Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Essie Mirror Metallics Nail Lacquer in Penny Talk

I was hopeful that my search for a stellar copper (or better yet, rose gold) nail polish had come to an end when I saw Essie's new Mirror Metallics line.  Penny Talk in particular looked stunning.

This is a difficult review to write because I feel like there are so many pluses and minuses to this polish.


First off, the application was awful.  This is a thick, gloopy polish.  It does not apply smoothly.  It tends to just sit on the nail and when you brush through the product to smooth it out, it tends to remove the polish you've already applied.  It drags and bunches.  No bueno.

It's a little streaky and uneven.  This could probably be fixed by applying another coat, but because this polish is so thick, I didn't want to apply more than one coat.  And it's not that it isn't opaque.  Because it is opaque.  But it's just very uneven.



The color is lovely.  I've worn this polish for about a week at this point and I have to say I am really fond of the color and finish.  As the name Mirror Metallics would suggest, it is a very reflective polish.  I don't think the color is anywhere near as coppery as it looks in the bottle.  It looks different depending on the lighting and shifts between a gold and a pinky brown.

The wear time was surprisingly good.  After three days I have some wear on the tips, but no chipping or peeling.

So the application is a huge pain, but the final product is pretty good.  Whether you love or hate this polish will probably depend on how willing you are to deal with the fussy application.  With some babying and long dry times I think you could get absolutely stellar results in the end - but you will have to work for it.

Essie polishes contain .46 oz. and retail for about $8 wherever Essie is sold.  I picked mine up at Target.

Overall: 5/10

Friday, September 7, 2012

Review: Revlon Nail Enamel in Posh Pink



I picked up the Revlon Nail Enamel in Posh Pink because I heard it was a dupe for Chanel's May.  Revlon retails for around $6, a far cry from Chanel's current price of $26, so I was willing to give the Revlon a try and see how it looked.

I searched locally for Revlon's posh pink, but I never could find it so I ended up ordering it from Ulta.



I don't own Chanel's May, so I can't compare them head to head.  Looking at the May swatches from Temptalia, I think the polishes are close, but not identical.  There is definitely some iridescence to Posh Pink complements of what looks like some very fine white and blue microglitter.

Because of the shimmer, this is a chameleon shade.  The base to Posh Pink is definitely on the warmer side of neutral.  It's not coral, but there is definitely a bit of a peachy tint to the pink.  However, with the white/blue irridescence depending on the light, this can look like a very cool pink.


The texture of this polish was just awful.  I don't know if perhaps I just got an old bottle or what, but it was absolutely terrible. 

I tried three different times to apply this polish and always with the same results.  It was thick, uneven and gloopy.  It was also a bit sheer, so you need multiple coats to get opaque coverage.  It pulled and bubbled during application.  I absolutely babied this polish and still, the results were less than stellar.

This is a nice pink color.  I would like it so much more if it didn't have the iridescence to it.

Overall: 6/10

Thursday, September 6, 2012

MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream #13


I have a couple of Make Up For Ever products that I received as 500 point perks from Sephora (Smoky Lash mascara, HD powder, Lab Shine lip gloss), but the Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in number 13 is the first MUFE product I've purchased outright.



MUFE describes number 13 as "warm beige" - Sephora describes it as "warm beige - champaigne shimmer" which is probably more apt.  This particular color is formulated for eyes and cheeks (as opposed to lips and cheeks).


As you can see from the swatch on my skintone this shade is mostly shimmer/highlight.  The formula is very long wearing and is waterproof - and even an oil based makeup remover took some doing to completely get rid of it.

The effect is similar to the Urban Decay 24/7 shadow pencil in Sin or the Milani ShadowEyez pencil in Champagne Toast though both of those colors are decidedly pink where this is solidly beige.

I really adore products like this.  They are easy to apply and have great wear times.  The colors are subtle, but the sheen really gives it a dramatic pop.  I wore this all day with no creasing and minimal fading.

MUFE Aqua Creams contain 6 grams of product and retail for $23.

Overall:  10/10



Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Review: Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel in French Roast


I will fully admit that I was drawn to the Revlon Colorstay nail polish in French Roast because it reminded me of a non-matte version of ManGlaze's Santorum (here is a link to PinkSith's fantastic review of that polish).


French Roast is a dark brown with a good bit of red and blue glitter.  While the glitter shows up nicely in flash photographs, I have to say on the nails it is nearly invisible.  The end result is that on the nails, French Roast tends to look like a generic dark brown polish.


French Roast was a bit of a pain to apply.  I found it to be far thicker and more uneven than any of the other Revlon Colorstay polishes I've reviewed.  I definitely needed two coats to get it even and three to get the best results.


This polish didn't wear particularly well either.  I had significant wear on the tips and even a bit of chipping after two days.  I do realize that the darker the polish, the less forgiving wear can be - you can't hide anything.


Again, the glitter is visible under bright lights or with a flash, but to the naked eye - not so much.


Overall, I am unimpressed with this polish.  The quality is very lacking when compared to the rest of the Revlon Colorstay line.

