High-End Makeup Brands

Dior Diorskin Extreme Fix Review

in Dior


Before there was MAC Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, before Make Up For Ever HD Powder, there was Dior Diorskin Extreme Fix. In the Spring of 2008 Dior quietly released this interesting little powder as a Nordies Exclusive. It quickly became the must have item in the makeup world but has since disappeared from shelves within the US. If you look really hard you’ll probably come across this but I’ve only seen it in Europe and Asia as a general catalog item as part of the Dior standard collection.

Jump ahead for a peep at this powder and a review.

I’ve had this powder since February 2008 and it’s taken me this long to get down to the nitty gritty of reviewing it.

What is it?

A long lasting setting powder for foundation. It’s the same concept as many HD transparent powders you see on the market today. The powder has a silicon base which is supposed to bullet proof foundation and make it last longer. Question, of course, does it work?

I’d like to discuss the formula briefly prior to getting into further details. I will say that the powder is superior to other transparent powders on the market today. It’s very silky and has a certain thickness about it I haven’t seen in powder before. It smooths onto skin beautifully, doesn’t leave a behind a white cast, and is a breathable layer of foundation protection. Although white in color for the most part the powder is transparent once applied.


As of late I forgo foundations in favor of BB creams for the most part. I find BB creams do not need to be set prior with powder as they last considerably longer than any cream or liquid foundation I already have. Even with my normal foundation routine I normally forgo powder since my skin is typically dry and an extra layer of powder flakes up, looks cakey, or just ages my skin. Diorskin Extreme Fix is very lightweight so it absorbs fairly easily without caking or flaking. I haven’t really noticed it extending the wear of my foundation but than again not many products do (even really good primer). However, I will say I like the airbrushed finish the powder gives my face. If you have fine lines, uneven skin tone, or just need a powder that gives an ethereal glow to your skin this does just that.

Overall, I’m happy to have added it to my collection but I do admit I don’t use it much. You can probably find a cheap alternative but if you’re a Dior fan I imagine you’ll want to add it to your collection. I will say out of all my transparent powders this is a favorite and I feel the formula is considerably better than any I’ve tried prior to this that are available in the US (not speaking for the Asian beauty market).

All in all it’s a very nice powder and I really should utilize it more as maybe I’ll fall in love with it as that has yet to happen.

Anyone a fan?

Have it in your beauty train case?

Love it?

Tell the Muse!

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First Impressions: Illamasqua Eye Shadow Review and Swatches

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Matte is a difficult medium to work with and not one I’m fond of. I admire those who can work with matte shades and create gorgeous looks because honestly I stink at it. If matte is your game you must be over the moon that Illamasqua has made it’s way across the pond and now resides at Sephora.com and Sephora Times Square.

Jump ahead for my first impressions and review of a few Illamasqua Eye Shadows I got to test out this week!

I’ve read a few reviews comparing Illamasqua to MAC but for myself personally I think they are considerably different brands. Packaging, pigmentation, and price are a just a few things that set Illamasqua apart from MAC.

For the most part my adventures in Illamasqua Eye Shadow has so far been a tad on the disappointing side since I’m not a matte girl. The formula of the shadows is weak in pigmentation and a tad on the chalky side. I haven’t applied on my eye as of yet but so far they prove difficult to blend just on my arm. The swatches I did take had to be built up with several swipes. I did take note that wet or applied with a base they seem brighter and more intense but without they aren’t anywhere in the same vicinity as the pigmentation of a MAC eye shadow. Colors appear buildable which redeems the fact that at first swatch you aren’t going to jump up and down in delight at how pigmented the eye shadow is. I tried two shadows out so far which were Moan and CanCan. Moan is an olive green and CanCan is a pretty violet.

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I did enjoy the interesting, unique packaging. It’s a square cut curved design that’s quite chic. This is 2g of eyeshadow for $20 where as MAC is 1.5g and $14.50. Obviously, the design isn’t only larger than a standard MAC shadow but it actually proves to hold more product. Remember looks can be deceiving sometimes and packaging can appear large but not contain a large amount of product but these prove to in fact hold a bit more shadow.

So far I can’t say that Illamasqua would replace MAC for me. I expected more for the price tag and was a tad shocked I wasn’t doing cartwheels around the room as it’s been very hyped up by makeup lovers far and wide so I did think I’d fit right into that groove. I do have to try these on my eye before making my final decision. So far I’m not too impressed but I will reserve judgment as I plan on purchasing a few of the shimmer finishes for myself because my current review could be a bit bias since matte really isn’t my medium of choice and I don’t have the skills to work with it.

So far Illamasqua won’t take over MAC for me as the price is higher and the pigmentation so far isn’t nearly as up to par. But we shall see….I need to explore and test further. If matte is your finish of choice you’ll be thrilled with a majority of the offerings from the line. In a sea of shadows dominated by various finishes, matte is a unique offering in the makeup world especially a collection of cosmetics that caters to such a finish.

Have you tried Illamasqua Eye Shadow?

Do you love them?

Tell the Muse!

5 Comments

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara Review


They tell me the eyes have it. Armani obviously knows it as they introduced a brand new mascara entitled Eyes to Kill. Dude, doesn’t that so sound like a James Bond movie? This calls for corny theme music!


Keep it playing as you read the review it’ll really set the mood!

With all the bells and whistles in the mascara world lately one would think Giorgio Armani Beauty would decide to jump on board and create some crazy applicator. You know what I mean. Plastic applicators, brushless ones, slim line applicators, crazy medieval spiked ones….truly mascara has evolved since our mother’s started using it at our ages.

