Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer (clockwise, from the top: Warm Beige, Natural, Natural Tan

Hiding Shadows with Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit ($32.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a launch of a familiar product–but it’s been tweaked and improved. They made the formula more concentrated–a little goes a long way–so you can something more opaque. It’s also less creamy, so it won’t settle fine lines. The shade range (both the concealers and correctors) was also been improved so they would match each person better. The compact was designed to be small and made that way for portability. This review is just for the Creamy Concealer–Bobbi Brown also has a Corrector (which I will review later), but if you want to go for the full arsenal, it is best to apply the color correcting product first, followed by the concealer, and finally set it with powder.

I received three shades to test: Warm Beige, Natural, and Natural Tan. In the past, I’ve used the Light-to-Medium Tint of Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Moisturizing Balm, and both Beige and Warm Beige are recommended–but I’m definitely on edge of Light-to-Medium (Medium was only a touch too dark). Honestly, swatching the three together showed just how subtly each would change. Warm Beige definitely has those warm, yellow tones but it has a beigeness to it that isn’t as apparent in Natural, which almost seems lighter than Warm Beige (but yellower). Similarly, Natural Tan is a shade darker than Natural, but it starts to look almost orange on my skin (because it’s not a shade match).

I settled on Warm Beige as my match, and I think it worked out well. It added some warmth to my under eye area, which has some shadowing from tired eyes. There are fourteen shades (ranging from Porcelain to Chestnut) to choose from in the Creamy Concealer range. All of the concealer kits, except Porcelain (which includes a White Powder) are paired with a Pale Yellow Powder. Bobbi Brown also put a step-by-step guide and video on their website. There is also an excellent shade guide for how to match the Corrector and Creamy Concealer shades, which I thought was well-done and helpful.

I really liked the Creamy Concealer, which had a smooth, creamy consistency that applied opaquely and blended out easily. It was creamy without being like butter; there was some stiffness to it that enabled it to stay in place and instantly settle into fine lines. It is rather opaque but blends out slightly, though it seems like a heavier concealer overall. I did experience some creasing after five hours when I did not set it with powder at all; if I set it with powder (Bobbi Brown’s or something else), it lasted all day (twelve hours).

I wasn’t won over by the Pale Yellow powder, though. It does help set the concealer, but I felt that it did seem to be too dry (or perhaps, not fine enough) of a powder to work well for my under eye area. It also kicked up a lot of powdery dust every time I went to use, and I didn’t like how some of the excess powder migrated into the concealer well.

The kit is $32, while the concealer on its own is $22, but the concealer in the kit is 0.05 oz. while individually it is 0.06 oz. The included Pale Yellow powder is 0.06 oz., which is also available on its own at $34 for 0.38 oz.   The value of the kit is $18.33 worth of concealer and $5.37 worth of powder–a total value of only $23.70.

If you tote your concealer around regularly, perhaps the convenience aspect will be worth the $9 you pay to have them together, but it’s a rather hefty convenience charge.   I will also concede that you cannot buy the powder for less than $34 on its own (since it doesn’t come in such a small size individually).  I will note that online it states that there is 0.21 oz. worth of product, but the back of my compact says 0.05 and 0.06 oz. (and the size of the pan is the same as the individual ones).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I think the concealer works well, and it did a nice job of covering my under eye circles while subtly brightening the area. I wouldn't call it a brightening product, but it did add warmth and lightness to my otherwise shadowy under eye area. Because I didn't love the powder, I do hope Bobbi Brown will consider offering Concealer and Corrector kits in the future--I think those would be more useful together. Please note, the rating is ONLY for the Creamy Concealer. The Pale Yellow powder would score 7.5, 8, 7, 9, 4, and 4 - for a score of C+.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) are a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.”

  • Bright Forecast is a soft peach with subtle orange tones. The peachy tones of this shade are good for brightening and lightening dark under eye circles without creating a green cast (that yellow-based correctors can cause). I found this one did the best to minimize my dark under eye circles while still looking natural.
  • Light Boost is a pale beiged yellow. Yellow is good for lightening darkness. This would work well as a subtle cheek or brow highlighter on those with yellow undertones.
  • Radiant Rose is a soft, pale pastel pink. Pink helps to brighten the skin tone. It can also be used to brighten the under eye area, like Benefit’s Eye Bright. This shade felt more opaque than the other two, and when I used it underneath my eye (without concealer on top), it was a little pale on me. I loved it more as an eyeshadow base and brow highlighter.

