Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Illamasqua ESP Lipstick
Illamasqua ESP Lipstick

Illamasqua ESP Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “vivid violet.” It’s a rich, violet purple with pink undertones and a matte finish. Nothing that I could think of seemed to come very close–this is very purple; not pink, not fuchsia, and then not ultra dark/vampy. OCC Belladonna was the closest, but it’s lighter. MAC Potent Fig and MAC Fervent are much darker, less violet. MAC Violetta and MAC Heroine are both much pinker. Illamasqua Kontrol is purpler, grayer, and quite a bit darker. See swatch comparisons here.

Though it’s a more unique color, and anyone who’s been on the hunt for a brightened purple will be tempted by ESP, the texture is very, very unforgiving. It’s incredibly dry, which made application problematic, wear uncomfortable, and the color looked dry and patchy applied. I would highly recommend laying down a smidgen of balm first–just enough to make everything smooth over better–and applying the color with a lip brush.It’s very easy to break the bullet because of how much pressure you exert just to swipe the lipstick across the lips (it tugs, drags, and pulls). It will come as no surprise but this is uncomfortable to wear, because it feels like it is clinging to the lips and is somewhat drying (but not as drying as it looks). The upside, I guess, is because it is clingy, whatever you do apply will last quite awhile (six hours for me).

The Glossover

P
product

ESP

D+
This was one of the driest, stiffest lipsticks I've used not -- not just drying or clingy but the consistency of the lipstick was hard to work with and apply.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

4/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Sunday, April 7th, 2013

NARS Fashion Rebel Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Fashion Rebel Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Fashion Rebel Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “dandelion and African frost.” It’s a brighter, bolder duo that is being added to the permanent range. The combination is one you’ll either love or loathe, because it’s bold, bright, and not a pairing that everyone gravitates towards.

Fashion Rebel #1 is a mostly matte yellow with orange-y undertones–not quite a goldenrod shade but close. Jasmine Cave of Wonders is shimmery. Sephora Banan Split is frosted. Inglot #323 is yellower. Illamasqua Hype is lighter, more matte. The color payoff was just so-so–it really needs to be packed and pressed on, as the texture is on the stiffer side. In order to get even, more opaque color, I had to use NARS’ primer underneath.

Fashion Rebel #2 is a pink-tinged violet with a matte finish. MAC Spoiled Rich is darker, purpler. bareMinerals Statement is pinker. Sugarpill 2AM is lightly shimmered and brighter. Bobbi Brown Ultra Violet has a light shimmer. Urban Decay Purple Haze is darker. Inglot #334 is more lavender. It had a powdery texture, so it was prone to sheering out in places. The best way to apply this shade was to press and pat it on, then lightly blend around the edges very, very carefully. Like the yellow, it was hard to use without a primer, because the color payoff was so sheer.

I’m not keen on this eyeshadow duo as a result of the sheerer color payoff and less-than-stellar textures.  The yellow shade was stiff and required a lot of layering to build up the color, while the purple shade was powdery and prone to sheering out–and both absolutely needed a primer to even work half-decently.  When worn without a primer, they both were somewhat faded after eight hours, while when worn with a primer, there was less fading but still slight fading of the purple shade (but the yellow was fine).

The Glossover

palette

NARS Fashion Rebel Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
I'm not keen on this eyeshadow duo as a result of the sheerer color payoff and less-than-stellar textures. Even with a primer, which many do use as part of their regular routine, it wasn't a good product.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder
Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder

Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder ($32.00 for 0.80 oz.) is supposed to be “inspired by nature’s most flattering pink and golden-light at dusk … to impart a lit-from-within radiance.” When all the heart-shaped beads are swirled together, the resulting color is a warm champagne-shimmered tan with a slightly frosted, shimmery finish. Chanel Sable Beige is similar but less orange. NARS Miss Liberty is lighter. NARS Satellite of Love is very similar but has more golden shimmer/sparkle.

Based on Too Faced’s description of this product, it seems to be designed to use all-over rather than as a very targeted, specific highlighter. In practice, I don’t think it is workablef or allover, and the reason is that it emphasizes imperfections in the skin from having too much frost/pearl in the beads. I thought it was a highlighter, actually, because it appears frosted on the skin and emphasized the pores along my cheeks. I don’t think it’s flattering used allover or as a highlighter on cheeks. Though the color is supposed to be buildable, it required several layers just to get it to kind of show up on my medium complexion. The beads just don’t want to give up product, so it wasn’t as easy to apply as I had hoped. The wear is average; six hours of good wear but noticeable fading after eight hours. The texture is slightly gritty from the sparkle and shimmer, and it never fully smooths out.

The Glossover

product

Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
It's not buildable enough to be a good highlighter, but then it's not subtle enough to work all-over. The finish emphasizes pores and imperfections of the skin's texture, so it doesn't enhance the complexion.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Estee Lauder Demure Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick
Estee Lauder Demure Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick

Estee Lauder Demure Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a cool-toned, medium-dark fuchsia pink with a soft iridescent frost sheen. It has a frosted matte finish. NARS 413 BLKR is actually very similar–a smidgen darker but otherwise close both in color and finish. Illamasqua Atomic is also close in color and finish, as it has that frosted matte look and fuchsia hue.

Estee Lauder’s most recent lipstick formula is a far cry from where mattes have come; this feels like an old school matte: the kind that’s clingy, drying, and so hard to endure wearing. The color just gets sucked onto the lips leaving them looking dry and chapped, rather than healthy, and it really does feel like it’s sucking all of the moisture of your lips while it wears.  Demure wears for six hours, though, and leaves behind a noticeable stain, too.  The consistency is stiff, so it pulls and tugs at the lips when you apply the color.

