Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Art of Powder: Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is one of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). It contains a good amount of product, and it will take quite some time to get through it.

If you’re not feeling the neon pink, you’re in luck: it doesn’t go all the way through. It’s thicker than your typical overspray, but it definitely does not go all the way through (video is forthcoming with much excavation!). The product is the golden tan you see protruding from the compact. I gouged a chunk out of the corner, and you can see how the pink is only on the surface I also used a small shadow brush to brush back-and-forth against a line of pink and eventually it disappeared and revealed pure golden tan underneath.

The color this bronzer is a warmed-up, medium tan with a very subtle golden sheen. The sheen is almost too faint, actually! It doesn’t impart much of a glowy sheen applied, because the sheen is so subtle–which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your preference. The pigmentation is decent, but the color is on the lighter side. On my medium skin tone, it’s subtle and soft. I expect this is better suited for lighter skin tones. It does have an orangeness to it that may not work well with pinker or naturally red complexions, because it may turn ruddy.

It has a really finely-milled, soft texture, which makes it extremely easy to blend on the skin but there is some powdery dust because of the overall softness. The subtle sheen means it doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin. The texture is almost as soft as the Studio Careblend Pressed Powder Bronzers but I find those to be softer overall (but more pigmented, and if you want something foolproof, Optical Bronzer is that).

I wore it on one cheek (had the highlighter on the other–that’s called multi-tasking!), and it wore well for about six hours before starting to fade, which is shy of good (eight hours). It’s decent but not better than MAC’s regular bronzing line-up or various limited edition releases they’ve done every couple of months. The mix of pink and tan could have made for an interesting mix or take on bronzer in general (think Chanel’s Soleil Bronzers) but was not the case here.

The Glossover

LE
product

Optical

B-
It's a little powdery, but it may suit lighter skin tones who are looking for a very subtle, barely shimmered bronzer--the only potential issue is it does have an orange tone to it, which may not work with those with pink undertones. The wear is below average (and I have normal to dry skin).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011


Guerlain Perles de Nuit Meteorites

Guerlain Holiday 2011: Perles de Nuit Meteorites

Guerlain Perles de Nuit Meteorites ($56.00 for 1.05 oz.) is a limited edition highlighter that uses a mix of “pearls” in five different shades to “correct, illuminate, and even out the skin.” The mix contains pink “to capture light,” white to “illuminate the complexion,” gold to “reflect light,” orange to “boost radiance,” and silver to “add shimmer without whitening the skin.”

First, it’s pinker than Parure de Nuit; it has more of a pale, pinky-white powder (overall) compared to the peachy-beige of Parure de Nuit. Second, it isn’t capable of blushing to the extent (or with the same color) as Parure de Nuit, so they are different products.  Guerlain collectors will reach for both, but if you’re merely looking for a good highlighter from the holiday collection, I’d still go for Parure de Nuit. It looks a fraction better on the skin than Perles de Nuit, plus–depending on your skin–it may work as a blush, too. Meteorites are gorgeous and very fancy, but they can be messier. The packaging of Parure de Nuit is more sophisticated and luxe and has a mirror. All in all, between the two, Parure de Nuit edges out Perles de Nuit.

Perles de Nuit is packaged in a blue-teal tin with all of the signature detailing of Guerlain. I’m so glad they upgraded from cardboard packaging, because the tin feels so much better. Inside, there’s a black sponge, and honestly, I don’t remember sponges but poufs from previous Meteorites’ releases. I like a tapered brush for application though (something like MAC’s 165 works well for me).

Meteorites impart little to no color but yield shimmer and/or sheen, which is what Perles de Nuit does. There is a faint pink coloring once it is applied to my cheeks, but it is very, very faint. It gives a soft sheen with a dusting of silvery micro-shimmer. It does remind me of last year’s holiday meteorites, though, and I suspect is also similar to the Rose Tint Meteorites. Perles de Nuit wears eight hours on me without losing its luster (literally!) but the effect is understated. If you like larger shimmer or really intense highlighters, you’ll find this too subdued. The pores on my cheeks are larger than they are elsewhere, so I find the finer shimmer more flattering.

The Glossover

LE
product

Perles de Nuit

A
Perles de Nuit does a good job of brightening and illuminating the skin without severely whitening the skin (which brighteners can sometimes do, particular on medium to dark complexions). The silver does work, even on warm skin tones. The shimmer is very fine and doesn't look overdone on the skin.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011


Guerlain Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush

Guerlain Holiday 2011: Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush

Guerlain Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush ($67.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a limited edition is primarily a luminating product, but it can also deposit a faint hint of color on cheeks. It has a peacock-themed design with a good amount of details that actually survive past the first use (or three). The powder has four distinct colors: pale white, bluish-teal, pinked coral-red, and pale peach-beige. It’s subtle, soft, and sheer. I was quite surprised at how well the design stood up to heavy swatching and lots and lots of passes with a brush–all done in hopes of destroying it–and I dug up a bit of the first feather to see if the colors ran all the way through (it appears to be so, and the brand’s description seems to confirm that as well).

In the press release, Guerlain recommends sweeping a brush across all the shades for a luminating effect on the face, and for more color, take your brush across the three feathers (the pink-red shapes) diagonally. I did both, and you do get different effects. I saw mostly highlighting with the first one, and with the second technique, I gleaned more color out of the product and saw it on my cheeks as well. It’s not an intensely pigmented palette; you’re not getting in-your-face blush here, and you’re not supposed to. The blusher will show on light to medium complexions, but deeper complexions may find it doesn’t work much as a blusher and purely as an illuminator/highlighter.

