Monday, March 19th, 2012

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder
Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powders for Eyes and Cheeks

Chanel Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder< ($95.00 for 0.53 oz.) is described as a highlighter for both cheeks and eyes. It’s part of the online exclusive (and at select boutiques) Las Vegas de Chanel collection and easily the pricest piece of the launch! It has six stripes of color, though the medium orange and gold shades seem to have been done twice, which resulted in four unique shades.

When blended together, the result is a warm, orange-tinted gold with a glowy shimmer-sheen. It looks a lot like Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City, actually! Perhaps not quite as dark, but when blended out, the differences nearly disappear. Lucky Stripes has a less metallic finish. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is more golden, less orange. MAC Sun Rush is similar but in liquid form. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel also is similar, perhaps a little less golden.

There’s a medium-dark brown with red-orange undertones and a subtle satiny sheen. Urban Decay Chopper is similar but slightly redder. NARS Isolde is deeper. MAC One to Watch is a touch lighter. Bare Escentuals Fire is similar but a little more orange.  To the right of that is a medium orange with a golden shimmer-sheen. MAC Fresh Daily is darker, more intense. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa is similar but a bit darker and matte. Inglot #368 is lighter.

Next, there’s a medium yellow gold with gold shimmer–it’s actually not quite as refined, soft, or as pigmented as the other shades. It’s similar to golds like MAC Goldmine, Urban Decay Blunt, and Bare Escentuals Remix. The last shade is a pale white with larger white shimmer. It’s similar to MAC Winterscape and MAC White Frost.

It adds a warm, golden reflective quality to the cheek without emphasizing the skin’s texture.  More glowy than metallic, but it’s still a more noticeable highlighter overall (which may or may not be to your liking!).  I think it performs best as a cheek product, but it can be used on the eyes, too.  There it blends out too easily; the colors seem to disappear as you blend, which can be frustrating.  The texture of the powder is soft, finely-milled, and not at all powdery.  On cheeks, it wore for seven hours and looked patchy after eight hours.  On eyes, without a primer, it wore for seven hours with some fading, but with a primer, I didn’t have any wear issues.

I cannot figure out just what about this powder gave Chanel the gall to price this at $95. It’s like with every ultra limited edition launch, they tack on another $10 (and it may just feel that way). There’s nothing about this powder that feels different than other Chanel highlighting powders (or other high-end/designer powders for that matter). It’s gorgeous to be sure, and it’s a pretty design on the interior, but it’s still a plastic black compact on the outer edge. Hey, at least Dior and Guerlain will often give you limited edition, specially-designed packaging with their high price tags! (Dior often has signature limited edition pieces that come out in the $80+ range, and Guerlain has debuted similar products in the $60+ range.)

The Glossover

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product

Lucky Stripes Iridescent Powder

B
I suspect that for most readers, the price alone will be a major turn-off. For me, a product at this price point needs to perform immaculately. This is a good product but falls short of greatness. It's too similar to both past Chanel powders but also to recently released Guerlain Sun in the City--which is $25 cheaper.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder
Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder ($70.00 for 0.52 oz.) is a metallic yellow gold with buildable color. It doesn’t take a lot of product to achieve an appropriate amount of highlighting color on the cheek, but it is very blendable so it can be sheered out or applied softly from the start.  When I wore this, it lasted for seven hours with noticeable (but not disastrous) fading by the eighth hour.  I wore it as a blusher, just because it’s easier to identify how well it wears when you cover a larger area, but I’d typically dust this on cheek bones and paired with a warm-toned blush (maybe a coral or natural brown).

If you have a yellow gold eyeshadow, you could likely achieve a similar look with that. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is a little darker, almost orange-ish, as is Chanel Shimmering Tweed. While Guerlain often has incredibly subtle, finely-milled highlighters, this one is more metallic, more noticeable–it’s therefore easier to dupe (it’s usually that finish that is more difficult to dupe). It still feels soft to the touch, but there’s that metallic shimmer that keeps it from being buttery soft. The way it feels reminds me a bit of Estee Lauder’s Illuminating Gelee formula, though this is less dry.

Guerlain knows how to design a powder; the design looks like fields of golden wheat swaying in the breeze.  The design doesn’t fade away after one use either, which is nice, though eventually you will wear away a lot of the texture on the top, it should take several uses or more.  The compact also contains a brick o’ highlighter–weighing in at 0.52 oz.–and most blushes and highlighters come between 0.15 oz. and 0.25 oz.  It is heavily fragranced, as is typical for the brand, so if you’re sensitive to scents, you may want to check it out in person.  I had this open on the desk where I take photos, and I could smell it from a couple of feet away.

The Glossover

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Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder

B+
While Guerlain often has incredibly subtle, finely-milled highlighters, this one is more metallic, more noticeable--it's therefore easier to dupe (it's usually that finish that is more difficult to dupe). I know this is selling quickly partially because of the design, but from a use standpoint, I don't think it's a must-have.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Tarte Dollface Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush
Tarte Dollface Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush

Tarte Dollface Amazonian 12-Hour Clay Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “light pink.” It’s a brightened light pink with blue undertones and a natural sheen. The hue reminded me of recently reviewed Bobbi Brown Nude Pink, which has more of amatte finish. NYX English Rose offers a barely-more-affordable dupe with a touch less brightness. Urban Decay Quickie is similar but in cream form. MAC So Sweet, So Easy is lighter. MAC Well-Dressed seems like it would be lighter, not quite as bright.

