Thursday, March 5th, 2015

MAC Linda Blush
MAC Linda Blush

MAC Linda Blush ($24.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “soft pink bronze.” It’s a slightly muted, coppery-orange with warm undertones and a satiny sheen. Colour Pop Bonus (P, $8.00) is brighter, cream. NARS Frenzy (Right) (P) is more shimmery. MAC Seduced at Sea (LE, $25.00) is more shimmery. MAC Pleasure Model (LE, $25.00) is darker. MAC Bad Girl Gone Good (LE, $21.00) is darker. NARS Soulshine #2 (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery. NARS Gina (P, $29.00) is similar. MAC Eternal Sun (P, $23.50) is darker, browner. MAC Coppertone (P, $21.00) is slightly darker, rosier. MAC Blazing Haute (LE, $25.00) is lighter. Illamasqua Expose (P, $26.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and blendable, though it can get a smidgen powdery in the pan, but luckily, it doesn’t translate on the skin. Applied, it gives a beautiful, luminous sheen that keeps skin looking natural and fresh without being too dewy. The finish gives a noticeable glow but doesn’t emphasize pores. It’s also very pigmented but diffuses easily for a softer flush if desired. On me, the blush wore well for eight hours before fading. This was one of the best products in the collection.

The Glossover

LE
product

Linda

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

MAC Summer Opal Beauty Powder
MAC Summer Opal Beauty Powder

MAC Summer Opal Beauty Powder ($28.00 for 0.39 oz.) is described as a “light bronze with golden shimmer.” It’s a light, golden peach with warm undertones and a soft, frosted finish. Kevyn Aucoin Starlight (P, $44.00) is darker. Bobbi Brown Pink Glow (LE, $45.00) is lighter. Benefit CORALista (Palette) (P, $28.00) is warmer. Becca Guava/Moonstone (P, $27.00) is darker. Becca Fig/Opal (P, $27.00) is darker. MAC Stereo Rose (2014) (LE, $30.00) is peachier. MAC Perfect Topping (2014) (LE, $30.00) is pinker. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #2 (LE) is lighter. Becca Rose Gold (LE, $38.00) is darker. Urban Decay Glint (LE) is more sparkly. MAC Soft & Gentle (P, $30.00) is less peach. Le Metier de Beaute Whisper (P, $30.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC describes it as a “subtle luminescent glow” with a “micro-fine” and “silky” texture that has “sheer” coverage. It had semi-sheer color coverage when I applied it to the skin, but it seemed buildable if you wanted greater warmth/shimmer. The texture feels smooth, but it’s thinner and drier with the powder having a firmer press overall, though it didn’t seem stiff to me–I didn’t have any problems getting the highlighter onto the skin even with my softest natural hair brushes. It has enough shimmer in it to be luminous and lightly frosted, and it very slightly emphasized pores on my skin. With my medium skin-tone, it added a subtle warmth and sheen, but fairer skin tones may see a greater color impact and deeper skin tones may find it doesn’t add warmth, just shimmer. It wore well for eight hours before fading on me.

P.S. — This collection has gone really quickly online, unfortunately, so your best bet may be to find a local store that carries it, but I would recommend calling prior, as the distribution is “select locations,” but I don’t have any specific location information to pass on.

The Glossover

LE
product

Summer Opal

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, March 2nd, 2015

NARS Craving Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Craving Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Craving Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a highlighter and bronzer duo. The two work together well, and when applied dry, they can be quite flattering on the skin, though dry application doesn’t have the best staying power. Both shades tended to emphasize the skin’s natural texture and any imperfections when applied with a damp brush, unfortunately, as the shimmery finishes intensified. To reiterate what I’ve mentioned in previous reviews: NARS describes the damp application as a sheer wash of color, but the reality is that this type of application yields deeper, richer, more opaque coverage than dry, and it also makes it harder to work with, as it doesn’t blend as readily as the formula does used dry.

Craving (Left) is described as a “sparkling seashell pink highlighter.” It’s a pink-tinged iridescent white with a metallic shimmer-sheen finish and cool undertones. Applied dry, it was semi-sheer with a frosted, metallic finish, which didn’t emphasize pores and lasted for seven hours on me. Applied damp, it was semi-opaque with a metallic sheen, which did emphasize pores and stayed on for eight hours before fading. NARS Devotee (LE, $29.00) is more sparkly. Urban Decay Luminous (P, $29.00) is less pink. Lancome Moonlight Rose (LE, $42.00) is darker, pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Craving (Right) is described as a “shimmering beachy bronze.” It’s a medium-dark orange brown with warm undertones and a gold shimmer. Applied dry, it had opaque color coverage that was fairly blendable and had a lovely satin sheen that didn’t emphasize pores. It wore well for seven hours this way before fading. When I tried to apply it with a dampened brush, the finish was more like a high frosted sheen, which did give my skin a more noticeable texture, though the color lasted for eight and a half hours. NYX Beach Babe (P, $6.50) is lighter. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is more muted. Urban Decay Strip Bronzer (P) is darker. MAC Alpine Bronze (LE, $27.00) is less shimmery. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

