And so I Caved …

As I confessed in my previous Project 2 x 5 Pan update, purchases were made when no pans were happening. And even though they are allowed (most of them being limited edition products), I still feel kind of guilty about them. Here are the items that successfully seduced me since I started the project. Most of them are LE:

From: MAC Strength collection
Item: Poised blush (satin)
I had high expectations of this when I placed the order and from reviews thought it’s a brown-brown blush. When it arrived I was disappointed – it reminds me of Gingerly and I am looking for a more unique shade that I don’t have dupes of. I have since been converted because it looks very natural on the skin. I have a few MAC blushes but only one other in the same satin formula (Her Blooming Cheek, a fuschia) and with this one I finally saw the subtle sheen and shimmer it imparts.

Having said that Poised isn’t that much of a unique shade in my collection:

1. MAC Poised (Satin, LE)
2. Chanel Tweed Sienna
3. MAC Nuance (Mineralized, LE)
4. Gingerly (Sheertone)

Swatched:

Swatches are unblended. As you can see Gingerly is darker and more brown.
Poised looks to be the reddest when properly blended in, it is comparable to Tweed Sienna. Tweed Sienna is the least pigmented of them when applied on skin. It is quite sheer but can be easily built up in intensity. 
Nuance is the more glittery of them all (for this I rarely reach for it) but it is also the most pigmented.
I’ll say to those who are hunting for Nuance and Poised to look at Chanel’s Tweed Sienna. Whether you pick it up or not at that price point of course depends on how desperate you are. Dupe or not the Chanel blush is my most-used blush and one of my fool-proof favourites.

From: Bobbi Brown Pink and Red collection
Items: Sheer Color Cheek Tint in Sheer Cherry and Cherry lip gloss
This is my first experience with the cheek tints and I simply love this formula. I usually stay away from stick formula but this one is lightweight and very easy to blend. It doesn’t leave the skin feeling sticky or heavy. Sheer Cherry is as the name suggests, sheer, making it one of the easiest reds to wear on the cheeks. It gives a very natural flush and finish.

I’m not sure but I think the cheek tints are LE items in general and not something in the permanent product lineup. This shade was sold out in Paris, I finally got it with the help of a friend in Australia, where prices for beauty products (among many other things) are heavily inflated.
Bobbi Brown has three new shades in these cheek tints for summer, and I highly recommend you check those out if you’re interested in this wonderful product.

The Cherry lip gloss I tend to wear alone. It is sheer when applied but you can get a more saturated red with a heavier hand. Either way it will give a high-shine finish to your lips. The gloss is again very lightweight and comfortable to wear. I just wish they’d skin the mint, which also gives a cooling sensation to the lips. I don’t really particularly enjoy lip products like this.

From: Dior at Harrods
Item: Windsor nail polish
I admit this was more of an impulse buy. I couldn’t resist this when I was in London. Windsor is a metallic gun metal grey. It’s unique in my tiny collection but looks to be an easily dupeable colour.

From: Illamasqua I’mperfect Collection
Item: nail polish in Mottle and Scarce
I honestly don’t know if they’re LE but they’re still available on the Illamasqua website. I bought mine the same day I got Windsor above. Unfortunately my Scarce came with 2 splayed hairs in the bottle … and I have no means to make an exchange since I didn’t find out until I’m back in Paris. Still they are beautiful and I love Scarce and I think it’s the best shade/combo.

* Illamasqua is doing a 50% off any brush with the purchase of the Paranormal eye palette until 17th May (IIRC). I’ve placed an order (guilty, yes) because I love that palette. And happy found out they use the regular price as the total and not the reduced total. Meaning you will have enough to get the free shipping (if you live outside the UK) requirement of 50 pounds even when you actually pay less than that in the end. Am I making sense?

From: Smashbox love me collection
Item: Idolize me blush
I had my eyes on this for months and finally caved during the last Sephora offer after swatching it in store and loving the soft pigmented texture. I also reasoned I don’t have a similar shade like this at home. When I finally have the blush in my hands I remembered I have do have something alike:

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Left to Right: Smashbox Idolize Me, NARS Amour, Scott Barnes Samba chic palette (middle shade); under different lighting.

I resorted to paper swatching because I couldn’t get an accurate colour capture on my arm.
Compared to Smashbox, NARS Amour is deeper, with more red in it. Although it doesn’t look like it on paper, on the skin blended out, the SB is the closest, but not identical either. I also compared it to NARS Deep Throat afterwards but DT is definitely a lot more coral.

These are just different nuances of course. I think NARS Amour is more unique of a shade between the two, but it’s hard to ignore the whopping 8g of product packed in Smashbox’s compact. That’s real value for money. The one other bigger blush pan I have is from Cargo (8.9g) but that’s in a filmsy tin whereas the Smashbox has a nice solid and pretty compact with a mirror.

Note 1: I didn’t realise this is their Spring collection, having seen the photos for so long!
Note 2: I had zero knowledge of Curtis Kulig and his ‘love me’ campaign. The name of the collection was a deterrent right at the beginning in fact.

From: Lancome In Love Spring Collection
Items: Trio sets in Gourmand and a la Folie
I only have the pictures from the Lancome website for now because I’m still waiting for the package to arrive. These two sets are online exclusives, for the price you basically get the nail polishes for free, plus a small pouch with a mascara and bi-facil sample (great for travelling). I wasn’t really interested in the polishes, but I’m not one who turns down a freebie. Plus I thought it’d be a good chance to try Lancome’s formula. The liner shade pretty much decided which set I chose. I definitely wanted the deep marine blue, but I was hesitating between the brown (more use) and jade (more unique). In the end I decided to go with Jade because it’s easier to find another nice brown in a good formula.

Full reviews of these to come.

From: Clarins
Items: Joli Rouge Brillant (Perfect Shine Sheer Lipstick) in Watermelon and Instant Light Lip Protector in Candy (#05)
I have the lip protector in beige and have lusted after Candy ever since its release. I wanted the lipstick in watermelon after swatching it in Sephora and liking the shade and finish.

Watermelon is a brightish pink with silver glitter. It’s scary looking (to me) in the tube but the sheer formula makes it very wearable. I tend to stay away from pinks like this but for some reason am liking this a lot. The silver sparkles makes the lips look juicy!

Sorry I don’t have a description of the lip protector in Candy because I haven’t opened it up yet …

*sigh* It all adds up quite a bit doesn’t it? 😦

It’s terrible. I have such a weakness for blushes. I thought I was doing so well … That whole not buying any more blushes thing it’s embarrassing now. It’s just that blushes are something I use everyday and being (mostly) in powder form I can keep them a long time.

If anything I think doing the project is helping me to control my impulses. Who knows what else I may have bought if I didn’t have that pang of guilt nagging? I have lemmings going on at the moment but am trying to kill them (as usual): the Armani bronzer and eye shadow palette for example, is so beautiful … but lord knows I don’t need another bronzer. I’ve also got some items from Chanel summer (yet to hit the shelves here) I’m keeping an eye out for. I already fell for Illamasqua’s palette … The NARS x Pierre Hardy has some really nice items (like the blush!) And we haven’t even seen everything yet.

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