Monday, January 10th, 2011

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder
Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder ($35.00 for 1.2 oz.) looks so beautiful on the inside, it’s hard to believe that the insides did not make such a splash. Inside, there are gold “nuggets,” which are incredibly soft and delicate. Every time I opened this, there was a cloud of sparkly dust that hovered and spilled over the edges and on my desk.

I had presumed these would be more like Guerlain’s Meteorites, which are shimmering spheres that impart a soft, subtle shimmer-sheen glow–these produce a bronzy, glittery bonanza. It does impart an orange-toned bronze brown with chunky bronze and gold glitter. Even when buffed, the chunky glitter is hard to disguise. This looked absolutely disastrous on face, and I did not find it worked well for decolletage either. The only place that seemed to work so-so was on legs, but it still had to be really blended and buffed so it looked natural and used considerably more product per use than I’d like.

Given that it is supposed to be face and decolletage, going as far as using it on legs was more to see if it worked anywhere than something I’d use this as a go-to for. I can do shimmer, sheen, and even glitter; I’m not at all scared of glitter, and while I don’t need to wear it every day, I have no problem wearing even heavier glitter on face or cheeks or lips. But this powder goes beyond what I see even glitter fanatics wanting in a face/decolletage glitter.  I would also not recommend using the provided pouf unless you want to be a bronze sculpture — one pat packs far too much product!

The concept is nice but there needs to be serious improvement on execution in order to make it work.  I would have loved to see this impart a much subtler, softer micro-glitter or shimmer.

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  • Product: 10/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a product that was beautiful in concept and dressed to impress in the beautiful filigreed canister, but the product itself just doesn’t work well in real life. It’s a mess to open but doesn’t work anywhere but legs–everywhere else is just too much. From Clarins, I would have expected something subtler and sophisticated.

WHERE TO BUY: Bloomingdale’s

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Gana Blush
MAC Gana Blush

MAC Mickey Contractor: Gana Blush

MAC Gana Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is new and limited edition blush from MAC Mickey Contractor. MAC describes it as a “bright white gold” with a frost finish. When I swatched, I found Gana to be a gilded champagne with a bright sheen–slightly frosty but more of a sheen. I like it better as a highlighter than a blush, just because it seems to make me look a bit washed out when used as a blusher. It has a very soft, smooth texture and plenty of pigment.

I’ll have to do a comparison to be sure, but this seems similar to Trace Gold, which is part of the permanent line; the biggest difference seems in the texture–this is smoother, more sheen than shimmer.

P.S. — On eyes, I am wearing Jaan eyeshadow on the lid, Vivah eyeshadow on the outer lid/crease, Folie in the crease, Burberry Trench to highlight, Ivy fluidline on upper lash line, Urban Decay Perversion on lower water line, Jaan eyeshadow on lower lash line. On lips, I am wearing Yash lipstick with Lust lipglass on top. On cheeks, I am wearing Gana blush.

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you sheer it out enough, it could work as a very soft, all-over-glow kind of product, but it is easier to use it as a highlighter where you need it.

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

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Sunday, December 19th, 2010

MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder
MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder

MAC Stylishly Yours: Too Chic Beauty Powder

MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder ($22.00 for 0.35 oz.) is an ultra pale white gold with a subtle white shimmer-sheen. MAC describes this shade as a “soft peachy cream with fine shimmer.”  Just like Play It Proper, this is a very pale shade.  It is a lighter, less yellow version of NARS Albatross.  It is also a paler version of Chez Chez Lame (close enough that you could just pick one of the two, rather than both).

Beauty powders have a very finely milled, silken texture that tends to settle well on the skin without looking powdery.  I did find that the Stylishly Yours beauty powders were frostier than previous beauty powders, so I noticed it more on skin–partially due to my medium skin tone, though.  You get an amazing amount of product for just $22–way better value than the Special Reserve Highlighting Powders, actually ($28 for the same amount).

P.S. — In the full face photo, I’m wearing Too Chic on cheeks, Neon Orange on lips, and on eyes, Chilled on Ice as a base, Retrospeck and Caviar Dreams on top with Dark Diversion to line (upper lash line) and I Get No Kick (lower lash line), and then New Hue on lashes.

