Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick

Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick

Illamasqua Atomic Lipstick (£15.50 for 0.14 oz.) is new for spring/summer and part of the brand’s Toxic Nature collection, which should show up at Sephora in April. For now, though, it is available through Illamasqua directly.  Illamasqua describes Atomic as a “fuchsia violet.”  After swatching and applying, Atomic is a deep, reddened fuchsia with violet and fuchsia sheen.  It has that satin finish but such a strong pull of iridescent sheen that it almost looks like a frost.

my thoughts on the formula: Illamasqua’s Lipstick formula feels a little dry when applied, but let it warm up on your lips, because it really isn’t the drying kind. It does hug the lips, though, which makes it a much longer wearing lipstick (six hours or more).

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Illamasqua Lipstick Atomic
A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8.5
Longevity
9.5
Application
3.5
Total
90%

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush

NYX Menage a Trois HD Grinding Blush ($16.50 for 0.25 oz.) is one of eight shades of blush from NYX’s HD Studio line. According to NYX, by grinding a blush powder each use, you’ll avoid “oil trappings on powders, contamination, and cracking.” The blush formula itself is supposed to reflect light from the skin while giving pores a smaller and smoother look. Menage a Trois is a soft tangerine-peach with spun gold shimmer-sheen. It’s really a gorgeous shade and one that will work exceptionally well on warmer skin tones.

Next to the blush, you might recognize an elephant–the price tag. NYX is known as a brand with affordable options but still a wide variety and higher quality products than many other more affordable brands (overall). It’s obvious the HD Studio range is at a higher price point, but I think it might be outpricing the comfort zone of some of their customers. Their Powder Blushes are $6, Cream Bushes are $6.50, and Mosaic Powders are $8. The HD Grinding Blush is double the price of their more expensive blush. I’m not worried that NYX is going to change directions and move to mid-tier, but it’s an interesting move.

my thoughts on the formula: The texture of the HD Grinding Blushes is very smooth–definitely finely milled. The colors themselves are a lot less intimidating when applied than they look initially–I did not find that you could quite get the level of intensity as see in the shavings themselves, but you can get close. The softness of the blush powder makes it easy to apply, blend out, and difficult to overdo. On me, it wears around six hours before there is some fading (over liquid foundation, set with loose powder).

Though I haven’t personally tested Smashbox’s Halo powders, the grinding mechanism of NYX’s HD Grinding Blushes reminded me of them. I’m not sure if Smashbox has put out Halo blushes, but they do have the twist ‘n’ shave mechanism for their Perfecting Powders, Perfecting Bronzers, and Color Correcting Powder. It’s neither a pro nor con but more for your reference.

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NYX HD Studio Photogenic Grinding Blush Menage a Trois
B+
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
7.5
Application
4
Total
88%

Make Up For Ever: Unretouched Campaign

Make Up For Ever: Unretouched Campaign

This spring, Make Up For Ever has launched a print and online ad campaign featuring their HD Invisible Cover Foundation–and the advertisements have not been digitally retouched. They have also launched a microsite, www.hd-not-retouched.com with a short video featuring the unretouched models shot next to items that have been digitally altered to highlight how deceptive retouching can be.

If there is one thing the early days of MySpace has taught me, it’s that angles are your best friend, and good lighting (or really terrible lighting) can go a long way to improving the overall image!  I like that photography and artistry skills were used to achieve this ad.

What do you think of the new campaign?

While unretouched photography has been celebrated by magazines and celebrities alike, there are still very few advertising campaigns that use imagery that has not been digitally altered. HD Invisible Cover Foundation was developed specifically to mask imperfections that are often magnified in front of a camera lens, without adding texture to the skin. MAKE UP FOR EVER is thrilled to show women everywhere that they can look perfect both in front of the lens and in their everyday lives by choosing products that deliver professional results and can stand up to modern technology.

See close-up… 

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Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Kit

Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit ($95.00) is an exclusive set available at Neiman Marcus this spring. It contains a peony and python printed zippered makeup bag, Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and two miniature-sized makeup brushes (face and lip).

The kit itself comes with a high price tag, but individually (though not all shades are available individually, the product type is), Pink Peony Illuminating Bronzer would retail for $33, Pink Lilac Brightening Gloss retails for $22, Black Mauve Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is available for $21, and then assume $20 worth of brushes. The innards of the kit are worth approximately $96, but you also receive the printed makeup bag, too. There is a Peony & Python printed makeup bag available alone for $40, but I don’t know how the size compares to the one from the Neiman Marcus kit.

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Bobbi Brown Peony & Python Beauty Kit

B+
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
9
Application
4
Total
87%