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Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “charcoal with multi-colored shimmer.” It’s a cool color, because it changes depending on the angle and lighting situation. Mostly, it’s a dark, blue-toned charcoal gray base with a bluish-teal flash and multi-colored sparkle. The only shade similar to the general look and feel (and what you see in the swatch) but did not have the multi-colored shimmer of Android was Urban Decay Hijack, which is lighter and less intense.

Pure Pigments are a multi-purpose product that can be used on eyes, cheeks, face, or body (or even hair/nails). Illamasqua says that they can be applied dry or wet (“for bolder color payoff”), but I wouldn’t recommend using them dry. Android applies better dry than some shades, though, but it is very, very sheer and lacks the multi-dimensional shimmer effect. It appears almost brownish-gray with a subtle sheen. I had good luck with this particular shade staying put simply used wet and applied onto the lid, though it started to crease after five hours. I would typically use this with MAC’s Mixing Medium (or an adhesive base of your choice), which would help it bind and adhere and still have the intense look of the damp swatch.

Illamasqua Pure Pigment Android
Android
Android
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
88%
Total

Bobbi Brown Party Shimmer Brick

Bobbi Brown Party Shimmer Brick
Bobbi Brown Party Shimmer Brick

Bobbi brown Party Shimmer Brick ($40.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a limited edition highlighter for the holidays that uses a combination of gold and “silver.” Though the right side of the compact is certainly not the gold we typically think of, it’s not exactly silver–more like a cool-toned gold.

The left side is a true yellow gold with a shimmer-sheen. I couldn’t think of other highlighters that were similar in color, though there are likely half a dozen eyeshadows! It has good intensity for a highlighter; you can build-it up if you really wanted something more opaque, but it’s soft and blendable. Though the finish isn’t overly metallic, it does emphasize pores (or skin unevenness) a bit. The right side is a more like a cool-toned white with a neutral yellow shimmer-sheen, so it comes off as this cool-toned white gold. It has a more metallic finish than the yellowy side, which is a finish that tends to emphasize pores (and this does do so moderately).

Overall, it’s as frosted as most Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks are.  It’s not unlike previous iterations, so for those who are fans of Shimmer Bricks (and I know there are a number of you!), it’s par for the course.  They can be used together or separately, which is nice–especially because the powder is halved, rather than split into four or five strips of colors, so you can actually just use one shade at a time.  The wear of this is good; it wore for seven hours well, and then at the eight hour mark, it was visibly diminished but still lingering.

Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Party
Party
Party

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An Introduction to L’Artisan Parfumeur

By Chelsea Nusbaum, Fragrance Contributor

Chelsea grew up in Los Osos, California, which is a small coastal town. She completed her undergraduate degree in Literature/Writing at University of California, San Diego. She recently completed her master’s degree in Rhetoric and Professional and Technical Writing. Chelsea currently works as a proposal editor for a local defense company. She loves to freelance and edit, but between her full-time job and awesome pets, what little time she has left she devotes to fragrance!


An Introduction to L’Artisan Parfumeur

French perfume house L’Artisan has turned out everything from cult classics like Dzing! to critical darling Timbuktu. I’ve sampled most of their fragrances, I own two bottles, and my to-buy list contains another three. Bertrand Duchaufour is the current nose. Two members of his travel-inspired series: Dzongkha and Traversee du Bosphore, wowed me. A turkish delight note is Traversée du Bosphore’s big selling point, but it’s the curious tulip note that piqued my interest and sent me down the rabbit hole of perfumes interpreting what is essentially an odorless flower. Dzongkha marries two of my favorite notes, leather and iris. It is a contemplative fragrance that smells like nothing else. And I’ve never loved an opening the way I love Dzing!’s burst of vanilla and cardboard. And when the horse barn smells of hay, leather, and sawdust chime in, I love it even more. Like Traversee de Bosphore and Dzongkha. All three are on my to-buy list.

L’Artisan has something for everyone (or, if you’re a perfumista, everything for someone). There’s the conventionally pretty candied violets of Verte Violette and the flamboyantly pretty Drôle de Rose. Drôle de Rose was my first L’Artisan purchase and my second niche fragrance acquisition, marking the time I became seriously interested in perfume. I love this pink juice with its giddy burst of violets, roses, and powder, but it can get tedious as the day wears on. What was a fun choice in the bright hustle of the morning can set my teeth on edge by 3:00.

I get the most mileage out of The pour un Été, a fragrance I didn’t have much patience for the first time I sniffed it. It was too sheer–I felt I couldn’t get a proper whiff and that it was too literally tea, anyway. I’m glad I revisited it; it’s as close as I’ll ever get to a signature scent. The pour un Été is a soft, sweet dream of summer with bitter green tea dregs to keep it interesting. The jasmine is soft and round, without the indolic, smothering sweetness that usually puts me off of jasmine fragrances. The pour un Été lifts my spirits at the office and carries me through the weekend. It is it comforting in the winter and refreshing in the summer.

