Tuesday, November 1st, 2011


Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Foundation

Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Fusion SPF 20 ($57.00 for 1 fl. oz.) is a lightweight, natural-finish foundation with light to light-medium coverage. It’s one of the most lightweight and natural-looking foundations that still gives adequate coverage for minor skin imperfections. If you have just a couple of small areas where you need medium coverage, it is workable to build up medium coverage on a spot-by-spot basis.

It took me awhile to appreciate this foundation, because I prefer light-medium to medium coverage as my skin tends to need more coverage than less. I’ve been bringing Lingerie de Peau with me on the last few business trips, because it photographs well and looks good in photos–not all foundations can pull off both those things. It has SPF 20 (3.16% of titanium dioxide, 3% of octinoxate), but it doesn’t give a white cast or reflect back poorly. The finish is just barely dewy; it’s pretty much the exact definition of natural–there is a softness to the skin without being flat and matte. It also wears brilliantly and lasts a solid nine hours on me, but it makes it to twelve hours with minimal movement.

The consistency is thin, not so thin it’s watery, but thin enough that it blends out easily and feels weightless once applied. I often apply with fingers, but I also like using brushes like MAC’s 109, 130, 187, and 193. I haven’t found it to apply poorly with any method (fingers, sponge, brush), so it depends on your preference.

I wish the formula had a better range of shade (and this tends to apply to Guerlain’s foundations in general), because as I am in Parure Gold, I’m between #02 and #03. I end up using #02 and setting with Les Violettes Mineral Powder in #03, which is sheer enough to give me just enough color so the finished look is about my match for winter/spring, but during the summer, I was able to get away with #03 set with #03. If you’re particularly pale/light, I don’t know if any shades in the range will accomodate you; at best, either Rose Clair or Rose Natural. Similarly, if you have a darker, deeper complexion, I don’t know if either Beige Fonce or Dore Fonce will be a good match.

The Glossover

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Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Fusion SPF 20

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Thursday, October 13th, 2011

MAC Matchmaster Foundation
MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation

MAC Matchmaster Foundation ($32.50 for 1.18 fl. oz.) is a buildable, medium-coverage liquid foundation with a “moisturizing demi-matte finish.” It’s supposed to have “line-reducing soft-focus powders” and “translucent pigments to enable a fully personalized finish influenced by the subtleties of your own skin’s undertone.”

It carries a SPF 15 rating, and the active ingredients are octinoxate (3.4%) and titanium dioxide (1.0%). With the low amount of titanium dioxide, you should be able to get away with it in photographs, though for really big, special occasions (e.g. weddings, graduations, etc.) you might opt for a more photography-appropriate formula. I didn’t notice sufficient change when I took numerous photos wearing it.

I tested shade 3.0 initially, which is supposed to suit NC30s, but it was a third to half a shade too dark and yellower than I needed. I think 2.0 is a better match, especially as we get into winter, but in some lighting, it seems a touch too light. Usually, if a foundation runs light, I’ll opt for the slightly too-light variation and use a setting powder in a shade that’s a closer match–because then it tends to come together as a solid match all around. From what I’ve heard from other readers, 1.0 may match those who are lighter than the traditional NC/NW15 shades.

I was testing this when my skin felt drier than normal (it’s typically normal-to-dry but closer to normal), and I felt like it emphasized the visible pores on my cheeks and had clingy feeling. If you have drier patches (I sometimes get them around my temples), it is not forgiving at all. The result was not entirely unexpected, given the demi-matte finish–the rule of thumb has always been dewier finishes for drier skin, matter finishes for oilier skin. I wanted to wait until my skin normalized to try it again, which is why the review took longer than normal, and I liked it better when my skin was at its usual normal-to-dry character.

The coverage is light to medium, but medium coverage takes a little more product to achieve, so it is less comfortable and heavier to wear if you need medium coverage. It has a good consistency where it doesn’t feel thick, but it’s not watery or loose. I used about a pump to pump and a half for total application. I tried various applicators, from sponges to brushes (109, 130, 187, 193), and I preferred the 109 or 193 (really like how it gets into the nooks and crannies so well!).

I get around eight hours of wear with this foundation, which is solid. I wore it longer, and by the tenth hour, it was a little faded and had moved around a touch, but it was still mostly intact (a little powder would have brought it back up to par). There is a faint chemical scent that I noticed when I first applied the product to my skin, but I did not detect it as I wore it throughout the day. I’d recommend this foundation more for those with normal, combination, or oily skin types. If you have dry skin but not patches or flakes, then you might like this one still–but I’d say it’s not a good match if you do suffer from drier patches/flaking.

While it’s not appropriate for me when my skin is on the drier side, I didn’t have those issues when I tested it for a second run with normal skin.  I liked it, but I didn’t love it; it wasn’t my holy grail formula.  It’s worth checking out, and overall, a welcomed addition to MAC’s foundation line-up.

The Glossover

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MAC Matchmaster Foundation Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It should be a good foundation for normal, combination, and oily skin types. I caution it for those with very dry to dry skin types, because it is less forgiving around larger pores, unevenness in skin texture, and dry patches. It's light to medium coverage, wears comfortably, and doesn't feel heavy when worn.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, June 3rd, 2011


MAC Beauty Balm

MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35

MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35 ($30.00 for 1 fl. oz.) is described as a “lightly tinted in a nearly sheer beige tone to work on an array of complexions, it creamily re-texturizes the skin and then goes on to excel at being a face primer with high everyday UVA/UVB SPF 35 defense.”

