Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

MAC Lipstick -- Happy-Go-Lucky, Head in the Clouds, Playland, Red Balloon, Sweet Experience, Toying Around<
MAC Lipstick — Happy-Go-Lucky, Head in the Clouds, Playland, Red Balloon, Sweet Experience, Toying Around

MAC Playland launches April 10th April 15th (MAC corporate confirmed as of 4/10 8:26AM PST) online, April 17th in-stores/counters, and it includes six new and limited edition shades of lipstick.

Head in the Clouds is described as a “red with pearl [with a Frost finish].” It’s a vibrant, cherry red with subtle cool undertones and a gold micro-shimmer. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly and easily as the consistency was lightly creamy and didn’t tug on the lips during application. The color wore well for five and a half hours and left a stain behind. It was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Viva Glam Rihanna (LE, $16.00) is darker, pinker. Chanel Enigmatique (135) (P, $34.00) is warmer, less glossy. NARS Dressed to Kill (P, $26.00) is darker. Milani Cherry Crave (P, $5.49) is more matte. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Playland is described as a “frosted yellow gold [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium, yellow gold with a metallic finish. It had semi-sheer color coverage, but the texture of the lipstick was somewhat on the drier side, so it didn’t apply as evenly as one would like. It is also unforgiving if your lips are not in tip-top shape, so those with naturally drier/chapped lips will want to do additional prep before applying this shade. It lasted for two and a half hours and was lightly drying during that time. Dolce and Gabbana Topazio (LE, $32.00) is slightly darker. MAC Ruffian Gold (LE, $16.00) is sheerer. Guerlain Altoum (LE, $35.00) is sheerer. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Triptych (P, $18.00) is more opaque, more metallic. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sweet Experience is described as a “bright pink [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a light-medium pink with subtle, yellow undertones and a satin finish. It had opaque color coverage, and the consistency was lightly creamy and didn’t tug or drag on the lips. It lasted for four hours when I tested it for wear and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Vivid Image (LE, $16.00) is lighter. MAC Please Me (P, $16.00) is a few shades darker. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Femme (P, $18.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Happy Go-Lucky is described as a “hot pink [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark magenta pink with cool, blue undertones and a natural sheen. It had rich, opaque pigmentation, and the texture of the lipstick was smooth, creamy, and easy to apply. This shade managed to wear for five hours and left behind a noticeable stain that lingered for another hour and a half. It was very lightly hydrating over time. Sephora + Pantone Universe Radiant Rush (LE, $18.00) is darker, less glossy. Bite Beauty Moscato (P, $28.00) is brighter. Chanel La Diva (44) (P, $34.00) is more matte. NARS Full Frontal (LE, $26.00) is more muted. Ardency Inn Twist (P, $25.00) is darker. MAC Dear Diary (LE, $18.00) is darker. MAC Outrageously Fun (LE, $16.00) is more muted. MAC Candy Yum Yum (P, $16.00) is slightly darker. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nylon (P, $18.00) is brighter, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Red Balloon is described as a “hot fuchsia [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a brightened, medium-dark, cool-toned pink with a softly luminous finish. It had full color coverage, and the color applied evenly and smoothly as the consistency of the lipstick was lightly creamy. The color lasted for five and a half hours, and it was very lightly hydrating while worn. Guerlain Rose Grenat (864) (LE, $49.50) is redder, darker. Estee Lauder Dominant (P, $30.00) is cooler-toned. Tom Ford Beauty Incorrigible (08) (LE, $49.00) is lighter, more muted. Charlotte Tilbury Velvet Underground (P) is slightly cooler-toned, darker. MAC Pleasure Bomb (LE, $16.00) is darker, more matte. MAC Moxie (LE, $16.00) is more matte, slightly cooler-toned. MAC Girl About Town (P, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Toying Around is described as a “hot coral pink [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a brightened, medium coral-orange with a soft shine. It had rich, totally opaque pigmentation when applied to the lips, and the color went on evenly, smoothly, and lasted for five hours. The formula was neither drying nor hydrating. Dior Sunset (660) (LE, $34.00) is darker, more shimmery. Estee Lauder Defiant Coral (P, $30.00) is slightly darker. Revlon Snow Peach (LE, $7.99) is pinker. Bite Beauty Crush (P, $28.00) is brighter. Tom Ford Beauty Paradiso (07) (LE, $49.00) is pinker. Marc Jacobs Beauty Shout (138) (LE, $30.00) is darker, pinker. Charlotte Tilbury Coachella Coral (P) is slightly pinker, more matte. Givenchy Rose Dressing (202) (P, $36.00) is pinker, darker. MAC Elegant Accent (P, $22.00) is pinker. MAC Watch Me Simmer (LE, $16.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
product

