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Dior Pasteque (658) Nail Lacquer

Dior Pasteque (658) Nail Lacquer
Dior Pasteque (658) Nail Lacquer

Sink Your Teeth Into This Watermelon Pink

Dior Pasteque (658) Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “rich and voluptuous high-shine pink.” It’s a vibrant reddened pink with a cream finish and warm undertones. It’s pinker than L’oreal The Queen’s Might. Seche Opulent is a darker pink. NARS Anardana is pinker. Illamasqua Collide is less warm-toned and pinker.

It might be winter where you are, but you can breathe a little warmth into your holiday with Pasteque, which was a fantastic polish from start to finish.  It was very nearly opaque in a single coat, but two cinches it.  The formula is flawless, as it’s not too thick or too thin, spreads evenly across the nail, and dries down quickly.  The finish is naturally shiny, so you could skip the top coat if desired.  If only all polishes were this good!  I typically get a full week of wear out of Dior’s formula with minor tip wear but no chipping.

Dior Vernis Pasteque
Pasteque

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Make Up For Ever #302 Holodiam Powder

Make Up For Ever #302 Holodiam Powder
Make Up For Ever #302 Holodiam Powder

Not Everything is How It Appears

Make Up For Ever #302 Holodiam Powder ($25.00 for 0.035 oz.) is described as “plum with pink, purple, and turquoise highlights.” Alone, it has a strong reddish copper base with flecks of pink and teal sparkle. When I layered it over a black eyeliner, it appeared as a blue-teal. Ultimately, how it looks and what color comes out depends on the base, so it will take on different characteristics over different colored bases as well as with different viewing angles.

Because of its duo- (or triple) chrome finish, it’s a very versatile product.  It’s described as an “extremely fine loose powder with a pearlescent finish.”  Make Up For Ever recommends it for use on eyes and cheeks and used dry for a softer effect and wet for something more intense.  They do advise using some sort of setting/fixing spray or sealer.  It is a very fine micro-glitter; it feels larger than shimmer or powder (more texture than the Star Powders but finer than traditional glitter).

Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick
Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown 24 Karat Shimmer Brick ($42.00 for 0.40 oz.) is described as “gold pearlescent shimmer” to give the skin a “lit-from-within glow.” It’s a warm, champagne-shimmered gold that’s just a little muted by beige hues, so it’s not a strong, yellow-toned gold, but it is still very warm. The individual shades are shimmering white, golden beige, slightly darker golden beige, pale gold with orange tint, and warm rose–all five shades have a high frost finish. Tarte Angelic is lighter, more of a white gold. theBalm Solid Gold is similar but lighter, less beige, more gold. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is a darker gold. Bobbi Brown Beach is a little darker–a touch of bronze. I don’t have it, but I’m thinking that Bobbi Brown’s Beige Shimmer Brick might compare well with this, too.

Shimmer Bricks are incredibly shimmery highlighters–quite literally, they are compact bricks chocked full of shimmer!  If you prefer your highlighters with subtle, barely-there shimmer, this product line is not for you. On the other hand, if you’re all about shimmer, glitz, and glam…  Because of the heavy frost content, these do emphasize pores and texture just slightly, but they give off a very beautiful and exceptional glow–it’s the kind of trade-off where you’ll still come out looking absolutely radiant, because the only one who’ll notice the emphasis is you when you have your face four inches away from the mirror.

