Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Estee Lauder Steel Stay-On Shadow Paint
Estee Lauder Steel Stay-On Shadow Paint

Estee Lauder Steel Stay-On Shadow Paint ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a steely gray with gold and silver sparkle. It’s like a silvered pewter with a lot of sparkle and shine. Chanel Epatant is warmer, greener. Inglot #454 is warmer, less sparkly. Maybelline Audacious Asphalt is grayer, darker.

I can’t tell you how utterly fascinating this color is, only to be supremely disappointed at the quality of the product as a whole. It sparkles, dazzles, shimmies and dances in the light. It is so brilliant on the skin when I swatched it. On the lid, it is a mess; spotty color payoff, uneven color and texture, and looks creased from the get-go. The application is gritty, chunky, and never looks smooth. It made my lids look heavy and wrinkled. The disappointment didn’t stop there, though, because the fall out from this as it flaked off my lid throughout the day was painful and messy.  I tried finger-tips, sponge-tip applicators, a variety of brushes, and nothing worked even decently.  The only good thing I can say about the product is the color and way it sparkles is beautiful, but you never really get to see or enjoy it because it just doesn’t work well in practice.

The Glossover

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Steel

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The only good thing I can say about the product is the color and way it sparkles is beautiful, but you never really get to see or enjoy it because it just doesn't work well in practice.

Product

2/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

1/5

Results
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Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild Maldives Sky Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette
Wet ‘n’ Wild Maldives Sky Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette

Wet ‘n’ Wild Maldives Sky Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette ($4.99 for 0.19 oz.) consists of five shades: aqua, purple, dark gray, bluish-teal, and blue. The formula is supposed to be “ultra-pigmented,” “crease-resistant,” and “last all day.”

Maldives Sky #1 is a light-medium aqua with a soft, frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but it was slightly powdery and almost looked chalky when applied to the lid. Inglot #345 is greener. Jasmine Blue Oasis is matte but close in color (slightly bluer). NARS Debbie Harry #4 is darker. Sugarpill Mochi is darker. MAC Aqua is slightly greener and matte. This particular hue is not well-known for being nicely pigmented, regardless of brand, which is not a justification but worth noting that it’s hard to get it right.

Maldives Sky #2 is a dark purple with subtle cool undertones and a mostly matte finish. It had sheer color payoff, but the worst part was how dry and stiff the texture was. Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine #4 is very similar but more pigmented. Wet ‘n’ Wild Shimmer the Night Away is shimmery. Inglot #379 is brighter, bolder.

Maldives Sky #3 is a dark gray with a matte finish and neutral undertones. You may notice a pattern developing here: sheerer color payoff, dry, stiff texture. Urban Decay Desperation is cooler-toned. MAC Scene is similar but satiny. Chanel Gris Exquis is darker. Inglot #339 is similar.

Maldives Sky #4 is a medium-dark teal with blue undertones and a slight dusting of silver pearl. It is dry, chalky, and sheer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is less blue, frosted. Sugarpill Mochi is lighter. Sephora Curacao Punch is more glittery, brighter. MAC Robin’s Egg is more teal-hued.

Maldives Sky #5 is a medium-dark blue with a satin-like finish. It had decent to good color payoff, but it still had a drier, stiffer texture that made it hard to apply and harder to blend out. It is fairly comparable to Wet ‘n’ Wild Shimmer the Night Away #8. MAC Switch to Blue is similar but a cream product.

I had a lot of trouble working with this palette; so much so, that I really just gave up after awhile, because the colors weren’t applying with much intensity, consistently disappearing, and had no desire to blend with each other. It was an exhausting exercise in frustration. Wet ‘n’ Wild’s Color Icon formula is so much better than this one, and that formula is such a winner and well-reviewed that I’m truly mind-boggled why they’d use something else (and one that was inferior).  When I wore what I did manage to apply, it wore well for about six hours before starting to fade.  It’s such a shame, because the colors they chose would be beautiful together, if only they were pigmented, soft, and smooth. You’re better off taking your $4.99 and buying one of the existing Color Icon palettes.

The Glossover

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Wet 'n' Wild Maldives Sky Photo Op Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

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It's such a shame, because the colors they chose would be beautiful together, if only they were pigmented, soft, and smooth.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

3.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Sunday, March 24th, 2013

Bobbi Brown Pastel Pink Blush
Bobbi Brown Pastel Pink Blush

Bobbi Brown Pastel Pink Blush ($25.00 for 0.13 oz.) is described as a “pink rose.” It’s a light-medium, cotton candy pink with blue undertones and a satiny finish–not quite matte but not quite a full-on sheen. NARS Gaiety is cooler-toned, bluer-based. NARS Angelika is darker, sparkly. MAC Pink Tea is more shimmery. MAC Peony Petal is cooler-toned. Tarte Dollface is a touch lighter. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink is more muted, slightly lighter.

Normally, I like Bobbi Brown’s blush range for a formula that’s mostly matte, pigmented, and blendable, but Pastel Pink was so dry and stiff. This was another shade from the collection that I had to scrape off layers of color just to get a “heavy” swatch of color.  I really had to swirl and pack on the color to get enough payoff to show up on my skin tone for photographs and testing. If you have any scratchy brushes, I’d recommend using it with this, because it will help dig into the product to yield more payoff.  While I can appreciate that fairer skin tones often prefer a blush that’s not so intense so they can use it with ease, the texture makes this one hard to use even if all you want is soft color.  It’s not very blendable and really needs to be buffed and worked into the skin as it has a tendency to stick and look splotchy.  It lasted for seven hours well, and after eight hours, there was noticeable fading.

