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NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Frenzy Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is more of a highlighter/blush concept, as the lightest shade is most similar to other gold highlighters we’ve seen in the past. The formula is a lot easier to work with dry, as it blended nicely and just didn’t take nearly as much effort to work into the skin as a damp application. If you wear foundation underneath these, I would recommend great care and some brush experimentation when using the formula damp, as using NARS’ Wet/Dry Blush Brush lifts the color and doesn’t blend the color well at all. I think this duo was a lot more flattering on the skin, as the texture wasn’t emphasized terribly (compared the first one I reviewed).

If you missed my initial review of this formula, you can find it here, but it went into more detail about the formula. As a recap, NARS is touting these as a wet/dry formula with the wet formula yielding a “translucent wash of color,” which is really the opposite of my experience, as applying either shade with a dampened brush intensifies both the color and the finish (if it has any shimmer)–this would have rated a B+ if it was described as most wet/dry formulas were (including their own Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow formula, which is damp application yields greater pigment/intensity).

Frenzy (Left) is described as a “sparkling soft pink-gold highlighter.” It’s a brightened, true yellow gold with warm undertones and a metallic finish. I don’t see any pink in the pan, whether from afar, up-close, or when swatched (wet or dry). The texture is firmly packed, and this was a shade that yielded only so-so color coverage with brushes but will yield better pigmentation if you use your fingertips. It had a luminous finish that gave the skin a sheen (and didn’t give me much color, but I’m medium in color) without emphasizing pores. It wore well for seven hours. When I applied it damp, it was more pigmented and significantly more shimmery, but it only slightly emphasized pores and wore well for eight hours. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is very similar. Dior Transatlantique (LE, $58.00) is darker. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is lighter. MAC Whisper of Gilt (LE, $30.00) is similar. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City Illuminating Powder (LE, $70.00) is darker. Chanel Mouche de Beaute Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is similar. Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder (LE, $80.00) is yellower. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Frenzy (Right) is described as a “shimmering bright tangerine orange.” It’s a medium-dark orange with warm, yellow-red undertones and a soft, pearly shimmer. The texture was softer while still being smooth. Applied dry, you’ll get semi-opaque coverage with a softer quality to it, while the finish appears more satiny on the skin. I was able to get seven and a half hours of wear when I applied it dry. When I tried using the blush damp, the color payoff was deeper and richer with a more pronounced shimmery sheen. It was harder to blend and work with when used damp, though it lasted for nine hours. MAC Style Cast (LE, $21.00) is lighter. MAC Seduced at Sea (LE, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Modern Mandarin (P, $21.00) is darker, redder. Sleek MakeUP Pink Mint (P, $6.99) iis darker. MAC Bad Girl Gone Good (LE, $21.00) is more muted. NARS Soulshine #2 (LE, $29.00) is similar. NARS Luster (P, $29.00) is lighter, yellower, more shimmery. MAC My Paradise (LE, $28.00) is similar when mixed. MAC Shape the Future (LE, $30.00) is darker, more orange. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Duo Frenzy
Frenzy
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Lancome My French Palette

Lancome My French Palette
Lancome My French Palette

Lancome My French Palette ($58.00 for 0.30 oz.) includes nine shades with two that double as powder eyeliners. Six of the nine shades are neutrals, and then two are in the teal family with one blackish-gray. The formula used in the palette really needs an eyeshadow primer in order for the majority of the shades to have good color coverage and smooth, even application, as it had a more powder quality that made it harder to apply to bare skin (or else it would sheer out immediately as the product didn’t stick well).

My French #1 is a very light pink with subtle, cool undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-sheer color coverage with a soft but powdery texture that absolutely requires a base to perform decently. It faded within six and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #2 is a pinky mauve with subtle, cool undertones and a matte finish. Another shade that was somewhat powdery and resulted in so-so pigmentation. It lasted for six hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #3 is a pinky-peach–more pink than peach–with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage with a powdery, dusty texture. The color only lasted for six hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #4 is a bright, metallic beige with warm undertones. The texture was so soft that it applied thickly, where the powder bunched up on itself, so it can emphasize the texture on the lids or lines/wrinkles. It had intense color payoff, and it did wear well for eight hours, though. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #5 is a peachy-beige with warm undertones and a frosted, metallic sheen. It had good pigmentation with a soft, buttery texture that wasn’t powdery. It applied well and stayed on for eight hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #6 is a rich, bronzy brown with a metallic finish and warm, reddish undertones. It had excellent color payoff with a really smooth, dense, buttery texture that went on well. It wore well for eight hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #7 is a light-medium, aqua teal with subtle, warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had semi-sheer pigmentation that was a little dry to work with, which made blending unnecessarily difficult. It lasted for six hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #8 is a muted, bluish-teal with a satiny sheen. The texture was on the drier, stiffer side and difficult to blend or apply in a solid line (as eyeliner). I couldn’t even use this wet at all–using it wet made the surface harden. It lasted for seven hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

