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NARS Amour Blush

NARS Amour Highlighting Blush
NARS Amour Blush

NARS Amour Blush

NARS Amour Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “peachy pink.” It’s a darkened pink-tinted coral. It doesn’t read peachy-pink to me, which tends to be a lighter, warmer color. The finish is matte. Illamasqua Dixie is brighter, less pink. Tarte Blissful is more orange, slightly lighter/softer. theBalm Frat Boy is slightly lighter. MAC Posey is very close, perhaps pinker. MAC Fleet Fast is more coral and has golden orange shimmer. On my cheeks, it looks more pink than coral, but it’s not strictly pink.

The texture of this is drier, stiffer–not really difficult to work with, it just has a thinner, drier texture, so it’s not a really dense blush. You wouldn’t describe it as buttery, for instance. Some powders are really buttery and dense, others are still soft and finely-milled, but they’re thin and feel drier. Amour is the latter.  It packs plenty of pigment, so you can go from subtle tint to full-on color with a tap of the brush, but you won’t have to worry about applying too much too quickly (not like Exhibit A).  The drier texture does mean that you need to spend a little more time blending the color, and because of the matte texture, it can be easier to apply over completely dry foundation (if you’re using liquid).  When I tested Amour to see how long and well it would wear, I was able to get seven hours of good wear; after eight hours, there was some fading along the tops of my cheeks.

NARS Amour Blush

B+
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4
Application
88%
Total

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Bobbi Brown Pink Seashell Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15

Bobbi Brown Pink Seashell Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15
Bobbi Brown Pink Seashell Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15

Bobbi Brown Pink Seashell Treatment Lip Shine SPF 15 ($23.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “pale peachy pink.” It’s a soft pink-tinted coral that’s just slightly warm-toned. MAC Razzledazzler looks almost exactly the same–I’d say slightly more opaque, perhaps less pink. Burberry Devon Sunset is more orange. MAC So Vain is darker and more orange. NARS Niagara is pinker, brighter, and more opaque.

Bobbi Brown’s Treatment Lip Shines are a really lovely, comfortable formula to wear, because it’s lightweight, hydrating, and sits well on the lips.  It has a soft, balm-like texture that’s just a bit slippery, so it glides easily across the lips.  It’s scent- and taste-free–no taste of sunscreen or the like.  Pink Seashell wears about three hours on me, which is a little below the average lipstick, but not wholly surprising given the amount of slip of the texture.  The major downside is that there’s not a lot of product here–it’s about half the size of a lipstick–but the amount of product is about as much as most brands provide when they come out with this type of product, especially in this type of a tube.

Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shine Pink Seashell
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate
OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate

OCC Triptych Loose Colour Concentrate ($12.00 for 0.088 oz. / 2.5 grams) is described as a “sleek, regal gold.” It’s a rich, vibrant shade of yellow gold with a frosted, metallic finish. The metallic finish comes out more strongly when it is applied damp/wet. Tarina Tarantino Mr. Gold/Mr. Silver is less metallic, less yellow. NARS Paramaribo is darker. Bare Escentuals Remix is less yellow. MAC Goldmine is more orange. Inglot #430 is slightly darker. Urban Decay Honey is very similar but less metallic.

I’m all over this kind of color.  Urban Decay’s Honey is one of my all-time favorite golds, and it’s been discontinued, so having a dupe is excellent.  The texture is so, so soft–the powder of OCC’s Loose Colour Concentrates is extremely finely-milled.  It applies well both wet and dry, and it gets a little smoother and more metallic when applied wet as compared to the dry application.  This shade is lovely with warm browns, coppers, and burgundies.  Triptych wears really well, too, without primer–a solid eight hours without creasing or fading.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Loose Colour Concentrate Triptych
Triptych
Triptych
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
98%
Total

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China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Splish Splash Nail Lacquer ($6.49 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright sky blue shimmer.” This is a brightened medium sky blue with fine, pale white-blue shimmer. It’s a very swimming pool-inspired blue, I’d say. It’s not quite bright enough to be called a neon, but it’s certainly not subdued. I thought this would be readily duped, but out of all these blues, nothing came close enough. At a glance, China Glaze Blue Iguana seemed like a possibility, but upon closer inspection, it’s much, much darker, and it has purple shimmer. I’d love to hear from you if you have any dupe possibilities!

