Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel
Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel

For this spring, Dior’s released six limited edition shades of polishes, and I picked up three of the ones that were available at Nordstrom (I didn’t get Porcelaine). There is also Bouquet (available online at Sephora) and Bloom (I saw online at Saks). I wasn’t overly impressed by the three I chose, and I’m normally a fan of Dior’s polishes. Pampille was a milky disaster that applied unevely, looked almost goopy when applied (but wasn’t so thick that it was actually goopy), while Blossom was sheer and a little thick to work with. Perle was interesting, but it almost seemed too pigmented/densely packed with shimmer to be a really versatile top coat.

Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a soft, pastel peachy-orange with muted, yellowed gold sparkle. It seems like it has an almost jelly-like finish, though it didn’t quite have that really plush, juicy texture/look of a true jelly polish. It was semi-sheer with noticeable nail line. I concede it’s possible this was intentional, since it is spring and pastel and sheer seem to be keywords that are rarely ignored during the season, but without an actual description that affirms (without one, expectations based on an online photo would be that it is like the rest of the range!), I err against giving the brand the benefit of the doubt (but if sheer is cool with you, then the rating breakdown would be 8.5, 10, 8.5, 9, 4.5). I don’t have a dupe for this, due to the translucency and shimmer content. NARS Wind Dancer (LE, $19.00) is a lot darker, more orange, and has no shimmer. MAC Sweet Pop (LE, $16.00) is a cream finish and more orange. MAC Pep Pep Pep (LE, $16.00) and MAC Life & Beth (LE, $16.00) are closer in color but are creams. Chanel June (LE, $27.00) has a slight plushness to the finish, but it is darker, more orange, no sparkle. See comparison swatches.

Dior Perle (187) Vernis Nail Enamel ($25.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “matte pearly white with iridescent purple glimmer.” It’s an iridescent mix of lavender, fuchsia, and pink with a white-ish frosted matte finish. This is a matte top coat, though it’s fairly pigmented/dense so it’s not the most versatile top coat. I think it’s one that would work best on pinks and reds, as well as lighter shades in general. I tried it over black, which was all right, but it didn’t seem to work as well as I expected! I also tried it with just two coats over nails, and alone, it’s semi-sheer–but this a top coat, so that’s as expected. On its own, it wore well for five days on me (I normally get a week), and as a top coat, it wore a full week. MAC Frayed-to-Order was the only dupe I could think of, and it’s a bit whiter. See comparison swatches.

Dior Pampille (192) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a milky, mint-tinged white with iridescent green shimmer. The consistency was thicker, and it applied unevenly and showed streakiness on the nail. It was semi-opaque after two coats. Guerlain Star Dust (862) (LE, $23.00) is the only comparable shade I have, but it has more of a clear base than a milky one, so they end up looking quite different applied. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blossom (132)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Perle (187)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Pampille (192)

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes

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Friday, December 13th, 2013

KB Shimmer Rollin' with the Chromies Nail Lacquer
KB Shimmer Rollin’ with the Chromies Nail Lacquer

KBShimmer Rollin’ with the Chromies Nail Lacquer ($8.75 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “cyan, to blue, to red orange, to burgundy, and more multi-chrome linear holo.” It’s incredibly multi-faceted as it shifts from pinkish-purple to copper to gold to blue. The finish is a high-shine, metallic foil. It looks different at all times–always interesting, spectacular, and dazzling. I used two coats, and it was fully opaque, though it turns out, the recommendation is for three coats or one coat over black. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin.

KBShimmer Kringle All the Way Nail Lacquer ($8.75 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a charitable polish that gives $4 from each bottle sold through the end of today to purchase toys for Toys for Toys. The polish is supposed to contain “circle glitters … from small to large … in red, green, and silver.” It has a mix of small, medium, and large ruby red, emerald green, and silver (which almost has a holographic sheen to it) glitters. The glitters are suspended in a very thick, clear base. I didn’t care for the consistency on this at all; it was incredibly thick, almost goopy, and it took a lot of pushing, pulling, and dabbing to get the glitters to somewhat disperse, but they really didn’t want to move much–especially the larger circle glitters. At least, even the larger glitters came out of the bottle–sometimes you have to fish for larger shapes just to get any on the nail, but the larger glitters did apply along with the rest.  I applied one coat over L’Oreal’s I Like It Chunky, and two coats of it on its own on the thumb nail.

Most of the glitter was pretty flat, but there were a few of the larger circular glitters that curled very, very slightly.  This can be annoying as it can catch on fabrics and the like, but because it can catch, it also reduces the longevity of the polish as they can catch and rip off, taking a chunk of polish with them.  I’m a huge fan of KB Shimmer, but I was really disappointed in this polish.

