Tuesday, September 6th, 2011


Guerlain Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush

Guerlain Holiday 2011: Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush

Guerlain Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder & Blush ($67.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a limited edition is primarily a luminating product, but it can also deposit a faint hint of color on cheeks. It has a peacock-themed design with a good amount of details that actually survive past the first use (or three). The powder has four distinct colors: pale white, bluish-teal, pinked coral-red, and pale peach-beige. It’s subtle, soft, and sheer. I was quite surprised at how well the design stood up to heavy swatching and lots and lots of passes with a brush–all done in hopes of destroying it–and I dug up a bit of the first feather to see if the colors ran all the way through (it appears to be so, and the brand’s description seems to confirm that as well).

In the press release, Guerlain recommends sweeping a brush across all the shades for a luminating effect on the face, and for more color, take your brush across the three feathers (the pink-red shapes) diagonally. I did both, and you do get different effects. I saw mostly highlighting with the first one, and with the second technique, I gleaned more color out of the product and saw it on my cheeks as well. It’s not an intensely pigmented palette; you’re not getting in-your-face blush here, and you’re not supposed to. The blusher will show on light to medium complexions, but deeper complexions may find it doesn’t work much as a blusher and purely as an illuminator/highlighter.

As an illuminator, it highlights without emphasizing pores or flaws on the skin. It adds sheen and glowiness without glitter. It’s very pretty, and yes, I’m sure you have something similar to it. Parure de Nuit is well-done, and it’s what I’ve come to expect from Guerlain. I’m actually more impressed by the subtle reddish-pink color that adds warmth and color without being overwhelming. Because of its soft color, it’s impossible to overdo. Products like these are best when worn; it’s hard to judge the efficacy and look of it from a swatch alone or even a description.  The powder wears well, too, which is one of the more important aspects of a cheek product (at least to me, as I am loathe to reapply anything!)–a solid eight hours when I tested it.

The powder is housed in a glossy black palette with a large mirror inside and underneath the powder lies a teal-colored brush (I always forget to look for the brush until I go to actually do a wear test with the product!). The whole compact is encased in a velvet pouch with jewel-toned teal on the inside and black velvet on the outside.

The Glossover

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product

Parure de Nuit

A
Guerlain knows how to do a highlighter; they're incredibly good at playing with texture to create finely milled powders with just the right amount of shimmer/sheen to yield a natural glow that doesn't emphasize imperfections in skin but camouflages them.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Lacquer
Illamasqua Obsess Nail Lacquer

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Obsess Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described simply as “bright fuchsia pink.” It’s almost neon; it’s exceedingly bright and vibrant, but there’s something in the finish that holds it back from being a true neon. Obsess is a bright fuchsia pink with an underlying hint of violet with a cream finish. Urban Decay Miss T is similar but appears purpler. It’s purpler compared to Deborah Lippmann Makin’ Whoopee, though.

Illamasqua’s formula is three-free (it does not include DBP, formaldehyde, or toulene), and it wears a full week on me with very minor tip wear (and no chipping). The consistency of Obsess is phenomenal; perfectly balanced between thin and thick that it flows to the edges of the nail with ease and does so evenly. It’s opaque in nearly one coat (I used two for swatches).

P.S. — I have no idea why the stickers on some of my Illamasqua bottles are wonky; I’ll take that minor inconvenience because of the stellar formula, though.

The Glossover

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product

Obsess

A+
Illamasqua's formula is one of my favorites, and Obsess is absolutely superb. Great color payoff, perfect consistency, and easy application make this a must-have polish!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Monday, September 5th, 2011

OCC Femme Nail Lacquer
OCC Femme Nail Lacquer

OCC Femme Nail Lacquer

OCC Femme Nail Lacquer ($8.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as “shimmering flamingo pink.” It is designed to match Femme Lip Tar. It’s a softened yellow-toned pink with pearly white shimmer. The finish ends up slightly metallic with minor brush strokes that look like strands of shimmer pulled through the color. Femme appears warmer and contains shimmer when compared to China Glaze EmpowermentChanel Mistral is a closer dupe, but it has larger, but sparsely placed, sparkles.

I used two coats of polish for swatches, and there is a hint of visible nail line showing. I don’t typically like the way brush strokes look (sometimes it can be well-done–like brushed metal), but this reminds me of cotton candy; there is an airiness to the color and interplay between the micro-shimmer and larger shimmer particles.

OCC’s formula is four-free (it does not include DBP, formaldehyde, toulene, or formaldehyde resin), and it wears a full week on me with minor tip wear (but no chipping). Femme had a good consistency, where it wasn’t watery but it wasn’t too thick, so it flowed easily across the nail during application.

