Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Hourglass Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Mood Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “soft, sheer lavender pink powder.” It’s a nearly-matte, pale pink with neutral undertones. The aim of this powder is to imitate the “softest, most forgiving light and [to brighten] the complexion.” Like the other Ambient Lighting Powders, the effect is subtle, natural, and it is the, “Did you change your skincare regimen?” kind of product. Mood Light has a softening, lightly luminous effect that’s hard to really pin down. I can see this particular shade working well on all skin types, because it’s subtle and won’t make oilier skin appear oilier.

The texture of the powder is very, very soft and silky, but it can be a little powdery–which does work well for minimizing or absorbing oil for those who have normal to oilier skin. Even though my skin can be dry, I didn’t notice this powder emphasizing dryness either. The powder is very soft, so a soft brush and light hand will be key to minimizing excess product getting dislodged from the pan. It’s designed to work as a finishing powder, but I’ve found it helps just as well to set and prolong my base makeup (by about two hours) as it does to finish it, so I usually use this as my setting and finishing powder.

The Glossover

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Mood Light

A+
Mood Light softens the appearance of the skin's natural texture, giving it a smoother, refined appearance with a lightly luminous quality. It worked well to both set and finish my base makeup, as it prolonged the wear of my foundation by almost two hours, and it helped to minimize oiliness that can sometimes occur (on my skin) after a full day of wearing makeup.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, May 13th, 2013

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid
MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid

MAC Golden Elixir Strobe Liquid ($31.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is described as a “golden shimmer.” It’s a warm-toned, bronze and gold-shimmered tan brown. I don’t know of any specific dupes, as I’m not as familiar with the liquid illuminator category, so I haven’t reviewed many products previously. NARS Maldives is somewhat similar, but it is more pigmented and in stick-form, but NARS does have a liquid illuminator range, so my guess would be that this would be somewhat similar to Laguna. The thing with illuminators like this, though, is that they are very subtle once applied so while Tom Ford Fire Lust doesn’t look similar when swatched, when applied, they seemed to both offer the same effect.

The formula is described as a thin liquid that “produces a soft, radiant light on the skin … by providing a natural-looking glow.” It’s supposed to spread smoothly and absorb quickly. MAC has Strobe Liquid (the original) available year-round, while this is a bronzy take on the formula. This type of product can be applied in many ways (and as with any beauty product, apply however you wish! the possibilities are endless!), but the common ways are mixed with moisturizer, foundation, and patted along the high planes of the face. The consistency is thin, almost water-like, and it seemed sheerer and thinner than even original Strobe Liquid (but it’s been a long time since I’ve used it, so I might be remembering incorrectly).

Golden Elixir seemed to add a smidgen of warmth to my skin while giving it a radiant finish, which some might find too dewy that it looks oily, and I think on camera, it can look too reflective, but in person, it’s quite lovely and natural-looking. A light dusting of setting powder will bring it down and make it photo-ready, though. I didn’t have any trouble with it interfering with the wear of my foundation when I wore it mixed with it (I used Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau as my base). When I wore it as a spot highlighter, it lasted six hours well and then seemed to slide around a bit.

The Glossover

LE
product

Golden Elixir

A-
Golden Elixir seemed to add a smidgen of warmth to my skin while giving it a radiant finish, which some might find too dewy that it looks oily, and I think on camera, it can look too reflective, but in person, it's quite lovely and natural-looking.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

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Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Tom Ford Blush Guilt Illuminating Cheek Color
Tom Ford Blush Guilt Illuminating Cheek Color

Tom Ford Blush Guilt Illuminating Cheek Color ($58.00 for 1.0 oz.) is described as a “natural, radiant glow.” It’s a warm-toned, pink bronze with a glowing, illuminating sheen. Of the two shades for summer, this is the most dupable, as it doesn’t add a lot of color, just sheen. It’s not as warm-toned as the other illuminator, Fire Lust, which has a liquid consistency, and the form of this one makes it easier to apply in specific spots, rather than mixed with foundation or moisturizer.

Bronzed Amber ($58.00 for 1.0 oz.) is described as a “natural, bronzed glow.” It imparts a warm, bronzy sheen and barely-there shimmer to wherever it is applied. It only adds very slight warmth to my medium complexion, so I think it wouldn’t be too strong on pale complexions and then on deeper skin tones, it will be more of a gleam than added color.

The Illuminating Cheek Color is a solid, creamy stick of color designed to illuminate the skin. These reminded me of NARS’ The Multiples, though the texture of this formula is creamier, less waxy, and glides on better. It also seems to be more flattering against my skin (in terms of texture), because it blends out more readily and easily. I would guess that Orgasm would be somewhat similar to Blush Guilt (I think Orgasm might be a bit pinker), while Bronzed Amber would be somewhat similar to Palm Beach (you can see some really old group swatches of The Multiples here). I think these are sheerer, and designed to be that way given they’re illuminators, compared to some of the Multiple shades available (think more in the style of Copacabana).

The texture is emollient without being too slippery or slick, so it blends and spreads easily across the skin, while not becoming oily looking throughout the day.  Blush Guilt seemed to last (I was judging how glowy the area looked) for seven hours well but was mostly faded after nine hours.  Bronzed Amber wore slightly better and was visible well into the eighth hour but was half-gone by nine hours.  I think Bronzed Amber is more versatile, as it can add some color/definition (it’s not too warm-toned and not an orange-toned bronzer) as well as a sheen.

