Warmth Glow n’ Bronzer
2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Glow n’ Bronzers
There are three Glow n’ Bronzers to choose from, and each one contains four strips of color. You could likely use each one individually to highlight or use on eyes, but as a blush/bronzer, it is most practical to use all four together (“swirled”). The Glow n’ Bronzers ($15.00 each for 16.1 g/0.57 oz.) are very much like the Marble Blushes. Each strip is soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. These also wear well and last me most of the day–or as long as I needed it to! Like the Marble Blushes, these give a soft sheen rather than chunky glitter or shimmer particles, so if you’ve found other baked products too shimmery, these might be more your cup of tea.
- Warmth contains four strips of color: pale white-beige, neutral brown with pink undertones, soft, pale pink, and bronze. When swirled together, you get a soft, bronzy-pink shade. I’d see this working well on paler skin tones.
- Sun Kissed contains four strips of color: light beige with pink, soft orange, taupe-y bronze, and warm bronze. I will caution that my swatches are a bit misleading on this one, only because some of it is so similar to my skin tone, so on paler complexions, you’d definitely see a bit more bang for your buck. On the other hand, this one works extremely well with my coloring, because it looks very natural and definitely gives me a “sunkissed” look. Swirled together, you’ll see a soft, coppeyr-bronze shade with soft gold sheen.
- Toasted contains four strips of color: taupe-brown with pink, pale ivory-beige, soft golden peach, and rich copper. When used together, the colors come together to create a soft golden sheen. On me, it looks more like a highlighter more so than a bronzer.
Compared to MAC: I’d say these are most like MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes (particularly the limited edition releases from Brunette, Blonde, Redhead, since those, too, had strips of color). Again, these are cheaper at $15.00 for 16.1g/0.57 oz. compared to MAC at $27.00 for 10g/0.35 oz. MAC also offers a larger variety on types of mineralize skinfinishes, since some are blushers, while others can bronze your skin and still others are highlighters. MAC’s tend to be swirled/marbled rather than with strips, too. One thing I noticed is that when I swirled MAC mineralize skinfinishes together (from BBR), the strips didn’t mix so much. With the 2nd Love Glow n’ Bronzers, when you mix them, you can kind of see that you did that. You can dust everything off and it’s all as it should be, though. When you use a brush, this effect is extremely minimized; it is more pronounced when you use sponges/fingers.
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Sunset Marble Blush
2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Marble Blushes
2nd Love was founded by a fellow UC Irvine alumnist Terry Hsiao, who graduated in 2005, and is now working on developing her own cosmetic line. When Terry first approached me, I started to get excited as soon as I visited 2nd Love’s website, particularly because it is well-designed and the quality of the product photos is excellent. (If only all brands had such high quality imagery for us to drool over!) I also thought it would be fitting to check out this line with MAC’s Colour Craft Collection debuting later this week.
The 2nd Love Collection currently includes six eyeshadow duos, four marble blushes, and three Glow n’ Bronzers. According to Terry, the powders are made with a special formula containing a high content of pearl powder. The baked powders can be used wet or dry and are longer wearing than traditional pressed powder products. Together, they are designed to create a collection of soft, sheer powders that provide intense color and flawless coverage.
- Sunset is a marbleized powder with hints of warm brown, cool pink, and dirty gray. It translates into a soft, dirty pink. I imagine on some complexions this might come off a bit muddy, but for others, it will be a nice, subdued blusher.
- Sunshine is a soft pink with silvery sheen. In the pot, it’s a mixture of soft white and deeper pink.
- Terra Cotta is a soft, peachy color with a soft sheen. The pot is a marbleized concoction of peachy-gold, copper, and pink. I liked this one a lot, just because it adds warmth to cheeks without too much color, so it’s a very natural-looking shade.
- Amber is a soft, cool pink with light sheen. I wore this alone with mascara and a tinted lip balm, and I got so many compliments on the cheeks!
