Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter
Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter ($10.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a multi-colored highlighter that features five strips of color that can be swirled together or used in parts to create an illuminated look. This is an online exclusive to sleekmakeup.com. Each strip is fairly narrow, so they’re not shades you would use singularly as a blush, though you could certainly try or go for a very precise look by using eye brushes instead. The five individual shades consist of a shimmering white gold with a strong yellow gold sheen, peachy beige with a softer shimmer, coppery orange with a shimmery finish, golden peach-pink with a frosted finish, and a dirty beige with a champagne frosted shimmer. Together, they create a warm bronze with a golden shimmer-sheen and slight red undertones. It’s a bit like a shimmery version of Urban Decay’s Toasted. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is similar but more orange-y.

The texture of the powder is very soft and feels finely-milled, and the payoff of each individual shade was lovely. I didn’t have any problems with pigmentation while swatching or during application. This is the kind of over-the-top highlighter than some will absolutely love but others will struggle to perfect. It has a strong frosted, borderline-metallic, finish, which emphasizes pores, skin imperfections, and any natural texture you may have to your skin. For those lucky enough to be owners of perfect complexions, this is beautiful on, but for the rest of us, it can be a little too much.  I did like how soft the powder was, because it made it very easy to blend and soften against the skin.  I was disappointed in the wear, though; it started to look patchy and faded after a mere six hours.

For the price point, the texture is amazing!  The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though.  I’d recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.  It’s a bit more of a bronzy glow on my skin tone than pure highlighter, so for lighter skin tones, you’ll find this more of a blush/bronzer, while deeper skin tones will find this to work well as a warm-toned highlighter. It does compare well with Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks, which also have a stronger, frostier finish.

The Glossover

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Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

B
For the price point, the texture is amazing! The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though. I'd recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish ($29.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “soft candlelit beige with multi-dimensional shimmer.” It’s a pale, white-beige highlighter. Something worth noting is that the color of a mineralize skinfinish can dramatically change based on the veining–look at Lightscapade from September 2011–there is so much more veining! They did end up swatching similarly, though this one seemed a little less pigmented. theBalm Promiscuous Pearl is more frosted, a slightly darker beige. MAC Snowglobe is rather similar, more of a sheen than a shimmer. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is more frosted. MAC Truth & Light is more golden. MAC Too Chic is similar but paler.

The texture is soft, and the powder is finely milled with very subtle shimmer, so it’s not glittery or metallic when applied like some mineralize skinfinishes can be. It is fairly sheer, though, so you could use a denser blush brush if you so desired.  You could also use a stippling brush like the 188 or a more tapered/angled brush like the 168 to highlight the planes of the face more easily.

As much as I want to be, I’ve never been in love with the mineralize skinfinish formula. They really just don’t wear very well–many of them seem to accentuate any skin imperfections as well as pores, and they wear off quickly. Lightscapade is one of the better finishes, because it does not emphasize skin texture or pores much at all, but it does have wear problems. I applied Lightscapade as a highlighter this morning, and it was patchy and faded after four hours. After eight hours, it’s barely there.

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MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish Review, Photos, Swatches

B-

Lightscapade is one of the better finishes, because it does not emphasize skin texture or pores much at all, but it does have wear problems. I applied Lightscapade as a highlighter this morning, and it was patchy and faded after four hours.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter
MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “light, soft white gold.” It’s a soft yellowy gold with a metallic finish. Gilded, soft, glowy, with a definite yellow undertone, but it’s not orange-y at all. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City is deeper, more molten gold. Estee Lauder Opulence is very similar. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is similar but darker.

Of the three shades that were released, I actually liked the texture of this one the best–it had the smoothest feel. The texture is dry but soft, and it applies smoothly so it really enhances the metallic finish. You can see it “in real life” in this video as well. If this is your first read-through of a review on this new formula, then if you’re familiar with Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula, you’ll find this extremely comparable, if not dead-on. MAC may not describe this as a liquid, powder, and gel powder, but it’s very, very similar. There’s an $11 price difference, and with MAC, you actually get nearly twice the product.

