May 212010
 

When is a bronzer, not a bronzer?  Answer–> When it is a Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder!  Both Maui and Antigua ($33 each) are two “bronzers” in Bobbi Brown’s bronzer line that are indisputably more like a highlighter/blush than anything that will give a tan effect.  Nonetheless, I find that I’ve fallen hard for one of them, and can’t wait to dig into the other.

The typical bronzer comes in shades from beige, gold, dusty browns and pink-tans that usually darken the skin.  Both Maui and Antigua are lighter colors that add a pop of natural blush that can be worn over a bronzer to keep you looking alive and pretty.  Sometimes wearing a bronzer can deaden the skin, adding a veil of tan-brown.  You can add a touch of blush for a pop of color, then a highlighter for added illumination.  Bobbi Brown’s Maui and Antigua combine the last two steps–pop of color and highlighter–into one.  And both colors are beautiful choices that seem to work well with bronzers.  Also, you get a good size pan of color for $33–this is about the diameter of a Cargo blush, which is certainly very reasonable for the quality and look.

As you can see, my Antigua pan has that “well-loved” look. If you looked very close you’d see the concentric circles that signify that I’m getting close to hitting the pan on this one.  I absolutely love this pink on my MAC NC15 skintone.  I’ll be replacing that soon.  The coral-pink Maui is new and unused in this picture:

Comparison swatches:

If you are considering Antigua keep in mind that Bobbi Brown is releasing an Antigua palette this summer at Bloomingdale’s.  You can see reviews and swatches of the palette at The Beauty Look Book at this link.

I’m going to pass on getting the Antigua palette, although it’s probably time for me to think about replacing my Antigua.  First, I do not enjoy palettes with lip products exposed to powder products.  Second, I’m not sure Antigua is pigmented enough to wear as a stand-alone blush unless heavily applied.  So I’m not sure that the Antigua palette will work as a go-to travel palette for me.

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Apr 302010
 

The weather is slowly turning from spring to summer on the West Coast.  To get us all in the mood for summer, here’s a look at two drugstore bronzer items that I’ve been playing with for the past few weeks.

First, Physician’s Formula has a line of Bronze Booster Powder Bronzers ($10 to 15) that I found difficult to resist based on the packaging.  The tortoise shell coloring and gold lettering seemed to evoke the Guerlain Terracotta line.  The box promises a “glow activator” and I really like Physician’s Formula’s baked bronzers so I thought that I would give the Light-Medium one a try.  For reference, my skin tone is NC15/ Chanel Cameo (Intensity .5 or 1.0 depending on the foundation).

You really cannot get a more convenient, all-in-one for this price.  This has a multi-layered package with a built-in mirror and a pretty decent brush is pretty usable.   That makes this a real value.  Plus, if you do travel in rough conditions, this would be a great bronzer to throw into a bag.   Sand or squirt of sunscreen, plus some juice spilled all over?  No worries, the price point makes the bronzer relatively replaceable.

After some experimentation, I found the following:

  • Near-matte finish (if you are looking for a sheen or shimmer finish, try Physician’s Formula Baked Bronzers)
  • Adds some coverage–you will not need as much foundation in areas where you apply this bronzer
  • Seemed to last well throughout the day
  • I did not notice any skincare benefits from using the product. However,  this did not cause any breakouts or adverse skin reaction either.

Tip:  Buy the right shade for your coloring. When I tried to build up more coverage to get a darker look, I got a decidedly orange color begin to show.

Bottom line: Not my favorite bronzer and I will probably donate this to a friend.  This will work well if you are looking for an almost-matte bronzer that you will use lightly applied.  I find it worrisome that this turned a bit orange on my skin, and it didn’t seem as flattering as some of the other bronzers that I use.

The other product that I tried was Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips in Malibu Strip/Pink Sand Bronzer ($11).  Of all of the choices on the pegboard, this one had the rosiest tones and so I thought this had the least chance of turning orange on my warm skintone.

