Sunday, April 13th, 2014

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Espresso Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) contains a copper and brown eyeshadow with a black eyeliner. The Studio Sculpt Shade & Line Eyeshadows can be used wet “for a defined look with super-saturated colour” or dry for “medium buildable coverage.” The copper eyeshadow was the least troublesome, though it wasn’t a boon of an eyeshadow, and the shade itself is one that so many brands do over and over again (MAC included!)–and they do them quite well. The eyeliner shade was stiff, dry, and a real nuisance to blend dry or wet. The brown eyeshadow as drier and stiffer, though not as tough to use as the eyeliner shade. When worn, they lasted eight hours on me.

Espresso Blend #1 is described as a “rich penny-copper.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned copper with a frosted sheen. It had semi-sheer color payoff when applied dry, while the texture was a bit dry to work with. Applied damp, it was nicely pigmented and much smoother. Kat Von D Dog Roses (LE) is darker. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful #3 (P) is less coppery. Makeup Geek Glamorous (P, $5.99) is similar. NARS Isolde #1 (P, $24.00) is also similar. MAC Amber Lights (P, $15.00) is slightly brighter. Guerlain Calligraphy #2 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Bragging Rights (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Espresso Blend #2 is described as a “charcoal black.” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned black with a satin finish. If you’ve been reading the last couple of reviews, you’ll notice that there’s a trend with the eyeliner shade: it’s very difficult to use dry, if you can manage to use it at all, as the texture is incredibly stiff and doesn’t apply with much color and is a challenge to blend. With a very damp brush, it can work with more color payoff, but the blendability is still poor. I tried using it as an eyeliner as well as an eyeshadow, but performance was the same either way. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Espresso Blend #3 is described as a “warm brown.” It’s a medium-dark, subtly warm-toned brown with a satin finish. It had semi-sheer pigmentation when applied dry, but the texture was difficult to work with as it didn’t want to blend–just kind of stuck where it landed and didn’t move from there. Applied with a dampened brush, it was more pigmented and slightly easier to work with, but only for the first couple of seconds. Divergent Bold Espresso (LE) is darker. Laura Mercier Rich Cocoa (P, $22.00) is similar. Sleek MakeUP Flora (P, $9.99) is more matte. MAC Dark Brew (P, $15.00) is slightly lighter. Dior Golden Flower #5 (LE) is a touch lighter, warmer. Chanel Seduction #4 (LE) is darker. LORAC Sable (P) is more matte. NARS Flowers 3 #4 (LE, $24.00) is redder in tone. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Espresso Blend

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Espresso Blend #1

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Espresso Blend #2

C-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, April 13th, 2014

MAC Ebony Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Ebony Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Ebony Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) contains a white and charcoal gray eyeshadow with a black eyeliner. The Studio Sculpt Shade & Line Eyeshadows can be used wet “for a defined look with super-saturated colour” or dry for “medium buildable coverage.” The eyeshadow shades were somewhat powdery when applied dry, and less so when used with a dampened brush, while the the color coverage noticeably improved with a damp application for the gray eyeshadow and eyeliner shades. The black eyeliner shade was barely-there when applied dry, and the texture was very stiff to work with, even when dampened. You really need to wet the brush to get any sort of blendability with this shade, but once it dries down, it doesn’t blend well. Worn, the colors seemed to wear well for eight hours.

Ebony Blend #1 is described as a “white frost.” It’s a neutral-to-warm-toned white with a frosted finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage applied dry or damp–I really didn’t feel like damp application improved intensity, just minimized the powderiness. It’s a more basic color, so there are plenty of similar shades out there: see comparison swatches / view dupes.

Ebony Blend #2 is described as a “carbon black.” It’s a medium-dark, neutral-to-warm-toned black with a satin finish. It was almost non-existent when applied dry, and with a fairly damp brush, it had semi-opaque pigmentation, but it was a struggle to work with due to a very stiff, dry consistency. I tried using it as an eyeliner as well as an eyeshadow, but performance was the same either way. It was only somewhat manageable once the brush was wet enough. Again, another shade we’ve seen often, so there are many alternative options to consider: see comparison swatches / view dupes.

