Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Illamasqua Speckle Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Speckle Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Speckle Nail Varnish ($16.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “speckled lilac.” It has a soft, pale lilac cream base with flecks of small black glitter and larger hexagon-shaped black glitter. I don’t know of any dupes in particular for this shade (Deborah Lippmann also has speckled polish but nothing in lilac). If you have a top coat with black glitter already, you might try using Essie Bangle Jangle, MAC Little Girl Type, Nubar Purple Aster, or Zoya Marley has a base color, as they are similar.

It was fully opaque in color after two coats, and I was surprised at just how close it was to opaque after a single coat. For a pastel, too, it had minimal streaking on the initial coat and a second coat completely smoothed out the color so everything looked lush and even. There was something about the consistency and look of this polish, because though it seems like a creamy color, it almost had a jelly-like finish.  The formula wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it flowed well over the nail, and I didn’t have any trouble applying it.  Illamasqua’s formula is one of the longest-wearing in my experience–I can get anywhere from ten to fourteen days of wear with minimal tip wear.

The Glossover

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Speckle

A+
There was something about the consistency and look of this polish, because though it seems like a creamy color, it almost had a jelly-like finish.  The formula wasn't too thick or too thin, so it flowed well over the nail, and I didn't have any trouble applying it.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Bobbi Brown Golden Pink Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick
Bobbi Brown Golden Pink Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick

Bobbi Brown Golden Pink Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick ($28.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “shimmering pink peach.” It’s a shimmering peach with a golden champagne sheen and warm undertones. Estee Lauder Pink Zinc is rather similar, perhaps a bit more pink-toned. MAC Sweet Heat is darker, pinker. MAC Fusion Gold is lighter. Chanel Emerveille is comparable.

The new Long-Wear Cream Shadow Sticks are supposed to wear for eight hours, have good color payoff, and a glide-on consistency.  Golden Pink has a fantastic texture and feel; it’s creamy enough to apply evenly and with full color coverage without tugging or pulling on the lid, but it stays put and doesn’t crease while you wait for it to dry down.  It sets quickly, but you have enough time to blend and smooth out any edges if you wear it as an eyeshadow or alone.  The lighter color gives it added versatility, as it can be used as an eyeshadow base to add warmth and increase vibrancy of other eyeshadows.  Golden Pink wore a full eight hours on me with no creasing, fading, or smudging; it was still in very good shape after ten hours.

The Glossover

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Golden Pink

Temptalia Recommends
A+
The lighter color gives it added versatility, as it can be used as an eyeshadow base to add warmth and increase vibrancy of other eyeshadows.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Benefit Skinny Jeans Creaseless Cream Shadow
Benefit Skinny Jeans Creaseless Cream Shadow

Benefit Skinny Jeans Creaseless Cream Shadow ($20.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “pretty pewter.” It’s a dirty taupe brown with a sprinkling of champagne shimmer and a metallic sheen. It runs slightly cool-toned on the skin and in the pot; it may look even cooler-toned on those with naturally cool complexions. MAC Silver Birch is lighter, grayer. MAC Modern Pewter is much lighter. The Glossover

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Skinny Jeans

A+
Skinny Jeans works well as an eyeshadow, base, sheer wash of color, or as an eyeliner. The color itself is very nuanced and will adapt and change based on what it is worn with.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Benefit No Pressure Creaseless Cream Shadow
Benefit No Pressure Creaseless Cream Shadow

Benefit No Pressure Creaseless Cream Shadow ($20.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “rich fawn.” It’s a bronze-shimmered, medium-dark brown with a hint of gray to keep it from being too warm-toned. It has a frosted, metallic finish that reflects a fair amount of light even when sheered out. Benefit Birthday Suit is lighter and more golden. Maybelline Bad to the Bronze is warmer, more of a true bronze. Make Up For Ever #15 is a few shades darker.

Whew! While the last two shades I’ve reviewed haven’t been much to write home about, No Pressure brings its A-game!  It has a creamy, lightweight consistency that goes on opaque without having to layer and layer product on–and there’s no worries about it applying unevenly or catching on itself.  It smooths on beautifully and sheers out easily, too, if desired.  Because it’s a richer, more pigmented color, it also works well as an eyeliner.  After I wore No Pressure for twelve hours, there were no signs of fading or creasing.

