Blush -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish in Blonde Degradé
Astyra 1/15/2009 9:09:00 AM
Blonde consists of four varying shades which, when swirled together, become a light-medium muted pink with a pearly white sheen. There isn't much of a difference in color between the three darker stripes, with the far right shade being just slightly darker than the others. While the two middle shades look different in the pan (one appears to be more of a nude pink), they are virtually the same once applied on the skin, at least on me.
Compared to most of the other MSFs I've tested in the past, its texture is much smoother and silkier, and the shimmer is more finely milled. It also has pigment levels more akin to Stereo Rose than some of the more recent disappointments MAC has put out.
Light Flush - noticably warmer-toned, lacks the pearly white shimmer found in Blonde. Slightly less pigmented. Not too similar to Blonde, IMO.
Porcelain Pink - slightly lighter, a warmer pink, considerably less pigmented, chunkier shimmer particles, texture nowhere as smooth. Has gold veining and no white shimmer. Definitely different enough to own both.
Petticoat - of all the pink-toned MSFs I own, this is the most similar to Blonde. It is still not as cool-toned and also lacks the pearly white sheen - it has a pink iridescence instead. I would say if you already own it, Blonde is not a *must have*. I actually prefer Petticoat, as it is a more complex color, IMO.
As another reviewer noted, the amount of product has dropped to 9 g (from 10 g), and in Canada they are now $33.50.
Lotusland is a medium pink-toned lilac with silver shimmer. This is one of the Starflash e/s I was disappointed with - unlike Smoke & Diamonds, which was soft and easy to work with, Lotusland is on the sheer side; you have to really layer it on to get any decent color payoff. A thumbs down from me.
Comparisons to other MAC e/s:
Lavender Sky - slightly more vibrant and pink toned, with a finer pearl sheen rather than shimmer. If you already own this, Lotusland is not a must have - I prefer LS, actually
Mancatcher - not as vibrant, less pink and more purple toned, also with a pearly sheen instead of shimmer. A more complex color and not very similar, IMO
Clinique Crystal Berry - very similar base color with gold instead of silver shimmer; texture somewhat gritty so not recommended
Stila Charm - lighter, more purple and less pink
Smoke & Diamonds is a shimmery medium-deep taupe/grey, much heavier on the grey than brown. Smooth and easily blendable, its Starflash finish is similar to MAC's Veluxe Pearls, with the amount of shimmer somewhere in between a VP and Frost. It's more richly pigmented than the VP shadows I own, but this doesn't apply to all of the other Starflash e/s - Lotusland, for example, was quite sheer and not worth the money, if you ask me.
Comparisons to other MAC e/s:Botanical - browner, with silver sparkles (Lustre finish)
Clue - less shimmery, slightly lighter, not as grey
Moth Brown - darker, has an indigo undertone not present in S&D
Satin Taupe - much warmer, browner, not as pigmented
Tabby (Delights - Cool holiday eye palette) - looks similar in the pan but swatched on skin, Tabby is noticably browner and less pigmented
Other brands:Fresh Chanterelle - a little more pigmented, less smoky. More like a shimmery version of Clue.
Stila Slate - tiny bit more shimmery, less grey and less pigmented. Of all the possible lookalikes in my collection, this came closest to matching S&D, though I've heard that Diamond Lil is even more like it.
Overall, Smoke & Diamonds is quite a unique color and worth buying IMO, unless you have one of the Stila e/s I mentioned or perhaps MAC Sweet Sienna pigment (don't own this but it's said to be close as well). Retails for $17 CDN.
Released with the Color Forms collection, Circa Plum is a medium dusty lilac with a touch of mauve and silvery/blueish shimmer. It's very similar to Illegal Cargo e/s (from the Naughty Nauticals collection), with the main difference being that Circa Plum is much more shimmery. Aside from that, the base colors are very much alike - Circa Plum is a teensy bit brighter than Illegal Cargo, but it's hardly noticable. Texture-wise, it's not chunky or powdery like some pigments can be, but smooth and easy to work with.
Retails for $23.50 CDN (7.5 g/0.26 oz jar)
Illegal Cargo is a medium dusty lilac with a touch of mauve. Labeled as a "frost", it imparts more of a subtle pearlescent sheen than the typical shimmery e/s. It's well pigmented and looks great with a darker taupe such as Moth Brown. Now for some comparisons to other MAC shadows...
Shale - Noticably darker and greyer. Oddly enough, though it's labeled as a "satin", mine is more shimmery than Illegal Cargo. The two look more similar in the pan than on skin, and they are different enough to own both, IMO.
Flirty Number (Lingerie collection) - Illegal Cargo's taupy sister, it has the same pearly finish but is less lilacy. Closer in color to IC than Shale. If you wear brighter colors more than neutrals and already own this, you may not *need* IC.
Mancatcher (Lure collection) - Lighter, much brighter, more of a cooler lilac. Not very similar, IMO.
Wintertwig (Holiday 2003 Pink Eyes x 7 palette) - Darker, greyer, with silver sparkles. Closer to Shale than IC.
Zeal (Technacolor collection) - Brighter, lighter lilac. Matte base with silver sparkles. Not similar to IC.
I can see myself using Illegal Cargo a lot! Would repurchase if I ever ran out, and it wasn't LE.
Shell is a medium sandy pink with silver shimmer. The color is beautiful and I wish I could have given it a more positive review, but it's just too sheer and hard to work with, even when used wet.
