Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

MAC In the Groove Collection
MAC Mineralize Blush Duos

MAC In the Groove Collection: Mineralize Blush Duos

In the Groove features five different blush duos, and there is a good range of colors in the collection. Happy Together and Hang Loose are the most wearable of the five, while A Little Bit of Sunshine and Band of Roses are the most pigmented and should be used with a light hand or stippling brush. New Vibe is a bit more of a glittery mix than the others, which have more luminous/soft satin sheens.

  • A Little Bit of Sunshine is an orange-y bronze duo — it features a shimmery orange-copper with a frost finish paired with a orange-toned medium brown with a satin finish. Together, they blend to create a muted orange-brown with soft sheen. It would better suit warmer skin tones, just because it does run rather orange. On my skin, it turns a little orange and definitely needs to be buffed out and used lightly.
  • Happy Together contains gilded champagne and peach-brown, and together they create a soft champagne-peach. Very luminous. I think this works well on warm skin tones for a little glow–more as a highlighter than intensely pigmented blush, though. It looks like a subtle bronzer on my skin. I think that you can go lighter/darker with ease, since you just have to focus on one half of the duo.
  • New Vibe is a duo that features a satin-y raspberry pink and shimmery bright copper with microglitter. When swirled together, they create a muted raspberry shade. I don’t really like the way they come together–it’s kind of muddy, even when worn. It’s not as pigmented as the other shades, too, when mixed.
  • Hang Loose is a mix of slightly cool-toned baby pink with a satin sheen and a frosted pale lilac with a white sheen. Together, they blend into a subtle shimmery pink–imparts some color on cheeks with enough build-up and concentration on the pinker side, but it’s very shimmery. It’s a very cool-toned, baby doll pink on my cheeks, but it does deliver a surprising amount of color. Again, you have to use the pink side more than the shimmery lilac side to get decent color pay off on cheeks.
  • Band of Roses features a played down fuchsia pink and darkened raspberry pink, both with more satin-y finishes. They create a pinker raspberry shade when blended together. It’s very pretty when worn, but it’s also incredibly easy to over-do it. Use a light hand with this one!

I did, however, finally figure out why mineralize blushes and skinfinishes don’t work so well with my skin–dimethicone is the third or fourth ingredient–and my arch nemsis! At least I know feel like I have a handle on it, even if it makes me sad that I won’t be wearing these much.

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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
MAC By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC In the Groove Collection: Mineralize Skinfinishes

In the Groove is most likely so anticipated because of the repromotion of Stereo Rose mineralize skinfinish.  Which will sell out… in hours.  If you’re grabbing it online, it most likely will pop online on the 6th, but there is always a chance it will make an appearance on Monday afternoon.  I’ll be sure to tweet about its availability as soon as I see it online.  I don’t have Stereo Rose yet–have to buy that when it launches–and I don’t have the original for comparisons, so my deepest apologies for that.

Edited @ 4:24PM (pst): I hope to update this post tomorrow–the 8th–with photos/swatches of Stereo Rose, assuming my store did in fact hold the Stereo Rose like they said.  Nevertheless, I updated the post with photos of me wearing the other three mineralize skinfinishes.

  • By Candlelight is is a soft, sheer gilded pink-beige. It’s really great as a highlighter on cheeks or even subtly all-over the face.
  • Petticoat is a darkened raspberry pink-bronze. This is one of the mineralize skinfinishes that can change color depending on how much glitter veining you have (and also, the less glitter veining, the less glitter). I don’t find Petticoat obnoxiously glittery, though. It’s pigmented enough to be worn as a blush for light and medium-dark skintones–the deepest skin tones may find it very subtle.
  • Comfort is a slightly bronzed brown with golden sheen. This is nice on warmer skin tones as a subtle flush on cheeks or as a bronzer. It’s one of the less shimmery mineralize skinfinishes, and it’s also one of the more pigmented ones, too.

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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

NARS Angelika Blush
NARS Angelika Blush

Get Angelic Angelika Cheeks

NARS Angelika Blush ($26.00 for 0.16 oz.) is a beautiful blue-toned baby doll pink with silver specks of glitter.  It’s intensely pigmented, and it’s not overly cool, so it’ll be flattering on both warm and cool skin tones.  It has the same smooth, silky texture of the majority of NARS blushes, but it does have a bit of a glittery overlay, which makes it not quite my favorite texture overall.  The flecks don’t seem to be noticeable on the skin, because it seems like the glitter disappears between the brush to the cheek!  There are a few particles, though, but it’s not heavy at all.  The color blends out easily even if you overdo it, though this is a shade that you can’t go too overboard with.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’ve been on the hunt for a pigmented, cool-toned baby pink with a bit of glitz and glam, Angelika might be the one for you.  It’s most flattering on cooler skin tones, but warmer skin tones can wear it well when complemented with certain shades.

