Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow
Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows: #0E, 2E, 4E, 6E, 8E, 20E

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #0E, 2E, 4E, 6E, and 8E

Please see my first post on the Aqua Shadows for a detailed review, along with photos, of texture, consistency, wear, and so forth. This post is specifically looking at the five matte finish Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows ($20.00 for 0.14 oz.).

  • #0E is a rich black with a matte finish. It has good color payoff in a single pass, and it has a very subtle brown undertone. You’ll find it’s comparable to numerous black eyeliners so long as they’re deeper, richer blacks (instead of a soft black).
  • #2E is a dark red-toned brown with a matte finish. It has good color payoff in a single go, and it builds well. This shade had a creamier consistency compared to some of the other shades. Milani Brown is slighty lighter. Chanel Brun-Teak has similar red tones but is lighter. Urban Decay Demolition is a bit darker, less warm.
  • #4E is a medium-dark gray with a hint of brown and a matte finish. The pigmentation is only so-so in a single go–it’s a bit drier so it doesn’t fill in every space with really rich, even pigment. CoverGirl Silver Spark is a bit like this, but the finishes are very different, and it is also much lighter.
  • #6E is an intense navy blue with a matte finish. It’s very bold, and it has good color payoff, though it’s not as buildable as the other shades. MAC Marine Ultra is similar in finish but lighter. Urban Decay Binge is not quite as dark and has shimmer.
  • #8E is a darkened green-teal with a matte finish. This shade had the best color payoff in a single stroke, and it was a bit creamier than shades like #4E. This shade compares well to Prescriptives Blue Grotto. It’s a bit darker and greener compared to NARS Kaliste.  Urban Decay Clinic is lighter and shimmery.

To summarize my earlier review:  the matte shades are a bit creamier, and as a consequence, they do not hold up as well as the shimmery shades.  I do get significant and noticeable creasing, and it looks pitiful after eight hours, when I’ve worn these alone.  When I wear them with eyeshadow on top, they perform much better, and I didn’t have any creasing problems even after eight hours.  Over a primer but still with nothing on top, they wear marginally better but still have noticeable creasing over the eight hour period.  These are also prone to smudging on their own but also if water hits them, so they’re not quite waterproof or smudge-proof.

The Glossover

product

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows #0E, 2E, 4E, 6E, and 8E Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The frosted shades are difficult to blend but are long-lasting, while the matte shades are difficult to blend and crease after a few hours of wear. I can recommend checking out the frostier finishes, but if you have oily lids, you may want to be a little more cautious with the matte shades.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer
Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer

Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer

Sinful Colors Innocent Nail Lacquer ($1.99 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a bright pop of chartreuse–a light-medium yellow and green hue–with a creamy finish. NYX Lime is a chartreuse as well but has a lot of shimmer. China Glaze Electric Pineapple is similar but a touch greener. Illamasqua Radium is a bit darker and greener, plus it has a very fine shimmer. Zoya Mitzi is also similar, but it’s a little greener.

First and foremost, this polish WILL stain nails a very ugly shade of yellow-green. I’m a huge fan of chartreuse, but the stained version of the shade is too close to looking jaundiced. It’s not overly surprising, because this kind of shade has a tendency to do so, but buyer beware.  Sinful Colors is a very hit-and-miss line–some shades are amazing, but there are a lot of sub-par shades within the line.  It seems to be my luck that the majority of the ones I’ve swatched have been the latter!

