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

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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

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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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Monday, May 9th, 2011

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Queen Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “majestic and modern citrus gold glitter, can be swiped on lids and blended with a fingertip.” Although I haven’t had good experiences with NARS Soft Touch Shadow Pencils, I still held out hope, but Queen also disappointed. Despite NARS saying it can be applied to the lid and blended with a fingertip, it only lasts for a half hour or so, and even then, I’m not exactly sure what look NARS was going for.

Queen contains chartreuse glittery bits suspended in a colorless base–there is no color whatsoever, just glitter. It’s not a very densely-packed glitter, either, because it applies sheer and doesn’t seem to be buildable at all. The glitter is large and chunky, and though it didn’t feel quite like sandpaper, it wasn’t soft or smooth when used against the lid. I could definitely feel the grit and unevenness of the glitter as I attempted to apply it on my lid (I applied it directly, using the pencil against the lid).

When I used my fingertips to “blend,” I ended up with half the glitter on my finger with the rest on the lid. Just like several other shades I’ve tried, it creases within an hour (faster, too, but I just took a photo after an hour). The glitter migrated into the crease and collected with its friends. There was even some that had traveled beneath my lower lash line.

I attempted to apply it over an eyeshadow look to add glitter, but it made the look crease, and even before it creased, the glitter didn’t seem to apply evenly or smoothly at all. I also applied it over a clear eyeshadow base, and I still experienced the same creasing and migration of the glitter as without a base. When applied to the lower lash line, it travels down to cheeks and with the sheerness of the product (you can’t get a really dense, rich line of glitter), it just doesn’t apply well.

The Glossover

LE
product

Queen

It doesn't work alone, over a base, over eyeshadow, and if you apply eyeshadow over it, you end up covering a lot of the color of the glitter. You'd be better off applying glitter eyeliner (many are colored glitter suspended in a clear base) and applying that onto the lid, because at least it'll adhere for more than an hour.
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Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglows

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a cream highlight with pearl powder, weightless formula, and “adds luminescence whenever you need it.” It can be used in the inner corners of your eyes, cheeks, or brow bones. The shade range includes four but all four are sheer enough to work across skin tones. It’s supposed to dry down “instantly” and work on top of makeup. The four shades include: Brown Sugar (warm taupey brown), Moonshine (iridescent shimmer), Sin (shimmering champagne), and Wicked (radiant pinky shimmer).

I received both Brown Sugar (which I’d describe as a gilded bronze) and Sin (which I’d describe as pale golden champagne) to review several months ago (back when they first released), they did not work for me at that time. I decided to hold off on a review and wait awhile before trying them again to see if perhaps it was something to do with the state of my skin or whatever. I tested both shades on and off since these launched (September, I believe), with each shade being trialed at least five times.

For me, these look lovely–initially–but do such a disservice to my skin after two hours of wear. I think these are best for those who have naturally beautiful skin and don’t typically wear makeup. They can work for that truly no makeup look, but once you involve foundation–and, if you dare, powder–the results took a nosedive. I could not get the highlighters to stay on for more than two to three hours before there was migration that made my cheeks look like there were chunks of glitter, rather than a dusting of sheen.

This effect worsened if you set your foundation/makeup with powder, which is something I find necessary as someone who wears liquid foundation. With powder to set, the highlighters stayed on for three to four hours, but they still migrated and bulking up so that wherever there was product, it accentuated my pores (and I never thought I had large ones, but this product made me question if I was simply delusional). They just tend to look cakey after a couple of hours of wear.

My results yielded glowy cheeks for two hours but the final look was rough-looking skin with accentuated pores and chunks of glitter and very little sheen left after two hours passed. I applied with brushes, sponges, and fingertips; over and under foundation; on bare skin alone. It seems to fade better over bare skin and doesn’t give skin such a rough textured look. When I tested it on the inner tearduct and brow bone, I had the same two-hour disappearing act and migration issues I had on the cheeks. They worked best on the brow bone, though, and wore for about four hours before fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight Review, Photos, Swatches

F
I have only seen others rave about Urbanglow, and so I would encourage you to research and read more reviews to balance with mine. I hate being that one naysayer, you know? Urban Decay's products are usually good, so find these so disappointing has left me in a bit of a quandary.  Between how quickly the Urbanglows faded to the overall look they gave after the initial dry-down, I just can't find much silver lining in this cloud.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, January 24th, 2011

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil
NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil

NARS Spring 2011: Celebrate

NARS Celebrate Soft Touch Shadow Pencil ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “parrot green” by NARS. The Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are supposed to be “smooth, creamy, and long-wearing.” They are touted as the “ideal base for layering with powder eyeshadow to increase color intensity.” It’s a multi-tasking pencil that can be used to “Shade the lid, line, or highlight the eye.”

Celebrate is a bright, chartreuse green with a strong yellow base. It applied semi-opaque but glided on easily. The problem with this shade was its complete inability to not crease. I tried it alone, and it creased within minutes. I layered eyeshadow on top (Giorgio Armani Transluminence palette–the teal–I just used whatever I had nearest to me), and it still creased in less than an hour. It’s not even a little creasing–it’s painful to see. Not to be daunted, I also tried it over NARS’ Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base with the same eyeshadow layered on top, and I still had the same results (a veritable creasing bonanza).

my thoughts on the formula: More often than not, the Soft Touch Shadow Pencils are a bust for me–they crease alone but also when layered with powder–and Celebrate continues to show that NARS’ Soft Touch Shadow Pencils really can be hit or miss.

The Glossover

P
product

Celebrate

I'm not even sure what you can really use this with or for, if it's going to crease with two additional helpers (a base and shadow to set). It migrates on the lower lash line, too, so it's not something one could line with, either. Five points for the glide and color pay off!
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