Saturday, May 4th, 2013

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder
MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder ($25.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze with fine gold pearl.” It’s a yellowy, medium-dark tan brown with a golden shimmer-sheen finish. Illamasqua Disobey is a browner and has no shimmer. Too Faced Bronzed & Poreless is warmer, more orange, and matte.

As I mentioned in my review for MAC’s Refined Golden, there were some serious texture issues (oddities?) with the regular bronzing powders in this collection. A few readers chimed in and said they had similar issues with past limited edition releases of the normally-permanent shades. That, of course, worries me, because I was originally chalking it up to being one-off, because the permanent versions have a normal, powder-like texture. The texture of Soft Sand almost felt like plastic–almost like a very stiff cream bronzer that didn’t give much payoff at all. I took a paper tough and just went to town getting the first few layers off, and that seemed to help quite a bit. I was able to get it to pick up on my brush after that and had it show up well on my skin. It lasted just under eight hours well without fading.  I had issues with the texture of last year’s Soft Sand, too; there were very similar issues but this felt even worse and even harder to get to work.

The Glossover

LE
product

Soft Sand

F
I had issues with the texture of last year's Soft Sand, too; there were very similar issues but this felt even worse and even harder to get to work.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

3/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder
MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder ($25.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “finely spun gold with soft pearl finish.” When I swatched it, it was a medium-dark tan brown with a mostly matte finish–hardly any shimmer/sparkle, though I could see it in the pan. Guerlain Terra Nerolia is more orange and shimmery. Too Faced Bronzed & Poreless is more yellow-toned. Guerlain Moyen Brunettes is darker.

I had a very odd experience with this shade (as well as the other one, which I’ll be reviewing soon), which was it was nearly impossible to get color payoff out of it. It felt like plastic almost, not a powder; I almost thought it was a cream. I have, actually, once received a powder compact that was filled with a plastic “powder” pan instead of a real powder pan. I thought maybe it was twice lucky… No, it was a powder–I scraped at it with a metal spatula to dislodge enough product to swatch. It felt almost creamy but there was next to no color payoff. But lo and behold, after rubbing off a few layers with a paper towel, it seemed to be more like a powder. I was able to get it to show up on my cheeks. It lasted seven and a half hours on me, and then it was slightly faded after eight hours.

With all of that said, my version is a press sample, and though it was in regular retail packaging (so it wasn’t an early batch or a small-run of products, which just means it should be what you get), I’m so baffled by it, I’m not really sure. This is part of the permanent range, though, and I have had this shade previously without the odd texture issues. My rating is based on this being a one-off, odd occurrence (and rating based on the texture of my older compact) but recommend checking it out for yourself or buying the permanent version (cheaper and available in a black compact).  I’m still finding it a very, very bizarre event.

The Glossover

P
product

Refined Golden

B+
My rating is based on this being a one-off, odd occurrence (and rating based on the texture of my older compact) but recommend checking it out for yourself or buying the permanent version (cheaper and available in a black compact).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit
MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit

Golden, What Happened to You?

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit ($49.50) contains seven products: Golden (Bronzing Powder, muted golden tan-beige with shimmer), Hearts-a-flutter (eyeshadow, warm pink with silver pearl), Romance Me (eyeshadow, warm plum with gold pearl), Shadowy Lady (eyeshadow, blackened plum), Barely Lit (lipstick, neutral pink withgold pearls), Headturner (lipstick, mid-tone cool cream plum), and a dual-ended 275SE/316SE brush.

Each Eyeshadow is approximately 0.033 oz. (total weight is 0.10 oz.), while the Bronzing Powder is 0.10 oz., and each Lipstick is 0.03 oz. There is a dual-ended brush that has the 275SE on one end and the 316SE on the other end. The kit contains $30.00 worth of eyeshadow, $6.86 worth of Bronzing Powder, and $9.00 worth of lipstick, for a total value of $45.86. You do get the dual-ended brush, but it really feels like a typical applicator that gets thrown into a lot of high-end palettes; the quality felt less than the usual SE brushes. The kit itself is packaged in a peach satin, but it’s smaller than the Divine Desire kits ($70.00), and it isn’t reusable from what I can tell–it’s more like the packaging used for the eyeshadow palettes.

