Monday, May 13th, 2013

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid
MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid ($31.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is described as a “golden shimmer.” It’s a warm-toned, bronze and gold-shimmered tan brown. I don’t know of any specific dupes, as I’m not as familiar with the liquid illuminator category, so I haven’t reviewed many products previously. NARS Maldives is somewhat similar, but it is more pigmented and in stick-form, but NARS does have a liquid illuminator range, so my guess would be that this would be somewhat similar to Laguna. The thing with illuminators like this, though, is that they are very subtle once applied so while Tom Ford Fire Lust doesn’t look similar when swatched, when applied, they seemed to both offer the same effect.

The formula is described as a thin liquid that “produces a soft, radiant light on the skin … by providing a natural-looking glow.” It’s supposed to spread smoothly and absorb quickly. MAC has Strobe Liquid (the original) available year-round, while this is a bronzy take on the formula. This type of product can be applied in many ways (and as with any beauty product, apply however you wish! the possibilities are endless!), but the common ways are mixed with moisturizer, foundation, and patted along the high planes of the face. The consistency is thin, almost water-like, and it seemed sheerer and thinner than even original Strobe Liquid (but it’s been a long time since I’ve used it, so I might be remembering incorrectly).

Golden Elixir seemed to add a smidgen of warmth to my skin while giving it a radiant finish, which some might find too dewy that it looks oily, and I think on camera, it can look too reflective, but in person, it’s quite lovely and natural-looking. A light dusting of setting powder will bring it down and make it photo-ready, though. I didn’t have any trouble with it interfering with the wear of my foundation when I wore it mixed with it (I used Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau as my base). When I wore it as a spot highlighter, it lasted six hours well and then seemed to slide around a bit.

The Glossover

LE
product

Golden Elixir

A-
Golden Elixir seemed to add a smidgen of warmth to my skin while giving it a radiant finish, which some might find too dewy that it looks oily, and I think on camera, it can look too reflective, but in person, it's quite lovely and natural-looking.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Tom Ford Blush Guilt Illuminating Cheek Color
Tom Ford Blush Guilt Illuminating Cheek Color

Tom Ford Blush Guilt Illuminating Cheek Color ($58.00 for 1.0 oz.) is described as a “natural, radiant glow.” It’s a warm-toned, pink bronze with a glowing, illuminating sheen. Of the two shades for summer, this is the most dupable, as it doesn’t add a lot of color, just sheen. It’s not as warm-toned as the other illuminator, Fire Lust, which has a liquid consistency, and the form of this one makes it easier to apply in specific spots, rather than mixed with foundation or moisturizer.

Bronzed Amber ($58.00 for 1.0 oz.) is described as a “natural, bronzed glow.” It imparts a warm, bronzy sheen and barely-there shimmer to wherever it is applied. It only adds very slight warmth to my medium complexion, so I think it wouldn’t be too strong on pale complexions and then on deeper skin tones, it will be more of a gleam than added color.

The Illuminating Cheek Color is a solid, creamy stick of color designed to illuminate the skin. These reminded me of NARS’ The Multiples, though the texture of this formula is creamier, less waxy, and glides on better. It also seems to be more flattering against my skin (in terms of texture), because it blends out more readily and easily. I would guess that Orgasm would be somewhat similar to Blush Guilt (I think Orgasm might be a bit pinker), while Bronzed Amber would be somewhat similar to Palm Beach (you can see some really old group swatches of The Multiples here). I think these are sheerer, and designed to be that way given they’re illuminators, compared to some of the Multiple shades available (think more in the style of Copacabana).

