Friday, February 27th, 2015

Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder
Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder

Estee Lauder x Courreges Illuminations Face Powder ($32.00 for 0.24 oz.) is described as a “glowing, otherworldly” powder with a “burst of pure light.” It’s a brightened, golden champagne with a frosted, metallic sheen. Tarte Champagne (LE) is slightly lighter. Becca Opal (P, $38.00) is darker. Becca Moonstone (P, $38.00) is a smidgen lighter. theBalm Mary Lou-manizer (P, $24.00) is slightly darker. Bobbi Brown 24 Karat (P, $42.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Sephora gave early access to VIB Rouges to the new collaboration collection between Estee Lauder and Courreges, and this particularly product went very quickly (it’s not even listed on the site any more, but I’m hoping that it’ll reappear when the collection is fully launched as well as be available at other retailers and at counters). The texture is a lot like a baked powder product (think MAC Mineralize products) with a soft, smooth, but almost dry, feeling to the touch, though it doesn’t look dry on the skin. It had good color coverage that was easily blended and diffused on the skin, and for a really ethereal look, could be applied with a feathery touch and fan brush for a mere dusting of sheen. Applied with a more traditional highlighting brush, the finish can veer too metallic and emphasize pores slightly, but for as high-shine as it is, I was surprised that it didn’t make pores look glaringly obvious. It lasted for seven hours on me before fading.

The Glossover

LE
product

Courreges

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, February 27th, 2015

Giorgio Armani Flannel (08) Eye Tint
Giorgio Armani Flannel (08) Eye Tint

Giorgio Armani Eye Tints ($38.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) are a really fun, interesting formula that’s one of the better liquid-to-powder eyeshadow formulas I’ve tried. They can be worn together as a more blended, complex look (see this post), opaque, all-over shade, or sheerer wash of color. The formula starts of as a thinner liquid with an almost cool feeling against the skin, and once it dries down, it transforms into a powder product; it remains blendable even after it “dries” for about a minute, because it really just looks, feels, and acts like a powder eyeshadow. If you press your fingertip to the dried down results, a bit of color will transfer to your fingertip (not all of it, and it is in line with the same effect as accidentally touching your fingertip to your eye with powder eyeshadow). It feels weightless, comfortable, and doesn’t “shrink” on the lid. Giorgio Armani markets these as having 16-hour wear, which isn’t quite what I get, but the formula wears twelve to fourteen hours on me, which is longer than most powder eyeshadows for me.

I’m not sure that this is the best packaging/applicator for the formula, as some of the shades (though none of the four featured in this review) were inconsistent–I would pull the applicator out of the tube, and it would be intensely pigmented with a slightly thicker consistency, but every once in awhile, the pull would yield a thinner, more watery texture that was prone to sheering out (as if it wasn’t fully mixed). They’re easiest to use all-over, and the neutral shades like the ones in this post are excellent for that purpose, but if you want to use a few together, you might just want to prepare for a practice run if you’ve never worked with a formula like this before. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of it, by any means, but it’s not quite foolproof!

Giorgio Armani Flannel (08) Eye Tint ($38.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a murky, rosy pink with gray-ish mauve coloring and a golden shimmer-sheen. The color has a lot of nuances to it, and it can be more of a chameleon once you start pairing it with other shades. It was thin with a very spreadable consistency, but it was semi-opaque. It built up well to opaque color in two layers, if desired. The color wore well for twelve hours before fading on me. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Giorgio Armani Cold Copper (09) Eye Tint ($38.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a medium, golden brown with warm undertones and a frosted, metallic finish. It was richly pigmented and applied with opaque color, though you could use less or blend it out for a softer look. The color lasted for fourteen hours before creasing slightly. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Giorgio Armani Rose Ashes (11) Eye Tint ($38.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a slightly muted, medium-dark golden brown with warm undertones and a metallic sheen. It had flecks of pink and copper micro-sparkle. The consistency was thin without being watery, easily spread across the skin, and wore well for fourteen hours before creasing. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Giorgio Armani Gold Ashes (12) Eye Tint ($38.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a brightened, golden champagne with a metallic finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage in a single stroke, which was buildable to fully opaque coverage with two layers–it seemed a bit more pigmented when I applied it with a synthetic brush in practice compared to using the included applicator. The texture was a little thinner compared to top-performing shades but applied smoothly and blended well on the eyelid. It stayed on well for twelve and a half hours. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
product

