Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

NARS Cadaques Multiple=
NARS Cadaques Multiple Tint

Perfect for Perfect Skin

NARS Cadaques Multiple Tint ($38 for 0.52 oz.) is a fantastic barely-there flush if you have naturally lovely skin.  If your skin has enough imperfections where you tend to use foundation or powder for coverage, the new Multiple Tints just don’t seem to be worthwhile. I swatched all three of the Multiple Tints at Nordstrom a few weeks ago, but I also tested Cadaques at home.

The staying power of Cadaques is excellent–really lasts all day and then some.  It’s not heavy or greasy once it finally dries down, but it took at least fifteen minutes before it seemed to settle on the skin.  I experienced this issue with drying when I swatched them on my arm, too–imagine holding your arm away from your beige shirt for twenty minutes!  Personally, this is a total deal-breaker for me, because the last thing I want to do is add another fifteen minutes to my makeup routine.

It layers best directly onto skin, and the best application method is straight from the tube, because the product is very sheer.  It gave my medium skin a nice, subtle flush without a fuss, but it did not seem to be buildable other than that initial flush.   The application wasn’t as smooth or as even when applied over foundation (even liquid), and it seemed kind of gross (to me) to smear the stick on top of foundation, too.

This is kind of where the perfect skin bit kicks in — it’s best on natural skin, but it’s so subtle, layering foundation on top, even lightly, nearly covers up all the blush.  I also found that the staying power definitely lived up to expectations when applied directly to skin, but on top of foundation, it seemed to fade by mid-day.  It really is just better over the skin rather than over foundation.  If you rock the no-foundation look often and like gel-like blushes, I think the Multiple Tints may be up your alley.

I found the texture of them to be almost watery/slippery on the surface, even though they’re completely solid.  You get plenty of product, but these are actually incredibly reminiscent of Tarte’s Cheek Stains ($30 for 1 oz. — nearly double the product for a little less).  The subtle raspberry pink of Cadaques will complement cooler skin tones beautifully, but it is not so cool that it doesn’t work just as well as warmer skin tones.  It has a soft sheen that’s not oily or greasy-looking, and if I have another good skin week, I’ll definitely give this another go.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you don’t wear foundation often and want a subtle flush for cheeks that doesn’t fade during the day, NARS’ Multiple Tints were made for you!

AVAILABILITY: NARS, Sephora

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams

Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams: Part II

Ahh! The five Aqua Creams ($22.00) I ordered from Sephora arrived over the weekend, and I’m pleased to say I’ve been enjoying them! I liked the first four that I tried, because the pigmentation is incredible, and the finishes are beautiful.

Lips & Cheeks: #5 Peach, #6 Fresh Pink, #7 Fuchsia, #8 Red, #9 Coral, #10 Orange
Eyes & Cheeks: #1 Anthracite, #2 Steel, #3 Silver, #4 Snow, #11 Gold, #12 Golden Copper, #13 Warm Beige, #14 Satin Brown, #15 Taupe, #16 Pink Beige, #17 Plum, #18 Purple, #20 Intense Blue, #21 Turquoise, #22 Emerald Green

  • #9 Coral is a medium coral-orange with subtle shimmer (very faint).
  • #6 Fresh Pink is a beautiful blue-based pink with golden shimmer. SO pretty. It’s amazing on cheeks and lips! Just make sure to prep lips, because it seemed a little drier than some of the other Aqua Creams, but it holds on for hours.
  • #13 Warm Beige is a lightened champagne taupe with a metallic sheen. This is kind of a neutral base color, but it’s a bit high on the frost/metallic finish and darker than I’d like — not quite as universal as I was hoping.
  • #11 Gold is a metallic gilded gold. Very, very pretty. Not entirely sure how usable it is, but it is stunning.
  • #20 Intense Blue is a medium ocean blue with silver shimmer. It’s like MAC Freshwater eyeshadow, in a cream form.

