Friday, December 9th, 2011

Tarte Blissful Amazonian Clay Blush
Tarte Blissful Amazonian Clay Blush

Tarte Blissful Amazonian Clay Blus ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “warm peach,” but it’s more like an intense coral-pink on me! It’s more pink than coral, but it’s not truly pink. The brightness and strength of the pink will make it a wearable coral even on cooler complexions. The hue reminded me of Smashbox Blushing/Peony, which is a touch pinker and is a cream. It’s also similar to theBalm Frat Boy. Make Up For Ever #6 is a bit lighter, less pink.

Tarte says that these have a twelve-hour wear time, which I haven’t yet experienced, but some of the darker shades tend to do better than the lighter ones. For instance, Blissful wore for eight hours well, and though it was faded, I could still detect some on after ten hours. I like that the blush is really silky soft in texture, which makes it easy to blend, but it is also soft enough that a brush easily dislodges the powder so you can easily get too much product on your brush with some of the more intense shades like Blissful. I’d recommend a stippling brush or tapping off the excess if you prefer a light look.

The Glossover

P
product

Blissful

B+
Better wear than the previous two shades I've reviewed, but it doesn't quite meet the twelve-hour claim, so wear is still where this product falls short! The pigmentation is plentiful, and the texture is silky soft, though it almost gets powdery.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator
Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator

Several readers asked me how this compares to Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, in terms of the overall grade/rating. This product is available, but you won’t find it online; you’ll have to track it down in stores. Saks seems to be the only distributor (at least in the U.S.) that has some stock left. If you click the link above, it’ll take you to the defunct product page on Saks, but it will allow you to “find in store.”

Generally, if a product is hard to find or sold out, I don’t review it (my order for this arrived only two days before it sold out everywhere). There are always exceptions, but it’s definitely something I try to avoid doing–same with discontinued or really old limited shades. This is an exception and not a change in the rule! :)

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator ($42.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a gilded bronze with a champagne-bronze shimmer. MAC Rose Ole is a bit more peach but looks similar when applied. It’s also a bit like MAC Crystal Pink, depending on how you combine the two shades.

The texture is soft but firm, and the frosted metallic sheen goes all the way through. It’s not as frosted on as it appears in the pan or in a heavier swatch. It’s more than just a subtle glow, but it’s less than a full-on frost. I call it a shimmer-sheen, because there is noticeable shimmer within the overall glowy sheen. It doesn’t emphasize pores, though.

For me, the major difference between the two formulas is in the wear–with Rose Rendezvous, it wears great for around six hours, but it’s faded by eight.  When I bought the product, I was initially really hopeful about it, because it seemed to be getting great reviews, but the way it looked at the end of the day wasn’t ideal.  Guerlain Cruel Gardenia wore for a shocking ten hours without fading, which was far more than I expected and longer than average. I wore them both over the same foundation (Guerlain Lingerie de Peau). On a very minute scale, Guerlain’s is a little more refined–a smidgen more finely milled, softer, finer shimmer–but it’s such a close call.

They are really different shades (Cruel Garenia is pink, this shade is warmer, more champagne-bronze), even though the products are similar in formula, so it’s more about the kind of shade you prefer and would find more flattering against your skin tone. The price for Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia is $67, but you’ll get 0.31 oz. worth of product (50% more than Laura Mercier’s), so on an ounce-by-ounce comparison, Guerlain’s costs $216/oz. and Laura Mercier’s is $210/oz. I would expect this shade to flatter warmer skin tones more, while Cruel Gardenia will work well on both skin tones (as it is more neutral in undertone).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous Face Illuminator Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If this wore longer and better on me (say eight hours), this would be more of an A- product, but unfortunately, the mere six hours of wear impacts the product's overall rating quite a bit. I do think the two products are comparable in texture and composition, but the shades and wear are significantly different.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush
Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Rude Cream Blush

Illamasqua Cream Blusher Rude ($24.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm peach pink” with a dewy finish. I didn’t detect any pink in the pan, and on my skin, it seemed more orange than anything else. When blended out, it looks more peach-orange (and not to worry, it doesn’t have to be as fierce applied as it appears in the pan). Perhaps on those with more obvious pink undertones, it will look less peach-orange and more peach-pink. If you apply Rude very subtly, it compares to Urban Decay Indecent but without the shimmer (and I’d say Urban Decay Bang is too dark and orange-y).

It definitely has a dewy finish, and it’s almost on the wrong side of dewy, even on my normal-to-dry skin; luckily, it skates that thin line and manages to be a glowy dewy rather than an oily dewy. You can also take down the dewiness by dusting translucent powder on top. This product is buildable and very, very blendable; the creamy, melt-on-your-cheeks consistency enables that, so it is impossible to overdo it, but if you like your blush darker, you’ll likely do better by building up the color in layers.

The texture, despite its creaminess, feels featherweight against the skin; it’s thin, comfortable to wear, and doesn’t feel greasy. It wears around seven hours on bare skin before it seems to reach its limit at eight hours (where it appears faded). Over foundation, it wears five to seven hours, depending on the quality of my underlying skin; if it’s drier, then it tends to cling to patches over time, so it’s manageable for five hours or so, but if my skin is more normal, then it lasts just over seven hours. What I really liked was that it looked and felt good over and under foundation, and many cream blushes have a tendency to work best on bare skin–and let me tell you, my skin is nowhere near good enough to be wearing full makeup and skipping foundation.

The Glossover

P
product

Rude

B+
I can see why Illamasqua's Cream Blushes are popular; the wear is good (but it has some room for improvement), and the color is buildable and blendable, which are really two must-have characteristics of a cream blush.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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

P
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

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →