Archive for category Bronzer
Ever since the end of last month, when I decided I was going to make an effort to use every single makeup item in my stash over the next month (or two…I’ve got a fair bit to go through!), I’ve been rediscovering some real gems that I forgot I even had in my possession. It’s been a great exercise in recognizing just how much I have, and lessening the urge to buy anything new of which I don’t already have a reasonable fascimile. It also has helped me weed out items I no longer want, and give some love to my long-forgotten products! It’s an all around good time
One product in particular that has actually been on my radar for months, but I just couldn’t be bothered to use, is Clinique’s Up-Lighting Liquid Illuminator in Bronze ($32CAD/$25US), described as a sheer bronze with gold shimmer. For some reason, I couldn’t get on board with this product, and I kept pulling it out to use only to bypass it and choose something else. Finally, in my new dedication to using everything, I tried it once more – and DAMN! What was I waiting for!? This stuff is GOLD (well – bronze really, but you know what I mean ).
Dispensed via a pump mechanism, you only need a very small drop of liquid for each cheek – the size of a pinhead. Without natural light, it’s hard to show you the beautiful effect this illuminator has on the skin in a swatch. It looks metallic and just kinda…blech. But! Never fear my fellow makeup fiends, because this baby shows up FABULOUSLY on the face in photos – which is kinda the whole deal, right? It’s always good to have an arsenal of photo-friendly products in your back pocket! Bask in the glory:
You can see my pores a bit here, but it’s not truly due to the product (sadly), and you can only see them in this kind of very up-close view.
I remember once going out for an event, and a few photos were taken that were later posted on Facebook. A friend at the time wrote a comment and said ‘Whatever makeup you’re using to give you that glow, I WANT IT.’ Stupidly, even though I remember this and remember how GREAT I looked in that photo, I stopped using this for a few years! What the what!?!
Like my cute feathered headband?? I bought this a few years ago when feathers in your hair were a big thing. I still think this works because it’s not obnoxious, and it really dresses up my hair if I’m lazy and pull it back
I find when I’m wearing this, which has been a lot lately, I hardly need any other makeup, because it just makes me look so damn HEALTHY. And it’s terribly easy to use, at least on my skintone – I just dab a touch on each cheek and then pat it along my cheekbones with either my finger or a stippling brush. It gives a hint of color, but mostly the illuminating effect speaks for itself without anything else needed. I will give a note of caution however – on a lighter skintone, you’ll need to apply this more carefully, as it could look a touch muddy if applied with a heavy hand. Or, even better – head out and grab yourself the ‘Natural‘ shade, which is a soft neutral beige with gold shimmer, and blends into almost any skintone (and is great to use an a inner eye corner or brow highlight too!). There’s also a ‘Blush‘ option – a sheer pink with white shimmer – but I’ve never tried it or used it on any of my clients, so I can’t comment on it. Sephora doesn’t seem to carry the Natural shade online, and currently the Bronze shade is sold out, but you can get all three on the Clinique websites (Canada & the US).
Basically, you absolutely need this if you’re in the market for a liquid highlighter/illuminator – or even if you’re not. It’s just so freakin’ great! The wear time if you can believe is exceptional too – all day without any touch-ups required, which I think is quite a feat for a liquid product that I’m not layering or powdering. And I’ll admit, some Clinique makeup doesn’t seem to last that long in general – but this sure does! The only issue I have at all is that the pump sometimes gets a bit clogged so if you’re not careful, too much will come out if you push the pump too hard. But it’s such a slight inconvenience for the awesomeness you get that I don’t care one iota about it. A small price to pay to look like you just came back from a run on the beach in Hawaii or something. It reminds me of that fabulous glow you get in the evenings when your down South and it’s still warm but you’re not sweating at all – LOVE IT!
So – liquid illuminator, check. Now I just need a powder illuminator – any suggestions? Do you prefer liquid, cream or powder highlighters? Or none at all?
