Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Givenchy Summer 2010

Givenchy’s Summer Collection also featured Fleur de Frangipanier, which is available in two shades:  Island Sun (No. 2) and Island Tan (No. 3).  Each shade retails for $45 and contains 0.35 oz. of product.

I haven’t spotted Island Sun yet, but I know it is the lighter of the two shades available and also has a significant chunk of pink color to part of its flower, so I’d also presume it runs on the pinker/redder side while Island Tan is more on the warmer/orange side.  Givenchy’s Summer Collection is slated to hits stores in May 2010, so you may see it creep onto counters any day now.

Island Tan is a warmed-up, but muted, orange bronze with very, very subtle shimmer. I swatched both heavily and sheerly (and blended out), so you can see the potential intensity along with under more normal usage.   It’s a very soft shade of bronze that will certainly be flattering on warmer skin tones, but I definitely think it’ll have a tendency to turn orange on those with pink or red undertones.  (I would recommend checking out Island Sun instead!)

The texture of the powder is incredibly silky–it’s fine-milled and smooth to the touch.  It blends beautifully and wears well.  The shimmer in it is sophisticated and just barely-there, so it’s great for many skin types.  Not surprising for Givenchy is the palette itself is beautiful with the raised flower and color splotch pattern.  The color splotches range from a bronzed nude to chocolate bronze to peach.

The compact also has a pull-out drawer under the powder that reveals a small face brush, which is usable and certainly a step-up from the majority of included brushes in palettes, but it’s not my favorite!  I’m also pleased (and pleasantly surprised!) that Givenchy didn’t skimp on quantity either–you get plenty of bronzer for your buck.

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  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For those with warmer complexions and yellower undertones, I think Island Tan is a workable bronzer.

Availability:  May 2010

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Guerlain Blonde Halee Bronzer

Guerlain Terracotta:  Blonde Halee

Guerlain Blondes (01) ‘Terracotta’ Light Sheer Bronzing Powder ($50.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a multi-colored bronzing powder.  There is also Brunette (02).  I actually thought these were new for this year, but after going back to the summer collection details, it’s the 4 Seasons bronzing powder that launched this year. Apparently, Guerlain launched two different types of bronzers, including the one pictured above–that are limited edition and new and different from the permanent versions.

Anyway, Blonde contains five different shades that come together to create a red-toned bronze.  It’s designed for our fairer, blonde-haired friends, but it’ll work just as nice on our warmer, brunette-haired friends, too–because I am the latter and find this lovely on my skin.  I tend to wear it more as a bronzer, but it’s subtle without being orange and the shimmer gives you a little glowiness that’s perfect for summer.   I wore it in a very natural look, and I felt like it worked incredibly well to give my cheeks a little definition, glow, and that I-just-got-back-from-vacation look (even though I went nowhere!).

It’s a very fine-milled powder, so it’s subtle and easy to use without going overboard–but you can layer it for a greater intensity.  It also has fine shimmer that goes through the compact (no overspray here!) that gives skin a healthier, more luminous look without looking like a glitter ball.  A huge bonus is that this bronzer photographs really well and natural, too!  I may have to check out the Brunette version to see how it stacks up, but Blonde totally wow-ed me (and I’m not even a bronzer person!).

The pricing is just about what I’d expect from Guerlain, but at least they don’t hold back on the quantity–they give you just a little more than the average bronzer, but it’s not significantly more.  Nevertheless, sometimes you’ll see higher prices and lesser quantities, so I always like to see the two still in line.  The packaging is also very pretty–it’s a glossy reddish-bronze with a shimmering sparkle almost!

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’ve been searching for a light, natural bronzer that’s good on both fairer, cooler skin (aka one that doesn’t turn orange), Guerlain’s Blonde may be the answer!  It’s soft and silky with the perfect bronzing color for those with pinker or redder undertones, but it works equally well on those with warmer, yellower undertones–you’ll see the slightly reddish tinge in it, but it works!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Chanel Les Pop Up de Chanel Bronzer

Going Bronze with Style

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel ($50.00) is available in two different shades – Terre d’or and Terre Halee — and new for Chanel Les Pop-Up de Chanel Collection.  Every Summer, Chanel releases a limited edition bronzer (or two!), and this year is no exception.  It has a soft raised wave pattern across the surface, the illusion of summer sand.  Both shades are a finely-milled bronzing powder that apply naturally to skin.

If you take a swatch with a sponge-tip applicator (or finger), you’ll find it seems too much for a bronzing product, but when used with a brush, you’ll get a much softer, more natural look more appropriate to bronzing powders.  What’s nice about the underlying pigmentation is it can be built up to your preference, plus it works well for a variety of skin tones, too.

