercier Sensual Reflections Cheek Melange
Laura Mercier Sensual Reflections Cheek Melange

Laura Mercier Sensual Reflections Cheek Melange ($42.00 for TBA oz.) is a light-medium, plummy brown with a soft sheen and neutral-to-warm undertones. Giorgio Armani Light Rose (LE) is darker, more shimmery. NYX Taupe (P, $5.00) is darker, cooler-toned, more matte. NARS Douceur (P, $29.00) is more matte. MAC Baby Don’t Go (P, $23.50) is pinker, more matte. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Launching soon with Laura Mercier’s fall collection, this limited edition Cheek Melange is supposed to “add natural, glowing colour to cheeks … It provides natural radiance to complexion and is designed to complement all skin tones.” If you are light-medium or fairer, you may get slight color out of this, but on my medium complexion, I applied four layers–packed on–and could barely distinguish the color on me. It does, however, add a soft, luminous sheen to the skin without brightening. The powder is somewhat stiff, which contributes to needing to layer it on, though once dislodged from the pan, goes on smoothly and doesn’t look powdery. It seems to add “natural radiance” regardless of skin tone, but it doesn’t add “glowing color” to all skin tones. It doesn’t have any white base to it, so it can be applied to deeper skin tones without looking chalky, but it will be very subtle and produce mostly a soft sheen. The color/sheen lasts for almost eight hours on my skin. There are better, more finely-milled, higher performing highlighters at the $40+ price point, so this left me unimpressed. It’s too bad, because the shade itself is more unusual, so something with more color payoff and a softer texture would have been interesting.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sensual Reflections

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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