The Glossover

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Pastel Pink

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I felt like I was in the twilight zone, because this blush almost felt as if I were trying to swatch from a plastic pan of color instead of a pan of powder. It did not want to yield anything! The texture is just so dry and stiff that it makes it such a total pain to use.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

5.5/10

Texture

4/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Revlon Top Speed Nail Lacquer
Revlon Celestial FX Top Speed Nail Lacquer

Revlon Celestial FX and Hearts of Gold FX Nail Lacquer ($5.99 for 0.50 fl. oz.) are two glitter top coats I spotted earlier this year at my local drugstore, and they looked like a lot of fun, so I picked them up. They were, unfortunately, both very un-fun and more frustrating than anything else.

  • Celestial FX has multi-colored glitter along with larger, holographic diamond-, star-, and moon-shaped glitter pieces suspended in a clear base.
  • Hearts of Gold has gold glitter with larger holographic, heart-shaped glitter suspended in a clear base.

I applied both polishes on a few occasions, and the swatches in this post represent the best results I was able to get–and I went on a major fishing expedition to do so. I just couldn’t get the larger glitter pieces (the shapes) out of the bottle; on the few occasions I did, there was so much of the clear base that it just pooled and dribbled off the nail. The clear base is so, so thick and runny.  To top it off, the larger glitters curled along the edges, so they did not lay flat.  This caused the few glitters to snag on things, and I did have two of the three catch and flake off.

The only positive thought I had was that the small glitters in Celestial FX are pretty on their own, since they’re multi-colored.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Revlon Celestial FX & Hearts of Gold FX Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

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The only positive thought I had was that the small glitters in Celestial FX are pretty on their own, since they're multi-colored.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

3/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

1/5

Results
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Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

NARS Corcovado Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Corcovado Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2013: Corcovado

NARS Corcovado Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “24-karat gold.” It’s a bright, sunshine-yellow gold with a frosted, metallic finish. Cinderella Gus Gus is a bit darker, more orange (and a powder eyeshadow). OCC Triptych is darker, more honey-hued (and a powder). NARS Goldfinger is a paler yellow (and a powder). Inglot #403 is not quite as yellow/intense (and a powder). MAC Bright Sunshine is comparable, slightly yellower, but is also a powder.

It will come as no surprise to long-time readers that Corcovado, for all its gorgeous coloring, did not work well for me. I’m not going to do an in-depth review here, because I’ve done plenty in the past of this formula and exactly why it doesn’t work well on me. I love the color, and I really wanted it to work. NARS often produces beautiful colors in their Soft Touch Shadow Pencil, and I had hoped that the more frosted finish would have allowed for a quicker, better dry down of the product.

Here are the ways I tested Corcovado specifically: on its own, over NARS’ Smudgeproof Primer, over NARS Smudgeproof Primer + gold powder eyeshadow on top, over NARS Smudgeproof Primer + translucent powder (NARS’!) on top, over NARS powder eyeshadow, sheered out quite a bit, and as an eyeliner. I have applied with these tools: fingertips, brushes (fluffy, firm, and in-between), sponge-tip applicator, and directly from the pencil. I experienced heavy creasing within an hour or less for every way except: 1) over powder eyeshadow it took two hours; 2) sheered out, the creasing was less noticeable but still there after an hour; and 3) as an eyeliner, it took six hours to disappear and smudge fully, but there was “bleeding” color after an hour.

So, in summary: excellent pigmentation, and it applies rather opaquely on, but it takes me on repeated trips to Crease City in as little as ten minutes (when worn alone) or as “long” as two hours (when worn over powder eyeshadow). There are definitely readers who have had success with these, and there are others who’ve had similar experiences to mine. I just recommend trying it prior to purchase or purchasing from a retailer with a return policy, in case your experience is more like mine. I have no problem with many, many shadow pencils on the market (Milani, NYX, MAC, Urban Decay, to name a few).

The Glossover

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Corcovado

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There are definitely readers who have had success with these, and there are others who've had similar experiences to mine. I just recommend trying it prior to purchase or purchasing from a retailer with a return policy, in case your experience is more like mine.

Product

2/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Benefit Fine One One
Benefit Fine One One

Benefit Fine One One ($30.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “coral pink flush.” There are three shades in the stick that work together to create a sheer, brightening effect on the cheeks and lips. The palest color is a pale, white gold beige with pale gold shimmer (highlighter). The middle color is a pop of light-medium pink with a hint of coral (blush). The bottom color is a tangerine orange (“contour”). Together, they create a sheer tint of coral-orange with a very subtle sheen.

I was not a fan of this product. The texture is a little tacky, firm, and generally not the best feel or consistency for a cream blush. Because of the natural tendency for cheeks to be curved, it’s difficult to get all three colors at the same pressure. I ended up just swiping a brush across the surface and applying the color to my cheeks that way, because from the stick itself didn’t work well or make much sense–you’d get three stripes of color that you’d have to blend out anyway. It’s not as blendable as a cream blush should be; there’s a stiffness and stubbornness to the texture that doesn’t want to blend onto skin. The way it feels and dries down is not quite powder, not quite cream; it looks uneven and a little patchy within hours of applying. It’s pulled a disappearing act after a mere three hours.

I really disliked it on lips; it’s not particularly easy to apply, and it’s so, so drying. It looked like my lips were flaking, and it felt like they were after trying to wear it for two hours–not a forgiving nor hydrating formula at all. It just sat on top, not really blending in or staining the lips.

This is not going to show up on medium or darker complexions; it just barely shows up on me even layered and built up as much as possible. There are too many excellent coral blushes to opt for this one. Even Benefit’s own ChaCha Tint works infinitely better, though it is more orange–you can’t tell the difference on the skin.

The Glossover

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Fine One One

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There are too many excellent coral blushes to opt for this one. Even Benefit's own ChaCha Tint works infinitely better, though it is more orange--you can't tell the difference on the skin.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

3/5

Results
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