Monday, November 14th, 2011

Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush
Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush

Tarte Exposed Amazonian Clay Blush ($25.00 for 0.20 oz.) is described as a “nude.” The color is like a neutral plum–it’s soft but definitely plummy with a hint of pink. The overall color is muted, so it should never be too much on the skin. It can be built up to look more like the color in the pan or sheered out for just a hint of color. This is a great color for everyday or to round out a look that you just don’t know what blush to use.

Tarte purports that the Amazonian Clay makes it suitable for all skin types, because it minimizes oil, hydrates skin, improves the skin, and gives the skin an overall smoother and more even appearance. I’m not going to comment on whether it improves the skin in the long-term, because in order to do that, one would need to wear it for six to eight weeks everyday (like skincare). I have normal-to-dry skin, though for the past month and at present, it’s normal with no dryness or dry patches. The weather is crisp and autumnal, no humidity or the like, so I would generally expect long-wearing products to perform to their best, given the conditions.

This blush does not wear 12 hours on me; it wears a good eight hours, but by ten, it has disappeared. I’m fine with my blush wearing for eight to ten hours, but I will note that several blushes last around eight hours or so on me (Burberry, Dior, Guerlain, Illamasqua, NARS, theBalm–just naming some of the ones off the top of my head). The wear is good but falls short of its 12-hour claim. The texture is very, very soft to the point where there is some powderiness if you go heavily, and I find that a blush brush kicks more product loose than you actually need for a single application. You might find that a stippling brush works better, because it will disturb the pressed powder less and waste less product that way.

Thankfully, it’s not powdery when worn, because I was initially fearful that it would be, after seeing how it swatched. It’s very pretty and soft on, and with the nearly matte finish, it looks natural on. The softness of the powder makes for effortless blending. The texture and feel of these reminded me a lot of Burberry’s Light Glow, actually. As far as the color goes, theBalm Cabana Boy is a pinker, shimmery version, while Chanel Rose Temptation is a touch darker. NARS Oasis is similar, too, but it also has shimmer.

The Glossover

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product

Exposed

B+

It's a good blush, but it just doesn't wear the full 12 hours that Tarte claims, which is really where this product lost the most points from. It wears well (eight to ten hours on me), looks natural when applied, and has good pigmentation.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

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Monday, November 14th, 2011

Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette
Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Holiday 2011: Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette

Dior Couture Gold (554) 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette ($59.00 for 0.21 oz.) is a limited edition palette for the holidays that contains five shades, which tend to skew on the warmer side and keep in the spirit of all things glittery, glam, and metallic.

The first shade, on the upper left, is a white gold with a frosted finish. It has good color payoff and a really soft, buttery texture. This particular shade has several viable dupes: Tarina Tarantino Dreamy, Urban Decay Zephyr, Bare Escentuals Breathtaking, and MAC Manila Paper. Opposite that, on the upper right, is a burnt gold–more orange than yellow kind of gold–with a frosted, metallic finish and sheen. The pigmentation is good, and the eyeshadow feels silky soft. It’s similar in color to Urban Decay Blunt, Milani Drenched in Gold, and Bare Escentuals Aspire.

In the middle of the palette is a pale, sparkling gold with a really glimmering finish. The texture is a bit gritty, because this shade has more of a glitter finish than anything else. I didn’t think it was going to hold up well on the eye, but surprisingly, the fall out was minimal (and surprisingly little for this type of finish). The color seems similar to MAC Femme-fi but the finishes are completely different. It’s also similar to Bobbi Brown Gold Bar and MAC Nylon. This shade is yellower than the shade on the upper left of this palette.

