, Inc.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Swatches + Review: Summer 2012 Paul & Joe Shimmering Pressed Powder G

If you follow my blog, then you know that B-Glowing had a $15 off promotion a few weeks ago on any products, including Paul & Joe's 2012 Summer Collection. I've never purchased any of their cosmetics before, but I thought it was a great opportunity to try them out because of the sale. I ended up buying the Paul & Joe Shimmering Pressed Powder G, of course. You know I love anything with embossed designs. =)

Packaging: The mint-green compact is embossed with a beautiful floral design on the outside and a lovely butterfly on the inside. It also comes with a small mirror and a plastic cover that separates the powder from the mini travel brush, which is convenient and sanitary. The brush is actually useful and is one of the most softest mini brushes that I have felt. It's not too flimsy or too dense and it's just the perfect size for applying highlight on top of the cheek bones. 

The Shimmering Pressed Powder G consists of 3 main shades, including a beige, pink and peachy bronze shade, with a mint-green overspray that disappears after a few swipes. The pink shade is too light to use as a blusher for my NC30/35 skin tone and although the peachy bronze shade looks gorgeous, it's too difficult to pick up the color individually with a face brush. 

When I swirl all the colors together and apply it onto my cheeks without a blusher underneath, it translates into a light pinky beige shade that looks quite chalky. When worn over a blusher, it adds an extremely subtle sheen to the skin and leaves a ton of micro-glitter particles all over my cheeks that transfer to other parts of my face throughout the day. The sheen is hardly noticeable because the tiny sparkles are so distracting. I don't recommend wearing this during the day unless you want to look like a disco ball. However, the sparkles do look pretty on the decollete and chest area. So, I would reserve this for the night time and for special occasions when you want to look glitzy and glam. 

The glitters are very tiny and they don't feel chunky or gritty at all. However, the powder feels too soft. The design can chip away easily if you don't use a light hand to pick the product up with a brush. If you look at the 8th picture above, then you'll notice that the corners of the left wing are chipped away and flat. The powder is really delicate, so you have to be really careful and I definitely don't recommend travelling with this.

Bottom Line: The Paul & Joe Shimmering Pressed Powder G is not a true highlighter because it doesn't add a noticeable glow or a sheen to the skin (unless you take flash photography), but if you love to sparkle in glitter, then you'll love this powder. Also, it looks so lovely as a decor for your vanity. I can't even imagine that you would want to use this and ruin the gorgeous design!

Note: The Paul & Joe Shimmering Pressed Powder G contains 10g of product and is limited edition. It's sold out online, but is still available at various boutiques for $40. Click here to find your nearest store. (BeautyHabit says it's on backorder and you can still order it, but they don't know when it will be available to ship.)

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Did you get anything from the Paul & Joe Summer 2012 collection?
Which products have you tried?
(I've been thinking about getting their lipsticks, but they just look too cute to use.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Swatches + Comparison: Urban Decay Rockstar, MAC Jaunty, Ricepaper + Copperplate

MAC Jaunty, MAC Ricepaper, MAC Copperplate, Urban Decay Rockstar

MAC Jaunty, MAC Ricepaper, MAC Copperplate, Urban Decay Rockstar

MAC Jaunty, MAC Ricepaper, MAC Copperplate, Urban Decay Rockstar

I really do not need anymore eyeshadows, but I decided to get Ricepaper and Copperplate because it was free through the Back2MAC program. Also, Jaunty reminded me of Warming Trend, which is one of my favorite eyeshadows that's no longer available, so I had to get it. As for Rockstar, I got it on a whim while I was browsing at Sephora the other day. I love purple eyeshadows, so it was really hard to resist.

MAC Jaunty

MAC Jaunty

MAC Jaunty ($16 for 1.5g, Limited Edition) is a neutral yellow beige shade with a hint of gold and a shimmery finish. I thought it was going to be similar to many other neutral eyeshadows that I have, such as Jest and Naked Lunch, but they are much pinkier and peachier. Ricepaper is more yellow, lighter and brighter. Warming Trend has a stronger and prettier gold sheen to it. When worn on my eyes, I can definitely see a difference between Jaunty and Warming Trend up close in the mirror; however, from a distance, they look quite similar. (The swatch on my arm doesn't do Jaunty any justice. It actually looks much prettier and pulls more gold when applied on the lids with a dense brush. If you apply it with a fluffy brush and a light hand, then it'll look more brown.)

