Monday, February 18th, 2013

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder ($34.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a “weightless, translucent powder” with a “soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light.” It looks stark white in the pan, and there’s a definite sheen; a pearly finish that certainly reflects light. The texture of the powder is very unique; I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like it. It almost feels like a cream and powder hybrid–not just a cream-to-powder product–but the texture has the smoothness of a cream but the thinness and dryness of a powder. Because of this texture, you really need to swirl and swish your brush across the surface (if you use a brush) to loosen the product.

I primarily used a powder brush to apply the product (I liked the results of MAC’s 134 best), and the powder, while it can swatch more heavily and look white and almost chalky, disappears and holds true to its translucency claim applied to the skin. There’s no powderiness in the pan or as seen on the skin. It absolutely softens and smooths out the skin’s texture and appearance. There is a faint reflective quality as an overall glowing sheen but doesn’t translate as visible sparkle or obvious particles.  It extended the wear of my foundation by an hour or so–I have normal-to-dry skin.

Even though it’s titled a setting powder, it feels more like a finishing powder, though the category is, frankly, one that I always feels blends together/overlaps where the two are often more alike than not. In that vein, Guerlain Wulong has a similar sheen and coloring, but Wulong has a stronger shimmer-sheen finish, so it gives skin a more luminous (“glowy”) appearance. We are talking degrees, not canyons, of difference, though. It has more of a sheen to its finish than Hourglass Diffused Light, which I reviewed yesterday.

One thing I noticed about the Pressed version is that you have to be really good about the brush or tool you use to apply it, because the surface of the powder doesn’t seem to react well to anything liquid/moisture/cream. It was really imperative to wait for my foundation to dry before brushing this on, because any smidgen of foundation caught on the brush (which I only used for applying the setting powder) would slightly harden the surface of the pan. There’s a very thin sponge included with the powder, and it works for application, but I found it dirtied very quickly and resulted in far more foundation transfer into the pan than preferable.

I will be reviewing the Loose version shortly after this, and while I prefer the look of the Pressed over the Loose, I really don’t like how touchy the surface of the pressed powder is and find the Loose one is easier to apply and maintain. Also worth noting: the pan of this is on the smaller size at only 0.24 oz., though physically it seemed rather large (even the Loose version has 0.35 oz.).

The Glossover

P
product

Translucent Crystal

A

There's no powderiness in the pan or as seen on the skin. It absolutely softens and smooths out the skin's texture and appearance. There is a faint reflective quality as an overall glowing sheen but doesn't translate as visible sparkle or obvious particles.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

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 →

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “soft, warm pale yellow powder.” It’s a pale, pale white with subtle yellow undertones and a barely-there sheen. This one didn’t have any sparkle or shimmer. I’m not an expert on finishing powders, as I’ve only tried a dozen or so on the market, but you can see my past reviews, which may be helpful. From what I’ve tried, I felt like MAC’s Sheer Mystery Powder may have been the most similar in terms of feel, look, and composition (pressed, soft, no sparkle), but I wouldn’t say they’re dupes for each other.

Diffused Light is supposed to “reduce redness and give skin clarity.” Like all of the shades within the new range, it is supposed to be suitable for all skin tones. The larger idea behind the Ambient Lighting Powders is that they help to make your skin look like it’s been lit by soft, diffused light; think having a bit of a photographer and his lighting crew follow you around, except in powder form.

I applied Diffused Light over Hourglass’ Veil Fluid foundation using the Ambient Powder Brush to the right half of my face (see photos below), and I think the effect is exactly as anticipated: something that’s nigh on invisible to the eye in terms of seeing the product but that it does soften the way the skin looks. The natural textures and imperfections of the skin, including some unevenness, pores, and the like, look softer and smoother. Because it is a powder, too, it will take down any shine and does help to prolong the wear I get out of my foundation by an hour or so.

It didn’t look heavy, caky, or obvious on; there’s no residual powderiness that’s there as it sits on the skin, because you can’t see what you’ve put on. This is exactly what a finishing powder should be; and really, it’s what base makeup is all about: your skin but better. I have a medium complexion, and this did not look chalky or ashy when I applied it to my face, though it did look potentially chalky when I did a heavy swatch on my arm–so if you do the same in-store, you might try seeing it blended and applied on the face.

The powder itself is incredibly finely-milled and soft, which is great for application and blending of the product on the skin. However, a downside to that is that it does kick up a fair amount of excess powder (and I used Hourglass’ own Ambient Powder Brush) as the bristles disturb the surface of the powder. Again, none of this excess turns up on the skin, but there is some waste, I’d say. It is more “pigmented” as a result compared to other products in the category, like Guerlain Pressed Meteorites.  The excess is, ultimately, wasted product, and it does get into the nooks and crannies of the compact and some disappears into the air. That’s really my only complaint!

