Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Sephora Break the Bank (11) Eyeshadow
Sephora Break the Bank (11) Eyeshadow

Sephora Break the Bank (11) Eyeshadow ($13.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as an “emerald green with silver glitter.” It’s a darkened, aqua green with silver and aqua glitter and metallic finish. Tom Ford Emerald Lust is darker, less green. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl is bluer. Becca Luella is a touch darker.

This shade applied better with a dampened brush, because the color was weak dry, and there was a ton of glitter fall out if the eyeshadow was patted on dry. Unfortunately, while applying it damp helped to improve color payoff and minimize fall out, it did not apply evenly or smoothly; it looked patchy and faded from the get-go. With this particular shade, I think the only way to really get the color to come through is by layering it over a green/teal (or white) colored base.

The Glossover

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product

Break the Bank (11)

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It's much too fussy at this price point--it needs a colored, tacky base, and at best, it works better but not superbly.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Estee Lauder Rebel Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick
Estee Lauder Rebel Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick

Estee Lauder Rebel Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick ($25.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a cool-toned, rosy medium-dark pink with a frosted sheen. MAC Pink Pearl is more muted, glossier. NARS Never Say Never is purpler. NYX Rose is lighter. Chanel Belgravia is very close in color but less frosted.

Estee Lauder described the color as “rich, satiny color” with an emphasis on how lightweight and lustrous the finish and feel are. The press release actually states “highly pigmented shades” with a “creamy, lightweight matte formula [that] exudes a sheer and satin finish.” So, “sheer” in the product name is not in relation to the color payoff–just so we’re clear! The formula is also supposed to “add moisture and hydrate.”

Rebel provided mostly opaque color coverage, but it clung and felt like it was sucking all the moisture out of my lips only moments after applying. I wore this, and it wasn’t pleasant; it lasted for five and a half hours (yay!) but was terribly drying.  It was a stiffer consistency, not really the creamy texture they seemed to be going after, and as I applied it, the lipstick tugged and dragged on my lips.  The lipstick comes in a slim twist-up container in the color of the lipstick inside.

The Glossover

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Estee Lauder Rebel Pure Color Sheer Matte Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

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

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

Not Quite as Tempting as Touted

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes four shades: Look at the Eyes (light violet), Stay Sultry (deep navy), Naval (navy blue), and Carbon (intense black).  It’s a limited edition palette that will launch with Taste Temptation, due for release in-stores on December 13th.

Look at the Eyes is a pale lilac with a frosted finish. It has decent color payoff, though when I used it, I really packed it on to get it to show up. It was the best performing shade out of the four. MAC Creative Whim is similar–a bit purpler. MAC Silverwear is lighter. OCC Datura is more iridescent, brighter.

Stay Sultry is a blackened purple with a bluish shimmer. It’s supposed to have a satin finish. It had a stiff, dry texture when I attempted to swatch it, and it performed similarly on the lid. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is purpler. MAC Indian Ink is also purpler, but it is similar. MAC Spellcaster is a touch redder.

Naval is an indigo blue; there’s just this purplish tint that keeps it from being as blue as it seems. It seemed even less blue when I was working with it on the eye. It looks like a matte, though it is listed as a velvet finish on the label. OCC Technoir is brighter, bluer. NARS Self Portrait 3 is lighter. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is shimmery. NARS Self Portrait 1 is more vibrant. This shade is part of the permanent (PRO) range.

Carbon is a matte black. It has sheer color payoff with a stiff, dry texture that makes blending difficult. It’s part of the permanent range, and it’s been repromoted more than a few times recently. Shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine, NARS Self Portrait 2, Milani Pitch Black, and other black eyeshadows are all similar. Matte black is a basic enough color, so it’s really about finding the texture and richness of black that you like best. Carbon is a softer black (I’d describe it as a medium black).

The best part of the quad was inviting one to use the set of four shades together. It’s a very dark set of colors, aside from the one light one, so it was interesting trying to come up with something that used all four. The best shade was Look at the Eyes, which was softer than the other three, and it proved to have the most color payoff. You might say to yourself, “But it looks pigmented in the how-to,” but since the images are static, let me tell you that in order to develop the intensity of the crease color (Naval), I put brush to pan five times. Then, three times a piece for all three shades I used on the lid (Stay Sultry, Look at the Eyes, Carbon). In comparison, for a good eyeshadow, once is usually enough.  I’ve been wearing all four eyeshadows over a primer as well as on bare lids–and you absolutely need a primer to get decent color payoff–for the past six hours, and everything looks good thus far. If I experience any fading/creasing, I’ll update the post later tonight to reflect that.