  • Terre d’or is a lighter, more golden, peachy bronze.  It has a very soft, silky feel with a subtle shimmer-sheen.  This shade is ideal for light to medium skin tones.
  • Terre Halee is a deeper, dirtier bronze with a subtle golden sheen.  It has the same feel an dfinish of Terre d’ore–a smooth, silken powder with a light shimmer and soft sheen.  This shade is ideal for medium to deep skin tones.

I’m on the lighter side of medium, but I’d definitely classify myself as medium in skin tone.  I find I like Terre d’or just a little more than Terre Halee on me, but I like a softer, lighter application of bronzer.  The sand pattern is cute without being too-beautiful-to-use or just a mist of overspray, too.

With a whopping 0.38 oz. of bronzer, this should last you all summer and then some.  At least Chanel didn’t skimp on product, even if this is a pricier bronzer (but the same price as other permanent shades of Soleil Tan de Chanel).

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  For a very silky smooth bronzer, Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel range is always a good choice.  Terre d’or is suitable for light to medium skin tones, while Terre Halee is more suitable for those with deeper skin tones.

Availability:  May 2010

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010

Two-Minute Reviews: CoverGirl Eyeshadow Palette, Physicians Formula Healthy Glow, Smashbox Heartbreaker

The concept behind two-minute reviews is mostly products that I photographed, swatched, but I never ended up reviewing.  Rather than just bury the photos into the “Unlikely to Review” folder and never let them see the light of day, I decided that perhaps a quickie review was better than no review at all… Let me know if you’d rather a quickie review than no review :)

CoverGirl Vibrant Browns (#700) Eyeshadow Palette ($7.49) is a palette that features four shades of eyeshadow: a softened, matte black with glitter overlay, subdued blue-toned sheer gray with silver sheen, muted copper with orange-gold shimmer and frost finish, and an incredibly sheer white with sheen. The colors are all on the sheerer side, and the shadows themselves just don’t grab me. I think one or two more muted shades might work, but these altogether just don’t. I find the gold too warm to work with the coolness of the black and gray. Quick Rating: C-

Physicians Formula Healthy Glow Shimmer Strips ($11.95) reminded me of Bobbi Brown’s Shimmerbricks. Healthy Glow is a gradation of light, icy pink to a muted raspberry pink. The colors are better used together rather than alone, as individually, they’re not very pigmented. Together, they create a lightened raspberry with a frosty white sheen. This is great for those with closer-to-flawless skin, because it’s pretty and shimmery–but if you have larger pores, the high frost finish will accentuate them. For a drugstore blush, though, the price is a little steeper than I’d like to see. Quick Rating: B

Smashbox Heartbreaker Collection looked super cute in the promos, but I wasn’t loving it when I saw some of the pieces in person. In fact, I loved the actual box packaging infinitely more than the product packaging! The boxes are cute with doodles and polaroids on it–just sweet and fitting for the theme. The shiny white plastic makes it look and feel on the cheap side, and Smashbox really isn’t a cheap brand. I tend to think of Smashbox as more of a mid-to-high end brand. I tried three products: Starlight Fusion Soft Lights ($30), Rollerball Lip Gloss ($21), and Liquid Liner Pen ($24). I reviewed the eyeliner previously, but I never got around to the other two products. Despite looking rather vibrant in the pan, Starlight is a very soft, lightened raspberry sorbet with a soft champagne sheen. It didn’t show up very well on my medium skin tone, so I wasn’t never driven to wear it in a look (hence this quickie review!). Quick Rating: C+

The Rollerball Lip Gloss was very much the same — it’s clear gloss with icy white shimmer. It’s very slightly pink tinged, but on lips, it looks clear. I also felt like the Rollerball packaging made me feel like I was using Bonne Bell (which is fine… if I’m paying Bonne Bell prices!). Quick Rating: C-

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Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Toki Doki for Sephora
Toki Doki

tokidoki for Sephora: Royal Pride Inferno Bronzer

tokidoki Royal Pride Inferno Bronzer ($22.00 for 0.37 oz.) is a warmed, golden-tan with champagne-gold shimmer bronzing powder. The powder itself has a heart and crossbones raised design in the middle, and there’s no overspray on it, it’s just the same as the rest of the product–which is nice, just because I hate being duped by those oversprays!

Though I was disappointed with the color pay off of Adios Star, I had no such pigmentation issues with Royal Pride. This swatched beautifully–pigmented, smooth, and gorgeous to look at. As far as bronzing goes, I think this will work nicely on lighter medium skin tones to deeper medium skin tones, but it may turn orange on some of the paler beauties. I’d recommend paler and very cool skin tones to swatch in-store if they’re able to.

tokidoki also has Diavolina, which is described as a “medium/tan with gold shimmer.” I felt like Royal Pride was a pretty deep bronzer, but it’s described as a “light/medium with gold shimmer.” I think Diavolina may be best for medium deep to deep complexions, but I haven’t seen it to be sure.

