Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream

Continuing with my Edward Bess adventure, today post features one of his best sellers - Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream (the deeper bronzer is Desert Sun). I got mine from Neiman Marcus and it is the former edition. His current bronzers are packed and shaded differently from the one I own. I recommend you check out Best Things in Beauty's review of the new bronzers.
The original bronzer in Daydream ($48 for 0.25 oz) is an ultimate neutral tan. It doesn't lean cool nor warm although it seems to have tiny golden shimmer that's barely noticeable. It warms up and lightens up my complexion, giving me a healthy looking skin. Daydream is highly pigmented yet layerable and blendable.

When swatched against Nars Laguna and Dior Aurora, Edward Bess Daydream appears rather similar  to the other two in the photo. My camera didn't capture the differences among them as mush as I'd have liked. Anyway, Daydream is the most neutral of the bunch and also has the least shimmer. The three share similar color depth although distinctive in undertone. Dior Aurora has more peach undertone and slightly more shimmery. NARS Laguna is the deepest shades also the most shimmery. NARS Laguna and Edward Bess Daydream have neutral undertone but Laguna is more golden while Daydream is more beige.
On my particular skin tone (medium with yellow undertone and a bit of pink), Edward Bess Daydream can look more neutral that I want if applied with heavy hands. Good news is - Best Things in Beauty has reported that the new latest version of Daydream has more golden hue that will suit a wider range of skintones. 

Direct sunlight emphasizes the shimmer of NARS Laguna and Dior Aurora.
The texture of Daydream is phenomenal, soft, smooth and delicate. It stays put at least 6 hours (I haven't worn my makeup longer than this recently), which exceeds my expectation. Blushes and bronzers tend to last 4-5 hours on me.

Bottom line. Love it! If you're a bronzer lover, you'll need Daydream. Even for someone like me who doesn't use much of bronzer either for contouring or as a blush, Daydream is still worth to own. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: Edward Bess Blush Imperial in Soft Orchid

Soft Orchid ($42 for 0.12 ) is the blush of healthily blushing cheeks that you'll own after a brief jogging or walking under the sun. It is a pale pink that isn't too pale nor too milky that tends to look ashy on warm skin tones. On my bare skin, it is a baby pink. On top of my foundation, it transforms into a peachy pink. The results are always soft, natural, polish and extremely flattering.

See how it looks like my hand was "blushing"....

Cooler lighting brings out the cool tone of Soft Orchid. It still looks natural.

Under direct sunlight, Soft Orchid still looks natural, like my second skin
Soft Orchid doesn't look dull or dries out my cheeks despite its matte formula. The texture is utter finely milled and feels weightless on my skin. So lovely! I almost bought a back-up until I calmed myself with the fact that it is permanent.

Soft Orchid stays true to Edward Bess' signature style: buildable, blendable and long-wearing. You can hardly over do with it. A tremendous blush. Note that it's rather sheer on my medium skin (around MAC NC 35), so you may want to layer it accordingly to your skin tone. When I'm short in time, I just dab Soft Orchid on top of my moisturizer and voila. I look awake and healthy. So easy-to-use.

Bottom line. Another legendary must-have from Edward Bess. Every girl needs Soft Orchid. Period.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Boots No. 7 Lip Pencil Nude

Boots No. 7 is an established UK cosmetics brand that I've recently discovered. I haven't overcome why I missed out this highly popular brand for such a long time. They're well-recognized for their skincare products that usually create a long line in the stores, very much like Apple's launching iPad 2. I make a mental note to try out their eyecream and serum once I finish my kiehl's goodies.

The first makeup item on my No. 7 craving list is their lip pencil in Nude.

Nude ($6.99 at my local Target) has the beautiful balance of a natural brown, pink and mauve. It's natural, subtle yet it doesn't completely mute out my lip colors. Nude is the pencil version of Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Pure Impulse (review is coming) - same pigmentation, same shade and longevity. In fact, the difference between Nude and Pure Impulse is so nuanced that it is only detectable by a close-up scrutiny. Nude is razor-thin deeper than Pure Impulse. Formulated in a pencil, Nude dries matte. Pure Impulse, on the other hand, has glossy finish. Both have their own advantage but Nude sticks to the lip canvas better.
My lips aren't the best in the world and I can immediately tell if a lip pencil emphasizes my weakness. No. 7 Nude doesn't dry out my lips, instead it moisturizes and smoothes out the texture of my lips. It's the first lip pencil that I feel confident to wear. It's creamy, soft and weightless. Nude drives matte without making my lips chapped. Also as a plus, it stays put for 6 hours. I'm really impressed with the quality.