I don’t think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don’t need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow.  There’s absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.  For a similar (but these are not exact dupes!) composition by MAC with higher quality shades from their permanent range, try Beautiful Iris, Indian Ink, Atlantic Blue (for a brighter blue) or Contrast (slightly darker), and Typographic (or your preferred matte black).

The Glossover

palette

Taste Temptation

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I don't think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don't need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow. There's absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, October 26th, 2012

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette
MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette

Fabulous This is Not

MAC Fabulousness / Neutral Eye Palette ($39.50 for 0.14 oz.) contains five eyeshadows: Blonde Mink (grey taupe frost), Magical Mist (metallic taupe), Brun (muted blackish-brown), Enviable (cool mint green with pearl), and Smut (muted black with red shimmer). Heads up–Brun and Smut are both part of the permanent range, and Magical Mist has made its way into a couple of past holiday palettes, too.

Whew! There is not a lot of product in this palette! For reference, MAC eyeshadow quads ($38.00) typically contain 0.19 to 0.20 oz. (about 0.05 oz. per eyeshadow). Last year’s holiday eyeshadow palettes contained 0.21 oz. (and retailed for $38.00). The prior year’s holiday palettes contained 0.19 oz. (and retailed for $36.00). You used to get six shades, but with this year’s design, you’re getting five.

Blonde Mink is a sheer, cool-toned, pale white-gray with a soft, frosted finish. It is supposed to have a Lustre finish. It looks grayer in the pan, but swatched, it’s very light and looks rather white. It had a very stiff, firm texture and didn’t yield much color. NARS Vent Glace is similar. Chanel Fantasme is a little reminiscent of this color, but Fantasme is more sparkly.

Magical Mist is a medium-dark brown with copper sparkle. It’s just barely warm. This shade has a lustre finish. The color payoff was decent, but it does have some loose sparkle, so it may be prone to fall out. Urban Decay Nevermind is warmer. MAC Earthly is more cool-toned. Buxom Mutt is barely warmer.

Brun is a dark black-brown, but you wouldn’t know it based on this palette. The texture was so, so dry and stiff. The finish is satin, though Brun tends to look more matte to me. I have it in the full-size, permanent pot, and it’s a dream to work with. Even when I applied this to the eye, it wasn’t easily blended out, and I definitely had to pick up the pigment, place it, and go back for more. For a real look at Brun, check out this swatch. MAC Diamond Dove is similar. MAC Twilight Falls is more taupe. theBalm Matt Ramirez is similar.

Enviable is a smoky forest green with a very subdued quality to it, color-wise. The texture was softer and smoother than the four other shades in the palette, and the color payoff was good. NARS High Society is similar but matte, so it appears darker. Tarina Tarantino Very Wicked is greener, darker. MAC Lady Grey is warmer. Make Up For Ever #84 is darker.

Smut is a red-toned, medium-dark brown with a satin finish. Here, too, Smut is a pale imitation of the permanent version (seen here. I was able to get a little more bang out of it when applied with a brush. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is similar. MAC Legendary Black is cooler-toned. Tarina Tarantino Saw Dust Heart is similar but has no shimmer.

I had to use an eyeshadow primer to get the colors to show up in a look. When I tried to use and test them without a base, there was so little color payoff.  I had some fall out with Blonde Mink when I used it on the center of the lid, but it was not terrible.  Out of the palette, I used Enviable on the inner lid, Blonde Mink on the center of the lid, Brun on the outer lid, and Smut in the crease.  The reality of this palette is Enviable is the best shade, but on its own, it’s just a so-so shade. The other four eyeshadows are sheer, dry, and stiff–and two have some fall out during wear.  I will go ahead and say that of the three eyeshadow palettes, this one was the worst performing (this just happened to be the one that came alphabetically, so it was the first to be reviewed!).

I’m actually just really sad when it comes to MAC holiday palettes now.  There are so many options for palettes during the holidays, and I’ve already tested at least a dozen of them (reviews are still forthcoming for many) and MAC’s wouldn’t be where I’d go this year.  I’d take my money and check out brands like Bare Escentuals (the Ready palettes for the holidays are incredible!), Tarte (reader reviews have been very positive), and Too Faced–just to name some comparably priced palettes.  Not to mention, Urban Decay released three palettes recently for $36 each with more product than these.

The Glossover

palette

Fabulousness Neutral

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I'm actually just really sad when it comes to MAC holiday palettes now. There are so many options for palettes during the holidays, and I've already tested at least a dozen of them (reviews are still forthcoming for many) and MAC's wouldn't be where I'd go this year.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC How to Marry Eyeshadow
MAC How to Marry Eyeshadow

A Story of Four Misses

MAC Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) include these four shades How to Marry (soft white), Preferred Blonde (pale champagne beige), Showgirl (dark blue grey), and Silver Screen (true silver). All four are supposed to have a veluxe pearl finish, and they are double the size of a regular MAC eyeshadow.