Craving

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Craving (Left)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Craving (Right)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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Monday, March 2nd, 2015

Estee Lauder Ultra Pink Lip & Cheek Ball
Estee Lauder Ultra Pink Lip & Cheek Ball

Estee Lauder Ultra Pink Lip & Cheek Ball ($26.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “translucent berry hue.” It’s a muted, pinkish-red with cool undertones and a subtle shine. NARS Adoration (Right) (P) is a powder. MAC Red Obsessed (LE, $20.00) is warmer. MAC Bred for Beauty (LE) is a powder. YSL Rose Frivole (02) (P, $40.00) is similar. YSL Fuchsia Desinvolte (01) (P, $40.00) is brighter. Illamasqua Peaked (P, $26.00) is more muted. Illamasqua Seduce (P, $26.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The formula is supposed to be a “jelly-like gloss” with a “full-throttle shine” that gives a “slight tint to lips while imparting a rosy glow to cheeks.” It’s not at all glossy or jelly-like; it’s more like a very thin, firm balm that offers a satin shine with sheer color. The coverage is as described–translucent–and tints the lips and cheeks with a barely-there hue. It’s extremely uncomfortable to wear on the lips, as it feels dry and is drying over time, while the color lasts about an hour before sliding off. As a blush, it wore for six and a half hours before breaking down, but it imparted no real shine, just a smidgen of color (would be better suited for a fairer complexion than mine).

The Glossover

LE
product

Ultra Pink

C-

Product

5.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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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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Dupes
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Saturday, February 28th, 2015

NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Panic Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a vibrant duo featuring a bright pink and rusty coral. This seemed to be the least forgiving of the duos releasing as we’re working with much richer shades to begin with, so any weakness in blending is easily seen, and it is lacking that blendability that is so necessary when you have deeper shades like these two. The texture of the product dry is firm and a little stiff, so getting a really even, smooth layer of color dry wasn’t easy and required some buffing with a separate brush to get everything in place. Applied damp, it was hard to avoid splotchy color. Worth repeating, NARS described the formula to have richer color payoff applied dry with more of a wash of color applied damp, and the latter isn’t true whatsoever–applying with a damp brush results in much richer, deeper color and a more intense finish (typically more shimmery).

Panic (Left) is described as a “shimmering shocking fuchsia.” It’s a brightened, medium fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a soft, frosted finish. Applied dry, it had mostly opaque color coverage, was somewhat blendable but not easy to apply, and the shimmer very slightly emphasized pores, but with enough buffing, it’s possible to tamp it down, while the color itself lasted for seven and a half hours on me. Applied damp, it was fully opaque with really rich color coverage but lacked blendability as it adhered and “dried” in place and didn’t want to diffuse/blend out after a few seconds. The finish is more noticeably shimmery on the skin and tended to emphasize the skin’s natural texture. The damp application lasted eight and a half hours. NARS Adoration (Right) (P) is warmer. Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is brighter, darker. Tom Ford Beauty Narcissist (LE, $55.00) is darker. MAC Supernova (LE, $27.00) is warmer. MAC Feeling Flush (LE, $27.00) is more muted. Burberry Hydrangea Pink (P, $42.00) is less shimmery, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Panic (Right) is described as a “shimmering orange-pink.” It’s a brightened, medium coral with a hint of pink and a gold, frosted shimmer. Applied dry, it had mostly opaque color payoff with a fairly shimmery finish, so it did make my pores more noticeable, and the color stayed on well for seven hours before fading. Applied damp, it deepened and turned a reddish-orange coral with a more metallic sheen, and definitely made my cheeks look very textured as a result, though it lasted a bit longer than dry application at eight hours. It was also rather difficult to blend the color out when I tried using it damp. MAC Secret Admirer (LE, $20.00) is a cream product. Surratt Beauty Ponceau (P, $32.00) is less shimmery, lighter. IT Cosmetics Pretty in Peony (P, $24.00) is pinker. Clinique Ginger Pop (01) (P, $21.00) is less shimmery. NARS Realm of the Senses (Together) (LE, $29.00) is pinker. MAC Simmer (LE, $27.00) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Flush (P, $55.00) is less shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

Panic

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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P
product

Panic (Left)

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Panic (Right)

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes

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