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  • Tarte25% off Shape Tape with code SHAPETAPE, ends 10/17.

Formula X for Sephora Nail Lacquer

Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer
Formula X A+ Nail Lacquer

Formula X for Sephora Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) launched in October, and it did so with quite a splash as it launched with over 200 shades. Since it was a new formula, I tested three of the shades for wear (the ones in this post) over the past month and a half. Of course, keep in mind that almost nothing chips on me, and I get extraordinary wear out of most formulas. Formula X held up well on me with very, very minor tip wear by the seventh day, and I wore A+ for a full ten days with minor tip wear (I had more nail growth than I did tip wear) but no chipping. The natural shine–that is, without a top coat–dulls a bit by the fifth day. After playing with these, I ended up caving on the 22-polish set during the VIB sale, but I’ll be breaking up the set and reviewing as I can (since they’re all part of the permanent range!)–so more to come eventually.

A+ Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as a “raspberry.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark, blue-based pink cream. It had a really high-shine, glossy finish when it dried down, and it’s very, very pigmented. On my ring finger, I applied only one coat (the rest all have two). Two coats definitely give the color a really plush look–made it look almost jelly-like. The consistency was well-balanced between thick and thin, so it didn’t pool along the edges. MAC Girl About Town (LE, $16.00) is bluer-based. L’Oreal Members Only (P) is pinker.See comparison swatches.

Chaotic Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as “black and white confetti.” It’s a glitter top coat that consists of black and white hexagon-shaped glitters in multiple sizes, plus black bar glitter, all suspended in a clear base. The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin (I’d say on the thinner side for a glitter top coat), and one coat had good coverage and spread evenly without having to pull or tug the glitter into place–other than if a bar glitter landed on the edge of the nail, then you might need to tug at it so it doesn’t hang off the edge of the nail. I applied one coat over A+, and then I applied two coats of it on its own on my thumbnail. China Glaze Glitz ‘n’ Pieces (LE, $8.00) is a mix of silver and black. See comparison swatches. This particular shade was also available in a previous Sephora polish range (same name).

Perfection Nail Lacquer ($10.50 for 0.40 fl. oz. each) is described as a “smoky violet.” It’s a muted, gray-ish mauve with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque after two coats, and the consistency was slightly thick but workable and didn’t take too long to dry down. It did dry down to a really high-gloss finish, though. China Glaze Below Deck (LE, $8.00) is darker. Zoya Jana (P, $8.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

A+
A+
A+

Permanent

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total
Chaotic
Chaotic
A

Permanent

9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Perfection
Perfection
B+

Permanent

8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total

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50% off Select Le Metier de Beaute Products at Saks


Le Metier de Beaute has several products/shades that have been marked down 50% off at Saks.  It has certainly raised my curiosity about the brand’s future, though some color products are not discounted at all, and some shades within formulas aren’t discounted either.  I noticed skincare isn’t discounted at all.  Well, if you ever were curious, my top picks would be eyeshadow, blush, and Lip Cremes.

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5 Must-Have Urban Decay Products

I’m a long-time fan of Urban Decay, and so I’m sure none of these will come as a surprise from me!

  1. Eyeshadow — soft, buttery, pigmented, and silky-smooth–that’s the formula overall! The only ones I’m not keen on are the ones with micro-glitter.
  2. 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil — one of the most comfortable lip liners on the market and has a large shade range
  3. Revolution Lipstick — richly pigmented, hydrating, comfortable to wear lip color
  4. 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils — a favorite for years, I love the variety, consistency, and long-wear–now if only they’d bring back Honey
  5. Super Saturated High Gloss Lip Color — rich, decadent lip color with a glossy finish; Scandal is a must-have

What are your favorite Urban Decay products?

Illamasqua Fusion & Perseid Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Fusion Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Fusion Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Fusion Nail Varnish (£14.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “khaki gold glitter.” It’s a deepened, muted, olive brown with golden olive shimmer and sparkle. It was mostly opaque in two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. It dried a little faster than average, but it still had a naturally shiny finish without a top coat. Chanel Mysterious (601) (P, $27.00) has no shimmer and is greener. Rescue Beauty Lounge Scrangie 2.0 (LE, $20.00) is lighter. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Ripley (P, $10.00) is lighter, greener. SpaRitual Lithophonic (LE, $10.00) has green shimmer, is greener overall. See comparison swatches.

