MAC Hey, Sailor! Avant-première ENTIRE COLLECTION Swatches & Demonstration!

Hey everybody!

Tonight I was invited to the opening of the first temporary MAC store of Benelux in Brussels, and I got to see Hey, Sailor! which is coming out in Belgium tomorrow (5th of May) and apparently on the 24th in the US. This is the FIRST TIME EVER in my memory that Belgium is getting a collection before the US, and I really can’t wait to share with you all the swatches and the demonstration by the mega talented and VERY nice senior artist Elke!

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Are you Ready to Cruise with Givenchy Summer Collections? Healthy Glow Powder Ambre Croisiere, Mister Radiant Body, Rouge Interdit Shine Delicate Brown, Ombre a Fleur de Peau Pearly Nude, Swatch, Review, & FOTD

Hey everyone!

TGIF! How are you doing? I can hardly believe this week has come to an end! I have been super busy, so maybe that’s why it felt really fast! What are your plans for the weekend? I might see some friends, but essentially I have to WORK! Haven’t had a proper lazy weekend for a while here. Can’t say I wouldn’t enjoy one, but I have so much to share with you guys I must not be lazy!

Today I’m here to share the swatches, review, and FOTDs of the Givenchy Summer Collections. Mister Radiant Body and Healthy Glow Powder in Ambre Croisiere come from the Croisiere Collection, and Rouge Interdit Shine in Delicate Brown and Ombre a Fleur de Peau in Pearly Nude come from the ÉTÉ À FLEUR DE PEAU collection.

Ready? Let’s go!

The Healthy Glow Powder in Ambre Croisiere is by far the finest bronzer I have ever used. It makes the other bronzers I own, or most bronzers when it comes to the matter, seem so rough and coarse! The packaging is sleek and sturdy, and the lid has a magnetic closure which I like. It includes a decent-sized mirror should you wish to touch up when you are out and about. The pattern is interesting (looks like something knitted), and it doesn’t wear off after several uses. The powder is so amazingly fine that it feels like it would melt when you go through it with your finger. It has a slight shimmer, but it is so very fine that the finish is more satin than anything else. On my NC30 skin tone, if applied lightly, it gives me a credible healthy glow. However, if you want something a little more dramatic, you can go very dark with it! The powder is talc-free, so if you’re allergic to talc (or prefer not to use talc), this is a good one to consider!

Mister Radiant Body is not your regular fake tan. It doesn’t look fake, orange, or unnaturally-tanned. It has a gel texture, and as you spread the gel out and massage it in, the little pearls get crushed and release their colors. The gel is not sticky at all. It absorbs and dries very fast on skin without leaving any residue. The smell is also very pleasant. It is slightly shimmery, but much like Ambre Croisiere, the shimmer isn’t in-your-face at all. For my NC30 skin tone, Mister Radiant Body adds just a hint of color. I don’t think this product is designed to make you go two shades darker to be honest, so if that’s what you’re looking for you might have to look elsewhere. For me, this is a good product for the moment. Spring has just begun, so I’m showing a little more skin than I would in winter. However, I haven’t got the opportunity to tan yet so I do look a little pale. This is the thing that gives me a little boost, some credible color with no fuss! It washes off very easily too, so don’t worry about fake tan going wrong! I would suggest you try this before purchasing, especially if you are darker than I am, just to make sure it’s the kind of product you are looking for!

The cream shadow is what a lot of you have been excited about, and I can see why! The packaging is delicate, luxurious, yet sturdy. The texture of this cream shadow is as light and airy as a mousse. It feels like a nice sea breeze on your lids. In the swatch photo you can see it swatched heavily and completely sheered out, but on lids I tend to make it more something in-between. If you like glitter but hate the fallout, this could be your thing. The glitter adheres to the base very well, so I’ve never had any fallout from this. I would suggest you use this over a primer and under some eyeshadow. It does crease infinitesimally on me. I get that in about two hours, but it’s so little that unless I shove my face in front of the mirror I don’t see it. Also, as time progresses, the creasing doesn’t become worse. I have to admit though, not a lot of things DON’T crease on me. I’ve met people who swear they get no creasing from this cream shadow, so it could be just me. Still, the texture is amazingly feathery, and it’s the only thing I’ve seen that contains glitter without any fallout!

