Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched Bronzer
Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched Bronzer

Le Metier de Beaute Sun Drenched Bronzer ($55.00 for 0.49 oz.) is a deepened, orange-toned brown with subtle gold sparkle. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes (05) (LE, $75.00) is less warm-toned, matte. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is more shimmery, lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is lighter, more muted. Clarins Splendours (LE, $35.00) is less shimmery, a little lighter. See comparison swatches.

According to the brand, the bronzer is described as a “sheer, silky-light powder.” If by sheer, they mean, intensely pigmented with the merest flick of the wrist, sure, we’re on the same page, but since that’s not at all what sheer means, their description is far off. The powder is so, so pigmented–a little goes such a long way–but the texture is incredibly soft, silky, and finely-milled, so at least part of what they say is true. It’s just slightly powdery, though. It’s absolutely possible to get a softer, sheerer application out of the bronzer, but you’ll want to use a stippling or less-dense brush and a lighter hand to do so. Otherwise, the application is easy, as the powder is very blendable, and it wears for a full eight hours before gradually fading.

The Glossover

P
product

Sun Drenched

B

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, January 20th, 2014

NARS NARSissist Cheek Kit
NARS NARSissist Cheek Kit

NARS NARSissist Cheek Kit ($49.00 for 0.24 oz.) includes three cheek products–a highlighter, blush, and bronzer. I can’t tell you how frustrating it was to start photographing and swatching this only to realize that lo and behold, it’s Orgasm and Laguna yet again. NARS has a full range of blushes, and even more, a lot of them are amazing. I wish NARS would work on introducing fans to new shades rather than throwing the same two at us over and over again. If you picked up the One Night Stand palette over the holidays, you already have all three shades within that palette. The permanent versions of Orgasm and Laguna that I have are both softer, less stiff,  and easier to work with than the palette versions included here. I didn’t care for the brush; it was somewhat scratchy and rough against the skin. I used it for application, and it agitated the skin on my cheeks to subtle but reddened bumps (something I experience with MAC’s 129 as well).

In terms of value, it’s hard to really pinpoint it, since you are getting a brush with it. If we just pretend the brush isn’t part of the equation, it works out to be $204.17/oz. as compared to $181.25/oz. for a full-sized blush (and $128.57/oz. for full-sized Laguna). You can also purchase a duo of Orgasm/Laguna for $41 (or $117.14/oz., as it contains 0.35 oz. — more than this palette in total!), or the mini-sized version for $24 (0.17 oz. total, or $141.18/oz.).

Devotee is a pale, pink-tinged beige with a frosted finish. The texture is soft, lightweight, and easy to blend. It had buildable color payoff to about semi-opaque, but it is designed to be a highlighter than a blush. I was surprised, but it just barely emphasizes pores, and if you really blend it out a lot, it becomes very glowy and luminous without the emphasis. It wears six and a half hours on me, which is short of average. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) is similar. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is warmer. NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Orgasm is described as a “peachy pink with golden shimmer.” It’s a warm, medium pink with a stong golden shimmer-sheen. Too Faced Peachy Keen (LE) is similar. Guerlain Blush G (LE, $65.00) is also similar. Milani Dolce Pink (P, $6.49) is very similar. Guerlain Peach Boy #2 (P) is slightly less pink. Benefit Sugarbomb (P, $28.00) is softer. See comparison swatches.

Laguna is a medium-dark tan brown with warm, orange-yellow undertones and a golden shimmer-sheen finish. I reviewed this in full here. I find the quality of the Laguna in this palette to be the same as it was in the previous palette I tried (NARS Hearts New York); the quality of the individual pan is slightly higher. It lasts well for eight hours, had good color payoff, and a fairly soft texture. Urban Decay Toasted is darker, browner. MAC Lush Light Bronze is warmer. MAC Refined Golden is browner, darker. MAC Soft Sand is slightly warmer, lighter. Burberry Summer Glow is more yellow-toned. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

NARSissist Cheek

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Devotee

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Orgasm

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

MAC Magnetic Nude Extra Dimension Skinfinishes
MAC Magnetic Nude Extra Dimension Skinfinishes

There are three shades of MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($30.00 for 0.31 oz.) in the upcoming Magnetic Nude collection, which launches in-stores and at-counter on December 26th. Superb is a repromote, while the other two shades are new (and of course, limited edition). Those are the two that I’m testing for wear today, so I will update with ratings and wear times once I’ve finished wearing them.

