Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

NARS Altai Matte Multiple
NARS Altai Matte Multiple

NARS Matte Multiple ($39.00 for 0.26 oz.) are new (and permanent!) for spring. They’re supposed to be a lip-and-cheek multi-tasking product with a “creamy, lightweight formula that delivers buildable, long-lasting, hydrating color for lips and cheeks.” Application makes a difference: if you want sheerer color from the get-go, apply wet, and if you want color truest to what you see in the tube, use dry. I preferred to use a stippling brush to grab color from the tube and then to apply on the face (so not directly from the tube).

I’ve worked my way through four of them (reviews for all to come) so far, and Altai was the first one I tried. Three of the shades in the range can be thought of as closer to traditional bronzers or cream contour sticks–Altai is the lightest, followed by Vientiane and Cappadoce. All seven shades have a satin-matte finish–a very tiny amount of sheen to keep it the finish from being a really flat matte, but it’s not shimmery or a true satin finish either. The other four shades are the more traditional blush shades, but as always, “rules” (or even “guidelines”) are made to be broken, so any shades can be used on cheeks or lips. I don’t like these on lips at all; I find them uncomfortable, a little clingy, and just drying from start to finish. For me, they’re really hard to even wear and test on lips, because I can feel them sitting on the lips in a way that’s bothersome. Like the regular Multiples, it’s not a product I would wear on lips, as the product clings and dries out lips. On cheeks, they work a lot better, and I felt like the biggest takeaway was really how blendable the textures were. They remain blendable for a couple of minutes, so you don’t have to feel too rushed, but they won’t move around a lot. The texture feels silicone-like, almost velvety, light to medium weight, and smooth.  So far, the wear has ranged from seven to nine hours.  They wear well over as well as under liquid foundation, and of course, do well over bare skin.  I noticed that if you need to blend a lot (e.g. Siam is very, very intense in color and pigmentation), it will be problematic applied over foundation, but if you only do light to moderate blending, it is fine.

The original Multiples were one of the more expensive NARS products in the range, and the original range is $39.00 and contain 0.50 oz. The Matte Multiples still cost $39 a pop, but they contain a mere 0.26 oz. The tube is the same length, but it is noticeably skinnier. It’s such a drastic difference in size, so it’s disappointing to see the price remain the same despite a size reduction of nearly 50%. Will one tube last awhile? Absolutely. Does a tube of intensely pigmented lipstick last longer than a sheer tube of lipstick? Absolutely–but you don’t usually see a drastic size reduction/price difference in the same formula just because one is more pigmented than the other. I definitely think that there have been improvements in the formula–it feels smoother, less dry overall–compared to the original formula, but whether it’s worth it is for you to decide.  They’re online at narscosmetics.com as well as Sephora (but will be available wherever NARS is sold soon).

Altai Matte Multiple ($39.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as a “rose bronze.” It’s a light-medium, warm-toned peach-brown with orange undertones and a satin-matte finish. It was intensely pigmented, though it was easily softened and sheered out (even with a dry application) if desired.  The texture is creamy, smooth, and very blendable, and this particular shade seemed to wear well for about seven hours on the cheeks and three hours on the lips. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes (05) (LE, $75.00) is darker. Clarins Splendours (LE, $35.00) is more orange. NARS Silvana (P, $29.00) is more shimmery. NARS Madly (P, $29.00) is browner, more shimmery. MAC Harmony (P, $21.00) is browner. MAC Refined Golden (P, $25.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Altai

B

Keep in mind, the rating is a reflection of the product used on cheeks as well as on lips, and the formula is clingy and drying when worn on the lips, whereas it performs better as a cream blush. Depending on what you're looking for, you might bump up the grade (in your mind) if you only would wear it on cheeks, or drop the overall rating if you just wanted a lip product.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Chanel Sakura (87) Joues Contraste Blush
Chanel Sakura (87) Joues Contraste Blush