The Glossover

P
product

Diffused Light

A+

Hourglass launches another great product, and it's easily a line I can see becoming holy grail material for some. It's impossible to over-do, and it definitely makes skin look better without looking like you've patted powder all over.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

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 →

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder
Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder

Instant Photoshop for Your Skin

Guerlain Mythic Meteorites Voyage Powder ($55.00/$170.00 for 0.26 oz.) consists of a “blend of matte and pearly shades … mixture of six correcting or light-enhancing colors to deliver the purest radiance.” When blended and applied together, they create a pale pink powder with subtle shimmer/sparkle. Chantecaille Les Petales de Rose is more shimmery with a warmer golden sheen. MAC Lightscapade is more shimmery. MAC Light Sunshine has a bit more of a sheen and powderiness to it.

So, after discovering the majesty of Wulong over the holiday season, I knew I had to see whether the always-available Mythic was similar/comparable (because Wulong is limited edition, and while you can refill the compact, it would have to be with Mythic). One of the reasons I wanted to find out about their similarities is because you can purchase the pan without the compact–the pan will run you $55, whereas the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle with cost you $170.

Initially, I thought, “This is going to be different,” but as is the nature of the product, no, not really (and that’s not a bad thing). What I noticed more with Mythic is that it’ll be a better mattifying product, because it has more of a matte, powdered base color with a very subtle sheen and a dusting of delicate micro-shimmer. Wulong reads slightly more as a barely-there sheen with less of a mattifying texture. In the pan, Mythic appears cooler-toned, but on, I don’t notice any coolness at all, because it is designed to be a transparent finishing powder over all else. For those who couldn’t bear the price of Wulong, if you have an existing compact or an empty palette to store it in, Mythic is something worth checking out instead. I measured, and the diameter of the pan appears to be 55mm.

Guerlain’s Meteorites Voyage Powders are really a pressed version of their famous Meteorite with less emphasis on shimmer, more on radiance, brightening, and creating an illusion of better skin.  That’s really what these powders do for me:  give me the effect of Photoshop in real life. They’re a subtle something-rather that no one can point to and say, “Oh, nice highlighter!’ but instead say, “Hey, are you doing something different with your skin today?”  As a finishing powder, it’s the very last step in the routine, right after setting powder, but honestly, I regularly use this (and Wulong) as both my setting and finishing powder–I have normal-to-dry skin, so I imagine that’s part of why I can get away with it–but I have noticed it still extends the wear of my base makeup by about an hour.

This is the kind of product that either makes it into your everyday routine or you’ll never understand how anyone on earth could shell out money for something they can’t (or barely) see. It’s okay to feel either way; what’s most important is that you enjoy your makeup. I’ve used either this or Wulong since getting Wulong (and prior to that, I was using Guerlain’s Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powder, which is also a worthwhile alternative), but I have been using this specifically for the past two weeks.  For me, it is absolutely part of my everyday routine.  If you asked me to choose, I would say Wulong–but that is because it is limited edition, because I like the look of the compact, and I’m just a little warm.

The Glossover

P
product

Mythic

A+
This is the kind of product that either makes it into your everyday routine or you'll never understand how anyone on earth could shell out money for something they can't (or barely) see. It's okay to feel either way; what's most important is that you enjoy your makeup.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

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, December 4th, 2012

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Making Pretty has a Mystery–Powder That Is!

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder ($65.00 for 0.56 oz.) is a sheer, pressed powder. Each year, MAC launches it with their “couture” collection (typically at the end of the year), and this is one of three shades. Light Medium is likely a good bet for NC/NW20. It has a mostly neutral undertone, and when sheered out, matches my forearm pretty well (which is around NC20).  It also is available in Medium Plus and Dark Secret.

It can work as a finishing or setting powder. It has a lightweight, finely-milled texture that’s very soft and silky-smooth. Now, one aspect that must be mentioned is that you actually get a refill with your purchase (each pan is 0.28 oz.). To compare, MAC’s Select Sheer/Pressed Powder is $24.00/0.42 oz.  I’ve used this many times in the past, and it helps to set or mattify makeup.  What’s nice about the finely-milled powder is that it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and it’s impossible to overdo.

This collection is all about packaging, but I think it’s a let-down.  Over the years, the Mystery Powder compacts have gotten lighter and lighter, and this year’s feels the lightest so far.  It’s in the same style as this year’s holiday palettes, but instead of the pastel cushion, it has faux shagreen.  It’s just the metallic edging is all plastic. It doesn’t feel like a $65 compact without some heft.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Guerlain Wulong Meteorites Pressed Powder
Guerlain Wulong Meteorites Pressed Powder

If You’d Like a Little Luxury in Your Makeup Bag…

Guerlain Wulong Meteorites Pressed Powder ($170.00 for 0.26 oz.) is really meant to be the creme de la creme of luxury compacts and powders. This holiday’s refillable compact is a black lacquered metal case that has a lot of heft–the whole compact clocks in at just under 5 oz. The top of the compact is raised with Guerlain’s signature rosette, and the interior of the rosette is made up of gold mother-of-pearl.

