Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter ($26.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a sheer wash of champagne sheen. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $28.00) is less shiny. Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 (P, $48.00) is thinner, liquid. NARS 413 BLKR (P, $30.00) is more shimmery. Illamasqua Aurora (P, $24.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The product’s description is confusing, because in one breath, it’s described as an “iridescent powder gelee,” which is then followed by the term “sensorial cream.” To be totally clear, this is like a very firmly-packed cream–think like a lipgloss that’s been put into pan-form. It’s not at all powder-like, and it doesn’t dry down at all, so it remains shiny and glossy on the skin. If you prefer a more matte finish or lightly luminous highlight, this probably isn’t a product for you, because it is shiny and can look oily as much as it looks glossy. It’s not a product that worked well over foundation and only seemed suitable on bare skin (the latter of which is what I test wear for, but with something like this, I also play with it to see how it would react with base products under it), as over foundation, it tends to break down base products more quickly. It lasts for six and a half hours and migrates slightly over time (so the area that I highlighted got larger as the day goes on).

It doesn’t have underlying pigment in the base, but it has champagne shimmer that translates into more of a sheen, even though in the pan, it looks more beige/champagne. It’s very sheer when used, and the only way to get sheer to semi-sheer coverage is to pat the product onto the skin with fingertips and then only blend the edges with a soft touch. Otherwise, the product sheers out to nothing but a wet-looking sheen. In practice, it is more shine than shimmer, more shine than color. Estee Lauder said it could be used “dotted onto cheeks for an allover polished glow,” which I think would be a very specific look as it would give the skin a wet/oily sheen wherever it is applied (but might be nice for drier skin types), which can work when it’s done on high planes, but it is easy to go overboard if you apply it everywhere! The texture is thin, somewhat spreadable but really benefits from the warmth of fingertips rather than brush for good application. It’s not really tacky, but my hair will get stick to it (as will a stray dog hair, found that out as well!).

The brand could have described the color/coverage of this product better, because I think knowing that is necessary so anyone who purchases knows what they’re getting themselves into. In the press release, Courreges was inspired by his desire to “let the light into my clothes” when making this product. This is absent in Sephora’s description, but the press release seems to indicate that the coverage is something in the sheerer realm (certainly opaque, as light wouldn’t come through), though it isn’t totally clear where it’s supposed to fall, and it falls on the very, very sheer part of the spectrum. Descriptions like these (and lack of more specific ones) are what makes rating more difficult, and I’ve tried to weigh the idea that “this isn’t supposed to be opaque” with “but this is almost clear,” but sheer and clear are quite different to me. (Wouldn’t it be nice if brands used a 1-5 opacity system?!)

The pan is small, and it is hard to get some brushes in it with ease. Something about seeing the pan’s rim combined with the packaging felt cheap to me, but that’s a very subjective observation, so some may love it and others may feel the same. The amount contained in the pan seems small, but there aren’t a lot of products like this on the market to compare size with. I honestly think that a liquid highlighter (like Kevyn Aucoin’s or Becca’s) would be a better investment, but both will give a must less shiny finish.

The Glossover

LE
product

Iridescent Ball

D+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015

A tried and true favorite of mine, coral lipstick is a shade I reach for throughout the year. If you’ve been looking for a way to warm-up your spring, consider these five beautiful shades:

  1. YSL Peach Passion — a glossy, peachy-coral
  2. NARS Julie — a soft, pink-coral
  3. Estee Lauder Eccentric — a light-medium pink-coral
  4. Urban Decay Streak — a medium coral-pink
  5. Maybelline Coral Burst — a luminous pink-coral

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Estee Lauder Rosy Future Courreges Super Gloss
Estee Lauder Rosy Future Courreges Super Gloss

