Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

MAC Summer Opal Beauty Powder
MAC Summer Opal Beauty Powder

MAC Summer Opal Beauty Powder ($28.00 for 0.39 oz.) is described as a “light bronze with golden shimmer.” It’s a light, golden peach with warm undertones and a soft, frosted finish. Kevyn Aucoin Starlight (P, $44.00) is darker. Bobbi Brown Pink Glow (LE, $45.00) is lighter. Benefit CORALista (Palette) (P, $28.00) is warmer. Becca Guava/Moonstone (P, $27.00) is darker. Becca Fig/Opal (P, $27.00) is darker. MAC Stereo Rose (2014) (LE, $30.00) is peachier. MAC Perfect Topping (2014) (LE, $30.00) is pinker. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #2 (LE) is lighter. Becca Rose Gold (LE, $38.00) is darker. Urban Decay Glint (LE) is more sparkly. MAC Soft & Gentle (P, $30.00) is less peach. Le Metier de Beaute Whisper (P, $30.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC describes it as a “subtle luminescent glow” with a “micro-fine” and “silky” texture that has “sheer” coverage. It had semi-sheer color coverage when I applied it to the skin, but it seemed buildable if you wanted greater warmth/shimmer. The texture feels smooth, but it’s thinner and drier with the powder having a firmer press overall, though it didn’t seem stiff to me–I didn’t have any problems getting the highlighter onto the skin even with my softest natural hair brushes. It has enough shimmer in it to be luminous and lightly frosted, and it very slightly emphasized pores on my skin. With my medium skin-tone, it added a subtle warmth and sheen, but fairer skin tones may see a greater color impact and deeper skin tones may find it doesn’t add warmth, just shimmer. It wore well for eight hours before fading on me.

P.S. — This collection has gone really quickly online, unfortunately, so your best bet may be to find a local store that carries it, but I would recommend calling prior, as the distribution is “select locations,” but I don’t have any specific location information to pass on.

The Glossover

LE
product

Summer Opal

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter
Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter

Estee Lauder x Courreges Iridescent Ball Highlighter ($26.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a sheer wash of champagne sheen. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $28.00) is less shiny. Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 (P, $48.00) is thinner, liquid. NARS 413 BLKR (P, $30.00) is more shimmery. Illamasqua Aurora (P, $24.00) is more shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The product’s description is confusing, because in one breath, it’s described as an “iridescent powder gelee,” which is then followed by the term “sensorial cream.” To be totally clear, this is like a very firmly-packed cream–think like a lipgloss that’s been put into pan-form. It’s not at all powder-like, and it doesn’t dry down at all, so it remains shiny and glossy on the skin. If you prefer a more matte finish or lightly luminous highlight, this probably isn’t a product for you, because it is shiny and can look oily as much as it looks glossy. It’s not a product that worked well over foundation and only seemed suitable on bare skin (the latter of which is what I test wear for, but with something like this, I also play with it to see how it would react with base products under it), as over foundation, it tends to break down base products more quickly. It lasts for six and a half hours and migrates slightly over time (so the area that I highlighted got larger as the day goes on).

It doesn’t have underlying pigment in the base, but it has champagne shimmer that translates into more of a sheen, even though in the pan, it looks more beige/champagne. It’s very sheer when used, and the only way to get sheer to semi-sheer coverage is to pat the product onto the skin with fingertips and then only blend the edges with a soft touch. Otherwise, the product sheers out to nothing but a wet-looking sheen. In practice, it is more shine than shimmer, more shine than color. Estee Lauder said it could be used “dotted onto cheeks for an allover polished glow,” which I think would be a very specific look as it would give the skin a wet/oily sheen wherever it is applied (but might be nice for drier skin types), which can work when it’s done on high planes, but it is easy to go overboard if you apply it everywhere! The texture is thin, somewhat spreadable but really benefits from the warmth of fingertips rather than brush for good application. It’s not really tacky, but my hair will get stick to it (as will a stray dog hair, found that out as well!).

