Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Happy Ending Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) contains shredded multi-colored flakes suspended in a clear base. There’s aqua-blue, copper, gold, and lavender from what I can see–I swear I see a hint of green, but I think it might be the gold. I don’t have anything like this, and I’m not even sure if I have more than one or two shredded polishes on hand. Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday is the closest I could think of, but it’s multi-sized glitter particles (squares and hexagons) with a lot of green in it. Even though the sizes/shapes are different, I think the two yield at least a comparable feel: a big ol’ glitter-party on your nails.

The consistency of Happy Ending is on the thicker side–if you have a lot of glitters in clear bases, it definitely has a sort of gel-like consistency that gives it a thicker feel and look.  It does help suspend and keep the glitter shards in it, though, which means you don’t have to try and grab the pieces out of the bottle. They do need to be pushed around to get an even (sort of) layer of shredded glitter.  I dabbled a blob of it on the center of the nail and then pushed and maneuvered the pieces around.  It’s unique enough to be worth the trouble, but it’s not something I’d reach for often, just because it takes patience and some skill to use.

The Glossover

LE
product

Happy Ending

C+
It's unique enough to possibly be worth the trouble, but it's not something I'd reach for often, just because it takes patience and some skill to use. I like the concept, but it needs a little more refinement.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Monday, August 13th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Blue Moon Long-Wear Cream Shadow
Bobbi Brown Blue Moon Long-Wear Cream Shadow

Bobbi Brown Blue Moon Long-Wear Cream Shadow ($24.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “shimmering bright blue.” It’s a medium blue with a very subtle sheen. Make Up For Ever #25 is lighter, frostier. Maybelline Tenacious Teal is a little more aqua-blue in comparison. MAC Blue Candy is lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Fly me to the Moon is a step or two darker.

This shade goes on very sheerly, and it was difficult to build up the intensity. If you take a ton of product, you can get opaque color, but applying and smoothing it out on the lid ends up in as a rather patchy result. The best method that worked for me was to apply one layer, wait about 15-30 seconds, then apply a second, wait another 15-30 seconds, and apply a thrid, and possibly a fouth, layer. The problem with that method was there was some faint but noticeable creasing after six hours. When I used a sheer layer, there was very minor creasing–after eight hours, though.  Blue Moon had a soft, creamy texture that blended easily so long as you went for a sheer application.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blue Moon

B-
It's buildable, but the more layering you do, the more it compromises the wear--a sheer layer has minor creasing after eight hours while more opaque color had more noticeable creasing after six hours. As a base color, it works better and didn't crease.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

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Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

MAC Solar Ray Mineralize Blush
MAC Solar Ray Mineralize Blush

MAC Solar Ray Mineralize Blush

MAC Solar Ray Mineralize Blush ($23.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “peach and gold melange.” The colors swirled together create a warm, peach-shimmered orange; reminded me of apricots. The individual shades are a orange-gold and a pink-peach. It’s surprisingly similar to MAC Warmth of Coral, which is nearly identical in color but has a much more matte finish. Illamasqua Lover is slightly darker and matte.

The finish isn’t over-the-top once applied, though there was some emphasis of pores/texture, because it has a more metallic sheen. I did not care for the overall texture of the blush, as it was a little gritty from the excess sparkle (see the golden orange vein–you can see the roughness of the vein itself in the photos!). A lot of the individual sparkles seem to get lost in the bristles of the brush rather than being applied to the face, which may be good or bad, depending on your tastes.

I had to build up the color quite a bit to get it to show up enough for photos. There’s just something about the texture that makes it all too easily blended out, so you might want to use a flatter and denser brush for application. Solar Ray didn’t perform well when worn; it only lasted for six hours before I saw separation and fading. It was interesting to see the different timelines of all four cheek products!