So far, MAC’s product seems to wear a wee bit better as well. Yesterday, I tested out the wear of this shade specifically, and it held up well after eight hours with very slight fading around the edges. Even after ten hours, there was a little more fading, but it was still surprisingly intact for as long of a period as that was.  As with anything with a really metallic finish, it will emphasize the skin’s texture, but this does so very, very slightly.  MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinishes tend to emphasize pores on me, but this seemed like a fair trade off between emphasis and glowy goodness.

I see this working well on yellow-toned skin, those with warmer undertones overall, but because it lacks an orange/red undertone, it shouldn’t turn particularly orange on pinker undertones.  Between this and Superb, I don’t think I’d grab both unless you’re major fiend for highlighters or really love the finish of these.  I suspect they will all sell well, so you won’t have a lot of time to think about it, but nonetheless, I do feel you could survive with one and not both.

The Glossover

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MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I see this working well on yellow-toned skin, those with warmer undertones overall, but because it lacks an orange/red undertone, it shouldn't turn particularly orange on pinker undertones. Between this and Superb, I don't think I'd grab both unless you're major fiend for highlighters or really love the finish of these. I suspect they will all sell well, so you won't have a lot of time to think about it, but nonetheless, I do feel you could survive with one and not both.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter
MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “soft peachy nude.” It’s a champagne beige with a little hint of rosiness and a champagne metallic sheen. While I didn’t review Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee (by the time I was ready to photograph it, it had already sold out), it is exactly the same as Superb. I could not detect a single difference between the two! MAC Redhead is a little pinker and has a whiter sheen, not as warm. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold has more of a frosted finish. MAC Rose Ole is peachier.

Again, fans of Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula will love these–not just like–because I couldn’t find real differences between the two.  So far, MAC’s formula seems to wear a little longer for me.  I’ve never used the original Powder Gelee Estee Lauder released (I left it brand new, until I did the comparison swatch in this post!), so I couldn’t tell you how long that wore on me for–I just know that Topaz Chameleon was more like seven to eight hour wear, whereas Whisper of Gilt and Glorify both hit the eight hour mark with the majority of the product still intact (just some fading around the edges).

Superb has a soft, dry texture that’s really smooth.  It will feel different than other powder products, but it’s not quite the same texture as a baked product (like MAC’s Mineralize line).  There’s a high-shine metallic finish that reflects light really well and smoothly, and the real surprise is that it manages not to emphasize pores or skin imperfections much–it will call more attention to it than a lower-sheen product, but for something with as strong as a sheen here, it’s very little emphasis.  More or less, it’s the kind that’s worth trading off for really dewy, glowy cheeks.

This shade is the most universally wearable shade out of the three–it will work well on cool and warm, light and dark complexions.  I also suspect that with the comparison swatch to Estee Lauder’s powder, which sold out extremely quickly, it will be snapped up in a heartbeat–especially since this is much more affordable than Estee Lauder’s.

The Glossover

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MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This shade is the most universally wearable shade out of the three--it will work well on cool and warm, light and dark complexions. I also suspect that with the comparison swatch to Estee Lauder's powder, which sold out extremely quickly, it will be snapped up in a heartbeat--especially since this is much more affordable than Estee Lauder's.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter
MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “copper with golden shimmer.” It’s a coppery bronze with a golden-copper shimmer and sheen. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is very similar, but it’s just ever-so-slightly darker–with a lighter/heavier hand, you could get nearly the same color, though. theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer is slightly browner with less orange tones. Urban Decay Gilded is more orange and a bit lighter.

If you’re familiar with Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelees, you’ll know what these feel like. They’re virtually the same. I really couldn’t distinguish any differences beyond the pattern that has been emblazoned onto the product itself. It has that same complex texture that’s dry yet soft and smooth. I tried applying Glorify with MAC’s 128 brush, which is being repromoted in this collection, but I didn’t care for it–just didn’t seem to yield the right finish for me. I ended up using the 168, which worked out better for me. This particular shade has plenty of pigmentation.  To apply as a highlight, I would recommend a fan brush so you can get a soft, precise look.

I did think it was interesting that while Estee Lauder refers to it as a tribrid (three-in-one) powder, MAC only lists it as a hybrid, but then it tacks on “almost liquid” as an afterthought–so they end up being similar in description.  Given that Estee Lauder owns MAC, these are probably even closer than they seem.  Though, MAC’s seems to wear a little longer on me.