OVERALL, 2nd Love’s Marble Blushes ($12.00 each for 5.6g/0.2 oz.) are soft, smooth baked powder blushes. Their intensity is designed to be softer rather than in-your-face, and I think they succeed in that area. All four blushes are extremely wearable for a full range of skin tones, and the layer well to build up the color. They can also be used wet to increase intensity, too. I didn’t find any of them too glittery; in fact, they all seemed to have a nice sheen rather than shimmer/glitter particles. I found that the blushes wore well throughout the day, and they didn’t fade much, if at all. I have found that mineralize blushes and the like do tend to have less staying power than traditional powder blushes for me, at least.
Of course, I know you are wondering how 2nd Love’s Marble Blushes compare to MAC’s Mineralize Blushes. I do feel that they are different products in some ways, and of course, similar in others. The biggest difference is the price — MAC mineralize blushes run $21.00 each for 3.5g/0.11 oz. Some of MAC’s mineralize blushes do pack more pigment/color pay off than 2nd Love’s (e.g. Merrily). I’d say 2nd Love’s Marble Blushes just give a softer finish, softer glow.
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Let’s dive into some of Make Up For Ever’s orange and yellow eyeshadows! Personally, I skipped on some of the more intense, straight yellows, just because I tend not to look good in those shades (Chrome Yellow, anyone?), so I need more time to swatch and play with them in person before getting any of those.
- #5 is a matte orange-coral. Smooth, pigmented, and easy to use, #5 is quickly becoming a favorite. It’s nice on the eyes, but I love it as a blush. Just be careful, because a little goes a long way, and it’s better to build up than buff out.
- #10 is a shimmery, true golden yellow. This is the equivalent of Goldmine eyeshadow with a little less orange and less frostiness.
- #153 is a peachy-orange shade with gold shimmer. When I saw it at IMATS, it reminded me of a deeper MAC Say Yeah eyeshadow (which was limited edition, and I also adore it!). It is definitely similar, but it is a bit more intense. I love this to highlight cheeks on top of #5. It just gives it a nice glow and softness. This also works well on the eyes, too. And if #5 is a new blush favorite, #153 is a new cheek highlighting favorite.
- #102 is a matte, pale beige-y color (or off-white, if you prefer). They describe it as “eggshell,” and it’s a rather apt description. It makes for a good neutral matte highlighter when you may already have frost overkill on the eyes.
- #101 is a soft, pale white-gold with pale gold shimmer. Of the shadows I’ve really worked with so far, this is one of the few that has been more disappointing. I find the pay off to be a bit glittery/chunky and not smooth like I’ve come to expect from the brand. It also seems to be the same when used in application, too. I thought I’d use it as a nice highlighter, but it doesn’t work well for that purpose either.
Which of these are your favorites?
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Make Up For Ever #158 Eyeshadow
Make Up For Ever Eyeshadows ($19.00 each) and Diamond Eyeshadows ($20.00) each are sold individually in single-sized compacts. What’s nifty about the compacts is that they’re already magnetized and there’s no depotting necessary. If you need to pop one out, just take a pair of tweezers to do so (I do this to prevent any “oops!”). You can also purchase the eyeshadows in pan-form only (I believe that those are $13.00 each) and then fit them into 10-pan palettes (I believe those are $13 as well).
- #158 is a matte, medium red. It goes on smoothly, has good pigmentation, and it doesn’t have a chalky texture. Because of the intensity of the red pigment, this color may stain lids temporarily. Compared with 99, this is a much subtler red. I like that it doesn’t have any noticeable brown in it, so it doesn’t come out brick red.
- #99 is a matte, bright apple red. It feels like velvet when swatched, and it packs a lot of color without much product. This one, like 158, may also stain lids temporarily.
