Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beauty Steals! Benefit sale on now! + free shipping.

So Benefit is currently having a very lovely sale, which includes many of their full finish lipsticks (which I love and believe to be some of the best lipsticks I've ever used- and I'm a person who's very keen on lippy). Six different colors at 50% off (that's 9 USD, not bad). I unfortunately missed out on the "three for the price of one" set that was out for Christmas and was happy to find two of the colors from the set on the site for half off. Of course, I bought every color on sale (I also just got candy store and breathless too, but at full price at Sephora-reviews on them later). The colors on sale are as follows: Thrillin Brazilian, Sassy Frass (which I've tried on before, very pretty deep plum with shimmer), Passionista, Fruit Cocktail, La La Land, and Sugar Rush. The last two were part of the "three for the price of one" set. They also have a buttload of other make-up on sale too, including Talk to the Tan (facial tanner, I believe they had the body tanner too but I didn't see it last I was there), Play Sticks (Cream to powder foundation sticks) and some sets on sale (like the Girls Night In! set) . There's more, but I'll leave it to you to go check it out.

Also, to make this deal even sweeter, for all orders over 50USD (which, trust me, is not hard on that site) you can get free standard shipping with the code PRETTY50. I just used it and it works like a charm.

So, get shopping ladies!

(I have tons of make-up set up for review that I just bought. I'll probably be posting them by type or brand because there's just so much. So, look forward to a lot of make-up reviews in the near future. And I mean A LOT)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Review: Bobbi Brown's Earth Metals Lip and Eye Palette

So, the only item out of my bloomingdales order to actually arrive (apparently they don't keep realtime stock of make-up because "the items are so small". Funny, Sephora seems to manage) is the Bobbi Brown Earth Metals lip & eye palette. Now, this is a $60 palette (luckily I got 6 dollars off it and free shipping) so the hope is that it would reflect that price in its size. This thing is TINY. It can, quite seriously, fit in your pocket. Which makes it great for travel and the actual design of the palette (the eye colors flip out and reveal a mirror as well) is pretty nifty. But for the cost, I wish it had been bigger. I'm going to be more careful with Bobbi Brown palettes in the future.

I've taken some comparison shots of the palette next to my Blackberry Tour, so you can see the difference in size (there isn't much of one).

It's tiny (btw, the pictures suck because I was using a webcam and tilting the laptop to get the picture). So, when you're thinking about purchasing, remember it's about the size of your cell phone.

However, the colors are beautiful. Seriously, they're classy, subdued and would work well on most skin types (the golds are fairly sheer though, so if you have a lot of gold/yellow tones in your skin they may not show up as well). I bought this specifically for the "black spruce" color. It's this beautiful black deep green with gold shimmer. I normally don't like green, I find it too citrusy or neon in most cases, but this is a lush, gorgeous green. The lip colors are non-drying and all of them look similar on the lips, with slight differences. They take a lot of layering to get any real pigmentation, however. The brushes that come with it are soft, but so small that they're mostly useless.

Glossamer Rating (out of five stars):
Price: ** ($60 Although the products are nice, it feels a bit of a rip considering the size)
Size: ** (It is very very small. The eyeshadows are .02 oz each and the lippies are .03 oz)
Quality: **** (The make-up and packaging is very luxurious and sleek)
Overall: *** (I probably will look out when buying more Bobbi Brown palettes in the future, to make sure I feel the price reflects what I'm getting)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Review: NARS loose powder

(Either today or tomorrow I'll be reviewing Bobbi Brown's Earth Metal Lip and Eye palette. The only kind customer service rep I've yet to talk to at Bloomies was sweet enough to give me free overnight shipping for the other five items in my order being canceled so rudely. So be on the look out for that.)