Estee Lauder Rosy Future Courreges Super Gloss ($26.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “pink nude,” which makes absolutely no sense. It’s a brightened, fuchsia-magenta with strong, blue undertones. Revlon HD Tourmaline (510) (P, $8.99) is lighter, brighter. MAC Ultramarine Pink (LE, $30.00) is darker. MAC Itchy & Scratchy & Sexy (LE, $15.00) is more shimmery, less pink. MAC Unlimited Style (LE, $15.00) is lighter. NYX Sugar Cookie (P, $5.00) is sheerer. NARS Priscilla (P, $26.00) is brighter, darker. MAC Pink Poodle (By Request) (LE, $15.00) is more shimmery. Urban Decay Crush (P, $19.00) is more magenta. MAC Style Packed (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. Buxom Berry Blast (P, $19.00) is more muted, sheerer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The formula is supposed to be an “opaque, high shine hint of mod color for lips.” It has a metal, slant-tipped applicator that will squeeze out the product (reminds me of Hourglass’ lip oil applicator). It was nearly opaque with just a hint of translucency where the natural lip color would come through. It had a very smooth, slightly thick consistency that applied somewhat evenly and was comfortable to wear. The texture had moderate tackiness to it that was noticeable after about ten minutes after application (initially, it seemed almost non-sticky). It seemed to have Estee Lauder’s more traditional fig scent (fruity and sweet) but no discernible taste. On me, the color lasted four and a half hours and was neither drying nor hydrating.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rosy Future

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, February 27th, 2015

Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder
Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder

Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder ($32.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a “glowing, otherworldly” powder with a “burst of pure light.” It’s a brightened, golden champagne with a frosted, metallic sheen. Tarte Champagne (LE) is slightly lighter. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is darker. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is a smidgen lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is slightly darker. Bobbi Brown 24 Karat (P, $42.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sephora gave early access to VIB Rouges to the new collaboration collection between Estee Lauder and Courreges, and this particularly product went very quickly (it’s not even listed on the site any more, but I’m hoping that it’ll reappear when the collection is fully launched as well as be available at other retailers and at counters). The texture is a lot like a baked powder product (think MAC Mineralize products) with a soft, smooth, but almost dry, feeling to the touch, though it doesn’t look dry on the skin. It had good color coverage that was easily blended and diffused on the skin, and for a really ethereal look, could be applied with a feathery touch and fan brush for a mere dusting of sheen. Applied with a more traditional highlighting brush, the finish can veer too metallic and emphasize pores slightly, but for as high-shine as it is, I was surprised that it didn’t make pores look glaringly obvious. It lasted for seven hours on me before fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Courreges

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Estee Lauder x Courrèges Collection for Spring 2015
Estee Lauder x Courrèges Collection for Spring 2015

Cosmonauts, satellites, missiles to the moon. Unprecedented advancement and achievement underwrote the inaugural period of intergalactic exploration that came to be known as the Space Age of the early-1960s. When a culture of futurism subsequently consumed the era, there were two names firmly in the vanguard: Estée Lauder and André Courrèges. She, a beauty industry innovator whose “every woman can be beautiful” mantra was ahead of its time; he, a fashion force whose avant-garde aesthetic broke all the style rules by injecting an air of playfulness, movement, and egalitarianism into every one of his haute couture collections. Visionaries both, their brands have now joined together to pioneer a new interpretation of color. Introducing Courrèges Estée Lauder Collection: a limited edition collection of zero-gravity shades that draws on a shared point of view on color, beauty and the resolution to never stop moving forward.

Courrèges Estée Lauder Collection is a 13-piece limited edition line that marries the floating-on-air feeling of an embellished Courrèges mini dress, and the punched-up precision of Estée Lauder’s progressive product design, seen through the Courrèges lens. The formulations were designed to be surprising in their lightness, in their sensorial delivery, their translucency, reflectivity, and in their pop-y palette. They are an invitation to have fun with color, texture and special effects while defying the confines of nostalgia by creating a look that is wholly of today.