Wulong is a sheer veil of warm, golden ivory glow. It’s glow in a compact, really, but in a subtle, barely-there way. According to Guerlain, the powder “combines six shades to ensure a pure, flawless and luminous complexion regardless of skin tone.” It is subtler compared to Perles du Dragon. I used it dusted all over my face as a finishing powder, though I also used it to set my makeup when I tested it (so you would only see the effect of this product). Without the powder, my foundation only lasts around eight hours, and while it’s good, it’s not pristine after eight hours. With the powder, my foundation lasted well into the tenth hour, and I didn’t get any afternoon or evening shininess on my t-zone.

The effect of Wulong is lightly mattifying but mostly softening and diffusing; it makes my pores (almost) disappear and softens lines.  It’s kind of like real-life Photoshop for your skin.  What it does is similar to what regular Meteorites do, but the compact version is more travel friendly.  I applied it with a large tapered brush like MAC’s 184.  The texture is softer than silk, smoother than butter; it’s finely-milled to the point where it melts against the skin.  It never looks powdery or cakey, and on my medium skin tone, it’s not at all ashy.

I’m not certain that the actual shade of Wulong will be later available in a refill, but Mythic Voyage is at present  and the refill is $55, to give you an idea of the cost of the product compared to the cost of the product and compact. I haven’t tried Mythic to my memory, so I don’t know how comparable it is. I would expect a similar effect overall, because the formula is so transparent and finely-milled.  The back of Wulong says “Refillable with Mythic 01.” You might also consider Guerlain’s Illuminating & Mattifying Pressed Powders, which are also part of the Meteorites family, though those are more matte than Wulong.

There’s no planet where I would feel comfortable saying this is a must-have–not at $170–but it’s a lovely product that performs well by making my skin look 15-20% better than it is and extending the wear of my base.  I’d be more apt to purchase a refill and skip the compact to save $115.  The compact is gorgeous.  It’s exactly what luxury beauty packaging should be.  I’m just not that much of a packaging junkie, but I routinely use pressed Meteorites to finish my foundation.  Wulong is one piece I’ll treasure and enjoy for years.  It’s very much a collector’s item, and I can see why some Guerlain collectors make sure they’re first in line for these compacts.

The Glossover

LE
product

Wulong

A+
There's no planet where I would feel comfortable saying this is a must-have--not at $170--but it's a lovely product that performs well by making my skin look 15-20% better than it is and extending the wear of my base.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

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 →

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Chanel Reverie Natural Finish Loose Powder
Chanel Reverie Natural Finish Loose Powder

Chanel Reverie Natural Finish Loose Powder ($52.00 for 1.0 oz.) is described as a “rosy golden beige.” I think Chanel missed a vital component of the description, though: LOTS AND LOTS OF SPARKLING BITS AND BOBS. The base color is a soft, candlelit beige with a hint of warmth and pinkness that features flecks of sparkle. It seems less sparkly compared to last holiday’s Feerie (which I don’t own but saw briefly). If you’re not a fan of loose sparkle in your face powders, I’d pass on this. It’s a finishing powder that mattifies and sets makeup, but it also had noticeable bits of sparkle everywhere I applied it. I barely patted it on, and there was a healthy blanket of sparkle all over my face (well, the half I applied it to).

The good and bad news is that you can’t really see it in the photos. You can definitely see it in person, though. We were waiting for some to-go food when I was testing it, and my husband looked at me strangely and said, “You have glitter all over your face.” Why, yes, yes, I did! I’d describe the particle size to be more that of sparkle, so noticeably smaller than glitter but larger than shimmer and more reflective. It’s not so densely-packed with sparkle that every inch of your skin is sparkly, but it’s definitely apparent.

I’m not keen on it as a finishing powder; I think the random sparkles take away from the mattifying, finishing effect of the powder itself. I’d rather grab one of the flesh-toned shades (although, this is really quite transparent on, as finishing powders are designed to be) that do just that but do not have any sparkle. However, The Muse loves it, so give her a review a look-see for some balance. With the amount of sparkle in this, I thought it was better suited for holiday glitz on shoulders and decolletage. It would even work well on legs and arms. Now that I think of it that way, it reminds me of an old Benefit powder that was a sparkly powder that came with an elegant, over-sized pouf to apply, which was quite fun and pretty for body.

The powder itself does mattify and finish off foundation quite well, and it helps keep my foundation in place and to last longer by extending the wear an hour or two hours. I don’t think it hides imperfections, though, because the sparkle draws attention to them.  It’s extremely finely-milled and feels truly like silk against the skin.  It’s lightweight, doesn’t look cakey, and should work well on many complexions.

The Glossover

LE
product

Reverie

A-
The powder itself does mattify and finish off foundation quite well, and it helps keep my foundation in place and to last longer by extending the wear an hour or two hours. It's extremely finely-milled and feels truly like silk against the skin. It's lightweight, doesn't look cakey, and should work well on many complexions.

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 →