7.28.2012

Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections Review and Swatches

Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections
Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections

I just got this Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections on major sale. Even though they were only released a few months ago, Sephora Collection has slashed the price of their beautiful Prisma Chrome Eyeshadows down to $5! 

I'm not sure why these shadows were not more popular. The shade selection was unique, the wave design is sleek and futuristic, and the color payoff is great.

Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections is a very yellow gold shimmer with great pigmentation. I love how bold this eyeshadow looks when applied dry, and it looks even more intense when applied wet. The texture is pretty soft, albeit a little powdery.

In this photo, I'm wearing Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections on my lid and a golden brown shadow in the crease.

Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections Swatch
Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow in Gold Reflections

Predictably, Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadows are going fast now that they're dirt cheap. Gold Reflections has already sold out on Sephora's website and only one shade, Orange Facets, appears to be left.

However, the Amazon link at the bottom of this page shows that many of these Prisma Chrome Eyeshadows are still available through Sephora's Amazon page. They are still $5 and shipped directly by Sephora, so I'm guessing that Sephora has dedicated stock to be sold through Amazon that hasn't run out yet. Many more shades are available there too, so check it out before they're all gone!


7.27.2012

SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ to Debut in Select Sephora Stores


Image from Sephora Beauty Talk

[Update: I tried the COLOR IQ system in San Francisco myself. Read my review here! http://www.nicolereviewsbeauty.com/2012/08/does-sephora-pantone-color-iq-actually.html ]

Exciting news! In its continued collaboration with color authority Pantone, Sephora plans to debut a foundation color matching technology tool. 

Here's what Sephora had to say in their Beauty Talk community forum:

SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ
Available at SEPHORA 5 Times Square in Manhattan July 26th and SEPHORA Powell Street in San Francisco, in early August
-    Find Your Scientifically Precise Foundation Shade From Over 1,000 Foundations In Our Stores -

SEPHORA, the leading beauty specialty retailer, and Pantone LLC, the global color authority, unveil SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ, the most advanced foundation matching tool available in North American beauty retail.   Powered by Pantone and based off the color matching technology developed by X-Rite, the SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ system is the first and only beauty device to scan the surface of the skin and assign an official Pantone skintone number, to find your scientifically precise foundation shade amongst our 1,000 foundations, brands and formulas.

“SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ POWERED BY PANTONE is an incredible tool that delivers a real benefit to our clients,” says Margarita Arriagada, SVP of Merchandising at Sephora. “We see this as the first application of this patented Sephora exclusive technology, and are excited to expand its capabilities for other uses in the color world.”

The SEPHORA+ PANTONE COLOR IQ is a hand held tool based off the Pantone X-Rite Spectrocolorimeter used in the design world.  As the first of its kind in cosmetics retail, the device works by taking an image of your skin, analyzing and assigning you an official Pantone skintone number.  With that number, Sephora beauty experts reference SEPHORA’s Universal Skintone Guide (via iPad) which holds over 1,000 foundation skus to determine what products are a precise match for your skintone.    

“SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ eliminates many of the variables that can affect shade selection, including pigment challenges, skin texture and undertones which can often distort the clients match,” added SEPHORA PRO Gilbert Soliz. “As an artist, I know the right foundation is essential to a great makeup look so this is an amazing resource to have for my consultations.  It allows me to pull the best matches across all our brand offerings for my clients personalized consultation.”

Facts about the SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ:

SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ Handheld Device:
  • Image takes 1.8 seconds to capsure
  • Produces  27 photographs in black and white using 8 different visible LED bands and 1 ultraviolet band
  • COLOR IQ measures only in red/green/blue
  • Ultraviolet and three split spectrums
  • Grid of 100x100 pixels across skin sample which then becomes one color composite
  • New method of color measurement, including texture and surface sample variables, allowing for the most accurate color positioning

Cameras vs COLOR IQ device for pigment precision:
  • Traditional cameras uses ambient light (huge pigment variables)
  • COLOR IQ can measure pigment in pitch darkness, does not require ambient lighting for precision matching

SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ Skintone Library:
  • Ethnicity isn’t relevant when color matching- there are more factors in the physiology of the skin that determine color (hemoglobin, sun exposure, freckles, skin conditions, sun burn, excess or absence of melanin)
  • 110 colors are mapped out by the Pantone Color Institute that comprise the SEPHORA + PANTONE Skintone Library
  • Colors are based on SEPHORA’s current foundation landscape and can be expanded as more brand offerings are added, making the most comprehensive foundation library available at retail
  • iPad app platform, exclusive to SEPHORA
  • only available in SEPHORA stores

Recommendations for the best SEPHORA + PANTONE Color IQ match:
  • No workout 30 minutes prior to match
  • No chemical or harsh peels 3-6 days prior to match
  • Drink more water and less caffeine prior to match, caffeine restricts blood flow, affecting flush of skin
  • If you are wearing self tanner, disclose to the Sephora artist for a better match



Considering I live in Oakland, I am so excited to try this new technology when it debuts at the San Francisco Sephora store. You can bet I will be there ASAP in August so that I can take pictures to share with you, Dear Readers!

