Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Chanel Bronze Ligne Graphique de Chanel
Chanel Bronze Ligne Graphique de Chanel

Chanel Bronze Ligne Graphique de Chanel ($34.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “bronze khaki.” It’s a dark, gold-shimmered bronze with olive undertones and a pearly sheen. The brush doesn’t apply opaque product in a single stroke; it really has to be layered, but it dries fairly quickly and doesn’t apply perfectly smooth, so building in layers tends to result in an uneven texture. The color is striking, but the application leaves something to be desired. Once applied, it doesn’t budge, smudge, or fade–I wore it for a total of twelve hours–and didn’t seem to streak or run when my eyes watered (and later, when I dabbed water on it to test its water-resistant claim). The wear was good, but the color payoff and application were where it needed improvement. Buxom Come Over (P, $17.00) is less warm-toned. Urban Decay Smog (P, $19.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Roach (P, $19.00) is redder-toned. Urban Decay Hustle (LE, $19.00) is more muted. Illamasqua Wisdom (P, $27.50) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Bronze Platine Mascara Gel Irise ($34.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “platinum bronze.” It’s a warm-toned, metallic bronze with gold and copper shimmer. It’s supposed to be a top coat for lashes and deliver “sheer, bronze-platinum iridescence,” which can be applied over bare lashes or over black mascara. I really wasn’t able to see difference when applied over bare lashes. I thought–at best–it lightened my black-brown lashes a little bit, but I could have been wishing that given how subtle the impact was. I didn’t see sparkle, shimmer, or color change. Maybe my lashes are too fine to show the effect or catch the sparkles, because when I applied over mascara, I was able to see very, very tiny bits of sparkle sparsely over the lashes. I think the effect is too subtle to really merit the product; you could get a similar effect by dusting a loose, shimmery eyeshadow on lashes (or mixed with clear brow gel/mascara for better hold). You can also use liquid glitter eyeliner and paint across the tips of lashes for a sparkly effect. I don’t have any actual dupes for this, as I can’t say I’ve tried many (possibly none previously) top coats for lashes. Normally, I’d consider this a loss for dark lashes like mine but Chanel actually expects this to be layered over black mascara, so that’s not really an excuse.

The Glossover

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product

Bronze

C-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Bronze Platine

F

Almost nothing shows up over bare lashes and only a faint dusting of shimmer is visible when layered over black mascara. It was not an effect that was ever even remotely visible unless I had my nose to the mirror. It seemed pigmented when I brushed the wand against my arm, but on lashes, not so much. It's supposed to be sheer, but this was too close to invisible.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Friday, September 6th, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild Three's a Party Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild Three’s a Party Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild Three’s a Party Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.12 oz.) contains a white, red, and black. Of all the trios, this is the only one I’d really consider getting, which is due to the red eyeshadow, as it is difficult to find red eyeshadows, period, let alone at this price point. The red and black eyeshadows are also better than the majority of the collection, as they did not fade as quickly and were much more pigmented. I experienced noticeable fading without a primer (remember, Wet ‘n’ Wild touts these as highly pigmented and long-wearing!) after four hours. Over a primer, I was able to get to seven hours overall before it started looking faded.

Three’s a Party #1 is a pale, matte white. It’s chalky, powdery, and sheer; fades quickly and easily on the lid without a tacky base (try NYX Milk). LORAC White, MAC Chill, Sugarpill Tako, Make Up For Ever #00, and Inglot #373 are all matte whites that are similar (almost all perform better, though). NYX Milk is a cream product. See comparison swatches.

Three’s a Party #2 is a warm, medium-dark red with orange undertones and a satiny finish. It was very powdery, though it was more pigmented than other shades have been. It really needs a white base for true-to-pan color. Fyrinnae Hitched is warmer, more sheen. Illamasqua Daemon is similar in color. Sugarpill Asylum is more shimmery. Sugarpill Love+ is redder, brighter. Inglot #366 is slightly brighter. See comparison swatches.

Three’s a Party #3 is a charcoal black with cool undertones and a matte finish. It was nicely pigmented, but it had a slightly drier texture that made it harder to blend out on the lid. Here are several other matte black eyeshadows to consider: theBalm Serious , Sugarpill Bulletproof, Urban Decay Blackout, Milani Pitch Black, bareMinerals Lights Down, that are all matte and black. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Three's a Party

C-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Three's a Party #1

F

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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LE
product

Three's a Party #2

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild A Regular at the Factory Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild A Regular at the Factory Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild A Regular at the Factory Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.12 oz.) is a limited edition palette for summer, so you’ll have to hunt around your local drugstores for this one (I’ve yet to spot any of the Pop Art displays in my area, which means it hasn’t arrived yet or it has already sold out!). This was one of the “better” trios I tested, though it was still underwhelming, due to the incredible powderiness across the shades. These absolutely need to be worn over a primer, because they are prone to fading and creasing–they lasted a mere four hours before fading significantly without a primer–and even over primer, they didn’t last beyond eight hours.  They’re powdery, easily sheered out (but harder to build up), prone to fading, and really do not show why Color Icon eyeshadows were so coveted when they first debuted. (And Color Icon is a formula touted as highly pigmented and long-wearing.)

