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Chanel Apparition Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Apparition Illusion d'Ombre Eyeshadow
Chanel Apparition Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow

Chanel Apparition Illusion d’Ombre Eyeshadow ($36.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a deepened, yet muted, navy blue with blue and purple shimmer for a slightly frosted sheen. NARS Ubangi is bluer. MAC Bleuluxe #4 is darker. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush #2 is similar, slightly lighter, powder. Le Metier de Beaute Sapphire is purpler, powder. MAC Thru the Night is brighter, powder. MAC Naval Blue is lighter, powder. See comparison swatches.

This shade originally launched last fall in the Bleu Illusion de Chanel collection, and by the time I received mine and had tested it, the product was sold out. So it’s sat in my “to review” folder since, and I hoped it might make a reappearance–and sure enough, it finally has. Part of a very small release Jeux de Regard, it’s being repromoted (along with Convoitise), plus two new eyeshadow quads, Fascination and Seduction, and an eyeliner, Bleu Exquis (I don’t have any of the new products). The products are available now at Nordstrom.

Apparition has fairly good color payoff in a single layer, and when it is sheered out, it appears darker, almost sooty. It’s buildable to opaque color. The consistency is like a gel-mousse hybrid, and it feels sponge-like in the container. It’s soft, lightly creamy, and spreads and blends well on the lid. This shade lasted eight hours well on me but showed slight creasing and some noticeable fading around the edges by the ninth hour of wear.

Apparition
Apparition
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
89%
Total

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Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer

Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer
Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer

Guerlain Meteorites Light-Diffusing Perfecting Primer ($71.00 for 1.0 fl. oz.) is supposed to “camouflage blemishes and discoloration” with “pearlescent extracts to capture and reflect light and blur the appearance of fine lines.” Guerlain says that it can be used under makeup or on its own (after moisturizer). It’s an illuminating or radiance-enhancing primer that gives skin a more luminous finish without being shiny (or even dewy).  It extends the wear of my foundation by an hour and a half to two hours, which just means everything looks better for longer.  The consistency is lightweight and so easy to spread and blend out on my normal-to-dry skin, so it really does look good and feel good when worn over moisturizer without any foundation on top, and it can also be mixed in with tinted moisturizer easily.

After reviewing Les Ors, which was a limited edition primer for summer, many readers asked how it compared to the one of the permanent primers (there are two!), so here I am with a review! The biggest–and most obvious–difference is in the tint or color. This one is pink-based, so it’s more neutral and doesn’t really tint the skin, only adds very, very fine pearl all-over the skin. Les Ors is distinctly peachy, so on very fair skin, it could add a slight tint as well as radiance. The glow is slightly warmer, even on my medium complexion, as compared to the Meteorites primer. Both are lightweight with gel consistencies that absorb quickly and dry down without any shininess. The finish is decidedly luminous–not sparkly, glittery, or even shimmery–so it enhances the natural look of the skin rather than emphasizing pores or imperfections. They’re both the same price and size, and there was no visible difference on my skin tone, but on very fair or really cool/warm complexions, there might be a more perceptible difference.

Make Up For Ever #128 Precision Powder Brush

Make Up For Ever Precision Powder Brush
Make Up For Ever #128 Precision Powder Brush

Make Up For Ever #128 Precision Powder Brush ($52.00) is described as a “long and flat brush with a tapered tip” to be used with loose and pressed powder for application “the face, neck, and upper shoulders.” It’s a large, substantial brush, and it’s easily one of the larger powder brushes I have. It flares out slightly from the base and then tapers significantly to a rounded edge with the bristles layered and lengthening as you move to the center of the brush. It measures 50mm at its widest part, 56mm tall, 25mm thick with a total length (including handle and ferrule) of just under 8 inches/20 centimeters. The handle itself is quite thick but tapers down towards the end and finishes with a sharp, angled tip. All Make Up For Ever’s Artisan brushes are made out of synthetic fibers and officially release in September.

The new Artisan Brush range is touted as being “hand-crafted by a total of 30 people from start to finish” and have beech wood handles. The slanted tip of the handle is done specifically to “allow for easier product retrieval and can be used to assist in faux lash application.” The first thing I noticed about this brush was how top-heavy it was–the brush head is much, much heavier than the handle, which is incredibly lightweight. You’ll notice that the brush head is actually two-tone–the bottom third is a dark brown, while the upper two-thirds are nearly black. The top two-thirds actually flop a bit; like if you held the brush in your hands and waved it up and down, you would see just that portion moving up and down while the bottom third stays in place.

This brush is incredibly soft, and it’s one of the softest brushes I’ve come across–tying with Hakuhodo and Tom Ford brushes. At times, this almost feels softer, but I think it’s the result of the layering and airiness of the upper two-thirds of the brush that give it a feathery, soft feel. My husband has been a test subject for numerous “which is softer” tests in the past few months as I’ve been doing an extensive testing of brushes across brands, and Hakuhodo and Tom Ford brushes (which are rumored to be made by Hakuhodo) were all readily distinguished as the softest. He described the difference as the Hakuhodo felt silkier, almost cool and wet, but he felt like softness was the same. I had a similar experience to his, and I felt like the bristles melted together to provide a smooth, seamless applicator across the skin. I could jab, splay, and twirl the brush and never felt a jagged or rough edge.

