Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of three new shades and one repromote: Lithe Spirit (palest white pink), Inner Strength (light cool mauve taupe), Fabulous Fit (mid-tone cool grey), and Heatherbelles (deep charcoal).  This is a rather cool-toned quad, more so than All Woman, with the only warmth coming from Inner Strength, which isn’t all that warm, so if you like cooler tones, you’ll be in luck with this color composition!

Lithe Spirit is a cool-toned white with a matte finish. It is listed as a satin finish, but I didn’t see much sheen in it (or any). It had good pigmentation, but it was a touch powdery. Urban Decay Venus is a touch warmer and more shimmery. MAC Vanilla is warmer.

Inner Strength is a warm peach with subtle pink undertones and a barely-there sheen, though it is listed as a matte. It had good color payoff, and it was soft to the touch. Too Faced Peach Fuzz has gold sparkle. Urban Decay Freestyle has less pink. MAC Nubile is similar in color but is a cream product.

Fabulous Fit is a light gray with blue undertones and has a matte finish. It was a bit weak on pigmentation, and it had a drier texture that made blending harder. Estee Lasuder Modern Mercury is more metallic. MAC Scene is darker. Chanel Gris Exquis is also darker. Inglot #339 is somewhat darker but closest with respect to its cool undertone.

Heather Belles is a dark gray with a mostly matte finish but there’s a touch of sheen; the sheen becomes more apparent when blended out. It has a satin finish, and the color payoff is so-so–it is a stiffer, drier shade. Urban Decay Ace is more shimmery. Guerlain Les Gris is matte. Estee Lauder Black Chrome is darker.

The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average.  It’s not impressive, and it’s not the most heinous release we’ve seen from MAC.  It’s middle-of-the-road.  The problem with this palette is in the textures, which tended to be a bit dry and stiff (in the case of Fabulous Fit and Heatherbelles).  Lithe Spirit was somewhat powdery, which can have a tendency to make such a pale color look chalky on darker complexions.  Inner Strength was the best-performing shade here, as it wasn’t so soft that it was powdery, but it wasn’t too dry or firm that you couldn’t get color payoff out of it.  The shades lasted for seven and a half hours and looked just a smidgen faded after eight hours.

The Glossover

palette

Inner Strength

C
The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average. It's not impressive, and it's not the most heinous release we've seen from MAC. It's middle-of-the-road.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

China Glaze It's a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer
China Glaze It’s a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer

Does This Polish Contain It’s a Trap-eze?

China Glaze It’s a Trap-eze Nail Lacquer ($7.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “white cream base with multi-glitter.” It has a cool-toned, milky white base with large, hexagon-shaped glitter in pink, light-medium blue, yellow, green, orange, and white, along with smaller glitter in the same colors. I don’t know of any dupes at this time, but I’d love to hear from any of you that may! The whole combination reminds me of confetti birthday cake.

I tried one coat layered over China Glaze Escaping Reality as well as two coats of the polish on its own. It had a streaky base–just as milky lipglosses tend to streak and settle into lip lines, so did the polish. Whether worn on its own or was layered, you could see a streakiness that made it look uneven. The consistency of this was incredibly thick–nearly goopy–and it was difficult to apply in even layers. Because it is so thick, each layer had quite a bit of glitter, but the glitter particles didn’t spread evenly. I think this would be best over a white base with one or two coats of glitter, and if you don’t like the feel of glitter on your nails, you’ll need a really thick top coat or two layers of your regular top coat. I wanted to love this one so much, because everyone else was raving about it but I couldn’t get past the thickness of the formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

It's a Trap-eze

C
This was incredibly thick--one of the thickest formulas I've ever used--which made it difficult to apply. The base color was very streaky, so it's something that I'd recommend layering over a white polish, to help minimize the streaky result and also increase opacity without having to apply more than two coats of the glitter polish.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

L'Oreal Something Shiny Infallible Lipgloss
L’Oreal Something Shiny Infallible Lipgloss

A Barely-There, Sheer Gold-Shimmered Gloss

L’Oreal Something Shiny Infallible Lipgloss ($9.99 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is sheer, gold-shimmered gloss. There is a very slight yellow tint to the otherwise clear base color. MAC Phiff is similar, just has larger sparkle particles. Bobbi Brown Bare has a colored mix of sparkle.

Something Shiny adds a modicum of shimmer, but it primarily adds shine.  It also seemed to warm up my natural lip color (giving it a warmer undertone, which is nice, given my natural lip color is corpse-like!).  Because the formula is slightly drying, it’s better layered over a lipstick to add a healthy dose of high-gloss shine.  The gloss has a thin consistency and gritty, tacky texture.  This particular shade smelled mostly sweet and fruity without the medicinal quality that some of the other shades have had.  When I tried wearing Something Shiny, the shine lasted for three hours, and the shimmer had vanished by the fourth hour–not quite the eight-hour wear promised.

The Glossover

LE
product

Something Shiny

C
Pretty in the tube than on, it doesn't deliver much in the way of color or sparkle, just shine. Unfortunately, with the drying nature of the formula, it's hard to wear alone (or justify the drying quality without more shimmer/color).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 25th, 2012

MAC Feminine Edge Fluidline
MAC Feminine Edge Fluidline

Paint Pots Dressed Up as Fluidlines

MAC Glamour Daze Fluidlines ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) includes three new (and limited!) shades: Catch My Eye (cool taupe grey with dazzle pearl), Feminine Edge (pink mauve with dazzle pearl), and Little Black Bow (charcoal with dazzle pearl).

