Tuesday, November 1st, 2011


Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter

Benefit Watt’s Up! Highlighter

Benefit Watt’s Up! ($30.00 for 0.33 oz.) is a “champagne” hued cream-to-powder highlighter that’s designed to work on all complexions. Benefit suggests applying it to cheek and brow bones and use the soft blender to sculpt and blend out the protect. It can be used on its own or over existing makeup.

It’s a shimmered champagne beige that almost seems like it’ll be too much, but once it’s blended out, it results in a beautiful, glowy sheen that’s luminous and lit-from-within. It sits on top of makeup well without looking heavy or caky, though it certainly works well against the natural skin. The consistency is creamy without being thick or greasy; it has enough glide to apply without bunching up in places, but it stays where you put it.

I like blending out the product with fingertips, but the included applicator (on the other end of the tube, which feels like a plush sponge) will work, too. I’m just wary of washing it, but it would do in a pinch, and I think it smears around any underlying makeup.  I was really pleased with the wear, because it lasted for a full eight hours and didn’t settle into pores or look uneven after a long day.

The Glossover

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coming-soon

Watt's Up!

A
Benefit's latest highlighter really impresses--it delivers a luminous glow that looks natural, soft, and effortless... because it is as close to effortless as one can get! The creaminess makes it easy to apply and blend, while the cream-to-powder finish delivers good wear.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, October 31st, 2011

Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush
Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush

Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush

Illamasqua Ambition Shimmer Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as “neutral pink with shimmer.” It’s a muted pink-plum with golden sparkle. The color is soft and light but buildable enough to provide true-to-pan color as well. MAC Pink Cult is pinker, while Estee Lauder Radiant Berry is plummier. Burberry Cameo is a touch more neutral.

I thought the color was pretty as it could be, but the texture is dry, which may be a nice feature for oilier skin types, but on normal-to-dry skin, it’s not my favorite texture in a blush because it emphasizes skin unevenness. The sparkle could be finer; it seems to sit on the surface of the blush, so it translates as more of a sparkle than a real shimmer-sheen. I found the formula wore well, though, so that it was still visible after eight hours of wear.

The Glossover

product

Ambition

B-
If you have oilier skin, I think this could definitely work for you--and it may wear longer than the average powder blush. If you have really dry skin, I'd skip this in lieu of a softer, less dry-textured powder blush.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS G-Spot Multiple
NARS G-Spot Multiple

NARS Holiday 2011: G-Spot Multiple

If you weren’t impressed by racy names like Orgasm and Deep Throat, NARS G-Spot Multiple ($39.00 for 0.50 oz.) aims to work that much harder to make you blush–both literally and figuratively. NARS describes this shade as a “rich, gold-infused rose.” The Multiple formula is a cream formula that can be used on eyes, lips, and cheeks with a “sheer, natural finish.” The sheerer color payoff makes it “mistake-proof” and “quick and easy to apply,” according to the brand. It’s new for holiday but will join the permanent range.

For swatches, I did a heavier, layered swatch to show the actual color, but it would take several pats or swipes of color to achieve that kind of payoff (though it’s possible–options are always good!), along with a quick tap of product that was then blended out. The subtler color is more of a rosy plum with very little gold shimmer or sheen. In the heavier swatch, there is more noticeable god shimmer, but it was still rather downplayed. It was rosy with only a hint of plum in the heavier swatch. On cheeks, it yielded soft, natural color in a reddish-plum hue.

It applies easily enough with enough creaminess in the consistency for effortless blending but not so much slip that it sits on the skin and doesn’t dry down to a powdery finish. When I tested out this particular Multiple, it wore for six hours on my normal-to-dry skin type as a blush. I’m not keen on this on the lips, as I found it quite drying and uncomfortable to wear. My lips were painfully dehydrated after four hours, at which point I had to apply something else. I tested it alone on the eye lid, and it creased after four hours. It’s best used as a blusher, though it is marketed as a multi-tasking product (hence the name!).

The Glossover

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product

G-Spot

B-
I imagine a lot of people love Multiples as blushes/bronzers, but they are multi-tasking products - and they are under-performing on lips! It's one of the drier lip products I've used in the past year. It performs best as a blush (but doesn't last long).

