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!

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  • 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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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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