Archive for the 'powder' Category

TEMPTU RETOUCH Powder Review & Photos

August 31, 2009
TEMPTU RETOUCH Powder Soft Focus Finish ($43)
TEMPTU RETOUCH Powder is a lightweight, mineral-based formula that banishes shine and provides natural-looking, satin-soft skin. This powder’s silky texture blends easily onto the skin and is ideal for finishing any makeup application. The built-in brush applicator holds just enough loose powder in its handle for perfect touch-up application.

I’m pretty fickle when it comes to my beauty products, and things are constantly moving in and out of my makeup rotation, but one constant for the past few weeks has been TEMPTU’s RETOUCH powder. It’s ideal for on-the-go touch ups thanks to its handy dandy brush form and I love the mattified, satiny soft-focus finish the RETOUCH powder gives my complexion.

TEMPTU RETOUCH Powder wasn’t actually love at first use for me, mainly because the applicator brush itself, while mighty convenient, is definitely not the softest and tends to feel a little rough and scratchy. Luckily, the powder has so many other redeeming qualities that I can overlook this one flaw.

First of all the RETOUCH Powder and the TEMPTU foundation are a match made in heaven. The Translucent shade coordinates beautifully with my foundation and I love that after retouching with the powder, I don’t look like I’m wearing any powder at all, but rather I just seem to have beautifully matte, even skin with a soft focus glow that seems to de-emphasize my pores.

Of course another thing that the RETOUCH powder has going for it is the portability factor. The fact that this is a powder and brush in one makes this very very easy to just pop in your purse, and I literally haven’t gone a day without mine since opening it. I’ve tried other powders built into brushes in the past, and I’ve always been dissatisfied with the dispensing mechanism as they always seemed to release these messy clouds of product. One click of the TEMPTU releases the perfect amount of powder to touch up your entire face. I didn’t believe this at first as I could never see the powder coming out of the brush, but the results more than spoke for themselves.

All in all I love my RETOUCH powder and plan to repurchase when I run out, although the price is a little steep!

Kanebo Sensai Silky Highlighting Powder Review & Swatches

June 1, 2009
Kanebo Sensai Silky Highlighting Powder ($45)
Light, pearly powder complements and enhances foundations with a subtle, youthful glow. Instantly adds natural-looking highlights. Apply over foundation to desired areas.

Sensai’s Silky Highlighting Powder is formulated with Silky Pearl Powder to complement your foundation (or bare skin if you’re lucky enough to not need foundation) by adding an invisible and natural brightening boost. It contains a high concentration of silk to create a radiant, silky-smooth complexion and contains Sensai’s revolutionary Weightless Moist Glow Factor, an exquistely deather-light and translucent powder that provides lightweight coverage to give your skin a luminous glow. The Silky Highlighting Powder also contains Phyto-Qualane and Rice Extract, two highly moisturizing natural ingredients.

It’s taken me some time to realize the benefits of a good highlighting powder. I’ve never really been too into the liquid luminizers as they make my already oily skin look and feel even oilier, but the warmer weather has had me wanting to emphasize those areas of my face where light hits naturally, such as the cheekbones, forehead and nose, and Sensai’s Highlighting Powder is seriously the best I’ve tried.

While I love my shimmer, I don’t love a highlighting powder that has large chunks of glitter in it as I think it can be overkill and create a not-too-flattering disco-ball appearance. Sensai’s powder is unique in that it doesn’t actually look shimmery in the pan–it’s more of a subtle, luminescent glow that’s uber-flattering on everybody.

The texture, as with all Sensai products, is gorgeous–silky, smooth, blends beautifully, and just overall great. Plus the brush that it comes with is also nice and soft, making for easy, precise application.

There’s just something so beautiful about the sun reflecting off the contours of your face just so, highlighting your cheekbones and creating a subtle glow, and Sensai allows you to carry that with you in a petite black compact. It’s like instant sunshine!

LOL okay I just lost my train of thought–as I’m typing this, my sweet little Chloe just started snoring away. Where was I? I guess this is one of the hazards of late night blogging–well along with the fact that I’m really tired =X. But as I was saying, if you’re on the hunt for a subtle highlighter that’ll give you that “look-at-my-great-bone-structure” look, definitely check this out!

Jill Stuart Loose Powder in 03 Sparkle Review & Swatches

May 13, 2009
Jill Stuart Loose Powder
($53.03 from Bobodave–which in case you’re wondering is only a few dollars more than I paid for this from Japan)

While I love all the products my friend Cathy hauled for me in Japan (check them all out HERE), I’d have to say that Jill Stuart’s Loose Powder in shade 03 Sparkle is amongst of my favorites. Although I’m still obsessed with my Fairy Drop Mascara (review HERE) so this powder definitely has some competition.

