Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder ($24.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze with fine gold pearl.” it’s a medium tan with subtle warm, golden undertones and a gold shimmer-sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but more pigmented, so it appears darker. MAC Give Me Sun! is very comparable but doesn’t have shimmer.

This is very sheer–I had to scrape product out with a metal spatula in order to get a “heavy” swatch. While the texture is soft, it’s a bit stiff, which I think inhibits some of the color payoff and ease of blending. It blends decently, but a lot of it is that there just isn’t very much product you can visibly see, so there weren’t any harsh lines to blend out. This would be most suitable for very pale to pale skin tones, because I had to pack it on to make it visible enough for it to show in photos.  When I wore this shade yesterday, it managed to last for about seven hours, and after eight, there was noticeable fading along the edges.

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MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The stiffness of the texture was very problematic and made it harder to blend, apply, and extract color from it. Sheer products will still show up on me without having to scrape chunks of color loose, but sheer and dry products require serious effort to get any kind of color payoff.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Chanel Sable Beige Soleil Tan de Chanel
Chanel Sable Beige Soleil Tan de Chanel

Chanel Sable Beige Soleil Tan de Chanel ($60.00 for 0.53 oz.) includes seven stripes of shades that range from warm tans and browns to warm pinks to warm golds and beiges. Chanel recommends using different combinations of the seven hues to highlight and sculpt the face. Two of the shades looked exactly the same on me (the second and fourth shades), so swatches shown include six individual swatches and then one all-over, blended together swatch.

The individual stripes include an orange-tan with a golden shimmer, sheer beige with champagne shimmer, dirty orange-brown with a frosted copper shimmer, pale beige with a satin finish, white gold with a golden shimmer, and a muted tan-orange with a gold sheen. Together, it creates a light-medium warm, golden tan with a soft gold sheen. Guerlain Terracotta is a bit darker, less golden. Urban Decay Gilded is more orange. Illamasqua Thalia is darker and more shimmery. MAC Golden is the closest, though it has less of a golden sheen.

It’s a really soft color, and it’s not too orange or brown–there are definitely a lot of beige tones–so it should flatter a lot of skin tones that are light to medium in color. As a highlighter, this could work on warmer, deeper complexions, though, just less so as a bronzer. Because it’s a softer hue, it’s easy to apply and hard to overdo. It warms up my cheeks and adds natural color without making me look burnt or overdone. The sheen of the finish is subtle and not at all frosted or shimmery, so it doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections in the skin’s texture. It wears about seven hours on me with a little fading around the top edges.

The texture is incredibly soft and finely-milled, feels like silk against the skin, and blends effortlessly as a result.   If you want to use it as more of a highlighter, stick with the lower half of the compact (and avoid the very bottom shade), and if you want a deeper, more bronzed color, stick to the upper half of the palette, focusing on the first three shades.

The Glossover

LE
product

Sable Beige

A
The texture is incredibly soft and finely-milled, feels like silk against the skin, and blends effortlessly as a result.   If you want to use it as more of a highlighter, stick with the lower half of the compact (and avoid the very bottom shade), and if you want a deeper, more bronzed color, stick to the upper half of the palette, focusing on the first three shades.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter
Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter ($10.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a multi-colored highlighter that features five strips of color that can be swirled together or used in parts to create an illuminated look. This is an online exclusive to sleekmakeup.com. Each strip is fairly narrow, so they’re not shades you would use singularly as a blush, though you could certainly try or go for a very precise look by using eye brushes instead. The five individual shades consist of a shimmering white gold with a strong yellow gold sheen, peachy beige with a softer shimmer, coppery orange with a shimmery finish, golden peach-pink with a frosted finish, and a dirty beige with a champagne frosted shimmer. Together, they create a warm bronze with a golden shimmer-sheen and slight red undertones. It’s a bit like a shimmery version of Urban Decay’s Toasted. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is similar but more orange-y.

