Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC Forever Marilyn Beauty Powder
MAC Forever Marilyn Beauty Powder

Best Suited for Pale Beauties

MAC Forever Marilyn Beauty Powder ($28.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “sheer pale peach highlighter.” It’s a very light pink-tinged peach. In the pan, it looked rather peachy, but when swatched on my arm as well as applied to my cheek, it looked a bit pink. MAC Play It proper is similar but pinker in the pan. MAC Lightscapade is lighter, yellowy. MAC Light Sunshine is more shimmery.  The color is as described; it’s sheer, though somewhat buildable.

The texture of this is soft, but it is chalky and a little powdery. On my medium skin tone (about NC30), it looked ashy and ghostly.  I think this is a shade that is going to work best on those with paler, lighter complexions.  Lightly dusted, it can work as a finishing powder or very subtle highlighter.  I’m not keen on the overall chalkiness coupled with the powderiness, but I think it will be less noticeable on lighter complexions.  When I tested the wear of this, it lasted six hours before starting to fade.  It’s packaged in a glossy black compact with Marilyn Monroe’s image on the front, and it is not a sticker, thankfully! There is a mirror inside.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

LE
product

Forever Marilyn

B+
I'm not keen on the overall chalkiness coupled with the powderiness, but I think it will be less noticeable on lighter complexions. The wear was disappointing. Because it does look a bit dry on, it will look better on normal-to-oily complexions.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

Guerlain Perles du Dragon Meteorites
Guerlain Perles du Dragon Meteorites

You Have to Try It to Appreciate It!

Guerlain Perles du Dragon Meteorites ($58.00 for 1.05 oz.) is a “harmony of six shades of pearls in an intense, iridescent monochrome palette.” It is supposed to “cloak the face in incredible radiance” with “pale pink and beige [to] even out the complexion” and “white and gold [to] illuminate” as well as “plum and rosewood [to] brighten.”

When applied or swatched, it’s an iridescent pale shimmer-sheen. It’s very subtle and true-to-form as far as Meteorites go. Meteorites are best described as an illuminating powder, which isn’t as shimmery as your typical highlighter, or as a finishing powder. The effect of the pearls is your-face-but-better; it’s something that’s hard to detect visually, but it’s that something extra that instantly brightens, softens, and adds a soft glow to the face. It’s the difference between a smile and a smile that reaches your eyes.

It’s when I wear one of Guerlain’s Meteorite products (pearls or pressed) that I most often see comments about my skin looking better, nicer, or that I look like I have a “glow.” I dusted it lightly on cheekbones, the bridge of my nose, and above my cupid’s bow in the photos below. I could still detect the slight glowy sheen after eight hours. Because the effect is subtle, it can be worn as a finishing powder and dusted all-over the face rather than to add a subtle highlight to certain areas of the face.  I wore again all-over and felt it added an extra hour or so of wear to my foundation.

The one thing about Meteorites is that as lovely as they look in the metal tin, they tend to look very similar on.  It’s also not necessary to own every. single. one. that comes out from a practical standpoint. There are many who collect them as much for the product inside as for the distinct packaging.

This is one of the harder products to review, because it’s hard to capture exactly what it does that makes it such a worthwhile product.  It’s pricey, but you’ll get a ton of product for your investment–a whopping 1.05 oz.–and one tin will last you quite sometime, even with regular usage.   It is violet-scented, and it’s not a subtle fragrance, but it is the same one common to Guerlain’s powder products.

The Glossover

LE
product

Perles du Dragon

A
This is one of the harder products to review, because it's hard to capture exactly what it does that makes it such a worthwhile product. It's pricey, but you'll get a ton of product for your investment--a whopping 1.05 oz.--and one tin will last you quite sometime, even with regular usage.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream
MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream

If It Matches, Sculpt Away!

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams ($20.00 for 0.17 oz.) are described as a “cream-to-powder formula for sculpting and shaping key features … [s]ilky-smooth, easy-to-blend and neutrally-shaded.” It’s supposed to have sheer-to-medium buildable coverage.

  • Accentuate is a pale white beige with mostly neutral undertones–it almost pulls a smidgen pink on me.
  • Coffee Walnut is a gray-ish medium-dark brown with subdued, orange-tan undertones. It has a slight green-cast.
  • Copper Beach is a medium-tan with strong orange undertones. If anything, this shade seemed more appropriate as a bronzer.
  • Naturally Defined is a light-medium beige with mostly neutral undertones–perhaps a smidgen warm.
  • Pure Sculpture is a softened tan brown. It’s not as orange as Copper Beach–more subdued.
  • Richly Honed is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertones.

