Showing posts with label Blush. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blush. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Urban Decay Naked On the Run Palette


The latest addition to the Urban Decay Naked series is the travel palette called Naked On the Run ($54, limited-edition). I'm a huge fan of the Naked Eyeshadow Palettes so I jumped on the bandwagon and ordered the newest palette of neutrals which has products for eyes, lips and cheeks.

Naked on the Run has five neutral eyeshadows with a mix of shimmer and matte colors, a mini 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner, a Naked Gloss, Bronzer, Blush, Highlighter and a mini Perversion Mascara. The colors in this palette:
  • Dive Eyeshadow is a sparkly medium rose pink with a high frost and some gold sparkle
  • Fix Eyeshadow is a matte light-to-medium tan brown
  • Resist Eyeshadow is a shimmering warm taupe
  • Dare Eyeshadow is a matte medium-dark warm brown
  • Stun Eyeshadow is a sparkling chocolate with gold and brown chunky shimmer
  • Bronzer is a finely milled soft bronze color
  • Blush is a cool pink with a slightly satiny sheen
  • 50/50 Highlighter is a satiny pale pink shimmer
  • Stag 24/7 Glide-On Eyeliner is a deep brown with some plum tones, it has a lovely shimmer
  • Sesso Lip Gloss is a nude plum pink with an iridescent sheen


The Naked on the Run Palette is designed to be travel-friendly or to carry with you on the go. It does have everything you need for a complete look (minus brushes) and the colors are versatile, neutral, extremely pigmented and easy to wear. The compact however is huge. It's about 5.4 inches by 5 inches and a little over 1 inch thick. For a travel palette I expected something more compact, but the palette is deep to accommodate compartments for the lipgloss and mascara. The mirror is one of the biggest that I've seen in a compact which makes it super useful to apply the product whether you're at home or traveling or on the go.

For size reference next to a medium-sized tote and magazines. You can see that the Naked on the Run is fairly large. It won't fit in any of my makeup bags, but it does fit into one of the larger compartments in my purse:


Scarf by Nordstrom, iPhone Case by Gray Malin, L'Occitane hand cream mini, Prada Saffiano tote, Fujifilm Instax Mini 25 (similar version here and here), Smythson Notebook, NARS Contour Brush

For the products, the eyeshadows are richly pigmented and velvety in texture, true to Urban Decay's signature eyeshadow formula. There is a higher degree of frost with the shimmer shades but I found them very wearable. The colors do seem to be standard neutrals, but with most of Urban Decay's neutrals, I find they always manage to add a special mix of shimmer or sheen to their neutrals that gives them a new twist making them unique.

The cheek products which include the bronzer, blush and highlighter are finely milled with a very soft texture. The pigment is sheer to medium but buildable. I reviewed two of the Naked Flushed Palettes before and think I might be the only one who cannot wear them on their own. There is something about the texture that makes my cheeks look very dry where pores are suddenly emphasized and skin looks chalky. I had the exact same experience with this palette, but based on reviews I've read, it appears I might be in the minority with my thoughts on the cheek products.

Sesso Lip Gloss is a gorgeous plum rose pink but it's very sheer. You can see the natural lip through the lip gloss but it does leave a very natural rosy tint. It has a smooth texture with a slightly minty scent. I like the Naked Lip Glosses because they make the lips feel hydrated and smooth without that sticky tacky gloss feeling. Lasting power is medium for a few hours before it disappears. This is exclusive to the palette.

Stag Eyeliner is a really pretty dark brown plum shimmer. It leans more plum on me. I believe it's currently exclusive to the palette, but I hope that Urban Decay adds it to the permanent line or releases a powder shadow version of it. It's really quite pretty.

Last but not least, the palette includes a mini Perversion Mascara. This is the first time I've tried it although it's been on my radar for months. The 200+ customer reviews on Sephora were mixed so I didn't know what to expect. I found it lasted all day without smudging or flaking. The color is a rich deep true black and stayed the same rich color once it dried. For application I felt like I had to pack on 3 layers to make it adhere to the lashes. Application was overall easy and clump-free. It defined the lashes and added a bit of volume. The only thing I didn't like about this one was that it didn't hold the curl quite as well as other mascaras I've tried.








Swatches, eyeshadows swatched on the arm without a base:


Eyeshadow pigment is richer when swatched over a base (here is a mix of face primer and tinted moisturizer):


Other products with swatches on bare arm:


One last shot:


I'm a huge fan of the Naked series so this is overall a nice addition for me. The cheek products take extra work for me to make them work. I need to add a dewy base or highlighter underneath to make them look less chalky-looking but the colors are nice and naturally flattering. If you already own all the other Naked Eyeshadow Palettes and Naked Flushed Cheek Palettes you may find this has too many similarities to the others to justify owning. Even though this is designed to be a travel palette for on-the-go, I don't know how I feel about lugging this around in my purse. The compact seems fairly sturdy and while I am usually gentle with purse handling, I'm not sure that I would want to leave this inside for an extended period of time. Also the palette is huge and takes up a lot of space in my purse. I did test it on-the-go with me for a few days and for me it's just too big to carry around.

