Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) are a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.”

  • Bright Forecast is a soft peach with subtle orange tones. The peachy tones of this shade are good for brightening and lightening dark under eye circles without creating a green cast (that yellow-based correctors can cause). I found this one did the best to minimize my dark under eye circles while still looking natural.
  • Light Boost is a pale beiged yellow. Yellow is good for lightening darkness. This would work well as a subtle cheek or brow highlighter on those with yellow undertones.
  • Radiant Rose is a soft, pale pastel pink. Pink helps to brighten the skin tone. It can also be used to brighten the under eye area, like Benefit’s Eye Bright. This shade felt more opaque than the other two, and when I used it underneath my eye (without concealer on top), it was a little pale on me. I loved it more as an eyeshadow base and brow highlighter.

The Prep + Prime Highlighters come in a click-type brush pen that takes several initial twists to release the product, but after that, you should only need a couple clicks to dispense the product. Over time, I’ve become less of a fan of brush-type products, just because I hate the way the brush feels and looks as you use it and the product seems to just sit in there. I’d much rather use a separate brush that you can wash without fear of getting water back into the product. I did find that while it can be easily applied onto the skin with the applicator, blending and application went better using a fluffy brush like the 217 for small areas (or fingers).

I applied each shade over my cheeks and under eye area, because I really wanted the effect to stand out. I felt like when I just did the under eye, it was difficult to really see what was going on. I wouldn’t normally use these as I did for the swatch photos, but I figured what good are photos if you can’t spot the difference? These have a subtle effect, and if you layer concealer over them, the effect is even harder to pick up–not necessarily in a bad way (like, ooh, so subtle it’s not worth it), but it’s a subtle, natural effect that works well and looks lovely. More like, “Oh, you look pretty today, did you cut your hair?” kind of way.

These wore really well for me, and I even used Radian Rose as an eyeshadow base.  It looked really beautiful as a brow highlighter and lid brightener by itself, but it also held up as an eyeshadow base, too.  I didn’t notice any fading and certainly no creasing or settling into fine lines over eight hours of wear.

There are numerous brands with highlighter pens, including:

  • Dior (Sun Beam may be comparable to Bright Forecast; Roseglow to Radiant Rose)
  • Fresh (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Fusion Beauty (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Givenchy (Moon Light seems most comparable to Radiant Rose)
  • Guerlain (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Sephora (#01 seems like Radiant Rose, #02 seems like Light Boost; #06 seems like Bright Forecast)
  • YSL (Light Peach seems comparable to Bright Forecast, Luminous Ivory to Light Boost, and Luminous Radiance to Radiant Rose)

These can help correct and brighten but they won’t necessarily conceal on their own. Bright Forecast can help a good deal with under eye circles, but it’s not opaque, so for some, it may be enough on its own. They’re definitely comparable to cult-favorite YSL Touche Eclat. Sephora also seems to offer a very comparable color range in their variation on the highlighter pen, and at $12 a pop, it might be worth trying (overall Sephora ratings show it to be good, though I have not tried it myself, so I cannot weigh in).

MAC is roughly half the price of the higher-end highlighter pens, and they seem to provide double the product (I saw many listed at 0.05 oz., a couple closer to 0.10 oz.), so the product seems to be priced in line with quantity and MAC’s price range.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These are easy to use, difficult to mess up or go overboard with, and work well to brighten, lighten, and add radiance for brows, eyes, or cheeks (depending on your skin tone!).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Burberry Beauty for Spring/Summer 2011

As seen on Burberry’s SS 2011 runway, an almost-naked face – hazy eyes, a smattering of nudes on the skin and lips, accented by a touch of soft rouge on the cheek – served as the perfect counterpoint to Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey’s glam biker girl.

As part of Burberry Beauty’s new spring/summer collection, the new lip and cheek shades work to create distinct signature nude looks – natural, effortless, or sun kissed – as iconic to Burberry’s DNA.

Light Glow ($42.00)

  • Tangerine (No. 6)
  • Earthy (No. 7)
  • Misty (No. 8)

Lip Cover ($30.00)

  • Delicate Rose (No. 22)
  • English Rose (No. 23)
  • Romantic Rose (No. 24)

availability: Now @ Nordstrom

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Monday, April 4th, 2011


MAC Quite Cute: Overall & Recommendations

OVERALL, Quite Cute is a cool-toned, pastel-themed collection that will prove tricky for those with warmer and/or darker complexions.  The lipsticks, nail lacquers, and plushglasses are the better products from the collection, based on quality, with Playing Koi being a total miss within the lipsticks launched (very dry, clingy texture).  Plushglasses are relatively sheer, as designed to be, and so they’re easier to wear and more suitable across skin tones than some of the other products from Quite Cute.  I found the mineralize blushes from this launch rather powdery, and combined with the pastel color palette, the blush can easily look more powdery and almost ashy on medium to dark complexions.