The texture of the powder is very soft and feels finely-milled, and the payoff of each individual shade was lovely. I didn’t have any problems with pigmentation while swatching or during application. This is the kind of over-the-top highlighter than some will absolutely love but others will struggle to perfect. It has a strong frosted, borderline-metallic, finish, which emphasizes pores, skin imperfections, and any natural texture you may have to your skin. For those lucky enough to be owners of perfect complexions, this is beautiful on, but for the rest of us, it can be a little too much.  I did like how soft the powder was, because it made it very easy to blend and soften against the skin.  I was disappointed in the wear, though; it started to look patchy and faded after a mere six hours.

For the price point, the texture is amazing!  The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though.  I’d recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.  It’s a bit more of a bronzy glow on my skin tone than pure highlighter, so for lighter skin tones, you’ll find this more of a blush/bronzer, while deeper skin tones will find this to work well as a warm-toned highlighter. It does compare well with Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks, which also have a stronger, frostier finish.

The Glossover

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Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

B
For the price point, the texture is amazing! The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though. I'd recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush
Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush

Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush

Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush ($75.00 for 0.56 oz.) is made up of half bronzer and half blush. The collection is a collaboration with Emilio Pucci, and the print chosen was “Winter Capri.” I really liked that Guerlain changed up the compact’s cloth case, and it’s a very appropriate print for summer. It’s bold, vibrant, but has that summery, beachy breeze feel. It’s definitely more interesting than the velvety pouches we typically see.

Inside, there are four distinct shades, with over half of the compact made up of an orange-tinted tan with a very subtle satiny sheen. MAC Tan Tint is a little yellower. MAC Cajun is similar but more golden, less red-toned. MAC Sun Power is pretty similar, though a tad rustier. MAC Pink Power is similar. Urban Decay Toasted is also very similar. The bronzer seems fairly easy to replicate, and it does have subtle orange and red undertones.

The other three shades make up the other half (or less) of the compact. The first is a pale pink-white that really didn’t deposit much color, just shimmer. It was nearly imperceptible when I swatched it. Next to that is a medium pink with subtle blue undertones. Between the pink and the bronzer, there is a muted orange. These shades are done in a thin swirl, so they’re not particularly usable individually, though the bronzer could be used on its own.

When you mix the three blush shades, you’ll get a more coral-pink kind of color, and when you mix all four shades together, you get a tangerine-coral with a satiny sheen.  Becca Damselfly is similar but less pigmented and more golden in sheen. MAC My Paradise is more orange, more gold shimmered. Make Up For Ever #153 has a stronger golden sheen. It actually reminded me of MAC Ripe Peach quite a bit.

As expected, the texture is soft and smooth–very finely-milled–but not too dense, so it doesn’t feel powdery or kick-up excess product when you tap your brush against the surface. It blends out easily once applied, but it doesn’t fade away into nothing, so it’s well-balanced. When I tested out the wear, it wore well for around seven hours and looked slightly faded around the edges after eight hours. This powder is heavily fragranced with a floral scent, so if you are sensitive to scents, I recommend checking it out in person or finding a way to de-scent the powder. I had it open on my studio table, and I could catch whiffs of the fragrance from a foot away–the scent, of course, is not nearly as noticeable when it’s applied as it is in the compact.

The Glossover

LE
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Terra Azzura Bronzer & Blush

A-
I think the blush gradient shades are lovely and very appropriate for summer, but the bronzer is less universally wearable--I think that red-orange undertone may be harder for cooler complexions to wear. Because the bronzer makes up half of the product, you should probably love the bronzer side of it!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee
Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee ($40.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as “high polish for your skin.” It’s a liquid, powder, and gel formula all-in-one. Estee Lauder says it “smooths on as an all-over soft sheen” and “builds for luminous pearl highlighting.” I wouldn’t describe it as an all-over powder or really so much a highlighting product–maybe a highlighting bronzer. The product is very, very intense. The pigmentation is insane; one tap of the brush, and it’s more than enough color to add a bronzed look to my cheeks. To achieve mere highlighting, I found that a fan brush and a very, very light hand (think of just a tap) was the only way to get just a faint sheen. If you use a regular blush or highlighting brush, and you use your typical method, you’ll probably find there’s too much for just a highlighted sheen.