The Glossover

LE
product

Solar Ray

C+
Solar Ray does require heavier application to show up on medium to dark skin tones, though it should be just fine for lighter complexions. It's very warm toned, but there is some peach in it, so it may work for both cool and warm skin tones.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright sky blue shimmer.” This is a brightened medium sky blue with fine, pale white-blue shimmer. It’s a very swimming pool-inspired blue, I’d say. It’s not quite bright enough to be called a neon, but it’s certainly not subdued. I thought this would be readily duped, but out of all these blues, nothing came close enough. At a glance, China Glaze Blue Iguana seemed like a possibility, but upon closer inspection, it’s much, much darker, and it has purple shimmer. I’d love to hear from you if you have any dupe possibilities!

The color was opaque after two coats, but the formula was on the thicker side, so I actually had some pooling polish along the edges of the nail.  I haven’t had this issue very often, so I’ll clarify so we’re all on the same page:  I’m certain there’s a textbook definition of “pooling,” but here goes:  when the polish seems to gather along the edges of the nail, so it looks thick and rounded.  A good visual is thinking of slime or sludge as it covers more and more surface area.  It’s not a good thing.  I did two coats for swatches, and it took a long time for the initial coat to dry enough to apply the second coat, and a surprisingly long time for it to dry after that.  Neon shades typically dry incredibly quickly, but this one took its sweet time.  Once it did, it did dry to a mostly matte finish–you’ll want a really shiny top coat to get a glossy finish (I used Seche Vite).

The Glossover

LE
product

Splish Splash

C+
The polish is too thick, so it ends up pooling during application. The application is more difficult and takes some maneuvering and very careful strokes to ensure you get an even, workable coat.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder ($24.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze with fine gold pearl.” it’s a medium tan with subtle warm, golden undertones and a gold shimmer-sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but more pigmented, so it appears darker. MAC Give Me Sun! is very comparable but doesn’t have shimmer.

This is very sheer–I had to scrape product out with a metal spatula in order to get a “heavy” swatch. While the texture is soft, it’s a bit stiff, which I think inhibits some of the color payoff and ease of blending. It blends decently, but a lot of it is that there just isn’t very much product you can visibly see, so there weren’t any harsh lines to blend out. This would be most suitable for very pale to pale skin tones, because I had to pack it on to make it visible enough for it to show in photos.  When I wore this shade yesterday, it managed to last for about seven hours, and after eight, there was noticeable fading along the edges.

The Glossover

product

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The stiffness of the texture was very problematic and made it harder to blend, apply, and extract color from it. Sheer products will still show up on me without having to scrape chunks of color loose, but sheer and dry products require serious effort to get any kind of color payoff.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Chanel Island Le Vernis
Chanel Island Le Vernis

Chanel Island Le Vernis

Chanel Island Le Vernis ($26.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a pale golden beige with pink iridescence. It has a more metallic-like finish with heavily visible (and hard to control) brush strokes. It’s semi-opaque after two coats, and you could get it almost opaque with three. OCC Kava Kava is very similar in base color, though it doesn’t have the pink shimmer/flash. Urban Decay Fame is more beige. Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani is darker.

The formula was thick, and the color was really prone to unevenness in both the general color (which, thankfully, is sheerer so it was more difficult to spot some of the unevenness) but the brush strokes just pulled and curved around. It looks like my hand was vibrating the whole time I did this, but I swear, it was as steady as I would ever be able to get it (I do have carpal tunnel, so I don’t have a surgeon’s steady hands by any means!). It will show any imperfection you have on the nail; on my pointer finger, there are two dents that go across horizontally, which ended up emphasized with this polish on top. You might want to use a ridge filler with this one or lightly buff nails (but never do it too much or too often). It has a long drying time, and it is not at all forgiving if you make your move for a second coat a moment too soon–it will pull at the base.

I typically get a week of wear out of Chanel’s formula, but I don’t have issues with nail polishes chipping on me aside from some matte formulas (with no base/top coat). This shade was difficult to work with; it’s just too finicky and should be easier to apply at this price point. It is gorgeous and very work-friendly with a subtle, elegant twist as it flashes pink, but the formula is disappointing.

The Glossover

LE
product

Island

C+
This shade was difficult to work with; it's just too finicky and should be easier to apply at this price point. It is gorgeous and very work-friendly with a subtle, elegant twist as it flashes pink, but the formula is disappointing.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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