The pigmentation is great when you use a dense brush, such as the MAC 239, and when worn over a primer. I didn't experience any fallouts during application and it blended easily. Also, it lasted at least 14 hours without fading or creasing.

If you can't find Warming Trend at the CCO or the Estee Lauder Company Store, then Jaunty is the next best thing. It's super wearable on any skin tone and practically mistake proof. 

MAC Ricepaper

MAC Ricepaper

MAC Ricepaper ($15 in pot form or $11.50 in refill pan for 1.5g) is a light yellow beige with a shimmery finish. Jaunty is slightly darker and more gold. I love using both as an all-over-the-lid shade and I don't prefer one over the other. Many people love using Ricepaper as a highlight, but it's too yellow for my brow bone and the inner corner of my eyes. I prefer to use Shroom when I need to brighten my look because it's a true beige shade.

The pigmentation is great when you use a dense brush, such as the MAC 239, and when worn over a primer. I didn't experience any fallouts during application and it blended easily. Also, it lasted at least 14 hours without fading or creasing.

If you want an everyday neutral eyeshadow that has a more brightening effect, then Ricepaper is the perfect choice.

MAC Copperplate

MAC Copperplate

MAC Copperplate ($15 in pot form or $11.50 in refill pan for 1.5g) is a medium grey with a matte finish. I used to fill in my brows with Espresso, which looked fine under artificial lighting, but it looked too brown in natural lighting. So, I decided to get Copperplate because alot of people swear by this. When I swatched it at first, I thought it was going to look too light and grey on my brows, but when I actually applied it with my Royal & Langnickel BC530 brush (mini review), it looked so natural, even in natural lighting. It just blended right into my brows and stayed put all day (without a primer). Copperplate has officially replaced Espresso as a brow filler.

Urban Decay Rockstar

Urban Decay Rockstar

Urban Decay Rockstar ($18 for 1.5g) is a deep eggplant shade with a red undertone and a shimmery finish. It's the only shade that I had trouble working with. It has great pigmentation, but it can look slightly brown and muddy if I over blend it. I end up having to reapply it to bring back the purple tone and the intensity of the color. Also, I did experience some minor fallouts during application.

I think I either got a dud or maybe the color just doesn't work well on my NC30/35 skin tone. Regardless, I will still buy more of their new eyeshadows because all the other ones that I have tried are amazing. The price doesn't turn me off because the quality is well worth it.

The old formulation of the eyeshadows were already so buttery, pigmented and long-lasting, but the new formulation feels slightly more smooth. Also, the new packaging allows you to pop out the eyeshadow and put it into the Urban Decay customizable palette. Other than that, they're pretty much the same. I just wish they sold refill pans because I usually depot all my eyeshadows and put them into my Empty 28 Pan Eyeshadow Palette.

By the way, I dug through my Crew highlight powder. 
You can click here to check out how it looks without the beige overlay.

Jaunty is limited edition, but it's still available at various MAC counters and Nordstrom. Ricepaper and Copperplate are permanent shades and are available at Nordstrom. Rockstar is a permanent shade and is available at Urban Decay's online store and Sephora. The empty 28 pan palette can be purchased from Coastal Scents for $9.95.

Have you found a dupe for Warming Trend?
What do you use to fill in your eye brows?
Any Urban Decay eyeshadows that you love?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Review + Comparison: Setting Powders (Burberry, Dior, Becca, and MAC)

Burberry No.01, MAC NC30, Dior 002 Medium, Becca Cardamon

Setting powders prolong the wear of your foundation by mattifying and absorbing oil without adding coverage. In general, they help prevent your skin's natural oils from breaking down your makeup as quickly. Therefore, those with oily skin should not skip this step in their makeup routine. 

I have an oily t-zone and normal skin on the rest of my face. I've tried the Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder, Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder and MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder and they all mattified my skin and reduced any shine that I had on my face; however, they all broke me out. Regardless, I would still recommend these 3 powders because they all work well for lengthening the wear of your makeup and just because they broke me out, it doesn't mean they will break you out too. 

