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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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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Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Chanel Infini Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow
Chanel Infini Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow

Chanel Infini Ombre Essentielle / Soft Touch Eyeshadow ($28.50 for 0.05 oz.) is described as “silver.” It’s a light silver with a frosted, metallic finish. Guerlain Les Aquas is similar but more metallic, slightly darker. MAC Misty is very similar. MAC Filament is a bit darker. Bobbi Brown Tinsel is similar in color but chunkier in texture.

The color payoff was disappointing, and I absolutely had to use it wet in order to get a somewhat smooth finish. I tried to apply it to the lid, and it was sheer and patchy, despite trying to pack on the color. It feels so soft to the touch, but it just doesn’t come together for me. I still attempted to wear it, even if it did look awful from the get-go, and it was slightly creased after eight hours when worn alone or over a primer.  When I wore it over a primer, the pigmentation was better, but it still wasn’t great.  The texture, for as soft as it is, doesn’t seem to hold together, which is what causes sheerer color payoff and patchy application.

I was excited for my order to arrive, but this is a far cry from the excellence that was Complice.  It’s surprising to see a silver shade like Infini fall so flat, because I feel like there are so many silver eyeshadows on the market and plenty of them have rich pigmentation.  The metallic nature of silvers also means they often go on smoothly, too.

The Glossover

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Infini

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I was excited for my order to arrive, but this is a far cry from the excellence that was Complice. It's surprising to see a silver shade like Infini fall so flat, because I feel like there are so many silver eyeshadows on the market and plenty of them have rich pigmentation.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

NARS Outlaw Blush
NARS Outlaw Blush

NARS Fall 2012: Outlaw Blush

NARS Outlaw Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft rose with golden shimmer.” It’s a medium-dark raspberry pink with a faint golden shimmer-sheen. MAC Mocha has a similar base color without the golden sheen, a little more red-toned. MAC Star Wonder is similar but a little lighter. Illamasqua Ambition is lighter, paler. MAC Plum Foolery is plummier. theBalm Cabana Boy has more plum in it and no golden sheen.

It looks like Outlaw is being added to the permanent range, as it is not noted as limited edition with the fall collection (only the eyeshadow trio and nail polish are). The color is undoubtedly gorgeous; it seems like a shade that would be wearable on a variety of complexions. Working with it was troubling–trying to do a heavy swatch required a lot of scraping of the product to get enough loose for decent pigmentation. The texture was so dry that it was almost unmoveable, which led to really disappointing color payoff, sheerness, and patchy color overall.

Sometimes this can happen but will be less of a problem during application–this was not that case–it was difficult to blend out the color once applied.  The pigmentation seemed a bit better, because I was able to really loosen the powder by jabbing my blush brush into the pan, but trying to apply and blend it out around the edges was a more frustrating effort.  The wear of Outlaw was seven hours with minor fading around the edges.  Overall, the color is beautiful, but it needs major improvement on the texture. It’s not the highly pigmented, soft, blendable formula NARS describes it as.

The Glossover

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Outlaw

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Overall, the color is beautiful, but it needs major improvement on the texture. The texture was so dry that it was almost unmoveable, which led to really disappointing color payoff, sheerness, and patchy color overall.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Chanel Peche Cuivre Le Crayon Khol
Chanel Peche Cuivre Le Crayon Khol

Chanel Peche Cuivre Le Crayon Khol

Chanel Peche Cuivre Le Crayon Khol ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a golden peach with a subtly metallic finish. It’s actually very similar to Giorgio Armani’s #5 Copper from the holidays–it might be the faintest bit darker.  This shade is one that is best as a brightener–it’s the kind of hue that works really well on the water line to wake up peepers, but the texture of this doesn’t lend itself to comfortable application on the water line.