The Prep + Prime Highlighters come in a click-type brush pen that takes several initial twists to release the product, but after that, you should only need a couple clicks to dispense the product. Over time, I’ve become less of a fan of brush-type products, just because I hate the way the brush feels and looks as you use it and the product seems to just sit in there. I’d much rather use a separate brush that you can wash without fear of getting water back into the product. I did find that while it can be easily applied onto the skin with the applicator, blending and application went better using a fluffy brush like the 217 for small areas (or fingers).

I applied each shade over my cheeks and under eye area, because I really wanted the effect to stand out. I felt like when I just did the under eye, it was difficult to really see what was going on. I wouldn’t normally use these as I did for the swatch photos, but I figured what good are photos if you can’t spot the difference? These have a subtle effect, and if you layer concealer over them, the effect is even harder to pick up–not necessarily in a bad way (like, ooh, so subtle it’s not worth it), but it’s a subtle, natural effect that works well and looks lovely. More like, “Oh, you look pretty today, did you cut your hair?” kind of way.

These wore really well for me, and I even used Radian Rose as an eyeshadow base.  It looked really beautiful as a brow highlighter and lid brightener by itself, but it also held up as an eyeshadow base, too.  I didn’t notice any fading and certainly no creasing or settling into fine lines over eight hours of wear.

There are numerous brands with highlighter pens, including:

  • Dior (Sun Beam may be comparable to Bright Forecast; Roseglow to Radiant Rose)
  • Fresh (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Fusion Beauty (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Givenchy (Moon Light seems most comparable to Radiant Rose)
  • Guerlain (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Sephora (#01 seems like Radiant Rose, #02 seems like Light Boost; #06 seems like Bright Forecast)
  • YSL (Light Peach seems comparable to Bright Forecast, Luminous Ivory to Light Boost, and Luminous Radiance to Radiant Rose)

These can help correct and brighten but they won’t necessarily conceal on their own. Bright Forecast can help a good deal with under eye circles, but it’s not opaque, so for some, it may be enough on its own. They’re definitely comparable to cult-favorite YSL Touche Eclat. Sephora also seems to offer a very comparable color range in their variation on the highlighter pen, and at $12 a pop, it might be worth trying (overall Sephora ratings show it to be good, though I have not tried it myself, so I cannot weigh in).

MAC is roughly half the price of the higher-end highlighter pens, and they seem to provide double the product (I saw many listed at 0.05 oz., a couple closer to 0.10 oz.), so the product seems to be priced in line with quantity and MAC’s price range.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These are easy to use, difficult to mess up or go overboard with, and work well to brighten, lighten, and add radiance for brows, eyes, or cheeks (depending on your skin tone!).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, December 24th, 2010

Becca Concealer
Becca Compact Concealer

Quick Review: Becca Compact Concealer

Becca Compact Concealer ($38.00 for 0.10 oz.) is an item I picked up when HauteLook had a Becca sale, so I was guessing on my shade… and I guessed wrong. Becca has quite the impressive shade range–I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many for concealer in particular–and the shade I chose was Toffee. It has stronger yellow and orange undertones, and in general, it was a couple of shades too dark for me (for reference, my arm is about NC20 or a little lighter).

The Compact includes two different formulas; one side offers medium-coverage while the other side offers full-coverage. It definitely is opaque and very creamy, but it is a thicker formula overall. It works best when warmed up between fingers and patted on, because then you can work out the consistency and get a more even application without over-applying the product. I found it would crease a little bit if I wore it thick, but if blended out to a thin layer (which is still plenty pigmented), it didn’t crease at all. One compact will surely last quite awhile, but the $38 price tag is daunting.

I wasn’t able to do a full test on this product nor provide before/after photos as it a completely wrong match for me.