I think the shades in MAC’s Sculpting powder range (which is permanent at PRO stores) are better-colored for contouring, because they’re much more shadowy, and these tended to be rather warm-toned. When you contour, you’re emphasizing or adding shadows, and when you highlight, you’re shaping and sculpting by adding light/sheen. If one of these shades is the right color, it can be a really great product. I’m just not sold that this is the right set of shades–I would have loved to have seen them take the existing Sculpting range and make them into cream form.  Accentuate, Coffee Walnut, and Naturally Defined are the closest to neutral, while Copper beach, Pure Sculpture, and Richly Honed are very much warm-toned.

The texture is lightly creamy, not too thick or too thin.  I’d almost describe it as a stiff cream, but in the best way.  All six shades had buildable coverage, so you could get sheer-to-light color easily, but you could layer just once or twice for more intensity.  While I did try using the new 163 brush that came with the launch, I preferred the 193 or finger tips (using a clean spatula to remove product, then warming it up between finger tips and blending it out on the skin).  It dries down and has a natural finish.  I tested all six of the shades (though used together, not individually), and I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear with no noticeable fading.

The Glossover

product

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like the formula, but I don't think the shade range is ideal for contouring. If you're looking for good contouring shades, try MAC's PRO Sculpting powders - they are a fantastic product that I rarely hear about!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette
theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette

Rock Out with Your Shadows Out

theBalm Balm Jovi Face Palette ($39.50 for 0.76 oz.) includes twelve eyeshadows (0.38 oz., which is just over 0.03 oz.), one highlighter (0.14 oz.), one blush (0.10 oz.), and two lip colors (0.14 oz.). It will launch today on theBalm’s website.

Metal-ica is a silvery-white with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, though the texture was on the powdery side; very soft and dense. We’re definitely seeing a lot of these shades for the holidays; here are a few that compare favorably: MAC Crystal Avalanche, Buxom Sheepdog, NARS Flowers 1-3, and theBalm Sassy.

Adagio is a pale neutral beige with a matte finish. It had nice color payoff, and it was smooth and soft without being powdery. It works well layered over some of the more shimmery shades to tone down the finish if so desired. MAC Brule is very similar. theBalm Matt Smith is slightly pinker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame is pinker. MAC Blanc Type is lighter. Inglot #390 is darker.

Blink 1982 is a muted burgundy with a hint of plum/mauve and a golden shimmer. The texture on this shade was a bit dry, so the color payoff was not quite opaque. Lancome Color du Jour is darker but similar. MAC Trax is more purple.

Iron Maid-in is a dirty gold with a metallic, frosted finish. It was not fully opaque, but it had good pigmentation overall. The texture wasn’t as buttery as other theBalm eyeshadows. Chanel Eclaire is more golden. MAC Sweet & Sour is darker. Giorgio Armani #1 is similar, less metallic. theBalm Snobby is more matte and yellow.

Allegro is a medium brown with yellowed undertones and a matte finish. It’s soft enough to be easy to blend, but not so soft as to be powdery. It had good color payoff. Dior golden Savvanah is a bit darker, slightly grayer, but similar. Urban Decay Naked is less yellow. These were the only two shades that really fit the bill out of all. these. browns.

The Stroke is a dark navy blue with a satiny finish. It had so-so color payoff, because it was on the drier side. It performed better on the lid, and it blended out easily. Bare Escentuals Shaken Not Stirred is similar but a bit darker. MAC Lunar is bluer. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar. This is not an uncommon shade of blue.

Lead Zeppelin is an olive green with olive and green shimmer over a frosted finish. It had good color payoff, and while very soft and smooth, it was a smidgen powdery. Tarina Tarantino Dandy Lion is greener, lighter. Bare Escentuals Speaker Box is darker, less olive. theBalm Wocka, Wocka is more metallic but similar in color. Inglot #419 is a bit greener.

Moderato is a purple-burgundy with a matte finish. The texture was a little dry, and the resulting pigmentation was so-so. It performed a lot better on the eye, and I didn’t have any trouble with the pigmentation there–I hardly had to use any to get deep color. theBalm Sexy is browner. MAC Real Drama is similar. MAC Rich Core is similar but frosted.

rem is a smoky medium purple with gold-copper shimmer-sheen. It’s an interesting, complex color. It had good color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. Bobbi Brown Black Violet is similar when sheered out. Bare Escentuals Romp is less pink.

Alice Copper is a rich burgundy-red with orange-brown undertones and a frosted finish. It had really rich pigmentation and was somewhat powdery. Chanel Eclosino is less shimmery. Maybelline Pomegranate Punk is more burgundy. Make Up For Ever #17 is more metallic. Inglot #452 has a more metallic finish but is very similar.

Presto is a dark brown with burgundy-ish undertones and a hint of warmth. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff is good. It’s just soft enough to be blendable and pigmented, but it’s not at all powdery. Bobbi Brown Cocoa Berry is similar. Bare Escentuals Foreshadow is a little darker. theBalm Mahna-Mahna has more of a sheen and less red in it.

