Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Too Faced Fun in the Dark Palette

Spring Makeup with Too Faced Fun in the Dark Palette

Too Faced Fun in the Dark Palette ($32.50) is a new, limited edition eyes, cheeks, and lip palette from Too Faced for the spring. It contains four eyeshadows (Pin-Up, Peep Show, Full Frontal, Lucky Charms), two lip products (Tropical Pink, Free Love), one blush (Papa Don’t Peach), and one bronzer (Sun Bunny).  When you flip open the top, there are small, circular lights that go along the border of the palette that light up, and according to Too Faced, the battery life is about thirty hours.

I really, really did not like the light-up mirror included in the palette.  In fact, I will just come right out and say it:  I hated it.  It was a blinding cool-toned white.  The light was neither flattering nor comfortable to look towards.  I disliked it so much, I left the palette open for two days to drain the battery of the lights, because it was just such a distraction.  But seriously, it hurt my eyes a bit when I first flipped the top of this palette open.  Don’t get me wrong, the lighting is a minor point, and like I did, you can always drain the battery for the lights, but it didn’t leave me the best first impression, you know?

The four eyeshadows are of the softer shadow variety, and they’re smooth and well-pigmented.  Pin-up is a neutral, maybe slightly cool, champagne beige with soft white shimmer.  Peep Show is a cool-toned medium pink with gold shimmer–this one was lovely; it reminded me of Urban Decay Naked Lipstick or MAC Stark Naked BlushFull Frontal is a rich chocolate brown with red undertones and a slightly frosty finish.  Lucky Charms is a frosty medium-dark forest green with gold shimmer and green sheen.

Papa Don’t Peach is a pinky-peachy blush, which leans a little more peach.  It has good pigmentation, and it’s similar to NARS Orgasm, but I’d say it’s a little darker and not nearly as shimmery.  If you like Orgasm, though, I imagine you’d like this shade as well.  Sun Bunny is a split-bronzer with a darker, more coppery bronze on one side and a lighter, less shimmery soft copper bronze on the other side.

Tropical Pink is an ultra sheer (aka clear) gloss with a hint of gold sparkle.  I found it pretty disappointing, just because there was no pigmentation to speak of and it felt quite gooey.  Free Love is a medium-pink lipstick with gold shimmer.  I liked Free Love a lot more, because you could get pigmentation out of it with enough layers.  I’m still no fan of lip palettes, particularly when they’re housed near powder-based products, though!

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a palette for easy travel, you might enjoy Fun in the Dark, because it has a little something for all of your face – the eyes, cheeks, and lips.  It’s not the most handy palette, just because the four eyeshadows don’t yield the most combinations, but it’s an interesting pairing of colors, nonetheless.  I like it overall, but I didn’t fall in love.

Edit: It does, indeed, look like they spelled Chronicles wrong on the palette.  I checked the image Sephora’s using, and it’s misspelled there, too.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you like Too Faced eyeshadows, or have always wanted to try them, this might be a good way to check them out!

AvailabilitySephora

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Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection
MAC By Candlelight Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Warm & Cozy Collection: Mineralize Skinfinishes

I know many of you were excited to see two new skinfinishes join the Warm & Cozy Collection. I’ve never been able to jump on the mineralize skinfinish train with all my heart, but some of them are nicer than others.

  • By Candlelight is a light-medium peachy-pink with a surprising amount of pigmentation. It has a very shimmery, frosty sheen, so a little can go along way. (I’d definitely recommend using a light hand or the 187 brush and build up intensity with this shade.) It kind of reminded me of a way more pigmented Porcelain Pink or a peachier Glissade.
  • Comfort is a warmed-up medium bronze. It has a little orange to it, as well as a soft gold sheen. It’s not as shimmery or frosty as By Candlelight. It’s like a more intense, bronzed out version of Sunny By Nature or a more orange version of Gold Deposit, maybe.

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Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Rustic Copper:  Chanel Imprevu Blush

Chanel Imprevu Joues Contraste ($42.00 for 0.13 oz.) is a coppery-toned blush from Les Impressions de Chanel. The spring launch is slowly heading on-counter and online, and I imagine most counters will have it in the next two weeks. I totally recommend buying from Saks right now, ’cause they have *free* express shipping. Have I ever told you how much I loathe paying for shipping? So, yeah, Saks = awesome.