Armani though, they see the potential in the standard brush. There isn’t anything special about the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara applicator aside from the fact that it’s longer and fuller than many brushes. Aside from this the bells and whistles are left at the door. But don’t let that sway you because this mascara is incredible. Be it the formula or the brush one would have to guess at what made my lashes so full and so very, very long. Amazing!

Eyes to Kill Mascara is available in four shades which are the standard blacks, browns, and gray but they also have one entitled Rouge Iron which appears to be a pinkish red shade, very interesting choice for a mascara. I tried out Steel Black which is true inky black. The formula is very light and airy which creates a natural, softer lash look that still manages to be dramatic due to the incredible volume the formula gives lashes. It doesn’t clump up during application and glides on the lashes easily without creating a havoc of messy lashes in it’s wake.


As mentioned above the applicator is a simple brush that’s a fair bit longer than your average size but nothing too dramatic. The brush pulls lashes up and out while curling them and offering up supreme length and fullness.


Overall, count this Muse impressed with the new Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara. Lashes like these don’t come cheap at $28 for a tube but you’ll be incredibly happy when you’re prancing around with crazy long lashes to go along with your smoky Fall eye look!

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Overall, I’m quite excited and impressed with this mascara. It’s been a while since I’ve gotten so hyped over a US brand mascara (as you know I’m all over Japanese mascara). Truly a fantastic one and worthy of a try, the Muse thinks you’ll love it!

Excellent mascara and deserving of a Muse Approval!

summer museapproved stamp+(2)

Loves it!

3 Comments

Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection Review and Swatches

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Summer is coming to a close really quickly this year. Must be the all the rain or the fact that I went on holiday so early but Summer feels like it flew by really fast this year. How sad.

As I brace myself for my favorite season, Autumn, I’m over indulging in all things Fall. For the most part I always associate warm golden brown shades, sparkling golds, and fiery oranges with the season which is why I’m ever so delighted that I can have Fall and maybe a bit of Summer too with the new Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection.

Jump ahead for the review and swatches!

At first glance I thought that perhaps the Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection was some sort of late Summer release. Truly Fall didn’t cross my mind at all since the collection is so warm and bronze-like. But upon further investigation and after trying the collection out I’d say it’s ideal for that time when Summer is just changing to Fall and the weather is still very warm. With warm shades of bronze, brown, and pale pinks the colors are all very work friendly and elegant. This isn’t a loud, vibrant look but more of a subtle touch of color that accentuates eyes with a burst of warmth.

Rounding out the collection are two brand new limited edition quads containing an array of buttery smooth shadows in golden pinks, browns, and golds ($35 Each). Each palette is a golden copper tone, quite pretty and fitting with the “gold” theme. The Estée Lauder Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Rose Amethyst contains a pale mauve pink, a deeper mauve, a warm nude beige, and a golden chocolate brown. The Estée Lauder Signature Eyeshadow Quad in Rose Gold contains a sheer nude peach, a light golden brown, a pale pink peach, and a fiery terracotta. The shadows have a beautiful sparkly over spray but the shadows are for the most part matte with a slightly pearl finish. Don’t get scared even though they are matte they manage to have a wonderful texture that blends like a dream. Overall, each creates a warm, work friendly look that’s elegant, chic, and very fitting for the warmer days of Fall.

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My look created using the Rose Gold Palette (Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Cinnamon on my lips and Pure Color Multi-Shimmer Gloss in Rose Gold)
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My look created using the Rose Amethyst Palette (Hydra Lustre Lipstick in Terracotta on my lips and Pure Color Multi-Shimmer Gloss in Amethyst)
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Estée Lauder Signature Hydra Lustre Lipstick with Gold Shimmer are available in four shades to accompany this collection ($19.50). These are a dreamy, moisturizing lipstick with a golden sparkle in hues of brilliant Fall shades. My two favorites? Terracotta, a nude golden peach, and Cinnamon, a brilliant brown bronze with golden shimmer. The formula is beautiful as it glides onto lips leaving behind pigmented color and a high sheen as if I topped with gloss. Gorgeous!

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You might very well think MAC when you see the new Estee Lauder Pure Color
Multi-Shimmer Gloss ($18). This gloss is made of three shades of shimmering sheer gloss for a sparkling lip look. Rose Gold is made of sparkling warm peach shades and Amethyst is a trio of light pinks to deeper rubies. The glosses apply very subtly for the most part and aren’t terribly pigmented but they add an extra pop of lovely when paired up with the Hydra Lustre Lipsticks.

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All in all the Estee Lauder Sensuous Gold Collection manages to capture the essence of Summer while bringing it right through to Fall. The shades are all very sophisticated and chic for creating subtle eye catching looks. Indian Summer in September? Easy with this collection. Might as well milk Summer for all we can and what better way to do it than with such a warm, bronzy collection that sizzles but also manages to keep the theme of Autumn as well!

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NARS Essential Eye Palette and NARS Best of Lips Palette

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Ahhh NARS you excited me so! And two new palettes to choose from too! Loves it!

Skip ahead for the details!

Two new palettes are available now from NARS for lips and eyes. Yay!

The NARS Essential Eye Palette contains a combination of warm and cool tones for the eye.

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Top Shades
  • Unconditional Love
  • Night Star
  • Galapagos

Bottom Shades

  • Nepal
  • Ondine
  • Thunderball

Also available is the new NARS Best of Lips Palette which includes a variety of rich, vibrant shades for Fall.

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Top Shades
  • Copacabana
  • Chelsea Girls
  • Dolce Vita

Bottom Shades

  • Orgasm Multiple
  • Eros
  • Red Lizard

These are both available now at Nordstrom.

Want ‘em? I know I’m yearning for the eye palette!

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