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Illamasqua Perfuzzi Nail Varnish

Illamasqua PerfuzziNail Varnish
Illamasqua PerfuzziNail Varnish

Illamasqua PerfuzziNail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a vibrant, sunshine yellow gold with gold micro-glitter and glitter. Zoya Kerry (P, $9.00) is metallic. MAC Immortal Gold (LE, $16.00) is less warm-toned. China Glaze Lighthouse (LE, $7.50) is similar but sheerer. China Glaze Champagne Bubbles (LE, $7.50) is less glittery. Zoya Solange (P, $9.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

This shade is exclusive to Bloomingdale’s, and it’s supposed to have a “Shattered Stars” formula/finish, but it was like glue. I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered such a thick polish before. I was more than a little surprised that it didn’t look like gluey, gloppy awfulness on the nails, as it actually looked half-decent, but it was noticeably thick. It was fairly opaque in a single coat but two are necessary for fully opaque color. It’s a gorgeous color, but something went very awry with the consistency, which made application more difficult, and you have to be really, really careful with how you place your hand as you wait for it to dry (which takes forever). I typically get a week or more out of Illamasqua’s formula.

Perfuzzi
Perfuzzi
4
Product
10
Pigmentation
3
Texture
9.5
Longevity
3
Application
66%
Total

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Illamasqua Glamore Lipsticks

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick
Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new formula that’s supposed to be “colour intense,” “long lasting,” hydrating, and have a “satin finish.” It seems like Illamasqua created a formula in response to some customers finding their original formula too drying or stiff to use. In my experience, some shades are drying and stiff, others are lightly creamy and apply evenly (though not particularly hydrating). This new formula is definitely creamier and has a lot more slip, so the resulting finish is more luminous. It takes about an hour and a half for the shine to fade and become more satin-like. I had no issues getting rich, opaque color payoff with any of the three new shades, and they glided on evenly and smoothly. I didn’t find them hydrating; they were more “not drying” than anything else, but these wear quite awhile, so it’ll depend on how long your lips can go without any real boost in moisture. I didn’t notice any scent, but I could detect a little waxiness from the base ingredients.

Luster is described as a “candy pink.” It’s a brightened, light-medium, blue-based pink with a luminous sheen. It had rich, opaque color coverage and wore well for six and a half hours. Maybelline Pink Pop (P, $7.49) is more muted, less blue-based. MAC Pink Nouveau (P, $16.00) is slightly more muted. MAC Naughty Saute (LE, $16.00) is very similar. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Narcissus (P, $18.00) is slightly more muted. See comparison swatches.

Glissade is described as a “bold pink.” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a soft, luminous sheen. It had rich pigmentation, and it applied evenly. This shade wore well for over eight hours and leaves a stain behind. Estee Lauder Dominant (P, $30.00) is very similar. MAC Feeling Amorous? (LE, $20.00) is more muted, sheerer. Charlotte Tilbury Velvet Underground (P) is less glossy. Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible (205) (P, $36.00) is slightly darker. MAC Girl About Town (P, $16.00) is more matte. Buxom Exhibitionist (P, $21.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Soaked is described as a “vibrant orange.” It’s a bright, medium-dark orange with strong, red undertones and a luminous shine. It had intense, opaque color payoff, and the color went on very smoothly. This shade lasted for almost seven hours on me. Though all the shades are fairly dupable, this orange is something we’ve seen across brands, and these are all extremely similar: Giorgio Armani #300 (P, $32.00), Urban Decay Bang (P, $22.00), Maybelline Electric Orange (P, $7.49), MAC Booyah (LE, $18.00), MAC Fashion Nomad (LE, $16.00), and MAC Morange (P, $16.00) See comparison swatches.

Luster
Luster
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Glissade
Glissade
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Soaked
Soaked
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

5 Shades of Aqua Eyeshadow

Reader Sylirael asked if I had done a post on aqua eyeshadows, and the last time I did one was back in ’11, so I thought three years later might be a good time to update my top five!

  1. Giorgio Armani #10 — a metallic, aqua-blue
  2. Sugarpill Mochi — a muted, aqua blue with a satin finish
  3. Inglot #345 — a minty, aqua green with a matte finish
  4. Make Up For Ever #93 — a bold, bright aqua-green
  5. Urban Decay Shattered — a gold-shimmered, muted aqua blue

What are your favorite aqua-hued eyeshadows?

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Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Fire Rose Shattered Star Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnishes

Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is supposed to have a “multi-dimensional glitter finish.” These three shades had the same consistency: slightly thin but not watery, and they were easy to apply for even, smooth results. Trilliant wasn’t quite opaque after two coats, but Fire Rose and Marquise both were. The finish is somewhat shiny, sparkly, and glittery, but not as glossy as the traditional creams and frosts in the Nail Varnish range, so depending on the effect you’re after, you may want a top coat. Marquise was the most matte of the three, and it was also the most textured. This formula lasts a full seven days on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

Fire Rose Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered pink.” It’s a light-medium, rosy pink with silver shimmer and micro-glitter. It had opaque color coverage after two coats, and it was easy to apply and work with. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this one!

Marquise Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered orange.” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark orange-red with lighter tangerine shimmer and micro-glitter. It had full coverage color with two coats of polish, and I didn’t have any issues applying it. This one was a bit more textured than the other three, so depending on what you like, you may want to use a thick top coat to smooth it out (which will also give it a glossy finish). Zoya Destiny (P, $9.00) is exactly the same. Zoya Myrta (P, $9.00) is less glittery. See comparison swatches.

