Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo
Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo

Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo ($36.00 for 0.34 oz.) contains Bahama Brown (Shimmer Blush) and Pink Peony (Illuminating Bronzing Powder).  It’s a limited edition piece from Bobbi Brown’s Desert Twilight collection.

Bahama Brown is listed as “the perfect way to add a pop of color to the apples of cheeks.” It’s a muted brown with a hint of champagne shimmer-sheen, subtle orange-brown undertones, and a barely-there gray tinge. MAC Equilibrium is browner, no orange/red. Burberry Russet is closer but has a matte finish. MAC Pressed Amber is browner with subtler orange undertones. This shade had decent color payoff, but the texture was a little dry and stiff, so it wasn’t as blendable as I’d like in a powder blush. The sheen was nice–not too much, which meant it didn’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin. It wore for seven and a half hours before I saw some minor fading along the edges.

Pink Peony is described as a “blend of sheer powder and micro pearls.” It’s a soft, light-medium pink with a pale golden sheen. The color is sheer, as described. It’s almost coral, though the pink tends to dominate. MAC Immortal Flower is darker with no gold sheen. Tarina Tarantino Parasol is brighter, pinker. Tarina Tarantino Feather is more coral. Guerlain Blush G is similar but has a moer metallic sheen. Pink Peony was softer and more blendable on, and the sheerness of the color did help it smooth out more easily, since you couldn’t go overboard with it! This shade wore for six hours on me–it was much faster to show fading.

I like it, but I don’t love it.  If Bahama Brown was softer, more finely-milled and blendable, this would be a great combination of colors.  The brown could be used faintly as a contour shade on lighter complexions or as a way to bronze or add a glowy sheen on medium to dark skin tones.  The pink works either as a blush for lighter skin tones or as a highlighter on deeper ones.

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Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I like it, but I don't love it. If Bahama Brown was softer, more finely-milled and blendable, this would be a great combination of colors. The wear of Pink Peony was underwhelming, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder ($24.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “finely spun golden with soft pearl finish.” It’s a medium-dark tan brown with warm undertones–a little red, a little yellow–and gold sparkle. This is the darkest/deepest bronzer of the launch, so for more than just a warm tint on deeper complexions, this would be your best bet (though you might consider other shades within the permanent range). This is like a darker version of MAC Soft Sand. Urban Decay Toasted is more red-toned.

The texture is soft, but a little dry, but it applies smoothly and evenly on the skin. I didn’t have any trouble blending it out (not like Soft Sand), and it’s very buildable, so you can go for softer, lighter coverage or intensify it, depending on your preferences and needs. I didn’t test this specific version of Refined Golden, but I tested one I already had (as it gets repromoted often) a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of the launch, and it wore for about seven hours.

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MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This shade is the most suitable for deeper complexions from the four available in this collection. It can still be used on lighter skin tones, because it is a buildable and blendable product.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Nude on Board Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Pro Longwear Bronzing Powders

MAC Hey, Sailor! Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder ($28.00 for 0.42 oz.) is a new (but limited edition) formula that features two shades: Nude on Board (bronzy, yellow tone) and Sun Dipped (dirty red tone). This new formula promises to yield “sheer-low transparent coverage” with “long wear” and a “natural finish.”

  • Nude on Board is a soft light-medium golden tan with subtle gold shimmer-sheen. On my skin tone (about NC30 at the moment), it adds subtle warmth and golden glow. This would be the shade most suitable for light to medium complexions. MAC Soft Sand is darker, redder. MAC GIve Me Sun! is a little more orange.
  • Sun Dipped is a light-medium brownish tan with a subtle beige-gold sheen. This shade is a little more buildable than Nude on Board, but it’s still more appropriate for light to medium-dark than medium to dark. I think it could still add a subtle warmth to all complexions, though. MAC Soft Sand is redder. MAC Golden is a little lighter. Chanel Sable Beige is a little yellower, more golden.

Side-by-side, Nude on Board seems lighter and warmer compared to Sun Dipped, which looks a bit dirty, brown, and gray. When swatched, however, the differences get minimized. Nude on Board is distinctly golden, yellow-toned in comparison, but Sun Dipped isn’t really darker, just a little less warm and it has more of a sheen than a shimmer. As I’m writing this review, I’m looking at them side-by-side on my forearm, and in my office lighting, it’s hard to tell them apart. The same is true when they’re applied to the cheeks! Moral of the story: you don’t really need both.  I anticipate that cooler complexions may see more of a difference.

The texture of the Pro Longwear Bronzing Powders is very, very soft and smooth–these powders are incredibly finely-milled and feel like silk against the skin. They apply even better; they apply softly, evenly, and blend out effortlessly.  It’s almost a creamy feel, because of how silky the powder is.  When I tested out the wear, Nude on Board lasted for eight hours without fading or migrating.  After ten hours, it was a little faded and patchy.

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MAC Hey, Sailor Pro Longwear Bronzing Powders Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
Both of these are some of the best products from the collection. It's a shame that the formula is limited edition--what's the point?--but you get so much in each compact, it should last you until MAC repromotes it next summer (assuming they do).

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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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
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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

Results
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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

Results
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