Feb 28, 2011

I'm digging powders! part VIII: NARS Loose Powders

uhhh we're getting to the end slowly.....!  today we have made it to the N like NARS!

i have two loose powders by NARS; first the normal Loose Powder:

35g - 37€/26.50£/35$

you get a huuuuge amount for your money!
but if it wasn't a good deal in a blog sale, i wouldn't have bought it. but it's a good powder, no doubt.
i have it in the shade Eden, which should fit a medium skin with yellow undertones. the sifter holes are quite big, as you can see, and it can easily get very messy, especially because it doesn't have an airtight screw top.

this is what the official website says about it:

"This powder is triple milled and provides sheer, ultra-natural coverage to set makeup, soften color and smooth the texture of the skin for an overall radiant complexion. The silky-smooth texture blends undetectably into the skin, absorbs excess oils and maintains fresh looking skin with an imperceptible finish. Packaged complete with its own powder puff and both plastic and mesh sifters to provide the finest, most natural application possible.
  • Triple-milled powder corrects and softens color
  • Enriched with Vitamin E
  • Packaged with its own powder puff and both plastic and mesh sifters to provide the finest application possible"
the powder itself really is finely milled, but i find it a hint chalkier than other powders i own, not very silky-smooth. also the finish isn't that radiant and as promised, it's rather matte. so i like to use it to take away the shine of overly dewy foundations. it works well with my oily skin, within 1-2 hours it melts with my foundation + skin sebum to a silky glowy finish. i think dry skins could have problems with this powder being too drying and matte.
it has some colour to it and gives a very light coverage. the light neutral colour would fit a nc15 to about nc25 in MAC.

the other powder is a Sparkling Loose Powder.

45g - 39€/27£/35$

this contains even MORE than the normal loose powder!
the Sparkling Loose Powder in fact is the normal loose powder, but infused with fine gold glitter/shimmer bits (while the shade Machu Picchu i own is like Eden).
here is what NARS says about it:

"Infused with super fine gold shimmer, Sparkling Loose Powder is perfect for highlighting the skin. It illuminates the complexion and leaves a shimmering finish suitable for the face and body.
Formulated with an exclusive micro-bubble technology to fill-in lines and pores, silica for a silky smooth texture and imperceptible finish and cornstarch to absorb excess oil, this triple-milled powder blends effortlessly over skin for instant radiance.
  • Triple-milled powder corrects and softens color
  • Enriched with Vitamin E
  • For a shimmering finish
  • Packaged with its own powder puff and both plastic and mesh sifters to provide the finest application possible" 
i wouldn't use this powder for highlighting purposes, at least not for the face (i tried it and it looked ridiculous). the shimmering bits are quite apparent and not fine enough to give any radiance. the sparkles even are quite flat and not flattering at all. it would make a good effect powder for your body, e.g. the cleavage.
i don't recommend this, you can easily create such a powder yourself by mixing some sparkly/pearly loose eyeshadow into some normal loose powder of your choice.

i don't want this disco-ball effect on my cheeks ;)
when it's blended out, the shimmer bits are loosely distributed

Feb 27, 2011

Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10

i think you noticed by now that i am focusing on blushes these days. this little darling arrived some days ago. i had an eye on the Sheer Blush by Giorgio Armani quite some time, but never took the step to get them because they always seemed so expensive to me. since i got the two Guerlain blushes (the Blush G and the Blush 4 Éclats) the price tag of 41.95€ (it contains 6g) for the Armani blusher got put into perspective ;)
because i don't have a Giorgio Armani counter where i live, i had to choose the shade online from different swatches and reviews (The Beauty Look Book and makeupalley.com were especially helpful) and went for #10, because it seemed to be the easiest but most stand out and most popular colour in GA's range.

i ordered from douglas.de, the only online source to get Giorgio Armani cosmetics in germany. i used a 5€ coupon code (564DEDM) and two other codes to get some goodies, which were a 60ml shampoo for coloured hair by Fekkai (FTS266) and a 100ml perfumed body lotion from Dolce&Gabbana (DGL365). this is a nice option with douglas.de, i love to get goodies like these, they always are great additions to gifts for friends&family. of course you could choose two samples, i went for one more Belle d'Opium by YSL and Armani Code Femme perfume sample.

