Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder Palette
Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder Palette

Clarins Graphic Expression Face & Blush Powder Palette ($35.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a series of “tinted powders,” and according to the brand, they’re applied “over entire face to softly highlight” and “the coral pink shade [can be applied] to cheeks to create a healthy-looking glow.”

The small stripe of coral-pink is very small–it’s just not practical to use sections of the palette but rather all the shades swirled together. When swirled together, the resulting shade is a soft, peachy-beige with neutral-to-warm undertones and a mostly matte finish. The texture incredibly soft, finely-milled, and silky.  MAC Love, Rihanna (LE, $25.00) is darker, warmer. MAC Bareness (LE, $25.00) is pinker. MAC Blazing Haute (LE, $25.00) is slightly darker, more shimmery. MAC Peaceful (LE, $24.00) is more orange. Dior Pink Glow Bronzer (LE) is warmer, darker. See comparison swatches.

On fairer complexions, I could see this working as a subtle, easy-going bronzer. On my medium complexion, I can get a light coloring on my cheeks if packed on, but otherwise it just helps to even out my skin tone. In the photo, I applied it all over lightly and then patted onto the apples of cheeks as a “blush.” It wore well for eight and a half hours, and it did seem to help prolong the wear of my foundation slightly (by about a half hour) as it was also applied all-over the face.

The Glossover

LE
product

Graphic Expression

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes
Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes

This is part two of our review on Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes ($45.00 for 1.28 oz.). You can read part one here.

Wish is a pale, caramel brown with a soft, frosted finish. It had good color payoff, but the texture was somewhat powdery. Chanel Gri-Gri (101) (LE, $28.50) is darker, grayer. MAC Vintage Selection (P, $18.50) is a cream product. Bobbi Brown Heather Brown (LE, $29.00) is similar. Disney by Sephora Palace (LE) is similar. Disney by Sephora Sultana (LE) is lighter. Disney by Sephora Les Poissons (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Bright Eyes is a vibrant, fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a pearly sheen. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth. Too Faced Totally Fetch (LE) is very similar. Fyrinnae Superstar (P, $6.80) is lighter. Urban Decay Noise (LE, $18.00) is slightly more muted. Estee Lauder Violet Underground #1 (LE, $21.00) is a touch darker. Sugarpill Decora (P, $12.00) is brighter, warmer. See comparison swatches.

Sequin is a vibrant, jewel-tone teal with a frosted finish. It had excellent pigmentation, a soft, buttery texture, and applied smoothly. Best shade in the entire set. Urban Decay Deep End (P, $18.00) is bluer. Milani Teal the Truth (P, $6.99) is lighter. MAC Rain Drop (LE, $32.50) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Marshmallow is a soft, light pink with warm, yellow undertones and a frosted finish. It had a soft, buttery feel and great color payoff. Too Faced Taffy (LE) is lighter. theBalm Safe Bet Annette (P, $16.00) is similar. Maybelline Inked in Pink (P, $6.99) is a cream product. MAC Cheryl Chic (LE, $15.00) is similar. MAC Love Power (LE, $18.50) is a cream product. Make Up For Ever #303 (P, $20.00) is more metallic. See comparison swatches.

Mauvelous is a pale, softened mauve with coppery-red micro-glitter. It had semi-opaque color payoff but there was definitely a sheerness present. The glitter also was prone to fall out both during wear as well as during application. MAC Neo Nebula (LE, $21.00) is darker, less glittery. MAC Daylight (LE, $21.00) is a touch darker. Urban Decay Provocateur is very, very similar. Giorgio Armani #29 is less glittery. See comparison swatches.

Starry Night is a matte black with very fine silver sparkle. It had subtle warm undertones, good color payoff, and was just slightly powdery. There’s no shortage of this type of shade, so all of these are quite similar: Too Faced Pure Glam (LE), Kat Von D Oddfellow (LE), Guerlain Crazy Paris #6 (LE), Wet ‘n’ Wild Three’s a Party #3 (LE), Marc Jacobs Beauty The Mod #2 (P), NARS Night Breed (LE, $24.00), and Sugarpill Stella (P, $12.00), See comparison swatches.