On the bottom left, there is a very dark brown with flecks of ruby and gold shimmer. The texture of this is the type that separates the base color from the sparkle on top; the brown shade is dry, powdery, and only so-so in delivering true-to-pan color payoff, while the overlying sparkle tends to get lost when the shade is actually applied to the eyes. These shades are similar though the color of the sparkle differs slightly: Bobbi Brown Black Gold, Tarina Tarantino Dreamy, MAC Legendary, and Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone.  The last shade, which can be found on the bottom right, is a lightened copper with a golden sheen. The texture is really soft and smooth, and the hue has good color payoff. It’s not as copper as Urban Decay Limelight.

Couture Gold is a warm-toned palette, but it doesn’t contain a lot of strong yellow or orange-based shades, so it should be wearable on cooler complexions. This palette was a sleeper hit for me; I didn’t think I’d love it, even though it is pretty, but the way it comes together works really, really well.

The Glossover

palette

Couture Gold

B+
One of my favorite holiday palettes that I've reviewed so far! It should work on both cool and warm skin tones, because the golds are not too yellow or orange.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss
Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss

Chanel Triomphal Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss ($32.00 for oz.) is described as a “shimmering red,” and it’s a new–but limited edition–shade for the holidays. It’s a bright, blue-based pink-tinted red with pink and ruby red sparkly flakes. It applies evenly and yields mostly opaque color–there’s a slight translucency to it. MAC Driven by Love is redder, less pink. MAC Wicked Ways is brighter but closer in color.

The Extrait de Gloss formula is supposed to deliver rich color and intense shine with a gel texture that’s comfortable (and not sticky) and looks “luminous [and] full … for hours.” The English description of the name actually calls it out as a “Long Wear Lip Gloss.” I find the formula isn’t sticky at first, but it develops a slight tackiness over the first half hour that continues for the remainder of the time worn. It’s not overly tacky, just barely so. These wear three to four hours on me, which is about average, but nothing long-wear for me–Chanel’s Glossimers last three to four hours, so I would imagine these would have worn longer than that. Triomphal wore four hours well but looked faded by the fifth hour. The texture is smooth, gel-like, and it is comfortable to wear and not drying over time.

The Glossover

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product

Triomphal

B+
It's a great holiday red with an underlying pink tint that makes it look less like a really bold, in-your-face red. It's also cooler-toned, so it will compliment cooler skin tones; but the pinkness will enable it to work well on warmer skin tones, too.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, November 12th, 2011

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment
Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Android Pure Pigment ($24.00 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “charcoal with multi-colored shimmer.” It’s a cool color, because it changes depending on the angle and lighting situation. Mostly, it’s a dark, blue-toned charcoal gray base with a bluish-teal flash and multi-colored sparkle. The only shade similar to the general look and feel (and what you see in the swatch) but did not have the multi-colored shimmer of Android was Urban Decay Hijack, which is lighter and less intense.

Pure Pigments are a multi-purpose product that can be used on eyes, cheeks, face, or body (or even hair/nails). Illamasqua says that they can be applied dry or wet (“for bolder color payoff”), but I wouldn’t recommend using them dry. Android applies better dry than some shades, though, but it is very, very sheer and lacks the multi-dimensional shimmer effect. It appears almost brownish-gray with a subtle sheen. I had good luck with this particular shade staying put simply used wet and applied onto the lid, though it started to crease after five hours. I would typically use this with MAC’s Mixing Medium (or an adhesive base of your choice), which would help it bind and adhere and still have the intense look of the damp swatch.

The Glossover

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product

Android

B+
Illamasqua does some really interesting and complex hues in their Pure Pigment line, and as long as you're willing to use an adhesive base alongside it, they can be great additions to your collection.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Tuesday, November 8th, 2011


Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment

Illamasqua Queen of the Night Pure Pigment (£15.50 for 0.04 oz.) is a limited edition shade launched to celebrate the brand’s first fragrance, Freak. It’s described as a “blackened plum shimmer,” which is an apt description! It’s a dark plum with a hint of brown underlying all the plummy purple goodness wrapped in a frosted finish. It’s sheerer when applied dry–the brown is more prevalent–and much more intense (and better!) when applied damp. The product binds together better with a little liquid, which yields a much more opaque, smoother color result. Bare Escentuals Romp is lighter, less blackened, and frostier–that was the only shade I felt came close, but it’s not a dupe.