MAC actually claims that the new Extra Dimension Skinfinishes (also, confusing, that they are listed as Extra Dimension Highlighters, but the boxes say Skinfinish) last for ten–yes, ten!–hours on the skin. I didn’t even realize they had made such a huge claim until I sat down to write the full review, but thankfully I wore my testing face-of-the-day for eleven hours yesterday! The shade I tested yesterday was Whisper of Gilt, which wore surprisingly well. When I checked the highlighter after eight hours, it was still mostly intact, with just a bit of fading along the edges of the apples of the cheeks. After ten hours, there was a little more fading along the edges but a fair amount of it was still there, looking reflective and glowy. I’m testing Glorify today, and I’m only in about eight hours, and there’s the same subtle fading along the edges but overall, it still looks good.

This would be a beautiful highlighter/light blusher on someone with red undertones. Used with an incredibly light hand, it can be used as a glowy, warmed-up highlighter with a hint of bronze, but it’s more easily used as a bronzy blusher. It has a fair amount of shimmer and sheen in the finish, though, so it may not be the most practical application if you want to highlight/contour.

The Glossover

LE
product

Glorify

A-
This would be a beautiful highlighter/light blusher on someone with red undertones. Used with an incredibly light hand, it can be used as a glowy, warmed-up highlighter with a hint of bronze, but it's more easily used as a bronzy blusher.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, March 19th, 2012

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder
Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powders for Eyes and Cheeks

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder< ($95.00 for 0.53 oz.) is described as a highlighter for both cheeks and eyes. It’s part of the online exclusive (and at select boutiques) Las Vegas de Chanel collection and easily the pricest piece of the launch! It has six stripes of color, though the medium orange and gold shades seem to have been done twice, which resulted in four unique shades.

When blended together, the result is a warm, orange-tinted gold with a glowy shimmer-sheen. It looks a lot like Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City, actually! Perhaps not quite as dark, but when blended out, the differences nearly disappear. Lucky Stripes has a less metallic finish. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is more golden, less orange. MAC Sun Rush is similar but in liquid form. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel also is similar, perhaps a little less golden.

There’s a medium-dark brown with red-orange undertones and a subtle satiny sheen. Urban Decay Chopper is similar but slightly redder. NARS Isolde is deeper. MAC One to Watch is a touch lighter. Bare Escentuals Fire is similar but a little more orange.  To the right of that is a medium orange with a golden shimmer-sheen. MAC Fresh Daily is darker, more intense. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa is similar but a bit darker and matte. Inglot #368 is lighter.

Next, there’s a medium yellow gold with gold shimmer–it’s actually not quite as refined, soft, or as pigmented as the other shades. It’s similar to golds like MAC Goldmine, Urban Decay Blunt, and Bare Escentuals Remix. The last shade is a pale white with larger white shimmer. It’s similar to MAC Winterscape and MAC White Frost.

It adds a warm, golden reflective quality to the cheek without emphasizing the skin’s texture.  More glowy than metallic, but it’s still a more noticeable highlighter overall (which may or may not be to your liking!).  I think it performs best as a cheek product, but it can be used on the eyes, too.  There it blends out too easily; the colors seem to disappear as you blend, which can be frustrating.  The texture of the powder is soft, finely-milled, and not at all powdery.  On cheeks, it wore for seven hours and looked patchy after eight hours.  On eyes, without a primer, it wore for seven hours with some fading, but with a primer, I didn’t have any wear issues.

I cannot figure out just what about this powder gave Chanel the gall to price this at $95. It’s like with every ultra limited edition launch, they tack on another $10 (and it may just feel that way). There’s nothing about this powder that feels different than other Chanel highlighting powders (or other high-end/designer powders for that matter). It’s gorgeous to be sure, and it’s a pretty design on the interior, but it’s still a plastic black compact on the outer edge. Hey, at least Dior and Guerlain will often give you limited edition, specially-designed packaging with their high price tags! (Dior often has signature limited edition pieces that come out in the $80+ range, and Guerlain has debuted similar products in the $60+ range.)

The Glossover

LE
product

Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder

B
I suspect that for most readers, the price alone will be a major turn-off. For me, a product at this price point needs to perform immaculately. This is a good product but falls short of greatness. It's too similar to both past Chanel powders but also to recently released Guerlain Sun in the City--which is $25 cheaper.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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