Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Lancome Aqua Fusion Tinted Moisturizer

The Tinted Moisturizer Challenge: Lancome Aqua Fusion

Lancome Aqua Fusion Teinte Continuous Infusing Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 ($38.50 for 1.7 oz.) is a lovely light to light-medium coverage tinted moisturizer available in four shades: Naturel 1, Sand 2, Bisque 3, and Bronze 4. The active ingredient for sun-protection is octinoxate (7.5%), which covers the UVB range, but it doesn’t get the UVA range, unfortunately, so you’ll still need a product with an ingredient like zinc oxide or avobenzone for broad spectrum coverage.

My favorite part about this tinted moisturizer is the coverage it gives. It still has an amazingly lightweight feel, but it delivers more than sheer coverage–I’d even go as far as to say light-medium (not quite medium). It covered some healing acne and post-acne marks on my face and gave me a lovely, natural finish. I also love that this moisturizer absorbs and sinks in quickly and doesn’t leave behind a dewy finish. It has a nearly matte finish, so it’s great for my oily-skinned friends, in particular.

It has a mango-ish scent–defintely fruity, but not overly sweet or tropical–and I’d say it lingers for about fifteen to twenty minutes before it fades away entirely (at least to my nose). The packaging is a slim tube, so it’s easy to apply the amount you need, plus it is travel friendly, being under 3 oz.

Even though I love, love the feel and coverage of the product, there are a few noteworthy drawbacks. If you’re pale, I don’t know if you’re going to find a good match. Surprisingly, I’m Naturel 1–the lightest shade–in Lancome’s Tinted Moisturizer. I originally tested out Sand 2, because I assumed it would work well for my medium skin tone, but it was definitely too dark on me. This is why I caution those with paler skin tones to try it at a counter first, if possible. Sand 2 would work for those who are definitely medium or medium-dark, though. I think Sand 2 might work for me after the summer, perhaps, but right now, Naturel 1 is a much better match.

I’d also prefer to see broad-spectrum protection here, because it is moisturizing enough (without being heavy or greasy) to be worn without an additional moisturizer, but since it lacks UVA protection, you’ll need to use another product to get broad-spectrum protection (like a moisturizer!). It’s not advertised as broad-spectrum, so I didn’t reduce points, but it’s certainly something I’d love to see in the future.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Fabulous coverage for those who want more than ultra sheer coverage that most tinted moisturizers provide but still has the lightweight feel of a tinted moisturizer.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick
Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick

The Summer Season: Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick

Laura Mercier Hydrangea Lipstick ($22.00 for 0.14 oz.) is glistening shade of vibrant raspberry pink. It’s creamy, moisturizing, and it has absolutely no shimmer. It does, however, have a slight, glossy sheen that brightens it. It’s glossy enough that you could easily skip gloss if you’re a lipstick with lipgloss kind of person. The color is phenomenal, and the pigmentation is amazing. I truly did not expect such a vibrant, pigmented shade from Laura Mercier!

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Hourglass Prism

Why didn’t you tell me how amazing Hourglass’ Eyeshadows were?  I am now!

Hourglass Prism Visionaire Eye Shadow Duo ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) is a stunning, smoky duo of steel blue with a silver sheen and an intense, deep dark black with flecks of teal and silver running through it. The pigmentation of the two shades is absolutely insane–so vibrant, so smooth. The texture is excellent; smooth, soft, buttery, and easy to blend.

The packaging is kind of a gunmetal silver-brown, very modern and sleek. It’s actually a swiveling compact, which is interesting. I like that the packaging is different and elegant, but I get the feeling that it obviously contributes a bit to the steeper cost of these.

Just to put things in perspective, MAC eyeshadows are $290/oz. and NARS eyeshadow duos at $228/oz. — with Hourglass at$190/oz.

The pricing may be off-putting for some, but if it’s within your budget, I’d urge you to at least give ‘em a swatch at your nearest Sephora sometime. They just might impress you as they did me!

I’m quite pleased with the quality and feel of the duo–I really didn’t expect it–and I’d say these are some of the best eyeshadows I’ve tried, from the texture to the pigmentation to the colors themselves. I definitely have to look into some of the other duos and see how those stack up against Prism (totally crossing fingers that they are just as amazing!).

