Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection – Golden & Refined Golden Bronzer Review, Photos, & Swatches

Here are both bronzers in their faux-glowing glory!  Keep in mind that both of these shades are permanent and available all year ’round–just in typical black packaging.

  • Golden is a lightened beige-tan with subtle gold shimmer.  On my arm, which is around NC20, it barely shows up once it’s blended out.  I think for our fairer friends, this could work as a subtle, no-fuss bronzer.  For darker beauties, not so much.
  • Refined Golden is a dirty brown with a very fine golden shimmer strewn through the powder that’s barely noticeable when used. I don’t find it turns orange-y at all, so I like it for a bronzing option. It’s dark enough to work on light to medium dark complexions, but it’s not so dark that it will look drastic on lighter skin tones.

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Beach Bronze Cream Bronzer

MAC To the Beach Collection — Beach Bronze Cream Bronzer Review, Photos, Swatches

From MAC To the Beach, we find two cream bronzers, a first from the company to my recollection. They’re creamy, but they’re very thin and lightweight.  They blend out quite a bit, and in the process, sheer out as well.  The products themselves seem pretty large, given that they’re the size of MAC’s bronzing powders–bigger than a blush.

  • Beach Bronze is a creamy, sheer warmed-up, tan-brown with gold shimmer. It can be worn heavily, but it’s hard to really pack on the color and blend it out simultaneously, because once you start blending it, it melts and sheers out a bit. I think it’ll be a nice, subtle bronzer on those with light to medium skin tones. Those with deeper skin tones may find it works well as a cream highlighter or skin brightener than as an actual bronzer.
  • Weekend is an orange-tinged suntan brown with subtle copper shimmer.  This is much more on the orange side compared to Beach Bronze. I’d also say this is a bit darker and more pigmented, so it may work best on deeper skin tones.

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Get-Away Bronze Blush

MAC To the Beach Collection – Blush Reviews, Photos, & Swatches

Wow, these two blushes are at totally different ends of the spectrum–which isn’t a bad thing–but not something we usually see in a single collection.

  • Get-Away Bronze is a lightened, metallic bronze with a frost sheen.  This is definitely going to be a very bold, bronzed cheek–lots of frost and sheen.  Kind of like Other Worldly, which I do love, but it photographs terribly (on cheeks, that is).  I think our tanned beauties (faux or natural) may appreciate this shade more so than lighter, fairer skin tones.
  • Hipness Blush is a soft pink with a hint of coral with a smooth finish–very satiny, not shimmery. It was originally released with the Fafi and MAC collaboration. Hipness is pinker–less orange–and more pigmented than Instant Chic from Pret-a-Papier. Hipness is much pinker and lighter than Marine-Life high-light powder.

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Hipness Blush

MAC To the Beach Collection — Hipness & Refined Golden Swatches & Photos

I reviewed these originally with the sneak peek from last week. I’m re-posting what I said about both in this post, but the photos are of the products in the limited edition packaging.

  • Hipness Blush is a soft pink with a hint of coral with a smooth finish–very satiny, not shimmery. It was originally released with the Fafi and MAC collaboration.  Hipness is pinker–less orange–and more pigmented than Instant Chic from Pret-a-PapierHipness is much pinker and lighter than Marine-Life high-light powder.
  • Refined Golden Bronzer is a dirty brown with a very fine golden shimmer strewn through the powder that’s barely noticeable when used. I don’t find it turns orange-y at all, so I like it for a bronzing option. It’s dark enough to work on light to medium dark complexions, but it’s not so dark that it will look drastic on lighter skin tones. This is a permanent product, but I have it because it was released with Style Warriors. (Which also released Solar Riche as the second bronzer in that collection, whereas To the Beach features Golden, also a permanent bronzing shade.)

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Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

YSL Golden Sand Bronzer

Bronzer Without the Shimmer with YSL

YSL Golden Sand (03) Terre Saharienne ($50.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a rich, golden tanned bronzer from YSL’s Solaris Collection. YSL is releasing three shades of Terre Saharienne that are both new and permanent — Sand (01), Copper Sand (02), and Golden Sand (03).

