Illamasqua Force Nail Varnish

It’s opaque in two coats, and like many Illamasqua shades, the formula is excellent; the polish flows across the nail easily, doesn’t streak or bubble, and never feels too thick. Illamasqua is one of the longest wearing polishes on me; I can wear their formula for ten days or longer and only have minimal tip wear, which is just barely on the edges. When I travel, I often reach for an Illamasqua shade, because I know it will hold up to the vigors of traveling.

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Illamasqua Force Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Nail Varnish Force
A+
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
10
Application
5
Total
100%

Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.25 oz.) is an upcoming new and permanent quad that features an “iridescent blue, matte navy, velvety turquoise, and glacier metallic blue.” This is one of the better eyeshadow quads I’ve tested from Guerlain since they reformulated and relaunched their eyeshadow range, so it was a welcome surprise. The pigmentation is good across the board, and it applies easily. I did find that without a primer, there was some fading after eight hours, but over a primer, it was fine.

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Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette

Guerlain Les Aquas Eyeshadow Palette

A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9.5
Longevity
9
Application
4
Total
91%

Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow

Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow ($24.00 for 0.03 oz.) is a medium-dark red-toned purple with a silvered shimmer-sheen. It delivers good color payoff both wet and dry, and when it is applied wet, the metallic finish comes through more. Urban Decay Rockstar is less shimmered, so it looks darker. Bare Escentuals Encore is also similar.

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Estee Lauder Cyber Lilac Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow
Estee Lauder Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow Cyber Lilac
A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
8.5
Application
4
Total
91%

Mineral Makeup: What to Look For When Buying

By Courtney, Indie & Mineral Makeup Expert

Courtney is the amazing talent behind Phyrra.net, which showcases a veritable treasure trove of looks and reviews, often focusing on indie brands and mineral makeup. She’s my go-to for all things in those areas! I reached out to Courtney to help me and readers like me understand more about indie brands–how can we make sure we’re buying from good companies and getting quality products (and not just repackaged ones)?  You can also check out Courtney’s own tried and true list of brands she buys from.

When she isn’t blogging, you can find her with her much loved standard poodle (Phaedra) and pug (Maximus), gaming, or writing (about non-makeup, that is)!  She’s not afraid to experiment with color, whether it’s her hair, lips, or on the eyes.

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Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush

The powder is very soft and finely-milled, so when you touch your brush to it, you can pick up quite a bit of color in a single go. This means it is a little powdery, though, so you may want to use a light hand when picking up color. Luckily, though the blush is fairly true-to-pan with good color payoff, it blends out easily because of the overall softness of the powder. It has more of a shimmer-sheen finish, so it doesn’t look frosty or disco ball-like on the cheeks. I had a good experience while wearing it, because it lasted eight hours without migrating or looking faded.

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Tarina Tarantino Feather Dollskin Cheek Blush
Tarina Tarantino Dollskin Cheek Blush Feather
A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
9
Application
4
Total
91%

Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss

Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss ($32.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.) is described as a “pure pink,” and it is one of four new and permanent glosses for spring. It looks like a peachy-pink with lots of pale gold sparkle when swatched (and in the tube), but on lips, it just looks like a sheer white peach gloss with lots of sparkle. I didn’t get any color to translate at all! You can find a number of similar barely-there shades in the Sheer Lipgloss Gallery.

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Guerlain Rose in Bloom KissKiss Lipgloss
Guerlain Kiss Kiss Gloss Rose in Bloom
A-
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
9
Application
4.5
Total
91%