Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Maybelline Signature Scarlet (020) Color Elixir Lip Color
Maybelline Signature Scarlet (020) Color Elixir Lip Color

Today, I have three more shades from Maybelline’s Color Elixir Lip Color ($8.99 for 0.17 fl. oz.) range. It’s a new and permanent formula introduced this winter, and it’s supposed to have rich color payoff with a plush feel, hydration, and high-gloss shine. Some shades are nice, others apply somewhat streakily, as the consistency is more medium to medium-thick. Sometimes, if you press your lips together, you can see a “line” appear where the color has moved and bunched up. The gloss is non-sticky when first applied, but it does develop a slight tackiness while worn–it never becomes really sticky, though. It has a sweet, creme brulee scent and a perfume-y taste. I notice the taste more with the brighter and darker shades than the lighter ones. They are moderately moisturizing.

Signature Scarlet (020) Color Elixir Lip Color ($8.99 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is a warm-toned, orange-based medium red with a creamy, glossy finish. It’s nearly opaque (there’s just a hint of translucency), and the consistency is medium-weight and applies evenly. It wears for five hours on me. Revlon Fire (P, $7.49) is similar. NARS Wonder (LE, $25.00) is more orange, more muted. NARS Hollywoodlawn (LE, $26.00) is slightly more muted. Chanel Exces (P, $32.00) is less opaque–the colors are very similar but Maybelline’s is better with respect to performance. See comparison swatches.

Mauve Mystique (025) Color Elixir Lip Color ($8.99 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is a pinky-plum with a creamy, glossy finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage with some of the natural lip color coming through. It applied evenly for the most part, but there were some areas where you could see the color was somewhat streaky. I would apply less rather than more, as this was a color that tended to bunch up if you pressed or moved your lips together too much. It lasted for four hours on me. L’Oreal Florid Pink (LE, $7.99) is brighter. Edward Bess First Kiss (P, $30.00) is lighter. Tom Ford Beauty Sugar Pink (P, $45.00) is more muted. Urban Decay Lovechild (P, $19.00) is a bit pinker, less glossy. Urban Decay Flushed (P, $19.00) is more muted, more mauve. MAC Viva Glam Nicki (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Curvaceous (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. Chanel Insolence (P, $32.00) is similar but sheerer. See comparison swatches.

Caviar Couture (050) Color Elixir Lip Color ($8.99 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is a cool-toned, reddened berry with faint fuchsia shimmer. It had semi-opaque color coverage, and as you might have guessed, it doesn’t apply flawlessly. There is some settling into lip lines, but it has a somewhat splotchy appearance on the lips. It’s not the worst I’ve encountered, but it’s not as opaque as Maybelline would have you believe and can be a high maintenance color to wear. On me, it wore for four and a half hours. MAC Lust for Life (LE, $15.00) is more shimmery. Chanel Crushed Cherry (P, $29.50) is redder. NARS Penny Arcade (LE, $26.00) is pinker, lighter, less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Signature Scarlet (020)

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Mauve Mystique (025)

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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product

Caviar Couture (050)

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Anna Sui x Minnie Mouse Midnight Purple (200) Nail Color
Anna Sui x Minnie Mouse Midnight Purple (200) Nail Color

Anna Sui x Minnie Mouse Nail Colors ($16.00 for 0.27 fl. oz.) include five limited edition shades.  Two are glitter top coats, while the other three are colors.  The formula was decent to good, while the consistency wasn’t too thick or thin across the board.  I tested Midnight Purple for wear and saw seven days with some tip wear–a little more than usual but no chipping.  The selection of shades lacks some originality; the red and silver glitters just seem underwhelming with the plethora of glitter top coats on the market now.  Note, each bottle contains 0.27 fl. oz., which is half the size of most polishes (often 0.50 fl. oz., though there are certainly ones that are smaller).  It was somewhat awkward applying the polish due to the decorative handle, though I’m sure if you love Minnie Mouse that wouldn’t be a deal-breaker!