You can find Boots No. 7 products at Target stores. Online retailers are, www., and

Bottom line. A must-have!

How makeup connoisseurs run.....

The Annual Houston Rockets Run 2012 took place last weekend. While dragging my body through the 5K running track, I caught a glimpse of this awesome shirt on two teenagers. It really lifted up my spirit. Turned out they were indeed wearing quite a bit of mascara. After the run, I asked one of them for a picture of their cute shirt.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Edward Bess is now on

Great news! Edward Bess Beauty is available on and will be launched in stores starting May 2012. Edward officially announced his collaboration with Sephora on his facebook page yesterday.

Check out the original post on The Beauty Look Book for full story.

In case you're new to Edward Bess, feel free to refer to my introductory post that is also linked to the on-going reviews I'm doing on Edward Bess Beauty.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review: New Revlon 16-hour Color Stay Eyeshadow in Adventurous

Today I took a little departure from my Edward Bess series to feature a recent favorite purchase from my local drugestore - a new Revlon 16-hour Color Stay Eyeshadow quad. Revlon Adventurous ($5.97 for 0.16 oz at my local Walmart) is a beautifully coordinated quad. It contains a pearly ivory infused with golden shimmer that reminds me of NARS Albatros, a frosty khaki green, a frosty bronze and a matte deep brown. I love how it offers various finish and a range of color depth. The quad stays balanced for its cool green, warm bronze and a neutral brown. Despite looking rather dramatic in color, Adventurous is surprisingly wearable.
All four shades are highly pigmented. The ivory and the brown (shades 1 and 4) are more opaque than the other two. The shimmer of this quad is another prominent advantage to my taste. It's not at all overly done, just enough to be visible and add some glam to the shade.

Does it last 16  hours? I didn't have time to wear Adventurous more than 12 hours but it did stay fresh over hour 10. That's good enough for my need.

The texture of this quad is really good, soft and smooth. Shade 1 and 4 are exceptionally buttery smooth while the other two feel a bit hard. All are blendable and layerable.

The case of the new Color Stay quad seems more stable than the old ones. I think it's a progressive change from the rectangle to a square case that works more neatly and feels sleeker. I don't really use the sponge-tipped applicator that comes with the quad as it's too short for a good handling and application but some of you might like it.

Swatches and swatches

Note the shimmer show up when I tilted my hand. See how shade 1 (the golden ivory) is a reminiscence of NARS Albatros. You can totally double it up as a cheek highlighter.

Overall thoughts. Impressive. Opaque. Long-wearing. Soft. Wearable. Many former Revlon Color Stay went extremely sheer on my lids. They didn't last over the morning either. So I'm more than happy that Revlon keeps their promise as advertised with Adventurous. Highly recommended! I myself feel the urge to check out the rest of this line.

Well done Revlon. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Edward Bess palette in Berry Chic

Berry Chic ($75) is the coupling palette of Back to Basics, released right before the holiday season 2011. While Back to Basics has neutral color theme, Berry Chic has berry pink theme yet still stays in the wearable zone. It brings a fresh air of springy pink into Edward Bess' already phenomenal yet subtle collection. 

Curious on what you'll have, click the image to enlarge....

- The Cheek and Lip color is a burgundy/mauve rose that (comparable to Compact Rouge) is creamy, long-wearing, natural. I don't own any Compact Rouge (yet), so I can't tell if the Check and Lipcolor included in Berry Chic equals the Compact Rouge. 

- The highlighter is a lovely shimmery cool pink. It still doesn't live up to the legendary Edward Bess All Over Seduction Sunlight and Afterglow, but it's smoother and more delicate that its counterpart in Back to Basics.  It's slightly smaller than All Over Seduction (0.07 oz compared to 0.08 oz). 

- The 4 eyeshadows (a satin ivory, a shimmery burgundy plum, a satin warm pink and a satin chocolate brown) are highly pigmented, buildable and silky that are just as phenomenal as his regular eyeshadows. The pink and burgundy plum did alarm me a bit at first. Again, Edward Bess does his magic toning down this hard-to-wear color theme to understated chic. If you're warm-toned like me, just go easy on the burgundy plum. The pink is actually among very few pinks that I can wear without looking irritated. 

