Monday, December 10th, 2012

Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder
Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder

A Delicate Highlighter for the Holidays

Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder ($74.00 for 0.42 oz.) is described as a “sheer, flattering glow [for] all skin tones” with “light-perfecting powders [that] provide a veil of subtle radiance, while [being] long-lasting, comfortable.” It’s a pale pink with a golden shimmer-sheen; when it’s layered on heavily, it looks mostly pink, but when sheered out, you’ll see all of the shimmer, sheen, and luminosity come through. NARS Albatross has a similar sheen, but it has more of a creamy white base, rather than a pink-tinged one. MAC Lightscapade has more shimmer, less sheen.
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia is darker, less cool-toned.  The general way it looked on the skin reminded me of the majesty of Guerlain’s Parure de Nuit.

There was something about it that caught my eye when I was browsing Nordstrom, and I impulsively purchased it (which is rarer than you’d expect).  The beauty of this highlighter is in its finish; it’s soft as silk, extremely finely-milled, and melts against the skin to give a natural, luminous highlight that doesn’t accentuate pores but actually softens the overall texture of the skin.  It wore for a full nine hours and hadn’t faded one bit.  It came as no surprise that it was easy to blend on the skin, and it’s the kind of powder that gives off a glow, a sheen, but not shimmer or sparkle.  Unfortunately, all that magic comes at a rather steep price tag!

One bright spot is that the powder contains 0.42 oz., which is twice the size of most blushes, though it’s only 25% or so larger than many highlighters on the market. For all its hefty price tag, the compact is made out of lightweight plastic. Typically, at this price point, you’ll see a packaging upgrade to metal or the like, but not with this product. If you’re familiar with Guerlain’s Meteorites (Pressed) Powders that retail for $56, it’s a similar feel (in regards to packaging) and resulting disappointment. Both are fantastic products and look beautiful on the skin, but for the price, the lack of heft was something I noticed immediately.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
It's a fantastic highlighter that has an ultra soft texture, beautiful appearance on the skin, and gives that lit-from-within glow. I wish the packaging was more luxurious, to go along with the luxurious price tag.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder
MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder

Is This Packaging Worth an Extra $41?

MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder ($65.00 for 0.51 oz.) is described as a “pinky beige with silver shimmer.” It’s a mix of soft pink and silver shimmer, though when applied to my cheek as a highlight, it read more like a delicate silver shimmer. It’s similar to products like Chanel Reverie. Lots of loose sparkle and shimmer, so depending on your threshold for sparkle, you may love or loathe this product. MAC recommends building it up gradually, and also notes that it is a multi-tasking product that can be worked into foundation, moisturizer, and so on.

Oh, and if you don’t care about the packaging? You can purchase it in a plastic jar any time of the year for a mere $24 (you get 0.42 oz., which is a little less).  The exterior of the bottom portion of the “jar” is made out of cardboard, while the lid is covered in faux shagreen and has a plastic metallic rose bow.  It also contains a soft, fluffy pouf, which is great if you plan to dust it onto your body, but for smaller areas, it’s not practical.  When MAC originally launched their couture collections, I was In. Love. Couture was back in ’06 I believe, and it culminated in me purchasing my first MAC brush (see it here).

There are always cheaper products that perform as well or better than products marked up five, ten, twenty times.  I absolutely will and have paid this price or more for a beauty product.  Like any brand name, I know that part of what I pay is for the name–especially with higher-end/luxury brands.  MAC has already told me that it’s powder is worth $24, so for this packaging upgrade, they’re adding $41 (and giving you an extra 0.09 oz. of product).  One of Guerlain’s bigger complaints in regards to their Meteorites was the use of cardboard (and a couple of years ago, they changed it to metal), though even Meteorites cost less and contain more (currently $58/1.05 oz.).  I like Silver Dusk as a loose, iridescent powder.  It’s a nice highlighter (though I like it better on cooler complexions), and it doesn’t emphasize pores.   It’s worth checking out at $24.

You don’t even have the ability to attempt to rationalize that the product is worth paying extra; you know, that the effect of it is just that much better and worth the steeper price tag compared to other iridescent powders, because you know you can get the exact same product for far less. Not a dupe, not close enough–exactly the same.  If MAC wants to show us that they can do couture, they need to do it, because this is not it.

The Glossover

P
product

Silver Dusk

A-
If you're interested in this product, I highly recommend checking it out in its normal, permanent packaging for $24--rather than shelling out over double just for packaging, when it's cheap packaging at that.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette
Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette

Spin, Spin Sugar

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette ($22.00 for 0.418 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows (0.03 oz. each), one highlighter (.076 oz.), one bronzer (0.076 oz.), and one lipgloss (0.026 oz.). It’s a holiday palette designed to include a range of “holiday metallics.”