Imprevu is like a rustic, muted copper. Chanel describes it simply has copper, and it’s accurate… and yet I just want to throw the word rustic in there, too. It has little shimmer, a soft sheen, and is plenty pigmented for a cheek product. I found I had to tap excess off my brush before applying or else I’d end up with a very dirty look–so not sexy. I think this kind of blush color requires a light-handed application, and it can often look a bit dirty if you’re not careful. I actually think this would be particularly lovely on darker skin tones, though.

A part of me feels like this is out of place in the collection, because I wasn’t feeling it when worn with the Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad. I guess I have a tendency to want an entire collection work together. It also feels more like a fall or winter cheek color, rather than spring–which means it is first, surprising, and second, throws me off a bit.

I’m also not on board with the price for the amount you get (just 0.13 oz.!) — Chanel is one of the priciest blushes you can purchase (by the ounce). Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Givenchy are all equally high-end and often priced similarly to Chanel, but their blushes are all a better value than Chanel’s.  Don’t get me wrong — the quality and feel of the blush is lovely, but the price tag is inflated, even for high-end.

What do you think? Is Imprevu worth the splurge? Love the color?

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re a Chanel blush fanatic, this is a nicely pigmented, copper-ish shade that’s not overly bronzy or shimmery.

Availability: Nordstrom, Saks

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Monday, December 21st, 2009

A Fresh Face of… Roses?

Dolce & Gabbana Rose the One Shimmer Powder ($50.00 for 0.91 oz.) is a scented, subtle loose highlighter. It is scented with the same-named scent, Rose the One, also by Dolce & Gabbana (no surprise, I’m sure, ha!).

I know that some cosmetics are fragranced, but I can’t remember coming across a powder so deliberately scented before, so I was eager to try this (well, more to sniff it, I suppose!). It really does smell like Rose the One, which is a very feminine rose. There’s no better descriptor than fresh, sweetened roses. It’s not too sweet at all, which is something I was a little worried about. Surprisingly, you can even catch a little whiff of the rosy scent when it’s applied to your cheeks.

The loose powder itself is a soft, golden peach shimmer. It’s very finely milled, and it lays down quite well and doesn’t migrate all over the place, as some loose highlighters sometimes do. At $50, it is a splurge, but at least you can rest easy knowing you’ll likely have enough to last you a lifetime, with nearly an entire ounce of product. The product reminds me a bit of MAC’s Loose Beauty Powder ($22.00 for 0.28 oz.).

I would caution those with more sensitive skin that a fragrance-filled product may not be your best bet, at least not your face.  It does work quite nicely as a decolletage highlighter as well!  Otherwise, it’s kind of a fun product that puts a twist on wearing your favorite scent.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re in the market for a loose highlighter and wouldn’t mind smelling like a rose, check out Dolce & Gabbana’s Rose the One!

AvailabilitySaks


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Monday, December 21st, 2009

Chanel Les Impressions de Chanel Collection

Hot–No, Lukewarm–Springs with Empreinte de Chanel

Chanel Empreinte de Chanel ($65.00  for 0.49 oz.) is the signature product (and limited edition, of course) from Chanel’s Les Impressions de Chanel Collection for the spring.

Chanel describes the product as a “radiant glow highlighting powder” designed to brighten cheeks and brow bone with shades of rosewood, beige, and brown. It also includes an angled brush (the size you’d typically find in a compact, not a full-size brush), which is surprisingly soft and usable–though I’ll still use my full size brushes myself.

The compact has these lopsided circles in creamy white-gold, bronze, and peach outlined in the bronze. Then there are, of course, the two signature interlocking Cs in a shimmering, gilded gold (not quite a true gold). I was trying to furiously swatch away anything that would be an overlay, and though it seems like the circles seem to fade away, the color remains the same regardless. The Cs seem to be shimmery (as far as I could tell without destroying the compact) to stay shimmery as well.

Empreinte de Chanel is a warmed-up, peachy gold. It’s surprisingly pigmented, and it’s definitely something that would lovely as an eyeshadow as well as on top of cheeks. It reminded me of a more pigmented, way more shimmery version of Lancome’s Sparkling Cherub; Empreinte is also warmer and less brown (more gold).

