Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Kat Von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Book
Kat Von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Book

Kat Von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Book ($55.00 for 1.20 oz.) includes 24 eyeshadows from matte to frost. Perhaps the best way to start this review is to say that the formula used in the palette is inconsistent with previous palette releases from Kat Von D; they feel more powdery, softer, and in general, there’s a cheaper, chalkier quality across the board. Even shades that had better color payoff still had a dryness to them that feels like the eyeshadow has more filler in it than is ideal. These absolutely need a primer to even stand a chance; they just were miserable to use without primer, as they didn’t blend together well, while several shades went on much more muted. Then, of course, there is the issue of Gothica, which is a bit like a slap in the face (eye?), given that it is like loose micro-glitter without any base or binders. Brands should do better, and it’s such a shame when they put out inferior products that make customers question the brand’s reliability going forward. I’d recommend checking out her Chrysalis or Monarch palettes, if you’re determined to snag a Kat Von D palette this holiday season.

For reference, the majority of the eyeshadows wore between six and seven hours, with a few getting closer to eight, but in general, they seemed more prone to fading than other eyeshadows I’ve tried by the brand. Also, I would have probably given zero on quality for Gothica, but our system breaks when I use zero (on the to-fix list), hence the 0.5.

Solar is a light peach with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had good color payoff with a slightly powdery consistency. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Nephilim is a warm, golden bronze with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation, though the texture had a dryness to it that made it prone to fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Damned is a yellowed beige with a matte finish. It was noticeably powdery with semi-opaque color payoff. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Division is a muted, medium green with a metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation with a slight dryness to its texture. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Platonic is a brightened tangerine with a golden shimmer and frosted finish. It had nice color payoff, though the texture was powdery, so it took a few layers to achieve the intensity as seen in the pan on the eye. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Mandala is a brightened, medium-dark orange with hints of red and a matte finish. It seemed pigmented, but it also quite powdery, which made it hard to apply with intensity. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Depeche is a warm bronze with a metallic sheen. It had good color payoff, but there was that dryness to it that made it prone to fading and harder to use on the skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Brass Knuckles is a light-medium, yellow gold with a metallic sheen. The pigmentation was decent, while the texture was sofft and a little powdery. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Anti-Star is a cool-toned, frosted white. It was noticeably powdery with semi-opaque color coverage. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Estrella is a cool-toned, navy blue with a pearly sheen. It had good pigmentation with a soft, smooth texture. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Banshee is a cool-toned white with a matte finish. It is powdery, dry, and chalky to work with, while the color payoff seemed to be semi-opaque. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Violator is a cool-toned, lavender with a hint of pink and a pearl finish. It had semi-opaque pigmentation with a lightly powdery texture. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Black Star is a matte black with silver sparkle. It had a dry, powdery consistency that was harder to blend on the lid. The pigmentation was decent, just messy and difficult to use. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Starfllyer is a brightened, periwinkle blue with a matte finish. Though it had a lot of pigment, it was so powdery that it didn’t adhere well to the skin and faded faster than most eyeshadows. ) See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Gothica appears to be a muted, medium-dark purple with subtle, cool undertones and a frosted finish–except it’s more like muted purple sand due to an atrocious texture. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Fascination Street is a muted, bluish-purple with a matte finish. It was dry, stiff, and chalky, which made it difficult to blend, while it was semi-sheer for payoff. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Moz is a neutral-to-cool-toned beige with a satin finish. It had good color payoff and was only a little powdery. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Heaven Knows is a rosy taupe with warm undertones and a satin finish. This shade was ridiculously powedery–touch your brush to the pan, and it’s like poof! See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Crosses is a light, warm-toned beige with a matte finish. It was moderately powdery with good color payoff. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Covenant is a muted, medium-dark olive green with warm, khaki undertones and a pearly sheen. It had good color payoff, but it was powdery and dry. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Smiths is a copper bronze with warm undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It had nice color payoff with a smooth, buttery consistency–best shade in the palette. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Leather is a medium-dark, yellow-toned brown with a matte finish. It had mostly opaque color payoff, but it was fairly powdery and dry. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Craft is a medium-dark green with warm undertones and a sparkly, frosted finish. It was dry, powdery, and prone to fading, while it yielded semi-opaque at best. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Cult is a brightened, light-medium green with golden shimmer and warm undertones. It had decent pigmentation, but the texture was, again, powdery, which made it hard to apply. I had trouble getting this to blend as well. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Star Studded

