Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Red Hot Copper Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow
MAC Red Hot Copper Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) will launch nine limited edition shades on December 26th (in-stores), and they include: Cyber (metallic silver with silver pearl), Fusion Gold (light pinky beige with gold pearl), Gold Carbon (metallic taupe), Palladium (metallic ash), Red Hot Copper (warm copper), Rusty (dirty peach gold), Venetian Tarnish (golden tarnished bronze), Vintage Coin (metallic olive green), and Virgin Silver (white with silver pearl).  This post features the first five (we split posts primarily to manage the image load, so instead of almost 50 photos being downloaded at one time, we have only 25 ).

  • Cyber is a dark silver-shimmered gray. This one felt like it had larger sparkle particles, so it may be prone to fall out. MAC Silver Sleet is similar but a little darker–however, it has a much more of a metallic finish, whereas Cyber has more of a frosted one. MAC Tundra is a little lighter.
  • Fusion Gold is a peachy rose with good color payoff. This is one of the more versatile shades–I liked it best as a highlighter. MAC Nubile is pinker. Chanel Emerveille is very similar.
  • Gold Carbon is a really deep, dark intense neutral-cool brown with hints of gray and copper. It reminded me a lot of NARS Ponderosa. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is a bit purpler. MAC Legendary Black isn’t as dark but still similar.
  • Palladium is a dirty gold-silver; kind of pewter-like. It’s a little more silvered than Giorgio Armani #19. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is a touch darker. I think MAC Cash Flow is a bit darker.
  • Red Hot Copper is a reddened copper with a metallic sheen. It’s a bit redder compared to theBalm Racy Kacy. It’s very similar to MAC Coppering.
These five had good color payoff overall, which is where this particular product excels in, but these shades definitely have good pigmentation and can be sheered out and blended if desired.  The wear, of course, did not pan out for me despite trying several different methods, and as I have drier lids, I caution those with oilier lids on these.  As with a lot of cream products, wear can vary from person to person, but generally, the oilier your skin type is, the less likely a cream product is to wear well (as oil breaks down makeup).  The finishes on these is not nearly as metallic as you might expect from a product named “Metal-x” but some are better than others.

For the full review, please see this post.

The Glossover

product

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

C-
If you're really into editorial looks and you don't mind extra effort, you might still enjoy snagging one of these. The only characteristic they really nail is pigmentation--the majority of shades are really well-pigmented and buildable--but it's just not a very functional product.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) may sound new to some, but it originally debuted way back in 2007 (see my original “review” here–and I called that a review? For shame!) and were repromoted in 2008 as “Brushed Metal-x.” I kind of think the shades from the first launch were more fun–I still have Plum Electric (vibrant grape purple), though I don’t think I used it but a couple of times, because it looks nearly new. Cyber, Fusion Gold, and Virgin Silver have been relaunched as part of this year’s offerings.

In two separate posts, I will go through the individual shades regarding their pros/cons, possible dupes, and so forth, but I did as much testing as I could in time that I’ve had these, which is about 24 hours by the time this post is published. Lucky for me, because these crease nearly instantaneously, it was easy to test multiple shades.

Worn alone, none of the shades I tested (two are photographed below–Palladium and Venetian Tarnish–but I also tested Fusion Gold, Rusty, and Vintage Coin) could make it from application to camera (and I hurried!) without some creasing, and then, after fifteen minutes or so, significant creasing. Worn over an eyeshadow base (I used MAC Paint Pots and NARS Smudgeproof), it didn’t seem to make much of a difference–still creased within minutes and worsened by fifteen.

I did, however, have luck when I wore a single shade layered over an eyeshadow base with several powder eyeshadows on top. I used all MAC products, for the sake of giving MAC the best chance it could, and for me, everything managed to wear well enough for five hours. There was some fading of the colors overall, but I didn’t experience creasing up until that point. By eight, though, it had faded a bit more and had some noticeable creasing. However, a word of caution, I have drier lids, and I really packed on the powder products.

I also tested the wear on both cheeks and lips. They had a funny taste, so I don’t think I’d wear them again as a lip product, and they are very drying. They’re like a matte frost finish–the drying, clingy feel of a matte coupled with a really high frost finish. On the lips, I tried Red Hot Copper, which only lasted for an hour (no eating/drinking) before fading unevenly.  It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t wear well.

