Thursday, March 24th, 2011

MAC Miss Behave Mineralize Blush
MAC Miss Behave Mineralize Blush

MAC Quite Cute: Miss Behave Mineralize Blush

MAC Miss Behave Mineralize Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is new and limited edition shade from MAC’s Quite Cute collection, which launches in-stores on April 7th. It is one of three shades (the others being Giggly and Sakura). MAC describes it as “light beige with pearly mint green heart.”

I actually felt like the pale, mint green heart ruined what could have been a very pretty peach with a hint of beige. The outer color is a light-medium peach with a satin finish, while the pale green heart has a frosted finish. When mixed, the result is a very semi-sheer, pale beige. On my medium skin tone, the color amounts to more of a highlighter than a blush.

The texture was also powdery, and the blush itself seemed to sheer out with little effort–which can be troublesome when the product is already a lighter color. After I applied it, I did feel like it had a powdery look to it, so I spritzed water to help minimize the effect. Surprisingly, the Quite Cute mineralize blushes contain 0.14 oz. worth of product, while regular mineralize blushes only have 0.11 oz. — and there is only a dollar difference ($23 vs. $22).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Miss Behave Mineralize Blush Swatches, Photos, Review

C-
This shade would work best on lighter skin tones, as it will give more of a washed out look when applied as a blusher on medium to dark skin tones. My overall rating has nothing to do with it being wearable for me but about the quality of the product–the powderiness takes away from the product as does the sheerness, where you apply, then blend out, and find you need to apply more.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush
NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush ($16.50 for 0.25 oz.) is one of eight shades of blush from NYX’s HD Studio line. According to NYX, by grinding a blush powder each use, you’ll avoid “oil trappings on powders, contamination, and cracking.” The blush formula itself is supposed to reflect light from the skin while giving pores a smaller and smoother look. Menage a Trois is a soft tangerine-peach with spun gold shimmer-sheen. It’s really a gorgeous shade and one that will work exceptionally well on warmer skin tones.

Next to the blush, you might recognize an elephant–the price tag. NYX is known as a brand with affordable options but still a wide variety and higher quality products than many other more affordable brands (overall). It’s obvious the HD Studio range is at a higher price point, but I think it might be outpricing the comfort zone of some of their customers. Their Powder Blushes are $6, Cream Bushes are $6.50, and Mosaic Powders are $8. The HD Grinding Blush is double the price of their more expensive blush. I’m not worried that NYX is going to change directions and move to mid-tier, but it’s an interesting move.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of the HD Grinding Blushes is very smooth–definitely finely milled. The colors themselves are a lot less intimidating when applied than they look initially–I did not find that you could quite get the level of intensity as see in the shavings themselves, but you can get close. The softness of the blush powder makes it easy to apply, blend out, and difficult to overdo. On me, it wears around six hours before there is some fading (over liquid foundation, set with loose powder).

Though I haven’t personally tested Smashbox’s Halo powders, the grinding mechanism of NYX’s HD Grinding Blushes reminded me of them. I’m not sure if Smashbox has put out Halo blushes, but they do have the twist ‘n’ shave mechanism for their Perfecting Powders, Perfecting Bronzers, and Color Correcting Powder. It’s neither a pro nor con but more for your reference.

I’m not keen on the grinding packaging, actually.  It’s cool, but any excess powder left inside inevitably seems to get everywhere else.  I had twisted and ground each blush for photos and carried them to my bathroom and left little blush shavings in my wake.  When I opened the blushes, the loose shavings had collected on the outer rim, where the cap screws on, and easily escaped to the freedom of my carpet, sink, and swatching pants!  (And that is exactly why one wears swatching pants…)  The only mitigating factor is that usually you do not twist too much excess, so there is an end in sight, unlike perhaps an entire jar of loose blush.

The Glossover

P
product

Menage a Trois

B+
I’m not particularly surprised that I’m most drawn to this shade–after all, if it’s gold, peach, or coral, I’m already there. The whole grinding concept is more of a novelty for me, and the packaging could use some tweaks so that any excess shavings stay within the jar, rather than settle around the rim (outside of the recessed opening). It could wear a touch longer; most blushes last all day (eight to ten hours) on me.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Neiman Marcus Exclusive: Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

  • Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer is a medium-dark pink with gold micro-glitter and sheen; it is slightly cool-toned, though it seems to shift between cool and neutral depending on how the light hits it. It applies rather sheerly but can be intensified for a more obvious blush.
  • Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss is an ultra sheer gloss that really has a clear base with pink and gold shimmer. This shade is available individually.
  • Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a blackened burgundy brown. This shade is available individually.
  • Eye/Lip Brush is a miniature-sized brush with a glossy black cap that slips on and off. It’s not officially labeled, but it seems like a really narrow lip brush–not quite small enough to be a true eyeliner brush though it does seem to resemble the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush a bit.
  • Face Brush is a fluffy, dome-shaped brush that resembles the Face Blender Brush. It seems wider and less tapered, though. It was soft against the skin.

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cute kit, and if you like every product in it, the price tag doesn't seem so difficult to pay.  If you were hoping for a value-packed deal, this isn't quite it.  The kit will complement cooler skin tones.  I wish the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer was available individually!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Video Review: MAC Jeanius Collection

First impressions/swatches for MAC Jeanius!  I’m pretty excited that not only is it under 10 minutes, but it is under 8 minutes!  For me, it seems like such a mighty feat… of restraint.

