Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

MAC Cosmetics Spring Colour Forecast 1
MAC Azalea Blossom Blush Ombre

MAC Spring Colour Forecast: Blush Ombres Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Each part includes one “Blush Ombre,” which is a new product type. The Blush Ombres are really pretty to look at, and they are pretty large. They’re the size of MAC’s Beauty Powders, Pressed Powders, etc. Each of the Blush Ombres has a gradient that fades from one color to another, but in reality, you just swirl your brush on top to apply a single shade. These are all decently pigmented and feel like more pigmented beauty powders from the ultra soft, silky texture.  Each blush is 9 grams / 0.31 oz. and retails for $25.00.

Official MAC description: A powder blush featuring a shade wave of gentle ombre hues. Ultra-fine formula provides the cheeks with flawless, medium-buildable coverage and lightly pearled, natural-looking radiance. Limited edition.

Blush Ombres

  • Azalea Blossom swirls together to blend into a soft, cool-toned pink with an almost lilac to it. For some reason, it reminded me of Saint Germain Lipstick in its coolness and pink tone, but it’s quite obviously not that cool-toned nor the same tone of pink. While there’s definitely shimmer in the powder, it’s very subtle when applied.
  • Ripe Peach is a peachy-orange with subtle gold sheen/shimmer. Like all of the blush ombres, the shimmer is very minimal and hard to see.
  • Vintage Grape is a dirty plum-purple. There’s nearly no shimmer that you can detect when applied, and it is surprisingly dark. Luckily, when applied with a brush, you can build up the intensity so you don’t look like someone punched you in the cheek!
  • Springshine is a dirty medium-brown that reads fairly neutral. I could see this working as maybe a bronzer or a pop of bronze on cheeks. Like the other shades in this product family, the shimmer is very subtle.

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Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Cool, Pink Cheeks with Illamasqua Chased Blush

Illamasqua Chased Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a matte, blue-based medium pink. I know Sephora describes this as a lilac pink, but I don’t know if that’s very accurate. Its not so much lilac as it is just a very cool-toned pink. Personally, I found this shade a bit hard to pull off, but I liked it softly tapped onto the apples of cheeks with a smoky eye and a light pink or nude lip.

The texture is matte, so its great for those who find shimmery blushes too much for their skin. Illamasqua’s blushes, while matte, are not powdery or chalky. As with most matte textures, some trial and error is to be expected, but if you keep working with it, you’ll happen upon just the right technique and application method to give you very natural-looking color.

I also like that you can build up the color intensity by applying more, but you don’t have to worry about getting too much with just one swipe, either. I found just one tap of the brush on the powder was enough to give me the color intensity I wanted more often than not. Its always better to start off lighter rather than heavier–easier to add more than it is to diffuse it. But in the event that you feel like you’ve overdone it, use a buffer brush or take some loose powder and blend it out to lighten the color.

I’m not a huge fan of Illamasqua’s packaging, because its bulkier than Id like (or that it needs to be). You get a good amount of product for your money — Illamasqua’s blushes are just slightly more expensive than NARS in terms of price per ounce ($156 compared to $164). Illamasqua blushes come in a good range of shades, ranging from vibrant to soft.

The Glossover

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Friday, January 29th, 2010

Chanel In Love Blush

The First Blush of Spring:  Chanel In Love Blush

Chanel In Love Blush ($42.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a dirty coral-peach with soft, golden shimmer. It can be applied softly or built up in intensity for a bolder cheek.  I’ve found Chanel blushes to be extremely smooth and silky and have a tendency to blend very well into skin to look natural. In Love had this same texture and feel when I used it. (I wore In Love in this smoky look earlier this week.) It worked best when lightly patted onto skin with a blush brush (I like MAC’s 116) and then a gentle sweeping motion at the end to blend together.

I like pairing it with gold and copper eyeshadows as well as smokier looks. It’s versatile and definitely a shade I’m often drawn to. The shimmer in this is very fine and smooth, so it looks more like a shimmer-sheen than glittery shimmer. I just wish you got more for your buck; Chanel blushes are some of the smallest (by weight) blushes on the market, which then makes them one of the most expensive blushes by the ounce ($300/oz., whereas Dior blushes are $190/oz.).

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For silky soft blush, Chanel always makes for a good choice–when you’re feeling a little indulgent.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick

Bobbi Brown Cabana Corals:   Nectar Shimmerbrick

Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick ($38.00 for 0.4 oz.) is new for spring–part of the Cabana Corals Collection–and is a coral lover’s dream. If you love Shimmerbricks and have an affinity for corals and bronzed golds, I think this just may be a new favorite for you.  (Also releasing with Cabana Corals is Pink Quartz Shimmerbrick!)

