Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush
NARS Nico Blush

NARS Nico Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “natural glow.” It’s a lightly warmed-up, pale beige with a subtle sheen. When I tried thinking of potential dupes, I wasn’t finding any. The closest I could come up with was theBalm Solid Gold, which is really much yellower and frosted.

I actually think Nico was one of the first few NARS products I ever purchased, and it may have been one of my first NARS blushes. It was recommended to me as a brow highlighter, actually, and as a light wash of color for lids. As a blush, it doesn’t quite work on my skin tone. Nico is a shade that you’ll love or never have a use for, and it’s really going to depend on your skin tone and how you want to use it. It’s categorized as a blush, but I think it might be better suited as a NARS “Highlighting Blush.”  As you can see on my skin tone, it’s very nearly my skin tone–just with a sheen, so it does give me a slight “glow” when worn on the cheeks.  I do prefer it (on me) as a brow bone highlighter, because I feel like you can see it better, and it sometimes looks a bit powdery when I’ve worn it on cheeks.

The texture is very soft and finely-milled, and I’d recommend using softer bristles with it, as it can be powdery with a denser blush brush (the “scratchier” the brush feels on your skin, the more powder gets dislodged from the pan).  Nico lasts seven hours on my cheeks, and then it starts to look a bit patchy towards the eight-hour mark.  I’ve worn this of and on throughout the years, and when my cheeks are more normal, it can be quite nice, but it definitely isn’t as flattering if my cheeks have any dryness. I think for those with oilier skin types, it might work well as a highlighter as it shouldn’t look too dewy or glowy (which can sometimes make oilier skin types look oilier).  The sheen does not emphasize pores, which is the best part about it, though–it’s all sheen, no shimmer or frost.

The Glossover

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product

Nico

A-
The texture is on the powdery side, which can make it look less flattering on drier skin types as well as be easy to over-apply. It is soft and very blendable, so if you apply too much (and it looks powdery), it can be smoothed and blended away.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Dupes
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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

NARS New Order Highlighting Blush
NARS New Order Highlighting Blush

NARS New Order Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sheer highlighter with golden shimmer.” It’s a pale, cool-toned, blue-based pink with golden sparkle and a golden shimmer-sheen finish. MAC Veronica’s Blush is warmer, less sparkly. NARS Undress Me is a grayer pink and has silver sparkle (that is more like glitter in particle size).

Despite NARS’ great success with Albatross, their other Highlighting Blushes have a high dosage of sparkle and shimmer that doesn’t bind with the underlying powder/blush color, so a lot of the sparkle gets lost, looks unflattering on the skin, and sometimes travels for parts unknown. New Order has a powdery, almost gritty, texture, as a result of all the sparkle that just seems to sit on top at all times. If this had no sparkle but just a level of golden sheen, I think it would work better.

The pigmentation is as described–sheer–and will add some pink on lighter complexions (like a blush) while perhaps brightening on deeper complexions.  When it blends out, it’s mostly just sparkle/shimmer and the pink coloring fades away.  This shade wore six and a half hours, and then I only saw remnants of sparkle.  This is my second pan of New Order, and while the texture was still on the powdery side, it wasn’t nearly as dry as my original New Order.

The Glossover

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product

New Order

C
If this had no sparkle but just a level of golden sheen, I think it would work better. Instead, it tends to read "disco ball," rather than glowing or luminous. It highlights... imperfections, unfortunately.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Disney Jasmine Storylook Palette
Disney Jasmine Storylook Palette

Disney Jasmine Storylook Palette ($55.00 for 0.79 oz.) contains both eyeshadows and cheek products all housed in a slide-out palette. I’ve split the review into two parts, and this one features the remaining five eyeshadows as well as the blush and bronzer. You can read part one for the first ten eyeshadows.

Lapis is a darkened blue with a hint of green (just enough to make it slightly teal around the edges) and a mostly matte finish. Like Blue Oasis, it was incredibly powdery, which contributed to sheerer color and excessive fall out. This color was more buildable, but it is still fast to fade. Milani Olympian Blue is bluer, brighter. Illamasqua Burst is tealer. Urban Decay Haight is close in color but frosted.

Mystical Wonder is a medium-dark violet purple with blue undertones and a frosted finish. It had so-so pigmentation–not totally sheer but definitely not opaque. It was a little dry in texture. Urban Decay Blue Bus is darker. MAC Blue Orbit is bluer and lighter.

