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Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

The Hit List

Worst Mascara? What product wins this category?

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Earth Eyeshadow Duo

2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Eyeshadow Duos

Currently, 2nd Love has six variations of the eyeshadow duos ($9.00 each for 5.4g/0.19 oz.). These all have the same quality and feel as the rest of the 2nd Love product range. They’re smooth, soft, and pigmented. The colors feel like velvet, and they blend easily.  They can be used wet or dry, depending on the intensity and kind of application you want.

  • Earth is a combination of silvery-white and subdued brown.
  • Amethyst is a combination of pale pink with soft silver shimmer and a dirty mauve-berry.
  • Go Green is a duo featuring a gray-green with gold sheen/shimmer and a soft brown with green-gold shimmer. This was my favorite of the six, just because it seemed so multifaceted.
  • Starry Night is a mix of lilac with soft cool-toned sheen and a purple-blue with violet sheen. (It’s definitely more of a purple than a blue shade.)
  • Sandstone is a combination of a lightly warmed up bronze and a golden beige.
  • Solar is a duo of bright silver with shimmer-sheen and a rich, dark black with a bit of multicolored shimmer.

Compared to MAC: Similar in feel and texture, though these all were pigmented for me, and none of them were glittery or overly shimmery. I’ve found some of the MAC mineralize eyeshadow duos can be too frosty or have gritty glitter that puts me off. These are also flatter colors, and by that I mean that you’ll see a silver base color with silver shimmer or a purple base with purple shimmer/sheen. You won’t see a purple with gold shimmer or things of that variety–at least not yet. Of course, these are also cheaper — $9.00 each for 5.4g/0.19 oz. as compared to $19.00 for 2.5g/0.08 oz.

Check out product photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Gilt Groupe is having a sale on Cosmedicine–30-50% off retail prices!   If you’re not a member already, here’s an invite link to join should you want to join! (Gilt is invite-only.)

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Warmth Glow n’ Bronzer

2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Glow n’ Bronzers

There are three Glow n’ Bronzers to choose from, and each one contains four strips of color. You could likely use each one individually to highlight or use on eyes, but as a blush/bronzer, it is most practical to use all four together (“swirled”). The Glow n’ Bronzers ($15.00 each for 16.1 g/0.57 oz.) are very much like the Marble Blushes. Each strip is soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. These also wear well and last me most of the day–or as long as I needed it to! Like the Marble Blushes, these give a soft sheen rather than chunky glitter or shimmer particles, so if you’ve found other baked products too shimmery, these might be more your cup of tea.

  • Warmth contains four strips of color: pale white-beige, neutral brown with pink undertones, soft, pale pink, and bronze. When swirled together, you get a soft, bronzy-pink shade. I’d see this working well on paler skin tones.
  • Sun Kissed contains four strips of color: light beige with pink, soft orange, taupe-y bronze, and warm bronze. I will caution that my swatches are a bit misleading on this one, only because some of it is so similar to my skin tone, so on paler complexions, you’d definitely see a bit more bang for your buck. On the other hand, this one works extremely well with my coloring, because it looks very natural and definitely gives me a “sunkissed” look. Swirled together, you’ll see a soft, coppeyr-bronze shade with soft gold sheen.
  • Toasted contains four strips of color: taupe-brown with pink, pale ivory-beige, soft golden peach, and rich copper. When used together, the colors come together to create a soft golden sheen. On me, it looks more like a highlighter more so than a bronzer.

Compared to MAC: I’d say these are most like MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes (particularly the limited edition releases from Brunette, Blonde, Redhead, since those, too, had strips of color). Again, these are cheaper at $15.00 for 16.1g/0.57 oz. compared to MAC at $27.00 for 10g/0.35 oz. MAC also offers a larger variety on types of mineralize skinfinishes, since some are blushers, while others can bronze your skin and still others are highlighters. MAC’s tend to be swirled/marbled rather than with strips, too. One thing I noticed is that when I swirled MAC mineralize skinfinishes together (from BBR), the strips didn’t mix so much. With the 2nd Love Glow n’ Bronzers, when you mix them, you can kind of see that you did that. You can dust everything off and it’s all as it should be, though. When you use a brush, this effect is extremely minimized; it is more pronounced when you use sponges/fingers.

Check out product photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Sunset Marble Blush

2nd Love Baked Powders Collection: Marble Blushes

2nd Love was founded by a fellow UC Irvine alumnist Terry Hsiao, who graduated in 2005, and is now working on developing her own cosmetic line. When Terry first approached me, I started to get excited as soon as I visited 2nd Love’s website, particularly because it is well-designed and the quality of the product photos is excellent. (If only all brands had such high quality imagery for us to drool over!) I also thought it would be fitting to check out this line with MAC’s Colour Craft Collection debuting later this week.

The 2nd Love Collection currently includes six eyeshadow duos, four marble blushes, and three Glow n’ Bronzers. According to Terry, the powders are made with a special formula containing a high content of pearl powder. The baked powders can be used wet or dry and are longer wearing than traditional pressed powder products. Together, they are designed to create a collection of soft, sheer powders that provide intense color and flawless coverage.

  • Sunset is a marbleized powder with hints of warm brown, cool pink, and dirty gray. It translates into a soft, dirty pink. I imagine on some complexions this might come off a bit muddy, but for others, it will be a nice, subdued blusher.
  • Sunshine is a soft pink with silvery sheen. In the pot, it’s a mixture of soft white and deeper pink.
  • Terra Cotta is a soft, peachy color with a soft sheen. The pot is a marbleized concoction of peachy-gold, copper, and pink. I liked this one a lot, just because it adds warmth to cheeks without too much color, so it’s a very natural-looking shade.
  • Amber is a soft, cool pink with light sheen. I wore this alone with mascara and a tinted lip balm, and I got so many compliments on the cheeks!

OVERALL, 2nd Love’s Marble Blushes ($12.00 each for 5.6g/0.2 oz.) are soft, smooth baked powder blushes. Their intensity is designed to be softer rather than in-your-face, and I think they succeed in that area. All four blushes are extremely wearable for a full range of skin tones, and the layer well to build up the color. They can also be used wet to increase intensity, too. I didn’t find any of them too glittery; in fact, they all seemed to have a nice sheen rather than shimmer/glitter particles. I found that the blushes wore well throughout the day, and they didn’t fade much, if at all. I have found that mineralize blushes and the like do tend to have less staying power than traditional powder blushes for me, at least.

Of course, I know you are wondering how 2nd Love’s Marble Blushes compare to MAC’s Mineralize Blushes. I do feel that they are different products in some ways, and of course, similar in others. The biggest difference is the price — MAC mineralize blushes run $21.00 each for 3.5g/0.11 oz. Some of MAC’s mineralize blushes do pack more pigment/color pay off than 2nd Love’s (e.g. Merrily). I’d say 2nd Love’s Marble Blushes just give a softer finish, softer glow.

Check out product photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

HauteLook is having a Lisa Hoffman Beauty sale!

The sale is going on now at HauteLook! :) As per usual, products look like they’re around 50% off!  I’ve never tried any of Lisa Hoffman products before, so I think I might pick up a few things to try!  What about you?

(The link above is an invite-link, which is a referral link. HauteLook has opened up membership, so you are free to sign up on your own, if you wish! :) )