Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Apres Chic: Stereo Rose Returns!

MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($29.00 for 0.32 oz.) is described as a “coral with golden bronze shimmering nuances.” It’s a coral with subtle pink tones and a champagne-gold shimmer. I think the blush gallery for corals is bursting at the seems, as over the years, brands have caught on that a large lot of us are coral fiends. MAC Born to Love is pinker, less shimmery. Buxom Luvitate is softer, more of a sheen than a shimmer. Tom Ford Lovelust is pinker, less metallic. Chanel Tweed Brun is more orange.

I reviewed Stereo Rose back when it was re-released in 2010, and it was hard to get then, because it was such a huge re-release. In 2010, it sold out in minute of going online–I had to go to my local store (at the time) to purchase it in-person! This time around, while still coveted, there is plenty of stock available. I don’t own the original version, only the 2010 and this version.

Mineralize Skinfinishes can vary quite a bit, which is the nature of the product; the right (or wrong) mix of veining can make or break a shade. There are some who only purchase in-store so they can pick the exact veining mix they desire! The one I purchased this time around has a bit more pink in it, but it still blends out to about the same color when swirled and applied altogether. It has a high-frost, almost metallic finish to it–for something less reflective, I suggest using a stippling brush like MAC’s 187 and applying with a light hand–so reflective that it manages not to emphasize pores.

On me, it lasted for six hours before starting to fade and get a bit patchy, which is about what I tend to get with MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinishes. The texture is soft, not powdery, and finely-milled. Stereo Rose is also nicely pigmented, so there’s no danger of it not showing up on darker complexions, but it can easily be used and blended on even pale skin tones. I can see why this was a huge hit when it initially launched; I think we have a few options available nowadays, so it’s not the holy grail of corals for all any more.

The Glossover

LE
product

Stereo Rose

B+
The downside to this product is the wear time, which falls short of average on me, though about on par with other Mineralize Blushes/Skinfinishes. It has great pigmentation, though!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Taupe Shape Blush
MAC Taupe Shape Blush

MAC Strength: Taupe Shape Blush

MAC Taupe Shape Blush ($19.50 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “satiny taupe” with a satin finish. It’s a gray-tinged brown–a brownish-taupe when blended out–with a shimmer-sheen finish. MAC Pressed Amber is less gray. MAC Equilibrium is browner.

This kind of color is usually seen for contouring, but the shimmery finish is fairly reflective and nears frost-level in how shimmery/reflective it is keeps it from being a practical contouring shade. It could work as a natural shade on some complexions or when used very lightly. Taupe Shape was soft and finely-milled, though, and it was easy to blend and apply to the cheeks. I found the shimmery finish did emphasize pores, though, to a degree that was noticeable even at a “normal” viewing distance. This shade lasted seven hours on me, and it looked a bit faded after seven and a half hours.

The Glossover

product

Taupe Shape

A-
If it didn't have shimmer, it would be an amazing contouring shade, but with the shimmer, it's more of a natural blusher/highlighter--for the right complexion.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Poised Blush
MAC Poised Blush

MAC Strength: Poised Blush

MAC Poised Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “muted pinkish brown” with a satin finish. It’s a medium brown with soft, peach-orange undertones and a shimmer-sheen finish. Burberry Earthy is browner, more neutral and matte. NARS Madly is a touch browner. Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight is very similar, perhaps a bit darker.

Poised has good color payoff, and the texture is soft, finely-milled, and blendable.  It was easy to apply, and the color could be used lightly or heavily, such that it was true-to-pan with little effort.  The sheen it gives off is a few steps above luminous and natural, but it isn’t frosted, and it doesn’t emphasize pores.  I tested this yesterday, and it lasted for six hours well, but it was a bit faded after seven hours.  Like the lipsticks from this launch, this blush (and its partner in crime) sold out within an hour or so of soft launching online, so currently, the only way to obtain one is to track it down at a freestanding MAC store.

The Glossover

LE
product

Poised

A-
Aside from the below-average wear, Poised is a great blush. It has lovely color payoff, a superb, finely-milled texture, and it is easy to blend on the skin.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Dior Pink Happiness (729) DiorBlush
Dior Pink Happiness (729) DiorBlush

If Happiness was a Color, Would It Be Pink?

Dior Pink Happiness (729) DiorBlush ($43.00 for 0.26 oz.) is a blush duo that features a matte side to yield color, and then a pearly side that provides the highlight/sheen. They can be used individually together, alone, or swirled together.

The matte side is a medium-dark pink with yellow undertones. Chanel Rose Intiale is very similar. MAC Subtle Breeze is a bit cooler-toned. The pearly side is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a pale gold shimmer-sheen. Chanel Pink Cloud is a touch warmer, lighter. MAC Flower Fantasy has a paler sheen. MAC Easy Manner is richer in color.  Together, they create a medium (just on the light side of medium) pink with a hint of coral and a subtle sheen. The color reminded me of MAC Pet Me, though that is a bit more plum. Tarte Curious is brighter, more coral. theBalm Don’t You Want Me is similar.

If you’ve tried other blush duos by Dior, you’ll likely remember how soft, silky-smooth, and finely-milled the texture was.  This duo is part of the same formula/range, but it has a different pattern that goes across it than the permanent shades.  I’m not sure if they’re made/pressed differently, but this had a much firmer, stiffer texture that made achieving true-to-pan color payoff more difficult and blending less effortless.  With the level of pigmentation, I think this is best suited for light to medium complexions, while darker skin tones may want to try before they buy.   Pink Happiness wore for seven hours well but was noticeably faded along the edges after eight hours.