Inner Light is a pale, peachy-pink with a strong golden shimmer and sheen. It looks more like an iridescent gold highlighter applied than it does peach or pink. It had good color payoff with a soft, silky texture. The highlighter wore well for almost eight hours. It did just slightly emphasize pores but the sheen tended to minimize the impact overall. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is warmer. NARS Albatross (P, $29.00) has a similar effect on, just not as warm.bareMinerals The Shining Moment (LE, $26.00) is yellower. See comparison swatches.

Lollipop is a cool-toned, medium pink with subtle blue undertones and a champagne shimmer. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and a smidgen powdery. It wore well for eight hours and started fading after eight and a half hours of wear. Too Faced Raindrops on Roses (LE) is warmer. MAC Pure Femininity (LE, $21.00) is less shimmery. theBalm Argyle (P, $22.00) is matte. Edward Bess Bed of Roses (P, $43.00) is darker, cooler-toned, less shimmery. theBalm Down Boy (P, $21.00) is less shimmery. MAC Pink Tea (LE, $21.00) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Be Merry, Be Bright

A-
Overall, the Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup palette set is quite nice, and the Be Merry palette has solid pigmentation across the board with no troublesome shades; the "worst" was Chocolate Moon, which was a little drier compared to the other shades. The worst performer in Be Merry was Mauvelous, which was prone to fall out and sheerer.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Wish

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Bright Eyes

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes
Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes

Too Faced Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup Palettes ($45.00 for 1.28 oz.) features two palettes, one titled Be Merry, the other titled Be Bright. Each palette has six eyeshadows and two cheek colors. Each eyeshadow contains 0.06 oz. of product, while each cheek color contains 0.14 oz. The two palettes come in a zippered makeup bag with a full-sized Lash Injection mascara. The approximate value of this palette is $285, with a breakout of: $216 worth of eyeshadow, $48 worth of cheek products, and $21 worth of mascara.  Overall, the Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup palette set is quite nice, and the Be Merry palette has solid pigmentation across the board with no troublesome shades; the “worst” was Chocolate Moon, which was a little drier compared to the other shades.  The worst performer in Be Merry was Mauvelous, which was prone to fall out and sheerer.  The majority of the products wore well, with the eyeshadows ranging from eight to nine hours on average with Mauvelous was the only one that had fall out during wear.

Egg Nog is a pale, neutral beige with a matte finish. It had good color payoff and was soft, smooth, and not powdery. Too Faced Cream Colored Ponies (LE) and Too Faced Snow Angel (LE) are both similar. theBalm B1 (LE, $16.00) is warmer. LORAC Cream (P) is darker. Too Faced Dainty (LE) is pinker. bareMinerals Boss Lady (LE) is similar. theBalm Matt Smith (LE, $16.00) is also similar. theBalm Adagio (P, $16.00) is a touch darker. Urban Decay Walk of Shame (P, $18.00) is cooler-toned. MAC Shroom (P, $15.00) more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Very Merry is a light-medium green with golden, yellow undertones and a frosted finish. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was soft and buttery. Urban Decay Jealous #2 (LE, $18.00) is similar. MAC Golden Olive (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Lucky Green (P, $15.00) is brighter. Dior Garden Pastels #1 (LE) is less frosted. bareMinerals Wicked (P) is lighter. Inglot #412 (P, $6.00) is more metallic but very similar. See comparison swatches.

Buttered Rum is a warm, golden medium-dark brown with a frosted, metallic finish and warm undertones. It had really nice color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. Sleek MakeUP Court in Cannes (LE, $9.99) is lighter. Chanel Initiation (827) (LE, $36.00) is more sparkly. MAC Her Cocoa #3 (LE, $15.00) is darker. Urban Decay Ambush (LE, $18.00) is less metallic. Urban Decay Radar (LE, $18.00) is browner. Too Faced Gangsta (LE) is slightly darker. Edward Bess Cosmic Bliss #4 (P, $30.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Bubbly is a warm, light-medium peach with soft gold shimmer. It had fairly good color payoff, and the texture was smooth overall, but the gold shimmer seemed to flake away from the underlying color. Too Faced Whiskers on Kittens (LE) is darker. Too Faced Spike the Punch (LE) is warmer. MAC Her Cocoa #2 (LE, $15.00) is similar. Wet ‘n’ Wild Newport Nights #2 (LE) is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Brown Sugar is a dark, chocolate brown with warm, red-orange undertones and a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. It had excellent pigmentation and a soft, buttery texture. Too Faced Yule Log (LE) is less metallic, darker. MAC Divine Decadence (LE, $15.00) is similar. Urban Decay West (LE, $18.00) is darker. MAC Roasted Chestnut (LE, $32.50) is similar. Inglot #421 (P, $6.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

