Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($58.00 for 0.35 oz.) contains three shades of the brand’s Ambient Lighting Powders. The three shades include Dim Light and Radiant Light, both which are part of the permanent range, and a new (and limited edition) shade called Incandescent Light. Each shade is 0.116 oz. in size, compared to the full-sized compact which contains 0.35 oz. At a $45 price point for individual shades, the palette is a nice way to try the new powders and have multiple shades to choose from.  You do also get a 0.16 oz. vial of Veil Mineral Primer (worth about $8), which I’ve reviewed here. It’s not a value-packed palette in terms of price-per-ounce (total value of the palette is $53, including the primer), but getting a variety of shades of a product that is quite pricey individually may be worth it–it will take awhile to get through these pans even at this size.

Dim Light is described as a “neutral peach beige powder.” It’s a pale, light beige with neutral to warm undertones and a very subtle satin shimmer/sheen. The color is barely visible against my skin tone when layered heavily (to show color), and it blends out seamlessly without making me look any darker or lighter. I applied this all over my face like a setting/finishing powder with Hourglass’ Ambient Lighting Brush. I couldn’t think of anything I have that’s quite like this and in this shade. The closest product that I’m familiar with is Guerlain’s Meteorites Voyage Powders, which are more translucent and sheerer. According to Hourglass, the main purpose of Dim Light is to blur imperfections–which it does admirably.

Incandescent Light is described as a “pearlescent powder.” It’s a pale, light beige with neutral undertones and a soft ivory shimmer. It’s a bit different from the other Ambient Light powders, because it is a lot more shimmery, and Hourglass is positioning it to “highlight cheekbones and [brighten] the complexion with a celestial glow.” It works well for illuminating the skin where it is applied, and the shimmer doesn’t emphasize pores or make the skin appear oily. Urban Decay Naked (P, $29.00) is more sparkly. Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight (P, $44.00) is similar but a smidgen warmer. NARS Debbie Harry Highlighter (LE, $29.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Radiant Light is described as a “golden beige powder.” I reviewed it here when it was originally released. The purpose of Radiant Light is to had subtle warmth; very pale complexions will see this work more obviously on their skin tone than medium or deeper complexions. You can see some comparison swatches</> against Chanel Lucky Stripes, which is much more golden and darker (more of a bronzer on the skin) and NARS Miss Liberty, which is a bit more sparkly.

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you’ve applied foundations and setting powders–especially if you have more mattifying base products on. They’re not full-on highlighters, but they’re not exactly setting powders (by Hourglass’ definition, they are finishing powders). If you have very oily skin, you may still need your usual setting powder, but for my normal-to-dry skin, the Ambient Lighting Powders work as a setting and finishing powder in one for me. I get extended wear out of my base products, but the powders also smooths the skin’s appearance, minimizes pores and imperfections, and gives the skin a natural luminosity (not shiny, not shimmery). It is that something extra that someone won’t see and go, “Oh, nice lipstick!” but “Did you do something different with your skin?” When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that’s when you know a product is really delivering on its promises! I’m not alone–there are 47 reader reviews with an overall rating of 4.5. The only negative I have to say about the products is that the texture is very, very soft, so depending on the brush you use, excess powder can be kicked up (and wasted).

If you were one of several readers wondering about my skin in my last NARS’ post, this palette is responsible as I wore Dim Light all over my face with Incandescent Light done the bridge of my nose and along the tops of my cheekbones as a highlighter.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Ambient Lighting (Holiday 2013)

A+

The Ambient Lighting Powders breathe life back into the skin after you've applied foundations and setting powders--especially if you have more mattifying base products on. It is that something extra that someone won't see and go, "Oh, nice lipstick!" but "Did you do something different with your skin?" When people start asking you about your skincare routine, that's when you know a product is really delivering on its promises!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Dim Light

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Incandescent Light

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

Guerlain Provocative (863) Rouge G de Guerlain Lip Color
Guerlain Provocative (863) Rouge G de Guerlain Lip Color

Guerlain Provocative (863) Rouge G de Guerlain Lip Color ($49.50 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “deep and vibrant pink.” It’s a rich, brightened, medium-dark pink-red with cool, blue undertones and a soft, satiny finish. There wasn’t really any shimmer or pearl, but it wasn’t completely matte. MAC All Fired Up is matte. Urban Decay Catfight is very similar. Chanel Suspense is more muted. Revlon Sorbet is pinker, sheerer. Guerlain Girly is slightly pinker. NARS Jardin des Plantes is shimmery. MAC Impassioned is pinker. Guerlain Gigi is a touch pinker/brighter. Guerlain Gourmandise is a touch lighter and less fuchsia. See comparison swatches.

The color payoff was rich and fully opaque in nearly a single stroke. It has a soft, lightly creamy consistency that allows the color to glide on evenly and smoothly. It wore well for six and a half hours, and it was nicely hydrating the entire time I wore it. Everything about the formula and color is gorgeous–there’s no flaw to be found–but it is a dupable color, and not just dupable in general, but two past Rouge Gs (Gigi and Girly) are very, very similar. Both of those were limited edition, so if you’ve been looking for either of those, then you’re in luck.

The Glossover

LE
product

Provocative (863)

A+

Everything about the formula and color is gorgeous--there's no flaw to be found--but it is a dupable color, and not just dupable in general, but two past Rouge Gs (Gigi and Girly) are very, very similar. Both of those were limited edition, so if you've been looking for either of those, then you're in luck.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Givenchy Rose Precieux (311) Le Rouge Intense Color Sensuously Matte Lipstick
Givenchy Rose Precieux (311) Le Rouge Intense Color Sensuously Matte Lipstick

Givenchy Rose Precieux (311) Le Rouge Intense Color Sensuously Matte Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “rosy red.” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned, rosy red with a satin finish. MAC Candy Apple is lighter. Urban Decay Manic is richer, redder. Revlon Wild Watermelon is lighter, redder. Chanel Fiction is pinker. See comparison swatches.

