Thursday, March 31st, 2011

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush
MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush

MAC Quite Cute Collection: Giggly Mineralize Blush

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush ($23.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new and limited edition duo-toned blusher from MAC’s Quite Cute Collection, which will launch in-stores on April 7th. It’s described as a “light pink with pearly plum heart.” The outer color is a darkened bubblegum pink with subtle blue undertones, while the heart itself is a frosted berry plum. When swirled together, the result is a heavily pinked plum with a soft, frosted sheen.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Giggly Mineralize Blush Swatches, Photos, Review

C+
The pigmentation on Giggly was the best out of the three mineralize blushes, and while it, too, was powdery, it did not sheer out too much when applied, which was an issue the other two had.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion
Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion

Benefit Triple Performing Facial Emulsion SPF 15 PA++ ($28.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) is a new moisturizer from Benefit’s b.right! Radiant Skincare line. It’s designed to be lightweight while being oil-free. This moisturizer does have SPF 15 in it, and it uses chemical sunscreens (Octinoxate, Avobenzone, Octocrylene, and Sulisobenzone).

my skin type: I have normal-to-dry skin that tends to be drier in the winter months but more normal during the rest of the year. I have minor breakouts with the occasional cystic acne spot that seem to be related to hormones/stress (and not typically products). I have some fine lines around my eyes but am not currently concerned about anti-aging (beyond religious use of sunscreen and generally taking care of my skin).

It is a simple moisturizer–it hydrates without leaving behind any greasiness, and it dries down within a few minutes so a semi-matte finish. The consistency is very thin–think a lightweight lotion–and a bit watery, though not runny. It’s housed in a glass bottle with a “cork” (not actually made out of cork) cap that you pull off to reveal a pump dispenser.

Unlike Stay Don’t Stray, which killed me with its pump, this pump works marvelously. I find I use anywhere from five to six pumps per use. What I like about pumps is you can figure out how many you need and be consistent with your usage–plus it’s more hygienic.  The glass bottle is lovely without being too heavy.

I’ve been using this for about four weeks, but I’m too sensitive to the scent of the product to continue using it personally. It has a very strong floral scent with some sweetness. To me, it is the scent I smell when I know my allergies are going to go haywire. I catch whiffs of it throughout the day and find it a little cloying. I’m not normally that sensitive to scents in products, and I wouldn’t consider my nose an excellent sensory device either–but I still detect this hours later. It seems to turn more sickeningly sweet as the day goes on. Scent is immensely personal, and for those who prefer subtle to no fragrance in their skin care, I would avoid this. For those who don’t mind scented skincare, it’s still worth checking out and deciding whether it’s a scent you enjoy or not.

good for: I would recommend it to normal-to-oily skin types, because it is such a lightweight moisturizer that it’s not going to provide enough hydratoin for drier skin types. I noticed that on my drier days (when I started using it, which was closer to winter), it didn’t quite seem like enough, but it was usually just fine.

final thoughts: Despite finding it unsuitable to me personally, I don’t think taking away points for scent (just because the scent doesn’t appeal to me) would be a fair assessment of the product. I’ve disclaimed it, my feelings on the fragrance, and it’s something personal enough that individual users will have to determine how that factor weighs in. It’s a nice lightweight moisturizer that spreads easily, moisturizes well on normal-to-oily skin types without feeling heavy or greasy.

where to buy: Sephora

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit
Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit ($28.00 for 6 x 0.17 fl. oz.) features six miniature-sized nail polishes. It includes these shades: Fame (champagne shimmer), Love Train (opalescent shimmer), Miss T (bright orchid fuchsia), Superfreak (gold shimmer base with gold micro-glitter), Woodstock (hot pink), and Xanadu (sheer purple base with purple glitter). Each polish is 0.17 fl. oz, so the total amount of polish in the kit is the equivalent of 1.02 fl. oz, or about two full-sized nail polishes.  I used Zoya’s Anchor & Armor as my base/top coats unless otherwise specified.

  • Fame is a soft champagne with subtle pink undertones and white shimmer. I used three coats and still had a hint of visible nail line. China Glaze Hybrid is a bit darker and more opaque but similar.
  • Superfreak is a tarnished gold with micro-glitter and a metallic finish. It dries to a matte metallic finish (I didn’t use a top coat in the photos, to show you the natural finish). It is very similar to Dior Timeless Gold–maybe a smidgen lighter but they’re quite close. This shade was nicely pigmented so I only needed two coats.
  • Xanadu is a fuchsia-tinted jelly base with violet and fuchsia glitter. I used three coats, and it still had a sheerness in the base color, but it was expected based on the description (it is not meant to be opaque).  It’s like a red-toned version of Illamasqua Boo.
  • Miss T is a vibrant fuchsia magenta with subtle fuchsia micro-shimmer strewn through the base.  Essie’s Bermuda Shorts was the closest I could think of, but it is pinker (not as magenta).
  • Woodstock is a neon hot pink, and it dries to a matte finish–almost like patent leather. I used two coats–the flash photo is taken without a top coat to show the finish.  Zoya’s Gilda is similar in color but not in finish.  China Glaze Rich & Famous also seems similar but perhaps a bit darker.
  • Love Train is a sheer, muted white with subtle opal iridescence and micro-shimmer. Think Chanel Pearl Drop but cool-toned.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula on these was really easy to work with–it applied smoothly, evenly, and nothing took too long to dry. Both Xanadu and Love Train are sheerer shades but the descriptions say exactly that–can’t fault them there–while Superfreak, Miss T, and Woodstock have excellent color pay off.

