Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes
Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O’ Blushes

Benefit Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O’ Blushes ($36.00 for 1.08 oz.) includes six powder blushes and a cream highlighter–all shades from Benefit’s permanent line-up in a metal tin. I found the color of Bella Bamba and CORALista to be different in the palette compared to my standalone versions, with CORALista being very different and Bella Bamba more “within variation” that you might expect over the years and the like. The change in color may appeal to you, or it may disappoint you, depending on the color you prefer. Most of Benefit’s blushes run rather warm-toned, and there are a lot of warm pink/coral variations here, so it may feel redundant if you are on the hunt for a really diverse blush palette. The packaging is ridiculously bulky and clunky–all I could think of was, “Why is this so heavy and noisy?” A few readers mentioned they easily depotted the blushes from the palette, so hopefully that’s an option for others. It’s unnecessarily large and nowhere near travel-friendly, and of course, it is very decked out in holiday-print, so it may feel out of place in April.

Hoola, Coralista, Bella Bamba, and Rockateur each contain 0.17 oz. of product, while Dandelion contains 0.14 oz, Sugarbomb contains 0.21 oz., and Watt’s Up! contains 0.05 oz. It works out to be about $103 in value across the seven products included in it–most of the blushes are about half the size of full-size, while Rockateur is the same as a full-sized one (I’m not sure how that worked out!). I think if you’ve always wanted to try Benefit’s blushes, or you’ve tried one or two but have wanted more, this is a great opportunity to try them.

Dandelion is a light, muted pink with subtle warm undertones and a barely-there gold shimmer-sheen. It had good color payoff with a soft, lightly powdery consistency that blends easily and wears for seven and a half hours on me. Benefit describes this particular Box o’ Powder as a highlighter to “brighten” the complexion. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Bella Bamba (Palette) is a medium-dark pink with frosted, gold shimmer. The texture was a little dry–almost crumbly to the touch–so it didn’t go on smoothly as I would have liked. With some buffing and blending, it will work into the skin and look lovely, but it’s not quite as easy to use as my full-sized version. It lasted for eight hours. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Sugarbomb is a frosted, pink-tinged peach with a golden sheen. It’s a lighter shade, so it will not yield a lot of visible color on most skin tones, but it is pigmented (just light). The texture was soft, smooth, and blendable. This shade wore well for eight hours before fading slightly. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Hoola is a medium-dark, yellow-toned brown with a matte finish. It had good pigmentation and was easy to apply, as the texture was soft, finely-milled, and blendable on the skin. There was a tiny bit of powderiness to it, but it wasn’t noticeable on the skin. When I tested the wear, the color wore well for eight hours before fading. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

CORALista (Palette) is a light peach with warm, orange undertones and a frosted, gold finish. This one is very different from the box I have–it is very, very light and orange, whereas the original I have is pinker. Aside from the major color difference, the texture was a little dry, but it didn’t look dry or powdery on the skin. The color payoff was pretty good, and it didn’t start to fade until after eight hours of wear. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Rockateur is a soft, rosy plum with warm undertones and a soft, satiny finish. It had nice pigmentation, and the texture was soft, finely-milled, and a bit powdery, but it didn’t look cakey applied. This blush stayed on well for eight hours before fading. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Watt’s Up! is a soft, champagne beige. It’s a cream-to-powder highlighter that doesn’t emphasize pores, wears just over eight hours, and gives a luminous sheen wherever it’s applied. The glow is strong enough that it is visible, but it isn’t metallic or wet-looking. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

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Benefit – Cheeky Sweet Spot – Palette

Cheeky Sweet Spot

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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product

Dandelion

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

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swatch

Bella Bamba (Palette)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, October 13th, 2014

NARS Virtual Domination Blush Palette
NARS Virtual Domination Blush Palette

NARS Virtual Domination Blush Palette ($65.00 for 0.95 oz.) includes a highlighter, three blushes, and a bronzer. It is a Sephora exclusive and launches November 1st. All of these shades have been released before with Sex Fantasy and Final Cut being limited edition, and the other four are part of the permanent range. It’s a decent palette, and I like the value behind it, though I wish the quality was at least as good as the standalone versions that have been released. They don’t fall too short, but in general, the texture had a thinner quality to it that made it less luxurious compared to full-sized blushes. Overall, the palette had good color payoff, blendable textures, and most wore for around eight hours. I felt like the palette was too bulky/heavy for what it was, but it at least doesn’t feel cheap.