Head in the Clouds

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Playland

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Sweet Experience

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, April 5th, 2014

NARS Iraklion Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil
NARS Iraklion Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil

NARS Iraklion Soft Touch Eyeshadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “smoky rose quartz.” It’s a medium, muted brown with warm undertones and a champagne sheen. Tom Ford Beauty Orchid Haze #2 (P) is a powder. MAC Pink Sensibilities #1 (LE, $21.00) is also a powder. Too Faced Amaretto (P, $16.00) is warmer, darker, powder. Urban Decay Liar (P, $18.00) is a powder. Tom Ford Beauty Platinum (LE, $40.00) is darker, warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Long-time readers will know that this is a formula I struggle with, and while it’s still not a product I’d recommend or reach for, this was significantly better than the last few shades I’ve tested. Instead of being extremely creamy, a little thick, with a lot of slip, it was a drier, thinner texture, which improved longevity but made it less comfortable to apply to the eyelid, lash line, and so forth. It tended to drag, catch, and apply unevenly. I would recommend using a separate brush and applying that way to improve comfort. It had semi-opaque color payoff, but it was buildable to mostly opaque. Longevity on these pencils is usually minutes, not even hours, but this managed four hours on me before it started to crease slightly. The creasing worsened as I wore the pencil until it was fairly significant at the six-hour mark. When used as an eyeshadow base with powder eyeshadow on top to set, I didn’t have visible creasing for five and a half hours.

The Glossover

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product

Iraklion

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Dior Rivage (264) Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Rivage (264) Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Rivage (264) Eyeshadow Palette ($60.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of five shades ranging from pale gray to navy blue–four of the shades are cool-toned, lean bluish, while one is a warm-toned gold. The palette is part of the Saks-exclusive Transatlantique collection and is available online and in-store. At this point, I feel like I should know better than to buy Dior’s more “vibrant” palettes, because I usually find them disappointing, and true to form, this one is a miss as well. (Unless they bring back last year’s Mystic Metallics formula.) The application is difficult due to the powdery, almost chalky, base of the majority of the shades, so it looks dry, powdery, and gets muddied quickly on the lid. It’s a palette that desperately needs to be paired with a slightly tacky, creamy base (it needs more than a regular, invisible primer), and I highly recommend applying it prior to your base products as there is a lot of excess fall out (and yes, I tap excess off my brush prior to applying). The shades started off more faded applied than they looked in the pan, but it had noticeably faded even more after six hours of wear.

Rivage #1 is a muted, periwinkle blue with a silvered, frosted finish. It had decent color payoff, and the texture was slightly powdery but soft to the touch. Sleek MakeUP Acid #5 (P, $9.99), Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm #3 (LE), Sephora Collection My Boyfriend’s Jeans (19) (P, $13.00), and NARS Rated R #2 (P, $24.00) are all significantly darker. MAC Moon’s Reflection (P, $15.00) is lighter, warmer in a way. MAC Wintersky (LE, $32.50) is darker, more frosted. Chanel Destination (LE, $36.00) is grayer, cream. Inglot #429 (P, $6.00) is lighter with a more metallic sheen. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #2 is a pale, gray-ish white with a soft, pearly finish. This shade was dry, chalky, powdery, and ultimately, semi-sheer at best in regards to coverage. Tom Ford Beauty Ice Queen #1 (P) is more frosted, brighter. Tarina Tarantino Glinda’s Kiss (LE) is yellower. MAC A Waft of Grey #1 (P, $21.00) is similar. Dior Golden Snow #1 (LE) is brighter. theBalm A3 (LE, $16.00) is grayer. NARS Vent Glace #1 (P, $24.00) is similar. Dior Night Golds #1 (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #3 is a light-medium, sky blue with a metallic sheen. It had so-so color payoff, but at least the texture wasn’t powdery. Sleek MakeUP Acid #6 (P, $9.99) is slightly darker. NARS South Pacific #2 (P, $24.00) is darker, less metallic. MAC Dimensional Blue (LE, $19.50) is cooler-toned, more muted. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #4 is a medium gold with warm, yellow-orange undertones and a sparkling, metallic finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and the texture had an almost wet feel to it, but it had some chunkier glitter, so there was some fall out during wear along with the shorter wear-time of the color in general. bareMinerals Stay Golden (LE, $14.00) is darker, less sparkly. Dior Golden Snow #2 (LE) is chunkier. MAC Until Dawn #2 (LE, $21.00) is more muted. Sleek MakeUP Meet in Madrid (LE, $9.99) is less sparkly. Milani Drenched in Gold (P, $6.99) is warmer. MAC Retrospeck (P, $15.00) is similar. L’Oreal Eternal Sunshine (P, $7.99) is yellower. Lancome Eternal Gold (P, $24.50) is yellower. Dior Night Golds #4 (LE) is less metallic.Dior Fairy Golds #2 (LE) is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Rivage #5 is a rich, deep blue with a frosted finish. It seemed to have excellent color payoff, but the texture was noticeably powdery, and when I worked with it on the eyelid, it looked incredibly faded and muted. I tried to layer and build the color up in the crease to no avail. The one shade that seemed promising ended up disappointing as well. Sleek MakeUP Acid #5 (P, $9.99) is lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild I’m His Breezey #5 (P, $2.29) is less shimmery. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm #3 (LE) is brighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild I Don’t Do Camouflage #3 (LE, $2.29) is less frosted, more muted. Sephora Collection My Boyfriend’s Jeans (19) (P, $13.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Rivage (264)