When worn on cheeks, it works as a blusher and highlighter in one, because it packs plenty of color along with a soft frosty shimmer sheen. Although some Shimmerbricks are just a tad too frosty to me at times (at least on cheeks!), Nectar is just right. It hits that sweet spot of color, shimmer, and sheen. It can be applied with a light hand for a softer application or layered for an intense cheek for night time. Since I am an absolute fiend for all things coral, Nectar is most definitely my favorite Shimmerbrick to-date!

Shimmerbricks are a pricey investment, but they’ll last you a long time (or forever, in my case) — you get a whopping 0.4 oz., which makes the cost per ounce just a smidgen more than MAC blushes. Each of the five strips of color swatch beautifully; rich color, intense pigmentation, and smooth to the touch Shimmerbricks can be used on the eyes or cheeks, and you could get a very pretty sunset-esque kind of look out of these shades in addition to its usage of a very coral-bronzed blusher. I like that it can be a multi-tasker, at least. I have to admit, I haven’t worn any Shimmerbricks on my eyes yet but may have to give it try with Nectar.

You can see me wearing it in this look! :)

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a Shimmerbrick collector, I know you need to check this out. If it’s your first-time thinking about a Shimmerbrick, I think you need to swatch!

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

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Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Dolce & Gabbana Nude Blush

The First Blush of Spring:  Dolce & Gabbana Nude

Dolce & Gabbana Nude (#10) Blush ($44.00) is the softest peach-beige. This is a lovely way to accent cheeks for barely-there color!

This was actually a particularly difficult color to capture, because on my skin tone, the color melds and blends in quite well, so it’s harder for my camera to focus on the color swatch, but I managed to capture it–and you’ll be able to see just how soft it is.

I really like this for a way to give cheeks a bit of definition and color but without overdoing it; it works really well as a go-to cheek color when you do a more dramatic look (either on eyes or lips). I wore it with bright teal eyeshadow and coral lips, because it worked well to balance to look without taking away from it.

Dolce & Gabbana’s blushes have a nearly matte finish; they have just a subtle sheen but nothing glittery or shimmery here. If you liked such shades as MAC Notable or MAC The Perfect Cheek, Dolce & Gabbana’s Nude has a similar effect.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For soft cheek color that doesn’t compete, Nude makes a great choice.

Availability: Saks

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Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Estee Lauder & Michael Kors: Very Hollywood Collection — Bits & Bobs

The Very Hollywood Collection is divided into two looks: Rodeo Pink and Bel-Air Beige. Rodeo Pink features very pink-themed shades, whereas Bel-Air Beige is more about corals and beiges. Additionally, there is also a Shimmering Loose Powder that can be used with either look. I ended up trying out the Sunset Coral Blush, Hollywood Gold Lip Sheen, and Starlet Peach Lip Gloss from the Bel-Air Beige look, as well a the Shimmering Loose Powder.

The packaging for the Very Hollywood Collection is a pleasant reprieve from Estee Lauder’s typical packaging–it’s a nice update and take on something still more sophisticated and in line with the brand but yet doesn’t feel old.

  • Sunset Coral Blush ($26.00) is really more of a pink-coral. It has just a hint of coral, but it turned out pinker than I imagined it would be. It’s a nice shade, though I’d say more summer-appropriate than necessarily for spring (but that’s just if you go by seasons, which I don’t myself!). It has a very matte finish and texture with good pigmentation, so you can definitely get a good pop of color on your cheeks with this one.
  • Shimmering Loose Powder ($32.00) is a pinky-peach with golden sheen. It’s almost like a pink beige flesh-toned powder. It’s very finely milled and can be used lightly or more heavily, depending on what kind of look you’re going for. Used with a very fluffy brush and a light hand, it could definitely be used as an all-over powder or just to highlight parts of the face.
  • Hollywood Gold Lip Sheen ($22.00) is a sheer, peachy-coral with a golden sheen. It took several layers to build up the color on the swatch alone, so this is most definitely a product that’s aptly named–lip sheen. If you like ultra pigmented lipsticks, I’d look elsewhere. If you like just a sheer wash of color on your lips, lip sheens may be up your alley. Estee Lauder released four other shades (Bungalow Pink, Honey Blonde, Starlet Peach, and Starlet Rose), though two are sold out online.
  • Starlet Peach Lip Gloss ($20.00) is a sheer, peachy-orange gloss with champagne shimmer. It looks quite orange in the tube, but it’s really sheer, so it ends up looking much more peach in practice. It’s a non-sticky gloss that goes on sheerly and lasts a few hours on me. It has a strawberry-ish kind of scent, which took a little getting used to, but wasn’t bad overall.

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