The Glossover

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No Pressure

A+
Everything about this shade is fantastic: full color payoff, twelve-hour wear without creasing or fading, and beautiful, even application.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, February 18th, 2013

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder

NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($34.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “weightless, translucent powder” with a “soft matte finish that looks luminous in any light.” It has the exact same description as the Pressed Powder.

I actually found the two to look surprisingly different when swatched. The Loose version is a similar stark white, but it looks nearly matte with very, very fine shimmer sparsely found when blended out–but nowhere near the same sheen as the Pressed Powder. As a result, this mattified skin better and had a very subtle sheen–really barely-there. Like the Pressed Powder, the Loose version softens the skin’s appearance; texture and lines blur, while pores soften and smooth out. Can you really tell the difference between the two? At a glance, no, definitely not, but if I look at myself in the mirror, I like the way there’s a noticeable but natural sheen to the skin all-over that the Pressed seems to generate more so than the Loose powder. I think if you have oilier skin, you may prefer the Loose.

Since it is a loose powder, the texture feels different, as it is an extremely finely-milled powder that’s soft and blendable on. I found it was easier to apply, because you’ll have no trouble getting enough product on a brush or pouf with this. I recommend only opening a few of the holes in the powder, because it will be easier to contain the excess that you aren’t using. Of course, because the pot tends to expose more product than you need, it can be easy to over-apply the product. The Loose version is more like Hourglass Diffused Light, though Diffused Light has a warmer tone, so it is also a color corrector.

The Glossover

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Translucent Crystal

A+

The Loose version is easier to apply, as the texture is less particular. It did seem, to me, slightly more matte, though, which may or may not be what you're looking for.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder
Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder

Hourglass Diffused Light Ambient Lighting Powder ($45.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “soft, warm pale yellow powder.” It’s a pale, pale white with subtle yellow undertones and a barely-there sheen. This one didn’t have any sparkle or shimmer. I’m not an expert on finishing powders, as I’ve only tried a dozen or so on the market, but you can see my past reviews, which may be helpful. From what I’ve tried, I felt like MAC’s Sheer Mystery Powder may have been the most similar in terms of feel, look, and composition (pressed, soft, no sparkle), but I wouldn’t say they’re dupes for each other.

Diffused Light is supposed to “reduce redness and give skin clarity.” Like all of the shades within the new range, it is supposed to be suitable for all skin tones. The larger idea behind the Ambient Lighting Powders is that they help to make your skin look like it’s been lit by soft, diffused light; think having a bit of a photographer and his lighting crew follow you around, except in powder form.

I applied Diffused Light over Hourglass’ Veil Fluid foundation using the Ambient Powder Brush to the right half of my face (see photos below), and I think the effect is exactly as anticipated: something that’s nigh on invisible to the eye in terms of seeing the product but that it does soften the way the skin looks. The natural textures and imperfections of the skin, including some unevenness, pores, and the like, look softer and smoother. Because it is a powder, too, it will take down any shine and does help to prolong the wear I get out of my foundation by an hour or so.

It didn’t look heavy, caky, or obvious on; there’s no residual powderiness that’s there as it sits on the skin, because you can’t see what you’ve put on. This is exactly what a finishing powder should be; and really, it’s what base makeup is all about: your skin but better. I have a medium complexion, and this did not look chalky or ashy when I applied it to my face, though it did look potentially chalky when I did a heavy swatch on my arm–so if you do the same in-store, you might try seeing it blended and applied on the face.

The powder itself is incredibly finely-milled and soft, which is great for application and blending of the product on the skin. However, a downside to that is that it does kick up a fair amount of excess powder (and I used Hourglass’ own Ambient Powder Brush) as the bristles disturb the surface of the powder. Again, none of this excess turns up on the skin, but there is some waste, I’d say. It is more “pigmented” as a result compared to other products in the category, like Guerlain Pressed Meteorites.  The excess is, ultimately, wasted product, and it does get into the nooks and crannies of the compact and some disappears into the air. That’s really my only complaint!

The Glossover

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Diffused Light

A+

Hourglass launches another great product, and it's easily a line I can see becoming holy grail material for some. It's impossible to over-do, and it definitely makes skin look better without looking like you've patted powder all over.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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