Golden is a golden peach-brown with a peach shimmer-sheen. The texture was of this was very, very dry. It was so stiff, I had to jab layers of product off of it with a metal spatula. It was hard as a rock–I almost thought it was fake (this happened once, I received a MAC product that had a *plastic* replica of the powder in the compact). I’m not sure what happened, but the last time I swatched and reviewed Golden Bronzing Powder, I did not have the payoff and texture problems that I had with this one. This shade is part of the permanent range, so if you like how it looks in the pan, you might want to check out the full-sized version. MAC Nude on Board is a bit darker.

Barely Lit is a rosy beige with a little gold micro-shimmer to give it that “lit” effect. It has semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. It has a lustre finish. In the pan, it almost felt and looked more like a gloss–it was very squishy. It wore for two hours. Laura Mercier Sandcastle is more subdued. MAC Viva Glam V is pinker. MAC Martha is similar, less shimmery.

Headturner is a berry red with a purple-tinge. It is mostly opaque on lips, and it has a Cremesheen finish. It lasted for four hours on my lips. NARS Afghan Red is redder. MAC Rebel is richer, brighter. Guerlain Guet-Apens is redder. MAC Red Dwarf is a bit darker and more subdued. MAC Positively Dashing is similar, less shimmery.

Hearts-a-flutter is a pale pink-tinged white with a satin finish, so there is a noticeable sheen but nothing too frosted. It had so-so color payoff. It looks quite a bit like MAC Radial Pink from the eye kit! Chanel Harmonie du Soir is pinker. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is similar, slightly cooler-toned. Bare Escentuals Muse is less frosty. MAC Defiance is more iridescent.

Romance Me is a gray-tinged medium-dark brown with sallow brown undertones. It has a lustre finish, but it didn’t look or feel like one–seemed more like a frost, really. It didn’t have the loose sparkle that is a telltale sign of a lustre. It had decent color payoff, but the texture was a bit dry. MAC Earthly is lighter. Bare Escentuals Vow is darker. theBalm Celebrational is a smidgen grayer.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened purple with a matte finish. It’s dry, stubborn in texture, and the color is a bit uneven. When I applied it to the lid, it wasn’t as blendable as a really good matte eyeshadow is. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s an often-included shade in holiday palettes. MAC Spellcaster is more purple. MAC Indian Ink is more purple, richer.

It is interesting that the pink shade has such a strong resemblance to Radial Pink, which is in the duo alongside Shadowy Lady! I’m also surprised to see Shadowy Lady repromoted twice in two different products, since it’s already a permanent shade as well. Golden was a complete miss here, unfortunately. It’s one of the more wearable bronzers across complexions, though I think MAC would have made this palette more appealing by including a blush rather than bronzer (maybe something pinky-plum).

I know there is a split on Lustres and Cremesheens–some find them drying (this is where I am) and others love them. Barely Lit was somewhat drying, and Headturner was just a wee bit drying over time. I didn’t have any fall out with Romance Me, in spite of its lustre finish, which was great news. The eyeshadows did have to be applied over a primer, because they were not pigmented enough to be used alone.

P.S. — This is the last of the MAC reviews until Guilty Pleasures launches (which is next week), so for the non-MAC fans, there is a reprieve on the horizon. :)

The Glossover

palette

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The two lipsticks help to keep the pigmentation score from falling totally flat, but they were slightly drying on me, which tended to neutralize their effect on the total palette. The bronzer was a huge let-down, and Shadowy Lady wasn't easy to work with.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder ($24.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “finely spun golden with soft pearl finish.” It’s a medium-dark tan brown with warm undertones–a little red, a little yellow–and gold sparkle. This is the darkest/deepest bronzer of the launch, so for more than just a warm tint on deeper complexions, this would be your best bet (though you might consider other shades within the permanent range). This is like a darker version of MAC Soft Sand. Urban Decay Toasted is more red-toned.