To apply, use a large fluffy brush, such as the Chanel #1 (review) or Posh Retractable Kabuki brush (review). Swirl or dip your brush into the product, tap off any excess and buff onto your face, concentrating on areas where you are most oily. (Do not use a dense brush or else it'll pick up too much product and your makeup will end up looking powdery and unnatural.)

Currently, I have 4 setting powders in my collection. Read on to see how they differ from one another. =)

Dior DiorSkin Forever Wear-Extending Invisible Retouch Powder ($42 for 12g): The compact comes in a velvet pouch with a thin sponge and a full-size mirror inside.  I'm not a fan of sponge applicators in general because I find them to be unsanitary. If I need to touch-up throughout the day, I just carry a retractable brush with me. However, I do appreciate the large mirror, which is very handy when you're applying your makeup on the go.

I bought it in shade 002 Transparent Medium and it looks pinkier and more cool toned than my other setting powders. Also, it looks chalky when swatched on my fingers and arms. However, when I apply it onto my face, it's translucent and doesn't change the color or the undertone of my foundation. Also, it's very sheer and it feels lightweight on my skin.

I've tried applying it over my Dior Forever foundation, but the finish ended up looking too matte and unnatural. The foundation already has a matte finish, so when you use a setting powder that's very mattifying, it's just overkill. I prefer to use the Dior setting powder over my MUFE HD foundation, which has a natural finish. It mattifies my skin without creating a mask-like effect and it lengthens the wear of my foundation.

According to the ingredients list, the Dior setting powder "may contain" Bismuth Oxychloride; however, it's a relief to know that it has not given me a horrible skin reaction. (I usually get an itchy rash and tiny bumps all over my face if Bismuth Oxychloride is one of the product's main ingredients.)

Active Ingredient: Octinoxate (Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate) 5%
Other Ingredients: Talc, Polyethylene, HDI/Trimethylol Hexyllactone Crosspolymer, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Isopropyl Isostearate, Silica, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycerin, Aqua (Water), BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Moringa Pterygosperma Seed Extract, Disodium Phosphate, Citric Acid

[+/-(May Contain): Cl 77007 (Ultramarines), Cl 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), Cl 77491, 77492, 77499 (Iron Oxides), Cl 77891 (Titanium Dioxide)]
Burberry Sheer Luminous Pressed Powder ($45 for 10g): The compact comes in a velvet pouch with a full-size mirror inside and Burberry's signature check pattern embossed on the powder. It has a magnetic closure and it's slightly heavier than the Dior and MAC compact, which makes it feel more luxurious. It also comes with a mini brush that fits in the outer pocket of the velvet pouch. The brush is soft, narrow, and dense; however, it is not ideal for applying setting powder because it picks up too much product, does not distribute evenly and creates a sharp line. It's more appropriate for contouring, since it offers precision and fits into the contours of the face really well. 

I bought it in shade No. 01 because it has a yellow undertone. (Shade No. 02 is for those with a pink undertone.) The product is translucent and doesn't add any color or coverage to my skin. It feels so silky smooth and lightweight on my skin. Also, it has a strong, but lovely scent. Others may find it overpowering, but I assure you that the scent dissipates within minutes of application. 

When I use the Burberry powder to set my MUFE HD foundation, it doesn't control my natural oils from breaking through as well as the Dior setting powder. However, I love using the Burberry powder to set my Dior Forever foundation because it takes the shine away without making me look powdery or too matte (like the Dior setting powder does) and it just leaves a natural finish to my skin.

Ingredients: Talc, Zea Mays (corn) Starch, Silica, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Dimethicone, Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate, Zinc Stearate, Calcium Carbonate, Zeolite, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, Polyperfluoroethoxymethoxy Difluoroethyl Peg Phosphate, Propylparaben, Tetrasodium Edta, Tocopheryl Acetate, Parfum (fragrance), Butylparaben, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Bht, Panthenol, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxycitronellal

[+/- (May Contain): Mica (Cl 77019) Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891), Iron Oxides (Cl 77491, Cl 77492, Cl 77499), Ultramarines (Cl 77007)]

MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder ($23 for 12g): I usually get this at the Estee Lauder Company Store for around $16. It doesn't come in fancy packaging like the other 3 setting powders do, but it is the most affordable of the bunch. Like many other setting powders in the market, it comes with a thin sponge applicator and a small mirror inside. Although the mirror is small compared to the other ones, I don't find it to be an issue because it's still big enough to apply makeup on the go.