If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I struggle with bronzers – not necessarily how to wear them, but if they should be worn at all on my dark skin. The main purpose of bronzer is to fake a ‘faux tan’ and, well…I kind of have that on the regular. However, they ALSO are used to give one’s skin a healthy glow, and to this end that look is what I’m trying to achieve (I think). Last year I thought I found ‘THE’ product in NARS’ Laguna Illuminator, however it contains sparkly bits that look unnatural in sunshine and are better left for evening events. Earlier in the year I snagged MAC’s Refined Golden bronzer (which I think I’ve had before) via swap, but then I went away down South and was too tan for it to do much of anything. I was hoping to get NARS’ Casino bronzer through another swap, but that fell through. So all summer long I’ve been sans bronzer, which of course isn’t a big deal when you have 20+ blush to play with instead, but nevertheless, my hunt was not truly over.
A few weeks ago I engaged in a swap for a Too Faced Sun Bunny bronzer, and upon receiving it I was unsure how I’d feel about it. While I’ve read great reviews about the Too Faced bronzers, they seemed so shimmery and unwearable when I swatched them in-store (hence why I swapped for it!). I finally had a chance to try it on today, and I was very surprized to find that I really liked it!
The powder is smooth and finely milled, and feels soft on the skin. Once on, it actually doesn’t look shimmery but rather imparts a great glow to the face. I wore the bronze side mainly on the underside of my cheeks, with a light dusting around my temples, and then added a touch of the lighter side on my cheekbones for some extra illumination. I kept taking photo after photo to see if I could ‘catch’ the shimmer in action, but all that appeared was a natural, warm radiance.
It’s been a terribly hot and humid summer, and today was no exception. I applied this late in the morning and it’s still going strong sans primer 6 hours later, without making me look shiny or enhancing my pores. It’s only slightly muted, and I’m still rockin’ the warm and glowy, without the greasy-shiny. I’m definitely impressed! This bronzer is described as a ‘year-round’ shade, and I can definitely see that working – for my skintone as well as others. Blending the two shades together would create a lighter tone overall that perhaps even the fairest could use; however, it’s *just* deep enough for me, tanned, so it would be more of a highlight to anyone much darker than I (around NC42 for reference).
I have to admit, I don’t have much experience with Too Faced as a brand, but this bronzer far surpasses my expectations. I guiltily am affected by packaging, and I find that the line leaves much to be desired – I know some find it whimsical, but I merely find it juvenile. However, in this instance what you see is definitely not what you get. The quality of this bronzer is quite lovely and the $36CAD (0.33oz) price tag is fairly easy to swallow, though of course I didn’t pay that price I won’t go so far as to say I’ve found THE bronzer for me (I have commitment issues, OK?), but I’m definitely going to get use out of this product for the rest of the season and beyond!
What is your favorite bronzer? Do you go for a matte, or a glow (or more obvious shimmer)? What makeup do you wear to transition into fall?
G’day to everyone!! I have been MIA for a while, longer than usual anyway – I have a backlog of photos of products to post, but I can’t seem to get inspired to write anything about them! Not that they aren’t all great in their different ways, but I guess I’m starting to feel like I’m just pumping out product reviews and not enough substance, you know? I need some time to do some more FOTD’s with underused products – now THAT was fun
I’m also doing an overhaul of my makeup stash and letting go of even more products that I just don’t use. I’ve been obsessing over my wishlist far too much and it’s getting to the point where I’m almost turned off the whole thing (as in, the buy buy buy! cycle). I updated my swap list on MUA and have been engaged in several different exchanges, trying to acquire things that I’ve been lemming but are core color products of a brand – I want to save most of my purchases for seasonal items or ‘big-ticket’ purchases that aren’t so easily swapped for. I’m thinking about doing a blog sale as well, though I don’t know how exciting some of the products may be…thoughts!?
In the meantime, I thought I’d do a ‘Summer Favorites’ rundown, versus my favorite of the month, because there hasn’t been just one thing I’ve been loving in July, but there have been a handful of things I keep returning to over and over!
Even though I love brights in the summer – vivid tropical hues that I never wear the rest of the year – I rarely have opportunities to wear them (I sometimes get ~crazy~ at work but overall I try to keep it appropriate). Often, my palette includes more natural, glowing hues that highlight my tanned skin and healthy glow, rather than being in-your-face. It’s one of the few times of the year where wearing less usually works to your advantage, and I like to capitalize on that!
