Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Conjure Up Mineralize Blush

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Mineralize Blushes

I think fans of MAC mineralize blushes will enjoy the two newest, limited edition additions released with the holiday color collection. I still prefer pressed powder blushes myself, but these two are exceptionally lovely.

  • Conjure Up is a dirty plummy-berry with very subtle shimmer (hardly any at all!) and intense color. Initially, it reminded me of a deeper Stark Naked blush (which I love).
  • Superdupernatural is a rusty coral with a subtle sheen. It’s also rich in color and easy to layer for increased intensity.

I’d put both on my must-have list, though Conjure Up would edge out Superdupernatural if I could only choose one. I think that both are flattering for different skin tones, but of course, Superdupernatural may be harder for cooler skintones to pull off. I don’t think cool-toned faces should stay away from it, though, because it doesn’t run very warm.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Smashbox Reign Collection Regal Blush

Smashbox Reign Collection: Regal Fusion Blush

Smashbox Regal Fusion Blush ($32.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a combination blush with one half with a matte finish and the other half with a shimmer finish. It’s described by Smashbox as a “peachy nude.”

When I swatched it, it looked more like a peachy orange to me, but it does work well to flush cheeks on those with warm undertones. I think there is a fair bit of warmth to this shade, so it may not be as suitable on those with cooler skin tones. Like the eyeshadow palettes, it’s difficult to keep the matte and shimmer sides from mixing, and it’s not easy to keep a matte clean of shimmer. Once shimmer crosses over the border… it is such a pain to push it back!

The palette, though, is large enough to grab the half you’d like to use, which is a huge plus. Often you’ll get multiple strips of color in products, but they’ll be so small that it’s near impossible to use them alone. You also get a lot of product for your buck. Normally, Smashbox Blushes are $24 a pop for 0.13 oz. You get nearly double the amount of product for $8 more — so it actually has good value. The Reign packaging just didn’t do it for me, but I know others liked it, so you may want to see it in person to judge for yourself.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: I liked the concept of a matte/shimmer duo blush, but it’s not as practical as I’d like it to be. The shade is flattering on warm skin tones, but those with cooler skin tones may want to see it in person first.

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Illamasqua: Hussy Blush

Illamasqua Hussy Powder Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a matte, bright coral-pink. It’s smooth, intensely pigmented, and blends easily. It can be applied more subtly by using a stippling brush like MAC’s 187, or you can always tone it down if you’ve over-applied with a light dusting of powder.

It wears well and won’t fade on you throughout the day, and the color is not so cool to be unwearable for warmer skin tones, but it is also more pink than coral, making it easy to wear for cool skin tones, too. Sephora describes the shade as “petal pink,” which isn’t inaccurate, but I just keep seeing a bit of coral in it, too. The best part about this blush is the intensity of the pigmentation, because you definitely don’t have to worry about it not showing up on your skin tone! I’d compare the pigmentation to that of NARS’ blushes.

I’m a bit disappointed in the value of these blushes, though. They’re more expensive than NARS blushes, and nearly double the cost (per ounce) of MAC blushes. They’re priced just under (again, per ounce) Stila and Smashbox blushes. I do think they could have given us a little more product for the $23 price tag!

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 9/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: Have trouble finding blushes that show up on you? Illamasqua’s are richly pigmented making them good choices for those who like to put the spotlight on cheeks!

Availability: Sephora

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Saturday, August 29th, 2009


Dolce & Gabbana Provocative Blush

Get Sexy with Dolce & Gabbana’s Provocative Blush

Dolce & Gabbana Provocative Blush ($44.00 for .17 oz.) is a smooth, matte baby doll pink blusher.  It runs just a little cool, but overall, it’s suitable for both cool and warm-toned complexions.

It actually reminds me a lot of one of my all-time favorite blushes, MAC Don’t Be Shy Blush, which was limited edition, so I’m happy to have found an awesome alternative.  This one is actually smoother and silkier in its texture, and the color is quite pigmented (though it is not overly pigmented–I know, some may find there’s no such thing, but I like a good medium when it comes to blush pigmentation).

When it comes the packaging, while there’s heft and it looks gold and shiny, it does show fingerprints, which is a pet peeve of mine.  I really do like the color, and while I’m sure I’ll never get through an entire pan, the amount you get for the price tag is actually less than some of the other high-end brands like Chanel, Dior, Guerlain, etc.  I do consider this more of a splurge/indulgence, but I am pleased with the product’s quality overall (which cushions the blow to the wallet!).

D&G’s makeup line includes four other blush shades:  Nude, Peach, Rose, and Warm.  According to their website, Pat McGrath recommends, “For day, brush a soft rose or peach colour high on the cheekbones in a circular motion using a large powder brush. For evening, contour the face with a blush that is slightly darker than natural skin colour. Brush the contour along the cheekbones, temples, and chin for a subtly sculpted effect.”

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation:  If you have the dough and are in need for a light pink blush, you can’t go wrong with Dolce & Gabbana’s Provocative!

Availability: Saks

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Monday, August 24th, 2009


Tarte Natural Cheek Stain in Green Siren

Naturally Beautiful Cheeks: Green Siren by Tarte

Tarte Green Siren Natural Cheek Stain ($30.00) is a semi-sheer peachy-bronze with golden shimmer and a slight frosty sheen. Tarte really knows how to do an effortless cheek, because their cheek stains are always above the bar. Their latest shade, Green Siren, in the Natural Beauty Cheek Stain product line, for fall, is gorgeous. It is particularly flattering on those with neutral or warm tones, though it the shade isn’t overly warm, so it is still pretty and suitable for cooler skin tones.

When applied, cheeks look naturally glowy and look luminous without being too frosty or glittery. The product feels smooth and creamy and applies easily to cheeks without leaving behind any harsh lines. It can be easily blended out with a stippling brush like the 188. My only issue with the product was the packaging/applicator, because when you push the gel blush up, and then apply it directly from the tube, the blush gets pushed back into the tube. It was a bit annoying, and I think it’s something that could be fixed.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: This is a great shade to transition from summer to fall as we start to countdown the days of summer. It’s natural and beautiful, and it is hard to over-do.

Availability: Sephora.com, tartecosmetics.com

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Thursday, August 20th, 2009


Notable Blush

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection: Blushes

Two very contrasting shades of blush are available with the MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection:The Perfect Cheek and Notable.

Blush ($18.00)

  • The Perfect Cheek is a powder blush with a matte finish that goes on a dusty, pale pink. While it was visible on my skin tone, I found it hard to detect, and the inside of my forearm is probably around NC20 range, which leads me to worry about visibility on deeper skin tones. On some deeper skin tones, this may appear ashy as well.
  • Notable is a powder blush with a matte finish that looks like a muted brick-rose. It’s quite pigmented, and it has a very soft, smooth texture. It isn’t the least bit chalky, despite having a matte finish. This is the shade much more suitable to deeper skin tones.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: I’m not head-over-heels in love with either shade myself, but I have heard others rave about both–depending on their skin tone. I do feel that The Perfect Cheek may be too pale for some complexions that it won’t show up or it’ll show up ashy. I think Notable will work well for all skin tones.

Availability: MACCosmetics.com

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