Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette

More Naked with Flushed

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette ($30.00 for 0.49 oz.) includes a bronzer (described as a sheer medium bronze satin), highlighter (described as a soft pink champagne shimmer), and blush (described as a dusty rose satin with a hint of shimmer).

Bronzer is a medium-tan with orange-brown undertones and has a barely-there sheen. It does have sheer color, as described. The texture is firm but not powdery or really dry, just firm; the texture does not feel like Urban Decay’s eyeshadows, which are buttery and dense, softer, too. MAC Cajun is darker and more shimmery. MAC Nude on Board is browner, less orange. Urban Decay Gilded is browner and frosted. It applied the best out of the three shades, and because of the strong warm, orange undertones, will complement warmer complexions more. On my skin tone, it was a soft, warmed-over shade that actually worked well but I don’t see it showing up on medium-dark to dark complexions or working with cooler skin tones.

Highlighter is a champagne beige with a frosted, metallic finish. The payoff is seemingly sheer, but it really frosts the skin when applied. A little goes a very, very long way! Even lightly used, it yields a frosted, metallic finish on the skin that, unfortunately, emphasizes pores quite readily. I did a heavier application on the left, then a lighter application on the right (over the blush and bronzer, respectively). Bobbi Brown 24 Karat is more golden. bareMinerals The Love Affair has a golden sheen. MAC Superb is similar when applied, though darker/more pigmented. MAC Redhead is a touch pinker. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is similar.

Blush is a medium-dark rosy pink with a hint of coral warmth that is mostly matte in finish. Though there are some bits of shimmer, it really looks matte both swatched and applied to the cheeks. It had so-so color payoff but the texture was on the drier side. It didn’t blend as easily as a great blush does. Guerlain Pink Punk is a bit pinker. MAC Supercontinental is lighter. MAC Fleet Fast is similar–a bit darker. Laura Mercier Canyon Sunset is darker.

The shades can be used individually or blended together as desired.  I was expecting a denser, more buttery texture–more like their eyeshadows–than the firm, drier texture that was here.  The highlighter was more like their eyeshadows, though still less buttery.  The good news is that none of the shades were powdery.  When I wore these yesterday, the bronzer wore the best with seven and a half hours of wear, while the highlighter was a bit patchy after six hours.  The blush lasted for seven hours but was noticeably faded after eight hours.

I know that Urban Decay stated in the press release that this is designed to work with all skin tones (and straight from the press release: “as our staffers can attest”), I’m not sure it will.  The bronzer, by being so sheer and not very buildable, may not show up on some complexions at all.  The blush may accentuate redness in cheeks, and because it’s not as blendable, it can look ruddy and uneven (rosy-hued blushes can be hard to perfect).  The highlighter is over-the-top even in light applications, so I don’t expect it to appeal to as many.  It’s just going to emphasize pores and any imperfections on the skin.

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
I like the concept, but I think the texture needs work. A softer, more buttery texture would go a long way to making it a more versatile, blendable, and easy-to-use product. It is also rather warm-toned for something designed to work across all complexions.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Alpine Bronze Mineralize Blush
MAC Alpine Bronze Mineralize Blush

MAC Apres Chic: Alpine Bronze

MAC Alpine Bronze Mineralize Blush ($23.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as “mid-tone caramel.” It’s a orange-tan with a pale champagne shimmer-sheen. It has subtle warm undertones, though for something that looks orange at a glance, it’s not incredibly warm-toned. MAC Lush-Light is darker, redder-toned. NARS Luster is a lot more orange and has a stronger gold shimmer and sheen. MAC Center of the Universe is more frosted, slightly more orange. MAC Soft Sand is a bit browner.

It has more of a brown-base, than a red one, so it should be wearable on cool and warm skin tones.  The finish isn’t too shimmery, and it translated as more of a luminous sheen than anything frosted (not like the Mineralize Skinfinishes from this collection).  It has a soft, finely milled texture that kicks up just a smidgen of excess powder.  Alpine Bronze had a good level of pigmentation; enough to get true-to-pan color but blendable so that sheerer color was readily achieved.  When testing it, the wear was only six and a half hours, and by seven hours, there was noticeable fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Alpine Bronze

A-
The texture is soft, finely-milled, and the color is true-to-pan but easily blended out if a softer look is desired. The major problem with this product is that it only lasts for just over six hours.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette
Clarins Odyssey Face Palette

More Lightweight Pressed Powder Than Goddess Glow

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette ($55.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a “shimmering, lightweight pressed powder [that] brings a goddess glow to face, neck, and decolette.” Clarins says it is “the must-have holiday accessory for all skin tones.” It’s a softened peach with strong orange undertones (no pink) and a mostly matte finish. There’s a sparkling gold overlay that brushes away in one use. NARS Sex Appeal is pinker.

