Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

NARS Lovejoy Highlighting Blush
NARS Lovejoy Blush

Celebrate the Joy of Love with NARS!

NARS Lovejoy Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “shimmering bronzed rose.” It’s rosy-red with a little brown thrown in paired with a golden shimmer-sheen. MAC Ring of Saturn is more orange-red, brighter–the two look a little more similar if used softly. Tom Ford Savage is similar but seems a smidgen lighter and has a mostly matte finish. MAC Buddy Up seems fairly close but doesn’t have the golden sheen. MAC Stratus is darker, a little redder.

The finish is noticeably sparkly and has a bit more shimmer than some of the more recent shades we’ve looked at. It did emphasize pores just slightly; not enough where it was too noticeable or really took away from the finish. Though there is a subdued quality to the overall color, there is enough red in it that it may give some skin tones a sunburned look. It had a slightly dry texture, but the color payoff was still good, and the color was blendable and buildable during application. This shade wore for seven full hours and started to have noticeable fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

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Lovejoy

B+
Though there is a subdued quality to the overall color, there is enough red in it that it may give some skin tones a sunburned look.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher
Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher

A Blendable Blush is Key

Illamasqua Allure Powder Blusher ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “dusky rose pink shimmer.” It has a just barely softened appearance to the color–it’s still rather intense, because it’s on the darker end of the spectrum–but “dusky” is an apt description. The color itself is a rosy red with flecks of gold shimmer.  The shimmer doesn’t really transfer to the skin–it looks mostly matte when applied. MAC Hidden Treasure is darker, redder. MAC Ring of Saturn is warmer and has more golden shimmer/sheen. Tom Ford Savage is browner.

The texture of this felt soft, fairly finely-milled, and it returned excellent color payoff that applied smoothly and evenly when swatched. It had a drier overall texture, consistent with Illamasqua’s formula.  When I applied it to my cheeks (and I used MAC’s 116 blush brush), the results were less impressive.  It was difficult to blend, and with the intensity of this color, that made for a rather frustrating application. I’d apply the barest amount of product, and then the color would blend and disappear but blend unevenly.  This kind of hue needs to be blendable and apply evenly, otherwise it gives cheeks a ruddy or sunburned look–not at all attractive.  I tested the wear, and it lasted eight hours with only a smidgen of fading.

The Glossover

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product

Allure

B
It's not a very blendable, easy-to-use blush. It will take some patience, a deft hand, and an excellent blending brush to get even color that flatters rather than accentuates any natural redness/unevenness in the skin.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Monday, August 27th, 2012

Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream
Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream

A Little Light Goes a Long Way

Illamasqua Aurora Gleam Highlighting Cream ($24.00 for 0.23 oz.) is described as a “champagne.” It’s a soft, warm ivory champagne with a strong shimmer-sheen. The shimmer is fairly fine, but it has a strong sheen that’s almost metallic depending on how much product you use. Benefit Watt’s Up! is similar, though a bit less warm-toned. NARS Albatross is similar in color but a bit lighter because the white base is stronger. MAC Truth & Light is lighter.

The Gleam formula is supposed to be lightweight with an iridescent finish to highlight both the face and body. It’s very creamy and slides right over the skin, and it doesn’t take a lot of product to highlight the higher planes of the face. I used some on the top of my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose, and above my cupid’s brow. I used a clean spatula to take a little product out of the pan, and then I used my fingertips to pat it on. (Bonus: you can see it live in this video.) It does emphasize pores somewhat, because it does have a strong sheen that almost looks metallic, depending on the lighting.

This is a true cream, as it doesn’t dry down or set over time, so the wear time wasn’t stellar.  I managed about five hours of decent wear (and I have normal-to-dry skin), and after a little over six hours, a lot of it had faded/separated. It’s a product I’d consider setting lightly with translucent powder, which would help to set it as well as tamp down some of the high sheen finish (if you prefer a subtler highlight).