Updated @ 12/14/13:  I just wanted to update this post to let readers know that the owner of KBShimmer did reach out and both offered additional application tips as well as to send a replacement bottle.  If I have a better experience with the replacement bottle, I’ll be sure to update again to let you know if that happens or if it remains the same.  As a fan of KBShimmer in general, I appreciate that they read and acknowledge criticism in reviews and then strive to address it or in this case, offer a replacement in case there was a one-off issue with mine.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rollin' with the Chromies

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Kringle All the Way

D+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Too Faced Peach Beach Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush
Too Faced Peach Beach Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush

Too Faced Peach Beach Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush ($29.00 for 0.19 oz.) is described as a “shimmering peach,” “rose pink,” and “shimmering light golden bronze.” Swirled together, it creates a light, champagne-shimmered, medium brown with a soft, rosy tint. It had a lightly frosted finish. Charlotte Tilbury First Love (P) is slightly darker, warmer. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is browner. MAC Seasonal Appeal (LE, $21.00) is darker, less shimmery. MAC Margin (P, $21.00) is warmer, more shimmery. MAC Barefaced (LE, $21.00) is warmer. Chanel Espiegle (P, $43.00) is pinker, lighter. See comparison swatches.

Like Something About Berry, powderiness characterized the texture of this powder. That powderiness resulted in sheerer, softer color–it’s just prone to sheering out as soon as you go to blend it–and didn’t contribute happily to wear time, either, as this was noticeably faded after the six-hour mark. I have had this experience with a lot of baked products, so if you have experienced better wear out of baked blushes and the like, consider your own experience as a good starting point. This particular shade will work best on light-medium skin tones or fairer complexions, as it was nearly lost against mine; there is a subtle brown-ish warmth but it’s very, very subtle. This shade was a lot less pigmented compared to Something About Berry, which contributed heavily to why it was rated even lower.

The Glossover

P
product

Peach Beach

D+

Like Something About Berry, powderiness characterized the texture of this powder. That powderiness resulted in sheerer, softer color--it's just prone to sheering out as soon as you go to blend it--and didn't contribute happily to wear time, either, as this was noticeably faded after the six-hour mark.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Marc Jacobs Stagelight (302) Tonite Lights Glitter Dust
Marc Jacobs Stagelight (302) Tonite Lights Glitter Dust

Marc Jacobs Tonite Lights Glitter Dust ($32.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a new and limited edition holiday product from the brand that’s supposed to give “lustrous, long-wearing metallic” eye color with a “weightless sparkle finish.” First and foremost, if you don’t love sparkle and all things glittery, these aren’t for you. Now, if you love sparkle and glitz, you may still like these, but they don’t escape the biggest problem with heavily glittered products: fall out.  There’s a moderate amount of fall out; not the worst, but it’s not just a few stray sparkles–my husband and sister both commented on the “disco” happening underneath my eyes.

The consistency of the product feels like a powder and cream hybrid, as it almost feels wet, but then not quite. These are more delicate powders, as when I pressed against Stagelight, it actually dislodged large chunks–kind of like a melting glacier. They do feel smooth otherwise; almost emollient as they slide across the skin. I had noticeable creasing after five hours of wear, and it didn’t significantly worsen between and the eight-hour mark, which was surprising, but I wouldn’t consider these long-wearing given the creasing and fall out. The price point is a bit higher than I would expect (I would have expected $26 or at most, $28), and something I noticed was that Stagelight was only 0.06 oz., while the other two shades were 0.10 oz.

Stagelight (302) Tonite Lights Glitter Dust ($32.00 for 0.06 oz.) is described as a “translucent overlay of iridescent sparkle.” It’s a sheer, sparkling white and silver mix. Dior Golden Snow #3 (LE) is similar. Dior Lune (001) (P, $30.00) is less sparkly. MAC Bleuluxe #1 (P) is similar. Bobbi Brown Tinsel (LE) is more silvered. MAC Angelic (P, $21.00) is similar. MAC White as Snow (LE, $32.50) is similar. Illamasqua Beguile (P, $25.50) is darker. Chanel Fantasme (P, $36.00) is a cream product. See comparison swatches.

Ultraviolet Light (304) Tonite Lights Glitter Dust ($32.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “soft plum with an overlay of iridescent sparkle.” It’s a muted, plummy purple with neutral-cool undertones and an iridescent sparkle. This was smoother and more pigmented compared to Stagelight (which is supposed to be translucent, so it’s expected). It was semi-opaque when applied dry, and then was more opaque when applied with a damp brush. Disney by Sephora Carpet (LE) is less sparkly. Disney by Sephora Ursula (LE) is darker, less sparkly. Clinique Lavish Lilac (P, $16.00) is a cream product. MAC Swelter (LE, $15.00) is less sparkly. MAC Joy & Laughter #2 (P, $21.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Circa Plum (LE, $21.00) is similar. Giorgio Armani #27 (LE, $33.00) is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches.

