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Dior Blossom, Perle, Pampille Vernis Nail Enamels

Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel
Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel

For this spring, Dior’s released six limited edition shades of polishes, and I picked up three of the ones that were available at Nordstrom (I didn’t get Porcelaine). There is also Bouquet (available online at Sephora) and Bloom (I saw online at Saks). I wasn’t overly impressed by the three I chose, and I’m normally a fan of Dior’s polishes. Pampille was a milky disaster that applied unevely, looked almost goopy when applied (but wasn’t so thick that it was actually goopy), while Blossom was sheer and a little thick to work with. Perle was interesting, but it almost seemed too pigmented/densely packed with shimmer to be a really versatile top coat.

Dior Blossom (132) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a soft, pastel peachy-orange with muted, yellowed gold sparkle. It seems like it has an almost jelly-like finish, though it didn’t quite have that really plush, juicy texture/look of a true jelly polish. It was semi-sheer with noticeable nail line. I concede it’s possible this was intentional, since it is spring and pastel and sheer seem to be keywords that are rarely ignored during the season, but without an actual description that affirms (without one, expectations based on an online photo would be that it is like the rest of the range!), I err against giving the brand the benefit of the doubt (but if sheer is cool with you, then the rating breakdown would be 8.5, 10, 8.5, 9, 4.5). I don’t have a dupe for this, due to the translucency and shimmer content. NARS Wind Dancer (LE, $19.00) is a lot darker, more orange, and has no shimmer. MAC Sweet Pop (LE, $16.00) is a cream finish and more orange. MAC Pep Pep Pep (LE, $16.00) and MAC Life & Beth (LE, $16.00) are closer in color but are creams. Chanel June (LE, $27.00) has a slight plushness to the finish, but it is darker, more orange, no sparkle. See comparison swatches.

Dior Perle (187) Vernis Nail Enamel ($25.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is described as a “matte pearly white with iridescent purple glimmer.” It’s an iridescent mix of lavender, fuchsia, and pink with a white-ish frosted matte finish. This is a matte top coat, though it’s fairly pigmented/dense so it’s not the most versatile top coat. I think it’s one that would work best on pinks and reds, as well as lighter shades in general. I tried it over black, which was all right, but it didn’t seem to work as well as I expected! I also tried it with just two coats over nails, and alone, it’s semi-sheer–but this a top coat, so that’s as expected. On its own, it wore well for five days on me (I normally get a week), and as a top coat, it wore a full week. MAC Frayed-to-Order was the only dupe I could think of, and it’s a bit whiter. See comparison swatches.

Dior Pampille (192) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a milky, mint-tinged white with iridescent green shimmer. The consistency was thicker, and it applied unevenly and showed streakiness on the nail. It was semi-opaque after two coats. Guerlain Star Dust (862) (LE, $23.00) is the only comparable shade I have, but it has more of a clear base than a milky one, so they end up looking quite different applied. See comparison swatches.

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Maybelline Touchable Taupe, Stormy Sahara, Untainted Spice, Espresso Exposed ColorSensational Lip Colors

Maybelline Touchable Taupe (940) ColorSensational Lip Color
Maybelline Touchable Taupe (940) ColorSensational Lip Color

For spring, Maybelline’s added ten shades of “nude” that range from the very, very palest beige to muted mauves to deep plums. I greatly appreciate that Maybelline considered the spectrum of skin tones when they thought about flesh-colored lipsticks, because what’s “nude” for one skin tone isn’t going to be nude for everyone.  Here are the last four from the new set of shades!  My favorite in this set was Untainted Spice.

