Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

MAC Exotic Ember Mineralize Blush
MAC Tropical Taboo Mineralize Blushes

MAC Tropical Taboo Collection’s Mineralize Blushes ($25.00 for 0.10 oz.) sees the launch of three limited edition shades.  All three had rich, intense color payoff, but I did experience shorter wear (which is my typical experience with the mineralize face products), so the ratings reflect that shortcoming.  The other thing was that all three were extraordinarily powdery–the merest touch of MAC’s 116 dislodged quite a bit of powder and left powdery remains pushed to the edges.  MAC’s new 159 brush is better for these, just because it doesn’t seem to disturb the powder as much, so there is less excess and waste, and it is also easier to get less product so you can build the intensity to the desired level rather than starting at level ten.

Exotic Ember is described as an “orange with bronze pearl.” It’s a deep, bronze-shimmered brown with subtle warm undertones. This is a shade that is going to be tricky for some skin tones, amazing on others; I think if you liked Metal Rock, you’ll like the color of this. Aside from the tricky color, the orange shade was difficult to blend with the brown. It was like the two were oil and water and really didn’t want to blend together, so the color looked splotchy applied. I tried it over different foundations (two liquids, a powder, and bare skin), and I still had the same issues trying to get it to look even. I had the best results with I used a fan brush to use it very, very lightly as a contour but the color may not work as a contour for all skin tones (it doesn’t for mine, for reference). As a blush, it did emphasize pores and skin texture. I will try to snap a photo of it being used more as a contour sometime this week. It lasted six hours on my skin, and it was patchy after eight hours of wear (this is typical wear for me with MAC’s mineralize products). MAC Earthshine is less warm-toned, slightly redder/more plum in a way. MAC Pressed Amber is lighter, less warm-toned. Bobbi Brown Bahama is lighter, more plum. See comparison swatches.

Simmer is described as a “burnt rose with peach/gold pearl.” It’s a brightened, pink-coral with gold shimmer. The majority of the color is coming from the red bits, and this is extremely pigmented, so I would use a lot less than you expect and build up. If used very lightly, it only emphasizes pores in a minor way (not too noticeable by others, only if you look in the mirror), but as the color builds up, so does the metallic-like shimmer, which was unforgiving if you don’t have perfectly smooth skin. It lasted six and a half hours on me, and then it was faded and somewhat patchy after eight hours. Tom Ford Flush is more orange. theBalm Frat Boy is more matte. NARS Deep Throat is more muted. NARS Amour is more matte. MAC Star Wonder is less warm-toned but somewhat similar. MAC Flaming Chic is softer, more muted. Benefit Bella Bamba is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Sweet Samba is described as a “dark pink with tan pearl.” It’s a pink-plum with a soft, pearly sheen and neutral-to-cool undertones. It had intense color payoff, so go easy with a brush and lightly tap onto cheeks and then build up the intensity. It’s much easier to build than it is to diffuse and soften if you apply too much. I will be testing out the wear of this shade today.  This had the most forgiving texture and only slightly emphasized pores/the natural texture of the skin. theBalm Cabana Boy is less pink, more plum. NARS Oasis is darker, more plum. NARS Outlaw is similar, more subdued. MAC Mocha is pinker. MAC Star Wonder is lighter, more shimmery. MAC Gentle is pinker. See comparison swatches.

P.S. — Nordstrom still has these listed for $23.50.

The Glossover

LE
product

Exotic Ember

C+
The biggest problem was that this didn't want to blend; the two shades didn't want to come together as a single shade, so the end result was a rather splotchy, uneven color that needs some work to get just right. For those who have missed Metal Rock, they may enjoy this shade and find it worth the extra time to get it to look even on the skin, as these types of shades are hard to come by.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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product

Simmer

B
While it was intensely pigmented, the texture was surprisingly powdery (even allowing for baked products in general). It lasted only six hours on my skin (which is normal to dry), and it was faded and somewhat patchy by the eighth hour of wear.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sweet Samba

B+
Sweet Samba was richly pigmented, though somewhat powdery, and was the most forgiving finish once applied. It only very subtly emphasized pores/skin texture compared to the other two.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Giorgio Armani No. 04 Fluid Sheer
Giorgio Armani No. 04 Fluid Sheer

Giorgio Armani No. 04 Fluid Sheer ($59.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is a warm-toned, sheer yellow with a subtle, luminous shimmer and sheen. As a highlighter, the effect is similar to Chanel Or or bareMinerals The Shining Moment to a subtler degree (see comparison swatches here).