Rajah is a brightened, medium orange with a softer, golden oraneg shimmer-sheen over a pearly finish. It had fantastic color payoff with a soft, smooth feel and application. MAC Chessa is quite a bit lighter. MAC Fresh Daily isn’t as bold/bright. MAC Rule is more muted and matte.

Arabian Sunset is an orange-red with a golden sparkle and sheen. This shade was powdery, and the gold sparkle doesn’t bind with the actual color, so it mostly ends up underneath the eye or stuck between your brush’s bristles. Guerlain Coup de Foudre #2 is lighter. Guerlain Terra Azzurra #3 is redder. MAC Dynamo is more muted.

Bazaar is a warm-toned, medium brown with strong orange/tan undertones and a satin finish. It had decent pigmentation but was somewhat powdery. Inglot #357 is darker and matte. MAC Soft Brown is less orange and matte. MAC Tete-a-tint is a bit lighter and matte. Urban Decay Beware is a touch darker, less warm-toned.

Thrilling Chase is a reddened plum with very subtle golden shimmer that translates as a barely-there sheen. It has more of a satin-finish as a result. The color payoff is amazing–super intense and rich–with a soft, buttery texture that’s very blendable. NARS 413 BLKR is a cream product, but it is still rather similar (no gold shimmer). NARS Seduction is a touch darker, but if you go with a lighter application, it’s hard to tell on. bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal is more plum, less reddened. MAC Stratus is a touch more muted and has a stronger sheen. It’s also similar to NARS Mounia, just warmer, and to NARS Oasis, which is slightly less red (more plum).

Golden Sands is a warm, orange-toned, medium-dark brown with a golden-copper frosted finish. Like the blush, the color was nicely pigmented, and the texture was soft, smooth, and easily to apply and blend. It is very frosted, though, and as a result, does emphasize pores and imperfections in skin texture. I see this being a love/hate product for some, since it may be too orange/warm for them. Wet ‘n’ Wild Carnaval in Rio is darker, less shimmery. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is darker, browner. Guerlain Terracotta Mosaic browner, less shimmery.

For an in-depth review on the products, please refer to part one. As a summary: the palette is good but not fantastic–Sephora didn’t knock this one out of the park, and for me, the Cinderella Storylook palette was better and more consistent. Jasmine’s palette suffered from some powderiness in a handful of shades, which then created problems with color payoff, wear (fading), and/or blendability.

The Glossover

palette

Disney Jasmine Storylook Palette (by Sephora) Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

B+
The palette has a few shades that miss the mark, though the majority of the palette is good overall. With the problematic shades, powdery textures, some fading during wear, and lack of color payoff were noted. The blush/bronzer actually out-perform all of the other products in terms of pigmentation, texture, and wear.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette
Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette

Giorgio Armani Coral Bliss Face & Eye Palette ($88.00 for 0.44 oz.) consists of a face powder (Coral Bliss) and three eyeshadows (Open, Shimmer Greige, and Swimming Pool Turquoise). The blush contains 0.35 oz. of product (quite a bit for a blush!), while the eyeshadows are 0.03 oz. each (the average full-sized eyeshadow is usually around 0.05 oz.).

Coral Bliss is a subtly warm-toned, peach-coral with a satin finish. It had good color payoff, but the color is on the lighter end of the spectrum, so to that end, this is going to be a palette better suited to paler complexions.  It was subtle on my medium complexion.  It wore for a full eight hours on me; even with its subtlety, it was still visible. MAC Flatter Me has a more shimmery finish and is slightly pinker. MAC Shell Pearl is pinker. MAC Born to Love is pinker. Chanel Tweed Brun Rose is darker.

Open is a warm, frosted white. It had great color payoff and a soft, smooth texture. theBalm Metal-ica is cooler-toned. Cinderella Ball Gown is more metallic. Guerlain Terra Azzurra #1 is very similar.

Shimmer Greige is a mauve-tinted taupe with a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation, and it was finely-milled and smooth. Chanel Harmonie du Soir #2 is browner, warmer. Bobbi Brown Black Ruby is more mauve. Bobbi Brown Sandy Rose is browner. MAC Dangerous Cuvee is more metallic. NARS Lhasa is darker. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off #3 is similar in color, more reflective in finish.

Swimming Pool Turquoise is a light-medium sky blue with subtle, cool undertones and a white, frosted shimmer. It had good color payoff, but it was a smidgen powdery. When applied, it blended out very quickly, so patting it on and lightly blending only along the edges is advised. Dior Swimming Pool #3 is more matte. NYX Cool Blue is cooler-toned and matte. MAC Styledriven is just slightly lighter. theBalm Great Gonzo is bolder and brighter.

