Monday, June 13th, 2011

theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer
theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer

theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer Bronzer

It seems like every brand has put out a new and (for the most part) awesome bronzer this year, and theBalm is no different. theBalm Betty-Lou Manizer ($24.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as “a silky smooth pressed powder that can be used as a bronzer, eye shadow, and all-over shimmer.” It’s supposed to diffuse light while providing subtle warmth to the skin.

Betty Lou-Manizer is a dirty bronze with a warm, golden shimmer-sheen. The shimmer is incredibly fine, while the sheen is glowy and reflective. If you’ve tried out theBalm’s other powder products, you’ll find the texture is consistent–silky smooth with rich color payoff. It has such a fine texture that it applies well to skin, because it practically melts onto the skin and looks natural and never powdery.

It’s packaged well, too. The compact is a nice size with a mirror on the inside, and the compact itself is sturdy and fits well in the hand. The ingredients are also listed on the back of the compact, which is a nice touch, because I know that I don’t keep the boxes around for long (straight to the recycling bin!).

I actually found the effect to be quite comparable to Guerlain’s Terracotta Mosaic Powder. theBalm’s has a more noticeable shimmer/brighter sheen, while Guerlain’s is a little softer, more orange with less brown, but on the cheeks, the differences are minimized.

The Glossover

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Betty-Lou Manizer

A+
I see this working best on warmer skin tones, and this is a bronzer that should work well for darker skin tones, too. The golden sheen will provide the warmth and glow, while the actual color will give that sunkissed effect.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Guerlain Terracotta Mosaic Compact
Guerlain Terracotta Mosaic Compact

Guerlain Terracotta Mosaic Compact

Guerlain Terracotta Mosaic Compact ($69.00 for 0.98 oz.) is a mega-sized face and body bronzer with Guerlain’s signature Gs intertwined in a mosaic pattern. This is certainly more of a collector’s item, particularly in light of the price tag, though you get nearly an ounce of bronzer.

It is a mix of champagne gold, warm, terracotta brown, and dirty bronze. The champagne gold is an overspray, which does go away after a few uses. I scratched at the surface, and it does seem like the lighter brown and darker brown shades go all the way through and both have a very slight shimmer-sheen laced through the product. When applied, it gives a warm, golden bronze glow with a satiny sheen (the swatches are shown after the champagne gold overspray was removed). It should work well with light to medium-dark skin tones, and best with warmer complexions.

The color is different from the Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder, which is a rosier bronze, less orange, and it has a much more metallic and high-shine finish. The Sublime Radiant powder felt more like a highlighter, while the Terracotta Mosaic powder feels more like a traditional bronzer.

I found the scent of this bronzer to be overwhelming–it is a very strong, heavy scent, and to me it’s like a floral baby powder. I just can’t do it. From the minute I opened the compact, it took over. It’s nowhere near as strong when worn, but I did catch a few whiffs of it through the day. It’s unfortunate, because the bronzer wears well (eight hours) and gives me a nice golden glow and sheen.

For me, I thought this looked prettier in the online photos I saw than in person; I had to hold it a few feet away to see the design pop as much as it seemed to online–so I am curious to hear what others think on the design. I think the Sublime Radiant powder is a better use of your money (it’s $70, though half the size), because it’s a more unique color and product, plus it’s packaged in such a lovely way–this compact is lightweight plastic.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Mosaic

A
The scent was a deal breaker for me--I wouldn't repurchase it for myself. It's a good bronzer with a really soft texture that lays beautifully on the skin, but the price tag will keep many away.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011

theBalm Frat Boy Blush
theBalm Frat Boy Blush

theBalm Frat Boy Blush

theBalm Frat Boy Blush ($21.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a “peachy apricot” and can be used as both an eyeshadow and blush. It’s more of a medium-dark coral-pink with very subtle gold micro-shimmer and a pearly sheen. The powder is incredibly soft–very silky and smooth–but doesn’t look powdery on at all (sometimes really soft powders can also be powdery). I was able to get good color payoff with ease; it gives a flushed look in one swipe but can be built up to something more intense with a little more product. The payoff is nicely balanced between natural and bold without being too sheer or so pigmented that you have to take care in applying it. When I tested it (over foundation, set with powder–all part of my normal routine), it wore for eight hours without fading.

The blush is on the larger side, too, at 0.30 oz. (many blushes are 0.20 oz. or less) and is housed in a cardobard palette that comes inside a sleeve (which has the same design as the actual compact). Inside, there is a small mirror framed by a football field. Though cardboard may get dinged here and there from anything in your bag with sharp corners and the like, it’s a lot less prone to scratches and breakage than plastic–and if you drop this from four feet, the cardboard absorbs more of the impact.

The Glossover

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Frat Boy

A+
If you're a fiend for pinks and corals, I think Frat Boy will be right up your alley. It reminds me of several popular coral blushes from the past, but the texture is really lovely and makes me want to reach for this one more.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Guerlain Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder
Guerlain Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder

Guerlain Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder

Guerlain Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder ($70.00 for 0.51 oz.) is a “highlighting bronzer for the face and body.” It combines a “highlighting beige and a pink bronze” to “enhance the complexion while warming the skin with an iridiescent glow.”

