Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette
Clarins Odyssey Face Palette

More Lightweight Pressed Powder Than Goddess Glow

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette ($55.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a “shimmering, lightweight pressed powder [that] brings a goddess glow to face, neck, and decolette.” Clarins says it is “the must-have holiday accessory for all skin tones.” It’s a softened peach with strong orange undertones (no pink) and a mostly matte finish. There’s a sparkling gold overlay that brushes away in one use. NARS Sex Appeal is pinker.

What is most remarkable about this product is how utterly finely-milled the powder is. It feels like a mixture of silk, butter, and cream. It’s incredibly soft, indeed lightweight, and easy to blend. The powder sits well on skin and never looks powdery. I didn’t detect any luminosity or shimmer when applied, because the only “shimmer” I saw at all was the overspray. Beneath the overspray is really a rather matte powder, and it can help with keeping oiliness at bay if you are prone to it. When I wore it on my cheeks, it lasted for eight hours. I used it later on my t-zone, and it did help minimize some of the oiliness I see after eight hours.

Those with very pale complexions might use this as a blusher or a bronzer, while medium skin tones can easily use this as a finishing or setting powder. I’m not certain how this well this will work on darker complexions, because while it doesn’t seem to have a white base, it is quite pale, so there’s potential for it to turn ashy–Clarins did, very specifically, say it’s for all skin tones. With a very fluffy brush, lighter complexions could also use this as a finishing powder that will add some natural warmth and golden tones to the skin.  I think with a touch more luminosity, this product would have been truly exceptional.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I think with a touch more luminosity, this product would have been truly exceptional. For some, this will work well to do light bronzing without turning orange or to help set a finished makeup look.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Tarte Big Thrill Collection
Tarte Big Thrill Collection

Local ULTAs May Still Have This In Stock…

Tarte Big Thrill Collection ($48.00) is a large box set/palette that contains sixteen eyeshadows (0.08 oz. each), four blushes (0.16 oz. each), and three lipglosses (0.20 oz. each).  It’s a palette that’s really loaded with value, because you’re getting so many shades and high quantities of each.  The average individual powder eyeshadow is around 0.05 oz.–these are even larger–and the average blush is right around 0.16 oz. (and Tarte’s full-sized blushes are 0.20 oz.), too.  Many lipglosses are between 0.17 and 0.24 oz., so these fall right in the middle.

I’m so bummed, because I’ve had this for a little over a week and started testing it as soon as it arrived, but it just sold out online. It’s an ULTA exclusive, so I’m hoping that some may still be available in stores. I already did the bulk of the work (writing the actual review is the “fastest” component of the process–it’s the photographing, swatching, editing, and testing that take up most of the hours!), so I still wanted to share with you.

Shooting Star is a shimmering pale white–not too stark but not too creamy. It had good color payoff, but it was a tiny bit powdery. Too Faced Vanilla is more matte. MAC Laundry Daze is less shimmery. Givenchy Lune Mysterieuse Les Ombres de Lune is a little yellower.

Giant Peach is a soft peach with a barely-there frosted finish. It had great pigmentation and was soft, blendable, and easy to work with. bareMinerals Peace is more satiny. bareMinerals Stealth is a touch more orange.

Totally Taupe is a medium brown with champagne sparkle. There’s a touch of gray, but it was fairly warm and didn’t look like a taupe on me. It had decent color payoff but could be a little sheer to work with. Bobbi Brown Pink Chandelier is a bit warmer. Dolce & Gabbana Cinnamon is a touch lighter. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical has a stronger sheen.

Brilliant Bronze is a medium-dark bronze with warm, orange-red undertones and a frosted finish. It had great, true-to-pan color payoff, and it was soft, smooth, and blendable. This shade is very, very dupable, though! It’s a classic, basic shade, so if this was the only shade you liked, there are lots of individual options. Chanel Intuition is a touch darker. MAC Mulch is a little redder-toned. Urban Decay Deeper is less orange-toned. MAC Bronze is richer, warmer.

Cloud 9 is a pale beige with neutral undertones and a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, and it was just barely powdery–but very soft and easy to blend out. It is extremely similar to Urban Decay Kinky, MAC Vanilla (slightly warmer), bareMinerals Chance (pink-toned), and MAC Blanc Type.