A Regular at the Factory #1 is a muted, light-medium yellow with a mostly matte finish. This shade was powdery, slightly chalky, so it was prone to sheering out when applied. It’s best to pat and pack it on and only blend the very edges as necessary. NARS Misfit #1 is less yellow. Make Up For Ever #102 is lighter. See comparison swatches.

A Regular at the Factory #2 is a medium, cyan blue with a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff as it was powdery, so the color didn’t bind well together, which gave it a slightly uneven appearance. Again, pat and pack on the eyeshadow to maximize the color and minimize the fall out–and if you have a slightly tacky base, even better. NARS Mad, Mad World #1 is darker. Milani Olympian Blue is much darker. MAC Electric Eel is slightly darker. Make Up For Ever #72 is similar. Make Up For Ever #118 is lighter. Inglot #371 is very similar. See comparison swatches.

A Regular at the Factory #3 is a brightened, medium orange with yellow undertones and a mostly matte finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and it was the least powdery of the three. Fyrinnae Pyromantic Erotica is more shimmery. Disney Rajah is darker. Illamasqua Vulgar is slightly lighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

palette

A Regular at the Factory

C-

They're powdery, easily sheered out (but harder to build up), prone to fading, and really do not show why Color Icon eyeshadows were so coveted when they first debuted.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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A Regular at the Factory #1

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

A Regular at the Factory #2

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Monday, August 12th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation
Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation

Marc Jacobs Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation ($48.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a gel-based formula that is “anti-aging, long-wearing” and “awakens your skin to its ideal radiance and clarity.” The coverage is supposed to be buildable from natural to full coverage, and it is supposed to have “supreme hydration.”

I tried Ivory Medium (14), which is most certainly not my shade (it appears to be the second lightest shade in the spectrum). I’ve included a photo below, but it’s a very sheer application so that most my natural skin tone can come through more and ended up having to apply loose powder (in a shade just darker than my natural skin tone) to make it presentable. Ivory Medium has a soft yellow undertone and a natural satin finish. It’s a little lighter than my forearm, which is light-medium. The very first thing you absolutely need to know is that this foundation is heavily fragranced–one of the most perfumed formulas I have tried. I don’t even remember Chanel being this scented. It smelled like stale flowers to me, but I’m not keen on floral scents (there just seemed to be something off about the scent, though), and I loathed wearing this foundation for every second because of the lingering, all-day scent.

From afar, the foundation looks fine, photographs nicely without any flashback. It has a lightly thickened liquid consistency that spreads evenly across the skin and has a wet, cool feel. It’s completely unforgiving to dry patches, though, and I thought maybe it would be more forgiving after a few hours (because this is touted as hydrating), but it just got worse. I have normal-to-dry skin, but this accentuated any dryness to the point where anyone talking to me would notice the foundation clinging to each piece of imperfect skin. Part of this seemed to be ensuring not to apply more than a light layer of product, and the best way to apply this was with a sponge (like a Beautyblender) over a brush, as most brushes seemed to give it a rather streaky finish. I was able to build to about medium coverage, but it starts to look thick and slightly caked on the skin.

It wears eight hours well, and then it starts looking faded/patchy in places (beyond just the drier areas) after ten hours of wear, so the wear-time was good. I wouldn’t say much longer than average, and I live in a dry climate (California), so I can’t say I’ve tested this under extreme conditions.

Marc Jacobs Bright Idea Remedy Concealer Pen ($39.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as “an all-in-one eraser, brightener, and corrector.” It’s available in nine shades, and the one I tried was Bright Idea, which is a universal shade. It’s a pale pink with warm, pink undertones. It worked well to camouflage dark under eye circles and smudges (I’m wearing it on my left eye, which is on your right). The consistency is thin, not as thin as water but still quite liquid. It offers light-medium to medium coverage, and it takes a few minutes to really set in place. I would recommend applying, and then checking as you continue to do your makeup or get ready to blend the product again, because it will settle into creases as it sets. Once I’ve let it set and blended away any initial creasing, it doesn’t settle into my fine lines for the rest of the seven hours it wears well. After seven hours, the darkness seems to come back slowly but surely over the next few hours. It comes in a click-type pen, and the applicator is made out of palladium, so it is cool to the touch.

