Saturday, January 26th, 2013

Estee Lauder Cosmic Shadow Paint
Estee Lauder Cosmic Shadow Paint

A Cosmic Explosion of Sparkle

Estee Lauder Cosmic Shadow Paint ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a warm, reddened copper brown with pink and bronze sparkle. MAC Ever Elegant is slightly less red-toned and is a powder product. Estee Lauder Violet Underground #2 is very similar in color but has no sparkle. Tom Ford Illicit is less red-toned. Make Up For Ever #14 is browner.

This is one of the sparkly shades from the launch, so the texture is a bit different. It doesn’t, initially, feel any different; as it is still rather creamy and thin, but it dries down to a slightly gritty finish. It doesn’t apply as evenly as the other shades; there’s a noticeable texture and unevenness on the lid. The worst, though, was the continual fall out over the twelve-hours that I tested Cosmic for! The color didn’t crease, but it did seem a little faded and had definite fall out issues.  It has a really lovely sparkling finish, but that pretty finish is the problem, as it makes yields uneven color payoff and tons of fall out!

The Glossover

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product

Cosmic

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It has a really lovely sparkling finish, but that pretty finish is the problem, as it makes yields uneven color payoff and tons of fall out!

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3/5

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Monday, January 7th, 2013

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer

Six Stages of Transitions

China Glaze Altered Reality Nail Lacquer ($8.00 MSRP for 0.50 fl. oz.) includes six shades of color-changing shades.  I’m not aware of any other polishes that change color with the addition of a top coat, so none of these have dupes.

  • Altered Reality is a shimmering teal with a metallic finish. When a top coat is applied, it turns bluish-teal. This one doesn’t have a lot of color shift.
  • Duplicity is an aqua-tinted turquoise with a creamy, mostly matte finish. When a top coat is applied, it turns to a darker, blue-toned teal.
  • Metallic Metamorphosis is a silvered gray with a metallic finish. When you layer a top coat on top, it turns to a darker, gunmetal gray. This one was the best-applying of the six.
  • Modify Me is periwinkle blue with a metallic finish. This one was a bit streaky. When layered with a top coat, it turned darker and bluer.
  • Shape Shifter is a dark, purple-tinged gray with a metallic finish. With a top coat layered on top, it turned into a dark royal purple.
  • Split Perso-nail-ity is a light-medium pink with a cream finish. When you applied a top coat on top, it turned into a dark pink.

China Glaze gave out a how-to for applying these, which is how I attempted to swatch these. I found that two coats was ridiculous–the polish has a really thick consistency and is opaque in one coat. Without fail, with two coats of color, drying time was on the longer end of the spectrum and I’d get bubbling. I ended up with one coat of polish for each swatch; I did a diagonal pass of top coat on the index finger, no top coat on the middle finger, and a full layer of top coat on the ring finger. I applied one coat, waited fifteen minutes for it to dry, and then applied the top coat.

I really didn’t like the formula. I feel like saying, “Interesting idea, bad execution.” The polish on its own (no top coat) has a semi-matte finish–there’s a sheen to it, but it looks flat. I used a regular base coat for all of the swatches, but I’d recommend a ridge-filling base coat, because all six shades were unforgiving–you could see every little nook and cranny on my nail and then some.

With a top coat, it was a swirling, streaking mess. From a distance, it almost looked like a marbled effect, but it was really just streaky. I used China Glaze’s Fast Forward top coat on all of the shades, and I had numerous problems from a little bubbling, streaking, blobs, and swirls and jets of color. It was just a mess. There was also a graininess to the polish itself that wouldn’t go away no matter how much I rolled the bottle.

All six changed color when a top coat was applied with some changing more than others. Altered Reality was the least changing.  I wore Duplicity and Shape Shifter for wear, and I did experience above average tip wear when worn without a top coat. There was some light staining behind, and I think these may be prone to staining (though I did not test all six for wear). Nails with a top coat lasted seven days with normal tip wear but no chipping. In all honesty, I think it would have been easier to take two individual polishes and work with them.

The Glossover

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China Glaze Tranzitions Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

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I really didn't like the formula. I feel like saying, "Interesting idea, bad execution." I think if used sparsely, then the top coat color change might work, but when used in a larger area, it comes out looking very streaky.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Black Ice Pro Longwear Eyeliner
MAC Black Ice Pro Longwear Eyeliner

MAC Apres Chic: Pro Longwear Eyeliners

MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.) is a new formula that has launched with Apres Chic, which is limited edition as far as I know–but they are not marked as limited edition on MAC’s website. The new formula is available five shades: Black Ice (rich black), Mountain Air (vibrant teal), Night Trail (deep navy blue), Rich Experience (true brown), and Snow Shadow (purple violet).

