Monday, July 5th, 2010

Illamasqua Powdered Liquid Metal

Bronzed from Head to Toe

Illamasqua Thalia Powdered Metal (£22.00 for 0.52 oz.) is a golden bronze shimmered with gold with a soft, almost metallic sheen. It’s a loose powder that can be used alone or mixed with other products–it’s very much like any other multi-purpose loose color (e.g. Illamasqua’s Pure Pigments, MAC Pigments, etc.).

Thalia is a beautiful bronzer on medium to medium-dark skin, and it also works well as a light illuminator mixed with moisturizer or liquid foundation for those with medium to medium-dark skin. You can also throw it in your hair (try mixing it with shine spray), swirl it in a clear nail polish or creme-finish nail polish to frankenstein something new. It can also look pretty patted lightly on the center of lips over plums and reds finished by a quick slick of gloss.

A little goes a long way, and this is an incredibly finely milled powder, so it’s easy to use more than you need!   The packaging has a nice sifter on it, so it’s easier to control how much product comes out.  I like that you get plenty of the product without paying an arm and a leg, too. This is also a great body product for the summer, because you can dust it lightly on shoulders and legs (try it right after moisturizing, so it sticks better) for a subtle bronzy sheen.

Illamasqua also carries Bebhionn (soft pink shimmer) and Erzule (deep bronze shimmer).

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’d like a bit of faux glow tan without a lot of work, Powdered Metal definitely gets you there in a hurry!

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Traviata Blushing Bronze Duet

My New Favorite Summer Blush:  Le Metier de Beaute Echo

Le Metier de Beaute Traviata Blushing Bronzed Duet ($65.00 for 0.49 oz.) is a blush-bronzer duo that includes Echo Radiance Rouge Blush (delicate coral-pink) and Sun Kissed Bronzer (sheer, light bronze powder). Normally, the blush retails for $30 and the bronzer retails for $55. I don’t own either (and couldn’t find it via googling), so I’m not sure of the size of each individually. All I know is that 0.49 oz. of product is a good deal of product no matter how you slice it. (The average blush is around 0.15 oz.!)

Traviata is part of Le Metier de Beaute’s Endless Summer Collection for the summer season. They also have Romeo & Juliet (which I will review soon as well!). The collection includes Bella Bronze Liquid Illuminator ($85); Canvas, Spicy, Jade, Sequoia True Color Eyeshadows ($30 each); Tamarack Dualistic Eye Pencil ($36); San TropezManhattan Color Core Moisture Stain Lipstick ($32); Lip Creme Lip Gloss ($36).

Echo is pure gorgeousness swatched and applied. Warm-toned beauties will love this shade in particular–it has the depth and dimension and sophistication that every blush should have. It’s smooth, soft, and wickedly pigmented but easy to use. It’s buildable, but it’s a richly pigmented product if you want it to be. It has a lovely soft, subtle shimmer-sheen of gold over a coral-pink base. I wore it lightly in this look. This is definitely a very “me” color, so I’m obviously a bit biased/partial to it! I love that it gives my cheeks a warmed-over glow but doesn’t emphasize pores with frostiness.

Sun Kissed is nice, but I was a little gaga for Echo that Sun Kissed didn’t leave much of an impression on me! It has the same soft, smooth texture of Echo, but it’s not quite as pigmented. It’s a nice subtle bronzer that doesn’t turn orange nor pull too red, which makes it a nice, universally appealing shade. There is a slight golden sheen but very little shimmer.

Even though the duo may give you more product for your money, Echo is really the star in this product for me. If you’re as sold on it as me, luckily you can buy it on its own for $30 rather than $65. I like that, to be honest, just because you aren’t roped into buying one product you’re so-so on and one you’re dying for simultaneously! (Hello, most palettes, I’m talking to you!)

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Echo is to-die-for if you’re a coral blush fiend like myself. Truly a gorgeous, stunning shade that looks every bit as beautiful on as it does in the pan. Sun Kissed is a nice bronzer, and if you’re a regular bronzer wearer, the duo is certainly something worth looking into.

WHERE TO BUY: Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus

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Friday, June 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beach Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Beach Club Collection:  Beach Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Beach Shimmer Brick ($38.00 for 0.40 oz.) is a new Shimmer Brick for the summer. Shimmer Bricks come with five strips of color and can be used on cheeks or eyes, mixed or individually.

Beach actually works really well as eyeshadow, because it does have a nice fade from light to dark. When mixed together, Beach is a little darker than Beige Shimmer Brick but lighter than Bronze Shimmer Brick. Beach comes together to give a dirty bronze with red undertones and a very, very high frost finish. It has a champagne sheen, but it definitely feels like one of the frostier Shimmer Bricks I’ve tried.

I think on darker beauties, this could be a really lovely way to enhance your natural skin tone and give you that glow. On my light-medium skin tone (NC25), it comes off looking dirty when I wear it alone or maybe like I have a bit of a sunburn. It’s better if I wear a blush and use this as a light highlighter, but I still have to be careful to get it to work just right. My advice is to definitely use a stippling brush when applying it to avoid going overboard.  The shimmer seems to accentuate my skin flaws/texture of my skin–and not for the greater good!

I’m not loving it as a blush/bronzer, but I think the shades could definitely be used individually as eyeshadows, like the lightest as a quick wash of shimmer on the lid on days when you’re pressed for time. I also found this one just a bit too shimmery for my liking as well–but I do tend to find they’re more shimmer than I personally want (but hello? they are called SHIMMER Bricks for a reason!), so it’s not an issue of the product itself.  One thing that I do want to point out is that the Shimmer Brick contains over twice the amount of your average blush.

I’m curious to hear from other Shimmer Brick fans on whether this one hit the spot for them!

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: When used lightly, Beach can definitely add a nice dose of glow to your skin, but I think it may be better suited for those of medium to dark complexions. If you don’t like shimmer or if you only want subtle shimmer, Shimmer Bricks–particularly this one–are not for you!

Availability: Bobbi Brown

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Illamasqua Writhe Bronzer

Going Bronze with Illamasqua

Illamasqua Writhe Bronzing Powder (£20.00 for 0.32 oz.) is part of Illamasqua’s Body Electrics Collection, but it’s only available overseas as just Writhe.  In the U.S., Sephora carries Illamasqua Glint & Writhe Bronzing Duo ($27.00), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, to be honest.  The idea of ever using a single product so much that I’d need an entire compact of it seems unlikely, so sometimes a duo let’s you play with two shades for the price of one.  (By the by, Glint is a peachy highlighter kind of shade.)

Writhe has a very pretty, burnished copper-bronze look to it.  It has a slight metallic gold shimmer-sheen, but it can be applied very subtly for a softer look.  It’s nice as a bronzer or as a blush.  I didn’t find it too orange or red, though I think this definitely suits warmer skin tones best.  You can also layer it for a more intense, obvious bronzed cheek, too.  It is particularly shimmery, though, so those looking to use this all over the face may find it a bit much for day time.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love that burnished, sun-bronzed cheek, Writhe will achieve all that and more.  Very pretty when paired with golds on the eyes!

Availability: Sephora

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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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