Friday, March 23, 2012

Smashbox Master's Class 9 Custom Color Set in Medium pics + swatches

The latest in Smashbox's "Master's Class" lineup are three new kits that are customized for skintones (light, medium, and dark) and include everything you need for a picture perfect face: eyeshadows, eyeliners, blush, lipglosses, even a lipliner, for $59. I bought the Medium, and I honestly think you can forget about the labels on these and just pick which makeup shades you like- not every pale girl wants to just wear pinks and roses, not every medium-toned girl wants to just wear corals and olives, and so on.

Included in the box is an instructional booklet (actually just one piece of paper you unfold) with steps on how to do two looks (in this case, "Sunkissed Splendor" and "Eyes With Envy") with the products in the kit:

The set contains a Cream Liner trio, Limitless Eye Liner Pencil in Onyx, Lip Enhancing Gloss in Glow, Reflection High Shine lipgloss in Buff, The Nude Lip Pencil in Medium, Fusion Soft Lights for Medium Skin, and an eyeshadow trio with three shades (Bliss, Ambient, and Ivy).

The Cream Liner trio's shades are not only stunning, they're packed with pigment and brush on beautifully. This is maybe my favorite item in the entire kit, since I love the shades so much: shimmery vivid dark violet, shimmery olive green, and a shimmery neutral bronze. Limitless Eye Liner Pencil in Onyx is swatched as well, and for a waterproof eye pencil it has a nice amount of creaminess to it:

Reflection High Shine lipgloss in Buff looked gorgeous in the tube (shimmering nude bronze), but it has almost no pigment once it's on the lips. I barely even saw any sparkle, and my lips aren't pigmented at all. These are the products that make me ask myself, "why even bother putting it on?" It also has a scent that's a little spicy and warm, just like the Buxom lip glosses from Bare Escentuals, and it's pretty sticky. Lip Enhancing Gloss in Glow is another story, however. It's a sheer cream coral with zero stickiness, no fragrance, and a good amount of pigment. It gives lips a nice, summery pop of coral. "Glow" is a perfect name for it:

The Nude Lip Pencil in Medium is a winner. It's an extremely flattering warm rose nude shade that's creamy and goes on with zero tugging. I can see this looking good on just about anyone. I have a lot of lipliners like this, but almost all of them are a bit too rosy or plummy to go with warmer lipsticks. Finally! This one isn't! 

Here, it's on the far left, swatched next to (in order from left to right) NYX Mauve lip pencil, MAC Whirl lip liner, and Revlon Colorstay Lip Liner in Nude. As you can see, it's more nude and less rose than the rest:

This was my first time trying Fusion Soft Lights, and I loved this as a blush. The pan is large, and include three colors of strips: shimmering bronze, matte warm rose, and matte soft tan. When you blend them together, the result is a gorgeous flush of rosy bronze:

The eyeshadow trio was my least favorite of all the products in the kit. And the quality of the shadows was not a reason- they are silky and highly pigmented. The black compact is quite large and mirrored- another plus. It's just that I really have no use for the shades. The matte ivory, Bliss is a bit too obvious on my skintone; the gold shimmer, Ambient, is beautiful, but I already have a go-to gold in MAC Woodwinked; and Ivy, the "sage green shimmer" (as described on eyeshadow I looked so forward to is a very blue-toned shimmery teal. Is it a gorgeous color? Absolutely. But I have little to no use for such a bluish color on my warm green eyes. Check out the swatches (and the pigment!), below:

I'm not blind, right? That is a blue teal if I ever saw one. Where's the sage green? 

Even though I have no use for the eyeshadow trio (no biggie- all of my eyeshadow palette love is going to Flirt! Cosmetics' Eye Enhancing Palette for green eyes anyway right now ;), I adore the rest of the products in the set. I think this was a great idea by Smashbox, and I'm dying to try out the Dark one next for something a little more colorful and dramatic.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Revlon ColorBurst Lipgloss Swatches, Part 1

When I heard Revlon came out with lipglosses for their "ColorBurst" line, I couldn't wait to try them out. Would they be pigmented, like MAC Lipglass? Fruity, barely there color like Lancรดme Juicy Tubes? Smooth? Sticky? I am a lipgloss girl, but only under certain conditions: I look for pigment, smoothness (although I almost always sacrifice this for pigment), and little to no flavor or scent. ColorBurst Lipglosses are promoted as having a "micro-crystal formula for 5x the shine of patent leather", a "plush applicator shaped to curves of your lips for smooth, even application of color", "ColorBurst's Elasticolor technology for rich color with a weightless feel", and moisturizers and anti-oxidants such as sweet almond oil and vitamin E to condition and improve lip texture.

