NARS Orgasm Illuminator

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 3 - 2010

A.K.A… the one I’ve been waiting for!

This much anticipated release from NARS is another reason I was in London last Thursday.  I attended the presentation with VexintheCity and by the time 5.30 rolled around we were giddy with glee.

Elbowing each other outta the way to get up the stairs, we practically fell through the door looking every bit true Orgasm addicts.  Stop sniggering.

In it’s simple packaging… it looks kinda plain and… well, um… orange.  There I’ve said it.  It looks orange.  If you’re as pale as me, I know you’re gonna understand when I say that I may have physically recoiled from the tube.  Truth be known, my soul felt slightly crushed.  It looked *nothing* like I was expecting.  I mean, I don’t know just WHAT I was expecting… but it sure wasn’t a tube of ORANGE.

Anyway, here’s what Sephora (Oh! Sweet Sephora) has to say about it:

What it is:
A complexion enhancer that makes skin look instantly refreshed, radiant, and glowing.

What it does:
NARS Orgasm Illuminator lights your skin from within! Deceptively sheer and decidedly luminous, it magically transforms lackluster skin into a remember-me, luscious complexion. Flirt with foundation, go it alone, or go neck-and-neck with your décolleté. The effect is, well, orgasmic.

Whatever.  It’s still ORANGE.

And so I applied…

Woahhh Orange…

To be fair, I applied WAY TOO MUCH!  Seriously, this stuff spreads… you need the teeniest amount.

and then I blended…

and I blended some more…

You can see how far a little goes, right?

I haven’t sheered it out too much in the picture above so that you can still see the colour impression… I wouldn’t wear it this pigmented, although you could if you blended out the edges.

That’s more like it!!  Can you see the dewy faintly peach glow?

I want to suggest that the ladies (in my humble opinion) most likely to put Monsieur NARS on their Xmas card list for introducing this, will be darker-skinned.  Check out some swatches over at VexintheCity for an idea of how it looks on dark-skinned sisters.  On fair skin it’s beautiful… but it’s lacking the wow-factor that seems to magically appear on deeper tones.

Having said that, would I repurchase? Yes.

I think some people are expecting this to be the same as the blush, but in liquid form.  It isn’t.  It illuminates the skin with the teeniest hint of colour… and I think it will polarise opinion.  It’s subtlety will either be it’s strength or it’s weakness depending on what you want from it.

I slick a little of this ontop of my blush (not necessarily Orgasm!) for that extra bit of oomph… and it looks great down the centre of my nose.  Don’t laugh, it makes my nose look less um “fat”.  (Do you think it’ll work on my bum?)

It’s also fab for highlighting the cupids bow and although I know there are a 1001 illuminators out there that would do the job adequately, I’m back to stressing just how easy to use this is.

I suppose the nearest ‘dupe’ I have to this would be Illamasqua’s ‘Fondle’ Illuminator which I love, but find to be a little too glowy for daytime and if I don’t blend thoroughly, it leaves a hard edge.

I also own and adore NARS Albatross.  For me, Albatross is the best highlighter on the market.  Bar none.  Truthfully, it’s better than this for my skintone, but I wouldn’t dare try and apply it on the go.  Ladies who own it would agree with me that it needs a *very* light touch and more than a little patience to stop you looking like a disco ball.

NARS Orgasm Illuminator is foolproof.  It dries to a powder finish, leaving no horrible sticky residue and yet it doesn’t dry too quickly.  You can blend until you’ve got it *just* how you want it.  Im a dunce and I could apply this in the dark without screwing it up.  I’m honestly not sure how the formula manages to combine powder-finish with such blendability.

If you want the beautiful Orgasm flush, go for the blush.  If you want a subtle grown-up glow that you can add to your foundation without looking ridiculous, go for the illuminator.  Personally, I want both… he’s not daft that Monsieur. NARS.

NARS Orgasm Illuminator will be available from 18th February as a Space NK exclusive (boo!), before being rolled out across all NARS Counters on the 1st March – priced at £21.


ELF Shimmer Palette Review & Swatches

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 22 - 2009

So, the ELF Studio Line has burst onto the scene with a variety of affordable makeup and the most interesting thing about it all to me is some of the innovation it’s brought with it.

