Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee
Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee

Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee ($40.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as “high polish for your skin.” It’s a liquid, powder, and gel formula all-in-one. Estee Lauder says it “smooths on as an all-over soft sheen” and “builds for luminous pearl highlighting.” I wouldn’t describe it as an all-over powder or really so much a highlighting product–maybe a highlighting bronzer. The product is very, very intense. The pigmentation is insane; one tap of the brush, and it’s more than enough color to add a bronzed look to my cheeks. To achieve mere highlighting, I found that a fan brush and a very, very light hand (think of just a tap) was the only way to get just a faint sheen. If you use a regular blush or highlighting brush, and you use your typical method, you’ll probably find there’s too much for just a highlighted sheen.

This is a product that would be really lovely on deeper, golden-toned skin. It’s a rich coppery bronze with red undertones and a molten gold shimmer and sheen. theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer is browner, less orange and red. Urban Decay Gilded is a little lighter, more orange and less red-toned, but compares to the softer swatch of Topaz Chameleon.  If you want to bring out the metallic sheen, you can use the powder with a wet or damp brush.

I feel like this product is too pigmented if its aim is to be an all-over highlight.  Even on darker skin tones, I can’t imagine using this all over.  It’s very metallic and frosty, so it does emphasize the texture of the skin slightly.  The brush that Estee Lauder includes applies this more heavily if you aren’t careful (light hand, tapping away excess).  As a bronzer, it should work on warmer skin tones.  There are strong copper and orange tones, so I’m not sure if this would work as well on cooler complexions.  Estee Lauder just doesn’t call this product out as a bronzer, when it just feels and looks so much like one.

It can be used as a highlighter, but the application is more difficult and takes some practice.  It looks very dirty on my skin tone as a bronzer, but with a fan brush, a light hand, and a buffing brush, it can yield a softer, more manageable golden sheen.  The texture is soft but has this dry feel; it’s a different texture compared to most powders, but it is similar to Estee Lauder’s recent formulas like this.  When I wore this as a bronzer, it lasted for seven hours before beginning to fade.  I wish it would blend out more easily, because it’s just too easy to over-apply, so a more blendable texture would make for a more forgiving application.

I had a tough time trying to figure out exactly what Estee Lauder was going for here and whether this product should have been sheerer or if the pigmentation was on point.  I decided that since Estee Lauder said it was buildable (and it is) and didn’t mention it being sheer, the product would receive full marks for pigmentation.  Because achieving the highlighting the brand describes is more difficult, this was reflected in the application score.

The Glossover

LE
product

Topaz Chameleon

B
As a bronzer, it should work on warmer skin tones. There are strong copper and orange tones, so I'm not sure if this would work as well on cooler complexions. Estee Lauder just doesn't call this product out as a bronzer, when it just feels and looks so much like one.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

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Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Teal Topaz Nail Lacquer ($19.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is a dusty teal with a cream finish, though it dries to an almost vinyl-like finish. Illamasqua Muse is a richer, deeper teal that isn’t much darker but has more depth. Cult Nails Let Me Fly is a bit darker and has shimmer. Orly Viridian Vinyl is very close in color but has a pleather-like finish.

It’s not quite opaque after two coats, and it doesn’t apply completely evenly; there is a tendency to streak and pull. I’ve had good luck with Estee Lauder’s new Pure Color lacquers, but this one fell flat for me. The application was off; it wasn’t as pigmented as other shades, and it did not apply flawlessly. Estee Lauder bottles look big, but they’re deceptively small in actual product–there’s a lot of excess glass, which makes the bottle heavy and chunky (it takes up more space than your average bottle of polish).  I typically get a week of wear with very minor tip wear with Estee Lauder’s formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

Teal Topaz

B
It's a really pretty shade, but the formula falls short--at this price tag, and with several other dupes available, it's unacceptable.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

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Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Rose Gold Shimmerbrick
Bobbi Brown Rose Gold Shimmerbrick

Bobbi Brown Rose Gold Shimmerbrick ($39.00 for 0.40 oz.) is supposed to create a “soft, warm pink glow.” Each shade can also be used as an eyeshadow. When blended together, it takes on a warm copper with just a hint of pink/rose. It has a frosted shimmer-sheen and has enough pigmentation to give cheeks a little color (more in the form of warmth) as well as highlight. Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous is a little darker but similar. MAC Redhead looks nearly identical to me.

