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

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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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#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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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

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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
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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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Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Sephora Lunar Eclipse (98) Colorful Eyeshadow
Sephora Lunar Eclipse (98) Colorful Eyeshadow

For spring, Sephora added four new Mirror finish eyeshadows to their already-massive Colorful Eyeshadow range. These are very… un-spring-like in a way, as three of the shades are darker and smokier than the pastels we typically see during the season, so it’s a refreshing set of shades. Looking at the other shades that existed previously, they’re good choices to help round out the colors with this finish. The Mirror finish is supposed to be highly pigmented with “the highest possible shine.” Sephora’s Colorful eyeshadow formula boasts a 10-hour wear time with “an ultrasmooth, blendable texture.”

Sephora Lunar Eclipse (98) Colorful Eyeshadow ($13.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a gold-leaning pewter with a sparkling, metallic finish. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was almost cream-like and applied smoothly overall. It wore well for almost nine hours and had almost no fall out over time. bareMinerals Golden Pear (LE, $14.00) is less metallic. Dior Constellation (864) #2 (LE) is lighter, less golden. MAC Greenluxe #3 (P) is less sparkly. MAC Antique Diamond (P, $18.50) is a cream. Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 #4 (LE) is lighter. Giorgio Armani #19 (LE, $33.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches or view The Dupe List.

Planet Earth (99) Colorful Eyeshadow ($13.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a medium-dark, olive green with green and gold micro-sparkle and a metallic sheen. It had more of a neutral undertone–not quite cool, not quite warm. It had nice pigmentation, and it applied smoothly. This shade lasted for eight and a half hours on me with very minor fall out. Ulta Sage (P, $10.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Mildew (P, $18.00) is warmer. MAC Unsurpassable (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Greensmoke (DC, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches or view The Dupe List.

Across the Universe (100) Colorful Eyeshadow ($13.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a smoky, navy blue with lighter, brighter blue sparkle and shimmer and a pearly sheen. They can’t all be winners, and this one was a miss–the texture was drier, stiffer, and the resulting color payoff was semi-sheer to semi-opaque. It seemed to fade faster than the other shades as I could see some fading and some fall out after seven hours. Giorgio Armani Blue Beetle (34) (LE, $33.00) is lighter, brighter. Makeup Geek Ocean Breeze (P, $5.99) is more muted. Sugarpill Magpie (P, $12.00) is brighter. bareMinerals Controversy (LE) is lighter. See comparison swatches or view The Dupe List.

Star-Crossed Lovers (103) Colorful Eyeshadow ($13.00 for 0.07 oz.) is light-medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and larger pink micro-glitter and a metallic sheen. It had good color payoff, but it seemed to have chunkier glitter than the other three, so I had some noticeable fall out by the eighth hour, though the color itself seemed to do well for nine hours. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #12 (P, $9.99) is less sparkly, darker. MAC Da Bling (P, $15.00) is less sparkly, more muted. Make Up For Ever #24E (P, $20.00) is a cream product. See comparison swatches or view The Dupe List.

The Glossover

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product

Lunar Eclipse (98)

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

Planet Earth (99)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Across the Universe (100)

D+

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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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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