Monday, November 25th, 2013

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick
Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Nude Glow Shimmer Brick ($45.00 for 0.22 oz.) is described as a “shimmering quartet of pearlescent colors.” It’s a medium-dark, bronze and copper-shimmered brown with a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. There is a hint of gray to the browner coloring, but it is still a warm-toned hue. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is less shimmery, warmer. Chanel Accent (84) (LE, $43.00) is rosier. Kevyn Aucoin Natura (P) is less shimmery. MAC Exotic Ember (LE, $25.00) is darker, browner. MAC Pressed Amber (LE, $25.00) is grayer. MAC Superb (LE, $30.00) is slightly rose-toned. Bobbi Brown Bahama (LE, $38.00) is rosier. See comparison swatches.

Shimmer Bricks can be used as face/cheek products, but they individual shades can also be used as eyeshadows. For the purposes of this review, it focuses on the product worn as a cheek product. I have included swatches of the individual shades for anyone who might be thinking about using it them as eyeshadows. It had good color payoff, and the texture of the powder is soft, finely-milled, and very blendable on the skin. It just slightly emphasized pores, but it was hardly noticeable if you weren’t really looking for it (as in, I don’t think anyone but the wearer would notice!). It wore almost eight hours on me before gradually fading. There was some patchiness after nine and a half hours.

The Glossover

LE
product

Nude Glow

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, November 18th, 2013

Marc Jacobs Beauty Close-Up (302) Lightshow Luminizing Powder
Marc Jacobs Beauty Close-Up (302) Lightshow Luminizing Powder

Marc Jacobs Beauty Close-Up (302) Lightshow Luminizing Powder ($59.00 for 0.38 oz.) is described as a “multidimensional powder [that] flatters all skin tones by diffusing light and minimizing imperfections.” There are three colors within the palette, though you could certainly use them in any combination. Practically, it’s easier to use the highlighter on its own, and then using the two more contour-hued shades together, as an average-sized blush brush doesn’t fit well into a single stripe without getting a little of what was next to it as well. The palette comes with a gold overspray, which will last a use or less, so I brushed it off entirely before swatching or using the powder. I wore the lightest shade as more of a highlighter with the less shimmery, more brown-ish shades as a blush and contour, respectively, and the highlighter seemed to fade faster than the others–at around seven hours–while the other two lasted a bit longer but not for a full eight hours. The powder is quite generously-sized, though, at 0.38 oz., but the performance could be better across the board.

Close-Up #1 is a pale, shimmering white with a subtle, cool, almost gray-ish, undertone. It had fairly good color payoff, but the texture was a little powdery, and it may be chalky against deeper complexions. I applied this to the cheekbone (with the other shades below as more of a contour), and it was very reflective, almost metallic, and did somewhat emphasize pores. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) is more sparkly but the two are similar. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is warmer. NARS Albatross (P, $29.00) has a stronger gold sheen/cast. Chanel Lumiere Sculptee de Chanel Highlighting Powder (LE, $72.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Close-Up #2 is a medium brown with soft, warm tan undertones and a satin finish. It had decent to good color payoff, and the texture was soft and finely-milled and not too powdery. This will be a better fit for lighter skin tones than mine as it really disappears on my medium complexion. Too Faced Spice (LE) is darker. NARS Laguna (P, $36.00) is darker. NARS Madly (P, $29.00) is rosier, darker. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Close-Up #3 is a golden, medium brown with a pale, yellow gold sheen. It had so-so pigmentation, but the texture was on the more powdery side. It’s soft, blendable, and easy-to-apply, though. Too Faced Spice (LE) is darker. MAC Gold Go Lightly (LE, $28.00) is warmer. MAC Sun Dipped (LE, $30.00) is redder in tone. Illamasqua Disobey (P, $26.00) is more matte, warmer. See comparison swatches.

For your reference, I also included swatches of the two brown shades blended together as well as all three shades together! The similarities in color with the two brown shades made them look almost like the same color, depending on the lighting, and the sizing of each component doesn’t lend itself to really individualized use.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Close-Up (302)

C+
I wore the lightest shade as more of a highlighter with the less shimmery, more brown-ish shades as a blush and contour, respectively, and the highlighter seemed to fade faster than the others--at around seven hours--while the other two lasted a bit longer but not for a full eight hours. The powder is quite generously-sized, though, at 0.38 oz., but the performance could be better across the board.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Close-Up #1

C+

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Close-Up #2

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder Palette
Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder Palette

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder Palette ($35.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a series of “tinted powders,” and according to the brand, they’re applied “over entire face to softly highlight” and “the coral pink shade [can be applied] to cheeks to create a healthy-looking glow.”

