Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Troy Surratt Cantaloup Artistique Blush
Troy Surratt Cantaloup Artistique Blush

Troy Surratt Cantaloup Artistique Blush ($32.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “golden melon.” It’s a pop of yellowed orange with a soft, satiny sheen. Guerlain Orange Blush (LE) is more matte, darker. Givenchy In Vogue Orange (P, $44.00) is darker. MAC Honey Jasmine (LE, $21.00) is darker, more orange, less yellow. NARS Taj Mahal (P, $29.00) is darker, more shimmery. MAC Fresh Honey (LE, $25.00) is similar. MAC Blazing Haute (LE, $25.00) is a bit more muted. Inglot #45 Face Blush (P, $10.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The description for the formula is short: “Flushed cheeks with an aura of vitality. Naturally glowing finish. Shades range from demure to provocative.” I think what is most noteworthy about the formula is really the texture; it is incredibly soft and silky but not powdery–almost like a cream as it is so buttery and smooth. I was very surprised at how soft and lightweight the blush was, even after the tester had been swatched many, many times by otherse (they often get hardened over time because of the natural oils we have on our fingers). It applies nicely to the skin with even, smooth color that blends easily and really nails that “naturally glowing finish” aspect. There’s a little luminosity to the color that breathes life into the face but never emphasizes pores. The color had good pigmentation and was buildable to true-to-pan color, if desired. On me, Cantaloup lasted eight hours before starting to fade.

The packaging is specifically designed as minimalistic, as they’re meant to be slotted into the brand’s compacts. It is sturdy enough to be used as is, but it is a thinner plastic, so if you do a lot of traveling, a compact might be a worthwhile investment. A large compact fits three blushes; a small compact fits two. It would be nice if they had a more mega-sized version for at-home use, perhaps less so for traveling.

The Surratt Beauty range is carried exclusively at Barneys, so it wasn’t until this past April when I was out of town and happened to be near a Barneys, that I was able to check out the Surratt range (it was actually quite unplanned, and my wallet is still recovering!). I bought this, along with other things (more to review and share soon, hopefully); you can purchase online or call Roger Toledo at Barneys in Scottsdale, AZ at 602-337-6010.

The Glossover

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product

Cantaloup

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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, June 2nd, 2014

MAC Corol Blush Duo
MAC Corol Blush Duo

MAC Corol Blush Duo ($33.00 for TBA oz.) is consists of two blushes, with them being split unevenly–the lighter shade covers about two-thirds, while the plum shade is about a third of the compact. It is larger than MAC’s normal blush compact–more like their Beauty Powders. It is packaged in a rubberized black with gold trimmings. What you really need to know is that the texture is incredibly stiff and stubborn to work with: all swatches required use of a metal spatula to scrape off layers of powder. Once layers were dislodged, I was able to jab at them with a brush to loosen and apply, but the powder in the compact felt almost like plastic to the touch. After it was loosened and crushed into a fine powder, the actual texture from there was softer and fairly blendable–but getting to that point required extreme measures. It took a fair amount of product to get “decent” color payoff, even after scraping away at it. It did not improve with use, unfortunately, and I’m pretty sure I caught it laughing evilly at me. I don’t know if I’ve encountered quite as stiff of a powder as this that wasn’t really plastic–I am totally flabbergasted that this made it out of production.

I purchased an additional Corol through maccosmetics.com to see if it would be any better. I’m happy to report that it is better in texture–there was no need to scrape layers off.  The texture was soft, a little powdery, and the lighter shade was almost chalky, but the consistency of the powder was infinitely better than the one I received as a sample.  When I compared the two powders together, I noticed that the lighter side darkens after you remove a few layers.  At first, I thought the shades differed, but after I brushed away several layers from the second powder, the two matched.  A few readers also reported that their powders were manageable, which is great news.  The original rating was 0.5, 3, 4, 6.5, and 0.5 for the powder as a whole; I’m updating the rating to reflect the consumer version available based on the one I purchased but leaving the original review so that we have a complete story going forward.

Corol #1 is described as a “bright coral pink.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-coral with a hint of pink and has a matte finish. I couldn’t get pigmentation to show up with a brush or sponge applicator; I scraped off layers of product, which I was then able to smash into a finer powder, and that is what I could apply. I had two options: show you bare skin, or at least show you what the color could look like (with some extreme measures taken) so we could talk dupes instead, because the product is quite difficult to use. At best, this lasted six hours on me (from what I could distinguish). Hourglass Diffused Heat is pinker, but it is one of the closer shades that is also permanent. bareMinerals Swoon (LE, $19.00) is darker. MAC Lured to Love (LE, $25.00) is darker, more shimmery. NARS Sex Appeal (P, $29.00) is a touch lighter. MAC Immortal Flower (LE, $21.00) is nearly identical. Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss (LE) is darker, more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Corol #2 is described as a “mid-tone neutral plum.” It’s a muted, medium-dark plum with subtle warm undertones and a satiny sheen. The texture of this one was only marginally less difficult to work with, but I still took a metal spatula to it to scrape away product, which I then smashed and manipulated so it turned into a loose powder. The problem is just swiping it with a brush, sponge, etc. yields nothing–it just doesn’t give color out at all. This shade wore well for six and a half hours before fading away. Hourglass Mood Exposure (P, $35.00) is warmer, lighter. theBalm Cabana Boy (P, $21.00) is cooler-toned. NARS Oasis (P, $29.00) is darker, more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Corol

