Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Lustre Drops: Pink Rebel, Sun Rush

MAC To the Beach Collection – Lustre Drops Review, Photos, & Swatches

Lustre Drops are like puff paints (the kind you’d use in crafts).  They’re tiny, but a little goes a long way.  I like these mixed with moisturizer and used on shoulders and legs.  They can be used on the face, though, and I like using it as a shimmered base for a blush or along the cheek bones.

  • Pink Rebel Lustre Drops is a slightly pink-toned peach highlighter. Lustre Drops are, essentially, liquid highlighters. You can use them on your cheeks, brows, decolletage… whatever. You can mix it in with your foundation or moisturizer for an all-over sheen. Naturally, this one suits those with pinker undertones, but it can easily work with warmer complexions as well.
  • Sun Rush Lustre Drops is a golden peach highlighter. This one is definitely more suitable for those with warmer undertones, but if used sheerly (which is really the best way to use these anyway), it’s not so warm that it would turn orange on cooler undertones.

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Marine Life High-Light Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection — Marine Life High-Light Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC To the Beach is much anticipated, but I think the Marine Life High-Light Powder is easily the item most coveted.  With its raised seahorse pattern and metallic look, I’m not at all surprised that it sparked a lot of interest.  As many of you already know, the metallic finish is just an overspray.  There are two distinct colors that remain — an orange-coral and a light baby pink.  The overlay is a metallic bronze, but a few swipes or sweeps and it’s gone.

Oddly enough, I really don’t feel the overspray did very much to the color, which is really a good thing.  It made the color a little more orange-y and obviously imparted a more shimmery finish.  Without the overspray, it’s more of a coral-pink with a smidgen of shimmer.  It’s decently pigmented though not overwhelmingly so.  It’s surprisingly pigmented, however, for something called a highlight.

It’s not like Instant Chic.  It’s not like Hipness.  It’s really not.  Instant Chic is lighter, subtler, and has a peachiness to it that neither Hipness nor Marine Life have.  Hipness is noticeably pinker and less intense than Marine Life.

I like it.  If you even think you might like this, I would snatch it up right away–and I mean the day it goes online or in-store for sale.  It will sell out.  And I’m also not talking selling out in a matter of days but hours.

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Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Philosophy Amazing Grace Powder

Philosophy Amazing Grace Shimmering Powder ($29.50) is a soft, icy pink highlighting powder.  Its packaged in a mirror-finish compact and inside is a light pink powder with the word “grace” embedded in the center.  When you open the compact, there’s a mirror with the phrase, “where there is grace, there is beauty,” which is a nice touch.  I just like the uplifting spirit of the Philosophy brand, and I think this is a nice reminder to have in a compact, too.

It’s a fine-milled, very smooth powder that can easily be used to highlight specific areas or dusted lightly for an all-over glow.  It does not impart much color, if any–it’s almost the faintest pink-tinged white.  There’s a definite sheen rather than obvious shimmer or glitter that does the highlighting as well, which is always nice in a highlighter.  Amazing Grace isn’t a new, innovative highlighter, but it’s a solid one if you’re looking for something soft, subtle, and with no real color.   I’d say the slight pinkness of the product does give a healthy glow to the face without actually making it a light blusher, so it works for a highlighter.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:   Pretty-in-pink, Philosophy’s newest highlighter does a nice job of softly highlighting the face without going overboard with glitter or shimmer.  It’s nearly colorless, which may make it a nice option for those not looking to add color to cheeks!

Availability: Sephora

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Two-Minute Reviews: CoverGirl Eyeshadow Palette, Physicians Formula Healthy Glow, Smashbox Heartbreaker

The concept behind two-minute reviews is mostly products that I photographed, swatched, but I never ended up reviewing.  Rather than just bury the photos into the “Unlikely to Review” folder and never let them see the light of day, I decided that perhaps a quickie review was better than no review at all… Let me know if you’d rather a quickie review than no review :)

CoverGirl Vibrant Browns (#700) Eyeshadow Palette ($7.49) is a palette that features four shades of eyeshadow: a softened, matte black with glitter overlay, subdued blue-toned sheer gray with silver sheen, muted copper with orange-gold shimmer and frost finish, and an incredibly sheer white with sheen. The colors are all on the sheerer side, and the shadows themselves just don’t grab me. I think one or two more muted shades might work, but these altogether just don’t. I find the gold too warm to work with the coolness of the black and gray. Quick Rating: C-

Physicians Formula Healthy Glow Shimmer Strips ($11.95) reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. Healthy Glow is a gradation of light, icy pink to a muted raspberry pink. The colors are better used together rather than alone, as individually, they’re not very pigmented. Together, they create a lightened raspberry with a frosty white sheen. This is great for those with closer-to-flawless skin, because it’s pretty and shimmery–but if you have larger pores, the high frost finish will accentuate them. For a drugstore blush, though, the price is a little steeper than I’d like to see. Quick Rating: B

Smashbox Heartbreaker Collection looked super cute in the promos, but I wasn’t loving it when I saw some of the pieces in person. In fact, I loved the actual box packaging infinitely more than the product packaging! The boxes are cute with doodles and polaroids on it–just sweet and fitting for the theme. The shiny white plastic makes it look and feel on the cheap side, and Smashbox really isn’t a cheap brand. I tend to think of Smashbox as more of a mid-to-high end brand. I tried three products: Starlight Fusion Soft Lights ($30), Rollerball Lip Gloss ($21), and Liquid Liner Pen ($24). I reviewed the eyeliner previously, but I never got around to the other two products. Despite looking rather vibrant in the pan, Starlight is a very soft, lightened raspberry sorbet with a soft champagne sheen. It didn’t show up very well on my medium skin tone, so I wasn’t never driven to wear it in a look (hence this quickie review!). Quick Rating: C+