Pop of Pink is a light pink with warm, yellow undertones and a frosted finish. It had just so-so color payoff, as it was a bit sheer in places and needed to be layered or used wet for greater intensity. MAC taupeless is a touch pinker and has more sparkle. Chanel Harmonie du Soir is very similar. MAC Invicible Light is a step lighter.

Amazed by Amethyst is an eggplant purple with a soft, frosted shimmer. It had great pigmentation and was soft, smooth, and not at all powdery. Urban Decay Rapture is purpler. theBalm rem is purpler, lighter. Illamasqua Queen of the Night is very similar.

Pumped About Purple is a blackened purple with red undertones and a very fine violet-red micro-shimmer over a satiny finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a little dry. MAC Spellcaster is similar in color but has a matte finish. Urban Decay Rockstar is purpler, lighter.

Silver Burst is a bright silver-tinged white with a frosted, metallic finish. This shade had out-of-this-world pigmentation, though it was a little powdery. Bobbi Brown Iced Blue is very comparable in color–less frosted.

Next Level Lilac is a mauve-tinged taupe. It’s a little gray, mauve, and brown at the same time. It has a mostly matte finish, and the color payoff was lovely. Tom Ford Enchanted is purpler. Urban Decay Bust is darker.

Intergalactic Metallic is a gray-shimmered, soft black with a soft, frosted finish. It had great color payoff, and it was soft and smooth to the touch. Urban Decay Gunmetal is warmer. Urban Decay Asphalt is quite similar. Bobbi Brown Gunmetal is more satiny.

Jump for Juniper is a deep, dark blue with a hint of green to give it a teal-like edge. It has a mostly matte finish. The color payoff was nice, and the shade wasn’t powdery. Inglot #340 is a touch greener.

Clay Crush is a pale beige with a gray tinge. Perhaps you may call it a light greige! It’s cool-toned and has a matte finish. The only dupe I could think of was MAC Double Feature 6, which is a bit darker and browner.

Rush of Gold is a orange-yellow gold with a metallic, frosted finish. It had good pigmentation but was a little loose. L’Oreal Gold Imperial is yellower. MAC Sweet & Sour is a touch cooler-toned.

Go for Green is a medium yellow-toned green with a pearly finish. It had good color payoff, but it was a little powdery. Dior Garden Pastels is similar in color but has a frosted finish. Wet ‘n’ Wild Earth Looks Small From Down Here is more olive. Inglot #412 is more metallic, so it is also a bit lighter.

Exquisite Emerald is a green-teal shimmered red-brown. This is more of a duochrome shade. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly. MAC I’ve Got a Crush On You has more of a teal duochrome. I suspect MAC Green Brown is also comparable.

Blushes

Park Ave. Princess is a warm bronze-shimmered tan brown. It has great color payoff, and it was soft and smooth. This shade lasted for eight hours without fading. Urban Decay Toasetd,/a> is similar in color but has no shimmer. MAC Light Over Dark is similar but has a stronger sheen.

Angelic is a pale gold-shimmered white gold highlighter. It had a lovely soft, smooth texture and good pigmentation. This shade wore for seven and a half hours without fading. NARS Albatross is most similar, but it has a cooler-toned base color. theBalm Solid Gold is more golden.

Thrilled is a strawberry pink with a frosted sheen. It had good color payoff, and it was soft and smooth. This shade lasted for eight hours without fading. MAC Easy Manner is lighter. Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel is a touch lighter. MAC Stunner is closest but softer.

Curious is a warm-toned pink-coral with a soft, frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation with a soft, finely-milled texture that was easy to blend. It lasted for eight hours without fading when I tested it for wear. MAC Legendary is lighter. theBalm Don’t You Want Me is a little more muted. Tarina Tarantino Parasol is pinker. Tarte Blissful is brighter.

Lipglosses

Strawberry Sensation is a medium pink with lighter pink shimmer and warmer undertones. It’s semi-opaque on lips, and it looks a lot less pink and more coral on. It lasted three hours on me. Revlon Papaya is more orange. MAC Strictly Plutonic is less pink.

