Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush
Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Sea Star

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) is a duet of bronzer and blush The bronzer is a medium-dark tanned peach with subtle gold sheen, while the blush is a semi-sheer coral-red with soft gold sparkle. Estee Lauder suggests using them together or alone, but the way the star is splayed out, you’re likely to get at least a little bit of the bronzer shade with the blush. Together, they swirl to create a orange-peach with a subtle play of pink and a gold-tinged sheen and some gold sparkle.

I found the gold sparkle too obvious; it created a less-than-desirable texture because it didn’t feel as smooth and almost gave it a powdery feel. The color itself was on the sheerer side and tended to sheer out even more when blending. It’s definitely a subtle product, because I could not build up much color in the swatch.

My compact felt wobbly–like you could shake it and hear parts moving about, but the pan didn’t fall out when I held it upside down. It just felt flimsy and not nearly as secure as I’d like. It’s possible that it is an individual product defect and that the majority won’t find this an issue. The design on the powder itself is lovely, and the golden sheen on part of the starfish is overspray but there is some shimmer/sparkle in the powder afterward.

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esteeLauderSeaStar

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

C
I don't think it excels at either blushing or bronzing and falls somewhere in the middle. Based on the amount of orange in the swirled color, I'd recommend this for warmer skin tones, because it may turn ruddy and too orange on cooler skin tones.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, March 25th, 2011


MAC Give Me Sun! Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

MAC Give Me Sun! and Sun Power MSFN Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural ($27.00 for 0.35 oz.) have two new and permanent shades–for achieving that sunkissed glow, that is.  They will debut and stay in the range beginning April 7th with the Bronze Everyday Collection, which also features Bronzing Powders (most, if not all, already in the line), Skinsheen Leg Spray (now permanent), two Mineralize Skinfinishes (already permanent), and two new bronzing shades of Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (now permanent).

Give Me Sun! is described as a “light summer peachy tan.” This is the shade I felt suited my medium skin tone (NC25/NC30) best, because it wasn’t too dark, too orange, and it was very natural. It blends out easily, so I would also recommend it for lighter skin tones as well as medium skin tones.

Sun Power is described as a “deep terracotta bronze.” It has a stronger earthy red undertone while being a deeper and darker tanned bronze overall. I would recommend it for medium-dark to deep skin tones.

The texture of Mineralize Skinfinish Natural works really well as a bronzer, too. The finely milled powder is lightweight, blends effortlessly, and the lack of sheen makes it look delightfully natural. It is a real shame that MAC didn’t also decide to make the 131 brush permanent, because I findit to be an excellent brush for bronzer–impossible to overdo! The next best brush I’ve found is tied between the 116 and 168.

P.S. — I’m only reviewing the Lustre Drops and new Mineralize Skinfinish Natural shades (the majority of the rest has been permanent or reviewed previously here on the blog).

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MAC Give Me Sun! and Sun Power MSFN Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
From the testing I've done so far, I actually like these more than MAC's Bronzing Powders, which are good, but these are so soft and silky smooth.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Neiman Marcus Exclusive: Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

  • Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer is a medium-dark pink with gold micro-glitter and sheen; it is slightly cool-toned, though it seems to shift between cool and neutral depending on how the light hits it. It applies rather sheerly but can be intensified for a more obvious blush.
  • Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss is an ultra sheer gloss that really has a clear base with pink and gold shimmer. This shade is available individually.
  • Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a blackened burgundy brown. This shade is available individually.
  • Eye/Lip Brush is a miniature-sized brush with a glossy black cap that slips on and off. It’s not officially labeled, but it seems like a really narrow lip brush–not quite small enough to be a true eyeliner brush though it does seem to resemble the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush a bit.
  • Face Brush is a fluffy, dome-shaped brush that resembles the Face Blender Brush. It seems wider and less tapered, though. It was soft against the skin.

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

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Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cute kit, and if you like every product in it, the price tag doesn't seem so difficult to pay.  If you were hoping for a value-packed deal, this isn't quite it.  The kit will complement cooler skin tones.  I wish the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer was available individually!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman: Video Review (Part 2 – Cheeks & Lips)

First impressions/preliminary review of the blushes, mineralize skinfinishes, lipsticks, and lipglasses from the MAC Wonder Woman Collection. I always film these as I swatch, so it is the first time seeing the products for me in the video as well.