#1 is a shimmering champagne gold with a bright, metallic finish. It has a similar effect to a glittery shade without the mess. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. Tarte Sunshine State is yellower. MAC Retrospeck is warmer, yellower. Chanel Apparence is also warmer, darker. bareMinerals Chart Topper is darker.

#2 is a softened orange with gold shimmer. It had good pigmentation and applied smoothly. bareMinerals Golden Iris is darker. Tarte Golden Gate Bridge is a touch darker. Tarte Canary Diamond is browner. Guerlain Turandot is slightly more orange. Milani Gold Dust is very similar.

#3 is a sparkling pink-tinted white. It had so-so color payoff, but I didn’t have any fall out problems with it. MAC She’s Got Class is less pink-tinged but similar in finish. Tarte Iceland Air is similar in color but less sparkly. MAC Crystal Avalanche is similar, less metallic. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is a bit darker.

#4 is a gray-ish mauve with a bright, metallic sheen. It had decent pigmentation and applied smoothly. Tarte Next Level Lilac is more matte, so it is also darker in appearance. MAC Cloudy Afternoon is darker. Urban Decay Bust is several shades darker.

#5 is a shimmering, pale yellow. It had good color payoff and went on smoothly without being powdery. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is more sparkling, a little darker. Buxom Poodle is more metallic and in a cream form. Bobbi Brown Gold is very similar.

#6 is a medium-dark chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones and a bronze shimmer. It had great pigmentation and felt smooth and soft to the touch.Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a touch darker, less shimmery. MAC Carbonized has less shimmer, slightly darker. NARS Galapagos is a bit less bronze.

#7 is a light-medium gray with a silver sheen. It had so-so color payoff, and it was a touch dry to work with. Giorgio Armani #12 is darker, but it is similar when sheered out.

#8 is a soft black with fine silver shimmer. The pigmentation was weak in this shade, and it looked dry, slightly chalky, when applied. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is darker. Bobbi Brown Onyx is similar. MAC Black Tied is also similar.

The Highlighter is a white gold with a shimmer-sheen finish. Tarte Angelic is a smidgen yellower but not by much. Illamasqua Aurora is a touch lighter and in a cream form. NARS Albatross has a similar sheen, but it has a whiter base.

The Lipgloss included in the palette is pretty much clear and there’s almost no visible shimmer when applied. It made me do a double-take, because at least in the pan, you could see shimmer. Being next to two face powders is unfortunate, as it’s easy to kick up excess powder with larger blush/bronzer brushes (with eyeshadow brushes, it’s just as possible, but I think you have more control). So, you can use any clear gloss as a substitute, really!

The Bronzer is a medium-dark tan with strong orange-brown undertones and a sprinkling of gold sparkle. The texture was a little powdery but dry–I had a tough time getting this shade to deposit color, let alone blending it out. Tarte Park Ave. Princess is similar but has more golden shimmer/sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but has no shimmer/sparkle.

OVERALL, this palette is best purchased if you like the eyeshadows.  The lipgloss and bronzer are disappointing, while the highlighter is better it was a touch dry in texture.  Too Faced’s Candlelight on its own is much better.  The eyeshadows are fairly pigmented, though the last two shades were on the weaker side, and the really sparkly white was a little sheer, too.  None were flops, though, and the other five shades were rather nice to work with.  If you cut the palette in half, you’ll see two very distinct quads of colors–one set is warm, the other is cooler-toned.  It’s like, not love.

When I tested out the eyeshadows, they lasted eight hours with very minor fading when used without a primer; with a primer, they lasted a full eight hours.  I didn’t have any fall out, despite using the sparkly shades, which was a pleasant surprise.  The highlighter wore for seven hours, while the bronzer was faded after six hours.  The price point is nice, though, because it’s not to pricey and makes for an easy gift to give without breaking the bank, but it still feels like a nice gift to give (more to it than just a lipstick!).  I just wish the whole palette performed better.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B
This palette is best purchased if you like the eyeshadows. The lipgloss and bronzer are disappointing, while the highlighter is better it was a touch dry in texture.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, December 3rd, 2012

shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette
shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette

Karl for Shu – The Smoky Velvet Palette

shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette ($65.00 for 0.245 oz.) consists of two silky smooth eyeshadows, three pressed eyeshadows, and one glow-on blush.

