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theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette
theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette ($28.00 for 0.59 oz.) is a limited edition follow up to Vol. 1 (which is still available, but I don’t have it and haven’t seen it myself). It includes one highlighter, four eyeshadows (or liners), lip/cheek color, and a lipgloss.

As other theBalm products are packaged, this one is also in cardboard packaging with a full-sized mirror on the interior of the lid. The palette opens about two-thirds of the way down so that one side covers or reveals the powder products and the other side covers or reveals the cream products–this is a really nice feature, because it helps to limit any loose powder from contaminating the cream products. It contains a good amount of product and is a good value overall.

  • Promiscuous Pearl is a pale beige with champagne shimmer. It adds a soft glow on cheeks without being overwhelming. If you like Mary Lou-manizer, you’d like this one, just as a more neutral version. The texture is still really buttery and soft, so it is blendable and finely-milled and doesn’t emphasize pores. It reminded me of Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees.
  • Jinxy Jasmyne is a sooty black that looks morre intense in the pan than it does on the skin. It has a mostly matte finish, but it’s rather dry and ends up being chalky and uneven. When applied, it can easily darken the crease, but you really need to use a fluffy brush (remember to tap off any excess!) to make this one work. Application is better with a damp brush, like one might use if you were to use it as an eyeliner. It’s similar to a lot of matte blacks, like MAC Carbon.
  • Manic Maribel is an orange-y copper with a frosted golden sheen. The pigmentation is opaque with soft, blendable color. It’s almost the same as Bare Escentuals Louder. It’s a little lighter than shades like theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • Open to Offers Olwen is a muted teal-blue shot through with silvery-blue shimmer. This shade is also in the Shady Lady Vol. 3 palette. It has good color payoff and a dense, buttery texture. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter but similar.
  • Lavish Latoya is a medium-dark purple with subtle red undertones and a frosted finish. It was on the sheerer side, though. Urban Decay AC/DC is quite similar with a slightly more metallic sheen. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar. Milani Purr-fect Purple is a little lighter. theBalm All the Way Annie is a bit darker but still close.
  • Strawberry is a poppy red that can be applied opaque or blended out for a sheerer look. On lips, it’s much pinker–more like a slightly coral-pink with a creamy finish. The color coverage is mostly opaque. It’s not as dark as MAC Ultra Darling. NARS Niagara is more coral. It’s pretty close to Bobbi Brown Pink.
  • Nude is an opaque beige nude with a cream finish. MAC C-Thru is similar in color, but this is much more opaque.

It’s not my favorite palette by theBalm; I think it has promise and potential, but it’s not fully there.  The color combination is off for me–this is not a palette that lends itself to a lot of versatility.  I feel like you really need to pull in products from your stash to make the palette really pop.  The cheek/lip color is pretty but vibrant enough that it doesn’t pair well with the eyeshadows.  I was disappointed in the texture and payoff of Jinxy Jasmyne and Lavish Latoya was just slightly under-performing.   Shades like Manic Maribel and Lavish Latoya are found in a lot of brands, so this wouldn’t be a palette for long-time beauty aficionados.  As a face palette, I’d have liked to see a powder blush, rather than a mega-sized black eyeshadow.

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

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MAC for Gareth Pugh: Lipglasses

MAC Gareth Pugh Lipglass
MAC Outrage Lipglass

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Lipglasses

MAC Outrage Lipglass ($22.00 for 0.16 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer berry with blue pearl.” It’s kind of a dirty berry with hints of brown and gold and green shimmer. It looks duochrome in the tube, and it definitely looks different depending on the color–at least in the tube. On lips, it darkens and slightly tints my natural lip color while adding a lot of gold and green-gold shimmer. The closest dupe I could think of was MAC Boys Go Crazy, but it doesn’t have that greenish shimmer. MAC Jealous has the greenish shimmer but not the berry color.

MAC Vacant Lipglass ($22.00 for 0.16 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer light lavender gray with violet pearl.” It’s a pink-tinted lavender with lots of pink shimmer with a cool undertone. The color is rather sheer on lips with much more of a shimmered result. It’s similar to other shades in relation to color but Vacant has a bit more shimmer: MAC Frozen Dream, MAC Gone Romancin’, MAC Docile.

I generally get three to four hours of wear with the sheerer shades of the lipglass formula, but because of the packaging, it’s harder to apply as much product as a lipglass pulls at once. The opening for the applicator is much smaller, so you get little gloss out of each pull, which gave the illusion of a less tacky texture, but I found it as sticky as lipglass typically is–it just feels thinner. You’d have to do around four pulls of this gloss to be equivalent to single pull from a regular lipglass tube. These are both vanilla-scented but taste-free. They’re slightly smaller than regular MAC lipglasses (which are 0.17 fl. oz.) and come in square packaging with a clear tube and glossy black top with the signature logo on the top.

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Lipglasses

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Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss
Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ($32.00 for oz.) is described as a “shimmering red,” and it’s a new–but limited edition–shade for the holidays. It’s a bright, blue-based pink-tinted red with pink and ruby red sparkly flakes. It applies evenly and yields mostly opaque color–there’s a slight translucency to it. MAC Driven by Love is redder, less pink. MAC Wicked Ways is brighter but closer in color.

The Extrait de Gloss formula is supposed to deliver rich color and intense shine with a gel texture that’s comfortable (and not sticky) and looks “luminous [and] full … for hours.” The English description of the name actually calls it out as a “Long Wear Lip Gloss.” I find the formula isn’t sticky at first, but it develops a slight tackiness over the first half hour that continues for the remainder of the time worn. It’s not overly tacky, just barely so. These wear three to four hours on me, which is about average, but nothing long-wear for me–Chanel’s Glossimers last three to four hours, so I would imagine these would have worn longer than that. Triomphal wore four hours well but looked faded by the fifth hour. The texture is smooth, gel-like, and it is comfortable to wear and not drying over time.

Triomphal
Triomphal
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7
Longevity
4
Application
88%
Total

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Illamasqua Facade Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Facade Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Facade Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Theatre of the Nameless: Facade Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Facade Intense Lipgloss ($20.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “taupe beige.” It’s a medium-dark taupe–it’s a mix of beige, gray, and brown–with a cream finish. The glossiness of traditional gloss is very apparent, but it’s opaque in color like you’d expect from a full coverage lipstick. Like many Illamasqua colors, it’s not your typical “nude,” but it can work as such.  When I was trying to think of a dupe for it, nothing was coming to mind–not a gloss or a lipstick; MAC Our Pick was the closest, but it’s warmer.

In my experience, Illamasqua’s Intense Lipgloss is opaque, long-wearing, non-sticky, and scent- and taste-free. Facade doesn’t last as long as a lot of the other shades I’ve tried within the range, but it does last four hours (and it’s not marketed as a long-wearing gloss).

Façade
Façade
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
96%
Total

MAC Neutral Lip Dazzlesphere

MAC Neutral Lip Dazzlesphere
MAC Neutral Lip Dazzlesphere

MAC Neutral Lip Dazzlesphere for Holiday 2011

The second lip kit we’re looking at is MAC’s Neutral Lip Dazzlesphere ($32.50 for 2 x 0.07 oz., 2 x 0.09 oz.), which includes: Boy Bait (light neutral beige with pearl), Over Indulgence (neutral brown), Bare Necessity (caramel apricot with red and gold pearlized pigments), and Get Rich Quick (warm yellow brown). All of the shades included this kit are part of the permanent range.

The Cremesheen Glasses are listed as 0.07 oz. each, while the Dazzleglasses are listed as 0.09 oz. each (and I specifically say each, because this is how it is labeled). What is noteworthy about that is that full-sized Cremesheen Glasses are 0.09 oz. while full-sized Dazzleglasses are only 0.06 oz. The tubes feel thicker but are definitely shorter than full-sized Cremesheen Glasses/Dazzleglasses, although the clear plastic seems wider/thicker in the kit glosses. The area that contains the gloss seems slightly wider, maybe, but barely. I would hope that those sizes listed are accurate, and if that is indeed the case, then each kit contains $28.78 worth of Cremesheen Glass and $55.50 worth of Dazzleglass. That is a whopping $84.28 worth of lipgloss for $32.50.

  • Boy Bait is a pink-beige nude with very subtle, fine silver-white shimmer. It has a milky appearance but is so light that the settling in the lip lines isn’t that noticeable. This is a permanent shade. It’s similar to Estee Lauder Star Pink.
  • Over Indulgence is a neutral coral-brown with subtle white micro-shimmer. It has some color coverage, which is unusual for this formula. This is a permanent shade. Urban Decay Heavy is similar but less coral.
  • Bare Necessity is a dirty peach-brown with pink and silver micro-glitter. It brings out the pink tones in my natural lip color but mostly adds shine and shimmer. This is a permanent shade. When I first swatched this, it seemed a little darker than what I remembered the shade being, and it actually is a step darker. It’s similar to Chanel Aragonite.
  • Get Rich Quick is a medium-dark, orange-toned brown with gold sparkle. This is a permanent shade. MAC Bright & Perky is a bit darker and browner.

Cremesheen Glass is a formula that glides onto the lips easily, feels comfortable without being thin or thick, and tends to be on the sheerer side in color. It’s non-sticky (as compared to Lipglass, which is very thick and sticky), and it typically wears two hours or so on me before wearing away. They also tend to be creamier colors, rather than packed with shimmer. Dazzleglasses have a medium-thick consistency with micro-glitter and shimmer. They tend to be sheerer in color with more oomph coming from the dazzle than the base color. They tend to last two to three hours on me and tend to get tacky over time.