Friday, December 10th, 2010

Estee Lauder Radiant Berry Blush
Estee Lauder Radiant Berry Blush

Thinking of Sugar Plums This Winter

Estee Lauder Radiant Berry Blush ($26.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a softened rose-plum with a subtle satin sheen. The texture of Estee Lauder’s powder blushes is incredibly finely milled, soft like silk, and smooth. These are buildable blushes that deliver sheerer color initially but can be layered for a more intense cheek look. I find these are very foolproof blushes; you can never go overboard, and they look very glowy, not shimmery or frosty.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I love this on both cool and warm skin–it is also absolutely gorgeous on really pale skin, because it can give a nice level of contrast.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Sunday, December 5th, 2010

Urban Decay Afterglow Cheek Tints

Urban Decay Spring 2011: Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tints

Urban Decay Afterglow Glide-On Cheek Tints ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) are a new way to get a hint of color with the “glow of a cream without any greasy feel.” The shades have “lightweight, sheer, buildable color” that can be used on bare skin or over foundation. There are seven shades: Bang (sheer coral red), Crush (sheer hot pink), Fetish (sheer mauve with fine pearlized finish), Greedy (sheer blackberry), Indecent (sheer apricot with pearly gold shimmer), Quickie (sheer bubble-pop-electric pink), and Score (sheer pink lemonade with fine pearlized finish).

  • Bang is a sheer darkened orange–almost like a burnt orange but not burnt in a bad way. I think this is a shade suitable for medium to dark skin tones, likely with yellower undertones.
  • Crush is a semi-bright Barbie pink. It seems to blend seamlessly against my warmer complexion in a way that makes it look natural, and I think it’s due to the very subtle blue undertone.
  • Fetish is a pinked mauve with soft white shimmer. It looks more like a soft rose on my cheeks, and the shimmer is detectable but not overpowering.
  • Greedy is a cool-toned purple-berry. It looks intimidating in the pan, but like all of the shades, it is sheer, so it is more workable. I think this is a shade that suits cooler skin tones in particular.
  • Indecent is a shimmering peach-orange with soft gold shimmer. On me, it kind of disappears, but it gives a natural glow/flush that I do like. Lighter skin tones will see more color pay off, though.
  • Quickie is a cotton candy pink with blue undertones and a light white shimmer. Despite the bluer undertones, it doesn’t look too cool or pale on my skin tone.
  • Score is a rosy pink-brown with pale champagne shimmer. I’m not sure what about this is really “pink lemonade.” On my medium skin tone, this gives a slight rosiness to cheeks, but it would work better on lighter skin tones.

I always find that cheek stains/tints always do better on bare skin than on foundation-covered skin, and it held true (for me) when I was testing out these new tints. They are touted as a tint, and there is nothing in the marketing materials that speaks on expected wear time. With shimmering shades, wear definitely seemed reduced with three to four hours of nice wear, but then some fading as the day worn on. For the shimmer-less shades, wear was better and gave four to six hours of color and began fading thereafter. I could extend the wear (for either finish) by another hour or so by applying it directly on bare skin. (I, unfortunately, do not have perfect or anywhere close to perfect skin, so I don’t see myself wearing the tints on their own very often.)

They are very easy to use, and Urban Decay is right when they say they are difficult to mess up. These blend into the skin very well, just with fingertips alone, but they also worked well with a small stippling brush (I used MAC’s 188). My preferred method of application is to use a brush to deposit the color on the cheeks and a (clean) fingertip to blend out the edges.

These can be used on the lips, but they work best on freshly exfoliated lips. I also felt like I needed several swipes of product to get enough to give my lips a boost in color. I don’t feel like it works much like a stain, because it easily wipes off (napkins, coffee cups). The consistency is also thin, so it does not seem to lock moisture in. It has a slightly creamy, but more gel-like consistency and texture–I would say they are a cross between MAC’s Cremeblends (that were limited edition) and Tarte’s Cheek Stains. They would also be comparable to Stila’s Convertible Color.

When compared to Tarte’s Cheek Stains, these are a lot less for your money, but against other high-end brands (like NARS, Stila, etc.) for cream or gel blushes, Urban Decay’s pricing/quantity seems to be right there on average.

All seven shades looked natural, and all but Indecent gave my medium skin tone noticeable color. I see Crush, Fetish, and Quickie being popular amongst most skin tones. Indecent is lovely for fairer skin tones or as a highlighter on medium to dark skin tones. I like Bang and Quickie for cooler skin tones, while Bang and Indecent seem best for warmer skin tones.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you are a fan of Tarte’s Cheek Stains, I think you will like these. They have a similar consistency, but they come in pot form.