Maybelline Touchable Taupe (940) ColorSensational Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is medium-dark, muted brown with hints of rose and beige and a luminous finish. It had full, opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly and smoothly. It wore well for four and a half hours and was nicely hydrating during that time. MAC Bad Girl RiRi (LE, $16.00) is pinker and more matte. MAC Glamour Era (P, $22.00) is warmer, more matte. MAC Mocha (LE, $16.00) is more matte. MAC Double Shot (P, $16.00) is darker. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Marion (P, $18.00) is similar in color but matte. Bobbi Brown Uber Nude (P, $24.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Stormy Sahara (945) ColorSensational Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is medium, muted orange with a luminous shine. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and while the texture was creamy and comfortable to wear, it did streak a little. It wore well for four hours and was lightly hydrating. Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $22.00) is lighter. Edward Bess Forbidden Flower (P, $32.00) is slightly warmer. Tom Ford Beauty Abandon (P, $48.00) is browner. NARS Isola Bella (P, $25.00) is similar. MAC Posh Tone (P, $22.00) is also similar. MAC Delectable (LE, $16.00) is lighter. MAC Cozy Up (LE, $16.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Untainted Spice (950) ColorSensational Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is a medium-dark, brownish-plum with a luminous shine. It had mostly opaque pigmentation when applied to the lips. The consistency was very creamy and emollient, and it applied smoothly to the lips without streaking or settling into lip lines. This shade wore well for almost five hours and was somewhat hydrating when worn. Chanel Farouche (122) (P, $34.00) is more matte. MAC Glamourdaze (LE, $16.00) is more plum. Chanel Bel Ami (P, $34.00) is less brown. Chanel Baroque (LE, $34.00) is more matte. Chanel Imperial (DC, $32.00) is warmer. MAC Sheer Plum (P, $16.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Espresso Exposed (955) ColorSensational Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is a cool-toned, reddish-burgundy with a glossy shine. It had semi-opaque color coverage, but it applied very unevenly. It looked streaky on, possibly due to how creamy/emollient the consistency was. The color lasted six hours and left behind a stain, and it was somewhat hydrating during that time. I had some feathering along the upper lip lines, though, which is highly unusual for me. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Black Metal Dahlia (P, $18.00) is metallic. Urban Decay Shame (P, $22.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total
7
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
78%
Total

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette
MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette

MAC Eyeshadow x 15/Cool Neutral Palette ($100.00 for 0.68 oz.) contains fifteen eyeshadows with a cool-toned theme. Aside from some of the quality issues, one of the things I noticed as I used this palette was that it wasn’t that cool-toned. Not only is it labeled a cool palette, but it is the counterpart to the Warm Neutral palette, which was very warm-toned. I thought the pigmentation was weaker in this palette overall, and there were some shades with texture issues (most of them Lustres, though). In general, these shades wore well for eight hours without fading or creasing, but one of the Lustres did have noticeable fall out during wear. This palette also contained a few of repromotes/permanent shades: Blackberry, Brun, and Black Tied are part of the permanent range, while After Dusk, Deception, and Silver Fog were repromotes. I thought Cumulus was a repromote, but it’s a totally different shade than the past limited edition release (from several years ago).

Flounce is described as a “chalky white pink [with a Matte finish].” It’s a cool-toned pink–almost a little lavender to it–with a matte finish. MAC was right about a chalkiness to it, too; I’m not sure it will work well on deeper complexions due to the chalky, white base. The consistency was a little dry and powdery, but soft and blendable, and yielded semi-opaque color payoff. bareMinerals Velvet Lavender (LE, $14.00) is more lavender. Too Faced Strawberry Bon Bon (P) is pinker, less cool-toned. Urban Decay X-Rated (LE, $18.00) is darker, pinker. LORAC Light Pink (P) is similar. NARS Bouthan #1 (P, $24.00) is pinker. Benefit Pinky Swear (P, $20.00) is also pinker. Inglot #319 (P, $6.00) is darker, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Sweet Allure is described as a “soft light pink [with a Satin finish].” It’s a soft, pinky-beige with a soft, frosted finish and subtle warm undertones. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable but a bit powdery. Laura Mercier Sparkling Dew (LE, $23.00) is more beige. Laura Mercier Guava (P, $23.00) is warmer. Urban Decay Dope (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Chanel Delicatesse #3 (LE) is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Newport Nights #2 (LE) is darker, warmer. MAC Orb (P, $15.00) is less pink, more beige. See comparison swatches.

