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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Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Art of Powder: Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is one of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). It contains a good amount of product, and it will take quite some time to get through it.

If you’re not feeling the neon pink, you’re in luck: it doesn’t go all the way through. It’s thicker than your typical overspray, but it definitely does not go all the way through (video is forthcoming with much excavation!). The product is the golden tan you see protruding from the compact. I gouged a chunk out of the corner, and you can see how the pink is only on the surface I also used a small shadow brush to brush back-and-forth against a line of pink and eventually it disappeared and revealed pure golden tan underneath.

The color this bronzer is a warmed-up, medium tan with a very subtle golden sheen. The sheen is almost too faint, actually! It doesn’t impart much of a glowy sheen applied, because the sheen is so subtle–which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your preference. The pigmentation is decent, but the color is on the lighter side. On my medium skin tone, it’s subtle and soft. I expect this is better suited for lighter skin tones. It does have an orangeness to it that may not work well with pinker or naturally red complexions, because it may turn ruddy.

It has a really finely-milled, soft texture, which makes it extremely easy to blend on the skin but there is some powdery dust because of the overall softness. The subtle sheen means it doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin. The texture is almost as soft as the Studio Careblend Pressed Powder Bronzers but I find those to be softer overall (but more pigmented, and if you want something foolproof, Optical Bronzer is that).

I wore it on one cheek (had the highlighter on the other–that’s called multi-tasking!), and it wore well for about six hours before starting to fade, which is shy of good (eight hours). It’s decent but not better than MAC’s regular bronzing line-up or various limited edition releases they’ve done every couple of months. The mix of pink and tan could have made for an interesting mix or take on bronzer in general (think Chanel’s Soleil Bronzers) but was not the case here.

The Glossover

LE
product

Optical

B-
It's a little powdery, but it may suit lighter skin tones who are looking for a very subtle, barely shimmered bronzer--the only potential issue is it does have an orange tone to it, which may not work with those with pink undertones. The wear is below average (and I have normal to dry skin).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, July 17th, 2011


Urban Decay Baked Bronzer

Quick Review: Urban Decay Baked Bronzer

Urban Decay Toasted Baked Bronzer ($26.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as a “bronze shimmer.” It is a warm, medium tan with a champagne shimmer and sheen. This shade completes Urban Decay’s trifecta of bronzers (the other two are Gilded and Toasted). It has a very smooth texture, but the shimmer and sheen may be too much for those who prefer a subtler or semi-matte bronzer. I’m only able to get an average of six hours of wear with this shade, though, which is below average.

Baked looks like a slightly lighter, more red-based version of Gilded. Gilded appears more orange-y, but the finishes are similar. I didn’t think they would be, given Gilded seems to have a rougher texture. MAC Golden is similar, a little more muted.

The Glossover

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product

Baked

B-
If you don't need a bronzer to wear longer than six hours, then you'll have less issues with this bronzer than I did. It has good color payoff without being difficult to apply and blend out. It's not more red-toned than the orange-toned Gilded, which makes it more suitable for cooler skin tones, but I still think it may be a bit too warm.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, July 16th, 2011


Urban Decay Toasted Baked Bronzer

Urban Decay Toasted Baked Bronzer

Urban Decay Toasted Baked Bronzer ($26.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as a “matte bronze.” It’s a matte, medium-dark tan with subtle warm undertones. It’s not oompa loompa orange, but it’s not neutral either–there is an underlying orange tone to it that brings warmth to the overall color. It’s darker than MAC Give Me Sun!, though when blended out, the two are more similar.

The texture is soft, finely milled, and very smooth.  It blends out easily because of the softness in texture, but it can be a touch powdery. When you go to blend, though, it does sheer out a fair amount and may necessitate a second application to give enough color on medium to dark skin tones. It wears just under eight hours on me, which is good but not perfect.

The Glossover

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product

Toasted

B
This will work best on warmer skin tones, because it does have some orange in it, so it may look ruddy on cooler skin tones. It could be used to contour on warmer complexions as well, because it does have a more matte finish.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, July 9th, 2011


Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder — #02 and #03

Quick Review:  Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder ($49.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a long-time favorite bronzing powder of mine, but for summer, Guerlain tweaked and expanded the range to bring out eight shades. Three shades (00, 02, 04) are designed for lighter, pink complexions, while four shades (01, 03, 05, 07) were designed for more golden tones. For darker skin, #08 was created to add a touch of copper.

Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzing Powder is lightweight, finely milled, and has a soft glowy sheen–no heavy shimmer here. It can be applied lightly with ease, but for a richer, deeper bronzed look, the color can be built. #02 is is a medium, reddish-tan with a soft sheen. #03 is a warm, medium golden tan with a soft, golden sheen. #02 actually seems a hair darker on me, and side-by-side, it’s clear that #03 leans yellow, while #02 has a reddened undertone.

I love these bronzers for their soft, natural look. They darken the skin in a way that suits your natural skin tone, so you don’t look orange or overdone. The texture of these is so refined and smooth, which allows it to apply and blend out easily, as well as contributes to giving it a natural finish once applied.  These wear a solid eight hours on me.

Quick note: for those sensitive to scent, the powder is scented with Guerlain’s signature violet notes, though it also reminds me of baby powder.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches (02, 03)

A+
When you begin your hunt for a really great bronzer, Terracotta is a good place to start. For most of us, one bronzing powder will do, and this is always one of my top favorites each summer.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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