This powder blush is part of the August 2007 Smoke Signals Collection. The shade is described as a matte grey brown, but it's actually a bit darker than it appears in the online color swatch - more of a basic, soft brown, without even a hint of warmth. Being cool-toned, I liked finding such a shade that wouldn't appear orangey. But this blush is quite sheer, and I usually brush it on several times before it reaches the intensity I want. And even then, its sheerness leaves the color of my naturally rosy cheeks peeking through, which I don't really want to see. In the end, I feel that Emote's color payoff is very disappointing, for what this product is hyped to be (and for how beautiful it appears in the pot). UPDATE, 9/5: Okay, after a week of trying to make a reasonably pigmented blush out of this, it obviously can be nothing more than a simple, one-dimensional contour color. Which is fine, as I'll get plenty of use out of it for that purpose, but I do wish MAC had marked and sold it as a contour brown, and nothing more.
I give this product high marks for wear. It goes on smooth, dries to a powdery finish, and it lasts all day on my lids without creasing. I bought this shade as an e/s base, but am a bit disappointed in the color for that purpose. The shade is golder than it appears in the pot, so I will only be able to use it with more rustic fall and winter shadows. If you are pale like me, and looking for a flesh-like shade to brighten the lids (like LM's Linen Eye Basic), you won't find that in Painterly.
Loose Powders -Becca - Fine Loose Finishing Powder
filmart 8/24/2007 7:08:00 AM
I bought this product for a couple of years, as I was pleased with its finely milled texture and its non-drying, non-irritating finish, in spite of its poor low volume/high price ratio. However, the company has made recent changes in this powder that have made it easy for me to walk away from it. For starters, the size of the pot has again been reduced, while its high price has been retained. Now, the sifter is a permanent, attached part of the pot, so you'd have to crack off the sifter in order to deposit some of the powder into travel containers. Also, the wonderful Bisque shade (a major point in my ever buying this powder) has been changed, from a completely cool, white-pink shade to a cream-pink instead. But this is probably all for the good anyway, since Sephora is ready to discontinue the line (reportedly due to supply problems) and this makeup will then have to be ordered online directly from Becca.
This is a pretty good eyeliner, and it proved durable for me. However, it doesn't really have that much in common with MAC or BB gel liners, as it appears to. Clinique's texture is actually more of a liquid-thin cream than it is a gel, so you'll likely have to keep reapplying it in spots in order to get an even-toned line across the lid. The Egyptian color is actually a brown-olive, and like so many wet liners on the market, it appears almost black once it dries. Overall, this product is nice, and I'll get plenty of use out of it. But it's not as easy to use as a true gel eyeliner, and the color is not as unique on the eyes as it appears in the pot, so I won't be repurchasing it.
Eye Shadow -L'Oreal - Wear Infinite Quad 841 Golden Canyon
filmart 8/20/2007 7:13:00 AM
This quad looked so pretty on the store shelf, I assumed it to be like L'Oreal's eye shadows of two or more years ago (like my stash of the original Landscape) - with a soft, sheer, satin-type finish. But Golden Canyon is clearly one of the company's newer, frostier selections, and its texture made my eyelids look so crepey that I immediately had to wash it off. It's nice, however, to finally see sturdy packaging in a L'Oreal e/s compact, but why only package the Limited Editions like this?
Eyeliner -Revlon - Luxurious Color Eyeliner - Burnished Amber 503
filmart 8/13/2007 7:17:00 AM
I had a lot of trouble getting this shade to appear dark enough on me, and the more I kept reapplying it, the thicker the line became (and the more I kept using my Eraser pen, until I just gave up). I didn't care for the color, either, as it ended up appearing too red.
Eye Shadow -Sonia Kashuk - Spring Into Action Eye Shadow Quad - 07
filmart 7/24/2007 6:13:00 AM
As the name suggests, these eye shadows are designed for a sheer spring/summer wash of color. The quad features pastel shades of taupe, purple, peach and a lime-tinged beige, all with a soft shimmer. The shadows blend easily, but once they are blended, they're more muted on the lids than they appear in the compact. Overall, this quad provides a nice, subtle, seasonal look, and it's reasonably priced.
