Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Giorgio Armani Khaki Pulse (6) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow
Giorgio Armani Khaki Pulse (6) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow

Intensity Maximized with Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense

Giorgio Armani Khaki Pulse (6) Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow ($32.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described 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.”

There are some high-stakes claims, too — Giorgio Armani says to expect, “Twenty four hour color wear, crease proof, flake proof, waterproof and sweat-proof, Eyes To Kill Intense Eyeshadows slide on, stay on, but wipe off in an instant.”  It hits every single one of these claims and does it with effortless grace.  I’ve been beauty blogging for five years this October, and I’ve been a beauty addict connoisseur for even longer (has it really been seven years?), but I was incredibly impressed by the Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadow line.

I hold my highest rating closely guarded, because it should be something given to truly remarkable products.  Let’s just say I went out and bought all of the ones I didn’t have, because I thought they were that fantastic.  The quality of Khaki Pulse is out-of-this-world-crazy-in-love good–rich, dense, silky smooth, and blendable to boot.  It even looks cool in its pot o’ glass–like crushed up space rocks.  In particular, Khaki Pulse looks as good wet as it does dry (you tell me if you can tell which is which!).  The color itself is a rich bronze with a soft gold and bronze metallic sheen and multi-colored micro-shimmer, and it is only slightly warm.

I wore it alone as an eyeshadow (with nothing underneath or on top), just blended past the crease, and it looked the same nine hours later.  No creasing, fading, or smudging.  And even better?  No fall out.  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).

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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product

#6

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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Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Estee Lauder Pink-Teal Shadowstick Duo
Estee Lauder Pink-Teal Shadowstick Duo

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Pink-Teal Shadowstick Duo

Estee Lauder Pink-Teal Shadowstick Duo ($20.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a limited edition, double-ended, jumbo-sized pencil from the Bronze Goddess collection.  Estee Lauder describes it as “intense, stay-true color [that’s] long-wearing with a high-shimmer metallic finish.”  It can be applied on the lash line as eyeliner or on the lid as an eyeshadow.  It’s actually about twice the size of an eyeliner, so there is plenty of product to go around here.

The teal side is a green-teal, while the pink side is more of a peach-pink with a frosted, golden sheen.  The pink side reminded me of NARS Orgasm–just pinker.  It’s actually a really lovely lid color for something quick and easy when you just want to swipe one color on the lid and go.  I also tested these as an eyeshadow base (check out the look), and they were flawless–no creasing or fading, and they helped to keep my eyeshadows looking their best from beginning to end.  I wore both shades as my eyeshadow base for twelve hours.

I wasn’t surprised, though, because the texture of these is creamy but not as emollient as a true cream eyeshadow.  For more even application, I prefer to apply this haphazardly on the lid and then take a stubby but fluffy brush (I like MAC’s 213) to diffuse the color.  I recommend working on one lid at a time, because this product dries down quickly and even initially, it isn’t the most blendable product.  You may find that using fingers can help move the product (because of the heat), but I still needed a brush to get the product closer to the lash line and around the inner corner.   These glide onto the lid and don’t tug or drag, but once it’s on the lid, it does set quickly.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Estee Lauder Pink-Teal Shadowstick Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I love how budge-proof, crease-proof, and long-wearing the formula is--it makes it more versatile and workable. It works equally well as an eyeshadow as it does a liner, and sometimes, multi-tasking products don't get everything right, but this one does a good job at both.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique
Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Mitsouko (140) Rouge Automatique ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a muted peach shimmered orange with hints of pink. It’s semi-sheer, which means that your natural lip color will play a larger role in the way the lipstick actually looks. On my lips, it looks like a soft, rosy coral with a frost finish. The orange hue seems to get lost when I wear it. I also felt that between sheer color and the frosted shimmer, the texture wasn’t as smooth; I could feel the shimmer particles when I pressed my lips together.

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.)  I did feel I had to apply more than your average lipstick to get the color pay off as swatched, which is why it lost a couple of points.

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. Mitsouko, however, is one of the sheerest shades I’ve tried (out of five!) and wear time is three to four hours. 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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product

Mitsouko

C+
I've been like the the Rouge Automatique line quite a bit, and though I think this color is lovely (and very much a shade I personally gravitate towards), it isn't as smooth as some of the other shades I've tried. I think it's due to the frostier finish combined with the sheerer color that emphasizes that aspect.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush
Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush

Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess: Sea Star

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) is a duet of bronzer and blush The bronzer is a medium-dark tanned peach with subtle gold sheen, while the blush is a semi-sheer coral-red with soft gold sparkle. Estee Lauder suggests using them together or alone, but the way the star is splayed out, you’re likely to get at least a little bit of the bronzer shade with the blush. Together, they swirl to create a orange-peach with a subtle play of pink and a gold-tinged sheen and some gold sparkle.

I found the gold sparkle too obvious; it created a less-than-desirable texture because it didn’t feel as smooth and almost gave it a powdery feel. The color itself was on the sheerer side and tended to sheer out even more when blending. It’s definitely a subtle product, because I could not build up much color in the swatch.