Golden Sand is a rich, golden bronze with an orange undertone. It has very, very faint shimmer, which translates into more of a subtle sheen that reflects light in an incredibly delicate way. This shade will work best for those of warmer and deeper skin tones, because the slight touch of golden orange in it may translate into an orange-y mess on those with paler and/or cooler skin tones. You can layer it on for an intense look or use it sheerly for a naturally bronzed look — you can see me wearing it in this look.

The packaging is classic YSL — the gold “metal” compact that flips open to reveal a large mirror and compact with YSL emblazoned in the middle. The back reveals all the pertinent information like its weight (0.35 oz.) and the active sunscreen ingredient (octinoxate 6%) — which is SPF 12. I like it for a more matte version of a bronzer — it’s not completely matte, but it’s not shimmery either. It’s also very finely milled, smooth to the touch, and easy to blend on the face.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re on the look out for a long-wearing, nearly shimmer-less bronzer, YSL’s new Terre Saharienne might work for you.  Golden Sand, in particular, works well for warmer, deeper skin tones with yellow or olive undertones.

Availability: June 2010

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Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Lancome Temptingly Bronze Bamboo Bronzer

Lancome Summer Riviera:  Temptingly Bronze Bamboo Bronzer

Lancome Temptingly Bronze Bamboo Bronzer ($45.00 for 1.41 oz.) wins the award for the prettiest product of the summer. (I would say year, but I suppose that’s just a wee bit premature. But let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised…) This is a collector’s item for sure, even though the bronzer itself is certainly lovely, there’s just no way for what’s underneath the design to compete with the intricate, woven pattern you see first.

Often during the summer, Lancome releases a specially designed, limited edition bronzing compact (more like compact disc…). This is not your ordinary bronzer, because this is about five times the size of the average bronzer (which is around 0.30 oz., while Lancome’s weighs in at 1.41 oz.). The compact is about the size of a music CD and half an inch thick and in a soft-glossed bronze plastic. Inside is a large-sized mirror (goes with the territory!), and then the holy grail of overlays.

But sadly, yes, as anticipated, all of the prettiness you see is an overlay. The subtle metallic gradient is an overspray that disappears once you start working your way through the bronzer. This is why I say it truly is a collector’s item, because there is no way to salvage or preserve the gorgeous-ness that is the design if you actually intend to use it. There is still a subtle shimmer-sheen to the bronzing powder, so it’s not entirely matte underneath.

The bronzer itself is a soft, silky-smooth sheered down bronze with slight orange undertones. It’s sheer enough that it’s great for those who are new or otherwise afraid of bronzer and going overboard. You won’t end up looking like an Oompa Loompa with this one! I do like that you’ll most likely never run out of bronzer with this compact.

I’m sure some of you are going to wonder why does this product still earn high marks even though the design is an overspray–that’s because it’s a known quantity with the bronzer, it’s not supposed to. It’s like pretty packaging on the inside instead of a funky compact, whether that makes you sad or not!

Can I just say that I would have died if Lancome had made the design go all the way through? I received this one as a press sample, but I’m probably going to buy another one, just to stare at and drool over–and this is something I never do. I’ve long since gotten over “ruining” designs and the like on products, but this one, I hesitated. I snapped a zillion photos, showed the boyfriend, and then said, “In the name of all that is beauty blogging…” and went to town.  But I pouted the whole time!

Ahh!  Just dreaming about a wickedly metallic, glowy deepened bronze that faded across to a brightened gold bronzer AND went all the way through makes me sigh inside.  Who’s with me?  Tell me I’m not alone! :)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: If you love bronzer and use it frequently–but want a subtle bronzer–Lancome’s ginormous bronzers aren’t a bad way to go. If you are a collector, the design on this is difficult to pass on!

Availability: Lancome

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