The first shade is a soft light-medium pink with a frosted sheen. The second shade is a warm yellow with an iridescent pink sheen. The third shade is a rosy copper with a frosted sheen. The fourth shade is a broze with red undertones and a metallic sheen. The fifth and final shade is a medium coppered rose (it’s more orange than the third shade).

Because all five shades have a high level of frost in their finishes, this is as a very shimmery, high sheen product. If you prefer a softer, subtler, more refined glow (think Guerlain and Chanel), this will likely be too much. If you like products like MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes, Laura Mercier’s Rendezvous, or Estee Lauder’s Illuminating Gelees, you’ll probably like the finish of this. It does ever-so-slightly emphasize pores; I’m sensitive to products that to do this, but it’s minimal enough that you don’t see it unless you’re standing a few inches from the mirror. If you want a subtler shimmer, try using a stippling brush instead of a regular blush or highlighting brush.

I tested out the wear of this Shimmerbrick last week, and it wore for about seven hours before looking slightly faded after eight hours.  The texture of the powder is very soft, and it’s not at all gritty–with as much shimmer as there is, it still feels finely-milled and applies incredibly smoothly.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose Gold

B+
If you love shimmer and sheen, you'll enjoy Bobbi Brown's Shimmerbricks--they're full of shimmer with a really soft, smooth application and texture. Rose Gold has a lot of warmth to it without being orange.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, February 10th, 2012

Guerlain Chant d'Aromes (103) Rouge Automatique Lipstick
Guerlain Chant d’Aromes (103) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Chant d’Aromes (103) Rouge Automatique Lipstick

Guerlain Chant d’Aromes (103) Rouge Automatique Lipstick ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a warm beige-brown with a lighter beige shimmer. The color coverage is mostly opaque. MAC Dressmaker, Dressmaker is similar but a little more orange and has less shimmer. MAC Viva Glam VI is a little redder but they look similar on my lips. Guerlain Grace is also similar but less warm. MAC Lush Amber is similar but less opaque.

Even though Rouge G still comes out on top as my favorite lipstick (just ever-so-slightly), Rouge Automatique is easily in my top ten (maybe top five even).  It’s long-wearing, lightweight, feels comfortable to wear, and the finish is always luminous, which gives lips a healthy, luscious look.  The wear is between four to eight hours, but Chant d’Aromes wears just over five for me when I trialed it.  The consistency is creamy enough to enable an easy glide across the lips, but it’s not so full of slip that it slides around the lips.  For more packaging photos, please see this post.

The Glossover

P
product

Chant d'Aromes

A
Rouge Automatique is a top-notch formula, because the creaminess of the texture enables it to glide on, making for an easy application, but it's lightweight and never slippery, so it stays on and wears for hours.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, February 10th, 2012

China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Hunger Games Nail Lacquer

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection: Colours from the Capitol

China Glaze Colours from the Capitol Collection is slated for March launch. It features twelve shades with each shade being named after a different district. This post features these six: Hook and Line, Luxe and Lush, Mahogany Magic, Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold. Reader Kim did an excellent job explaining the names-to-district component.