the blush comes in a very sleek satin black plastic compact with a mirror. no useless miniature blush brush.
the texture is very fine and rather dry, it feels very light on your skin. the pigmentation is good, but it creates a sheer veil of colour instead of a intense stripe.
#10 has a muted light pink as base colour with lots of pink, copper and gold microshimmer to it, so it looks different in different light conditions. in sunlight it's more of a peach and in artificial light the pink hue is stronger. but all in all it's a light and subtle shade that looks great with every eye make up  an lip colour. the very fine shimmer gives you a slight sheen so you wouldn't need an extra highlighter.
it applies evenly without getting blotchy and doesn't emphasize unevenness or enlarged pores.
i wished i could swatch all of them to choose a second colour ;)

 in the shadow:
in the shadow: Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10 swatched heavily + blended out
 in the sun:
Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10 swatched heavily + blended out

i also compared it to some light blushes i own, but you can already see in the pan that they aren't similar (also the light wasn't great when i took the photo, so i haven't swatched them).

Guerlain Blush 4 Éclats - Giorgio Armani #10 - MAC Well Dressed - NARS Deep Throat

 here i wear the #10 Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush:

FOTD Oyster Grey + Armani blusher

sorry i had no posts this weekend, but i was really busy because of an important symposium of the clinic i work at. so i had to find some appropriate outfits (the symposium went 3 days long, the second day also with a dinner and musical program) and clean but chic make up looks. i tried to do some outfit posts for that, but it didn't work out well.

Chantecaille Future Skin Foundation in Cream + BeautyBlender
Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Real Sand + Artdeco skunk brush
NYX blush in Taupe + MAC 138
Giorgio Armani Sheer Blush #10 + MakeUpShow blush brush
P2 eye brightening stick + Hakuhodo brush + Manhattan Wake Up Concealer #2 + Shiseido brow pencil in GY901 + Alverde brow gel + Shu Uemura lash curlers + Hourglass Film Noir mascara + Shiseido The Perfect mascara (both samples)
L'Oreal Super Liner
Barry M Dazzle Dust #89 Oyster Grey on the lid with Sigma ss239 + MAC Satin Taupe with MAC 224 (sorry not on pic) to blend out and warm up + Chanel Ombres Perlées palette (middle shade) with MAC 272 in outer corner + Rouge Bunny Rouge Large Shader to blend everything.
MAC Lipglass in Dreamy

Feb 25, 2011

Lancôme Ombre Absolue in Erika F.

last week i finally got the legendary Erika F. eyeshadow by Lancôme (1.5g - about 25€) after it being such a long time on my imaginary wish list.
the packaging is a simple black compact with a mirror and a small sponge applicator. a rose, the signature flower of Lancôme is on the compact and also stamped into the eyeshadow. all in all it looks quite old school to me and confirms the more "mature" image i have of this brand.
this eyeshadow is a beautiful shimmery greenish silver, with a silky dark greyed green with tons and tons of white gold sparkles. the shimmer bits are really amazing. you have to see it in real life, my photos don't do it justice at all. they are like crystal sparkles. sadly this shimmer is the one ingredient that isn't approved by the FDA and so this eyeshadow is not available in the US (but in europe&asia) - which maybe is the main reason why it got that popular. you want things even more when you can't have them ;)
the texture of Erika F. is rather dry but still very smooth, although it has so much shimmers it isn't gritty at all. the blendability and lasting power is also good (although it states a staying power of 6 hours on the packaging - which is quite poor and nothing i would brag with ;) - with a good base you get a lot more than 6 hours with this. )
the great thing is that blending doesn't wipe the sparkles away, i think it's a fantastic colour for the evening that's not too dark or smokey but will grab all attention to your eyes.

Lancôme Erika F. in direct sunlight
Lancôme Erika F. in the shadow
Lancôme Erika F. in artificial light
this shade is really right up my alley - as you can see i have some that are just  like it. but no dupes, no other has such a shimmer like this. (in these pics you can see the shimmer of Erika F. better)

Chanel Ombres Perlées Palette - Lancôme Erika F. - MAC Smoke&Diamonds - Manhattan Green Effects Palette (Colour Meets Elegance LE)
green shade of Chanel Ombres Perlées Palette - Lancôme Erika F. - MAC Smoke&Diamonds - lower right shade of Manhattan Green Effects Palette (Colour Meets Elegance LE)

here is a quick look i did with this eyeshadow all over the lid - sorry no close-ups, i was too sunny to make fotos without  squinting. i used Benefit Skinny Jeans Creaseless Cream Shadow on the upper lid  to oomph it up a little bit. i like the cool silverish moss colour on my eye.

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