Jan 032012
 

Dior Rosy Glow Blush

Dior Spring 2012 includes Rosy Glow Blush ($44/0.26 oz.), otherwise called “Healthy Glow Awakening Blush No. 1.” In the pan, the blush is remarkably cool–a fuschia that contains a hint of violet. According to Dior, Rosy Glow includes Fresh Color Reveal, a technology that is intended to adjust to your coloring to develop a rosy radiance to match your skin tone. I can say that the technology works on me–the blush applies as a pink with red undertones when applied on my cheeks worn over foundation.

The compact is the heavy silver type that is used for several other Dior special edition face products:

Open:

The split pan and the luxe brush:

 

 Dior Rosy Glow applies very sheerly and light at first.  Please do not judge your application by these first swipes.  The color intensifies and becomes more visible over the next several minutes–as Dior describes, “the halo of color gradually intensifies as if my magic, revealing an ultra-natural and customized rosy glow.” On my, I got a strawberry-pink sheer matte wash. It was very pretty, and reminded me a bit of a red-pink fruit punch color. It was medium deep in tone.

I suspect that most arm-swatches that you see on others will not be helpful at all, and I don’t expect these to be any different. The color looks different on your cheeks –it’s intended to change color and it does in a magic sort of way. Really, to know you’ve got to wear the color on your own.  Nonetheless, I’ve swatched this next to Chanel Turbulent and Chanel Tweed Fucshia. The color on my face is more similar to Guerlain’s Rouge G Blush, although a bit deeper and rosier in tone:

Overall, Dior Rosy Glow Blush is a bit of an experiment–do try it at a counter if you can before you buy. It’s a very flattering color, so the technology works for me personally. It’s a little disconcerting to wait to see how the blush will look for several minutes afterwards. The powder applies without caking–the powder melds to the skin so it looks like a natural part of my skin. Although the texture is matte, the overall impression of the color is a “rosy glow.”

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Aug 082011
 

One of the most dramatic offerings from Fall 2011 is Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury Collection, particularly the Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee in Modern Mercury ($40).  The texture is a very soft powder with pigment that seems to absolutely leap onto your applicator.  The shimmer is a strong pearl tone that has an unbelievable dimension and shine.

At first I assumed that this multidimensional wave of shimmer was an overspray. I think I’m wrong. We’ve dug down pretty far and that’s the color still.  It’s shockingly pretty if you love pearly shimmer.

Although the word “Gelee” is used in the product name, the powder block is firm and has not “gel bouncy give” of the Chanel Illusion D’Ombre gel eyeshadows released this Fall.  Rather, the powder pan bears a closer resemblance to Chanel’s Ombres Perlees eyeshadows released for Spring 2011.

Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelee is more than a highlighter.  Rather, it deposits a layer of soft peach color.  In fact, Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury adds enough opaque color to the cheeks with the lightest of brushstrokes to act as a subtle blush on pale skin tones.  Today, I wore it as a soft blush/highlighter alone on my NC15/20 Chanel Cameo skintone.  Why did I think this was a highlighter?

Here are comparisons with Estee Lauder’s Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelee with a few highlighters in my collection.  First, Modern Mercury is much more opaque than the very sheer fairy-dust Estee Lauder Pure Color Night that was a very limited release last year.   I played with swatches from the two lightest shades from Chanel’s Ombres Perlees palette (the white and the peach/pink as marked, below).  Of all of my powders, I found that Modern Mercury bore the closest resemblance to the Chanel Ombres Perlees.  In addition, I’ve swatched Nars Albatross, which is not as shimmery or pearly as Modern Mercury.  Finally, I’ve added Chanel’s Pearl Glow from the recent Le Blanc release.  I found that Chanel’s Pearl Glow as more transparent, more gold pearly and had a harder pan texture compared to Modern Mercury.

Because comparisons for highlighters are hard to capture, I did several different swatches under different lighting conditions. Here, in sun:

Indoors with flash:

Another:

It takes almost no effort to build up the peach color that you see in these swatches.  Indeed, that color is what you get with the lightest touch of this very soft, high shimmer pigment.

On the left, Liz is wearing Burberry Tangerine alone on her cheeks and no eyeshadow (complete breakdown is here).  On the right, she added Estee Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee in Modern Mercury to her upper cheeks and her eyelids.  You can see how much more color is on her cheeks and her upper lids:

You can see the added color:

Yes, Liz also changed her lip color (more on that in another post).