It’s an oversized bronzer housed in a wooden compact that slides open (held together by three magnets). It has all of the hallmarks of luxury with engraved detailing on the outer cover with the Guerlain initials and logo, along with the intricate design of the bronzer itself. The center of the bronzer is a muted gold, while the outer portion is a rose-tinted bronzy brown. Together, they create a soft tan bronze with a golden metallic sheen. It’s more of a sheen than shimmer, but it’s not a very subtle sheen–I mention this because many of Guerlain’s products have a softer shimmer and sheen, but this powder has more sheen than Meteorites or the like. The powder has a soft, smooth, very refined texture that feels like silk moving across the skin.

Worn, it imparts a glowy sheen (I wore it on the tops of cheeks and softly brushed around the temples) that’s a soft, golden bronze. It worked well paired with a blush, too, though it could be worn alone for something very bronzy. It also has fantastic wear; it stayed glowy and smooth for eight hours before starting to fade away. The compact itself is done very well, though it’s not the most secure packaging and wouldn’t be my favorite item to travel with. For $70, at least they give you half an ounce of bronzer, though–not many will get through that!

The Glossover

coming-soon

Guerlain Terra Inca Sublime Radiant Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It's a nice highlighter-bronzer mix for those wanting a very glowy, golden beachy bronze coloring. If you prefer a more natural bronzer, you might consider the regular Terracotta line, which has more matte finishes.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, May 6th, 2011

MAC Skinsheen Bronzer Stick
MAC Billionaire Bronze Skinsheen Bronzer Stick

MAC Surf Baby: Skinsheen Bronzer Stick

MAC Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks ($29.50 for 0.49 oz.) are jumbo-sized creamy, twist-up sticks of bronzing power. There are three shades: Billionaire Bronze (warm golden tan), Gilty Bronze (coppery bronze with gold shimmer), and Tan Tint (soft suntan bronze).

  • Billionaire Bronze is a medium-dark tan with warm, golden undertones. It has a soft natural sheen but no shimmer. It doesn’t have the shimmer that Beach Bronze cream bronzer from To the Beach (’10) has, but it is similar in the color. I’m not sure if NARS has something comparable; possibly Malaysia.
  • Gilty Bronze is a darkened, coppery bronze with a strong frosted finish. It seems most comparable to NARS Palm Beach.
  • Tan Tint is a soft, slightly warmed over tan with a near matte finish. It is less golden than Billionaire Bronze. It’s less red-based and doesn’t have shimmer, but it resembles Weekend cream bronzer from To the Beach (’10). This seems similar to NARS Cap Vert.

These are really pigmented–don’t just swipe the whole stick across your face. I did so to swatch, and it was like, “WHOA! there!” You’ll want to pat the stick against the skin to deposit color, and then blend it out. These are easy to blend, but they dry down quick enough that I recommend doing one area at a time. It’s been about eight hours since I’ve applied Billionaire Bronze, and it’s still going strong. Despite being really pigmented, they feel very lightweight and look natural overall (though Gilty Bronze doesn’t look natural, with the heavier frosted finish).

NARS’ The Multiples feel very much like these, and MAC’s variation is about the same size (0.49 oz. compared to NARS at 0.50 oz.). There was something off about the way MAC did the packaging, though–something about it feels a little cheap. They just didn’t feel as sturdy or as robust as other packaging types in MAC’s line-up, though realistically, I don’t see these breaking or coming apart either.

The Glossover

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MAC Surf Baby Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks Swatches, Photos, Reviews

A-
Though they're pricey relative to MAC prices, they offer a more affordable version of NARS' Multiples if you're in the market for a cream-based bronzer. The shade range seems wearable across skin tones--darker complexions will love how color-rich these are.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, May 6th, 2011

MAC Gold-Go-Lightly Studio Careblend Pressed Powder
MAC Gold-Go-Lightly Studio Careblend Pressed Powder

MAC Surf Baby: Studio Careblend Pressed Powder

MAC Studio Careblend Pressed Powders ($28.00 for 0.33 oz.) see a limited release of two bronzy shades: Gold-Go-Lightly (mid-tone golden tan brown) and Lush-Light Bronze (mid-tone rosy pink brown) in May’s Surf Baby collection.

  • Gold-Go-Lightly is a warm, golden tan with a near matte finish–it has this very faint satin-like sheen but it’s so subtle. It is warmer and more orange than Golden bronzing powder and Give Me Sun! MSFN.
  • Lush-Light Bronze is a medium-dark rosy tan with the same near matte finish of Gold-Go-Lightly. There are definite red undertones in this shade, and it is noticeably darker than Gold-Go-Lightly. It’s really similar to Sun Power MSFN.

These applied so beautifully–they sit really well on skin. Not powdery but very soft, smooth, and natural. The one word going through my head when I applied these to cheeks (and I used the 116) was how natural the color looked and felt. I think the texture is what separates these from other bronzers; it just sets and looks so natural on the skin. The wear time is excellent, too–still there after eight hours.

I would like to know why these are listed (in the press release) at $28, when normal Studio Careblend Pressed Powder is $23.00–these are also slightly lighter at 0.33 oz. compared to 0.35 oz. for the flesh-colored variations (that are permanent).

The Glossover

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MAC Surf Baby Studio Careblend Pressed Powders Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
These are really wearable, natural-looking bronzers that are buildable while being really blendable, too. They sit well on skin and never look powdery or dry.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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