Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Estee Lauder Peach Nuance Blush
Estee Lauder Peach Nuance vs. MAC Ripe Peach Blush Ombre

Estee Lauder Peach Nuance vs. MAC Ripe Peach Blush Ombre — Dupes?

Estee Lauder Peach Nuance Blush ($26.00 for 0.25 oz.) may have escaped your notice, but it is now highly touted as a perfect dupe for MAC’s Ripe Peach. I was quite confused at the hype over Ripe Peach after it came out, to be honest. It’s pretty, but I am completely surprised at how collectible it has become. When murmurings began comparing Estee Lauder’s Peach Nuance, I knew I had to find out for myself.

Peach Nuance is incredibly close, but I found it was a little lighter and a smidgen pinker–it also doesn’t have the shimmer-sheen of Ripe Peach. It’s close, truly, but it’s not a perfect dupe to me. When worn on the cheeks, the difference is much, much subtler, but when swatched, the difference is more noticeable. Peach Nuance is a lightened coral-pink with a very silky, nearly matte finish. If you want to get closer to Ripe Peach, stay more on the coral side of the blush and avoid the lighter side, which does most of the lightening.

This is all to say that Peach Nuance is a lovely color, worth getting if you missed out on Ripe Peach and would love a gradated coral blusher. (Estee Lauder also carries several other Nuance shades, which seem to all have the gradated look.) It’s smooth and easily blended, though the color is soft and sheer and needs to be built up for a more intense look. It’s a great coral for both cool and warm skin tones, though, so it’s a very universal shade.  It could be a little more pigmented, but it’s on par with the pigmentation of Ripe Peach.

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

Recommendation: Completely worth picking up if you’ve been trying to find your own Ripe Peach or refuse to pay $70 for one on eBay. Worth picking up if you’re a coral fiend, period!

Availability: Nordstrom

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Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Illamasqua Writhe Bronzer

Going Bronze with Illamasqua

Illamasqua Writhe Bronzing Powder (£20.00 for 0.32 oz.) is part of Illamasqua’s Body Electrics Collection, but it’s only available overseas as just Writhe.  In the U.S., Sephora carries Illamasqua Glint & Writhe Bronzing Duo ($27.00), which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, to be honest.  The idea of ever using a single product so much that I’d need an entire compact of it seems unlikely, so sometimes a duo let’s you play with two shades for the price of one.  (By the by, Glint is a peachy highlighter kind of shade.)

Writhe has a very pretty, burnished copper-bronze look to it.  It has a slight metallic gold shimmer-sheen, but it can be applied very subtly for a softer look.  It’s nice as a bronzer or as a blush.  I didn’t find it too orange or red, though I think this definitely suits warmer skin tones best.  You can also layer it for a more intense, obvious bronzed cheek, too.  It is particularly shimmery, though, so those looking to use this all over the face may find it a bit much for day time.

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

Recommendation: If you love that burnished, sun-bronzed cheek, Writhe will achieve all that and more.  Very pretty when paired with golds on the eyes!

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams: Part II

Ahh! The five Aqua Creams ($22.00) I ordered from Sephora arrived over the weekend, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been enjoying them! I liked the first four that I tried, because the pigmentation is incredible, and the finishes are beautiful.

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #9 Coral is a medium coral-orange with subtle shimmer (very faint).
  • #6 Fresh Pink is a beautiful blue-based pink with golden shimmer. SO pretty. It’s amazing on cheeks and lips! Just make sure to prep lips, because it seemed a little drier than some of the other Aqua Creams, but it holds on for hours.
  • #13 Warm Beige is a lightened champagne taupe with a metallic sheen. This is kind of a neutral base color, but it’s a bit high on the frost/metallic finish and darker than I’d like — not quite as universal as I was hoping.
  • #11 Gold is a metallic gilded gold. Very, very pretty. Not entirely sure how usable it is, but it is stunning.
  • #20 Intense Blue is a medium ocean blue with silver shimmer. It’s like MAC Freshwater eyeshadow, in a cream form.