Third Eye Blinded is a warm, light peach with a fairly frosted finish. The pigmentation was excellent, and the texture was so soft and easy to blend. This worked well as a highlighter. theBalm Swedish Pancakes is less frosted, more metallic, but fairly similar. MAC Naked Lunch has more beige in it. MAC Jest is less peach. Estee Lauder Violet Underground is darker. Chanel Complice is close.

Solid Gold is a slightly paled, warm gold with a shimmer-sheen finish and a hint of beige coloring. It has plenty o’ color, so it will show up on all skin tones. This shade wore for eight hours without fading or separating. MAC Chez Chez Lame is the closest I could think of, but it is a little lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer is a bit yellower.

Don’t You Want Me is a warm coral-pink with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff, and it is somewhat buildable. The texture was a little dry, but it seemed to blend out easily enough. It wore for eight hours with minor, but noticeable, fading at that point. MAC Supercontinental is more orange. MAC Fleet Fast has shimmer. Tom Ford Flush is more orange. MAC Immortal Flower is softer, just barely pinker.

Milly is a pale pink with a neutral-gray undertone. It had a matte finish and opaque color coverage. When I tested it, it lasted four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Pure Zen is less pink. MAC Lazy Day is grayer.

Vanilly is bright red with a mostly matte finish and a barely blue undertone. It was richly pigmented and had opaque color coverage. This shade lasted six and a half hours and left behind a soft stain. MAC Eden Rouge is similar. Edward Bess Midnight Bloom is bluer and darker. MAC Ruffian Red is similar. It’s a fairly common shade of red lipstick.

Overall, it’s a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There’s a good mix of textures–matte, frosts, shimmers–and very fall-appropriate colors.

The Glossover

palette

Balm Jovi

A-
Overall, it's a good palette, and at the price point, worth checking out and potentially snagging. There were a few shades on the powdery side in the palette, and a couple were less pigmented initially, but when applied to the eye, I found them to apply much, much better (upgraded to fairly pigmented/opaque in color). There's a good mix of textures--matte, frosts, shimmers--and very fall-appropriate colors.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, September 1st, 2012


NARS Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush

Reach to the Stars for a Satellite of Love

NARS Satellite of Love Highlighting Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sparkling gold sand.” It’s a peachy brown with a hint of orange and pale gold shimmer and sparkle. It adds warmth, a little tan coloring, and noticeable sparkle and sheen to cheeks. Chanel Lucky Stripes is similar but more shimmery than sparkly. NARS Miss Liberty is lighter, more beige. MAC How Beautiful! is very light and beige. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is more golden, yellower.

The Highlighting Blush formula is supposd to impart a “luminous glow” that can be worn alone or paired with other cheek products.  This particular shade has a bit more sparkle than sheen, though a lot of the sparkle gets lost between the pan, your brush, and your cheek, but it did emphasize my pores just slightly.  It has decent color payoff (it’s about what you see in the pan) and buildable to the color you see in the pan.  Because it is a lighter shade overall, on deeper complexions, it is going to add very subtle warmth but not visible color–more a highlighter than anything else. Lighter complexions can use it as both a highlighter as well as a blusher (well, probably bronzer).  The texture was a bit on the dry side, but it was nice and blendable on the cheek.  It wore for seven hours before there was noticeable fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Satellite of Love

B
I think the color is a nice pop of warmth for most complexions, but the larger sparkle seems to emphasize pores to a noticeable degree, while the drier texture is less forgiving on cheeks. It is blendable and buildable, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, August 27th, 2012

Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream
Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream

A Little Light Goes a Long Way

Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream ($24.00 for 0.23 oz.) is described as a “champagne.” It’s a soft, warm ivory champagne with a strong shimmer-sheen. The shimmer is fairly fine, but it has a strong sheen that’s almost metallic depending on how much product you use. Benefit Watt’s Up! is similar, though a bit less warm-toned. NARS Albatross is similar in color but a bit lighter because the white base is stronger. MAC Truth & Light is lighter.

The Gleam formula is supposed to be lightweight with an iridescent finish to highlight both the face and body. It’s very creamy and slides right over the skin, and it doesn’t take a lot of product to highlight the higher planes of the face. I used some on the top of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose, and above my cupid’s brow. I used a clean spatula to take a little product out of the pan, and then I used my fingertips to pat it on. (Bonus: you can see it live in this video.) It does emphasize pores somewhat, because it does have a strong sheen that almost looks metallic, depending on the lighting.

This is a true cream, as it doesn’t dry down or set over time, so the wear time wasn’t stellar.  I managed about five hours of decent wear (and I have normal-to-dry skin), and after a little over six hours, a lot of it had faded/separated. It’s a product I’d consider setting lightly with translucent powder, which would help to set it as well as tamp down some of the high sheen finish (if you prefer a subtler highlight).

The Glossover

P
product

Aurora

B
If you like more intense highlighters, you might like Aurora, which should work on a variety of skin tones, because it's not an ashy champagne, but it's not too yellow that it becomes gold. The shorter wear time is its biggest downfall.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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