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora

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Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Korres #15 Natural Blush

Luminous Beauty in 3 Seconds

Korres #15 Natural Blush ($24.00 for 0.21 oz.) is OH-MY-GOODNESS gorgeousness on skin.  Ahh!  I fell in love.

If you have warm skin, you have to try it on–not just a mere swatch, but try it on cheeks.  Though, I do think it would be lovely on cooler skin tones, too — it is rather natural and neutral; not orange at all, but having warm skin myself, I immediately fell in love with once I tried it on my cheeks.  It is gives that perfect glow of natural, inner warmth that radiates from inside out in just one swipe.

The blush has a soft, smooth texture–very buttery, almost creamy despite its powder finish–and applies evenly in just a single stroke.  Cheeks are lightly flushed and sunkissed with a beautiful luminous sheen.  It’s not heavy, shimmery, or glittery in the least.  My pores aren’t emphasized, but I felt like my face just lit up the minute I applied this.

AMAZING. Korres makes a very fine, impressive blush!

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

RECOMMENDATION: High-quality, pigmented, and ridiculously smooth textured, Korres blush is really a winner.

AVAILABILITY: Sephora

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Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

NARS Cadaques Multiple=
NARS Cadaques Multiple Tint

Perfect for Perfect Skin

NARS Cadaques Multiple Tint ($38 for 0.52 oz.) is a fantastic barely-there flush if you have naturally lovely skin.  If your skin has enough imperfections where you tend to use foundation or powder for coverage, the new Multiple Tints just don’t seem to be worthwhile. I swatched all three of the Multiple Tints at Nordstrom a few weeks ago, but I also tested Cadaques at home.

The staying power of Cadaques is excellent–really lasts all day and then some.  It’s not heavy or greasy once it finally dries down, but it took at least fifteen minutes before it seemed to settle on the skin.  I experienced this issue with drying when I swatched them on my arm, too–imagine holding your arm away from your beige shirt for twenty minutes!  Personally, this is a total deal-breaker for me, because the last thing I want to do is add another fifteen minutes to my makeup routine.

It layers best directly onto skin, and the best application method is straight from the tube, because the product is very sheer.  It gave my medium skin a nice, subtle flush without a fuss, but it did not seem to be buildable other than that initial flush.   The application wasn’t as smooth or as even when applied over foundation (even liquid), and it seemed kind of gross (to me) to smear the stick on top of foundation, too.

This is kind of where the perfect skin bit kicks in — it’s best on natural skin, but it’s so subtle, layering foundation on top, even lightly, nearly covers up all the blush.  I also found that the staying power definitely lived up to expectations when applied directly to skin, but on top of foundation, it seemed to fade by mid-day.  It really is just better over the skin rather than over foundation.  If you rock the no-foundation look often and like gel-like blushes, I think the Multiple Tints may be up your alley.

I found the texture of them to be almost watery/slippery on the surface, even though they’re completely solid.  You get plenty of product, but these are actually incredibly reminiscent of Tarte’s Cheek Stains ($30 for 1 oz. — nearly double the product for a little less).  The subtle raspberry pink of Cadaques will complement cooler skin tones beautifully, but it is not so cool that it doesn’t work just as well as warmer skin tones.  It has a soft sheen that’s not oily or greasy-looking, and if I have another good skin week, I’ll definitely give this another go.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t wear foundation often and want a subtle flush for cheeks that doesn’t fade during the day, NARS’ Multiple Tints were made for you!

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora

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Monday, June 28th, 2010

 

Chanel Rose Temptation Joues Contraste Blush
Chanel Rose Temptation Joues Contraste Blush

Go Bold with Blush–Gradually!

Chanel Rose Temptation Joues Contraste Blush ($42.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new and limited edition blush from the brand’s fall collection. Chanel describes it as a “shimmer rosewood,” which sounds like an apt description, but a quick Google search shows the real rosewood looking not much like this blush!

For those who don’t follow Chanel or rarely stop by the counter, let me tell you a little about what makes these blushes so loved. They are finely-milled, silky smooth powders that apply beautifully on skin. This is not a blush that will look chalky or powdery–it lays down on skin like it belongs there; the shades, no matter their hue, always look natural on cheeks. (Taken from an earlier review.)

Rose Temptation is a softened rose-gold with subtle gold flecks and soft sheen. It also has slight red undertones, but they’re not too strong in this shade. I found this to be the softest shade out of the three new shades, but it is the second most wearable (Pink Explosion being the most).

When I wore it, I tried it very softly, because I ended up using it to complement a rather smoky eye, and I think it worked out well. It gave my cheeks a gentle color without being over-the-top–very natural. This is a great shade for those who want a darker, more contrasting blush, but don’t want to work or start out with something as intense as Chanel’s Plum Attraction.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s neutral enough to suit both warmer and cooler skin tones, but if pressed, I would say it would be most flattering on cooler skin tones. It’s a nice in-between natural and vampy, so it is a more versatile shade.

AVAILABILITY: July 2010 at Chanel counters

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