The texture is soft, but a little dry, but it applies smoothly and evenly on the skin. I didn’t have any trouble blending it out (not like Soft Sand), and it’s very buildable, so you can go for softer, lighter coverage or intensify it, depending on your preferences and needs. I didn’t test this specific version of Refined Golden, but I tested one I already had (as it gets repromoted often) a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of the launch, and it wore for about seven hours.

The Glossover

product

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This shade is the most suitable for deeper complexions from the four available in this collection. It can still be used on lighter skin tones, because it is a buildable and blendable product.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder ($24.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze with fine gold pearl.” it’s a medium tan with subtle warm, golden undertones and a gold shimmer-sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but more pigmented, so it appears darker. MAC Give Me Sun! is very comparable but doesn’t have shimmer.

This is very sheer–I had to scrape product out with a metal spatula in order to get a “heavy” swatch. While the texture is soft, it’s a bit stiff, which I think inhibits some of the color payoff and ease of blending. It blends decently, but a lot of it is that there just isn’t very much product you can visibly see, so there weren’t any harsh lines to blend out. This would be most suitable for very pale to pale skin tones, because I had to pack it on to make it visible enough for it to show in photos.  When I wore this shade yesterday, it managed to last for about seven hours, and after eight, there was noticeable fading along the edges.

The Glossover

product

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The stiffness of the texture was very problematic and made it harder to blend, apply, and extract color from it. Sheer products will still show up on me without having to scrape chunks of color loose, but sheer and dry products require serious effort to get any kind of color payoff.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Get Sunkissed Without the Risk: Best Bronzers for $30 or Less

Prescriptives Mineral Bronzericon ($30.00) is available in both Cool and Warm, which is something I can really appreciate from Prescriptives. I can just imagine some of the trials our cool-toned beauty addicts have to go through to find a bronzer that works well. I picked up the Warm Mineral Bronzer, and it’s smooth, silky in texture, and it gives me a subtle, natural glow. There is shimmer in it, which Prescriptives calls Radiance Emitting Crystals Complex (R.E.C.) — a combination of amethyst, rose quartz, and calcite. It’s oil-free and talc-free for those concerned about ingredients and oil.

MAC Bronzing Powdericon ($21.00) comes in three shades: Golden, Refined Golden, and Bronze. Golden is suitable for paler to medium-toned complexions, and it is not quite as pigmented as the other two shades. Refined Golden is a good color for those who are medium-toned in complexion, though it does seem to run a little peachier/orange-y if you are really cool-toned. Bronze is best suited for deeper complexions, and it does have some shimmer in its finish. MAC’s Bronzing Powder does seem to run a bit more pigmented than the typical bronzer, so take heed and use a light hand when you first give it a try. The shimmer may be too much or too little, depending on your preference, but the wear time is tops for this bronzer.

Smashbox Bronze Lightsicon ($28.00) is available in two shades: Suntanned Matte and Sunkissed Matte. Bronze Lights is a silky, matte bronzer–aka no shimmer or glitter or any frostiness in its finish. Those with larger pores, skin concerns, or signs of aging will appreciate Bronze Lights’ lack of shimmer. It’s also a nice way to get a beautiful, sunkissed glow, which you can always highlight with your favorite highlighter. I often prefer to highlight separately, because then I can actually highlight, rather than just have shimmer everywhere I applied the bronzer. (In my case, I like to highlight the tops of cheekbones.) Sunkissed Matte will best suit paler and peachier/pinker complexions, I think, while Suntanned Matte is better for medium to dark complexions as it’s more on the brown side. I didn’t find either to run orange, though!

We’ve got three more top picks for bronzers! Continue reading →