This product resembles the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks in many respects.  However, the packaging is clear and minimal.  On the upside, this clear acrylic seems significantly stronger than the average Shu Uemura package.  This is a BYOB (“bring your own brush”) product, but so is Bobbi’s.

This is really pretty…

I found Physician’s Formula’s Shimmer Strips excellent for the price.  I had a very difficult time telling much of a difference between the texture of the Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strip from the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick when applied–with one important exception.  To my eye, the Physician’s Formula seemed warmer–more gold and in some light slightly more orange–than the Bobbi Brown Nude Shimmer Brick that I used as a my primary point of comparison.

Physician’s Formula’s packaging advertises the Shimmer Strips as capable of being used on the eye.  I’m reading this as saying that the product is eye-safe.  Do you want to wear this as an eyeshadow?  Because this is designed as a highlighter, you will find that using the product on the eye will give you a very shimmery look.  Also, I found that the lightest shade didn’t seem to have very rich pigmentation for a highlighter shade.  Here are some swatches of the individual bars.  I loaded up the lightest shade for the swatch with several layers:

Bottom line: Despite the warm cast, I liked the product and will keep this in my stash.  I found the performance impressive for the price point.  The package seems like it will travel well, it’s slimmer than Bobbi’s Shimmer Bricks.  I like that I can use it as an eyeshadow in an emergency.  The texture and look was very nice for the price.

Here are swatches of the Bronze Booster and Shimmer Strip side-by-side:

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Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes

 Bronzers, Foundation, Guerlain  Comments Off on Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer- Blondes
Apr 162010
 

I’ve been testing Guerlain Terracotta Teint D´Ailleurs Tinted Moisturizer ($46) in Blondes, part of the line’s Summer 2010 Terracotta collection.  I was originally skeptical of the product–one might look like one is wearing the wrong color foundation or went over-the-top with a spray tan.

I am a passionate believer in sunscreen.  I don’t use self-tanners, because my skin care regimen would exfoliate off the effect almost overnight. Instead, I’ve gone with powder or liquids applied in selected areas for a more natural look.  Still, I often envy the overall softly tanned look on some that I see.  Also, I thought that if anyone can make bronzer look good (or, at least, natural), it’s Guerlain.  So I ordered the lighter Blondes from Nordstrom.com to give it a try.

The tinted moisturizer comes in a luxe glass bottle with a gold-colored pump, and a simulated wood-textured plastic cap.  The application is somewhat sheer– I would say about one-half the coverage of a light foundation such as Chanel Tient Innocence Fluid.  This allows a bit of your natural skin to peek through.  As an aside, I used this with my physical sunscreen (Elta MD Physical 41), so combined I had sufficient coverage.

The texture is glowy, allowing the surface of the skin to have a bit of sheen.  Guerlain took the “moisturizer” in the product name seriously, it feels very luxurious, nourishing and moisturizing.  It lasted well through a ten-hour day on my combination skin.

As far as the color, it took my MAC NC15/Chanel Cameo Intensity 1.0 down a good two to three shades.  I got a few questions about whether I had spent some time in the sun from others, and I looked like I had.  I added a bit of darker powder bronzer on the cheeks to break up the “all one color” look, and of course a pink blush.  There were no orange tones on my warm skin, and no shimmer bits either.  It was sort of a sheer wash of color that looked liked I had acquired a light tan.

I know that some “embrace the pale,” but sometimes I enjoy adding some tan look to my skin.  I know that I’ll continue to use the Guerlain Tinted Moisturizer over the summer.  My sense is that it looks about as natural as a good self-tanner (again, the color looked natural not orange or brassy).  I’m going to give this a cautious positive recommendation, but this is very much a Your Mileage May Vary product, depending on your skin tone.  It’s worth looking at if you’d like a bit of a natural glow with a nice, moisturizing feel.  If at all possible, try before you buy so that you can tell whether you’ll like the effect on your skintone.

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Apr 152010
 

Lancome’s Summer 2010 Bronze Riviera Collection includes the incredible Tropiques Minerale Bamboo Bronzer ($45).  Some makeup products are so beautiful that I’m quite impressed just by opening the compact.

