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.

The Glossover

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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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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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Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Lust Red (2) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani Lust Red (2) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Intensity Maximized with Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense

Giorgio Armani Lust Red (2) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich, blackened violet burgundy with ruby red, blue-violet, and violet shimmer. It’s a luxurious texture–so soft and smooth and almost feels like velvet. 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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#2

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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Saturday, April 9th, 2011

Dior Rosy Nude (534) Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Rosy Nude (534) Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Summer 2011: Rosy Nude Palette

Dior Rosy Nude (634) Eyeshadow Palette ($58.00 for 0.21 oz.) is one of two new (and possibly limited edition–I’m still trying to get confirmation either way) quints, and they are part of this summer’s Electric Tropics Collection.

It contains five shades: high shimmered white (with a touch pink warmth); soft, champagne shimmered beige; medium brown with subtle red undertones and soft bronze shimmer; iridescent peach-pink with a frosted, metallic finish; and cotton candy pink with blue undertones with a glowing sheen. All five shades were soft, silky smooth, and nicely pigmented (everything swatched very true-to-pan). You can check out the look I did earlier this week to see it in action! :)

I’m always hesitant about Dior’s eyeshadow quints, because sometimes they’re amazing and other times, I’m unimpressed, but both summer quints (the other I will review later) are really lovely. The texture is buttery and smooth–not too soft–but still very silken against the skin where it lays down easily and blends out effortlessly.

I also love how the colors coordinate with each other. This is definitely a softer, more neutral color palette, but the shimmer and frost in the finishes gives the colors more pop. I think it could have used a semi-matte or matte shade (perhaps the medium brown), but otherwise, it’s perfect for summer. It should work well with bolder lip combos as corals and oranges abound this season.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Dior Rosy Nude (534) Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
It's very appropriate for summer--it has just enough warmth to give it that lit-from-within glow without being too warm for cooler and more neutral skin tones to wear well. The colors work well together, which will make this easy to travel with. Great textures and pigmentation make this one worth checking out!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, April 8th, 2011

Urban Decay Gilded Bronzer
Urban Decay Gilded Bronzer

Urban Decay Gilded Baked Bronzer

Urban Decay Gilded Baked Bronzer ($26.00 for 0.26 oz.) is described as “bronze shimmer with veins of gold.” It’s a baked powder with swirls of gold and bronze within a warm, orange-peach base. Gilded is a gold shimmered orange-tan.

When applied, despite the more glittery look of the powder, it has a much more refined part-shimmer, part-sheen finish on the cheeks.I was worried the apparent shimmer would translate into a “Stop! Look! I have pores!” effect, but it was a gorgeous glow of golden warmth. I think it looks better in person than in photos–there is some subtlty that is lost. Though it was beautiful once applied and looked delicate but delectably bronzy, it did not wear all day–it made it to six hours and by the eighth, it was mostly gone.

At first glance, it seems like the price is around average, but in comparison the previous Baked Bronzer, it’s not. The original Baked Bronzer contained 0.35 oz. and retailed for $24. The newly packaged and relaunched Baked Bronzer line only contains 0.26 oz. but retails for $26. I checked the ingredients for this version against the previous version, but they are the same. I don’t expect most to rocket through the bronzer, whether it is 0.26 oz. or 0.35 oz., but it is always disappointing when a product relaunches and quantity gets decreased.  I felt like someone was try to pull a fast over on me!

I didn’t receive boxes with my Urban Decay samples, but luckily, Urban Decay lists the ingredients on their website (kudos!): Talc, Paraffinum liquidum (Mineral) Oil, Isopropyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Phenoxyethanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, BHT.

The Glossover

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product

Gilded

B-
I wish it lasted a bit longer, because I could make a stronger recommendation for it. If you're rarely out and about for six hours or more, then you probably won't mind the shorter wear, but it is still disappointing--especially when Urban Decay has so many long-wearing products in their arsenal!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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