The small stripe of coral-pink is very small–it’s just not practical to use sections of the palette but rather all the shades swirled together. When swirled together, the resulting shade is a soft, peachy-beige with neutral-to-warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. The texture incredibly soft, finely-milled, and silky.  MAC Love, Rihanna (LE, $25.00) is darker, warmer. MAC Bareness (LE, $25.00) is pinker. MAC Blazing Haute (LE, $25.00) is slightly darker, more shimmery. MAC Peaceful (LE, $24.00) is more orange. Dior Pink Glow Bronzer (LE) is warmer, darker. See comparison swatches.

On fairer complexions, I could see this working as a subtle, easy-going bronzer. On my medium complexion, I can get a light coloring on my cheeks if packed on, but otherwise it just helps to even out my skin tone. In the photo, I applied it all over lightly and then patted onto the apples of cheeks as a “blush.” It wore well for eight and a half hours, and it did seem to help prolong the wear of my foundation slightly (by about a half hour) as it was also applied all-over the face.

The Glossover

LE
product

Graphic Expression

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, October 26th, 2013

MAC Love, Rihanna Bronzing Powder
MAC Love, Rihanna Bronzing Powder

MAC Love, Rihanna Bronzing Powder ($30.00) is described as a “soft golden brown with gold pearl.” It’s a medium brown with warm, yellow-orange undertones and a barely-there satin finish. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is slightly darker. MAC Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer (LE, $25.00) is similar–a touch yellower. Clarins Splendours (LE, $35.00) is darker. Burberry Copper Glow (P, $48.00) is similar. NARS Laguna (P, $36.00) is browner, more shimmery. MAC Soft Sand (LE, $25.00) is less orange. Dior Pink Glow Bronzer (LE) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Now, for the first several swatches or uses of the product, it’s a completely different color, because the raised “R” in the compact has a copper-hued frost over-spray which dramatically changes the color to a coppery, medium-dark brown. Unfortunately, it is just an over-spray, as I vigorously brushed away all of the over-spray on the lettering, and it did disappear, and I did, also, dig into the pan a bit and only saw more of the softer brown color come through. I think this could have been more of a special shade if the color on the “R” went all the way through the powder. The consistency of the powdery was fairly soft and velvety, and it blended easily on the skin.  It had decent to good color payoff (judging by once all of the over-spray was removed).  I wore it yesterday, and it wore well for seven and a half hours, and then it started to look a bit faded after eight hours of wear.  The best part about the powder was how blendable it was, but it is similar to a lot of bronzers by MAC (including Hibiscus Kisswhich launched in the summer under the RiRi Hearts MAC banner).

The MAC x RiRi Hearts MAC Holiday Collection launches in December. I don’t have a specific date yet, and as soon as I do, you’ll see me update the collection’s official information post. Your best bet is to catch me on Twitter or Facebook, as I usually make a mention on social media first :)

Please note:  this is a sneak peek.  I’m in the process of testing for wear, and as soon as I wrap up testing, I will update this post with that information as well as a full rating.

The Glossover

LE
product

Love, Rihanna

B+
The best part about the powder was how blendable it was, but it is similar to a lot of bronzers by MAC (including Hibiscus Kiss, which launched in the summer under the RiRi Hearts MAC banner). If they had kept the coppery color sprayed over the "R," I think this would have been a big hit - something more different than similar.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, October 21st, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Warm Face Palette
MAC Stroke of Midnight/Warm Face Palette

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Warm Face Palette ($49.50 for 0.295 oz.) is a warm-toned palette with products for eyes, lips, and face. It contains three eyeshadows (0.028 oz. each), two lipsticks (0.024 oz. each), one iridescent powder (0.176 oz.), and one eye pencil (0.015 oz.). The products represent a a total value of $44.09 –$16.80 worth of eyeshadows, $7.20 worth of lipsticks, $15.09 worth of iridescent powder, and $5 worth of eyeliner. Over time, as more and more brands churn out mega palettes for the holidays all around $50 or so, and I wish MAC would step-up the value (or reduce the cost) of their holiday sets and kits.  Golden and Showstopper were the major misses here, as neither performed well; while Myself wears away quickly and Coffee is uncomfortable to use.