I managed to snag Urban Decay’s ‘Lucky’ 24/7 Eyeliner Pencil in a swap last year, and although I loved how it looked, I didn’t wear it too often. However, this year in my effort to spread the love throughout my stash, I started playing with it more, and I think I’ve found my go-to makeup look: this, smudged over black eyeliner on both top and bottom lashes, enhances my eyes subtly but with a kind of bad-ass twist. It’s been a staple in my summer routine many days now, and I absolutely LOVE it. The metallic nature of this liner and the warm coppery hue, toned down a bit by the black, gives a depth to my makeup that is just perfect.
On days when I’m aiming to look even more natural, or to give a subtle glow to my look, I opt for MAC’s Melon Pigment, also another swap find (yay to being economical!), a peachy-gold metallic. On fair-medium skin, I hear the peach tones help it look particularly striking, especially on blue-eyed gals. On my skintone, it looks more golden than peach, and is fairly subtle – though it can be built up if need be, or applied wet. With just this and a whole lot of black mascara, I can create a wide-open eye that catches the light just so. I haven’t tried it yet, but I think I could even use this as a highlight on my cheekbones (though this probably only works for darker skinned gals).
The Milani Sunset Beach bronzer is one of the most inexpensive items in my stash, yet I wear this every day – the brownish tone is a slightly warm but overall neutral hue that works fabulously as a contour shade just under the cheekbone. It’s not too orange or muddy, and it’s got a great pigmentation that’s not heavy but just right to work well in layers if needed. If I’m in a hurry, buffing this on my temples, bridge of the nose, and just under the jawline as well gives me a great warmth and really makes me look polished with very little effort.
Obviously you’ve already heard all about my love of Chanel’s Inattendu polish – it’s just the perfect nude, especially for summer, when the warmer tones flatter skin so nicely. And because I wear SO many brights this time of year, it acts as the perfect counter-point. You really can’t go wrong!
MAC’s Lychee Luxe Lipglass is a glorious coral-pink shade with golden shimmer, and is so pretty on that I forgive it’s sticky texture. I can wear this with a variety of looks, either bold eyes or more natural, with golds and brights and jewel-tones, and it works for each one of them. On my somewhat pigmented lips and with my darker skin, it looks warm and juicy, giving my lips just enough color without ever being overwhelming or stealing the show. While I have decided not to buy any more MAC Lipglasses because of the texture problem mentioned, I’ll be genuinely sad to see this one go – and it’s only got about 1/3 left!
While all of these shades work perfectly for day or night, I’ve generally been wearing only loose powder to lightly even out my skintone during the day. When I’m headed to an event or out for the evening however, I like to look a bit more pulled together, and I’ve been using Make Up For Ever’s Face & Body foundation* in #18 ($40CAD) – a super lightweight foundation that covers imperfections without feeling heavy or like you’re wearing much of anything. As it’s water-based, its quite thin and is perfect for the hot, makeup-melting days of summer. It can also be built up to give extra coverage where needed – and can be used on the body as well (I love me some multi-purpose products!). #18 (for medium skin with olive undertones) is a very good match for my summer-tanned skin, and is warm, not ashy, which is great. I’m thinking about mixing a bit of this with my Hourglass Immaculate foundation when the cooler months arrive, as it leans a touch light and grey on me, and I think the two formulations will mix fairly well.
Here are some swatches of all the products above (left to right – MAC Lychee Luxe, MAC Melon, UD Lucky, Milani Sunset Beach, MUFE #18):
Honourable mentions go to MAC’s Arena eyeshadow (I’m plugging that shade hard, aren’t I?) and some of my other fave polish shades – Essie’s Bikini So Teeny (can’t get enough), MAC’s Mischievous Mint (the bottle is half-empty – seriously!), China Glaze’s Pink Plumeria (look for an upcoming ‘combo’ post with this shade), and Deb Lippmann’s Daytripper (check it out below!).
