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.

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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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Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

Benefit My Two Cents Creaseless Cream Shadow
Benefit My Two Cents Creaseless Cream Shadow

Benefit My Two Cents Creaseless Cream Shadow ($20.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “polished copper.” It’s a muted copper-bronze with a bronze-shimmered frosted finish. Estee Laudewr Chained is similar–slightly warmer. MAC Cactus Thorn is browner. Dior Golden Savannah is less warm. Urban Decay Chase has less copper coloring. bareMinerals Cognac is darker, browner. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone #3 is darker, browner.

It had excellent color payoff, and a fantastic consistency that lightweight, creamy, and easy to apply. I had no problems getting opaque color on the lid, and it didn’t fade or crease, even after twelve hours.  It’s amazing how two shades can perform so differently, even when applied side-by-side! What’s interesting about this shade is that the more opaque you opt for, the less overtly copper/warm-toned it seems; it gets this golden brown coloring that’s soft and muted.  When it’s blended out, the copper-brown coloring comes forth.

The Glossover

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My Two Cents

A+
What's interesting about this shade is that the more opaque you opt for, the less overtly copper/warm-toned it seems; it gets this golden brown coloring that's soft and muted. When it's blended out, the copper-brown coloring comes forth.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, February 11th, 2013

Benefit RSVP Creaseless Cream Shadow
Benefit RSVP Creaseless Cream Shadow

Benefit RSVP Creaseless Cream Shadow ($20.00 for 0.16 oz.) is described as a “sparkling champagne.” It’s a warm, champagne beige with a frosted, metallic finish. Make Up For Ever #13 is darker. Urban Decay Sin is a touch pinker and is a powder product. MAC Darling Coquette is very similar but is a loose powder. Milani Champagne Toast is a bit warmer. Urban Decay Sin is slightly pink and more frosted.

It’s brightening without being too warm-toned; it’s not orange, tan, or red, but it is slightly warm-toned overall. The reflective finish helps make eyes look more awake when it is used as a wash of color. The more neutral coloring also enables it to work well as a universal base shade underneath other eyeshadows. It applied with full color coverage right off the bat, but you can use less or blend out what you’ve applied for sheer coverage, too. I like the versatility of the formula; it’s creamy enough to apply evenly and solidly, but it can be sheered out for lighter looks. RSVP wore for twelve hours on me without creasing, fading, or smudging (no primer). This was one of the best-performing shades from the range.

The Glossover

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RSVP

A+
It's brightening without being too warm-toned; it's not orange, tan, or red, but it is slightly warm-toned overall. The reflective finish helps make eyes look more awake when it is used as a wash of color.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Friday, February 1st, 2013

MAC Ronnie Red Lipstick
MAC Ronnie Red Lipstick

MAC Ronnie Red Lipstick ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “bright red” with a matte finish. It’s a brightened pink-red with blue undertones and a modern matte finish. Dior Marilyn is a touch pinker. MAC Absolute Power is a smidgen darker. MAC Charmed, I’m Sure is also a touch darker. NARS Dragon Girl is cooler-toned and more matte.

This is an incredibly long-wearing red; even by red lipstick standards. It wore six hours and was still going strong, and that was after a cup of (bedtime) tea and dinner. Ronnie Red had no plans on going anywhere any time soon! When I removed it, there was quite a bit of staining left behind and some of it persisted even into early morning. Long, long-wearing.

It was very comfortable to wear, too; not at all drying, and I didn’t feel like my lips were dehydrated after the six hours I wore it for. It is fully pigmented with opaque color coverage. I didn’t experience any bleeding or feathering while I wore it. The texture is creamy enough to enable one-stroke color payoff and maneuver across the lips without pulling or dragging, but it doesn’t have a lot of slip, so it won’t move around once you’ve applied it.  The only “downside” is that it’s a red that we’ve seen before and by MAC, to boot, in the past few months.

The Glossover

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Ronnie Red

A+
This is an incredibly long-wearing red; even by red lipstick standards. It wasn't drying, wore well, and didn't feather or bleed while I wore it.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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