Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Laura Mercier Heartbreaker Gel Lip Color
Laura Mercier Heartbreaker Gel Lip Color

Laura Mercier Heartbreaker Gel Lip Color ($23.00 for 0.11 oz.) it’s a light-medium, rosy pink with subtle warm undertones and a luminous sheen. MAC Pinkfringe (LE, $16.00) is more frosted, lighter, cooler-toned. Bobbi Brown Pink Flush (LE, $25.00) is similar. YSL Opera Rose (29) (P, $34.00) is more opaque. YSL Caress Pink (9) (P, $34.00) is darker, more opaque. Buxom Mistress (LE, $21.00) is slightly darker. NYX Paparazzi (P, $4.00) is less glossy. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

For summer, Laura Mercier released four limited edition shades in a new formula, Gel Lip Colour, which is described as “comforting, sheer colour with a shine finish and subtle vanilla flavor,” and unsurprisingly, it’s also supposed to be hydrating. I’ve only tried one shade, so perhaps the others are better, but I didn’t love Heartbreaker. While the consistency was gel-like, felt smooth, and glided on easily, the resulting finish looked uneven, and it seemed to catch on every single imperfection on my lips. I would apply this, and it wouldn’t look right, so I’d apply something else, and that something else looked just fine. This just seemed to accentuate the texture of my lips, and it possibly also “balled” up on itself. It had semi-sheer color coverage, where it provided noticeable color but had a fair amount of translucency so the natural lip color would come through. If you pressed your lips together, it would create unevenness/lines. It had a very subtle vanilla scent that jockeyed with its waxy base, and it had a sweet taste. The color lasted two hours on me, and it was somewhat hydrating while worn.

The Glossover

LE
product

Heartbreaker

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 17th, 2014

MAC Violet Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Violet Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Violet Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) contains pink and plum eyeshadows with a purple 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.” Looking at the big picture, this trio still doesn’t represent a really high quality product, but within the eight trios released, it is one of the “better” ones. The eyeshadows are both usable, only slightly powdery, and had decent color payoff. The eyeliner still had that stiff, dry texture where you really have to wet the brush significantly to yield any color payoff, but getting even, smooth color isn’t easy. When you manage to get them on, though, the wear is eight hours.

Violet Blend #1 is described as a “light white-pink.” It’s a light-medium, cool-toned pink with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had semi-opaque pigmentation whether applied dry or wet–it just became more metallic when applied damp. The texture was a little powdery but not too bad. MAC Pink Sensibilities #2 (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC A Medley of Mauves #1 (P, $21.00) is a touch darker. MAC Pinkluxe #1 (P) is darker. MAC Joy & Laughter #1 (P, $21.00) is similar. MAC Fresh & Mint #2 (P, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Young Venus (LE, $19.50) is similar. MAC Maribu (LE, $32.50) is similar. Dior Garden Roses #5 (LE) is also similar. Dior Garden Roses #1 (LE) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Violet Blend #2 is described as a “deep violet.” It’s a medium-dark, muted purple with subtle cool undertones and a satin-matte finish. It had sheer color payoff when applied dry, which intensified to semi-opaque color payoff when applied with a very damp brush. The texture was fairly dry, stiff, and generally had to be used with a very wet brush to get any usability out of it, whether you wanted to use it as an eyeliner or as an eyeshadow. Makeup Geek Duchess (P, $5.99) is very similar. Giorgio Armani Fatal #4 (P) is darker. Inglot #379 (P, $6.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Violet Blend #3 is described as an “iridescent cool pink.” It’s a brightened, pinky-plum with warm, red undertones and a frosted sheen. Applied dry, it had semi-sheer pigmentation, and applied damp, it was mostly opaque. The texture was just a little bit powdery. Illamasqua Ensnare (P) is brighter, warmer. Chanel Pink Lagoon (LE, $34.00) is lighter. Chanel Abstraction (LE, $36.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Violet Blend

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Violet Blend #1

B-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Violet 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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Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

MAC Rose Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line
MAC Rose Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line

MAC Rose Blend Studio Sculpt Shade & Line ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) contains pink and gold eyeshadows with a gray-purple 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 pink eyeshadow was on the dry side, while the gold eyeshadow was powdery. The eyeliner shade was more workable and yielded decent pigmentation with a damp application, but it was still problematic. On the lid, all three lasted for eight hours before they started to fade.

Rose Blend #1 is described as a “dirty washout pink.” It’s a light-medium, neutral-to-warm-toned pink with a satin finish. The texture was somewhat dry and stiff, so it was more difficult to apply dry. With a dampened brush, more color came out with lesser work. It was very sheer applied dry, semi-sheer applied damp. bareMinerals Strawberry Mousse (LE, $14.00) and Urban Decay Strange (P, $18.00) are lighter. Too Faced Taffy (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery. Tom Ford Beauty In the Pink #1 (LE) is lighter. Inglot #356 (P, $6.00) is a touch lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rose Blend #2 is described as a “dirty blue-plum.” It’s a cool-toned, purpled-gray with a satin finish. It had sheer color payoff applied dry, and it was more semi-opaque when applied with a dampened brush. The texture was somewhat dry to work with, but it wasn’t the worst of the eight. I tried using it as an eyeliner as well as an eyeshadow. MAC Graphic Style (LE, $15.00) is more shimmery. NARS Delphes #2 (LE, $24.00) is more matte. Maybelline Tough as Taupe (P, $6.99) is a cream product. MAC Interior Life (LE, $15.00) is grayer. MAC Howzat (LE, $15.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rose Blend #3 is described as a “metallic bright gold.” It’s a light-medium, yellow gold with a frosted finish. The texture of this shade was rather powdery, which made it more difficult to get a really smooth, even application. Applied dry, it was sheer, and then applied damp, it was semi-opaque. MAC Golden Hours #3 (LE, $21.00) is lighter. a href=”http://www.temptalia.com/product/mac-cosmetics-mineralize-eyeshadow/captivating-1″>MAC Captivating #1 (LE, $21.00) is lighter. theBalm D1 (LE, $16.00) is smoother. bareMinerals Rising Star (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Standing O (P) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Rose Blend

C+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Rose Blend #1

C-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Rose Blend #2

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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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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