Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Laura Mercier Polished Radiant Creme Blush

Laura Mercier Polished Collection:  Radiant Creme Colour — Cream Highlighter

Laura Mercier Polished Radiant Creme Colour ($35.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a gorgeous cream highlighter that goes on champagne-pink. Even though it looks like there are three separate shades, it’s hard to just get one, and so I’d say it’s really designed to be used swirled together. I really love the way all of the shades come together and create something that’s subtle and incredibly illuminating. It’s soft, lightweight, and it wears well. I didn’t find it faded or migrated during the eight hour test I put it to!

I wore it a few days ago in this look, and it really does make cheekbones pop! I applied the cream highlighter by tapping a stippling brush and lightly swirling and blending out towards my temples.   I will caution you if you’re going to be photographed a ton–go lightly and be sure to dust and set with a translucent powder.  It’s a beautiful sheen, but in flash photography, it can come off a little oily if you don’t use it subtly.

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: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you love creamy highlighters, Laura Mercier’s new, limited edition version is fun for spring!

Availability: Blue Mercury

See swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

MAC Liberty of London Collection
MAC Beauty Powder Packaging

MAC Give Me Liberty of London: Beauty Powder Reviews, Photos, Swatches

The Beauty Powders are housed in all-white packaging with an opaque cover (they’re sometimes clear, sometimes not–usually not clear if it’s part of limited edition packaging) with the MAC for Liberty print printed in color on the top. Beauty Powders can be used for a variety of things–blushing, highlighting, setting, or what-have-you. Your usage depends on both the shade itself and how well it shows up on your skin tone. Shell Pearl may be a blush on fairer skin tones, but deeper skin tones will find it is more of a highlighter.

Beauty Powder ($25.00 U.S. / $30.00 CDN)

  • Summer Rose is a satin-y pinky-plum with very subtle, nearly invisible shimmer/sheen. This is a repromote from last year’s Rose Romance Collection, but it doesn’t have the rose petal embellished design–on the flip side, this one is housed in special packaging. It has a smooth texture and can be layered for more intensity, though on first swipe, it’s quite sheer and soft. It doesn’t build up to an ultra intense shade by any means, but with two or three layers, it should show up on light and medium skin tones. Deeper, darker skin tones may find that this can look ashy, so I’d recommend swatching in-store first if possible!
  • Shell Pearl is a beautiful peachy-coral with a soft golden peach sheen. For whatever reason, I never owned Shell Pearl when I first started my journey down the limited-edition lined path o’ MAC, but after I saw someone use it, I was like, “I need that!” So, finally, I get to have it, and it’s lovely. It’s soft, smooth, and delivers a beautiful glow to the skin. It’s not super pigmented, so for medium and darker skin tones, it’s more of a highlighter or potentially an all-over highlighter than a blush, but lighter skin tones may find it a suitable blusher as well as a highlighter.  Shell Pearl has also been released in the past, but I believe that was over a year ago.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals:   Nectar Shimmerbrick

Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick ($38.00 for 0.4 oz.) is new for spring–part of the Cabana Corals Collection–and is a coral lover’s dream. If you love Shimmerbricks and have an affinity for corals and bronzed golds, I think this just may be a new favorite for you.  (Also releasing with Cabana Corals is Pink Quartz Shimmerbrick!)

When worn on cheeks, it works as a blusher and highlighter in one, because it packs plenty of color along with a soft frosty shimmer sheen. Although some Shimmerbricks are just a tad too frosty to me at times (at least on cheeks!), Nectar is just right. It hits that sweet spot of color, shimmer, and sheen. It can be applied with a light hand for a softer application or layered for an intense cheek for night time. Since I am an absolute fiend for all things coral, Nectar is most definitely my favorite Shimmerbrick to-date!

Shimmerbricks are a pricey investment, but they’ll last you a long time (or forever, in my case) — you get a whopping 0.4 oz., which makes the cost per ounce just a smidgen more than MAC blushes. Each of the five strips of color swatch beautifully; rich color, intense pigmentation, and smooth to the touch Shimmerbricks can be used on the eyes or cheeks, and you could get a very pretty sunset-esque kind of look out of these shades in addition to its usage of a very coral-bronzed blusher. I like that it can be a multi-tasker, at least. I have to admit, I haven’t worn any Shimmerbricks on my eyes yet but may have to give it try with Nectar.

You can see me wearing it in this look! :)

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a Shimmerbrick collector, I know you need to check this out. If it’s your first-time thinking about a Shimmerbrick, I think you need to swatch!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

See photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Estee Lauder & Michael Kors: Very Hollywood Collection — Bits & Bobs

The Very Hollywood Collection is divided into two looks: Rodeo Pink and Bel-Air Beige. Rodeo Pink features very pink-themed shades, whereas Bel-Air Beige is more about corals and beiges. Additionally, there is also a Shimmering Loose Powder that can be used with either look. I ended up trying out the Sunset Coral Blush, Hollywood Gold Lip Sheen, and Starlet Peach Lip Gloss from the Bel-Air Beige look, as well a the Shimmering Loose Powder.

