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

Results
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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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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

Results
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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

Results
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