Fluid Sheer is described as “an illuminating veil of radiance” that can be used as a base, corrector, or “radiance [booster]” applied alone, over, mixed with, or under foundation, as well as applied as a more traditional blush, bronzer, or highlighter (depending on the shade and your skin tone/color). No. 04 make look intimidating in the bottle, and when initially pumped out, it’s definitely yellow, but it sheers out beautifully to a soft, yellowy shimmer that will work really well on warmer complexions to add a golden warmth and sheen. I like it mixed with moisturizer or foundation (depending on what I’m doing), as well as patted along the high planes of the face as a highlighter.  When mixed with foundation, the wear seems to be the same as whatever I normally get with that particular foundation (but there’s no breakdown of the foundation because of this), and when worn just as a highlighter (as I am in the photo below), it wears seven hours well, and then starts to fade away.

It’s definitely a very versatile, nearly error-proof formula, because it’s spreadable, blendable, and can be worn over/under liquids as well as powders. Some liquid products don’t react well to powder and end up looking patchy or start flaking away, but this worked nicely even layered on top of setting and finishing powders as a last minute addition.  One bottle will last you quite awhile, because a little goes a long way (be careful when pumping out the product if you only want to use it as a spot highlighter/blush).

P.S. — I recommend watching Dustin Hunter’s video on the Fluid Sheers, because his video is what made me NEED this.

P.P.S — Giorgio Armani Beauty is also having their Friends & Family sale now through the 30th, so that’s 20% off + free shipping when you spend $75.

The Glossover

P
product

No. 04

A

It's definitely a very versatile, nearly error-proof formula, because it's spreadable, blendable, and can be worn over/under liquids as well as powders. Some liquid products don't react well to powder and end up looking patchy or start flaking away, but this worked nicely even layered on top of setting and finishing powders as a last minute addition.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, June 22nd, 2013

Edward Bess South of France Quad Royale
Edward Bess South of France Quad Royale

Edward Bess South of France Quad Royale ($45.00 for 0.25 oz.) is described as a “shimmery sand.” It’s a pale, pink mauve with a golden shimmer and sheen. Milani Dolce Pink is warmer, darker. MAC Rosy Outlook is pinker, less shimmery. MAC Blush All Day is less shimmery, darker. MAC At Dusk is less shimmery, darker. Chanel Pink Cloud is similar. Bobbi Brown Peony is darker. See comparison swatches.

It was fairly true-to-color as it looked in the pan, which is rather light, so this is a product that will work best on fairer complexions. On my medium skin tone, it’s mostly a highlighter that adds a little plum to my cheeks, but I really had to layer it on – and as a result, it looked a bit cakey and did emphasize pores. When I later tried to wear it as more of a highlighter, then it looked better and only slightly emphasize pores (the finish is rather frosted). The texture of the blush was soft, though a bit powdery, but finely-milled and easy to blend out. It seemed to last about seven hours on me, and then it looked somewhat patchy after eight hours of wear.

The Glossover

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product

South of France

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, June 21st, 2013

Wet 'n' Wild Bikini Contest Color Icon Bronzer
Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest Color Icon Bronzer

Wet ‘n’ Wild Bikini Contest Color Icon Bronzer ($3.99 for 0.46 oz.) is a medium-dark, orange-toned tan with a soft, champagne shimmer-sheen finish. MAC Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer is more orange. Burberry Copper Glow is slightly warmer. MAC Lush Light Bronze is slightly browner. MAC Refined Golden is darker. Burberry Copper Glow is more golden. See comparison swatches.

It had a soft, finely-milled texture that applied evenly and smoothly. The more the product is worked into the skin and buffed out, the more refined the shimmer becomes and more natural the glow looks. It adds a lot of warmth, some orange tones, but it isn’t too frosted on the skin, so it doesn’t emphasize pores or the skin’s natural texture. Bikini Contest was easy to apply and blend out, and on my warmer complexion, didn’t look sunburnt or too orange. I think it may be too orange-based for cooler skin tones, though. When I wore it, the bronzer lasted seven and a half hours well on my cheeks, and after eight hours, it started to fade.

