Friday, April 5th, 2013

NARS Tender Night Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Tender Night Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Tender Night Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($25.00 for 0.086 oz.) is described as an “iridescent lilac.” It’s true-to-description: it’s an iridescent lilac with a shimmering frost finish. MAC Bubble Gum has more of an iridescent lilac feel (but it has more of a golden shimmer than true iridescence). If you have an iridescent lilac eyeshadow, you could pat it over your lips and get a similar effect.

It’s really like a layer of iridescent lilac shimmer more than it is a color or a lipstick, because the color is sheer. I could see this type of color being used maybe as a layering product on top of other products, but I just don’t see it working very well that way–it has a very dry consistency that would make it hard to spread out over another color. Other Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have not only been incredibly pigmented, but they are creamier and have a more emollient texture that enables good glide and application. Tender Night was harder to apply for even, all-over color coverage. It felt like an old school frost lipstick but with a thinner consistency. It wore just under three hours on me, and it was drying (and it looked dry).

The Glossover

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Tender Night

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Sometimes I find this formula to be slightly drying, but it is normally very long-wearing and pigmented, so then it's about trade-offs, but this shade is drier overall, harder to apply, and doesn't wear very long.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

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Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Benefit Pause for Applause Longwear Powder Eyeshadow
Benefit Pause for Applause Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

Benefit Pause for Applause Longwear Powder Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “soft lilac.” It’s a lightened, pinked lilac with a satin finish (and it almost looks matte, but there’s a very fine shimmer to it). Urban Decay Heartless is lighter, more firmly in the pink-colored camp. NARS Bouthan #1 has a matte finish, so it’s a bit closer, but it is lighter and pinker.

It seemed promising when I swatched it initially, because the color payoff was fairy good, but the texture was so soft that it turned dusty/powdery. The result when I applied it to the lid was that it was very, very prone to disappearing; it would sheer out too quickly and my lid just seemed to absorb the color. I’ve had this happen with eyeshadows that apply thinly and have a lot of powderiness to them; I feel like they act a bit like blotting powder on my eyelids! Over a primer, it was marginally better, but I still couldn’t get the color to look like it did on the pan–it looked faded and generally lighter. Without a primer, the wear was dismal–noticeable fading after a mere six hours.

For reference, it also appears in Benefit’s Sexiest Nudes Ever Palette–I make a point to mention that, because the palette itself is $30 but contains three other eyeshadows along with two Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows; more or less, unless you really hate the other products, it’s hard to justify $20 for one eyeshadow when you could be paying $30 and receiving six different products.

The Glossover

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Pause for Applause

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This eyeshadow was difficult to apply, because it was hard to get true-to-pan color due to the powdery consistency. It faded quickly on me, so it was definitely not long-wearing as touted.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild Desert Festival Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette
Wet ‘n’ Wild Desert Festival Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette

Wet ‘n’ Wild Desert Festival Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette ($4.99 for 0.19 oz.) is a five-pan palette that features a warm-toned, desert-inspired color scheme.

Desert Festival #1 is a pale, warm-toned beige with a satin finish. It had sheer color payoff; the texture was dry and stiff, so it made it harder to get enough product out to see more opaque color. (It looks even sheerer than it is, because it also happens to be nearly identical to my skin color!) MAC Grain is more frosted, slightly lighter. MAC Naked Lunch is a bit darker.

Desert Festival #2 is a brightened, medium orange with a matte finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, though the texture was so soft that it was also a bit dusty. I didn’t have anything quite like this–there’s a very even balance between yellow and red in this shade, so it doesn’t turn too reddish or get too dark, but it’s also not a yellowy orange. Other oranges that are matte tend to be darker and redder.

Desert Festival #3 is a neutral-toned taupe brown with a satiny finish. It was, unfortunately, rather dry and stiff in texture, so the resulting color payoff was disappointing. MAC Nebula is darker. bareMinerals Wanderlust is more frosted. bareMinerals Apropos is cooler-toned.  NARS Bali is cooler-toned, grayer. Inglot #363 is warmer.

Desert Festival #4 is a shimmery, lightened, medium-orange with warm undertones. It had a better texture than some of the other shades, so the pigmentation was better. Chanel Pearl River #4 is brighter. Milani Primary Runway Eyes #3 is darker, redder. MAC Fresh Daily is richer in color.

Desert Festival #5 is a grayish brown with a satiny finish. It is just a bit darker than the center shade–more distinctly cool-toned. It had underwhelming color payoff, as it, again, had a stiff and dry texture that made it hard to get product out of the pan. MAC Nebula is more shimmery. MAC Concrete is more matte.

Overall, I was disappointed in the palette, because it had a drier, stiffer texture that resulted in rather low color payoff.  The best performing shade was the matte orange, followed by the shimmery orange; the other three shades were hard to work with. Muse had a similar experience, and she and I both expounded the benefits of Color Icon over this.  I could not wear this palette without a primer and achieve any semblance of decent color payoff, despite Wet ‘n’ Wild claiming these are “ultra-pigmented” and “crease-resistant.”  I did wear the shades as they were without a primer, and I saw fading after six hours.  With a primer, I didn’t have trouble with the shades fading.   The three drier shades were harder to blend and definitely will take more time and attention to finesse the colors just right.  Wet ‘n’ Wild has done better in their Color Icon Trios/Palettes, so I’d recommend checking one of those in lieu of this one.

The Glossover

palette

Wet 'n' Wild Desert Festival Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

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Wet 'n' Wild has done better in their Color Icon Trios/Palettes, so I'd recommend checking one of those in lieu of this one.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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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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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

Results
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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

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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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