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  • b-glowing20% off skincare orders of $60+ with code 20SKINCARE, ends 10/25.
  • Ulta50% off Urban Decay Naked Concealer (now $14.50), ends 10/28.

Physicians Formula Natural Nude Wear Nude Glow Blush

Physicians Formula Natural Nude Wear Nude Glow Blush
Physicians Formula Natural Nude Wear Nude Glow Blush

Physicians Formula Natural Nude Wear Nude Glow Blush ($12.99 for 0.24 oz.) is a light pink with warm, yellow undertones and a soft sheen. Chanel Sakura (87) (LE, $43.00) is darker, more matte. Hourglass Radiant Magenta (P, $35.00) is much darker, more luminous applied. Giorgio Armani Eccentrico (LE, $88.00) is more shimmery, cooler-toned. Physicians Formula Natural (P, $11.99) is darker. MAC Royal Sunset (LE, $21.00) is warmer. MAC Stunner (LE, $21.00) is darker. MAC Easy Manner (LE, $21.00) is darker. See comparison swatches.

The formula is supposed to provide a “beautiful bare skin effect” with a “skin-glowing finish.” It’s a product that is best for light-medium or fairer complexions, as I really had to layer it several times to even get any visible color to show up in photographs on my medium complexion. The texture is very soft and velvety, but it was somewhat powdery–almost chalky at times–yet not dry or really difficult to work with, but it was dense and powdery. It was contradictory, as it felt lovely in one sense but yet had that powdery, chalky feel as well. On drier skin, I think it will actually look powdery if applied with more than a sheer layer. It looked almost matte applied to the skin; it was surprisingly less luminous/glowy than described or even when you look at it when swatched. It kind of delivers on its promise, but it seems to fall a little short–it’s really not bringing out the natural luminosity of bare skin. On me, it wore well for seven hours but had completely faded after eight and a half hours (nothing was left). To be clear, the color payoff is in line with the description, but I think it lacks the right finish/texture to give it that “skin-glowing finish,” and instead looked more powdery than anything.

Natural
Natural
B-

Permanent

7.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
7.5
Texture
7
Longevity
4.5
Application
80%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

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Illamasqua Fatale Eyeshadow Palette

Illamasqua Fatale Eyeshadow Palette
Illamasqua Fatale Eyeshadow Palette

Illamasqua Fatale Eyeshadow Palette ($46.50 for 0.20 oz.) includes four shades of warmer, shimmery colors that include copper, berry, purple, and taupe. The color scheme really works well together, and there are various combinations one can create with just the four shades included. There’s a good mix of shades that can contrast against each other. For those who prefer more satin or matte finishes, this palette may feel like frost-overload. It’s a good palette, but two shades could have been more pigmented.

Bronx is described as a “bronzed gold.” It’s a light-medium, warm-toned coppery ornage with a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. It had rich, opaque color payoff, and the texture was soft, smooth, and blendable. It wore well for eight hours before fading. This is a shade that we’ve seen a lot, so there’s no shortage of dupes, but it’s a nice color to have in your arsenal if you don’t have it already. Makeup Geek Glamorous (P, $5.99) is darker, less shimery. Guerlain Crazy Paris #1 (LE) is more metallic, yellower. Sleek MakeUP Sunset #10 (P, $9.99) is more metallic. LORAC Gold (P) is very similar. Marc Jacobs Beauty The Starlet #4 (P) is slightly darker. MAC Amber Lights (P, $15.00) is brighter. Guerlain Calligraphy #2 (LE) is similar. bareMinerals Bragging Rights (LE) is similar. See comparison swatches.

Ensnare is described as a “sultry berry shimmer.” It’s a brightened, pinky-berry with warm, orange undertones and a frosted finish. It had fairly good pigmentation, but it was a little dry and didn’t apply as smoothly as Bronx. This shade started to show signs of fading just after seven and a half hours of wear. MAC Pink Pepper (LE, $21.00) is glittery, lighter. MAC Caribbean (LE, $21.00) is warmer. MAC Daydreaming (LE, $15.00) is warmer, lighter. See comparison swatches.

