Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer
Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer

Hourglass Luminous Bronze Light Ambient Lighting Bronzer ($50.00 for 0.39 oz.) is described as a “medium tan shade fused with Luminous Light.” It’s a muted, medium tan brown with warm, yellow undertones and a fine golden shimmer-sheen. Dolce and Gabbana Desert (P, $51.00) is less shimmery. Urban Decay Naked on the Run Bronzer (LE) is less shimmery. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze (P) is cooler-toned. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is more shimmery. IT Cosmetics Warm Radiance (P, $34.00) is more shimmery, cooler-toned. MAC Delphic (LE, $33.00) is similar. Too Faced Spice (LE) is similar. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is cooler-toned. MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is darker. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is similar. MAC Nude on Board (LE, $30.00) is slightly cooler-toned. MAC Soft Sand (LE, $25.00) is less shimmery. Burberry Summer Glow (P, $48.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The newest addition to the Ambient Lighting range is bronzer–just in time for summer–and is available in two shades. The formula is marketed as combining the “illuminating effects” of their signature Ambient Lighting powders with “bronze pigments” to give a “natural, sun-kissed glow.” It’s supposed to have “buildable color and a radiant finish” with a “sheer, airy” feel. This shade is supposed to be for “fair/light complexions” as it gives a “softer, candlelit warmth.” It had more semi-opaque color coverage to start, which could then be intensified to full coverage or sheered out for lighter coverage. If I wanted to dust this all-over, I’d have to use a light hand and a fan brush (something naturally feathery with little density).

When I first swatched it, I was worried about the level of shimmer, but on the skin, it is beautifully luminous and glowy–it doesn’t emphasize pores at all, and it doesn’t even look frosty. On my medium complexion, I had no trouble getting this to show up well on my skin tone, but it was surprisingly similar to Radiant Bronze Light (which is about two shades darker, but depending on application, any difference may be difficult to detect, as it was on my skin tone!). I would have loved to have seen a greater contrast between the two shades, since there are only two. The texture is silky, smooth, and seemed less prone to kicking up excess powder compared to the original Ambient Lighting Powders. On the skin, it blended effortlessly and wore well for eight hours before fading on me.

Forgot to mention: the Ambient Lighting Bronzers are the same physical size as the Ambient Lighting Powders. These have 0.39 oz. in them, whereas the original powders have 0.35 oz. On a price per ounce basis, the Bronzers are $128.21/oz. and the Powders are $128.57/oz. Of course, if you look at it from more of a “per use” basis, you may feel that you stand little chance of finishing the bronzer and would have preferred it in blush-size (which costs $35 for 0.15 oz. or $233.33/oz.).

The Glossover

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product

Luminous Bronze Light

A-

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette
Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette

Tarte Showstopper Clay Palette ($38.00 for 0.73 oz.) is a new, limited edition round compact that features six eyeshadows and three cheek products. It’s a decent to good eyeshadow palette, and though none of the shades are particularly unique, it may be nice for travel. The one thing to keep in mind is you may need to take your own brow bone/highlighter shade, as the cheek highlighter is pretty over-shimmered relative to the finishes of the eyeshadows. I think last year’s Rainforest After Dark palette was better coordinated, though, as the really warm-toned blush doesn’t complement the eyeshadow shades as well as it could. The quality is about the same, and I think if you normally use primer and like the colors included, you may really enjoy the palette. Most of the shades wore a little shorter on me, which brought down the overall rating.

Fame is a brightened pop of medium orange with warm, reddish tones and a mostly matte finish. It had good color payoff with what seemed like a soft, silky consistency in the pan, but it wasn’t as blendable as it could have been in action. Though Tarte touts the wear of the formula at twelve hours, it lasted for eight and a half hours on me.
See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Park Ave Princess is a dark brown with subtle, yellowish undertones and a semi-matte finish. You can find this in their permanent range as well, and if you have more than a handful of Tarte palettes, you probably have it in another palette as well! It had good pigmentation with a lightly powdery texture that was blendable on the skin and wore for eight hours. I feel like every version I have of this product is a little different than a past version; the one in this palette is a bit darker and less warm/red. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Champagne Pink is a brightened, pink-tinged white with a metallic sheen. It had a really soft, blendable consistency that yielded great pigmentation that could be applied easily on the skin. I recommend applying with a very feathery brush (I used a fan brush), as it can emphasize pores. It lasted for eight and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Showstopper Copper is a muted, medium-dark brown with warm, reddish undertones and silver sparkle. It had good pigmentation with a silky texture that ran thin but was still blendable and easy to work with. It lasted for seven hours on me. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Go for the Gold is a softened, dirty gold with warm undertones and a frosted sheen. The texture was slightly dry and thin, which gave it a semi-opaque result on the skin, while it had a tendency to sheer out further when blended on bare skin. It lasted for six and a half hours before creasing. This was the kind of eyeshadow that greatly benefits from a primer. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

