Friday, May 25th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow
Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow ($39.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described simply as a “yellow gold.” It’s exactly that: a sheer, sparkling traditional gold, so it has warm, yellow undertones. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City has a comparable look but is a more opaque product. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is more orange. MAC Sun Rush is slightly more orange. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is also similar.

According to Bobbi Brown, the Shimmer Cheek Glow is a gel and powder hybrid, and it’s supposed to give a “just back from vacation glow.” I think the brand should have done a better job describing this product, particularly the texture and the overall effect of the product. It’s very, very sparkly. It’s not really shimmer–the particles are larger than that, and the way it looks against the skin is more like Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle eyeshadows. This feels a little wetter, more gel-like compared to the Sparkle eyeshadows, but I felt like they were comparable. Also, something I noticed while photographing the compact was that the product had separated from the edges, and it will slide around. I’d describe it as shrinkage.

On the skin, I’m not sold. It’s too sheer and ends up giving a sprinkling of sparkles but doesn’t evenly highlight the area. I kept focusing on my cheeks and seeing the attention being drawn to my pores. This–to me–is that disco ball effect that some worry about with shimmery, frosted, and more metallic highlighters. It gives a certain look that does appeal, but I don’t think it’s something I’d reach for regularly; it’s a glistening, almost wet-like sparkle and metallic glow. I love that look on lips, but not so much on cheeks, because I think it emphasizes imperfections on the skin. The sparkle also travels while you wear it, so you may find sparkle on your nose, chin, or even in your mouth. It wore about four and a half hours on me before it seems to have disappeared or traveled elsewhere.

The Glossover

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product

Gold

C
I'm not keen on the short wear time (a mere four and a half hours), amount of traveling ("fall out" in a sense) of the sparkles, and the way it sits and lies on the skin--just seems to emphasize every pore and line on my skin!

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Revlon Sunset Peach ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine
Revlon Sunset Peach ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine

Revlon Sunset Peach ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine

Revlon Sunset Peach ColorBurst Lipgloss Lip Shine ($7.49 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a semi-sheer peach-orange gloss with golden peach shimmer. The color is fairly sheer, so it gives a browner, warmed-up look to my natural lip color along with a fair dosage of shimmer and glossy shine. MAC Natural Flare is more orange–this is more like how the shade would look like if it had been opaque. Burberry Cameo has a much more opaque peach base. Dior Apricot Cloche has more shimmer.

This formula is described as giving “weightless color with vivid, mirror-like shine” with “rich color with a weightless feel” and contains “moisturizers and anti-oxdants such as sweet almond oil and vitamin E.” The problem with this gloss is really the pigmentation, which is not what one would expect given claims of “killer color.” (I will also be reviewing Papaya, which is much more opaque, after I test out the wear, but on that aspect, not all shades in the formula are like this one.) I reviewed Strawberry previously, which was definitely more pigmented. The texture is thin, non-sticky, and is lightly moisturizing at best. It wasn’t drying, but it wasn’t hydrating for me. The sheerness of Sunset Peach didn’t lend itself to lengthened wear; it managed to stay on for just around two hours.

It’s packaged in a thin plastic tube with Revlon’s quilted pattern on the black cap with a clear tube. It holds a good amount of gloss–a little over the average. The applicator is a paddle-shaped sponge, which is a little on the lengthy side. On my fuller lips, it wasn’t difficult to use, but I could see it being cumbersome on thinner lips. It has a faint sweet vanilla scent, but the scent doesn’t last very long–every tube I’ve had longer than two months no longer has any scent.

The Glossover

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product

Peach

C
The two major drawbacks to this gloss were the lack of pigmentation (because it's supposed to be a pigmented formula) and short wear time (two hours)--if you are looking for a sheerer gloss and don't mind frequent reapplication, then it's worth a look.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad
Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad

Tom Ford Cobalt Rush Eye Color Quad ($75.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a cool-toned, blue-themed palette. Tom Ford released eight different quad variations, and within the range, there are four finishes. There is sheer sparkle, satin, shimmer, and matte. He describes the formula as having “incredible shade fidelity” and “outstanding adhesion.”

Tom Ford has done many things right, and if you go through past reviews, it’s obvious that I’m a fan of the brand. I don’t like the eyeshadow quads. I’ve only tried two, and this is the better one of the two, but it’s just so-so. It leaves me feeling lukewarm. In an ideal world, you’d get what you paid for, but this is an industry where price rarely correlates to quality–there’s just the hope that, if you’re going to shell out $75 for an eyeshadow palette, that you’re going to get really, really good results. Right? There are so many winning eyeshadow formulas for under $25.

