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

P
product

#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

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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

P
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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Thursday, April 7th, 2011

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer
TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer SPF 18 ($25.00 for 2.25 oz.) is designed to give “long lasting moisturizer” with a polished look while skin feels “silky.” Immediately, I wished there were more shades available–there are only three: Light, Light/Medium, and Medium. I tested out the Light/Medium shade, which I found to be a pretty good match, though perhaps a hair light, for my complexion (I’m NC25/30 in MAC, Punjab in NARS).

Tinted moisturizers are great for days when you want a little coverage but not a lot of makeup. Hallmarks of a great tinted moisturizer are sheer coverage, creamy consistency, and hydrating. BalmShelter provides enough coverage to even out my skin tone (especially around the cheeks, where I am a bit blotchy) and helping to give my face a uniform color (I’m darker around my hair line than anywhere else). It has a natural finish, so it’s not matte but not too dewy. I did find it more dewy than not, and if you have oilier skin, you may find it even more necessary to finish with a setting powder. I do, normally, set even tinted moisturizer with powder, though.

What I really liked about BalmShelter was its very creamy consistency; it was thick without being goopy and spread really well and evenly. It definitely felt like a lotion, which made it even easier to blend and cover my face during application. It comes in a squeeez tube, and there is no problem getting just what you need out. I wasn’t as keen on its ability to hydrate, though; it was decent but I felt like I needed to layer moisturizer underneath. I couldn’t just use BalmShelter in lieu of a moisturizer. For oilier skin types, it may be enough, but for my normal-to-dry skin type, it wasn’t quite enough. It wears for six to eight hours before I notice it has sheered out in some places (like my t-zone).

The Glossover

coming-soon

TheBalm BalmShelter Tinted Moisturizer Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Though it notes this as a product that gives long lasting moisture, I felt it performed just below average. I like it, though, overall, because of how blendable and smooth it is to apply. It feels lightweight and provides enough coverage to even out subtle imperfections in skin tone but looks perfectly natural.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Estee Lauder Shimmering Bronze Nail Lacquer
Estee Lauder Shimmering Bronze Nail Lacquer

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Shimmering Bronze

Estee Lauder Shimmering Bronze Nail Lacquer ($19.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is a shimmering, red-enriched bronze with subtle metallic threads running through an otherwise copper and bronze shimmered finish. I used two coats for complete opacity, and it applied easily. The polish flowed without being too thick or thin, and each coat was nicely pigmented. I have no problem achieving a full week’s worth of wear out of Estee Lauder’s formula (with a proper base/top coat, of course). For swatches, I used Zoya’s Anchor and Armor for my base and top coats.

A major downside to the product is the quantity: a mere 0.30 fl. oz., while most lacquers weigh in at 0.50 fl. oz. It seems customary for some of the higher-end brands to average just below that at 0.40 fl. oz., but it still makes this bottle seem small (even though you’d never think it, based on packaging’s appearance).

The Glossover

LE
product

Shimmering Bronze

A-
It's a decadent, summery bronze. I like that the finish isn't a full-on metallic but part-shimmer, part-metallic (Estee Lauder calls it "pearl"). I think it gives it luster while maintaining a sleek look.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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