My mother keeps telling me I should be showcasing my polishes with color-contrasting objects, and I just happened to buy this especially pretty pale aqua throw pillows, sooo…
Pretty, huh? Initially when picked this up, I was disappointed when I tried it on – it’s more of a jelly texture, which is great, but not what I was expecting. And in artificial light, the shade fell a bit flat. However, the next day, I totally turned the other cheek – I couldn’t get enough of how lovely it was! It’s extremely shiny on it’s own, and so juicy – the jelly texture actually really makes it more than your regular coral polish, it just too this ol’ gal a little longer to see it ;P
What are some of your favorite summer items and looks?? Do share, I’d love to get some more ideas!
*Product provided by the PR company/brand for my unbiased consideration.
Today, I have for you the last installment in my blush/bronzer/highlighter collection!! By the end of all these swatches, my arm was red and rashy LOL – it was quite a day! But I’m really pleased with the photos and swatches, and I think I see some holes in my collection that need filling!!! Mwahahahahaha… Oh. Sorry!
Today we’re going to look at the highlighters/illuminators in my stash. While I sort of feel like I have a fair amount, none of them really knock my socks off, so I feel like it’s lacking quite a bit. But, you can make the call when you see what I’ve got I guess!
For some of you, these products will be more like shimmering blushes rather than highlighters – indeed, on me I usually wear Estee Lauder’s Shimmering Sands and Clinique’s Bronze as a cheek color rather than a highlighter/illuminator, though that might change this week. You could probably layer these under a blush and still get the illuminating effect. I know some of you that own Bobbi Brown’s Nectar definitely use it as a blush as well – for me it’s too light to do so.
MUFE’s Uplight is the real true ‘highlighter’ in the group, but it’s got glitter particles that make it more suitable for night than day. Typically I use NARS South Beach Multiple as a compliment to my blush/bronzer, which gives a fantastic peachy-bronze glow to my skin (though it fades within a few hours). Clinique’s Bronze Up-lighting, which has about 1/3 left and is the oldest product here, has a bronze-rose tone that gives a fantastic glow, but is pretty intense and needs to be blended out well. The ‘Natural’ version of this product is a total winner, and I would recommend choosing that over this shade.
Swatches above taken with flash. Left to right: Estee Lauder Shimmering Sands, NARS South Beach Multiple, Clinique Bronze Up-lighting, MUFE Uplight #23, Bobbi Brown Nectar ShimmerbrickNatural light. Left to right: Estee Lauder Shimmering Sands, NARS South Beach Multiple, Clinique Bronze Up-lighting, MUFE Uplight #23, Bobbi Brown Nectar Shimmerbrick
While you can distinguish for the most part between each of these, I still always find luminizers and highlighters kind of funny, because at the end of the day they all look pretty similar when worn. Clearly, Shimmering Sands darker rose-bronze tones make it more of a bronzer/blush than a highlight, and could have been grouped as such, but I was trying to follow the names of products when posed with the ‘what goes where’ question. NARS South Beach is sort of a lighter shade of Shimmering Sands, and Clinique’s Up-Lighting here is also along the same color lines, but leans more rose than bronze. MUFE’s Uplight #23 is a champagne shimmer, and Bobbi Brown’s Nectar, while appearing quite coral on some skintones, looks downright pale pink on mine.
I also wanted to show a comparison between the two NARS Multiples (South Beach and Laguna) and Clinique’s Up-lighting, as they all are for the same kind of purpose – illuminate with a touch of color. I had initially paired Laguna in this group, but changed it to the bronzer section as it is likely used that way by fairer skintones.
Each of these are similar in their own right, but again – Clinique’s Bronze is actually more rose; South Beach is more of a pale bronzed rose; and Laguna is more brown. They are all distinguishable when worn on the face.
And there you have it – my entire blush/bronzer/highlighter collection to peruse, condemn, laugh at – whatever suits your fancy I hope it entertained you at the very least while I’m away! I feel
satisfied OK with the collection, but there are some new shades I’d like to add, while also eliminating some that have worn out there welcome. I see room for some berry tones, as well as some neutral shades and lighter-toned illuminators that can be worn with blush/bronzer, and don’t overpower it. Can you say ‘hooray’ for an excuse to shop!?
Final thoughts? What shades are you coveting, if any? What shades can you suggest I add? Is my collection meager, just right, or too much? Inquiring minds want to know??