Long-time readers will know that I have been recently seduced by Givenchy’s Le Rouge range, so when the brand released two additional, limited edition shades as part of their holiday collection–there was no way I was resisting. The formula is really a treat to apply, because it feels silky, smooth, and almost buttery–but not too emollient; there really isn’t a lot of slip, just a creaminess, to the consistency. The color glides on with nearly full opacity in a single stroke, so it is quite pigmented. Rose Precieux wore well for six hours, and it left a moderate stain behind. It was lightly hydrating (but not as hydrating as the original Le Rouge formula) while worn. The formula has a light floral scent as well.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose Precieux (311)

A+

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Kevyn Aucoin Fira Pure Powder Glow
Kevyn Aucoin Fira Pure Powder Glow

Kevyn Aucoin Fira Pure Powder Glow ($37.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a fiery, red-orange with a satin finish. NARS Taos is more muted, shimmery. NARS Liberte is browner, more muted. NARS Exhibit A is most comparable, but it seems slightly muted when put side-by-side, and it is not as red-toned. MAC Hidden Treasure is redder, darker, more muted. See comparison swatches.

If you fall head-over-heels for intensely pigmented blushes, keep reading; and if you run in the opposite direction in fear, keep running. Fira is so richly pigmented–I see this working particularly well on deeper complexions–but it’s totally workable on even fair skin tones. You doubt me, but the texture is ultra-soft, finely-milled, and very blendable. The blendability enables the color to be diffused and softened on the skin to yield a subtle color. Of course, you’ll want to use a light hand and a feathery brush (like a fan or stippling brush) to avoid applying too much product right out of the gate, because a little goes a long, long way. The more it gets worked into the skin, the more luminous the finish becomes, but it never emphasizes pores. Fira wore well for eight hours when I wore it very softly, and when I wore it more heavily, it lasted well for almost nine hours.

P.S. — This is the last of my Kevyn Aucoin blush reviews! Hope you enjoyed :)

The Glossover

P
product

Fira

A+

If you fall head-over-heels for intensely pigmented blushes, keep reading; and if you run in the opposite direction in fear, keep running. Fira is so richly pigmented--I see this working particularly well on deeper complexions--but it's totally workable on even fair skin tones. You doubt me, but the texture is ultra-soft, finely-milled, and very blendable.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Kevyn Aucoin Neolita Pure Powder Glow
Kevyn Aucoin Neolita Pure Powder Glow

Kevyn Aucoin Neolita Pure Powder Glow ($37.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “berry.” It’s a medium-dark, reddened berry with a satiny finish. Bobbi Brown Berry is cooler-toned and darker. MAC Hot Nights is purpler. NARS Dolce Vita is slightly more muted. See comparison swatches.

The texture is soft, incredibly finely-milled with a silky feel that applies smoothly, evenly, and remains easy to blend–even with a shade as richly pigmented as Neolita. It’s not a shade for the faint-hearted, as it is bold, bright, and has excellent color payoff. The finish has a subtle shimmer that translates to a luminous sheen as it gets blended and worked into the skin. It didn’t emphasize pores, and it really did give off a “pure powder glow.” Neolita wore well for almost nine hours and started to fade just after that.

The Glossover

P
product

Neolita

A+

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Givenchy Rose d'Exception (206) Le Rouge
Givenchy Rose d’Exception (206) Le Rouge

Givenchy Le Rouge Intense Color Sensuously Matte Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is supposed to be “an intense semi-matte lipstick” with “long-lasting” wear. The formula is incredibly pigmented and creamy; it glides on effortlessly never pulling or tugging at the lip, and it really does deliver opaque color in a single pass. The finish isn’t fully matte, more of a satiny sheen–definitely less shine than the regular Le Rouge range.  The formula is not as hydrating as the regular range, as I found Rose d’Exception to be neither drying nor hydrating and Rouge d’Exception only slightly hydrating.  It is floral-scented (too strong for my preference; felt like I was eating perfume when I was applying, but I’m particularly sensitive to florals!) and is housed in a leather-wrapped case. The leather is very thin, and it doesn’t feel particularly luxe for me; I could have done just as well as a regular metal tube.

Rose d’Exception (206) is described as a “soft rosy pink.” It’s a muted, neutral-warm rosy pink with a satin sheen. It had rich, opaque color coverage, and it wore well for five and a half hours. It was neither hydrating nor drying, though the original Le Rouge range is more hydrating. Urban Decay Naked is similar. Urban Decay Native is lighter. Bobbi Brown Nude Rose is darker. MAC Mehr is more matte. Make Up For Ever #4 is darker. See comparison swatches

Rouge d’Exception (308) is described as a “warm berry red.” It’s a rusty orange with strong red undertones. There’s a little brown in there, too, which keeps it from being as vibrant as a true orange-red. The pigmentation is opaque in one stroke, and the consistency just glides on and melts on the lips like butter. It wore well for six and a half hours and left behind a lingering stain. It was slightly hydrating. MAC Dangerous is more matte, redder. Giorgio Armani #300 is brighter. MAC Tomango is more matte, more orange. Maybelline Orange Edge and Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin are both brighter. MAC Lady Danger is more matte, brighter. Buxom Rogue is more orange, brighter. OCC Psycho is more matte but is the closest. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
product

Rose d'Exception (206)

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Rouge d'Exception (308)

A+

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes

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