The texture of Tarte’s Amazonian blushes is so, so soft, though it tends to kick up excess powder, so use a lighthand and look at the pan before you over-swirl!  It’s very finely-milled, which allows for superb blending and naturalness in the finish.  Dollface wore for just over eight hours, and there was certainly some hanging around after ten hours, it was noticeably faded.

The Glossover

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Dollface

A-
I wish Tarte wasn't so specific about their 12-hour claim! It's a really nice formula overall, with the exception of the wear, which I've yet to achieve a full 10 hours of, let alone 12. This is an excellent shade for an everyday blusher for cooler complexions.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush
Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush (£16.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm coral pink.” It’s a subtly warmed-up pink-coral with a satiny sheen. The color can be built up to be more true-to-pan or blended out for a very subtle flush of warm pink on cheeks. Tarte Blissful is similar, slightly less pink. MAC Posey is similar but less bright. Smashbox Blushing/Peony is milkier. theBalm Frat Boy is similar but softer. Make Up For Ever #6 is similar but less pink and lighter.

When it comes to cream blushes, don’t let the color of the pan scare you away, because of the density of creams, they often appear darker on the surface than they do when swatched. The intensity of application is in your hands! Typically, creams blend out easily and require very little product if you want just a tint of color. Illamasqua’s formula is lovely, because they provide a dewy finish that’s natural and luminous but never greasy or oily. It also works well on both bare skin and foundation. The texture is soft and creamy, and with Illamasqua’s highly-pigmented formula, I tend to use a stippling brush (like MAC’s 188) to yield light to medium color coverage. It wears for around seven hours on my skin and looks a noticeably faded after eight hours.

The Glossover

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Dixie

A-
If you love coral blushes and cream formulas, this is one worth checking out. The color is very flattering on both warm and cool-toned complexions because of the amount of pink in the base color. I wish it wore just a wee bit longer, though!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, February 20th, 2012

Illamasqua Expose Blush
Illamasqua Expose Blush

For Posterity: Illamasqua Expose Blush

Illamasqua Expose Blush ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is–apparently–discontinued.  I had already written up this review (and then reworded it to reflect the news) when I discovered there was no place to link to in order for readers to buy it!  This post is mostly for posterity, then, and if someone already owns it, since I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Perhaps a local store or counter has a lone one of these in stock, but otherwise…

It’s a matte, softened orange. NARS Taj Mahal is brighter, more tangerine with gold shimmer. The color can be applied intensely (think true-to-pan color) or lightly for more of a peach-orange tinge to cheeks.   Becca Damselfly is more coral. Make Up For Ever #5 is darker and more coral. NARS Exhibit A is much redder. MAC Optimistic Orange is brighter, more neon.

Illamasqua has one of the better matte blush formulas on the market, and when they really nail it, they hit it out of the park, which was the case with Expose.  Despite its matte finish, it almost has an ethereal glow when it’s blended out just right.  It doesn’t look chalky or powdery, and it wears incredibly well, still looking good after nine hours of wear.  Wonder why Expose got the axe…

The Glossover

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Expose

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, February 20th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Wild Rose Shimmer Brick
Bobbi Brown Wild Rose Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Wild Rose Shimmer Brick ($39.00 for 0.40 oz.) has five shimmery strips of pink-tinted shades that can be used as a blush or as an eyeshadow. It’s designed to highlight the skin with “pearlescent shimmer.” The individual strips include: a rosy light-medium pink with a frosted metallic sheen, pink-shimmered peach-orange with a frosted metallic sheen, warm-toned dirty pink with a frosted metallic sheen, warm-toned pink with orange undertones and a frosted metallic sheen (very similar to the one before it), and light rose pink with a frosted metallic sheen.

When everything is swirled together, it takes on a rosy champagne-bronze color. It looks a lot like MAC Blonde, which may have a slight orange tint in comparison. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is warmer, bronzy; it doesn’t have the same pink element that this shade has.

Applied, it highlights and adds a touch of warm pink color to cheeks with lots of shimmer and sheen. Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks tend to be high shimmer, so if you prefer subtler, more refined highlighters, I would look elsewhere. If you love products like MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes, you’ll probably like the Shimmer Bricks. The high shimmer emphasizes pores slightly–it’s not off-putting enough in lieu of the glowy sheen it delivers, because it’s not noticeable from a normal viewing distance.

When I wore this shade to see how long it would wear for, it hung on well for seven hours and looked a little faded after eight hours. The powder itself has a soft texture that’s very shimmery and metallic-like, but it never feels gritty, despite the amount of shimmer in the product. This product also looks really lovely wet, which enables you to bring out the metallic sheen for a very glitzy look.

The Glossover

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Wild Rose

B+
If you love shimmer and sheen, you'll enjoy Bobbi Brown's Shimmerbricks--they're full of shimmer with a really soft, smooth application and texture. This one will also give light to light-medium skin tones a subtle pink flush.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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