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Chanel Merveille Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Merveille Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss
Chanel Merveille Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Merveille Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ($32.00 for 0.28 fl. oz.) is described as a “lilac rosewood.” It is a reddened plum with soft pink shimmer. Bobbi Brown Naked Plum is very similar, but it is a sheerer formula, so it looks lighter applied. MAC Lap of Luxury is a touchd arker and has less shimmer.

The Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss (whew! that’s a mouthful) is supposed to be a color-rich, non-sticky, and high-shine. Merveille applies easily with opaque color–and lots of shimmer. The size of the shimmer is fine but noticeable, so it reflects and catches the light well, giving lips a very sparkling look.  It’s incredibly comfortable to wear–very hydrating–and lasts for five hours.  The tapered doe-foot applicator tapers on both ends, and it actually fits the natural curve of the lip well for application.  The consistency isn’t too thick or too thin, and it never gets tacky.

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss Merveille
Merveille
Merveille
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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bareMinerals The Love Affair Luminizer

bareMinerals The Love Affair Luminizer
bareMinerals The Love Affair Luminizer

Is This a Love Affair Waiting to Happen?

bareMinerals The Love Affair Luminizer ($26.00 for 0.30 oz.) is described as a “pink nectar glow.” It’s a light, pink-tinged beige with a champagne-gold shimmer-sheen. Against my skin tone, it does seem a little warmer than it looks in the pan–but even in the pan, it does read warm. It reminded me of Bobbi Brown Rose Gold, when all blended together, though it had a frostier finish with less gold in it. MAC Porcelain Pink is lighter but comparable.

This shade is offered alongside The Shining Moment, which is a yellow-y gold hue.  If that shade was too warm for you, I think this would work better, though it will still add a warm glow to the skin.  It has a soft, finely-milled texture that blends out to a beautiful sheen with little shimmer, so it gives that lit-from-within effect once applied to the skin. The sheen over shimmer finish means it doesn’t emphasize pores or the skin’s natural texture, so it actually helps diffuse those things instead. It had great pigmentation, and it doesn’t have a white base, so it shouldn’t turn ashy on darker complexions. When I tested this for wear, The Love Affair wore for nine hours without fading.

bareMinerals READY Luminizer The Love Affair
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Varnish (2012)

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Varnish

Coming in February: Illamasqua Raindrops

Illamasqua Raindrops Nail Varnish ($14.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer light grey” and has a jelly finish. It is my all-time favorite nail lacquer. It’s a semi-sheer, stormy gray with a hint of blue with flakes of pale silver-gray shimmer. The jelly finish makes it look squishy on the nail, and it really gives it a cloudy, rainy day vibe. I still have no insight as to a dupe for this shade.

It was discontinued sometime ago, much to my dismay, but Illamasqua is bringing it back in February (2013). I don’t have any details about exactly when in February or if it will be made permanent once again, but I know it will be returning.  Though it is sheer after two coats (exactly as described), it has a lovely consistency that isn’t too thick or too thin, so you can still apply a third coat and get mostly opaque color. The flakes of sparkle spread evenly and don’t get clumped together.  I’ve worn this shade multiple times, especially when I travel, and it lasts ten days easily without chipping (just very minor tip wear).

Illamasqua Nail Varnish Raindrops
Raindrops
Raindrops
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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Giorgio Armani #400 (The Red) Lip Maestro

Giorgio Armani #400 (The Red) Lip Maestro
Giorgio Armani #400 (The Red) Lip Maestro

A Beautiful, Deep Red

Giorgio Armani #400 (The Red) Lip Maestro ($32.00 for 0.22 fl. oz.) is a subtly blue-based, deep red. This is darker, less pink, compared to Giorgio Armani #503 Red Fuchsia Lip Maestro, which I reviewed previously. Dior Diorling is a bit bluer-based. MAC Charmed, I’m Sure is bluer-based, a bit brighter. Guerlain Luxure is a bit browner. MAC Runaway Red has a pink-y edge to it. Chanel Dragon is very similar, but it has noticeable shimmer. It is the closest I’ve come to duping Dragon, and at a stretch, #400 is slightly less blue-based and doesn’t have the same shimmer, but it’s hard to tell if you aren’t looking close-up.