Overall, I have to love Estee Lauder Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelee, properly applied.  It’s a very pretty, light-reflective highlighter/blush on my fair skin tone.  It gives a very beautiful glow.  In addition, Modern Mercury does a lovely job of building up without being frosty. As with anything this pearly, too many layers will give a metallic effect so proceed with a single layer at a time.

The texture is a bit miraculous. Modern Mercury’s texture is extremely finely milled.  Extremely.  The pigment virtually leaps onto your brush or finger effortlessly.  As I mentioned above, the experience is a bit like the texture of the Chanel Ombres Perlees.

As with any highlighter, those with larger pores will wish to proceed with some caution.  Unlike some other highlighters, Modern Mercury is not sheer but rather gives a warm peachy glow. Adjust your blush accordingly.

Bottom line:  Pumped up gorgeous.

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Oct 252010
 

NARS Sweet Disposition ($40/Nordstrom) is a set of three mini-multiples for eyes, lips and cheeks:  Malibu, Orgasm and Luxor.  At .14 ounces each, these mini’s make an adorable, gift-able way to play.  I was so excited when these arrived that I couldn’t wait to open the box.  First, they are mini’s and therefore automatically adorable beyond belief.  Second, these are products that I’ve always wanted to play with, but could never commit to just one.  Sweet Disposition gives me three options–a deep shade (Malibu), a medium shade (Orgasm) and a light shade (Luxor).  How could I not love this set?

I assume that this set is limited edition for Holiday 2010. If you prefer, each of these colors is available in a full sized version (.50 oz.) for $38 each.  One thing that I love about NARS is that their use of limited editions are very restrained. There is no tricky hook shade in this collection that is only in this set and then it is gone forever, leaving you with a lingering feeling that you needed to buy the whole set or be forever haunted that you didn’t.  Instead, NARS played it straight and thereby earns my undying loyalty (once again!).

The above picture shows the difference in size between the three mini’s in Sweet Disposition compared to the larger Cadaques Multiple Tint reviewed here.  The mini’s are packaged in similar matte black packaging as their larger sisters, although the smaller ones do not have the same rubberized cushiony feel.

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MAC Pro Blush: Salsa Rose

 Blush, MAC  Comments Off
Jan 122010
 

MAC’s Salsa Rose is a complex mix of coral, pink and red with a touch of shimmer.  This is my favorite so far–it’s incredible.  I won’t repeat all of the cautions that I stated with the earlier MAC Pro blush shades, but suffice it to say that a light hand is warranted when applying Salsa Rose.  Can you imagine how gorgeous this is with a bronzer? And a coral lipgloss…

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Jan 072010
 

MAC sells a Pro line of products in selected stores, referred to as “MAC Pro Stores,” in major cities throughout the world.  I find myself in a Pro store only once or twice per year, and with only a few exceptions have received excellent service in every one of them.  I’m not sure whether the company has better hiring or training in those locations but their associates are usually a few steps ahead.

Ceasar’s Palace in Las Vegas has an enormous selection of shops (called the “Forum”)  that has been upgraded and expanded over the years.  It includes a MAC Pro store.  If you enter from the Strip, you must go up some escalators and travel through the reproduction Roman streets to locate it.  Ceasar’s is always very busy, and I can imagine that the MAC Pro store gets an enormous amount of traffic.

I was greeted by a sales associate who, typical of MAC makeup artists, was an expert wearing their products.  I asked to explore MAC’s Pro blushes, especially Taupe which I had heard was an excellent color to contour the cheeks.

The MAC artist quickly informed me that MAC had discontinued Taupe.

Sigh.

MAC has a reputation for issuing limited releases and short product cycles.  It makes economic sense from their perspective (it must, they do it so frequently!)  For makeup buyers, this scarcity means committing to buy now or risk paying outrageous prices on eBay later.  Fortunately, my brilliant makeup artist found a pro pan version of the product.  See, I told you they know their stuff.  These pro pans  can be easily placed into one of MAC’s blush palettes, which look like this (first one closed, second one open):

For $12, this palette is a nice way to accommodate six blushes in a very small space.  The palette’s spaces and the back of MAC’s pro pan blushes are both magnetized, so it’s very easy to create and change the palette.

My patient MAC makeup artist helped swatch nearly all of the MAC Pro blushes.  Another artist pitched in too.  At the end, the backs of our hands were swatched in vibrant colors, sometimes with the same color in varying degrees of heavy to light. By the time I left, I owned six MAC Pro blushes ($15.50 each) to fill my new palette.  Each is pressed powder held in a little metal pan, sold in a cardboard sleeve.  I’ll be reviewing and swatching these in the days that follow.

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