I liked it for applying loose setting powder, and because the top of the brush “flops,” it actually works to press the loose powder against the skin with a lighter pressure than with a sponge or powder pouf but does a better job of getting an even, full layer of powder against the skin to really set makeup. I can’t make any claims as to the durability of the brush, so as I find brushes that I can work into my regular routine, I’ll be adding them and continuing to trial them to see how they hold up to more prolonged use. I’ve washed this brush five times, and I haven’t had any issues with shedding, dye bleeding, or any resulting smells post-wash. It takes awhile to dry, but if I use it in the morning, wash it, then it is ready for me to use about eight to twelve hours later. I wish the handle had more weight to it, though, because while the dark, red-toned wood handle looks nice, it lacks substance.

See more photos!

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5 Stunning Shades to Try in the Crease (Browns)

Reader Janisse made a request to see top picks for crease colors, and I couldn’t narrow it down to five across all colors, so I thought I’d start off with five browns!

  1. Urban Decay Secret Service — matte, medium-dark brown with a slight gray tint
  2. MAC Omega — light-medium brown with gray
  3. MAC Charcoal Brown is a dark brown with slight red tones
  4. Inglot #363 — dark brown with red tones
  5. Inglot #337 — medium brown with warm undertones

What’s your favorite brown eyeshadow to use in the crease?

Tom Ford Deeper (01) Eye Defining Pencil Pen

Tom Ford Deeper (01) Eye Defining Pencil Pen
Tom Ford Deeper (01) Eye Defining Pencil Pen

Tom Ford Deeper (01) Eye Defining Pencil Pen ($55.00) is a double-ended liquid eyeliner with a calligraphy brush on one end and a squatter, thicker felt-tip on the other. It’s a very deep black (and frustratingly, I still can’t get my black liquid eyeliners to really photograph as black as they are–they always turn brown-ish), but I can assure it is an incredibly rich, deep dark black.

The calligraphy brush is amazing; it makes applying liquid eyeliner a breeze, and you can achieve such thin, precise lines with hardly any pressure. The brush is nicely saturated, so it doesn’t skip or drag while applying, so you can get crisp, opaque line. The calligraphy brush is capable of thicker lines, but it excels at the thin lines in particular.  The formula is very wet, and it takes a few seconds to dry down and set.

The felt-tip side can create thicker lines while still applying with continuous flow across the skin–no dragging or skipping. In the swatch, you can see the eyeliner bled outside the original line, compared with the calligraphy brush as an applicator, which delivered an equally thick line but no bleeding. Sometimes, this can occur when swatched, but the actual performance on the eyelid is better, which was the case here (same thing happened with Hourglass Jett).  The actual liquid eyeliner, regardless of which applicator is used, lasted ten hours on me without flaking or smudging. It removed easily with my shu uemura cleansing oil.

I haven’t tried it myself, but I have heard good things about Jesse’s Girl Liquid Eyeliner, which has an applicator that looks incredibly similar to the calligraphy brush end to this, so I’m definitely going to keep an eye out for that in stores and see how it compares, because I know that this price point is difficult to swallow. (And there are many stellar black liquid eyeliners on the market.)

NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil

NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil
NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil

NYX Milk Jumbo Eye Pencil ($4.49 for 0.18 oz.) is a stark, cool-toned white with a matte finish. Maybelline Too Cool is shimmery. Buxom Sheep Dog is shimmery, less cool-toned. Make Up For Ever #32E is shimmery, warm-toned. Make Up For Ever #4 is shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Milk is fairly creamy, slightly thick, and applies with mostly opaque color in a single pass. It layers and builds up well, so you can get a crisp, opaque white all-over the lid, which is why it boosts the color of any product with weak pigmentation. The pencils come in a whole slew of shades, too, but the white hue works well to amplify color without muting or really altering the color of any product you layer over it.  It doesn’t set immediately, so it’s a good idea to lightly blend the color across the lid, which helps to even out the application and ensure it’s not too thick and settles into creases while setting.

If NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils wear well on you, Milk can be a life-saver, as it instantly boosts the performance of even terrible products. If you’ve tried them and they have a tendency to crease on you, then it won’t be as useful as a product for you. I know that readers have long reported both excellent and dismal wear. I’m in the camp where these wear quite well on me without fading or creasing for eight hours (but show faint signs of creasing after nine hours), and if layered with powder, perform even better.  NYX also gives you quite a bit of product–0.18 oz. as compared to the more typical 0.10 oz. (Urban Decay, Clinique) or. 0.14 oz. (MUFE, NARS) found in these jumbo-sized pencils. Now, the only downside is that it requires sharpening, and because of how creamy it is, there is waste–which is common across this type of product, not just with NYX.

Milk
Milk
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
93%
Total