How to Marry is a pale, cool-toned white with so-so color payoff and a frosted finish. MAC Crystal Avalanche is very, very similar–and it has better color payoff and is part of the permanent range! Maybelline Too Cool is similar but a cream product. theBalm Sassy is similar. Bobbi Brown White is matte. Bare Escentuals Cheers is also similar.

Preferred Blonde is a warm white with a hint of champagne and a frosted finish. It has semi-sheer color payoff. MAC White Frost is whiter. theBalm Envious Erin is warmer. MAC Dazzlelight is a smidgen more beige. MAC Vanilla is not as shimmery.

Showgirl is a medium-dark navy blue with a hint of purple and a silver shimmer. It has so-so pigmentation, but it is a little dry and stiff. MAC Bright Moon is more metallic. MAC Frozen Blue is lighter. theBalm Matt Horowitz is a bit darker. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is more purple.

Silver Screen is a sheer silver-white with a frosted finish. If it was more opaque, you could get more of a metallic sheen out of it. Buxom Sheepdog is very close but cream. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a very similar shade. MAC Filament is similar but it also has some quality issues. MAC Misty is similar but more metallic.

Three of the four really look very similar, and even on, it was hard to tell where one shade ended and the other began. The dusty, powdery quality of the texture of these made it difficult to apply and made them prone to fading and fall out post-application. I tried applying them over bare lids, over primer (NARS Smudgeproof), and used damp.  I really couldn’t get half-decent payoff without using a primer and using them wet and packing the color on. “Highly pigmented powder” they are not.  Here’s my thinking: if you dig the colors, consider creating a quad using these four permanent MAC eyeshadows: Crystal Avalanche, Dazzlelight, Contrast, and Electra.

On a different note, I think the composition of these four was disappointing. I would have loved to have seen a matte shade or two, which would have fit with the theme, and it would have made for more versatile and dynamic looks. I didn’t feel like these shades went well with the lipsticks (the bluish-gray was definitely throwing everything off), and it was frost overload.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

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MAC Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches

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Here's my thinking: if you dig the colors, consider creating a quad using these four permanent MAC eyeshadows: Crystal Avalanche, Dazzlelight, Contrast, and Electra.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, August 6th, 2012

L'Oreal Endless Sea Infallible Eyeshadow
L’Oreal Endless Sea Infallible Eyeshadow

Swimming in an Endless Sea of Disappointment

L’Oreal Endless Sea Infallible Eyeshadow ($7.95 for 0.12 oz.) is a faded cool-toned blue with a hint of aqua-teal. MAC Sky is similar but has a stronger golden sheen. Tarina Tarantino Ozma is much more teal and darker. Urban Decay Shattered is grayer. Guerlain Les Aquas is lighter, bluer. Urban Decay Aquarius is very similar, slightly more aqua than blue. Inglot #413 is more teal.

The shade that most immediately caught my eye when I first received the new shades was Endless Sea, but it was a complete disappointment.  The color payoff is severely lacking, both when used dry as well as wet; as is typically the case, it is more pigmented when used damp–decent pigmentation–it’s still not where it should be. It’s not the rich, intense color that L’Oreal advertises for the formula.

The texture feels a little drier than some of the other shades I’ve tested, which might account for the poor pigmentation.  It doesn’t bind together as smoothly (even when applied dampened), so it has a tendency to look patchy upon application.  I applied Endless Sea on the lid (next to Golden Emerald, which was superb), and it was sad and faded after ten hours.  

Most formulas have a couple of misses, and this one is indeed one of them, but there are some very lovely shades, like Golden Emerald and Smoldering Plum (both reviewed earlier this past week). A cheap product doesn’t mean it’s a bad product–but a cheap product that’s bad is still a waste of your hard-earned money, so I’d avoid this one and opt for one of the better pigmented and better wearing shades mentioned earlier.

For a comparison against Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, please see this post. As a quick summary, L’Oreal’s colors can be less nuanced/have less depth, and then the wear seems to be a little more inconsistent with L’Oreal (some wearing fantastically, others creasing/fading more rapidly). The way I look at it (assuming you wear primer, because then the wear is usually fine), the more the merrier!  There doesn’t seem to be a lot of overlap between the color ranges, though–they’re not putting out dupes so much as different shades in a similar formula.

The Glossover

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product

Endless Sea

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It seemed like it was going to be a stunning shade, but it just lacked the pigmentation to really make it workable and desirable. Whether you use it wet or over a primer, it looks dull, faded, and patchy.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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