Monday, December 5th, 2011

Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush
Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush

Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as “shimmering peach.” It’s a pink apricot with soft golden shimmer that becomes more of a sheen when it’s sheered out. It’s similar to a lot of coral blushes that exist; it’s a bit pinker, less orange compared to cult favorite NARS Orgasm and resembles Benefit CORALista more.  It reminded me a bit of MAC Hipness, too.

The powder is very soft and finely-milled, so when you touch your brush to it, you can pick up quite a bit of color in a single go. This means it is a little powdery, though, so you may want to use a light hand when picking up color. Luckily, though the blush is fairly true-to-pan with good color payoff, it blends out easily because of the overall softness of the powder. It has more of a shimmer-sheen finish, so it doesn’t look frosty or disco ball-like on the cheeks. I had a good experience while wearing it, because it lasted eight hours without migrating or looking faded.

The Glossover

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product

Feather

A-

I love how well this wears, and I like that it's shimmery without being frosty--more like a glowy, luminous sheen. This is a coral that should work across skin tones, because it isn't orange, even though it is still warm-toned.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Guerlain Spring 2012: Cruel Gardenia Meteorites

Debuting in January, Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Meteorites ($67.00 for 0.31 oz.) is a limited edition highlighter than can be used to highlight specific areas or as an all-over glow. It delivers a light pink with neutral-warm undertones with a shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of a lighter, pinker version of MAC Crystal Pink. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is lighter, more beige/white. MAC Light Sunshine is more similar in color but is a bit lighter and has more of a sheen than shimmer.

It looked rather frosty when I swatched it on my arm, but it worked well when I applied it with a brush on my cheek bones to test out the wear. There’s no emphasis of pores, and there’s enough glow and sheen to perk up the face without looking like a disco ball. This is more shimmery than other pressed meteorites in my experience but not by much. I was really happy with the wear, which is really what I liked most about the product, which was ten hours undisturbed. No breaking up, migration, or looking like it was worse for the wear .It didn’t have the typical Guerlain violet scent; there’s a lingering scent, but it’s very, very subtle–I practically had my nose buried in the gardenia! When I finally caught the scent, it smelled a little soapy. It’s supposed to be Cruel Gardenia, though.

The powder is finely milled but dense and firm, which is why it doesn’t turn frosty on the face–the brush picks up the right amount of product. Sometimes a product can be too soft, like when you put your brush to the powder, it loosens a ton of product (more than you need), which can be wasteful. Nevertheless, it’s more of a sheen and shimmer than Parure de Nuit from fall.

BritishBeautyBlogger has an excellent write-up about how/why products can be similar (and looking at these two particular products). Industry insiders know that products are often planned at least one to two years in advance; often, the conceptual phase is 18-24 months out, while prototype production can begin a year or further out from launch–products have to move through various stages like creation, testing, reformulation, production, etc. Color agencies like Pantone often determine the trends we’ll see in upcoming months, so some similarities are entirely coincidental or par for the course.

Design similarity aside, though, the two don’t really compare in the way that matters–color. Cruel Gardenia is distinctly pink, and it will do more to flatter cooler complexions (but it is equally flattering on warmer complexions, because it’s a neutral pink), compared to the more bronzy Rose Rendezvous by Laura Mercier. I wanted to review Laura Mercier’s, but unfortunately, by the time I received my order from Nordstrom (boo, ground shipping!) and tested it (seriously, I photographed and started testing immediately after it arrived), it was sold out.

The Glossover

LE
product

Cruel Gardenia

A
If you've been looking for a way to add a little glow and shimmer to the face and never have to worry about overdoing it, the texture of this product makes both of those things easy to achieve. Those who loved the feel and texture of Laura Mercier's Rose Rendezvous will likely love this one, too, and it's nice that they don't resemble each other in hue.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette
theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette

theBalm Balmbini Vol. 2 Palette ($28.00 for 0.59 oz.) is a limited edition follow up to Vol. 1 (which is still available, but I don’t have it and haven’t seen it myself). It includes one highlighter, four eyeshadows (or liners), lip/cheek color, and a lipgloss.