Revlon Colorstay Long Wear Nail Enamels contain .4 oz and retail for $5 - $8 wherever Revlon polishes are sold.

Overall: 4/10

Friday, August 31, 2012

Laura Mercier Signature Colour Essentials


When Nordstrom was having their anniversary sale earlier this summer, I picked up the Laura Mercier Signature Colour Essentials for Face, Eyes and Lips collection.  As of the writing of this post, the set is still available at Nordstrom.


The collection includes:
  • Foundation Primer
  • Eye and Cheek palette that includes:
    • Second Skin  Cheek Colour in Vintage Pink
    • Eyeshadow duo in Morning Dew and Primrose
    • Eyeshadow duo in Topaz and Kir Royal
  • Travel size All Over Eye Colour brush
  • Caviar Eye Stick Colour in Twilight
  • Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara in Black
  • Lip Glace in Sweetheart
And as a gift with purchase when I bought this, I also got a Laura Mercier gift bag:



The gift bag included:


  • Travel size fan brush
  • Invisible Loose Setting Powder
  • Flawless Skin Tone Perfecting Eye Gel Creme

And now on to the close ups and swatches


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

L'Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Bronzed Taupe



I love the L'Oreal Infallible eyeshadows so I was excited to pick up a new one in the shade Bronzed Taupe.  They are fantastic quality at a drugstore price point.  I have a variety of different colors with different finishes.  The Infallible shadows come in matte, sparkle and metallic finishes.  The metallic finishes are by far my favorite.  Just look at that swatch, isn't it beautiful!


The pigmentation of the Infallible shadows is fantastic. The wear time is fantastic on my lids with or without a primer I easily get 9 hours, but have worn them up to 12 hours with no noticeable creasing.  I will admit I haven't worn them for 24 hours (ewww), but I wouldn't wear any shadow for 24 hours.


I love the consistency of these shadows.  They are a pressed pigment and are looser than a solid pan of eyeshadow.  There is definitely some kind of liquid component and they apply so easily and smoothly.


The L'Oreal Infallible shadows contain 3.5 grams of product and retail for $7 - 12 depending on where you pick them up.  

Overall: 10/10

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Deborah Lippmann nail polish in Sugar Daddy


Deborah Lippmann's Sugar Daddy polish is one of the three mirrored chrome polishes launched by the brand for summer 2012.  It is officially described as "antiqued champagne".   This polish is really difficult for me to describe and even more challenging to photograph.

In some lights it is a very antique gold, in others it is a very pale almost lilac color.  There is definitely some very fine duo chrome glitter in the base, a lilac/lavender and then possibly a strong gold or green.  The base seems to be a pinky campaign color.


I was surprised by the subtlety and complexity of this color.  It is very pale, but also such a chameleon.


Like the other Lippmann shades I've tried, this polish was impressively opaque in one coat, even though I applied two coats.  It applied very smoothly and while it didn't have the bulletproof wear of Lippmann's more glittery polishes, it did wear very well with minimal chipping on the tips.

Sugar Daddy contains .5 oz of product and retails for $18.  I got mine at Nordstrom.

Overall: 8/10

Monday, August 27, 2012

MAC Ruffian Red Lipstick


MAC's Ruffian Red lipstick came out with the June 2012 MAC Ruffian collection.  The collection was online only and on the small side (and random as well, press on nails?!?).  The collection is a collaboration from MAC and the New York design house, Ruffian.

MAC describes Ruffian Red as "Class rich blue red".  I personally don't think this red reads blue at all.  I think it's very primary red with a tad bit of orange, sort of a tomato red.  It has a matte finish but I found it was pretty creamy and applied very evenly and opaquely.  


Again, being a matte I expected it to be incredibly dry, but it wasn't too bad.  Also because it's a matte it had phenomenal staying power and did stain my lips.







MAC Ruffian Red is still available online for $15.

Overall:  8/10

NYX Round Lipstick in Eros


This lipstick is one that I picked up in Portland a few weeks ago (the other being NYX Matte Lipstick in Shocking Pink).  At the time I had been fixated on MAC's Ruffian Red and at first glance I thought this color looked similar (after swatching, I was right).


NYX doesn't provide official color descriptions (as far as I can tell), but to me this looks like a bright tomato red.  It's mostly neutral, but it may lean a bit orange.  The finish is slightly sheer.  It's very moisturizing and it applies smoothly.  

The formula wore for about 3 hours on me before I needed to reapply.  It did settle into liplines after a while, so regular reapplication is necessary to keep it looking great.





I like the packaging on the NYX round lipsticks, they feel substantial (especially at this price point).  NYX Round lipsticks contain .14oz of product and retail for $4.

Overall: 9/10

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream SPF37 PA++ in shade 01


I picked up the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream along with several other items in my haul from RubyRubyShop.  I have had this BB Cream on my wish list since I first saw PinkSith's review back in May 2012.  This is my first time trying an actual Asian BB Cream and if there is one thing the beauty blogosphere has taught me, it's that Asian BB Creams and Western BB Creams are nothing alike.