I’ll be the first to admit that I would’ve have given Jill Stuart cosmetics a second glance were it not for the packaging–the feminine, princessy packaging that just screams “BUY ME!!!” I honestly wasn’t expecting too much from the actual powder itself, but surprisingly it’s rather great and completely gorgeous.

All Jill Stuart products have this deliciously subtle fruity scent (including her Jelly Eye Color that I reviewed HERE), and the loose powder is no exception.

The powder itself is super finely milled, enough so that the texture reminds me of my much loved La Mer Loose Powder (review HERE), which is saying a lot. Since the shade I have is called Sparkle, it does contain a high dose of shimmer, but I can’t speak for the other three shades that this is available in. Sparkle is a soft pink shade with light shimmer interspersed throughout and with a few larger chunks of glitter here and there. The shade itself reminds me a bit of Caron’s Venitienne powder (review HERE), which I also love.

Swatch of Sparkle

What I absolutely love about the Jill Stuart Loose Powder in Sparkle is that it lightens and brightens my whole complexion, giving it the flawless, luminous, finished look that I’m always trying to achieve. I’d always heard that soft pink powders really help to brighten your complexion, but while I’ve tried many of them, none have ever been this successful. Truly a gorgeous powder! As for mattifying properties, this actually keeps me matter than many other powders I’ve tried, giving me a good four hours or so of matteness before the oilies start to appear (and this is saying a lot since my skin is super super oily).

All blended in!

Applied with a light hand this powder is gorgeous, giving your skin a luminosity without too much shimmer, but it’s definitel not for the shimmer haters out there as Sparkle, as its name indicates, does contain a healthy does of sparkle. And for those of you hesitating on the price, think of how pretty this powder will look sitting on your vanity. I definitely plan to refill mine with another powder once it’s empty!

RATING: 4.5/5

Caron Paris: So This is Heaven

October 8, 2008

Nestled in a cozy corner within Phyto Universe (715 Lexington Avenue), the Caron Paris boutique really is heaven on earth. Adorned with elegant Baccarat crystal perfume fountains, goblets of powder, and fluffy swan down powder puffs, the boutique is just impossibly elegant and beautiful. Everything from the decor to the service was sheer perfection–I couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful experience!

Since 1903 Caron’s fragrances and powders have entranced women with their eye for luxury and their attention to detail. These Baccarat crystal perfume fountains (approximately $25,000 each I believe) contain the most precious of Caron extracts, based on their original formula.

Caron powders are purported to be the finest in the world, having been perfected over nearly a century of production. They are composed of of pure minerals (the raw materials for the powders come from Italy) and delicately scented with Bulgarian rose distilled by Caron, meeting the same rigorous standards as the perfumes.

Caron’s powders (which come in 19 shades that range from matte and full coverage to sheer and shimmery) are recommended in France by dermatologists and enriched with vitamins A and E, camellia oil and powdered silk, in addition to natural IR and UV filters. The powder is meant to be pressed firmly into the skin using one of Caron’s heavenly down puffs,and then a dense brush is to be used to dust off any excess.

The light-as-air puffs come in a variety of sizes (large which is shown on top of the powder goblets, medium, and mini shown below) and colors (magenta, peachy pink, green, etc.) and are absolutely divine–but more on these in a future post!

A beautiful Caron loose powder compact which comes with a mini down puff ($45).
When closed it looks like the compact on the far right with the raised dots.

A luxurious variation on the loose powder compact, this time with an exotic covering ($220).

Call the Caron boutique at 212-308-0270 and ask for Diane for all your Caron needs. She is beyond sweet and helpful!

And of course I couldn’t leave the boutique without purchasing a little something (or somethings) for myself, but I’ll leave you to wonder what’s in the bag for now. Expect reviews sometime this week though!

Yves Saint Laurent Semi Loose Powder in #2 Sand: Review and Photos

September 22, 2008
Yves Saint Laurent Semi Loose Powder ($56)

As promised, I’m here to tell you more about what I purchased with my Saks Mystery Money! Say hello to my beautiful (but ridiculously bulky) new Yves Saint Laurent Semi Loose Powder in #2 Sand–isn’t she shiny? So while I usually love YSL’s packaging, to be honest this is a little too much shiny gold on one product for my liking, but oh well! I love what’s inside enough to overlook the somewhat tacky exterior.