As other theBalm products are packaged, this one is also in cardboard packaging with a full-sized mirror on the interior of the lid. The palette opens about two-thirds of the way down so that one side covers or reveals the powder products and the other side covers or reveals the cream products–this is a really nice feature, because it helps to limit any loose powder from contaminating the cream products. It contains a good amount of product and is a good value overall.

  • Promiscuous Pearl is a pale beige with champagne shimmer. It adds a soft glow on cheeks without being overwhelming. If you like Mary Lou-manizer, you’d like this one, just as a more neutral version. The texture is still really buttery and soft, so it is blendable and finely-milled and doesn’t emphasize pores. It reminded me of Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees.
  • Jinxy Jasmyne is a sooty black that looks morre intense in the pan than it does on the skin. It has a mostly matte finish, but it’s rather dry and ends up being chalky and uneven. When applied, it can easily darken the crease, but you really need to use a fluffy brush (remember to tap off any excess!) to make this one work. Application is better with a damp brush, like one might use if you were to use it as an eyeliner. It’s similar to a lot of matte blacks, like MAC Carbon.
  • Manic Maribel is an orange-y copper with a frosted golden sheen. The pigmentation is opaque with soft, blendable color. It’s almost the same as Bare Escentuals Louder. It’s a little lighter than shades like theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, and MAC Amber Lights.
  • Open to Offers Olwen is a muted teal-blue shot through with silvery-blue shimmer. This shade is also in the Shady Lady Vol. 3 palette. It has good color payoff and a dense, buttery texture. Inglot #413 is a bit lighter but similar.
  • Lavish Latoya is a medium-dark purple with subtle red undertones and a frosted finish. It was on the sheerer side, though. Urban Decay AC/DC is quite similar with a slightly more metallic sheen. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar. Milani Purr-fect Purple is a little lighter. theBalm All the Way Annie is a bit darker but still close.
  • Strawberry is a poppy red that can be applied opaque or blended out for a sheerer look. On lips, it’s much pinker–more like a slightly coral-pink with a creamy finish. The color coverage is mostly opaque. It’s not as dark as MAC Ultra Darling. NARS Niagara is more coral. It’s pretty close to Bobbi Brown Pink.
  • Nude is an opaque beige nude with a cream finish. MAC C-Thru is similar in color, but this is much more opaque.

It’s not my favorite palette by theBalm; I think it has promise and potential, but it’s not fully there.  The color combination is off for me–this is not a palette that lends itself to a lot of versatility.  I feel like you really need to pull in products from your stash to make the palette really pop.  The cheek/lip color is pretty but vibrant enough that it doesn’t pair well with the eyeshadows.  I was disappointed in the texture and payoff of Jinxy Jasmyne and Lavish Latoya was just slightly under-performing.   Shades like Manic Maribel and Lavish Latoya are found in a lot of brands, so this wouldn’t be a palette for long-time beauty aficionados.  As a face palette, I’d have liked to see a powder blush, rather than a mega-sized black eyeshadow.

The Glossover

palette

Balmbini Vol. 2

B+
The overall quality of the palette is there, but the color combination doesn't resonate as well with me--as a face palette, it needs more in the cheek department; it's too eye-heavy.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Benefit Hervana Boxed Powder
Benefit Hervana Boxed Powder

Debuting in January, Benefit Hervana Boxed Powder ($28.00 for 0.28 oz.) is described as a “soft orchid-blossom flush.” It’s made of four individual shades in a pinwheel design, though as far as a blusher goes, you really couldn’t use these shades individually as each shade is fairly small. With a small blush brush, you might be able to use two or three shades in concentration, but I recommend swirling and sweeping all the shades taken together.

Lucky Shell is a soft, pale beige with a satiny shimmer. Divine Peach is a warm apricot-peach with soft golden shimmer. Heavenly Rose is a soft rosy peach with a satiny sheen. Berry Delight is a blue-based ppinky-plum with a satiny sheen. Together, they create a soft, warm pink with subtle peach undertones and a satiny shimmer-sheen. It’s not frosty or over-the-top, so the shimmer adds a distinct glow to the skin and doesn’t emphasize pores. The pigmentation here doesn’t impart loads of color–it’s a soft flush, which seems to be the theme of this particular powder. It has a really soft, smooth texture that sits well on the skin. It wore well for seven hours and looked a little faded around the edges after eight hours.