So, as much as I adore NARS, I have very little of their products (I plan on changing that very soon, however). I have a blush duo (in orgasm/albatross), a lipgloss and the afformentioned loose powder (in flesh, because I don't believe even *I* am light enough for snow). I got the former two in a set and the latter I bought because I wanted a setting powder and thought NARS to be a good enough company that whatever I got from them should fit the bill. And I was right. Now, if you look at other reviews on the internet (like those on MUA), you'll notice most people hate the packaging. It's messy and somewhat difficult to keep the product from spilling all over the place, especially during travel. However most of that can be rememdied by one simple trick-keep the original box it comes in. I always return the powder to its box after using it, whether I'm on the road or at home. And I have yet to have any major spillage. There are, of course, sometimes when I get a bit on my clothes or the countertop, as it is with any LOOSE powder (you'd think the name would imply its eventually messyness to people) but no real product loss. And let me tell you, there's a LOT of the product to go around. For $34 this thing is huge and with how little I need to use to set my entire face, I know this is going to last me a good long time. The powder is finely milled (comes with a small, and annoyingly detachable. filter) and applies well. I have not noticed any chalkiness and I have very dry skin. The color is practically a perfect match and elimates unwanted redness, creating a simple matte finish that, after sitting on my skin for a few minutes, melts in nicely. The puff it comes with is okay and I feel no need to get another to replace it (some have said it feels flimsy, which maybe is a testament to my little knowlegde on make-up puffs, but I disagree with). I will soon be trying out other powders, not because this one is lacking but because I'm a sucker for trying new products. However as far as my first real powder goes, this one is a winner.

Gloassmaer Rating (out of five stars):
Price: **** ($34 Seems expensive, but considering just HOW MUCH you get, it's not bad at all)
Size: ***** (1.6 oz Quite large, as you need very little for a full face)
Quality: **** (It is a bit messy, but that can be mostly avoided. It is a loose powder, after all)
Overall: **** (I will repurchase, whenever this does happen to run out)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Lorac Double-booked set

So, upon the arrival of the holiday season just about every make-up brand was pumping out some kind of special set for Christmas. Honestly, this is my favorite time of year because, lets face it, it's cheaper and much more satisfying to buy a palette than a bunch of dinky individual sized products. I missed out on Tarte's treasure box, unfortunately, so I decided to go with Lorac's Double-booked set. Now from the looks of it, this seems to be a substantial set. 16 eyeshadows, 2 glosses, 2 blushers, 1 highlighter, 1 bronzer, a mini duel ended brush and a lip liner. Oh and it comes in that fancy little box to boot. And I'll say that initially I was happy with it. But the more I used it, the more I found issue with it. First off the glosses and lip liner are useless. The lip liner is harsh and dry, whereas the glosses are sticky and incredibly small. The colors of all three aren't anything to rave about. Same with the blushes, they're okay, fairly smooth to apply, but the colors aren't particularly anything special. So I basically never find myself reaching for this when it comes time to apply blush.. The bronzer is okay, may be a bit too ruddy for light skin tones and too light for really dark skin tones. I haven't used it much either, because I already have a better bronzer from this brand (Lorac's Tantalizer, which is HUGE and at an amazing cost, might I add). The duel ended brush is also basically useless, but I sort of expected that. The highlighter is good, though not as good as NARS albatross. And finally, the eyeshadows. Now, this is what I mainly bought the palette for in the first place. I rarely use shadows and I know that's because I skimp out on buying them. So I've resolved to get more. And a set of 16 seemed like a good start, right? Wrong. The eyeshadows are all I use out of this, but I'm beginning to dislike them more and more. The colors are fabulous and compliment each other well, they have a nice amount of pigment and shimmer. But, my god do these things get EVERYWHERE. Even with the color book closed, the shadows are running off into each other. Everytime I go to apply (note: with a primer, good brushes, AND tapping off the excess) it manages to get all over my face. I feel as though I get more shadow under my eyes than on my lids. They're very powdery and travel quite a bit (I've found some powder on my chin before). Which is sad, because the colors are so lovely. But alas, if I attempt any kind of smokey eye, I end up looking like I've been punched in the face because the powder has travelled all over. The best part about this kit? The box. I'm serious. The nice, additional make-up box is what I've gotten the most use out of. It's pretty spacious and has a magnetic seal, which keeps things from falling out. But just the box alone and some crumbly eye-shadows aren't worth $55 dollars.