I don't speak Korean and as previously stated, it doesn't appear that anyone at RubyRubyShop is terribly fluent in English, so here is what RubyRubyShop (or babelfish) has to say about Peach Girl BB Cream:

Cover the blemishes and enliven your skin with cheek and lip color!  Containing Peach and Strawberry extracts, gives skin peach-like complexion and elasticity.  Also there is bundle lip and cheek color, you can finish make up steps in one item.

It also has a PORE COVER label at RubyRubyShop, so from all of this I'm going to make some assumptions about what I think the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream is supposed to do:
  • Coverage with a peach tint
  • Some level of pore coverage
  • Sun protection via SPF 37 PA++
Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream comes in two shades, #01 Light Beige and #02 Natural Beige.  I purchased shade #01 Light Beige.  I was concerned that the BB Cream was going to be either too yellow or too gray, however, it turned out to be an excellent match for my skin.  While I wouldn't say it had a peach tint, it is a good match for my skintone.

swatch blended (left) and heavy (right) under daylight bulbs

swatch blended (left) and heavy (right) in direct sunlight

As for the pore coverage, I'm not sure what the product is claiming to do, which makes it impossible to evaluate.  I have large pores and foundations settle into them.  I can't say that the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream has a huge impact on my pores, either good or bad.  It doesn't settle into my pores any worse than any other foundation, but it also doesn't cover them up better than other foundations either.

As far as the coverage, I applied it rather sparingly over a very emollient base which made blending super easy and it's probably medium coverage on its own if you don't sheer it out like I did.  The BB Cream is a little on the thicker side.  


bare skin

Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream

In the picture above, I didn't bring it up under my eyes and I hadn't applied my concealer yet.  As you can see, the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream does a good job of evening out my skintone.  It tones down the redness, but doesn't completely cover my freckles (not that anything does).  As thick as the BB Cream is, I was concerned that it might look really cakey or matte on the skin, but I think it has a nice finish.  While it's not exactly dewey, it does have a sheen.  It is definitely not a matte finish.  

Here it is with full face makeup on.

full face with Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream - 7am

full face with Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream - 7pm


You can see from the pictures that it wore fairly well, even after twelve hours.  I did get shiny in my t-zone, but the BB Cream didn't break down and separate the way some foundations can - it certainly held up better than my under eye concealer.  It did seem to oxidize a tad on my skin, but not bad, it's just that by the end of the day it seemed a smidge darker than on first application.

The consistency of the foundation reminded me a lot of the MAC Matchmaster in that it feels kind of drier and more textured to the touch than most foundations which sounds like a negative, but it's not.  It's just that compared to other foundations like NARS Sheer Glow or Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid, it is a lot heavier.  I feel like you could probably build up the coverage pretty easily, though you'd probably want to be careful with piling it on top of dry patches.



Last, but not least, is the peach blush/lipstick and itty bitty mirror.  According to the blurb on the website, the color is supposedly for cheeks or lips.  It's a peachy-pink and shockingly opaque and STICKY.



Did I mention this stuff is STICKY because if I was too subtle, it's STICKY.  You could use this stuff to glue things together.  Because of that, I think it would work much better on the lips than the cheeks - of course if you don't like sticky lip products that won't work for you.  If you use this as a blush, it definitely would need to be set with a powder blush.

I purchased the Holika Holika Peach Girl BB Cream SPF37 PA++ in shade #01 at the RubyRubyShop ebay store for the incredibly budget friendly price of $13.18.

Overall:  9/10

Thursday, August 23, 2012

MAC Paint Pot in Nubile


The MAC Paint Pot in Nubile came out as part of the MAC Limited Edition September 2011 Posh Paradise collection.  It is described by MAC as "light peachy nude".


This is one of those colors that is difficult for me to swatch because it is so close to my skintone.  Nubile does have a bit of a frosty finish.  It's not quite metallic, but there definitely is a sheen.  It is a surprisingly complex color in person that looks different from different angles.

I picked this Paint Pot up a couple of months ago in one of April's blog sales along with a bunch of other goodies that I am trying to get all swatched and photographed (OMG, backlog much?).  The product has pulled away from the sides of the pot, but it is still creamy and applies easily.


This is one of my first paint pots and I know that typically they're used as bases for other shadows and to prevent creasing.  Nubile definitely works well in that respect.  I have some red discoloration on my eyelids and Nubile does a good job of covering that redness.  However, just as a primer this is definitely on the pricey end.

Nubile is a shade that can be worn on its own as a wash of color.  It is close to my skintone, but it does have that sheen and subtle complexity that make it more than just a base or primer.  There are a lot of products with vastly different price points that are similar.  I'm thinking specifically of Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams and the Milani Shadow Eyez pencils.  The MAC Paint Pots pricetag wise sit between the two of those.



Nubile was limited edition, so it is no longer available, but regular MAC Paint Pots contain 5 grams of product and retail for $18.50.

Overall: 8/10