The reason I like these so much is they’re creamy but not too creamy–they won’t slip around on your eye lids, and they really lock down. These just don’t budge at all, even without setting with eyeshadow. I also like that you can use them on eyes/cheeks or lips/cheeks (depending on the shade), because they’re more multi-tasking. I like them the most on eyes, then cheeks, and finally lips. I wouldn’t wear these alone on lips (they dry down a bit, so they’ll last for over four hours on me, possibly stain, but my lips need more moisture, so I top with a gloss). Like they are on the eyes – they are excellent bases.

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

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley. These are particularly lovely blushes for those with oily skin, because these dry down quite well.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, May 17th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams
#5, #7, #18, #21

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams:  #5 Peach, #7 Fuchsia, #18 Purple, #21 Turquoise

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) have finally debuted at Sephora. These are AMAZING. There are twenty-one shades in total, but some are designed for the lips and cheeks while others are formulated for the eyes and cheeks (p.s. why isn’t there #19?).

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #5 Peach is a spun-gold peach with such a pretty sheen. It’s such a fresh pop of color on the cheeks. It reminded me of MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow a bit, actually–I was a little bummed to find out it wasn’t meant for eyes.
  • #7 Fuchsia is a bright fuchsia-purple with a soft sheen. It’s certainly intense, so go easy for a softer look.
  • #18 Purple is a softened lilac purple with a frosty finish. It was the least pigmented of the four I tried, though.
  • #21 Turquoise is aqua-teal with a frosty shimmer-sheen. It’s wickedly gorgeous. I’ve seen plenty o’ teal in the past few years, but this one is absolutely stunning.

These are creamy without being ultra creamy–I think I’d actually prefer them to be just a smidgen creamier. They’re blendable, but they dry down quickly. These didn’t budge, smudge, or crease on me one bit, whether they were on my eyes, lips, or cheeks. In fact, you really have to use an oil-based makeup remover to get all the last bits of it off. I tried using these as eyeliners, bases, and blushes, and they worked fabulously at each job. In fact, I enjoyed these four so much that I ordered five more (Fresh Pink, Coral, Gold, Warm Beige, and Intense Blue).

The only complaint I have–a minor one at that–is that the packaging feels a little cheap. They’re easy to store, since they’re small and rounded, but the plastic feels a bit on the thinner side, and there is also a lot of air in the jar from the get-go, which concerns me in regards to whether these will dry out after six months or so.  You do get a fair amount of product for your money, which was nice to see.

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

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

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley.

Availability: Sephora

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Lustre Drops: Pink Rebel, Sun Rush

MAC To the Beach Collection – Lustre Drops Review, Photos, & Swatches

Lustre Drops are like puff paints (the kind you’d use in crafts).  They’re tiny, but a little goes a long way.  I like these mixed with moisturizer and used on shoulders and legs.  They can be used on the face, though, and I like using it as a shimmered base for a blush or along the cheek bones.

  • Pink Rebel Lustre Drops is a slightly pink-toned peach highlighter. Lustre Drops are, essentially, liquid highlighters. You can use them on your cheeks, brows, decolletage… whatever. You can mix it in with your foundation or moisturizer for an all-over sheen. Naturally, this one suits those with pinker undertones, but it can easily work with warmer complexions as well.
  • Sun Rush Lustre Drops is a golden peach highlighter. This one is definitely more suitable for those with warmer undertones, but if used sheerly (which is really the best way to use these anyway), it’s not so warm that it would turn orange on cooler undertones.

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Thursday, May 13th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection
MAC Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC To the Beach Collection – Golden & Refined Golden Bronzer Review, Photos, & Swatches

Here are both bronzers in their faux-glowing glory!  Keep in mind that both of these shades are permanent and available all year ’round–just in typical black packaging.

  • Golden is a lightened beige-tan with subtle gold shimmer.  On my arm, which is around NC20, it barely shows up once it’s blended out.  I think for our fairer friends, this could work as a subtle, no-fuss bronzer.  For darker beauties, not so much.
  • Refined Golden is a dirty brown with a very fine golden shimmer strewn through the powder that’s barely noticeable when used. I don’t find it turns orange-y at all, so I like it for a bronzing option. It’s dark enough to work on light to medium dark complexions, but it’s not so dark that it will look drastic on lighter skin tones.

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