I’m talking genuinely new, innovative products… that, and trying to knock high-end products down from their pedestals (HD Powder anyone? – p.s. how are you finding that?)

elfshimmeringpalette

Introducing the Shimmer Palette.

It’s a palette of 4 shimmering iridescent cream shades that can be used to highlight wherever you choose to apply!

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The ELF Studio Line packaging has been consistently good, more than slightly reminiscent of NARS… everything I’ve bought or been given has a solid feel to it and this is no exception.

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The 4 shades included range from white through to a couple of peachy/gold colours ending with a pink.  All are very wearable shades.  Although I have no idea how they would look on deeper skintones.

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The consistency of the creams are slightly greasy which means that they blend very easily but need setting to stop them sliding.  The colours are also surprisingly pigmented until you blend them out into a nice sheen.

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You can see the iridescence in the shades in this swatch, I’ve tried using them on my cheekbones… I like.  I’ve tried using them on my eyelids… um, not so much like (too greasy).  I’ve yet to try them on my lips… I don’t really see the point.

Someone give me some more ideas of how to use!

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You can see the colours a little better here.

So, overall ELF’s Shimmer Palette is a nice, fun product.  It’s easy to use and does what ELF intended it to do… add a bit of shimmer an sheen wherever it’s used.

I’m not sure that I’m going to reach for the palette that often, I don’t really have much need for it… however, I will be buying some as Xmas pressies for a couple of young teenage girls in the family.  I think it would be awesome for that “too young to wear full on slap – but wants to play with makeup regardless” age.

Have you tried ELF’s Shimmer Palette – what say you?

Elemental Beauty Mineral Makeup – Review

Posted by Lipglossiping On October - 22 - 2009

This is gonna be a long one, lots to review and talk about… so grab a cup of tea and come straight back (milk and 2 sweeteners for me please).

Elemental Beauty are a British brand of mineral makeup.  I’m already a big fan of their mineral foundation.  I generally struggle to find shades that are pale and cool toned enough to be a match for me, but I get great results using their shade “English Rose”.

I had been wanting to feature a British mineral makeup brand on Lipglossiping for a little while.  I do love US Brands for their teeny baggies of eyeshadows and blushes that they’re willing to send all over the world for not much more than the price of the stamp… butwhen I want something a little more subdued, a little more suitable for everyday wear… then I tend to look a little closer to home.

I was pleased to receive some samples from Elemental Beauty and wanted to share my thoughts… Nicola at EB had been pre-warned that if I didn’t like something… I was gonna tell it like I saw it and to her credit – she was still completely game.  Confidence in your own products is something that told me I probably wouldn’t be too disappointed – and I was right!

I was sent: 3 Mineral Eyeshadows, a Mineral Illuminator & a Mineral Healing Concealer

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How pretty is the packaging?

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Very shabby chic, but um without the shabby.

I’d first heard of Elemental Beauty on the forums of MoneySavingExpert, where many forum-ites hold the soft-focus and healing foundations in extremely high regard.

The packaging twists open to reveal a sifter.  I’m in two minds about this sifter…

elementalbeautysifter

The holes are quite large, so I have to be careful when opening the jar as a lot of product is usually sitting ontop of the sifter and if I travel, I’d definitely have to sellotape over the holes.  But… I also hate sifters where the holes are so small it takes half an hour to tap out any product (The She Space sifters drive me to extreme frustrations).  I think I do prefer the bigger holes but they don’t come without that caveat.

Anyway, onto the products…

Lasting Mineral Eyeshadows:

I received three of these eyeshadows in shades: Sunbeam, Taupe and Vamp.  Here’s a swatch of how they looked foiled (applied with a wet brush) on my skin.

elementalbeautyswatches

Beautifuly pigmented no?

Taupe for me, is the problem child.  It’s described as “softly sparkling” which I’d agree with although compared to the other two it looks positively matte!

What I’m not keen on is the name.  If I ever created my own line of cosmetics I would completely eschew the word taupe from my colour descriptions!  It’s overused… and doesn’t have any set definition or benchmark.