Lip Visor ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

With a vivid, plexi-like shine reminiscent of Courrèges’ fondness for transparency, an ordinary gloss this is not. A rich balmy formula, it imparts a luscious, wet effect. Lips feel instantly smoothed and soothed, with an impactful pigment pay-off that is impossible to ignore, without trying too hard.

  • See-Through
  • Coral Mini

Super Gloss ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

High coverage, high-impact focal point lips! With the perfect pop of high reflectivity pink, this dramatic gloss features a special delivery system with an innovative flow-through tip to allow for an easy-on, flawless application with every swipe.

  • Rosy Future

Illuminations Face Powder ($32.00) (Limited Edition)

Create glowing, otherworldly skin with this silky-effect powder. Brush over cheeks, forehead, and brow bones for a burst of pure light that is velvety-soft with an impeccable, long-lasting quality.

Super Lashes ($32.00) (Limited Edition)

Sixties-era spider lashes get a 21st-century reboot with these long, full, natural-looking eye accessories that are perfectly shaped to provide a striking flutter and next-level definition. Measure the strips along your lash line, trim accordingly and add a thin layer of lash glue along the perimeter, waiting 30 seconds for the adhesive to become tacky before pressing it onto the inner corner of lids and working your way outward. To remove, gently pull the lashes away from the edge.

Eye Amplifier ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

The graphic white personified by Courrèges original moon girls inspires this new compact, which features a clear, twist-off lid that encloses an ultra-luxe eyeshadow. Applied best with a brush, the weightless powder formula has been spiked with a special siliconic polymer that allows the product to attach itself seamlessly to the skin. Use wet or dry for shimmering, radiant dimension and a glass-like finish that lasts for hours without creasing.

  • Aqua Silver
  • Black Silver

Eye Glide Pencil ($22.00) (Limited Edition)

Metallic accents have long illustrated the oft-publicized dream of the future perfect. Here, they become reality with a creamy silver pencil that glides onto eyes to shade, define and smolder. Create structure and depth by blending across lids with your fingertips, or line and define along upper and lower lashes for a bold, standout statement.

  • Silver Streak

Iridescent Ball Highlighter ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

“I want to let the light into my clothes,” Courrèges would say of his preference for lucidity above all else, which has inspired this iridescent powder gelée. The innovative plastic orb applicator that houses a sensorial cream can be dotted onto cheeks for an allover polished glow or onto temples, cheekbones, and other high planes of the face for a concentrated highlight.

Lip + Cheek Ball ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

This revolutionary jelly-like gloss has a full-throttle shine and a translucent berry hue that adds a slight tint to lips, while imparting a rosy glow to cheeks for a happy flush.

  • Ultra Pink

Ultra White Eyeliner ($26.00) (Limited Edition)

White is the new black with this vibrant, opaque liquid eyeliner that provides a brilliant vinyl finish in the classic color code of the house of Courrèges. The super-fine eyeliner boasts a dip-in fine brush applicator to scrawl the perfect feline flick with a shocking pop of starkly bright, white pigment.

  • Lunar White

Kabuki Brush ($36.00) (Limited Edition)

This lush bouncy tool adds a ritualistic feeling to the simple act of adornment. Luxuriously soft, white bristles give a uniform finish to mattifying, highlighting and contouring efforts, while working particularly well in tandem with the Illuminations Face Powder.

Availability: March 2015; early access at Sephora for VIB Rouge/VIB members

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Saturday, February 14th, 2015

I love a good holiday-themed top five, so it seemed only right to share with you five of my favorite high-end red lipsticks this Valentine’s Day!

  1. Bite Beauty Fraise — a brightened, but not too bold, red with a matte finish
  2. Estee Lauder Vengeful Red — a bold, bright red with a satin finish
  3. Guerlain Greta — a rich ruby red
  4. Guerlain Garcone — a deepened red with a luminous finish
  5. Buxom Scoundrel — a bright, blue-based red

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<