Chanel Sakura (87) Joues Contraste Blush ($43.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a light-medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and gold sparkle strewn over a satin finish. Giorgio Armani Eccentrico (LE, $88.00) is more shimmery. Urban Decay Overexposed (LE) is darker. Edward Bess Filled with Desire (P, $43.00) is lighter. MAC Royal Sunset (LE, $21.00) is warmer. MAC Launch Away (LE, $21.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Sakura is a new and limited edition shade that’s exclusive to Chanel.com (it may also be in Chanel boutiques, but the information I have says online only, so you might call to see if a physical location is near to you). It had more buildable color payoff, and it seemed to build up to semi-opaque color coverage at most, which is in line with how it’s described (“buildable coverage”). The texture was soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen powdery when applying, but on the skin, it seems to melt and smooth out so it doesn’t look powdery or dry on the cheeks. It was very easy to blend and soften the edges as I applied it as a blush. The color wore well for almost eight hours before it began to fade around the edges.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sakura (87)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush
Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush

Revlon Naughty Nude (006) Blush ($9.99 for 0.17 oz.) is a medium, rose-tinged brown with warm undertones and a golden champagne shimmer. Too Faced Peach Beach (P, $30.00) is lighter, less shimmery. Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $43.00) is darker. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is browner, less shimmery. NARS Douceur (P, $29.00) is less shimmery, less warm-toned. Burberry Earthy (P, $42.00) is less shimmery, browner. See comparison swatches.

When Revlon reformulated and released their Blushes, I was excited, and the color range looked good. I’m all over a brown-based blush; they’re totally underrated, but they’re the types of blushes that I often reach for and there aren’t nearly enough options to choose from–most of them are very pricey, so I was hoping for a more budget-friendly version to recommend to readers. Unfortunately, the texture of this needs work; it’s stiff and dry yet powdery, almost chalky at times. I had to scrape off the product in order to get swatches of it to show up on my skin; using the included applicator produced no visible color on my skin. I had slightly better luck packing on the color onto my cheeks, which I owe to my skin type being normal (so there are some natural oils, which help powders stick), whereas the skin on my arm is drier. Even after some color applied, it was really difficult to blend. To add further insult, the shimmer in this does emphasize pores, so if you have larger pores or skin imperfections, this can exacerbate both! This blush lasted six and a half hours on me.

The Glossover

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product

Naughty Nude (006)

C

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, February 14th, 2014

theBalm How 'Bout Them Apples? Lip & Cheek Cream Palette
theBalm How ‘Bout Them Apples? Lip & Cheek Cream Palette

theBalm How ‘Bout Them Apples? Lip & Cheek Cream Palette ($32.00 for 0.70 oz.) contains six shades of cream products that are designed to be used on the lips and cheeks. The formula is described as having a “smooth finish that won’t streak or fade.” In the past, I haven’t been a huge fan of theBalm’s multi-tasking lip/cheek products as they can be drying on the lips (which is a problem that many lip/cheek products suffer from), so I was wary about this palette. After wearing and trying all the shades on lips and cheeks, it’s definitely an improved formula. I think they function and wear better–and more comfortably–as cheek products than lip ones, but they’re more tolerable on the lips. Some are more comfortable than others as lip colors, so you can check my shade-by-shade review below for more information on those. As blushes, these are true creams–they don’t set or dry down completely or feel like powders on the skin, so they have dewier finishes. They’re blendable and buildable, but they tended to wear for six to seven hours.

Cider is a light peach with a faint hint of pink and a luminous sheen. It had semi-sheer color payoff, and this particular shade didn’t really build–it started and stayed at the same intensity. It lasted for six and a half hours on me. As a lip color, it did accentuate imperfections on the lips somewhat, and it wore for two hours–very slippery on the lips–but was somewhat hydrating. MAC Lured to Love (LE, $25.00) is a powder, so it has a different finish. MAC Something Special (P, $21.00) is darker, pinker. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Cobbler is a vibrant, orange-toned red with a luminous sheen. This shade had buildable color payoff that could be worn as a sheer, reddish tint or a bolder, brighter, candy-apple red. As a blush, it wore well for seven hours, and as a lip color, it managed three hours and was lightly hydrating. Kevyn Aucoin Fira (P) is more orange and a powder. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Pie is a muted, pinky-red with a luminous sheen. It was buildable to semi-opaque coverage both on lips as well as cheeks. When I tested it as a blush, the color wore well for six hours, and as a lip color, it wore well for three hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. Chanel Intonation (69) (LE, $38.00) is warmer, brighter. theBalm Toile (P, $22.00) is a powder. MAC Posey (P, $21.00) is more muted. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Crisp is a warm-toned coral with gold shimmer and a frosted finish. The color was buildable to mostly opaque color coverage both on cheeks as well as on lips. The golden sheen is less prominent when I wore it as a blush than when I did as a lip color. On the lips, it was drying, and the frost emphasizes any imperfections easily. On cheeks, pores were slightly emphasized. It wore well for six and a half hours on cheeks and four and a half hours on lips. Clinique Peach Pop (02) (P, $21.00) is less shimmery, lighter, powder. Chanel Intonation (69) (LE, $38.00) has no shimmer, brighter. NARS Soulshine (Together) (LE, $29.00) is a powder. MAC Fleet Fast (LE, $21.00) is a powder. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Candy is a cool-toned, bubblegum pink with a luminous sheen. It had good color payoff, and it was easy to apply and blend on the skin. On cheeks, it lasted for six hours, and on lips, it wore well for two and a half hours and was lightly hydrating during that time. Sleek MakeUP Macaroon (P) is very similar. Bobbi Brown Summer Pink (LE, $26.00) is darker. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