Minnie Mouse Midnight Purple (200) Nail Color ($16.00 for 0.27 fl. oz.) is a cool-toned, violet purple with fuchsia and blue-violet shimmer. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and it applied fairly well. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. This was the shade I tested for wear, and it lasted seven days with some tip wear–a little more tip wear than average for me but no chipping (though few formulas chip on me). Zoya Neve (P, $8.00) is darker. Guerlain Riviera (LE, $23.00) is more metallic. SpaRitual Blue Moon (LE, $10.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Minnie Mouse Neon Pink (300) Nail Color ($16.00 for 0.27 fl. oz.) is a medium pink with subtle blue undertones and iridescent fuchsia shimmer. It was opaque after two coats, and the consistency was nicely balanced–not too thick or too thin–and flowed well across the nail. Cult Nails Untamed (LE, $12.00) is cooler-toned. Chanel May (P, $27.00) is lighter. Essie Off the Shoulder (LE, $8.00) has no shimmer. See comparison swatches.

Minnie Mouse Passion Red (400) Nail Color ($16.00 for 0.27 fl. oz.) consists of large circular red glitter and small red micro-glitter, both suspended in a clear base. I applied one coat over Neon Pink, and then two coats of the glitter top coat on its own on my thumbnail. You do need to push and pull at the glitters to get them in place, as they don’t spread evenly across the nail. Deborah Lippmann Do Ya Think I’m Sexy (LE, $19.00) is less circular but is red glitter in a clear base–it is more packed with glitter. See comparison swatches.

Minnie Mouse Snow White (002) Nail Color ($16.00 for 0.27 fl. oz.) is a semi-opaque, warm white with iridescent micro-shimmer and larger silver glitter. The consistency wasn’t too thick, so it applied well, and though it wasn’t opaque, it was fairly even. There were some visible brush strokes, though. MAC Much Adored (LE, $16.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Minnie Mouse Stardust Silver (001) Nail Color ($16.00 for 0.27 fl. oz.) is silver micro-glitter suspended in a clear base. I applied two coats of it on its own on my thumb nail, and then I applied one coat over Snow White. It applied evenly for the most part, and one coat had a nice density so that it added an effect to the nail but didn’t overwhelm the base color. NYX Ice Glitter (P, $4.00) is more holographic and has glitter in multiple sizes. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Minnie Mouse Midnight Purple (200)

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Minnie Mouse Neon Pink (300)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Minnie Mouse Passion Red (400)

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, November 22nd, 2013

MAC Hautecore Lipstick
MAC Hautecore Lipstick

MAC Hautecore Lipstick ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “true matte black [with a Matte finish].” It’s a deep, dark black with cool undertones and a mostly matte finish. The consistency was creamier than the usual MAC Matte finish, so it didn’t tug or drag on the lips, though the color didn’t deposit evenly. It does take some finesse and maneuvering to get the color to be as crisp as one might desire.  I haven’t tried too many full-on black lipsticks, and the only one I could think that would compare was Make Up For Ever #50 (P, $19.00), which is less matte. See comparison swatches. A few readers in the comments (here and on social media) have suggested Illamasqua Pristine as a potential less-fussy black lipstick to work with.

It looks drier in the photos than it actually felt from my initial swatch.  The color payoff is semi-opaque–though I really, really tried to get it as opaque as possible, it wasn’t happening.  You would need to apply a dark lip liner (or maybe black eyeliner) to get something cleaner and more opaque.    It lasted for five hours, and it was neither hydrating nor drying.  The big takeaways that it’s a fussy color, will need some patience and help to maximize its color, and it’s not as matte as you’d expect.

I tried layering this with a few other products, and the one thing I did notice is that because it’s not as dry or as matte as some of MAC’s other shades, it has a tendency to move around when it comes in contact with gloss, which can create a somewhat uneven appearance and encourages the black color from the lipstick to settle into lip lines or gather along the edges of the lips.  I would recommend applying a sheerer layer of the lipstick on first, then adding an additional lip color (gloss or lipstick) on top.  If using gloss on top, use very little and see how it goes.  I thought layering a red gloss on top would be cool, and so I picked a more pigmented shade (MAC Russian Red), but the lipstick seemed to just eat up the color yet applying more improved the reddish-tint I was going for, it also made it more uneven.