It’s a lovely palette for spring that’s not your typical set of pastels. There’s something very spring-like about it, but it’s not all lilacs and peaches.  The addition of robin egg’s blue really gives it something extra, I’d say.  The downside, though, is that the blush makes up the majority of the value of the palette, so medium and darker complexions may find it doesn’t show up well enough on the skin to justify the price tag.  All of the products had incredibly soft, finely-milled textures that just smoothed over the skin beautifully, which tends to be an area where Giorgio Armani excels in. When I wore the eyeshadows, all three had no problem getting to a full eight hours with no creasing or fading; after nine, Swimming Pool Turquoise looked a little faded.

The Glossover

palette

Coral Bliss

A-
It's a lovely palette for spring that's not your typical set of pastels. There's something very spring-like about it, but it's not all lilacs and peaches. The addition of robin egg's blue really gives it something extra, I'd say. The downside, though, is that the blush makes up the majority of the value of the palette, so medium and darker complexions may find it doesn't show up well enough on the skin to justify the price tag.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Edward Bess Monte Carlo (02) Quad Royale
Edward Bess Monte Carlo (02) Quad Royale

Edward Bess Monte Carlo (02) Quad Royale ($45.00 for 0.25 oz.) is described as a “golden coral.” It’s comprised of four shades: shimmering beige, shimmering champagne, gold-shimmered orange, and shimmering peach-orange. Together, they create a muted, gold and peach-shimmered orange with a frosted finish. MAC Warmth of Coral is a touch lighter and more matte. MAC Melba is more matte and a touch dustier. Bobbi Brown Nude Peach is less frosted and less orange. Becca Damselfly is a smidgen darker. Make Up For Ever #153 is more frosted with a higher sheen.

The concept behind this product is that the shades coordinate with each other to sculpt and highlight the face, so they can be used together or individually on the cheeks and eyes. While there are four distinct colors, the pan is not that large, so if you wanted to use a single shade on cheeks, you’d have to grab an eye brush, which would fit into each color better. I don’t think it’s practical to use a blush brush and grab only one of the shades; the only shade you could really do that with would be the largest one (bottom right). You can, however, concentrate your brush on different sections, which would allow you to get lighter/darker color.

Monte Carlo has an incredibly smooth texture that feels buttery and creamy at the same time.  It’s a delicate, finely-milled powder.  The texture is every inch what you’d expect from a luxury blush like this.  It’s soft without being powdery, and the pigmentation is fantastic; no stubbornness or sheerness to worry about here.  The color is buildable and blendable, so you can go for a very soft, barely-there peachy blush or apply a heavier, more orange-hued shade. It wore well for nine full hours, and after ten hours, there was slight, but noticeable, fading.

The Glossover

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product

Monte Carlo

Temptalia Recommends
A+

Edward Bess continues to deliver a high-quality, luxury line that impresses. Monte Carlo is wonderfully pigmented, easily blended, and long-wearing.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, February 21st, 2013

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush
NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft, shimmering peach.” It’s a soft, subtly warm-toned peach with hints of beige (that keep it from being too warm) with sparkle and very luminous finish. bareMinerals The Love Afair is more golden and has a soft sheen for a finish, rather than sparkles. MAC Superb has a similar color on, but it is a bit darker and browner. MAC How Beautiful! is slightly more beige and has no sparkle.

This is a shade I’ve reviewed in the past (here), but I have a horrible compulsion to redo things after about a year. Miss Liberty is going to appeal to those who love shimmer and sparkle; it’s by no means a subtle highlighter or sheen. It’s sparkle-city, but it has a really cool, almost wet-like sheen on the skin beyond the sparkle (and if you aren’t keen on sparkle, you can buff them mostly away).  There is some emphasis of the skin texture and pores–that very slick, radiant sheen might be worth the cost to some, and to others, unforgivable.

Unlike NARS’ regular blush range, the Highlighting Blushes are “made with transparent pigments to avoid heaviness on the skin,” and are, generally, rather sheer/subtle. It’s no Taj Mahal!  There’s no chalkiness or powderiness to the peachy color, so it should work, as NARS states, across skin tones.  If you have any redness, the peach coloring of Miss Liberty should help reduce the appearance of it.  I re-tested the wear of this shade, and I still only experienced seven hours of good wear but much had faded away after eight hours.

The Glossover

product

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush Review, Photos, Swatches (2013)

B+
There's no chalkiness or powderiness to the peachy color, so it should work, as NARS states, across skin tones.  If you have any redness, the peach coloring of Miss Liberty should help reduce the appearance of it.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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