I'm an NC30/35 in MAC foundations, W4 in L'oreal True Match, 127 in MUFE HD and 031 mixed with 021 in Dior Forever. I use the MAC powder in NC25 to set my foundations because it doesn't change the color of my skin tone. The MAC powder in NC30 oxidizes throughout the day and makes me look orange. However, since my Dior Forever foundation in 021 is too light for me, I use the MAC NC30 powder over it to darken it. Using MAC's Select Sheer powder is a more affordable option to adjust your skin tone, instead of buying different shades of high-end foundations to match your Winter color and Summer tan. 

The MAC powder does look slightly powdery when I see myself upclose in the mirror. (I never really noticed this until I compared it to my other setting powders.) However, it's not really an issue because it's barely noticeable, especially from someone else's view. 

It keeps my natural oils at bay for at least 4 hours, which is what most powders do. Although it doesn't feel as lightweight and it doesn't lengthen the wear of my foundation as well as the Dior powder, I still keep repurchasing it because it does a good enough job for me and the price is reasonable.

Ingredients: Talc, Silica, Octyldodecyl Lactate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Nylon-12, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ascorbyl Palmiatate, Lecithin, Aluminum Sulphate, Zeolite, Zein, Perfluoropolymethylisopropyl Ether, BHT, Tetrasodium EDTA, Sorbic Acid, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben

[+/- (May Contain): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Cl 77891), Iron Oxides (Cl 77491, Cl77492, Cl77499), Chromium Oxide Greens (Cl77288), Ferric Ferrocyanide (Cl77510), Ultramarines (Cl77007), Red 6 Lake (Cl15850), Red 7 Lake (Cl15850), Red 30 Lake (Cl73360), Yellow 5 Lake (Cl19140)] 

Becca Fine Pressed Powder ($42 for 10g): The compact comes in a zippered nylon pouch with a full-size mirror inside and a cute powder puff that feels more durable than the thin sponge applicators. The exterior is made of rubber and it's similar to NARS packaging, but it also has a metal center, which gives it weight. It's actually the heaviest compact of the bunch.

I bought this in shade Cardamon, but it's too dark for my NC30/35 skin tone and too light to use for contouring. Wheat or Mocha would have been a better color choice, but was out of stock.

The powder feels silky, though not as silky as the Burberry powder. Also, it has a strong scent that's not pleasant, but it quickly dissipates within minutes of application. (It is important to mention that other people have smelled it and loved the scent.) 

The main issue that I have with this is that it does not keep the shine away on my oily t-zone. My natural oils start breaking through around my nose area within an hour of application. It actually feels too "hydrating" on my skin. Therefore, those with dry skin will benefit more from this powder because it doesn't dry out the skin any further or make it look flaky.

Ingredients: Talc, Dimethylimidazolidinone Rice Starch, Mica, Aqua (Water), Propylene Glycol, Magnesium Myristate, Octyldodecanol, Isopropyl Myristate, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-150, Ricinus Communis (Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil), Cetearyl Alcohol, Quaternium-26, Silica, Glyceryl Ricinoleate, Carnauba (Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax), Candelilla Cera (Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax), Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Cera Microcristallina (Microcrystalline Wax), Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, Cetyl Alcohol, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Paraffinum Liquidum (Mineral Oil), Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Parfum (Fragrance)

[+/- (May Contain): Titanium Dioxide CI 77891, Iron Oxides CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499, Ultramarines CI 77007, Yellow 5 Lake CI 19140, Yellow 6 Lake CI 15985]

Bottom Line: If you want a good setting powder that's affordable, then the MAC Select Sheer powder is for you. If you have a bigger budget, then I recommend getting the Dior setting powder, which is the most mattifying powder of the bunch. It works especially well with foundations that have a natural finish because it keeps the oils at bay, while still maintaining a natural look. The Burberry Sheer powder is more ideal for setting matte foundations because it's not overly mattifying to the point that it would dry out your face. It just takes the shine away and leaves a soft, natural finish to the skin. Those with dry skin will find the Becca powder to be a more suitable option since it won't accentuate dry patches or dry out the skin even further.