Caramel is a muted, orange-brown with a luminous sheen and warm undertones. It had mostly opaque color payoff, and the color was buildable and blendable. The color lasted just over six and a half hours when I applied it to cheeks, and on lips, it managed to last for three hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Early Morning (LE, $25.00) is shimmery, powder. MAC Fiery Impact (LE, $25.00) is powder. MAC Optimistic Orange (LE, $21.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches. (If you’re looking for similar shades for how it appears on lips, here are some comparison swatches.)

The Glossover

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palette

How 'Bout Them Apples?

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

Results
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P
product

Cider

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Cobbler

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Make Up For Ever #410 HD Blush
Make Up For Ever #410 HD Blush

Make Up For Ever #410 HD Blush ($26.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “coral.” It’s a medium, coral-orange with a satin finish and warm undertones. Clinique Ginger Pop (01) (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, powder. Chanel Intonation (69) (LE, $38.00) is brighter. MAC Autoerotique (LE, $25.00) is more muted, powder. Fyrinnae Nordic Angel (P, $6.50) is more orange, lighter. Illamasqua Sleek (P, $26.00) is darker. Dior Pink Glow Blush (LE) is powder, warmer. See comparison swatches.

This is the other shade from Make Up For Ever’s new HD Blush formula that I tested, and it was consistent with the first shade. It had a lightly creamy texture in the compact that applied and felt like traditional cream blush initially, but after sitting on the skin for about thirty seconds, it turned into a powder finish that was satin-to-matte. The color applied evenly and smoothly, and it was easy to blend and work the color into the skin. It was nicely pigmented, so the color could look true-to-pan if desired, but it was easy enough to apply less or blend for a softer, sheerer look. This shade wore well for eight and a half hours on me.

The Glossover

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product

#410 HD Blush

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Make Up For Ever #330 HD Blush
Make Up For Ever #330 HD Blush

Make Up For Ever #330 HD Blush ($26.00 for 0.09 oz.) is described as a “rosy plum.” It is a medium pink with moderately cool, bluish undertones and has a satin finish. Sleek MakeUP Macaroon (P) is brighter. MAC Formal (LE) is a powder. Urban Decay Temper (LE) is brighter, pinker, powder. Bobbi Brown Summer Pink (LE, $26.00) is darker. Chanel Revelation (63) (P, $38.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

It is new for spring and comes in sixteen different shades. The new formula is supposed to be blendable, long-wearing, comfortable to wear, and have a satin finish. The texture is lightly creamy with some slip, and it takes about thirty seconds before it starts to really melt and transition into a more powder-like texture and feel. The end result is very similar to Chanel Le Blush Creme de Chanel, but the initial texture and feel are noticeably different, as Chanel feels like a powder almost as soon as it hits the skin. I liked using stippling brushes with the formula, as it delivered good color coverage and still offered blendability and evenness. I also found fingertips were good for working the color onto the skin (I usually get the initial amount on using a brush). #330 was one of two shades that I tried, and it was really easy to apply and blend onto the skin. It looked even, had a satin-matte finish, and didn’t cling-to or exacerbate dry patches. It had good, buildable coverage that could be sheered out or applied at true-to-pan intensity. The color wore well for almost eight hours before fading.

The Glossover

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product

#330 HD Blush

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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