The Glossover

product

Genius Gel Super-Charged Foundation

C-

I have normal-to-dry skin, but this accentuated any dryness to the point where anyone talking to me would notice the foundation clinging to each piece of imperfect skin. Part of this seemed to be ensuring not to apply more than a light layer of product, and the best way to apply this was with a sponge (like a Beautyblender) over a brush, as most brushes seemed to give it a rather streaky finish. I was able to build to about medium coverage, but it starts to look thick and slightly caked on the skin.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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product

Remedy Concealer Pen

B-

I would recommend applying, and then checking as you continue to do your makeup or get ready to blend the product again, because it will settle into creases as it sets. Once I've let it set and blended away any initial creasing, it doesn't settle into my fine lines for the rest of the seven hours it wears well.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Irresistible (210) Shameless Bold Blush
Marc Jacobs Irresistible (210) Shameless Bold Blush

Marc Jacobs Irresistible (210) Shameless Bold Blush ($30.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a medium apricot orange with warm, tangerine undertones and a satin finish. NARS Soulshine #2 is warmer, more orange. Chanel Presage is richer, cream. NARS Gilda is slightly darker. Chanel Tweed Brun Rose is lighter. Chanel Frivole is matte, more intense. See comparison swatches.

The formula is supposed to “[bring] unprecedented vibrancy to your cheeks” with “pure, unadulterated color.” It will be available in nine shades when it launches on August 9th (midnight). Of all the products I’ve tried from the range, the blush was the one that was just so-so. The texture was somewhat dry and stiff, though it still managed to have decent to good color payoff.  It applied unevenly and took some buffing and eventually blending around the edges with additional foundation to soften the edges and make it look even. There was also a slight emphasis of pores.  I don’t think I’d go as far as call it “pure, unadulterated color.” It’s buildable, but it looks softer and more muted swatched than it does in the pan. It lasted well for seven hours and had showed signs of fading after eight hours of wear.  This is the only shade I’ve tried in the formula, so it may be the odd one out (or may be par for the course–time will tell!). The price point actually seemed quite reasonable and lower than one would expect, given the price points of other products in the range.

The Glossover

P
product

Irresistible (210)

C-
The texture was somewhat dry and stiff, though it still managed to have decent to good color payoff. It applied unevenly and took some buffing and eventually blending around the edges with additional foundation to soften the edges and make it look even.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, August 5th, 2013

Sugarpill Hellatronic ElektroCute Neon Pigment
Sugarpill ElektroCute Neon Pigments

Sugarpill ElektroCute Neon Pigments ($16.00 for 0.19 oz.) come in an assortment of five bold, bright shades. Overall, these are going to be a product some will absolutely love and others will find frustrating and difficult to use (and ultimately not worth the patience). These are designed to be used with some sort of base or mixing medium and shouldn’t be applied straight to bare skin. Over the past week, I’ve tried a rich assortment of bases and mixing mediums, and I’ll lay out my findings below, but suffice to say, expect a fair amount of fall out, some trial and error, and maybe a test of your patience. On the plus side, when I wore these out, I was stopped by no less than five people asking me what I was wearing (in the space of an hour).

First and foremost, these are not considered eye safe in the U.S. due to neon pigments (as “the FDA has not yet tested/approved the use of neon pigments in the immediate eye area,” per Sugarpill’s website), but they are considered eye safe in Europe and Canada. I’ve used them on lips and on eyes, but I reiterate that they are not considered eye safe in the U.S. and by using them that way, I am doing so at my own risk (and if you decide to do the same, it is at your own risk). All shades, except Hellatronic, are listed as lip safe.

I had the most luck using NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencil as a base (the one I used for testing was Electric Blue, and I would have chosen Milk, but I actually don’t have it), as it absorbed and took the color mostly evenly and kept the majority of the sparkles that were pressed on… on for the remainder of the day. I was not able to get nearly as much sparkle to stick to the lid as appears in the jar, though, and the sparkles do not apply evenly and tend to stick randomly. In my test, I applied Sparkage on half of the lid with Hellatronic on the outer half, and all of Sparkage’s sparkles wound up in the center of the lid. Be very careful blending the product and only blend around the edges if applied on the skin. Here are my results with other bases:

  • MAC Mixing Medium: slightly uneven color application, only partial adhesion of sparkles
  • Lit Cosmetics Glitter Base: somewhat even color application but was slightly darkened/patchy in places, better adhesion of sparkles
  • Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: good adhesion of sparkles, somewhat even application but very imperative to watch the amount of Pixie Epoxy applied and allow to half-dry before applying (it felt far more finicky to use than when I’ve used it with Fyrinnae’s loose eyeshadows)
  • Regular Eyeshadow Primers: some color applied and fairly evenly, but sparkles go everywhere but the lid (I tried Too Faced Shadow Insurance, NARS Smudge Proof, Urban Decay Original Primer Potion)