As an illuminator, it highlights without emphasizing pores or flaws on the skin. It adds sheen and glowiness without glitter. It’s very pretty, and yes, I’m sure you have something similar to it. Parure de Nuit is well-done, and it’s what I’ve come to expect from Guerlain. I’m actually more impressed by the subtle reddish-pink color that adds warmth and color without being overwhelming. Because of its soft color, it’s impossible to overdo. Products like these are best when worn; it’s hard to judge the efficacy and look of it from a swatch alone or even a description.  The powder wears well, too, which is one of the more important aspects of a cheek product (at least to me, as I am loathe to reapply anything!)–a solid eight hours when I tested it.

The powder is housed in a glossy black palette with a large mirror inside and underneath the powder lies a teal-colored brush (I always forget to look for the brush until I go to actually do a wear test with the product!). The whole compact is encased in a velvet pouch with jewel-toned teal on the inside and black velvet on the outside.

The Glossover

LE
product

Parure de Nuit

A
Guerlain knows how to do a highlighter; they're incredibly good at playing with texture to create finely milled powders with just the right amount of shimmer/sheen to yield a natural glow that doesn't emphasize imperfections in skin but camouflages them.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, August 30th, 2011


Chanel Pink Cloud Joues Contraste

Chanel Pink Cloud Joues Contraste

Chanel Pink Cloud (66) Joues Contraste / Powder Blush ($43.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a limited edition rose-hued blush that is supposed to give “a soft, natural-looking flush to cheeks.” It’s a soft, pale rosy pink with subtle yellow undertones and a satiny sheen. Whether layered or blended, it has a similar look–just a very light pink.  It’s not as pale as MAC Play It Proper, but it’s a little lighter than MAC Oh So Fair.

Chanel nailed it in what they were hoping to achieve, but because of the overall lightness in the color, it works best on lighter skin tones. In person, I found it looked ashy–more like I was wearing foundation that was too light on my cheeks than a subtle rosy flush. On my skin tone (which is medium with warm undertones), it could work as a lightly dusted highlighter but not so much as a blusher. In reality–on my skin–the difference between wearing Bieges Ombres Tissees and Pink Cloud is minimal–they both add a little sparkle and shine, with the latter adding a lot more sheen.

The texture of Pink Cloud is just like other Joues Contrastes; it’s silky soft with a very finely milled powder that yields a glowy sheen but never a frosted look. The color is true-to-pan, and despite the softness of the powder, it doesn’t sheer out instantly. For our lighter friends, it might be worth looking into; especially if you find many blushes too intense and pigmented.

The Glossover

LE
product

Pink Cloud

A-
For our lighter friends, it might be worth looking into; especially if you find many blushes too intense and pigmented.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, August 25th, 2011


Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees

Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissee

Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees (Iridescent Effects Eyes) ($75.00 for 0.46 oz.) is a limited edition illuminating powder that can be used on eyes and cheeks. It’s rather massive–plenty of product here–at 0.46 oz., which is double the size of your average blush. It’s many times larger than your average eyeshadow, which this can be used for as well (think highlighting the brow bone as the more go-to use).

It has a glitter-shimmer overlay that disappears after a few uses, though you’ll find bits and pieces still caught within the woven tweed pattern for several uses. When the glitter overlay is removed, the powder is still shimmery. As far as Chanel highlighters go, this is on the more frosted end of the spectrum. You won’t find large chunks of shimmer, but it has an obvious reflective sheen. Beiges wears well without fading over eight hours, and the texture is soft and finely milled (well, after you remove the chunkier glittery flecks!). I think the higher frost in the finish makes it a bit over-the-top, and if you do get the glittery bits in there, it looks heavy.

Though there are three shades, the differences between them are slight. When used together, it’s a pale, champagne beige. It consists of a pale pink, yellowed beige, and white-beige. It highlight cheeks well, and despite its frostier finish, it didn’t seem to emphasize pores. I find it’s pretty when worn, but whether it is worth the hefty price tag is another story. The shade itself isn’t particularly unique, and with the heavier sheen, easier to find in many brands (finding subtler, more refined highlighters is can be trying from my experience). It’s more a collector’s product than a must-have staple in your bag.

The Glossover

LE
product

Beiges Ombres Tissees

B+
Pretty but pricey! It highlights nicely, but it is a heavier highlighter, so if you prefer something subtler, you'll want to look elsewhere. If you love lots and lots of glowy sheen, this might be up your alley.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, August 22nd, 2011


MAC Seaside Cream Colour Base

MAC Me Over: Seaside Cream Colour Base

MAC Seaside Cream Colour Base ($17.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “soft peach rose.” It has a very warm, slightly bronzed look to it with a hint of peach–the rose is very, very subtle. I can see some using this as a highlighter, and I think it will work particularly well on darker skin tones as such. It has more of a sheen than shimmer to its finish, and it can easily be blended out for a glowy sheen on cheeks. It’s rosier than MAC Peachtwist but has a lot more shimmer than Burberry Russet.

Cream Colour Bases tend to wear poorly when worn alone, because they have a lot of slip and take awhile to dry down, especially if you use them opaque–if you sheer them out to a wash, they will cooperate better when worn alone. I recommend setting with powder if you wear it over the lid. The creaminess of the formula, however, enables it to glide on like butter and easily blended across wherever you might apply it.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Seaside Cream Colour Base Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It could act as a shimmery bronzer on lighter skin tones as a glowy highlight on darker skin tones. It seems like a rather versatile shade, though it distinctly warm, so it will complement warmer complexions better.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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