Ebony Blend #3 is described as a “dirty blue-grey.” It’s a cool-toned, purpled gray taupe with a muted, coppery gold shimmer-sheen. It’s an interesting, complex shade with a lot going on, and what a bummer the whole trio isn’t fantastic. It was semi-sheer when applied dry, and then it was pretty full coverage when applied damp. The texture was a little powdery but blendable. Laura Mercier Twilight (LE, $24.00) is a cream product. MAC Graphic Style (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Smokeluxe #4 (P) is darker, grayer. Urban Decay Armor (LE, $18.00) is browner. MAC Dangerous Cuvee (P, $18.50) is lighter, cream product. Giorgio Armani #4 (P, $33.00) is darker, warmer. Chanel Illusoire (P, $36.00) is a cream product, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Ebony Blend

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

Ebony Blend #1

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Ebony Blend #2

F

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 10th, 2014

MAC Rich Experience Pro Longwear Eyeliner
MAC Rich Experience Pro Longwear Eyeliner

MAC x Proenza Schouler Collection includes Pro Longwear Eyeliners ($21.00 for 0.04 oz.) in two, permanent shades and Pro Longwear Lip Pencils ($21.00 for 0.04 oz.) in two, permanent shades. I’ve reviewed all four of these previously, so you can read about the full reviews for: Pro Longwear Eyeliners and Pro Longwear Lip Pencils. This post only features photos of the pencils in the limited edition packaging, but the colors, textures, etc. are all the same. (I did re-test them, just in case!)

The Pro Longwear Eyeliner formula was disappointing to me, as they appear noticeably faded by the eight-hour mark–not the twelve hours as claimed–and they aren’t waterproof. They have a lightly creamy consistency that is fairly waxy but needs to be built up for opaque color.

Rich Experience is described as a “true brown.” It’s a dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a satin finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Black Ice is described as a “rich black.” It’s a medium-dark black with a satin finish and neutral undertones. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Pro Longwear Lip Pencil formula wears long and hard, though they’re pretty uncomfortable to wear by themselves as they cling and feel more like shrink-wrap on the lips. Underneath lipstick, they definitely add anywhere from an hour to three hours of additional wear, depending on the shade, and they don’t seem to interfere with the way the lipstick itself feels/hydrates, so they’re a lot more comfortable to wear with lipstick or lipgloss on top. They have good color payoff and apply quite evenly.

Dynamo is described as a “bright peony.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark pink-coral with a matte finish. MAC Dynamo (P, $19.50) Urban Decay Streak (P, $19.00) is the closest that I could think of, but it is warmer and more orange. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

High Energy is described as a “bright orange-red cream.” It’s a medium-dark, orange-red with warm undertones and a matte finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
product

Rich Experience

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Black Ice

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Dynamo

A-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, April 7th, 2014

NARS Lipgloss – Supervixen, Istria, Angelika, Priscilla, Easy Lover, Turkish Delight
NARS Lipgloss – Supervixen, Istria, Angelika, Priscilla, Easy Lover, Turkish Delight

Angelika is described as a “cotton candy pink with gold particles.” It’s a cool-toned, light-medium pink with blue undertones and subtle gold sparkle. It had semi-sheer color coverage, but it did not apply evenly and tended to settle into lip lines. It lasted for four hours, which is about average for me. MAC Fearless (LE, $20.00) is less glossy, darker. Milani Pink Lady (07) (P, $5.49) is slightly darker, less cool-toned. L’Oreal Florid Pink (LE, $7.99) is less glossy. NARS Coeur Sucre (P, $26.00) is slightly lighter, more pigmented. MAC Silly (LE, $15.00) is less blue-based, darker. MAC Pink Nouveau (LE, $15.00) is more pigmented, less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Priscilla is described as a “shocking pink.” It’s a vibrant, fuchsia pink with a creamy, glossy finish. It had mostly opaque pigmentation with just a tiny bit of translucency. It applied evenly and smoothly, while the color lasted for five hours. MAC Pink Poodle (By Request) (LE, $15.00) is more shimmery. MAC Girl About Town (LE, $15.00) is darker, more shimmery. MAC Embrace Me (LE, $15.00) is less blue-based, more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Easy Lover is described as a “ultra-sheer hot pink.” It’s a muted, cool-toned pinky-purple with iridescent shimmer. It is, as described, incredibly sheer. On my lips, it just made them look slightly pinker and added some shimmer, but it’s barely-there. The color seemed to emphasize my lip lines. It lasted for two and a half hours on me. MAC Playful Petal (LE, $20.00) is very similar. Revlon Sugar Violet (P, $7.99) is more pigmented. MAC Rhythm (LE, $15.00) is warmer. Chanel Chelsea (LE, $29.50) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Turkish Delight is described as a “pink sherbet.” It’s a pinky-beige with subtle warm undertones and a creamy, glossy finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage but settled into lip lines, though the color seemed to apply fairly evenly otherwise. It lasted for three hours on me. Chanel Rosace (87) (LE, $27.00) is more shimmery. Maybelline Petal Plush (100) (P, $8.99) is similar. MAC Picture Pink (LE, $15.00) is less glossy. MAC Angel (LE, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Tasmania is described as a “pink cantaloupe.” It’s a light-medium, warm-toned pink with a creamy, glossy finish. It had semi-sheer color coverage, and it does settle into lip lines. The color managed to wear for three hours on me. NARS Belize (P, $26.00) is a bit darker, less milky. Urban Decay Flushed (P, $19.00) is darker, less glossy. Chanel Murmure (179) (P, $29.50) is slightly warmer. Maybelline Caramel Infused (065) (P, $8.99) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.18 fl. oz.) has been reformulated, and the new formulation will launch on April 15th with 30 permanent shades–seven are new and permanent, 23 are shades that were available in the previous formula. NARS says the new formula is supposed to have “longer, more comfortable wear,” while being hydrating and smoothing with a “silky texture.” The texture is thin, somewhat tacky (the more shimmery shades seemed slightly tackier than the creamier ones), unscented (and no signs of a plastic, waxy, or crayon-like scent), with two to five hours of wear time, and is moderately hydrating. The formula is thinner and less sticky (5 or 6, compared to an 8 on the original formula, on a 10-point scale), and I found it more comfortable to wear overall. Note, the reformulated glosses are more expensive and contain less product.