On the surface, Quite Cute is reminiscent of Sugarsweet, but this launch lacks balance.  Too many pastels, too many cool-toned colors without brighter, warmer, or contrasting colors to support the color palette of Quite Cute.  This collection will best suit those with paler skin tones, because pigmentation is lower overall, and then naturally, cooler undertones will find this more flattering than warmer skin tones.  Please understand that by no means am I saying warmer or medium/dark skin tones cannot wear this collection–but you may find it less flattering right out of the box and need to figure out how to pair it and with what–most likely products outside of the collection.  I’m a firm believer in anyone can wear any color–it’s about having confidence and how you wear it that matters.

If you love pastels, I think you may still like this collection–but the quality seems lower here and makes this a less-than-impressive collection.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

Check out recommendations, what to check your stash for, what to skip, and recommendations by skin tone! Continue reading →

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Dior Electric Tropics Collection for Summer 2011

The House if Dior invites us on an exhilarating journey to the Tropics for his Spring/Summer 2011 collection: floral motifs, dresses with sun-steeped prints, feathers and exotic embroidery, ensembles that explore the borders between masculinity and femininity with fresh sensuality. Sailor uniforms get sassy with lace, shagreen prints and crowns of hibiscus, orchids and South Pacific palm trees.

Drawing inspiration from this collection, which plays up flamboyance and sunny retro refinement, Creative Director of Dior Makeup Tyen presents a collection inspired by paradise. This makeup look highlights the contrast between audacious neon colors and sun-kissed skin.

Ultra Gloss Crystal Nude ($27.00)

  • Luminescent Peach (037) (not at Sephora)
  • Sweet Peach (047)
  • Luminescent Rose (077) (not at Sephora)
  • Sweet Rose (037)

Nude Healthy Glow Powder ($46.00)

This couture-style summer powder is the must-own accessory that will be coveted by all Dior addicts. Woven like the Lady Dior Avenue clutch, the powder brings a new sparkle to the eyes and flatters the complexion. Each harmony mixes four shades that individually capture a facet of light to reproduce the “healthy glow” of sun-kissed skin.

  • Aurora (001)
  • Sunset (002)

Nude Healthy Glow Fluid ($46.00)

Diorskin Nude Glow Fluid recreates the dazzling illusion of sun-kissed skin. Amber prisms act like color filters that delicately warm up the complexion, creating a strikingly natural effect. Its sorbet texture is concentrated with Mineralized Water for instant and lasting skin-refreshing action. When applied, it transforms into a powder and offers a light, velvety finish for “bare skin” look.

  • Rosy Nude (001) (Specialty doors only)
  • Honey Nude (002) (Specialty doors only)

5-Colour Eyeshadow ($58.00)

  • Rosy Nude (054) (not at Sephora)
  • Rosy Tan (754)

Addict Lipstick ($28.00)

  • Fire (545)

Vernis ($26.00)

  • Paradise Pink (558) (Saks, Dior.com only)
  • Aloha (638) (not at Sephora)

availability: April 2011 at Dior counters nationwide, dior.com – except as noted.

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Monday, April 4th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Iconoclast Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a new and limited shade from the Iconic/Ironic Collection. It’s described as “a richly pigmented ebony with layers of fine glitter, giving it depth and a metallic, mica-like finish.” Iconoclast is an inky black with moments of purple and blue, depending on just how the light hits the lacquer and the strength of the light. In natural light, you can clearly see the micro-shimmer but the iridescence and play of color doesn’t really come through until you’re in the sunlight–then the multi-colored shimmers reflect and shine.

my thoughts on the formula: These are richly pigmented lacquers that have nuances in both the color and finishes. Each color is well-thought out, and I’ve yet to come across a poor performer in the brand’s color range. I used two coats for opaque coverage.

The Glossover

LE
product

Iconoclast

A
In natural light, you can clearly see the micro-shimmer but the iridescence and play of color doesn’t really come through until you’re in the sunlight–then the multi-colored shimmers reflect and shine.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Video Review

Not just first impressions but a video review, since I filmed this after swatching/reviewing 70% of the collection and could speak more deeply about the products.