Sun Tweaked is described as a “soft frosty coral [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium orange with a frosted finish. It felt more like a Lustre, as it was soft but a little loose/powdery, and it didn’t bind together for great color payoff. This was a surprisingly warm-toned shade for a cool-toned palette. Too Faced Marzipan (P) is similar. Makeup Geek Cinderella (P, $5.99) is less frosted. LORAC Light Bronze (P) is more golden. Urban Decay Moonflower (P, $18.00) is darker. NARS Nepal (P, $24.00) is slightly browner. MAC Sweet Heat (LE, $19.50) is more metallic, browner. See comparison swatches.

After Dusk is described as a “mid-tone rosy pink with pearl [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a warm-toned, muted rose with reddish-orange undertones and a pearly sheen. It had really nice pigmentation, and the texture was soft and buttery. Urban Decay Buzz (P, $18.00) is very similar. MAC Mineral Mode (LE, $21.00) is less warm-toned and less pink. Chanel Abstraction (LE, $36.00) is more frosted. Inglot #399 (P, $6.00) is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Blackberry is described as a “muted burgundy-plum brown [with a Matte finish].” It’s a muted, plummy brown with subtle warm undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and velvety, while the color payoff was really nice–it was just a little powdery but still adhered well to bare skin and didn’t sheer away easily. Chanel Quadrille #1 (LE) is lighter. theBalm Sexy (P, $16.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Pick Me Up is described as a “pale ivory [with a Matte finish].” It’s a cool-toned, white-beige with a matte finish. It’s not quite as stark as a true white, but it’s not too beige either. It had fairly good pigmentation, and it applied evenly overall. It’s a more basic shade, so there are a lot of shades very similar to it — see comparison swatches.

Cozy Grey is described as a “cool grey [with a Matte finish].” It’s a light-medium taupe with a neutral-to-cool undertone and a matte finish. MAC Camel Coat (P, $18.50) is a cream product, darker, grayer. Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $18.00) is darker. MAC Brains & Brawn (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Inner Strength (LE, $15.00) is slightly darker. Inglot #390 (P, $6.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Crushed Clove is described as a “dirty gold olive [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium, golden bronze with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth overall. bareMinerals Hot Commodity (LE) is slightly darker. Too Faced Jingle All the Way Eyeshadow #4 (LE) is very similar. Sleek MakeUP Court in Cannes (LE, $9.99) is also similar. Maybelline Downtown Brown (P, $6.99) is darker. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $21.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Deception is described as a “chocolate gold [with a Frost finish].” It’s a medium-dark, plum-tinged brown with gold sparkle. It felt more like a Lustre finish than a frost–it was glittery, grainy, and dry with sheer color payoff. This one had problems with fall out during wear. Too Faced Amaretto (P) is lighter. Urban Decay Liar (P, $18.00) is cooler-toned. Too Faced Brown Sugar (LE) is warmer. Too Faced Yule Log (LE) is darker. MAC Damson (LE, $21.00) is more glittery. Disney by Sephora Chateau (LE) is similar. MAC Roasted Chestnut (LE, $32.50) is browner. See comparison swatches.

Brun is described as a “muted blackish brown [with a Satin finish].” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned brown with a matte finish. It was soft but powdery, and it had semi-opaque color payoff. Too Faced Triple Fudge (P) and Laura Mercier Espresso (LE, $23.00) are darker. MAC Midnight Hour (LE, $15.00) is also darker. bareMinerals Boardroom (LE) darker, cooler-toned. Benefit Quick, Look Busy (P, $20.00) is similar. Inglot #363 (P, $6.00) is cooler-toned, slightly darker. See comparison swatches.

Silver Fog is described as a “white with silver pearl [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a pale, silvery-white with a frosted sheen. The texture almost felt emollient, and it had semi-sheer color payoff. It’s so sheer and light, there are a fair amount of very similar shades — see comparison swatches.