Perseid Nail Varnish (£14.50 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “galactic black glitter.” It’s a blackened purple with green-teal micro-shimmer and larger holographic, hexagon-shaped glitters. It’s nearly opaque after two coats of polish, but the consistency is quite thick. It’s a polish that tends to pool along the edges. About half of the glitter seems caught underneath the polish, so it gives the finish a more uneven/bumpy look. It took two thick coats of top coat to smooth it out, and it still didn’t seem entirely smooth. I think this polish looks very interesting in the bottle, and on the nails, less so, but I only saw some of the dimension on the nails when I was outside and the sun was shining–otherwise it looked very black and lost a lot of the character.  The good news is that I don’t have anything like it, so it is a more unique shade from what I can tell–but the formula needs work.

Illamasqua’s Nail Varnish formula wears as long as ten days with minor tip wear but no chipping–it’s one of the longest-wearing formulas I’ve come across.

Fusion
Fusion
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total
Perseid
Perseid
6
Product
9
Pigmentation
6
Texture
10
Longevity
3
Application
76%
Total

Makeup Geek Creme Brulee, Frappe, Cocoa Bear, Brown Sugar Eyeshadows,

Makeup Geek Creme Brulee Eyeshadow
Makeup Geek Creme Brulee Eyeshadow

It took me a few years, but I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate neutrals quite a bit!  In fact, I’m more likely to opt for neutrals than bright colors on the rare day I’m not testing something (often special occasions, which might disadvantage brights!).  I recently wore these four Makeup Geek Eyeshadows together, and I thought they came together nicely.   Creme Brulee and Cocoa Bear both wore well for over eight hours, while Frappe and Brown Sugar were slightly faded by the eight-hour mark.  All four were very blendable, though, and had good color payoff across the board.

Makeup Geek Creme Brulee Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “medium sand color with a soft matte finish.” It’s a light-medium brown with warm, peach undertones and a matte finish. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was soft, finely-milled, and smooth–but not at all powdery. Too Faced Chocolate Milk (LE) is browner, less warm-toned. MAC Layin’ Low (P, $18.50) is very similar but is a cream product. MAC Indie Spirit (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Soft Brown (P, $15.00) is darker. MAC Glimpse of Flesh (LE, $15.00) is shimmery. Inglot #337 (P, $6.00) is less warm-toned, darker. See comparison swatches.

Frappe Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “medium maple brown matte.” It’s a warm-toned, caramel brown with a satin-matte finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, and the texture was soft without being powdery–very blendable. Too Faced Chocolate Milk (LE) theBalm C4 is slightly darker. (LE, $16.00) is browner. Wet ‘n’ Wild To Muse and Carouse #2 (LE) is similar. Urban Decay Beware (LE, $18.00) is a touch darker. MAC Indie Spirit is warmer. (LE, $15.00) MAC One to Watch is more shimmery. (P, $21.00) MAC Soft Brown (P, $15.00) is darker. MAC Glimpse of Flesh (LE, $15.00) is shimmery. Inglot #337 (P, $6.00) is grayer. See comparison swatches.

Cocoa Bear Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “matte reddish brown.” It’s a medium-dark, red-toned brown with a matte finish. The pigmentation was excellent–really rich and opaque–while the texture was soft, smooth, and velvety. Anastasia Sienna (LE) is warmer, lighter. MAC Soft Brown (P, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Brown Script (P, $15.00) is a little darker. See comparison swatches.

Brown Sugar Eyeshadow ($5.99 for 0.064 oz.) is described as a “warm shimmery copper brown.” It’s a muted, medium-dark brown with a soft, pearly sheen. It had subtle warm undertones. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft, though a little dry. Anastasia Truffle (LE) is similar. Clarins The Essentials #9 (LE) is more frosted. CoverGirl Scorching Cocoa (355) (P, $4.99) is grayer. MAC Lie Low (P, $21.00) is similar. MAC Mulch (P, $15.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Creme Brulee
Creme Brulee
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total
Frappe
Frappe
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total
Cocoa Bear
Cocoa Bear
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
98%
Total
Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
90%
Total