Staining aside (which isn’t indicative of a poor product–even chartreuse-hued eyeshadows can stain when used wet!), the formula was difficult to work with.  It was thick, almost goopy, and had a tendency to pull and pool to the sides.  It was very streaky on the first coat, and the second coat didn’t manage to smooth out all of the streakiness.  The drying time was also on the longer side, which I suspect is due in part to the unusually thick consistency.  I don’t have any wear issues with Sinful, but I can’t think of any polish that has chipped on me aside from matte polish when worn without a top coat.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Sinful Innocent Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
If you want to try a chartreuse-colored shade but know you're unlikely to wear it or have the patience to work with the disappointing formula, it may still be worth the $2 (or $1, if you can find it on sale). If you're only interested in a top-quality polish, this isn't it.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Magenta Blush
MAC Magenta Blush

MAC Magenta Blush

MAC Magenta Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “bright magenta” with a matte finish. This is a dark berry red with maybe a hint of magenta–it looks a bit more magenta in the pot but goes on rather reddish on my skin tone. MAC Restores Dazzle is darker and not as bright but appears similar on the cheek. MAC Amazon Princess is darker, less pink.

I’m not a fan of the texture; it is very, very dry. It tends to tug and pull and drag, so the color is a pain to get even and blend out. It just wants to sit there, looking bold and unblended! In order for it to even look halfway acceptable, I had to use flesh-toned powder to help blend out the edges, which is really cheating. It wears for about seven and a half hours, and after eight, there is some fading that’s noticeable but not too bad.  I think what makes this blush at all interesting is that clearly it can be a very, very intense shade, so if you love your bold cheek colors, you may find the poor texture is worth dealing with.  It’s unfortunate that something as bold as this is so difficult to blend, because when it’s not, it can look so terribly wrong.

The Glossover

LE
product

Magenta

C+
I think what makes this blush at all interesting is that clearly it can be a very, very intense shade, so if you love your bold cheek colors, you may find the poor texture is worth dealing with.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Burberry Nude Rose Lip Glow Natural Lipgloss
Burberry Nude Rose Lip Glow Natural Lipgloss

Burberry Nude Rose Lip Glow Natural Lipgloss

Burberry Nude Rose Lip Glow Natural Lipgloss< ($27.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a pink-beige that goes on mostly colorless. It looks like any number of sheer lipglosses that have nearly no perceptible shimmer. At best, it adds very subtle warmth to my natural lip color. At worst, it just adds a healthy dose of glossy shine and makes my natural lip color look more even.  We’re at that line I find hard to rate at:  when is “sheer” too sheer? When does sheer become colorless?

The gloss itself does have sheer color pigmentation, but the color matches my natural lip color so that it does not do much.  For those with more pigmented lips, I suspect it’s going to do as little for you as it did for me.  While I can appreciate that the formula is supposed to have sheerer color coverage, this is the kind of color that one doesn’t need a drawer full of, you know?  If you don’t have a gloss that adds a little shine and warmth, and you’re on the lookout for a non-sticky, hydrating (at least, somewhat), and comfortable gloss, this could work.  It only wore for two and a half hours on me, though, which is below average.  Like other Burberry lip products, it is floral-scented.

The Glossover

P
product

Nude Rose

C+
Depending on the size of your gloss stash, you may have room for another gloss that doesn't add a lot of color but may feel good to wear. The shorter wear time was disappointing, though.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, February 24th, 2012

MAC Annelie Lipstick
MAC Annelie Lipstick

MAC Marcel Wanders 2: Lipsticks

There are four limited edition MAC Lipsticks ($22.50 for 0.15 oz.) in the new Marcel Wanders 2 Collection: Annelie (soft peachy beige with pearl), Annemiek (soft neutral pink with pearl), Felicienne (dirty mauve with pearl), and Inez (plum with gold pearl). These are specially packaged in “chrome” so they come at a higher price point than regular MAC lipsticks.

