Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Black (13) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani Black (13) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

More Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow with #13

Giorgio Armani Black (13) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a really deep, dark black that is subtly infused with navy blue micro-shimmer. In the pot, it looks black as midnight, but when swatched, the shimmer is just barely visible. It is a blue-based black, and photographs tend to pull blue out of it, but in person, I found it really just looked black.  It’s a nice, rich jet black, and if you’re a fan of the all-black smoky eye, it would be lovely as the star!  I used it as eyeliner on the lower lash line in this look.

This is a product that lives up to its claims–it wears all day without budging, creasing, or fading–and blends as well on its own as it does with other eyeshadows (or on top of an eyeshadow base). Giorgio Armani describes the Eyes to Kill Intense formula as neither powder nor cream but a hybrid that creates a “smooth, lasting color film” that can be applied wet or dry.  Giorgio Armani explains, “Each shade is intensified with a second pigment for a multi-dimensional effect. In just one swoop, create a wet, shimmering smokey eye … Base color covers eyelid, and second pigment adds drama to the contour.”

The texture of these feels almost like a cream eyeshadow, but it has the thinness of a powder eyeshadow while retaining some of the blendability of the hybrid cream-powder eyeshadow.  It also works well with other eyeshadow (see this look using #6). The intensity is insane–whether you use it wet or dry, they pretty much look the same. It’s almost like a really dense loose powder that’s been pressed down, because if you dig at it, it loosens.

Though pricey, each shade comes with 0.14 oz. worth of product, which is a hefty amount (normal eyeshadow averages around 0.05 oz., no matter the price).  The only aspect I didn’t love was the little black stopper inside the jar (once you unscrew the black lid), because my longer fingers felt awkward grabbing it (so I just unscrew it upside down so it falls into the cap).

The Glossover

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product

#13

A+
It's an eyeshadow you can wear alone, as a base, or on a base, because it's budge-proof, crease-proof, and wears all day long. The pigmentation is rich, and the texture is luxuriously soft and smooth.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel
Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel

Renee Rouleau Triple Berry Smoothing Peel ($85.50 for 1.7 oz.) is, quite possibly, the most deliciously scented facial product I have ever come across–but I am a fiend for raspberries. It’s a sweet, deletectable berry scent (I caught a lot of raspberry myself, but it also contains several other fruits). It is a chemical exfoliant, so it doesn’t have any beads, particles, or the like, that will scrub off dead skin.

It looks like raspberry jam, including seeds, and the texture is rather jam-like, as well, but it’s a little looser than the average jam. But I tell you, if you don’t get the urge to taste it at least once… (I managed to resist, but I do wonder!) I use this peel every three to four weeks, and I’ve been using this for about four months now. I keep it on for about ten minutes, but it can be worn for less and be just as effective. Essentially, if it tingles a lot, you probably don’t want to keep it on for a full ten minutes–go with what feels right for your skin.

My skin always feels ridiculously soft–almost so soft that it has a plumper feel to it–after I rinse off the peel with water. It’s honestly like a super skin treat each month when I use it. I’ve had a couple of facials, which are always enjoyable, but this is the next best thing for those of us who don’t have a budget that allows for regular facials. I find that my skin looks and feels smoother, brighter, and glowy (and stays that way for three to four days after). I love that this doesn’t irritate or redden my skin post-rinse, which means I don’t have to plan ahead about when to use it. I do personally like to use it on a Friday night, an hour or two before bed, as an end-of-the-week indulgence.

The jar I purchased several months ago is still quite full, like 85%, (you don’t need much for each peel, and it’s a product that you only use a couple of times a month), but even so, when there was a deal for 50% off, I had to pick up another. I always think about having my mom try it, but I fear she’ll get hooked and I want my backup jar! It wouldn’t even surprise me, because of all the moisturizers I’ve given my mom, her favorite is La Mer.

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Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

NYX Eyeshadow Base
NYX Eyeshadow Base

NYX Eyeshadow Base:  Skin Tone

NYX Skin Tone Eyeshadow Base ($6.00 for 0.25 oz.) is a creamy, flesh-toned product designed to provide a base for eyeshadow to grab onto and stay on all day. It’s $6.99 on ULTA (which I liked, because NYX is sold-out of this shade) normally, but at the time of this review, it was $4.19. NYX’s Eyeshadow Base is also available in White and Pearl. The Skin Tone shade is a light-medium peach.