Chocolate Moon is a dark gray with brown undertones and a soft sparkle. It looked brown in the pan but swatched rather gray, so it was unusual in that respect. Kat Von D Dark Throne (LE) is similar. theBalm A4 (LE, $16.00) is more shimmery. Urban Decay Poison (LE, $18.00) is lighter. Kat Von D Siouxsie-sioux (P) is similar. MAC Steel (LE, $15.00) is more shimmery. MAC Typographic (P, $15.00) is less sparkly, less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

Spice is a light-medium orange with subtle brown tones and a golden sheen. It had so-so color payoff with a slightly dry texture. On my medium complexion, it added slight golden warmth but didn’t look too orange, and the satin sheen did not emphasize pores. It wore well for eight hours but was faded after nine hours. MAC Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer (LE, $25.00) is more orange. Burberry Summer Glow (P, $48.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

Peachy Keen is a warm, light-medium pink with gold shimmer. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft. This one did slightly emphasize pores with the higher shimmer content. It wore well for almost eight hours. Physicians Formula Natural (P, $11.99) is less shimmery. MAC Rio (LE, $23.50) is warmer. Milani Dolce Pink (P, $7.99) is similar. MAC Star Wonder (LE, $23.50) is darker. Benefit Bella Bamba (P, $28.00) is darker. NARS Orgasm (P, $29.00) is similar. bareMinerals The Natural High (LE, $22.00) is warmer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Be Merry, Be Bright

A-

Overall, the Be Merry, Be Bright Makeup palette set is quite nice, and the Be Merry palette has solid pigmentation across the board with no troublesome shades; the "worst" was Chocolate Moon, which was a little drier compared to the other shades. The worst performer in Be Merry was Mauvelous, which was prone to fall out and sheerer.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Egg Nog

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Very Merry

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58.00 for 0.35 oz.) contains three shades of the brand’s Ambient Lighting Powders. The three shades include Dim Light and Radiant Light, both which are part of the permanent range, and a new (and limited edition) shade called Incandescent Light. Each shade is 0.116 oz. in size, compared to the full-sized compact which contains 0.35 oz. At a $45 price point for individual shades, the palette is a nice way to try the new powders and have multiple shades to choose from.  You do also get a 0.16 oz. vial of Veil Mineral Primer (worth about $8), which I’ve reviewed here. It’s not a value-packed palette in terms of price-per-ounce (total value of the palette is $53, including the primer), but getting a variety of shades of a product that is quite pricey individually may be worth it–it will take awhile to get through these pans even at this size.

Dim Light is described as a “neutral peach beige powder.” It’s a pale, light beige with neutral to warm undertones and a very subtle satin shimmer/sheen. The color is barely visible against my skin tone when layered heavily (to show color), and it blends out seamlessly without making me look any darker or lighter. I applied this all over my face like a setting/finishing powder with Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Brush. I couldn’t think of anything I have that’s quite like this and in this shade. The closest product that I’m familiar with is Guerlain’s Meteorites Voyage Powders, which are more translucent and sheerer. According to Hourglass, the main purpose of Dim Light is to blur imperfections–which it does admirably.