You’re a Natural is a muted, peachy-brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had decent to good color payoff that had a soft, silky texture. It could get a smidgen powdery in the pan, but it applied evenly and blended well on the skin. On me, it started to crease after seven and a half hours. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Steel the Scene is a medium-dark, taupe brown with subtle, warm undertones and a frosted sheen. It had nice pigmentation with a soft, buttery texture that was really easy to blend on the eye. It wore well for eight hours before I noticed slight creasing. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Rose to the Top is a darkened, rosy copper with warm undertones and a metallic finish. It was intensely pigmented with a smooth, blendable texture that was dense and creamy. The color lasted for eight hours before creasing. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Dim the Lights is a deep, dark brown with neutrla-to-warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. It is more pigmented than it appears in the swatch, but the texture is a little powdery and doesn’t stick as well to bare skin, though it was buildable enough when I was using it on my eye in practice. It was fairly blendable and stayed on for seven and a half hours. See comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Showstopper

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Fame

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Park Ave Princess

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, March 28th, 2015


MAC Desert Roadtrip Cream Colour Base
MAC Desert Roadtrip Cream Colour Base

MAC Desert Roadtrip Cream Colour Base ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze.” It’s a copper-brown with warm undertones and a lighter golden copper frosted shimmer-sheen finish. Becca Topaz (P, $38.00) is yellower. Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow (LE, $45.00) is a powder.Becca Topaz (P, $38.00) is yellower, powder. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is a powder. Disney by Sephora Golden Sands (LE, $55.00) is a powder. theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer (P, $24.00) is darker, powder. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon (LE, $42.00) is a powder. Get comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

It had semi-opaque, buildable coverage that could be layered for opaque, true-to-pan pigmentation or blended out for a sheerer look. When sheered out, it tended to yield less shimmer, so the finish was more luminous than over-the-top shimmery. The consistency is lightweight, thin and spreadable, and blends out nicely on the skin, whether used on bare skin or over foundation. On me, it wore well for eight hours before fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Desert Roadtrip

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Guerlain Natural / Brunettes (03) Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo
Guerlain Natural / Brunettes (03) vs. Clair / Brunettes (01) Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo

Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo ($53.00 for 0.35 oz.) is supposed to create a “natural-looking, healthy glow” by using a “harmony of two shades.” There are four versions available, and I have the two designed for “Brunettes” (which tends to just mean warmer tones). It’s the type of product that is best applied swirled together, as the curved sliver of color on the edge is really quite thin, so only an eyeshadow brush could fit into it. Both shades had good, buildable color coverage with a soft, smoothing texture that looked good on the skin. The powder feels soft, silky, but thin and lightweight. They wore for eight hours each. The powders are heavily scented with a floral scent (primarily bergamot and gardenia) that I can smell from across the room when the compact is open and on my face (all day), so if you’re sensitive to scent, keep that in mind!

I was disappointed at just how similar the two were swatched and applied, because I don’t think anyone deeper than medium-tan or so will find these all that useful. Natural is only a shade or so darker with stronger yellow tones to it than Clair for Brunettes. On my skin tone, I couldn’t tell the difference between the two applied–they’re just too similar when you only have four shades! These also run very yellow/orange, less brown-based. I find that I prefer the shade range of the original Terracotta bronzers for more versatility (same price, quantity, better quality overall, and eight shades to choose from!).

