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Thursday, September 13th, 2012

NARS Luster Blush
NARS Luster Blush

Add New Luster to Your Blush Routine

NARS Luster Blush ($28.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “sheer golden apricot.” It’s a tangerine orange with golden orange sheen. MAC Solar Ray is lighter. MAC Center of the Universe is similar but has less of a golden sheen. MAC Paradise has more red in it.

The texture feels soft like silk, and it’s one of the denser, creamier blushes I’ve come by from NARS (and this seems consistent with their eyeshadows–the more shimmery ones tend to have the same buttery texture).  The color payoff can be sheer if you like, but it can be built up to more true-to-pan color, which makes it something that both paler and deeper complexions can use.  The sheen is noticeable but is just that, a sheen, rather than heavily shimmered.  It did not emphasize my pores or natural imperfections on my skin.  Luster lasted just over seven hours on my skin before I saw noticeable fading.

The Glossover

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Luster

A
If you love glowy, tangerine-tinted cheeks, you'll like Luster. It's exactly as you'd expect: it adds a luster, glow, and warmth to cheeks. It doesn't have strong red undertones, so it may also work well on anyone who likes peach blushes.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

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Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Estee lauder Sensuous Rose Pure Color Blush
Estee lauder Sensuous Rose Pure Color Blush

In Love with Sensuous Rose

Estee lauder Sensuous Rose Pure Color Blush ($28.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a pale pink-beige with a soft, satin finish. It has subtle warm undertones, but it’s just barely warm. I almost wanted to describe it as coral, but I think the muted quality of the color makes it something else–that’s where the beige tones come in. Tarina Tarantino Feather is pinker. MAC Ladyblush is a bit darker (and a cream product).

Pure Color Blush is supposed to be “fresh, radiant color [that] lasts all day, won’t streak or fade” with an “ultra-silky powder [that] sweeps on sheer for a natural glow” or “builds for contoured and sculpted definition.” It’s a blush that you don’t have to worry about being too heavy-handed with, but if you need more color, it’s buildable. It’s also supposed to wear all day without streaking or fading.

I’ve only tried this shade from this formula, but it was a stunner and more than impressive! It’s extremely soft and silky-smooth–absolutely finely-milled–and looks that way on the skin. The way it melts onto the skin gives such a great natural finish and sheen, so it never emphasizes pores or skin imperfections. Estee Lauder really nailed the pigmentation, too; it applies easily and evenly without going overboard, but it still shows up on my skin tone (I’m about medium in color) even with just one sweep of color. The color is buildable to more dramatic (true-to-pan) color without having to pile it on. It wore for a full ten hours, and it very slight, noticeable fading after twelve hours–incredible wear.

The Glossover

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Sensuous Rose

A+
An impressive shade: long-wearing, buildable color, silky texture, and looks good on the skin. This would be a nice everyday shade that adds a little color and warmth but not too much shimmer.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Coral Shimmer Blush
Bobbi Brown Coral Shimmer Blush

Bobbi Brown Coral Shimmer Blush ($25.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “soft coral.” It’s a medium-dark, orange-coral with gold shimmer. Burberry Blossom is similar but more matte, slightly more orange. MAC Supercontinental is pinker and a smidgen lighter. Tom Ford Lovelust is lighter and more shimmery. Chanel Tweed Brun Rose is lighter and less red.

It’s not too red, but if you have natural pink tones in your coloring, it might not be the best coral (you might look for something with a stronger peach hue). The texture is soft but not powdery, dry but not stiff.  It blends easily and evenly, and it packs plenty of color payoff. You don’t have to worry about having to use the lightest hand with the most feathery blush to apply it, but you can easily go from sheer to dramatic without having to pile on the product. When I tested the shade, Coral lasted eight hours without fading.

The Glossover

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Coral

A
A shimmery coral that's more sheen than shimmer, not too frosty, but not perfectly matte either. It wears well, blends easily, and has great pigmentation!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, September 10th, 2012

MAC Stay By Me Pro Longwear Blush
MAC Stay By Me Pro Longwear Blush

Still Powdery, but Better Color

This review focuses on three new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Blushes ($23.50 for 0.21 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Stay By Me (light peach coral), Stay Pretty (light bright blue pink), and Whole Lotta Love (light blue pink).