So why do you need this powder? Well first and foremost, it’s a pressed powder that you shave into a loose powder, meaning no more spilling powder in your purse! You grab the black dial, turn it clockwise until your desired amount of powder has been shaved off, and then apply. And on top of that this stuff is amazing for creating a flawless matte finish. It has enough color to it to camouflage any residual redness I may have left after foundation application and keeps me oil-free for hours on end. It took a day or two for this to grow on me since I’m used to the shimmer that my La Mer loose powder has, but now that it has I absolutely LOVE this!

I’ve been known on occasion to complain about the brushes that compacts come with–they’re usually cheap-feeling sad, stiff little things that can’t live up to the quality of their powder counterparts. But this YSL brush is a whole different story! It’s super soft, dense, and perfect for a mid-day powder touch-up.


So what’s the one thing I hate about this powder? I think it’s pretty obvious from the photo above–the thing is huge! I guess it’s not so large that I can’t travel with it, but I was hoping for something smaller =X. And one other little gripe I have is that the powder is rather heavily scented.

Two other minor concerns: (1) It annoys me that I can’t see how thick the powder is, so I don’t know how much I have, and (2) I wonder if I’ll be left with a small mound of powder at the center where the hexagon is. I’m thinking not, since that’s probably why the starburst is off center–so never mind!

The Inside (looks like a pretty starburst)

After a slight turn of the dial-see the shavings coming up?

A Close-Up

While the powder looks like it’s coming up in chunky curls, if you tap it around in the container you’ll see that it’s actually VERY finely milled and really looks and feels great on. Now if only they would slim down on the packaging and cut back on the scent, this would be a perfect product!

Related Posts:
Interested in reading about some other great YSL products? Learn more about the Rouge Volupte lipsticks here and here, and see what my favorite mascara looks like on me here.

Looking for a really cute pressed powder option? Click here!

Do you get ridiculously oily mid-day? Click here to see the pressed powder that could solve all your oil-slick woes!

Beautiful powder packaging on a budget? Click here for a great option by Carmindy for Sally Hansen.

Laneige Sliding Pact SPF 24 Powder Compact: Review

September 5, 2008

Shiny metallics don’t photograph too well, but this is actually pink I swear!

So I really don’t need another pressed powder, but I just couldn’t resist the call of this darling pink compact and its nifty design. The bottom slides out sort of like a slider phone, then locks upwards into place, and the powder pan lifts up to reveal an applicator puff. How handy-dandy!

Laneige Sliding Pact in Natural No.1 Bright and Splendid Skin (LOL!)

The pink compact houses a moisturizing powder, while the blue version contains an oil-absorbing powder. Now you’re probably wondering why I don’t own the blue since I obviously need it, and of course I have the perfect answer. This one was PINK!! How can I resist pink?

Don’t mind the gross chipped nails! I redid them–see the Lancome post below!

The powder itself is finely milled and provides light coverage, and overall is great for touch-ups on the go. Obviously it doesn’t help to prevent my face from getting greasy since this is a moisturizing formula, but it doesn’t aggravate my oilies either which I’m supremely grateful for!


Overall I love the cool design of this compact and will probably pick up a blue one at some point in time if I can manage to track one down. I remember seeing these at one of my local Korean cosmetics stores somewhere…


Related Posts:
Check out my review of a pretty glossy Laneige lipstick here.

Urban Decay De-Slick Mattifying Powder Review

May 26, 2008

Remember when I mentioned wanting to try this supposedly miraculous oil-absorbing powder here? Well I’ve been using it for the past few days now, both alone and on top of foundation, and I’m here to say that it definitely lives up to all the hype!


Like many others I was initially suckered in by the pretty pretty packaging. I’m not so much into skulls, but purple is one of my favorite colors and the packaging reminded me or a yummy grape candy-I do love my sweets!


After tearing into the little box I noticed that my compact was slightly ajar. Suspicious little person that I am I thought that someone had opened my powder, but everything looked pristine and new so I snapped it shut and popped it back in the box. I went to test it out a few hours later and I noticed that once again the compact had popped open on its own. I think the applicator puff was a little too puffy for the compact and was causing it to open on its own, but my first use fixed that little problem!