Light Flush is a softly metallic light-medium peachy pink with bronze veining. It has a smoother texture than Porcelain Pink, but is not as soft or pigmented as Stereo Rose. In the pan, the base color resembles a mix of Stereo Rose and Petticoat without the metallic wine veins. I don't find it similar to Porcelain Pink at all - it's darker and considerably warmer-toned.
I layered Stereo Rose over a light application of Petticoat and found the combo similar to Light Flush, but more pinky-coral and less bronzy (which I prefer). If you're a collector of pinky bronze shades, this is worth testing out - otherwise, if you already own Stereo Rose and Petticoat, it's not a must have IMO.
Part of the Originals collection which features a number of LE products from the past along with repromoted shades, Clue is a medium-deep greyed taupe with subtle blue shimmer (Frost). Nice amount of pigment and smooth texture. Compared to Satin Taupe, it's less shimmery and not as brown - I don't think they have much in common. I'd say the color is like a mix of Stila Puck and Dapple. From what I recall, this *might* be similar to French Grey (Danse collection) or Palatial (Antiquitease smoky palette), but I don't own either of them so I can't say for sure. Would repurchase this if it wasn't LE.
Updated for a couple more comparisons:
Moth Brown - this is noticably more shimmery than Clue, a shade darker, and slightly more blue-toned.
Flirty Number - much more plum-toned and not as grey as Clue. Not really similar at all, IMO.
Eye Shadow -Christian Dior - 1-Couleur Powder Mono Eyeshadow in Frosted Beige
Astyra 12/12/2007 3:34:00 AM
I used to be a big fan of Dior e/s; in the quints, each and every shade was highly pigmented and silky smooth. However, that changed when they updated the packaging about two years ago. I bought one of the quints (see my review on Sweet Illusion) and was so disappointed in the lack of pigment, I never bought another one again.
This particular color caught my eye recently. It's a light silvery taupy beige that appears to have a slight lavender undertone in the pan, but actually shows up a bit warmer on the skin (at least mine). While I think the color is great, it's still too sheer for my taste. Compared to the quints I've tried, this single has somewhat better quality but for $29 CDN, I expect a lot more from them. Will not be purchasing any other Dior e/s in the future, unless they improve their product.
Blush -Givenchy - Prisme Again Blush in 01 Timid Rose
Astyra 10/10/2007 3:30:00 AM
Timid Rose consists of four pale shades of pink: a very light pink/white, a light baby pink, a slightly deeper warm pink, and a cooler, more muted pink with a slight lilac tint. I think this would only work on those with a very fair skintone, as only the warm pink shade showed up clearly on my skin. The pink/white was invisible on me, and the other two left an almost undetectable trace of color. The blush has a silky texture but is rather sheer, even though I tried using several different brushes with it. There are some faint specks of shimmer, but it pretty much goes on matte. The floral fragrance did not bother me too much, but I would have preferred it unscented. If you're into depotting, the blush pan pops right out without any problems, and the compact is refillable.
This is a medium rosy plum shade with barely noticable shimmer (practically matte). It's very soft but has an extremely chalky finish that doesn't adhere all that well to my lids, even with a base underneath. Not one of their better colors.
With all the hype surrounding this fragrance, I had to give it a try. I did like the initial cotton candy sweetness, but something else (perhaps the licorice?) ultimately turned me off.
I've been taking melatonin for over 10 years now and the only side effect I've noticed is that it often gives me vivid dreams/nightmares. It helps me fall asleep usually within 30-40 min and I can wake up the next day without feeling completely out of it, even if I've slept less than 8 hours. Other sleeping pills keep me asleep for 12+ hours and I wake up feeling extremely groggy for hours afterwards, but melatonin is very mild in comparison, at least IME. A couple of other things to note: If your insomnia is due to anxiety/stress, it might not help you sleep. In my case, I need to take a Nytol for those nights. Another thing to keep in mind is, melatonin may help you fall asleep, but (IME again) it might not help you stay asleep. If I happen to wake up for whatever reason a few hours after taking it, I usually can't go back to sleep. Overall, melatonin has served me well over the years and I have a bottle around the house at all times.
Lotions/ Creams -Paul & Joe - Hand Cream -- Creme Pour Les Mains
Astyra 6/5/2007 6:41:00 AM
Being a collector of Paul & Joe products, I knew I had to have this as soon as I saw the beautiful packaging. The cream inside is just as lovely - it's moisturizing and absorbs quickly into my skin without feeling greasy at all, and the orange flower scent is subtle, not overpowering like many other hand creams I've tried.
Ingredients: water, butylene glycol, squalane, macadamia ternifolia seed oil, cetearyl alcohol, behenyl alcohol, stearic acid, triethanolamine, glyceryl stearate, aesculis hippocastanum (horse chestnut) seed extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) flower water, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) oil, citrus grandis (grapefruit) fruit extract, crataegus cuneata fruit extract, lilium candidum bulb extract, rosa multiflora fruit extract, rosa rugosa flower extract, sambucus nigra flower extract, sodium hyaluronate, alcohol, carbomer, dimethicone, PEG-10 hydrogenated castor oil, PEG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, methylparaben
This matte reddish plum is a really tough color to pull off. I tried pairing this with a number of different e/s to minimize the red, but it still ended up looking a little too bruisy on me. There are many other purples in my stash that I prefer over this one (Stila Mulberry, for example).