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Formula X Beacon, Equinox, Moon Glow Nail Lacquers

Formula X Beacon Nail Lacquer
Formula X Beacon Nail Lacquer

This post features three more shades from Formula X’s Liquid Crystals Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) formula. If you missed my original post, you can view it here. Beacon and Equinox were nicely pigmented, shiny, and easy to apply, but Moon Glow had all the same issues as Fluorescent.

Beacon Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “royhal blue micro-glitter in sheer blue.” It’s a deepened–but still bright–medium-dark blue with lighter blue and purplish shimmer and sparkle. The texture is smooth to the touch, and the finish is shiny–foil-like. It was fully opaque after two coats. I also tried one coat over black, and it can work, but you can see how one coat is quite dense. Zoya Dream (P, $9.00) has larger shimmer, more muted. Marc Jacobs Beauty Blue Velvet (132) (P, $18.00) is more muted. China Glaze Blue Year’s Eve (LE, $7.50) is lighter. Zoya Song (P, $9.00) is bluer, brighter. See comparison swatches.

Equinox Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “purple micro-glitter in sheer purple.” It’s a fuchsia-shimmered, medium purple with warm undertones and a shiny, foil-like finish. It had full coverage after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it was easy to apply. China Glaze Senorita Bonita (LE, $7.50) is brighter, less shimmery. Zoya Kieko (P, $9.00) is less shimmery, more muted. See comparison swatches.

Moon Glow Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “iridescent blue micro-glitter in sheer baby blue.” It’s an iridescent, light blue-shimmered blue-tinged base. It seems more like iridescent blue shimmer suspended in a clear base. The formula seemed watery, which resulted in sheerer, more uneven color payoff. The shimmer didn’t spread evenly across the nail with each coat. I used three coats on my ring finger, and while significantly more opaque than two coats, it was still noticeably sheer. I did one coat over black, and it was stunning, so if it was something you only wanted to use as a top coat, it may still be worth considering. Color Club Blue Heaven (P) is the closest shade I could think of, but it is opaque, not as iridescent, and it is holographic. See comparison swatches.

Beacon
Beacon
A

Permanent

9.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Equinox
Equinox
A

Permanent

9.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Moon Glow
Moon Glow
B-

Permanent

8
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
82%
Total

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Make Up For Ever #330 HD Blush

Make Up For Ever #330 HD Blush
Make Up For Ever #330 HD Blush

Make Up For Ever #330 HD Blush ($26.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “rosy plum.” It is a medium pink with moderately cool, bluish undertones and has a satin finish. Sleek MakeUP Macaroon (P) is brighter. MAC Formal (LE) is a powder. Urban Decay Temper (LE) is brighter, pinker, powder. Bobbi Brown Summer Pink (LE, $26.00) is darker. Chanel Revelation (63) (P, $38.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

It is new for spring and comes in sixteen different shades. The new formula is supposed to be blendable, long-wearing, comfortable to wear, and have a satin finish. The texture is lightly creamy with some slip, and it takes about thirty seconds before it starts to really melt and transition into a more powder-like texture and feel. The end result is very similar to Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel, but the initial texture and feel are noticeably different, as Chanel feels like a powder almost as soon as it hits the skin. I liked using stippling brushes with the formula, as it delivered good color coverage and still offered blendability and evenness. I also found fingertips were good for working the color onto the skin (I usually get the initial amount on using a brush). #330 was one of two shades that I tried, and it was really easy to apply and blend onto the skin. It looked even, had a satin-matte finish, and didn’t cling-to or exacerbate dry patches. It had good, buildable coverage that could be sheered out or applied at true-to-pan intensity. The color wore well for almost eight hours before fading.

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total

Formula X Wavelength, Borealis, Fluorescent Nail Lacquers

Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer
Formula X Wavelength Nail Lacquer

This spring, Formula X (for Sephora) launched Liquid Crystals Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) in fourteen shades. The new finish is described as a “brilliant, light-reflecting nail lacquer made from crushed micro-crystalline and pigmented mica.” Now, these really need some clarity on just how pigmented they’re supposed to be. The individual shade descriptions all imply that there’s some hue of glitter in a sheer color base, then the formula is described as a “buildable formula that intensifies with each coat.” The press release elaborated a bit more and said, “Apply one coat for a sheer crystalline look, or layer for a full stained-glass effect.” So, it sounds like most other polish–one coat will be sheer, two will not be, and that is what I looked for with these.

Fluorescent was the only shade that I’d really describe as sheer, and it was only semi-opaque after three coats–it wasn’t that buildable. Borealis was very pigmented and fully opaque after two coats, and Wavelength was nearly opaque after two and just had subtle nail line only visible if I held my nails at certain angles where enough light was coming underneath the nail. So, the pigmentation is a mixed bag, but in general, if you were seeking opaque color, most seem to be there. If you were looking for really sheer top coats, I felt like some were too pigmented to let a base color come through. The drying time on all of these was faster than average; not so fast that you can’t work with the formula. They all dried down to a shiny, reflective finish that wasn’t really glossy but smooth and shiny. I typically get over a week of wear with Formula X with little tip wear.