1 is described as a “glitter black” and comes in the “silky smooth eyeshadow formula.” It’s a soft black with very small silver glitter particles. It had a creamy but a very thin consistency–it was soft and just barely creamy, enough that it felt more like a really thin, cream eyeshadow than a powder one. It had good color payoff despite the thin consistency. MAC Tall, Dark, & Handsome is a bit softer, less glittery. Buxom Black Lab is similar but has multi-colored sparkle.

2 is described as a “deep khaki” and comes in the “silky smooth eyeshadow formula.” It’s an olive green with a soft, olive shimmer. This shade was creamier than #1, but it had a similar lightweight and thin feel. L’Oreal Golden Emerald is darker, greener. Lancome Designer is darker. MAC Sumptuous Olive is warmer, browner.

3 is described as an “elegant light silver” and is part of the “pressed eyeshadow formula.” It’s a sparkling silver-tinged white with a glittery, sparkly content that gives it a very sheer appearance. Cinderella Midnight Hour is less metallic. MAC She’s Got Class is similar both in color and texture. MAC Forgery is also quite similar.

4 is described as an “mint green” and is part of the “pressed eyeshadow formula.” It’s a pale green with soft yellow undertones and a smattering of gold micro-shimmer. It had good color payoff and a soft, finely-milled texture. Cinderella Cinderelly is darker. Too Faced Fantasy Island is yellower. bareMinerals Wicked is also yellower. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is very similar.

5 is described as an “glitter beige” and is part of the “pressed eyeshadow formula.” It’s a pale, yellow gold with a metallic sheen. The color payoff was so-so. Buxom Poodle is less yellow. Giorgio Armani #18 is similar, less metallic. Bobbi Brown Gold is yellower. MAC Treasure Hunt is similar but has more of a sheen.

6 is described as an “dusty rose” and is part of the “glow-on blush formula.” It’s a brightened, dark pink with gold shimmer. It packs plenty of pigment, so it can be used on all skin tones. The texture is incredibly finely-milled, so it is extremely blendable on the skin, so even pale complexions will be able to adjust the intensity to their liking. MAC Supernova is a bit redder. Tom Ford Wicked is pinker, more blue-based. Worth noting is it’s a pain to apply as a blush, since the pan is the size of an eyeshadow.

The palette is remarkable for its texture; the two cream eyeshadows had a beautiful, velvety-creamy consistency that felt like butter and silk came together, while the blush was finely-milled and easy to blend, despite its rich color.  The really sparkly white eyeshadow, though, while soft, did not apply as smoothly. I found it was best applied as a layering shade over another eyeshadow.  I experienced some fall out when applied alone, and significantly less (but still a little) fall out when patted over one of the cream eyeshadows. Shu can do incredible glitter eyeshadows sometimes, but the white in this palette wasn’t quite it. The gold shade was way, way less sparkly (and better bound together), so I didn’t have problems with that shade.  The cream eyeshadows wore well for six hours, but after eight full hours, they was some faint creasing.  The blush lasted eight hours without fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

shu uemura Smoky Velvet Eye & Cheek Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
The fall out from the two glittery shades along with the faint (but still there) creasing from the two creamier shades really hurt this palette overall. I'm still amazed by the textures of the products, but I wish the wear was better.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

NARS Debbie Harry Eye & Cheek Palette
NARS Debbie Harry Eye & Cheek Palette

Another Disappointment from the NARS & Andy Warhol Collection

NARS Debbie Harry Eye & Cheek Palette ($65.00 for 0.42 oz.) consists of one blush, one highlighter, and four eyeshadows, tucked into a matte black palette with a full-size mirror on the interior. Each shade sits in its own pan and well.

Shimmering Pink Champagne is a soft, rosy plum with silver sparkle. The sparkle is very, very loose and doesn’t bind at all to the underlying color, so it either doesn’t translate to the cheek or disappears throughout the day. It had a very dry, stiff texture, though the color payoff was so-so. It wore for seven hours when I tested it. NARS Oasis is a bit more muted, less pink. theBalm Cabana Boy has a soft sheen. MAC Plum Foolery is less pink, more frosted.

Brilliant Cream is a shimmery, pale beige. It had good color payoff, and it wasn’t dry–a little powdery–but not dry, at least. It was also blendable on, and it lasted for six and a half hours. NARS Albatross has a golden sheen. theBalm Promiscuous Pearl is more beige. MAC Snowglobe is similar.

