Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dior Summer 2011 Rosy Tan #754 Eyeshadow Quint

Dior has a really nice summer collection out right now, and part of it includes two new eyeshadow quints- one is Rosy Nude #534, and the other is Rosy Tan #754. I purchased Rosy Tan for two reasons: a) my skintone seemed too dark for the Rosy Nude quint, and b) Rosy Tan seemed to have the better variety of shades; Rosy Nude looked like five light "skintone" eyeshadows in comparison, and I just couldn't justify spending $58 for a quint of all light nude eyeshadows.

Rosy Tan consists of a shimmery ivory-champagne, frosty light pink, satiny soft taupe, shimmering golden brown, and warm milk chocolate with gold shimmer:

Swatches.  L-R, ivory, pink, taupe, golden brown, chocolate brown:

I was shocked at how cool and almost lavender-grey the taupe pulls on my skin! In my experience, Dior's quint shades are a little sneaky- they look one way in the pan and can turn into another shade on tan skin. The ivory and pink are typical highlighter shades and versions of them are in almost every quad and quint on the market.The two brown colors looked dupeable once I got to playing with this at home, and I was sure they were too similar to ones I already had. When I compared them to my other shadows, however, they were a bit more unique than I thought. 

I compared the taupe shade to (left to right) MAC Satin Taupe (look at how lavender it looks compared to ST!), Make Up for Ever eyeshadow in 127, and Laura Mercier Bamboo eyeshadow. The Dior taupe is second from left:

I compared the golden brown to a few others I thought might be close, including MAC Sable (far left), MAC Woodwinked (second from right), and MAC Tempting (far right). Again, no matches. (I have no idea why I didn't compare it to Laura Mercier Bamboo- it might be the closest to it).

And finally, I swatched the milk chocolate shade alongside Milani Java Bean (far left), Urban Decay Twice Baked (second from right), and MAC Mulch (far right). No matches, yet again. My eyes tricked me by thinking they were so ordinary.

Rosy Tan's shades are all nicely pigmented, with good blendability and a silky texture. This will be lusted after by brown eye makeup lovers, but it would make a nice addition to almost anyone's stash since the colors look great year-round.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NARS Pore Refining Primer is Perfection!

I don't really like makeup primers. Apart from the ones made for eyeshadows, they seem like an unnecessary step in my makeup routine. Yet I try them all the time, giving in whenever I hear or read about them from make up artists or in beauty mags. They're stressed as a vital part of makeup application, and parallels are drawn between an artist's canvas and your face: "both need to be primed before you can begin to paint." You know. Stuff like that ;)

NARS recently released two face primers- both named "Pro-Prime". One is oil-free and refines pores, and the other contains sunscreen (SPF 30 to be exact) and antioxidants. Both retail for $32. I picked up the Pore Refining Primer and have been using it for a week now. It's oil-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free, synthetic-fragrance free, non-comedogenic, non-allergenic, and dermatologist tested. Pure lentil seed extract "diminishes the appearance of dilated pores over time for a more refined appearance". Mineral powders "manage oil in the t-zone and other shine-prone areas while blurring the look of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles". The bottle is quite small, but a little really does go a long way with this. It has an ultra-light, watery gel consistency (which I love) and a light herbal scent. It blends into skin nicely and leaves a velvety matte, but not tight or dry, finish. When tested under various foundations, MAC Select Tint tinted moisturizer, and even just powder and concealer, it performed well under all of them; extending makeup wear, keeping shine at bay for hours, and giving skin an almost soft-focus finish. It's a winner!

For reference, primers I've tried in the past include Laura Mercier oil-free primer (which didn't seem to be for oily/ acne prone skin at all- it was so greasy and broke me out), Smashbox Photo Finish (broke me out) and Photo Finish Light (I disliked the silicone feel of this, but it was my favorite), Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Primer Potion (which has the consistency of glue), MAC Prep + Prime Skin (this was ok. Not as much of a silicone feel as some others, but it messed up my skin), L'oreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base (good, but not very spreadable and tends to pill up on my skin), Monistat Chafing Gel (didn't work on my combo skin), and Clinique's Pore Minimizer Instant Perfector (did nothing!). I haven't tried any of Make Up For Ever's yet, which do get positive reviews.