On cheeks, I used Rusty to highlight and Red Hot Copper to add color. Because of the higher frost content, it does emphasize pores somewhat, and depending on the temperature of your workspace, these may be difficult to apply evenly. I found fingers to be the best applicator with these in general, because the cream surface is very hard and almost powdery–it balls up and takes the warmth from your fingertip to be able to work it out into a smooth, even finish. The wear was so-so; it was noticeably faded and, unfortunately, patchy, after three hours of wear without a setting powder and five hours of wear with a setting powder. Of all the ways I tried it, I liked it best on the cheeks, just because I didn’t have to worry about creasing.  It wears similarly on the brow bone and decolletage.

This is really not a consumer-friendly formula; it will take some effort, work, practice, and the right skin type to get these to work well. In 2007, maybe it was acceptable, maybe other brands hadn’t created technology to yield this kind of finish and color payoff, but in 2011, I don’t think it is. If you have drier lids or tend not to have problems with your cream products creasing on you, these may work out for you. If you have oilier lids, I really do recommend–if these are just tempting you beyond belief–to try one and see how it works for you or else buy from a store with a good return policy. These weren’t well-received in 2007, so I’m kind of baffled as to why MAC would bring thes back without some reformulation. Sure, they bring back a product that seemed to receive mostly negative reviews, but last year’s Mega Metals (just as metallic as these) were a complete homerun and those remain a one-time wonder.

At $20 a pop, if the only way I can use it is as an eyeshadow base, it’s not the most useful product in my stash. When you use a translucent powder on top, while you retain some of the original shade, you do mute it a bit and definitely tone down the frosted/metallic finish, so it seems to defeat the purpose of these–which is that really high-shine, metallic-like finish (though some of these read frosty, less metallic).  I could see picking up one or two for editorial work, though I think MAC’s Metal Pigments have a much better metallic finish and work better, plus some of their pigments that have more of a frosted/metallic shine.  Like Big Bounce, I don’t know why these are marketed towards consumers, because realistically, I’m not sure how one would wear it except if you 1) wanted your eye makeup to crease or 2) you were only going somewhere for an hour or so.

We’ve seen MAC put out metallic fluidlines and paint pots, which work fantastically alone or as an eyeshadow base. I’d much rather put my money towards products with similar textures, finishes, and even shades, that perform better like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows, Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, Bare Escentuals Stay-There Eyeshadow, or L’Oreal’s Infallible Eyeshadows (which finally hit the states!)–the latter two don’t wear as well as the first two, but they’ll manage to six hours to eight hours or so without an eyeshadow base.  Even Estee Lauder’s new eyeshadows have a really cool, metallic-like finish, but they’re powder (and I suspect we’ll see something similar by MAC in the next six months).

So while MAC doesn’t tout these as long-wearing, they still fall short of just wearing.  I thought long and hard about that one, but if it takes both an eyeshadow base, plus packing of powder eyeshadows on top, to make it more than fifteen minutes–we’re just not functioning.  I’d let it slide if it just didn’t wear to six or eight hours, because long-wear tends to be more like eight to twelve hours, but I can’t even achieve eight with all the bells and whistles without both fading and creasing on the eyes; fading and patchiness on the cheeks (after four hours) and lips (after an hour).  A C- feels generous to me, personally, but that is how the numbers worked out–I’m sure you can sense my disappointment and frustration on this product.  Did we really need two collections of crease city products this year?

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

C-
If you're really into editorial looks and you don't mind extra effort, you might still enjoy snagging one of these. The only characteristic they really nail is pigmentation--the majority of shades are really well-pigmented and buildable--but it's just not a very functional product.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette
Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2011: Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette

Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a limited edition, warm-toned palette that features four shades of the brand’s Eye Paints, which seems like a baked eyeshadow formula. If you’re familiar with MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows, these perform and feel very alike. The shades the palette contains are: Gold (pale gold), Bronze (beige gold), Chocolate (rich brown with gold pearl), and Black Gold (black with gold pearl).