The reason I like these so much is they’re creamy but not too creamy–they won’t slip around on your eye lids, and they really lock down. These just don’t budge at all, even without setting with eyeshadow. I also like that you can use them on eyes/cheeks or lips/cheeks (depending on the shade), because they’re more multi-tasking. I like them the most on eyes, then cheeks, and finally lips. I wouldn’t wear these alone on lips (they dry down a bit, so they’ll last for over four hours on me, possibly stain, but my lips need more moisture, so I top with a gloss). Like they are on the eyes – they are excellent bases.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love color and rich, creamy textures, you may find the new Aqua Creams right up your alley. These are particularly lovely blushes for those with oily skin, because these dry down quite well.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, April 26th, 2010

NARS Enchanted Blush

NARS Summer 2010: Enchanted Cream Blush

NARS Enchanted Cream Blush ($26.00) is a new shade of cream blush launched with NARS’ Summer Collection. NARS describes it as a “soft peach,” and I’d completely agree with that assessment.

Enchanted is a sheer, soft peach with soft golden shimmer and a slight sheen. I’d like to put an emphasis on sheer, though, because I could not get it to show up on my cheeks, being around medium in skin tone (I’d say I’m on the lighter side of medium, but I’m certainly not fair). I did try to build up the color on my cheeks, but it just wasn’t working for me. On my skin tone, it ended up being more like a barely-there highlighter, unfortunately!

I can see this being really lovely and soft on fairer skin tones, and I think it would work well on both cool and warm skin tones. Cool skin tones will find this works as a soft peach that doesn’t turn orange, while warmer skin tones are easily complemented by peachy colors.

The formula itself is soft, creamy enough to melt into skin but not so creamy that it slips around.  It dries down quickly and blends easily onto skin.  I find that NARS Cream Blushes last me three to four hours before fading a bit.  I like using them as bases and using a setting powder or powder blush on top to set and prolong wear to about six to eight hours.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a way to prolong the wear of your blushes, you may find these cream blushes work well alone or as a base for your powder blushes.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, April 26th, 2010

Make Up For Ever HD Blush

Make Up For Ever Smooth Talker (13) HD Blush ($25.00) is a soft, pale petal pink. This is a very, very cool-toned pink that looks and applies quite sheerly. On my skin, it makes me look a little corpse-ish, but I can imagine it looking incredible on my fairer friends. It reminds me a bit of MAC Well-Dressed blush but in a cream form.

I’ve reviewed the HD Blushes in the past, but to recap: the formula is smooth, creamy, and applies easily. It dries down quickly so you don’t find it migrates while you wait, but it gives you enough time to blend it out. The formula is fantastic with its creamy feel and long-wearing finish. The packaging itself could use a little tweaking, as the pump delivery system inevitably pumps out much more than you need.

For more on HD Blushes, check out my original review! :)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a way to prolong the wear of your blushes, you may find these cream blushes work well alone or as a base for your powder blushes.

Availability: Sephora

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Monday, March 29th, 2010

Make Up For Ever HD Blush
Make Up For Ever #5 Nip Slip HD Blush

More on Make Up For Ever HD Blush

A few weeks ago, I reviewed Make Up For Ever’s HD Blush in three shades (#3 Truth or Dare, #4 Walk of Shame, and #6 Quickie). Today, I’m sharing with you three more shades and a run-down of them, but this is less a review as it is simply showing you what three other shades look like in real life.

I did, however, receive a full-size sample of #5 Nip Slip (can you believe they got away with that name?!), so I can confirm what I thought previously: the pump delivery system does pump out way too much if you simply do one pump. You really have to be careful and squeeze out just the tiniest bit. It’s better to go under than over, because you’ll end up wasting a good bit otherwise. I actually think I may prefer using them out of the 5-gram sample jars, just because I don’t have to worry about getting too much at once!