The brand could have described the color/coverage of this product better, because I think knowing that is necessary so anyone who purchases knows what they’re getting themselves into. In the press release, Courreges was inspired by his desire to “let the light into my clothes” when making this product. This is absent in Sephora’s description, but the press release seems to indicate that the coverage is something in the sheerer realm (certainly opaque, as light wouldn’t come through), though it isn’t totally clear where it’s supposed to fall, and it falls on the very, very sheer part of the spectrum. Descriptions like these (and lack of more specific ones) are what makes rating more difficult, and I’ve tried to weigh the idea that “this isn’t supposed to be opaque” with “but this is almost clear,” but sheer and clear are quite different to me. (Wouldn’t it be nice if brands used a 1-5 opacity system?!)

The pan is small, and it is hard to get some brushes in it with ease. Something about seeing the pan’s rim combined with the packaging felt cheap to me, but that’s a very subjective observation, so some may love it and others may feel the same. The amount contained in the pan seems small, but there aren’t a lot of products like this on the market to compare size with. I honestly think that a liquid highlighter (like Kevyn Aucoin’s or Becca’s) would be a better investment, but both will give a must less shiny finish.

The Glossover

LE
product

Iridescent Ball

D+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Friday, February 27th, 2015

Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder
Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder

Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder ($32.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a “glowing, otherworldly” powder with a “burst of pure light.” It’s a brightened, golden champagne with a frosted, metallic sheen. Tarte Champagne (LE) is slightly lighter. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is darker. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is a smidgen lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is slightly darker. Bobbi Brown 24 Karat (P, $42.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sephora gave early access to VIB Rouges to the new collaboration collection between Estee Lauder and Courreges, and this particularly product went very quickly (it’s not even listed on the site any more, but I’m hoping that it’ll reappear when the collection is fully launched as well as be available at other retailers and at counters). The texture is a lot like a baked powder product (think MAC Mineralize products) with a soft, smooth, but almost dry, feeling to the touch, though it doesn’t look dry on the skin. It had good color coverage that was easily blended and diffused on the skin, and for a really ethereal look, could be applied with a feathery touch and fan brush for a mere dusting of sheen. Applied with a more traditional highlighting brush, the finish can veer too metallic and emphasize pores slightly, but for as high-shine as it is, I was surprised that it didn’t make pores look glaringly obvious. It lasted for seven hours on me before fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Courreges

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Saturday, February 7th, 2015

MAC Mystery Princess Beauty Powder
MAC Mystery Princess Beauty Powder

MAC Mystery Princess Beauty Powder ($25.00 for TBA oz.) is described as a “pink beige with silver shimmer.” It’s a sparkling, cool-toned beige with a white base and a metallic, frosted sheen. MAC also described this as “matte” in the press release, but it is definitely not that, so my guess is that was misprint/mistake. Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 (P, $48.00) is warmer, liquid. Bobbi Brown Pink Glow (LE, $45.00) is slightly darker. Cle de Peau Delicate Pink (14) (P, $55.00) is less shimmery. Cle de Peau Pastel (11) (P, $55.00) is less shimmery, lighter. NARS Devotee (LE, $29.00) is similar. Urban Decay Luminous (P, $29.00) is warmer. MAC Too Chic (LE, $24.00) is less sparkly. MAC Snowglobe (LE, $24.00) is less sparkly. MAC Light Sunshine (LE, $24.00) is less sparkly. Chanel Poudre Signee de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $68.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

It’s not quite as sparklly as Coupe d’Chic, but the texture of the powder felt similar–dense, textured from the shimmer/sparkle content, but still fairly smooth. This one didn’t emphasize pores for me, though it’s metallic enough that if you’re more concerned about pore-size, you might want to try it in person if you can. It blended easily, and I had less issue with the sparkles getting all-over during application, but they do travel throughout wear. This is one of the more shimmery Beauty Powders I can recall, and it really felt and applied like the Iridescent Pressed Powder, but this shade was slightly less sparkly/glittery. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me before fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Mystery Princess