  • Black Ice is a dark black with a modern matte finish. It had good color payoff in a single pass.
  • Mountain Air is a medium-dark blue with a very tiny hint of green/teal. It had good color payoff in one stroke. It is similar to Stila Peacock.
  • Night Trail is a blackened navy blue with a subtle sheen. It had so-so pigmentation in a single pass, but it was noticeably sheer. There are several navy blues that are similar.
  • Rich Experience is a medium-dark brown with neutral undertones. It was surprisingly not that pigmented in one stroke, and it wasn’t as buildable for full opacity.
  • Snow Shadow is a dark purple with subtle cool undertones. This shade had the weakest color payoff–it was very sheer in one pass, and it was difficult to layer/build the color. It always just looked jagged in color. The color is similar to MAC Rich Purple, which is a bit lighter.

MAC made some lofty claims for their new eyeliners: “creamy, dense colour that glides on smoothly” along with a “12-hour waterproof formula [that] stays put and [is] smudge-free.” I tried Black Ice, Mountain Air, Rich Experience, and Snow Shadow for wear over the past two days. I tried Black Ice and Rich Experience yesterday, and I tried Mountain Air and Snow Shadow today, all four on my lower lash line.

I’m sad to report that these don’t last 12 hours nor are they waterproof. After eight hours of wear, all four shades were still mostly there, but it was clear they had faded slightly–you know, where the line is thinner but you don’t see bits of it in your outer corner? (Kind of like your eye ate the eyeliner…) Yesterday, I took a late shower after eight hours of wear, and both Black Ice and Rich Experience were quick to run. I had the same thing happen just moments ago with Mountain Air and Snow Shadow. I splash water on my eyes, let it sit there, and I don’t rub anything away, instead I try to see if the droplets (like tears) will cause any eyeliner to bleed or smudge, and then I pat dry to see how much lifts off. And if it’s still there after that–then that’s when I try to rub a little.

The consistency is lightly creamy but more waxy than anything else, so they glide across well enough, but some colors are better than others. Snow Shadow was the worst performer; it actually dragged and applied unevenly. I tried to go back and forth to build the color coverage up, but it was fairly pitiful–you could see it bunching up in places.  Black Ice was the best performer, as it was most pigmented and didn’t require layering to achieve full color coverage on the lash line.  These wear around eight hours without smudging, but there is some fading at the eight/nine hour mark. I definitely don’t get to 12 hours with these.  My eyes watered while wearing two today, and the eye that watered a lot, was missing about half a centimeter of eyeliner entirely.

I have good luck with MAC’s Powerpoints, Chromagraphic Eyeliners, Kohl Powers, and Pearlglide Eyeliners–so I was definitely very surprised to see these fall so short.

The Glossover

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MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliners Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Apres Chic)

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They're not water-resistant or waterproof; they absolutely disappear if my eyes water, or if I mimic crying. They last just under eight hours without waterworks, but they don't get near twelve hours of wear as promised.

Product

4.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette
NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette

Quick Review: NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette

NARS Night Series Eyeshadow Palette ($55.00 for 0.31 oz.) was a limited edition eyeshadow palette that included six of the Night series eyeshadows: Night Star (sheer peach shadow with pearls), Night Clubbing (black with pearls), Night Porter (black with green pearls), Night Rider (soft plum with glitter), Night Flight (black with cobalt pearls), and Night Breed (black with glitter).

  • Night Star is a subtly, warm-toned light peach with a mostly matte finish. It actually had more pigment than you’d expect for something described as sheer.
  • Night Clubbing is a dark black with brow undertones and a very fine dusting of bronzy micro-shimmer that’s really not visible on the lid.
  • Night Porter is a darkened forest green with a metallic sheen. This shade had the best color payoff and texture of the six shades.
  • Night Rider is a pinky-mauve with massive, chunky shards of glitter. This might be the largest glitter size I’ve ever come across in an eyeshadow. It’s horrible–it doesn’t sit on the lid well at all, as it just falls out immediately.
  • Night Flight is a blue-tinged black with very fine navy blue shimmer that all but disappears on the lid. The underlying black shadow is very dry and chalky.
  • Night Breed is a dark black with silver sparkle. Again, the sparkle doesn’t translate well, though it’s more apparent than the other shades here. The single is softer and more pigmented than the version in the palette.

Generally, I didn’t like this palette.  The Night series is hit-or-miss, and the shades can be very redundant, as they tend to look more differentiated in the pan than on.  With mostly blackened bases, they tend to look black on and the colored pearl/sparkle disappears or isn’t visible.  Night Rider is a monstrosity of an eyeshadow; the chunky glitter doesn’t stick at all but doesn’t even look flattering on the eye, should you manage to get a few bits to stay on long enough to look!  Night Clubbing, Night Flight, and Night Breed had drier, firmer textures that made blending difficult.

You can find the palette are third-party retailers, like Amazon and Izzy’s, but I didn’t spy it available at regular retailers (like NARS, Nordstrom, etc.). All of the eyeshadows, however, are available individually from NARS at $23 a pop.

** A Note on Quick Reviews: In an effort to be more on-the-ball for 2013, I’m digging through my photo folders and getting as much posted as I can. These are not full-length, in-depth reviews, and instead, I’m writing brief reviews. For dupes, I highly suggest checking out The Swatch Gallery; it’s my first stop whenever I am looking for possible dupes. All of the swatches in this post are automatically added to the gallery, so you can compare them for yourself.

