UPDATE: Website moving to www.notsofrivolous.com

Hello, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted but I come to you with an exciting development in my blogging journey: I’ve decided to move the blog to a self-hosted site and will now be posting at www.notsofrivolous.com on a regular basis!

In a few days, this site will automatically redirect you to the new site but I wanted to reach out to those who have subscribed to the blog and invite them to check out the new site and subscribe in order to continue receiving notification of new posts. In addition to following the blog via email, you can also now find NotSoFrivolous on Bloglovin’.

In the upcoming weeks, I plan to start posting more regularly and I hope you will come check out the new site, and enjoy the new and updated blog. See you on the other site!

NARS Blush Palettes in Realm of the Senses & Soulshine – Review, Swatches

As part of the Fall 2013 lineup, NARS has released 2 limited edition, Sephora exclusive blush palettes. After stalking my local Sephoras for weeks, I finally managed to pick them up.

NARS blush palette fall 2013

NARS Realm of the Senses & Soulshine blush palette

L – R: NARS Realm of the Senses & Soulshine

The palettes are larger than the regular NARS blushes and are in the same packaging as the NARS x Pierre Hardy blushes that were released in the summer. Each palette is said to contain shades to highlight, define and sculpt the face. These are definitely shimmery blushes and if subtle micro-shimmer is your thing, these will likely not be for you. There are discernibly chunky shimmer particles in all the shades and they do transfer onto the face when the product is applied (I’ve tried to capture the shimmer in the product closeups below). All of the shades in both of the palettes were seriously pigmented, soft to the touch and very blendable. The intense pigmentation of these blushes requires a very light handed application in order to avoid streaky, crazy-looking cheeks. Both of the blushes lasted a good 7 hours on me before the colour began to fade while leaving behind only the shimmer.

NARS Realm of the Senses blush palette

NARS Realm of the Senses

Realm of the Senses contains a peachy pink with golden shimmer, reddish bronzed rose shade and a warm highlighting shade with golden shimmer. The pink shade is a less shimmery version of Orgasm and a more shimmery version of Deep Throat. The bronzed rose shade is essentially a sparkly version of Seduction – though there are differences in the pan, the colour on the cheeks would be difficult to tell the difference were it not for the shimmer. Lovejoy is also similar but has less red undertones. I don’t have anything similar to the highlighter shade from the NARS permanent lineup.

NARS Realm of the Senses blush palette

NARS Realm of the Senses

NARS Realm of the Senses blush palette swatch

L – R (Direct Light): NARS Realm of the Senses (individual shades from top left and all of the shades swirled together)

NARS Realm of the Senses blush palette swatch

L – R (Indirect Light): NARS Realm of the Senses (individual shades from top left and all of the shades swirled together)

NARS Soulshine blush palette for fall 2013

NARS Soulshine

Soulshine contains another peachy pink, a light orange-y apricot and a reddish berry rose. I found the peachy pink to be rather similar to the peachy pink shade in Realm of the Senses, perhaps a bit darker. It is less peachy than Torrid. The orange shade is a darker, dustier, slightly browner version of luster. The rose is a more pigmented and shimmery version of outlaw. This palette is definitely more pigmented out of the two palettes.

NARS Soulshine blush palette for fall 2013

NARS Soulshine

nars soulshine blush palette

L – R (Direct Light): NARS Soulshine (individual shades from top left and all of the shades swirled together)

nars soulshine blush palette

L – R (Indirect Light): NARS Soulshine (individual shades from top left and all of the shades swirled together)

Despite the fantastic pigmentation and blendability, the excessive shimmer may be a deal-breaker for some. I would suggest swatching these prior to purchase if you don’t like shimmer on your cheeks.

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03) – Review & Swatches

I was recently contacted by Izzy’s Perfume & Beauty Shoppe* and I was surprised that I hadn’t heard of the site before. Izzy’s Perfume & Beauty Shoppe is an online retailer that specializes in discontinued, limited edition and hard-to-find beauty products, particularly those that were released exclusively in Europe and Asia, by luxury brands. The best part? The prices are very much in line with what the product would cost if you were to buy it in store and you don’t have to shell out extortionate prices on eBay for limited edition or discontinued items. I got so excited when I saw many of the limited edition products I’ve wanted for a while wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg! Izzy’s Perfume & Beauty Shoppe also allows you to get full size products on a significant discount by offering new testers from several brands so if you’re not a stickler for packaging, it’s a great way add to your makeup collection! They also ship worldwide so you’re not geographically restricted when ordering from the site.

They very generously offered to send me a product of my choice to review and that’s how I bring to you my experience with the Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder.

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03)

The powder comes encased in a beautiful compact in line with the Guerlain aesthetic but doesn’t have the heft usually associated with Guerlain powders because since it’s a plastic compact. It also comes with a thin puff that picks up the product very easily; it’s pretty but useless unless you have a dire emergency. The powder itself has silky smooth texture that definitely lives up to the Guerlain name. It has a slight floral scent that dissipates rather quickly once the product is applied. Out of the three available shades in the range, I got the darkest shade, Teint Doré (03). As it turns out, it’s a little too dark for me but close enough that it seemed like it would work if I used it with a light hand. Because the powder does have a sheer coverage and does impart some colour onto the skin, the shade lighter would have been too light.