This shade will be available online only at maccosmetics.com on Black Friday (November 29th), beginning at midnight. Worth noting, it will also be promoted in the Punk Couture collection, which releases December 26th (but I don’t have much more official information than that). Last year, MAC released Grey Friday, which looked more like a purply-taupe on the lips.

P.S. — If black lipstick isn’t your thing, that’s totally fine, but please refrain from making comments about it being only appropriate for Halloween, stereotyping or insulting the people who might wear it, etc. This is a community where people should feel free to enjoy the products they don’t without judgment from others. Thank you for respecting readers who may have tastes that differ from yours.

The Glossover

LE
product

Hautecore

C+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Urban Decay Blackheart + Darkside 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil
Urban Decay Blackheart + Darkside 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil

Urban Decay Blackheart + Darkside 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil ($16.00 for 0.02 oz.) is described as a “smoky black matte with rosy red micro-glitter + purple-taupe satin.”

  • Blackheart is a deep, dark purpled black with burgundy sparkle. It had so-so color payoff in a single stroke, but it is buildable to more opaque color in two to three layers. It wore well for eight hours on me with slight thinning apparent after nine hours. MAC Strong Willed (P, $20.00) is lighter. MAC Dark Diversion (LE, $16.00) has no sparkle.Bobbi Brown Black Plum (P, $24.00) is lighter, less sparkle.See comparison swatches.
  • Darkside medium-dark plum with warm, brown tones and a satin shimmer. It was semi-sheer when applied in a single stroke, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage with two to three layers. It wore well for eight hours and was slightly faded after that. MAC Strong Willed (P, $20.00) is purpler. MAC Raven (LE, $16.00) is similar. bareMinerals 6AM (LE, $15.00) is slightly more plum. See comparison swatches.

Crave + Venus 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil ($16.00 for 0.02 oz.) is described as a “deepest, darkest brown-black matte + soft, off-white shimmer.”

Perversion + Pistol 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil ($16.00 for 0.02 oz.) is described as a “blackest-black matte + light gray-brown shimmer.”

  • Perversion is a deep, dark black with a matte finish. It’s incredibly pigmented, very creamy, and wears eight to nine hours on me. This is part of the permanent range and has been reviewed previously. See comparison swatches.
  • Pistol is a golden taupe with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had fairly good color payoff in a single stroke, and it was buildable in two layers to fully opaque color. It lasted eight hours on me before starting to show signs of fading. MAC Deliciously Rich (LE, $16.00) is warmer, more golden/brown. Urban Decay Mushroom (P, $19.00) is grayer. See comparison swatches.

Zero + Whiskey 24/7 Glide-On Double-Ended Eye Pencil ($16.00 for 0.02 oz.) is described as a “Zealous black cream + rich brown matte.”

  • Zero is a medium-dark black with a matte finish. This is part of the permanent range. It has so-so color payoff in a single pass, but it is buildable to mostly opaque color. It wears eight hours on me without signs of fading. See comparison swatches.
  • Whiskey is a medium-dark, reddish-brown with a mostly matte finish and warm, orange-red undertones. It’s part of the permanent range as well. It has decent color payoff and builds to opaque color in two layers. It wears just over eight hours on me. Laura Mercier Espresso (P, $24.00) is darker. NARS Via de Martelli (P, $24.00) is similar. Urban Decay Roach (P, $19.00) is shimmery. MAC Duck (P, $16.00) is darker. MAC Rich Ground (P, $16.00) is metallic. See comparison swatches.

Now, the one bummer is that currently, the Zero + Whiskey pencil on Urban Decay’s website (that’s been there for awhile) is $12, and these are listed as $16 in the press release–same amount of product.

