Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

theBalm Eyeshadow Pans
theBalm Eyeshadow Pans — #26-44

#25 is medium-dark, cool-toned taupe with a matte finish. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was very soft but a little powdery though easy to blend. It wore well for eight hours on me before fading. Guerlain Two VIP #2 (LE) is slightly warmer. MAC Smoked Cocoa #2 (LE, $15.00) is lighter. Maybelline Tough as Taupe (P, $6.99) is darker, cream. MAC Interior Life (LE, $15.00) is darker. bareMinerals Rowdy (P) is more mauve. See comparison swatches.

#26 is a dark, cool-toned gray with a soft, satiny finish. It had good pigmentation, but it was a little on the powdery side, so it looked somewhat dry applied. If you apply over a primer, it seems to smooth out more. The color lasted just over seven and a half hours on me. bareMinerals Panorama (LE) is warmer. theBalmtA4 (LE, $16.00) is very similar. Kat Von D Siouxsie-sioux (P) is warmer. MAC Deep Cravings (LE, $15.00) is more metallic. LORAC Slate (P) is cooler-toned. Disney by Sephora Flotsam (LE) is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Ace (LE, $18.00) is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Genre (LE, $30.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

#27 is a neutral-to-cool-toned, blackened purple with a satin-matte finish. It had so-so color payoff, but the texture was on the drier side, so the coverage wasn’t even. When worn, the eyeshadow lasted for seven and a half hours on me. MAC Pinkluxe #5 (P) is darker, more shimmery. Disney by Sephora Wonder by Wonder (LE) is lighter. Lancome Zip Me Up (P, $19.00) is cooler-toned. Make Up For Ever #79 (P, $20.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

#28 is a muted, warm-toned burgundy with a metallic finish. It had decent pigmentation, but there was a dryness to the texture that didn’t give it the most intense, smoothest finish. It wore well for seven and a half hours before it started to fade. Makeup Geek Burlesque (P, $5.99) is less metallic. Chanel Fatal (837) (LE, $36.00) is a cream product. Chanel Seduction #1 (LE) is warmer. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #7 (P, $9.99) is more metallic. theBalm Alice Copper (P, $16.00) is very similar but has more pigmentation and a better texture. MAC Cranberry (P, $15.00) is lighter. Le Metier de Beaute Crucible (LE, $30.00) is darker. Inglot #452 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

#29 is a muted, yellow gold with a soft, frosted finish. The color payoff was okay, but it wasn’t opaque or intensely pigmented. The texture was a little dry and powdery but blendable. On me, it wore well for seven hours before showing signs of fading. theBalm #40 (P, $6.50) is yellower, brighter. theBalm #12 (P, $6.50) is yellower. MAC Golden Hours #3 (LE, $21.00) is similar. MAC Lemon Tart (P, $15.00) is lighter. Kat Von D Sunset Blvd. (LE) is darker. Disney by Sephora Triton (LE) is yellower. MAC Dreammaker (LE, $15.00) is similar. Chanel Blazing Gold (LE, $28.50) is yellower. See comparison swatches

#30 is a dark, olive green with a golden shimmer. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was soft and fairly smooth. This shade wore well for eight hours on me before it started to fade slightly along the edges. Charlotte Tilbury Smoky Emerald (P) is a cream product, darker. Urban Decay Stash (LE, $18.00) is a little lighter. Dior Bonne Etoile (384) #1 (LE) is similar. MAC Fiction (DC, $15.00) is lighter. bareMinerals Eureka (P) is similar. bareMinerals Speaker Box (LE) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

There are forty-four shades of eyeshadows available in pan-form from theBalm, which launched at the beginning of this year. They can be purchased at their San Francisco store or by calling 415-817-1800. Each eyeshadow pan is available for $6.50 and comes in a cardboard sleeve. The 9-pan palette is $8.00, while the 16-pan palette is $10. If you fill either the 9- or 16-pan palette up at the time of purchase, they will run you $44.00 (normally, $66.50) and $64.00 (normally, $114.00) respectively. Each palette is made out of thick cardboard–same as theBalm’s eyeshadow palettes have been in the past–and come with full-sized mirrors on the top flap. For more information about sizes, the palettes, and a general overview of the custom palette/eyeshadow pan system, please read this post. You can view swatches all of them in the Swatch Gallery here or view photos and swatches on theBalm’s Eyeshadow Single product page.