The Glossover

LE
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Blush Guilt

A-
Blush Guilt seemed to last (I was judging how glowy the area looked) for seven hours well but was mostly faded after nine hours.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Bronzed Amber

A
I think Bronzed Amber is more versatile, as it can add some color/definition (it's not too warm-toned and not an orange-toned bronzer) as well as a sheen.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator
Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator

Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator ($65.00 for 0.68 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering, peach-pink.” It’s a warm-toned, golden-shimmered coral-orange with a pearly sheen. This is an illuminator, not a blush, so if you’re more in the market for something with substantial coloring to work as a blush, try perusing the coral swatch gallery.

The formula is designed to mimic “the look of skin bathed in summer evening light.” And you’ll have to track it down in-store to find it, because it sold out online nearly instantly. The Skin Illuminator can be applied all over, mixed with foundation, or as a spot highlighter “under or over makeup.”  The consistency is lightweight, naturally dewy, and thin.  When I wore it all-over, it lasted all day long with whatever foundation I was wearing (it didn’t seem to reduce my foundation’s wear time or how it looked at the end of the day).  As a spot highlighter, it gave me a dewy finish wherever it was applied for eight hours.

I, personally, think it works best mixed with foundation or moisturizer. I’ve been wearing Giorgio Armani’s Maestro foundation a lot, and it doesn’t work well mixed with this (I think it has too much of a velvety texture from the silicones in it), but I loved it mixed with my tinted moisturizer or a more traditional liquid foundation like Make Up For Ever HD. If you want to wear it all-over and plan to still wear foundation, I recommend mixing the two together during application, because then the foundation doesn’t cover it. There’s a very subtle radiance that’s your-skin-but-better that doesn’t read shimmer, glitter, or pearl. Applied as a spot highlighter  it does create a glowy, dewy sheen, but it’s virtually colorless against my skin tone so it would be something better suited for really pale complexions.

The Beauty Look Book has a great comparison of this against NARS’ Orgasm Illuminator (which I don’t have), which seems to be pinker overall (but it is also $30.00 for 1.1 oz.), so it might be a more affordable (and accessible) alternative.

The Glossover

LE
product

Fire Lust

A

This is an illuminator, not a blush, so if you're more in the market for something with substantial coloring to work as a blush, try perusing the coral swatch gallery. It adds a lovely dewy sheen or all-over glow if mixed with your moisturizer/foundation. It's something I'd wear most often with tinted moisturizer or a foundation that was too matte.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Edward Bess Summer in Capri Quad Royale
Edward Bess Summer in Capri Quad Royale

Edward Bess Summer in Capri Quad Royale ($45.00 for 0.25 oz.) is described as a “beige pink.” It’s a medium-dark brown with a rosy, plummy tinge and a satiny sheen. The individual colors are: a soft peach, warm beige-peach with a satin sheen, muted, medium brown with neutral undertones, and pale peach with a satin finish. bareMinerals The Indecent Proposal is much darker, more plum, less beige. MAC Darkly my Dear is darker but similar in color. NARS Douceur is slightly browner. Burberry Cameo is rosier.

The palette is primarily marketed as a cheek product, though it can be used on the eyes. It contains four shades to “sculpt and highlight the face.” As a blush/cheek color, it’s easier to use sections but not individual shades, as only the bottom right shade is large enough to accommodate a blush brush (and even that is not that large). Summer in Capri had good, true-to-pan color payoff, but it’s a lighter shade and will not show up well on medium-dark and deeper complexions, so I would recommend it primarily for lighter skin tones.

It is subtle on my skin tone (I’m medium) and adds some definition and color without being over-the-top. The texture is soft like silk, incredibly finely-milled, and so smooth. The finish is lovely with a satiny sheen that doesn’t look shimmery or heavy on the skin and gives skin a natural-looking glow. It lasted eight and a half hours well on my skin, and it started to fade after nine hours of wear.

The Glossover

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product

Summer in Capri

A
Summer in Capri had good, true-to-pan color payoff, but it's a lighter shade and will not show up well on medium-dark and deeper complexions, so I would recommend it primarily for lighter skin tones.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder
MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder ($25.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze with fine gold pearl.” It’s a yellowy, medium-dark tan brown with a golden shimmer-sheen finish. Illamasqua Disobey is a browner and has no shimmer. Too Faced Bronzed & Poreless is warmer, more orange, and matte.

As I mentioned in my review for MAC’s Refined Golden, there were some serious texture issues (oddities?) with the regular bronzing powders in this collection. A few readers chimed in and said they had similar issues with past limited edition releases of the normally-permanent shades. That, of course, worries me, because I was originally chalking it up to being one-off, because the permanent versions have a normal, powder-like texture. The texture of Soft Sand almost felt like plastic–almost like a very stiff cream bronzer that didn’t give much payoff at all. I took a paper tough and just went to town getting the first few layers off, and that seemed to help quite a bit. I was able to get it to pick up on my brush after that and had it show up well on my skin. It lasted just under eight hours well without fading.  I had issues with the texture of last year’s Soft Sand, too; there were very similar issues but this felt even worse and even harder to get to work.

The Glossover

LE
product

Soft Sand

F
I had issues with the texture of last year's Soft Sand, too; there were very similar issues but this felt even worse and even harder to get to work.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

3/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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