These can be applied to the brows by using a mixing medium like Illamasqua’s Sealing Gel or Lit’s Glitter Base and a thin, liner or brow brush. For lips, apply a thin coat of clear gloss and then pat on the pigment across the lips, then blend with fingers, brush, or just press and move your lips together. I like applying a little more gloss after that to get more even color. They can be applied to the body and used to accent body painting. I would recommend a creamy, opaque, slightly tacky base to apply the color on the skin and some of the sparkle, and to intensify the sparkle, use a glitter adhesive and a soft, rounded brush to lightly pat on additional product just where you need it. Small, dome-shaped brushes work the best for me for patting on color precisely and to minimize fall out. I also liked to pat and push my brush against the inside of the lid to keep the product “sticking” to the brush, rather than loosely pressed against it. The opaque base helped the most with yielding even color coverage, as invisible/clear bases seemed to highlight that they don’t always go on perfectly even. I spoke with both xSparkage (Leesha) and Queen of Blending (Lauren), and they both recommend a similar application to maximize color intensity and minimize fall out.

I’m sure some of you are thinking to yourself, “Wow, these sound like a lot of work, why would I bother?” To that, I can easily say that these are the easiest neons I’ve worked with. They are certainly a drastic improvement from MAC’s neon pigments, and these can take dampness better than most matte loose pigments. They’re more pigmented than Sleek’s neon eyeshadows and are slightly easier to blend. Sugarpill’s improved on some of the issues with neon pigments, but there is still plenty of room for improvement (in sparkle dispersion/evenness). Of the shades, Hellatronic was the most interesting and complex, as the base color actually seemed to shift (not just the sparkle), and the sparkle seemed finer and more embedded with the underlying color, whereas the others seemed more like a matte neon pigment with sparkle on top.

I looked across the different types of application (brows, body/skin, lips) to assess a rating, and ultimately, it’s hard to have such a varied application and resulting grade. I suspect most will use these around the eye area as eyeliner, eyeshadow, or brow color, so I did weight how they applied on skin (be it my forearm or somewhere else) slightly more than say lips (which was an area that these were easier to use in). I could not fully contain the fall out (even using adhesive bases designed for glitter). They don’t apply perfectly evenly. They do not want to be blended (together or on their own or with anything else).  When they work, they can look gorgeous and totally traffic-stopping, but to get them there is certainly a journey.

Hellatronic is described as a “fluorescent indigo with red/purple/blue color-shifting super sparkles.” It’s a cool-toned, violet-tinged blue with bluish-violet sparkle. Sephora My Boyfriend’s Jeans is bluer, darker, less sparkly. Sugarpill Velocity is bluer, matte. Urban Decay Chaos is slightly darker, less sparkly. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 #2 is darker, matte. MAC Cobalt is matte. Illamasqua Sadist is bluer, matte. See comparison swatches.

Hi-Viz is described as a “blazing neon yellow with blue/green/gold color-shifting super sparkles.” It’s a brightened, warm-toned yellow with goldish-green sparkle. Fyrinnae Banna Mochi is more frosted, less sparkly. MAC Bright Yellow is more matte. MAC Colour Added is more shimmery, less sparkly. Illamasqua Hype is matte. Inglot #370 is matte. See comparison swatches.

Love Buzz is described as a “brilliant neon hot pink with yellow/orange/red color-shifting super sparkles.” It’s a brightened, neon fuchsia-pink with pinky-red sparkle. Fyrinnae Superstar is more frosted, les ssparkly, lighter. Sugarpill Dollipop is matte, darker. MAC Magenta Madness is similar but has no sparkle. Make Up For Ever #75 is darker, matte. See comparison swatches.

Sparkage is described as “radioactive lime green with blue/green/gold color-shifting super sparkles.” It’s a light-medium, cool-toned green with yellow-ish edges–it looks cool-toned overall, but there’s still a yellowness that comes through. It has green-ish-gold sparkle on top. Sephora Picnic in the Park is darker, less sparkly. Sugarpill Midori is much darker and cooler-toned. Illamasqua Fledgling is slightly darker, matte. See comparison swatches.

Supercharged is described as “flaming neon orange with blue/green/gold color-shifting super sparkles.” It’s a light-medium tangerine orange with golden sparkle. Fyrinnae Pyromantic Erotica is darker, more shimmery, less sparkly. Wet ‘n’ Wild Newport Nights #5 is les ssparkly. Maybelline Fierce & Tangy is darker, brighter, cream product (might work well as a base for this shade). MAC Chessa is less sparkly, more shimmery. Illamasqua Vulgar is a bit darker, matte. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

ElektroCute Neon Pigment

C-

I could not fully contain the fall out (even using adhesive bases designed for glitter). They don't apply perfectly evenly. They do not want to be blended (together or on their own or with anything else). When they work, they can look gorgeous and totally traffic-stopping, but to get them there is certainly a journey.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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P
product

Hellatronic

C+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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P
product

Hi-Viz

C-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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