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, October 29th, 2011

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush
NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush

For the holidays, NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush ($27.00 for 0.16 oz.) is designed to create “instant radiance” with a “soft, shimmering peach.” It’s new with the holiday collection but will become part of the permanent range. Miss Liberty is a sheer, peach-toned beige brown–it’s soft, light, but it’s not as pale as peach (like Benefit Georgia, which is very pale). It has silvery-white shimmer and sparkle, so the finish has a shimmer-sheen but there are larger flecks of sparkle, too.

On the skin, it gives the appearance of shimmering water, which may or may not be a look you want on your cheeks/face. I’m undecided on it; I think it’s too much on my skin type, which is certainly a personal preference. The larger sparkle does have a tendency to look too obvious on the skin and more like its just lying on top of it, whereas the shimmer-sheen is more natural and luminous. The way it looks almost wet is very interesting; it’s not something I’ve seen really and especially not in a powder product.

It’s a very sheer product, so I would not expect it to add much color to most skin tones but on lighter complexions, you may notice subtle warmth. On deeper complexions, I would expect shimmer and sheen but the underlying base color will keep it from turning ashy or looking powdery/chalky as some pale highlighters can appear. I was able to wear this for about seven hours before it started to fade; by eight hours, there was smidgen of luminosity lingering, but for the most part, it had worn away.

The Glossover

coming-soon

NARS Miss Liberty Highlighting Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

B+

If you love your highlighters shimmery, almost frosty, and the opposite of subtle, I think you'll like NARS Miss Liberty! I really like that it can be worn on many skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Warm Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Golden Flurry (beige with sparkle), Soft Brown (soft golden peach brown), Omega (soft muted beige-taupe), Carbon (black), Seasonal Appeal (orange brown), Mellowarm (peach), and Join the Party (pale peach). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Golden Flurry is a white with iridiescent pink shimmer. The color payoff is low–it’s sheer and sparkly, but it is prone to fall out. This has a lustre finish. Bare Escentuals Muse is more pigmented and less iridescent. theBalm Safe Bet Annette is a touch pinker.
  • Soft Brown is a medium brown with red-orange undertones and a matte finish. It has nice color payoff and a smooth, soft feel. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Omega is a lightened taupe with subtle beige-yellow tones and a matte finish. The pigmentation is nice, and it has the texture soft. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Carbon is a medium-dark black with brown undertones. It’s a little dry and stiff to work with but it does work better applied with a brush on the lid, though it can be a touch chalky. This has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Seasonal Appeal is a brownish peach with a soft, pearly sheen. This has a satin finish. The pigmentation is good, but it is a more orange-toned blush, so it may not work on really cool-toned complexions.
  • Mellowarm is an orange-coral with a hint of red with a frosted shimmer. It has mostly opaque color coverage. This has a frost finish. CoverGirl Rapture is less red. Milani Coral Bora Bora is pinker.
  • Join the Party is a peach-tinted beige with soft, white shimmer. It’s creamy and milky, so it does settle into lip lines, but the color coverage is semi-opaque. It’s similar to MAC Lust.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Warm Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Phloof! (frosted off white), Brun (muted blackish-brown), Quarry (soft muted plum-brown), Dance in the Dark (black-brown), Mocha (soft plum pink), Hot Gossip (mid-tone pinky plum), and Emancipation (light pink). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Phloof! is a pinked beige with a frosted finish; it has good color payoff and a smooth, soft texture. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Brun is a dark, cool-toned brown with a hint of gray and a subtle sheen in its finish. The pigmentation is nice and the texture is soft overall. It has a satin finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Quarry is a rosy mauve with a matte finish. It’s a bit dry and almost powdery with so-so color payoff. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Dance in the Dark is a purple-tinted brown-black with a satin finish. The color payoff is below average, and the texture is stiff and dry, which contributes to the uneven color application. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is very similar but more pigmented.
  • Mocha is a brightened pink plum with a matte finish. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. The color payoff is really nice, and I swear, this seems more vibrant than the permanent version (but I don’t currently own the permanent version to compare).
  • Hot Gossip is a plum-tinted pink with a frosted finish and mostly opaque color coverage. It has a cremesheen finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Emancipation is a pink-beige with soft white shimmer that yields semi-opaque color coverage. It’s a milkier-looking gloss, so it does have a tendency to settle into lip lines. It is a repromote. It’s similar to Feelign Dreamy, Runway Fave, and Bare Nesceessities.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Winter Cool Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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