NARS blush retails for $30.00 for 0.16 oz., and Bronzing Powder retails for $38.00 for 0.28 oz. This palette has 0.60 oz. of blush, which is a $112.50 worth of blush. Now, go figure, but this palette contains more than a full-sized Laguna (and far more than the one included in the Algorithm palette!) at 0.35 oz. or $47.50 worth of bronzer! The palette contains a total of $160.00 of NARS Blush/Bronzer, so it is a great value. In terms of price, for the cost of just over two full-size blushes, you’re getting five shades (sometimes a better way to think about value if you rarely finish products).

Miss Liberty is described as a “soft shimmering peach.” It’s a light, golden peach with a white sparkle and warm undertones. The way the shimmer and sparkle of this one act, it looks almost like a wet sheen on the face, but there are noticeable sparkles on the skin–it is by no means a particularly subtle highlighter option. It seemed slightly lighter than the permanent version I have, though effect for most skin tones will likely be the same since it is so sheer. It wears for seven hours on me. This shade is part of the permanent range of Highlighting Blush. See swatches of all dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Deep Throat is described as a “flirty sheer peach.” It’s a medium, coral with gold shimmer and hints of pink. The texture was soft, a little thinner than the permanent version, but it was blendable and had fairly good color payoff–it just looked a little faded compared to the permanent version. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. This shade is part of the permanent range. See swatches of all dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Laguna is described as a “diffused brown powder with golden shimmer.” It’s a medium-dark brown with warm, yellow undertones and a golden shimmer-sheen finish. It has more buildable color payoff than full-on, rich pigment. The texture was soft, lightweight, and blendable, though it can be a smidgen on the powdery side (which it seems in this particular palette). NARS has a tendency to put this in many of its palettes, so you may find you already have one (or half a dozen), and it is part of the permanent range. See swatches of all dupes of dupes / view dupes side-by-side side-by-side.

Sex Fantasy is described as a “pale lavender pink.” It’s a very light, cool-toned pink with a hint of lavender. It has a totally flat, matte finish. The texture is soft and finely-milled, but it is powdery (more so than the permanent version). On me, it lasted for eight hours. See swatches of all dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Final Cut is described as a “peach coral.” It’s a softened, medium coral-orange with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and silky, and it was only a smidgen powdery. It wore well for eight hours on me. See swatches of all dupes
/ view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

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palette

Virtual Domination

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Miss Liberty

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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product

Deep Throat

A-

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, October 13th, 2014

NARS Modern Future Set
NARS Modern Future Set

NARS Modern Future Set ($49.00 for 0.74 oz.) includes three products in the theme of Roman Holiday, a cool pink. The lipstick and nail polish are full size (0.12 oz. and 0.50 fl. oz. respectively), while the blush’s compact is the same size as a NARS’ single eyeshadow (but it contains 0.12 oz.). The set contains $26.00 of lipstick, $20.00 of nail polish, and $22.50 of blush for a total value of $68.50. The three products come inside a thick, plastic triangular box.

