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Cult Nails Annalicious Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Annalicious Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Annalicious Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Annalicious Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmery red with an orange influence packed full of red and gold shimmer.” It’s a really rich, intensely ruby-shimmered orange-based red. Cult Nails Evil Queen is a little lighter, no shimmer. China Glaze Poinsettia is a cream and less intense. Chanel Rouge Carat has a finer shimmer and is blue-based. Essie Too Too Hot is a bit brighter. Zoya Lisa is bluer with larger shimmer. Nubar Rosso is darker with larger shimmer.

It’s very nearly opaque in one coat–you really could get away with one. I used this as my pedicure color this week, and I only did one coat. The formula is absolutely flawless; it’s not too thick, not too thin–the polish applies beautifully across the nail without pooling, bubbling, or streaking. It just covers and dries to a shiny finish–and the drying time is actually pretty good. I typically get a full week or more with Cult Nails’ formula, which is absolutely stellar as far as wear goes.

P.S. — How incredible is it that Maria’s daughter created this (and the rest of the collection)? And more incredible that she got her own little launch.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Annalicious
A+

Limited Edition

10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder

Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder
Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder

Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder

Chanel Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder ($80.00 for 0.53 oz.) is described as a “golden powder” that acts as a highlighter for cheekbones and eyelids. It’s a light-medium yellow gold with a frosted shimmer-sheen. I couldn’t think of a cheek product that’s quite this yellow. Chanel Shimmering Tweed came the closest, but it is darker, more bronzy. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is more orange. theBalm Mary Lou-Manizer is a softer, lighter gold with subtler yellow undertones (think more of a white gold). Now, there are several eyeshadows that come close! Chanel Blazing Gold is slightly darker. MAC Goldmine is more orange. Urban Decay Eldorado is perhaps a hint les yellow. Make Up For Ever #10 is a smidgen darker.

It’s a pretty highlighter with strong, yellow coloring, so it will be more flattering on warmer complexions, but it doesn’t run orange and there’s a little paleness to it that seems to neutralize some of the yellowy gold tones.  The powder is surprisingly pigmented–you can really achieve true-to-pan color if you so desire.  It does have a silver glitter overlay that gets swept away after the first use (and I’d advise removing it if you don’t want a few stray flecks of glitter on your cheeks).  Despite the high frost and shimmer in the highlighter’s finish, it didn’t emphasize pores or the natural texture of the skin, like many other frosted finishes do.  The texture is soft, finely-milled, and allows for easy blending during application.  I haven’t been so lucky with the wear on some of the recent powder releases by Chanel, but Routes des Indes de Chanel wore magnificently for eight hours; no fading, separating, or signs of going away.

If you love whoa! highlighters that are all about delivering a full-on glow, I think you might find Routes des Indes de Chanel worth checking out–if you’re able to sneak a peek at it in stores.  I know that majority of distribution is online through Chanel’s website, which makes it a rather spendy item to buy sight unseen.  It’s a bit of a collector’s piece, I’d say, with the price tag and design. You’re not going to see me ever comfortable with pushing something at this price point with a “must have! you will die without it!” (I don’t know if I’ve ever said that about any product!) It’s a very nice powder, enjoyable, and performs exceptionally well. But it definitely comes with a grimace-worthy price tag for most.

Chanel Illuminating Powder Routes des Indes de Chanel Illuminating Powder

NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Highlighting Blush
NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush

NARS Desire Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “delicate bright pink.” It’s a vibrant blue-based magenta pink with a mostly matte finish. MAC Peony Petal is lighter, more bubblegum pink. MAC Florida is very similar, perhaps a little less pink. Tarte Amused is pinker. MAC Amazon Princess is not as vibrant and more purple. Make Up For Ever #3 is pinker, darker.

This is an intensely pigmented product–you will have no problems getting this to show up your complexion. If you’re light to medium, you may have a wee bit figuring how little you actually need for a moderate blusher. This is one of the reasons NARS’ blushes are so famous (their pigmentation), so this is one of those shades to use a lighter touch with. I recommend using a stippling brush or barely tapping a blush brush onto the pan and then tapping the brush against your wrist to shake loose some excess. I then recommend lightly tapping along the area you want the color concentrated on, and then blend out as desired.  If you really go overboard, pat a little foundation (liquid or powder) over to help diffuse.

Desire was more blendable than Amour, but it is a little drier than some of the more shimmery shades (which is common in a matte or more matte finish).  It was soft, finely-milled, and not powdery.  When I trialed Desire on the cheeks, it wore well for seven and a half hours and was slightly faded after eight or so.  I didn’t experience any separation, though, which I think is much worse than just fading–you might be the only one who really knows the blush has faded (rather than you were going for a subtle look), while you can really see separation, which looks just gross.

NARS Powder Blush Desire
Desire

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OCC Skin: Conceal (Concealer)


OCC Skin: Conceal

OCC Skin: Conceal (Concealer)

OCC Skin: Conceal ($20.00 for 8.5 grams) recently launched with twelve shades (which is impressive for a concealer range). There are six yellow-based shades and six red-based shades. Each concealer is packaged in a clear plastic screw-top jar, and inside is the concealer. The concealer is in a hardened block, but it’s creamy to the touch and as you dip your brush in it. The texture isn’t too creamy, which can lead to a lot of settling or sliding around during the day, but it isn’t so dry that it’s difficult to blend out. It has amazing opaque coverage; it will hide just about anything, and it never feels heavy, looks cakey, or requires a lot of product. Just a quick pat of concealer on any area will conceal most imperfections.