My French #9 is a gray-ish black with subtle shimmer. It had excellent pigmentation that applied smoothly and evenly. It wore well for eight hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Lancome Spring 2015 Palette My French Palette
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ColourPop Rebound Super Shock Shadow & Pressed Pigment Set

ColourPop Rebound Collection
ColourPop Rebound Collection

ColourPop Rebound Collection ($20.00 for 4 x 0.07 oz.) includes four shades for spring/summer 2015. Those who tend to prefer more matte finishes may like that this set includes three more matte shades and one sparkly shade. There’s something to be said about reading carefully, though, as this set includes three Super Shock Shadows and one Super Shock Pressed Pigment (Ex); with the latter being “not intended for use in the immediate eye area.” I missed that until I sat down last week to write-up the review, so you’ll see it included in the eye look with the other shades, but I tested it as a blush (and it is only be rated as a blush) after that.

One & Done is described as a “soft butter cream ivory with a matte finish.” It’s a light, subdued yellowed beige with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. There’s a little sheen to the finish that keeps it from being totally matte. It had fairly opaque coverage that could build to fully opaque color with two layers of product. The consistency was blendable, while the formula was long-wearing and stayed on for nine hours before creasing. Hourglass Obscura #1 (P) is powder. Hourglass Monochrome #1 (P) is lighter, powder. Hourglass Atmosphere #1 (P) is lighter, powder. LORAC Undressed (P) is a powder. Kat Von D Damned (LE) is less yellow, powder. Tarte Breakfast in Bed (LE) is darker, powder. Makeup Geek Mirage (LE, $5.99) is darker, brighter, powder. Make Up For Ever M510 Vanilla (P, $21.00) is darker, powder. bareMinerals Pacific Sands (LE) is powder. Kat Von D Entomology (P) is powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Too Soon is described as a “golden peach with pink opal iridescent duochrome finish.” It’s a softened, peachy-orange with warm undertones and pink and pale gold sparkle. It was semi-opaque and slightly buildable, but I couldn’t get fully opaque color (even with fingertips). The texture is blendable with little fall out during application, and there were a few stray sparkles that drop while it is worn, but it was minimal. The color itself stayed on well for nine and a half hours before creasing slightly. Colour Pop Halo (LE, $5.00) is darker, less sparkly. theBalm #7 (P, $6.50) is darker. theBalm #4 (P, $6.50) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Escapade (LE, $42.00) is brighter, less sparkly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Ex is described as a “bright coral red with a matte finish.” It’s a muted, light-medium coral with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage in a single pass with fingertips, but with a stippling brush, it was more semi-sheer to semi-opaque buildable coverage. Since the brand released a blush formula, their recommendations were to use fingertips for the most coverage, but advised that a flat brush could be used for higher coverage (but less than fingertips) and a duo fiber brush for a “sheer, air brushed effect.” I haven’t tried their blushes yet (I did order) so I’m not sure how the Super Shock Shadow/Pressed Pigment formula differs, but I tried to use that as my guideline when I went to test this as a blush. When I used it on my eye (again, it is not safe for the immediate eye area), it did require two layers for more opaque color–it’s definitely one that lends itself to fingertip application for best pigmentation. It lasted for eight hours as a blush. Chanel Angelique (190) (P, $45.00) is lighter, powder. MAC Fleeting Romance (P, $23.50) is more shimmery, powder. MAC Sideshow You (LE, $21.00) is lighter, powder. Milani Coral Cove (05) (LE, $7.99) is warmer, powder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Adios is described as a “smokey taupe gray with a matte finish.” It’s a medium-dark taupe with warmer, brown undertones and an overcast of gray. It had more of a semi-matte finish than a true matte–there was a very slight sheen to it. It had mostly opaque pigmentation applied with fingertips or with a brush, so I used a brush to apply it to the lid and had no issues doing so. The texture was lightweight, blendable, and the color itself wore well for ten hours before creasing slightly. Giorgio Armani #08 (P, $32.00) is darker. Laura Mercier Stone Taupe (LE, $23.00) is warmer. MAC Lofty (LE, $15.00) is darker. Burberry Storm Grey (No. 27) (P, $29.00) is cooler-toned. Tom Ford Beauty Unabashed Eyeshadow #2 (LE) is less shimmery. Dior Mirage (761) (P, $30.00) is lighter. bareMinerals Head Over Heels (LE) is cooler-toned. bareMinerals Exec (LE) is grayer. Lancome Volcano (P, $19.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow & Pressed Pigment Set Rebound
Rebound
Rebound
A-

Limited Edition

8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
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A-

One & Done

Limited Edition
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B+

Too Soon

Limited Edition
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B+

Ex

Limited Edition
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A

Adios

Limited Edition
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Guerlain Les Precieux Eyeshadow Quad

Guerlain Les Precieux Eyeshadow Quad
Guerlain Les Precieux Eyeshadow Quad

Guerlain Les Precieux Eyeshadow Quad ($65.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a new, limited edition palette for spring that features four shades ranging from olive green, peach, light yellow, and brown. A few of Guerlain’s quads I like, but a lot of them are less impressive. There’s definitely something different about the formula in the more recent iterations that is drier and more powdery, which has, in turn, made them sheerer, harder to apply, and shorter-wearing.