The formula is supposed to have “rich, intense” color with a “semi-matte finish.” It is also listed as safe for usage on the rim of the eye. Each of Chanel’s pencil eyeliners comes with its own sharpener. The color applies mostly opaque in one pass, but it requires a lot of pressure to get it to apply evenly in one go. I’m not keen on the hard, dry texture of the pencil; it feels rough against the lash line. It will pull and tug noticeably, and I ended up having to go back and forth several times rather than exert more pressure as it wasn’t comfortable to use otherwise.

This color may be most striking on deeper skin tones, because on my complexion, it just gets lost.  It only wore for six hours before looking faded; this combined with the harder texture makes this a disappointment.  Chanel’s Le Crayon Yeux is a much better formula, so I was really shocked at how different (in a bad way) this formula was.  Eyeliners really need to be soft, provide good color payoff, and wear long and well.  I think there are too many stellar eyeliner formulas on the market to make excuses for under-performers.

The Glossover

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Peche Cuivre

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This color may be most striking on deeper skin tones, because on my complexion, it just gets lost. It only wore for six hours before looking faded; this combined with the harder texture makes this a disappointment.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, April 16th, 2012

NARS Marie-Galante Eyeshadow Duo
NARS Marie-Galante Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Marie-Galante Eyeshadow Duo

NARS Marie-Galante Eyeshadow Duo ($34.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as an “iridescent orchid” and “regal blue.” The left shade is a pale pink lilac with a lavender iridescence. The color payoff is sheer and translucent. MAC Light Violet is a bit similar, though not as pink. Inglot #346 is also more lavender, less pink, and has a matte finish. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is similar, though perhaps a little pinker, and has more of a satin-like finish. The right shade is a darkened navy blue with a violet shimmer and sheen, which becomes more pronounced when applied (it looked less blue, more purple). The pigmentation on this is decent, but there is some sheerness in the swatch as well as when applied. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is very, very similar–less iridescent. MAC Starless Night is much darker, deeper. MAC Imaginary is purpler.

This eyeshadow duo creased after six hours over an eyeshadow primer (NARS Smudgeproof, actually), and on top of the creasing, there was significant fading of both shades from this duo (the blue was on the upper half of the lid and in the crease while the lilac shade was blended above the crease). I have normal-to-dry lids, and NARS Smudgeproof is my go-to primer normally, and while NARS eyeshadows do, typically, have some minor creasing and/or fading when worn without a base after eight hours, the wear here was abnormal. The creasing became more apparent after eight hours, but the fading was surprisingly noticeable after six and steadily worsened as the day wore on. There was some minor fall out from the shimmer in the shades from this duo as well that occurred while it was worn (but I didn’t see any during application). The wear was just as bad without a primer–the creasing/fading just became noticeable at the four hour mark– I thought maybe the glaze-like finish would adhere better to bare lids but no dice.

The texture of this particular eyeshadow duo is unlike anything I can remember seeing from NARS. It has a very glaze-like finish, that’s almost a little wet, but still a powder. If you’re familiar with Stila’s Sparkle eyeshadows, Tom Ford’s Sparkle eyeshadows, or Urban Decay’s Stardust eyeshadows, you may have a better grasp of that kind of texture–these aren’t quite as “wet.” The closest texture would be to Tom Ford’s sparkle-finish eyeshadows. The bluer shade looks really lovely when applied–wet and shimmering–but it actually seemed to disappear as I was applying it. I went back three times to darken the color before leaving it alone. The lilac shade was pretty soft and didn’t want to build up in color at all; the iridescence in it is a lot less noticeable compared to the blue (it just looked like a pink-lilac).

I was exceptionally disappointed in the results of Marie-Galante.  As far as wear went, it killed me with three major no-nos:  creasing, fading, and fall out.  It had issues with color payoff, too, which was really just icing on an inedible cake–like a cake that looks delicious but turns out to be made out of plastic.

The Glossover

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NARS Marie-Galante Eyeshadow Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

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I was exceptionally disappointed in the results of Marie-Galante. As far as wear went, it killed me with three major no-nos: creasing, fading, and fall out. It had issues with color payoff, too, which was really just icing on an inedible cake.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

4.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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