The formula is fully opaque in a single pass–a little goes a long way–and it is a very long-wearing shade that’s comfortable to wear from start to finish.  The Red lasted seven and a half hours on me with extraordinary color, and it lingered into the ninth and tenth hours with 70% or so color remaining–it had a slightly faded, almost stained-like look.  It has a velvety texture and if you’re familiar with silicone-based primers, it also has that feel, too.  Very smooth, and the consistency is thin and glides on, yet it adheres well without being clingy or drying.  It seems glossy close-up, but from a normal distance, it has a modern matte finish–not flat but not glossy.  The best part about this long-wearing formula is that it wears (and feels) like a lipstick; so it doesn’t flake or peel off at all and fades naturally and evenly over time.

Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro The Red (400)
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
99%
Total

Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder

Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder
Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder

A Delicate Highlighter for the Holidays

Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder ($74.00 for 0.42 oz.) is described as a “sheer, flattering glow [for] all skin tones” with “light-perfecting powders [that] provide a veil of subtle radiance, while [being] long-lasting, comfortable.” It’s a pale pink with a golden shimmer-sheen; when it’s layered on heavily, it looks mostly pink, but when sheered out, you’ll see all of the shimmer, sheen, and luminosity come through. NARS Albatross has a similar sheen, but it has more of a creamy white base, rather than a pink-tinged one. MAC Lightscapade has more shimmer, less sheen.
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia is darker, less cool-toned.  The general way it looked on the skin reminded me of the majesty of Guerlain’s Parure de Nuit.

There was something about it that caught my eye when I was browsing Nordstrom, and I impulsively purchased it (which is rarer than you’d expect).  The beauty of this highlighter is in its finish; it’s soft as silk, extremely finely-milled, and melts against the skin to give a natural, luminous highlight that doesn’t accentuate pores but actually softens the overall texture of the skin.  It wore for a full nine hours and hadn’t faded one bit.  It came as no surprise that it was easy to blend on the skin, and it’s the kind of powder that gives off a glow, a sheen, but not shimmer or sparkle.  Unfortunately, all that magic comes at a rather steep price tag!

One bright spot is that the powder contains 0.42 oz., which is twice the size of most blushes, though it’s only 25% or so larger than many highlighters on the market. For all its hefty price tag, the compact is made out of lightweight plastic. Typically, at this price point, you’ll see a packaging upgrade to metal or the like, but not with this product. If you’re familiar with Guerlain’s Meteorites (Pressed) Powders that retail for $56, it’s a similar feel (in regards to packaging) and resulting disappointment. Both are fantastic products and look beautiful on the skin, but for the price, the lack of heft was something I noticed immediately.

Chantecaille Rose Petals (Les Petales de Rose) Illuminating Face Powder

A+
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

Burberry Antique Pink (303) Lip Velvet

Burberry Pink Apricot Lip Velvet
Burberry Antique Pink (303) Lip Velvet

Burberry Antique Pink (303) Lip Velvet ($30.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a pinky-brown with hints of beige. It’s a fairly neutral color, but if I had to pick, I’d say it leans warmer rather than cool, but I think it is rather neutral overall. Urban Decay Naked has a soft pink iridescence and is rosier overall. MAC Impressive is slightly darker and pinker. Bobbi Brown Heather Pink is a touch pinker. Guerlain Avarice is brighter, pinker. MAC Spice is very comparable. Bobbi Brown Uber Nude is browner–lacks the rosiness of this shade.

The formula is just creamy enough to enable a great glide-on consistency that deposits even, opaque color without pulling or tugging at the lip. Because it’s not too creamy, it doesn’t move around or feather, and it feels lightweight on. It was comfortable to wear and lightly hydrating over the five and a half hours it wore for. It comes in a square, matte-finish tube with a magnetic enclosure and has a sweet, fruity scent but no taste.

Burberry Lip Velvet Antique Pink (303)
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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