Sunday, March 31st, 2013

Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder
Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder

Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder ($32.00 for 0.80 oz.) is supposed to be “inspired by nature’s most flattering pink and golden-light at dusk … to impart a lit-from-within radiance.” When all the heart-shaped beads are swirled together, the resulting color is a warm champagne-shimmered tan with a slightly frosted, shimmery finish. Chanel Sable Beige is similar but less orange. NARS Miss Liberty is lighter. NARS Satellite of Love is very similar but has more golden shimmer/sparkle.

Based on Too Faced’s description of this product, it seems to be designed to use all-over rather than as a very targeted, specific highlighter. In practice, I don’t think it is workablef or allover, and the reason is that it emphasizes imperfections in the skin from having too much frost/pearl in the beads. I thought it was a highlighter, actually, because it appears frosted on the skin and emphasized the pores along my cheeks. I don’t think it’s flattering used allover or as a highlighter on cheeks. Though the color is supposed to be buildable, it required several layers just to get it to kind of show up on my medium complexion. The beads just don’t want to give up product, so it wasn’t as easy to apply as I had hoped. The wear is average; six hours of good wear but noticeable fading after eight hours. The texture is slightly gritty from the sparkle and shimmer, and it never fully smooths out.

The Glossover

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Too Faced Sweetheart Beads Radiant Glow Face Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
It's not buildable enough to be a good highlighter, but then it's not subtle enough to work all-over. The finish emphasizes pores and imperfections of the skin's texture, so it doesn't enhance the complexion.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “natural glow.” It’s a lightly warmed-up, pale beige with a subtle sheen. When I tried thinking of potential dupes, I wasn’t finding any. The closest I could come up with was theBalm Solid Gold, which is really much yellower and frosted.

I actually think Nico was one of the first few NARS products I ever purchased, and it may have been one of my first NARS blushes. It was recommended to me as a brow highlighter, actually, and as a light wash of color for lids. As a blush, it doesn’t quite work on my skin tone. Nico is a shade that you’ll love or never have a use for, and it’s really going to depend on your skin tone and how you want to use it. It’s categorized as a blush, but I think it might be better suited as a NARS “Highlighting Blush.”  As you can see on my skin tone, it’s very nearly my skin tone–just with a sheen, so it does give me a slight “glow” when worn on the cheeks.  I do prefer it (on me) as a brow bone highlighter, because I feel like you can see it better, and it sometimes looks a bit powdery when I’ve worn it on cheeks.

The texture is very soft and finely-milled, and I’d recommend using softer bristles with it, as it can be powdery with a denser blush brush (the “scratchier” the brush feels on your skin, the more powder gets dislodged from the pan).  Nico lasts seven hours on my cheeks, and then it starts to look a bit patchy towards the eight-hour mark.  I’ve worn this of and on throughout the years, and when my cheeks are more normal, it can be quite nice, but it definitely isn’t as flattering if my cheeks have any dryness. I think for those with oilier skin types, it might work well as a highlighter as it shouldn’t look too dewy or glowy (which can sometimes make oilier skin types look oilier).  The sheen does not emphasize pores, which is the best part about it, though–it’s all sheen, no shimmer or frost.

The Glossover

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Nico

A-
The texture is on the powdery side, which can make it look less flattering on drier skin types as well as be easy to over-apply. It is soft and very blendable, so if you apply too much (and it looks powdery), it can be smoothed and blended away.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

NARS New Order Highlighting Blush
NARS New Order Highlighting Blush

NARS New Order Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sheer highlighter with golden shimmer.” It’s a pale, cool-toned, blue-based pink with golden sparkle and a golden shimmer-sheen finish. MAC Veronica’s Blush is warmer, less sparkly. NARS Undress Me is a grayer pink and has silver sparkle (that is more like glitter in particle size).

Despite NARS’ great success with Albatross, their other Highlighting Blushes have a high dosage of sparkle and shimmer that doesn’t bind with the underlying powder/blush color, so a lot of the sparkle gets lost, looks unflattering on the skin, and sometimes travels for parts unknown. New Order has a powdery, almost gritty, texture, as a result of all the sparkle that just seems to sit on top at all times. If this had no sparkle but just a level of golden sheen, I think it would work better.

The pigmentation is as described–sheer–and will add some pink on lighter complexions (like a blush) while perhaps brightening on deeper complexions.  When it blends out, it’s mostly just sparkle/shimmer and the pink coloring fades away.  This shade wore six and a half hours, and then I only saw remnants of sparkle.  This is my second pan of New Order, and while the texture was still on the powdery side, it wasn’t nearly as dry as my original New Order.

The Glossover

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New Order

C
If this had no sparkle but just a level of golden sheen, I think it would work better. Instead, it tends to read "disco ball," rather than glowing or luminous. It highlights... imperfections, unfortunately.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 21st, 2013

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush
NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft, shimmering peach.” It’s a soft, subtly warm-toned peach with hints of beige (that keep it from being too warm) with sparkle and very luminous finish. bareMinerals The Love Afair is more golden and has a soft sheen for a finish, rather than sparkles. MAC Superb has a similar color on, but it is a bit darker and browner. MAC How Beautiful! is slightly more beige and has no sparkle.