Note: The Dior and Burberry setting powder are available at Sephora and at Nordstrom. The MAC setting powder is available at Nordstrom. The Becca setting powder is available at Sephora.

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

What do you use to set your makeup?

Swatches + Review: MAC Hey Sailor! Highlight Powder in Crew

MAC recently launched the Hey, Sailor! Collection and I decided to place my order with Nordstrom since I was getting other beauty stuff as well. =)

Crew consists of 3 main shades, including a pinky lilac, pink and peachy orange, which all have a satin finish. The colored stripes may seem like they are just an overlay; however, the creamy beige shade is actually the one that's an overlay because underneath it, lies the 3 main shades. 

The texture feels smooth and the pigmentation is great (not sheer, but not too pigmented). It applies easily and nicely with a standard blush brush, such as the Studio Gear #13 (full reviewor the Japonesque Professional blush brush (mini review). When I mix all the colors together, it translates into a light pinky shade with a hint of peach on my cheeks. It looks a little bit washed out and chalky on my NC30/35 skin tone. However, after I spritz some MAC Fix+ or plain water and wait about 15 minutes, the color warms up to my skin and ends up looking natural without any ashiness or ghastly cast. Also, I like using more of the orange shade because it makes my cheeks look more peachy, which looks more flattering on my skin tone. 

It has a semi-matte finish and it leaves a subtle glow to the cheeks that looks very natural and appropriate for work. It's definitely not an eye-catching frosty highlighter/blush. As for the wear time, it lasted at least 8 hours without fading when worn over liquid foundation + setting powder. 

(The beige overlay is pretty thick. It took me a while to remove it with a dense brush. Once the beige overlay is gone, the blush is actually not chalky anymore and it looks quite lovely on my medium-tan skin tone; however, it will take at least 6 months before seeing the 3 main colors underneath, even if you use it consistently everyday.)

Bottom Line: Crew is labeled as a highlight powder, but it's also a blush that can lean more pink or peach, depending on how you apply it. I love the nautical themed packaging and I'm glad that the colored stripes are not just an overlay & that the 3 main colors are hidden underneath the beige overlay. However, the application can be a little tricky and requires more work for those with a medium or dark skin tone. Lighter beauties will definitely enjoy this more.

Note: The MAC Highlight Powder in Crew contains 10g/0.35oz. It is limited edition and is still available at MAC counters, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Dillard's for $29.

What did you grab from the Hey, Sailor! Collection?

*This post contains affiliate links. None of the products mentioned are sponsored.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Beauty Blog Sale 2012: MAC, Dior, Urban Decay, Shu Uemura, Becca

Hey beauties, I’m clearing out some of my makeup. Instead of throwing them away, I decided to hold a blog sale. As some of you know, I get most of my drugstore products for free from one of my lovely friends who's an extreme couponer and a beauty hoarder. All proceeds will go to her, minus the shipping costs and the Paypal fees that I will have to pay. =)

1. All sales final. No returns.
2. Shipping within the US is $5 flat rate. This covers the cost of shipping, tracking, & packaging supplies.
3. No international shipping because the shipping rate is ridiculously high. (You really won't be saving any money by purchasing from this blog sale if you're an international buyer.)
4. Payment required within 24hrs or the item goes to the next person.
5. Paypal only because this is the safest way for both the buyer & the seller.
6. Email me at with the email title “Blog Sale: (put item name here)"

I'll be adding new items for sale,
so keep checking back. =)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spa Week Coupon Code 2012: 15% OFF at ALL Spas + Nail Salons

524558_Spa & Wellness Gift Card 250x250

You all know how spas can get a little pricey. The average price for an hour massage is $60. Facials can go anywhere from $60-$200. Well, in honor of Dads and Grads, Spa Week is offering 15% off all Spa & Wellness Gift Cards*, which can be used at over 5,000 spas & nail salons nationwide and they never expireYou can have the gift card shipped to you for $4.99 or you can just print it out online for freeEnter coupon code DADGRAD15 at checkout. Coupon code expires June 18, 2012.

I just bought one for myself and a few of my friends. 
This deal is just too good to pass up! 

*affiliate link

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