Saturday, June 30th, 2012

5 Must-Have Shimmery Blushes

This was a tough one, because I wanted to have diversity in color, and preferably, diversity in brand, too.  ‘Cause let me tell you, there were 239847234 corals I’d love to have included, too.

  1. Le Metier de Beaute Echo — coral-orange with a golden shimmer-sheen; lovely texture and wear
  2. NARS Taj Mahal — golden shimmered orange; lots of great warmth, plenty of pigment
  3. Benefit Bella Bamba — medium-dark pink with a subtle shimmer-sheen; very wearable, buildable
  4. theBalm Cabana Boy — shimmered plum; simple, wearable, beautiful on
  5. Tom Ford Wicked — subtly blue-based medium-dark pink with a shimmer-sheen; long-wearing and super soft

What’s your favorite shimmery blush?

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

NARS Amour Highlighting Blush
NARS Amour Blush

NARS Amour Blush

NARS Amour Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “peachy pink.” It’s a darkened pink-tinted coral. It doesn’t read peachy-pink to me, which tends to be a lighter, warmer color. The finish is matte. Illamasqua Dixie is brighter, less pink. Tarte Blissful is more orange, slightly lighter/softer. theBalm Frat Boy is slightly lighter. MAC Posey is very close, perhaps pinker. MAC Fleet Fast is more coral and has golden orange shimmer. On my cheeks, it looks more pink than coral, but it’s not strictly pink.

The texture of this is drier, stiffer–not really difficult to work with, it just has a thinner, drier texture, so it’s not a really dense blush. You wouldn’t describe it as buttery, for instance. Some powders are really buttery and dense, others are still soft and finely-milled, but they’re thin and feel drier. Amour is the latter.  It packs plenty of pigment, so you can go from subtle tint to full-on color with a tap of the brush, but you won’t have to worry about applying too much too quickly (not like Exhibit A).  The drier texture does mean that you need to spend a little more time blending the color, and because of the matte texture, it can be easier to apply over completely dry foundation (if you’re using liquid).  When I tested Amour to see how long and well it would wear, I was able to get seven hours of good wear; after eight hours, there was some fading along the tops of my cheeks.

The Glossover

product

NARS Amour Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Amour is dark pink-coral blush that's more pink than coral. It can be used sparingly or built up for a more intense cheek color, so it works well paired with more dramatic eyeshadow or alone with just a little eyeliner.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, June 22nd, 2012

NARS Blush
NARS Blush

NARS Blushes — Preview Photos

I’m planning to review the majority NARS’ permanent blushes, which as you can see above, number at 27 (I know I am missing Zen). I also have cream blushes and bronzers in the works, too. :) But for now, enjoy some blush photos!

  • Row 1: Albatross, Amour, Angelika, Deep Throat, Desire, Dolce Vita, Douceur;
  • Row 2: Exhibit A, Gaiety, Gilda, Gina, Lovejoy, Luster, Madly;
  • Row 3: Mata Hari, Miss Liberty, New Order, Nico, Oasis, Orgasm, Sex Appeal;
  • Row 4: Silvana, Sin, Super Orgasm, Taj Mahal, Taos, Torrid

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Friday, June 22nd, 2012

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush
NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sheer, light golden sheen.” The base color is a a pale, almost cool-toned ivory and then it has a healthy dose of light-medim gold shimmer-sheen. MAC Lightscapade doesn’t have as strong of a golden sheen, and it has a slightly pinker base color. MAC Chez Chez Lame is more golden and beige. MAC Too Chic is more beige and uniform. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer is much more golden.

I swear, I thought I reviewed this product previously, but I couldn’t find one! I’m in the process of reviewing all of NARS’ permanent blushes (including re-reviewing some shades), and Albatross is the first one up. It’s part of the Highlighting Blush series, which are blushes designed to illuminate the skin rather than add lots of color. This shade has won numerous distincts, even winning awards in Temptalia’s Readers’ Choice Awards over the years, for its highlighting prowess.

On my skin tone (about medium in color with warmer, yellower undertones), Albatross isn’t the most flattering on its own–that cooler ivory base color gives me a washed out look. On the flip side, cooler skin tones from light to medium could wear this alone and have it be much more flattering. When it’s paired with another blusher, it is more flattering across a greater number of skin tones, because that lighter base color mixes with your blush color, so it doesn’t look as pale or as cool-toned.

There’s a nice balance of glow and sheen without emphasizing pores and the natural texture of the skin.  The way it reflects gives it a very creamy, luminous look–definitely more along the lines of a sheen than a frosted or shimmery look.  It can be used as a barely-there highlighter or more intensely, depending on whether you’re going for a low-key cheek or wearing it alone.  When I wore Albatross to test out the wear, it managed seven and a half hours of excellent wear and looked a bit faded after eight and a half hours.

The texture is soft and silky without being too dense or dry–you don’t have excess powder being kicked up when you go to use it, but you don’t have to stab at it to get enough product onto your brush.  I like using a small stippling brush to apply it lightly, or a small, tapered face brush for a more concentrated application.

The Glossover

P
product

Albatross

A
Cooler skin tones from light to medium could wear this alone and have it be very flattering. When it's paired with another blusher, it is more flattering across a greater number of skin tones, because that lighter base color mixes with your blush color, so it doesn't look as pale or as cool-toned.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, June 9th, 2012

5 Truly Orange Blushes

It’s summer — one of the best ways to add color to any look with ease is through a good blush. Tangerine is no doubt in this year, but how about some orange?  Benefit Cha Cha Cha is the closest you’ll find here for a tamer shade of orange.

  1. NARS Liberte — burnt orange
  2. Make Up For Ever #12 — light-medium orange with a gold sheen
  3. NARS Taj Mahal — pop of orange with soft orange shimmer
  4. Benefit Cha Cha Cha — tint of orange-coral
  5. NARS Exhibit A — matte red-orange

What’s your favorite orange blush?

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick
NARS Afghan Red Lipstick

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick

NARS Afghan Red Lipstick ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) is described as a “garnet.” It’s a muted, medium-dark raspberry red with a subtle sheen. MAC Rebel is purpler and more intense. Guerlain Guet-Apens is lighter, less opaque. MAC Deliciously Forbidden is pinker. Milani Sexy Rose is frostier. Guerlain Bee is just slightly purpler. YSL Forbidden Burgundy is redder.

It is part of the satin finish range, which is supposed to be “a lustrous, long-wearing lipstick infused with conditioners to provide comfortable wear and sumptuously, silky color.” Afghan Red applies opaque with little product, and the texture is soft, lightly pliant, and barely creamy. It glides across the lips with nary a pull or a tug. The wear is good, though not as outstanding as some of the other reds by NARS; I get a solid five hours with some lingering color after six hours. It’s comfortable to wear, and it doesn’t cling as much to the lips as a true matte finish would. I found it marginally hydrating but no substitute for a good moisturizing gloss or balm, so it didn’t dry out lips or leave me fishing for gloss as soon as this wore off. It’s scent- and taste-free.

The Glossover

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product

Afghan Red

A
It's not quite as moisturizing as NARS calls out (I wouldn't say this "nourishes" lips, but it doesn't dry them out), but the color is opaque, comfortable to wear, and long-wearing.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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