Apple-a-Day is a sheer fuchsia rose with iridescent fuchsia shimmer. I had trouble getting this shade to apply evenly. It wore for two and a half hours. Burberry Hibiscus is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss is redder. Bobbi Brown Electric Violet is pinker.

Abra-cad-apricot is a brown coral with a creamy finish. It’s semi-sheer and milky, so it does settle a little bit into lip lines. It managed to stay on for three hours. MAC Everlasting Nude is pinker, brighter. MAC Temper Tantra is less orange.

OVERALL, I like the palette a lot, and I think the quality is pretty good across the eyeshadows and the blushes.  I liked the variety in the colors available for the eyeshadows in particular; there were some neutrals but several colorful hues as well, and they had a range of finishes from more matte to fairly frosted.  A few shades were powdery, but the majority were soft, blendable, and pigmented.   All of the blushes (though, one is more like a bronzer and the other a highlighter) are warm-toned, though.  I think perhaps a berry or plum blush would have been a good inclusion. The lipglosses aren’t fantastic but aren’t bad; they’re just… gloss. They tended to wear away faster than the average gloss, and though they’re touted as a hydrating formula, they were neither drying nor hydrating.  They had a fruity scent and were slightly tacky.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Tarte Big Thrill Collection Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a fantastic value for sure, so some of the downsides can be easily overlooked. It would make for a greater starter kit for anyone who preferred softer formulas.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil
Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil

Chanel Notorious Ombre Contrast / Sculpting Veil ($43.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “mauve-taupe.” It’s a mauve-tinged gray-brown–it is dominated by gray and has a very cool-toned feel. As a contour color, I couldn’t think of anything similar that I’ve come across. As an eyeshadow, there are a few shades that come (somewhat) close. MAC Cloudy Afternoon is lighter and frosted. bareMinerals Exhale is slightly less mauve. Urban Decay Bust is a touch darker and more shimmery. MAC Fashion Fix is less mauve. NARS Lhasa is more mauve and shimmery.

It’s limited edition, becoming increasingly sought after, and is now sold out online but is still available at select Chanel counters across the country. If you’re not so inclined to try and hunt it down but want to try something similar, consider using a powder eyeshadow (potential dupes listed above) instead.

I don’t think I’d run around for hours looking for it nor pay double or triple the price on eBay.  It’s an interesting product, and I think for cool-toned complexions, an excellent contour shade.  As an eyeshadow, it’s rather sheer and almost feels powdery in that application.   The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a bit powdery, which lends itself to a naturally sheer, barely-there application when used as a blush. If used as an eyeshadow, it seems to apply with more payoff initially, but be light-handed when you blend, as it can sheer out easily.  The mauve in this is really what makes this so appropriate for cooler skin tones.  The sheerness means it will work best on light to light-medium skin tones.  It’s not too buildable, so I would not recommend it for darker complexions. Given how Chanel described it, the pigmentation seems to be a little under what was expected but not by much.

On my skin tone, I needed to layer it several times to get it to show up, and with my warmer, yellow undertones, it looked very bruise-like rather than sophisticated and shadowy. With enough blending and fading, it was wearable, but it was just not naturally suitable with my undertones (MAC Sculpt works better for me and requires far less work for anyone curious!) so unfortunately, I can’t show it at its fullest potential.  I’ve worn it a few times now, and it wears well for eight hours with very, very minimal fading.  The photos below show Notorious used as a contour alone (left) and with a blush (right; MAC Unconventional).

The easiest contour powders to use are ones that are just right for your coloring; contouring is to enhance the natural structure of your face and for most, the goal is something subtle.  For lighter, cool-toned beauties, this might be the sweet spot you’ve been looking for.  For medium to dark complexions, this might not show up well.

The Glossover

LE
product

Notorious

B+
For lighter, cool-toned beauties, this might be the sweet spot you've been looking for.  For medium to dark complexions, this might not show up well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

MAC Passionately Tempted Blush
MAC Passionately Tempted Blush

Start Your Blending Engines!

MAC Passionately Tempted Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone magenta” with a satin finish. It’s a reddish plum with a barely-there sheen. MAC Restores Dazzle is redder. MAC Vintage Grape is more plum, more muted. MAC Magenta is redder, more vibrant.

