Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique
Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique

Guerlain Cherry Blossom (161) Rouge Automatique ($35.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a semi-opaque rosy pink with subtle yellow undertones and soft pink shimmer. The finish is a soft frost, and I didn’t have any of the texture issues with Cherry Blossom that I had with Mitsouko.

Guerlain’s description of the Rouge Automatique line describes the color as non-opaque, light, and luminous, so while this may be on the sheerer side, it still seems in line with the range–it definitely gave a visible color difference when worn, but this shade seems to embody what Guerlain described as “luminous, clear and pure color.”  (Nothing in Guerlain’s description of the new formula would make me think these are rich, pigmented lipsticks.)

my thoughts on the formula: Rouge Automatique lipsticks tend to have a very creamy, smooth consistency without being thick (in fact, I’d describe them as thin). They glide on with ease, and the majority of shades seem to deposit semi-opaque to opaque color. Wear for darker shades ranges from six to eight hours, while light to medium shades from four to six hours. It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

The Glossover

P
product

Cherry Blossom

B+
It’s an excellent alternative to the luxury Rouge G lipstick–the formulas are comparable (and certainly so with a $11 price difference!), while the packaging gives up the luxury heft of Rouge G, it makes up for in the practicality. It’s a creamy, moisturizing, long-wearing formula with the subtle nuances and finishes I expect from Guerlain.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer
Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer (clockwise, from the top: Warm Beige, Natural, Natural Tan

Hiding Shadows with Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit ($32.00 for 0.11 oz.) is a launch of a familiar product–but it’s been tweaked and improved. They made the formula more concentrated–a little goes a long way–so you can something more opaque. It’s also less creamy, so it won’t settle fine lines. The shade range (both the concealers and correctors) was also been improved so they would match each person better. The compact was designed to be small and made that way for portability. This review is just for the Creamy Concealer–Bobbi Brown also has a Corrector (which I will review later), but if you want to go for the full arsenal, it is best to apply the color correcting product first, followed by the concealer, and finally set it with powder.

I received three shades to test: Warm Beige, Natural, and Natural Tan. In the past, I’ve used the Light-to-Medium Tint of Bobbi Brown’s Tinted Moisturizing Balm, and both Beige and Warm Beige are recommended–but I’m definitely on edge of Light-to-Medium (Medium was only a touch too dark). Honestly, swatching the three together showed just how subtly each would change. Warm Beige definitely has those warm, yellow tones but it has a beigeness to it that isn’t as apparent in Natural, which almost seems lighter than Warm Beige (but yellower). Similarly, Natural Tan is a shade darker than Natural, but it starts to look almost orange on my skin (because it’s not a shade match).

I settled on Warm Beige as my match, and I think it worked out well. It added some warmth to my under eye area, which has some shadowing from tired eyes. There are fourteen shades (ranging from Porcelain to Chestnut) to choose from in the Creamy Concealer range. All of the concealer kits, except Porcelain (which includes a White Powder) are paired with a Pale Yellow Powder. Bobbi Brown also put a step-by-step guide and video on their website. There is also an excellent shade guide for how to match the Corrector and Creamy Concealer shades, which I thought was well-done and helpful.

I really liked the Creamy Concealer, which had a smooth, creamy consistency that applied opaquely and blended out easily. It was creamy without being like butter; there was some stiffness to it that enabled it to stay in place and instantly settle into fine lines. It is rather opaque but blends out slightly, though it seems like a heavier concealer overall. I did experience some creasing after five hours when I did not set it with powder at all; if I set it with powder (Bobbi Brown’s or something else), it lasted all day (twelve hours).

I wasn’t won over by the Pale Yellow powder, though. It does help set the concealer, but I felt that it did seem to be too dry (or perhaps, not fine enough) of a powder to work well for my under eye area. It also kicked up a lot of powdery dust every time I went to use, and I didn’t like how some of the excess powder migrated into the concealer well.

The kit is $32, while the concealer on its own is $22, but the concealer in the kit is 0.05 oz. while individually it is 0.06 oz. The included Pale Yellow powder is 0.06 oz., which is also available on its own at $34 for 0.38 oz.   The value of the kit is $18.33 worth of concealer and $5.37 worth of powder–a total value of only $23.70.