The Glossover

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product

Blackheart

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Darkside

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Crave

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, November 18th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Beauty Close-Up (302) Lightshow Luminizing Powder
Marc Jacobs Beauty Close-Up (302) Lightshow Luminizing Powder

Marc Jacobs Beauty Close-Up (302) Lightshow Luminizing Powder ($59.00 for 0.38 oz.) is described as a “multidimensional powder [that] flatters all skin tones by diffusing light and minimizing imperfections.” There are three colors within the palette, though you could certainly use them in any combination. Practically, it’s easier to use the highlighter on its own, and then using the two more contour-hued shades together, as an average-sized blush brush doesn’t fit well into a single stripe without getting a little of what was next to it as well. The palette comes with a gold overspray, which will last a use or less, so I brushed it off entirely before swatching or using the powder. I wore the lightest shade as more of a highlighter with the less shimmery, more brown-ish shades as a blush and contour, respectively, and the highlighter seemed to fade faster than the others–at around seven hours–while the other two lasted a bit longer but not for a full eight hours. The powder is quite generously-sized, though, at 0.38 oz., but the performance could be better across the board.

Close-Up #1 is a pale, shimmering white with a subtle, cool, almost gray-ish, undertone. It had fairly good color payoff, but the texture was a little powdery, and it may be chalky against deeper complexions. I applied this to the cheekbone (with the other shades below as more of a contour), and it was very reflective, almost metallic, and did somewhat emphasize pores. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) is more sparkly but the two are similar. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is warmer. NARS Albatross (P, $29.00) has a stronger gold sheen/cast. Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder (LE, $72.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Close-Up #2 is a medium brown with soft, warm tan undertones and a satin finish. It had decent to good color payoff, and the texture was soft and finely-milled and not too powdery. This will be a better fit for lighter skin tones than mine as it really disappears on my medium complexion. Too Faced Spice (LE) is darker. NARS Laguna (P, $36.00) is darker. NARS Madly (P, $29.00) is rosier, darker. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Close-Up #3 is a golden, medium brown with a pale, yellow gold sheen. It had so-so pigmentation, but the texture was on the more powdery side. It’s soft, blendable, and easy-to-apply, though. Too Faced Spice (LE) is darker. MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is warmer. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is redder in tone. Illamasqua Disobey (P, $26.00) is more matte, warmer. See comparison swatches.

For your reference, I also included swatches of the two brown shades blended together as well as all three shades together! The similarities in color with the two brown shades made them look almost like the same color, depending on the lighting, and the sizing of each component doesn’t lend itself to really individualized use.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Close-Up (302)

C+
I wore the lightest shade as more of a highlighter with the less shimmery, more brown-ish shades as a blush and contour, respectively, and the highlighter seemed to fade faster than the others--at around seven hours--while the other two lasted a bit longer but not for a full eight hours. The powder is quite generously-sized, though, at 0.38 oz., but the performance could be better across the board.

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

Close-Up #1

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Close-Up #2

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Essie Mind Your Mittens Nail Lacquer
Essie Mind Your Mittens Nail Lacquer

Essie Mind Your Mittens Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep, double diamond black teal.” It’s a cool-toned, muted, blackened teal with a cream finish. It had opaque color coverage in two coats. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it applied evenly without streaking or bubbling. Essie’s formula typically wears a week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping. NARS Superstar (LE, $19.00) is bluer, lighter. MAC Deep Sea (LE, $16.00) is brighter. Cult Nails Awakening (LE, $12.00) is a bit lighter. Essie School of Hard Rocks (LE, $8.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Parka Perfect Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “serenely shimmering alpine gray.” It’s more like a muted, dusty sea foam green with very fine white shimmer. The consistency was on the thicker side, and though opaque after two coats, it was streaky and looked thicker in places (didn’t level at all). L’Oreal Now You Sea Me (P) is brighter, darker. Zoya Wednesday (P, $8.00) is brighter. MAC Hyperion (LE, $16.00) is lighter, no shimmer. China Glaze Sea Spray (LE, $8.00) is very similar. Zoya Bevin (P, $8.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Sable Collar Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “luxurious pearlescent cocoa plum.” It’s a cool-toned, plummy brown with lighter, warmer plum micro-shimmer running through it. It was fully opaque in two coats, and it applied evenly and smoothly. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. There were very, very minor visible brush strokes–most of the time, I could not detect them. Guerlain Sulfurous (LE, $23.00) is much darker. Urban Decay Barlust (LE) is less plum. Le Metier de Beaute Urban Dweller (LE, $10.00) is darker and has larger shimmer (but it’s the closest of the three). See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Mind Your Mittens

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Parka Perfect

C+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Sable Collar

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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