If the new SEPHORA + PANTONE COLOR IQ technology is effective, I can imagine it totally changing how we select foundation in the future. I would love to leave difficult color matching behind!

Is anyone else excited for this?

[Update: I tried the COLOR IQ system in San Francisco myself. Read my review here! http://www.nicolereviewsbeauty.com/2012/08/does-sephora-pantone-color-iq-actually.html ]

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask Review

Ren Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask
REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask

Here's a product that lots of people love that just does nothing for me. REN claims that its REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask($55) "removes dead skin cells to renew the complexion, skin looks brighter, 
healthier, more radiant, helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and combats congestion, 
blackheads and blemishes." I've been using this product for three weeks and have seen none of these outcomes.

REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask is positioned as an all-natural alternative to chemical alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) exfoliants. It contains extracts from papaya, lemon, pineapple, grape, and passionfruit intended to exfoliate skin and brighten the complexion. Unfortunately, I ended up with irritated skin instead of radiant skin.

I'm not sure if the redness, blotchiness and breakouts I suffered after using REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask were caused by the fruit extracts or from other, nonactive ingredients. A glance down the ingredients list shows that this product contains many citrus oils, which are known to cause skin irritation. REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask also uses a bergamot water base, which can damage cells and increase skin sensitivity to light. Even though this mask is marketed as a gentle option for sensitive skin, I think most people should steer clear of this potentially damaging product.

In addition to doing nothing for my skin, REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Peel Mask is expensive. I was lucky enough to try this product as a sample from my friend Tammy at Makeup Wishes, so I'm quite glad I did not waste my money. I've had far better luck with exfoliants such as Clinique Mild Clarifying Lotion and Brazilian Peel. If you'd still prefer a plant-based option, I've found that Jurlique Fruit Enzyme Exfoliator is a truly gentle product that actually leaves skin softer and more radiant.


7.26.2012

Essie Nail Lacquer in Russian Roulette Review and Swatches

Essie Nail Lacquer in Russian Roulette Swatch
Essie Nail Lacquer in Russian Roulette

This week's manicure is brought to you by the Walgreen's in Town Center Plaza, Leawood, Kansas! I'm a California girl, but I was in KS last weekend for my boyfriend's sister's wedding. I missed the manicure I was supposed to attend with the bridal party, so I ran into the nearest drugstore and grabbed a bottle of polish from one of my favorite brands, Essie.

Essie Nail Lacquer in Russian Roulette($8) is a bright red cream with orange undertones. It's not a spectacularly unique shade, but I thought it would go well with my retro-inspired dress from Stop Staring Clothing. My dress is slightly above-the-knee, but the website seems to only be selling this longer version currently. You get the idea:

GAVAD-03 RED
Image from Stop Staring Clothing

I paired this dress with nude, peep-toe wedges to keep the look summery. I was in such a rush to get ready that I smeared polish on my hands, as evidenced in the picture. I also only painted my first three toenails since they were the only ones visible in the peep-toes!

After I cleaned up the mess I made of my hands, Essie Nail Lacquer in Russian Roulette finished off my look quite well. The shade is nothing earth-shattering, but it is a great, reliable retro red. I will definitely be pulling this one out whenever red nails are needed, or if I get a chance to wear my Stop Staring dress again!


7.25.2012

Too Faced Gift with Purchase Offer

Sun On The Run
Too Faced Sun on the Run
Speaking of Too Faced, the brand has a new Gift with Purchase offer now through Sunday, July 29th!

For orders over $39, you can receive 1. Sun Bunny Bronzer, a silky combination of a rich, golden bronze and a classic bronze with a touch of pink undertone and 2. Flatbuki Brush, a palm-sized kubuki brush with a flattened top for precise application. This two-pieced set has a value of $30.

Enter code SunOnTheRun at checkout on orders over $39. HURRY - Offer ends 7/29 at midnight PST.

Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy Review and Swatches

Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy

Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Creme Color in Prim and Poppy($21) is a standout in my makeup collection. The luminous color glides on smooth and creamy for perfect application, then sets to non-greasy finish that won't melt away. This multitasking dynamo is perfect if you want to use a single product to enliven your lips and cheeks, and its slim compact makes it a great choice for taking on the go.

Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy Swatch
Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy

Unlike some multi-use products, Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy looks equally lovely on lips and cheeks. On cheeks, just a few dabs is enough to blend out for a sheer, natural-looking flush, while the pigmentation is strong enough for a beautifully bright look on lips.

Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy
Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy

This product has been out for awhile, and it seems like MAC may have taken inspiration from Too Faced for their newly released Casual Color Lip and Cheek Color in Out for Fun ($20). The two products are similar in that they are both coral creams for lips and cheeks, but there are some key differences.

Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy Swatch
Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy Swatch

While Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy is a peachy coral-pink, MAC Casual Color lip and Cheek Color in Out for Fun is more of an orangey coral-red. I've found that the color of Prim and Poppy is more subtle and versatile, while Out for Fun can only be worn with certain outfits. Further, MAC Casual Color Lip and Cheek Color sets to a satin finish, so it feels greasier than the comfortable matte finish of Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color in Prim and Poppy.

Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color is available in two other shades: Sweet Pea, a pink berry, and Tea Rose, a dusty rose. After looking at swatches, Sweet Pea is on my wish list for sure!

Have you tried Too Faced Full Bloom Lip and Cheek Crème Color? Do you like multitasking lip and cheek products, or do you prefer to use a dedicated blush and lipstick?


7.24.2012

Bloom Illuminiser Review and Swatches

Bloom Illuminiser
Bloom Illuminiser

Bloom Cosmetics is an award-winning Australian makeup brand with a focus on natural ingredients and a light, playful aesthetic. Founder Natalie Bloom didn't start out with grand business plans; she just wanted to create beautifully designed, high-quality products. Lucky for her, makeup fans fell in love with her creative spirit and now Bloom Cosmetics is a fast-growing brand sold around the world.

Bloom Illuminiser ($36) is a creamy, shimmering highlighter dispensed in fool-proof stick form. The Illuminiser is available in one color, a very pale, pearlized peach shade that looks quite natural and flattering. Unlike some other highlighters that are heavy on glitz and glitter, this subtle product is perfect for daily wear. 

Bloom Illuminiser has been my go-to highlighter for several months because it is just so easy to use. The texture is very creamy, so it's easy to blend the edges for a natural look. Simply slide across the high planes of your face and smooth for instant radiance and contour. 

Bloom Illuminiser Swatch
Bloom Illuminiser Swatch

Bloom Illuminiser is said to be a good dupe for NARS Multiple in Copacabana. After looking at swatches online it seems to me that the two products are fairly close, although NARS Copacabana looks a bit pinker in some images. Bloom Illuminiser is only $3 cheaper than NARS Multiple in Copacabana ($36 vs. $39), so I think your shade and formula preferences would be the main factors in choosing to buy one or the other.

I, for one, am in love with Bloom Illuminiser. The creamy texture is easy to apply and the beautiful shade is tons of fun to wear. I'm so happy I discovered this Australian import and I can't wait to explore more of the brand's girly-chic products.


24850_Shop Target’s Summer Cyber Week Sale -  Ends 7/28!

7.23.2012

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage Review and Swatches

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage
L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage

I previously reviewed L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Amber Rush and raved about its incredible staying power, intense pigmentation, and creamy texture. 

Since then, I've received a second L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow from my friend Kim from Makeup Alley. My comments from my previous review hold true, but I just wanted to share this new, gorgeous shade with you: L'Oreal Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in Golden Sage($7.95).

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage
L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage is a medium sage green shade with gold shimmer. Like Amber Rush, L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage feels like a cream but applies like a powder.

These eyeshadows both have densely packed pigment with lots of shine.

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage Swatch
L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage Swatch

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage does have some fall out, so be sure to tap your brush before applying the shadow to your lid and look out for dust under your eyes when you finish blending.

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage Swatch
L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage

In these photos, I'm wearing L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage all over my lid and in the crease. I used a golden ivory shade from LORAC TANtalEYES Baked Eyeshadow Palette to highlight.

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage Swatch
L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hr Eye Shadow in Golden Sage

I continue to be impressed with the staying power of the L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows. The formula is incredibly water resistant and lasts for hours, even in hot July weather. Plus, the smooth, intense pigmentation and luminous shine make these shadows look much more expensive and luxe than what's typically found at the drugstore.

As long as you can deal with some fallout, L'Oreal Infallible Eye Shadows are some of the best products you can buy with less than ten dollars!