Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Neiman Marcus Exclusive: Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

  • Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer is a medium-dark pink with gold micro-glitter and sheen; it is slightly cool-toned, though it seems to shift between cool and neutral depending on how the light hits it. It applies rather sheerly but can be intensified for a more obvious blush.
  • Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss is an ultra sheer gloss that really has a clear base with pink and gold shimmer. This shade is available individually.
  • Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is a blackened burgundy brown. This shade is available individually.
  • Eye/Lip Brush is a miniature-sized brush with a glossy black cap that slips on and off. It’s not officially labeled, but it seems like a really narrow lip brush–not quite small enough to be a true eyeliner brush though it does seem to resemble the Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush a bit.
  • Face Brush is a fluffy, dome-shaped brush that resembles the Face Blender Brush. It seems wider and less tapered, though. It was soft against the skin.

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's a cute kit, and if you like every product in it, the price tag doesn't seem so difficult to pay.  If you were hoping for a value-packed deal, this isn't quite it.  The kit will complement cooler skin tones.  I wish the Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer was available individually!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglows

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a cream highlight with pearl powder, weightless formula, and “adds luminescence whenever you need it.” It can be used in the inner corners of your eyes, cheeks, or brow bones. The shade range includes four but all four are sheer enough to work across skin tones. It’s supposed to dry down “instantly” and work on top of makeup. The four shades include: Brown Sugar (warm taupey brown), Moonshine (iridescent shimmer), Sin (shimmering champagne), and Wicked (radiant pinky shimmer).

I received both Brown Sugar (which I’d describe as a gilded bronze) and Sin (which I’d describe as pale golden champagne) to review several months ago (back when they first released), they did not work for me at that time. I decided to hold off on a review and wait awhile before trying them again to see if perhaps it was something to do with the state of my skin or whatever. I tested both shades on and off since these launched (September, I believe), with each shade being trialed at least five times.

For me, these look lovely–initially–but do such a disservice to my skin after two hours of wear. I think these are best for those who have naturally beautiful skin and don’t typically wear makeup. They can work for that truly no makeup look, but once you involve foundation–and, if you dare, powder–the results took a nosedive. I could not get the highlighters to stay on for more than two to three hours before there was migration that made my cheeks look like there were chunks of glitter, rather than a dusting of sheen.

This effect worsened if you set your foundation/makeup with powder, which is something I find necessary as someone who wears liquid foundation. With powder to set, the highlighters stayed on for three to four hours, but they still migrated and bulking up so that wherever there was product, it accentuated my pores (and I never thought I had large ones, but this product made me question if I was simply delusional). They just tend to look cakey after a couple of hours of wear.

My results yielded glowy cheeks for two hours but the final look was rough-looking skin with accentuated pores and chunks of glitter and very little sheen left after two hours passed. I applied with brushes, sponges, and fingertips; over and under foundation; on bare skin alone. It seems to fade better over bare skin and doesn’t give skin such a rough textured look. When I tested it on the inner tearduct and brow bone, I had the same two-hour disappearing act and migration issues I had on the cheeks. They worked best on the brow bone, though, and wore for about four hours before fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight Review, Photos, Swatches

F
I have only seen others rave about Urbanglow, and so I would encourage you to research and read more reviews to balance with mine. I hate being that one naysayer, you know? Urban Decay's products are usually good, so find these so disappointing has left me in a bit of a quandary.  Between how quickly the Urbanglows faded to the overall look they gave after the initial dry-down, I just can't find much silver lining in this cloud.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Video Review: MAC Jeanius Collection

First impressions/swatches for MAC Jeanius!  I’m pretty excited that not only is it under 10 minutes, but it is under 8 minutes!  For me, it seems like such a mighty feat… of restraint.

Friday, February 25th, 2011

MAC Cremeblend Blush
MAC Cremeblend Blush

MAC Cremeblend Blush: So Sweet, So Easy, Something Special, Tea Petal

MAC Cremeblend Blush ($19.50 for 0.19 oz.) are back, and this time, MAC has made them permanent in six neutral shades. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at: So Sweet, So Easy (bright yellow pink), Something Special (light coral), andTea Petal (mid-tone reddish brown). Cremeblend Blushes made their debut in Lillyland, back in January 2010. There were four shades released, and only one of them has made a return (So Sweet, So Easy).

  • So Sweet, So Easy is a pale pink. On me, it always looks ghastly–it only succeeds in washing me out. I’m NC25/NC30, so I think this is a shade best suited to lighter skin tones. This shade was originally released with Lillyland.
  • Something Special is a soft, peached coral. Depending on how much you are willing to build, it could work for darker skin tones, but it will tend to suit light to medium skin tones best.
  • Tea Petal is a plummy brown that can worn sheerly or built up to medium coverage. I think this shade would work for light to dark skin tones.

my thoughts on the formula: The shade range tends to be more neutral, and so the color tends to enhance the natural tones of skin without adding significant color, with the exception of Tea Petal (which is deeper and can be built up). They have a soft natural finish, which means there is some sheen, but they do not look oily/greasy. Wear is good–they last six to eight hours without setting powder–and can also act as a base for your favorite powder blush. They apply very easily, and the color is buildable, so it’s difficult to overdo it. These blend out seamlessly whether you use a stippling brush (like the 188) or your fingers.