My compact felt wobbly–like you could shake it and hear parts moving about, but the pan didn’t fall out when I held it upside down. It just felt flimsy and not nearly as secure as I’d like. It’s possible that it is an individual product defect and that the majority won’t find this an issue. The design on the powder itself is lovely, and the golden sheen on part of the starfish is overspray but there is some shimmer/sparkle in the powder afterward.

The Glossover

esteeLauderSeaStar

Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

C
I don't think it excels at either blushing or bronzing and falls somewhere in the middle. Based on the amount of orange in the swirled color, I'd recommend this for warmer skin tones, because it may turn ruddy and too orange on cooler skin tones.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer
Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer ($18.00 for 0.4 fl. oz.) is a new and limited shade from the Iconic/Ironic Collection. It’s described as “a purplish dark brown.” I almost re-took the photos for this polish, because on my desk, it looked rather brownish when I peeked at it from the corner of my eye, but upon closer inspection, it does have this purpled murkiness.

It looks like muddied eggplant purple in the bottle, but on nails, it’s much more sophisticated than that. The subtle red undertones seemed to pull out quite a bit for me, despite my warmer skin tone, but it gave it a brightened quality that added interest. It’s a smoky, blackened eggplant with a little red, little brown.

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

rescueBeautyRecherche

Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche Nail Lacquer

A
I think this is a great dark shade for spring, because there is a little dustiness within the smoky purple that makes it less intimidating as your traditional vamp.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) are a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.”

  • Bright Forecast is a soft peach with subtle orange tones. The peachy tones of this shade are good for brightening and lightening dark under eye circles without creating a green cast (that yellow-based correctors can cause). I found this one did the best to minimize my dark under eye circles while still looking natural.
  • Light Boost is a pale beiged yellow. Yellow is good for lightening darkness. This would work well as a subtle cheek or brow highlighter on those with yellow undertones.
  • Radiant Rose is a soft, pale pastel pink. Pink helps to brighten the skin tone. It can also be used to brighten the under eye area, like Benefit’s Eye Bright. This shade felt more opaque than the other two, and when I used it underneath my eye (without concealer on top), it was a little pale on me. I loved it more as an eyeshadow base and brow highlighter.

The Prep + Prime Highlighters come in a click-type brush pen that takes several initial twists to release the product, but after that, you should only need a couple clicks to dispense the product. Over time, I’ve become less of a fan of brush-type products, just because I hate the way the brush feels and looks as you use it and the product seems to just sit in there. I’d much rather use a separate brush that you can wash without fear of getting water back into the product. I did find that while it can be easily applied onto the skin with the applicator, blending and application went better using a fluffy brush like the 217 for small areas (or fingers).

I applied each shade over my cheeks and under eye area, because I really wanted the effect to stand out. I felt like when I just did the under eye, it was difficult to really see what was going on. I wouldn’t normally use these as I did for the swatch photos, but I figured what good are photos if you can’t spot the difference? These have a subtle effect, and if you layer concealer over them, the effect is even harder to pick up–not necessarily in a bad way (like, ooh, so subtle it’s not worth it), but it’s a subtle, natural effect that works well and looks lovely. More like, “Oh, you look pretty today, did you cut your hair?” kind of way.

These wore really well for me, and I even used Radian Rose as an eyeshadow base.  It looked really beautiful as a brow highlighter and lid brightener by itself, but it also held up as an eyeshadow base, too.  I didn’t notice any fading and certainly no creasing or settling into fine lines over eight hours of wear.

There are numerous brands with highlighter pens, including:

  • Dior (Sun Beam may be comparable to Bright Forecast; Roseglow to Radiant Rose)
  • Fresh (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Fusion Beauty (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Givenchy (Moon Light seems most comparable to Radiant Rose)
  • Guerlain (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Sephora (#01 seems like Radiant Rose, #02 seems like Light Boost; #06 seems like Bright Forecast)
  • YSL (Light Peach seems comparable to Bright Forecast, Luminous Ivory to Light Boost, and Luminous Radiance to Radiant Rose)

These can help correct and brighten but they won’t necessarily conceal on their own. Bright Forecast can help a good deal with under eye circles, but it’s not opaque, so for some, it may be enough on its own. They’re definitely comparable to cult-favorite YSL Touche Eclat. Sephora also seems to offer a very comparable color range in their variation on the highlighter pen, and at $12 a pop, it might be worth trying (overall Sephora ratings show it to be good, though I have not tried it myself, so I cannot weigh in).

MAC is roughly half the price of the higher-end highlighter pens, and they seem to provide double the product (I saw many listed at 0.05 oz., a couple closer to 0.10 oz.), so the product seems to be priced in line with quantity and MAC’s price range.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These are easy to use, difficult to mess up or go overboard with, and work well to brighten, lighten, and add radiance for brows, eyes, or cheeks (depending on your skin tone!).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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