Les Precieux #1 is a medium-dark, olive green with warm undertones and a frosted sheen. It had good color payoff with a fairly soft texture–it felt a little dry to me–that blended easily, so it tended to look sheerer when actually applied (without a base to help it). It wore well for seven hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Les Precieux #2 is a light, frosty pink-peach with warm undertones. It had semi-sheer color coverage with a drier texture, though it didn’t feel stiff, but it just didn’t adhere well to the skin. It lasted for six hours before fading. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Les Precieux #3 is a buttery light yellow gold with a frosted finish with white sparkle. The texture was somewhat dry with a powderiness to it. It had semi-opaque color payoff, but it didn’t stick to bare skin well. It lasted for six and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Les Precieux #4 is a medium-dark, golden brown with warm undertones and a frosted finish. It had good pigmentation that applied smoothly and evenly with a really rich, buttery texture. It wore well for eight hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Guerlain L’Ecrin 4 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette Les Precieux (504)
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
81%
Total
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B+

Les Precieux #1

Limited Edition
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D+

Les Precieux #2

Limited Edition
Read Review
C+

Les Precieux #3

Limited Edition
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A-

Les Precieux #4

Limited Edition
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NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Adoration Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is one of six duos that will be available on March 4th. The lighter shade was best applied dry, as damp application resulted in such a metallic finish that it was more like a flashing, neon sign that said, “Hey, my skin isn’t perfect! I have pores! And texture!” The darker shade ended up becoming much, much more pigmented when applied damp, but it become too shimmery, and it lasted longer that way. It was easier to apply, blend, and control applied dry, though, and coverage was buildable so greater intensity was achievable with two or three passes. Wear time is fairly good regardless of application method, but I get slightly longer results with a damp application. The texture is firm, but smooth, and it doesn’t feel dry or stiff, but it seems to have a firmer press overall.

The formula is supposed to have a “weightless, luxurious texture” that can be used wet or dry. The wet application is supposed to give a “translucent wash of color,” while dry application yields “a natural glow that warms the complexion.” If you’ve tried MAC Extra Dimension Blush and MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish, the formulas are similar. Estee Lauder, Lancome, and Laura Mercier have all done cheek products with a similar wet/dry kind of formula.

Nearly across the board, there was either negligible color payoff difference between wet and dry applications, but when there was a difference, it was typically much more pigmented. The shades tended to apply with a more metallic/shimmery finish when applied with a dampened brush and emphasized pores. The fact that it was more pigmented applied damp may be great news for some, but it is the opposite of how the formula was described (which is how I rate products), so you will see that have a negative impact on the ratings. It is interesting that it was described as a wash when applied wet, as this is the opposite of the Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow formula.

With the new blush formula, NARS also added a Wet/Dry Blush Brush to their assortment of brushes. I’m trying to give the brush more chances, but I had great difficulty using it with their formula, particularly wet, where it tended to lift the product and leave the results looking patchy, even over bare skin. With enough effort and a very, barely-there touch and some fingertip blending, I could manage fairly even color over bare skin. However, it was impossible to use over a liquid foundation, as it moved and lifted the foundation in places. I far preferred using MAC’s 159 stippling brush, which worked well for both wet and dry applications. Ultra-soft brushes by Chikuhodo and SUQQU didn’t pick-up product well with this formula. Some of the deeper shades do work with those feathery, ultra-soft brushes.