I love the concept of miniature-sized nail polishes, because you get to try a variety of shades without committing to the price tag of full bottles.  However, as someone with longer fingers and bigger hands, it can take some getting used to holding the small-sized caps, even though the brush applicator is full-sized (thankfully!).

The Glossover

udRollergirlNail

Urban Decay Rollergirl Nail Kit Swatches, Photos, Review

A-
It seems like this year is bringing out quite a few cool-toned collections, and the new Rollergirl Nail Kit from Urban Decay definitely leans cool, but what I like about it is the finishes and vibrancies make them easy to wear against warmer skin tones, too.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette
Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette ($50.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a new and limited edition cool-toned palette for spring. The palette includes these shades: Opal (cool pale grey), Lavender (light lavender), Cool Ivory (grey-ish tan), Cobra (medium cool grey), Plum Orchid (deep black plum), and Eclipse (blackest black).

  • Opal is a soft, silvered gray with beige and a frosted finish. It was nicely pigmented.
  • Lavender is a pink-tinged lavender with a frosted metallic finish. This is a metallic eyeshadow. The pigmentation was spot-on.
  • Cool Ivory is a cool-toned grayish beige with a matte finish. It had a very smooth, silky texture and went on nicely.
  • Cobra is a slightly sheer bluish gray with sparkle. This is a shimmer wash eyeshadow, which is supposed to be sheer.
  • Plum Orchid is a blackened, deep purple with a matte finish. Unlike many of Bobbi Brown’s mattes, I felt this one was chalky and not nearly as pigmented as I would expect. It reminded me of my issues with NARS Daphne, but I did not feel like this worked beautifully when applied–it was still a bit chalky.
  • Eclipse is a dark black with a matte finish. It, too, was not nearly as buttery as Bobbi Brown’s mattes usually are. Eclipse was not nearly as frustrating as Plum Orchid, though, as it was more pigmented and applied better.

The palette contains 0.24 oz. worth of eyeshadow, which is an equivalent value of $40.00 of eyeshadow, $10.00 of shimmer wash eyeshadow, and $8.00 of metallic eyeshadow–plus two miniature sized brushes. The value of the palette is no less than $58.00, but I would say it’s a bit higher, with the brushes.

When I tried using the palette in an eye look, I found the colors seemed rather stubborn–they really did not want to play together.  I felt like the resulting look was rather muddy and trying to go back and deepen certain shades only made it look worse.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Eyeshadow Palette Review, Photos, Swatches

C
I went through and averaged the quality scores for the eyeshadows, which ended up being 22/30, even though two shades were below average. I think this palette is best for those with cool-toned skin, because of how cool the palette is overall.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Monday, March 28th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Decorous Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a new and limited shade from the Iconic/Ironic Collection. It’s described as “if a cup of chai latte had a baby with a malted milkshake … A shimmery cocoa to add a chic suede finish to any outfit.” This is a very shifting color–on my warmer skin tone, it seems more like a warm-toned polish, but it looks neutral to neutral-cool in the bottle. It’s a medium-dark muted cocoa with subtle micro-shimmer.

my thoughts on the formula: These are richly pigmented lacquers that have nuances in both the color and finishes. Each color is well-thought out, and I’ve yet to come across a poor performer in the brand’s color range. I used two coats for opaque coverage.

The Glossover

LE
product

Decorous

A
Even though it frustrates me when a color is difficult to describe, it also means it is harder to replicate and more likely a shade we don’t see all the time.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, March 28th, 2011

Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss Shower Gel
Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss Shower Gel

Rich Comfort with Butterscotch Bliss

Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 fl. oz.) is rich and buttery with a swirl of vanilla sweetness.  It smells exactly like hard butterscotch candies.  This is definitely a food scent, and it is pretty sweet, though not nauseatingly so.

my thoughts on the formula: They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger heavily beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

final thoughts: Philosophy hit the scent of butterscotch dead-on, and if that’s a scent that appeals to you, I think you’d love this.

where to buy: Philosophy