I'm happy with mine, but it's not something I plan on repurchasing. For reference, Naked + Naked2 + Naked3 swatched here, Naked2 Basics swatched here, Naked Flushed featured here.

You can find Naked on the Run at Urban Decay counters and stores now. Online at Sephora, Ulta, Urban Decay and Nordstrom.

Did you buy Naked on the Run or test it in store? What did you think?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette


The latest addition to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting line is the Ambient Lighting Blush Palette ($58 for 3 shades, each 0.116 oz/3.3g). It's a limited-edition palette with three of the Ambient Lighting Blushes in Luminous Flush (champagne rose), Incandescent Electra (cool peach, exclusive to the palette) and Mood Exposure (soft plum). I've been a huge fan of the Ambient Lighting Powders (palette review and Luminous Light review here) and Blushes (review on individual colors here). The addition of a travel-friendly blush palette is just pure genius (for me at least).

If you're new to the Ambient Lighing Blushes, they are multi-dimensional powders with swirls of pigmented color and highlighter. They are infused with what Hourglass calls "photoluminescent technology" which creates depth and dimension. Hourglass claims these give your face an "otherworldly glow" and I can't find any words to better describe their Ambient Lighting products. All of the powders are handmade so no two look alike.


I've been testing the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette for the past couple of weeks and am really pleased with it. Two of the shades can be purchases individually which I already own, so while this is mostly a duplicate of what I have, I do find the packaging design and size of the palettes to be very user-friendly and perfect for travel. I almost always bring the highlighter palette with me on all trips. The compact is sleek and long so it fits easily into my travel bags.

The powders in the blush palette are identical in size to those in the highlighter palette. They are smaller compared to the blushes that you purchase individually. I've photographed them side by side for comparison purposes.


I've found the colors in the palette to look slightly lighter than the ones I own individually but they apply the same on the skin. In my experience, the Ambient Lighting Blushes are all very pigmented on my skin and show up just like blush with a couple exceptions. Dim Infusion and Etheral Glow are both very light and give a very slight hint of color on my medium/tan skin. If you are medium to dark, you may find these don't show up on you. In terms of application, all the other colors, including the shades in the Blush Palette show up very well on my skin. What I love about these is that they are soft but buildable. The blush color is very pigmented but the mix of the soft highlighter inside each shade gives the product a very beautiful glow. I do think these work best on skin that has a bit of moisture. If you have super dry skin or a very powdered face, you might find they don't show up as well. For me over foundation with powder on top these apply just fine. If you don't see any color you may want to add a bit of a sheer highlighter like Armani Fluid Sheers on the cheeks under these.

Comparisons of the individual blush shades in Luminous Light and Mood Exposure (they look different in the pans but swatch identical):


Swatches, on the face they are glowy and not frosty:



Close ups of each shade in the palette:




The Ambient Lighting Palette is bottom line love. After playing with this for a few weeks I've found it really versatile. The colors look good individually or with two of them layered (any combination works). All the colors look good with neutral pinks, nude, plum or peach lips. The blushes have enough color to bring life to the face, but are subtle enough to wear with a bold lip.

If you've been waiting and thinking about the blushes I think the palette is definitely something worth splurging on. Product size differences aside, the palette retails for $58 while three individual blushes at $35 each will cost you $100+. If you already own Luminous Flush and Mood Exposure, then I don't think this is something that falls into the "need" category, however I do think it's a must-have for me. The Ambient Lighting Blushes are compact in size already so they don't take up a lot of room in your makeup bag. I do really like the convenience and packaging of the Hourglass palettes and Incandescent Electra is one of the prettiest light peaches I've ever seen.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette is currently listed as limited-edition for this fall/holiday. You can find it now at Sephora and Hourglasscosmetics.com. It will also be available later this month at Barneys New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter, Space NK.

The blush palette was provided courtesy of Hourglass for review consideration.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Charlotte Tilbury Beauty - Preview of The Beauty Look Book Picks


Beauty fans will be thrilled to know that Charlotte Tilbury's beauty line has finally launched in the US. The range has launched online first at CharlotteTilbury.com, Nordstrom, Bergdorf Goodman, Net-A-Porter and BeautyLish starting September 2nd. Later this fall, the line will launch in select stores starting October 7th at Bergdorf Goodman in NYC and October 10th at Nordstrom at The Grove in Los Angeles. Launch events will also be hosted with Nordstrom in other cities including Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Orange County, Washington D.C. and Las Vegas through Spring 2015.

