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.

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

  • 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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Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Holiday Sparkle with Prescriptives

Prescriptives Cool Lustre Shimmer Cheek Color ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is a gorgeous plummy pink with gold sparkle. It instantly reminded me of MAC’s Stark Naked Blush (swatch. They are very similar, though not exactly the same — but if you’ve always wanted Stark Naked (one of my favorite blushes!), this one is a nice substitute, even if it is also limited edition.

The texture of Cool Lustre is smooth, soft, and the color is noticeable. It’s not ultra pigmented like NARS’ blushes, but it has just the right amount of pigmentation to add plenty of pop to your cheeks–plus, you can always layer for deeper color.

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

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

Recommendation:  If you’ve been looking for a dupe for MAC’s Stark Naked Blush or enjoy yourself a cool-toned plum… you might like this!

Availability: Nordstrom, Prescriptives

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Monday, December 14th, 2009

Get Glowy Cheeks for the Holidays with Benefit

Benefit Cosmetics Sugarbomb ($28.00 for 0.42 oz.) is the newest powder addition to Benefit’s line-up. It joins cult favorites like CORALista and Hoola, and Benefit describes it as a “sugar rush flush” for the face.

The powder comes with four triangles of color, which Benefit describes as “rose, shimmering pink, soft plum, and peach.” The powder is designed to be used all at once, rather than one triangle at a time. I’d completely agree with that notion, particularly because the space is just not big enough to really grab one shade over another that well.

When swirled together, the outcome is a beautiful peachy-pink shade with a very, very subtle golden sheen. This is half blush, half highlighter, because it’s not ultra pigmented and on my skin tone (which you could describe as “medium”), while it shows up, it looks very soft. It’s certainly not invisible (which would make it more like a highlighter), but it’s not vibrant. This is good and bad, depending on your usage — but it’s a good thing to me.

It actually reminded me of a peachier version of CORALista, but they are different, since CORALista is much more pigmented and pinker. On my skin, it gives me just enough color and really gives me that “glow.” That super sought after glowy cheek look? That’s what this is in a cute lil’ box.

Both the texture and the results reminded me quite a bit of my beloved Dior Skin Shimmers (particularly Pop Diamond). The shade itself is a reminiscent of NARS’ Orgasm, but it’s less orange (on me) and the shimmer more refined. But here’s something fun: Benefit is way, way cheaper than both. Benefit’s Powders are HUGE–a whopping 0.42 oz.–compared to the average blush that weighs in at a mere 0.20 oz. NARS’ blushes are $156/oz., MAC’s are $88/oz., and Dior’s are $150/oz., but Benefit is $67/oz.

It’s packaged exactly like other Benefit powders, which is in a cute little cardboard box. If you don’t dig Benefit’s packaging, this is probably not going to do it for you either. It’s typical Benefit–and I say that as a good thing–and even though I do prefer sturdier packaging, this will hold up quite well, even if you do keep in your purse. Of course, if you toss it in your bag, the outside will get dinged up a bit, but in the end, it should still survive with the product intact, which is the more important part.

Bottom Line: This is a beautiful get-glowy-cheeks product if you’re light to medium-dark. If you have a deeper or darker skin tone, I think this will end up being more of a highlighter–if that’s what you’re looking for, it’s worth considering, but I don’t think the color will show much very well. I fell in love with this product at first swatch (and I had a hunch it’d be mine kind of color just from looking at it, too) – it’s everything I love: soft, subtle shimmer (think Dior Skin Shimmers, mmm!) that gives me glowy, naturally flushed cheeks. This is something I could wear everyday, with or without other makeup. Benefit, I’m totally impressed by this!

P.S. I also want to give props to Benefit’s website for showing incredibly color accurate photos of Sugarbomb, too. You don’t always see such accuracy in official product imagery, so it’s really a nice touch.

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

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

Recommendation: If you love glowy cheeks, check out Benefit’s Sugarbomb!

Availability: Benefit Cosmetics, Sephora

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