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Corol #1

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Corol #2

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Giorgio Armani #500 Maestro Fusion Blush
Giorgio Armani #500 Maestro Fusion Blush

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Blush ($52.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is supposed to be a “highly pigmented blush” that is liquid in form. The brand recommends using a single drop for application. They weren’t kidding, because this is insanely pigmented; a single drop may still be too much product. One bottle might last you a lifetime, and that really doesn’t feel like an exaggeration; I wish they had reduced the bottle size and dropped the price. There are three shades available, all are permanent, and I’ve only just tried the one featured here. Next time Giorgio Armani has a sale, I might pick up the other two shades–we’ll see! It’s a great product, but the price point will make you think twice, even if it contains more than enough product (it’s just so much that it seems like a waste, rather than a value).

Giorgio Armani #500 Maestro Fusion Blush ($52.00 for 0.60 fl. oz.) is warm, coral-rose with a satin-matte finish. NARS Realm of the Senses #2 (LE, $29.00) is more shimmery, powder. NARS Taos (P, $29.00) is powder. Illamasqua Allure (P, $26.00) is powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It’s intensely pigmented–a little goes a very, very long way. I don’t even think a single drop is useful; I think it’s far too much! It is better to take a little bit off of the applicator with a brush or palette knife, because then you can dab and stipple it on gradually. Once applied, it dries down to a powder-like finish that is still somewhat blendable, though it is best blended while it is setting. The texture is lightweight, never tacky, and very comfortable to wear. The finish is almost matte but still gives the skin signs of life–it’s not flat. It lasted for ten and a half hours before slightly fading, and it leaves a very slight stain behind on the skin that seems to fade away within two hours of removal.

The Glossover

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product

#500

Temptalia Recommends
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Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless (220) Shameless Bold Blush
Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless (220) Shameless Bold Blush

Marc Jacobs Beauty Shameless (220) Shameless Bold Blush ($30.00 for 0.15 oz.) is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a light-medium peachy coral with a satin finish and warm, reddish undertones. Make Up For Ever #225 HD Blush (P, $26.00) is a cream product. Hourglass Dim Infusion (P, $35.00) is a touch lighter, less shimmery. Tarte Darling (LE, $26.00) is darker, brighter. MAC Melba (P, $21.00) is darker. Chanel Espiegle (P, $43.00) is slightly warmer. Bobbi Brown Nude Peach (P, $26.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Shameless Bold Blush formula is described as a “vivid, silky blush … that delivers bold color and unprecedented vibrancy.” I’m not keen on the texture of the formula–the texture is stiff and yields little color. You really have to work your brush into the surface of the blush to get decent color out of it. If you can manage to get enough color on the skin, the resulting finish is delicate, lightly luminous, and gives skin a glow without emphasizing pores–but it’s a real struggle to get there. For a blush that describes itself as “silky” with “bold color and unprecedented vibrancy,” I can think of a dozen formulas that are far more vibrant and pigmented than this one. The color lasted for seven hours on me before starting to fade.

The Glossover

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product

Shameless (220)

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Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Sunday, May 25th, 2014

NYX Flamingo Blush
NYX Flamingo Blush

NYX Flamingo Powder Blush ($5.99 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “baby pink with blue tone.” It’s a brightened, cool-toned, pinky-lavender with a matte finish. MAC Peony Petal (P, $21.00) is slightly darker. NARS Gaiety (P, $29.00) is more lavender. MAC Pure Femininity (LE, $20.00) is warmer. NARS Mistinguette (LE, $29.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

For someone who’s been on the hunt for a pinky-lavender with cool undertones for under $10, NYX’s Flamingo is worth considering. The texture is soft, silky, though a bit powdery, but it is easy to blend and apply to the skin. It’s buildable to mostly opaque color coverage, but it tends to apply most readily with medium coverage that can be layered for greater intensity or sheered out for a softer look. The finish is matte but not a flat, dry-looking matte, so it doesn’t look caky or powdery applied. This shade lasted for seven hours on me, which is an hour shy of the average blush on me.

The Glossover

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product

Flamingo

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Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

MAC Peaches & Cream Blush
MAC Peaches & Cream Blush

MAC Peaches & Cream Blush ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone rose [with a Satin finish].” It’s a medium, subtly cool-toned pink with a soft, silvery sheen. MAC Sunset Beach (LE, $30.00) is very similar, just less shimmery. Clinique Plum Pop (04) (P, $21.00) is cooler-toned. Milani Bella Rosa (11) (P, $7.99) is darker, more matte. Edward Bess Bed of Roses (P, $43.00) is lighter. MAC Weekend Getaway (LE, $20.00) is a cream product. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The finish of this gets really lovely and luminous the more the powder is blended and buffed into the skin–you can see in the swatch photo how when it is blended out, the silvery sheen becomes more pronounced, but it’s never over-the-top; it doesn’t emphasize pores or skin imperfections. It was nicely pigmented with a soft, blendable texture that never felt powdery. The color wore well and lasted for eight hours on my skin before starting to fade around the edges.

The Glossover

LE
product

Peaches & Cream

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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