  • Gold is a light-medium yellowed gold with a frosted, metallic finish. It isn’t an overly warm gold–it’s as close to a neutral gold as you’d get. The color payoff is sheer when it is applied dry, and it intensifies to decent pigmentation when applied wet, but it’s never quite opaque. It’s much smoother when used damp as well and has less fall out when used that way. Bare Escentuals Standing O, MAC Treasure Hunt, and Givenchy Lune Mordoree are all similar.
  • Bronze is a medium-dark gilded bronze with a metallic shimmer-sheen finish. Like Gold, the color payoff is fairly sheer and the shimmer feels and looks chunky when it is applied dry. When it’s applied damp, the product binds together better so it is smoother and more pigmented. It is similar to MAC Retrospeck,
  • Chocolate is a warmed-up chocolate brown with bronze shimmer. The pigmentation is pitiful when it’s applied dry, and it has a very dry, powdery texture. It’s infinitely better when used wet, where it comes together for a really opaque, smooth result. NARS Galapagos is deeper, but they are similar.
  • Black Gold is a blackened brown color base with cool-toned bronze and champagne shimmer. It’s just like Chocolate–dry, sheer payoff when used dry, but it’s intense and smooth when applied wet. Tarina Tarantino Dream is browner, warmer. The base color is a bit similar to MAC Legendary.

My experience with this palette was as poor as it was with Bobbi Brown’s Onyx & Silver variation. First, if you’re a big fan of MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows, you may like these more than the overall rating indicates–because I pretty much have the same issues with these as I do with MAC’s, which are fading and fall out.

These shades have to be used damp, because the results when used dry are too chunky and sheer. However, when you use them damp, the color result fades over time, even over a primer, and I had a good amount of fall out underneath my eyes after eight hours of wear. I was flabbergasted at how much fading at occurred over eight hours–I thought my eyeshadow was missing on the lid (which is where I used the lighter color, Gold). Those are two big no-nos when it comes to powder eyeshadows as far as I’m concerned.

The Glossover

palette

Chocolate & Gold

D+
Fading and fall out -- two big no-nos when it comes to eyeshadow, and they're too prevalent in this palette to make it worth recommending. As far as baked eyeshadows go, these are some of the more basic shades, so I think using pressed alternatives is your best bet.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011


MAC Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Ice Parade: Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Sultry Snowglobe Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition holiday compact that features six eyeshadows: Lightfully (white with pink reflect), Trax (burgundy-plum with shimmer), Fun! (pink patina), Festive Delight (bordeaux wine), Black Tied (black with silver sparkle), and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum).  The MAC Ice Parade Collection launches October 27th, 2011 in-stores.

  • Lightfully is a sheer, icy white with little color payoff and a stiff, dry consistency.  It’s supposed to be pink-toned, but it’s difficult to tell with the sheerness of the shade.  This has a lustre finish and is a repromote. It’s even sheerer than MAC Snowball. I recommend perusing these white eyeshadows for something better.
  • Trax is a gold and copper shimmered burgundy-red. This has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range. It has good color payoff, but the shimmer is prone to some fall out. It’s not quite as brown as MAC Star Violet. It did seem a little redder than what I remember Trax being.
  • Fun! is a barely-there copper. This has a lustre finish. I don’t even know what to say about this one, because the amount of disappointment I felt when I swatched this cannot even be quantified. I pretty much gawked at my arm (and later, my eye).
  • Festive Delight is a rich, berry wine with a shimmer-sheen. This has a lustre finish. It has some sparkle, but it doesn’t have much, so it isn’t as likely to fall out as many lustre-finished eyeshadows are. MAC Cranberry is a bit lighter. Inglot #452 is darker. Make Up For Ever #131 has a similar feel but ends up being darker.
  • Black Tied is a dry, chalky black with silver sparkle. This has a velvet finish and is part of the permanent range. It was even dryer and sheerer than my pan version of Black Tied. It seemed less like a silver-speckled matte black as it did a shimmered black with a silver sheen. This version doesn’t compare to the permanent pan I have.
  • Shadowy Lady is a blackened burgundy with purple edges and a matte finish. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. It has redder undertones than MAC Graphology.