Incandescent Light is described as a “pearlescent powder.” It’s a pale, light beige with neutral undertones and a soft ivory shimmer. It’s a bit different from the other Ambient Light powders, because it is a lot more shimmery, and Hourglass is positioning it to “highlight cheekbones and [brighten] the complexion with a celestial glow.” It works well for illuminating the skin where it is applied, and the shimmer doesn’t emphasize pores or make the skin appear oily. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) is more sparkly. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is similar but a smidgen warmer. NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Radiant Light is described as a “golden beige powder.” I reviewed it here when it was originally released. The purpose of Radiant Light is to had subtle warmth; very pale complexions will see this work more obviously on their skin tone than medium or deeper complexions. You can see some comparison swatches</> against Chanel Lucky Stripes, which is much more golden and darker (more of a bronzer on the skin) and NARS Miss Liberty, which is a bit more sparkly.

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders). If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises! I’m not alone–there are 47 reader reviews with an overall rating of 4.5. The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

If you were one of several readers wondering about my skin in my last NARS’ post, this palette is responsible as I wore Dim Light all over my face with Incandescent Light done the bridge of my nose and along the tops of my cheekbones as a highlighter.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Ambient Lighting (Holiday 2013)

A+

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you've applied foundations and setting powders--especially if you have more mattifying base products on. It is that something extra that someone won't see and go, "Oh, nice lipstick!" but "Did you do something different with your skin?" When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that's when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Dim Light

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Incandescent Light

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Guerlain Champs Elysees Meteorites Perles
Guerlain Champs Elysees Meteorites Perles

Guerlain Champs Elysees Meteorites Perles ($58.00 for 1.05 oz.) is supposed to “capture light to create a more luminous and even skin tone.” It does this through a combination of “beige, purple white, gold, and two pinks.” It’s a soft, pale pink with a dusting of white sparkle and a satin-matte finish. MAC Rosy Outlook and Chanel Star Dust are pale pink blushes but both are less highlighters than they are blushes. Guerlain Perles du Dragon is more luminous. Guerlain Perles de Nuit is also more luminous. In the tin, it did seem somewhat similar to Perles du Paradis, but I had almost no visible payoff, so it’s hard to say if they really are similar. See comparison swatches.

Surprisingly, when applied more heavily, it gave my cheeks a soft flush of pink (even on my medium complexion). Otherwise, it brightens and softens the skin in a very subtle, barely-there way as most Meteorites do. I feel like this is a product you either love or hate–you’ve had the Kool-Aid or you moved right along. If you’re looking for a traditional highlighter, you’re better off looking elsewhere as Meteorites, generally (including this one) are subtle. If you wear really, really matte foundation or set heavily with a matte powder, this is a product that breathes life back into the finish of the skin by giving it a natural luminosity that’s not shimmery or sparkly.

Champs Elysees is less luminous compared to recent limited edition iterations, but it still does add luminosity to the skin though just not enough to really live up to its description. It seemed to brighten more than other shades, and made me look more awake. It seems to wear well for eight and a half hours, and it doesn’t impair the wear of my foundation or blush in any way.  Though Meteorites Perles are gorgeous in their tins, the effect (in my experience) doesn’t change too much from shade to shade, and I would imagine that the impact might be more noticeable on fairer complexions.

The Glossover

LE
product

Champs Elysees

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, September 27th, 2013

Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow
Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow

Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow ($37.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a medium brown with hints of peach and rose, along with white shimmer over a satin finish. NARS Madly is browner, darker. NARS Douceur is less warm-toned. MAC Baby Don’t Go is less warm-toned, lighter. MAC Harmony is less shimmery. Burberry Earthy is less warm-toned. See comparison swatches.

I must admit, the shimmer I saw in the pan and in the swatch had me a little worried on how it would translate to skin, but somehow, it manages to work nicely without emphasizing pores or looking sparkly or shimmery. I think a good portion of the shimmer/gets trapped in the bristles of my blush brushes, so little appears on the skin when applied. Depending on your skin tone, this could work as a blush, bronzer, highlighter, or contour powder. On my medium complexion, it’s a subtle contour or a barely-there bronzer. The texture was silky, soft, and finely-milled without being powdery, and the powder applied evenly and smoothly on the skin. It had fairly good color payoff overall but is a more buildable product than one that starts off intensely pigmented. It wore well for just over eight hours, and after nine hours, I saw some light fading along the edges.

The Glossover

P
product

Natura

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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