Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes these four shades: Stratus (light pink), Bruised Sky (dark lavender gray), Interior Life (mid-tone gray blue), and Heather Belles (dark charcoal/carbon).  It’s new and limited edition for MAC for Daphne Guinness, which will launch in-stores on December 26th.

  • Stratus is a pale iced pink with a matte finish. I couldn’t get this product to swatch at all–I literally took a metal spatula to the pan and gouged product out to just get enough visible color in the swatch so you could see it. The swatch you see is the equivalent of swatching something five times, if not more! I later tried to apply this to the lid–over primer–and it was invisible. Maybe on the lightest and on the darkest of skin tones this will show up better, but the texture is still unforgivably dry and difficult to use. MAC Taupeless is a little warmer and shimmery. MAC Seedy Pearl is shimmery but similar in hue. Inglot 319 is more blue-based.
  • Bruised Sky is a mauve-brown with a satin finish. This shade was a little dry, but it yielded decent color payoff. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off has a more shimmery version of this shade. It’s similar to MAC Tendersmoke. MAC Shale is much browner.
  • Interior Life is a blue-tinted medium-dark gray with a veluxe finish, which means it has a mostly matte finish but the texture is different from their matte finish. This is one of the best matte eyeshadows I’ve come across by MAC, and ironically, there are only two veluxe finishes available in the permanent range (Samoa Silk and Brown Down). This feels much more like a Matte2 than a veluxe–it’s so dense and buttery that’s nearly creamy in feel. The color payoff is really good, too, though it does easily blend away so go easy on blending.  I don’t want to say this, but this fades a lot when applied.  It was half faded after five hours.  It’s a matte version of MAC Howzat. Chanel Gris Exquis is more neutral.
  • Heather Belles is a charcoal black with a satin finish. The good news is this shade is the same as it was when it launched with Tartan Tale; the bad news is that it’s still just as terrible. I got a little smarter with this shade, so I managed to scrape product off and apply it to the middle but left some parts still in their original, disappointing state. It’s sheer, dry, and nearly chalky because of how dry and stiff it is. Nehru is a little blue/teal. It’s a bit like theBalm Serious. It ended up looking a lot like MAC Black Tied, since neither works well. I tried applying this to the crease, but it just wasn’t applying or blending well, so I ended up using Nebula (pigment) instead.

I’ve been underwhelmed by MAC’s eyeshadow quads for quite awhile now, and I had some hope after Cindy Sherman, Interior Life really disappointed. Many brands come out with quads and palettes, and there are few high-end brands that seem to flop as spectacularly as MAC has in the past year when it comes to their quads/palettes. MAC can do an excellent eyeshadow, so I don’t know why this doesn’t translate into their eyeshadow quads any more.

The Glossover

palette

Interior Life

F
There are too many problems with this eyeshadow quad: poor pigmentation, drier/stiffer textures, and fading. At $38, there are so many better options out there. Build your own MAC quad of proven eyeshadows!

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Monday, September 26th, 2011


Dolce & Gabbana Candied Crayon Intense Eyeliner

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Candied & Green Almond

Dolce & Gabbana’s fall collection–Sweet Temptations–includes two new shades of their Crayon Intense Eyeliner ($29.00 for 0.04 oz.). The new shades are Candied (light gold) and Green Almond (olive).

  • Candied is a metallic finished pale yellowed gold. The pigmentation on this shade is sheer; you definitely won’t get an opaque line of color in one pass. I couldn’t really build it up to opaque color for the heavier swatch. Make Up For Ever #9L is a darker yellow, while tokidoki Unicorno is less yellow and has coppery glitter in it.
  • Green Almond is a dark forest green over a olive brown base. Again, the color payoff leaves something to be desired–it loses a lot of depth because it doesn’t deliver much color in a single pass (or even a couple of them–you really have to go back and forth several times to yield decent color payoff). It’s a dead ringer for Urban Decay Mildew. MAC Jade Way is a little greener.

I’m not a huge fan of this eyeliner formula because of the texture; it’s stiff and dry, so it doesn’t glide on easily and can pull and tug at the lid. The wear is so-so, where I get around six hours with a darker and drier shade like Green Almond but lighter shades like Candied seem to vanish after four or five hours (this is on the lower lash line, not water line!). Some shades are creamier (like their White) but the majority don’t wear longer than six hours. It’s frustrating when a formula is so inconsistent, because you can’t bank on it performing as good as previous shades.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dolce & Gabbana Sweet Temptations: Candied & Green Almond Crayon Intense Eyeliner Swatches, Photos, Reviews

F
The flaws in this product render it rather unacceptable, and with the $29 price tag, nearly unbelievable. There are so many formulas available that perform well, but this is not one of them. Normally, a drier eyeliner would wear better than a creamier one but that is not the case here.

Product

5.5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Art of Powder: Street Art Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is one of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). The palette contains a hefty amount of product; an eyeshadow quad retails for the same amount but contains 0.20 oz. on average.