Welcome to Swatch-all-idays! To start 2011 off on the right foot (or post, as it may be!), Temptalia is going through a backlog of products we have photographed, swatched, and often tested but in a slightly different manner. Quick reviews may be partially incomplete, such as a blush may only be swatched on the arm rather than shown on the face. It is our hope that what we are able to provide is still helpful!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It seems like a decent concealer, but it may be a better concealer if you need a very opaque one — because this is definitely one of the fuller coverage ones I’ve tried.

AVAILABILITY: Becca

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Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

The Mysterious Case of Tired Face

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer ($16.50 for 0.30 fl. oz.) has been a product I’ve felt compelled to test for the past two weeks straight. I don’t like to review a product until I have a good handle on how I feel about it, and I’m not big on reviewing anything that I’m waffling over.

Admittedly, I’ve been sleeping a lot less and not nearly as well as I usually do, which is good news for concealer-testing purposes, given that my under eye circles are more prevalent this week than they normally are! Often when I’m running on low sleep, I suffer from a phenomenon I’ve named TIREDFACE. The primary symptom is tightness around the eye area (at least for me). So, one of the things I’ve had going on has been this feeling of tightness when I’ve been wearing this concealer, and I wasn’t sure whether it was due to the concealer itself or more to the exhaustion. For about three days, I wore concealer under one eye and none under the other. The concealer does contribute to some of the feeling of tightness.

The concealer does last a miraculous twelve hours, though, without creasing or budging. It is a very dry product, and if you have a lot of dryness around the areas you’re trying to conceal, I think this may emphasize those areas rather than hide them. I felt like it pulled a little underneath my eyes (which is where I used it most of the time), which is why I felt that tightness despite no discernible dryness in the area.  It conceals good, though for the heaviest of dark circles, it may not be enough, and it’s difficult to layer this product for additional coverage due to its fast drying time.

It has a creamy feel when dispensed, and it’s not too thick–there’s a good consistency to it, but it dries quickly, so you’ll have to work just as quickly. I actually recommend doing one eye at a time, because if you don’t move fast enough, it can be difficult to blend out! I also liked using a flat concealer brush like the 195 for application; the 217 seemed to sheer it out too much. I have noticed that it will settle a little into fine lines if you don’t blend out the area first. Once you’ve blended it out, though, it won’t creep back in.

I originally tried this in NC30, but it’s definitely a little on the orange side. I received a sample of NC20, so I figured I might as well give that a shot, though I’m ultimately thinking that NC25 or even NW25 might be the best match for me (I am NC25). NC20 seemed like a pretty good match, but next time I’m at the counter, I’m going to grab samples of NC25 and NW25 to see if either of those is a better match.

I was incredibly frustrated by the inclusion of a pump that–wait for it–pumps out enough to cover half your face in concealer. If the technology is not available to create a pump that easily distributes just enough for the product’s purpose, why use something inferior? It is certainly possible to get just the right amount out, but after two weeks of use, I couldn’t do so consistently. Sometimes I got just enough, sometimes a nice blob that went down the sink. If you’re having pump troubles like I have had, I recommend pumping once or twice into a small sampling jar. No need to pump it all into there, just whatever excess–that way you can go back and use that during the week and not let it go to waste.

All in all, this concealer does last all day long for me. It doesn’t crease later on during the day, and this is a big deal for a lot of us. I do feel a little tightness around my under eye when I wear this, though, so I probably won’t wear this every day.  It’s definitely worth trying out for its long-wearing prowess–but if you can, grab a sample, so you can find your shade and decide if you like it without having to purchase from the get-go.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 2/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you have really dry skin that you’re looking to use this concealer on, I think this may be too drying and end up just looking cakey on you.  The wear of this is fantastic, and the coverage is good for light to moderate under eye circles or blemishes.  If you have really heavy under eye circles, this might not be enough coverage.  Overall, it’s worth a try, particularly if you’re able to grab a sample.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener
Before / After

Concealer Reviews: Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener

Bobbi Brown Tinted Eye Brightener ($38.00 for 1.5ml) is a lightweight concealer/eye brightener.  This is a long-standing product, but it was recently repackaged into a pen delivery system.  The original version was available in a pot form, which some found a bit messy.  It always did a nice job of covering up undereye circles and instantly brightening the eyes on those hurried mornings, but I feel like the product in the new packaging just doesn’t do it for me–on all points!

