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

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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

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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

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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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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit
MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit

More Peach Awaits You!

MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit ($70.00) contains Born to Love (blush, coral), In a Heartbeat (Lipstick, pale clean coral), and Pure Flattery (Lipglass, soft coral cream), and Photogravure (Technakohl Liner, deep chocolate brown).

The blush is 0.09 oz. (not full-size, it is about the size of the larger MAC eyeshadow pots), lipglass is 0.17 oz. (full-sized), lipstick is 0.10 oz. (full-sized), and eyeliner is 0.012 oz. (full-sized). The kit contains $53.00 worth of product, excluding the brush. The full-sized 129 retails for $35, but MAC does not sell SE brushes on their own (SE brushes are machine-made, while full-sized or SH brushes are handmade). The whole set is housed in a peach satin container with a glossy black trim and bow at the enclosure. You could use it as a very small clutch later on, as the plastic insert is removable. If it’s packaging you would reuse, then this set has more value to you than the products alone.

Born to Love is a coral-pink with a brown-ish tinge that is what gives it a subdued quality. There’s a delicate champagne-gold shimmer-sheen. The way this blush applies yields a very ethereal finish–a little glow but not a lot of frost, even it does have a frost finish officially. It is on the sheer side, though; it doesn’t add a lot of color to my medium complexion, and I layered three passes of color for swatches. For light to light-medium complexions, this will be lovely. MAC Legendary is lighter, pinker. Guerlain Peach Boy is very similar. Tom Ford Lovelust has a warmer, slightly pinker sheen, but they are similar.

In a Heartbeat is a soft, warm peach with a hint of pink–but it’s mostly peach. It has opaque color coverage, and it has Cremesheen finish. MAC Reel Sexy is a bit more coral. YSL Peach Passion is a touch darker. Illamasqua Brink is similar–more matte. is lighter.

Pure Flattery is a warm peach with multi-colored micro-shimmer (looks mostly white/champagne). On lips, it’s a soft, medium peach with semi-opaque color coverage. Guerlain Sable Show is lighter, more beige. MAC Naked Space is creamier, lighter. MAC Poetic License has less shimmer.

Photogravure is a dark chocolate brown with warm undertones. It has good payoff in a single pass and can be layered. Chanel Brun-Teak is similar. MAC Brownborder is also similar.

Born to Love is a shade I could see a lot of people wanting, and it’s a bummer that it’s part of this pricey kit and not a standalone item!  I wasn’t able to get true-to-pan color, though, so darker complexions will find it acts more as a highlighter than a blusher.  When I tested the wear, it lasted six hours but was noticeably faded by the seventh hour.  In a Heartbeat wore for four hours, and it was just a bit drying.  Pure Flattery lasted three and a half hours.  Photogravure is similar to other warm brown eyeliners on the market, but it lasted for eight hours without fading.

As stated before, the included 129SE brush is similar to the full-sized version, which is already a somewhat scratchy brush.  It is a little scratchier than the full-sized version, but I found it was more prone to shedding after two or three washes.  It also seemed to get scratchier after washing, too, than it was when I initially opened up the kit.

The Glossover

product

MAC Divine Desire Quite Coral Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This is a kit where it makes the most sense if you love all of the products, but if you know you won't wear one or more items, it's not a good buy.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, October 27th, 2012

MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit
MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit

Pretty in Pink & Coral

MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit ($70.00) contains Divine Desire (blush, bright pink), Heart to Heart (lipstick, mid-tone yellow pink), Warm Embrace (lipglass, cool rosy pink with pearl), Purple Dash (Technakohl, intense aubergine), and 129SE (blush brush).

The blush is 0.09 oz. (not full-size, it is about the size of the larger MAC eyeshadow pots), lipglass is 0.17 oz. (full-sized), lipstick is 0.10 oz. (full-sized), and eyeliner is 0.012 oz. (full-sized). The kit contains $53.00 worth of product, excluding the brush. The full-sized 129 retails for $35. The price point of this kit is rather high, and I don’t think that they’re really delivering on value here; at most, you’re getting what you pay for, but it’s not a value kit. Even if we give the brush $20 value, you’re only saving $3 by purchasing everything together. The whole set is housed in a pink satin container with a glossy black trim and bow at the enclosure. You could use it as a very small clutch later on, as the plastic insert is removable. If it’s packaging you would reuse, then this set has more value to you than the products alone.

Divine Desire is a cool-toned, medium pink with a shimmer-sheen finish. It has a frost finish. The texture was soft and blendable, and it lasted for eight hours without fading on my cheeks. MAC Whole Lotta Love is warmer, less blue-based. MAC Supernova is darker, pinker. MAC Weekend Getaway is a bit pinker. Tom Ford Wicked is very similar–it has a bit more of a pink sheen. MAC Feeling Flush is a bit darker.

Heart to Heart is a coral-pink with a soft, frosted sheen. It has a Cremesheen finish. This shade lasted five hours on me, but it was a little drying (Cremesheens typically are drying for me). Chanel Enjouee is darker. Guerlain Gracy is darker and brighter. MAC Force of Love is pinker. MAC Watch Me Simmer is very close, perhaps a smidgen brighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Hot Paris Pink is similar. Chanel Phoenix has a little more red in it.

Warm Embrace is a soft, yellow-toned light pink with subtle shimmer. It yields semi-opaque color coverage, and it lasted for three and a half hours on my lips. NARS Candy Says is pinker. Chanel Caprice has gold shimmer. MAC Razzledazzler is creamier.

Purple Dash is an eggplant purple that doesn’t have a strong red undertone. There is subtle gold sparkle and a gentle sheen. It’s weak on color, and even when layered, it doesn’t build well or evenly. Make Up For Ever #4l is similar.

129SE is a dense, slightly domed blush brush. Overall, it is okay; it’s a little scratchier than the full-sized 129, but the 129 isn’t the best blush brush (not the softest, it’s a bit rough on skin). It felt softer before I washed it; once I washed it a few times, I found it shed noticeably and felt scratchy against my skin. I didn’t even realize it came with a brush until I read the press release to get the official color descriptions! In case, you, too, haven’t discovered it, the brush is held in the pouch attached to the interior of the lid.

Three of the four color products worked well. Purple Dash isn’t as opaque in a single pass as it could be, and it doesn’t build up color well–and it’s a problem that a lot of purple eyeliners suffer from. The lipstick and blush were excellent, while the lipgloss was good.

The Glossover

product

MAC Divine Desire Paramour Pink Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It's a good kit, but compared to a lot of holiday offerings, it may not have enough value packed into it to merit the $70 price tag. Purple Dash was disappointing, though expected since I've reviewed it before!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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