Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre ($26.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “light cool pink.” It’s a cool-toned, blue-based pink with a pearly sheen.  It was originally released with Spring Colour Forecast, but it will be making a reappearance in the Daphne Guinness collection that launches in-stores on December 26th.  As it was before, it is also limited edition.  MAC Overdyed is pinker, less blue. MAC Sakura is similar but can look pinker, depending on how you mix the shades. It has a soft feel against the skin and sits well on the skin without emphasizing pores, due to the more natural sheen in its finish. On my skin tone, it warms up a bit and looks less cotton candy pink and more plum, so it’s more wearable than I thought it might be.

The pigmentation can pack a punch, even though it appears almost soft and gentle in the pan. I applied it to cheeks using Bobbi Brown’s blush brush, and I felt like it was rather heavy. It doesn’t buff or blend out quite as well as I’d like, but it’s manageable. Because it has a gradient of color, you can go more lilac or more pink depending on your mood or look. The Blush Ombres are the size of MAC beauty powders or foundation powders, so they’re large and easy to get your brush into half of it. For me, when I wore this, it wore for six hours but looked a bit faded by eight hours, though it was still noticeably there.

The Glossover

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coming-soon

Azalea Blossom

B+
It's wearable on both cool and warm skin tones, despite its seemingly cool appearance! The pink section is almost yellow-based, which seems to help make it wearable. The color is buildable and can be worn softly or more heavily.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Parasol Dollskin Cheek Blush
Tarina Tarantino Parasol Dollskin Cheek Blush

Tarina Tarantino Parasol Dollskin Cheek Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “shimmering bright pink coral.” It’s a pinky-coral with a very subtle golden champagne shimmer. When it’s blended out, you’ll get more of a coral effect out of the hue, but when it’s used more heavily, it turns pinker. It’s pinker and more intense version of Feather, but the two are certainly similar more than they are dissimilar, especially when they’re blended out. It looks slightly pinker but unless you wear it more heavily, the differences are minute. Like Feather, it is also similar to Benefit CORALista (not as pink) and MAC Hipness (not as pink). I would say it is not really a dupe of shades like NARS Orgasm, just because it lacks the golden shimmer/sheen of those types of shades.

It’s a finely-milled powder, so it feels silky smooth to the touch, and it blends easily against the skin so it has more of a natural finish and can easily be buffed or blended if you prefer a lighter blush. This one didn’t have any powderiness, though, which was nice. It doesn’t look too frosted against the skin, though there is a healthy amount of shimmer-sheen in the finish. When I wore this to run errands, it still looked good eight hours later–no fading or movement.

The Glossover

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Parasol

A

If you're a fiend for corals, it's certainly one worth taking a look at. For deeper skin tones who thought Feather might be too light, you may find Parasol a much better fit.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, December 9th, 2011

Tarte Blissful Amazonian Clay Blush
Tarte Blissful Amazonian Clay Blush

Tarte Blissful Amazonian Clay Blus ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “warm peach,” but it’s more like an intense coral-pink on me! It’s more pink than coral, but it’s not truly pink. The brightness and strength of the pink will make it a wearable coral even on cooler complexions. The hue reminded me of Smashbox Blushing/Peony, which is a touch pinker and is a cream. It’s also similar to theBalm Frat Boy. Make Up For Ever #6 is a bit lighter, less pink.

Tarte says that these have a twelve-hour wear time, which I haven’t yet experienced, but some of the darker shades tend to do better than the lighter ones. For instance, Blissful wore for eight hours well, and though it was faded, I could still detect some on after ten hours. I like that the blush is really silky soft in texture, which makes it easy to blend, but it is also soft enough that a brush easily dislodges the powder so you can easily get too much product on your brush with some of the more intense shades like Blissful. I’d recommend a stippling brush or tapping off the excess if you prefer a light look.

The Glossover

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product

Blissful

B+
Better wear than the previous two shades I've reviewed, but it doesn't quite meet the twelve-hour claim, so wear is still where this product falls short! The pigmentation is plentiful, and the texture is silky soft, though it almost gets powdery.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Several readers asked me how this compares to Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, in terms of the overall grade/rating. This product is available, but you won’t find it online; you’ll have to track it down in stores. Saks seems to be the only distributor (at least in the U.S.) that has some stock left. If you click the link above, it’ll take you to the defunct product page on Saks, but it will allow you to “find in store.”

Generally, if a product is hard to find or sold out, I don’t review it (my order for this arrived only two days before it sold out everywhere). There are always exceptions, but it’s definitely something I try to avoid doing–same with discontinued or really old limited shades. This is an exception and not a change in the rule! :)

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator ($42.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a gilded bronze with a champagne-bronze shimmer. MAC Rose Ole is a bit more peach but looks similar when applied. It’s also a bit like MAC Crystal Pink, depending on how you combine the two shades.

