Friday, February 1st, 2013

MAC Spoiled Rich Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Spoiled Rich Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Spoiled Rich Eyeshadow Palette ($44.00 for 0.19 oz.) contains four shades: Pin-Up Purple (mid-tone orchid), Spoiled Rich (rich purple), Ron Ron Run (deep navy), and Gravel (charcoal).

Pin-Up Purple is a pink lavender with a barely-there sheen. It has a frost finish, but it’s the least frosted finish I’ve seen! It feels and acts more like a satin. It had good color payoff and was fairly soft and smooth. Lancome Always Fuchsia is purpler and more metallic. bareMinerals Boudoir is brighter/bolder. bareMinerals Elixir is pinker. Urban Decay Tainted is just a touch more lavender.

Spoiled Rich is a darkened, medium purple with red undertones and a dusting of muted copper shimmer (which doesn’t translate at all to the lid). It has a frost finish, but it looks very, very matte on the lid. The pigmentation was decent, but there was some sheerness. It did need to be packed onto the lid. Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet is pinker. MAC Power Boosted is pinker and more shimmery. Urban Decay Purple Haze is similar but a true matte.

Ron Ron Run is a darkened navy blue with a dusting of navy blue micro-shimmer and a purple edge. It has a satin finish, but like Spoiled Rich, really ended up looking more matte than anything else once applied. This one was stiff, dry, and a pain to use–subpar color payoff, and it did not want to blend. theBalm Kissy, Kissy is purpler. MAC Double Feature #8 is a bit bluer.

Gravel is a darkened gray with a matte finish. It has a matte finish. This shade was very powdery and dry, which resulted in sheer color. When I applied it into my crease, it didn’t want to blend as readily as I would have expected, and it tended to look dry on the skin. MAC Heatherbelles is similar. Guerlain Les Gris #1 is also similar.

I wish Pin-Up Purple was slightly lighter or more frosted, because without either or both, it tends to just disappear next to Spoiled Rich. Just a little more lightness, and it would really pop on the inner lid against Spoiled Rich–or, if the frost was turned up, you’d see a higher reflective sheen.  Pin-Up Purple was the best-performing shade in regards to both color payoff as well as blendability, while the other three lacked (to varying degrees) pigmentation and texture.  I really did not like Ron Ron Run or Gravel.  Spoiled Rich was more workable, but the right-most two shades were stubborn and sheer.  I wore all four shades together, and there was some fading after eight hours of wear (no primer).

The Glossover

palette

Spoiled Rich

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I'm sure it doesn't come as much surprise to long-time readers that a pre-made, limited edition eyeshadow palette didn't do so hot. MAC continues to have texture and payoff problems in these pre-made palettes that just makes paying $44 for them beyond painful.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, January 26th, 2013

MAC Chilled on Ice Pro Longwear Paint Pot
MAC Chilled on Ice Pro Longwear Paint Pot

MAC Chilled on Ice Pro Longwear Paint Pot ($18.50 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “frosted white gold.” It’s a pale peach with a bright golden shimmer-sheen. At certain angles, it almost looks cool-toned. Shades like Maybelline Barely Branded and Estee Lauder Halo both have a warm, golden kind of coloring, but they don’t have the same sheen or base color. Make Up For Ever #101 is the closest dupe I could think of, but it is a powder product, and it is not as metallic.

I reviewed it when it originally came out here, when it was just a regular ol’ Paint Pot. Though the formula is touted as highly-pigmented, Chilled on Ice is semi-opaque even when heavily layered. It has a creamy consistency, but it just sucks and clings to the lids and creates creases and lines in a way that only incredibly dry, frosted finishes can do. The texture looks gritty on, and there was some residual fall out during wear, even though it stayed put for twelve hours overall. There seemed to be some sparkle-gathering in the creases just ever-so-slightly.  Whenever I wear the really sparkly Paint Pots, my eyes seem somewhat irritated after six hours or so, and my feeling is that it’s the result of the sparkles getting into my eyes.

FYI: the ingredient list for the Pro Longwear Paint Pots is the same as for the regular Paint Pots when I compared against the list for Bare Study/Constructivist! It’s off by one ingredient when compared to the Paint Pots from Posh Paradise.

The Glossover

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product

Chilled on Ice

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It's not a very buildable color, so it never reaches that "highly-pigmented" claim MAC makes. I also experienced fall out during wear and some slight creasing.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

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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

Results
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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

product

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

product

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

Results
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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

Results
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