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Solar

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Nephilim

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, October 31st, 2014

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick Set
Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick Set

Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick Set ($39.00 for 9 x 0.04 oz.) includes nine, mini-sized shades from the permanent range (all of them can be had individually, if desired). Overall, I didn’t find that the formula of the minis to be different from the full-sized shades I have. The formula is a drier, stiffer consistency that often drags and tugs on the lips. Some of the lighter shades look almost chalky on, while some of the more red-hued mattes seem to be least problematic. The shimmery shades are usually creamier, but they tend to be less pigmented. The brand claims that these will “comfortably coat lips with bold color for 10 hours” (they even claim “one swipe application). Wear time varies but tends to be longer than the average lipstick, though shorter than the 10-hour wear claim. I do not find the formula comfortable to wear, and it’s hard to apply color in “one swipe” since they drag a lot. Some shades are drying, some are neither drying nor hydrating, which is far from the brand’s claim that the formula will leave “lips feeling supple.” The caps of these come off very easily, so you may not want to carry them in your purse. Mine have just been sitting in a plastic bin, and I had problems with them coming off any time products shifted around at all (unusual–can’t say I specifically recall this being an issue with another brand, or the full-sized versions).

Note: as I had already fully reviewed and tested about half of these shades, I didn’t reshoot the product photos for those particular shades. I only retested Agatha, as it was the only one that seemed noticeably different than the full-sized I had. Shades I hadn’t reviewed before were photographed and tested as normal.

Agatha is a light, pink-tinged beige with a matte finish. This is one of the more drying shades in the range, and the full-sized version I have was noticeably drier and stiffer to use than the mini in the set, which did apply more evenly and with better color coverage. I retested using the mini, and it lasted for six hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Lovecraft is a muted, rosy mauve with a matte finish. The color lasted for seven hours. It was one of the better-applying shades, but it will wear away unevenly (center first). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Wonderchilde is a brightened, magenta purple with fuchsia undertones and violet shimmer. The color wore well for six hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. It had a creamier consistency that helped it apply and feel more comfortable, though it wasn’t full coverage. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Sexer is a bright, fuchsia pink with cool undertones and fuchsia micro-shimmer over a semi-matte finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and the consistency was lightly dry and tugged somewhat, but it did lay down even color. It wore well for eight hours on me and was slightly drying over time. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Countess is a bold, brightened orange-red with warm undertones and a matte finish. It dragged just slightly, but it was nicely pigmented and lasted for eight hours. It was a little drying but not uncomfortable. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Adora is a medium-dark, warm-toned red with metallic ruby red shimmer over a matte finish. This is one of the best shades in the range, as it does last well for ten hours, isn’t drying, and has enough creaminess that it isn’t painful to apply. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Hexagram is a medium-dark red with cool, blue undertones and a matte finish. It had opaque color coverage with a lightly dry consistency, so there was some drag. Luckily, it wasn’t so dry that it interfered with the resulting color, as I was able to get it to look smooth and even. It lasted for eight and a half hours and was a little drying. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Bachelorette is a brightened, pinky-red with almost warm undertones and a matte finish. It had fairly opaque pigmentation, while it had the same slightly dry, stiffer consistency which made it drag and pull at the lips when applied from the tube as other shades in the range. It did wear for seven and a half hours, and it was somewhat drying. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Motorhead is a deepened, reddish-burgundy. It has such a stiff, painful-to-use consistency. This shade wears for eight hours, but it is incredibly drying while worn, and it doesn’t look great on as it is uneven. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Studded Kiss

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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P
product

Agatha

D+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Lovecraft

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Dior Golden Shock (001) Diorific Vernis Nail Enamel
Dior Golden Shock (001) Diorific Vernis Nail Enamel