Y2 was a good match for me and most of my face; if I want to be really perfect in color, I mix a little of Y1 in, but usually, Y2 is very, very close. I’ve been reaching for this a lot in the past few weeks, because it’s quick, easy to use, and lasts all day. It doesn’t slide around, separate, or crease during the day. I very rarely use concealer, though I’ve been reconsidering as the older I get, the less sleep I get (I wake up 3-4 times a night and get about 3-4 hours total), I have found it has impacted my under-eye areas. I’ve used this underneath the eyes, but I’ve primarily been using this to conceal little imperfections on the skin before running to the store. I love that it looks as natural as my real skin, because I’m not wearing any foundation or tinted moisturizer – just the concealer patted on the areas I needed and out the door.

My preferred application method is definitely fingertips. It warms up the product just a wee bit, and it helps blend the product in effortlessly. I have used OCC’s Concealer Brush (which is what is recommended by the brand), and it works well, but the brush itself sometimes feels too big. I like smaller, more precise brushes for concealer work myself, and then I like a fluffier brush to blend out the concealer (something like MAC’s 217). One thing about application is less is so much more; a little goes a long way–and I’m serious!–use much less than you think. Even if you use fingertips, and you hardly see any on your finger, go with it. You’d be surprised!

I really appreciate OCC’s commitment to their customer base (both professional and consumer) and quality; these concealers took two years to develop to be David’s (the founder) “perfect” concealer. It’s not too creamy, lasts all day long, doesn’t crease, and works even when my skin is a little dry. The coverage is fantastic; totally opaque but can be sheered out if you need lighter coverage.

Shades as described by OCC:

  • R0 is the palest red-based skin tone.
  • R1 is a pale red-based skin tone.
  • R2 is a medium-light red-based skin tone.
  • R3 is a medium-dark red-based skin tone.
  • R4 is a dark red-based skin tone.
  • R5 is the darkest red-based skin tone.
  • Y0 is the palest yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y1 is a pale yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y2 is a medium-light yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y3 is a medium-dark yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y4 is a dark yellow-based skin tone.
  • Y5 is the darkest yellow-based skin tone.

OCC Skin: Conceal (Concealer)

A+
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

Cult Nails Charming Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Charming Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Charming Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Charming Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a smoky lilac with subtle pink undertones and a very fine iridescent fuchsia-purple shimmer. NARS Pokerface is pinker. Illamasqua Faux Pas is darker, but has a similar smoky/muted quality. Zoya Lotus has a lot of red in it.  I couldn’t think of a close dupe for this shade.

I had trouble with the application of this one. Even though the consistency doesn’t feel thick, it’s not super thin–it has a jelly-like consistency to me, it had a tendency to pull to the sides when I was applying it, which left the middle of the nail sheerer than the rest. With really bright light (like flash), you can see some brush strokes, though they weren’t apparent under regular lighting (like my office). It’s a sheer polish, which is what it is described as, so I was expecting that. It’s sheer but buildable – I did two coats of polish in the swatches, and there’s visible nail line but you could get away with three coats for mostly opaque color. The drying time was good, though, faster than the average formula.  I typically get a full week or more with Cult Nails’ formula, which is absolutely stellar as far as wear goes.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Charming
Charming
Charming
B+

Limited Edition

8
Product
10
Pigmentation
8
Texture
10
Longevity
3.5
Application
88%
Total

Milani Caramel Brown Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Caramel Brown Powder Eyeshadow
Milani Caramel Brown Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Caramel Brown Powder Eyeshadow

Milani Caramel Brown Powder Eyeshadow ($4.49 for 0.11 oz.) is a warmed over medium brown with a golden bronze shimmer and sheen. As gorgeous as this shade is, there are several shades that are similar to it (but you can’t beat the price point of Milani!). Urban Decay Chase is slightly more orange-toned. MAC Love Connection is less brown, more red. Buxom Golden Retriever is similar but darker, less golden/shimmered. Urban Decay Suspect is pretty close, though not as warm.

I’ve always had a soft spot for Milani, because they’ve been one of the more reliable budget-friendly brands for years, not just recently, though they’ve been churning out some impressive products in the past year.  Their new range of pressed powder eyeshadows is fantastic overall, and Caramel Brown is no exception.  The texture is soft, buttery, and dense and blends beautifully and melts against the skin like butter.  Milani says they’re crease-proof, “super pigmented,” and blendable; they’re everything and more–but when I test drove Caramel Brown, I did experience some fading along the edges after eight hours (which is still really good–the majority of formulas have some fading after eight hours without aid of a primer), but absolutely no creasing.

I’m drawn to this shade like you wouldn’t believe–I think it’s the balance of warmth, gold, brown, bronze, and shimmer. It’s lovely against warmer complexions, as it brightens without dominating. It can easily be worn on the lid or in the crease, but I really like it softly on the lid with not much else.  Naturally, the strong warm undertones in this hue will flatter warmer complexions overall.  I’m a believer that you can wear anything and everything–it’s all about confidence and how you wear it!

Milani Caramel Brown Powder Eyeshadow

A
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
97%
Total

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