Friday, April 15th, 2011

Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl Mineral Glow Pearls
Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl Mineral Glow Pearls

Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl Mineral Glow Pearls

Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl Mineral Glow Pearls ($13.95 for 0.28 oz.) is designed to give skin a luminous glow using multi-colored pearls that add glow and help to even out the skin tone. The “Real Mineral Pearl Extract” is supposed to blur imperfectoins and protect/condition skin with “antioxidant properties.”

At first glance, it looks a lot like Guerlain’s Meteorites that they launched in pressed form a year or so ago (which are no longer available). If you’ve never worn Guerlain’s Meteorites, you might think this is a perfect substitute. I don’t think it is–which isn’t to say Light Bronze Pearl isn’t a good product, but I don’t think it’s a substitute for Meteorites. The effect of the Mineral Glow Pearls is more pronounced, colored, and shimmery. Meteorites are soft, subtle, and more of a sheen than overt shimmer. I just knew the comparison would be made, and while it’s there in the design of the powder, I don’t think it extends to the way it looks on the face.

I think if you like MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes, you’ll like Physicians Formula’s Mineral Glow Pearls. They have enough shimmer and sheen to add lots glowiness to the skin. I did find that it seemed to accentuate my pores just a bit, but it was very slight. The texture itself was soft and smooth, and it didn’t have really chunky glitter in it at all. Light Bronze Pearl is a medium copper bronze with a champagne-bronze sheen. It did add both a bronzed color and sheen to my cheeks when applied. It wore well throughout the day (lasted until I removed, which was after twelve hours).

I like the design of the powder itself, but I’m not keen on the pearl they glued on top of the case. Mine was already a little loose, so I have a feeling it may disappear sooner rather than later. I also disliked it because it made storing it less efficient, because it added half an inch to the compact’s height. There is an included brush, but it was rather rough. The clear lid kept popping off; it’s not well-secured into place, so it seems to easily displace with very little effort (and sometimes even just a light knock on the back of the compact will loosen it).

There are three other variations available as well: Beige Pearl, Bronze Pearl, and Translucent Pearl.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Physicians Formula Light Bronze Pearl Mineral Glow Pearls Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I think this is a nice alternative to MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes and similar products. It has a noticeable sheen, deposits some color (though not too much in the case of Light Bronze Pearl), and it wears all day (12+ hours). This particular shade is best for warmer skin tones. It seems better than a B product to me, but the packaging is below average, dropping it to a B.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, April 8th, 2011

Urban Decay Gilded Bronzer
Urban Decay Gilded Bronzer

Urban Decay Gilded Baked Bronzer

Urban Decay Gilded Baked Bronzer ($26.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as “bronze shimmer with veins of gold.” It’s a baked powder with swirls of gold and bronze within a warm, orange-peach base. Gilded is a gold shimmered orange-tan.

When applied, despite the more glittery look of the powder, it has a much more refined part-shimmer, part-sheen finish on the cheeks.I was worried the apparent shimmer would translate into a “Stop! Look! I have pores!” effect, but it was a gorgeous glow of golden warmth. I think it looks better in person than in photos–there is some subtlty that is lost. Though it was beautiful once applied and looked delicate but delectably bronzy, it did not wear all day–it made it to six hours and by the eighth, it was mostly gone.

At first glance, it seems like the price is around average, but in comparison the previous Baked Bronzer, it’s not. The original Baked Bronzer contained 0.35 oz. and retailed for $24. The newly packaged and relaunched Baked Bronzer line only contains 0.26 oz. but retails for $26. I checked the ingredients for this version against the previous version, but they are the same. I don’t expect most to rocket through the bronzer, whether it is 0.26 oz. or 0.35 oz., but it is always disappointing when a product relaunches and quantity gets decreased.  I felt like someone was try to pull a fast over on me!

I didn’t receive boxes with my Urban Decay samples, but luckily, Urban Decay lists the ingredients on their website (kudos!): Talc, Paraffinum liquidum (Mineral) Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, BHT.

The Glossover

P
product

Gilded

B-
I wish it lasted a bit longer, because I could make a stronger recommendation for it. If you're rarely out and about for six hours or more, then you probably won't mind the shorter wear, but it is still disappointing--especially when Urban Decay has so many long-wearing products in their arsenal!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush
Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Sea Star

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) is a duet of bronzer and blush The bronzer is a medium-dark tanned peach with subtle gold sheen, while the blush is a semi-sheer coral-red with soft gold sparkle. Estee Lauder suggests using them together or alone, but the way the star is splayed out, you’re likely to get at least a little bit of the bronzer shade with the blush. Together, they swirl to create a orange-peach with a subtle play of pink and a gold-tinged sheen and some gold sparkle.

I found the gold sparkle too obvious; it created a less-than-desirable texture because it didn’t feel as smooth and almost gave it a powdery feel. The color itself was on the sheerer side and tended to sheer out even more when blending. It’s definitely a subtle product, because I could not build up much color in the swatch.

My compact felt wobbly–like you could shake it and hear parts moving about, but the pan didn’t fall out when I held it upside down. It just felt flimsy and not nearly as secure as I’d like. It’s possible that it is an individual product defect and that the majority won’t find this an issue. The design on the powder itself is lovely, and the golden sheen on part of the starfish is overspray but there is some shimmer/sparkle in the powder afterward.

The Glossover

esteeLauderSeaStar

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

C
I don't think it excels at either blushing or bronzing and falls somewhere in the middle. Based on the amount of orange in the swirled color, I'd recommend this for warmer skin tones, because it may turn ruddy and too orange on cooler skin tones.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) are a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.”