Taupe is a vague, unscientific color term which may be used to refer to almost any grayish-brown, brownish-gray, or warm gray color. It often overlaps with tan and even people who use color professionally (such as designers and artists) frequently disagree as to what “taupe” means. There is no single, generally recognized authority for such terms.

Taken from Wikipedia

Now when taupe is done (in my subjective opinion) right… I adore it.  for me, taupe should be a mid-toned mix of grey and brown and if it has a little shimmer or metallic edge to lift it from drabness, then even better!

Elemental Beauty’s version of taupe to me is ‘orrible.  It’s too warm and orange.  It’s a decent colour in it’s own right, but it’s not the taupe I want! *and breathe*

I freakin’ love Sunbeam.  A perfect pale gold with a spectacular amount of micro sparkle which somehow manages to stop short of looking like a glitter bomb has exploded in my face.  So far, I’ve used this with great success as an all-over lid colour (foiled), a highlight  under the brow (dry) and a highlight near the tear ducts (foiled).  It’s beautiful and really lifts my complexion.

Vamp is a tricky one… it looks like an out and out purple from my swatch no?

But let me show you something….

elementalbeauty3web

This is Vamp foiled on the lid… the red-undertones in the shadow are far more apparent here than the metallic purple shown in the swatch.  It’s a colour shifting-shadow!  Great!  But I fell in love with the metallic purple in the swatch!  Gimme back that vibrant purple!

elementalbeauty5

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The above 2 images show Sunbeam on the lid with Vamp in the crease.  See how lovely Sunbeam is?  Again, Vamp looks more red-brown than purple.

I have no issues with pigmentation and the product is nicely milled which ensures a smooth, even application.

Mineral Illuminator:

elementalbeautyrosyapple

This is the Illuminator in Rosy Apple.  I wanted to capture the micro-sparkles, so although the above photo isn’t the best.  I think it demonstrates them clearly!  They’re fine and not at all chunky.

A little goes a long way!  I apply this to my cheekbones (avoiding the apple of the cheek) and I have found that using a loose bristled brush or fan brush is perfect for a rosy glow.

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Above: Illuminator in Rosy Apple, Vamp on lids, Taupe in crease.

Healing Mineral Concealer:

elementalbeautyconcealer

This is the Healing Mineral Concealer in shade “Bright Eyes”

They say:

A pale yellow concealer to conceal dark circles and give you a wide awake look! Bright eyes can also be used as a blemish concealer for very pale skin tones.

I’ve been mixing this with a tiny amount of my Body Shop Vitamin E Serum to create a fairly thick paste (you only need the tiniest amount of both products).  Then I’ve been patting it with my ring finger all over the eye area.  It really gives the whole area a lift and makes my eyes look brighter and fresher.  I also love the even base it creates on my eyelids for days when I just want to wear a slick of eyeliner and mascara.

I’ll be doing a further review with application pictures on this soon.

Are you still with me?

All EB products are Bismuth Free which is essential for me as Bismuth makes my face itch.

“Our healing foundation range – containing allantoin – has been very popular with people that have difficult or sensitive skin types and we have also created mica-free foundations for people that have found themselves to be allergic to mica.”

Nicola at EB has assured me that they create and custom blend all of their shades in-house.  I thought that was worth clarifying due to recent revelations of a certain mineral makeup company repackaging wholesale shades without declaring that they’re not custom blended.

Not only that, but check out what Nicola had to say when I asked her if people could email for shade advice:

“As we are a manufacturer, we are able to offer a bespoke service providing custom foundation shades for any of our customers that are struggling to find their perfect match in our standard shade range.

We can also make special eyeshadow and blusher shades for people who want something for a special occasion to match their outfit or lipstick etc so we can offer a very personal service.”

Shades to complement a special outfit? Awesome.

She also said…

“We often receive e-mails from customers that use specific shades of foundation in other non-mineral brands and are looking for us to make a mineral foundation equivalent for them so that they can switch to mineral makeup.”

Which I think is pretty decent service as shade selection from online mineral makeup selections often involves a leap of faith, I should know… I have binned many orange mineral foundations from bad choices!

Have you tried Elemental Beauty? What do you look for in a mineral makeup company? Like what you see here?  Need a lie down after that mammoth review? (I know I do!).

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