The Cremeblend Blushes, since permanent, are also available in pan form ($16.50), though I think those are only available at PRO stores and perhaps online will make them available, too (since you can buy powder blush pans online now). They are the same size as the ones in the pot–both of wihch are the same size as powder blush–and fit into MAC’s 6-pan palettes ($14.00).

The Glossover

product

MAC Cremeblend Blush Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 2)

B+

I like that they aren’t tacky like Blushcremes were, which was probably their only downside! The shade range in the new Cremeblends is a little limited, and it could use some deeper/more saturated shades for medium to dark skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, February 25th, 2011

MAC Cremeblend Blush
MAC Cremeblend Blush

MAC Cremeblend Blush: Brit Wit, Ladyblush, Posey

MAC Cremeblend Blush ($19.50 for 0.19 oz.) are back, and this time, MAC has made them permanent in six neutral shades. In this post, we’ll be taking a look at: Brit Wit (dusty rosy mauve), Ladyblush (warm neutral coral), and Posey (warm peach).  Cremeblend Blushes made their debut in Lillyland, back in January 2010. There were four shades released, and only one of them has made a return (So Sweet, So Easy).  However, the formula seems a little creamier and less wet than the original launch.

  • Brit Wit is a fleshy, rosy beige. It can be used lightly with ease or built up for a slightly deeper look. I can see this working on light to medium skin tones. From what I can tell, Brit Wit seems a little less mauve and more beige than the original blushcreme.
  • Ladyblush is a muted, peach-coral beige. Like Brit Wit, I can see this working well on light to medium skin tones, possibly darker skin tones for warmth. It seems comparable to the previous blushcreme–perhaps a touch less rose.
  • Posey is a pop of muted, coral-pink. It is more coral and less pink in comparison to the original Posey blushcreme.  This is a shade I can see working across skin tones.

my thoughts on the formula: The shade range tends to be more neutral, and so the color tends to enhance the natural tones of skin without adding significant color, with the exception of Posey (which is deeper and more typical of a blush). They have a soft natural finish, which means there is some sheen, but they do not look oily/greasy. Wear is good–they last six to eight hours without setting powder–and can also act as a base for your favorite powder blush. They apply very easily, and the color is buildable, so it’s difficult to overdo it. These blend out seamlessly whether you use a stippling brush (like the 188) or your fingers.

The Cremeblend Blushes, since permanent, are also available in pan form ($16.50), though I think those are only available at PRO stores and perhaps online will make them available, too (since you can buy powder blush pans online now). They are the same size as the ones in the pot–both of wihch are the same size as powder blush–and fit into MAC’s 6-pan palettes ($14.00).

Unfortunately, I do not have the original Blushcremes of the same names to compare these to. I bought all of them six months or so ago, and when I went to retrieve them to do comparisons, they were all leaking yellow dye. They were brand new, purchased from MAC, and had sat in my living room in the box they were shipped in. I have no idea what happened, but they were pretty gross and were immediately thrown out. Posey was the only one I was able to swatch before tossing (the others had yellow dye on the surface, while Posey just had it beneath the pan, but it was all quite messy). I have these much older swatches of some of the blushcremes here.

Blushcremes, however, are an entirely different formula compared to the Cremeblends.  Blushcremes were much thicker, creamier, and tackier once applied.  When you swatch a blushcreme and then a cremeblend, the blushcreme feels almost gloppy in comparison.  The blendability is there in both products, though, and similarly, they both buildable in color.

The Glossover

product

MAC Cremeblend Blush Swatches, Photos, Reviews (Part 1)

B+
I like that they aren’t tacky like Blushcremes were, which was probably their only downside! The shade range in the new Cremeblends is a little limited, and it could use some deeper/more saturated shades for medium to dark skin tones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Pink Cult Blush
MAC Pink Cult Blush

MAC Jeanius: Pink Cult

MAC Pink Cult Blush ($19.50 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone neutral pink” with a matte finish. It’s a soft, neutral rose pink with a matte finish–it’s not cool-toned or warm-toned, but beautifully neutral. It has excellent color pay off, despite the lightness of the shade itself. If you like blushes like Blushbaby, I think you’ll enjoy this one. It’s not a dupe, as this is most definitely pink (and Blushbaby is more nude), but they have similar effects–a soft, subtle color that never looks overdone. To me, it is a softer, pinker version of Breath of Plum.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: I think this will be a very flattering blush on light to medium skin tones; with it being a little on the pale side for darker skin tones. The neutral undertones make it wearable for both cool and warm skin tones, too.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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