The Glossover

P
product

Angelika

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Priscilla

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Easy Lover

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, April 5th, 2014

NARS Lipgloss – Triple X, Striptease, Greek Holiday, Giza, Sweet Dreams
NARS Lipgloss – Triple X, Striptease, Greek Holiday, Giza, Sweet Dreams

NARS Lipgloss ($26.00 for 0.18 fl. oz.) has been reformulated, and the new formulation will launch on April 15th with 30 permanent shades–seven are new and permanent, 23 are shades that were available in the previous formula. NARS says the new formula is supposed to have “longer, more comfortable wear,” while being hydrating and smoothing with a “silky texture.” In regards to pigmentation, it sounds like a variety: “for a full range of effects, from sheer shine to bold luster.” Several shades have descriptions that include “sheer,” so I’m really trying to glean from the descriptions the intended opacity, but I warn you now that some of the ones described as “sheer” aren’t really sheer, some that don’t have “sheer” as part of the description are sheer.

So far, my experience with formula (I’m about halfway through testing the range) is that pigmentation varies from sheer to opaque with plenty of shades falling somewhere in-between, while the texture is thin, somewhat tacky (some shades are more or less sticky, and they develop more tackiness as they wear on). It’s a very comfortable formula to wear, and it is moderately hydrating. The wear varies as wildly as the pigmentation does with some shades lasting as short as two hours and others lasting almost five hours. It’s not a long-wear formula, though, so keep that in mind. With some of the more sparkly shades, I could feel the grit of the sparkle, though it was not overly rough, just noticeable, due to the thinner consistency.

With respect to the previous formula, the new formula is definitely thinner, less tacky (if the previous formula was an eight on the stickiness scale, these vary between five and six), and none of the thirty shades were scented (and no plastic, crayon, etc. scent, which some of the older glosses had–my experience was some had this problem, others were unscented). I didn’t detect any taste while wearing them. I also found these to be more hydrating on the whole and generally more comfortable to wear. The pigmentation seems higher on the older glosses, but I don’t have all the original shades to compare. I will have side-by-side swatches of the few I have from the previous formula against the new shades soon.

Triple X is described as a “clear, super-shiny, ultra-wet gloss.” It’s a high-shine, clear gloss with a thin consistency and no shimmer. There’s not a lot to say about this, as it is colorless just as intended, so this would be a way to add the high-shine finish of a gloss to your favorite lip color without altering the actual color of it. On its own, the glossiness and feel of the gloss lasted for three hours on me.