Adoration (Left) is described as a “sparkling baby pink.” It’s a light-medium pink with subtle, warm undertones and white shimmer and slightly larger silver-white sparkle. The texture was firm but smooth with semi-opaque color coverage dry and mostly opaque coverage damp. It had more of a frosted finish when it was applied dry, and it very slightly emphasized pores but for the most impart imparted a high-shine sheen and lasted for seven and a half hours. When I applied it damp, it was much more metallic and emphasized every pore and imperfection, but it wore well for eight and a half hours. The effect can be luminous without being emphasized by patting translucent or flesh-colored powder over it. MAC Just a Wisp (P, $27.00) is less shimmery. Makeup Geek First Love (P, $9.99) is less shimmery, cooler-toned. MAC For Your Amusement (LE, $20.00) is less shimmery. MAC Azalea in the Afternoon (LE, $27.00) is less shimmery, warmer. Physicians Formula Rose (P, $11.99) is warmer. Lancome Moonlight Rose (LE, $42.00) is less shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Adoration (Right) is described as a “shimmering hot pink.” It’s a medium-dark pink with subtle, warm undertones and a satiny sheen. Applied dry, it was semi-sheer and buildable, with a more satin-like finish that gave the skin a lovely glow that didn’t draw attention to pores, and it lasted for eight hours on me. Applied damp, it was intensely pigmented with nearly opaque coverage from the get-go, and you’ll want to apply the smallest amount and build-up, or else you’ll have a lot of work ahead of you. The dampened application intensifies the sheen, but it doesn’t turn metallic, so it still gives a glow without emphasizing the texture of the skin, and applied this way, the blush lasted for nine hours. Makeup Geek Love Affair (P, $9.99) is warmer. MAC Peaches & Cream (LE, $21.00) is similar. MAC Sunset Beach (LE, $32.00) is similar. YSL Fuchsia Desinvolte (01) (P, $40.00) is less shimmery. Clinique Berry Pop (03) (P, $21.00) is brighter, cooler-toned. Illamasqua Peaked (P, $26.00) is more muted. Chanel Affinite (65) (P, $38.00) is lighter. Tom Ford Beauty Wicked (P, $55.00) is cooler-toned, more muted. Tom Ford Beauty Narcissist (LE, $55.00) is cooler-toned. NYX Bourgeois Pig (P, $5.00) is less shimmery. MAC Supernova (LE, $27.00) is similar. See comparison swatchesview dupes.

P.S. — I am testing the wet and dry application for each shade, so one duo is the equivalent of testing four blushes, and while I will work diligently through the six, I may not get be able to test all of them before the official release date (it really depends on how long each shade wears and whether I can test more than one shade per cheek per day!)–just as a heads up.

NARS Dual-Intensity Blush Duo Adoration
Adoration
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Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette

Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette
Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette

Laura Mercier Watercolour Mist Eye & Cheek Palette ($58.00 for 0.332 oz.) contains six eyeshadows and two cheek colors. Everything about this palette was a disappointment. It’s a bit like wearing a bunch of faded, barely-there eyeshadows that just make your natural lid look muddied, dreary, and powdery. Both cheek colors were stiff and required a spatula to scrape off color to get anything to show up in a swatch, but I couldn’t get either to visibly appear on my cheeks. The eyeshadows are very soft and powdery, and unfortunately, most of them blend away to poor versions of themselves in practice. I was a bit surprised, because it swatched better than anticipated, but it was a mess trying to use this. The only way to salvage it would be use to a white, tacky/creamy base. The only nice thing about this is the packaging, which has “water’ droplets on the exterior (exactly like MAC’s Alluring Aquatic collection).

Mist is a muted, light-medium green-teal with strong gray and cool undertones. It had a satin finish. It had decent color payoff but was so soft that it sheered out to semi-sheer coverage. It was noticeably faded after five hours of wear. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Fog is a light-medium, khaki green with subtle, warm undertones and a satin finish. The texture was soft yet powdery enough that it tended to blend away to a rather sheer, faded color applied to the lid in practice. It wore well for five and a half hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Storm is a muted, overcast green with subtle, warmer undertones and a satin finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage but was prone to sheering out to a very faded, sheerer version of itself. It only wore well for six hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Wind is a soft, muted pink-lavender with hints of gray and a subtle, warmer undertone and a matte finish. The color payoff was mostly opaque, but it had a somewhat powdery texture that made it difficult to keep at that intensity–it wanted to sheer out almost instantly. It lasted for six hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Purple Rain is a cool-toned, purple-gray with a semi-matte finish. It had so-so pigmentation with a soft texture that was somewhat powdery. It was faded within six hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Cloud is a muted, medium-dark gray with cool undertones and a matte finish. It was powdery, semi-sheer, and lasted a mere five hours on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sunset (Cheek Color) is a pink-peach with subtle warm undertones and a satin finish. I had to chip away at the pan’s surface to dislodge product with a metal spatula, because the surface was so firm and hard that it nearly felt like plastic. What I managed to scrape away ended up being chalky, powdery, and dry. I couldn’t get it to show up on my skin tone, but I did see a slightly chalky cast in person, though it seemed to disappear nearly instantly, because it was gone less than an hour later. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Earth (Cheek Color) is a medium-dark reddish brown with a satin finish. It had a similarly hard surface that required scraping to get any product out of it for swatching. It was powdery, dry, prone to fading, and incredibly difficult to blend on the skin. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Laura Mercier Eye & Cheek Palette Watercolour Mist
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