Dior Golden Shock (001) Diorific Top Coat ($28.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a clear top coat with gold leaf. It’s certainly fun and festive, but it requires fishing and some maneuvering to get the gold flakes to appear just-so on the nails. The cap on the Diorific polishes makes this a little more difficult, but the degree of difficulty will depend on how large your fingers are. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dior Mirror (022) Diorific Vernis Nail Enamel ($27.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a pale, white gold with warm undertones and a very fine, metallic shimmer. Alone, it has a more pearly, white gold effect. I tried it layered over Shock (a warm red), and it made the pearl look more orange. It’s semi-sheer average two coats and has a moderately shiny dry down. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dior Gold Equinoxe (241) Diorific Vernis Nail Enamel ($27.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a muted, medium-dark gold with hints of brown and fine, gold metallic shimmer. It didn’t apply evenly, and it was only semi-opaque. The consistency of this was thin, and it seemed to dry as I was applying, even though it isn’t a foil finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dior Shock (762) Diorific Vernis Nail Enamel ($27.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a vibrant, medium red with subtle, warm undertones (almost neutral, I’d say) and a cream finish. It was opaque after two coats, and it dried down to a glossy finish without need for a top coat. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and this was the best-performing shade out of the five. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dior Smoky (990) Diorific Vernis Nail Enamel ($27.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a deep, dark, blackened purple berry with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque, but it was somewhat streaky (which was a surprise!), possibly due to the more watery formula. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Golden Shock (001)

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Mirror (022)

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Gold Equinoxe (241)

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Dior Gold Shock (001) Diorific Illuminating Pressed Powder
Dior Gold Shock (001) Diorific Illuminating Pressed Powder

Dior Gold Shock (001) Diorific Illuminating Pressed Powder ($80.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a highlighter “infused with golden yellow shimmer.” It’s a yellow gold with gold shimmer and slight sparkle. Becca Champagne Gold (P, $38.00) is very similar, just more shimmery and more gold than yellow, but applied, they’re similar (just Becca is way better). Cle de Peau Gold (12) (P, $55.00) is lighter. Giorgio Armani No. 04 (P, $59.00) is a liquid. Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is lighter. bareMinerals The Shining Moment (LE, $26.00) is more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Party (LE, $42.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

This is one of the more disappointing high-end highlighters I’ve come across, and while I don’t usually find Dior’s eyeshadows to be impressive, I usually have good experiences with their cheek and face products. The texture of the powder was dry, almost chalky, and it’s more yellow than it is really shimmery or luminous on the skin. The only thing about the powder that feels luxurious to command an $80 price tag is the compact, which is hefty, though it is thick and smaller in diameter than your average highlighter powder. The majority of the sparkle you see initially is an over-spray; there is still some gold sparkle within the powder itself, so it is subtler than it appears. I’m really frustrated by the texture, though, as the drier, chalkier consistency means less color payoff and shorter wear-time (six and a half hours)–but it just doesn’t feel like a luxury product. At least it doesn’t emphasize pores, and the included brush isn’t that scratchy.

The Glossover

LE
product

Gold Shock (001)

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, October 20th, 2014

MAC Keepsakes/Smoky Face Palette
MAC Keepsakes/Smoky Face Palette

MAC Keepsakes/Smoky Face Palette ($49.50 for 0.287 oz.) contains three eyeshadows, two cheek products, and two lip colors housed in a medium-large sized ivory-hued palette with a strand of “pearls” along the exterior edge of the palette. It has a mirror on the interior and a plastic flap that covers the three cream products and protects them from getting powdery bits mixed in them. I wasn’t wowed by any of the products in this particular set, unfortunately. The pearls feel flimsy–I greatly worry about them lifting while traveling (same goes for all of the compacts like this in the collection). The palette includes: $18 worth of eyeshadow, $5.44 worth of lipstick, $15.40 worth of Cream Colour Base, and $8.63 worth of Iridescent Pressed Powder (best estimate based on last price/oz. I have, since this isn’t a formula MAC has released in a long time individually). There is also a double-ended 275/316 brush included, which adds some value. The value of the color products is $47.47 plus the brush. MAC’s pre-made face palettes always seem to be the least value-packed.