If you tote your concealer around regularly, perhaps the convenience aspect will be worth the $9 you pay to have them together, but it’s a rather hefty convenience charge.   I will also concede that you cannot buy the powder for less than $34 on its own (since it doesn’t come in such a small size individually).  I will note that online it states that there is 0.21 oz. worth of product, but the back of my compact says 0.05 and 0.06 oz. (and the size of the pan is the same as the individual ones).

The Glossover

coming-soon

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I think the concealer works well, and it did a nice job of covering my under eye circles while subtly brightening the area. I wouldn't call it a brightening product, but it did add warmth and lightness to my otherwise shadowy under eye area. Because I didn't love the powder, I do hope Bobbi Brown will consider offering Concealer and Corrector kits in the future--I think those would be more useful together. Please note, the rating is ONLY for the Creamy Concealer. The Pale Yellow powder would score 7.5, 8, 7, 9, 4, and 4 - for a score of C+.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) are a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.”

  • Bright Forecast is a soft peach with subtle orange tones. The peachy tones of this shade are good for brightening and lightening dark under eye circles without creating a green cast (that yellow-based correctors can cause). I found this one did the best to minimize my dark under eye circles while still looking natural.
  • Light Boost is a pale beiged yellow. Yellow is good for lightening darkness. This would work well as a subtle cheek or brow highlighter on those with yellow undertones.
  • Radiant Rose is a soft, pale pastel pink. Pink helps to brighten the skin tone. It can also be used to brighten the under eye area, like Benefit’s Eye Bright. This shade felt more opaque than the other two, and when I used it underneath my eye (without concealer on top), it was a little pale on me. I loved it more as an eyeshadow base and brow highlighter.

The Prep + Prime Highlighters come in a click-type brush pen that takes several initial twists to release the product, but after that, you should only need a couple clicks to dispense the product. Over time, I’ve become less of a fan of brush-type products, just because I hate the way the brush feels and looks as you use it and the product seems to just sit in there. I’d much rather use a separate brush that you can wash without fear of getting water back into the product. I did find that while it can be easily applied onto the skin with the applicator, blending and application went better using a fluffy brush like the 217 for small areas (or fingers).

I applied each shade over my cheeks and under eye area, because I really wanted the effect to stand out. I felt like when I just did the under eye, it was difficult to really see what was going on. I wouldn’t normally use these as I did for the swatch photos, but I figured what good are photos if you can’t spot the difference? These have a subtle effect, and if you layer concealer over them, the effect is even harder to pick up–not necessarily in a bad way (like, ooh, so subtle it’s not worth it), but it’s a subtle, natural effect that works well and looks lovely. More like, “Oh, you look pretty today, did you cut your hair?” kind of way.

These wore really well for me, and I even used Radian Rose as an eyeshadow base.  It looked really beautiful as a brow highlighter and lid brightener by itself, but it also held up as an eyeshadow base, too.  I didn’t notice any fading and certainly no creasing or settling into fine lines over eight hours of wear.

There are numerous brands with highlighter pens, including:

  • Dior (Sun Beam may be comparable to Bright Forecast; Roseglow to Radiant Rose)
  • Fresh (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Fusion Beauty (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Givenchy (Moon Light seems most comparable to Radiant Rose)
  • Guerlain (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Sephora (#01 seems like Radiant Rose, #02 seems like Light Boost; #06 seems like Bright Forecast)
  • YSL (Light Peach seems comparable to Bright Forecast, Luminous Ivory to Light Boost, and Luminous Radiance to Radiant Rose)

These can help correct and brighten but they won’t necessarily conceal on their own. Bright Forecast can help a good deal with under eye circles, but it’s not opaque, so for some, it may be enough on its own. They’re definitely comparable to cult-favorite YSL Touche Eclat. Sephora also seems to offer a very comparable color range in their variation on the highlighter pen, and at $12 a pop, it might be worth trying (overall Sephora ratings show it to be good, though I have not tried it myself, so I cannot weigh in).