Charm is described as a “seductive violet shimmer.” It’s a cool-toned, light-medium pink-violet with a soft, frosted sheen. It had decent color payoff, but it wasn’t quite as pigmented as you’d expect from Illamasqua’s formula. It wore well though and lasted a full eight hours. Tarina Tarantino Fantastical #2 (P) is darker. NARS Rage (LE, $24.00) is darker. Kat Von D Babe (LE) is darker, cooler-toned. theBalm A2 (LE, $16.00) is darker, cooler-toned. Urban Decay Flash (P, $18.00) is darker, cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Mystify is described as a “chestnut brown.” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned taupe brown with a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. It had rich, opaque color payoff, and the texture was incredibly soft and silky-smooth. This shade wore well for eight hours before starting to show signs of fading. Maybelline Sleek & Spice (95) (LE, $6.99) is a cream product. Sleek MakeUP Paradise on Earth (P, $9.99) is lighter. Urban Decay Mugshot (P, $18.00) is very similar. Urban Decay Stray Dog (LE, $18.00) is darker. Giorgio Armani Fatal #1 (P) is less shimmery, lighter. See comparison swatches.

Fatale
Fatale
9
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
90%
Total
See All Glossovers

Also In This Review

A

Bronx

Permanent
Read Review
B-

Ensnare

Permanent
Read Review
B

Charm

Permanent
Read Review
A

Mystify

Permanent
Read Review

Illamasqua Perfuzzi Nail Varnish

Illamasqua PerfuzziNail Varnish
Illamasqua PerfuzziNail Varnish

Illamasqua PerfuzziNail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a vibrant, sunshine yellow gold with gold micro-glitter and glitter. Zoya Kerry (P, $9.00) is metallic. MAC Immortal Gold (LE, $16.00) is less warm-toned. China Glaze Lighthouse (LE, $7.50) is similar but sheerer. China Glaze Champagne Bubbles (LE, $7.50) is less glittery. Zoya Solange (P, $9.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

This shade is exclusive to Bloomingdale’s, and it’s supposed to have a “Shattered Stars” formula/finish, but it was like glue. I don’t know if I’ve ever encountered such a thick polish before. I was more than a little surprised that it didn’t look like gluey, gloppy awfulness on the nails, as it actually looked half-decent, but it was noticeably thick. It was fairly opaque in a single coat but two are necessary for fully opaque color. It’s a gorgeous color, but something went very awry with the consistency, which made application more difficult, and you have to be really, really careful with how you place your hand as you wait for it to dry (which takes forever). I typically get a week or more out of Illamasqua’s formula.

Perfuzzi
Perfuzzi
4
Product
10
Pigmentation
3
Texture
9.5
Longevity
3
Application
66%
Total

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Illamasqua Glamore Lipsticks

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick
Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick ($26.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new formula that’s supposed to be “colour intense,” “long lasting,” hydrating, and have a “satin finish.” It seems like Illamasqua created a formula in response to some customers finding their original formula too drying or stiff to use. In my experience, some shades are drying and stiff, others are lightly creamy and apply evenly (though not particularly hydrating). This new formula is definitely creamier and has a lot more slip, so the resulting finish is more luminous. It takes about an hour and a half for the shine to fade and become more satin-like. I had no issues getting rich, opaque color payoff with any of the three new shades, and they glided on evenly and smoothly. I didn’t find them hydrating; they were more “not drying” than anything else, but these wear quite awhile, so it’ll depend on how long your lips can go without any real boost in moisture. I didn’t notice any scent, but I could detect a little waxiness from the base ingredients.