Golden is described as a “muted golden tan-beige with shimmer.” It’s a softened, medium orange-brown with golden shimmer. The texture of this was strangely dry and almost crumbly/chunky. It flaked away and didn’t bind together well. The color payoff was so-so but it tended to sheer out/blend away as the product didn’t stick to the skin well. What did apply lasted six and a half hours. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil (P) is browner. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is similar. NARS Laguna (P, $36.00) is more golden.MAC Soft Sand (LE, $25.00) is darker, browner. See comparison swatches.

Myself is described as a “light dirty mauve with traveling pearl [with a Lustre finish].” It’s a pale, muted pink with neutral undertones and a golden sheen. On lips, it lightens the natural color and has semi-opaque color coverage. It wore for two hours. MAC Sublime Pleasure (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Flair for Finery (LE, $15.00) is also similar. MAC Feed the Senses (LE, $15.00) is darker. Revlon Pink Lemonade (P, $7.49) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Love Talk is described as a “mid-tone cool nude [with a Cremesheen finish].” It’s a plummy brown with neutral-cool undertones and a luminous sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage and wore for four hours. It was a smidgen drying–but this is typical of Cremesheen finishes for me, though I know others do not have any issues with this finish! Bobbi Brown Soft Nude (P, $24.00) has more plum in it. MAC Viva Glam VI (P, $15.00) is more frosted, less brown. Guerlain Chant d’Aromes (P, $35.00) is more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Uber Suede (P, $24.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Tenderly is described as a “soft warm pink with frost [with a frost finish].” Though it has pink tones, it translated to more like a neutral-cool pale beige with a warmer, golden sheen. It had so-so color payoff. NARS Mississippi Mermaid (LE, $24.00) is similar. Disney by Sephora Scuttle (LE) is warmer. MAC Dew (LE, $15.00) is similar. Dior Fairy Golds #1 (LE) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

After Dusk is described as a “mid-tone rosy pink with pearl [with a Veluxe Pearl finish].” It’s a rosy plum with a frosted, metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was soft and smooth. theBalm Just This Once Jamie (P, $16.00) is browner. MAC Performance Art (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Universal Appeal (LE, $21.00) is less warm-toned. MAC Trax (P, $15.00) is purpler. MAC Star Violet (P, $15.00) is darker. Chanel Harmonie du Soir #3 (LE) is less metallic. See comparison swatches.

Showstopper is described as a “deep blackened brown [with a Matte finish].” It’s a cool-toned, deep dark brown with a matte finish. The only problem is it doesn’t look like much applied, because it had such poor color payoff and a really stiff, dry texture that made it difficult to apply and blend. Too Faced Dark Chocolate (LE) is warmer. Tom Ford Beauty She Wolf #1 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Boardroom (LE) is similar. MAC Set to Dance (LE, $15.00) is darker. MAC Midnight Flurry (LE, $15.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Diamond Dove (LE, $15.00) is similar. Inglot #329 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Coffee is described as an “intense bronze.” It’s a chocolate brown with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had good pigmentation, but the texture was a bit dry. It was uncomfortable to apply to the lash line, as it tended to skip and tug. The color wore well for almost eight hours with minimal fading. Bobbi Brown Chocolate (LE, $24.00) is similar. Urban Decay Demolition (P, $19.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Rich Experience (P, $20.00) is more neutral-toned. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Stroke of Midnight/Warm

C

Golden and Showstopper were the major misses here, as neither performed well; while Myself wears away quickly and Coffee is uncomfortable to use. It was a disappointing palette overall.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Golden

D-

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Myself

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes
Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes

Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes ($45.00 for 1.28 oz.) features two palettes, one titled Be Merry, the other titled Be Bright. Each palette has six eyeshadows and two cheek colors. Each eyeshadow contains 0.06 oz. of product, while each cheek color contains 0.14 oz. The two palettes come in a zippered makeup bag with a full-sized Lash Injection mascara. The approximate value of this palette is $285, with a breakout of: $216 worth of eyeshadow, $48 worth of cheek products, and $21 worth of mascara.  Overall, the Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup palette set is quite nice, and the Be Merry palette has solid pigmentation across the board with no troublesome shades; the “worst” was Chocolate Moon, which was a little drier compared to the other shades.  The worst performer in Be Merry was Mauvelous, which was prone to fall out and sheerer.  The majority of the products wore well, with the eyeshadows ranging from eight to nine hours on average with Mauvelous was the only one that had fall out during wear.