The Glossover

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product

#25

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

#26

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

#27

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, March 3rd, 2014

MAC Ray of Sunshine Mineralize Glass
MAC Ray of Sunshine Mineralize Glass

MAC Ray of Sunshine Mineralize Glass ($22.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “nude.” It’s a medium-dark, orange with brown undertones and gold shimmer. It had semi-sheer color coverage, which applied somehwat unevenly but was not too noticeable from afar. It wore well for three and a half hours on me. MAC Cheerful (P, $22.00) is less shimmery. Urban Decay Freestyle (P, $20.00) is lighter, more shimmery. Revlon Peach (P, $7.49) is more shimmery. MAC Sublime Shine (LE, $20.00) is lighter, more shimmery. MAC Rising Sun (LE, $20.00) is very similar. MAC Imperial Light (LE, $20.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

MAC Tender Mineralize Glass ($22.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “light cool pink.” It’s a light, cool-toned pink with a cream finish. It settled into lip lines and applied unevenly, though it had semi-sheer pigmentation. It wore well for three hours on me. Urban Decay Lovechild (P, $20.00) is similar. Urban Decay Obsessed (P, $19.00) is similar. NARS International Velvet (LE, $26.00) is similar. MAC Long Love Love (P, $19.50) is more pigmented. MAC Viva Glam Nicki 2 (LE, $15.00) is more pigmented, cooler-toned. MAC Stay Sweet (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Pink Fade (LE, $15.00) is more pigmented. MAC Going Casual (LE, $20.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

MAC Vibrant Vibe Mineralize Glass ($22.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright fuchsia.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark fuchsia pink with blue undertones and an iridescent violet shimmer. It had semi-sheer pigmentation, and it applied so-so. The color wore well for four hours, though. Revlon Berry Allure (P, $7.99) is slightly darker. MAC Imperial Red (LE, $19.00) is less fuchsia. MAC Call Me Gorgeous (LE, $20.00) is more pigmented but close in color. Bobbi Brown Electric Violet (P, $24.00) is more shimmery, less pigmented. MAC New Love (P, $22.00) is lighter. MAC Fashion Perk (P, $22.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

MAC Wake Up! Mineralize Glass ($22.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “mid-tone red.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned red with slight shimmer. It settled just slightly into lip lines, and it looked even for the most part but wasn’t perfectly even. This shade wore well for four hours on me. MAC Viva Glam Rihanna (LE, $15.00) is less warm-toned, darker. Revlon Fatal Apple (P, $7.99) is less shimmery. NYX Sunrise (P, $4.99) is more shimmery, cooler-toned. NARS Hollywoodlawn (LE, $26.00) is darker, more orange. MAC Mango Sheen (LE, $19.00) is more shimmery. MAC Totally Fab (LE, $20.00) is more pigmented. Chanel Exces (P, $32.00) has less shimmer, warmer. Chanel Emoi (P, $32.00) has less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

MAC Mineralize Glass ($22.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is a new–and permanent!–lip gloss from MAC that heads to counters on March 6th but can be purchased online now. There are twelve shades in total, and this post features four that I tested. The formula is supposed to be hydrating and glossy, while there’s no real word on coverage, the shades are described as “pearlescent.” They feel like lighter-weight Lipglass with less tackiness, but they’re more of a medium-weight gloss with a moderately tacky texture that’s lightly hydrating and wears between two and four hours (depending on the shade). The applicator is a rounded rectangle and feels smoother than the typical doe foot, and it also has more give and flex, so it seems to apply the gloss more evenly. The color coverage seems to run semi-sheer; noticeable color but not fully opaque. I’m not keen on the packaging, as it is bulky and doesn’t store efficiently.

The Glossover

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product

Ray of Sunshine

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Tender

C

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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P
product

Vibrant Vibe

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush
Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush

Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush ($9.99 for 0.17 oz.) is a medium, rose-tinged brown with warm undertones and a golden champagne shimmer. Too Faced Peach Beach (P, $30.00) is lighter, less shimmery. Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $43.00) is darker. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is browner, less shimmery. NARS Douceur (P, $29.00) is less shimmery, less warm-toned. Burberry Earthy (P, $42.00) is less shimmery, browner. See comparison swatches.