Born to Dazzle is described as a “white gold champagne with pearl.” It’s a very sparkly, white gold with warm, yellow undertones and a glittery finish. It is more metallic on the skin, so it does emphasize pores somewhat. The color payoff is nice, and it doesn’t have a white or chalky base to it. On me, it lasted seven and a half hours before turning patchy. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Filament is described as a “platinum silver [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a golden silver–like a really, really light warm pewter–with a sparkly finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, in line with the Lustre formula, and a sparkly texture that resulted in some fall out during wear. A lot of the sparkles didn’t seem to translate on the lid, though. It lasted for seven hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes. /

Aristocratic Aura is described as a “dirty blue grey with silver pearl [with a Frost finish].” It’s a muted, medium taupe with a hint of mauve and a pearly sheen. It had semi-sheer pigmentation, and the texture was really stiff to work with, which made it frustrating to apply. The color started to fade after seven and a half hours of wear. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Carbon is described as an “intense black [with a Matte finish].” It’s a medium-dark black with a matte finish. It’s made a few appearances in the holiday collection this year, and none of them good. This version was particularly bad, as the color payoff was sheer, while the texture was so, so dry and stiff. You can the ever-growing list of dupes here.

Pearl is described as a “pale gold with icy shimmer.” It’s a light, golden beige with subtle, warm undertones and a pearly shimmer-sheen finish. It had good color payoff that was buildable and blendable, so you could wear it more intensely or as a subtle wash. It had a creamy, emollient consistency that made it easy to spread across the skin, but it only wore for six and a half hours on me. It’s part of the permanent range. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Petulance is described as a “mauvey mid-tone nude [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a muted, light-medium, pink-tinged peach with a soft sheen. It had semi-opaque color coverage that went on fairly evenly, but it could be a bit streaky if you’re not careful. It lasted for three hours and felt thin, a little clingy, on the lips. It didn’t seem drying, though, so that was a surprise. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Evening Posh is described as a “clean bright red [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a medium-dark red with subtle, cool undertones and a luminous sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage and wore well for six hours. The consistency was creamier than Petulance, so it applied more readily and was comfortable to wear. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Smoky

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Born to Dazzle

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Filament

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, October 17th, 2014

Chanel Oiseaux de Nuit Eyeshadow Palette
Chanel Oiseaux de Nuit Eyeshadow Palette

Chanel Oiseaux de Nuit Eyeshadow Palette ($80.00 for 0.26 oz.) contains five shades that range from a gradiant that goes from white to black with a pop of gold thrown in. It was so close to being a really cool-toned palette, so I wish they hadn’t included a gold. I also think it is harder to incorporate the gold shade with the others for two reasons: the tone and vibrancy is out of sync with the other four, but the texture is denser/thicker, while the others were thinner, so they didn’t blend together well. The palette has a very soft consistency that is powdery, and with the thinner texture, it also feels almost dry at times, which makes it problematic to apply to the skin without something extra (like a primer or tacky base). For the price point, I expected something stellar, and instead, I was pretty disappointed.

As a heads up, Nordstrom has it for $70, but other retailers are listing it for $80. (I bought mine at Nordstrom, so my order did process and that’s what I paid.) I don’t have a press release yet, but since all other retails are showing it at $80, I would guess that’s the correct price.

Oiseaux de Nuit #1 is a cool-toned, medium white with a soft, frosted finish. It had good color payoff with only a slight powderiness to its texture. The color lasted for eight hours applied. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Oiseaux de Nuit #2 is a muted, grayed lilac with a frosted, lightly metallic, finish. It had decent pigmentation, but the texture was powdery and little dry. I liked it better used with a damp brush, as it held together better. It lasted for eight hours on the lid. See comparison swatches/ view dupes side-by-side.

Oiseaux de Nuit #3 is a blackened purple with subtle, cool undertones and a satin shimmer. It had very sheer color payoff, and the texture was dry and powdery to work with. It lasted for seven and a half hours applied to the skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Oiseaux de Nuit #4 is a medium-dark black with a satin finish. It had good pigmentation, and the texture wasn’t powdery, but it could have been more blendable. It wore well for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

Oiseaux de Nuit #5 is a darkened gold with warm undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It had a lightly powdery texture, but it had decent color coverage. On the lid, it showed signs of fading after eight hours of wear. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Oiseaux de Nuit

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Oiseaux de Nuit #1

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Oiseaux de Nuit #2

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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