The Rollerball Lip Gloss was very much the same — it’s clear gloss with icy white shimmer. It’s very slightly pink tinged, but on lips, it looks clear. I also felt like the Rollerball packaging made me feel like I was using Bonne Bell (which is fine… if I’m paying Bonne Bell prices!). Quick Rating: C-

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Guerlain Beige Tint Meteorites

Guerlain Beige Tint Meteorites ($56.00 for 1.2 oz.) is one of three new shades released with Guerlain Meteorite Perles Collection, due out in May.  The two other shades that will be available are Rose Tint and Gold Tint.  The new Meteorites are designed to enhance/correct certain issues with skin.

From the press release, “[A] rosy complexion tends to show redness, while a beige complexion turns grey with the onset of fatigue and a golden complexion becomes yellow and dull. As the uncontested expert in color and powder, Guerlain has created three different Météorites Perles color harmonies to address the ways that different skin tones reflect color and light, in line with the principles of the color wheel and interaction of secondary colors.

Which one is for you?

  • Harmony 01 / Teint Rose (Rose Tint) corrects by using mauve to reflect light and brightening the complexion along with green to reduce redness; pink to give skin a more even look; and white for illumination, gold for “radiance.”  I think this is suitable for those with cooler undertones, rosacea, or uneven or reddened skin.
  • Harmony 02 / Teint Beige (Beige Tint) corrects with mauve and pink to keep skin from looking dull; beige and apricot beige to add warmth; and white and white gold to reflect light.  I think this is suitable for most skin tones, though warmer skin tones may find this more beneficial than those with particularly cool undertones; also good for those with more neutral or beige undertones.
  • Harmony 03 / Teint Dore (Gold Tint) corrects with mauve and blue to eliminate yellowness amongst a golden tone; beige and chocolate beige enhance golden tones; and white gold reflects light while pearly apricot brightens.  I think this is suitable for those with yellow, golden, or olive undertones to bring out the natural warmth in the complexion.

Keep in mind that Meteorites are not an opaque powder in the least bit!  Just like traditional Meteorites, the ones from Meteorites Perles have the same feel and texture.  I’ve only tried Beige Tint in person thus far, which is a good thing, considering it’s the one that matches me best.  I think I could also work with the Gold Tint as well, but it may be more of a definite highlighter than all over powder.  We shall have to wait and see on that aspect!

Beige Tint contains several different colored spheres ranging from champagne-peach, peach-apricot, shimmering white, pinky-apricot, darkened apricot, and lilac.   On skin, it has a champagne-lilac illuminating base with sparkles of gold and champagne.  It’s a soft, fine-milled shimmer/illuminating powder that looks subtle against skin, even when used all-over.  If you do choose to use it as an all-over face powder, using a fluffier or stippling brush ensures you don’t overdo it.  Otherwise, it can be used as a light highlighter wherever you want to reflect light (usually cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, etc.).

The Meteorites Perles Meteorites are packaged in a “metal” container.  I think it’s more of a harder, metal-like plastic than pure metal (it just doesn’t have the weight of metal), but it’s certainly an upgrade from some of the cardboard-esque packaging they’ve used in the past.  Though I don’t mind myself, since it’s still pretty, more eco-friendly than plastic, and I don’t carry my makeup around very often, except when I travel (then I bring the whole bathroom… and the bathroom sink!).  It’s sleek, classy, and elegant–I love it.

The very idea of running out of one of the Meteorites is not something I can fathom, because it takes so little to get what you want out of it as a highlighter/illuminator.  I think one will last you quite awhile (aka years), but it does carry a steeper price tag than other high-end highlighters–though in line with Guerlain’s pricing point overall.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  I think this is suitable for most skin tones, though warmer skin tones may find this more beneficial than those with particularly cool undertones; also good for those with more neutral or beige undertones.  For those with cooler or pinker undertones, consider Rose Tint; and for those with more golden and yellow undertones, consider Gold Tint.

Availability:  May 2010

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Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Exotic Bronzing Blush

Get Your Blush AND Bronze on?  Hmm…

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Exotic Bronzing Blush ($35.00) is a pressed powder bronzer and blush with a coral reef inspired design. Estee Lauder calls it a “Bronzing Blush,” and you can tell in the photo that it really is exactly that! It’s unrealistic to use the two shades separately, but once swirled together, they create a rosy-peach bronzed shade.

It’s peachy without really being too pink and not quite brown but more like a gilded champagne. The shimmer is fine enough that it doesn’t accent pores but is still noticeable. I found this worked mostly as a blush, as it did have enough peach and rose tones to it that it’s more a blush than a bronzer. It does give my cheeks that sunkissed glow, though.

I like that the packaging has a very modern look and feel to it–that coppery bronze that shimmers in the sunlight.  The pricing is a little high, though, for a product that’s mostly a blush.  I’d have preferred to see this at maybe a $28 or $30 price point–more in line with their normal blush prices.

You can check out other items from Bronze Goddess, too!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  It’s a cute compact, and it works well on warmer skin tones for sure. On cooler skin tones, it may not be as lovely, since it does have a warmer undertone. I also think on deeper skin tones, it may work mostly as a highlighter rather than a blush. Light to medium skin tones should have no problems using this as a blush or blush-highlighter! It’s not the most unique blush shade, but it’s done well.

Availability: Nordstrom

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