The texture is emollient without being too slippery or slick, so it blends and spreads easily across the skin, while not becoming oily looking throughout the day.  Blush Guilt seemed to last (I was judging how glowy the area looked) for seven hours well but was mostly faded after nine hours.  Bronzed Amber wore slightly better and was visible well into the eighth hour but was half-gone by nine hours.  I think Bronzed Amber is more versatile, as it can add some color/definition (it’s not too warm-toned and not an orange-toned bronzer) as well as a sheen.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blush Guilt

A-
Blush Guilt seemed to last (I was judging how glowy the area looked) for seven hours well but was mostly faded after nine hours.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Bronzed Amber

A
I think Bronzed Amber is more versatile, as it can add some color/definition (it's not too warm-toned and not an orange-toned bronzer) as well as a sheen.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator
Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator

Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator ($65.00 for 0.68 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering, peach-pink.” It’s a warm-toned, golden-shimmered coral-orange with a pearly sheen. This is an illuminator, not a blush, so if you’re more in the market for something with substantial coloring to work as a blush, try perusing the coral swatch gallery.

The formula is designed to mimic “the look of skin bathed in summer evening light.” And you’ll have to track it down in-store to find it, because it sold out online nearly instantly. The Skin Illuminator can be applied all over, mixed with foundation, or as a spot highlighter “under or over makeup.”  The consistency is lightweight, naturally dewy, and thin.  When I wore it all-over, it lasted all day long with whatever foundation I was wearing (it didn’t seem to reduce my foundation’s wear time or how it looked at the end of the day).  As a spot highlighter, it gave me a dewy finish wherever it was applied for eight hours.

I, personally, think it works best mixed with foundation or moisturizer. I’ve been wearing Giorgio Armani’s Maestro foundation a lot, and it doesn’t work well mixed with this (I think it has too much of a velvety texture from the silicones in it), but I loved it mixed with my tinted moisturizer or a more traditional liquid foundation like Make Up For Ever HD. If you want to wear it all-over and plan to still wear foundation, I recommend mixing the two together during application, because then the foundation doesn’t cover it. There’s a very subtle radiance that’s your-skin-but-better that doesn’t read shimmer, glitter, or pearl. Applied as a spot highlighter  it does create a glowy, dewy sheen, but it’s virtually colorless against my skin tone so it would be something better suited for really pale complexions.

The Beauty Look Book has a great comparison of this against NARS’ Orgasm Illuminator (which I don’t have), which seems to be pinker overall (but it is also $30.00 for 1.1 oz.), so it might be a more affordable (and accessible) alternative.

The Glossover

LE
product

Fire Lust

A

This is an illuminator, not a blush, so if you're more in the market for something with substantial coloring to work as a blush, try perusing the coral swatch gallery. It adds a lovely dewy sheen or all-over glow if mixed with your moisturizer/foundation. It's something I'd wear most often with tinted moisturizer or a foundation that was too matte.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Guerlain Terra Ora Sculpting Powder & Contrast Highlighter
Guerlain Terra Ora Sculpting Powder & Contrast Highlighter

Guerlain Terra Ora Sculpting Powder & Contrast Highlighter ($72.00 for 0.56 oz.) is described as a “plearly white gold” and “matte beige.” The center shade is a lightened gold with warm, yellowy undertones and a frosted shimmer. bareMinerals The Shining Moment is darker. Chanel Routes des Indes is yellower. Guerlain Terracotta in the Sun is slightly yellower and more metallic. The outer ring is a light-medium orange tan with a satiny sheen–it didn’t look quite matte to me, even after trying to brush away at it. MAC Double Definition is a bit darker and browner. Illamasua Writhe is a stronger gold sheen. Swirled together, you end up with a golden, medium orange-tan with a soft, frosted sheen. Chanel Sable Beige is browner. Urban Decay Gilded is darker. NARS Satellite of Love is slightly darker and more sparkly.

I applied the center shade as a highlighter on the top of my cheekbone, while then applying the bronzer shade below the cheekbone and slightly below to contour. The highlighter is very similar to my skin tone, but it seemed to be true-to-pan in color though slightly translucent. The bronzing shade had good color payoff and applied smoothly on the skin. Both shades had a soft, velvety feel with a finely-milled texture that made it easy to blend the powder on the skin. I noticed a very, very slight emphasis of the skin’s natural texture with the highlighter shade. Terra Ora wore well for seven and a half hours, and after eight, there was a little fading. The powder comes in a wooden compact with a magnetic closure, and it has a powdery, floral scent that’s moderate in strength.