- #75 is a matte, bright hot pink. This is the shade I used in yesterday’s look, and it definitely gives you a nice pop of bright pink color. It, too, will stain your lids, though. I didn’t wear a base beyond my lid, and anywhere I had #75 above my lid, it stained. It is pretty easy to work with and feels like a buttery matte with no chalkiness to it.
- #85 is a shimmery, soft pink. This is a pretty color, and it reminds me of MAC Pink Freeze, just not as gritty/glittery. This is smoother, and while it doesn’t pack a lot of color, it is a nice all-over-lid shade to brighten up eyes.
- #303 is a shimmery, pale pastel pink. All Make Up For Ever shadows that start with a 3 (e.g. #3_ _) are Diamond Eyeshadows. According to the brand, Diamond Eyeshadows is a combinatoin of their Diamond Powders and their regular Eyeshadows. No matter what you call it, they’re shimmery and iridescent. This is almost like a pink-meets-lilac color, but it runs a bit pastel and cool-toned with subtle silvery-pink shimmer.
To avoid staining: make sure to layer a base underneath wherever you’re going to put a shadow that has the potential to stain. When I used #75 on my eyes, it only stained above my crease, where I laid it down directly onto skin. The staining does fade after about a day or so, though.
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YSL Fall 2009 Collection Sneak Peek – Part 3
YSL for Fall 2009 sees the introduction and limited release of three cream blushes, available in Velvety Peach, Powdery Rose, and Silky Praline ($38.00 each). YSL describes them as…
Velvety soft, airy, as light as a cloud… A delicious texture that melts on the skin and brings a rosy warmth to the cheeks. A sensual cream blush that becomes an irresistible powdery veil on contact with the skin, accentuates the cheekbones and instantly illuminates the face. No layered effect, no mask feeling… just a touch of bare-skin color for a radiant, natural-looking glow.
I would definitely have to agree with the soft, airiness of the product. It feels extremely light to the touch, and it is certainly creamy–without being thick or goopy. I was able to play with Powdery Rose, which is a soft, pale pink when sheered out. It can be layered for more intense color or sheered out for subtle color, depending on your preferences and needs. There’s just the faintest shimmer/sheen in it, but the sheerer you wear it, the less noticeable the shimmer is. I prefer to use a stippling brush like the 188 to apply this to cheeks, because it gives you more control over the application and allows you to build up the intensity to the level you want without any fuss.
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Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick for Body ($75.00) is new for Summer 2009. It’s the same concept and has the same texture/feel/look of the traditional (and popular) shimmer bricks. There’s just one difference — it’s seems huge. I don’t know necessarily if I’d say it’s $75.00 huge, but it is extremely large in comparison to the normal shimmer bricks. I thought I’d review this today, because of Bobbi Brown’s Summer Sale – get 25% off automatically applied to your order from today until June 11th — it brings this body shimmer brick down to just over $50.
It contains 0.5 oz./15 grams of product, whereas a normal shimmer brick contains 0.4 oz./10.3 grams. I like to see how much you’re really paying for things. After a little math, I found with the body shimmer brick, you’re paying $5.00 per gram. The regular shimmer brick is only $3.89 per gram. So even though the size of the body shimmer brick seems like twice the size of a regular shimmer brick, the actual product quantity is only slightly more. From what I can tell, I think the body shimmer brick might be most similar to the Beige Shimmer Brick. One thing I do like that is different between the two is that if you have a good body brush (I love MAC’s 179), there’s a lot of surface area to use. It’s not a small compact, so you do have more room to work with. Bobbi Brown does have a limited edition All Over Body Brush ($85.00) designed for the Shimmer Brick for Body, but I haven’t tested it yet, so I can’t weigh in.
The color of the Body Shimmer Brick is a soft golden-bronze shade. It’s just as frosty as regular shimmer bricks, but I think the shimmer is more downplayed when used on shoulders and decolletage. I do like the product, and I think it is excellent for adding a little extra oomph before going out at night! I know some of you are shimmer brick fanatics, so I hope you enjoy this one, too!
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