Wavelength Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “pink micro-glitter in sheer purple pink.” It’s a cool-toned, fuchsia-pink with pink sparkle. It was semi-opaque in a single coat, mostly opaque after two; only if I held my nails at certain angles could I see any visible nail line. Zoya Bobbi (P, $9.00) is darker, less cool-toned. China Glaze Love’s a Beach (LE, $7.50) is brighter, less shimmery. China Glaze Endurance (LE, $7.50) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Borealis Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “gold micro-glitter in sheer olive green.” It’s a murky, yellow and brown-tinged green with golden olive and olive green shimmer and flecks of sparkle. It was nearly opaque in a single coat, and it was fully opaque after two. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Ripley (P, $10.00) is less yellow-toned with finer shimmer. SpaRitual Lithophonic (LE, $10.00) is less shimmery, darker. Rescue Beauty Lounge Turn It Around (LE, $20.00) has coppery shimmer, lighter. China Glaze Zombie Zest (LE, $7.50) is cooler-toned, has a duo-chrome. See comparison swatches.

Fluorescent Nail Lacquer ($12.50 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “lime micro-glitter in sheer lime.” It’s a mix of gold and chartreuse-hued sparkle and shimmer suspended in a sheer, green-ish base color. Two coats, it was still sheer, and three coats, it was semi-sheer (see ring finger). The consistency of this shade felt a little watery, and the shimmer and sparkle didn’t spread as evenly across the nail.  This one had more of a duochrome effect, which was really noticeable over black (I applied one coat over one coat of black in the swatches).  Butter London Dosh (P, $15.00) is much darker and opaque. NYX Lime (P, $4.00) is darker, brighter, less yellow. See comparison swatches.

Wavelength
Wavelength
A

Permanent

9.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Borealis
Borealis
A

Permanent

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

Permanent

8.5
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4
Application
83%
Total

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Revlon Elusive & Striking Colorburst Matte Balms

Revlon Elusive Colorburst Matte Balm
Revlon Elusive Colorburst Matte Balm

Revlon’s new Colorburst Matte Balm ($8.99 for 0.095 oz.) is supposed to give you a “velvety matte look,” while still having the hydrating, comfortable feel of a balm. It’s a twist-up, jumbo-sized lip pencil, so there’s no need to sharpen (and therefore, no waste). Both shades I tested in this post were nicely pigmented, had good wear time, and were fairly comfortable to wear overall, though I wouldn’t describe them really as balm-like but more as lightly hydrating. They had a slight mint scent.

Elusive Colorburst Matte Balm ($8.99 for 0.095 oz.) is a medium, warm-toned pink with yellow undertones and a satin-matte finish. It had mostly full color coverage, and the texture was light-medium in thickness–noticeable but not heavy. The consistency was lightly creamy but didn’t feel slick or slippery on. This shade wore well for four and a half hours. MAC Hoop (DC, $16.00) is slightly darker. Chanel Liaison (P, $34.00) is warmer. MAC Betty Bright (LE, $16.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Striking Colorburst Matte Balm ($8.99 for 0.095 oz.) is a medium, muted orange-red with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish. This shade had a stronger sheen that lasted for about twenty minutes, but then it was mostly matte. It had mostly opaque pigmentation, and it wore well for five hours. Revlon Provocateur (135) (P, $8.99) is brighter, redder. NARS Moscow (P, $26.00) is browner, warmer, darker, less red. See comparison swatches.

Elusive
Elusive
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total
Striking
Striking
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Milani Bella Rosa (11) Baked Powder Blush

Milani Bella Rosa (11) Baked Powder Blush
Milani Bella Rosa (11) Baked Powder Blush

Milani Bella Rosa (11) Baked Powder Blush ($7.99 for 0.12 oz.) is a deep, vibrant reddish-pink with a mostly matte finish. Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is less red, lighter. Chanel Chamade (67) (P, $38.00) is slightly warmer (and a cream product). Tom Ford Beauty Narcissist (LE, $55.00) is pinker, cooler-toned, and more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

If you’re a big fan of richly pigmented blushes, you might fall in love for Bella Rosa, because it’s not a shy blush at all. It will apply at full intensity if you’re not careful! I recommend using a stippling brush to apply something like this if you’re looking for a softer, sheerer look. The powder has a soft, smooth, silky texture, so I expected it to blend easily, but it did take some effort to even out the color. It’s not too difficult, but when the shade is this intense, every bit counts–you really want a blendable texture. There’s a lot to like about this blush, and to see this level of pigmentation for under $10, I’m impressed. I can see this working beautifully on deeper skin tones, but with a feathery brush and touch, even very fair complexions will be able to make this work. The color wore very well for eight hours before starting to fade around the edges.

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Milani Delizioso Pink (10) Baked Powder Blush

Milani Delizioso Pink (10) Baked Powder Blush
Milani Delizioso Pink (10) Baked Powder Blush

Milani Delizioso Pink (10) Baked Powder Blush ($7.99 for 0.12 oz.) is a cool-toned, light-medium pink with strong blue undertones and a mostly matte finish. Tarte Dollface (P, $26.00) is lighter, less blue-based. Urban Decay Quickie (LE) is brighter. MAC Pure Femininity (LE, $20.00) is pinker. MAC Peony Petal (LE, $21.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

This is one of two (the second I will be reviewing shortly!) new, matte blushes for spring. It’s intensely pigmented, so you’ll want to reach for less dense brushes and use a lighter hand if you tend to be heavy handed with blush and/or you have a fairer complexion. On my medium skin tone, just knowing not to go full-force with the blush brush yielded a soft, natural application that was just enough to show up on my skin tone. I would expect this to show up more blue-based if you have naturally cooler undertones, but even my warmer complexion didn’t completely swallow up the undertones of this one (which I like!). The texture is incredibly soft and finely-milled, and the blush blends fairly well, though it’s not the most blendable formula. I would make sure to go with a softer application, then build up the color, rather than rely on blending it away. It wore well for eight hours, which was a surprise, given it is a baked formula, before it showed signs of fading.

9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

See more photos & swatches!