This is one of my favorite budget friendly bases, because one pot lasts forever, and the product itself keeps eyeshadow on all day long without fading or creasing. It has a nice level of creaminess that makes it easy to apply and blend out to cover the entire lid area, but it dries down quick enough that it doesn’t crease before you get a chance to apply your eyeshadow on top of it. Skintone is more of an opaque base, though, which is particularly good for those who want a product that also evens out lids.

The Glossover

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coming-soon

Skin Tone

A-
If you're looking for an affordable eyeshadow base, NYX is definitely one of the best I've come across. It holds its own against higher-end bases, too--you're not sacrificing quality for price here.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, April 11th, 2011


Coat Azure, French Affair, Nice is Nice

Essie A French Affair Collection

For Spring, Essie has launched six shades ranging from blue to nude in their A French Affair Collection. Essie can be found at various etailers and salons, but also through beauty.com ($8 per bottle).

Coat Azure (breathing taking medium blue with shimmer), French Affair (sophisticated soft lavender pink), Nice is Nice (whimsical light lavender), Sand Tropez (soft sandy beige), Topless & Barefoot (barely there soft beige pink), and Kisses & Bisses (kiss of pink shimmer – perfect to layer over any color).

  • Coat Azure is a dusty cornflower blue with soft microshimmer. I used two coats. China Glaze Sky High Top seems similar but brighter.
  • French Affair is a pale pink with cool undertones and a cream finish. I used three coats. It is cooler-toned than Essie Neo Whimsical.
  • Nice is Nice is a pinked lavender with a cream finish. I used two coats, and there was a hint of visible nail line. It is similar to MAC’s Little Girl Type, but darker and not as cool-toned. It’s also more pigmented and less cool-toned than Essie Lilacism.
  • Sand Tropez is a muted, beige with a touch of gray in a cream finish. I used three coats. It seems a bit similar to Essie Body Language.
  • Topless & Barefoot is a warmed over light-medium beige cream. I used two coats. I couldn’t think of a possible dupe for this one.
  • Kisses & Bisses is a sheer, warmed white base with a duochromed, opalescent shimmer that flashes pink and gold. I used three coats in the swatches. Essie recommends it for layering, and if you’re not into sheer polishes, it would work well as a layering polish. I did like it on its own; it gave a soft, sheer look but the duochrome finish of the shimmer added interest. Zoya Bailey seems similar, perhaps not as much of a duochrome.

my thoughts on the formula: Essie’s spring shades is a good mix of soft colors and pastels with a formula that applies easily and none of the pastel shades have a chalky look to them. I found about half needed two coats, but overall, three seemed like the ideal amount. The formula wasn’t too thick or thin, and it flowed evenly onto the nail. With a base/top coat, I had only minor tip wear after a week’s wear of Essie’s formula.

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Essie A French Affair Collection Swatches, Photos, Review

B+
It's a very spring-themed collection, and I think Essie did it without going full throttle on pastels, too. I like the inclusion of two shimmers amongst four creams, too.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique
Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a semi-opaque rosy pink with subtle yellow undertones and soft pink shimmer. The finish is a soft frost, and I didn’t have any of the texture issues with Cherry Blossom that I had with Mitsouko.

Guerlain’s description of the Rouge Automatique line describes the color as non-opaque, light, and luminous, so while this may be on the sheerer side, it still seems in line with the range–it definitely gave a visible color difference when worn, but this shade seems to embody what Guerlain described as “luminous, clear and pure color.”  (Nothing in Guerlain’s description of the new formula would make me think these are rich, pigmented lipsticks.)

my thoughts on the formula: Rouge Automatique lipsticks tend to have a very creamy, smooth consistency without being thick (in fact, I’d describe them as thin). They glide on with ease, and the majority of shades seem to deposit semi-opaque to opaque color. Wear for darker shades ranges from six to eight hours, while light to medium shades from four to six hours. It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

The Glossover

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product

Cherry Blossom

B+
It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

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

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

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