Luster is described as a “candy pink.” It’s a brightened, light-medium, blue-based pink with a luminous sheen. It had rich, opaque color coverage and wore well for six and a half hours. Maybelline Pink Pop (P, $7.49) is more muted, less blue-based. MAC Pink Nouveau (P, $16.00) is slightly more muted. MAC Naughty Saute (LE, $16.00) is very similar. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Narcissus (P, $18.00) is slightly more muted. See comparison swatches.

Glissade is described as a “bold pink.” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark fuchsia pink with cool, blue undertones and a soft, luminous sheen. It had rich pigmentation, and it applied evenly. This shade wore well for over eight hours and leaves a stain behind. Estee Lauder Dominant (P, $30.00) is very similar. MAC Feeling Amorous? (LE, $20.00) is more muted, sheerer. Charlotte Tilbury Velvet Underground (P) is less glossy. Givenchy Fuchsia Irresistible (205) (P, $36.00) is slightly darker. MAC Girl About Town (P, $16.00) is more matte. Buxom Exhibitionist (P, $21.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Soaked is described as a “vibrant orange.” It’s a bright, medium-dark orange with strong, red undertones and a luminous shine. It had intense, opaque color payoff, and the color went on very smoothly. This shade lasted for almost seven hours on me. Though all the shades are fairly dupable, this orange is something we’ve seen across brands, and these are all extremely similar: Giorgio Armani #300 (P, $32.00), Urban Decay Bang (P, $22.00), Maybelline Electric Orange (P, $7.49), MAC Booyah (LE, $18.00), MAC Fashion Nomad (LE, $16.00), and MAC Morange (P, $16.00) See comparison swatches.

Luster
Luster
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Glissade
Glissade
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total
Soaked
Soaked
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
94%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

5 Shades of Aqua Eyeshadow

Reader Sylirael asked if I had done a post on aqua eyeshadows, and the last time I did one was back in ’11, so I thought three years later might be a good time to update my top five!

  1. Giorgio Armani #10 — a metallic, aqua-blue
  2. Sugarpill Mochi — a muted, aqua blue with a satin finish
  3. Inglot #345 — a minty, aqua green with a matte finish
  4. Make Up For Ever #93 — a bold, bright aqua-green
  5. Urban Decay Shattered — a gold-shimmered, muted aqua blue

What are your favorite aqua-hued eyeshadows?

Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish

Illamasqua Fire Rose Shattered Star Nail Varnish
Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnishes

Illamasqua Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is supposed to have a “multi-dimensional glitter finish.” These three shades had the same consistency: slightly thin but not watery, and they were easy to apply for even, smooth results. Trilliant wasn’t quite opaque after two coats, but Fire Rose and Marquise both were. The finish is somewhat shiny, sparkly, and glittery, but not as glossy as the traditional creams and frosts in the Nail Varnish range, so depending on the effect you’re after, you may want a top coat. Marquise was the most matte of the three, and it was also the most textured. This formula lasts a full seven days on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

Fire Rose Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered pink.” It’s a light-medium, rosy pink with silver shimmer and micro-glitter. It had opaque color coverage after two coats, and it was easy to apply and work with. I couldn’t think of any dupes for this one!

Marquise Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered orange.” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark orange-red with lighter tangerine shimmer and micro-glitter. It had full coverage color with two coats of polish, and I didn’t have any issues applying it. This one was a bit more textured than the other three, so depending on what you like, you may want to use a thick top coat to smooth it out (which will also give it a glossy finish). Zoya Destiny (P, $9.00) is exactly the same. Zoya Myrta (P, $9.00) is less glittery. See comparison swatches.

Trilliant Shattered Star Nail Varnish ($17.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “shattered champagne.” It’s a muted, pinky-beige with silver shimmer and micro-glitter. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but there was a little sparseness overall that kept it from full coverage. Zoya Lux (P, $10.00) is lighter, pinker, and has holographic glitter. See comparison swatches.

Fire Rose
Fire Rose
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total
Marquise
Marquise
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total
Trilliant
Trilliant
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
92%
Total