Monday, July 5th, 2010

Illamasqua Powdered Liquid Metal

Bronzed from Head to Toe

Illamasqua Thalia Powdered Metal (£22.00 for 0.52 oz.) is a golden bronze shimmered with gold with a soft, almost metallic sheen. It’s a loose powder that can be used alone or mixed with other products–it’s very much like any other multi-purpose loose color (e.g. Illamasqua’s Pure Pigments, MAC Pigments, etc.).

Thalia is a beautiful bronzer on medium to medium-dark skin, and it also works well as a light illuminator mixed with moisturizer or liquid foundation for those with medium to medium-dark skin. You can also throw it in your hair (try mixing it with shine spray), swirl it in a clear nail polish or creme-finish nail polish to frankenstein something new. It can also look pretty patted lightly on the center of lips over plums and reds finished by a quick slick of gloss.

A little goes a long way, and this is an incredibly finely milled powder, so it’s easy to use more than you need!   The packaging has a nice sifter on it, so it’s easier to control how much product comes out.  I like that you get plenty of the product without paying an arm and a leg, too. This is also a great body product for the summer, because you can dust it lightly on shoulders and legs (try it right after moisturizing, so it sticks better) for a subtle bronzy sheen.

Illamasqua also carries Bebhionn (soft pink shimmer) and Erzule (deep bronze shimmer).

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you’d like a bit of faux glow tan without a lot of work, Powdered Metal definitely gets you there in a hurry!

AVAILABILITY: Illamasqua

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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Guerlain Gold Tint Meteorites

Summer Shimmer with Guerlain

Guerlain Teint Dore Meteorites Powder ($56.00 for 1.05 oz.) is one of three new permanent shades of Meteorites.  Meteorites are something of a phenomena, but they are beautiful highlighters that just add glow and warmth to the skin without going overboard with glitter or heavy shimmer.  I find the shimmer imparted by Meteorites to be part glow, part shimmer, because it’s subtle but still noticeable.  It’s light enough to be able to dusted on the face, but it also works beautifully on the top of the cheekbones.

The new Meteorites come in much-improved packaging, too.  Gone is the cardboard!  Instead, it’s this metal-like plastic (I don’t think it’s real metal based on touching and holding it), but it has the metallic sheen of metal.  I like that both the lid and the cylinder itself have detailing that is definitely a signature of higher end brands like Guerlain, so it’s just nice to see it fully translated into the Meteorites range.  I’m also happy that Meteorites still pack quite a punch in quantity–a full ounce or thirty grams of satin-y, shimmering pearls.

Teint Dore is a mixture of champagne, chocolate, and golden pearls.  Together, they create a very soft golden sheen with just a touch of bronze that’s just really barely there.  It’s almost like a bronze undertone.  I think this is easily worn by all skin tones, because it’s not overly warm.  It will warm up any complexion a smidgen, and I think it would be beautiful on both pale and darker skin tones as well.  I’d recommend trying this over a coral blush or bronzer!

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  It’s always nice to see a brand maintain or improve a product, particularly when they’re changing such a cult favorite!  If you already have the previous versions of Meteorites, you may find this shade redundant, but if you don’t yet have Meteorites in your stash, you should take a gander next time you’re at a Guerlain counter.

Availability: Nordstrom, Sephora

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Friday, June 4th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Beach Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Beach Club Collection:  Beach Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Beach Shimmer Brick ($38.00 for 0.40 oz.) is a new Shimmer Brick for the summer. Shimmer Bricks come with five strips of color and can be used on cheeks or eyes, mixed or individually.

Beach actually works really well as eyeshadow, because it does have a nice fade from light to dark. When mixed together, Beach is a little darker than Beige Shimmer Brick but lighter than Bronze Shimmer Brick. Beach comes together to give a dirty bronze with red undertones and a very, very high frost finish. It has a champagne sheen, but it definitely feels like one of the frostier Shimmer Bricks I’ve tried.

I think on darker beauties, this could be a really lovely way to enhance your natural skin tone and give you that glow. On my light-medium skin tone (NC25), it comes off looking dirty when I wear it alone or maybe like I have a bit of a sunburn. It’s better if I wear a blush and use this as a light highlighter, but I still have to be careful to get it to work just right. My advice is to definitely use a stippling brush when applying it to avoid going overboard.  The shimmer seems to accentuate my skin flaws/texture of my skin–and not for the greater good!

I’m not loving it as a blush/bronzer, but I think the shades could definitely be used individually as eyeshadows, like the lightest as a quick wash of shimmer on the lid on days when you’re pressed for time. I also found this one just a bit too shimmery for my liking as well–but I do tend to find they’re more shimmer than I personally want (but hello? they are called SHIMMER Bricks for a reason!), so it’s not an issue of the product itself.  One thing that I do want to point out is that the Shimmer Brick contains over twice the amount of your average blush.

I’m curious to hear from other Shimmer Brick fans on whether this one hit the spot for them!

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  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: When used lightly, Beach can definitely add a nice dose of glow to your skin, but I think it may be better suited for those of medium to dark complexions. If you don’t like shimmer or if you only want subtle shimmer, Shimmer Bricks–particularly this one–are not for you!

Availability: Bobbi Brown

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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.

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  • 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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