  • Hook and Line is a warm gray with threads of pale silver. This shade is named after District 4 for fishing. It’s opaque in two coats, but this is a little thick, streaky, and has a ton of brush strokes. The color is a little reminiscent of Zoya Dove but it’s darker and warmer.
  • Luxe and Lush is a duochrome top coat with various sizes of flakies that reflect gold and pink with a little blue. This shade is named after District 1 for luxury. I applied two coats so you could see it on its own as well as over Smoke and Ashes. I don’t have a dupe for this shade. The closest I could think of were Zoya’s Fleck Effects.
  • Mahogany Magic is a warm brown with a yellow base. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 7 for lumber. Illamasqua Taint is a cooler-toned brown. Chanel Khaki Rose is lighter.
  • Riveting is a vibrant orange with orange-tinted gold shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 3 for technology. Zoya Tanzy is a little lighter and has more shimmer/glitter. Nubar Arencia is similar but a touch darker. Milani Metal Gear is darker and the shimmer doesn’t appear as light.
  • Smoke and Ashes is an inky blue-based black with green and blue shimmer. It was opaque in two coats. This shade is named for District 12 for mining. The base color reminded me of Zoya Cynthia a bit, but it’s blacker. Cult Nails Living Water has a similar look but the shimmer is more dominant and leans bluer.
  • Stone Cold is a soft black with silver shimmer–and it’s matte. This shade is named for District 2 for masonry. It’s similar to Nubar Midnight and MAC Butterfly. Orly Iron Butterfly should also be a dupe.

The consistency of Hook and Line was the worst; a little thick, not quite goopy but close, which all resulted in a streaky finish. I had better luck with Riveting, Smoke and Ashes, and Stone Cold, which were easy to apply and didn’t have any consistency concerns–they weren’t too thick or too thin and applied evenly without bubbling or pooling along the sides. Luxe and Lush has a thicker consistency, which actually helps the flakies distribute fairly evenly over the nail.  Mahogany Magic was on the thicker side, but it wasn’t as problematic as Hook and Line.

The Glossover

coming-soon

China Glaze & Hunger Games Collection Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A-
This set of six was better overall compared to the six from part one--only two shades gave me problems, while the other four were easy to work with and had a good formula.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 9th, 2012


Haus of Gloi Perfume Oils for Valentine’s Day

Haus of Gloi has created five scents for Valentine’s Day. Perfume oils are available in small sample vials ($3.00) or a 5ml amber glass bottle ($15.00). The photo above shows several vials of various scents. I’m still working my way through their regular catalog of scents, but I did trial their recent seasonal ones.  Their perfume oils last six hours or so on me, with some scents tending to stay longer on the skin.

  • Come Hither is described as being inspired by herbs and roots used in Hoodoo to attract a mate. It has Bourbon vanilla, tonka bean, rose oil, Queen Elizabeth root, saffron threads, and honey in it. On me, it’s feminine, soft, and rosy–there’s a subtle, sweetened rosiness that is rounded out by an earthy quality. There’s also a hint of herbaceous greens that is most noticeable in the first twenty minutes of wear but fade away shortly after.
  • Odette is described as “clean sun dried linens, tuberose, ginger lily, and white musk.” It’s a crisp, musky, and floral in the beginning. After a few hours of wear, it transitions into a more sweetened floral. The scent smells fresh and perfect for springtime, but the sweetness does pull it back a bit once it settles against my skin.
  • Who Needs Love is described as “chocolaty orbs, coated in crystallized coffee – filled with a pomegranate and raspberry filling.” At first, it’s a subtle sweetness mixed with a gentle tartness; there’s the sweet-tart taste of raspberries with the earthy sweetness of chocolate. For a scent with as many food descriptors, it’s not overly foodie. As the scent wears, the raspberry really starts to prevail with the chocolate becoming a backdrop. It was my favorite of the spring scents, which is funny, because I don’t typically like dessert-based scents.
  • Spring Tonic 1 is described as “Californian lemon, Mexican lime, parsley, and dandelion greens.” There’s a tart bite of citrus initially; there’s the sourness of the lemon, the crispness of the lime, and there’s a grassy element that gives it a green note. It smells like a really fresh, crisp salad. On me, the lemon seems to pull ahead after a couple of hours of wear.
  • Spring Tonic 2 is described as “fresh cucumber, parsley, and dandelion greens.” Lots of crisp cucumber from the get-go, mixed with the green, peppery scent of parsley. The cucumber wanes a bit, and the scent turns greener, almost grassy.