Monday, January 6th, 2014

MAC A Sprinkle of Blues Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad
MAC A Sprinkle of Blues Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad

MAC A Sprinkle of Blues Mineralize Eyeshadow Quad ($44.00 for 0.05 oz.) is a cool-toned mix centered around blue. It contained a white with a blue sheen, muted navy blue, medium-dark blue, and a blackened navy. This quad was horrifying across the board–dry, stiff, difficult to blend, splotchy application, fast to fade, and utter garbage. I’ve worked with all six of the quads released in the collection, and none were as frustrating as this one–this performed so much worse than the others; it didn’t even apply halfway decently. It cannot be used damp; the only hope it has is being applied over a slightly tacky, white base. I don’t know why this quad differed so greatly compared to the others, which, with work and a particular technique, I could apply and it would look fine on.

A Sprinkle of Blues #1 is a pale, cool-toned white that flashes blue. It’s very, very sheer and powdery–it was almost chalky–and difficult to swatch, let alone apply. It clumps if you use it wet, so I wouldn’t recommend applying it with a damp brush. Disney by Sephora Sick of Swimmin’ (LE) is very similar. Maybelline Waves of White (LE, $6.99) is greener. MAC Vellum is whiter with a less pronounced iridescence. See comparison swatches.

A Sprinkle of Blues #2 is a smoky, muted navy blue with a satin finish. This was also dry, a little stiff, and can’t be used wet. It clumped and applied unevenly when I used it with a damp brush–it would dry and look splotchy. theBalm Matt Horowitz (LE, $16.00) is bluer. Urban Decay Occupy (LE, $18.00) is more frosted, darker. bareMinerals Private Isle (LE) is bluer. See comparison swatches.

A Sprinkle of Blues #3 is a medium-dark, slightly brightened, blue with a pearly finish. Applied dry, it was sheer and uneven, and then applied with a damp brush, it was more opaque, but it was still uneven–I couldn’t get it to smooth out even when just swatched on my arm (and there was no help for it on the lid). MAC Tonight’s Temptation #1 (LE, $21.00) is very similar, is also Mineralized, and is infinitely better. Sephora Collection My Boyfriend’s Jeans (19) (P, $13.00) is purpler. Buxom Bulldog (P, $18.00) is more muted, cream product. Urban Decay Radium (P, $18.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Evidence (P, $18.00) is bluer. MAC Love Cycle #2 (LE, $21.00) is similar. MAC Deep Truth (P, $15.00) is darker. MAC Switch to Blue (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. Le Metier de Beaute Lapis (P, $30.00) is lighter, bluer. See comparison swatches.

A Sprinkle of Blues #4 is a medium-dark gray with bluish-teal and silver sparkle and shimmer. Applied dry, I could barely get it to show up at all. I had to dampen the brush with two to three times amount of water I normally would to get color to swatch. Urban Decay Redemption (LE, $18.00) is similar. LORAC Slate (P) is also similar. Disney by Sephora Flotsam (LE) is slightly cooler-toned. Urban Decay Asphalt (LE, $18.00) is warmer-toned. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal (LE, $21.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
palette

A Sprinkle of Blues

F

This quad was horrifying across the board--dry, stiff, difficult to blend, splotchy application, fast to fade, and utter garbage. I've worked with all six of the quads released in the collection, and none were as frustrating as this one--this performed so much worse than the others; it didn't even apply halfway decently.

Product

5.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

5.5/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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P
product

A Sprinkle of Blues #1

F

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

A Sprinkle of Blues #2

F

Product

5.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Sunday, November 24th, 2013

Dolce & Gabbana Smeraldo Classic Cream Lipstick
Dolce & Gabbana Smeraldo Classic Cream Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Smeraldo Classic Cream Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as an “ice-cold, luminous green.” It’s a cool-toned, emerald green with fine emerald green shimmer. Illamasqua Violate (P, $24.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

The color payoff was sheer; no matter how many layers I attempted to apply, whether I used a lip brush or not, it was always sheer, streaky, and all in all, horrible. If Dolce & Gabbana are going to take the time to put out a green-hued lipstick and then charge $36 for it, the least they could do was pack it with pigment, least of all by making it apply smoothly (I would settle for mostly even at this point).  The shimmer and color tended to bunch up, too, so it was streaky, crumbly, and patchy. The only nice thing I can say about this shade was that it was hydrating for the three hours it lasted for–it did stain my lips a sort of green-ish-gray. This is a product that made me see red as soon as I applied it, and I was just in total disbelief as to why they would let this go into production. The formula is rose-scented with a slight floral taste at times.