MAC Stylishly Yours Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North America, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I still have concerns about this working on medium-dark to dark skin tones without looking ashy.  It will be a lovely highlighter for paler skin tones, though.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Sunday, December 19th, 2010

MAC Play It Proper Beauty Powder
MAC Play It Proper Beauty Powder

MAC Stylishly Yours: Play It Proper Beauty Powder

MAC Play It Proper Beauty Powder ($22.00 for 0.35 oz.) is an ultra, barely-there pink with a subtle white sheen that has neutral undertones. MAC describes this shade as a “pastel soft pink with sparkles.”  Thankfully, this is really not a sparkling powder–it has the soft sheen that beauty powders are known for.  This is a really light/pale one, though, and I think that it’ll work well for lighter skin tones, darker skin tones may find it turns ashy.  It’s a lighter, more neutral version of Benefit’s Dandelion.

Beauty powders have a very finely milled, silken texture that tends to settle well on the skin without looking powdery.  I did find that the Stylishly Yours beauty powders were frostier than previous beauty powders, so I noticed it more on skin–partially due to my medium skin tone, though.  You get an amazing amount of product for just $22–way better value than the Special Reserve Highlighting Powders, actually ($28 for the same amount).

P.S. — In the full face photo, I’m wearing Play It Proper on cheeks, Cockney on lips, and on eyes, Chilled on Ice as a base, Retrospeck and Caviar Dreams on top with Dark Diversion to line (upper lash line) and I Get No Kick (lower lash line), and then New Hue on lashes.

MAC Stylishly Yours Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North America, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: For lighter skin tones of both warm and cool natures, this would be a nice highlighter. On medium-dark to dark skin tones, I’d try it before buying, because I suspect it will turn ashy.  Note that the overall rating is very much buffered by the value of the product.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Rose Ole Special Reserve Highlighting Powder
MAC Rose Ole Special Reserve Highlighting Powder

MAC Cham-Pale: Rose Ole Special Reserve Highlighting Powder

MAC Rose Ole Special Reserve Highlighter Powder ($28.00 for oz.) is one of two new and limited edition highlighting powders included in the Cham-Pale launch (the other being Chez Chez Lame). MAC describes it as a “soft pink with gold shimmer.”  It is a rosy copper beige with a soft golden sheen.  I was reminded of Pink Bronze pigment, actually, but obviously the finish and texture are quite different!  This shade is darker and thus more pigmented, so it is more appropriate for darker skin tones–it is still subtle and easily sheer enough to work on even pale skin tones, though.  After some more reflection, this is a softer version of MAC’s By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish.

P.S. — In the full face photo, I wore Vintage Selection as a base, Retrospeck on the lid with Caviar Dreams in the crease, Feline on the waterline, Rose Ole on cheeks, and Straight to the Head on lips.

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a more universally flattering shade than Chez Chez Lame, and though it’s just as soft and easily sheered out, it has more color, which will work for darker skin tones, too.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Chez Chez Lame Special Reserve Highlighting Powder
MAC Chez Chez Lame Special Reserve Highlighting Powder

MAC Cham-Pale: Chez Chez Lame Special Reserve Highlighting Powder

MAC Chez Chez Lame Special Reserve Highlighter Powder ($28.00 for 0.35 oz.) is one of two new and limited edition highlighting powders included in the Cham-Pale launch (the other being Rose Ole). MAC describes it as a “soft gold with silver shimmer.”  It’s a softened white gold with subtle yellow undertones and a soft white shimmer-sheen.  I don’t see so much of a silver shimmer as I do a soft white one, though.

The texture is soft and smooth, and it applies beautifully on the face. It has a highly reflective quality that may make it too much glow for some, but it doesn’t seem to emphasize my pores, though.  It doesn’t work for me as a blusher (I wasn’t expecting it to but just a heads up), and I do worry it will be ashy on darker skin tones, because of the paleness of the color and the amount of white shimmer.  It’s not quite as soft as Mineralize Skinfinishes and a bit more powdery, nor as finely milled as beauty powders.  The more neutral tone of this golden highlighter makes it appropriate for both cooler and warmer skin tones.

P.S. — In the full face photo, I wore Vintage Selection as a base, Retrospeck on the lid with Caviar Dreams in the crease, Feline on the waterline, Chez Chez Lame on cheeks, and Straight to the Head on lips.

MAC Cham-Pale Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The more neutral tone of this golden highlighter makes it appropriate for both cooler and warmer skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics, in-stores December 26th, internationally in January 2011.

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