Tropiques Minerale was one of those products.

How beautifully done is this?  It has that golden shimmery goodness.   This is so gorgeously implemented that I’m going to happy to open this on summer mornings to come.

Unfortunately, I’m completely overwhelmed with non-blogging obligations until Monday, so I won’t be able to swatch this until next week.  First, this bronzer is quite large–a good 5″ or so across the pan–so that it can easily be used as a body bronzer.  Second, although I’m quite sure that the top is just an over-spray, the shimmer is done beautifully.  I’m not usually drawn to bamboo patterns, but this one is pretty enough to get me excited to try this–I’ve heard wonderful things about Lancome’s summer bronzers.

Compare the size of the Lancome to a MAC Mineralized Skinfinish, below:

Have a wonderful weekend, beauties!  Okay, just one more…can’t resist!

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Mar 262010
 

Here are some upcoming collections which caught my eye:

Estee Lauder “Blue Dahlia” from this source.  The palette of black, brown and deep blues looks both interesting and wearable–a little edgy for Estee Lauder which is nice to see.

These items from the otherwise enormous Lancome Summer 2010 Collection from Chic Profile.  I hope that bronzer tone in Temptingly Bronze is more than overspray:

These dual-ended eye pencils look really nice (Sassy in Sunrise and Sultry in Sunset):A few of the Yves Saint Laurent eye singles featured here, currently up for sale on Nordstrom’s online site (click to enlarge and read color names):

A newly reformulated Chanel Vitalumiere foundation:

A Guerlain tinted moisturizer which appears to add a bronzy glow, which I’m curious about but not entirely sure will work for me:

So, what do we think?  Also, is there something I’m missing–what do you think is going to be promising?

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Dec 242009
 

Chanel Spring 2010 includes Soleil Tan de Chanel Sheer Illuminating Fluid in Sunkissed (Fluid Enlumineur Effet Irise), a very light toned highlighting liquid that adds luminosity.  Have you ever emerged from the cold winter months, take a close look at your skin and thing, “I need . . . something?”  Many times, an illuminator will do the trick.

This liquid has a soft light-reflecting quality that adds a little glow.  Because it’s a liquid, it does not add any harsh glitter.  Here are some ways to play with the product to get the effect you want:

– Add a bit to the browbone, upper cheek, chin, and a touch above your brows to catch the light.
– Mix some with your regular liquid foundation to add some “glow” to your skin
– Apply directly to the skin, to be worn under your regular foundation.  You can do this in selected areas (upper cheek, bridge of the nose and chin).
– Try a little on your shoulders, or very sheerly on other areas that you’d like to add some glow.

Here are two swatches, below.  One is Soleil Tan de Chanel on my winter-white pale skin.  On the right is a direct flash over a dark powder bronzer.  You can see that the fluid looks very different depending on the light and skin tone.

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Dec 062009
 

When Bobbi Brown released her Illuminating Bronzers last spring, she also released a nice large fluffy bronzer brush. Although I’ve been wishing to buy the brush for months, I recently caved to temptation and took the plunge.Bobbi-Bronzer-Brush-3

The term “bronzer brush” is a little bit difficult to pin down. I can mean anything from a dense, long-handled kabuki, like Sephora’s , which picks up and deposits a lot of pigment on the cheek. These brushes are typically used for heavy coverage, and Sephora’s bronzer brush delivers on that score. As you can see from the link, the brush hairs on the Sephora are densely packed together. In contrast, Clinique’s is very large and fluffy. It would be ideal for bronzing large portions of skin, including the shoulders and body.

Bobbi’s falls somewhere between the two, with a large, dense and yet still somehow fluffy brush head. It’s ideal to use with her large bronzer compacts (or, for that matter,bronzers from Guerlain, Chanel or Estee Lauder, but not a small bronzer like Benefit’s Hoola). Here are some quick pictures so that you can see the size. This brush allows much more precise bronzer placement than a very large brush, but is still sufficiently fluffy to give a natural sweep.

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