Oh my goodness, it doesn’t end, does it!? Let me tell you, swatching all these blush took half a day to do; I can’t even imagine attempting something like this if you had a bigger collection than I (and I know some of you do!). If I hadn’t been off for a couple days before we left, this would never have gotten done. But, it’s been great swatching and categorizing some of my blush, as it allows me to see just where I can fit one more in LOL! And, more importantly I hope it helps you out too! I feel that you can never have TOO many swatches of a product
Today we’re going to look at something very fitting: orange blushes and bronzers, perfect shades for a tropical vacation The bronzer swatches were reworked several times, because some of these products could be considered illuminators too, making it tricky to decide where they should go. Again, I made a judgement call and I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out! We’ll begin with the orange shade first however, as the collection is VERY small:
Yep, that’s pretty much it!! And it’s not even because I fear orange – in fact, I think it’s gorgeous and I stare at other orange blush longingly (I was sorely tempted by MAC’s new Modern Mandarin from Tres Cheek!). However, it’s tricky to get a true ‘orange’ – usually they lean peach or coral one way or another, and it’s there that I start feeling like I might have a shade similar in tone. Of course, orange blush isn’t for everyone, and those mid-way shades are often more wearable, but with my darker skintone I like to be a bit more daring. Seems I need to get on that then, don’t I?
Anyway, Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream #10 is a ‘golden tangerine sheen’ which seems a bit misleading, like it might be sheer – if you recall my review on this, it is NOT. It’s a tough shade to wear, but I think with a little work it can be absolutely beautiful! (Note that it can also be worn on lips, but isn’t recommended for eyes) NARS Taj Mahal, described as a ‘blazing burnt orange with gold shimmer’ (wowza!), is pretty much THE orange blush if you’ve ever thought about indulging yourself. Let’s look at some swatches:
As you can see, neither of these are for the faint of heart, but if you’re looking to be a little bit daring, here are two options to allow you to have some fun! While both of these do require a light hand, as they’re orange and shimmery – c’mon! – the orange tone lends itself a great, warm glow to the skin that’s simply stunning come Summertime. I’m definitely wearing Taj Mahal while I’m away!! Speaking of which, here’s what it looks like actually worn (pre-tan):
Not so scary, right? LIGHT HAND people, and make sure to buff it into the skin well!
Now, onwards to the bronzers!! Half of these will not be getting much play while I’m away, as I’ll be too tanned for them to show up at all. I still sometimes shake my head at owning any, but they do add a nice warm glow during my more sallow months I guess!
I recently swapped for the MAC Refined Golden (in Style Warrior packaging), and while it gives me a really believable bronzed look (not too orange or brown), it’s almost too subtle. It’s going to be essentially useless until next Winter, so I might swap it away. Milani’s Sunset Duo in Sunset Beach is one of the cheapest products I own (I don’t own many!) and yet it looks absolutely amazing on, just really natural – and the bronzed shade alone is great for a contour as well. NYC’s Mosaic Face Powder in All-Over Bronze Glow is another cheapo product, but not as deserving of praise; it transfers to clothing etc. easily (if I use blotting powders, its everywhere) and it’s REALLY dark, even for me – I’m taking it to Jamaica in hopes that once I’m tanned it’ll actually look good. The NARS Multiples have a great consistency to them, not greasy at all and easy to use, but I don’t find they wear well – this bronze-y shade is no exception. Lastly, the Laguna Illuminator I raved about last year: I still love it, in indoor lighting – its just that the big chunks of glitter in it are deterring for wearing it outdoors. I’m going to pull this out for our evenings while away
Above, with flash. Left to right: NARS Laguna Multiple, NARS Laguna Illluminator, NYC All-Over Bronze Glow, MAC Refined Golden, Milani Sunset BeachAbove, natural light. Left to right: NARS Laguna Multiple, NARS Laguna Illluminator, NYC All-Over Bronze Glow, MAC Refined Golden, Milani Sunset Beach
The NARS Laguna Multiple is really more of an illuminator itself on me rather than a bronzer, but it’s got brownish tones – hence why I categorized it this way In the flash photos, you can see the glitter in the Laguna Illuminator – a shame, because otherwise the shade is a great match for me. You can’t tell how dark the NYC bronzer is here, and in fact the brown shade isn’t terrible, it’s just that it’s just so pigmented it goes on far too heavily. Alternatively, for the MAC swatch, I had to go over and over again with product to get it to show up as much as it did – it seems pretty goof-proof, so might be a good option if your fair and in the market for a bronzer. The swatch of Sunset Beach is only of the bronzer part and not including the blush; when you swirl the two together, you get the nicest plum-brown shade that is insanely flattering on my skintone. Here’s a few face shots for proof:
BAM! Another part of my collection, down! Are you getting bored/tired yet?? There’s only one more left to go!! And if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part I and II!