Other duos include: Dune (champagne shimmer/deep olive shimmer), Exhibition (mauve shimmer/eggplant shimmer), Gypsy (peach ivory shimmer/bronze shimmer), Lagoon (seafoam blue shimmer/teal shimmer), and Suede (ivory shimmer/light beige shimmer).

Have you tried Hourglass’ Eyeshadow Duos?

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 30/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: I can’t believe nobody told me how amazing the texture of Hourglass’ eyeshadows are! Pricey but excellent in every way, Prism is certainly worth a look! (Seriously, did you see that I rate it 30/30 in terms of *quality*?!)

Availability: Sephora

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Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Guerlain Gaby Rouge G Lipstick
Guerlain Gaby Rouge G Lipstick

The Summer Season: Guerlain Gaby Rouge G Lipstick

Guerlain Gaby (07) Rouge G Lipstick ($46.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a copper-toned rose brown with flecks of copper and dark gold with a soft shimmer finish. It’s a lovely, opaque shade that feels moisturizing and lasts a good four hours on my lips. This is one way to enjoy a summery shade that’s not flashy or vibrant–it has that bronzy shimmer that goes so well with warm, sandy beaches and cool summer breezes.

Is this the right bronze lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

YSL Golden Sand Bronzer

Bronzer Without the Shimmer with YSL

YSL Golden Sand (03) Terre Saharienne ($50.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a rich, golden tanned bronzer from YSL’s Solaris Collection. YSL is releasing three shades of Terre Saharienne that are both new and permanent — Sand (01), Copper Sand (02), and Golden Sand (03).

Golden Sand is a rich, golden bronze with an orange undertone. It has very, very faint shimmer, which translates into more of a subtle sheen that reflects light in an incredibly delicate way. This shade will work best for those of warmer and deeper skin tones, because the slight touch of golden orange in it may translate into an orange-y mess on those with paler and/or cooler skin tones. You can layer it on for an intense look or use it sheerly for a naturally bronzed look — you can see me wearing it in this look.

The packaging is classic YSL — the gold “metal” compact that flips open to reveal a large mirror and compact with YSL emblazoned in the middle. The back reveals all the pertinent information like its weight (0.35 oz.) and the active sunscreen ingredient (octinoxate 6%) — which is SPF 12. I like it for a more matte version of a bronzer — it’s not completely matte, but it’s not shimmery either. It’s also very finely milled, smooth to the touch, and easy to blend on the face.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re on the look out for a long-wearing, nearly shimmer-less bronzer, YSL’s new Terre Saharienne might work for you.  Golden Sand, in particular, works well for warmer, deeper skin tones with yellow or olive undertones.

Availability: June 2010

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Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

Philosophy Color of Grace Palette

Philosophy The Color of Grace Coloring Book ($37.50) is a springtime palette that works if you’re looking for something soft, elegant, and delightfully feminine. It contains two sheer lipglosses (Be Sweet and In Love), two neutral eyeshadows (Angel and Dream), cream highlighter (7th Heaven), powder blush (Pure Joy), and powder highlighter (Amazing Grace).

  • Be Sweet Lip Gloss is a sheer, pale pink with a little bit of milkiness and subtle white shimmer.
  • In Love Lip Gloss is a sheer, medium pink with lots of shimmer.
  • Angel Eyeshadow is a soft, whitish pink with just a little bit of shimmer and a very satin smooth feel.
  • Dream Eyeshadow is a darkened brown with reddish undertones that goes on rather sheerly.
  • 7th Heaven All-Over Illuminator is a pink-tinged champagne cream highlighter that can be applied heavily or sheered out for a subtle glow.
  • Pure Joy Powder Blush is a semi-sheer brightened blue-based pink with subtle gold shimmer.
  • Amazing Grace Shimmering Face Powder is a brightened soft white-pink with white shimmer.

I don’t think Philosophy is re-inventing anything here, but it’s a very girly palette that will appeal to those who want subtle color, whether it’s on their eyes or cheeks or lips. I wish Dream eyeshadow was more pigmented, because then I’d like the palette more. It’s a bit of a sheer wash when I tested it out, so it’s hard to get the amount of darkness out of it that I want.

The palette itself is packaged in a “leather-bound” book style, with white stitching on the edges. It’s cute and slim, and it’s also lightweight, so it’s great for traveling.  It’s nice but not quite Amazing (ha).

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:

Availability: Nordstrom

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