Bottom Line: It’s soft, silky, and certainly looks beautiful on, but it is definitely a shimmery highlighter; so if you prefer a more subtle highlighter, you may want to test this in person first! The price is steep, and Chanel fans won’t be surprised, but if you’ve never considered Chanel, this probably isn’t the best product I’d take the plunge on (they have better; including Kaska Beige Eyeshadow Quad, if you are jonesin’ for spring).  The only thing that compensates for the price is you do get 0.49 oz. of product, which is quite a bit for a blush/highlighter product (typically 0.20 oz. or so).

P.S. – The entire Chanel Spring collection is now available at Nordstrom and Saks. You’ll probably have to search by name or click through the Chanel categories, but they’re up there. I just purchased Particuliere through Saks ’cause Saks has FREE EXPRESS SHIPPING (!) right now.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Chanel fans will likely enjoy this piece, but the price tag is a little steep for a product that’s good, but not great.

Availability: Nordstrom and Saks

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Friday, December 18th, 2009

Guerlain Cherry Blossom Blush

Spring Blossoms with Guerlain’s Cherry Blossom Blush

Guerlain Cherry Blossom Blush ($49.00) is part of Guerlain’s Cherry Blossom Collection, which also features a new eyeshadow quad called Jeu d’Ombrelles and (repromoted) Meteorites Voyage Powder in Mythic. Both the blush and the eyeshadow quad are new and limited edition. The collection will hit the usual suspects come January of next year.

First, I love, love, LOVE Guerlain’s blushes — they’re so soft, subtle, and smooth. (See swatches of their six permanent shades for reference.) Cherry Blossom is no exception to the soft, subtle, and smooth description I’ve grown accustomed to using to describe Guerlain’s blushes.

Guerlain describes the color as “a pink and peach blush with shades reminiscent of Japanese cherry trees in bloom.” I’d describe it as a muted peach with pink myself. It’s soft, subtle, and doesn’t really have noticeable shimmer (at most, a sheen). It’s an interesting shade, because it’s not quite peach, yet not that pink, either. For spring, I think it’s a really perfect shade for light and medium skin tones. Deeper skin tones may have trouble getting it to show up as pigmented as they’d like, but it may still be wearable as a more natural color.

The compact is a glossy black, which is surprisingly lovely (haven’t seen Guerlain do black yet myself; they likely have in the past, before I was into makeup). I think I like it more than their permanent packaging (a cool-toned gold metal), actually. The powder is embossed with both a design as well as a shimmery overlay on parts of it. The overlay definitely goes away after the first few uses, but the peachy pieces do seem to go through; the majority shade is the pale pink with just a touch of peach. The peach-colored pieces are in the minority, but they do impact the color quite a bit.

As much as I think the powder is pretty with the design, I’ve come to learn that I’d rather not have a design at all (or perhaps, just an imprint, but no overlays), because I can totally sympathize with those who find it too pretty to use. Even though I received this as a sample, I was hesitant to swatch, because it looked so lovely in the compact! My other issue is that the first few swatches (or uses) tend to give you a different color than what you’ll get later on down the road. I can appreciate the fact that Guerlain does make it pretty obvious that the overlay is exactly that, an overlay, so I don’t feel duped, at least!

Though pricey for a blush at $49, you do get a whopping 0.32 oz. of product. It’s also just a $1 more than the pricing of their other blushes (which actually just makes me suspect an upcoming price increase in 2010), so I’m pleased to see Guerlain didn’t puff up the price simply for the sake of the overlay or limited-edition nature of the piece. I’ll probably never use up a blush in my life (except MAC Margin, perhaps!), but it’s nice to know they’re not skimping you on the actual product. Oh, yeah, and a bonus? The angled blush brush that comes with it is quite soft–total surprise to me–which was also a nice touch.

Bottom Line: I think Guerlain fans will enjoy this prettily designed spring blush. It’s a great shade for a little pick-me-up color in the spring, particularly for pale-to-medium skin tones.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: Certainly a highly anticipated collection, the blush doesn’t disappoint–if you’re in the mood for subtle, natural spring color.

Availability: January 2010

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