- The two lipglosses are sheer, non-sticky and stays put. The first gloss is a cool pink where as the second is a raspberry pink despite the purple appearance in the pan. 

All colors of this palette are new to the line so rest assured that you won't get anything repetitive from the permanent Edward Bess line. I think this is, particularly, a big plus when you splurge $75 on a single product, you'd want to make the most out of it. The highlighters of Back to Basics and Berry Chic differ from each other (although share pink shimmer and undertone) and from Sunlight and Afterglow.

For my thoughts on the packaging and the price point of Berry Chic, please refer to my review on Back to Basics. 

Bottom line. Edward Bess did it again. Great color coordination, great texture, long-wearing and easy-to-travel with. Quality-wise, Berry Chic surpasses Back to Basics. It can require a bit more thoughts to work with as the colors are not that easy to pull off as Back to Basics. Still, once you find the right pigmentation and technique that suits your skin tone, it's one of those rare products (like most of Edward Bess beauty line) that you got addicted to. 

Review: Edward Bess palette in Back to Basics

Back to Basics ($75), the name truly describes the palette itself. Simple, natural yet sophisticated and chic. It is incredibly user-friendly. The colors are elegantly coordinated by mixing neutrals, warm, cool and a touch of mauve and pink. From left to right, you have (click on the image to enlarge)
- The Cheek and Lip color is mauvy brown that (comparable to Compact Rouge) is creamy, long-wearing, natural. I don't own any Compact Rouge (yet), so I can't tell if the Check and Lipcolor included in Back to Basics equals the Compact Rouge. 

- The highlighter, a medium rose with fleck of pink shimmer, is slightly smaller than All Over Seduction (0.07 oz compared to 0.08 oz). It's smooth, long-wearing, very pretty but not as delicate and luxurious as All Over Seduction. 

- The 4 eyeshadows (a satin ivory, a satin champagne, a satin pinkish tan and a satin medium brown) are highly pigmented, buildable and silky but a tad less even than his regular eyeshadows. 

- The two lipglosses (a peach and a rosy) are sheer, non-sticky and stays put. 

All colors of this palette are new to the line so rest assured that you won't get anything repetitive from the permanent Edward Bess line. I think this is, particularly, a big plus when you splurge $75 on a single product, you'd want to make the best out of it. The highlighters of Back to Basics and Berry Chic differ from each other (although share pink shimmer and undertone) and from Sunlight and Afterglow

Gaia of The Non-Blonde and Sabrina of The Beauty Look Book agreed that on the glosses are the weakest link of this palette. Given that I expected the glosses are on the sheer side and sticky as Nude Satin, I'm gladly surprised that they're actually non sticky and stay on just as long. My least favorite is the highlighter. Edward sets the bar sky high with Sunglight and Afterglow. Even though the highlighter looks pretty and has very good quality, it's not as great as Sunlight and Afterglow.

Back to Basics is housed in a more than a sturdy and sleek case. It comes with a practically large mirror and a high quality double-ended brush, one for eyeshadow and the other for cream products. When I saw the palette mixing cream and powder products without a separate covers, I was concerned that the powder would get all over. Actually, the wells are deep and thick enough to divide the products. After 2 months of careful use, I haven't detect any cross pollination. Bravo Edward!

I half expected this all-in-one palette to have a lower quality than Edward Bess regular line. It was such a nice surprise that it didn't follow some other quickly produced palettes of this season and past (like Bobbi Brown's or Dior's). Now, 75 bucks might sound hefty. Considering how much products of great quality this palette has to offer, I'd say it's a good deal.

Bottom line.  Truly fool-proof. Easy to work with. Well-edited. Chic. Perfect for clean, fresh and youthful looks. Worth every penny. What else can we ask for? Edward impresses us again!

Review: Edward Bess Deep Shine Lipgloss in Nude Satin

Edward Bess Nude Satin ($30), a pretty mauvy nude, is the first of his line that forces me to slip "meh". Slowly my critique raised to "ah nice" but "may be not again still".
First thing I noticed: sticky and fig scent. The latter doesn't bother me at all, the first does though.

Another drawback? It's sheer and almost disappear in my medium red-tinted lips.

Hold on... Before you embed "pass" in your mind, I'm happy to tell you that despite its stickiness, Nude Satin is really longwearing. It defeats a lunch with clam chowder and sandwiches.