The Glossover

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product

Femme

B+
It's a totally unexpected shade for fall! There's a lighter-than-air feel with the color and shimmer. It has a springtime feel, but I know many of us don't let seasons dictate what we reach for!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Monday, September 5th, 2011

Make Up For Ever #12 Aqua Cream
Make Up For Ever #12 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #12 Aqua Cream

Make Up For Ever #12 Aqua Cream ($22.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “soft copper shimmer.” It’s a rich copper with a heavy metallic sheen. Being a copper. it has a reddish orange tone to it, so it tends to suit warmer complexions more than cooler ones. Though it’s a cream, it is similar in color to these powder eyeshadows: theBalm Meep Meep, Urban Decay Baked, MAC Amber Lights, and Giorgio Armani Gold Blitz.

I’m a big fan of Aqua Creams, because they really stay on well. The formula is all about bringing “rich color payoff” with long-lasting wear that does not crease or smudge. These have a creamy consistency that applies easily and smoothes out beautifully, but they do have a quicker dry down time–and once they set, they’re set for the rest of the day. I’ve worn numerous shades since they originally launched, and I’m never disappointed. The wear is truly phenomenal!

The Glossover

coming-soon

Make Up For Ever #12 Aqua Cream Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I love this on warmer complexions, especially deeper ones, as a quick wash or to enhance bronzes and golds. It has a very smooth texture that makes it a great base for powder eyeshadows as well.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Monday, September 5th, 2011

OCC Poison Loose Colour Concentrate
OCC Poison Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Poison Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Poison Loose Colour Concentrate ($12.00 for 0.088 oz.) is described as “primordial forest green.” It launches tomorrow as part of the brand’s fall/winter collection. Poison is a sultry, smoked out forest green with a dark, blackened base with hints of brown around the edges all finished in a frosted, metallic shimmer-sheen. Whether it’s used wet or dry, I had great results: rich color payoff and a smooth application. I absolutely love with a loose eyeshadow works as well dry as it does wet; to me, that is the mark of a truly excellent formula and overall product.  The closest colors I could think of were Inglot #414 (lighter, appears almost teal-tinged) and Make Up For Ever #80 which is closer in color but less metallic.

The Glossover

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product

Poison

A-
The formulation is lovely here; it applies beautifully dry as well as wet, so it is extremely versatile and will be easier to work with. The color itself has a lot of depth and vibrancy--it's dark and blackened but not dirty.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, September 4th, 2011


Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash ($34.00 for 5 x 0.088 oz.) includes five travel-sized jumbo pencils in these shades: Sin (champagne shimmer), Clash (electric blue with silver sparkle), Juju (medium taupe/brown shimmer), Rehab (dark brown shimmer), and Delinquent (dark purple with purple sparkle).

They’re very nearly full-sized, actually, as a full-sized pencil is 0.10 oz. (FYI, both the back of the Stash box and Sephora report it’s 5 x 0.88 oz., which can’t be right, since the full-sized are 0.10 oz. — it looks like there was an error in the decimal point.) This set is the equivalent value of $88.00, so it is definitely a nice value set for the holidays. It’s an interesting mix of colors, and I’m a little bummed–I really loved how they split up the 24/7 Eye Pencils into colorful and neutral sets. None of this impacted the score, however, just an observation. Perhaps they could have done two sets of four.  What do you think of the color combination here?

  • Sin is a light-medium pink-beige champagne with a frosted sheen. It swatched very comparably to Sin Primer Potion–it seemed less frosty.
  • Clash is a brilliant bright blue with silver sparkle. It is extremely similar to Electric 24/7 Liner–if I look closely, it seems like Clash is slightly brighter.
  • Juju is a pale, gilded taupe brown. It’s just on the edge of taupe–not enough gray in it to place it firmly in the taupe region. How lucky for me that the closest shade is Rehab and it is included in the set! It’s obvious that Juju is several shades lighter than Rehab, so you’re not getting dupes.
  • Rehab is a dark red-toned chocolate brown with a smidgen of taupe. It is similar to Underground 24/7 Liner–a hair darker, cooler, perhaps, but it could be a potential skip in lieu of other shades that are less similar.
  • Delinquent is deep purple violet with lilac sparkle. It’s such a stunning jewel-tone shade. It is completely different from Lust 24/7 Liner, and it doesn’t compare to Ransom 24/7 Liner either.

For a full review of the formula, please read my original review here. In summary, these worked really well in my testing of them. They applied with enough slip and creaminess not to pull and tug at the lids roughly (like MAC Shadesticks do) but not so creamy that it would slide around and end up creasing after a few hours (like NARS Shadow Pencils). These have a quick dry down time, so if you plan to use multiple shades together or need to blend out the edges, I would work one eye at a time. I have no issues with fading, creasing, or smudging over twelve hours.

The Glossover

palette

Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash Review, Photos, Swatches

A
If you've wanted to try out the new Shadow Pencils, this is a great way to do so without breaking the bank--for less than the cost of two full-sized shades, you get five nearly full-sized shades.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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