Sunday, March 20th, 2011


Apple, Faye, Kimmy

Zoya Sunshine Swatches, Reviews, Photos

Zoya Sunshine Collection includes six metallic finish shades for the summer. The shades are: Apple (luminous yellow-toned apple green packed with gold metallic sparkle), Faye (bronzed mauve with purple and brown undertones flooded with rich gold sparkle), Kimmy (gleaming metallic candy apple red brightened by gold sparkle), Reva (cool-toned strawberry red with glowing golden metallic sparkle), Rica (warm light coral with pink and orange tones and heavy gold metallic sparkle), and Tanzy (light, bright tangerine orange with yellow gold metallic sparkle).

  • Apple is a lightened apple green with green and gold metallic sparkle. I used two coats, but I think three would have been better. Zoya’s Ivanka is a much darker shade of green — more emerald, while this is more spring-like.
  • Faye is a red-based a magenta mauve base with golden copper sparkle. I used three coats, but there was still some visible nail line. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade.
  • Kimmy is a bright pinky red (almost cherry red) with gold sparkle. This one was really rich and opaque–I used two coats but one was almost sufficient. It reminded me of Duri’s Bombshell but with more gold shimmer. It is similar to Zoya’s Nidhi though this has gold sparkle and is less orange-based. Nubar’s Rosso is also similar but it has less pronounced gold sparkle–more glass-flecked finish.
  • Reva is a plummy raspberry with red and copper sparkle. I used two coats. Zoya’s Alegra has a similar overall feel but they’re less dupes and more cousins–Alegra is lighter, pinker, and less nuanced. Zoya’s Gloria is a lighter, more multi-colored variation of Reva.
  • Rica is a darkened coraled pink with bright gold and copper sparkle. I used two coats, but the result wasn’t quite opaque. It’s a sparklier version of China Glaze Strawberry Fields.
  • Tanzy is a brightened, tangerine orange with orange-copper sparkle. I used three coats. It’s a sparkly version of China Glaze Cruisin’.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula here seemed a bit inconsistent. A couple–like Kimmy and Reva–were good with two coats while the majority needed three coats. I felt that these really required a full wait between coats, because otherwise the glitter looks patchy and some bald spots can appear–while shades from the Sparkle collection had a glitter formula that spread really evenly no matter what.  These seemed more finicky.

The Glossover

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Zoya Sunshine Swatches, Reviews, Photos

B+
I wish some shades were more pigmented--they tended to be on the sheerer side and several needed three coats for a more opaque look.  I like the shades themselves and the overall concept but the formula didn't feel as well-executed as Zoya's formula usually is.  The shades from the Sparkle collection (which was extremely well-done) did need three coats for the most part but the glitter spread so evenly that it wasn't difficult to do three even coats, and you could easily do thin or thick coats without concern.  I do like these quite a bit, but I'm a little less enthusiastic as they fall short of the Sparkle shades.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Video Review: Benefit for Brows

With Benefit’s announcement of free brow service on your birthday, they also included a few of their cult favorite brow products, which I swatch and talk about in this video–a bit of first impressions with some review, since I have used a few products mentioned in the video previously!  I posted reviews for both Brows A-Go-Go and High Brow this past week, and since the pencil isn’t my shade, I’m not reviewing it at this time.

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Urban Decay Good Karma Face Brushes
Urban Decay Good Karma Face Brushes

Urban Decay Good Karma Face Brushes

Urban Decay Good Karma Brushes ($32.00 to $39.00) are eco- and vegan-friendly brushes, which have bristles made out of recycled PET bottles and gunmetal handles made out of recycled aluminum.

  • Finishing Brush ($39.00) is a long, flared, flat-edged brush. It looks like a stippling brush, but the bristles were the same length. I felt like this brush was a little too long; it’s very dense, which is nice, but the length makes it a little too springy and floppy.
  • Blush Brush ($32.00) is an oval-shaped, angled brush. It is a bit too wide to be used easily for contouring, but it works well for blush. It is dense and soft.
  • Powder Brush ($36.00) flares outwards with a very subtly dome shaped edge. It has enough fluffiness to work well with powder but enough density that the product doesn’t get trapped within the bristles.  Though it works well as an all-over powder brush, it is quite large, so I did find it took some practice to maneuver around nooks and crannies (like the area around the nose).

Even though the outer packaging is made out of recycled egg cartons, I’m just not sure why it is necessary to have such oversized packaging for a brush few are going to actually keep in it.  Aside from that, I have no complaints regarding the actual packaging of the brushes.  The gunmetal handles look sleek, have a nice weight to them (not too heavy, not too light), and the shininess doesn’t take to fingerprints well.

final thoughts: The brushes themselves are all very soft and not at all scratchy, but I do find the length of both the Finishing and Powder Brushes to be on the long side, which makes me feel like I have less control over the tool.  I didn’t notice any difference applying finishing powder with the actual Finishing Brush over the Powder Brush, though — even though the former is supposed to be better at that particular task.

where to buy: Beauty.com

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Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Illamasqua Flare Lipstick
Illamasqua Flare Lipstick

Illamasqua Toxic Nature:  Flare Lipstick

Illamasqua Flare Lipstick (£15.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “bright orange,” and it is new for spring/summer and part of the brand’s Toxic Nature collection, which should show up at Sephora in April. For now, though, it is available through Illamasqua directly.   It’s a vibrant, medium-dark orange–it’s almost neon but more like traffic cone orange.