AVAILABILITY: January 2011 @ urbandecay.com, early February 2011 @ Beauty.com, Macy’s, Sephora, ULTA

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Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Le Metier de Beaute Romeo & Juliet Blushing Bronzed Duet
Le Metier de Beaute Romeo & Juliet Blushing Bronzed Duet

Le Metier de Beaute Romeo & Juliet Blushing Bronzed Duet ($65.00 for 0.49 oz.) contains a blush and bronzer in one. The brand’s blushes retail for $30 while their bronzer retails for $55. The duo, while an expensive investment, does pack a ton of product into the shiny silver compact)–by the ounce, it is cheaper than NARS blushes.

Unlike the Traviata, it appears these shades are exclusive to this duet. I asked Le Metier de Beaute yesterday for confirmation, but between you and me, the bronzer shade looks very similar to the bronzer in Traviata (which is available full-sized as their Sun Kissed Bronzer).

The blush is a soft cotton candy pink with subtle blue undertones and a micro-fine silver shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of MAC’s Dollymix (but more pigmented) or a lighter NARS Desire. The bronzer is a soft golden tan with more of a sheen than noticeable shimmer; it applies softly at first but can be built up for a more intense look. It doesn’t pull orange or red, so it’s more of a universal color.

Le Metier de Beaute does an amazing blush; the texture is beyond fine.  It’s like silk skimming across the cheek, and the way it glows with a beautiful sheen differentiates it from many other blushes on the market.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re in the market for both shades, it’s well worth it. If you’re just looking for one or the other, then you’re better off getting something similar individually. Though the value is certainly there, it comes at a high investment cost.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Sex Appeal Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a pale, subtly warm-toned peach with a satin finish. Buxom Swept Away is pinker. MAC Stay By Me is a touch darker. MAC Peaches is darker and more orange.

It is absolutely a color and product that will work better on very, very pale skin tones. On my medium complexion, it just barely shows up, and it may turn chalky/ashy on deeper skin tones because of the light base color. For lighter skin tones, though, especially those with natural redness occurring in their cheeks, this will work quite nicely. The importance here is that the pigmentation is still good, as it appears true-to-pan; it’s just that the color won’t show itself to its full potential on my complexion. (Pale readers who’ve tried this, speak out!)

From what I could tell, the color lasted around six to seven hours on me, but it was even harder to see after eight hours (it’s so much harder to see wear when it’s barely visible to begin with!).  The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen on the powdery side but it lies nicely on the skin–it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and if you buff it into the skin, it turns just slightly luminous from that satin finish.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Sex Appeal Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This is a blush that will work best on lighter complexions, and it can help to reduce the appearance of redness from the peachy coloring.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, October 31st, 2010

Clarins Bronze Instant Sun Light Highlighter
Clarins Bronze Instant Sun Light Highlighter

Clarins Instant Sun Light Highlighters: Bronze

Clarins Bronze Instant Sun Light Highlighter ($32.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a creamy–almost gel-like in consistency and texture–golden bronze with soft flecks of gold shimmer that glides onto skin and gives a warmer, luminous look. Though rather deep bronze in the compact, it applies rather sheerly and much lighter on the skin. On both paler and deeper skin tones, this is more of a highlighter than a contouring shade–on the palest of skin, I could see this working as a subtle bronzer. I like this best as a natural highlighter on medium to deep skin tones.

I do wish this product lasted longer on the skin, though; it seems to slide off within three to four hours, even on my normal skin, so I would imagine even shorter wear time on oilier skin types. It doesn’t dry down to a powdery finish, which is good news for those with drier skin types, because it won’t emphasize any dryness or flaking skin. I definitely recommend using a translucent setting powder to help this stay in place longer.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think those of light-medium to medium skin tones will find this most flattering, because it will add some warmth as well as sheen. It’s not ultra long wearing, though.

AVAILABILITY: Clarins

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Thursday, October 28th, 2010

MAC Highland Honey Blush
MAC My Highland Honey Blush

MAC Tartan Tale: Highland Honey Blush

MAC Highland Honey Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a rich shade of peach-orange with a very subtle satin sheen.  It can be built up for a more intense, more orange-y look or used lightly for a lit-from-within kind of glow.  I love that it’s pigmented without being straight-up orange, but it’s also buildable; you can easily apply it lightly or pat more on for a more intense look.

It’s warmer and more orange than Melba Blush, which is a darker peach with less of an orange pull. It’s not as orange as NARS Gina nor as coral as NARS Gilda. It’s a shade lighter than Illamasqua’s Lover, but the two are similar. It’s also similar to Utterly Game, which leans a little coral but not by much.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice choice to warm up cheeks, especially on warmer skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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