The Glossover

LE
product

Pink Happiness

C+
The texture could be a lot softer, silkier, and generally yield better color payoff along with being a more blendable product.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Chanel Frivole Joues Contraste / Blush
Chanel Frivole Joues Contraste / Blush

Chanel Frivole Joues Contraste / Blush ($43.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “luminous apricot.” It’s a brightened, medium-dark orange with just a hint of pink to give it an “apricot” coloring. The finish is mostly matte, but there is a touch of barely-there sheen that translates as “natural” when applied–you can see the tiny golden sheen in the blended out swatch. Buxom Euphoria is lighter and more orange. MAC Modern Mandarin is redder, less orange, more shimmery. NARS Gilda is redder. Guerlain Peach Boy is redder, less orange. MAC Optimistic Orange is a touch more orange (and it is a cream blush). Make Up For Ever is a touch darker and more red-toned.

It is as intense as you’d like it to be; it can be as rich and bright as it looks in the pan, or it can be blended and applied more sheerly for a softer color. Darker complexions should have no trouble getting enough color to show up on them, while paler complexions can rest easy knowing that it has an exquisite, finely-milled texture that makes blending a cinch. The powder is so, so soft but not powdery. It looks luminous and subtly glowy on the skin without emphasizing pores. Frivole wore for seven hours well, and after eight, there was very slight fading along the edges.

The Glossover

P
product

Frivole

A

Beautiful, soft texture that looks natural and luminous on the skin, combined with excellent color payoff makes for a blush that will work across skin tones. It is very warm-toned, so those who tend to find orange blush less flattering may want to pass.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette
Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette

Spin, Spin Sugar

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette ($22.00 for 0.418 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows (0.03 oz. each), one highlighter (.076 oz.), one bronzer (0.076 oz.), and one lipgloss (0.026 oz.). It’s a holiday palette designed to include a range of “holiday metallics.”

#1 is a shimmering champagne gold with a bright, metallic finish. It has a similar effect to a glittery shade without the mess. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. Tarte Sunshine State is yellower. MAC Retrospeck is warmer, yellower. Chanel Apparence is also warmer, darker. bareMinerals Chart Topper is darker.

#2 is a softened orange with gold shimmer. It had good pigmentation and applied smoothly. bareMinerals Golden Iris is darker. Tarte Golden Gate Bridge is a touch darker. Tarte Canary Diamond is browner. Guerlain Turandot is slightly more orange. Milani Gold Dust is very similar.

#3 is a sparkling pink-tinted white. It had so-so color payoff, but I didn’t have any fall out problems with it. MAC She’s Got Class is less pink-tinged but similar in finish. Tarte Iceland Air is similar in color but less sparkly. MAC Crystal Avalanche is similar, less metallic. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is a bit darker.

#4 is a gray-ish mauve with a bright, metallic sheen. It had decent pigmentation and applied smoothly. Tarte Next Level Lilac is more matte, so it is also darker in appearance. MAC Cloudy Afternoon is darker. Urban Decay Bust is several shades darker.

#5 is a shimmering, pale yellow. It had good color payoff and went on smoothly without being powdery. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is more sparkling, a little darker. Buxom Poodle is more metallic and in a cream form. Bobbi Brown Gold is very similar.

#6 is a medium-dark chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones and a bronze shimmer. It had great pigmentation and felt smooth and soft to the touch.Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a touch darker, less shimmery. MAC Carbonized has less shimmer, slightly darker. NARS Galapagos is a bit less bronze.

#7 is a light-medium gray with a silver sheen. It had so-so color payoff, and it was a touch dry to work with. Giorgio Armani #12 is darker, but it is similar when sheered out.

#8 is a soft black with fine silver shimmer. The pigmentation was weak in this shade, and it looked dry, slightly chalky, when applied. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is darker. Bobbi Brown Onyx is similar. MAC Black Tied is also similar.

The Highlighter is a white gold with a shimmer-sheen finish. Tarte Angelic is a smidgen yellower but not by much. Illamasqua Aurora is a touch lighter and in a cream form. NARS Albatross has a similar sheen, but it has a whiter base.

The Lipgloss included in the palette is pretty much clear and there’s almost no visible shimmer when applied. It made me do a double-take, because at least in the pan, you could see shimmer. Being next to two face powders is unfortunate, as it’s easy to kick up excess powder with larger blush/bronzer brushes (with eyeshadow brushes, it’s just as possible, but I think you have more control). So, you can use any clear gloss as a substitute, really!

The Bronzer is a medium-dark tan with strong orange-brown undertones and a sprinkling of gold sparkle. The texture was a little powdery but dry–I had a tough time getting this shade to deposit color, let alone blending it out. Tarte Park Ave. Princess is similar but has more golden shimmer/sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but has no shimmer/sparkle.

OVERALL, this palette is best purchased if you like the eyeshadows.  The lipgloss and bronzer are disappointing, while the highlighter is better it was a touch dry in texture.  Too Faced’s Candlelight on its own is much better.  The eyeshadows are fairly pigmented, though the last two shades were on the weaker side, and the really sparkly white was a little sheer, too.  None were flops, though, and the other five shades were rather nice to work with.  If you cut the palette in half, you’ll see two very distinct quads of colors–one set is warm, the other is cooler-toned.  It’s like, not love.

When I tested out the eyeshadows, they lasted eight hours with very minor fading when used without a primer; with a primer, they lasted a full eight hours.  I didn’t have any fall out, despite using the sparkly shades, which was a pleasant surprise.  The highlighter wore for seven hours, while the bronzer was faded after six hours.  The price point is nice, though, because it’s not to pricey and makes for an easy gift to give without breaking the bank, but it still feels like a nice gift to give (more to it than just a lipstick!).  I just wish the whole palette performed better.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B
This palette is best purchased if you like the eyeshadows. The lipgloss and bronzer are disappointing, while the highlighter is better it was a touch dry in texture.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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