On my skin tone, 24 Karat is very my-skin-but-better as a highlighter.  It adds a little warmth, but it also evens out my coloring a bit.  On lighter complexions, I could see it adding more of a bronzy glow–not too bronzy, though–and on darker complexions, a very gilded highlight.  If you have a lot of natural pink in your complexion and often find gold turns to orange on you, I fear this might do the same, you may want to try it in person first.  As a bonus, Shimmer Bricks can also be used as eyeshadows if desired.  When I wore this, it lasted for just over seven hours well; by the eighth hour, it was a little faded in places.  The texture was soft and finely-milled; these always feel so much smoother than you’d imagine.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick 24 Karat
24 Karat

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Tarte Carried Away Collection

Tarte Carried Away Collection
Tarte Carried Away Collection

Get Carried Away with This Kit

Tarte Carried Away Collection ($54.00) is a Sephora-exclusive set that contains one blush (0.05 oz.), one finishing powder (0.07 oz.), one mascara (0.16 oz.), one face brush, eight lipglosses (0.059), and twenty-four eyeshadows (0.06 oz.). It is all housed in a soft case. The eyeshadow palette is cleverly tucked away inside of the case, behind the mirror. It’s currently out of stock online, though it can be found in-stores.

Face Products

  • Adventurous (Amazonian Clay Blush) is a warm-toned, muted, reddish-brown with a rosy iridescent sheen. It had good color payoff, and it was soft and smooth applied. This shade wore for seven hours on me. NARS G-Spot is redder. MAC Stratus is more intense and a bit redder. Tom Ford Savage is a touch darker. MAC Buddy Up is similar.
  • Finishing Powder is very finely-milled and soft. I did not test the wear of this item.
  • Face Brush is fairly soft, dense, and blended out the Adventurous blush well.
  • Lights, Camera, Lashes! (Mascara) didn’t flake or smudge on me when I’ve worn it in the recent past.

Lipglosses

The eight glosses included in the set were sheer to semi-sheer, thin, and wore for an average of two hours. Several of the shades looked very alike when applied.

  • Heath is a sheer orange-red with gold shimmer. Chantecaille Glaze is similar–a bit brighter.
  • Casey is a sheer, neutral-warm light pink. It just looks clear on me–any sheer, shimmer-free gloss with a pink-tinted base will work in its place.
  • Mel is a sheer, cool-toned pink with no shimmer. MAC Infinitely Likeable is creamier, more opaque. MAC Pagoda is a touch bluer-based, lighter.
  • Anne is a sheer raspberry pink with no shimmer. Bobbi Brown Cosmic Pink is comparable on.
  • Jena is a sheer red-pink with no shimmer. This gives lips a slight reddish tint. MAC Fabulous Fun is a touch brighter and has shimmer.
  • Mer is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and gold sparkle. Tarte Darling is similar; smaller shimmer. MAC Floating Lotus is pinker.
  • Ali is a darkened fuchsia-pink with light pink shimmer. MAC Dress Kimono is redder.
  • Nuria is a brightened pinky-red with no shimmer. MAC Dress Kimono is closer in color to this shade but has sparkle. Le Metier de Beaute Hibiskiss is similar, has slight shimmer. Burberry Hibiscus is darker.

Eyeshadows

Snowfall in Paris is a shimmering white with a subtle warm undertone. It has a frosted finish and so-so color payoff–there’s noticeable sheerness. Tarte Shooting Star is less shimmery. MAC How to Marry is whiter. Dior Night Golds is very similar. Too Faced Vanilla is more matte.

Golden Gate Bridge is a soft, darkened gold with a frosted, metallic finish and orange-brown tones. It had good pigmentation and was soft and smooth. Dior Night Golds is a bit darker. Tarte Canary Diamond is less frosted, more metallic. L’Oreal Eternal Sunshine is yellower.

Volcanic Ash is a dark, smoldering brown with a cool undertone and dark champagne shimmer. It had good pigmentation, and the texture was a little dry. bareMinerals VIP is incredibly similar. Too Faced Licorice is more matte. Cinderella Cinders is also similar.

Pyramid Gold is a light-medium bronze with a champagne metallic sheen. It had nice color payoff with a soft, smooth texture. MAC Silk Stocking is very similar. Chanel Harmonie du Soir is darker. Urban Decay Echo Beach is less warm-toned. Dior Fairy Golds is sparkly.