I fell head over heels in love with the Filmstar Killer Cheekbones Set which was available at Nordstrom during the Anniversary Sale. I couldn't wait for the line to launch in the US so I decided order a few of her look sets from the UK site along with some other items. I'll have detailed reviews on all the items, but many of you have asked for a preview post wanting to know what I ordered and whether I thought the sets were worth it (versus buying items individually).

I did quite a bit of research when trying to decide what to buy. Some of the lipsticks and lip glosses looked extremely brown in stock photos so I relied heavily on blog swatches to help me pick out colors. I went with two of the sets simply because I found it easier to purchase an entire look rather than mix and match items. There are definitely duplicates in some of the sets with items such as mascara, makeup bag and some liners. (I gifted my extra makeup bag and mascara to another beauty friend.)

I ordered my items from the UK site and Paypal converted Pounds to Dollars. I think the prices I paid were slightly higher in the UK versus US prices, current US retail prices listed below. (Note all items are available individually as well).
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The Rock Chick Set ($225) includes:


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The Uptown Girl Set ($225) includes:


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Wonderglow Instant Soft-Focus Beauty Flash ($52)
Beach Sticks Bronze and Blush in Ibiza and Moonbeach (not yet available in the US)


There is a lot to digest with her line - it all looks so overwhelmingly good. I'll have reviews posted in the next week by category: face, eyes and lips with thoughts and swatches. I'm still happy I ordered the sets although you don't really save all that much buying a set versus individual items. I normally like to pick out items individually rather than stick to one preset look, but the color combinations are really good and easy to use for ideas. Even though I look nothing like the model used for each look, I found the looks helpful to see how soft or dramatic items would look on another face.

I've had really good experiences so far. I'm relieved since I spent a small fortune and bought everything sight unseen. More thoughts soon.

You can find Charlotte Tilbury in the US online at CharlotteTilbury.comNordstromBergdorf GoodmanNet-A-Porter and BeautyLish.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duos in Softcore and Stroked


Tom Ford Contouring Cheek Color Duos ($77 for .70 oz/29 g) are new for fall and come in two shades: Softcore is the cool-toned option with a pale white pink highlighter and medium to deep terracotta pink while Stroked is the warm-toned duo with a soft peachy champagne highlighter and a medium bronzed coral. Both duos have blush/contour shades that are on the shimmery side with highlighters that have high shimmer.

Both duos sold out very quickly in stores and also online when they first launched. It seemed to be a blink and you might miss them kind of thing. Keep checking online because many retailers have restocked. I bought mine from Saks a little over a week ago. You can also find them online at Tom Ford, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges.


After testing these for over a week, I prefer these as a blush and highlighter duo rather than as a contouring set. The shimmer and color make both duos them more blush-like. Color-wise I adore Stroked (the warm one) and have lukewarm feelings about Softcore (the cool one). I wish the names didn't both start with a letter "s" though because I often get them mixed up.

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Stroked is easy to wear (for me). The shimmer factor is on the medium/high side but it blends easily onto the skin and the color warms up the complexion. I found the blush color to be very unique with a mix of copper and bronze intertwined with the peachy coral base. The blush is very pigmented so I prefer to use a soft skunk brush to apply the color so I can build it up. The highlighter is also intense which I find best applied with a fluffy brush.


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Softcore is very difficult for me to wear. It is cool-toned and cooler tones tend to clash with my warmer olive skin. The blush is very dark and the rich pigment make it very easy to overdo (even with a light hand) resulting in a sunburned or punched look (yes it makes me look like someone punched me in the cheeks). The highlighter is almost white on my skin and enhances pores if I swipe it one too many times and ends up looking too sharp and frosted. The quality and pigment are still very good, but the colors only work if I use an ultra light hand.


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Swatches and comparisons: left Softcore, right Stroked




Comparisons to:



The blush side of the Stroked Duo is a mix between Love Lust, Ravish and Savage. If you swirled all three colors together, you would get something very similar to Stroked.

Bottom line I love Stroked. It's really flattering and brightens the face. I was worried it would be entirely orange based on some swatches I had seen online. I prefer applying with a lighter hand but even with a regular one, I don't find it turns orangey at all on my skin.

Softcore is hit or miss, for me it's been mostly a miss. I was able to get it to work on me a couple times, but most of the times I tried it, I found it looked too dark/harsh and too cool-toned. I ended up having to redo my makeup entirely, but I'm still determined to try and make it work. It looks better if I use only the blush side on the face and save the highlighter for the eyes. Still for cheeks, I need something that is easy to use, naturally flattering, easy to build - not something I need to be super careful with.