This is a product that would be really lovely on deeper, golden-toned skin. It’s a rich coppery bronze with red undertones and a molten gold shimmer and sheen. theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer is browner, less orange and red. Urban Decay Gilded is a little lighter, more orange and less red-toned, but compares to the softer swatch of Topaz Chameleon.  If you want to bring out the metallic sheen, you can use the powder with a wet or damp brush.

I feel like this product is too pigmented if its aim is to be an all-over highlight.  Even on darker skin tones, I can’t imagine using this all over.  It’s very metallic and frosty, so it does emphasize the texture of the skin slightly.  The brush that Estee Lauder includes applies this more heavily if you aren’t careful (light hand, tapping away excess).  As a bronzer, it should work on warmer skin tones.  There are strong copper and orange tones, so I’m not sure if this would work as well on cooler complexions.  Estee Lauder just doesn’t call this product out as a bronzer, when it just feels and looks so much like one.

It can be used as a highlighter, but the application is more difficult and takes some practice.  It looks very dirty on my skin tone as a bronzer, but with a fan brush, a light hand, and a buffing brush, it can yield a softer, more manageable golden sheen.  The texture is soft but has this dry feel; it’s a different texture compared to most powders, but it is similar to Estee Lauder’s recent formulas like this.  When I wore this as a bronzer, it lasted for seven hours before beginning to fade.  I wish it would blend out more easily, because it’s just too easy to over-apply, so a more blendable texture would make for a more forgiving application.

I had a tough time trying to figure out exactly what Estee Lauder was going for here and whether this product should have been sheerer or if the pigmentation was on point.  I decided that since Estee Lauder said it was buildable (and it is) and didn’t mention it being sheer, the product would receive full marks for pigmentation.  Because achieving the highlighting the brand describes is more difficult, this was reflected in the application score.

The Glossover

LE
product

Topaz Chameleon

B
As a bronzer, it should work on warmer skin tones. There are strong copper and orange tones, so I'm not sure if this would work as well on cooler complexions. Estee Lauder just doesn't call this product out as a bronzer, when it just feels and looks so much like one.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, January 27th, 2012

NARS Laguna The Multiple
NARS Laguna The Multiple

NARS Laguna The Multiple

NARS Laguna The Multiple ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) is described as a “brown with golden shimmer.” Multiples are a cream-to-powder product that is touted as “all-in-one” and multi-purpose.  It can be used on eyes, lips, and cheeks.  It’s a warm bronze-brown with golden shimmer-sheen.  The color is buildable, so the level of opacity you want depends on how much product you apply or how much you blend it out.  It’s less warm-toned compared to theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer. It’s less red-toned compared to MAC Gilty.

As with most Multiples, Laguna works best as cheeks/face, because it’s very drying on the lips.  It just has this uncomfortably dry feeling when applied to lips that continues and leaves lips parched after an hour or two of wear (it doesn’t even wear well or long!).  On the brow bone, it’s more practical, but on the lid itself, I wasn’t able to get it to stay longer than a few hours before there was noticeable creasing.  Applied to cheeks, Laguna wore for four and a half hours.  By five hours, it looked a bit faded and patchy.

The texture of Laguna is creamy but there’s a dryness to it, which I found difficult to blend over foundation.  It’s easier to apply and blend over bare skin, but I’m not blessed with beautiful skin so it’s not a product I could use without foundation.  You can layer foundation over it, but it makes the routine slightly more complicated and precision will count, so you don’t layer so much that you cover up the bronzer!

I wish I liked Multiples better, but I don’t find they’re nearly as multi-talented as they claim to be!  I’m always a bit disappointed in the wear (four to five hours isn’t good!).  I get better wear out of NARS’ powder blushes!  Laguna may not work for all skin tones; I found it looked a little dirty on me–you might need to have some natural redness or pinkness in your undertones so it brings out the golden hues of the color.

Do you love Multiples? What are your tried and true tips for making them work?

The Glossover

P
product

Laguna

C-
The dry texture works against this product, because it makes it harder to blend out (which is an absolute must when this is used as a blush/bronzer!) and yields an unpleasant experience when worn on lips.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3/5

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