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Wonder Woman: Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC PINK POWER MINERALIZE SKINFINISH ($35.00 for 0.70 oz.) is a super-mega-jumbo-sized tri-colored mineralize skinfinish. MAC describes the colors as peachy rose with pink shimmer, soft rosy bronze, and soft shell pink with fine shimmer.

The oversize mineralize skinfinish does allow for easy use of each color individually, and I could see mixing and matching, though they’re wearable on an individual level. The way I looked at these mineralize skinfinishes was they included a “highlighter” shade, “bronzing” shade, and “blushing” shade.

The “highlighting” shade, which I found was best used that way (more shimmer than color when applied), is a pale champagne beige with white-gold shimmer. The “bronzing” shade is a mid-tone orange-tinged brown, but it doesn’t feel orange-y (like Golden Lariat) with a subtle satin sheen. The “blushing” shade is a peached pink with a shimmer-sheen.

my thoughts on the formula: Mineralize Skinfinishes can be used for a variety of things–from blush to bronzer to highlighter. The way you use it depends on your skin tone, how pigmented the particular shade of mineralize skinfinish is, the texture, and what you want to use it for. These are baked products, so they can be used wet or dry without fear of ruining the product. The texture is soft, but the fineness of the shimmer depends on the individual shade. Stippling brushes like the 187 and 188 are ideal for applying mineralize skinfinishes.

Normally, mineralize skinfinishes retail for $28 (0.35 oz.), so this is double the size for $7 more. To put it simply, you’re paying $50/oz. rather than $80/oz. Whether you’ll ever use all whopping 0.70 oz. of it depends on you! It does feel huge, though, and the size makes it less convenient to tote around in your bag or makeup bag. I also think that for its gigantic-size, I would have loved to see a mirror included.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: I thought this one actually worked well–I can see a variety of skin tones working this. Golden Lariat may pull too orange to be wearable for some, but Pink Power looks beautiful applied. It has enough warmth to work for my warmer-toned friends, but it’s not so warm that it turns orange, so it should be lovely on cooler skin tones, too.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Wonder Woman: Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC GOLDEN LARIAT MINERALIZE SKINFINISH ($35.00 for 0.70 oz.) is a super-mega-jumbo-sized tri-colored mineralize skinfinish. MAC describes the colors as true coral with fine gold shimmer, soft suntanned bronze, and soft gold with fine shimmer.

The oversize mineralize skinfinish does allow for easy use of each color individually, and I could see mixing and matching, though they’re wearable on an individual level. The way I looked at these mineralize skinfinishes was they included a “highlighter” shade, “bronzing” shdae, and “blushing” shade.

There is a yellowed gold with pale white-gold shimmer that seems best used as a highlighter (virtually colorless when applied with a blush on my medium skin tone), while the middle shade is a reddened brown with a pearly sheen and seems more appropriate for bronzing (should work nicely on darker skin tones in particular). The final shade is a lightened rusted orange with pale gold shimmer and sheen; it’s less shimmery than the “highlighter” but more pigmented and does best as a blush–too much color to highlight, too orange to bronze.

my thoughts on the formula: Mineralize Skinfinishes can be used for a variety of things–from blush to bronzer to highlighter. The way you use it depends on your skin tone, how pigmented the particular shade of mineralize skinfinish is, the texture, and what you want to use it for. These are baked products, so they can be used wet or dry without fear of ruining the product. The texture is soft, but the fineness of the shimmer depends on the individual shade. Stippling brushes like the 187 and 188 are ideal for applying mineralize skinfinishes.

Normally, mineralize skinfinishes retail for $28 (0.35 oz.), so this is double the size for $7 more. To put it simply, you’re paying $50/oz. rather than $80/oz. Whether you’ll ever use all whopping 0.70 oz. of it depends on you! It does feel huge, though, and the size makes it less convenient to tote around in your bag or makeup bag. I also think that for its gigantic-size, I would have loved to see a mirror included.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: I like this best for warmer, more golden complexions. It reminded me somewhat of Cheeky Bronze Mineralize Skinfinish, because of the orange-y pull of the shades.  I think this product is good but not great–keep in mind that ultimately the value metric boosts up the overall rating of this product.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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