D+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Rivage #1

C+

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Rivage #2

F

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

4.5/10

Texture

4/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

Milani Lady Rouge (06) Rose Powder Blush
Milani Lady Rouge (06) Rose Powder Blush

For spring, there are four new and limited shades of Milani Rose Powder Blush ($7.99 for 0.60 oz.) available. The formula is supposed to be a “luxurious matte blush” that has a “micro-milled … powder.” I reviewed Coral Cove yesterday, and today’s review is for:

Milani Lady Rouge (06) Rose Powder Blush ($7.99 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “hot red.” It’s a vibrant pop of pink-coral with subtle, warm undertones and an ultra matte finish. NARS Laos (P, $39.00) is a cream product, slightly more muted. NARS Realm of the Senses (Together) (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery. MAC Simmer (LE, $25.00) is more shimmery. NARS Amour (P, $29.00) is slightly more muted. See comparison swatches.

It had a moderate amount of pigmentation; seemingly good until you actually touch it, because of the incredibly dry, powdery, and chalky texture, it tends to sheer out quickly. If you have normal-to-dry skin or drier, the powder has great difficulty adhering to the skin. To keep the swatch visible, I had to pat on, and I couldn’t really blend it in or even the color out much or else a lot of it disappeared. Of the four shades released, this one was also the most difficult to blend, even when applied over foundation (which helps the powder adhere better, at least), and it took some doing to even out the color so it did not look patchy. One of the things you really want to look for when a blush is intensely pigmented in a richer hue is blendability, and this blush is lacking that. I find that most blushes are versatile and can work on different skin types, over bare skin, under or over foundation (liquid, powder, etc.), but Milani’s recently released Rose Powder Blushes are much pickier about what they require to be decent. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. I was definitely surprised that the blush did not look at all powdery on the skin, over foundation, but otherwise, I was pretty disappointed–especially after seeing the brand put out a stellar product like Bella Rosa (a bold, bright, pigmented blush that applied well too!).

The Glossover

LE
product

Lady Rouge (06)

D+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, February 21st, 2014

theBalm Eyeshadow Pans
theBalm Eyeshadow Pans

Here are the next six shades from the forty-four new eyeshadows available in pan-form from theBalm, which launched at the beginning of this year. 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. .

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.

#7 is a golden peach with warm undertones and a frosted finish. It had good color payoff with a soft texture that was easy to blend and work with on the eye. It wore well for eight hours before gradually fading. Tarina Tarantino Delightful #4 (P) is lighter. bareMinerals Ball Gown (LE) is warmer. Clarins The Essentials #3 (LE) is similar. Too Faced Cheers! (LE, $16.00) is a smidgen lighter. LORAC Light Bronze (P) is less frosted. Disney by Sephora Splendid (LE) is lighter. MAC All That Glitters (P, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

#8 is a dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a sprinkling of gold sparkle. The texture was dry, so it didn’t bind or adhere well to the skin, which resulted in semi-sheer to semi-opaque color payoff. It performs better with a base, as it will give it something to adhere to. On my eyes, it lasted for seven hours before looking faded. theBalm #1 (P, $6.50) is darker, warmer. bareMinerals Toasted Espresso (LE, $14.00) is more frosted. Makeup Geek Bada-Bing (P, $5.99) is warmer, darker. See comparison swatches. I thought it might be a replacement for B4, but it seems like it lacks a little bit of that gold sparkle/shimmer.

#9 is a deep, dark black with a mostly matte finish. It was intensely pigmented but had a soft, blendable texture. A little will go a long way, so depending on the look, you might want to use a light hand! It wore well for eight hours before fading. It seems like it is Serious with an even softer texture. There are many deep, dark blacks, so it is easily duped — see comparison swatches.

