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NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Sex Appeal Blush
NARS Sex Appeal Blush

NARS Sex Appeal Blush ($29.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “soft peach.” It’s a pale, subtly warm-toned peach with a satin finish. Buxom Swept Away is pinker. MAC Stay By Me is a touch darker. MAC Peaches is darker and more orange.

It is absolutely a color and product that will work better on very, very pale skin tones. On my medium complexion, it just barely shows up, and it may turn chalky/ashy on deeper skin tones because of the light base color. For lighter skin tones, though, especially those with natural redness occurring in their cheeks, this will work quite nicely. The importance here is that the pigmentation is still good, as it appears true-to-pan; it’s just that the color won’t show itself to its full potential on my complexion. (Pale readers who’ve tried this, speak out!)

From what I could tell, the color lasted around six to seven hours on me, but it was even harder to see after eight hours (it’s so much harder to see wear when it’s barely visible to begin with!).  The texture is very soft, finely-milled, and a smidgen on the powdery side but it lies nicely on the skin–it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and if you buff it into the skin, it turns just slightly luminous from that satin finish.

NARS Sex Appeal Blush

A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
5
Application
91%
Total

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Benefit Blingo Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

Benefit Blingo Longwear Powder Eyeshadow
Benefit Blingo Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

Benefit Blingo Longwear Powder Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “brilliant silver.” It’s a medium, silver-gray with a frosted, metallic finish. Silver eyeshadows are abundant, so there are numerous shades to choose from. The two closest were Urban Decay Oz (slightly darker) and L’Oreal Primped & Precious (more metallic).

The color payoff is decent but not fully opaque. It had a slightly drier texture compared to other shades I’ve reviewed from the range, so it doesn’t apply as smoothly. There was also a slight grittiness to the color; almost as if it had larger sparkle, which contributed to how it applied.  I did find that Blingo was still blendable on the lid, and though it had its share of problems, performed well enough over a base.  I was less enthused with it on its own, as it creased after seven hours (and these are Longwear eyeshadows).

For reference, it also appears in Benefit’s Sexiest Nudes Ever Palette–I make a point to mention that, because the palette itself is $30 but contains three other eyeshadows along with two Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows; more or less, unless you really hate the other products, it’s hard to justify $20 for one eyeshadow when you could be paying $30 and receiving six different products.

Benefit Longwear Powder Shadow Blingo
Blingo
Blingo
7.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
7
Longevity
4
Application
77%
Total

Butter London Jasper Nail Lacquer

Butter London Jasper Nail Lacquer
Butter London Jasper Nail Lacquer

Butter London Jasper Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as an “opaque bright pastel yellow creme.” It’s a lightened, warm, buttery yellow with a glossy, creamy finish. NARS 15 Minutes is only slightly darker, but the two are very similar in color (application was easier with Jasper).

Yellow polishes are notorious for streaky color, and often, they can be weak in pigmentation, too.  Jasper was one of the easiest yellow creams I’ve I’m applied and rather remarkably easy to apply for a pastel shade at that.  My best advice is to ensure you’ve waited for your first coat to dry before applying the second coat, because it isn’t terribly forgiving and will pull if you apply your second coat too quickly.  It was opaque after two coats of polish, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. I didn’t have problems with it bubbling, pooling, or streaking. I typically get a week of wear out of Butter London’s formula with very minor tip wear but no chipping.

Butter London Nail Lacquer Jasper
Jasper
Jasper
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

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Benefit Quick, Look Busy Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

Benefit Quick, Look Busy Longwear Powder Eyeshadow
Benefit Quick, Look Busy Longwear Powder Eyeshadow

Benefit Quick, Look Busy Longwear Powder Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “matte espresso.” It’s a dark, subtly red-toned brown with a matte finish. MAC Carbonized is similar in color, but it is frosted. bareMinerals Foreshadow is cooler-toned. MAC Swiss Chocolate is warmer. MAC Brown Down is very comparable. Inglot #329 is less red-toned. Make Up For Ever #162 has a stronger red undertone.

The texture was soft, slightly powdery, and the resulting color payoff was just so-so to decent. It was semi-opaque when I initially swatched, and then when I tried applying it to the lid, it was more buildable. It’s very blendable, though, and it is easy to sheer out and harder to keep at full coverage on the lid–you have to be very precise and only blend around the outer edges of the color. It was noticeably faded after seven hours, but I didn’t experience any creasing without a primer.

For reference, it also appears in Benefit’s Easiest Nudes Ever Palette–I make a point to mention that, because the palette itself is $30 but contains three other eyeshadows along with two Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows; more or less, unless you really hate the other products, it’s hard to justify $20 for one eyeshadow when you could be paying $30 and receiving six different products.

Benefit Longwear Powder Shadow Quick, Look Busy
7
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4
Application
78%
Total

Laura Mercier Arabesque Creme Smooth Lip Color

Laura Mercier Arabesque Creme Smooth Lip Color
Laura Mercier Arabesque Creme Smooth Lip Color

Laura Mercier Arabesque Creme Smooth Lip Color ($26.00 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “baby pink.” It’s a soft peachy-pink with warm undertones and a natural, creamy finish with some shine. MAC To the Future is more subdued, less warm-toned. MAC Pure Zen is a touch pinker. Bobbi Brown Miami Coral is pinker and darker.

The Creme Smooth Lip Color formula is supposed to have “medium to full coverage with a semi-lustrous finish,” wear for six to eight hours, glide without skipping, and hydrate lips while it’s being worn. Now, that’s a rather tall order! Arabesque didn’t nail all of those on the head, unfortunately, though I still remain hopeful on other shades, because most of its problems are ones I see often in lighter, creamier shades like this one.

The texture is medium in weight and very creamy; it definitely glides on and doesn’t drag across the lips. It deposits mostly even color coverage, but the lighter shade made lines of lip color show up if you pressed your lips together. The color settled a bit after initial application, and as it wore away, more seemed to gather there. It wore for four hours, which is average for lipsticks on me in general, and slightly above average for colors like this. The color coverage was mostly opaque, though, and it did have a noticeable sheen to its finish, and this is where the lipstick did the best.  It was lightly hydrating while I wore it.  Bonus: it is one of the larger high-end lipsticks on the market.

Laura Mercier Arabesque Creme Smooth Lip Color

B-
7
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
6
Longevity
4.5
Application
80%
Total

Clinique Whopping Willow Chubby Stick Shadow Tint

Clinique Whopping Willow Chubby Stick Shadow Tint
Clinique Whopping Willow Chubby Stick Shadow Tint

Clinique Whopping Willow Chubby Stick Shadow Tint ($16.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “golden sage green.” It’s a subtly warm-toned olive green with strong olive/khaki tones and a soft, shimmery finish. MAC Vintage Coin is much darker. Guerlain Coup de Foudre #1 is a powder product and greener. Sephora Snakeskin Dress is a touch greener and a powder product. MAC Sumptuous Olive has a stronger brown undertone and is also a powder eyeshadow. Inglot #433 is ever-so-slightly warmer but is very similar–definitely the closest–though it is a powder product.

I would describe the payoff of Whopping Willow as rather opaque, but it is easy enough to get just a sheer wash of color, but if you were to just do one stroke of the pencil against your arm, it would be semi-opaque.  It builds up color very well, as it doesn’t bunch up on itself, so it goes on smoothly, evenly, and can be built to opaque color.    The consistency is more waxy than it is creamy, which helps it apply color smoothly, but it did tug just a bit at the lid.  Whopping Willow lasted just over ten hours on me, and there was faint creasing after twelve hours. It comes in a twist-up pencil so there’s no sharpening required.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint Whopping Willow

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