Makeup Brushes -Sonia Kashuk - Contour Blusher Brush
filmart 7/24/2007 5:54:00 AM
This design is part of Sonia Kashuk's premium line of makeup brushes (black handles), packaged inside white and clear plastic cases. The Contour Blusher Brush is a narrower version of her Angled Blush Brush, featuring a long, contoured handle for easy grip, and synthetic (yet soft and plush) bristles. It works best for precise application of contour shades or highlight powders. Obviously $14.99 is a pretty steep price for a brush used for such subtle touches, but Target does occasionally put the line on sale.
Loose Powders -Clinique - Blended Face Powder and Brush
filmart 7/11/2007 7:37:00 AM
Like so many women, I used this product for quite some time, and even went back to it more than once, as it seemed "advanced" for its days. But, upon re-trying this recently, I came to realize that it accentuates pores (even though Clinique claims that it "makes pores seem to disappear"), and its shine control disappeared almost as soon as I left the house. But typical of Clinique, they feel that many of their products are "classics," and they make no attempt to improve and modernize them. They obviously think so highly of this Blended Face Powder formula that it appears they merely repackage it for the parent company's Good Skin line at Kohl's (at least to my testing judgment). As others here have pointed out, it's good that so many other brands are available now, offering far better powders than this. Too bad Clinique/EL doesn't recognize the same.
Deodorants -Unlisted Brand - Mitchum Smart Solid - Greenwood
filmart 7/10/2007 5:49:00 AM
I can't believe that I'm writing a bad review for Mitchum, as I've been using their deodorants for most of my life. I've used them in all forms - gels, roll-ons and solids - and they've always been very effective as both anti-perspirants and deodorants. I was quick to try the new Smart Solid line, as it promised "the maximum level of active ingredient" (aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly 20% - anti-perspirant). The Greenwood fragrance is designed for men, but will appeal to many women as well. The Smart Solid did indeed work well as an anti-perspirant, but poorly as a deodorant (a first for me - in my entire lifetime - with any Mitchum hygiene product). I kept using Smart Solid for at least two weeks, but the formula just wouldn't work for me. A shame, since I absolutely loved its fresh green scent.
This is an impressively plush kabuki which has proven just as effective as expensive department store brushes I've owned. Its only flaw is its light shedding, and hopefully the company will eventually fix this, especially with its ever-growing popularity. But overall it's quite reasonable and a very good powder/mineral brush to have around.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30+ Sport
filmart 6/25/2007 11:09:00 AM
This product is a tough one to rate (probably a 3.5 rating would be more accurate). It offers good protection (6% zinc oxide). It's listed as a Sport formula, yet it feels rather greasy for the first 15-30 minutes it's on the skin. It's also listed as unscented, although there's an obvious medicinal smell to it upon application (which, thankfully, dissipates quickly). This sunscreen's consistency is thin and runny, so you have to be careful to not pour out too much of it, especially with the soft plastic bottle it comes in. Overall, this is not an exceptional sunscreen, but considering that most sunscreens out there are unregulated, with chemical blockers and poor protection factors, this still rates higher than most.
Sunscreen -Unlisted Brand - Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen SPF 30 Sensitive
filmart 6/25/2007 10:54:00 AM
This is a thick, high protection sunscreen that's unscented, and which features 5% titanium dioxide, 10% zinc oxide. The thickness makes it necessary to spread and rub over the skin completely, so extra time is necessary for application. It also has both a whitish cast and a noticeable shine. Personally, it has never clogged my pores or irritated my sensitive skin, and it has never "melted off" on hot days, but its coverage can feel slightly heavy. With such features, this is not a product for all skin types and complexions, but it offers far better protection than you'll get from nearly all d/s sunscreens out there.
This brush has the perfect angle, stiffness and thin design to allow for finely-drawn brows. It's proven far more durable than MAC 208 as well, so this is a pleasant, relatively-inexpensive surprise.
Bronzers -Laura Geller - Balance And Bronze Split Compact
filmart 6/18/2007 7:51:00 AM
This is a poorly designed compact (difficult to use the colors individually), and the colors are muddy and hard to blend. The swirled, baked design looks pretty, but it's just a gimmick, and that's all that Sephora obviously cared about when recently adding this line (and, disappointingly, this line is almost entirely designed for warm-toned skin). Judging from my local Sephora, it looks like Laura Geller replaces Paul Dorf, which is not a change for the better.