Pearl River is a pale pink-tinged white with a frosted, metallic finish. It is slightly sheer but goes on smoothly. Tarte Macaroon is more frosted in finish. MAC Winterscape is a bit cooler-toned.

Seychelles Sand is a medium taupe with a strong gray tone. It has a matte finish, and it was actually a little less pigmented than anticipated though not powdery. Tarte Sailboat is lighter. Bobbi Brown Slate is darker. Bobbi Brown China is warmer.

Touchdown in Londontown is a vibrant violet purple with cool undertones and a fuchsia-pink edge. It has a pearly sheen. The color payoff was good, but it was a little powdery. Make Up For Ever #26 is similar but a cream product. Clarins Enchanted is similar. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is less pink. Inglot #441 is purpler.

Martha’s Vineyard is a deep, blackened purple with red undertones and a matte finish. This shade was a bit dry, and so it ended up sheer, too. MAC Indian Ink is purpler. MAC Shadowy Lady is similar. Tarte Pumped About Purple is shimmery.

Pebble Beach is a warm, peachy beige with a frosted, metallic finish. It had good color payoff and was smooth to the touch. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is very similar. Cinderella Midnight Hour is a smidgen darker.

Boston Brick is a darkened taupe with a hint of warmth and a matte finish. It had good color payoff and wasn’t powdery. Giorgio Armani Moonlight Beige is lighter. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is grayer.

Spanish Sangria is a gold-shimmered plum with soft pink-red tones. It had so-so color payoff–a bit sheer. Tarte Ice Wine is similar but more muted.

Napa Grapes is a darkened eggplant purple with a matte finish. It had decent color payoff but was powdery. OCC Overlook is shimmery. MAC Fig. 1 is comparable. bareMinerals Nightcap is also comparable. Guerlain Boulevard du Montparnasse is a touch lighter.

Georgia Peach is a soft peach beige with a matte finish. It had good color payoff, and it wasn’t powdery. MAC Sahara Dust is pearly. Urban Decay Skimp is lighter. Inglot #390 is grayer.

Tuscan Sun is a coppered orange with a metallic sheen. It had excellent pigmentation and was incredibly smooth and easy to work with. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a touch darker. Urban Decay Penny Lane is softer. Tarte Cabana is less metallic.

Acai Jungle is a medium-dark red-toned bronze brown with a softened metallic sheen. It had great color payoff and was soft and smooth to use. MAC Ever Elegant is more orange. Cinderella Chateau is slightly subdued in comparison.

Coral Reef is a pink-ish orange with gold shimmer-sheen. It’s one of the more interesting shades in the set–there’s something about it that says “tamed fire” to me. It had good color payoff and was soft but not powdery. MAC Hot Paprika was the closest I could think of, but it is a bit redder.

Iceland Air is a cool-toned white with a frosted, metallic finish. The payoff is so-so with some sheerness. MAC Winterscape is similar, perhaps not as stark. MAC She’s Got Class is similar in color but more frosted. Cinderella Ball Gown is comparable in color.

Mystic Seaport is a darkened lavender with a frosted, metallic finish. It was a bit sheer. MAC Digit is lighter. Too Faced Cut the Cake is more matte.

Concrete Jungle is a medium-dark gray with a satiny sheen. It had a drier texture and sheerer color payoff. Urban Decay Desperatoin is a bit darker. bareMinerals Chateau is darker and cooler-toned.

Hampton Waves is a bluish-teal with a mostly matte finish. This shade had good color payoff but was very powdery, so it was easy to blend away into something sheer. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl is shimmery. bareMinerals Water has a slight sheen.

Sunshine State is a pale, sparkling gold. It has a chunkier, more glitter-like texture, which also resulted in sheer color payoff. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a touch darker and less sparkly. Tarte Bellini is darker and less shimmery/sparkly. Cinderella Charming is less sparkly. Dior Couture Gold is a touch lighter.

