Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter
Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter

Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter ($10.00 for 0.29 oz.) is a multi-colored highlighter that features five strips of color that can be swirled together or used in parts to create an illuminated look. This is an online exclusive to sleekmakeup.com. Each strip is fairly narrow, so they’re not shades you would use singularly as a blush, though you could certainly try or go for a very precise look by using eye brushes instead. The five individual shades consist of a shimmering white gold with a strong yellow gold sheen, peachy beige with a softer shimmer, coppery orange with a shimmery finish, golden peach-pink with a frosted finish, and a dirty beige with a champagne frosted shimmer. Together, they create a warm bronze with a golden shimmer-sheen and slight red undertones. It’s a bit like a shimmery version of Urban Decay’s Toasted. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is similar but more orange-y.

The texture of the powder is very soft and feels finely-milled, and the payoff of each individual shade was lovely. I didn’t have any problems with pigmentation while swatching or during application. This is the kind of over-the-top highlighter than some will absolutely love but others will struggle to perfect. It has a strong frosted, borderline-metallic, finish, which emphasizes pores, skin imperfections, and any natural texture you may have to your skin. For those lucky enough to be owners of perfect complexions, this is beautiful on, but for the rest of us, it can be a little too much.  I did like how soft the powder was, because it made it very easy to blend and soften against the skin.  I was disappointed in the wear, though; it started to look patchy and faded after a mere six hours.

For the price point, the texture is amazing!  The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though.  I’d recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.  It’s a bit more of a bronzy glow on my skin tone than pure highlighter, so for lighter skin tones, you’ll find this more of a blush/bronzer, while deeper skin tones will find this to work well as a warm-toned highlighter. It does compare well with Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks, which also have a stronger, frostier finish.

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Sleek Makeup Peach Shimmer Glo Face & Body Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

B
For the price point, the texture is amazing! The wear and the way to does emphasize skin imperfections are downsides, though. I'd recommend using a stippling brush to achieve more of a glow while minimizing some of the emphasis it naturally gives because of that strong frosted and metallic finish.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

NARS Liberte Blush
NARS Liberte Blush

NARS Liberte Blush

NARS Liberte Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “burnished apricot.” It’s a burnt orange-red with a very subtle sheen. Fans of NARS Exhibit A will probably enjoy this–it’s just a bit darker, more muted compared to Exhibit A. It’s not as bright; it reads softer, and the subtle sheen gives it a more luminous look on the cheeks. MAC My Paradise has a similar feel, though it is a touch lighter.

Admittedly, it’s horrible on me, but I think this is something that will look absolutely stunning on deeper complexions. There’s just something about this color and my particular skin tone that makes it read “terribly sunburnt” rather than “gloriously blushing.” It is also an interesting shade, because it reinforced my feelings that this collection was more of a split personality than anything else–this blush would complement the Ramatuelle trio, but it doesn’t work at all with the Marie-Galante duo (similarly, Moscow looks awful with Marie-Galante but would work with Ramatuelle).

It can be used both intensely and more sheered out, depending on how heavy-handed you are and what brush you use.  I’d recommend a stippling or really fluffy brush if you wanted a softer look, because this powder is rather pigmented.  The texture is a little on the drier, powdery side, so blending wasn’t effortless–it did take some maneuvering to get the edges to diffuse properly.  I ended up cheating a bit and using a pat or two of foundation over the edges, because it just wasn’t getting there for me.  A good method to try is to apply a very soft layer first, diffuse that, and then apply a bit more exactly where you want it.  I wore this yesterday for wear, and it wore for seven hours with just a little fading along the cheekbones.

The Glossover

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Liberte

B+
If it was easier to blend, this would product would have been an A- product, but it takes substantial effort to get it to blend out and soften along the edges. The pigmentation is fantastic, and this will be lovely on deeper complexions.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Tom Ford Flush Cheek Color
Tom Ford Flush Cheek Color

Tom Ford Flush Cheek Color ($55.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a vibrant coral-orange with a subtle satin-like sheen and a faint shimmer. It’s very similar to Illamasqua Dixie, which is a little pinker and has a cream formula. Tarte Blissful is also incredibly close, and it even has a similar texture. theBalm Frat Boy is similar but a touch pinker.

Flush can be applied sheerly with ease or built up to a medium color coverage–it has enough pigmentation to work on deeper skin tones without being too intense on lighter skin tones. The finish has a natural sheen that isn’t heavy, shimmery, or frosted, so it doesn’t emphasize pores or the texture of the skin. It’s a very flattering shade on warmer skin tones, and though it is more coral-orange than coral-pink, the vibrancy gives it more wearability on cooler skin tones.

The texture of Tom Ford’s blushes is impressive, and truth be told, of all the items from his makeup range, the blushes have been the most impressive. Everything else has left me lukewarm or just a little excited, but the blushes have been fantastic. The texture of Flush is slightly less dense than Lovelust and Wicked, but the texture is very finely-milled, so it feels like silk and melts against the skin. It wore for ten hours and looked just barely faded along the very top of my cheekbones.

The Glossover

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Flush

A+

It's a very flattering shade on warmer skin tones, and though it is more coral-orange than coral-pink, the vibrancy gives it more wearability on cooler skin tones.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush
Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush

Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush

Guerlain Terra Azzurra Bronzer & Blush ($75.00 for 0.56 oz.) is made up of half bronzer and half blush. The collection is a collaboration with Emilio Pucci, and the print chosen was “Winter Capri.” I really liked that Guerlain changed up the compact’s cloth case, and it’s a very appropriate print for summer. It’s bold, vibrant, but has that summery, beachy breeze feel. It’s definitely more interesting than the velvety pouches we typically see.