After testing this palette, I just can’t say the quality is there. It’s the design that will sell this product; it’s more for collectors than it is for someone who is after quality eyeshadow. There are six different shades (tan, beige, periwinkle, orange, turquoise, and pink) but I was only really able to grab distinct swatches of five (the beige was difficult to get individually and then to get to show up was another story!).

The tan shade is a gold shimmered orange-tan that applies very sheerly and not as smoothly as I would like (or expect). One of the better performing shades was the periwinkle shade which is more purple than periwinkle, but it depends on the lighting; it reminded me a fair amount of Digit. Despite the appearance of intensity in the palette, the turquoise shade is incredibly sheer with a slightly roughened texture (it’s not rough or gritty, but it’s not smooth); it’s like the palest teal with silvery shimmer. The orange shade was better, as it was much more pigmented but was dusty; it’s a slightly muted orange with a subtle satiny sheen. The pink shade worked the best, as it applied smoothly and with good color payoff; it’s a yellow-toned light-medium pink with a near metallic finish. There is also a beige shade that disappears against my skin and suffers from sheerness and some powderiness.

Undeterred, I wore this on my eyes (it’s what I wore in several of the photos for the Posh Paradise Mattene lip swatches), and the fall out was incredible. I went with something short and sweet, so I used the purply-periwinkle shade on the lid with the turquoise shade in the crease. The texture is rather dry and doesn’t work well on its own (I figured I’d test it with a base on one eye, without on the other). Even with a base, I had a ton of glittery fall out and really had to pack on the color to get decent color payoff and evenness in color. I tried twice with a base – once with NARS Eyeshadow Primer Potion and the second time with MAC Nubile Paint Pot (using the pink, tan, and orange shades). The second combination had less fall out (but the shades had less shimmer) but took a fair amount of color-packing to get the vibrancy in the palette.

It’s a shame to see such a design-intensive palette perform so poorly. It really is art, because the best thing to do with it is to admire it from afar. Undoubtedly, it will still sell out because of the design alone. The good news is all of the colors go through to the bottom based on digging around each shade to see how deep it went. The only part that is an overlay is the silvered shimmer-sheen that goes across the middle.  You just can’t have problems with wear (fall out, minor fading, unevenness), pigmentation, and texture and come out on top.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Art of Powder: Street Art Eyeshadow Palette Swatches, Photos, Reviews

F
It's a shame to see such a design-intensive palette perform so poorly. It really is art, because the best thing to do with it is to admire it from afar. Undoubtedly, it will still sell out because of the design alone.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Sunday, August 21st, 2011

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Me Over: Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a limited edition set of four shades of rather cool-toned colors. It features Palace Pedigreed (deep berry with soft pink), Spellcaster (blackened violet), Evil Eye (deep yellow grey), and Moody (blackened green).

  • Palace Pedigreed is a blackened burgundy with a barely-there sheen. This has a satin finish. This shade was in the Palace Pedigreed Eyeshadow Quad from Fabulous Felines, and while the pigmentation wasn’t great then, it’s even worse now. It’s dry, sheer, and applies unevenly because of how dry and stiff the texture is. Make Up For Ever #131 is much more red-based. Bare Escentuals Passion is more similar but still has a stronger red-base. Le Metier de Beaute is richer and more red-based. MAC Fig. 1 is similar but possibly darker.
  • Spellcaster is a dark, dark purple with cool undertones. This has a matte finish. Similarly, this shade is dry, stiff, and terribly sheer. Lancome Zip Me Up is the only shade that seems to come close, and though it’s not great, it looks so much better in comparison.
  • Evil Eye is a murky gray with a green tinge. It’s splotchy, sheer, and dry. This has a matte finish. Make Up For Ever #84 is similar in color but has gold shimmer and a frosted finish. Make Up For Ever #47 is greener and less gray (same with MAC Femme Noir.
  • Moody is a purple-tinged gray with soft sheen. This has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s the most pigmented shade of the four, and though it’s better than the other three, it does feel a bit dry for a veluxe pearl. It doesn’t have the same dense, buttery texture come to veluxe pearls and the payoff is still a touch sheer. It is reminiscent of MAC Hint of Sapphire. Inglot #434 is similar but purpler.

This is quite possibly the most disappointing eyeshadow quad I’ve ever had the displeasure of trying by MAC. I think the only MAC product I’ve been more disappointed by were their Suite Array duos from years ago. Even the Big Bounce Eyeshadows, despite not meeting claims, were a product that worked well as a base. At $38, this kind of quality is a slap in the face to a buyer. Three of the four shades have barely-there pigmentation, and those same three have dry, stiff textures that make application frustrating–it doesn’t get better with a brush or on eyes. I appreciate matte and satin finish eyeshadows, but these mattes are exactly why many opt for shimmers and the like.

