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
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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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Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Laura Mercier Sage Longwear Eye Pencil
Laura Mercier Sage Longwear Eye Pencil

Laura Mercier Sage Longwear Eye Pencil ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a medium-dark, olive green with yellow undertones and a matte finish. It had decent color payoff in a single stroke, and it was somewhat buildable to semi-opaque color coverage. With three or four passes, it was mostly opaque on the lash line. This shade lasted well for nine hours but looked substantially thinned out (but no smudging or migrating) after twelve hours. MAC Forever Green is more shimmery. bareMinerals 10AM is darker, slightly shimmery. See comparison swatches. Even with all of these olive green eyeliners, the matte finish makes this one stand out.

Slate Longwear Eye Pencil ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a neutral, medium-dark gray–or it would be if it had any color payoff whatsoever. It had a really waxy consistency, which I expect is part of the reason why this had such poor pigmentation. No matter how many times I tried to layer it, it was always sheer and uneven. It seemed to look as bad ten hours later as it did when I initially applied it; all that waxiness kept what little applied in place, I guess. Urban Decay Smoke is similar. Urban Decay Uzi has shimmer. bareMinerals 11PM is lighter. Bobbi Brown Smoke is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Violet Longwear Eye Pencil ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a medium-dark cool-toned purple with a matte finish. The consistency on this was slightly waxy with just so-so color payoff, but it was more buildable than Slate. For a purple, it wasn’t half bad. It wore well for eight and a half hours but was noticeably thinner after ten hours of wear. Urban Decay Vice is warmer and shimmery. Urban Decay Ransom is more shimmery, cooler-toned. NARS St. Marks Place is cooler-toned, more violet. Milani Perfect Purple is more shimmery. MAC Designer Purple is also more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Laura Mercier’s new Longwear Creme Eye Pencils are supposed to apply smoothly and evenly, be richly pigmented, last for 12 hours (yes, a full 12!), be “water-poof, smudge-proof, transfer-proof, and tear-resistant.” Each pencil comes with a pencil sharpener as well. They’re definitely water-resistant to water-proof overall, though I will say that it was difficult to determine the outcome of Slate when splashed with water, given it already looked faded from the get-go! I was disappointed in the texture of Slate and Violet, with Violet being salvageable, but Slate had no redeeming factors.

The Glossover

P
product

Sage

B+
It had decent color payoff in a single stroke, and it was somewhat buildable to semi-opaque color coverage. With three or four passes, it was mostly opaque on the lash line. This shade lasted well for nine hours but looked substantially thinned out (but no smudging or migrating) after twelve hours.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Slate

F
It had a really waxy consistency, which I expect is part of the reason why this had such poor pigmentation. No matter how many times I tried to layer it, it was always sheer and uneven.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

3/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Violet

C+
The consistency on this was slightly waxy with just so-so color payoff, but it was more buildable than Slate. For a purple, it wasn't half bad. It wore well for eight and a half hours but was noticeably thinner after ten hours of wear.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Eye Palette
Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Eye Palette

Bobbi Brown Rich Chocolate Eye Palette ($52.00 for 0.28 oz.) contains seven eyeshadows with five matte eyeshadows, one Shimmer Wash eyeshadow, and one Sparkle eyeshadow, plus a dual-ended brush all held in a glossy black palette. The matte eyeshadows are nicely pigmented and have a soft, smooth feel to them, though all of them were so soft that they had a tendency to also be somewhat powdery. The two shimmery shades were much less pigmented and had a drier, stiffer texture that made it difficult to pick up color–I really had to jab at the pan to get anything to loosen. Luckily, despite being somewhat powdery, the matte eyeshadows still wore well on the lid–they were not prone to fading as powdery eyeshadows sometimes can be. They lasted well for eight hours with very minor fading along the edges but no creasing. Unfortunately, when two of the seven eyeshadows are disappointing, it may make the whole palette a no-go. If you really love warm neutrals, though, you may still be tempted.

Bone is described as an “off white.” It’s a light beige with a matte finish. It had good color payoff, though the texture was incredibly soft and silky, it was powdery. I highly recommend applying in layers to minimize excess powder fall out. This shade is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Broken is warmer, more shimmery. theBalm Adagio is similar. Urban Decay Kinky is similar, slightly cooler-toned. Urban Decay Walk of Shame is more beige. MAC Vanilla is slightly warmer. L’Oreal Endless Pearl is yellower. bareMinerals Chance is cooler-toned. Inglot #355 has a slight sheen. See comparison swatches.