The packaging for the Very Hollywood Collection is a pleasant reprieve from Estee Lauder’s typical packaging–it’s a nice update and take on something still more sophisticated and in line with the brand but yet doesn’t feel old.

  • Sunset Coral Blush ($26.00) is really more of a pink-coral. It has just a hint of coral, but it turned out pinker than I imagined it would be. It’s a nice shade, though I’d say more summer-appropriate than necessarily for spring (but that’s just if you go by seasons, which I don’t myself!). It has a very matte finish and texture with good pigmentation, so you can definitely get a good pop of color on your cheeks with this one.
  • Shimmering Loose Powder ($32.00) is a pinky-peach with golden sheen. It’s almost like a pink beige flesh-toned powder. It’s very finely milled and can be used lightly or more heavily, depending on what kind of look you’re going for. Used with a very fluffy brush and a light hand, it could definitely be used as an all-over powder or just to highlight parts of the face.
  • Hollywood Gold Lip Sheen ($22.00) is a sheer, peachy-coral with a golden sheen. It took several layers to build up the color on the swatch alone, so this is most definitely a product that’s aptly named–lip sheen. If you like ultra pigmented lipsticks, I’d look elsewhere. If you like just a sheer wash of color on your lips, lip sheens may be up your alley. Estee Lauder released four other shades (Bungalow Pink, Honey Blonde, Starlet Peach, and Starlet Rose), though two are sold out online.
  • Starlet Peach Lip Gloss ($20.00) is a sheer, peachy-orange gloss with champagne shimmer. It looks quite orange in the tube, but it’s really sheer, so it ends up looking much more peach in practice. It’s a non-sticky gloss that goes on sheerly and lasts a few hours on me. It has a strawberry-ish kind of scent, which took a little getting used to, but wasn’t bad overall.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

MAC in Lillyland Collection
MAC Pearlmatte Eyeshadow

MAC in Lillyland Collection: Pearlmatte Eyeshadow & Powder & Coconut Ice Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

The two prettiest-looking items in the collection are my two least favorites of the collection. Both the Pearlmatte Eyeshadow and Face Powder are lovely to look at with their floral design, but the product itself is just okay.

Pearlmatte Eyeshadow

This is basically three eyeshadows in one, and the pieces are big enough that you can get your brush into each. It consists of a lightly shimmered white, a soft yellow-green with gold shimmer (think Juxt), and a medium blue-based pink with light shimmer (think Da Bling, but blue-based). The design dusts off pretty fast — I could barely see any of the floral portions once I did swatches. The shadows themselves are decently pigmented, but they’re not ultra rich. They also felt a little powdery, which I wasn’t thrilled with. Nice design, just an okay product.

Pearlmatte Face Powder

This contains four different shades within the compact, but realistically, as a face/cheek product, you’re going to end up with a swirl of colors, not just any of the four. In particular, the orange shade is incredibly small, so good luck wearing that alone if you’re brave enough to try! Nonetheless, I did swatch the four individual shades, and then I did a swirled swatch. The individual shades are: a yellowed, shimmered gold, mostly matte/satin peachy orange, sheer, deep pink, and a neutral tan-brown with no real shimmer. Swirled together, I ended up with a rather bronzy shade — it ran a little orange and had the yellow-gold shimmer in it. I don’t know if I’d use this as an all over face powder myself, because it seems more like a bronzer based on playing around with it so far.

Coconut Ice Nail Lacquer

I’d like to know why they named this Coconut Ice. Maybe I haven’t consumed enough coconut ice in my life, but I just envisioned a lightened shade — based on the name. I’ve read the description previously, so I wasn’t misled, but the name seemed off to me. This is a brightened peachy-coral kind of shade. It’s like Seasonal Peach with a lot more pink. It has a creamy finish, and I’d say it needs two to three coats to look right. It kind of reminded of an old, old nail polish called Pink Radar, except lighter and less pink. I liked it, but I like corals, so this wasn’t much of a surprise.

See photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection
MAC By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection: Mineralize Skinfinishes

I know many of you were excited to see two new skinfinishes join the Warm & Cozy Collection. I’ve never been able to jump on the mineralize skinfinish train with all my heart, but some of them are nicer than others.

  • By Candlelight is a light-medium peachy-pink with a surprising amount of pigmentation. It has a very shimmery, frosty sheen, so a little can go along way. (I’d definitely recommend using a light hand or the 187 brush and build up intensity with this shade.) It kind of reminded me of a way more pigmented Porcelain Pink or a peachier Glissade.
  • Comfort is a warmed-up medium bronze. It has a little orange to it, as well as a soft gold sheen. It’s not as shimmery or frosty as By Candlelight. It’s like a more intense, bronzed out version of Sunny By Nature or a more orange version of Gold Deposit, maybe.

See more photos and swatches! Continue reading →