Flannel (08)

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Cold Copper (09)

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Rose Ashes (11)

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, February 27th, 2015

IT Cosmetics No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush
IT Cosmetics No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush

IT Cosmetics No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush ($34.00) is a medium-sized, angled brush made out of synthetic fibers. The brush head is 34mm in width, 28mm in height, and 17mm in thickness. The total length of the brush is 18 centimeters and has a slightly pinched ferrule. It is moderately dense with some give to allow it to glide and sweep across the planes of the face with ease–less dense than most buffer brushes, denser than your average blush brush. The curve of the brush head fits well into the hollows of the cheeks for application of contouring products, and the incredible silkiness of the brush helps it blend cream and powder contouring products well. I’ve used this to apply a lot of the contouring palettes and kits we’ve seen lately, and it is does a fantastic job at diffusing those contour lines without over-blending and losing the definition I wanted. It was easy to wash, didn’t bleed or leak dye, didn’t shed, and retained its shape well. I love that I can angle, tap, pat, buff, press, and sweep this brush in any direction with any pressure and I never feel individual bristles; it never, ever feels rough or scratchy. The cut is very precise, and the bristles themselves are very fine but still picks up powder products well.

It is similar to other medium-sized angled brushes like the less-dense MAC 168 ($35) and NARS Contour Brush #21 ($42). Sephora Pro ANgled Blush Brush #49 ($32) has a steeper angle, but it is fairly similar.

I’m still testing, but hopefully will wrap up everything up soon, of the Luxe Brush Set, as well as some of the other brushes in the IT range that aren’t part of the Velvet Luxe line. Hearing all of your enthusiasm for IT’s brush range in the No. 302 LBD Brush post made me eager to write-up reviews for all of the others I’ve been testing :)

The Glossover

product

No. 315 Soft Focus Sculpting Velvet Luxe Brush

I love that I can angle, tap, pat, buff, press, and sweep this brush in any direction with any pressure and I never feel individual bristles; it never, ever feels rough or scratchy. The cut is very precise, and the bristles themselves are very fine but still picks up powder products well. The curve of the brush head fits well into the hollows of the cheeks for application of contouring products, and the incredible silkiness of the brush helps it blend cream and powder contouring products well.
Results
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Thursday, February 26th, 2015

NARS Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush
NARS Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush

NARS Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush ($45.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a mix of warm pink and plum. The formula can be used wet or dry, with dry application yielding a “bold flush,” while damp application gives a “translucent wash of color.” The blushes perform best when applied dry, as they blend and diffuse with little effort and have decent wear (though wear definitely is longer and improved with a damp application). Applying either damp is trickier, as you lose a lot of the ability to blend, and it’s really more like tugging and dabbing color into place, but it never appears as nicely diffused and blended as dry application does. Damp application also means you have to contend with potentially emphasizing pores due to shimmery finishes getting amplified; the lighter shade in the duo didn’t seem to do so, but the darker shade will get very metallic quickly if you aren’t careful (and will take a lot of work to tamp it back down). The texture of the blushes is soft and smooth to the touch, but the powder itself has a firmer press, so really soft, feathery brushes (like Chikuhodo Zs, SUQQU, etc.) do not work well with these in particular. I primarily used MAC 159s when applying these, as they worked well for both dry and damp application methods.

