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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Apr 292010
 

I’m going to try a new feature—to post some ideas for how some of the makeup can be worn together.  For a first start, I’m going to try this bronzy-neutral look that I’ve been loving lately.  For this, I’m using Guerlain’s Brun Mordore Eyeshadow Quad ($59, on Sephora.com) together with Guerlain’s Terracotta Pearly Bronzer in Orient Sun, which was a limited edition product that acts as both a bronzer and a blush.

I’ve been combining these with a deep matte brown eyeliner, here Bobbi Brown’s Espresso Ink Gel Eyeliner ($21).  In addition, I’ve been using Chanel’s Aqualumiere lipstick in Bondi ($28.50), topped with Chanel’s Aqualumiere Gloss in Bondi Beach ($27).

Here’s are some closer swatches:

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Apr 292010
 

Chanel’s Summer 2010 collection includes Mistral ($23) (Le Vernis Nail Colour Mistral), a medium pink with silver micro-sparkles.  This is one of those “proper pinks” or work-friendly pinks like Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Plie, that can be worn under the most stressful conditions without worry that one is wearing anything too loud.

I must admit that Mistral gave me a very difficult time during application, although I have been having a somewhat stressful week in my non-blogging life.  I attempted this three times and got some minor streaks and tiny bubbles.  Also, the formula seemed to apply sheerly at the tip, so that there is a color falloff.   Unlike Riviera, which applied like a dream, it took me three attempts to get Mistral to get the picture, below, which I still consider far from perfect.

With two coats, I have some visible nail line showing.  When I attempted three coats, the formula looked very ‘thick’ on the nails so I declined to photograph that version.

Because I absolutely love Nouvelle Vague and Riviera which also came out with this collection, I cannot be very upset about my frustration with Mistral.  I’ll keep trying and perhaps you will have better luck with yours than I do with mine.

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Apr 292010
 

Thank you to Scrangie, who pointed out on Twitter yesterday that nail polish maker OPI Products Inc. appears to have filed suit against Transdesign, an online seller of nail polish, for copyright infringement.  As many beauty aficionados know, Transdesign is a nice source of supply for OPI’s large nail polishes, because it has prompt shipping, a wide selection and low prices.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that OPI’s complaint against Transdesign is available online, so it is hard to tell what the heart of this dispute really is about.

Well, I did a little research.  So the U.S. Copyright act says that the following categories of things can be protected by copyright law that are fixed in a tangible medium of expression:

  • literary works;
  • musical works, including any accompanying words;
  • dramatic works, including any accompanying music;
  • pantomimes and choreographic works;
  • pictorial, graphic, and sculptural works;
  • motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
  • sound recordings; and
  • architectural works.

But none of those categories of things seem to be “nail polish,” “makeup” or “beauty related” items.  Rather, these are expressive works, such as an artist, writer or even an architect or software programmer might create.  Can one copyright a color?  Or a paint (which is basically what nail polish is)?  I know that we own the copyright to our photographs of nail polish.  One might even be able to claim copyright protection to a particularly original application of nail art (similar to a painting by an artist).  But to the nail polish itself?

As a next step, I looked on the U.S. Copyright Office website for registrations filed by OPI Products, Inc. and found about 19 entries:

Some of the registrations concern visual displays, photographs and textual material relating to their products.  So here’s an example from the OPI Hong Kong collection:

Okay, fair enough but I’m still not sure what’s going on here.  Does anyone else know anything?

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