Fairly Precious is described as a “peach with dimensional pearly green.” It’s a light-medium, peach (that leans a little orange) with a warm undertone and a frosted sheen. It had excellent color payoff, and the texture was soft and easy to blend out on the skin. On medium and deeper complexions, it will primarily add sheen with, at best, a little warmth. On fairer complexions, it will do both. It looks soft, glowy, and luminous on the skin and just slightly emphasizes pores and the skin’s texture.  It lasted for seven and a half hours before showing signs of fading. MAC Perfectly Poised (Outer) (LE, $30.00) is darker, more orange. Becca Rose Gold (LE, $38.00) is darker, less orange. NARS Realm of the Senses #3 (LE, $29.00) is similar but less frosted. MAC Solar Ray (LE, $25.00) is more orange, darker. Chanel Espiegle (P, $43.00) is darker, pinker, less frosted. Le Metier de Beaute Whisper (P, $30.00) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Magnetic Appeal is described as a “medium tan with fine gold sheen.” It’s a coppery-brown with a copper-gold shimmer and warm undertones. This was less frosted compared to the other two, but when blended, it does take on a more metallic finish (but not quite as metallic as Fairly Precious or Superb). I’m surprised to see this one, because it was really quite similar to MAC’s Glorify–the range isn’t so extensive that you’d expect to see such close releases. It had excellent pigmentation, and the color applied well on the skin and blended very easily. I saw slight emphasis of pores/skin texture, but it was minor (and compared to its metallic finish, again, impressive). It wore well for a full eight hours before starting to fade at the edges.  bareMinerals The Many Splendors #3 (LE) is more golden. MAC Perfectly Poised (Outer) (LE, $30.00) is lighter, less brown. MAC Gold Deposit (P, $30.00) is more orange, less brown. MAC Glorify (LE, $30.00) is slightly browner, more metallic. See comparison swatches.

Superb is described as a “soft peachy nude with multidimensional shimmer.” It’s a soft, muted beige-brown with champagne frost and shimmer. This shade has been repromoted twice in the past, and I’ve reviewed it twice before, so I won’t be re-testing this, but the photos and swatches are from the latest release (but is the same as the past releases). To recap, it’s a rather frosted, shimmering finish. Depending on the skin tone, it can add both color as well as a highlighting sheen. It has a fairly metallic finish, and yes, it does emphasize pores, but it is very slight, and for something as metallic as this, it’s impressive how little it does that. It wears eight hours with minor fading on me. Bobbi Brown Nude Glow (LE, $42.00) is lighter. MAC Redhead (LE, $30.00) is less beige. MAC Soft & Gentle (P, $30.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Fairly Precious

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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LE
product

Magnetic Appeal

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Superb

A-

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

bareMinerals The Many Splendors Face & Body Luminizer
bareMinerals The Many Splendors Face & Body Luminizer

bareMinerals The Many Splendors Face & Body Luminizer ($45.00 for 1.10 oz.) is composed of three shades that you could use alone or together, but the compact is quite large, so each section easily can be used individually (though probably not with the brush included with the set!). There is a very large powder brush that comes with the compact, and it’s actually incredibly soft, dense, and lovely to use (I was worried, as last time I tried brushes from bareMinerals, they were very scratchy). However, for all those good characteristics, it’s massive and quite long, so it’s almost floppy. It provides a very dense and heavy-handed application. The brush is nice on its own, but I didn’t love it with this particular product. It’s a mega-sized powder–can’t imagine running out of it any time soon!–and if you use highlighters or bronzers on decolletage or the body, it would go a long way.  The quality of the powders is okay; the peachy shade was oddly under-pigmented, while the bronzer was very pigmented and easy to blend.

The Many Splendors #1 is a pale, gold-shimmered beige. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and finely-milled. I noticed, however, that applied, it did somewhat emphasize pores. It wore for seven hours. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is warmer. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is similar. NARS Albatross (P, $29.00) is very, very similar. See comparison swatches.

The Many Splendors #2 is a warm-toned, peachy-pink with a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. This one had so-so color payoff–it was unusually difficult to get pigmentation out of it, even though it seemed soft to the touch. When applied, it did slightly emphasize pores and wore for seven and a half hours. On very fair skin, this could work as a blusher, but on my medium complexion, it worked out more as a highlighter with a smidgen of color. MAC Talk of the Town (LE, $25.00) is darker. NARS Sex Appeal (P, $29.00) is more matte. MAC Amber Glow (LE, $25.00) is similar. Le Metier de Beaute Whisper (P, $30.00) is similar. See comparison swatches.

The Many Splendors #3 is a medium-dark, orange-brown with a deep, orange-gold frosted sheen. It had excellent color payoff, and it was the best performing shade within the compact. It wore for eight hours well, though it did slightly emphasize pores and imperfections. Too Faced Sun Bunny #1 (P) is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest (P, $3.99) is less shimmery. Disney by Sephora Golden Sands (LE, $55.00) is browner. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

palette

The Many Splendors

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

The Many Splendors #1

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

The Many Splendors #2

C

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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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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