Rouge Interdit Shine in Delicate Brown is a frosty reddish brown with glitter. Don’t let the description scare you though! As you can see, on my lips it doesn’t look too 80’s! The coverage of this lipstick is pretty amazing, despite the fact that it’s one of those lipstick/gloss hybrid. There is glitter, but it doesn’t travel around and doesn’t feel gritty. On me it lasts about 3 hours, which is good for a lipstick! I also really like the packaging. There is shimmer in the plastic cap that you don’t really see in daylight, but with lower indoor lighting it comes to live! It has a typical luxury brand lipstick smell (kind of perfume-y if you know what I mean). It disappears soon enough once it is applied, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

Now, onto the FOTD I did with all these products! I used a layer of Pearly Nude all over my lids, blending some Urban Decay Buck into the crease. I dusted some Ambre Croisiere all over my face (you see it better in the second picture), used Mister Radiant Body on the exposed skin, and one pass of Delicate Brown on my lips! It’s actually not warm enough to wear such a dress yet. It’s just something I imagine I’d wear if I ever go on a fancy cruise!

Now I’m all dressed for the cruise, where is that cocktail bar?

What do you think? Did any of the products catch your eye? Are you interested in trying any of them out?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Disclosure: The products mentioned in this review are sent by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

Behind the scenes:

For once when I’m not trying to make Tango model for me, he had to butt in and take a look at the pretty bronzer!

Swatches: Givenchy Croisiere Collection for Summer 2012

Hey everyone,

Earlier today I posted the Givenchy Summer collection, and now I’m here to show you their Croisiere Collection!

In this collection, the star of the show is the Healthy Glow Powder.

See that brush? That’s the Givenchy Kabuki brush. It beats even my favorite Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush! It’s made with goat hair and it’s SOOOOO super soft. Just thinking about it makes me melt a little…

I saw three of these powders, including Douce Croisiere (02), Ambre Croisiere (03), and Extreme Croisiere (04). Anastasia swirled the kabuki brush in one of them (I THINK it was Ambre Croisiere, but I was busy snapping pictures so I’m not 100% sure) and let me dust it on the back of my hand. It was a very very natural glowy tan, not too far from my own skin tone, but definitely healthier-looking. I will have to test the sample out to say if it’s buildable, but my initial experience was rather positive! The powder is talc-free, so for those of you who are allergic to/don’t like talc, this should be good news! I really like the texture as well. It is by far the softest/finest bronzer I have tried. It is shimmery, but the shimmery is very fine. I’ll have to test it out on my face from tomorrow on to see if it enhances pores, but at the moment I don’t have that impression.

Here are the three of them photographed individually, followed by the swatch:

Douce Croisiere (02)

Ambre Croisiere (03)

Extreme Croisiere (04)

Next, let’s move on to the Mister Radiant Made-to-Measure glow. It is a gel that has little pearls, and as you massage it into your skin, the pearls break and give you a bit of color. As far as I know the one for face is permanent, but the one for body is limited edition.

This is how the gel looks:

This is how it looks half-blended. See the crushed pearls?

This is how my hand looks afterwards. Definitely a bit tanner (though the difference isn’t very big)!

This is the bottle of Mister Radiant Body. From what I can already tell you, the texture is great. It is not sticky or greasy at all. It is a pleasant gel that I look forward to trying!

Last but not least, I am going to show you the lip products. The lip liner is not actually part of the collection. Anastasia thought about introducing it because it works well with the glosses. The liner is waterproof, and from my swatching experience I could already tell it means business (but it’s not impossible to remove, which I appreciate)!

Here are the two Balm Lip Gloss in Natural Croisiere and Pink Croisiere.

Here is the swatch of the three lip products:

The balm glosses are definitely on the sheer side, but they are supposed to be moisturizing. If that’s what you’re looking for, make sure you take a look!

Last but not least, another of Givenchy’s latest release is a new addition to their Very Irresistible line, Electric Rose:

As little as I know/knew Givenchy cosmetics, I’ve been a fan of their perfumes for almost 10 years (their Eau Torride is my first perfume love). There aren’t many Givenchy perfumes that I dislike/think I’ll never wear, which is quite an achievement! Actually, to honor the occasion today, I wore the Very Irresistible Sensual Eau de Parfum. It is usually something I reserve for the colder months or nighttime, but oh well :p

That’s the second Givenchy collection I’m showing you. Did you see anything you like? Make sure you stay tuned for all the upcoming swatches and review (no, I didn’t receive the whole collection, but I have some pieces)! I’ll try my best to push those out as soon as I can!

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Again, special thanks go to Anastasia for being such a sweetheart!!! I know I acted like a crazy woman taking several pictures of the same thing, but it’s all for the best :p

Swatch & Review: Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer

Hey everybody, how are you doing today? The week is almost over. Are you breathing a sigh of relief? It looks like Europe has been freezing over. It is -4 here at the moment (but according to the weather website it feels like -10), and by the end of the week it’s going to be -17. Looks like we’ve got some tough days ahead, but I try to remember a) at least it’s not snowing b) there isn’t TOO MUCH wind and c) all the bugs will die instead of coming out to mess with me when spring/summer comes. When times are hard, one of the strategies I employ is thinking positive thoughts!