And now I’d like your honest opinion – do you think I should bother with bronzers at all, or is it kind of silly? Do you wear bronzer year-round or just certain times of the month?
Welcome to the ‘Bang for Your Buck’ series! Each week for the next few months, I’m going to tackle certain types of beauty products, and list the offerings from popular department store brands and their sizes vs. costs. At a glance, you’ll be able to see which items are most cost effective in that category, and get a better idea if your money is being well spent, or if you’re being, well – a little ripped off! Also, if you’re hedging on picking up a certain product because of the cost, this will give you an idea of the true value of the product and if it’s worth your hard earned cash.
Many of the sizes and dollar values of products are taken from online websites; please let me know if anything is listed incorrectly and I’ll be sure to fix it! Also, for products which we don’t have here in Atlantic Canada, or for items that are more difficult to find overall, I’ll note in green where they’re located for your reference – though I tried to mostly include products relatively accessible as a whole.
**I’m posting this early this week as I hope to have a fun, Paddy’s Day-themed post for tomorrow – stay tuned!!
Week Four: Bronzers
Thought I know many people wear bronzer throughout the year, I find Spring to be the time when bronzers are really capitalized upon, as everyone scrambles to get a bit of color after a long Winter, and the anticipation of the approaching Summer sunshine builds daily. Therefore, I thought it was a perfect time to introduce a slew of suggestions for popular products that impart a great, sunkissed glow.
I could be missing something, but it seems like there are really only a handful of bronzers on the market that are truly well-known; I found I had to actually look up what other brands had to offer in the way of bronzers, even for top names in the biz. Whether that means that the more commonly heard products are as such because they truly are the creme de la creme, I do not know. Since I don’t really *need* a bronzer ~cough~ I’m brown ~cough~ it’s entirely possible I’m just unaware because it’s not on my radar. In any case, after doing the research for this post, I’m terribly curious to take a closer look at many of them – I’m sure I could always use a little extra sun-kissing
Illamasqua ($228.57 / oz)
Estee Lauder (0.74oz)
Best Picks (+0.35oz of product and $40 or less):
MAC (0.35oz for $28)
Cover FX (0.4oz for $28)
Lancome (0.45oz for $35)
Too Faced (0.35oz for $36)
Estee Lauder (0.74oz for $40)
Worthy Splurges (+0.35oz of product and more than $40):
LORAC (0.367oz for $42)
Dior (0.42oz for $45)
Guerlain (0.35oz for $56)
Chanel (0.38oz for $56)
Yves Saint Laurent (0.35oz for $60)
So – the Lauder bronzer is HUGE!!! Wowza, that thing’ll last forever! And how about the itty-bitty nature of the Illmasqua one – 0.14oz, for a DUO no less…shabby deal. You can bet I won’t be picking that one up! For me, aside from the Bobbi Brown and the Guerlain bronzers, the rest don’t interest me at all. I have a MAC bronzer I quite like, and I’m waiting on NARS Casino via swap, so for now I’m good! ~But of COURSE I am – I’m BROWN!~
Do you have a favorite bronzer? Is it on the list above? What lines am I sorely missing?