Trilliant Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered champagne.” It’s a muted, pinky-beige with silver shimmer and micro-glitter. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but there was a little sparseness overall that kept it from full coverage. Zoya Lux (P, $10.00) is lighter, pinker, and has holographic glitter. See comparison swatches.

Fire Rose
Fire Rose
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total
Marquise
Marquise
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total
Trilliant
Trilliant
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total

Lancome Lip Lover for Spring 2014

Lancome Lip Lover for Spring 2014
Lancome Lip Lover for Spring 2014

This year, Lancôme gives women a whole new way to show lips some amour. For the first time, get three luxurious, lip perfecting benefits in one—the hydration of a balm, the vivid shine of a gloss, and the intense color of a lipstick—with Lancôme’s newest addition, Lip Lover. This revolutionary formula drenches lips in eight hours of moisture, smoothes fine lines, and adds an eye-catching dose of shimmering color in 18 saturated shades.

First, a balmy base delivers eight hours of lip softening moisture. Then, a smoothing layer of dewy shine reduces the look of lines and leaves lips looking smooth and flawless. Finally, saturated pigments infuse lips with intense, high-impact color for lips that will leave your lips saying je t’aime.

Lip Lover ($23.00) (New, Permanent)

  • Rose D’eau (311)
  • Rose Ballet (313)
  • Casse Noisette (314)
  • Rose Attrape Coeur (316)
  • Ambre Arabesque (320) (Nordstrom Exclusive)
  • Rose Contre Temps (321)
  • Beige Adage (332)
  • Rose des Nymphes (333)
  • Coraile Cabriole (334)
  • Orange Maege (336)
  • Lip Lover (337)
  • Rose des Cygnes (338)
  • Fuchsia Attitude (339)
  • Framboise Etoile (355)
  • Belle de Rouge (356) (Nordstrom Exclusive)
  • Bouquet Final (357)
  • Violette Pirouette (361)
  • Bordeaux Tempo (362)

Availability: March 2014 at Nordstrom, Sephora; May 2014 on-counter

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theBalm #31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 Eyeshadows

theBalm Eyeshadow Pans
theBalm Eyeshadow Pans

#31 is a light, cool-toned, silver-shot white with a frosted finish. It had so-so color payoff, while the texture was soft, it was also powdery and felt almost dry. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. Tom Ford Beauty Ice Queen #1 (P) is lighter. MAC A Waft of Grey #1 (P, $21.00) is darker. Dior Lune (001) (P, $30.00) is a cream product. Disney by Sephora Midnight Hour #1 (LE) is brighter. theBalm Metal-ica (P, $16.00) is similar. NARS Self Portrait 2 #2 (LE, $24.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

#32 is a cool-toned, medium pinky-mauve with a frosted, metallic finish. It had decent pigmentation, and the texture was on the powdery side. It lasted just over seven hours on me. theBalm A1 (LE, $16.00) is very similar. Urban Decay Bordello (P, $18.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

#33 is a cool-toned, violet purple with an iridescent sheen. It had moderate color payoff, but it was not as intense as it looked in the pan when swatched. It wasn’t powdery, though, and the texture was smooth. It wore well for seven and a half hours without fading or creasing. theBalm A2 (LE, $16.00) is warmer-toned. Urban Decay Betrayal (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Urban Decay Omen (P, $18.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

#34 is a cool-toned, silvery white with a frosted finish. It’s a little lighter and brighter than #31, but it has much, much better color payoff. The texture was soft, smooth, and buttery. This color managed eight hours on me. Tarina Tarantino Lovely #1 (P) is similar. theBalm A3 (LE, $16.00) is very similar (if not the same). theBalm Metal-ica (P, $16.00) is a smidgen darker. See comparison swatches.

#35 is a medium-dark black with soft, micro-shimmer. It had decent pigmentation, but the texture was on the powdery side, which gave it a more muted color when applied. It wore well for eight hours before fading. Ulta Night Sky (P, $10.00) has a stronger sheen. MAC A Waft of Grey #4 (P, $21.00) is very similar. See comparison swatches.

#36 is an iridescent, aqua green with hints of gold in its sheen. It was semi-sheer, and the texture was a little stiffer to work with. The color lasted for seven and a half hours on me. theBalm B2 (LE, $16.00) is very close but better quality. CoverGirl Turquoise Glow (325) (LE, $4.99) is more frosted. MAC Lucky in Love (LE, $21.00) is more frosted, darker. See comparison swatches.

There are forty-four shades of eyeshadows available in pan-form from theBalm, which launched at the beginning of this year. They can be purchased at their San Francisco store or by calling 415-817-1800. Each eyeshadow pan is available for $6.50 and comes in a cardboard sleeve. The 9-pan palette is $8.00, while the 16-pan palette is $10. If you fill either the 9- or 16-pan palette up at the time of purchase, they will run you $44.00 (normally, $66.50) and $64.00 (normally, $114.00) respectively. Each palette is made out of thick cardboard–same as theBalm’s eyeshadow palettes have been in the past–and come with full-sized mirrors on the top flap. For more information about sizes, the palettes, and a general overview of the custom palette/eyeshadow pan system, please read this post. You can view swatches all of them in the Swatch Gallery here or view photos and swatches on theBalm’s Eyeshadow Single product page.

#31
#31
7
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
76%
Total
#32
#32
7.5
Product
8
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
78%
Total
#33
#33
7.5
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
79%
Total
#34
#34
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total
#35
#35
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
84%
Total
#36
#36
7
Product
7
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
76%
Total

See more photos & swatches!