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
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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
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Thursday, July 5th, 2012


OCC Skin: Conceal

OCC Skin: Conceal (Concealer)

OCC Skin: Conceal ($20.00 for 8.5 grams) recently launched with twelve shades (which is impressive for a concealer range). There are six yellow-based shades and six red-based shades. Each concealer is packaged in a clear plastic screw-top jar, and inside is the concealer. The concealer is in a hardened block, but it’s creamy to the touch and as you dip your brush in it. The texture isn’t too creamy, which can lead to a lot of settling or sliding around during the day, but it isn’t so dry that it’s difficult to blend out. It has amazing opaque coverage; it will hide just about anything, and it never feels heavy, looks cakey, or requires a lot of product. Just a quick pat of concealer on any area will conceal most imperfections.

Y2 was a good match for me and most of my face; if I want to be really perfect in color, I mix a little of Y1 in, but usually, Y2 is very, very close. I’ve been reaching for this a lot in the past few weeks, because it’s quick, easy to use, and lasts all day. It doesn’t slide around, separate, or crease during the day. I very rarely use concealer, though I’ve been reconsidering as the older I get, the less sleep I get (I wake up 3-4 times a night and get about 3-4 hours total), I have found it has impacted my under-eye areas. I’ve used this underneath the eyes, but I’ve primarily been using this to conceal little imperfections on the skin before running to the store. I love that it looks as natural as my real skin, because I’m not wearing any foundation or tinted moisturizer – just the concealer patted on the areas I needed and out the door.

My preferred application method is definitely fingertips. It warms up the product just a wee bit, and it helps blend the product in effortlessly. I have used OCC’s Concealer Brush (which is what is recommended by the brand), and it works well, but the brush itself sometimes feels too big. I like smaller, more precise brushes for concealer work myself, and then I like a fluffier brush to blend out the concealer (something like MAC’s 217). One thing about application is less is so much more; a little goes a long way–and I’m serious!–use much less than you think. Even if you use fingertips, and you hardly see any on your finger, go with it. You’d be surprised!

I really appreciate OCC’s commitment to their customer base (both professional and consumer) and quality; these concealers took two years to develop to be David’s (the founder) “perfect” concealer. It’s not too creamy, lasts all day long, doesn’t crease, and works even when my skin is a little dry. The coverage is fantastic; totally opaque but can be sheered out if you need lighter coverage.

Shades as described by OCC:

  • R0 is the palest red-based skin tone.
  • R1 is a pale red-based skin tone.
  • R2 is a medium-light red-based skin tone.
  • R3 is a medium-dark red-based skin tone.
  • R4 is a dark red-based skin tone.
  • R5 is the darkest red-based skin tone.
  • Y0 is the palest yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y1 is a pale yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y2 is a medium-light yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y3 is a medium-dark yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y4 is a dark yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y5 is the darkest yellow-based skin tone.

The Glossover

coming-soon

OCC Skin: Conceal (Concealer) Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
There's so much to love about this concealer: a great balance between creamy and stiff so it wears well and all-day without creasing or sliding around underneath the eye, opaque coverage that's still able to be blended out, and a large color range.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15 ($52.00 for 1 oz.) is a “mineral-based, water-resistant primer with SPF 15 that neutralizes the skin, minimizes shine, and creates a smooth, uniform canvas.” It is also supposed to “[absorb] exess oils and [minimize] the appearance of pores.” This primer uses a mix of titanium dioxide (2.45%) and zinc oxide (4.20%) to provide the SPF content. As a result, you may get a white cast, particularly in pictures, as these are physical blockers (which work by reflecting), as opposed to chemical ones (which work by absorbing). I have worn it in photos on the blog, but primarily in ones without flash, which is where you would worry most about what kind of sunscreen agent you had on.

It has a thin consistency that appears white when pumped out of the container. One pump tends to be sufficient coverage for me. I use either a flat face brush or my fingertips (cleaned, of course!) to apply all over my face, and then I let it dry down for about five minutes. There’s a slightly oily feel initially–it almost feels like a moisturizer–that dries down to a more powdery feel that looks satin-like in finish. It does give my skin a “smooth” feeling from the silicones. The primer doesn’t pill, though, which I do appreciate, as that has been an issue in the past with silicone-heavy primers.

It has been a very long time (years) since I’ve tried a face primer with this many silicones in it. I’ve worn this numerous times over the past couple of months, and I haven’t had any extra breakouts as a result. I’ve certainly had acne before, after, and during the previous months, but the level is as much (or as little) as is “normal” for me. Previously, it seemed like I had a sensitivity to silicone-based products, which meant that I had to limit how many products I wore each day that had silicone–e.g. avoid silicone-based primers, because they appear to have a lot more silicones as compared to a blush, moisturizer, or foundation, since there are usually a few in the beginning of the ingredients’ lists.

I’m not a doctor, and no dermatologist ever evaluated/tested my skin in relationship to silicones. The last time I saw a dermatologist, she told me to never wear makeup and that wearing any makeup was causing all of my acne (so I never returned to her!). After that, my general doctor prescribed me Differin, which has greatly decreased my acne. I decided to give Hourglass’ primer a chance, because I saw a lot of readers rave about it!