Inside, there are four distinct shades, with over half of the compact made up of an orange-tinted tan with a very subtle satiny sheen. MAC Tan Tint is a little yellower. MAC Cajun is similar but more golden, less red-toned. MAC Sun Power is pretty similar, though a tad rustier. MAC Pink Power is similar. Urban Decay Toasted is also very similar. The bronzer seems fairly easy to replicate, and it does have subtle orange and red undertones.

The other three shades make up the other half (or less) of the compact. The first is a pale pink-white that really didn’t deposit much color, just shimmer. It was nearly imperceptible when I swatched it. Next to that is a medium pink with subtle blue undertones. Between the pink and the bronzer, there is a muted orange. These shades are done in a thin swirl, so they’re not particularly usable individually, though the bronzer could be used on its own.

When you mix the three blush shades, you’ll get a more coral-pink kind of color, and when you mix all four shades together, you get a tangerine-coral with a satiny sheen.  Becca Damselfly is similar but less pigmented and more golden in sheen. MAC My Paradise is more orange, more gold shimmered. Make Up For Ever #153 has a stronger golden sheen. It actually reminded me of MAC Ripe Peach quite a bit.

As expected, the texture is soft and smooth–very finely-milled–but not too dense, so it doesn’t feel powdery or kick-up excess product when you tap your brush against the surface. It blends out easily once applied, but it doesn’t fade away into nothing, so it’s well-balanced. When I tested out the wear, it wore well for around seven hours and looked slightly faded around the edges after eight hours. This powder is heavily fragranced with a floral scent, so if you are sensitive to scents, I recommend checking it out in person or finding a way to de-scent the powder. I had it open on my studio table, and I could catch whiffs of the fragrance from a foot away–the scent, of course, is not nearly as noticeable when it’s applied as it is in the compact.

The Glossover

LE
product

Terra Azzura Bronzer & Blush

A-
I think the blush gradient shades are lovely and very appropriate for summer, but the bronzer is less universally wearable--I think that red-orange undertone may be harder for cooler complexions to wear. Because the bronzer makes up half of the product, you should probably love the bronzer side of it!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color
Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color

Tom Ford Wicked Cheek Color ($55.00 for 0.28 oz.) is a soft raspberry pink with a rosy pink shimmer and sheen. For better or for worse, Tom Ford’s blush range (from the three shades I’ve seen so far) is very core, which means the shades themselves are more basic, so you may have similar shades in your stash already. At the same time, they’re the kind of shades that become go-tos, because they work with a variety of looks. MAC Pink Tea is just a little softer, while MAC Lovecloud is a touch yellower–mix the two together, and you’d get pretty close. Tarte Dollface is lighter, more pastel. MAC Feeling Flush is a hint darker.

More and more, as a reviewer as well as a consumer, I really, really appreciate consistency. I’d rather a consistently poor performing product than one that is sometimes good but other times downright awful–and the very best is when you find a product range that is consistently excellent. Right now, I’m finding this to be true with Tom Ford’s blush range. First with Lovelust, now with Wicked. It has that same soft, smooth, buttery texture that’s dense and ultra finely-milled, so it melts against the skin and looks effortlessly natural. That silky smooth texture enables superior blending–you won’t need to worry about buffing for days; feather-light strokes will gently soften the edges of any application. I love that it can be applied softly or more intensely, but it’s never a shade you have to pack on.

The real reason that I am truly in love with Tom Ford’s blush formula is how well and long it wears. I thought perhaps it was a fluke or restricted to the shade, but Wicked wears a solid ten hours and looks nearly immaculate. I can’t think of a blush that wears longer at the moment! The texture, color, blendability, and wear are all fantastic. I don’t even know if there is room for improvement with the formula–it’s that good.

A little disclaimer or note, as this is a luxury brand and product: each person has their own rationalization process to justify whether something is worth it or not. What is affordable to you may be a luxury for someone else and vice versa. Price never affects quality; it affects whether it’s worth buying to you, but price doesn’t indicate a higher or lesser degree of quality (in an ideal world, it might), which is why the rating system specifically excludes it.

The Glossover

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Wicked

A+

The texture, color, blendability, and wear are all fantastic. I don't even know if there is room for improvement with the formula--it's that good.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish ($29.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “soft candlelit beige with multi-dimensional shimmer.” It’s a pale, white-beige highlighter. Something worth noting is that the color of a mineralize skinfinish can dramatically change based on the veining–look at Lightscapade from September 2011–there is so much more veining! They did end up swatching similarly, though this one seemed a little less pigmented. theBalm Promiscuous Pearl is more frosted, a slightly darker beige. MAC Snowglobe is rather similar, more of a sheen than a shimmer. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is more frosted. MAC Truth & Light is more golden. MAC Too Chic is similar but paler.

The texture is soft, and the powder is finely milled with very subtle shimmer, so it’s not glittery or metallic when applied like some mineralize skinfinishes can be. It is fairly sheer, though, so you could use a denser blush brush if you so desired.  You could also use a stippling brush like the 188 or a more tapered/angled brush like the 168 to highlight the planes of the face more easily.

As much as I want to be, I’ve never been in love with the mineralize skinfinish formula. They really just don’t wear very well–many of them seem to accentuate any skin imperfections as well as pores, and they wear off quickly. Lightscapade is one of the better finishes, because it does not emphasize skin texture or pores much at all, but it does have wear problems. I applied Lightscapade as a highlighter this morning, and it was patchy and faded after four hours. After eight hours, it’s barely there.

The Glossover

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MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish Review, Photos, Swatches

B-

Lightscapade is one of the better finishes, because it does not emphasize skin texture or pores much at all, but it does have wear problems. I applied Lightscapade as a highlighter this morning, and it was patchy and faded after four hours.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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