Pure Pigments are loose colors that can be applied on the eyes, cheeks, face, or body. It can be used dry or applied wet for a “bolder colour pay-off.” Illamasqua recommends using it over a cream texture to intensify the color and hold the color in place. Queen of the Night will hold in place dry, but it lacks a lot of the intensity, so I’d recommend using it wet to achieve true-to-pan color.

The Glossover

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product

Queen of the Night

B+
It's just different enough to stand out in a sea of eggplant and plummy purples. I like the softer, frosted finish, which gives it shimmer and sheen without being metallic.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC’s Dazzlesphere Collection will debut in-stores on November 10th, and the first I’m reviewing is MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) contains four shades: Pearl (pearl), Rose Light (rose), Spicy Smoke (dark strawberry), and Roasted Chestnut (deep chocolate with gold pearl). It took a bit of digging, but I found the official description from when these were originally released, and they’re described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • Pearl is a warm, frosted white. It looks very peach in the pot, but it’s white when applied. I actually thought I had swatched things out of order but lo and behold, it really is that drastic of a difference. The high frost element of these seems to translate into lighter-than-pot shades overall. Pearl was less pigmented than it should be, especially when used dry; you really need to pack on the product to get better color payoff dry. When used damp, it’s better and the metallic finish is brought to the forefront, though there is still an underlying sheerness. It’s warmer and smoother than MAC Forgery.
  • Rose Light is a softened rose pink with a metallic, frosted finish. It seems a little lighter and much smoother than Rose pigment. It’s a bit pinker than the base color of Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy. Inglot #399 is darker, as is Giorgio Armani #7. It applies decently dry, but it performs best when applied wet.
  • Spicy Smoke is an orange-red with a soft, frosted finish. It’s less metallic than the previous two shades. The red gets pulled out more when it is applied damp, while it is more orange when applied dry. It’s a touch redder than Milani I Heart You. MAC Coppering is similar – a bit more metallic in finish.
  • Roasted Chestnut is a dark chocolate brown with bronzy sparkle and shimmer. This one needs to be pressed and “crushed,” because it is one of the chunkier pigments of the four. It holds together nicely once it’s been applied, though. It has opaque color when applied dry, though it is softer and less intense than when it is applied damp. The dry color is a bit like MAC Buckwheat, while Laura Mercier Cedar compares favorably to the color it is when applied damp.

I wore this set as a look (used all of the shades except Rose Light) without a base on one eye and with a base (MAC Mixing Medium) on the other (double-duty testing!). I applied Pearl and Spicy Smoke with a dampened brush, while I applied Roasted Chestnut dry into the crease. I’m pleased to report that I didn’t have any fall out while I wore the look; there was some minor fall out from Roasted Chestnut being used dry during initial application, but I did not find lots of sparkle and shimmer underneath my eye hours later. On the eye without a base, it looked only slightly faded eight hours later as it did when I first applied the shades (with a base, it was fine). The real trick is really pressing the pigment against the lid so it combines and binds together. I recommend using a firmer brush like the 242.

The consistency varies, though they tend to be a little chunky, with some (like Roasted Chestnut) being very chunky in the pot, while some are finer (like Spicy Smoke). Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.  I’m not particularly keen on the packaging; it’s a cute concept–the stackable jars–but they’re messy.

P.S. — It’s interesting how grams/ounces work; each stack of two is labeled as 6g/0.21 oz., while the bottom of the outer packaging said 12g/0.40 oz.. According to a Google conversion from 12g to ounces, it was 0.423 oz. I’m not sure why the math is a little off here.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
For those used to working with loose colors and not minding some of the inherent mess in this type of product, they're nice overall. You get plenty of product in each pot, and they wear well without a base and have decent to great pigmentation (depending if you use it dry/wet).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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