#10 is a golden, medium-dark brown with a soft, frosted finish and warm undertones. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was really soft, buttery, and smooth. It wore well for just over eight hours. MAC Golden Hours #1 (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC A Medley of Mauves #4 (P, $21.00) is less frosted. Too Faced Hazelnut (P, $16.00) is darker. Dior Golden Flower #4 (LE) is more golden. Too Faced Buttered Rum (LE, $16.00) is more metallic, lighter. Urban Decay Ambush (LE, $18.00) is darker. Too Faced Gangsta (LE, $16.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

#11 is a bright white with a metallic finish. It had fairly good color payoff, but it wasn’t as opaque as you’d expect, though it was buildable. The texture was soft and smooth, and the color lasted for eight hours before beginning to fade. As you might expect with a basic shade like this, there are tons of possible dupes — see comparison swatches. It seems very comparable to theBalm Sassy as well.

#12 is a slightly muted, light-medium yellow gold with a pearly sheen. It had so-so pigmentation, and it was somewhat powdery to work with. It showed signs of fading after seven and a half hours of wear. theBalm #29 (P, $6.50) is less shimmery, more orange-tinged. theBalm #40 (P, $6.50) is a little brighter but surprisingly similar. MAC Lemon Tart (P, $15.00) is similar. MAC Captivating #1 (LE, $21.00) is lighter, more frosted. theBalm D1 (LE, $16.00) seems to have a smoother sheen but color-wise, very similar. theBalm Snobby (P, $16.00) is a little lighter. MAC Dreammaker (LE, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

#7

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

#8

D+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

#9

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Tom Ford Ice Queen Eyeshadow Quad
Tom Ford Ice Queen Eyeshadow Quad

Tom Ford Ice Queen Eyeshadow Quad ($78.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a cool-toned palette that features shades of white, gray, silver, and bluish-gray. I feel like I’m in the minority, but generally, I’m not over-the-moon with the brand’s eyeshadow formula or their quads. I thought this review would be a nice companion to yesterday’s palette review to show that products can miss at any price point. Though every shade feels like silk and lightness, they don’t apply well. The texture just doesn’t seem to adhere well and each one yields a soft wash of color, and the darkest shade looked uneven and dry on my lid. I’ve been on-and-off testing Tom Ford’s eyeshadow primer, and so as this was under-performing on its own, I also wore it over that and was equally unimpressed. That dry, patchy application of the darkest shade didn’t improve at all over the brand’s primer, which did surprise me somewhat. Sometimes the glittery shade works well for me, other times they do result in fall out–this one had some fall out, but most of it occurs during application and only some occurs during wear (but enough to be noticeable). All four eyeshadows looked faded after seven hours of wear, and the frosted silver showed some creasing. I have loved some of Tom Ford’s quads, but I have also been burned by a few, and this one was a miss for me.

Ice Queen #1 is a brightened, neutral-to-cool white with a frosted, almost metallic, finish. This was the best-performing shade in the palette, as the texture was soft, smooth, and adhered to the lid. The color payoff was fairly good, but this is such a basic shade (so it’s good to have it somewhere ni your stash), there are a lot of dupes — see comparison swatches.

Ice Queen #2 is a sparkly, light-medium silver with a glittery, metallic finish. It had semi-sheer color payoff, but it’s best applied as a sheer wash as it gets chunky and clingy when layered. I would highly recommend applying your eye makeup first so that the glittery excess can be cleaned up prior to applying your base products. It did have some fall out during wear (beyond what occurred during application). Much like the previous shade, this, too, is a shade that has been done a lot in the beauty world — see comparison swatches.

Ice Queen #3 is a light-medium gray with a soft, pearly sheen. It had so-so color payoff, and I did not find it buildable on the lid. The texture is soft, finely-milled, and velvety. The finish of this shade made it difficult to dupe. Chanel Fascination #2 (P) is much lighter. Guerlain Les Gris #2 (P) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Ice Queen #4 is a muted, dark bluish-gray with a matte finish. The texture, while undeniably soft and silky, was quite powdery and chalky in application. It seemed to cling to the skin and apply unevenly–it looked dry and patchy on my eyelid, even when applied over primer. It was extremely difficult to blend, because the more I blended, the drier and more uneven it looked. NARS Mandchourie #2 (P, $24.00) is bluer. MAC Typographic (P, $15.00) is grayer. Guerlain Les Gris #1 (P) is darker. bareMinerals Amnesia (P) is darker. bareMinerals Maven (LE) is bluer. MAC Plumage (P, $15.00) is less gray. Inglot #389 (P, $6.00) is bluer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
palette

Ice Queen

D+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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P
product

Ice Queen #1

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Ice Queen #2

C-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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