  • Annelie is a metallic gilded beige with a frost-metallic finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque’ it’s sheer in places but opaque when the light hits it because the reflective quality is so high. MAC Quietly Please is darker, less opaque. MAC Gel is much more golden. MAC Tanarama is darker, yellower. MAC Bechbound is more golden. Benefit Fame Game comes the closest but is less metallic.
  • Annemiek is a light-medium pink with a frost-metallic sheen. The color coverage is semi-opaque, but this shade doesn’t apply as evenly as I’d like it to. Chanel Candeur is similar in color but less metallic. Guerlain Rouge Innocent is darker and less metallic.
  • Felicienne is a muted pink with a hint of mauve and a bright silver metallic finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque. MAC Lazy Day reminded me of this shade, but due to the metallic finish, they are pretty different. MAC Win-Win is similar but sheerer. MAC Whirls & Twirls is similar but a touch pinker.
  • Inez is a berry-plum with gold shimmer and a frosted finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque. MAC Aristo-cat is similar but less purple. MAC Plum Bright doesn’t have the shimmer and is much more intense. MAC Courting Lilac has a much lighter base.

All four shades have a frost finish, but these tended to run more metallic-frost than regular frost.  The frost was a little finer, and the sheen was more reflective akin to metal.  These are a very specific look to be sure, so it may not work for everyone.  Because of the high frost finish, these do not apply as evenly as other lipsticks, and while they seem soft to the touch, they do not glide over lips effortlessly.  I tested Annelie and Inez for wear, I was able to get to three hours or so, but both shades felt drying.  Not terribly so but left my lips noticeably dehydrated after wearing each for four hours.

These are vanilla-scented like other MAC lipsticks, but the fancy packaging did include an increase in product size: normal MAC lipsticks only contain 0.10 oz. while these contain 0.15 oz., which is 50% more.  (Funny how percentages work–50% sounds like so much more than 0.05 oz. more!)  The packaging is a magnet for fingerprints, and it felt a bit cheap in my hands.  It’s very lightweight, so it lacks the heft of true metal packaging, but even though it is lightweight, the lipstick itself is fairly bulky.

The Glossover

product

MAC Marcel Wanders 2: Lipsticks Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
Not overly impressed with this set of four, which is a shame, because the price increase at least comes with a quantity increase, so it's not quite as painful as it could be. These shades don't apply evenly, tend to cling to lips, feel a bit drying, and wear only three hours (four hours is my average).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer
MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Nail Lacquers

The collection features three limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These include: Al Fredo (bright acid green), Kid Orange (coral), and Salad Dressed (mid-tone dirty aqua).

  • Al Fredo is semi-sheer dirty yellow. Honestly, it looks a lot like Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road on me, with the same sheerness, but with a less jelly-like finish. The bottle looks a bit green-tinged, but the polish just looks yellow against my skin tone. It is a bit difficult to work with some streaking, and the consistency was a little thick. I did two coats for swatches, and it was clear that there was going to be visible nail line even with three coats.
  • Kid Orange is a orange-coral with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats, and it had the best formula of the three shades. It wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it applied evenly and easily without bubbling or streaking. MAC Oriele is a bit lighter. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is a bit redder. Essie Braziliant is pretty close. China Glaze Life Preserver is redder.
  • Salad Dressed is a medium teal-blue with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque in two coats, but I did have some issues with it being streaky. It had a longer drying time, and it would benefit from patience–you really need to let each coat dry. The consistency is on the thicker side as well. MAC Ocean Dip is greener and darker. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is greener. China Glaze For Audrey and Chanel Nouveau Vague would be the closest dupes, though they seem perhaps lighter.

The formula on Al Fredo and Salad Dressed left something to be desired, and MAC did not indicate that Al Fredo was going to be as sheer as it turned out to be.  It wasn’t just slightly under-pigmented; it was the type of sheerness that I would expect to be called out explicitly.  Kid Orange applied beautifully and had good color payoff, though.  Salad Dressed had better pigmentation but still had some streaking and formula issues.  At this price point, MAC really needs to fine-tune their lacquer formula so it’s consistently good.  Keep in mind, the rating is an average of the three shades, so while Kid Orange is higher than a C+, Al Fredo is lower.

The Glossover

product

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
Often, high-end brands put out some really complex, interesting colors, and while MAC can launch beautiful shades, they're not known for innovating in the nail category. Sometimes this innovation can forgive a less-than-stellar formula. Without it, it's just pricey, under-performing polish.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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