When Revlon reformulated and released their Blushes, I was excited, and the color range looked good. I’m all over a brown-based blush; they’re totally underrated, but they’re the types of blushes that I often reach for and there aren’t nearly enough options to choose from–most of them are very pricey, so I was hoping for a more budget-friendly version to recommend to readers. Unfortunately, the texture of this needs work; it’s stiff and dry yet powdery, almost chalky at times. I had to scrape off the product in order to get swatches of it to show up on my skin; using the included applicator produced no visible color on my skin. I had slightly better luck packing on the color onto my cheeks, which I owe to my skin type being normal (so there are some natural oils, which help powders stick), whereas the skin on my arm is drier. Even after some color applied, it was really difficult to blend. To add further insult, the shimmer in this does emphasize pores, so if you have larger pores or skin imperfections, this can exacerbate both! This blush lasted six and a half hours on me.

The Glossover

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product

Naughty Nude (006)

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

MAC Golden Hours Mineralize Eyeshadow
MAC Golden Hours Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Golden Hours Mineralize Eyeshadow ($21.00 for 0.06 oz.) is a warm-toned, peach and brown themed eyeshadow “quad.” It’s the size of your typical Mineralize Eyeshadow, but it is split into four sections. Overall, I found the eyeshadow to be dry, powdery, and quick to fade; everything looked more faded than it already did after application about six hours into wear.

Golden Hours #1 is described as a “copper bronze.” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm undertones and a frosted sheen. It had semi-opaque pigmentationi when applied dry, mostly opaque color when applied with a dampened brush. The texture was a little dry, somewhat powdery. See comparison swatches.

Golden Hours #2 is described as a “soft golden peach.” It’s a brightened, yellowed orange with a frosted, glittery finish. This one had a rather chunky texture–more like old school Mineralize Eyeshadows than some of the newer, more finely-milled ones. It was sheer when applied dry, and it was more opaque when applied wet, but still incredibly loose and chunky to work with. Highly recommend applying this before any other makeup, because the fall out during application (even with patting it on with a dampened brush) is insane. See comparison swatches.

Golden Hours #3 is described as a “pale yellow gold.” It’s a muted, light-medium gold with yellow undertones and a soft, frosted finish. It was somewhat dry but not too powdery. The color payoff was semi-sheer when applied dry, then just slightly more pigmented when applied with a dampened brush. See comparison swatches.

Golden Hours #4 is described as a “golden brown.” It’s a light-medium, yellowed brown with a golden, frosted sheen. It seemed more pigmented dry than damp, actually, with damp yielding semi-opaque color coverage, while dampened application gave it a sheerer, more uneven appearance. The texture was dry but not too powdery, like #3. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Golden Hours

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Golden Hours #1

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Golden Hours #2

D

Product

5.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty Pout (142) Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel
Marc Jacobs Beauty Pout (142) Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel

Marc Jacobs Beauty Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a new and limited edition formula for spring. It’s a “demi-matte” take on the permanent Lovemarc Lip Gel, but it’s still supposed to have the “gellified feel” of the original. I’m not a fan of the formula because of how it looks and wears over time. Initially, they apply so-so but tend to catch on any imperfections on the lips, and the lighter shades did not apply evenly. Worn, they settle into lip lines terribly and tend to leave color on the outer edges of the lips. The settling process happens after about an hour and a half of wear and steadily worsens. None of these were drying, though none were hydrating. The finish is more satin to natural, less semi-matte. They are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste.

Shout (138) Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “matte bright watermelon.” It’s a brightened, medium pink-coral with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich, opaque color coverage, and this shade applied the smoothest out of the three I tried. It wore for four and a half hours on me. Guerlain Attrape-Coeur (171) (LE, $35.00) is lighter. Chanel Melodieuse (136) (P, $34.00) is similar. Givenchy Magnolia Organza (301) (P, $36.00) is darker, brighter. Givenchy Rose Dressing (202) (P, $36.00) is similar. MAC Elegant Accent (P, $22.00) is lighter. MAC Watch Me Simmer (LE, $16.00) is brighter. Chanel Genial (LE, $34.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Pout (142) Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “matte soft nude.” It’s a light, pink-tinted beige with a satin finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage, and though it glided on without skipping, it didn’t apply evenly. It lasted three hours on me. Maybelline Blushing Beige (915) (P, $7.49) is warmer, lighter. Marc Jacobs Beauty Dizzy Spell (104) (P, $30.00) is glossier, warmer. MAC Antonio’s Girls (LE, $16.00) is warmer, more matte. Tom Ford Beauty Blush Nude (P, $49.00) is pinker. MAC Luxe Natural (P, $22.00) is slightly warmer. Buxom Nudist (P, $21.00) is a touch lighter. See comparison swatches.