French Clay is described as a “dirty grey charcoal [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light-medium, golden taupe with a frosted sheen. It seems to be slightly warm-toned–just slightly–but you’d expect it to run cooler in this type of palette. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable. Clarins The Essentials #5 (LE) is darker. Clarins The Essentials #8 (LE) is less frosted. Urban Decay Juju (LE, $20.00) is a cream product. MAC Vintage Selection (P, $18.50) is slightly warmer, cream product. See comparison swatches.

Cumulus is described as a “dirty grey charcoal [with a Frost finish].” It’s a subtly cool-toned, dark taupe with an olive-brown base. It had nice pigmentation, and the texture was really soft and buttery. MAC A Glimmer of Gold #4 (P, $21.00) is less frosted. MAC Silver Dawn (LE, $19.50) is warmer. Urban Decay Vaporize (LE, $18.00) is more glittery. MAC Shale (P, $15.00) is browner. See comparison swatches.

Pearled Earth is described as a “deep blue-grey [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a cool-toned, muted medium-dark purple with a frosted sheen. It had fairly good color payoff but could have been more intense. Urban Decay Darkside (P, $18.00) is darker. Too Faced Bluff (LE) is similar. MAC Graphic Style (LE, $15.00) is grayer. MAC Dangerous Cuvee (P, $18.50) is a cream product. MAC Electroplate (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. Inglot #420 (P, $6.00) is more metallic, lighter. See comparison swatches.

Black Tied is described as a “black with silver sparkle [with a Velvet finish].” It’s a matte black base with silver sparkle. This is the best Black Tied I’ve ever tried, including a permanent single I’ve had forever. It was really quite pigmented, and the texture was very soft and finely-milled. It can take some extra effort to blend just right, but it’s pretty intense. This combination of matte black and silver sparkle is really common, so there are several very close shades — see comparison swatches.

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Cult Nails Passionate Dreams Collection for Spring 2014

Cult Nails Passionate Dreams Collection
Cult Nails Passionate Dreams Collection

…She dreamed of the day when she would find him, the one. And find him, she did. He passed her in the park on her morning walk. She’d been watching him as he approached. With his head down and his hands in his pockets, he hadn’t given her so much as a glance. But there he was, the absolute man of her dreams. His stride was flawless and graceful, but manly. His build was average but he carried himself with confidence, not cockiness. And his eyes. Oh his eyes! When he looked up to apologize for almost bumping into her, she could feel his eyes looking deeper into her soul than she ever thought possible. His stare was intense. Heart stopping. Lethal. That was the moment. The feeling his gaze left her with was enough to ignite her passion. Then she felt it. The pounding in her heart. Her breathing became shallow and quick. Her senses were exploding at the thought of him simply speaking to her. Then, it happened. She looked back at him and their eyes met once more. It was undeniable; but as quickly as he approached, he continued on, blending in with the background until he was eventually out of sight.

CULT NAILS™ brings you the PASSIONATE DREAMS collection. With names like LETHAL, IGNITE, ANGEL WHISPERS, and KISS, this collection brings emotions of desire, lust, and passion, and the colors are no exception.

Nail Lacquer ($12.00) (Limited Edition)

  • Angel Whispers A soft, pale pink crème provides the base color for this texture polish. Even though the finish may feel slightly rough, its color and signature Cult Nails shimmer create a softening effect reminiscent of an Angel’s wings.
  • Lethal Like staring into your lover’s eyes, you won’t be able to look away when this silver foil is on your tips.
  • Ignite Blending a black jelly base with silver glitter, it’s like closing your eyes for that first kiss, and seeing stars. Ignite is pure passion fuel.
  • Kiss No love story is complete without a kiss. Crafted to invoke emotions of lust and desire, Kiss is a vibrant red that dries to a wax-like finish.