Last Fall, after being slow on the uptake when Modern Mercury – the first offering in the Estee Lauder Gelee phenomenon – came out, I cursed myself for missing out. Then, several other gorgeous LE luminizers came on the market (~cough~ LM’s Rose Rendezvous ~cough~) and I swore that the next time something like that was released, I was getting on that train ASAP. When I saw Estee’s Spring PR release pop up online, which included Topaz Chameleon (another gelee), I was determined to get my hands on it. However, two things prevented me from satisfying my lemming – first, Topaz Chameleon was majorly metallic, and almost copper-toned, so I wasn’t quite sure how I would make it work. Second, it never appeared here in stores – I even called a few Lauder counters and no one had even heard of it before (which is RIDICULOUS if you ask me – don’t you do your homework???). I considered buying it online, but as it looked a bit scary I wasn’t confident enough to buy it sight unseen.
A few short weeks later, I stumbled upon pictures of Estee’s Bronze Goddess Capri Summer 2012 collection (weird timing between the two, don’t you think?) and noticed that there was a third powder gelee, Shimmering Sands – a pale rosy-bronze shade that looked MUCH more wearable. In a flash, I looked up a few swatches online (The Beauty Look Book and Best Things in Beauty have great info/photos) and decided I could DO this. As this hadn’t popped up in stores yet either (surprize), I ordered online from the Lauder website. I paid about $50CAD total for the gelee (shipping is free with any $50 order in Canada); ironically, I was in Mills two days after I received it to find that they had it on counter (WTF?). Thankfully, it’s being priced at $50 here too, so I didn’t end up paying more – and I got a 10-day sample of the Advanced Night Repair, so I’m not complaining!
The gelees are housed in beautifully elegant golden packaging, always with a gorgeous imprinted design on the actual product (I assume Shimmering Sands wavy texture is supposed to mimic sand in the desert?). It comes with a large sponge applicator, which I have yet to try. The texture of the gelee is ridiculously light – it almost doesn’t feel like I’m picking anything up on my fingers at all, until I turn it to see it’s full of product. The description given for the gelees describes them as a ‘tri-blend liquid, powder, and gel formula’ – how in the world they do that, I do not know. All I can say is – this baby is feather-light and soft.In the pan, it looks as I previously described – pale rosy-bronze – but on the skin, it was surprizingly burnished; more like a luminous reddish-bronze. On the website, they recommend smoothing it on as an all-over soft sheen; however, from reading previous reviews on both this and the Topaz Chameleon version, I knew this probably isn’t the way to go, as they’re very pigmented. While they’re not glittery, the shimmer can easily be overdone, and careful placement and a light hand is critical. Regardless of knowing this, I can see how it would be easy to overdo. Picking product up on my brush feels the same as with my finger – like I’m not actually getting anything – but then BAM! there it is. So, remember to not let it’s light as air texture fool you – just go slow and build intensity if needed!
I like the way it looks on my skin – it’s not as reddish as I feared, and just makes me look sun-burnt in a pretty way. As well, the illuminating effect is well-executed; I feel glowing without being self-conscious that I look shiny or glittery (light hand though, remember!). However, it’s more of a bronze/blush rather than a luminizer (though I knew that going into it, really) – perhaps when I get a nice golden tan in about a month’s time, it’ll be just what I’m looking for. I’ve also read online that it works great as an eyeshadow, so I’ll have to try that next.
Overall, I love the technology of the gelee, and how light it feel and how little you need to apply to get an effect. I do like the way it looks worn, though it’s not *truly* what I’m searching for. A downside is that the Illuminating Gelees are 0.15oz, which is below average for this kind of product (LM’s Rose Rendezvous is 0.20oz for around the same price, and Guerlain’s Cruel Gardenia is 0.31oz – but a whole lot more, about $74CAD, though its over double the product). Of course, this wouldn’t really be an issue if I LOVED it….but alas I don’t! Unfortunately, this was one of those purchases that I made in haste that usually ends up being a regret. I can use it, thankfully, but I don’t feel excitement about it, which is against my new “policy” on only buying things I love. I admit that I let myself get carried away with the hype, and now I’m paying the consequences. Somewhat of an expensive lesson to learn, but hopefully it will serve as a reminder in the future!
Do you fall prey to the hype on products? Please share so I can feel better about myself >:\ Also, do you own any of the Illuminating Gelee’s? Which is your favorite?