The Glossover

LE
product

Demure

D+
Gorgeous color but the painfully drying formula makes lips look half as dry as they feel--neither are favorable characteristics!

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Make Up For Ever Technicolor Eyeshadow Palette
Make Up For Ever Technicolor Eyeshadow Palette

Make Up For Ever Technicolor Eyeshadow Palette ($45.00 for 0.24 oz.) includes eight eyeshadows: #04 (matte black), Jaune (yellow), #91 (apple green), #72 (matte vibrant turquoise), #116 (lilac), #00 (matte white), #17 (matte chocolate brown), and #126 (tan beige shimmer). With the exception of Jaune, the other seven shades are part of the permanent range.

#04 is a rich black with a matte finish and subtle warm undertones. It was soft, applied smoothly, and had good color payoff. It’s similar to other black eyeshadows such as Urban Decay Crave, Le Metier de Beaute Fin, and Urban Decay Blackout.

Jaune is a warm, sunshine yellow with a subtle satiny sheen. It had good color payoff, but it was powdery. NARS Flowers #5 is more pearly. Illamasqua Hype is matte. MAC Goldenrod is darker and matte. Inglot #323 is matte.

#91 is a brightened green with soft, yellow undertones and a matte finish. It was powdery and had so-so color payoff–and my individual version was much smoother and more pigmented. I had a lot of trouble getting this shade to look vibrant on the lid and blend with the other shades. Illamasqua Fledgling is much darker, whereas Illamasqua Pivot is much lighter. MAC Wondergrass a touch darker and shimmery.

#72 is a medium blue with a matte finish. It had so-so color payoff and was a bit powdery. The color stained a little bit when I swatched it, but wearing it over a primer to test wear (because it didn’t work well at all on its own), it didn’t. The original that I have is more intense–so much more pigmented. NARS Mad Mad World is richer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine #3 is darker, less cyan. Inglot #371 is a bit darker and more opaque.

#116 is a darkened lavender with a matte finish. This shade was very powdery and rather sheer; I could not build up color at all.NARS High Society #1 is grayer. Illamasqua Can Can is brighter. Urban Decay Tainted has shimmer.

#00 is a pure white with a matte finish. It had good color payoff and was soft, smooth, and applied well. It is similar to shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine #1, Bobbi Brown White, and Inglot #373.

#17 is a medium-dark brown with warm, tan undertones and a matte finish. This was the best performing shade in the palette–nicely pigmented, smooth, and soft. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa #3 is lighter and pearly. theBalm Tres Moi is redder and frosted. Inglot #357 is lighter.

#126 is a light beige with warm, peachy undertones and a soft, frosted shimmer-sheen finish. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly, but it was a tiny bit powdery. Urban Decay Broken is similar but less shimmery. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone #1 is less shimmery, more frosted. MAC Ricepaper is more satiny.

I used four of the eight shades in a look, and I opted to go for the brighter shades since I figured those would be the shades that were most eye-catching within the palette.  I expected a quick, easy, and overall fuss-free application, but I had a very opposite experience:  the powderiness present across many of the shades made it difficult to get rich, opaque color payoff and blend the colors at the same time. I would apply #91 and pack it on, then I’d go to blend it, and half of it would disappear into the ether.  I’ve never had this problem with Make Up For Ever’s eyeshadows.  They’re one of my favorite brands for matte eyeshadows, because they aren’t dry and powdery and prone to sheerness.

#116 was the worst offender, followed by #91.  #04 and #17 were the easiest to use out of the eight.  I’m surprised and shocked at the way these applied.  I tried using the same eyeshadows on two separate days, in case maybe my lids just weren’t right for them.  I had to use the eyeshadows over primer to see any color really stick to the lid, and still, I couldn’t get full color payoff on #91.  After the tenth time packing on the color, I threw in the towel (err, brush?).  I think you need to use a creamier, whiter base underneath these to really get them to work well.  Over Make Up For Ever Prime, the eyeshadows lasted eight hours but did look faded, though no creasing.

I have to admit–I’m a bit heartbroken over the outcome.

The Glossover

palette

Technicolor

D+

I've never had this problem with Make Up For Ever's eyeshadows. They're one of my favorite brands for matte eyeshadows, because they aren't dry and powdery and prone to sheerness. I have to admit--I'm a bit heartbroken over the outcome.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Muscle Tone Nail Lacquer
MAC Muscle Tone Nail Lacquer

MAC Strength: Muscle Tone Nail Lacquer

MAC Muscle Tone Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “pale neutral nude.” It’s a light beige with mostly neutral undertones but perhaps leans a little warm when I see it against my skin tone. It has a cream finish. MAC Sandpiper is sheerer but similar. Essie Brooch the Subject is darker. Rescue Beauty Lounge Sheer Nude is darker.

This polish didn’t want to apply well at all. I tried three different applications, and the third attempt still came out streaky, uneven, and all-around poorly!  MAC definitely has a stiffer/sharper brush that seems to make their pale creams more prone to streaking.  Even when I layered a really thick second coat on top and tried to minimize how many passes of the brush I used, I couldn’t get it to level and even out. The consistency of the polish was slightly thick, but it didn’t seem so thick that it was going to be problematic (though it was).

The Glossover

LE
product

Muscle Tone

D+
This polish didn't want to apply well at all. I tried three different applications, and the third attempt still came out streaky, uneven, and all-around poorly!

Product

4.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2/5

Results
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