Dolce & Gabbana Ametista Classic Cream Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as an “bright purple.” Less bright purple, more fuchsia-tinted lavender with iridescent purple shimmer. NYX Castle (P, $4.00) is more lavender, less shimmery. NARS Tender Night (LE, $25.00) is similar but sheerer. MAC Pink Popcorn (LE, $15.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Though both of these lipsticks are part of the Classic Cream range, and these specific shades are touted as “bold, rich color inspired by the stones they are named after” and neither of these fit the bill. Ametista is semi-sheer, and as it is closer to the natural lip color, the sheerness doesn’t look as patchy or streaky, but it’s not a lipstick that deposits color very evenly. It wears two and a half hours on me, though it was moisturizing while I wore it.

The Glossover

LE
product

Smeraldo

F

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Ametista

D

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, October 5th, 2013

Chanel Bronze Ligne Graphique de Chanel
Chanel Bronze Ligne Graphique de Chanel

Chanel Bronze Ligne Graphique de Chanel ($34.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “bronze khaki.” It’s a dark, gold-shimmered bronze with olive undertones and a pearly sheen. The brush doesn’t apply opaque product in a single stroke; it really has to be layered, but it dries fairly quickly and doesn’t apply perfectly smooth, so building in layers tends to result in an uneven texture. The color is striking, but the application leaves something to be desired. Once applied, it doesn’t budge, smudge, or fade–I wore it for a total of twelve hours–and didn’t seem to streak or run when my eyes watered (and later, when I dabbed water on it to test its water-resistant claim). The wear was good, but the color payoff and application were where it needed improvement. Buxom Come Over (P, $17.00) is less warm-toned. Urban Decay Smog (P, $19.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Roach (P, $19.00) is redder-toned. Urban Decay Hustle (LE, $19.00) is more muted. Illamasqua Wisdom (P, $27.50) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Bronze Platine Mascara Gel Irise ($34.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “platinum bronze.” It’s a warm-toned, metallic bronze with gold and copper shimmer. It’s supposed to be a top coat for lashes and deliver “sheer, bronze-platinum iridescence,” which can be applied over bare lashes or over black mascara. I really wasn’t able to see difference when applied over bare lashes. I thought–at best–it lightened my black-brown lashes a little bit, but I could have been wishing that given how subtle the impact was. I didn’t see sparkle, shimmer, or color change. Maybe my lashes are too fine to show the effect or catch the sparkles, because when I applied over mascara, I was able to see very, very tiny bits of sparkle sparsely over the lashes. I think the effect is too subtle to really merit the product; you could get a similar effect by dusting a loose, shimmery eyeshadow on lashes (or mixed with clear brow gel/mascara for better hold). You can also use liquid glitter eyeliner and paint across the tips of lashes for a sparkly effect. I don’t have any actual dupes for this, as I can’t say I’ve tried many (possibly none previously) top coats for lashes. Normally, I’d consider this a loss for dark lashes like mine but Chanel actually expects this to be layered over black mascara, so that’s not really an excuse.

The Glossover

LE
product

Bronze

C-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Bronze Platine

F

Almost nothing shows up over bare lashes and only a faint dusting of shimmer is visible when layered over black mascara. It was not an effect that was ever even remotely visible unless I had my nose to the mirror. It seemed pigmented when I brushed the wand against my arm, but on lashes, not so much. It's supposed to be sheer, but this was too close to invisible.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild I Don't Do Camouflage Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild I Don’t Do Camouflage Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild I Don’t Do Camouflage Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.12 oz.) is one of four new–and limited edition–Color Icon Eyeshadow Trios for fall. According to the brand, each trio features “highly pigmented shades” with a variety of finishes and pre-packaged with a tube of Mega Protein Mascara as a bonus. The trio will be available at local drugstores (not online as far as I know), though I haven’t spotted any displays near me yet (but I never seem to catch them!). I’m afraid that this trio is a major miss for me, once again. I had fingers and toes crossed for a return to pigmentation, but all three shades were lacking in quality. The eyelid shade had promising pigmentation, but the powdery texture was worrisome and ultimately was its downfall. I tried these on bare lids (about two to three hours of wear), with eyeshadow primer (NARS and Urban Decay) (four to five hours of wear), and then over NYX’s Milk (creamy white) and nothing was working. Even over what is typically the saving grace of most pitiful eyeshadows, it was faded, patchy, and uneven within three hours (and then almost gone entirely by the sixth hour).