Clair / Brunettes (01) Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo ($53.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a light-medium, peachy-orange with a semi-matte finish. It’s more like a natural matte finish, where the skin looks natural and isn’t flattened by the powder, but it’s not shimmery. The pigmentation was mostly opaque and seemed buildable and easily blended for a softer level of coverage. It wore well for eight hours before fading. Dolce and Gabbana Desert (P, $51.00) is darker. Urban Decay Naked on the Run Bronzer (LE) is darker. Dior Amber (002) (LE, $56.00) is slightly darker. Clarins Graphic Expression (LE, $35.00) is darker, more orange. Get comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

Natural / Brunettes (03) Terracotta Joli Teint Powder Duo ($53.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a medium, yellowed brown with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. Again, it doesn’t add a real shine or sheen to the face, but it doesn’t flatten away the skin’s natural radiance. It had good, buildable coverage, though it seemed less silky compared to Clair, that blended well and sat nicely on the skin. The color lasted for eight hours. Dolce and Gabbana Desert (P, $51.00) is darker. Urban Decay Naked on the Run Bronzer (LE) is darker. MAC Bronzer (LE, $30.00) is darker. Dior Amber (002) (LE, $56.00) is more shimmery. Clarins Graphic Expression (LE, $35.00) is more orange. Get comparison swatches / compare dupes side-by-side.

The Glossover

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product

Clair / Brunettes (01)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Natural / Brunettes (03)

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, March 16th, 2015

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette
Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette

Too Faced Cocoa Contour Chiseled to Perfection Palette ($40.00 for 0.68 oz.) is a set of highlighting and contouring powders. Two shades are most obviously contouring powders, while the other two lend themselves as more highlighters, but very fair skin tones may find they still have some color. The palette is very, very powdery–the interior is always covered in excess powdery dust and sparkle, and it can be frustrating when you get excess from the darkest shade with the lightest shade or sparkle from the highlighting shade mixed with the contouring shades. It is chocolate scented, which is noticeable when applied but wanes after two to three hours. The powders have a very soft, silky consistency with the highlighter shade having noticeable sparkle. All four shades were pretty pigmented and the silkiness made them easy to work with on the skin, and luckily, they didn’t look powdery applied. I also wish brands that released a palette like this would consider releasing at least two or three variations–this is very warm-toned and more mid-tone, so a lot of skin tones get left out.

Light Cocoa is a light, yellowed beige with a satin finish. It is a very, very subtle highlighter that I could only see marginally in person, but it doesn’t appear in photos at all. For my skin tone, it was more useful to blend out edges of the contouring shades. The texture was powdery though silky, and it lasted for seven hours before breaking down. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Medium Cocoa is a muted, medium-dark brown with subtle warm undertones and a semi-matte finish–there’s a smidgen of sheen but not a true satin or shimmery finish that ensures the powder looks natural but not flat on the skin. This looked more like a shadow that would fall on my face, though my guess is that it may be too warm-toned for those with rosier undertones. The texture was silky, very powdery, but blendable and easy to apply. It lasted for seven and a half hours before fading on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Dark Cocoa is a medium-dark brown with warm, yellow and red undertones and a semi-matte finish. It had intense pigmentation and a little went a long way. The texture is very soft and powdery, so while blendable, it is harder to control the amount of product you apply. If you have medium or lighter skin, you may want to tap off excess prior to applying. This is a very, very warm-toned choice for contouring, which may work for those with a lot of golden undertones, but it is likely too warm to look like natural shadow on the face. It looks more like your typical bronzer as a result. On me, the color wears for almost eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Pop of Light is a light, peachy-beige with gold sparkle. It illuminates subtly, and then it just has a lot of larger sparkly bits that sit on the skin but don’t really do much as half of the sparkles get lost and the other half are randomly dispersed on the skin (and then travel during wear). I wish they had opted for a finer shimmer that contributed to the overall sheen of the underlying powder. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

Cocoa Contour

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Light Cocoa

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Medium Cocoa

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, February 21st, 2015

NYX Beach Babe HD Blush
NYX Beach Babe HD Blush

NYX Beach Babe HD Blush ($6.50 for 0.16 oz.) is a brightened, gold-shimmered brown with warm, reddish-yellow undertones and a frosted finish. Bobbi Brown Bronze (LE, $45.00) is less red. Urban Decay Strip Bronzer (P) is slightly darker. Too Faced Sun Bunny #2 (P) is lighter. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is darker. Disney by Sephora Golden Sands (LE, $55.00) is darker. MAC Global Glow (P, $30.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It was nicely pigmented with color that could be applied at true-to-pan intensity. The texture was soft with a fairly silky feel that didn’t get too powdery–the least powdery shade I’ve tested so far from the new HD range–that blended easily on the skin. I also found that despite seeming rather shimmery when swatched, the finish is softer and more luminous than a true frost on the skin. It seemed to buff and diffuse especially well in practice. When I wore this blush (or bronzer), it stayed on well for seven and a half hours before fading.

The Glossover

P
product

Beach Babe

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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