Roman Holiday (Lipstick) is described as a “pretty pastel with the most delicate hint of pink.” It’s a light-medium, cool-toned pink with a luminous finish. It had semi-sheer color coverage but lots of natural lip color will come through, so if you have more pigmented lips, this may look quite different applied. This shade is part of the permanent range for Sheer Lipstick, so the color coverage is as expecte.d The formula had a lot of slip, which made the color look streaky at times (and if you press your lips together, you’ll see “lines”). On me, it wore for two and a half hours. It was neither drying nor hydrating. NARS Marisa (P, $32.00) is more opaque, warmer. NARS Claudia (P, $32.00) is lighter, cooler. Bite Beauty Lavender (P, $24.00) is cooler. Estee Lauder Powerful (P, $30.00) is more opaque. MAC Rose Lily (LE, $16.00) is a lot lighter. NARS Villa Lante (LE, $25.00) is a touch lighter. YSL Fetish Pink (8) (P, $34.00) is more opaque, brighter. Urban Decay Obsessed (P, $22.00) is similar. MAC Asian Flower (LE, $17.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Divine Choice (P, $22.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Roman Holiday (Blush) is described as a “pretty pastel with the most delicate hint of pink.” It’s a brightened, light-medium, cool-toned pink with strong, blue undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and finely-milled, though it was a little powdery. It can be applied and buffed into the skin so that it doesn’t look dry or powdery on. It had good color coverage that was buildable and lasted for eight hours on me. MAC I’m a Lover (P, $23.50) is lighter. Makeup Geek Hanky Panky (P, $9.99) is darker. MAC Young at Heart (LE, $20.00) is darker. Maybelline Pink Fever (20) (P, $8.99) is darker, cream, shimmer.Urban Decay Blush (P) is warmer. Milani Delizioso Pink (10) (P, $7.99) is very similar. Givenchy It-Girl Purple (P, $44.00) is lighter, warmer. NARS Mistinguette (LE, $29.00) is much lighter. theBalm Down Boy (P, $21.00) is warmer. NARS Gaiety (P, $29.00) is lighter, cooler-toned. MAC Peony Petal (P, $21.00) is darker. MAC I’m the One (LE, $21.00) is darker. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink (P, $26.00) is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Roman Holiday (Nail Polish) is described as a “shimmery begonia pink.” It’s a muted, medium pink with very subtle cool undertones (almost a neutral pink, as it sometimes looks warmer on me, against my warmer complexion). There is a very fine shimmer in it, but it is hardly noticeable except up-close and in bright lighting. It was opaque after two coats, and the formula wasn’t too thick or too thin. I usually get seven days of wear out of NARS’ polish. Anna Sui Minnie Mouse Neon Pink (300) (LE, $16.00) is sheerer, more shimmery. Cult Nails Kiss My Rose Bush (P, $12.00) is more matte. MAC Snob (LE, $16.00) is lighter. MAC Silly (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Please Me (LE, $16.00) is warmer. Chanel May (P, $27.00) is similar. Rescue Beauty Lounge Pepto Pink (LE, $20.00) is darker, warmer. Essie Off the Shoulder (LE, $8.00) is brighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

palette

Modern Future

B

Product

8.2/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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product

Roman Holiday

B-

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Roman Holiday

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Guerlain Petrouchka Eye & Blush Palette
Guerlain Petrouchka Eye & Blush Palette

Guerlain Petrouchka Eye & Blush Palette ($90.00 for 0.42 oz.) includes five eyeshadows and four blushes. When you open the palette, you’ll see a tray of eyeshadows, and when you lift the tray, you’ll see four blushes–two as larger squares, two as smaller, rectangles. The colors chosen for the palette all work together very well, including the blushes. It is an incredibly warm-toned palette, and all of the eyeshadows have more frosted finishes (I would have loved to see two of them be more satiny with a lower sheen). The eyeshadows are extremely dupable, and two of the blushes are sheerer, slightly powdery/dry. Guerlain’s blush formula is interesting, because it’s not a formula that seems to swatch well, yet it looks far better applied to cheeks. They’re more buildable, and they don’t look dry applied nor are they difficult to blend out. I wish they had only done two blushes (or maybe even just one illuminating powder), because I had to use eyeshadow brushes to get the color out of the pan due to each pan being so small. The compact is a slightly mattified gold, and the red bow is an elastic that slides off (Guerlain had an image on its booklet that showed it being used as a hair tie).

Petrouchka #1 is a light, yellow gold with a frosted, metallic finish. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and blendable. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #2 is a yellow gold with a frosted sheen. It had good pigmentation with a soft, blendable texture. This shade was thinner and a smidgen dry. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #3 is a medium, golden copper with a frosted finish and warm undertones. It had fantastic pigmentation, and the texture was soft, smooth, and buttery. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #4 is a medium brown with warm, red undertones and a soft, frosted finish. The color payoff was lovely, while the powder had a soft, buttery texture that went on smoothly. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #5 is a dark, bronzy brown with warm undertones and a frosted sheen. It had full color coverage, and it had the same, smooth, buttery consistency as the third and fourth eyeshadows. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #6 is a light pink with warm, yellow undertones and a faint white sparkle. Unfortunately, my skin tone doesn’t show this shade well–it just got lost as a blush on me, but it may show up for very fair skin tones. It seemed to have decent color payoff, and the texture was soft, though slightly powdery. In person, i was able to detect a very faint pink coloring, which seemed to last seven hours on me. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #7 is a muted, reddish-coral with a matte finish. It was sheer and powdery, though I was able to build it up in three to four layers. It lasted for eight hours applied to the skin. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #8 is a medium-dark, peach with warm, gold shimmer. It had a drier, more powdery consistency, but thankfully it didn’t look dry applied. I think if you had really dry skin, this might not work out as well. The color wore well for eight hours. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