I hope to review the other trios soon, but as a heads up, I’m not sure I will be reviewing any additional releases of the Color Icon Eyeshadow formula unless there is a drastic improvement. At this point, I think it’s clear that there is something different about the recent iterations of the formula compared to the previous (as well as what’s permanently available).

I Don’t Do Camouflage #1 is a pale, cool-toned blue with hints of purple and an icy silver shimmer. The texture was very powdery, and as a result, the color payoff was semi-sheer. This shade gave me the most trouble in the palette, as it was prone to blending away to nothing when applied to the lid. CoverGirl Ice Flame is a cream product. MAC Water & Ice is more frosted, more silver. MAC Bright Moon is darker. See comparison swatches.

I Don’t Do Camouflage #2 is a blackened navy blue with lighter navy blue satin shimmer. It had so-so color payoff, but the texture was somewhat stiff and dry. I recommend using a stiff brush and jabbing at the surface to dislodge more product before applying. NARS Ubangi is a cream product. Disney Midnight is similar. Urban Decay Occupy is brighter. MAC Waft is darker. MAC Shop & Drop is a bit bluer. bareMinerals Shaken Not Stirred is slightly bluer. Make Up For Ever #147 is similar. See comparison swatches.

I Don’t Do Camouflage #3 is a brightened, medium-dark cornflower blue with a soft, satin shimmer. It had good color payoff, though the texture was somewhat powdery. Uhnfortunately, I had a really tough time trying to pat this and have it stick to the lid, even when I used an eyeshadow primer or NYX Milk, which is a creamy eyeshadow pencil. It had such potential, but the powderiness just ruins it. Sephora My Boyfriend’s Jeans is darker. Sugarpill Velocity is brighter. Urban Decay Chaos is darker, more matte. NARS Rated R #2 is lighter. Sugarpill ROyal Sugar is brighter, more sparkly. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

I Don't Do Camouflage

F

Product

4.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

3.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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LE
product

I Don't Do Camouflage #1

F

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

I Don't Do Camouflage #2

F

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Le Metier de Beaute Champagne Shimmer True Colour Creme Eyeshadow
Le Metier de Beaute Champagne Shimmer True Colour Creme Eyeshadow

Le Metier de Beaute True Colour Creme Eyeshadow ($28.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “long-wearing,” “waterproof,” and crease-resistant. I will respectfully disagree with all three things and not just slightly but fully. Both shades were extremely emollient, and they never set or dried down; they remained movable, slippery, and as a result, slid around and settled into creases with great delight within a half hour. This occurred whether applied at more opaque color or as a barely-there, sheer wash of color. So, long-wearing and crease-resistant–not at all. They’re more water-resistant than waterproof (which is actually a separate claim that gets made: -resistant vs. -proof), as they won’t immediately start running or bleeding when in contact with water, but they do migrate somewhat and will move if you rub. The latter probably has more to do with the fact that they don’t set/dry down.

I did try using the Champagne Shimmer shade on my cheeks and brow bone as a highlight, but the look is very, very dewy–or in my eyes, greasy–and separated my foundation within an hour. I also tried applying these over a primer and then patting on powder eyeshadow on top, which was the most successful way to use them, but I had significant creasing after four and a half hours.

Champagne Shimmer is a light-medium brown with warm, reddish-orange undertones, and a champagne and copper shimmer. It had good color payoff and could be applied as a light wash of color or more intensely for opaque color. A little goes a long way, so apply just a smidgen for a wash of color. CoverGirl Scorching Cocoa is a bit darker, not as red-toned. Clinique Ample Amber is less red-toned. Tom Ford Platinum is slightly darker. Illamasqua Focus is grayer. See comparison swatches.

Starry Night is a medium-dark black with silver sparkle. It can be applied with mostly opaque color or a semi-sheer wash of color. MAC Blacklit is similar. Chanel Mirifique is darker and more sparkly. Buxom Black Lab is similar. See comparison swatches.

Also, this is also a “review” so-to-speak of the September 2013 Beauty Vault VIP Subscription Box, as both of these shades were what I received in this past month’s box. The box, then, had a total value of $56 (and the subscription works out to be $29/month). The box also included a postcard that provided information about the included products. Subscribers did receive the products ahead of them officially being released on Saks by a week or two. After two months, we’re at a total value of $310.