These were an odd bunch of Fluidlines. I don’t like them as Fluidlines at all; I don’t think they work well for lining–I tried using all three by applying them with MAC’s 208 brush (which is what I typically use for Fluidlines), and so little product gets dispersed. The line is uneven, and these were really, really creamy, so they tended to smudge easily while you were trying to line. All three looked significantly different when used as an eyeliner than how they appeared in the pot, and a lot of it is because they’re not very pigmented from the get-go. They’re buildable, and the Fluidline formula is very conducive to layering, but to get an opaque line, I had to re-line two to four times.

Ultimately, they felt more like Paint Pots in Fluidline clothing! They would work better as Paint Pots, too, because as a sheer wash of sparkly cream eyeshadow, they work. The Fluidline formula is great here: it’s creamy but stubbornly long-lasting, so it dries down in thirty seconds or so, and then it stays on for eight hours or longer. There is almost no fall out during the wear; I saw a couple stray sparkles but it was very, very minimal.

Catch My Eye is a gray-ish taupe with champagne sparkle. When layered heavily, it has a metallic finish and looks very taupe, but when used as an eyeliner, it looks almost mauve and is quite light and sheer. Sheered out, as kind of a base or wash of eyeshadow, it is more taupe but still mauve-y. The metallic finish is a lot less apparent unless it is layered.

Feminine Edge is a sparkly sheer medium pink with chunky sparkle. This one was the sheerest and most difficult shade to work with, because it was very sparkly and gritty. It doesn’t really show up as pink unless you use several layers of product, as it shows up as a sheer, warm-ish pink tinge as an eyeliner and mostly just sparkles.

Little Black Bow is a soft brown-black with sparkle. When it is layered heavily, you’ll see the brown tones come out, but when it is sheered out as a wash, it looks more like a soft black with mere brown tones. As an eyeliner, it looks like a faded almost taupe-like brown.

As Fluidlines, they’re disappointing, because while you can always use a Fluidline as an eyeshadow base or cream eyeshadow, that’s not really its primary purpose.  These don’t line well; they’re the kind of product that is better layered over your favorite eyeliner, because then these can add sparkle but you wouldn’t have to rely on it for providing color, too.  As more of a wash of sparkly eyeshadow, they’re better, and they are buildable to fairly opaque coverage, but it will take some layering.

For a particular type of use and for the right person, I could see some of these shades being must-haves, but for someone who’s looking for Blacktrack with sparkle, you won’t find that kind of payoff here.  They were more reminiscent of last year’s Glitter & Ice Paint Pots than the Fluidline range.

The Glossover

product

MAC Glamour Daze Fluidline Reviews, Photos, Swatches

C
For a particular type of use and for the right person, I could see some of these shades being must-haves, but for someone who's looking for Blacktrack with sparkle, you won't find that kind of payoff here.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Chanel Sky Line Le Vernis
Chanel Sky Line Le Vernis

Chanel Sky Line Le Vernis ($30.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as “pale and pearlescent, nearly metallic… the beauty of blue.” It’s a pale sky blue with a hint of periwinkle and threads of metallic silver-white. I couldn’t think of anything that would dupe this. Cult Nails Princess is more of a powder blue. Zoya Skylar is much darker. I haven’t reviewed it yet, but I can see that Essie Blue Rhapsody is bluer, darker.  If you have a closer dupe, I’d love to hear about it!

Sky Line is a bottle of problems, despite its beautiful, ethereal coloring. It’s riddled with brush strokes, and the formula is unforgiving; it’s thick and streaky, which contribute to a more difficult application. Because it’s harder to get even color applied to the nail, the brush strokes tend to become more emphasized and start wobbling. Metallic finishes like this one tend to show brush strokes, but they seemed especially visible in this shade.  I typically get a week of wear out of Chanel’s polishes with minor tip wear but no chips.  I get the same wear with or without a base/top coat.

When it comes to Chanel lacquers, they’re often copied, and I’m curious to see if any brands attempt to dupe this and whether they’re able to improve on the formula itself.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sky Line

C
The formula is too problematic to justify at this price point, even if the color may not be easy replicated.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Friday, September 21st, 2012

Dior Lady Diorific Vernis
Dior Lady Diorific Vernis

The Lady in White

Dior Lady Diorific Vernis ($26.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is a bright, neutral white with metallic shimmer. Urban Decay Love Train is slightly pink-hued. MAC Frayed to Order is also pink-toned and dries to a matte finish. Chanel Pearl Drop is yellow-hued. Nubar Organza is very similar. China Glaze Frosty is similar in base color but it has silvery-white sparkle, so it does not have the metallic finish (or resulting brush strokes).

The most concerning drawback about Lady is its streaky, brush-stroke-riddled finish.  It has a slightly thicker consistency, which doesn’t help matters, as it makes for a rather uneven application as the polish had a tendency to dribble to the edges of the nail.  There was some leveling but not enough.  It’s semi-opaque after two coats but some places looked more semi-sheer.  It took a bit longer to dry, and it’s a formula that you need to wait for the first coat to really dry down before applying the next, as it will pull and drag the first coat otherwise.  I typically get a week of wear out of Dior’s formula with no chipping, just minor tip wear.

P.S. — I know a few readers asked for brush photos, and I’m working on it, but this is what (usually) happens: I take too long and the review doesn’t go up. So, hoping to snap one next photo/swatch session, but until then, the ever-lovely Musings of a Muse has some! :)

The Glossover

LE
product

Lady

C
This polish just doesn't nail it formula-wise; it's too thick, streaky, and has a ton of visible brush strokes no matter the lighting situation.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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