Even though the pen makes it much more portable and easier to use on-the-go, because you don’t have to use a separate brush, and you also don’t have to worry so much about it drying out… It can also allow for more bacteria growth, since the product is coming into more direct contact with your skin and if you don’t clean or wipe off the brush, it can cause build-up.   For that reason alone, I’ve just never been a huge fan of brush-type anything (gloss, concealer, whatever!).  Because the product gets twisted up and delivered by being pushed up onto the brush, the product itself feels like it’s much thinner/runnier than the original pot version.  I find this almost makes it easy to over-apply, because you don’t have the same level of control over how much squeezes out of the pen.

My last complaint is the size — they really reduced the amount of product you get and upped the price.   It takes me awhile to get through a concealer (read: never), but I imagine for more dedicated concealer users, it can get pricey real quick.  (It used to be $32 for 7ml as compared to $38 for 1.5ml!)  I can get down with new packaging costs, upward costs, but this was a severe reduction in quantity (it’s not just 10%, it’s 7ml to 1.5ml — 5.5ml less!) along with a significant increase in price (it’s not just $1, it’s $6). If it was the same as it was before, in terms of quality, it might still be worth it, but it’s not!   Bobbi Brown is not YSL (the most direct comparison I could find), which is $40 for 2.5 ml, so I wouldn’t expect Bobbi Brown to be priced higher than YSL (by the ml).

It performs nicely–it brightens and lightens my under eye enough to give me a fresher, more awake appearance.  It doesn’t settle into fine lines or crease throughout the day, which are definitely two important necessities when it comes to an under eye concealer!   It’s a little on the thin side, though, so while it certainly feels lightweight, those with darker under eye circles may find this doesn’t give them enough coverage.

I would skip this, to be honest.  It’s not quite as good as the pot version, plus with the price increase and severe quantity decrease, it’s not good enough to fork over $38 for it.  Though I haven’t tried it myself, I’ve heard good things about Bobbi Brown’s Creamy Concealer, so I’d probably recommend that if you were looking for a concealer from Bobbi Brown!  Surprisingly, the Bobbi Brown website has a review system in place, and based on 52 reviews, the new Tinted Eye Brightener only has 3 stars–the Creamy Concealer has 282 reviews and 5 stars!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 4/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation:  Keep the new packaging in mind–it may or may not be your cup of tea; and the price may keep you on the hunt for a different concealer–maybe Bobbi’s Creamy Concealer instead…

Availability: Bobbi Brown

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Monday, March 2nd, 2009

Mario Badescu Drying Cream ($12.00)

When it comes to small, flesh-colored acne, this is the king for me. Whenever I spot any that crop up, I’ll smear a little of the Drying Cream on the area before I go to bed. In the morning, they’ve totally vanished, and I mean vanished! I’m pretty skeptical about acne spot treatments, especially how their ability to work quickly, but this one delivers (at least for me).

In fact, I noticed a few small fleshy bumps last night, put this on the area, and voila–no troubles this morning. I find this to be less drying than the Drying Lotion, which means I can use it more often and without fear of getting dry patches in exchange for clearer skin. (The Drying Lotion is fab, but I find I need to use it every other day or two to avoid drying my skin out too much!) This is also my go-to acne spot treatment if I “feel” one coming on.

Mario Badescu offers several acne spot treatments, and so far, I’ve liked all of them and found them to work on different types of acne. I know some of you would rather an all-in-one spot treatment, but in a way, knowing that each one is designed to work with specific types of acne makes me feel like they’re more efficient.

For $12 you got a big tub of Drying Cream–seriously, this will probably lose efficacy before you finish using it. I would prefer tube-packaging over an open jar, but it’s cheap enough where I don’t feel I’m breaking the bank rebuying it after a few months, you know? So any issue with packaging isn’t enough to keep me from loving this product.

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