The Glossover

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product

Bikini Contest

A-

This is a fantastic budget-friendly bronzer! If you've been scared of bronzer or uncertain about what shade would work best, you might consider this formula.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Physicians Formula Light Bronzer Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Baked Bronzer
Physicians Formula Light Bronzer Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Baked Bronzer

Physicians Formula Light Bronzer Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Baked Bronzer ($13.95 for 0.38 oz.) is a warm-toned, orange-tan with a copper-gold shimmer-sheen, when swirled together. The individual components consist of an orange-tan with a low shimmer and lighter, gold-shimmered orange. Burberry Summer Glow is darker, browner. MAC Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer is more matte. Dior Coral Glow Bronzer is less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

The texture of this is soft and blendable, but there is a fair amount of gold sparkle that looks almost like micro-glitter. On the skin, the sparkle showed up as grainy bits and the overall finish has a high sheen so it did emphasize pores and any texture imperfections on the skin (like dry patches). For warmer complexions that are medium and fairer, it will show up as a warming element–on my medium skin tone, it adds warmth and some color, but it’s subtle. This is expected, given there is a Light Bronzer and a Bronzer, with the latter being darker. If you focus your brush on the outer area, then you can minimize how much sparkle you get, as most of it is present in the center shade (the heart). The sparkle tends to migrate during the day, so you may find bits on your chin, which is definitely a downside. I don’t have great luck with a lot of baked formulas lasting well on my skin, and Light Bronzer lasted six hours well but was half gone by eight hours.  The powder has a sweet violet scent, which is noticeable both during application and occasionally while worn.

The Glossover

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product

Light Bronzer

C+
On the skin, the sparkle showed up as grainy bits and the overall finish has a high sheen so it did emphasize pores and any texture imperfections on the skin (like dry patches).

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, June 17th, 2013

MAC Hibiscus Kiss Powder Blush Duo
MAC Hibiscus Kiss Powder Blush Duo

MAC Hibiscus Kiss Powder Blush Duo ($26.00 for 0.37 oz.) is described as a “cool coral blush and matte neutral bronze duo.”  I’m presently wearing both (bronzer more as a contour, the blush as a blush), and it’s been six hours–the wear still seems just fine, and I’ll be sure to update later today after I’ve wrapped up testing (most MAC powders last between seven and nine hours, usually somewhere in the middle).

Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer is described as a “matte neutral bronze.” It’s a medium-dark tan with warm, yellow-orange undertones and a matte finish. It had good, buildable color payoff with a soft, smooth texture that didn’t look powdery applied. Clarins Splendours is darker, redder-orange in tone. Burberry Copper Glow is a touch lighter, less brown. MAC Soft Sand is slightly cooler-toned. Dior Coral Glow Bronzer is lighter. Burberry Summer Glow is darker and more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Hibiscus Kiss Blush is a softly warmed-up, coral-pink with a satiny sheen. The color seemed rather poor in the pan, but it was buildable and with enough layering, it should show up (somewhat) on darker complexions (I’m medium or NC30 for reference). The texture felt a little dry and stiff, so when I really jammed my brush at the powder to dislodge more product, that was when I was able to get the payoff needed to show up on my skin tone. MAC Royal Sunset is lighter. Edward Bess Secret Affair is warmer, less pink. theBalm Don’t You Want Me is similar. theBalm Frat Boy is also similar. NARS Amour is slightly pinker/darker. MAC Fleet Fast is warmer and more shimmery. MAC Flaming Chic is pinker. Dior Pink Glow Blush is warmer. Chanel Fleur de Lotus is more shimmery. See comparison swatches.

The RiRi Hearts MAC summer collection will launch June 18th at noon EST exclusively online for North America; June 20th exclusively online for international.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Hibiscus Kiss

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Hibiscus Kiss Blush

C

It ended up having more buildable pigmentation than the initial swatch seemed to show, but it really comes down to the texture being stiff so you really have to layer and layer if you have a medium or darker complexion for this to show up.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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LE
product

Hibiscus Kiss Bronzer

A

It reads rather warm-toned on me (not neutral as described), so depending on your preference for bronzers, some might find this too warm.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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