Stone is described as a “medium ash brown.” It’s a medium, neutral-toned brown with a matte finish. It had fairly good pigmentation though the texture was slightly powdery but very soft. LORAC Taupe is similar. bareMinerals Get Ahead is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Faint is cooler-toned, darker. MAC Moleskin is lighter. Inglot #342 is slightlyd arker. See comparison swatches.

Frappe is described as a “medium ash beige.” It’s a light-medium brown with soft, yellow-peach undertones and a matte finish. It had decent to good color payoff, but the texture was powdery. MAC Layin’ Low is a cream product, warmer. Inglot #337 is darker, more red-toned. Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss #1 is lighter. MAC Arena is shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Caramel is described as a “silvery brown sparkle.” It’s a silver-sparkled, medium-dark brown with warm, yellow undertones. The color payoff was incredibly disappointing as the product was stiff and dry, so even to get something to show up, I really had to scrape the product out of the pan. The sparkle doesn’t bind with the underlying powder at all, so the end result is a very uneven amount of sparkles. Burberry Pale Nude #1 has no sparkle. Bobbi Brown Praline is more shimmery, less sparkly. See comparison swatches.

Champagne Truffle is described as a “warm pink beige.” It’s a light-medium copper with warm, orange undertones. This was in a previous palette, and it looked much darker and was much more pigmented, so I don’t know why this iteration is so poor in comparison. It was semi-sheer, and the texture was stiff and hard to work with. Disney All Aglow is similar. Disney Wanderin’ Free is lighter. Urban Decay Moonflower is darker. bareMinerals Golden Iris is more golden. See comparison swatches.

Cocoa is described as a “warm ashy brown.” This shade is part of the permanent range. Bobbi Brown Bittersweet is a cream product and slightly shimmery. LORAC Sable is lighter. MAC Swiss Chocolate is yellower. Make Up For Ever #162 is darker, redder in tone. See comparison swatches.

Rich Chocolate is described as a “dark brown.” It’s a deep, dark, burgundy brown with a matte finish. It had really intense color payoff, but like the other mattes, though the powder was soft to the touch, it was powdery. theBalm Matt Batali is cooler-toned. MAC Set to Dance is darker. MAC Graphology is darker, cooler-toned.
MAC Embark is less red-toned. Make Up For Ever #162 is browner. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Rich Chocolate

B-
The matte eyeshadows are nicely pigmented and have a soft, smooth feel to them, though all of them were so soft that they had a tendency to also be somewhat powdery. The two shimmery shades were much less pigmented and had a drier, stiffer texture that made it difficult to pick up color--I really had to jab at the pan to get anything to loosen.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Bone

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Stone

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, September 6th, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild To Muse and Carouse Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio
Wet ‘n’ Wild To Muse and Carouse Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio

Wet ‘n’ Wild To Muse and Carouse Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio ($2.99 for 0.12 oz.) contains a peachy-orange, medium-dark brown, and light-medium blue all with matte finishes. Everything was powdery, and two of the shades were also chalky. I had major wear issues with these, as the eyeshadows on their own (not to sound like a broken record, but Wet ‘n’ Wild advertises the Color Icon formula as long-wearing and highly-pigmented, which is why the poor wear is such a problem) disappear in their entirety after five hours of wear–they were half-gone after three hours. It was like my lids were hungry for eyeshadow. Over a primer (I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance), they were slightly better–six hours with a fair amount of fading. Over a creamy base (I used NYX Milk), they performed the best and wore fairly well for seven hours, but you’ll be packing on the eyeshadow to get the color payoff to be true-to-pan.

To Muse and Carouse #1 is a light-medium orange with a matte finish. It’s chalky and somewhat powdery, but it had so-so color payoff. See comparison swatches.

To Muse and Carouse #2 is a medium-dark, warm-toned brown with a mostly matte finish. It was very powdery. See comparison swatches.

To Muse and Carouse #3 is a light-medium blue with a matte finish. It was incredibly sheer, powdery, and chalky. See comparison swatches.

* Please note: This is a quick review, so while I’ve still pulled dupes, I just haven’t gone through them one-by-one and broken out how they differ.

The Glossover

palette

To Muse and Carouse

F

The eyeshadows were powdery, chalky, and dry, which resulted in poor color payoff, uneven color application, color to fade quickly, and all-around disappointment.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

4.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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To Muse and Carouse #1

D-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

To Muse and Carouse #2

D-

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Maybelline Never Fade Jade Color Tattoo Pure Pigments
Maybelline Never Fade Jade Color Tattoo Pure Pigments

Maybelline Never Fade Jade Color Tattoo Pure Pigments ($6.99 for 0.05 oz.) is a bluish-teal with a satin finish. It’s beest applied with a damp brush, as it is semi-sheer and slightly patchy when applied dry. It is also easier to blend out when it is damp, as it tended to stick when I tried to apply it dry. Fyrinnae Gender Bent is lighter. Fyrinnae Sleepy Holllow is bluer. Urban Decay Deep End is more shimmery, brighter. Maybelline Edgy Emerald is greener, cream. MAC Cool Heat is bluer. Inglot #338 is matte, darker. See comparison swatches.