Please see part one for a more in-depth review of the formula. I echo those sentiments overall. Stay Pretty and Whole Lotta Love had better color payoff compared to the other five I’ve reviewed. Stay By Me lasted for three hours well, then had disappeared by the sixth hour. Stay Pretty started to look a smidgen faded around the edges after four hours and had disappeared after seven hours. Whole Lotta Love didn’t look faded until five hours, and there was still a glimpse of color after eight hours. It’s less wear than I typically get out of a MAC blush (normally, I’d see six to eight hours with some fading but the majority of the color is still there).

Stay By Me is a pale peach with a barely-there shimmer. It looks mostly matte on the skin. This shade was noticeably powdery and dusty, so it did not look natural against the skin (kind of cake-y). I needed to apply four layers of product to get the color to show up in the swatch (my forearm is around NC20 in color; I did the same on cheeks, but my face is darker (around NC30), so it didn’t really show up. NARS Sex Appeal is slightly lighter.

Stay Pretty is a light-medium blue-based pink with a subtle golden shimmer. This shade wasn’t quite as powdery as the other six shades I tried. I applied three layers of product to get it to show up on my arm and four layers of product on my face. MAC Lovecloud has a stronger sheen. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink is bluer-based. NYX English Rose is similar, perhaps a bit lighter.

Whole Lotta Love is a brightened pop of medium-dark pink with a subtle sheen. I only needed to use two layers to get the color to show up on the arm, and I layered it three times on my face. The texture was a little drier compared to the other six shades, which actually was good, because it wasn’t as powdery. MAC Full Fuchsia is slightly darker. MAC Her Blooming Cheek is more fuchsia, more blue-based. Tom Ford Wicked has a smidgen of plum in it. MAC Supernova is darker, redder.

The Glossover

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MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

D-
This trio performed better (on average) than the other four. Specifically, Stay Pretty and Whole Lotta Love wore slightly better and required less layering of product for visible color.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, September 10th, 2012

MAC Baby Don't Go Pro Longwear Blush
MAC Baby Don’t Go Pro Longwear Blush

Where’s Your Blush?

This review focuses on four new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Blushes ($23.50 for 0.21 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Baby Don’t Go (light cool beige), Blush All Day (light dirty rose beige), Eternal Sun (warm brown), and Rosy Outlook (light yellow pink).

This is a new product that has been added to the permanent range. MAC describes it as, “A lightweight blush with extreme colour perfection and non-fading, eight-hour wear. Ultra fine, silky powder glides on and blends easily to provide a moist, flawless, natural finish or with layering, a brighter, more dramatic look.”

Baby Don’t Go is a light beige brown with a barely-there sheen. It’s sheer when applied, and I can only see this showing up on very fair-skinned individuals–even that you may require some layering! In the full face photo of me, I applied about four layers of blush–and I’m not even sure you can really see it on. The texture is so soft, but it is powdery. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane is slightly pinker. Burberry Russet is a bit darker, browner.

Blush All Day is a soft pink with subtle yellow undertones and a golden shimmer. On the skin, the shimmer isn’t very noticeable. This shade is on the sheerer side and required layering, but it wasn’t as powdery as Baby Don’t Go. I did have to apply four layers of product to get noticeable color on my skin tone, so again, this is a color better suited for someone with very fair skin. MAC Brit Wit is grayer. Chanel Pink Cloud is lighter. MAC Pet Me has a stronger yellow undertone.

Eternal Sun is a subdued orange with a satin-like finish. It looked more matte on the skin. This one seemed to swatch better than the others, but when applied to the cheeks, it still took four layers of product to achieve noticeable color, so it’s a shade that would suit very light complexions. MAC Worldly Wealth is browner, less orange. MAC Sun Power is very similar.

Rosy Outlook is a pale pink with subtle yellow undertones and a gentle sheen. Even though I see there’s shimmer in the product, it doesn’t translate onto skin. I think that’s because these have a powdery texture, that it tends to look more matte on the skin. Illamasqua Naked Rose is darker. MAC Crew is very similar. Chanel Brompton Road is more blue-based. Chanel Horizon de Chanel is darker. MAC Stunner is comparable.