First things first, I have no experience using BB Creams as they are known elsewhere in the world, so I urge you to check out Musings of a Muse’s review on this as well as her informative post on what BB Creams are. She pretty much sums them as one major multi-tasking face product that imparts skincare benefits, along with concealing/foundation and moisturizing qualities.  On its face, MAC isn’t marketing this as a “true” BB Cream from what I can gather, because it’s designed to work best as a face primer–not as a tinted moisturizer, moisturizer, foundation, concealer, etc.

It’s a soft, sheer shade of yellowed beige with soft shimmer-sheen. It’s not something I could wear alone at all, because it just looked a bit too light on me (I am NC25/NC30 for reference). When I layered Kiehl’s Tinted Moisturizer over it, it became something I could use. It seems more like an illuminating primer to me; something like MAC Strobe Cream but yellow-based and with a significantly different texture (not as thick or heavy, thinner, not quite as shimmery).

It works well as a primer; it helped keep my makeup looking fresher longer (ten hours) and always felt lightweight. I only tested this product for two days (not back-to-back), though, because it does have dimethicone as the second ingredient in it, which I am more-often-than-not sensitive to, but for readers, I wanted to give it a shot. I didn’t experience any breakouts, but I deliberately tested it on two occasions but with a week between each try.

The packaging is interesting, because it has a very long, needle-nose applicator that squeezes out the merest amount.  For a product you wear all over your face, it seems too precise.  It’s by no means a deal-breaker, since I would rather squeeze out more than have half the tube squirt out, but I thought it was interesting.

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Monday, May 30th, 2011


Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Remover

For Your Eyes Only: Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Remover

Urban Decay Meltdown Makeup Remover ($24.00 for 2.5 fl. oz.) is a creamy, opaque white gel-based remover that works best applied onto a cotton round or toner sheet, then held against the skin for a few seconds and finally, wiped away. Initially, I thought this product was for the whole face, because it says makeup remover, not eye makeup remover. Even the online descriptions of this product don’t suspend that belief–they say it’s a makeup remover designed for removal of even the “longest-lasting products” that’s “good for your skin.”  (I tend to associate skin care benefits more to the whole face than just the eyes!)

Though I recognize I’m a bit skeptical of much of the miracles promised by various skincare products, I’m even more skeptical of cleansers and removers that make promises, too. Products like cleansers and removers are not on skin very long, so it’s hard to believe they would be able to provide any long-term benefits. Urban Decay’s remover includes several ingredients, and one is noted to “revitalize collagen production” while others (various oils) will moisturize and replenish. When it comes to directions, I’m glad I waited for this product to go online, because the back of the tube left me clueless–did I use water, did I use it everywhere, how much, when, what!

Again, the best way to use this, based on my testing, has been on a cotton round or toner sheet, pressed against the eye for 10-15 seconds, and then wipe away the makeup. It does a good job of removing the bulk of my makeup, but I do feel like it leaves my eyes a little cloudy. There is no greasy residue or feel afterwards, but the cloudiness necessitates rinsing with water, so then there is definitely no product leftover to sink into my skin and revitalize or moisturize anything. I needed about a pea-sized dollop for each eye. It will remove face makeup, too, but you’ll end up going through this little tube rather quickly if you do so!

If it’s for eyes, it’ll last you a lot longer, and therefore the $24 price tag stretches out over a much longer time period. It does remove long-wearing products without much fuss, feels nice against the skin, and doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue–but it did make my eyes a bit cloudy and may require a second cotton round to remove a few streaks of makeup left behind (which just feels wasteful, so I rinsed off). Good, not great.

The bottom of the tube says “demaquillant yeux,” but as a U.S. brand – should I really have to know French to decipher what the product is supposed to do?  Oddly enough, I did Google translate it last night, and I didn’t include the accented E – so it translated to just “makeup remover,” but when you include the accented E, it translates to “eye makeup remover.”

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer
Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer

Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer

Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer ($40.00 for 1.7 oz.) is designed to provide a “hint of coverage” for “natural-looking skin” in a gel-based formula. The oil-free variation is for those with oilier skin (they have a regular version along with an Extra version for drier skin).

My skin isn’t oily, but I liked the finish and coverage of the foundation, though the shade I tested ended up being far too dark to wear out in public! I tried the Medium Tint (I’m MAC NC25), but I would definitely be suited for Light-to-Medium, just because this is significantly darker than my natural complexion. I have heard from a few artists at the counter that these seem to run a little dark, so you might want to grab a couple of samples to ensure you get the right shade.

It has a very lightweight feel but provides sheer to light coverage; it had enough coverage to even out the unevenness in my cheeks while still having the feel and overall finish of a tinted moisturizer (soft, natural). It actually has more of a semi-natural finish–a little more matte than the average “natural” finish I would say. For a tinted moisturizer, this wears nicely; a solid eight hours of wear without oiliness or fade in coverage. The texture is thick enough that it doesn’t run but thin enough that it spreads easily over the skin (I used fingers to apply, as I would a moisturizer).

Alone, it’s not moisturizing enough for drier skin (my skin felt a little parched by four hours if I wore it alone), but it is meant for oilier skin types, so it seems like the moisturization is on target for oily skin types. If you use your regular moisturizer prior, then you shouldn’t have any issues. On the other hand, if you do have dry skin but want a two-in-one product, then I’d recommend the Extra Tinted Balm instead.

I tried to think of something I didn’t like about this product, and there was nothing that came to mind. Of course, I immediately noticed the shade wasn’t a match for my skin tone, but the formula and product I have no complaints with! Since I do have drier skin, I won’t be skipping my morning moisturizer before this, but maybe I’ll try the regular version and see if that’s enough for me.

The Glossover

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Bobbi Brown SPF 15 Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer Review, Photos

A
It's a nice way to get a little coverage without wearing foundation, which can feel heavier as the warmer months get closer. It offers a part-matte, part-natural finish that's very your-skin-but-better.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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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

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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

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