  • Bright Forecast is a soft peach with subtle orange tones. The peachy tones of this shade are good for brightening and lightening dark under eye circles without creating a green cast (that yellow-based correctors can cause). I found this one did the best to minimize my dark under eye circles while still looking natural.
  • Light Boost is a pale beiged yellow. Yellow is good for lightening darkness. This would work well as a subtle cheek or brow highlighter on those with yellow undertones.
  • Radiant Rose is a soft, pale pastel pink. Pink helps to brighten the skin tone. It can also be used to brighten the under eye area, like Benefit’s Eye Bright. This shade felt more opaque than the other two, and when I used it underneath my eye (without concealer on top), it was a little pale on me. I loved it more as an eyeshadow base and brow highlighter.

The Prep + Prime Highlighters come in a click-type brush pen that takes several initial twists to release the product, but after that, you should only need a couple clicks to dispense the product. Over time, I’ve become less of a fan of brush-type products, just because I hate the way the brush feels and looks as you use it and the product seems to just sit in there. I’d much rather use a separate brush that you can wash without fear of getting water back into the product. I did find that while it can be easily applied onto the skin with the applicator, blending and application went better using a fluffy brush like the 217 for small areas (or fingers).

I applied each shade over my cheeks and under eye area, because I really wanted the effect to stand out. I felt like when I just did the under eye, it was difficult to really see what was going on. I wouldn’t normally use these as I did for the swatch photos, but I figured what good are photos if you can’t spot the difference? These have a subtle effect, and if you layer concealer over them, the effect is even harder to pick up–not necessarily in a bad way (like, ooh, so subtle it’s not worth it), but it’s a subtle, natural effect that works well and looks lovely. More like, “Oh, you look pretty today, did you cut your hair?” kind of way.

These wore really well for me, and I even used Radian Rose as an eyeshadow base.  It looked really beautiful as a brow highlighter and lid brightener by itself, but it also held up as an eyeshadow base, too.  I didn’t notice any fading and certainly no creasing or settling into fine lines over eight hours of wear.

There are numerous brands with highlighter pens, including:

  • Dior (Sun Beam may be comparable to Bright Forecast; Roseglow to Radiant Rose)
  • Fresh (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Fusion Beauty (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Givenchy (Moon Light seems most comparable to Radiant Rose)
  • Guerlain (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Sephora (#01 seems like Radiant Rose, #02 seems like Light Boost; #06 seems like Bright Forecast)
  • YSL (Light Peach seems comparable to Bright Forecast, Luminous Ivory to Light Boost, and Luminous Radiance to Radiant Rose)

These can help correct and brighten but they won’t necessarily conceal on their own. Bright Forecast can help a good deal with under eye circles, but it’s not opaque, so for some, it may be enough on its own. They’re definitely comparable to cult-favorite YSL Touche Eclat. Sephora also seems to offer a very comparable color range in their variation on the highlighter pen, and at $12 a pop, it might be worth trying (overall Sephora ratings show it to be good, though I have not tried it myself, so I cannot weigh in).

MAC is roughly half the price of the higher-end highlighter pens, and they seem to provide double the product (I saw many listed at 0.05 oz., a couple closer to 0.10 oz.), so the product seems to be priced in line with quantity and MAC’s price range.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These are easy to use, difficult to mess up or go overboard with, and work well to brighten, lighten, and add radiance for brows, eyes, or cheeks (depending on your skin tone!).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush
MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Giggly Mineralize Blush

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new and limited edition duo-toned blusher from MAC’s Quite Cute Collection, which will launch in-stores on April 7th. It’s described as a “light pink with pearly plum heart.” The outer color is a darkened bubblegum pink with subtle blue undertones, while the heart itself is a frosted berry plum. When swirled together, the result is a heavily pinked plum with a soft, frosted sheen.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush Swatches, Photos, Review

C+
The pigmentation on Giggly was the best out of the three mineralize blushes, and while it, too, was powdery, it did not sheer out too much when applied, which was an issue the other two had.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 25th, 2011


MAC Give Me Sun! Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

MAC Give Me Sun! and Sun Power MSFN Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural ($27.00 for 0.35 oz.) have two new and permanent shades–for achieving that sunkissed glow, that is.  They will debut and stay in the range beginning April 7th with the Bronze Everyday Collection, which also features Bronzing Powders (most, if not all, already in the line), Skinsheen Leg Spray (now permanent), two Mineralize Skinfinishes (already permanent), and two new bronzing shades of Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (now permanent).

Give Me Sun! is described as a “light summer peachy tan.” This is the shade I felt suited my medium skin tone (NC25/NC30) best, because it wasn’t too dark, too orange, and it was very natural. It blends out easily, so I would also recommend it for lighter skin tones as well as medium skin tones.

Sun Power is described as a “deep terracotta bronze.” It has a stronger earthy red undertone while being a deeper and darker tanned bronze overall. I would recommend it for medium-dark to deep skin tones.

The texture of Mineralize Skinfinish Natural works really well as a bronzer, too. The finely milled powder is lightweight, blends effortlessly, and the lack of sheen makes it look delightfully natural. It is a real shame that MAC didn’t also decide to make the 131 brush permanent, because I findit to be an excellent brush for bronzer–impossible to overdo! The next best brush I’ve found is tied between the 116 and 168.

P.S. — I’m only reviewing the Lustre Drops and new Mineralize Skinfinish Natural shades (the majority of the rest has been permanent or reviewed previously here on the blog).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Give Me Sun! and Sun Power MSFN Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
From the testing I've done so far, I actually like these more than MAC's Bronzing Powders, which are good, but these are so soft and silky smooth.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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