The Glossover

P
product

Champagne Shimmer

F

Product

2/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

1/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Starry Night

F

Product

2/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

1/10

Application

2/5

Results
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Dupes

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

MAC Smoked Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Smoked Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Smoked Cocoa Eyeshadow Quad ($44.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a new and limited edition palette from the upcoming RiRi Hearts MAC (Fall Edition) that launches at MAC stores on September 26th, online on September 30th, and counters and international locations on October 3rd.

Edited at 9/18 at 10:24AM PST: It features four eyeshadows, and the eyeshadows do not have names (only the actual quad has a name). Originally, the shades were listed with working names (so they are not finalized and often serve as placeholders). When I wrote the review, I swatched each shade to the corresponding working name (because they were permanent shades) to try to determine if, in fact, they were the same. I’ve kept that information below, but I wanted to update and clarify based on information I received this morning. I also received official shade descriptions and corresponding finishes, which I’ve added to the shades below.

To that end, I swatched each supposedly permanent shade against the individual, permanent eyeshadow I had previously (some of mine are quite old, so you may find quality differences even when colors are similar). I’ve included these swatches below for your reference. The only one that was wildly different was Smoked Cocoa #1, which was listed as Shroom–it is much, much cooler-toned and lighter. My Copperplate (which is from the original release of the Matte2 formula, so several years ago) is darker/more pigmented than Smoked Cocoa #2–the texture of my original definitely had a more buttery, silky feel, but they looked nearly identical when I compared the pans.

Smoked Cocoa #1 is described as a “dirty cool champagne [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It is a cool-toned, off white with a frosted finish. It had fairly good color payoff, and it applied smoothly and evenly. It lasted well for eight hours before showing signs of fading. MAC Winterscape is similar. MAC Star Crystal is a touch pinker. MAC Creamy Bisque is less frosted. See comparison swatches.

Smoked Cocoa #2 is described as a “muted mid-tone grey [with a Matte2 finish].” It’s a neutral-cool taupe with a matte finish. It had a soft, finely-milled texture but was noticeably less silky compared to my original Copperplate eyeshadow (which this was listed as in my information), and as a result, Smoked Cocoa #2 appeared lighter when swatched side-by-side, though in the pans they both looked the same. It applied easily and blended out well. This wore well without showing signs of fading until nine hours of wear. Maybelline Tough as Taupe is grayer and a cream product. bareMinerals Rowdy is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Smoked Cocoa #3 is described as a “black with silver pearl [with a Lustre finish].” It is a darkened matte black base with fine silver sparkle and shimmer. This could be a number of eyeshadows, and it could very well be Black Tied as it was originally listed as, since Black Tied is essentially a matte black base with silver sparkle. If it’s any consolation, my permanent pan of Black Tied is even worse. The quality of this shade was horrendous; it was dry, patchy, and incredibly sheer. It was a total pain to apply and blend out on the lid. It seemed faded after seven hours. There are so many of these types of shades on the market, and the main way they differ is that some are more pigmented than others. See comparison swatches.

Smoked Cocoa #4 is described as a “dirty black charcoal [with a Satin finish].” It is a bluish black, so it looks almost gray at times, but it is still quite a dark shade. It looked really deep in the pan, but this did not translate in application as the pigmentation was very, very weak. The texture is dry, stiff, and a total pain in the behind to use. It didn’t want to apply smoothly, and blending this shade out took far more patience than I had. It looked noticeably faded after six hours of wear. There was a very fine hint of navy micro-shimmer in the shade that I didn’t really catch in my permanent pan of Nehru, so while I think they are certainly similar (especially when applied–those micro-shimmers never show up!), they may not be the same shade. MAC Fashion Legend is darker, less blue. LORAC Black is darker. MAC Typographic is grayer, matte. bareMinerals Amnesia is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

palette

Smoked Cocoa

F

While two shades perform decently, two are not just poor, but truly horrendous shades from the pigmentation to texture to wear. They're not blendable, and at $44, there are so many better options on the market for a smoky eye palette. It's not just disappointing but feels like a genuine slap in the face as a long-time MAC customer and fan to see such a lack of quality in a palette created for a highly-anticipated launch.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

5.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Smoked Cocoa #1

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Smoked Cocoa #2

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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