Hawaiian Palm is a muted, light-medium green with a soft golden sheen. It had so-so color payoff, but it applied smoothly. bareMinerals Wicked is lighter. Wet ‘n Wild Comfort Zone is similar. MAC Juxt is yellower.

Olive Grove is a olive brown with golden shimmer-sheen. It had good pigmentation but was a touch powdery. Tarte Match Point is lighter, more golden. Inglot #433 is greener.

Sin City is a dark, sooty gray with brown undertones and a little bronze sparkle. This was the worst performing shade in the palette–super sheer and powdery. It looks a lot darker swatched than it did in the pan. Tarte Stiletto is lighter.

Overall, it’s a set that’s certainly worth its price tag, even despite some imperfections. I think if you already own a few Tarte eyeshadow palettes, you’re going to run into enough overlap for it to be frustrating. (The same is true for several brands that launch mega-sized palettes and sets like this one.) I like the inclusion of the face products, because it helps make the whole kit a great starter selection to give to someone. I think the lipglosses are a little drying and similar to each other, so they’re not my favorite. The formula was thin and didn’t wear as long as the average gloss. The eyeshadows come in “quads” in a way, which instantly creates several distinct looks to try. Some of the eyeshadows are great, some are good, and a few are so-so.

Tarte Carried Away Collection

B
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
84%
Total

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette
Clarins Odyssey Face Palette

More Lightweight Pressed Powder Than Goddess Glow

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette ($55.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a “shimmering, lightweight pressed powder [that] brings a goddess glow to face, neck, and decolette.” Clarins says it is “the must-have holiday accessory for all skin tones.” It’s a softened peach with strong orange undertones (no pink) and a mostly matte finish. There’s a sparkling gold overlay that brushes away in one use. NARS Sex Appeal is pinker.

What is most remarkable about this product is how utterly finely-milled the powder is. It feels like a mixture of silk, butter, and cream. It’s incredibly soft, indeed lightweight, and easy to blend. The powder sits well on skin and never looks powdery. I didn’t detect any luminosity or shimmer when applied, because the only “shimmer” I saw at all was the overspray. Beneath the overspray is really a rather matte powder, and it can help with keeping oiliness at bay if you are prone to it. When I wore it on my cheeks, it lasted for eight hours. I used it later on my t-zone, and it did help minimize some of the oiliness I see after eight hours.

Those with very pale complexions might use this as a blusher or a bronzer, while medium skin tones can easily use this as a finishing or setting powder. I’m not certain how this well this will work on darker complexions, because while it doesn’t seem to have a white base, it is quite pale, so there’s potential for it to turn ashy–Clarins did, very specifically, say it’s for all skin tones. With a very fluffy brush, lighter complexions could also use this as a finishing powder that will add some natural warmth and golden tones to the skin.  I think with a touch more luminosity, this product would have been truly exceptional.

Clarins Odyssey Face Palette

A
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total

L’Oreal The Queen’s Might Nail Lacquer

L'Oreal The Queen's Might Nail Lacquer
L’Oreal The Queen’s Might Nail Lacquer

It’s a Mighty Mix of Pink and Red

L’Oreal The Queen’s Might Nail Lacquer ($6.69 for 0.39 fl. oz.) is a vibrant pink-red with very fine white shimmer. It’s not a true red, but it’s so much more than just a pink. SpaRitual Break of Dawn has large flecks of sparkle and glitter, so it looks quite different, even if at a glance the colors seem similar. Seche Opulent is a bit pinker and has a cream finish. OCC Extravaganza is not a dupe, but it had a similar vibe–it’s just much, much lighter.

The Queen’s Might was fully opaque after two coats.  Despite a rather metallic-like shimmer and finish, there are nearly no visible brush strokes, even under the brightest of light.  The consistency was fantastic; not too thick or too thin, which enabled for an easy, flawless application.  L’Oreal’s formula wears really well on me:  a full seven days with no chipping and very minor tip wear.

L'Oreal Colour Riche Nail Lacquer The Queen's Might
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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