Striptease is described as a “candlelight nude.” It’s a light, creamy peach with gold shimmer. It had semi-sheer color coverage, which applied somewhat evenly but had room for improvement. The thinner consistency kept it from settling too noticeably into lip lines. It lasted three hours on me. Divergent Supreme Ritual (LE) is lighter. NARS Bimini (P, $26.00) is more shimmery, less warm-toned. YSL Nude Carat (No. 20) (P, $32.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Summer Sweetheart (LE, $15.00) is less shimmery, pinker. MAC Double Happiness (LE, $20.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Greek Holiday is described as a “sparkling pink sand.” It’s a light-medium, golden peach with gold sparkle. It had sheer color payoff and introduced warmth, slightly darkened my natural lip color, but primarily added shine and sparkle. It wore well for three hours. MAC Revved Up (LE, $20.00) is less shimmery, less glossy. Urban Decay Freestyle (P, $20.00) has finer shimmer, slightly darker. Revlon Peach (P, $7.49) is similar. MAC Sublime Shine (LE, $20.00) is warmer. MAC Satin Slip (LE, $20.00) is a touch lighter. MAC Imperial Light (LE, $20.00) is warmer. Hourglass Verse (P, $28.00) is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Giza is described as a “sheer nectar.” It’s a medium, slightly muted, peachy-orange with a creamy, glossy finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, which meant that the natural lip color influenced the outcome of the gloss–on me, that meant that some of the orange was lost and the gloss looked more like a pinky-peach. It wore well for four hours. MAC Ray of Sunshine (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer. MAC Lovingly Yours (P, $22.00) is lighter, pinker. MAC Cheerful (P, $22.00) is darker, warmer. MAC Be Nice (P, $22.00) is pinker, less warm-toned. Bobbi Brown Nectar (LE, $24.00) is much lighter, cooler-toned. Urban Decay Rule34 (P, $20.00) is sheerer. MAC Persistent Peach (P, $19.50) is lighter, more opaque. MAC Everlasting Nude (LE, $19.50) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sweet Dreams is described as a “pink grapefruit with sugary shimmer.” It’s a muted, pinky-beige base with champagne shimmer and fine sparkle. This shade is very “lip-colored,” so it doesn’t really add a lot of visible color since it blends in with the natural lip coloro. What is visible is mostly sparkle/shimmer, but I would still describe this as sheer. It lasted for two and a half hours. MAC Revved Up (LE, $20.00) MAC Nectarsweet (LE, $20.00) bareMinerals Dazzler (LE, $18.00) is less shimmery. Chanel French Toffee (83) (LE, $27.00) is slightly warmer. MAC Soft Serenade (LE, $15.00) is warmer. Hourglass Verse (P, $28.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
product

Triple X

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Striptease

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Greek Holiday

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

MAC Spontaneous Patentpolish Lip Pencil
MAC Spontaneous Patentpolish Lip Pencil

Here are the last three shades from the new MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) range that I’ve finished testing! You can check out part one for an overview of the formula (and in-depth reviews of Go for Girlie, Innocent, Revved Up), part two (Fearless, Kittenish, Patentpink), and part three (round-up coming up next!). To summarize: the formula is lightly hydrating, short-wearing (two to three hours), moderately tacky, and have light to moderate shine. The color coverage varies from semi-sheer to semi-opaque. I’ve also had some issues with even application with some shades.

MAC Spontaneous Patentpolish Lip Pencil ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “soft plum with pearl.” It’s a muted, pinky-mauve with fine, champagne shimmer. This shade had semi-sheer to almost semi-opaque color coverage, but it seemed to be one of the sheerer shades in the range. It wore well for two and a half hours on me. MAC Kittenish (LE, $20.00) is lighter, less shimmery. L’Oreal I Pink You’re Cute (175) (P, $8.95) is less glossy. Maybelline Blush Essence (095) (P, $8.99) is lighter. Maybelline Mauve Mystique (025) (P, $8.99) is less shimmery. Buxom Centerfold (LE, $21.00) is less glossy, less shimmery. Chanel Rendez-vous (87) (P, $34.00) is less glossy, cooler-toned. Urban Decay Rush (P, $22.00) is warmer, less shimmery, less glossy. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Sultana Patentpolish Lip Pencil ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “dark grape.” It’s a neutral-to-warm-toned, reddish-berry with a soft shine. It had semi-opaque color coverage, but it applied extremely unevenly and settled into lip lines. It only wore for three hours, which is quite short for such a deep shade. Revlon Embellished (P, $7.49) is lighter. Chanel Controversy (72) (P, $32.00) is browner. MAC Sweet Succulence (LE, $16.00) is similar, less glossy. Laura Mercier Merlot (P, $26.00) is cooler-toned. Giorgio Armani #408 (P, $32.00) is redder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Teen Dream Patentpolish Lip Pencil ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “bright coral orange.” It’s a brightened pop of light-medium orange with a creamy, lightly glossy finish. It had opaque color coverage that applied very evenly overall. This shade even lasted for a full four hours, which was quite long compared to many other shades in the range. Tom Ford Beauty Sweet Spot (05) (LE, $49.00) is lighter. Givenchy Mandarine Bolero (304) (P, $36.00) is darker. MAC Saigon Summer (LE, $16.00) is darker, more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Spontaneous

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Sultana

C

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Teen Dream

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes

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