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, February 6th, 2015

MAC Coupe d'Chic Iridescent Pressed Powder
MAC Coupe d’Chic Iridescent Pressed Powder

MAC Coupe d’Chic Iridescent Pressed Powder ($28.00 for TBA oz.) is described as a “light golden peach with gold shimmer.” It’s a pinky-peach with warm, sparkling gold. Urban Decay Aura (P, $29.00) is warmer, less sparklly. Urban Decay Streak Highlighter (P) is less sparkly. theBalm Cindy-Lou Manizer (P, $24.00) is less sparkly, darker. bareMinerals The Many Splendors #2 (LE) is less sparkly. MAC Talk of the Town (LE, $27.00) is darker. Milani Dolce Pink (P, $7.99) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The texture was dense, almost cream-like (but definitely a powder), and you could feel the sparkle in the texture. I wouldn’t describe the texture as dry or gritty necessarily, but there is a ton of sparkle, and it comes through even by touch. As you might guess, due to the amount of sparkle and shimmer in it, there is some emphasis of pores and the skin’s natural texture. I found that most of the time, it also read rather metallic that it reflected enough light that pores weren’t noticeable. It’s a semi-sheer product without a lot of natural binding qualities, so a lot of the product seems to dust everywhere, so sparkle was, as a result, all over my face, though more concentrated along the upper cheekbones. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me before fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Coupe d'Chic

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette
Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette

Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette ($46.00 for 0.72 oz.) includes three highlight shades (0.08 oz. each) and three contour shades (0.16 oz. each). I wish the palette ran cooler in overall tone, or at least had the first set of highlight/contour be cool-toned, the middle be more neutral-cool, and the last set be deeper and more neutral-cool. They all run warmer both in the pan, swatched, and applied. The texture of the powders is incredibly silky and smooth with a little bit of powderiness, but it’s not excessive, and it seems to make these incredibly easy to work with, so blending and diffusing the color on the skin isn’t frustrating. If you are fairer and prefer very subtle contours, this palette might be too dark overall, but the shades are quite forgiving and blendable, so I think that they can all be worn across most skin tones, just depending on the intensity of application.

Lucid is described as a “pinkish nude.” It’s a brightened, light beige with subtle, yellow undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft and silky–just slightly powdery–but sat well on the skin. It had good color payoff and was both buildable and blendable, as desired. It wore well for eight hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sombre is described as a “true taupe.” It’s a medium taupe brown with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish. It had good color payoff with a soft, smooth texture that was easy to work with. It wore well for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Lyric is described as a “yellow beige.” It’s a brightened, yellowed beige with warm undertones and a satin-matte finish. It was nicely pigmented with a very soft, finely-milled texture, but it was a bit powdery. I thought it exacerbated dryness if/when I had any, but if you have oilier skin, I don’t think it will be an issue. It lasted for seven and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Shadowplay is described as a “soft brown.” It’s a medium brown with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had fairly good color payoff, but it was weaker compared to other shades in the palette. The texture was soft, blendable, and not at all powdery. It wore well for seven and a half hours on me. The color appears more bronzer-like than a true contour, though it has a muted quality that makes it not quite as warm or orange-toned as a bronzer can be. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Levitation is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a yellowed peach with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had rich color payoff that was easily sheered out or blended, depending on the look you wanted. The texture was finely-milled, incredibly soft and smooth, but a little powdery. It lasted for seven hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Subconscious is described as a “deep brown.” It’s a dark brown with warm, yellow undertones and a satin finish. It had nice pigmentation that was blendable on the skin with a soft, silky texture. It wore well for eight and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

palette

Shade + Light

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Lucid

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Sombre

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
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