Twinkling Purple is an eggplant purple with a matte finish. It was dry, powdery, and had dismal color payoff. Tarte Napa Grapes is more intense. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse has a satiny sheen. BareMinerals Nightcap is very similar (more pigmented). MAC Fig. 1 is purpler (also more pigmented).

Sparkling Turquoise is an aqua-green with a satiny sheen. It had so-so color payoff, but this one was such a pain in the behind to use. It was very soft, powdery, and prone to pulling a disappearing act if you made any attempt to blend it. Sugarpill Mochi is very similar in color.

White Shimmer is a shimmery white with silver sparkle (that doesn’t bind with the base color, so it gets lost). There are so many shimmery white eyeshadows on the market, so there is no shortage of dupes. MAC She’s Got Class, Cinderella Ball Gown, MAC How to Marry, and MAC Crystal Avalanche are all very similar–just to name a few.

Starry Black is a matte black (with silver sparkle, but it never shows up and doesn’t even make it onto the swatch!). This shade had the best payoff of the four eyeshadows! It was stiff and a bit dry, but it wasn’t powdery. Like the white eyeshadow, matte black eyeshadows are numerous (it’s a classic, basic shade, and everyone should have at least one!). When you put out core/basic shades, you have to do them well, because there are too many options available to settle for less.

Technically, all four eyeshadows had silver sparkles in them, but they come loose as soon as the brush hits the pan–they just flake away or get caught in the bristles of your brush. It was a disappointing palette and not worth the $65 I spent on it. I had hoped that this palette would be better than the other Warhol palettes, because each product was in a separate well, but it was not meant to be. It’s hard for me to comprehend how the textures and payoff throughout the collection were so far off the norm for NARS.

Dry and powdery is one of the more frustrating textures to work, because you don’t even get the blendability and payoff that really soft eyeshadows (which can be powdery) have to their advantage.  The highlighter was the best product in the palette, but there was a general theme: poor color payoff, dry/stiff/powdery textures, and fading throughout the day.  Despite layering the eyeshadows over NARS’ own eyeshadow primer, these were looking very faded after eight hours (and without a primer, they had disappeared after six and a half).

P.S. — There is no step-by-step for this palette, because I tested and took photos prior to starting those!

The Glossover

palette

Debbie Harry

F
The highlighter was the best product in the palette, but there was a general theme: poor color payoff, dry/stiff/powdery textures, and fading throughout the day.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

2.5/5

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Friday, November 30th, 2012

Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick
Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick ($42.00 for 0.40 oz.) is described as “gold pearlescent shimmer” to give the skin a “lit-from-within glow.” It’s a warm, champagne-shimmered gold that’s just a little muted by beige hues, so it’s not a strong, yellow-toned gold, but it is still very warm. The individual shades are shimmering white, golden beige, slightly darker golden beige, pale gold with orange tint, and warm rose–all five shades have a high frost finish. Tarte Angelic is lighter, more of a white gold. theBalm Solid Gold is similar but lighter, less beige, more gold. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is a darker gold. Bobbi Brown Beach is a little darker–a touch of bronze. I don’t have it, but I’m thinking that Bobbi Brown’s Beige Shimmer Brick might compare well with this, too.

Shimmer Bricks are incredibly shimmery highlighters–quite literally, they are compact bricks chocked full of shimmer!  If you prefer your highlighters with subtle, barely-there shimmer, this product line is not for you. On the other hand, if you’re all about shimmer, glitz, and glam…  Because of the heavy frost content, these do emphasize pores and texture just slightly, but they give off a very beautiful and exceptional glow–it’s the kind of trade-off where you’ll still come out looking absolutely radiant, because the only one who’ll notice the emphasis is you when you have your face four inches away from the mirror.

On my skin tone, 24 Karat is very my-skin-but-better as a highlighter.  It adds a little warmth, but it also evens out my coloring a bit.  On lighter complexions, I could see it adding more of a bronzy glow–not too bronzy, though–and on darker complexions, a very gilded highlight.  If you have a lot of natural pink in your complexion and often find gold turns to orange on you, I fear this might do the same, you may want to try it in person first.  As a bonus, Shimmer Bricks can also be used as eyeshadows if desired.  When I wore this, it lasted for just over seven hours well; by the eighth hour, it was a little faded in places.  The texture was soft and finely-milled; these always feel so much smoother than you’d imagine.

The Glossover

P
product

24 Karat

B+
Because of the heavy frost content, these do emphasize pores and texture just slightly, but they give off a very beautiful and exceptional glow--it's the kind of trade-off where you'll still come out looking absolutely radiant, because the only one who'll notice the emphasis is you when you have your face four inches away from the mirror.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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