What is most remarkable about this product is how utterly finely-milled the powder is. It feels like a mixture of silk, butter, and cream. It’s incredibly soft, indeed lightweight, and easy to blend. The powder sits well on skin and never looks powdery. I didn’t detect any luminosity or shimmer when applied, because the only “shimmer” I saw at all was the overspray. Beneath the overspray is really a rather matte powder, and it can help with keeping oiliness at bay if you are prone to it. When I wore it on my cheeks, it lasted for eight hours. I used it later on my t-zone, and it did help minimize some of the oiliness I see after eight hours.

Those with very pale complexions might use this as a blusher or a bronzer, while medium skin tones can easily use this as a finishing or setting powder. I’m not certain how this well this will work on darker complexions, because while it doesn’t seem to have a white base, it is quite pale, so there’s potential for it to turn ashy–Clarins did, very specifically, say it’s for all skin tones. With a very fluffy brush, lighter complexions could also use this as a finishing powder that will add some natural warmth and golden tones to the skin.  I think with a touch more luminosity, this product would have been truly exceptional.

The Glossover

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Clarins Odyssey Face Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I think with a touch more luminosity, this product would have been truly exceptional. For some, this will work well to do light bronzing without turning orange or to help set a finished makeup look.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit
MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit

Golden, What Happened to You?

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit ($49.50) contains seven products: Golden (Bronzing Powder, muted golden tan-beige with shimmer), Hearts-a-flutter (eyeshadow, warm pink with silver pearl), Romance Me (eyeshadow, warm plum with gold pearl), Shadowy Lady (eyeshadow, blackened plum), Barely Lit (lipstick, neutral pink withgold pearls), Headturner (lipstick, mid-tone cool cream plum), and a dual-ended 275SE/316SE brush.

Each Eyeshadow is approximately 0.033 oz. (total weight is 0.10 oz.), while the Bronzing Powder is 0.10 oz., and each Lipstick is 0.03 oz. There is a dual-ended brush that has the 275SE on one end and the 316SE on the other end. The kit contains $30.00 worth of eyeshadow, $6.86 worth of Bronzing Powder, and $9.00 worth of lipstick, for a total value of $45.86. You do get the dual-ended brush, but it really feels like a typical applicator that gets thrown into a lot of high-end palettes; the quality felt less than the usual SE brushes. The kit itself is packaged in a peach satin, but it’s smaller than the Divine Desire kits ($70.00), and it isn’t reusable from what I can tell–it’s more like the packaging used for the eyeshadow palettes.

Golden is a golden peach-brown with a peach shimmer-sheen. The texture was of this was very, very dry. It was so stiff, I had to jab layers of product off of it with a metal spatula. It was hard as a rock–I almost thought it was fake (this happened once, I received a MAC product that had a *plastic* replica of the powder in the compact). I’m not sure what happened, but the last time I swatched and reviewed Golden Bronzing Powder, I did not have the payoff and texture problems that I had with this one. This shade is part of the permanent range, so if you like how it looks in the pan, you might want to check out the full-sized version. MAC Nude on Board is a bit darker.

Barely Lit is a rosy beige with a little gold micro-shimmer to give it that “lit” effect. It has semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. It has a lustre finish. In the pan, it almost felt and looked more like a gloss–it was very squishy. It wore for two hours. Laura Mercier Sandcastle is more subdued. MAC Viva Glam V is pinker. MAC Martha is similar, less shimmery.

Headturner is a berry red with a purple-tinge. It is mostly opaque on lips, and it has a Cremesheen finish. It lasted for four hours on my lips. NARS Afghan Red is redder. MAC Rebel is richer, brighter. Guerlain Guet-Apens is redder. MAC Red Dwarf is a bit darker and more subdued. MAC Positively Dashing is similar, less shimmery.

Hearts-a-flutter is a pale pink-tinged white with a satin finish, so there is a noticeable sheen but nothing too frosted. It had so-so color payoff. It looks quite a bit like MAC Radial Pink from the eye kit! Chanel Harmonie du Soir is pinker. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is similar, slightly cooler-toned. Bare Escentuals Muse is less frosty. MAC Defiance is more iridescent.

Romance Me is a gray-tinged medium-dark brown with sallow brown undertones. It has a lustre finish, but it didn’t look or feel like one–seemed more like a frost, really. It didn’t have the loose sparkle that is a telltale sign of a lustre. It had decent color payoff, but the texture was a bit dry. MAC Earthly is lighter. Bare Escentuals Vow is darker. theBalm Celebrational is a smidgen grayer.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened purple with a matte finish. It’s dry, stubborn in texture, and the color is a bit uneven. When I applied it to the lid, it wasn’t as blendable as a really good matte eyeshadow is. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s an often-included shade in holiday palettes. MAC Spellcaster is more purple. MAC Indian Ink is more purple, richer.