Availability: Pre-sale January 17-31, 2014. The 4 piece set will sell only as a collection during the pre-sale time for $35.00. Remaining colors, if any, will be sold individually beginning February 15, 2014 and will retail for $12.00 each at cultnails.com

Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) DiorBlush

Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) DiorBlush
Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) DiorBlush

Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) DiorBlush ($43.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a pink-coral with warm undertones and a satin finish. Chanel Intonation (69) (LE, $38.00) is a cream product. NARS Day Dream (LE, $29.00) is a smidgen lighter. MAC Passion for Colour (LE, $21.00) is less pink. Bobbi Brown Pink Coral (LE, $26.00) is similar. Edward Bess Secret Affair (P, $43.00) is slightly warmer. Tom Ford Beauty Flush (P, $55.00) is brighter. theBalm Frat Boy (P, $21.00) is a touch pinker. See comparison swatches.

This is a new and limited edition blush for spring, and the color certainly fits with what comes to mind during the season. It had good color payoff, and it was a both blendable and buildable, so it could be worn very lightly or more intensely, depending on the pressure and application. The finish is somewhere between a satin and a matte; the more is it blended and buffed into the skin, the more satiny the finish becomes–just a little luminous along the edges but not shiny or metallic. It never emphasized pores, and when applied more heavily, it never looked powdery or caky. The texture was soft and finely-milled, blendable, and easy to use. The blush lasted almost eight hours on my normal-to-dry skin before it started to show signs of fading.

Maybelline Maple Kiss, Truffle Tease, Sin-a-mon ColorSensational Lip Color

Maybelline Maple Kiss (925) ColorSensational Lip Color
Maybelline Maple Kiss (925) ColorSensational Lip Color

For spring, Maybelline’s added ten shades of “nude” that range from the very, very palest beige to muted mauves to deep plums. I greatly appreciate that Maybelline considered the spectrum of skin tones when they thought about flesh-colored lipsticks, because what’s “nude” for one skin tone isn’t going to be nude for everyone.  This is the next set of three that I’ve finished testing, and my favorite from these three is Maple Kiss, as it applies really nicely and wears well.  The other two are more emollient, so they slip more and do not apply quite as evenly.

Maybelline Maple Kiss (925) ColorSensational Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is a muted, coppery brown with a satin finish and warm undertones. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and the consistency was lightly creamy and glided on evenly and smoothly. It was very forgiving on lips and made them look smoother than they actually were. The color wore well for five hours and was lightly hydrating. Too Faced Sweet Maple (P, $21.00) is pinker, lesls brown. Givenchy Brun Cachemire (104) (P, $36.00) is lighter. MAC Mocha (LE, $16.00) is less warm-toned, matte. Maybelline Mochachino (P, $7.49) is warmer, more shimmery. MAC Sheer Plum (P, $16.00) See comparison swatches.

Truffle Tease (930) ColorSensational Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is a light-medium, peachy-beige with subtle warm undertones and an almost gray-cast at times. It had mostly opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly for the most part. The finish was glossier than some of the other shades–more luminous than satin. This shade lasted for three and a half hours on me and was lightly hydrating. Marc Jacobs Beauty Dizzy Spell (104) (P, $30.00) is pinker, lighter. Givenchy Beige Mousseline (101) (P, $36.00) is a bit lighter, more matte. Too Faced Naughty Nude (P, $21.00) is slightly warmer. Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $22.00) is a touch browner. NARS Biscayne Park (P, $25.00) is slightly warmer. MAC Delectable (LE, $16.00) is warmer, more matte. MAC Wholesome (LE, $16.00) is lighter. MAC Cozy Up (LE, $16.00) is a smidgen warmer. See comparison swatches.

Sin-a-mon (935) ColorSensational Lip Color ($7.49 for 0.15 oz.) is a cool-toned, gray-tinged light-medium beige with a luminous sheen. It was semi-opaque, so it allowed the natural lip color to come through (which makes it look a little rosier when applied than when swatched). It applied evenly for the most part, and the color lasted for three and a half hours. It was somewhat hydrating.  MAC To the Future (P, $18.00) is lighter. MAC Naked Bliss (LE, $16.00) is much lighter. MAC Japanese Maple (LE, $16.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
87%
Total
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
88%
Total