Friday, February 25th, 2011

MAC Cremeblend Blush
MAC Cremeblend Blush

MAC Cremeblend Blush: So Sweet, So Easy, Something Special, Tea Petal

MAC Cremeblend Blush ($19.50 for 0.19 oz.) are back, and this time, MAC has made them permanent in six neutral shades. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at: So Sweet, So Easy (bright yellow pink), Something Special (light coral), andTea Petal (mid-tone reddish brown). Cremeblend Blushes made their debut in Lillyland, back in January 2010. There were four shades released, and only one of them has made a return (So Sweet, So Easy).

  • So Sweet, So Easy is a pale pink. On me, it always looks ghastly–it only succeeds in washing me out. I’m NC25/NC30, so I think this is a shade best suited to lighter skin tones. This shade was originally released with Lillyland.
  • Something Special is a soft, peached coral. Depending on how much you are willing to build, it could work for darker skin tones, but it will tend to suit light to medium skin tones best.
  • Tea Petal is a plummy brown that can worn sheerly or built up to medium coverage. I think this shade would work for light to dark skin tones.

my thoughts on the formula: The shade range tends to be more neutral, and so the color tends to enhance the natural tones of skin without adding significant color, with the exception of Tea Petal (which is deeper and can be built up). They have a soft natural finish, which means there is some sheen, but they do not look oily/greasy. Wear is good–they last six to eight hours without setting powder–and can also act as a base for your favorite powder blush. They apply very easily, and the color is buildable, so it’s difficult to overdo it. These blend out seamlessly whether you use a stippling brush (like the 188) or your fingers.

The Cremeblend Blushes, since permanent, are also available in pan form ($16.50), though I think those are only available at PRO stores and perhaps online will make them available, too (since you can buy powder blush pans online now). They are the same size as the ones in the pot–both of wihch are the same size as powder blush–and fit into MAC’s 6-pan palettes ($14.00).

The Glossover

product

MAC Cremeblend Blush Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 2)

B+

I like that they aren’t tacky like Blushcremes were, which was probably their only downside! The shade range in the new Cremeblends is a little limited, and it could use some deeper/more saturated shades for medium to dark skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, February 25th, 2011

MAC Cremeblend Blush
MAC Cremeblend Blush

MAC Cremeblend Blush: Brit Wit, Ladyblush, Posey

MAC Cremeblend Blush ($19.50 for 0.19 oz.) are back, and this time, MAC has made them permanent in six neutral shades. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at: Brit Wit (dusty rosy mauve), Ladyblush (warm neutral coral), and Posey (warm peach).  Cremeblend Blushes made their debut in Lillyland, back in January 2010. There were four shades released, and only one of them has made a return (So Sweet, So Easy).  However, the formula seems a little creamier and less wet than the original launch.

  • Brit Wit is a fleshy, rosy beige. It can be used lightly with ease or built up for a slightly deeper look. I can see this working on light to medium skin tones. From what I can tell, Brit Wit seems a little less mauve and more beige than the original blushcreme.
  • Ladyblush is a muted, peach-coral beige. Like Brit Wit, I can see this working well on light to medium skin tones, possibly darker skin tones for warmth. It seems comparable to the previous blushcreme–perhaps a touch less rose.
  • Posey is a pop of muted, coral-pink. It is more coral and less pink in comparison to the original Posey blushcreme.  This is a shade I can see working across skin tones.

my thoughts on the formula: The shade range tends to be more neutral, and so the color tends to enhance the natural tones of skin without adding significant color, with the exception of Posey (which is deeper and more typical of a blush). They have a soft natural finish, which means there is some sheen, but they do not look oily/greasy. Wear is good–they last six to eight hours without setting powder–and can also act as a base for your favorite powder blush. They apply very easily, and the color is buildable, so it’s difficult to overdo it. These blend out seamlessly whether you use a stippling brush (like the 188) or your fingers.

The Cremeblend Blushes, since permanent, are also available in pan form ($16.50), though I think those are only available at PRO stores and perhaps online will make them available, too (since you can buy powder blush pans online now). They are the same size as the ones in the pot–both of wihch are the same size as powder blush–and fit into MAC’s 6-pan palettes ($14.00).

Unfortunately, I do not have the original Blushcremes of the same names to compare these to. I bought all of them six months or so ago, and when I went to retrieve them to do comparisons, they were all leaking yellow dye. They were brand new, purchased from MAC, and had sat in my living room in the box they were shipped in. I have no idea what happened, but they were pretty gross and were immediately thrown out. Posey was the only one I was able to swatch before tossing (the others had yellow dye on the surface, while Posey just had it beneath the pan, but it was all quite messy). I have these much older swatches of some of the blushcremes here.

Blushcremes, however, are an entirely different formula compared to the Cremeblends.  Blushcremes were much thicker, creamier, and tackier once applied.  When you swatch a blushcreme and then a cremeblend, the blushcreme feels almost gloppy in comparison.  The blendability is there in both products, though, and similarly, they both buildable in color.

The Glossover

product

MAC Cremeblend Blush Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

B+
I like that they aren’t tacky like Blushcremes were, which was probably their only downside! The shade range in the new Cremeblends is a little limited, and it could use some deeper/more saturated shades for medium to dark skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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