And that's not the end. Nude Satin is also surprisingly moisturizing. I though sticky lipglosses would guarantee chappy lips. But I was completely wrong.

Nude Satin feels weightless, which brings me another pleasant surprise.
And hold on, I'm not finished yet. Nude Satin looks incredibly beautiful on top of Edward Bess Tender Love, Pure Impulse (reviews coming soon), Boots No 7. lip pencil, and many other rosy lipsticks I own. It adds just the right mauve tint with some glossy natural finish. This way, the tackiness is remarkably reduced and Nude Satin feels more comfortable on my lips.

Bottom line. Like but not love. If only it were less sticky and had more pigmentation, it'd be my holy grail  gloss. I think it looks far more flattering and unique on top of lipsticks than on its own. But check it out, some still enjoy this lippie.

Have you tried other Deep Shine lipgloss? Are they sticky? What would you recommend for higher pigmentation than Nude Satin? 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review: Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight and Afterglow

A total highlighter sucker am I, nothing's more appealing than a highlighter that creates natural, seamless yet visible glowy complexions. While I do love quite a few powder highlighters (here), the powder formula prevent them to become the second-skin. So my quest for an ideal highlighter continues.... Until I discovered Edward Bess All Over Seduction in Sunlight and Afterglow. Actually, I haven't touched any of my powder highlighters since my first use of Sunlight and Afterglow back in November.

Some basic questions you might ask 1) Do they create naturally glow as if it's from within? 2) Do they emphasize the pores? 3) Is the formula creamy enough for a easy blending; 4) Will they disappear on my skin and 5) Do they stay fresh for typical 8-hour working day?

The answers: Oh Yeesss! Not at all! Yes! Yes and Yes!

Sunlight and Afterglow ($38 for 0.08 oz) are ridiculously fine and smooth. They glides on like a charm leaving no streaks. You won't detect where the highlighter begin and where it ends. Just use your fingers as applicators. Both are infused with the most exquisite champagne shimmer that adds lovely sheen to the skin.

Sunlight is more champagne than MAC Cream Color Base in Cream, while Afterglow is more peachy than MAC Cream Color Base in Hush. EB All Over Seduction has more delicate shimmer and simply more sophisticated. They're just at a different class from MAC's.
Both Sunlight and Afterglow look wonderful day and night. It's the matter how you feel to wear them. Sunlight is a ivory champagne and Afterglow is a pinkish peach. Sunlight stands out more on my medium warm skintone but still maintains the natural glow-from-within sheen. Afterglow matches my skin more. It blends into my skin and hence produces more subtle glow. But Afterglow is still visible under night light.
Note that both has a light fig scent, which doesn't reduce my attachment to them.

Bottom line. Legendary highlighters. These are how a luxurious highlighter should be. Everyone needs them. Get them, you can't be disappointed! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Edward Bess Eyeshadow Trio in Soft Smoke

Smoky eye and panda eye used to couple when I attempted to wear "smoking hot" makeup. It either looked too sharp or too messy, nothing closed to the elegant air I aimed for. Over the years, I only trust Dior 5-color Smokey Design (reviewed here) for sultry yet wearable smoky eye. It's however best for night-time. Edward Bess Soft Smoke ($60 for  0.159 oz) is more subtle and day-time appropriate. You can absolutely rock smoky eye for the day with this particular palette.
You have a matte creamy color, a satin taupe grey that leans more grey than Dusk and a matte dark grey. They share the same quality as Edward Bess single eyeshadows (reviewed here), silky, smooth and 12-hour wearing with a standard eye primer. All three shades are easy to blend and buildable. The creamy shades require a bit more work to reach the opacity in the following swatches, especially on medium skin tone.

Soft Smoke is Made in Taiwan. The case is very sleek but feels a bit flimsy. It comes with a nicely-sized mirror and a two-ended brush that is decent enough to keep. Perfect for makeup on the go.

Swatches under direct sunlight
Although designed to create smokey eye makeup, Soft Smoke works just as well for an every day look- work, school, or a night out. 

Overall thoughts. A basic yet very well-done trio, color-wise and certainly texture-wise! If you haven't own a versatile and easy-to-use palette, I'm confident that Soft Smoke tops your other options. Put the luxurious quality aside, you will still be able to find dupes since these are all basic colors. So whether Soft Smoke is a must-have or not depends on your makeup collection. 
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