Fervor (Left) is described as a “shimmering, soft pink.” It’s a light-medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and a silvery shimmer. The pigmentation was similar both wet and dry–mostly opaque–but dampened application made the color two to three shades darker and intensified the shimmery effect in the finish. Luckily, while it has noticeable shimmer, it doesn’t intensify to the point where it’s harder to apply; it stayed luminous without emphasizing pores regardless of application method. On me, the blush lasted for seven hours applied dry and eight hours applied damp. LORAC Underrated (LE) is darker, more matte. MAC Modest Blush (LE, $27.00) is more matte. MAC Lesson in Love (LE, $21.00) is lighter. Chanel Sakura (87) (LE, $45.00) is more matte, warmer. Charlotte Tilbury Love Glow (P, $40.00) is similar. Giorgio Armani Eccentrico (LE, $88.00) is warmer. MAC Dainty (P, $27.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Fervor (Right) is described as a “sparkling deep coppery rose.” It’s a medium-dark, coppery brown with pink and gold shimmer for a more frosted finish. Applied dry, it had semi-opaque pigmentation with a soft, frosted finish. Applied damp, it was darker, bolder, and nearly metallic. It is a lot harder to work with damp than dry, so my recommendation is to apply dry unless you really need the color intensify of damp application, but be prepared for a lot of buffing and/or dusting of translucent powder to tamp it down. Just blending the damp product is significantly harder, whereas dry application feels nearly effortless. Applied damp, the metallic finish emphasizes the skin’s natural texture and any pores in the area. Applied dry, it wore well for eight hours, and applied damp, it lasted for eight and a half hours. This one was more of a chameleon between dry and damp applications, as it takes on a stronger rosy/plum color damp compared to how warm and copper it is dry. Sephora + Pantone Universe Marsala (LE) is rosier. MAC Make You Mine (P, $23.50) is less shimmery. Gucci Beauty Cherry Nectar (P, $49.00) is redder. Tom Ford Beauty Contour (Softcore) (LE, $55.00) is redder. NARS Mauritanie (LE, $39.00) is a cream, matte. Chanel Canaille (89) (LE, $45.00) is similar to the dry application, primarily. NARS Na Pali Coast (P, $39.00) is a cream. MAC Scene to Be Seen (Inner) (LE, $30.00) is similar. NARS Lovejoy (P, $29.00) is slightly more plum. MAC Stylish Me (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Ambering Rose (P, $21.00) is warmer, brighter. MAC Stratus (LE, $27.00) is darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

P
palette

Fervor

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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P
product

Fervor (Left)

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Fervor (Right)

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Christian Louboutin Beaute Spring 2015 Nail Coffret
Christian Louboutin Beaute Spring 2015 Nail Coffret

Christian Louboutin Beaute Spring 2015 Nail Coffret ($90.00 for 3 x 0.20 fl. oz.) is an interesting concept. For a luxury price point, the coffret was actually something that I felt fit with the brand and what you might expect from a luxury brand. The box is heavy duty cardboard, and it’s certainly more of a keepsake/display piece if you liked the design. The bottles half the size of a full-sized bottle, and from a price per ounce perspective, it’s $150/oz. compared to $125/oz. for a full-sized bottle–or three shades for less than the cost of two. The downside, though, is that two of the three shades had issues with application and overall results. It wasn’t even much of a surprise, as the issues were with the two lighter shades, and the issues are ones I’ve often seen with these types of colors–one hoped that at this price point they would have been perfected. I get a week of wear with this brand’s formula with minor tip wear, which is average for me.

Now, a word on packaging… The bottles needed to be more securely placed and/or included a styrofoam piece that fit over the top of the bottles within the interior of the box. I understand that they may have chosen not to do something like this so you would get that “wow!” factor when you opened it. Instead, they relied on the bottles being held in place tightly, and to a degree, they are, as each has a ribbon that will enable you to lift them out of their slots, but my order arrived with one bottle having slid out and smashed open (the interior of the box has its own artsy design now!). I get to say Neiman Marcus was A+ in customer service, as I called right after opening the box and seeing it, and they immediately offered to replace and reship the order (I’m not even a big NM shopper, and I do not have their credit card). The replacement order arrived, and a different bottle came loose this time, but thankfully, it didn’t knock into any of the other bottles, so nothing was broken. I consider this a brand issue, as the interior of the box had too much open space and the bottles themselves were just not secure, but the actual box arrived without any dings or scratches (which is where Neiman Marcus’ packaging efforts would have played a role).