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03)

Guerlain Météorites Compact in Teint Doré (03)

Upon initial application, the powder did a beautiful sheen usually associated with Guerlain’s Meteorites powders. There was definitely a luminous quality that the skin had; I saw a slight glow on the high points of my face when the light hit them that I usually need a subtle highlighter to achieve. The powder didn’t cling to any dry patches I had and provided a soft focus look that seemed to blur the pores a bit.

As for the mattifying effect… yes, it mattified. For the first hour or so. Then, the oil started to breakthrough and the powder oxidized and ended up getting a couple of shades darker. Of course, as the oil broke through, the soft focus effect also disappeared and the pores became more noticeable. I first tried this powder over foundation as a setting powder. Within a couple of hours, my skin felt very oily. I like dewy skin but this wasn’t dewy; it was straight up greasy to the point of almost being uncomfortable. I think this powder may have actually caused my skin to produce more oil than it does regularly. Since then, despite my best efforts, my face has tanned slightly and the powder is a better match for my face so I applied it over just some concealer. I was pretty much sitting in front of a fan for the next 3 hours and oil still broke through within the first hour, albeit it wasn’t greasy. I was able to wear the powder for 3.5 hours before I started feeling like I needed to wash my face.

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03) swatch

L – R (Direct Light): Guerlain Météorites Compact in Teint Doré (03) Heavy, Blended

Guerlain Météorites Compact Illuminating and Mattyfying Pressed Powder in Teint Doré (03) swatch

L – R (Indirect Light): Guerlain Météorites Compact in Teint Doré (03) Heavy, Blended

Since I don’t seem to be able to use this as a setting powder, I think this will be a good powder to wear with just some concealer while I have a tan and when I need my makeup to look good for only a couple of hours. Once the tan fades, I might try it as a bronzer on the perimeter of my face and see how it holds up. It may not show up when applied but once oxidized, it may just provide the dimension we all like. We’ll see.

Based on my experience with this powder, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this powder to those with combination or oily skin. I really love the initial effect that the powder gives but the greasiness that it leads to is a deal breaker for me. I do think this powder is worth trying for those with drier skin since it doesn’t cling to dry patches and likely will not cause the same oil breakthrough issues.

*This is not an affiliate link and I do not profit from any purchases made through this link.

**Swatches on MAC NC 35/ NARS Stromboli skin.

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1)

I just posted about a highlighter but having gotten my hand on this one, I can’t wait to post it so here it is.

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1

Burberry has recently released a summer collection. In addition to being a highlighter fiend, I’m also a bit of a Burberry fanatic so I was really surprised that I hadn’t heard of the summer collection recently released by Burberry. The main attractions of the collection include 2 Summer Splash palettes, a bronzed version of Fresh Glow primer and 2 powder highlighters. I originally trekked down to the store for one of the Summer Splash palettes but once in the store, I ended up walking with the highlighter in Nude Radiance.

Nude Radiance (No. 01) comes in the same packaging as the Burberry foundation powder compact, is encased in a velvet pouch and contains 10 grams of product. It also comes with a skinny brush that’s almost as big as the compact and while I haven’t used it myself, I can see it being useful for precise placement and blending of the highlighter as well as a light dusting all over the face. It’s not the softest brush I have ever felt and won’t be my preferred tool to apply the highlighter but it’s usable. I find it frustrating that there isn’t an allotted space for the brush to be stored in the compact, particularly since it’s not a useless brush.

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1)

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1) with the accompanying brush

Nude Radiance is supposed provide the same effect as the Burberry Fresh Glow primer in a powder form and that it does. Embossed with the classic Burberry check, in the pan, it essentially looks like a white-ish cream with the slightest luminosity that can barely be seen in the sunlight (I’ve tried to capture it as accurately as I could in the pictures below). On the skin, it provides delicate sheen that has just a hint of pink. There is enough gold in there that it doesn’t look unnatural on my very golden/olive skin. The texture of the powder is very soft and effortlessly blendable and there are absolutely no detectable shimmer particles – it just becomes part of your skin seamlessly. I think it is probably this almost-undetectable quality that would also allow people with lighter skin to wear this all over the face to get an ethereal glow. The highlighter can be used sheerly or built up for a more obvious highlight. Nude Radiance would be best suited for light to medium skin tones. Of course if the Fresh Glow primer works for you, the powder version will as well.

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1)

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1)

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1) in Direct Sunlight

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1 swatch

L- R: Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1) (Heavy, Blended)

As for comparison to other highlighters in my collection, Chanel’s Poudre Signée de Chanel Illuminating Powder is the closest I could find. Poudre Signée de Chanel is noticeably more golden compared to Nude Radiance and although both are finely milled powders, the shimmer in Poudre Signée de Chanel is more easily detectable.