Pink Rebel Color Tattoo Pure Pigments ($6.99 for 0.05 oz.) is a medium-dark fuchsia-pink with cool, blue undertones and iridescent fuchsia shimmer. This one was quite sparkly. Applied dry, it’s very sheer and more like a barely-there wash of color. Applied damp, it was more semi-opaque. CoverGirl Fired Up Pink is brighter, less cool-toned. Urban Decay Noise is less sparkly, darker. MAC Infra-violet is similar, less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Potent Purple Color Tattoo Pure Pigments ($6.99 for 0.05 oz.) is a medium-dark purple with subtle warm, plum undertones. Applied dry, it was sheer and uneven, and applied damp, it was more pigmented but still patchy. It was difficult to blend on the skin. Disney Snarfblat is cooler-toned. Dior Lilas Mitzah is similar. Urban Decay Vice is a touch darker. See comparison swatches.

Though they seemed incredibly pretty in their pots, I did not care for these in practice, because they stain the skin in such an over-the-top way and for all their staining power, fade within hours. I felt like my experience with these three was very opposite of what I experienced with the first three I tried. I experienced major staining with Never Fade Jade and Pink Rebel; my eyes were a murky, moldy green paired with “have you been crying?” pink for THREE (!) days. With a primer, it seemed to prevent most of the staining from Pink Rebel, but Never Fade Jade ate right through the primer and left an unholy stain of pain.

All three of these faded very, very quickly; like by the time you went to apply color on the other eye, everything appeared noticeably faded and washed out. I used these damp on bare lids, and then I used them damp over a primer, and they really couldn’t be helped over bare lids and absolutely needed a primer to manage decent color. I still had significant fading after a mere four hours with primer, and there was also a fair amount of fall out. Pink Rebel seemed to be responsible for the majority of the fall out (it was very iridescent!). I had originally tried three of the more neutral shades, and I remember Musings of a Muse didn’t like these much, so I was confused as I loved the neutrals, but after I tried these three, I knew exactly what she was talking about (and we texted about the differences between the shades).

Definitely not 24-hours of wear; not even four hours of decent wear with a primer (which has generally seen me through many an eyeshadow formula to at least eight hours of wear!). The staining is to such a degree that it can actually interfere with wearing makeup the next day or even the day after that. The staining left behind is sheer and uneven, so one would be hard-pressed to argue that was 24-hour wear. It’s not “powerful color intensity” that “stays put up to 24 hours.”  Some of the shades in this range are absolutely a dream to use, but these three were nightmarish.

The Glossover

P
product

Never Fade Jade

D-
I experienced major staining with Never Fade Jade and Pink Rebel; my eyes were a murky, moldy green paired with "have you been crying?" pink for THREE (!) days. With a primer, it seemed to prevent most of the staining from Pink Rebel, but Never Fade Jade ate right through the primer and left an unholy stain of pain.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Pink Rebel

D-
Pink Rebel seemed to be responsible for the majority of the fall out (it was very iridescent!).

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Potent Purple

F
Applied dry, it was sheer and uneven, and applied damp, it was more pigmented but still patchy. It was difficult to blend on the skin.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

2/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Monday, June 10th, 2013

Aveda Jade Vine Petal Essence Eye Definer
Aveda Jade Vine Petal Essence Eye Definer

Aveda Jade Vine Petal Essence Eye Definer ($16.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “matte, bright, grass green.” It’s a yellow-toned, medium green with a matte finish. MAC Emerald Sea is less pigmented. Make Up For Ever #16L is darker, cooler-toned. MAC Landscape Green is darker, brighter. See comparison swatches.

It had decent to good color payoff in a single pass, and it was buildable to mostly opaque color after a few passes back and forth. However, I wasn’t able to achieve this kind of payoff on the lash line, because the consistency of the pencil was rather waxy and stubborn, so it didn’t glide on easily. It tended to drag and skip, and it ended up looking rather subtle when I tried to apply it. The wear was so-so, as the eyeliner (that I managed to apply) lasted six hours well and started to smudge after that.

The Glossover

P
product

Jade Vine

F
The texture really made this a difficult product to apply, and it also resulted in weaker color payoff.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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