The Contouring Cheek Color Duos retail for $77 each. Both are limited-edition. They are online now at Saks, Tom Ford, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Selfridges.

Did you check out the Cheek Duos or purchase any of them? What did you think? Did they work for your skin tone?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palettes - Native and Streak


Earlier in the spring, Urban Decay released some new shades of their Naked Flushed Palettes ($30 each for 14g/0.49 oz). These are well-packaged face trio compacts with a bronzer, highlighter and blush. I'm a huge fan of their Naked Eyeshadow Palettes (#3 is my fav) and thought these had a lot of promise. I purchased Native (pink) and Streak (peach) in store at Sephora after reading an overwhelming number of rave reviews (4.5 stars out of 5 average rating with 600+ reviews).  
  • Native is a pink option with a medium-dark bronzer with a soft shimmer, a opal pinkish champagne highlighter and a matte pink blush
  • Streak is a warmer option with a lighter shimmery bronzer, a pale peachy shimmer highlighter and a stunning coral matte blush 
Swatching them in store on my hands revealed a soft well pigmented texture that seemed easy to blend. Testing at home with a variety of brushes has me less than pleased. I purchased these late May/early June and have been desperately trying to make these work for me.

The texture is finely milled and soft which is easy to pick up with brushes but the bronzer and blush are both very powdery resulting in a lot of debris/powder kick-up. They don't show up well on lightly powdered skin. Right over foundation the color picks up more but the colors look muddy and look like they just sit on top of the skin. The highlighters are creamier in texture (although they are powders) and blends easily but the frost factor highlights imperfections and after softly applying on the cheeks, I suddenly have large visible pores. I've tried both with a large variety of brushes, cream highlighters, foundations, dewy cheek products as a base even. With the right amount of creamy base underneath I can get the bronzer and blush to apply ok sometimes (I like Tom Ford Fire Lust and Armani Fluid Sheer #3 or #10 the best), but I cannot wear the highlighter on the cheeks at all. That being said, the highlighters are pretty on the eyes. Half of the times I've applied these I ended up taking them off immediately after putting them on the face.

Photos and swatches:


Swatches side by side:


Closeups of each palette, up first is Native:




Streak




One last view, Streak (left) and Native (right):


I'm overall disappointed. I've tried numerous times to make these work, and with extra tweaking I can only make them work 1/2 the time. They look so beautiful in the compacts and when swatched on the hands or arms. On the face the pigment and texture don't quite translate the same. Given the overwhelming number of rave reviews, I suspect I'm in the minority with my thoughts. I've mentioned in recent posts I've had skin issues and breakouts - my skin issues aren't on the cheek area in case you're wondering if it's skin problems causing the issue in application. For additional reference, Temptalia has detailed thoughts on Native, Streak and Strip, my experiences are similar to hers.

Based on the price, packaging and convenience, if you're at a Sephora or Urban Decay counter I think you should still give these a try. If there are clean brushes available, ask a makeup artist or sales associate to apply it on you.

If you've tried these, I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you have these which shade do you have and who do you apply them?

The Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palettes retail for $30 each. I found mine at Sephora. They come in four options, Naked, Native, Streak and Strip.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Chanel Innocence #160 Powder Blush


Chanel Innocence #160 Powder Blush ($45 for 6g/0.21 oz) is new for fall this year. It's a lovely delicate pink with a slight hint of shimmer. On the cheeks it's a subtle slightly dusty rose pink. It shows up well with a few swipes of layering. The one released in the US is the regular soft finely milled powder US formula (not baked). I found it extremely similar to Rose Ecrin #68 both in the pan and on the face. The difference is slight. Rose Ecrin #68 is slightly dustier in color with more mauve. Innocence #160 is a bit brighter in color with more warmth. I tested them on the cheeks, one on each side of the face and you can definitely tell the difference once they are both on the skin while on the arms or fingers the difference is slight.

Some close ups and swatches, in the pan you can see shimmers, when swatched on the face it applies more matte with a soft satiny glow:





Swatch comparisons: to Chanel Rose Ecrin, Chanel Rose Initiale, MAC Cheeky Bugger, Edward Bess Filled with Desire, Diorblush My Lady Cannage Palette 002:


Thumbs up. Chanel Innocence is a lovely soft delicate pink that's not too light. It's a feminine pink that is lovely for every day wear and might just be my favorite item from the fall collection. Chanel Innocence is available at all Chanel counters now. Online at Nordstrom, Saks, Neiman Marcus and Chanel.com.

 

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