Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a pale, subtly warm-toned peach with a satin finish. Buxom Swept Away is pinker. MAC Stay By Me is a touch darker. MAC Peaches is darker and more orange.

It is absolutely a color and product that will work better on very, very pale skin tones. On my medium complexion, it just barely shows up, and it may turn chalky/ashy on deeper skin tones because of the light base color. For lighter skin tones, though, especially those with natural redness occurring in their cheeks, this will work quite nicely. The importance here is that the pigmentation is still good, as it appears true-to-pan; it’s just that the color won’t show itself to its full potential on my complexion. (Pale readers who’ve tried this, speak out!)

From what I could tell, the color lasted around six to seven hours on me, but it was even harder to see after eight hours (it’s so much harder to see wear when it’s barely visible to begin with!).  The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen on the powdery side but it lies nicely on the skin–it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and if you buff it into the skin, it turns just slightly luminous from that satin finish.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Sex Appeal Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This is a blush that will work best on lighter complexions, and it can help to reduce the appearance of redness from the peachy coloring.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, October 28th, 2010

MAC Highland Honey Blush
MAC My Highland Honey Blush

MAC Tartan Tale: Highland Honey Blush

MAC Highland Honey Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a rich shade of peach-orange with a very subtle satin sheen.  It can be built up for a more intense, more orange-y look or used lightly for a lit-from-within kind of glow.  I love that it’s pigmented without being straight-up orange, but it’s also buildable; you can easily apply it lightly or pat more on for a more intense look.

It’s warmer and more orange than Melba Blush, which is a darker peach with less of an orange pull. It’s not as orange as NARS Gina nor as coral as NARS Gilda. It’s a shade lighter than Illamasqua’s Lover, but the two are similar. It’s also similar to Utterly Game, which leans a little coral but not by much.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice choice to warm up cheeks, especially on warmer skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Her Blooming Cheek Blush
MAC Her Blooming Cheek Blush

MAC Tartan Tale: Her Blooming Cheek Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Her Blooming Cheek Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a ridiculously pigmented bright fuchsia pink blush with a satin finish. It has a subtle sheen but no shimmer. It is very, very pigmented. I recommend tapping it on and diffusing color with foundation or pressed powder or using a stippling brush like the 187 or 188 so that you can gradually build up color. It has cooler, blue undertones, but it still looks really lovely on warmer skin.

It’s more fuchsia than MAC Full Fuchsia Blush, but it seems very similar to Azalea (which I don’t think I have to swatch against). Both of those blushes are PRO only, but they are available permanently.

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  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love bright cheeks or bold pinks, yes and yes. Oh, assuming you don’t have Azalea!

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: A Triumphant Blush Face Kit
MAC Tartan Tale: A Triumphant Blush Face Kit

MAC Tartan Tale: A Triumphant Blush Face Kit

The A Triumphant Blush Face Kit ($38.00) includes two blushes and a beauty powder: Melba (soft coral peach), Peachtwist (golden peach), and Smooth Harmony (neutral mid-tan; beauty powder). Both Melba and Peachtwist are permanent shades. Smooth Harmony was last released in 2008 with Heatherette.

  • Melba is a matte medium-dark, browned peach. This is a permanent shade with a matte finish. It’s a great shade for warmer and cooler skin tones, because it’s a peach without a lot of yellow. Very smooth and pigmented, not at all chalky.
  • Peachtwist is a bronzy peach with champagne sheen. It’s permanent shade with a sheertone finish, so it has a frostier finish. It’s also less buildable, though it’s not really that sheer when worn.
  • Smooth Harmony is an orange-tan with a soft sheen. It always looks orange when I wear it on my cheeks. I recommend using a stippling brush like the 187 to get a softer, more natural glow for light to medium skin tones.

Each blush is 0.13 oz. (full-size is 0.21 oz.), while the beauty powder is 0.20 oz. (full size is 0.35 oz.). Ultimately, you’re getting approximately $23 worth of blush and $14 worth of beauty powder–total value around $37 with a price tag of $38. It’s not a value palette based on quantity of products, but you do get three products for $38 instead of buying two blushes ($18.50 each) and a beauty powder ($25.00) separately.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I really like the face kits, because sometimes MAC blushes can be too expensive to purchase on their own, so this palette lets you try more for less–and you won’t get through a pan any time soon.  I think this palette is more suitable to warmer skin tones, though.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Monday, October 25th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Hark the Heraldry Face Kit
MAC Tartan Tale: Hark the Heraldry Face Kit

MAC Tartan Tale: Hark the Heraldry Face Kit

The Hark the Heraldry Face Kit ($38.00) includes two blushes and a beauty powder: Dame (sophisticated blue-pink), Plum Foolery (faint dusty plum), and Oh So Fair (pale pink; beauty powder). Both Dame and Plum Foolery are permanent shades. Oh So Fair was recently released with Venomous Villains.