This is a shade I’ve reviewed in the past (here), but I have a horrible compulsion to redo things after about a year. Miss Liberty is going to appeal to those who love shimmer and sparkle; it’s by no means a subtle highlighter or sheen. It’s sparkle-city, but it has a really cool, almost wet-like sheen on the skin beyond the sparkle (and if you aren’t keen on sparkle, you can buff them mostly away).  There is some emphasis of the skin texture and pores–that very slick, radiant sheen might be worth the cost to some, and to others, unforgivable.

Unlike NARS’ regular blush range, the Highlighting Blushes are “made with transparent pigments to avoid heaviness on the skin,” and are, generally, rather sheer/subtle. It’s no Taj Mahal!  There’s no chalkiness or powderiness to the peachy color, so it should work, as NARS states, across skin tones.  If you have any redness, the peach coloring of Miss Liberty should help reduce the appearance of it.  I re-tested the wear of this shade, and I still only experienced seven hours of good wear but much had faded away after eight hours.

The Glossover

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Miss Liberty

B+
There's no chalkiness or powderiness to the peachy color, so it should work, as NARS states, across skin tones.  If you have any redness, the peach coloring of Miss Liberty should help reduce the appearance of it.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 14th, 2013

Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder
Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder

Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder ($80.00 for 0.42 oz.) is described as an “elegant gold shade enhanced with pink highlights.” It’s a warm-toned, golden champagne with champagne sparkle; there’s a faint hint of pink that I spotted at a glance at the product in the pan, but against my warm complexion, I couldn’t see any effect from the coloring. Bobbi Brown 24 Karat is very similar in color and has a metallic sheen, too, just less sparkle. NARS Satellite of Love has a darker, tanner base color. bareMinerals Secret Radiance is a bit darker when swatched heavly, but on the skin, it really looks rather similar applied.

It had a much more sparkly finish than I expected based on the description and even from just looking at the texture of the product, which came off as very metallic but not that it would have larger sparkle in it. The texture is soft, almost cream-like, because it’s a very smooth, dense product.  Applied, it does yield a rather metallic sheen wherever it’s applied, even if it’s really worked into the skin.  The sparkles are somewhat there, but some get lost in the brush and blended away.  It somewhat emphasizes the skin’s natural texture along with pores; not the most emphasis I’ve come across but enough that’s noticeable.   I put this on straight away this morning, and it started to get a little patchy after seven hours of wear but there was still some left after eight hours.

I kind of wish Chanel hadn’t ran a free two-day shipping promo (because it’s what made me cave and hold out hope I could receive and turnaround a review before it sold out), because for $80, it was disappointing to see emphasis of pores/skin texture.  Brands like Chanel are famous for beautiful powders that reflect light in spectacular ways without emphasizing pores, so Mouche de Beaute was most definitely a miss.

The Glossover

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product

Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder

B-
Brands like Chanel are famous for beautiful powders that reflect light in spectacular ways without emphasizing pores, so Mouche de Beaute was most definitely a miss.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, February 1st, 2013

MAC Flatter Me Pearlmatte Face Powder
MAC Flatter Me Pearlmatte Face Powder

MAC Flatter Me Pearlmatte Face Powder ($30.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “golden peach base with coral hearts.” The base color is a warm peach with a soft, frosted finish (and it is reminiscent of Cream Soda in some ways). The hearts are a medium pink-coral with a subtle golden sheen. When everything is mixed together, the resulting shade is a soft, pinky-coral with a light golden sheen. It’s slightly warm-toned. MAC Legendary is just a touch pinker. MAC Immortal Flower is much, much pinker. Tarina Tarantino Feather is brighter, pinker. Guerlain Blush G is pinker and has a stronger sheen. MAC Shell Pearl is similar but a touch more muted.

I had the same problem with Flatter Me as I did Veronica’s Blush–the hearts did not want to yield color at all. I took a metal spatula to it and started scraping off flakes of it, so I could at least show the color on the skin. What you’re seeing on my skin are chunks of the product smoothed out! It seems better when you really pass the brush back and forth a few times, because the combined color is tinted pink enough that clearly there is some payoff coming from those hearts!

The texture is very soft to the touch with a finely-milled powder that does kick up some powder. On the skin and blended out, it doesn’t look powdery, and the finish is a soft shimmer-sheen so it doesn’t emphasize the skin’s texture or pores. This shade lasted eight hours well, and after nine hours, I noticed some minor fading, but it had good wear overall.   Because of the overall lightness of the color, it may not show up well on deeper skin tones; on my medium complexion, it shows up as a kiss of pink-coral. Of all the products not to sell out, this one surprised me the most–a coral face product with hearts–I still can’t believe it.

The Glossover

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Flatter Me

A-
Of all the products not to sell out, this one surprised me the most--a coral face product with hearts--I still can't believe it. Does that mean we're all coral-ed out?

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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