Chanel Pink Cloud is lighter, while MAC Stunner is more intense. Benefit Bella Bamba is much, much darker and has no peachiness. Burberry Peony is very similar but has more of a matte finish. It also reminded me of MAC Oh So Fair, though that has much more frost in its finish. Benefit Sugarbomb is much more golden with a golden sheen and less pink.

It’s not too warm for cooler complexions to wear it, and I actually think it’s one of those shades that will lean a little cooler/warmer depending on the underlying skintone. For instance, my natural yellowy undertones pull out the peachiness in the product, while someone with pinker undertones may find it turns pinker on them. When I applied it to my cheeks, it also appeared peachier because of the coral lip and olive green eyeshadows I paired it with.

The Glossover

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product

Hervana

A-
For a soft glowy flush, Benefit Hervana accoplishes just that; you won't find lots of color punch here but a wearable, everyday kind of blush that goes with everything.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011


Tarte Blushing Bride Amazonian Clay Blush

Tarte Blushing Bride Amazonian Clay Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “plummy rose.” It’s a muted raspberry–it’s a bit pink as well as plum–with very faint shimmer. The shimmer looks more obvious in the pan, but it doesn’t translate much onto the skin–there’s a definite sheen once applied, but it’s not a heavy shimmer, so pores are not emphasized.  It packs a punch if you aren’t careful!  Blushing Bride is richly pigmented but can be applied softly and the soft texture allows for easy blending out if necessary.  The hue reminded me of Bobbi Brown Plum, which is a touch pinker.

I had the same wear results with this shade as with Exposed, which was eight hours of good wear, but by the tenth hour, it had disappeared. I was hoping for a bit longer wear, because of the intensity of this color, but no dice! The texture was not as finely milled here, but it was still quite soft without being powdery. I recommend using a stippling blush to apply this color, because it is very intense, and if you use a regular blush brush, you might find the results are too much and require a fair amount of blending out. I also found a stippling brush disturbed the powder less, which meant less excess powder being kicked up.

The Glossover

P
product

Blushing Bride

B+
It's a good blush, but it just doesn't wear the full 12 hours that Tarte claims, which is really where this product lost the most points from. It wears well (eight to ten hours on me), looks natural when applied, and has good pigmentation.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, November 19th, 2011

MAC Strada Blush
MAC Strada Blush

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Strada Blush

MAC Strada Blush ($30.00 for 0.08 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone nude.” It’s a pink-beige on me but looks less pink once applied on the face. MAC Brit Wit is a bit pinker but similar, just in a cream form.  It’s a good shade for contouring if you’re light to medium in skin tone, and it will also work as a cheek color on light to light-medium skin tones. On medium skin tones, you might find you’re really piling it on to get enough of an effect on the cheeks. It has a matte finish, which is yet another reason why it works well for contouring without looking muddy. It wore for about eight hours. The texture is soft enough to be blendable and buildable, but it doesn’t kick up powder or look dry on the skin.

The compact is black metal, and it’s quite heavy. It is a small compact, but it has more heft to it than you’d expect given the size. The top of the powder is also patterned, which is also something you wouldn’t get if you bought it normally.  On the top of the palette, you’ll find the signature logo from the collection, and there is a mirror on the inside of the lid.

It’s part of the permanent range at PRO stores (I had originally thought it was discontinued), so you can only buy it pan form these days, but if you like the color of Strada, you can visit a MAC PRO store OR you can place a phone order–even with shipping, you’ll still spend less than the price tag of this product and you’ll get over double the amount of product. You should also be able to place an order via phone with online last I heard. It looks like there is a TON of confusion – some stores say this is discontinued, others told me it’s permanent. When MAC puts out their “couture” collection each year, the prices skyrocket, but this is the first time I’ve noticed how much they’ve skimped you on the product. Full-sized MAC powder blushes contain 0.21 oz. and retail for $19.50 a pop, while this variation of Strada is over $10 more and contains almost a mere one-third of a full-sized blush! It’s like they’re squeezing you on both ends.

The Glossover

LE
product

Strada

A-
Strada is certainly worth a look, but I'd recommend going for the regular PRO pan, because the significant reduction in quantity plus 30% increase in price for packaging is rather painful if you're just in love with the color itself and don't want the packaging.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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