Egg Nog is a pale, neutral beige with a matte finish. It had good color payoff and was soft, smooth, and not powdery. Too Faced Cream Colored Ponies (LE) and Too Faced Snow Angel (LE) are both similar. theBalm B1 (LE, $16.00) is warmer. LORAC Cream (P) is darker. Too Faced Dainty (LE) is pinker. bareMinerals Boss Lady (LE) is similar. theBalm Matt Smith (LE, $16.00) is also similar. theBalm Adagio (P, $16.00) is a touch darker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame (P, $18.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Shroom (P, $15.00) more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Very Merry is a light-medium green with golden, yellow undertones and a frosted finish. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and buttery. Urban Decay Jealous #2 (LE, $18.00) is similar. MAC Golden Olive (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Lucky Green (P, $15.00) is brighter. Dior Garden Pastels #1 (LE) is less frosted. bareMinerals Wicked (P) is lighter. Inglot #412 (P, $6.00) is more metallic but very similar. See comparison swatches.

Buttered Rum is a warm, golden medium-dark brown with a frosted, metallic finish and warm undertones. It had really nice color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. Sleek MakeUP Court in Cannes (LE, $9.99) is lighter. Chanel Initiation (827) (LE, $36.00) is more sparkly. MAC Her Cocoa #3 (LE, $15.00) is darker. Urban Decay Ambush (LE, $18.00) is less metallic. Urban Decay Radar (LE, $18.00) is browner. Too Faced Gangsta (LE) is slightly darker. Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss #4 (P, $30.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Bubbly is a warm, light-medium peach with soft gold shimmer. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was smooth overall, but the gold shimmer seemed to flake away from the underlying color. Too Faced Whiskers on Kittens (LE) is darker. Too Faced Spike the Punch (LE) is warmer. MAC Her Cocoa #2 (LE, $15.00) is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Newport Nights #2 (LE) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Brown Sugar is a dark, chocolate brown with warm, red-orange undertones and a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. It had excellent pigmentation and a soft, buttery texture. Too Faced Yule Log (LE) is less metallic, darker. MAC Divine Decadence (LE, $15.00) is similar. Urban Decay West (LE, $18.00) is darker. MAC Roasted Chestnut (LE, $32.50) is similar. Inglot #421 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Chocolate Moon is a dark gray with brown undertones and a soft sparkle. It looked brown in the pan but swatched rather gray, so it was unusual in that respect. Kat Von D Dark Throne (LE) is similar. theBalm A4 (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery. Urban Decay Poison (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Kat Von D Siouxsie-sioux (P) is similar. MAC Steel (LE, $15.00) is more shimmery. MAC Typographic (P, $15.00) is less sparkly, less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Spice is a light-medium orange with subtle brown tones and a golden sheen. It had so-so color payoff with a slightly dry texture. On my medium complexion, it added slight golden warmth but didn’t look too orange, and the satin sheen did not emphasize pores. It wore well for eight hours but was faded after nine hours. MAC Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer (LE, $25.00) is more orange. Burberry Summer Glow (P, $48.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Peachy Keen is a warm, light-medium pink with gold shimmer. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft. This one did slightly emphasize pores with the higher shimmer content. It wore well for almost eight hours. Physicians Formula Natural (P, $11.99) is less shimmery. MAC Rio (LE, $23.50) is warmer. Milani Dolce Pink (P, $7.99) is similar. MAC Star Wonder (LE, $23.50) is darker. Benefit Bella Bamba (P, $28.00) is darker. NARS Orgasm (P, $29.00) is similar. bareMinerals The Natural High (LE, $22.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Be Merry, Be Bright

A-

Overall, the Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup palette set is quite nice, and the Be Merry palette has solid pigmentation across the board with no troublesome shades; the "worst" was Chocolate Moon, which was a little drier compared to the other shades. The worst performer in Be Merry was Mauvelous, which was prone to fall out and sheerer.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Egg Nog

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Very Merry

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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