The texture is soft but firm, and the frosted metallic sheen goes all the way through. It’s not as frosted on as it appears in the pan or in a heavier swatch. It’s more than just a subtle glow, but it’s less than a full-on frost. I call it a shimmer-sheen, because there is noticeable shimmer within the overall glowy sheen. It doesn’t emphasize pores, though.

For me, the major difference between the two formulas is in the wear–with Rose Rendezvous, it wears great for around six hours, but it’s faded by eight.  When I bought the product, I was initially really hopeful about it, because it seemed to be getting great reviews, but the way it looked at the end of the day wasn’t ideal.  Guerlain Cruel Gardenia wore for a shocking ten hours without fading, which was far more than I expected and longer than average. I wore them both over the same foundation (Guerlain Lingerie de Peau). On a very minute scale, Guerlain’s is a little more refined–a smidgen more finely milled, softer, finer shimmer–but it’s such a close call.

They are really different shades (Cruel Garenia is pink, this shade is warmer, more champagne-bronze), even though the products are similar in formula, so it’s more about the kind of shade you prefer and would find more flattering against your skin tone. The price for Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia is $67, but you’ll get 0.31 oz. worth of product (50% more than Laura Mercier’s), so on an ounce-by-ounce comparison, Guerlain’s costs $216/oz. and Laura Mercier’s is $210/oz. I would expect this shade to flatter warmer skin tones more, while Cruel Gardenia will work well on both skin tones (as it is more neutral in undertone).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If this wore longer and better on me (say eight hours), this would be more of an A- product, but unfortunately, the mere six hours of wear impacts the product's overall rating quite a bit. I do think the two products are comparable in texture and composition, but the shades and wear are significantly different.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush
Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Cream Blusher Rude ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm peach pink” with a dewy finish. I didn’t detect any pink in the pan, and on my skin, it seemed more orange than anything else. When blended out, it looks more peach-orange (and not to worry, it doesn’t have to be as fierce applied as it appears in the pan). Perhaps on those with more obvious pink undertones, it will look less peach-orange and more peach-pink. If you apply Rude very subtly, it compares to Urban Decay Indecent but without the shimmer (and I’d say Urban Decay Bang is too dark and orange-y).

It definitely has a dewy finish, and it’s almost on the wrong side of dewy, even on my normal-to-dry skin; luckily, it skates that thin line and manages to be a glowy dewy rather than an oily dewy. You can also take down the dewiness by dusting translucent powder on top. This product is buildable and very, very blendable; the creamy, melt-on-your-cheeks consistency enables that, so it is impossible to overdo it, but if you like your blush darker, you’ll likely do better by building up the color in layers.

The texture, despite its creaminess, feels featherweight against the skin; it’s thin, comfortable to wear, and doesn’t feel greasy. It wears around seven hours on bare skin before it seems to reach its limit at eight hours (where it appears faded). Over foundation, it wears five to seven hours, depending on the quality of my underlying skin; if it’s drier, then it tends to cling to patches over time, so it’s manageable for five hours or so, but if my skin is more normal, then it lasts just over seven hours. What I really liked was that it looked and felt good over and under foundation, and many cream blushes have a tendency to work best on bare skin–and let me tell you, my skin is nowhere near good enough to be wearing full makeup and skipping foundation.

The Glossover

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product

Rude

B+
I can see why Illamasqua's Cream Blushes are popular; the wear is good (but it has some room for improvement), and the color is buildable and blendable, which are really two must-have characteristics of a cream blush.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, December 5th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush
Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush

Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as “shimmering peach.” It’s a pink apricot with soft golden shimmer that becomes more of a sheen when it’s sheered out. It’s similar to a lot of coral blushes that exist; it’s a bit pinker, less orange compared to cult favorite NARS Orgasm and resembles Benefit CORALista more.  It reminded me a bit of MAC Hipness, too.

The powder is very soft and finely-milled, so when you touch your brush to it, you can pick up quite a bit of color in a single go. This means it is a little powdery, though, so you may want to use a light hand when picking up color. Luckily, though the blush is fairly true-to-pan with good color payoff, it blends out easily because of the overall softness of the powder. It has more of a shimmer-sheen finish, so it doesn’t look frosty or disco ball-like on the cheeks. I had a good experience while wearing it, because it lasted eight hours without migrating or looking faded.

The Glossover

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Feather

A-

I love how well this wears, and I like that it's shimmery without being frosty--more like a glowy, luminous sheen. This is a coral that should work across skin tones, because it isn't orange, even though it is still warm-toned.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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