Petrouchka #9 is a brightened, orange with a hint of red and warm undertones. It had more of a satin-matte finish–not flat, but it didn’t have much of a sheen. It had good color payoff, and the texture wasn’t powdery but was still blendable. This shade didn’t show signs of fading until after eight hours of wear. See swatches of dupes / view dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Petrouchka

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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LE
product

Petrouchka #1

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Petrouchka #2

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, October 12th, 2014

MAC Fleeting Romance Pro Longwear Blush
MAC Fleeting Romance Pro Longwear Blush

MAC Fleeting Romance Pro Longwear Blush ($26.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “coral.” It’s a medium-dark, pink-coral with a satin-matte finish. There’s just enough of a sheen that it keeps it from looking flat on the skin, but it doesn’t have a shimmery finish. Surratt Beauty Ponceau (P, $32.00) is brighter. Guerlain Coral Blush (LE) is similar. Milani Coral Cove (05) (LE, $7.99) is brighter, lighter. Dior Corail Bagatelle (763) (LE, $43.00) is similar. MAC Autoerotique (LE, $25.00) is more muted. NARS Day Dream (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery, pinker. Illamasqua Sleek (P, $26.00) is a cream product, warmer. NARS Soulshine (Together) (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery. Edward Bess Secret Affair (P, $43.00) theBalm Frat Boy (P, $21.00) is lighter, pinker. MAC Supercontinental (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Fleet Fast (LE, $21.00) is more shimmery. Dior Pink Glow Blush (LE) is warmer. Dior Coral Glow Blush (LE) is warmer, brighter. Burberry Blossom (P, $42.00) is a touch brighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The texture was soft, silky, and very smooth. It was just a smidgen powdery compared to the other two I reviewed recently, but only by comparison–I don’t think I would have noticed otherwise. It had buildable color payoff as described that went from semi-sheer to mostly opaque (two to three layers), so it should work well on a variety of skin tones. The silkiness of the powder made it easy to apply and blend on the skin as well. MAC claims eight-hour wear, and that’s exactly what I had: eight hours before there was slight fading along the edges. You can also purchase it in pan format through MAC and pop it into your empty palette of choice, which will save you $7 (which almost pays for the empty palette!).

The Glossover

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product

Fleeting Romance

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 9th, 2014

NARS Almeria Blush
NARS Almeria Blush

NARS Almeria Blush ($30.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “tan rose.” It’s a muted, medium-dark reddened plum with subtle, warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. There’s a hint ofvery fine shimmer, but on the skin, it isn’t noticeable. Gucci Beauty Cherry Nectar (P, $49.00) is brighter, warmer. Tom Ford Beauty Contour (Softcore) (LE, $55.00) is lighter. NARS Realm of the Senses #2 (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery. NARS 413 BLKR (LE, $39.00) is a cream producct. NARS Seduction (P, $29.00) is darker. NARS Oasis (P, $29.00) is lighter, more shimmery. NARS Lovejoy (P, $29.00) is warmer, more shimmery. NARS Dolce Vita (P, $29.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Hidden Treasure (LE, $21.00) is slightly warmer, m ore shimmery. Illamasqua Allure (P, $26.00) is lighter, more muted. See comparison swatches/ view dupes.

The texture was soft, silky, and very finely-milled, so it looked nice against the skin–not powdery or dry–and blended easily, which is a real must with a deeper, richer shade like this one. It had good color payoff, which could be a little buildable if you used a very light touch, but it didn’t feel like the lightest touch still yielded a ton of product. I was surprised by how many blushes NARS has that are similar to this–both past and present–so you may find that your stash already has something similar enough that this wouldn’t be a must-have. On my cheeks, the color wore well for eight and a half hours before fading.

This blush is part of NARS’ holiday color collection, which will be available online on October 15th and at retailers on November 1st.

The Glossover

LE
product

Almeria

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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