The Glossover

product

Guerlain Terra Ora Sculpting Powder & Contrast Highlighter

A-
This is best suited for light to medium skintones with warm undertones. It has a really soft, finely milled texture that blends well on the skin.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, April 12th, 2013

MAC Shape the Future Extra Dimension Skinfinish
MAC Shape the Future Extra Dimension Skinfinish

MAC Shape the Future Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($30.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “pastel pink with iridescence” and “soft brick with light shimmer.” When swirled together, the resulting color is a darkened orange with reddish undertones and a pinky shimmer-sheen. The lighter color, on its own, is a warm-toned beige with a shimmery finish. The darker color is a darkened orange with red undertones and a frosted finish. NARS Gina is lighter. MAC Fiery Impact is redder, while MAC Blazing Haute is lighter and more orange–if you mixed the two together, you would get close to this (but not as shimmery). Illamasqua Expose is similar in color but is matte in finish. The lighter shade is a bit darker and warmer than NARS Nico. While the darker shade is more shimmery than MAC Fiery Impact but lighter and less red than NARS Liberte.

Of the three Skinfinishes, Shape the Future was the least frosted/metallic, which was a good thing, because it meant that it didn’t emphasize pores as much as the other two did.  There is still some emphasis, but it is subtle and not as noticeable.  Both colors of the product are very pigmented, so there will be no fear for darker complexions on whether it will show up or not.  Lighter skin tones, especially those who tend to fear reddish blushes, may want to use a light hand or stippling brush to apply the color with more control.  The texture is slightly dry but doesn’t appear dry on; and it blends and buffs into the skin nicely.  It lasted eight and a half hours on me (though it is supposed to last for ten) when I tested it.

P.S. — MAC still lists it as coming soon, while Nordstrom will let you order it now but it is backordered (approximate ship date of 4/19).

The Glossover

LE
product

Shape the Future

A-
This shade emphasized pores the least out of the three limited edition Skinfinishes, but it wasn't the most flattering blush/highlighter we've seen. It's very pigmented, though, and it is easy to blend.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, April 7th, 2013

MAC Definitely Defined Extra Dimension Skinfinish
MAC Definitely Defined Extra Dimension Skinfinish

MAC Definitely Defined Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($30.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “silvery pink/soft rose with shimmer.” Swirled together, it is a soft peach with a hint of pink and a frosted, golden champagne sheen. MAC Light Year is warmer, darker. MAC By Candlelight is lighter. bareMinerals The Love Affair is warmer, more peach. MAC Superb is browner. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is more beige. Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous is browner. The lighter shade is a pale champagne with a frosted, metallic finish. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is more beige, less golden. The darker shade is a peachy-orange with a frosted finish. MAC Utterly Game is somewhat similar in color but is mostly matte.

The lighter shade has a very, very metallic finish, so as a highlighter is incredibly reflective and emphasizes pores and any imperfections in the skin noticeably. The darker shade has a rather frosted finish (rather than a metallic one), but it does somewhat emphasize pores. On lighter complexions, this will show up as more of a highlighter/blush combination, while on medium to dark complexions, it will be subtler and better as a highlighter (generally). It has a soft, slightly dry, consistency and feel, but it applies with good color payoff and builds up well. It does blend out easily, and it doesn’t look powdery on the skin. When I tested Definitely Defined, it lasted for seven and a half hours well, but after eight and a half, there was some patchiness (MAC says this formula will last ten hours).

The Glossover

LE
product

Definitely Defined

B
On lighter complexions, this will show up as more of a highlighter/blush combination, while on medium to dark complexions, it will be subtler and better as a highlighter (generally).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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