My only quarrel is with Havana Vanille. With its smooth duet of vanilla and tobacco, Havana Vanille would full-bottle-worthy if it didn’t turn to banana and root beer on me. Also a member of Duchaufour’s travel series, he composed this fragrance in 2009 as an homage to Cuba. Timbuktu I can appreciate but wouldn’t wear. Smokey isn’t my thing, even when it’s as well-executed as it is in Timbuktu.

L’Artisan values creativity. They can release something as niche as Poivre Piquant, a wan floral that overdosed on pepper, or as amiable as La Chasse aux Papillons, a creamy white floral with droves of fans. Fragrances like Mûre et Musc (an unlikely partnership of berries and musk) set trends, and fragrances like Premier Figuier (a tree branch laden with ripe figs) perfected them. Because most of the line’s fragrances are offered only as eau de toilettes, there’s a transparency that pervades even the cream-drenched spices of Safran Troublant and the huge, earthy patchouli note that opens Patchouli Patch. It’s a signature that, to my mind, marks a perfume as a L’Artisan.

L’Artisan enjoys wide distribution for a niche brand, probably due to its mainstream tendencies. Its price point is higher than what you can expect from any given fragrance Sephora offers, but not unreasonably so. A 50 ml bottle typically retails for $95, a 100 ml for $145. Decants are of course available at The Perfumed Court and The Posh Peasant. I have personally purchased from Beautyhabit and Luckyscent and can recommend them highly. Aedes, Beautycafe, Blue Mercury, and Four Seasons are other reputable carriers of the L’Artisan line. Barney’s and Neiman Marcus are two department stores that carry the line, and some Nordstrom stores do, too.

Will you try this line? Have you tried it? Share your experiences in the comments!

Check out more photos! 

Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette

Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette
Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette

Bobbi Brown Holiday 2011: Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette

Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette ($45.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a limited edition, warm-toned palette that features four shades of the brand’s Eye Paints, which seems like a baked eyeshadow formula. If you’re familiar with MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows, these perform and feel very alike. The shades the palette contains are: Gold (pale gold), Bronze (beige gold), Chocolate (rich brown with gold pearl), and Black Gold (black with gold pearl).

  • Gold is a light-medium yellowed gold with a frosted, metallic finish. It isn’t an overly warm gold–it’s as close to a neutral gold as you’d get. The color payoff is sheer when it is applied dry, and it intensifies to decent pigmentation when applied wet, but it’s never quite opaque. It’s much smoother when used damp as well and has less fall out when used that way. Bare Escentuals Standing O, MAC Treasure Hunt, and Givenchy Lune Mordoree are all similar.
  • Bronze is a medium-dark gilded bronze with a metallic shimmer-sheen finish. Like Gold, the color payoff is fairly sheer and the shimmer feels and looks chunky when it is applied dry. When it’s applied damp, the product binds together better so it is smoother and more pigmented. It is similar to MAC Retrospeck,
  • Chocolate is a warmed-up chocolate brown with bronze shimmer. The pigmentation is pitiful when it’s applied dry, and it has a very dry, powdery texture. It’s infinitely better when used wet, where it comes together for a really opaque, smooth result. NARS Galapagos is deeper, but they are similar.
  • Black Gold is a blackened brown color base with cool-toned bronze and champagne shimmer. It’s just like Chocolate–dry, sheer payoff when used dry, but it’s intense and smooth when applied wet. Tarina Tarantino Dream is browner, warmer. The base color is a bit similar to MAC Legendary.

My experience with this palette was as poor as it was with Bobbi Brown’s Onyx & Silver variation. First, if you’re a big fan of MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows, you may like these more than the overall rating indicates–because I pretty much have the same issues with these as I do with MAC’s, which are fading and fall out.

These shades have to be used damp, because the results when used dry are too chunky and sheer. However, when you use them damp, the color result fades over time, even over a primer, and I had a good amount of fall out underneath my eyes after eight hours of wear. I was flabbergasted at how much fading at occurred over eight hours–I thought my eyeshadow was missing on the lid (which is where I used the lighter color, Gold). Those are two big no-nos when it comes to powder eyeshadows as far as I’m concerned.

Bobbi Brown Chocolate & Gold Eye Paint Palette

D+
6.5
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
6
Longevity
3
Application
68%
Total

I haven’t used self-tanner in years, mostly because I’m already medium in color and I tan super, super quick during the summer (even with sunscreen!). I just don’t have the patience or desire to work with self-tanner. Besides, it’s so cold out, I’m always wearing pants or tights!

— Christine

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