As you can see, the powder is a pale pale pale lavender shade-not nearly as lavender as I thought it would be, which probably works out well for those of you with tanner complexions! I had worried that the lavender-tint meant it would only work for the paler ladies, but I have to agree with Urban Decay on this one-this definitely seems to be suitable for most skin tones as it really is almost invisible on! I was attempting to swatch this on my hand at Sephora, but nothing! Hence no swatches for you ladies-you can’t swatch what you can’t see 🙂

But the lack of a truly lavender tint means it really doesn’t do anything in the way of covering any flaws, which is fine since that isn’t what the powder purports to do in the first place. BUT it truly is amazing for controlling any excess oils your skin may produce during the day, especially in the warmer summer weather. My skin gets super super oily in the summer (I’m usually oily within an hour or two or three of having showered/applied makeup), but if I apply this powder either on its own or on top of my foundation, I have no need to blot for the next 5 hours or so. After the first 4-5 hours I have a tiny tiny bit of a shine appearing, but still no real need to blot for the rest of the day unless I really want to! It makes my life so much easier, as it’s really a pain in the butt to have to blot literally every hour or so :\

The product goes on smooth as silk and really is weightless. When I applied it on bare skin I had the hardest time telling if I was actually wearing any powder-it’s that silky smooth!

I only have two little quibbles with the product. First is the filmsy (and strangely crinkly) flocked applicator they include with the compact, but it’s not really an issue for me as I just use a fluffy powder brush with it at home and don’t really need to use it again throughout the day. Plus it’s not that the applicator doesn’t work well, it’s just that I don’t like the way it feels. And second is the strange smell of the powder. I can’t quite put my finger on what it smells like, but suffice it to say that it’s not pleasant! I suspect it may be one of the oil-absorbing ingredients, as I once had a similar powder that smelled just like this, but I definitely wouldn’t mind a more pleasant-smelling powder.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I think this is a little overpriced at $28, but to me it’s definitely worth it!! Check it out for yourself on!

If you’ve tried this product or have been curious about it I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Have any other favorite oil-absorbing products? Please tell me about them!

Drugstore Discoveries: Sally Hansen Natural Beauty Inspired by Carmindy: Overview, Review and a Swatch

April 30, 2008
(from Carmindy’s newsletter)


I’d heard some minor buzz about the Sallen Hansen line “inspired by” Carmindy for months prior to its launch, but there was surprisingly little fanfare accompanying its official release. If I weren’t an obsessive MUA reader, I probably would’ve missed it altogether! As it is, by the time I manged to find a drugstore that carried the line, all you lovely cosmetics scavengers had already gotten to it and there was very little left for poor Jen 🙂

The line encompasses everything from primer to cream and powder blushes, which is rare for a drugstore release!

I’d been holding off on doing this review in the hopes that I’d get to test out the foundation for you guys, but since finals have rolled around and I’m confined to the house, I thought I’d review what I’ve picked up so far.

Truly Translucent Loose Powder in Neutralizer
I saw Carmindy using this on What Not to Wear, and drove myself crazy for weeks trying to figure out where she got it! I think the packaging is uber-cute and it looks great on my vanity! Plus the bottom twists right off meaning I can refill it if I want to (although I probably won’t)!

The powder itself is very light, finely milled, and doesn’t settle into any pores/lines. I don’t love it the same way I do my La Mer Powder (which is light as air, has the tiniest bit of shimmer, and makes me feel like a princess), but I like it a lot. I have it in neutralizer, which is a yellowy banana shade meant to even out redness and basically neutralize the discolorations on your face, and it does a decent job of that.

The one thing I really dislike about the product is the accompanying powder puff. It’s hard as a rock and doesn’t mold to the contours of your face at all, and so it’s really hard for me to apply the powder using this. I end up just sticking a big fluffy brush in the container and applying it that way.

But for a $12.95 drugstore loose powder it’s definitely worth it, although it won’t be replacing my La Mer anytime soon!


Sun Glow Powder Bronzer in Spring

I own very few bronzers since I’m relatively fair, don’t like the sun or tanning, and avoid cosmetics with brown/bronze tones, but I couldn’t resist this pretty pretty compact!


I’m a sucker for pretty cosmetics, and this definitely falls into that category! Spring is comprised primarily of a darker bronzey shade and a lighter shimmery beige-y shade, with a small strip of pink and I LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

I swatched it as soon as I got home and thought it looked like-well I don’t think it’s appropriate to say.


But I was so so wrong! I haven’t tried the bronzer using the small brush it comes with because it feels pretty stiff, but when I applied this bronzer using my MAC 187 skunk brush, I got a sheer sun-kissed glow that didn’t make me look tan or orange at all. I’d reluctantly forked over the $12.95 for this bronzer, fully expecting to admire it but never use it, but its perfect for those natural-look days when I don’t have time for much makeup.


Have you tried anything from this collection? Loved it? Hated it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

To find out about a few more great drugstore releases, click here to read my review of the Wet n Wild i-sparkle palettes, and here to read about Revlon’s Peachy Keen blush!