The texture of these is very different from their regular blush formula. It’s incredibly soft and feels silky, but all four shades were also incredibly powdery. There was just a lot of excess powder that billowed in the wind and sat upon the skin. If you have oilier skin, it might not be as noticeable on, but on my normal cheeks (at least, when swatching and testing these), they looked almost caked on and visibly powdery. Part of that is undoubtedly due to how much product I have to apply to get any color to show up on my medium skin color. If you have really fair skin, you should be able to get away with (somewhat) less product.

It feels lightweight, even though it doesn’t look that way on. The finsh is more matte than natural on; the powderiness contributes to giving it a mostly matte appearance. Though MAC says you can layer these, I did not find them very buildable, because they disappeared so readily. When you applied the product and went to layer on more product, it just swept away what you originally put on, so despite going through the steps, the result looks about the same as when initially applied.  I have to emphasize:  every swatch (whether on the arm to on the face) is layered three or four times for visible color payoff–this is three or four times the amount of product I use for 95% of swatches.

I’ve been testing the wear on these for a few days now, and the wear was disappointing. I had similar problems with the blushes that I did with the eyeshadows. Baby Don’t Go wore visibly for three hours and was gone by six; Blush All Day managed not to fade until the fourth hour, but by six, it, too, had disappeared. Eternal Sun started to fade after five hours, and it had gone into the ether after seven hours (best-wearing so far!). Rosy Outlook started to fade after four hours and was totally missing after six hours.

Not every color is going to be as wearable on every skin tone, which isn’t unexpected. What’s odd is that some of these colors I’ve come across before (by other brands) and have been able to get those to show up on my skin tone (which is medium, around NC30), but you can’t really see any of these on me except Eternal Sun.  Even in cases of lighter shades (including other blushes by MAC), I can get the same color payoff in one sweep of color as I did with four sweeps of color of these. For all of the swatches, I had to pile on the product; it’s not just a normal swatch but a swatch of desperation. The first round of swatches I took, you couldn’t even see, so I had to re-do them and really pack each one on.

I can only see these working (as far as payoff goes) on very pale skin tones (NC/NW15 or lighter)–again, Eternal Sun was more buildable, so light to light-medium complexions could get it to show up with enough packing on of the color.  And that’s assuming that you’re able to get a better wear-time out of them than I did. Unfortunately, they wore consistently poor and faded faster than many other blushes I’ve reviewed. I usually find blushes last between six and eight hours to varying degrees, but so few of them actually disappear entirely.

The Glossover

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MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

F
These wore marginally longer (on average) than the eyeshadows from the collection, but they suffered from a similar set of problems: poor payoff that required multiple layers of product just to yield visible color, very powdery/dusty textures (despite the softness), and an inability to build/layer the color to true-to-pan color. MAC's permanent blush range is much, much better.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush
Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush

Delightfully Subtle Rosy Cheeks

Illamasqua Naked Rose Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as as “soft neutral pink.” It’s a light-medium rosy pink with a mostly neutral undertone (against my warmer complexion, it seems to pull just barely cool-toned). It has a mostly matte finish and true-to-pan color. MAC Crew is lighter, yellower. Chanel Blush Horizon de Chanel is lighter, more yellow-toned, a bit brighter. MAC Stunner is more yellow-toned and has a strong sheen. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink is a bit cooler-toned. MAC Dame has a smidgen of plum in it.

The color goes on as it looks in the pan and in any variation lighter than that; it is, obviously, not a dark pink or the like, so the effect on deeper complexions may be subtle. There’s enough actual product and pigmentation for it to show up on a wide variety of skin colors, though. What’s nice about this shade is it works throughout the year and with many different looks. It can be used to complement a soft, barely-there face, but it can work to add color without overwhelming a more dramatic eye/lip (or combination thereof).

It has a soft, blendable texture that’s finely-milled.  Not dry nor powdery, it applies easily to the skin, and the color is buildable.  When I trialed the blush on my cheeks, it lasted a solid eight hours with very minor fading along the edges of the color. Had I not been looking, I don’t think anyone else would have noticed, it was that subtle.

The Glossover

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Naked Rose

A
This is the type of blush that I keep close by, because when in doubt, it almost always works with whatever I'm wearing. I love neutral pinks and soft beiges and browns for their versatility.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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