MAC is roughly half the price of the higher-end highlighter pens, and they seem to provide double the product (I saw many listed at 0.05 oz., a couple closer to 0.10 oz.), so the product seems to be priced in line with quantity and MAC’s price range.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These are easy to use, difficult to mess up or go overboard with, and work well to brighten, lighten, and add radiance for brows, eyes, or cheeks (depending on your skin tone!).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, March 28th, 2011

Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss Shower Gel
Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss Shower Gel

Rich Comfort with Butterscotch Bliss

Philosophy Butterscotch Bliss 3-in-1 Shower Gel ($16.00 for 16 fl. oz.) is rich and buttery with a swirl of vanilla sweetness.  It smells exactly like hard butterscotch candies.  This is definitely a food scent, and it is pretty sweet, though not nauseatingly so.

my thoughts on the formula: They lather up well and leave skin feeling clean without any tightness or dryness. If you prefer your body wash to leave behind a long-lasting scent, these won’t be for you, but if you like to enjoy the scent while you shower but don’t want it to linger heavily beyond, then these are perfect. (I belong to the latter category!) I don’t find them to lather quite as well in the hair, and they work in a pinch to clean hair, but I prefer many other shampoos over this one. It does, however, work well as a bubble bath, too–a little goes a long way.

final thoughts: Philosophy hit the scent of butterscotch dead-on, and if that’s a scent that appeals to you, I think you’d love this.

where to buy: Philosophy

Friday, March 25th, 2011


MAC Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel and Sun Rush

MAC Lustre Drops Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Lustre Drops ($19.50 for 0.60 fl. oz.) are being welcomed into MAC’s permanent range this summer. They will debut and stay in the range beginning April 7th with the Bronze Everyday Collection, which also features Bronzing Powders (most, if not all, already in the line), Skinsheen Leg Spray (now permanent), two Mineralize Skinfinishes (already permanent), and two new bronzing shades of Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (now permanent).

Pink Rebel is described as a “blue pink with gold pearl.” I really don’t see blue-pink when I swatch it (or even just looking at it). It’s a peached, pink champagne with a soft bronze metallic shimmer and sheen.  Sun Rush is described as a “peachy bronze with gold pearl.” This is a medium-dark golden bronze with warm undertones and rich gold shimmer and sheen.

Lustre Drops are packaged in small bottles that resemble puff paints that you’d find at any arts and crafts store. To dispense the product, you simply squeeze the bottle and it will push out through the narrow nozzle. In the past, Lustre drops have come in specially colored packaging but this time around, they have the classic black cap. A little goes a long way, especially if you intend to use it only on smaller areas, like the face, squeeze out as little as you can.

P.S. — I’m only reviewing the Lustre Drops and new Mineralize Skinfinish Natural shades (the rest has been permanent or reviewed previously).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Lustre Drops Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Lustre Drops are, essentially, liquid highlighters. You can use them on your cheeks, brows, decolletage… whatever. You can mix it in with your foundation or moisturizer for an all-over sheen.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, March 24th, 2011

MAC Quite Cute Lip Pencils
MAC Quite Cute Lip Pencils in Boldly Bare and In Synch

MAC Quite Cute: Lip Pencils

MAC Quite Cute Lip Pencils ($13.00 for 0.05 oz.) include three permanent shades from the upcoming collection, which launches in-stores on April 7th. All three shades are actually repromotes from Too Fabulous. The shades are: Boldly Bare (dirty red brown), In Synch (bright yellow pink), and Naked (light neutral).

  • Boldly Bare is a red-based, dirty brown.
  • In Synch is a peached-pink in a way. It’s not quite your typical pink–it’s definitely yellow-based. This would work really well with some more coral-pink lipsticks or glosses.
  • Naked is a light, peach-based beige. I didn’t realize that this was a repromote at the time of swatching, so I did not pull out Naked (which apparently I already own). You can see photos/swatches here.

They’re comfortable enough to be worn alone or as actual lip liner, depending on your needs. With their matte finishes, these hold onto lips well and last six to eight hours. All three shades were nicely pigmented and applied smoothly without skipping.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Quite Cute Lip Pencils Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B+
They work! They do what they're supposed to do, and they don't dry out lips.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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