The Glossover

palette

Night Series

C-
There were too many shades with dry, chalky textures that were difficult to apply and blend to make this palette a must-have. They also tended to look too alike on, because the nuances from the shimmer didn't translate on the lid.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, October 26th, 2012

MAC Fabulousness / Smoky Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Smoky Eye Palette

Up in Smoke This Set Goes

MAC Fabulousness / Smoky Eye Palette ($39.50 for 0.14 oz.) contains five eyeshadows: Taupeless (lavender pink), Satin Taupe (taupe with silver shimmer), Love Spice (mid-tone rosy pink with pearl), Spellcaster (matte aubergine), and Black Slip (rich blackened plum with pearl).

For reference, MAC eyeshadow quads ($38.00) typically contain 0.19 to 0.20 oz. (about 0.05 oz. per eyeshadow). Last year’s holiday eyeshadow palettes contained 0.21 oz. (and retailed for $38.00). The prior year’s holiday palettes contained 0.19 oz. (and retailed for $36.00). You used to get six shades, but with this year’s design, you’re getting five.

Taupeless is a light pink with silvery-white sparkle. It has a lustre finish, so it is a bit sheerer and has lots of sparkle. I did experience a fair amount of fall out with this shade. This shade has been released before. Chanel Harmonie du Soir is a bit warmer, less sparkly. MAC Love Power is similar but less sparkly. MAC Young Venus is cooler-toned. theBalm Safe Bet Annette is slightly warmer.

Satin Taupe is a medium brown with subtle warm orange undertones and a gray-ish tinge. It doesn’t look like the permanent Satin Taupe at all. It had decent color payoff but it was a little dry. Guerlain Turandot is darker. Dior Fairy Golds is also darker.

Love Spice is a rosy-toned medium brown with a champagne shimmer-sheen. The color payoff was so-so, and the texture was a little dry. Giorgio Armani Champagne is similar but browner. Cle de Peau #207 is similar but grayer and sparkly. MAC Pink Frontier is a touch lighter. MAC Jete is darker. MAC desert is a bit grayer. MAC Earthly is grayer. Here’s a swatch of the permanent Satin Taupe.

Spellcaster is a matte, dark purple with subtle red undertones. It was dry, stiff, and was a pain-in-the-behind to blend. It’s an eyeshadow that you have to grab a lot of, place it, go back for more, place it, and then try to blend those together. Normally, I’d take some product, apply it to the middle of the area I wanted it to be, then I’d take the brush back and forth to blend it out. It just doesn’t work with the texture of this shade. NARS High Society is lighter. MAC Dynamic Duo #4 has a similar shade that was better pigmented. Urban Decay Rockstar is a little lighter and shimmery.

Black Slip is a red-toned brown with hints of burgundy and bronze shimmer. It had good pigmentation, and it was the best performer out of the five. The texture was a lot softer and more blendable. Urban Decay Rapture is lighter. Illamasqua Queen of the Night is not as frosted. MAC Winterized is grayer, less red-toned.

Taupeless had some significant fall out while I wore it, which wasn’t a total surprise, because it had a sparkly, kind of gritty/chunky texture that is common to lustres (which I rarely have good experiences with).  Satin Taupe is unrecognizable in this palette–I’m left wondering if this is even meant to be one and the same as the permanent version.  If not, they really should have named it something else.  Black Slip was the best eyeshadow, but I would say that it is a good but not great eyeshadow.   Spellcaster works really well with the rest of the colors in the palette, but it is difficult to blend and was noticeably faded after eight hours of wear, even over a primer.  I couldn’t get all of these shades to show up without a primer underneath; Black Slip and Spellcaster were the only ones that showed up decently without a primer.

The Glossover

palette

Fabulousness Smoky

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Not as bad as the Neutral Eye Palette, but it's not a particularly good palette. It's not where I would spend my holiday money.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Lancome Enduring Vert Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow
Lancome Enduring Vert Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow

Enduring Vert is Long on Wear, Short on Color

Lancome Enduring Vert Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow ($24.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “satin pastel green.” It’s a muted sea foam green with a frosted, metallic finish. I thought Chanel Riviere was a dupe, but it’s a lot softer and lighter. MAC Sweet & Sour is greener. Dior Garden Pastels is similar. Lancome Fashion Forward is lighter. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is greener, slightly darker.

The Infinite Luminous Eyeshadow is supposed to “stray true for 24 hours without creasing” with a “powder-to-cream texture.” If they sound familiar, they should. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows and L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadows are both iterations of this type of formula, and it’s not surprising that the three have more in common than not when they’re all owned by L’Oreal (parent).

Enduring Vert is sheer when applied dry, but it’s not much more pigmented when applied damp/wet.  I was able to pack it on and get more opaque color, so it’s possible, but it took several passes of color.  The texture was a little chunky, and it looked like it on the lid.  It just didn’t have a smooth finish once on.  It did, however, wear without creasing or fading for twelve hours.  There was some minor fall out that I noticed during wear.

The Glossover

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product

Enduring Vert

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These kinds of greens can be versatile and flattering across skin tones, but the lack of intensity and chunkier texture make it a no-go.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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