Like most of us who live in the northern hemisphere, I haven’t seen much sun for a while. Since I am not a fan of tanning salons and self-tanning lotions, bronzer is my only salvation. I’m still relatively a newbie when it comes to bronzers, and the first one I own is Bobbi Brown Bali Brown. I still love it, but I think it works better with my summer skin tone (say NC35). Also, I personally don’t associate shimmery bronzers with winter. My goal is to have some credible color and put a bit of dimension back to my face after it has been “flattened” a little by foundation and finishing powder.

That led us to Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soft Matte Bronzer! I was looking for an item to balance the swap out when I saw this. After reading some (overwhelmingly positive) reviews, I decided to swap for it. It is probably a GWP (gift with purchase) size of 1.5 grams (0.05 oz). The full-size compact contains a whopping 21 grams (0.74 oz), which makes it 4 grams (0.14 oz) less than Cargo The Big Bronzer and much larger than most bronzers on the market. I was a bit surprised when I opened the compact, because it looked pretty shimmery to me! If you enlarge the picture above you can see some shimmer, but the real thing shimmers to a point that I would not call it matte! Oh well, since I’ve got it, I might as well give it a try.

I wasn’t too sure what to think about it when I swatched it on the back of my hand, because once sheered out it literally disappears into my skin (I had to choose the swatch picture with indoor lighting so that you can see it better. In natural lighting you see nary a thing). One good thing is that the shimmer is so fine and understated that it is not noticeable. What I didn’t remember was my face is slightly lighter, so I was pleasantly surprised the first time I used it on my face! It makes me look very healthy and just a teeny little bit darker, and I doubt very much anyone would be able to detect the bronzer even in person. The shimmer also disappears, leaving just a bit of healthy glow. It is not exaggerated, so if you want to look obviously bronzed or tanned this might not be your thing (of course it also depends on your natural skin tone). If you’re looking for a soft way to enhance your skin tone however, this bronzer does a perfect job! The pigmentation is decent. I don’t easily find myself risking overdoing this, but there is no need to pile it on either. It doesn’t oxidize on me, and the staying power is decent. I normally use some in the hollows of my cheeks, temples, forehead, and jawline. You can click here and here to see it in action, or just click on the Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess tag.

My only concern when it comes to recommending this product to people is that this definitely won’t work “across all skin tones.” I’ve read about lighter lassies (NC 10-15) raving about this bronzer, but if you are say NC 40 or above it probably won’t do too much for you. I still have to experiment with it in summer, but I have the feeling that I won’t be able to see much difference.

Bottom line: Depending on your natural skin tone, you might find this bronzer enjoyable. The price tag might seem big, but the quantity and quality it provides make it worthwhile. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have light-to-medium skin tone and are looking for a bronzer to counter a bit of that winter paleness, or to contour your face since it’s matte and should do the trick!

Review: Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush

Since I got my bronzer, I knew I probably couldn’t do without a proper powder brush. The SA who was helping me recommended this one. She said I could use it for bronzer, shimmer brick, and even loose powder. Sounds like a good multi-functional tool, so it came home with me!

From what I gathered on Makeupalley, the bronzer brush we see nowadays is actually a new version. Up until 2008, people were complaining about how scratchy it is. Well, not anymore! This brush now features densely-packed soft hair (I can’t find out what hair it is on the Bobbi Brown website. I’m almost sure it’s natural hair though). It’s nice, fluffy, and it does the job really well! It doesn’t pick up too much product in one go, so it’s pretty easy to control how much you put on your face. I’ve used it a handful of times, and it hasn’t shed on me once. Sweet!

It’s pretty easy to clean this brush. I just use a gentle shampoo like what I do with my other brushes. The hair is so dense though, it takes forever to dry! In other words, you probably can’t wash it right before going to bed if you want it ready to go tomorrow morning. Please bear that in mind. With that said however, I don’t find this getting dirty very quickly. The SA did say it needs cleaning maybe once every week, but that’s if you use it with your bronzer, highlighter, and loose powder on a daily basis.

All in all I’m very satisfied with the brush! I also like the no-nonsense approach Bobbi Brown has to brushes. Compared with the gazillion brushes MAC has (and assigns arbitrary numbers to. Also, limited edition brushes? Seriously?), it seems to me that Bobbi Brown has a smaller range of choices that actually make sense. I haven’t seen everything to make a well-informed judgement, but from a consumer-friendly point-of-view I’d like to say Bobbi Brown beats MAC in this aspect!