Glossamer rating (out of five stars):
Price: *** (Retails for about $55, it would have been more reasonable had the products been better)
Size: *** (This is a full kit. The sizes of the individual peices aren't really listed well though)
Quality: *** (The products just aren't worth it, for just $20 more, a good NARS palette could be purchased)
Overall: *** (I would probably not purchase this again)

Also, I'd thought about returning this, but I'm not sure if I can (aside from it being used). I had my credit card stolen over Christmas (how very jolly of them, yes?), so I'd have to have the return credited to a different account as the original one no longer exists. Bah.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Beauty Warning: Bloomingdale's funny business

Bloomingdale's, one of the world's most recognised department stores, has a tendency to be flaky (or should we say, down right awful) about online orders. Bizarre business practices seem to occur quite frequently in their beauty section, where items that are long out of stock will be proudly listed on the page as in stock and happily added to one's order. Of course, random cancellation of items will occur not long after, leaving the buyer feeling gipped and angry. I recently made a purchase of six items on their website and had four (yes, the bulk of my order) rudely removed with a set of four emails (because they send them all separately, quite annoying). When I went to check the item's pages, they were all displayed as being in stock and ready to ship. Wasn't I just informed that they are not in stock? Customer service is non-responsive, puts you on hold for ridiculous amounts of time and I have been told three different things each time I call (or the customer service people actually say they "don't know", when it's their JOB to know). Fellow beauty lovers, don't deal with the drama of Bloomingdale' and go to Nordstrom or Sephora.

*note: Now FIVE out of my six items have been cancelled. It's like rolling dice there people. Not a pleasant shopping experience.

Review: MAC mineralize skinfinish in By Candlelight

I have so much make-up to review, it's ridiculous. So I thought I'd start with something I bought very recently, MAC's mineralize skinfinish in By Candlelight. Now, I was told by the girl at the MAC counter that this is limited edition (though it could easily stick around). It is a soft, finishing powder/highlighter (and depending on the shade, contouring powder/bronzer). By Candlelight is a sparkly, pink-beige with big gold veins in it. I'm a fan of gold in my make-up, so this was an absolute must. It dusts on very lightly and provides a "glowing" look (cliche, I know, but true!). I would think that it would look beautiful over blush. It may even be worn as a light blush. This is very light so it may not work as well on darker ladies, but should still be good for a highlighter at least (although, when it comes to the ultimate highlighter I will always recommend NARS albatross). Ultimately, I'm glad I got it. I'm slowly building my MAC collection and this is a nice starting addition. It's very sparkly (which I like, though some may find that to be a negative) and the packaging is sleek as with all MAC products.

Glossamer rating (out of five stars):

Price: ** (It cost $27, which is more than the aforementioned NARS highlighter)
Size: **** (At .32 oz, this is also much bigger than albatross)
Quality: **** (It can break if handled roughly, as some at the MAC counter had)
Overall: ***

I would like to note I probably will be getting this product again, in a different shade.

Welcome gorgeous + Benefit Lipstick

This is my new beauty blog, I had previously begun another but have decided to create this instead. Glossamer will be a blog of beauty reviews, beauty steals, and the occasional fashion post (I will also take suggestions for reviews). Subscribe if you like what you see!

Now, onto the review. Recently, I've become a gloss addict (reviews and posts of my favs will be added soon) but I know that lipstick is usually the best way to achieve a substantial color payoff. However (and I think you know what I'm talking about ladies) some lipstick can be incredibly drying. In these winter months, that's the last thing I want. I'd been looking at Benefit lipstick for a while, after hearing some glowing praise for it. I was lucky enough to get to my Macy's before they closed New Years day and was pleased to see they had put in a Benefit counter (it's quite new, Lucky Brand jeans used to be there). So, of course I had to try the lipstick. And let me tell you, these are the most gloss like lipsticks I have ever tried (much less drying than MAC). They even have a sheen like a gloss and are incredibly hydrating. Even the super sparkly ones are smooth and lovely. I bought Sugar Cookie, which is a beautiful golden bronze with glitter (the glitter doesn't travel or feel rough). I just ordered Swoonderful (a plum with glitter, it seems to have less color payoff probably only because I had Benetint on my lips when I tried it) and I'm incredibly excited for it to arrive. When I get more money, I'm going back for more (Candy Store, a peachy pink with glitter, is next on my list). I'd suggest seeing if you can't find a place that sells Benefit before buying however, because the color swatches on the internet do not do them justice (originally I was to get Hug It Out, but was less impressed with it in real life). If you're looking for a shiny, glossy, hydrating lipstick alternative to your glosses, Benefit silky lipstick is the way to go.

Glossamer rating (out of five stars):

Price: *** ($18.00, excluding tax, a bit pricey but not too bad)
Size: **** (.1 oz Casing feels heavy due to an inner metal jacket)
Quality: *****
Overall: ****

Have a great day Gorgeous, see you next post!