  • Nip Slip (#5) is a neutral, slightly yellow-toned pink that would look beautiful and fresh on both cool and warm skin tones. I think this is a good shade for light to medium to dark skin tones, too — it’s very buildable, so you can achieve that brighter pop of pink if you so desire.
  • Star Struck (#14) is a soft apricot peach that goes on more orange-apricot when blended and smoothed onto skin. Despite having a stronger orange tone, it’s not overly warm. It almost reads neutral to me, but I’d err on the side of warm.
  • First Kiss (#12) is a brightened orange with a soft shimmer/satin-y sheen built-in. It’s not neon orange, but it’s not quite the “bright apricot” that Sephora describes it as (even when it’s been blended out). This is definitely one of the more pigmented shades, so go easy if you want softer, sheerer color. It’s easier to intensify than it is to mute!

Other shades include: Innuendo #1 (vibrant plum), Caught in the Act #2 (bright raspberry), One Too Many #7 (peachy beige), PDA #8 (pinky nude), In the Spotlight #9 (nude), Skinny Dipping #10 (light orange brown), Mistaken Identity #11 (redwood brown), Smooth Talker #13 (vibrant pale pink). I previously reviewed Truth or Dare #3 (hot pink), Walk of Shame #4 (bubblegum pink), and Quickie #6 (salmon pink) here.

Make Up For Ever’s HD Blush wears well throughout the day. It’s easy to use, because it blends and softens without a lot of work, making it harder to make mistakes as long as you use less. You do not need to use a lot–I can’t stress it enough–we’re not even talking a pea-size of product. We’re talking about a pin-drop-size! One bottle will last you quite awhile, I’d imagine.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation:  Those who are always looking for longer wearing products should check out the new HD Blush line-up, because these cream blushes stand up to day-long wear without fading!

Availability: Sephora

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Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Make Up For Ever HD Blush

Make Up For Ever HD Blush:  Truth or Dare, Walk of Shame, Quickie

Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush ($25.00 for 0.33 oz.) is an incredibly lightweight, cream blush. The HD Blush really surprised me, because I wasn’t quite sure whether this was going to be as amazing as the buzz over it already was. (Buzz makes me skeptical, I can’t help it!)

Much anticipated, it is now available through Sephora. The blushes are reasonably priced, and I imagine one jar will last you quite awhile as you hardly need any for enough color on your cheeks. These are pigmented if you want them to be, so go easy on the amount you use if you want subtle color. They also dry down quickly, so work fast to blend the color out so it looks natural and luminous. I used my 188 brush to apply it to my cheeks, and I found it worked just right to apply and blend out the color. (I used #6 Quickie very lightly in this look!)

When I wore these to test (I worn #6 Quickie on one cheek, #4 Walk of Shame on the other!), they lasted a solid eight hours without fading or budging. I think these are going to be perfect for summer, particularly for those in more sticky and humid climates.  What is particularly nice is there is a huge shade range of fourteen different shades.

  • #3 Truth or Dare is a vibrant fuchsia pink. Even when used lightly, it still packs plenty of color. It has a satin-y finish–slight sheen but not shimmer.
  • #4 Walk of Shame is a pretty bubblegum pink that can be applied very sheerly or built up for a more intense pink. On me, I find this color a little too light/pale — it’s not a go-to shade for my medium, warm-toned skin, but it can work.
  • #6 Quickie is a coral-orange with a satiny feel. It can be sheered out nicely if you want just a light coral flush or used more generously (and still, by “more generously” I mean, use just the tiniest bit more) for a deeper flush.

I can’t speak to the packaging, as the samples I received were in sample jars, but the packaging looks similar to other pump-jar packaging (but I imagine it might be smaller/shorter). The only thing I would be a little wary about is whether the pump pushes out too much, because you really need a tiny bit. Not even a pea-size amount!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

Recommendation:  If you are a cream blush fiend, I think you’ll like the newest ones from Make Up For Ever!

Availability: Sephora

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