  • Dame is a subtly blue-toned medium pink that can go on sheer or be built up. On darker skin tones, this may not show up very well, though. It has a satin finish, so it has a softer sheen, less frostiness in its finish. This is a nice shade for everyday, and it’s particularly flattering on cooler, paler skin tones.
  • Plum Foolery is a semi-sheer, rosy plum with a frosted sheen. This shade does work well on a variety of skin tones, and despite it being sheer, it does pack a punch on cheeks if you’re not careful.
  • Oh So Fair is a soft, petal pink with subtle shimmer-sheen. It’s sheer and looks very, very subtle on my medium skin tone. I wouldn’t recommend this shade for darker skin tones, because I think it would have a tendency to turn ashy.

Each blush is 0.13 oz. (full-size is 0.21 oz.), while the beauty powder is 0.20 oz. (full size is 0.35 oz.). Ultimately, you’re getting approximately $23 worth of blush and $14 worth of beauty powder–total value around $37 with a price tag of $38. It’s not a value palette based on quantity of products, but you do get three products for $38 instead of buying two blushes ($18.50 each) and a beauty powder ($25.00) separately.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I really like the face kits, because sometimes MAC blushes can be too expensive to purchase on their own, so this palette lets you try more for less–and you won’t get through a pan any time soon.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Counters/Stores on October 28th

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Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules Palette
Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules Palette

Beauty Rules?!

Bobbi Brown Beauty Rules Face Palette ($45.00) has me at odds! I do and don’t like this palette. I do LOVE the new and exclusive Pot Rouge shades to this palette. I also adore the packaging–I just think it’s cute and fits so well with the theme. I absolutely do not like the eyeshadows included in the palette, and I really disliked both of the sparkle eyeshadows.

My dislike of those two eyeshadows actually overwhelmed me for awhile, because I kept giving this palette a look of disdain. Once I sat down to write the review, though, I realized that only two of ten products weren’t so hot. I do think the Pot Rouges are really the highlight out of this palette, because they are wearable, flattering shades. Both shades are exclusive to the palette, as are the two lip glosses and Eclipse eyeshadow. (Ivory is permanent; Lightning, Orchid, and Crystal Gold have been in previous palettes.)

  • Ivory is a matte white ivory. If you have a few Bobbi Brown palettes, you probably have this shade somewhere! It’s similar to MAC’s Blanc Type.
  • Lightning is a sheer, softened gray taupe with silver shimmer and has a sparkle finish. It was in Bobbi Brown’s Aquamarine Palette.
    Orchid is sheer, sparkly lilac with a sparkle finish. This was in Bobbi Brown’s Orchid Palette, and I disliked it as much then as I do now. It’s just a mess to apply–fall out everywhere.
  • Eclipse is a matte, stormy black. It’s a nice black, but it doesn’t stand out strongly against other matte blacks available.
  • Baby Pink is a rosy pink with cool, blue undertones. It can be built up for a more intense look or blended out for a rosy flush. I was reminded a bit of Benefit’s Posietint, but Posietint is not as buildable.
  • Homecoming Pink is a medium pink with neutral undertones. It’s as wearable and buildable as Baby Pink, just darker and neutral. Fun find: Pale Pink from the Orchid Palette is a mix of Baby Pink and Homecoming Pink!
  • Air Kiss is a sheer, pale milky pink. It lightened my natural lip color a bit–essentially washed out my lip color.
  • Rum is a sheer rosy brown. It has a little milkiness to it, but it’s not as milky or as pale as Air Kiss.
  • Crystal Gold is a sheer glossy base with metallic bronze and copper shimmer. This is a Glitter Lip Balm, but I’d like this more layered over a lipstick. It’s a little streaky on its own.
  • Jet is a creamy, jet black eyeliner.  It wore well, and it wasn’t too soft or hard, though swatching it lightly on the back of your hand initially is recommended, just to wear down the sharpened point.

The palette contains 0.02 oz. Creamy Eye Pencil, 0.04 oz. x4 Eyeshadows, 0.07 oz. x2 Pot Rouges, 0.04 oz. x2 of Lip Gloss, and 0.04 oz. Glitter Lip Balm. After going through the math, the palette is a good deal. It’s not a fantastic deal, but it’s not a rip off. You get about $10 worth of Eyeliner, $20 worth of Eyeshadows, $15 worth of Sparkle Eyeshadows, $10 worth of Pot Rouge, $10 worth of Lip Gloss, and $5 worth of Glitter Lip Balm–so somewhere around $65 to 70 in value.

I don’t feel like this is a great palette for teenagers. Even though sparkle is fun and they always say it’s for the young (pfft!), both shades are prone to fall out, and I think the last thing a makeup newcomer should have to deal with is that. The Pot Rouges are forgiving, because they’re so blendable, and the lip colors are natural and wear with most looks–but it’s the eyeshadows that seem out of place for a palette geared towards teenagers.

P.S. — Though I am not a fan of lip palettes, particularly when lip colors are mixed with powder products, I did not let that personal bias influence the rating or grading of this palette, but I do still feel that way about them–haven’t changed my mind!

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: My gut says to pass on this, but if you’re a Pot Rouge fan like me, those pinks are hard to pass up.

AVAILABILITY: Bobbi Brown

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