The pigmentation is incredibly rich and intense, but the biggest drawback is how dry the texture is, because it makes blending much more difficult. The blush applied unevenly and looked splotchy when I used MAC’s 116 brush (very lightly!), and I had to use my foundation brush (with excess liquid foundation on it) to buff around the edges, because it wasn’t evening out easily. It wore for eight hours with minor fading along the edges.  Excellent color payoff is typically a desirable trait, but in a blush, it is imperative that it is also blendable, and that is where this blush falls short.

The Glossover

LE
product

Passionately Tempted

B-
Excellent color payoff is typically a desirable trait, but in a blush, it is imperative that it is also blendable, and that is where this blush falls short.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

MAC Unconventional Blush
MAC Unconventional Blush

Unconventional May Be More Conventional Than You Thought

MAC Unconventional Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “pale shimmering lavender” with a frost finish. It’s a pale pink with a hint of lavender and cool under-tones; there is an almost gray pull to the color that gives it a very cool, muted appearance. For a blush listed as a frost, it is softer, more shimmer-sheen than full of shimmer; more like a mix of frost and satin. MAC Lazy Sunday is warmer, pinker. MAC Full of Joy is a touch more lavender and less frosted–but the two are very similar. Make Up For Ever Smooth Talker is a touch pinker and less shimmery.

What was really noteworthy about this blush is that despite its light and cool coloring, it didn’t turn ashy against my medium complexion as some shades in this family are prone to doing. On my complexion, it ended up looking like a cool-toned pink highlighter–so a little shimmer, sheen, and a touch of color.  It had excellent color payoff and was very finely-milled, soft, and smooth to the touch and when applied.  It blended out beautifully.  The texture and application were both some of the best I’ve seen from MAC.  The blush wore for seven and a half hours well with some light but noticeable fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

LE
product

Unconventional

A
It had excellent color payoff and was very finely-milled, soft, and smooth to the touch and when applied. It blended out beautifully. The texture and application were both some of the best I've seen from MAC.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Guerlain Pink Punk Blush Duo
Guerlain Pink Punk Blush Duo

A Duo Featuring Coral and Plum

Guerlain Pink Punk Blush Duo ($50.00 for 0.21 oz.) contains a vibrant coral-pink with a mostly matte finish and subdued plum with a mostly matte finish.

If you have a cooler complexion with natural pink undertones, I suspect the brighter pink shade will look pinker, not quite as coral-like, on you. It looked pinker in the pan but on my skin, it was less so. Burberry Blossom is more orange. MAC Fleet Fast is similar but more subdued, plus it has gold shimmer. Tom Ford Flush is very comparable in color. Tarte Blissful is also very similar–perhaps a bit pinker (even on my skin tone). This shade was very, very pigmented. It has a dry but finely-milled texture that is best when used with a brush. I used the included brush to apply, and while I can’t say I prefer it to my full-sized brushes (I am partial to both the shapes and the longer handles!), it is soft and works well to apply and blend out the color. When I trialed for wear, it lasted eight hours without fading.

The plum shade seemed sheer when I swatched it, but with a blush brush (the one included), it was more pigmented than it seemed initially. It is not nearly as intense as the brighter coral shade, though. MAC The Perfect Cheek is more subdued, pinker, less warm-toned. Tarte Exposed is more neutral. Burberry Cameo is less pink, more plum. Chanel Rose Temptation is a touch darker and more plum. It had the same finely-milled, dry texture that wore well (eight hours).

Finally, when the two shades are mixed, it becomes a rosy plum with a matte finish. It ended up looking very similar to NARS Amour. NARS Deep Throat is pinker, lighter, and has a golden sheen.  I wore the two shades layered together, and they lasted a full eight hours without any signs of fading.  If you’re a fan of Guerlain’s matte eyeshadows, you’ll like the texture and feel of the blushes, as they’re very similar.  If you prefer a softer, denser, more buttery texture, you may find these too dry/firm for your liking.

The Glossover

palette

Pink Punk

A-
If you're a fan of Guerlain's matte eyeshadows, you'll like the texture and feel of the blushes, as they're very similar. If you prefer a softer, denser, more buttery texture, you may find these too dry/firm for your liking.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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