Mineral Veil makes everything else I layer on top of my skin look noticeably better. I think that “smooth canvas” enables foundation to apply and settle better against the skin. I used this a lot during the winter when my skin was drier, because I did have a few flaking areas (particularly around the nose), and it helped to smooth and almost hydrate those areas. It didn’t do much to minimize pores, but it certainly helped add longevity to my face products.

Typically, when I would wear this under a foundation, it would prolong the wear by an hour and a half to two and a half hours–and as a result, my blush stayed on better and for longer as well. Though I have normal-to-dry skin, I do get a little oily around my t-zone after six to eight hours of wearing full makeup. This really did help combat that and staved it off until eight to ten hours.

The biggest downside to this product is that it’s very pricey! I’d recommend trying the smaller version (0.33 oz.), which is a more palatable $18. It’s a great way to test out the product over a longer period of time to get a feel for whether it’s suitable for your skin type and needs. It’s one of my favorite primers, but I can readily admit that my “big picture” view on primers is limited, as I haven’t tested many in the past few years because I’ve wanted to stay away from silicone-based ones! I may open this up a bit more in the future, but no promises–it will be a very slow, gradual introduction to see how my skin reacts!

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Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil
Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencils

Urban Decay 24/7 Concealer Pencils

Urban Decay will add four shades of 24/7 Concealer Pencils ($18.00 for 0.12 oz.) this spring to extend the shade range. I have to test out the formula, though I don’t make any guarantees when or if I will review (I’m more focused on clearing out the holiday backlog and then focusing on limited edition spring shades). Meanwhile, I thought I’d get swatches up! For shade descriptions, see this post. I suspect these will make their way online in the next couple of weeks.

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Thursday, November 10th, 2011

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder
La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder ($80.00 for 2.20 oz.) is available in two shades, Translucent 1 and Translucent 2, both of which are loose powders designed to set makeup and mattify the skin. It is also supposed to add radiance to the skin. Worth noting is for the price, you get a large, full-size (2.0 oz.) along with a travel-sized version (0.20 oz.), both of which are refillable (though, I did not spy any refills available online, so it may be an in-store purchase only).

I should probably be using Translucent 2, which is designed for warmer skin tones (and also for those on the darker side of the spectrum), but the product I received and tested was Translucent 1. I don’t have extremely strong yellow undertones, so that’s probably why I was able to get away with Translucent 1, which is generally more suitable for cooler skin tones and those on the lighter end of the spectrum. Loose Powders are a product that really needs to be tested on the face with an appropriate applicator, because merely swatching it on your arm or the back of your hand will rarely yield the same result. For reference, I’ve done an arm swatch only just blended so the product is still visible against my skin as well as before-and-after photos of the loose powder applied with a fluffy powder brush (MAC 134).

This powder has shimmer in it, and initially, when I first swatched it against the skin, I was like, “Ooh, boy, that is SO not going to work!” Lo and behold, it mattified without giving the skin an unnaturally dry appearance. The subtle reflecting particles help deliver that soft focused look that gives the skin the appearance of a softer, more even appearance. There are numerous loose powders on the market with similar properties, so it’s not unique to La Prairie’s by any means, but these types of powders work exceptionally well on camera. They’re picked up and read back beautifully.

La Prairie’s loose powder is extremely finely milled–so soft it feels like silk and almost comes together like a cream. It applies easily without looking caky and disappears against the skin when a flick of the brush. It sets my makeup in place and keeps it there for eight to ten hours without needing to re-powder or blot. While testing this, my skin was fairly normal, and like many of you, I do get a little oilier around my t-zone. Without a powder, my t-zone looks oily after six hours and foundations can feel slick on the skin, but I felt like everything remained solid until that eight hour mark.

The price point–as far as La Prairie goes–is not nearly as high as I’d expect, given the amount of powder you receive. For reference, popular setting powder Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder retails for $34 and contains 1 oz. of product, which works out to be $34/oz., while La Prairie is $36.36/oz. It’s a higher initial price tag, but for something like setting powder, once you find the one that works for you, it’s a staple product you use everyday and will eventually use up. (Unless, of course, you have trouble committing to a product for long–like me!) I do like that you get a travel-sized version with you, though; it’s just convenient for keeping in your makeup bag or when you’re traveling. And if you don’t intend to travel, you can use the small size and refill it using the larger jar; this means keeping the large jar totally clean for the years it’ll take to finish it.

I have a good number of go-to setting powders, and La Prairie does everything it’s supposed to do.  It doesn’t compel me to switch, as I have found that many loose powders perform equally well on my skin type, it’s not just puffery.  It is definitely one I would reach for on a special occasion for its exceptional ability to give skin a softer, smoother appearance.

The Glossover

coming-soon

La Prairie Translucent Cellular Treatment Loose Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I have a good number of go-to setting powders, and La Prairie does everything it's supposed to do. It doesn't compel me to switch, as I have found that many loose powders perform equally well on my skin type, it's not just puffery. It is definitely one I would reach for on a special occasion for its exceptional ability to give skin a softer, smoother appearance.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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