Salonu is described as an “opaque cement white.” It’s a light, muted buttery yellow with a cream finish. The consistency was thicker, and it was prone to streaking. The first coat had noticeable streaking, and unfortunately, a second coat didn’t manage to cover and smooth everything out. It didn’t self-level, so the thicker texture made it harder to work with. It did dry down to a high-shine finish, at least. NARS Anarchy (LE, $20.00) is more beige. MAC Near Beth Experience (LE, $16.00) is yellower, darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

True Blue is described as a “periwinkle blue.” It’s a medium-dark, purple-tinted blue with a hybrd cream and jelly finish with a glossy shine. It had mostly opaque coverage after two coats, but there was a slight translucency to it like you’d expect with a jelly finish, yet it didn’t have the real plushness of a jelly finish. The consistency was thinner but was easy to apply evenly. Dior Sailor (LE, $24.00) is bluer. Cult Nails Wack Slacks (P, $12.00) is darker. MAC Breezy Blue (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Blue Gaze (LE, $16.00) is similar. Illamasqua Force (P, $17.00) is brighter. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Pond (P, $10.00) is brighter. China Glaze Manhunt (LE, $7.50) is darker. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like (LE, $19.00) is similar. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Hot Chick is described as a “vivid yellow.” It’s a brightened, light-medium yellow with a cream finish and a very light sheen–one of the less glossy Louboutin polishes I’ve tried. It had mostly opaque coverage, but it went on with heavy streaking. The texture was a little thin to work with. Cult Nails New Day (LE, $12.00) is lighter. Cult Nails You’re My Dandy Lion (DC, $12.00) is darker. NARS 15 Minutes (LE, $20.00) is similar. Chanel Mimosa (LE, $27.00) is brighter, darker. Butter London Jasper (P, $15.00) is slightly lighter. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Spring 2015

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Salonu

C+

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

True Blue

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 26th, 2015

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer ($24.00 for 0.28 fl. oz.) is thickened, liquid-cream concealer that has medium-to-full coverage that doesn’t settle into or exacerbate fine lines underneath the eyes. It’s definitely a full coverage concealer, but it’s spreadable enough that you can get more medium coverage if desired. It brightens and minimizes the shadows underneath the eyes while subtly softening fine lines (they’re still there, but they seem less severe). I like to pat the concealer into place with a fingertip, then buff and blend it out using a fluffy eyeshadow brush. The concealer wears a full nine hours on me (without setting powder).

The brand says that it’s supposed to be a full-coverage, waterproof, “crease-proof” concealer that will also “diffuse the look of lines and wrinkles” and “give a more youthful radiance.” The latter characteristic is apparent; it’s has a definite radiance/sheen to its finish once it dries down, so if you like an ultra-matte finish, you won’t find it with this concealer on its own. It diffuses some lines, but it’s very subtle. There are four shades–Light, Neutral Medium, Tan, and Deep–and that’s the main complaint I have, which is that the shade range could be larger. I’m typically medium in most ranges (perfectly between light-medium and medium, really), but Neutral Medium is too light while Tan is a bit too dark (also worth noting, Tan leans more peach, which can be nice for covering up under-eye circles, but it is quite warm-toned and may not double as an under eye and face concealer if you prefer double duty), so I mix both shades to get a matching under eye concealer. As far as personal usage goes, I like to use a setting powder to further soften my under eye circles, and it’s always worked well with the concealer (never makes it appear dry or caked).

The Glossover

P
product

Bye Bye Under Eye Anti-Aging Concealer

Temptalia Recommends
A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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