Blacklight (306) Tonite Lights Glitter Dust ($32.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “smoky black with an overlay of iridescent sparkle.” It’s a gray-black with silver sparkle. It had decent color payoff applied dry, and it was more opaque when applied with a damp brush–it was also smoother with that application method. Urban Decay Moonspoon (P, $20.00) is lighter. MAC Jet Couture (P, $21.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Stagelight (302)

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

4/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Ultraviolet Light (304)

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

4/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Blacklight (306)

C-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

4/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 30th, 2013

MAC Definitely Black Pro Longwear Eyeliner
MAC Definitely Black Pro Longwear Eyeliner

There are four new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.) that have been added to the permanent range. If you had good luck with these when they launched with Apres Chic, I’m sure these will wear similarly. Unfortunately, these didn’t wear well for me then, and they aren’t a particularly long-wearing eyeliner. It’s supposed to be a 12-hour, waterproof formula with “creamy, dense colour that glides on smoothly” and won’t smudge. All four shades show significant signs of wear by eight hours, let alone twelve. The eyeliner thins out considerably and is probably 50% thinner than by the eighth hour than when I initially applied it–this was consistent and happened with all four shades. These were slightly water-resistant, but they didn’t seem waterproof, as they ran slightly (Definitely Black was particularly troublesome).

Definitely Black is described as a “deep black.” It’s a rich, neutral black with a satiny finish. It had fairly good color payoff in a single pass, and it was buildable to opaque color in two layers. A note about this shade… my pencil actually says “Definedly Black,” not Definitely–and online it is listed as Definitely, as in the press release, it was written as Definitely. I’m not sure who’s in the wrong here! There are numerous black eyeliners that wear better and longer (including some by MAC).

Devotion is described as a “deep army green.” It’s a dark, forest green with subtle olive undertones and emerald green shimmer. It was semi-sheer when applied in a single layer, but it was buildable to mostly opaque color with a few passes of color. The consistency was slightly dry. Urban Decay Loaded is darker, less warm-toned. See comparison swatches. I looked at my older green eyeliner swatches but nothing seemed that similar (all were warmer).

Powerline is described as a “muted gold.” It’s a golden brown-bronze with a subtle, metallic sheen. It had decent color payoff in one stroke and was buildable to opaque color. It applied smoothly and evenly, though it was half-gone after eight hours of wear. MAC Gilt Gourmet is more sparkly. NARS Campo de’ Fiori is yellower. See comparison swatches.

Strongly Willed is described as a “deep eggplant.” It’s a dark, warm-toned purple with flecks of violet and berry pearl. It had so-so pigmentation in one pass, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color but it did drag/skip somewhat so it takes a few passes to get there. MAC Purple Dash is lighter. MAC Fancy Moves is also lighter. Chanel Cassis is less shimmery. Bobbi Brown Black Plum is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Definitely Black

C+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Devotion

D+

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Powerline

C

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Intro(vert) (52) Highliner Gel Crayon
Marc Jacobs Intro(vert) (52) Highliner Gel Crayon

Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayons ($25.00 for 0.01 oz.) are available in six shades, and it is described as a “waterproof pencil eyeliner” with a “gel formula [that] allows the richest pigments and the smoothest application for intense color.” It may look like your regular pencil eyeliner, but it’s actually a twist-up pencil (and there’s a detachable sharpener on the opposite end of the pencil). Worth noting, you’re getting the amount of product typically found in twist-up pencils (0.01 oz.), rather than regular pencils (0.04 oz.). From my experience with the three shades I tried, which I’ve been working with for the past week and a half, I found the quality to be inconsistent. Th(ink) was the best performer, while Jazz(berry) was disappointing. All three shades were more unique in color than not, and I couldn’t think of any satisfactory dupes for any of them, so there is that. All three shades wore well for eight hours without fading or migrating, and after nine and a half hours, they looked thinner but not smudged or welled up in the corners of my eyes. I took showers with them on, and they didn’t seem to budge or smear, so I agree with the waterproof claim.

Intro(vert) (52) is a cool-toned emerald green with a frosted silver sparkle and finish. It had decent payoff in a single pass, but it was buildable to mostly opaque color payoff. The consistency was smooth overall and didn’t tug at the lash line. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade. Sephora Good Mood is darker, greener. Make Up For Ever #52L is bluer. MAC Blue Noon is darker, bluer. See comparison swatches. You can also see a post I did on green-leaning teal eyeliners here.

Jazz(berry) (46) is a warm-toned, pink-plum with a subtle golden sheen and copper undertone. It was semi-sheer in a single pass, and it was only semi-opaque when I attempted to layer the color by applying it back-and-forth. The pencil didn’t tug on my lash line, but the color was prone to skipping/uneven application. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade–nothing came close. Not even Urban Decay 1999, as it was darker and less pink.

Th(ink) (44) is a deepened, blue and copper-shimmered violet over a blackened base. In a single pass, it had semi-opaque color, but it was very, very buildable and easy to layer with a couple of passes for very rich and intense color. This shade was the creamiest and easiest to apply of the three I tried. Make Up For Ever #8K is bluer, darker, less shimmery. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is more muted, matte. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Intro(vert) (52)

B

It had decent payoff in a single pass, but it was buildable to mostly opaque color payoff. The consistency was smooth overall and didn't tug at the lash line.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Jazz(berry) (46)

D+

It was semi-sheer in a single pass, and it was only semi-opaque when I attempted to layer the color by applying it back-and-forth. The pencil didn't tug on my lash line, but the color was prone to skipping/uneven application.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Th(ink) (44)

A-

In a single pass, it had semi-opaque color, but it was very, very buildable and easy to layer with a couple of passes for very rich and intense color. This shade was the creamiest and easiest to apply of the three I tried.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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