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1, chanel poudre signee de chanel illuminating powder

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1) & Chanel Poudre Signée de Chanel

chanel poudre signee de chanel illuminating powder swatch

L – R: Chanel Poudre Signée de Chanel (Heavy, Blended)

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1, chanel poudre signee de chanel illuminating powder swatch

L – R: Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1) & Chanel Poudre Signée de Chanel

Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder Nude Radiance No. 1, chanel poudre signee de chanel illuminating powder swatch

L – R: Burberry Fresh Glow Luminous Highlighting Powder in Nude Radiance (No. 1) (Blended, Heavy) & Chanel Poudre Signée de Chanel (Heavy, Blended)

If you have darker skin or if you’re looking for a more bronze-y highlight, the darker highlighter might suit your needs better. Just as Nude Radiance is the powder form of the Fresh Glow primer, the other powder highlighter is a powder version of the bronzed Fresh Flow released with this collection. And since in my experience, most highlighters are usually made for paler skintones, I must commend Burberry for making a highlighter that will look beautiful on darker skin.

Although Burberry doesn’t have If you have always wanted the glow the Fresh Glow primer provides but it didn’t work for you for any reason, this is a must have product. Or if you just love Burberry, this is a highlighter is not one you would want to pass up. I have not been able to find any official collection information and as far as I know, the products in this collection are all limited edition.

Did you know about Burberry’s Summer collection release? Do you plan to pick up anything from it?

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator in Spellbound – Review, Swatches

Ever since I saw the promo images of Laura Mercier’s Dark Spell collection for Fall 2013, I have been drooling over the highlighter included in the collection. Plus, I love the name of the collection and the dark, magical and mysterious images it conjures in my head so I knew I would be purchasing something from it. The collection was finally available on counters this week but the storm/flood that happened in Toronto threw a major wrench in my plans. I know, I know, compared to the issues everyone else had with the storm, mine was a non-issue but I’ve been trying to get a hold of the highlighter since the weekend so I revel in its beauty and review it for you.

I think Spellbound is very aptly named – it will cast a spell on you and you will have to take it home with you. The product is visually STUNNING, obviously.  The product is housed in Laura Mercier’s signature dark brown case that feel a bit chunky to me but is very light and attracts fingerprints very easily (please forgive the fingerprints in the product picture – I would try to wipe one print and end up leaving 3 more until I just gave up).

Laura Mercier Spellbound Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Spellbound

It’s a beautiful rose gold colour that transfers relatively true to colour on my skin, perhaps pulling a bit more gold due to the yellow in my skin. It’s being compared to Rose Rendezvous quite a bit but I can’t confirm that since I passed on it because it was waaaay too shimmery for me. The shimmer in spellbound, I am happy to report, is much more toned down. If the sun hits your face directly, there would be some detectable shimmer but mostly, I just see a sheen on the cheeks. A thin layer of Spellbound provides a beautiful sheen but it can also be layered for a more metallic finish. The powder is very finely milled and you barely need to touch it to get the product on the brush. The texture of Spellbound actually reminds me of MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes but without the glitterbomb quality.

I tried to photograph the naunced shades of pink and gold Spellbound takes on depending on the lighting.

Laura Mercier Spellbound Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Spellbound

Laura Mercier Spellbound Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Spellbound

When seen in direct sunlight, Spellbound looks more golden than rose gold.

Laura Mercier Spellbound Face Illuminator

Laura Mercier Face Illuminator Spellbound

Looking at it in the store, I thought I would only have one rose gold highlighter in my collection. Of course, being a highlighter fiend, I was wrong. Upon inspection, it turns out I have a few rose gold hued highlighters and I actually use them on a regular basis. My brain just didn’t process them as rose gold highlighters until I actually compared them side by side. Spellbound appears more golden in the picture than rose gold when compared to the other rose gold highlighters.

Laura Mercier Spellbound Face Illuminator, MAC by candlelight Mineralize skinfinish MSF, MAC beauty powder shell pearl, bareMinerals The Love Affair, Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter Rose Illumination

bareMinerals The Love Affair is a much more muted version of Spellbound; MAC Shell Pearl almost a cool pink compared to true rose gold shades; Elizabeth Arden Rose Illumination pulls more gold and has chunkier glitter that can be blended into the skin with the finger; and MAC By Candlelight pulls more pink and has a more subtle sheen than Spellbound. Laura Mercier’s Spellbound is definitely more metallic than the other highlighters.

Laura Mercier Spellbound Face Illuminator, MAC by candlelight Mineralize skinfinish MSF, MAC beauty powder shell pearl, bareMinerals The Love Affair, Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Highlighter Rose Illumination swatch

L – R: bareMinerals The Love Affair, MAC Shell Pearl, Elizabeth Arden Rose Illumination, MAC By Candlelight & Laura Mercier Spellbound

Despite my current love affair with Spellbound, I must address one issue I have with Laura Mercier and it has to do with pricing. I can stomach the price but it’s the difference between the American and Canadian price that bothers me. There is a $13 price difference!!! What the hell, Laura Mercier?!

I don’t know whether this will be available at Sephora but currently, it’s available at Laura Mercier counters. This will be a highly coveted item of the season and it’s not difficult to predict that Spellbound will sell out very quickly so get your hands on this as soon as you can!

** Swatches on MAC NC35/ NARS Stromboli skin