I bought (L-R, in various lighting) Rose Pearl, Peony, Sunset Peach, Papaya, Fire, Bordeaux, and Sienna Sparkle (and after trying them out I decided to order a few more online, since they were sold out at stores near me. Unfortunately, Pink Ice, Hot Pink, Orchid, and Strawberry can't make an appearance today because of the recent winter weather. Their shipment has been delayed for days now).

Rose Pearl is a pigmented, very shimmery mauvey rose that reminded me a lot of Chanel's Blizzard glossimer, but it turns out it's actually a lot warmer (it's still not a warm color, however) than Blizzard. It seems to be a similar relative of Clinique's Bamboo Pink lipstick, but I can't be sure how much so until I do a side-by-side comparison.
Rosegold is a beautiful warm rosy pink with small golden pearl and a good amount of pigment for such a soft color.
Peony is a petal pink with small gold glitter. This one has less pigment- it's sheerer and is more of a typical gloss. It's an unspectacular color, however pretty, and is very similar to MAC Lustreglass in Pinkarat.
Sunset Peach is the same as Peony in texture and pigment (seriously...Revlon forgot to burst these two with color), only it's a coral-peach with golden shimmer and glitter. This one reminds me a lot of Chanel's Coral Reef Glossimer - I'm almost positive it's a perfect dupe. Although I don't have a tube lying around to make a comparison, I've gone through enough tubes of Coral Reef to know what looks like it ;) 
Papaya is a pigmented, vivid orange coral with coral microshimmer that looks almost neon in the tube (it reminds me of another Glossimer, Sirop. But Papaya is warmer).
Fire is a bright candy red cream that's cool-toned and definately not for the faint of heart. NARS Bloodwork lipgloss fans will adore this one.
Bordeaux is a pigmented, cool purplish berry with gold shimmer.
Sienna Sparkle is a pigmented deep warm brown with gold shimmer and small golden glitter- I can see this looking just gorgeous on dark skintones. Onto the swatches!

             L-R, Rose Pearl, Rosegold, Peony, Sunset Peach:
L-R: Papaya, Fire, Bordeaux, Sienna Sparkle:

The applicator for ColorBurst lipglosses is a twist on the doe foot. It's a sponge applicator, albeit a flat, double-sided, soft and extremely flexible one with a round tip- just as Revlon stated. I like it, but I wasn't ever a person who disliked doe foot applicators to being with. The formula is great- smooth (only Sunset Peach and Peony gave me a bit of a gritty feel), with the silkier feel you would expect from a liquid lipstick, and a bit of the cushiony texture and feel of Chanel's Glossimer formula. No tacky feel or heaviness here (again, as promised). 

So, how to they compare to the famous Super Lustrous glosses? When compared to my Super Lustrous glosses in Nude Lustre and Pearl Plum, all of the ColorBursts feel far less "lipglossy" (SLs have more of a gooey feel) because of their smoothness, but they also give lips less of a shine. I honestly don't know what Revlon was thinking when they decided to advertise "5x the shine of patent leather" on these- they're not even as shiny as patent leather, at least on my lips. Fans of the super wet/ vinyl look when it comes to gloss will be disappointed. ColorBursts also have a slight sweet fragrance that I just can't put my finger's almost like icing at times, contrary to Super Lustrous glosses' much more chemical scent. The ColorBurst tubes are rectangular and sleek; strikingly similar to Chanel Glossimers. When compared side-by-side to a Glossimer (Rose Pearl vs. Blizzard), Revlon actually gives you more gloss than Chanel does, and at a fraction of the price:

What else is there to say? These are a steal for around $8.00 a tube and an excellent drugstore find (even if they are only "just about the shine of patent leather" ;). My personal fave right now is Bordeaux, but Rose Pearl and Rosegold are definately going to be taking me into spring.