The color was opaque after two coats, but the formula was on the thicker side, so I actually had some pooling polish along the edges of the nail.  I haven’t had this issue very often, so I’ll clarify so we’re all on the same page:  I’m certain there’s a textbook definition of “pooling,” but here goes:  when the polish seems to gather along the edges of the nail, so it looks thick and rounded.  A good visual is thinking of slime or sludge as it covers more and more surface area.  It’s not a good thing.  I did two coats for swatches, and it took a long time for the initial coat to dry enough to apply the second coat, and a surprisingly long time for it to dry after that.  Neon shades typically dry incredibly quickly, but this one took its sweet time.  Once it did, it did dry to a mostly matte finish–you’ll want a really shiny top coat to get a glossy finish (I used Seche Vite).

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Splish Splash
7.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
6
Texture
9
Longevity
3
Application
79%
Total

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush
NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush

NARS Albatross Highlighting Blush ($28.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sheer, light golden sheen.” The base color is a a pale, almost cool-toned ivory and then it has a healthy dose of light-medim gold shimmer-sheen. MAC Lightscapade doesn’t have as strong of a golden sheen, and it has a slightly pinker base color. MAC Chez Chez Lame is more golden and beige. MAC Too Chic is more beige and uniform. theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer is much more golden.

I swear, I thought I reviewed this product previously, but I couldn’t find one! I’m in the process of reviewing all of NARS’ permanent blushes (including re-reviewing some shades), and Albatross is the first one up. It’s part of the Highlighting Blush series, which are blushes designed to illuminate the skin rather than add lots of color. This shade has won numerous distincts, even winning awards in Temptalia’s Readers’ Choice Awards over the years, for its highlighting prowess.

On my skin tone (about medium in color with warmer, yellower undertones), Albatross isn’t the most flattering on its own–that cooler ivory base color gives me a washed out look. On the flip side, cooler skin tones from light to medium could wear this alone and have it be much more flattering. When it’s paired with another blusher, it is more flattering across a greater number of skin tones, because that lighter base color mixes with your blush color, so it doesn’t look as pale or as cool-toned.

There’s a nice balance of glow and sheen without emphasizing pores and the natural texture of the skin.  The way it reflects gives it a very creamy, luminous look–definitely more along the lines of a sheen than a frosted or shimmery look.  It can be used as a barely-there highlighter or more intensely, depending on whether you’re going for a low-key cheek or wearing it alone.  When I wore Albatross to test out the wear, it managed seven and a half hours of excellent wear and looked a bit faded after eight and a half hours.

The texture is soft and silky without being too dense or dry–you don’t have excess powder being kicked up when you go to use it, but you don’t have to stab at it to get enough product onto your brush.  I like using a small stippling brush to apply it lightly, or a small, tapered face brush for a more concentrated application.

NARS Highlighting Blush Albatross
Albatross

Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer
Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer

Cult Nails Princess Nail Lacquer ($10.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a light-medium dusty blue with a subtle pink-copper shimmer. Chanel Coco Blue is darker, bluer. Rescue Beauty Lounge Concrete Jungle is darker, grayer. Butter London Lady Muck is darker, grayer, and has silver shimmer. Chanel Riva is lighter, less blue.  None of these comes close, though–not even in the base color–let alone having the coppery shimmer. A lot of times you’ll find something that has a similar base color, but I couldn’t think of anything that was even close to being a dupe.

I’m definitely a fan of the Cult Nails brand, particularly because Maria keeps coming out with shades where I get to say, “I couldn’t think of a dupe for this!” as part of my review.  It’s tough to be original in such an over-saturated industry, so it is very much appreciated.  The formula is long-wearing–a full seven days or longer–with very minor tip wear and no chipping.  Princess was fully opaque after two coats of polish, and it had good flow and wasn’t too thick or too thin.

Cult Nails Nail Lacquer Princess
Princess
Princess
A+

Discontinued

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

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