The packaging is made out of plastic, but it feels heavy and thick enough that I don’t feel like I’m using dollar-store makeup (which is always my fear whenever I see a non-beauty brand enter the beauty biz!). It’s solid, semi-clear, and should be sturdy enough to tote around.

You also get a whopping 0.37 oz. of product, which is rather hefty for a bronzing product. MAC Bronzing Powders are also $22, but you get 0.30 oz. I think tokidoki did a good job pricing themselves above mass, but they didn’t price themselves out of range, either. I wouldn’t go crazy buying hundreds of dollars over this without testing it first, but I can see myself picking a few items just to try and see (and if all else fails, take advantage of Sephora’s excellent return policy).

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  If you’re looking for a golden-toned bronzer, I think you may like Royal Pride.  It’s quite pigmented, so use a light hand or a fluffier brush when you go to use it to keep from overdoing it!

Availability: Sephora

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Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Guerlain Beige Tint Meteorites

Guerlain Beige Tint Meteorites ($56.00 for 1.2 oz.) is one of three new shades released with Guerlain Meteorite Perles Collection, due out in May.  The two other shades that will be available are Rose Tint and Gold Tint.  The new Meteorites are designed to enhance/correct certain issues with skin.

From the press release, “[A] rosy complexion tends to show redness, while a beige complexion turns grey with the onset of fatigue and a golden complexion becomes yellow and dull. As the uncontested expert in color and powder, Guerlain has created three different Météorites Perles color harmonies to address the ways that different skin tones reflect color and light, in line with the principles of the color wheel and interaction of secondary colors.

Which one is for you?

  • Harmony 01 / Teint Rose (Rose Tint) corrects by using mauve to reflect light and brightening the complexion along with green to reduce redness; pink to give skin a more even look; and white for illumination, gold for “radiance.”  I think this is suitable for those with cooler undertones, rosacea, or uneven or reddened skin.
  • Harmony 02 / Teint Beige (Beige Tint) corrects with mauve and pink to keep skin from looking dull; beige and apricot beige to add warmth; and white and white gold to reflect light.  I think this is suitable for most skin tones, though warmer skin tones may find this more beneficial than those with particularly cool undertones; also good for those with more neutral or beige undertones.
  • Harmony 03 / Teint Dore (Gold Tint) corrects with mauve and blue to eliminate yellowness amongst a golden tone; beige and chocolate beige enhance golden tones; and white gold reflects light while pearly apricot brightens.  I think this is suitable for those with yellow, golden, or olive undertones to bring out the natural warmth in the complexion.

Keep in mind that Meteorites are not an opaque powder in the least bit!  Just like traditional Meteorites, the ones from Meteorites Perles have the same feel and texture.  I’ve only tried Beige Tint in person thus far, which is a good thing, considering it’s the one that matches me best.  I think I could also work with the Gold Tint as well, but it may be more of a definite highlighter than all over powder.  We shall have to wait and see on that aspect!

Beige Tint contains several different colored spheres ranging from champagne-peach, peach-apricot, shimmering white, pinky-apricot, darkened apricot, and lilac.   On skin, it has a champagne-lilac illuminating base with sparkles of gold and champagne.  It’s a soft, fine-milled shimmer/illuminating powder that looks subtle against skin, even when used all-over.  If you do choose to use it as an all-over face powder, using a fluffier or stippling brush ensures you don’t overdo it.  Otherwise, it can be used as a light highlighter wherever you want to reflect light (usually cheekbones, Cupid’s bow, etc.).

The Meteorites Perles Meteorites are packaged in a “metal” container.  I think it’s more of a harder, metal-like plastic than pure metal (it just doesn’t have the weight of metal), but it’s certainly an upgrade from some of the cardboard-esque packaging they’ve used in the past.  Though I don’t mind myself, since it’s still pretty, more eco-friendly than plastic, and I don’t carry my makeup around very often, except when I travel (then I bring the whole bathroom… and the bathroom sink!).  It’s sleek, classy, and elegant–I love it.

The very idea of running out of one of the Meteorites is not something I can fathom, because it takes so little to get what you want out of it as a highlighter/illuminator.  I think one will last you quite awhile (aka years), but it does carry a steeper price tag than other high-end highlighters–though in line with Guerlain’s pricing point overall.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation:  I think this is suitable for most skin tones, though warmer skin tones may find this more beneficial than those with particularly cool undertones; also good for those with more neutral or beige undertones.  For those with cooler or pinker undertones, consider Rose Tint; and for those with more golden and yellow undertones, consider Gold Tint.

Availability:  May 2010

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