Cobalt Rush contains four hues, and this palette seems to have both satin and shimmer finishes, but it does not contain any sheer sparkle or matte finishes. I wish the shades would be labeled with the finish, but they’re not, so I’m merely guessing. The first shade is a pale, icy white with a shimmery finish. It appears to have fall out without a base, but it still has some minor fall out with a primer after several hours. It’s similar to MAC Pearl is similar in both color and texture, while Buxom Sheepdog is similar in color but not in texture. MAC Forgery is not quite as icy.

The next shade is a darkened purple with blue undertones and a shimmery sheen. It has just so-so pigmentation–you can see it looks a little dry and faded. MAC Starless Night is much more intense, but it has a similar vibe. MAC Indigo Noir is matte and much, much deeper. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is less silvered, more purple.

The third shade in the quad is a medium-dark blue with a satiny sheen. It had good pigmentation and applied smoothly, but the color itself is likely one of the most common shades of blue on the market. MAC Love Cycle is a richer, more intense blue. Bare Escentuals Climax is just slightly purpler but barely. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit is a bit darker. Le Metier de Beaute Lapis is brighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here is slightly purple-tinted. MAC Deep Truth is slightly bluer. Inglot #428 is brighter. Make Up For Ever #81 is a touch darker.

The final shade is a blackened blue-teal with hints of green and blue shimmer in a satiny finish. It has good color payoff, but it’s a bit dry. Make Up For Ever #60 is deeper, more intense, and has no shimmer. MAC Prussian is bluer. MAC Blue Spruce is grayer. Guerlain Les Aquas is very similar but slightly less blue, but Guerlain Les Gris has a shade that’s just a little bluer.

Color payoff is just average to good–the only shade I would expect to have sheerness is the “sheer sparkle” finish, which there are none of here, so these four shades have no excuse but to have “incredible shade fidelity,” which I can only imagine is marketing-speak for color trueness or true-to-pan color. These do not adhere to the lid well without a base, and even with a base, some of them are more prone to fading than others. When applied without a primer, I see a paltry four hours of wear before there’s noticeable fading, and after six hours, there’s minor creasing. Without a primer, I don’t see creasing, but there is noticeable fading after six hours.

The white and purple shades were the least pigmented, while the blue was the most, followed by the blackened blue/teal.  I was surprised that the textures didn’t feel as buttery, creamy, or as finely-milled as some other luxury brands’ eyeshadows are (like Le Metier de Beaute).  It’s soft, and it applies fairly smooth, but it has a drier consistency that seems to make it less blendable than I’d like.   I’ve sat on this review for awhile, because I keep alternating between testing this quad and another one, having been unimpressed by both, while I kept reading rave reviews. I can’t say I’ve had the same experience no matter what technique, base, or combination of shades I used–so maybe I’m just the odd one out.  In fact, had this been the only Tom Ford product I had ever tried, I think I’d be put-off enough to stay away.  I tried and tried, but I couldn’t find any enthusiasm for this. It’s not terrible quality, but it’s not excellent quality (more like average), and it has to be at this price tag for me to be excited about it, let alone impressed. There’s just no excuse not to.

I suppose the highlight of the palette is that it comes with 0.35 oz. of product, which is 0.0875 oz. per shade, compared to the average brand at 0.05 oz.  But realistically, you’ll have to weigh whether investment or per-use cost is more important to you.  The idea that “you’ll never run out” is great in theory, but how close do you even get on 0.05 oz. of product?  If you do finish products, sure, but if you have a larger stash, it may be a less compelling argument.  It’s always good to see more rather less, though!

It’s packaged in the shimmery bronzed plastic compact that the rest of the line is in. The palette itself is actually very lightweight, which is great for traveling, but those looking for the heft of a luxury compact will find it missing here. It has a full-sized mirror underneath the lid and comes with two dual-ended brushes (that are about as useless as they often are; just slightly softer and the sponge stays in place better).

The Glossover

palette

Cobalt Rush

C

I tried and tried, but I couldn't find any enthusiasm for this. It's not terrible quality, but it's not excellent quality, and it has to be at this price tag for me to be excited about it, let alone impressed. There's just no excuse not to.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Cinestyle Cremesheen Glass
MAC Cinestyle Cremesheen Glass

MAC Reel Sexy Cremesheen Glasses

MAC Reel Sexy Cremesheen Glasses ($19.50 for 0.09 fl. oz.) include these four shades: Cinestyle (mid-tone blue grey violet), Color Saturation (dark cool wine), Private Screening (mid-tone peach), and Star Quality (bright orange coral).