This palette had three poor performing shades and three better performing shades, but when it was disappointing, it was spectacularly disappointing. Lightfully and Fun! barely show up, and boy, I really tried–I later tried to test them on the eye (over primer), but it was a big mess. No color payoff plus noticeable fall out! Trax, Festive Delight, and Shadowy Lady were lovely here; good pigmentation and textures, but two of those are permanent.

The Glossover

palette

Sultry Snowglobe

C-
This palette had three poor performing shades and three better performing shades, but when it was disappointing, it was spectacularly disappointing. Lightfully and Fun! barely show up, and boy, I really tried--I later tried to test them on the eye (over primer), but it was a big mess. No color payoff plus noticeable fall out! Trax, Festive Delight, and Shadowy Lady were lovely here; good pigmentation and textures, but two of those are permanent.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Illamasqua Beguile Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Beguile Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless: Beguile Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Beguile Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “shimmering white pearl.” It’s a bright, silvery white with multi-colored reflects with a sandy texture. It’s grittier than their other Pure Pigments–the texture is more like a micro-glitter but slightly more refined. It’s reminiscent of OCC Mirrorball, but Mirrorball has a grayish-blue base, so it has a darker appearance.

I love, love, loved the idea of Beguile. Like NYX Ice Glitter Nail Polish, this twinkles and looks phenomenal in person, because it needs movement to really come alive. Unfortunately, the texture makes it harder to apply. It’s definitely not something you could apply dry without some sort of adhesive base; it winds up all over your face and just doesn’t stick without something more.  Even when I used a mixing medium, I still had some fall out during the day. I’d also recommend using it over another color (even if it’s neutral, like a beige), because it doesn’t create a solid base color easily.

With this product, Illamasqua says it can be used dry or wet, but I’d argue you can’t use it dry, which pulled down the product’s score a fair amount.  I tend not to provide ratings for glitters, because they’re less of a standalone product–they do need another product in order to perform well typically.  However, this is touted as part of the brand’s Pure Pigment formula and line, and if that’s the case, this particular shade falls short of those.

The Glossover

P
product

Beguile

C-
It's absolutely gorgeous, and it can definitely add more oomph to any look, but it is frustrating to use on the eye, because of the amount of fall out that occurs. It would be easier to mix in nail polish, lip gloss, and the like.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, July 22nd, 2011


Revlon Metallic Chic CustomEyes Shadow & Liner Duo

Revlon Metallic Chic CustomEyes Shadow & Liner Duo

Revlon Rich Temptations (030) Custom Eyes Shadow & Liner Duo ($8.99 for 0.20 oz.) contains four eyeshadows and a liner shade (though they’re all powder, so you could easily use the liner shade as an eyeshadow and vice versa).

The first shade is a pale, gray-blue with a satin sheen, which suffers from sheerer color and a slightly drier texture. Inglot #324 is similar but has a matte finish and comes off bluer.

Next, there is a blackened green base with green and gold shimmer, which ends up looking less blackened when applied. Like the first shade, the texture was a bit dry and stiff. The green shade is similar to MAC Humid.

In the middle, we have a soft, paled orange with yellow gold shimmer and sheen, and it was the sheerest shade of the bunch with a powdery texture. It was difficult to apply it evenly. MAC Goldmine is very similar but higher quality (better payoff, texture, etc.). Make Up For Ever #10 is yellower.

The fourth shade is a coppery brown with a champagne sheen. It was powdery, but not too sheer. It is more muted than MAC Antiqued and MAC Faux Gold. Milani Fusion Gold is also similar.

The final shade in this palette is a soft, gray-black that is a bit chalky, slightly sheer, and stiff to work with. It compares well with MAC Double Feature #7, which isn’t a compliment, given that had similar issues!

Overall, this palette was disappointing–I had much better luck with Rich Temptations. It’s amazing how drastically different the textures are between these two palettes! I was impressed by Rich Temptations, but this one was a miss based on my experience working with it.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Revlon Metallic Chic CustomEyes Shadow & Liner Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

C-
The best shades in this palette are the green and copper, but the palette--overall--has issues with color payoff, evenness, and texture. They're a bit stiff and difficult to work with, and a few shades require quite a bit of product to get an even layer.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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