It is interesting that the pink shade has such a strong resemblance to Radial Pink, which is in the duo alongside Shadowy Lady! I’m also surprised to see Shadowy Lady repromoted twice in two different products, since it’s already a permanent shade as well. Golden was a complete miss here, unfortunately. It’s one of the more wearable bronzers across complexions, though I think MAC would have made this palette more appealing by including a blush rather than bronzer (maybe something pinky-plum).

I know there is a split on Lustres and Cremesheens–some find them drying (this is where I am) and others love them. Barely Lit was somewhat drying, and Headturner was just a wee bit drying over time. I didn’t have any fall out with Romance Me, in spite of its lustre finish, which was great news. The eyeshadows did have to be applied over a primer, because they were not pigmented enough to be used alone.

P.S. — This is the last of the MAC reviews until Guilty Pleasures launches (which is next week), so for the non-MAC fans, there is a reprieve on the horizon. :)

The Glossover

palette

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The two lipsticks help to keep the pigmentation score from falling totally flat, but they were slightly drying on me, which tended to neutralize their effect on the total palette. The bronzer was a huge let-down, and Shadowy Lady wasn't easy to work with.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, October 25th, 2012

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish
MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish

So Superb, It’s Been Reviewed Twice!

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “soft peach nude with multidimensional shimmer.” It’s a soft, medium champagne-shimmered peach-brown. It has a high-shine finish that’s almost metallic, depending on how heavily you apply it. Guerlain Terra Inca is similar, more metallic. Bobbi Brown Beach is lighter. MAC Redhead is pinker. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is a bit more frosted.

I reviewed Superb when it originally launched earlier this year in March. For a more in-depth review, I’d encourage you to read this post. I wanted to roll out improved photos, since I know this is a rather anticipated repromote. All of the photos and swatches are of the most recently released version (that came out with Glamour Daze), which is exactly the same as the originally released version. I re-tested the wear, and it lasted around eight hours with some minor fading along the edges (same as when I tested it before).

If you want to tone down the finish, I suggest using a stippling brush (like MAC’s 188) and lightly dusting it over the areas you want to highlight.  There’s enough color that it can be used as a blusher or bronzer (depending on your skin tone), but you’ll definitely get a greater sheen that way.  If you want a really metallic look, try applying it with a damp brush.

The Glossover

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MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
If you love shimmery, high-shine highlighters, you'll like enjoy MAC's Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. They are comparable in formula to Estee Lauder's Illuminating Gelees as well.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream
MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream

If It Matches, Sculpt Away!

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams ($20.00 for 0.17 oz.) are described as a “cream-to-powder formula for sculpting and shaping key features … [s]ilky-smooth, easy-to-blend and neutrally-shaded.” It’s supposed to have sheer-to-medium buildable coverage.

  • Accentuate is a pale white beige with mostly neutral undertones–it almost pulls a smidgen pink on me.
  • Coffee Walnut is a gray-ish medium-dark brown with subdued, orange-tan undertones. It has a slight green-cast.
  • Copper Beach is a medium-tan with strong orange undertones. If anything, this shade seemed more appropriate as a bronzer.
  • Naturally Defined is a light-medium beige with mostly neutral undertones–perhaps a smidgen warm.
  • Pure Sculpture is a softened tan brown. It’s not as orange as Copper Beach–more subdued.
  • Richly Honed is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertones.

I think the shades in MAC’s Sculpting powder range (which is permanent at PRO stores) are better-colored for contouring, because they’re much more shadowy, and these tended to be rather warm-toned. When you contour, you’re emphasizing or adding shadows, and when you highlight, you’re shaping and sculpting by adding light/sheen. If one of these shades is the right color, it can be a really great product. I’m just not sold that this is the right set of shades–I would have loved to have seen them take the existing Sculpting range and make them into cream form.  Accentuate, Coffee Walnut, and Naturally Defined are the closest to neutral, while Copper beach, Pure Sculpture, and Richly Honed are very much warm-toned.

The texture is lightly creamy, not too thick or too thin.  I’d almost describe it as a stiff cream, but in the best way.  All six shades had buildable coverage, so you could get sheer-to-light color easily, but you could layer just once or twice for more intensity.  While I did try using the new 163 brush that came with the launch, I preferred the 193 or finger tips (using a clean spatula to remove product, then warming it up between finger tips and blending it out on the skin).  It dries down and has a natural finish.  I tested all six of the shades (though used together, not individually), and I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear with no noticeable fading.

The Glossover

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MAC Pro Sculpting Creams Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like the formula, but I don't think the shade range is ideal for contouring. If you're looking for good contouring shades, try MAC's PRO Sculpting powders - they are a fantastic product that I rarely hear about!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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