And yes, that is a broken lipstick.  It arrived that way, with the entire bullet dislodged and stuck to the cap, and I used absolutely no finesse to maneuver out it would appear!  I haven’t had this issue with my other Illamasqua lipsticks, so I’m considering it a one-time deal and not a product defect.

my thoughts on the formula: Illamasqua’s Lipstick formula feels a little dry when applied, but let it warm up on your lips, because it really isn’t the drying kind. It does hug the lips, though, which makes it a much longer wearing lipstick (six hours or more).

The Glossover

P
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Flare

B+
It's a nice bright orange with a near matte finish, and it has a tendency to pull the yellowness out in my natural skin tone.  I think this is an orange best suited for warmer complexions.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Benefit High Brow
Benefit High Brow

Benefit High Brow ($20.00 for 0.10 oz.) is designed to “lift” and enhance brows by brightening with a “soft, matte linen-pink” shade. Benefit recommends applying it beneath your brow, just following the arch, and blend.

Inevitably, one wonders what is the difference between Benefit’s Eye Bright and High Brow, as they’re both pink pencils designed to help brighten eyes — well, Benefit wrote a blog post explaining the differences. To summarize, High Brow is a neutral pink while Eye Bright is a cool-toned pink; the cooler tones in Eye Bright as designed to combat dark circles. Benefit warns that using High Brow on undereye circles may look too light, while using Eye Bright to define brows may look too pink.

It’s absolutely true that Eye Bright is a cooler-toned, more blue-based pink, and it also has a bit of micro-shimmer–very subtle but still there. I think those who are naturally cool-toned, one could get away with using both. For those with warmer undertones, the difference is likely more noticeable.

I like High Brow for more minimal looks; not necessarily five-minute looks but when one wants to have that natural look. The creaminess of the product makes it easy to blend, and it dries down quickly and holds up fairly well alone (about six hours). I applied it in the photos below so you can see how it looks, and I deliberately went heavy-handed, because I wanted it to show up in photos–the effect can be subtler if one desires.

The Glossover

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Benefit High Brow Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like High Brow, and I think it may be a must-have for some but for others a totally unnecessary addition to their stash. It depends on what features are most important to you, because some love really defined brows and others will wear eye makeup nearly everyday so a powder highlight will generally be enough to define the brow area.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 18th, 2011

NYX HD Studio Foundation
NYX HD Studio Foundation

NYX HD Studio Foundation

NYX HD Studio Foundation ($15.00 for 1.26 oz.) is described by the brand as a foundation that reflects light to give skin a smoother appearance and reduce the appearance of pores. It also includes “tri-peptides infused to promote collagen generation, reduce wrinkles, and rejuvenate skin.” I’ve only used tihs foundation for a week, so I’m not going to even touch that last part.

The HD Studio Foundation delivers light-medium to almost medium coverage. The consistency is thin overall, but not runny or watery, so it spreads and blends out easily but applies more sheerly. It is a buildable product, so for those who want heavier coverage (up to medium), simply apply more or apply more to the areas where you need it. The foundation dries down quickly and has a velvet matte finish–not ultra matte but not too dewy. I did about twenty lip swatches with this foundation on, and it photographed quite nicely, which is ultimately one of the major marketing points for it.

I’m NC25/NC30 in MAC, 140 in Make Up For Ever, #02/03 in Guerlain, and I found #04 Sand Beige to be a fairly good match. It did have a strong yellow tone, though, so I would only recommend this shade match for those with medium skin tones with warm (yellow) under tones.

I used one pump for my entire face, and for me, my primary concern is evening out my skin–I have some blotchiness in my cheeks and my forehead is a little darker than the rest of my face (always fun to deal with!). At the time of review, I did not have much in the way of major active acne or post-acne marks.

It compares well with Make Up For Ever’s HD Foundation, but NYX’s coverage seems slightly less buildable and ends up being sheerer overlal. There’s a subtle but noticeable chemical-like scent when I used NYX’s but it seemed to dissipate after being applied. NYX’s shade range is inferior to Make Up For Ever’s (8 vs. 25), and it seems like the lightest and darker complexions will have trouble finding a match within the existing range.

I was surprised at how well it wore–it wears nicely for six to eight hours before sheering out (for me, that means on my forehead, which is where I get a little oily by the end of the day). I get a little longer with Make Up For Ever–eight to ten hours–but NYX’s HD Studio Foundation hangs out respectably even past its initial wear period and doesn’t disappear at lightning speed.

The Glossover

nyxHd

NYX HD Studio Foundation Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
It's one of the better budget-friendly foundations I've tried.  I can definitely see myself reaching for it when I'm taking a lot of photos, because it applies easily, has a photo-friendly finish, and works well.  Unlike other products in NYX's HD Studio line, this one fits the price range of the line.  It's cheaper than the HD Grinding Powder by $10!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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