  • Cinestyle is a milky lilac that really settles into lip lines. The color is semi-sheer, and it’s definitely noticeable, but it just seeps into lip lines in a way I don’t see that often. MAC Vacant is a bit pinker and all shimmer. MAC Viva Glam is pinker but similar in creaminess. MAC Going Casual is pinker.  MAC Japanese Spring is just a little lighter.
  • Color Saturation is a rich berry red with purple tones. It’s surprisingly opaque–the color coverage is semi-opaque but covers well and fairly evenly without settling too much into lip lines. MAC Real Posh is more muted and has shimmer. NARS Bougainville is much redder. MAC Indigo Pink is redder and shimmery. MAC Orange Tempera is peachier. MAC Bait is lighter, shimmery. MAC Fresh Air is very similar but has shimmer. MAC It’s a Wow is similar but has shimmer.
  • Private Screening is a pinky beige with a milky finish that does settle into lip lines a bit.
  • Star Quality is a pink-red coral with semi-opaque color coverage but it settles into lip lines a lot. MAC Mango Sheen is much redder. Revlon Strawberry is redder.

The Cremesheen Glass formula is lightweight, comfortable on, creamy, and non-sticky.  The colors typically have no shimmer and deliver sheerer color, though Color Saturation and Star Quality yield quite a bit of color.  With the exception of Color Saturation, these really seemed to slither into the lines on the lips and stay there.  Cinestyle and Star Quality were the worst offenders for that.  These would be better layered over a more opaque lip color, so that you could minimize that problem.  Cremesheen Glasses only wear two hours or less on me, which is below average for a gloss.  I feel like you go through a tube rather quickly, especially since it only contains 0.09 fl. oz.  They are vanilla-scented but taste-free.

The Glossover

product

MAC Reel Sexy Cremesheen Glasses Reviews, Photos, Swatches

C
There is just too much color settling into lip lines with this particular batch of colors--the milky, creamy look with sheer to semi-sheer color payoff rarely works, and this is often the result.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

2.5/5

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Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer
Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics (OCC) Kava Kava Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “creme beige” with a frost finish. It’s a warm light-beige with threads of pale white shimmer–so there are some brush strokes. It reminded me of URban Decay Fame, which is more neutral in tone. Rescue Beauty Lounge Sheer Nude is more opaque and a little more peach-hued. Zoya MInka is more opaque and a bit lighter, almost yellow-tinted. I think Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani is the closest–it has shimmer but no metallic threads.

OCC described it as opaque, but with two coats, it’s still sheer. A third coat will get you closer to opaque results, but there will still be some underlying sheerness. This shade was my least favorite out of the six for spring/summer, and part of that is because of the formula, which was watery and a bit thin.  It appeared almost streaky because of the sheerness and metallic shimmer.  I’m normally a fan of OCC’s formula, but this one disappointed.  I typically get a week of wear out of OCC’s formula with no chipping and minor tip wear.

The Glossover

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product

Kava Kava

C
I would pass on this one--there are better shades in the OCC range, and there are better nudes on the market. The sheerness would be one thing to deal with (and sometimes a sheer nude can be lovely, even if isn't what OCC described it as), the formula deficiencies are harder to overlook.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Nail Lacquer
MAC Breezy Blue Nail & Pinkly Fresh Nail Lacquers

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers

There are two MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection, and they include: Breezy Blue (dark blue) and Pinkly Fresh (mid-tone blue pink).

Breezy Blue is a deep purple-tinted navy blue with a cream finish. I applied two coats (and three coats on the middle finger), but I wasn’t able to get complete opacity. Illamasqua Force is similar but a little lighter. shu uemura Bleu Splendor is darker. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is very similar. The formula was watery and thin, so three coats is really necessary in order to eliminate visible nail line.

Pinkly Fresh is a subtly blue-based pastel pink with a cream finish. Essie French Affair is very similar, perhaps a touch lighter. The formula is so, so thick on this one. The first coat was incredibly streaky, and only when I applied a really thick second coat was I able to get a streak-free result. Because of the thicker consistency, drying time seemed longer than average. I used two coats for swatches, though the second coat was deliberately thick, and it was opaque.

I’m not keen on the formula on either of these. At this price point, the formula really needs to be immaculate or else the color out of this world to justify it. How many blue and pink creams are there on the market?

P.S. — Apologies in advance:  I’m super sick, and when I’m under the weather, my hands tend to get really dry, so they are rather tired-looking in these photos!  

The Glossover

product

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C
Both shades had a problematic formula, so I would pass on these, because the colors are not unique enough to justify the extra patience, coats, etc. to make these work at this price point.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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