Flirt (144) Lovemarc Matte Lip Gel ($30.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “matte soft peach.” It’s a light-medium, peachy coral with a semi-matte finish. It had mostly full color coverage, and it applied fairly well but wasn’t perfectly even (better than Pout, not as good as Shout). The color lasted for four hours. Givenchy Beige Plume (102) (P, $36.00) is similar. MAC Antonio’s Girls (LE, $16.00) is lighter. Chanel Sentiment (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, warmer. MAC Innocence (LE, $16.00) is lighter. NARS Descanso (LE, $25.00) is darker. MAC Runway Hit (LE, $16.00) is darker, more matte. MAC Flavour (LE, $16.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Shout (138)

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Pout (142)

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Flirt (144)

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Cult Nails Angel Whispers Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Angel Whispers Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Passionate Dreams Collection ($35.00 for 4 x 0.50 fl. oz.) is a new and limited edition collection that features four polishes. They can be purchased as a set during the pre-sale period for $35 (compared to $48 after pre-sale); shades will only be sold individually if the shades do not sell out during the pre-sale. I typically get between seven and ten days of wear with Cult Nails’ formula, as it is particularly long-wearing in my experience.

Angel Whispers Nail Lacquer is described as a “soft, pale pink creme.” It’s a very light, pink-tinged white with fine white sparkle and shimmer. It’s a textured polish, so the finish has an almost sandy feel, but it’s not a genuine sand finish/texture to me–smoother than that, somewhat matte, but sparkly still. The consistency of this polish was unbearably thick, almost gluey. It dried down surprisingly quickly despite that problem, but it is difficult to apply evenly, both in terms of just getting an even thickness across the whole nail as well as just getting the color to spread evenly across the nail. The end result was sparkly and interesting, but this was one of the thickest polishes I’ve ever come across. It was also opaque after two coats. I don’t have any dupes for this.

Ignite Nail Lacquer is described as a “black jelly base with silver glitter.” It’s a deep, warm-toned black base with silver micro-glitter. It didn’t look like a jelly base to me–more like a cream. It also looked like there was a pale gold glitter in it, too, as it didn’t look purely silver to me. The consistency was just a little on the thick side. You might prefer to wear this with a top coat if you want to have a smooth finish, as the micro-glitter is raised above the black base color. It was fully opaque after two coats. L’Oreal Rough Around the Edges (LE, $6.99) has more of a texture. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Batty (P, $10.00) is mostly silver glitter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Fashion Polish (LE, $20.00) has multi-colored glitter/sparkle. Illamasqua Creator (P, $17.00) has more silver sparkle. See comparison swatches.

Kiss Nail Lacquer is described as a “vibrant red that dries to a wax-like finish.” It’s a vibrant, medium red with warm undertones with a soft matte finish. It has a smooth, rubber/vinyl/wax-like finish that has a little sheen but not true shine–but it’s not as flat as a matte polish. It was fully opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. I don’t have another red polish that has this type of finish (at least, not that I can remember), but here are some reds that have a glossier finish: see comparison swatches.

Lethal Nail Lacquer is described as a “silver foil.” It’s a bright, metallic silver with a shiny, foil-like finish. It is quite shiny all on its own (no need for a top coat). The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it was opaque after two coats. It is unforgiving if you apply the second coat before the first is fully dry, though, as you’ll definitely get drag. There were noticeable brush strokes. Zoya Seraphina (P, $9.00) is sheerer, less metallic. China Glaze Icicle (LE, $7.50) is darker. China Glaze Cheers to You (LE, $7.50) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Angel Whispers

C

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

4/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Ignite

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Kiss

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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