The Glossover

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Aurora

B
If you like more intense highlighters, you might like Aurora, which should work on a variety of skin tones, because it's not an ashy champagne, but it's not too yellow that it becomes gold. The shorter wear time is its biggest downfall.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, August 24th, 2012

NARS Lovejoy Highlighting Blush
Buxom Luvitate True Hue Blush

Come Back to Earth After Trying Luvitate

Buxom Luvitate True Hue Blush ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a “shimmering nude.” It’s a beige-apricot with a golden shimmer-sheen. It reminds me of shades like NARS Orgasm but with a more neutral base. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane is matte in finish and a bit browner. The shimmering shade in Guerlain Peach Boy is noticeably pinker. Chanel In Love is darker with a subtler gold shimmer. Overall, when applied, it still reads a little coral-ish, but with some beige thrown in.

Buxom’s True Hue formula is supposed to be “silky, sheer, and ultra-buildable.” Surprisingly, I found the texture to be stiffer and on the drier side. It wasn’t silky or soft or all that smooth.  The color payoff is as described–sheer–and it is buildable, though it will take some layering if you have a medium to dark complexion. It’s do-able, and it’s not too many layers, but the blendability of this is lacking.  I suspect the drier texture is playing a role in making this harder to blend and appear rather patchy on the cheeks.  This has a fair amount of shimmer and sheen in the finish, too, which does make pores more noticeable.  The wear of Luvitate was decent–seven hours with light but some fading after eight hours.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Buxom Luvitate True Hue Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
I was bummed about the texture! For something that claims to have silkiness, I wasn't seeing (or rather, feeling!) it at all. With a color like this that seems to common enough across brands, I wouldn't waste time on something less than stellar.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

NARS Gina Highlighting Blush
NARS Gina Blush

Fresh-Squeezed with Gina

NARS Gina Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “true tangerine.” It’s a softened orange with a satiny sheen. It’s not vibrant, not an intense orange, but it’s much more orange and richer than peach (hm, I am amused that all descriptions are fruit-related!). This is actually one of the closest shades I’ve seen to Illamasqua Expose, which is darker, richer–but when worn softly, they look nearly the same. Illamasqua Lover is lighter, brighter. MAC Solar Ray is more shimmery and golden-tinged.

I really liked the texture of this shade, as it was so soft, smooth, and finely-milled without being powdery.  The color was true-to-pan, and it’s a buildable blush.  A light tap of product gives a warm cloak of color, while a swirl of the brush in the blush (say that five times fast!) yields full color.  The softness lends to effortless blending on the skin, and the subtle sheen is both glowy and natural so it doesn’t emphasize pores.  The lightness inherent in the shade keeps it from looking red-toned or burnt on the cheeks.  Gina wore well for eight hours and started to have noticeable fading after nine hours.

The Glossover

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Gina

A+
Quality-wise, one of the best NARS blushes I've come across. The texture is soft and blendable, while the color is buildable and true-to-pan with excellent color payoff. It wears particularly well to boot!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Burberry Blossom Blush
Burberry Blossom Blush

Burberry Blossom Blush ($42.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a coral-orange–there is the merest hint of pink in the background–with a natural finish, just a smidgen of a sheen. It’s a lot like the just-reviewed MAC Supercontinental, which is barely lighter. MAC Fleet Fast is darker, redder. Chanel Tweed Brun Rose is more orange. Tarina Tarantino Feather is pinker and lighter. Tarte Blissful is brighter, pinker. Tom Ford Flush is more vibrant and a bit pinker. MAC Ripe Peach is more orange, lighter.

Burberry’s Light Glow Natural Blush is a formula designed to have good color payoff, easy application, and yield a healthy glow. A lot of the great coral blushes are limited edition, which means once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.  Blossom is a wearable coral that’s not too pink, but not so orange that it ventures into a reddish area. The texture is as soft as silk, smooth as butter; it’s something you have to touch and feel to appreciate. I didn’t even realize just how soft this powder is until I had played with a few other blush formulas–this was one of the softest, most finely-milled powders.

The finish has a faint sheen, which looks natural and glowy without being shimmery–it doesn’t emphasize pores in the slightest. It actually seems to soften the appearance of them (superficially, not actually).  It applies with good color, no need to be careful but you don’t have to spend awhile building up the color if you have a deeper complexion.  Because of the soft feel, it blends like a dream. When I tested this shade for wear, I was able to get a full eight hours of wear, and it started to fade after nine hours.

The Glossover

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Blossom

A
The texture is as soft as silk, smooth as butter; it's something you have to touch and feel to appreciate. I didn't even realize just how soft this powder is until I had played with a few other blush formulas--this was one of the softest, most finely-milled powders.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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