Side note: I triple-checked the press release, and Moody is described as both a veluxe pearl (and it is listed last on the back of the quad) but it’s certainly not a blackened green–while Evil Eye is that. I think there is a mix-up here, but I can’t confirm it until the work week starts. Since you can’t buy them separately, the determination shouldn’t affect purchasing decisions.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

F
There is nothing that warrants paying $38 for this product. The only way I was able to achieve any color for swatching was by scraping off the product. The textures are so dry and stiff, it renders these eyeshadows extremely difficult to use.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

3/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011


Dior Smoking Blue (001) Blue Tie Palette

Dior Smoking Blue (001) Blue Tie Palette

Dior Smoking Blue (001) Blue Tie Palette ($70.00 for 0.19 oz.) is new and limited for fall, and it contains a mix of silver and navy blue eyeshadows along with a pink lipgloss. The compact itself is metal and includes a full-size mirror when you open it. The gloss has a metal lid that you can open, which is nice, because it helps to minimize any cross-contamination of the eyeshadow powder into the gloss.

My first thought when I was photographing the palette was how lovely it looked. It’s heavy in a luxurious way (though not something I’d love to travel with!) with great detailing on the outside and inside. After swatching it, I was left disappointed. For all of Dior’s sleek packaging, this palette falls flat where it counts the most–quality.

The eyeshadows are dry in texture so they drag and pull when applied, and the lack of pigmentation makes it difficult to apply even layers of color or to really utilize this palette in a meaningful way. For such shimmery colors, these were surprisingly chalky overall. The upper left shade (1) is a semi-sheer gray-blue with a subtle sheen. The upper right shade (2) is a purpled, navy blue with a sheen. It didn’t look anything like the pan–it leaned purple and lacked the vibrancy of the blue in the pan. The bottom left shade (3) is a semi-sheer black with multi-colored shimmer. The bottom right shade (4) was a silvered-gray with a hint of brown, and it was the most pigmented shade of the bunch.

For better alternatives, consider: 1) MAC Prussian, 2) Inglot #332, theBalm Risque Renee, or Make Up For Ever #81, 3) theBalm Guilty Gwen, and 4) Inglot #444, theBalm Sexy Stacey. You can also peruse the Blue Eyeshadow Gallery or Gray Eyeshadow Gallery.

The lipgloss is a sheer peony pink with a subtly glossy finish; there isn’t much color to it, but it gives lips a brightened look. It didn’t quite feel like Dior’s Ultra Glosses, as this was thinner and a little tacky. Both the eyeshadows and gloss wear about average, but with the eyeshadows, it’s difficult to tell since everything looks faded as soon as it is applied.

The Glossover

palette

Smoking Blue

F
The exterior packaging is so lovely and well-thought out, but the actual product inside leaves a lot to be desired. The eyeshadows are chalky, dry, and have poor color payoff, and these characteristics make them difficult to apply to the lid.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5.5/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

1.5/5

Results
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick
YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is, first and foremost, a balm. I say this to help set expectations, because for all of the fancy packaging, it is a lip balm, which means sheer color (YSL describes the color as “a sheer veil of brilliant color”). It is also described as lightweight with ingredients that will keep “lips feeling soft and hydrated for up to eight hours.” Juicy Grapefruit is clear when I wear it. It’s described as a “sheer, fresh baby pink” but it’s a glossy shine and not much else. I would expect to see more color in some of the darker shades in the range, but I haven’t tried them personally. Like other lip products in YSL’s line-up, these are mango-scented.

This product was a total miss for me–I was curious to see how it would work out, and the real point of these is something that’s moisturizing (and perhaps, lightly tinted), but it’s not moisturizing at all. I would apply this, and I would feel the need to reapply after an hour, because it would disappear in that time. I applied it before bed, and my lips felt chapped when I woke up. I don’t have high maintenance lips at all, but these made me feel like the queen of thirsty lips. I would actually describe this as drying, because after an hour of wearing this, all I wanted (and needed!) was more balm.  I tried using this and nothing but this for three days, and after those three days, my lips were on the verge of making a run for it.

It has a really emollient base, common to YSL’s Volupte line-up, and it glides on effortlessly, because it’s really creamy (without being thick or opaque). It feels nice on, and it doesn’t feel drying initially.  The packaging, too, is just like the Rouge Voluptes but with different coloring, and my favorite part has always been the filigree of YSL logo that wraps around the middle (but it will hold fingerprints). It’s always nice when a high-end brand uses high-end packaging to complement their product line. These were the only high points of this product–this was one of the more disappointing products I’ve tried in the past few months.

Remember, I can only review based on my personal experience with a product–if this formula worked for you, by all means, enjoy it for the both of us! :)  I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews on this product, but I didn’t experience it myself, unfortunately!

The Glossover

coming-soon

YSL Juicy Grapefruit (03) Volupte Sheer Candy Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

F
If you purchase, make sure there is a return policy! This wasn't moisturizing, needed constant reapplication, and always left my lips feeling more parched than the time before.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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